What I Was Doing

…instead of RIPping. To the shock of all–none more than myself–I failed almost entirely to participate in RIP VII. I read the books–I even read Dracula, finally! (Short take: much more readable than expected. Whyever did I put it off so long?) I just couldn’t get excited about writing any of them up, aside from Tansy’s. I haven’t even perused the reviews site for leads on new books and blogs to read. I just had too much going on in September and October to put much energy into writing about reading.

Instead, I was consumed with creative energy, largely aimed at helping my friends Rachel and Corvus throw an awesome Halloween-themed housewarming party. I’ve put a lot of processing cycles into visualizing, planning, and creating decorations for the party in the past few months, and joyfully so. A celebration of my dear friends’ new home in the themes of my favorite time of year? Bliss! Can you wonder that I didn’t have time for anything else?

First, best, and biggest: the mantel display for the party.

Didn’t it turn out fantastic? I’m so in love with the whole thing, and YES, I’m saying so myself. My Halloween Pinterest board is littered with black/white/silver combinations with a vintage feel, as I gathered inspiration. “Beautiful objects tarnished by time” is one of my favorite visual themes, and especially in autumn. Call it Elegant Decay, Shabby Chic’s goth sister.

This was my inspiration for the display.

I knew immediately that I wanted to make the tree a bigger part of the window piece and bring it in through the frame. Ken helped me get the almost tentacle-like feel to the branches, and I turned the placement of crow silhouettes over to Corvus. Among us, we realized a really terrific piece of art. I learned a lot making it, and will do a few things differently next time. I can tell you right now, that’s not the last battered old window frame I’ll be rescuing from oblivion—I’ve got so many more ideas I want to try out.

I’ve been seeing lace pumpkins all over the place, and really wanted to have a go at making my own. I even glittered the stems before en-lacing them, not that you can tell. Ken, my king of taking things one step further, walked over and handed me a styrofoam skull as I was finishing up the pumpkins, and it was an inspired move.

Lace skullington. LACE. SKULLINGTON. Creepy, beautiful, perfect!!

Isn’t it magical how tulle wreaths came to my attention during the year in which I bought an entire bolt of black tulle? Maybe they’ve been around forever and I just noticed them due to my heightened tulle-sensitivity in the aftermath of the Villarinas. But sometimes, things come along just when we’re ready to know about them. However it happened, this pretty example popped up in my feeds one day, and right away I wanted to make one like it.

And here’s my take on it, made as a surprise gift for Rachel, with the idea that if she didn’t particularly care for it, I would happily keep it.

Upshot: that’s not *my* front door it’s hanging on. Good thing there’s plenty of tulle left on the bolt!

A few other shots

The entryway table

A trio of witches

The Dining Room

Another view of the main display.

A surprisingly large chunk of my brain is occupied in figuring out ways to do this sort of thing more, and maybe turn it into a sideline. The thing I run into again and again, when searching out Halloween decorations, is how few things fit into my vision of an ideal Halloween. You have to wade through so much cheap, tawdry and gaudy junk to find the treasures, of which, it seems there are fewer every year. I’ve begun thinking, more and more, that if I can’t find it, I ought to be making it. And then getting it out to other people who are looking for the same thing and not finding it anywhere else.

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3 Responses to What I Was Doing

  1. Jenny says:

    Those decorations are amazing! You are fantastically good at party decorations. You absolutely should be making those things, and I’m sure people would buy them! I’m completely rubbish about having an image in my head of what I want something to look like and then bringing it to fruition. I am so, so impressed at how good all your decorations look. I hope your friends took thousands of pictures!

  2. kaizerin says:

    Thank you so much, Jenny! I have to say, this is the best I’ve ever done at bringing a creative design to reality. All my life, I’ve wished to be a more creative, artistic person. With encouragement from those around me, I’ve just kept working away at it, and all of a sudden, it’s clicking. So if you’ve got pretty imaginings in your head, I strongly encourage you to try them out, and keep trying, even if they don’t look quite right the first time, or the first ten, or twenty. You’ll get there!

  3. Rachel says:

    I just keep coming back here over and over again to look at these pictures. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did to help make this the most amazing party! Much love to you and your amazing creative brain! I can’t wait to pull off our witches dinner!

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