Sunday, October 21, 2012

All Tricked Out for Hallowe'en (and Possibly Christmas)

Through the years, many decorations originally purchased specifically for Hallowe'en display have invariably made their way into the Gothic Mansion's everyday decor; for the most part due to the insomniac's  somewhat lackadaisical efforts in removing them in a timely manner after the festivities have ended. Eventually, it just becomes easier to leave them out permanently, with the added benefit of allowing one an early start on the following year's decorating. Be prepared for a similar post in December, when one will attempt to justify her reasoning for leaving up more than a few Christmas ornaments year-round, as well.

Take, for example, the House Gargoyle positioned at the front door. Originally one of two purchased a few October's past,  he has since become a permanent feature and is decked out in a manner befitting whatever holiday is currently being celebrated. In December, it would not be unusual to find him sporting a tinsel garland with cedar boughs tucked between his paws and holding a sign wishing guests a Festive Yuletide Season. His companion, who used to overlook the pond, barely made it through the first winter before falling to pieces.  

The House Gargoyle, with some of this year's
abundant pumpkin harvest ...

The current Hallowe'en Wreath has been in use for roughly four years, starting out as a simple grapevine wreath sprayed a metallic gunmetal colour. The black ostrich feather and shredded lace were an added bonus included in an eBay purchase of vintage mourning trimmings - too tattered to do much else with, but perfect for the wreath. Fake Crow was in dire need of repair this year, as he had started moulting his onyx glitter and his ruby rhinestone eye was drooping a bit and needed re-glueing.

The black roses and leaves are covered with lots of Martha Stewart garnet glitter, which unfailingly makes a little glitter trail on the carpet during its yearly trip from the basement to the front door. The spray glue used for the glitter has started to turn a mouldy greenish colour in spots which, although completely unplanned, is quite delightful.

The Definitely Hallowe'en, Occasionally Christmas & 
Sometimes Valentine's Day Wreath

The Hallowe'en Wreath is hung the 1st of October and remains on the screen door until eventually replaced with the Christmas Wreath - generally not until December 23rd, because this one is much preferable to that one. It has even been known to stay up right through to Valentine's Day, requiring only the removal of the glittered Beware sign and the addition of glittered red hearts to make it more seasonally appropriate.

Although the insomniac  prides herself on her ability to tolerate a considerable amount of dust, there comes a point when even she looks at the accumulation in the Gothic Mansion and shudders. Accordingly, the fake black ivy purchased for exterior Hallowe'en use quite some time ago, but which eventually ended up inside draped around Mucha's A Winter's Tale, was disentangled from the frame and brought outside for this year's arrangement in the bird bath. Before being returned to its now permanent spot around the picture (which looks terribly bare without it), it will be given a vigorous washing. It should accumulate a nice coating of dust by this time next year.

Dusty leaves in the exterior
Pumpkin/Rowan Berry display.

The large black owl purchased six weeks ago has finally  (much to the long-suffering spouse's relief) been removed from the Dining Room Table. One had originally thought he'd make a splendid replacement for the disintegrated gargoyle by the pond but, as the spouse pointed out, having a large black predatory bird sitting in the middle of the yard is likely to frighten all the other birds away. He will, however, become another “forever” resident on the veranda once Hallowe'en is over, because the spouse has already indicated he will NOT be coming back inside to sit on the Dining Room Table again. The insomniac  somewhat grudgingly admits he has a point - the Festive Yuletide Season is  just around the corner, and the family will  need somewhere to eat Christmas Dinner.

The miniature pumpkins were painted with Graphite chalk paint - hopefully, they'll last until December so they can be turned into a Christmas presentation, simply by adding a touch of greenery. The black Funkin with dripping red chalk paint didn't turn out quite as impressive as imagined and will not become part of any permanent display, but will instead be washed off for reuse next year. Should have stuck with the original plan of a stenciled red damask pattern instead of dripping blood ...

A favourite cobweb tablecloth ...

