Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My house at Halloween...

It's almost Halloween!! I thought I'd share some of my decorations with you!

I've been slowly adding Halloween decor here and there all month long and I'm happy to report that my house has a pleasantly festive feel to it!

However...there is one thing missing...Pumpkins!! This is the second year in a row where I won't have any pumpkins...which is very sad...but I just can't bring myself to spend $8 on one pumpkin (those suckers are expensive here in Boston!). My cousins back in New York grow pumpkins to sell every year and every year I've always picked my own pumpkins from their patch. I've either given them a bit of money or have helped in some way with their patch (when we were kids I would help them weed in the summer while singing country music songs out loud!). This year I haven't been able to get back to NY in time for pumpkins.

Oh well! Instead I've got my crazy characters painted on pumpkin patch finds from years past. The guy you see in the bottom right hand corner of that photo up there is a giant dried bushel gourd! He's HUGE!

Another little peek at my little sister in pumpkin form courtesy of Mom.

This "feather" tree is my pride and joy of the season this year. I wanted a nice Halloween tree where I could hang the ornaments I I just decided to make one! I just used materials I had lying around the house.

I started out with a thin piece of scrap wood sawed off from the side of an old board. I took a knife and carved off the harsh edges to make it a little more round and dowel-like for the trunk of the tree. Then I took some thick wire and masking tape and bent and cut the wire for the branches, securing it to the trunk with the tape. I twisted red plaster berries on the ends of the branches and then painted everything black. Then I fringed some black crepe paper and twisted it around the branches, securing the loose ends with glue. I secured the bottom of the trunk into a metal urn I picked up at a flea market with some styrofoam and whole bunch of loose pennies (a temporary solution...I have to think of something more permenant for next year). And voila! My very own "crepe" tree! :)

My hallway display. The witch is from Janie and I made the BOO banner a few years ago.

Lastly we have Miss. Crepe Paper Witch. She is one of the few vintage Halloween decorations I own (they are so expensive these days!). I love her so much I even crafted a few crepe witches of my own in her image! I took more photos of other displays in my house...but those photos always come out too dark, almost black...hmmm...I really do have to improve my photography skills. Maybe I'll try again and post those later if they come out good.

I'd love to see your Halloween decorations! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gourds! From Gross to Gory...

Here they are! These pesky little things have been waiting to come alive for some time now! My Mom grew these gourds in her garden two years ago...but they didn't look like this when they came out of the patch! She picked tons of gourds and stored them over the winter (and another winter) in her barn. A few months ago I stole a bunch from her (ok...I'm not that bad...I did ask) and made them come alive again with smiles and wild expressions! Some are ornaments, some were left alone to display in a bowl or set on a little cup or whatever suits your fancy!

Below is what they looked like when they were still dead. Yuck! Flaky skin and mold!

Here's what they looked like after a bath with a good long nails took a beating! But it was well worth it.

And here they are in their full glory!

A trio of skulls - I didn't post a photo, but I painted vertebrae in the back as well!

The two with wire handles are smaller gourds meant to hang as ornaments from a Halloween feather tree or a cabinet knob.

This trio is my favorite. Their bodies are made from this types of gourd that I'd never seen before...sort of like a stunted birdhouse gourd. The tiny neck was perfect for perching another gourd for a head! Chenille steam arms and legs give them more expression (and something to stand on!)
Two troublesome skeletons. Watch out! They like to play tricks on the unsuspecting!

Here's a little display I put together on my china cabinet. I put Ben's mask on the apothecary jar and now it looks haunted... The two jars on the right are filled with faces and the white needle felted wool pumpkin was made for me by my's a portrait of my little sister when she was a baby! :)

If you're interested in grabbing one of these little guys, check them out in my Etsy store! :)

And I'll leave you with this little guy resting in a bed of sweet millinery. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A masquerade party and a hint at something new...

This past Saturday night Ben and I went to the Artist's Masquerade Ball in Jamaica Plain. While I was at the SOWA show last Sunday (which turned out to be a beautiful and profitable day!) I was lucky enough to be standing next to our fearless BostonHandmade Team leader Jessica when she mentioned that she had two tickets to the ball but wouldn't able to go. She was giving away her tickets! I was happy to relieve her of them and Ben and I wound up having a blast!

Of course we forgot to take our camera with us to the party, so we just took some photos when got home. (Last year Ben went as a two headed guy for Halloween and still regrets not taking any photos!) I made Ben a mask just two hours before the party! He was scrambling around figuring out what to wear. The glue was barely dry when he put the mask on. And he noticed the black glitter I couldn't help but line the very top with...he shook his head and laughed, because he knows I can't resist the glitter! :) I went maskless, but wore a full vintage ensemble (accept for my shoes - which were covered in silver glitter).

There were some great costumes at the party and lots of yummy finger foods. I'm kinda bad when it comes to edibles at parties. I don't drink, so I hover over the hors d'oeuvres like it's the first time I've ever seen food. Thinking back, I probably should have worn a mask... lol.

