Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Decorations

I managed to get my Halloween decorations up even though, I must be honest, the house is not clean.  Not even close. It's a big ol' mess.  The problem areas are:

1st area: My craft supplies...Again.  They are creeping away from the kitchen table as they make their way across the dining room toward the kitchen and even spreading toward the living room.  Its just that I have so many ideas and so little storage space.  Somehow my basement "studio" became a "playroom" at the same time that my ideas exploded.  Apparently: exuberant IDEAS+a fetish for SUPPLIES=one hell of a MESS.  Remember that.  Oh and Lego Universe was released and I thought it would be a terrific game for Chase to play and it is but I forgot he can't read.  That means I spend a lot of time reading the game to him.

2nd area:  What started as an obsession with making cards and pretending to enjoy scrapbooking has grown to all sorts of fun projects using the traditional supplies of scrapbooking and rubber stamping.  Add in my love Halloween.  Because my affair with black, orange, purple and acid green is so intense, I now have far too many decorations.  I did go through my stuff this year and gave 2 bags of decorations to my neighbor to enjoy.  There was nothing wrong with any of the items, I was just tired of some things and needed a change and finally I let go.

3rd area: Ryann decided she needed to upgrade her bedroom to fit her new school (Portage Central Middle), her new hair (Brazilian blow-out) and appliances (iPod Touch and a brand spankin' new cell phone).  Unfortunately, her idea of "cleaning" involved dumping a huge number of books on her floor as well as all her American Girl Dolls and all of their ephemera.  While the dolls have managed to make it to the basement (more later) the books are still in place on her floor.  I need to go through them and decide which books I want to pass on to Chase, which books I want to box up and save as heirlooms, and which I books I want to donate to the Lake Center Elementary Library.  While I know that sorting the books would take only a few hours at most, I can't seem to remember to do it until I am putting clothes away and I stub my toe.

4th area: See Ryann (above): Ryann dumped all of the dolls in the middle of the hallway in the basement.  No point in moving them to the wall or getting them boxed appropriately for storage.  That would be too easy.

5th area:  While Chase's room always remains fairly clean, I also need to get his room edited and get rid of the baby toys.  I must be honest- a classmate came over last week for the first time and he announced in a loud voice "your room is a baby room, Chase".  I was sitting on the computer paying bills and just about fell off my chair, I whipped around so fast feeling so completely offended.  What do you mean its a baby room? HUH?  WHAT. DO. YOU. MEAN?  BABY???????  Really what I said was more like "what is babyish" to which he replied "You have an Elmo chair".  Oh, yeah, that is in his room because he doesn't play with it anymore.  Maybe I should get it out of the house rather than just move it from room to room.  Come to think about it, I end up tripping over it every few months making it belt out the Elmo laugh-regardless of who is sleeping.  So.... I think it is time to pass it on to a little one who can enjoy it and while I am at it I can get rid of the baby puzzles, baby blocks, baby cars......Maybe I am on to the real reason my house is so cluttered.


That is my biggest problem.  Of course I can sell on Ebay or Craig's List (and we have) or a local consignment shop.  I can donate to any number of charities. I can give to a friend.  I know this, but it all takes work and maybe I do have a little problem letting go of baby toys because letting go means I am done with babies in my life and my little ones are growing up AND that is all hard to deal with on so many levels.  Of course the truth is, no matter what I hang on to, my kids are growing up and their likes and dislikes are changing and I can't stand the clutter.

Ok, whew, time to lighten up.  On to my decorations:
In years past. I did a spectacular mantel in orange and black and put something on top of our office armoire- usually in orange.  Above the kitchen cabinets I always did something a little more on the cute side and the kitchen hutch is hit or miss.  This year I changed it all up and added a beautiful arrangement of objects on the top shelf of our bookcase in the living room.

We begin our tour in the living room with my mantel:

I had the entire mantel done with the candle plate and the balls but did not have a candle for it.  I was looking for the perfect candle to when my mom handed me a bag from Pottery Barn containing this candle.  Perfect.
Now we move to the computer armoire:
The top of the computer armoire is somewhere probably only I ever see but I love to decorate it and I love the way this turned out.

 I fell in love with the Mercury Glass Pumpkins at Pottery Barn but they were sold out before they ever hit the stores.  My Martha-Stewart -wannabe kicked into gear and I decided to finally attempt to make my own version of mercury glass.  I had seen the technique on an episode of Trading Spaces and had purchased the "Looking Glass" paint on clearance ages ago.  I even found very basic instructions on Martha's website, but I was always too scared to actually try it, until now.
I started by trying to find plain glass pumpkins, without any type of coloring, and they had to be hollow.  I looked everywhere in Kalamazoo and couldn't find anything.  My mom was on a mission and she finally found them at Kmart which is ironic because we no longer have a Kmart in the area.  I did take pictures of the process but it was too dark outside and they are unusable.  Basically I sprayed water inside the pumpkins and then sprayed the "Looking Glass" paint.  That's it.  I love the way they turned out and even made a Halloween Mirror by using the same technique on a piece of new 11x14 inch glass and a basic black frame I bought at Michaels.
Moving to the other wall:

This is the vignette
I made on top of the bookcase
in the living room.

Let's move on to the kitchen:
This wonderful group of witches dance across the top of my kitchen cabinets.  I have a string of orange LED lights across the entire length and at night the lights produce a terrific effect- making the witches look like they are dancing and celebrating the night.

Turning around we see the hutch:

I have used small Halloween pails in black and orange and candles, witches hats, and pumpkins to finish the story.  Several of the pails I got from the $1.00 bin at Target.
The hutch in the dining room is often overlooked but when my mom gave me these beautiful green mercury glass pails I knew they had to be in a place all their own.  I added a silver mercury glass vase, black glittery candles, green swag like the purple swag on the office armoire, and a apothecary jar filled with black candy sticks.

That concludes our formal tour, but there are a couple more things I want to point out:

 I filled this huge wall basket with orange and black Christmas balls and I adore the way it looks.
Finally, my wreath.  This is a twig wreath I sprayed with flat black paint.  I then added bright orange flowers and 5 fantastic shiny orange pumpkins.  I know it is hard to see on the door since the reflection from the door is in the way.   I love this wreath and it is the first wreath I have made that is says HALLOWEEN with not hint of FALL.  Hmmm.... that means I have to make another wreath next month.  Until then...Happy Halloween,

Later's Baby


  1. I love the decorations!

  2. Hi,
    I found your blog from a comment you made on fake it frugal's blog regarding the mercury glass. Your decorations are great and I love the fake mercury glass! I'm your newest follower. Come visit me at:


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