One also regretted deviating from the original plan of draping shredded black dyed cheesecloth across the front staircase, choosing to go instead with the imitation black spiderweb from the Dollar Store - because it seemed like less work. At the time. One had sort of forgotten how annoying that stuff is to work with, especially with chapped hands. Had you been walking past while the insomniac  was attempting to stretch it thin enough so it looked like real web and not just clumps of black fluff, you might have seen her flicking her hands somewhat frantically and muttering, “Get off! Get OFF!!”

The following day, the dye pot was hauled up from the basement and the shredded black dyed cheesecloth hung over-top the web. One fully expects that with the blustery weather forecast for the next week, every shred of spiderweb will be blown away. Should you be walking past when the long-suffering spouse is preparing the garden for planting next spring, it seems very likely you'll see him standing there, somewhat frantically flicking his hands and muttering, “Get off! Get OFF!!”

Fully expecting the paper lanterns to blow away
before Hallowe'en Night, too ...

During some of her rather lengthy computer sessions, the insomniac  has stumbled across a number of people who also enjoy shopping for seasonal Hallowe'en items with the intent to incorporate them into their everyday decor. And as she happened to read on an ankle she saw somewhere or other just recently, the following quote which sums it up quite nicely: Every Day is Hallowe'en. Which, in the insomniac's  case, sort of flows into Christmas. And then Valentine's.

This week's Giveaway is a slightly more grown-up version of a Hallowe'en treat bag. So even if you've decided not to attire yourself in some terribly ingenious costume and go out Trick or Treating this year, you can still enjoy tea and goodies on Hallowe'en Night in the comfort of your own haunt.

Hallowe'en Treats Giveaway

Bela Lugosi Porcelain Mug, Lindt Chocolate Pumpkins
Gourmet Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn, Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea
Hallowe'en Edition of Kit Kat and Coffin Crisp Chocolate Bars

Real Crow not included - another item in the Everyday Collection.

Congratulations to Kathy F., the winner of last week's Giveaway! And remember Kathy, if you happen to forget to put away the Raven Candelabra until December, with just a touch of greenery he'll make a very festive Christmas presentation. Then in January, you might want to consider adding some glittery red hearts and leaving him out until Valentine's Day. By that time, he might as well remain on permanent display so you'll be that much farther ahead next Hallowe'en. A little decorating tip from the insomniac ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties ... and Good Luck in this week's Giveaway!

IA


a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 comments:

  1. Your house looks lovely. I wish was able to decorate my house with pumpkins. Luckily my small apartment looks spooky all year round, but not as nice as your house

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    1. Thank you, Natalie! And remember, we all have to start somewhere - after all, the insomniac  has been collecting now for forty years! Eventually, you too will have a collection in your Gothic Mansion to rival hers! ;o)

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  2. I adore the house gargoyle! He is so beautiful! :) I want one like that! Maybe I will find one of his brothers or sisters oneday.

    The owl is cool! Poor thing, being banned from the table! But I guess if he is eating small rodents and dripping the blood all over the pumpkins, I can understand. :P

    One day I would love to have a crow of my own. I would like a real one, but I'd settle for a stuffed one.

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    1. One would love to have a larger collection of gargoyles, but all the nice ones seem to cost an arm and a leg these days. This one was quite inexpensive but obviously not that well made, as evidenced by the disintegration of his companion.

      Wouldn't a real crow for a pet be wonderful? One has often fantasized about that - and is totally compensating for not having one with a house full of taxidermied crows instead! :D

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  3. Oh, wow! Look at all those amazing decorations. I think your porche is simply gorgeous, not just seasonal but really haunted-house-alike. I do love it when it comes to old fashioned haunted mansions so you really made my day :)

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    1. Thank you, Violette! It's always nice to know that the insomniac  has managed to make someone's day a little brighter (although brighter might not be the best choice of wording)! ;o)

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  4. I love to watch the description and photos of your Halloween decorations. The door wreath is wonderful. I have to do a nice welcome for our guests this time of year :) Last years homemade twig wreath with a rubbersnake wasn't very successful.
    I wish it was possible to find gargoyles like yours here.

