Sunday, October 28, 2012

Countdown to Halloween

How do you choose who'll be handing out candy
during a cold blustery Halloween night?

In our house we use the ever so diplomatic
rock-paper-scissors method to decide.

   Although I've never quite grasped the concept behind the game, I always win! 
 As in..... I'll be parked in front of the warm fireplace
 doing something much more constructive like knitting or Pinning,
 while the Candyman hands out candy to the little ghosts and goblins.
(Have you ever heard of a candywoman?  No, of course not.)

After all, it's only fair that I get to rest after doing all the decorating!

I recently won a $50 gift certificate to Shabby Apple (visit their shop here) from
 Sandi at A Cottage Muse (visit her here to see the vintage treasures in her home
 and the ones she uses to stock her space at Wrentham Country Store).

Sandi's mantel. 
 Don't you love the way she used the rusty old springs?

 For my gift, I chose a set of eight numbered cloth napkins which
 inspired me to decorate our dining room in black & white for Halloween.
I simply folded them and hung them on the rungs of an old ladder.
They add a bright spot to a dark corner and help
conceal some of the many cracks in the plaster walls!

Thank you Sandi and Shabby Apple!

The napkins came tied with the numbered ribbon I've used to hang silhouettes of our
 grandchildren created by my blog friend Tracy of Crow's Feet Chic.
I printed small images in black & white and framed them out
in a pair of matching thrift shop frames.  You can see them up close
in the first picture above.  Thanks again Tracy!

This is the first year we've had the circa 1960's Sears fireplace
in our dining room for Halloween and I used the same rock-paper-scissors
concept when it came to prepping the room for the boo crew.
Well, I guess there weren't any rocks involved, but I made
good use of paper and scissors.

I cut out a pennant banner using construction paper and newspaper I had in the house. 
 I stamped letters on the newspaper and taped each piece to the fireplace. 
No sewing!

A few of my old clocks, vintage black shoes, black licorice in the covered
apothecary jar, and a few dollar store crows to spook it up a bit.
I picked branches and rose hips from our yard and stuffed them into a
vintage vase for my rather sorry excuse of a "floral arrangement".
Floral arranging is not my cup of tea.

I removed my Blue Willow plates from the holder between the
windows and replaced them with 4 circa 1950 framed silhouettes.

Here's the whole set.

My blue & white stagecoach blinds weren't fitting in with the
black & white theme, so they've been temporarily tossed aside for
a no sew valance.  A few pieces of sheet music, some tape, a
paper punch and voila!  (That's what happens when I'm
stuck in the house on a wet, snowy day.  Do you see
the snow covered branches through the window?)

For the table, I filled my tool caddy with scented pine cones and tangerines (they're round and
orange and close enough to pumpkins for me!) and set it on a runner I made from leftover
kitchen curtain fabric.  As you can see there's no cauldron filled with candy yet.
  Why?  Somebody (me) can't leave the chocolate bars alone,
 so we don't buy them until the last possible minute.

In a few days, when you're discussing who'll be handing out
candy, remember the tried and true Ranger method of

I always win.  :@


I'm joining the parties at:
Knick of Time Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Cedar Hill Ranch Cowgirl Up

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The weather outside is frightful!

Sing along with me.
"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the.....

Wait a minute.....
isn't that a Christmas tune?

What's wrong with this picture?

Isn't it supposed to be frost on the pumpkin?

I think you can see why up north we prefer
to buy our pumpkins and mums from Michael's.

I don't think I'll be outside today, my day off, working on the twig sign
I started....oh, 2 weeks ago.  Poor, poor me.

Don't worry,  I'll suffer in silence inside the house whilst
 drinking coffee and reading blogs. :@

This area is under the roof, so it's sheltered from the snow, but it
looks like we'll soon be exchanging the rakes for shovels!

I hope my silk mums don't freeze. 

If I had Photoshop, I'd crop out the utility meter and wires near our back door for your
viewing pleasure, but alas, I fear it would be much too complicated for me. 

 Do you see my newest find?

 The old screen door, painted in the same shade as our back door was meant for me,
 wouldn't you say?  I painstakingly wound vines from our fence around it to dress it up
 for the season, but the wind took most of them away.  Now that I think about it,
 I would have been wise to anchor them with wire.  Hindsight.

 Oh, well, there's plenty more where they came from. 