This is my costume. The knee length dress I got at an antique fair for $3! It's completely handmade and was in perfect condition (although quite tight across the ribs..ouch!). The big puffy petticoats underneath are for a wedding dress and I got them for $9 at a thrift store when I was in college...I've worn them for every single Halloween since! And the little hat is from the 20's or 40's or somewhere around there. I'm surprised it stayed on my head so well! You can't really see it, but I wear rhinestone jewelry alot and I really layered it on for the party!

The pumpkin I'm holding is the little hint at something brand new...hopefully tomorrow or the next day I'll have a whole post about it. Stay tuned! :)

I wanted to show off my handsome guy without his mask...he's such a sweetie! :)

So so handsome.... :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Messy Messy Messy

Here is a little peek at my always messy studio... Believe it or not, it has been cleaner than ever these last few weeks. Every once in a while I get a brilliant storage idea. I guess if you get enough of these ideas, over time you start to notice a more organized space! :) For instance, one of my best, more recent storage ideas: Stop storing so much stuff!! Easier said than done...

Here's a closeup of my overflowing vintage millinery flower drawer.

This is my vintage Christmas accessories drawer (not to be confused with my Christmas decorations collection, which is stored in many many boxes in the basement). These are for crafting purposes only!! :)

The surface of my first desk...

The surface of my second desk...

The wall above my desk...

And lastly my dress form (she was only $1 at an estate sale up the street!!)... What dress form you say? Trust me, she's under there.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Show this Sunday in Boston!

I haven't done a ton of shows in the past, but I definitely wanted to do one in October for Halloween. The Etsy team I'm a part of, Boston Handmade (best team ever!), was offered a whole row for members to show their wares at this Sunday's South End Open Market in Boston! I've shopped at this show many times and they have fantastic art, crafts, antiques, produce, and more. It's very "hip" and is a "not your grandma's craft show" kind of a place (although I love grandma's handmade treasures too!) so it will be different than a lot of other shows.

I'll be there sharing a tent with my friend Lucie and you'll see the rest of the team there too. I'll be selling everything I have in stock right now, plus new brand new creations that you haven't seen before, including one of a kind pieces. If you're in or near Boston, I really hope you'll stop by and see me!

I'm very excited about it and really hope to see you there! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My neighborhood has some great stuff!!

This blog post is waaaaayyy over due. Things around here have been so incredibly busy I hardly have time to respond to emails! Anyway, about a month ago I went to our annual neighborhood garage sale. I anxiously wait for it every year. My neighbors really do have some great stuff! And I can get up early and just walk out the door and down the sidewalk...I love it! I bring a big coach paper shopping bag with me (which I got two years ago at another garage sale, I'm surprised it's still holding up!) and fill it as I go along. Large pieces I pay for, leave there, and pick up later. This was probably the best year and I was one of the first ones out.

I filled my entire dining room table with the loot.

Now my other dress form will have a girlfriend to gossip with (she was only $5!)

I got all sorts of crafting goodies, hardware, old Christmas seals and tiny glass ornaments, old bottles, an old doll house that I have to fix up and more!

Isn't that old window awesome! I got it from a couple of guys I met last Halloween (they were dressed up as twin An old footstool was a buck (they come in very handy around the house.) The swirly mirror I plan to is not my favorite color but I have an obsession with old mirrors and it has nothing to do with looking in them! :)

More old mirrors (I love the gilded kind!)

This chandelier isn't that old but it sure is dusty! It was a steal at $10 and I plan to paint it and fix it's crystal's give it a lot of potential! :)

That's probably the last major garage sale I'll go to until next year... :( At least it went out with a bang!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

I know I really shouldn't be posting about Christmas on October 1st...but what the heck! I've been having a hard time trying to get in a creative Christmas mode seeing as how it's beautiful autumn right now and I'd really prefer to bask in the glory of Christmas when it's threatening snow and we can snuggle up inside with some warm soup and one of Tim Allen's "Santa Claus" movies. But seeing as how I need to make lots and lots of goodies for three big shows I'm doing in December...I better start early!

I've been really into white for Christmas. It brings a little bit of the snowy outdoors inside while still managing to warm everything up. Throwing a little light blue in makes me think of icicles and skating ponds. I never really thought red and green were the right colors for Christmas. Sure, they make up for Christmas trees and holly berries...but those pale in comparison to the vast hills of snow and ice you'd see in a perfect winterland scene.

So these pieces are inspired by those thoughts of delicious snow and elegant ice.

I'll be making these Santas all different colors eventually and they will be either ornaments or standing figures (like the blue guys up top).

I love these cozy looking winter girls, all dressed up in fluffy bulk and holding onto to some notion of winter.

This needle felted snow girl is on of my favorite new creations. She's holding a vintage glass ball "lantern" that my friend Mimi so generously shared with me!

Who could resist a little snow fairy?!

And this jolly wool snowman comes with his own basket and ribbon scarf. I'll be posting some of these goodies in my Etsy store soon...(even though it's so early for Christmas!) :)