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    1. This Hallowe'en Wreath was definitely not one's first attempt at a homemade wreath either. But so far, this one is the definite favourite. Although the insomniac  did purchase an oval grapevine wreath with some purple and olive coloured flowers last month, and hopes to make another wreath more suitable for year-round display. Maybe with a Fake Owl instead of a Fake Crow this time. :D

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  5. oooooh so much beautiful inspirations! Love the decorations! And the giveaway is so awesome. Would like that everyday is Halloween :)

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Meeow! And good luck to you in the Giveaway! :D

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    2. thank you so much... and the luck was on my side this time - I am soooo happy <3

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  6. You have some great decorations- I love the gargoyle! I would leave him out year round too ^_^

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    1. Thank you! The insomniac  had really hoped to purchase Mr. Bones from Pottery Barn this year to add to the collection. However, it was decided putting that money towards the Vacation Fund would perhaps be a somewhat wiser choice. ;o)

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  7. I'm afraid that if I were to spend a winter in Alberta I wouldn't last as long as your gargoyle's companion. I'd probably break into pieces the first time a cold gust blew in.

    For what it's worth though, I do love your black owl. He would most certainly be welcome on my dinner table.

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    1. You might surprise yourself and find you like the cold weather, Nightwind!

      The owl is nice, isn't he? And to think, the insomniac almost passed him by, thinking we really didn't need another piece of Hallowe'en decor. That would have been a regrettable decision, indeed!

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    2. Actually, cold weather doesn't like me either; so the feeling is mutual. The cold just brutalizes my body and in particular, my feet. It does get cold here during the winter, but probably not nearly as cold as in the vicinity of Alberta's Gothic Mansion and certainly for nearly as long--something I am most thankful for. We can however, garden much later into the autumn. I was amazed at how early you put your garden to bed for the season this year.

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    3. And just in the nick of time too, as we did get our first frost on September 10th!

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  8. I love that wreath-- if I didn't feel a wreath like that would be stolen off my door; I'd have it up all year long ;)

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    1. Stolen off your door - how horrible! Maybe you could booby-trap it somehow? *evil grin*

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  9. I love your porch. You manage to make it look cool. I have a tendency to not stop when I have enough and it can get cheesey. Still working on mine. I hate when you see something cool one year and then never see it again. One year walmart had plastic scenes that let you decorate your porch in a whole theme but they didn't hold up for more then one season. I also threw out everything last year because it was so beat up thinking it would make redo everything. In hind sight, that was pretty stupid of me. You are giving me some ideas. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Rhonda! The insomniac  loves your new owl you got this year - he's very large! He might have to become a permanent decoration, because otherwise where on earth will you store him?!

      And yes, when one sees something cool, such as Mr. Bones from Pottery Barn, one should probably just say, “To heck with the budget!” and buy him anyway. Because you're right, one will probably never see him again. Sigh.

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  10. I love it all! Target has some great creepy dishes now.

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    1. Thank you!

      Next Hallowe'en one will finally be able to take advantage of all the great things at Target, as it's finally coming to Calgary in the spring sometime! Hooray!! :D

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  11. Replies
    1. Only another three or four or possibly five months to wait, and then one can definitely increase one's Permanent Collection, because judging from the “research” done on their Hallowe'en decor this year, there will be purchases made! :D

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  12. I am so happy being the winner - thank you sooooo much <3 <3 <3 yayyyy! :D

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    1. You are sooooo welcome, Ms. Meeow! One hopes you enjoy your winnings, however long it may take to get there! :D

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  13. I'm dying over here! Your porch <3 so beautiful, please adopt me so I can enjoy living in your house? xD

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    1. That's so funny! There are a few people who have requested adoption by the insomniac ... some to live in her closets because they like the petticoats, some, like you, because they like the decor. Maybe one should consider opening a B&B so you can all come live here for a while! :D

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