 I bought the house numbers from Restoration Hardware about 3 years ago,
but I could never find the right spot for them.  Now they finally have a place to hang out while
diverting your attention away from those sad yellow mums.....I hope.

Do you remember when I said the turquoise
paint on the bicycle would soon fade into a softer color?

I guess I was wrong.

In case I don't get my Halloween post out in time, I hope everybody
has a Merry Christmas Happy Halloween!


*I'm joining the party at:
Common Ground Vintage Inspiration Friday

Friday, October 19, 2012

All the Small Things

It's not always the big pieces of furniture or expensive items
 I see at shops and sales that get my heart pounding.
In fact, it's more often the smallest things
 that I find most intriguing.

So, knowing my love of Red Cross items and
my fascination with small things, you can imagine
how excited I was to find.......


Although it's a wee bit small for me to use as a Halloween
costume, I had to have it!  It's a vintage doll Red Cross nurse's
uniform and best of all, it was only $2.75!

It even came with the little red wire hanger. :@

Now what am I going to do with it?  Hmmm.....

I picked up the toy ambulance this past summer at an outdoor antique show
and it's been driving aimlessly about looking for a place to park.

The first aid kit was a gift from one of my daughters.

Do you recognize the piece my ambulance is parked on?

I bought it at an estate sale last December for 75 cents
and it, too, has been waiting to be put into use.

I didn't have a shadow box in any of my junk
bins, but I think this works just as well, don't you?

I've put together all the small things
to make one display in none other than the.....

Now, when you're sitting on the throne, here's what you'll see.

It just goes to show, that if you buy the things that
make your heart go pitter-pat, eventually
you'll find just the right spot in your home to display them.

Thanks for visiting and if you're out shopping for old junk this weekend,
don't forget to check out all the small things!


*I'm joining the parties at:
Common Ground Vintage Inspiration Friday
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special
Knick of Time Tuesday
Cedarhill Ranch Cowgirl Up

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The witching hour will soon be upon us
and there's no shortage of witches at 911.

Some uplighting, a little photo editing, and a black silk
witch hat turn the normally docile Henriheada into an evil presence.

Scroll back to the previous photo.  Do you see how her eyes follow you?
I guess she is a bit scary even in the light of day!

My dressmaker's form wears a vintage 1950's Halloween cape.
The costume also comes with a black and yellow plastic skirt, but it's much
too big and resembles a lawn leaf bag.  I don't mind lending her a black
skirt and camisole for a few short weeks.  We are roomies after all!

Moons, and bats, and witches, oh my!

It's even got a hood........not that she'll be needing it.

The original box for the costume with the skirt inside.

This year I've got two new witches who are by far my most favorite.

Witch Finley and Warlock Mack.

Tracy (Crow's Feet Chic) asked me to email her a profile snapshot of each of our grandchildren.
She waved her magic wand, sprinkled some fairy dust, and turned Finley into a little witch
 and Mack into a warlock! Aren't they adorable?!  Thanks Tracy!

 Maybe if you ask real nice, she'll post a tutorial for you.  :@

I've printed these images out for our daughters and I'm going to print
black and white copies to use in a project for my Halloween decorating.

I almost forgot the smallest witch in residence.

This goofy looking witch was a gift from my sister and spends the
season standing among my antique brown bottles in the kitchen window.

The bottles are empty, but I often catch her looking at
them with a wistful look in her eye.

She loves to sing!  In the middle of the night, I've awakened
to hear her cackling rendition of none other than 
"99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall".

She has been looking a little green around the gills in the morning.


You've been a witness to just a few of the unexplained
phenomena that happen when you're not looking here at 911.

Just like Tom Bodett at Motel 6
I'm keeping the lights on tonight!

I'm joining the parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special
The Farmhouse Porch Cowgirl Up

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Sunset Colors of Autumn

Just one week ago, we enjoyed the last beautiful summer-like
weather of the year.  My goal was to travel to a nearby lake ( for the last time this year)
 with our kayaks to enjoy the fall colors and that's just what we did.

The temperature was an unseasonably warm 75 degrees and sunny,
so we took a drive to find a quiet lake to paddle.

No wind and not a cloud in the sky.

It was a gorgeous day to spend on the lake.
When we arrived home shortly before sunset, I took a walk around the neighborhood
 to take a few pictures of the colorful trees in town.

The setting sun casts its shadows in a neighborhood park.

Autumn is fleeting in northern Minnesota, but its beauty can't be beat.

Thanks for coming along!

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