I love this time of year! This week I started pulling out the Halloween decorations. I love the process of going through box after box and deciding what to put where. Most of our decorations are family treasures that my children have made over the years. It takes me longer and longer each year to go through each box and decide where I am going to put each creation.
We are renting our last house as we prepare for my husband's retirement from the Navy next year and the purchasing of our final (can I say "dream") home. So this is the next to last house I will have to design a new decorating scheme for the holidays. I think I have lost count of all the wonderful homes we've had over the past 26 years. Fifteen.Sixteen.Seventeen....it is somewhere near there. I find that my decorating has changed from being all for the kiddos, to being all for my husband and me.
Three of our four children aren't even home any longer. They are off to college and beyond. Two of them are not even in the country at the time! But they know that I am here busy getting the house ready for all the neighborhood ghosts and goblins who will knock at the door in a couple of weeks looking for a treat. I also think our 16-year-old, who is still stuck at home with his father and me, secretly likes all the decorations. He may not say it, but I'm pretty sure he's glad I still take the time to get everything on display.
I hope my children know how much I look forward to this time of year. It brings back so many memories. The little ghost above was one of the very first Halloween decorations we ever made as a family. Our oldest son was only two years old and we did not have a lot of extra money to spend on holiday decorating. The little fella above is made from a syrofoam ball covered with a napkin and tied with a ribbon. I drew the eyes and nose on with a Sharpie.
The sweet little ghost above was made years ago at the children's preschool. It's actually an embroidery hoop and a handkerchief. We made felt cut-outs for the hat, eyes and mouths. The children all got to glue on their hats and faces....(and oh, the painting in the picture of the turkey was done by one of my sons when he was in middle school ~ aren't the colors perfect for this time of year?)
Our mantle is usually held for our very special treasures. This is one of the only places that is Smokey-proof. Smokey is our cat ~ you will meet her at the end of this post. We always hope our homes will have a great fireplace and mantle. It becomes the focal point of all our holiday decorating.
Here is a brown lunch bag jack-o-lantern and a startched cheesecloth ghost. I am constantly amazed at the fact they have survived packing and unpack over so many years. The ghost is now 17 years old and the jack-o-lantern is 14.
This precious jack-o-lantern was made by my daughter when she was in the first grade. She's now away at college studying to be a teacher:)
In addition to decorating with my children's creations, I also love to use vintage items grouped together. Having a similar color scheme or another like theme ties them in with their surroundings.
The arrangement above uses a silver pitcher we have had for years and years; it was my grandmother's before it was ours. Together with our antique metronome from Australia and my Goodwill candlesticks, the collection sits on one end of our piano.
Whenever we have a chandelier in our new home, I always try to make it a focal point as well. Here, I've simply used a leaf garland. I'm trying to decide if I want make simple shades as well....but I'm sure time will get in my way.
These sconces are on the wall and flank our dining room window year round. The candles and embellishments change with the seasons. Here I've used napkin rings, cut in the back to allow them to be stretched around the three inch pillar candle. Our white walls usually drive me crazy. But for some reason, I really like this white tone on tone look at this time of year. However, you can bet your boots, the minute we buy our retirement home, I'm painting every room! I love paint!
One of my favorite Halloween decorations is our very own Black Cat. Meet Smokey, here she is lounging
on one of her favorite spots in the house. The very bottom step of our stairway.