Category Archives: Halloween

Halloween Mail

Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail artI’m behind on my Halloween mail because I got sick this week and I was down for the count for a few days. But, earlier this month, I got a jump start on sending some festive mail out to a couple of cat lady pen pals. I had these glow-in-the-dark cat buttons from La Familia Green that I wanted to send in a slightly more creative way than just sticking them in a plain envelope. I was inspired by the peek I had of my Presley patch from Margaret, so I decided to use a cellophane envelope instead. Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail art 2I used washi tape to attach the button to the card and wrote my note. I tried to place the buttons on the middle of the card, where the machine wouldn’t be canceling the stamp or printing the bar code on the bottom. Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail art 3I stuck it all in the cellophane envelope with an address label and added postage. Since the envelope was lumpy, I added the extra twenty-one cents. Halloween mail using cellophane envelopesI also used a cellophane bag to attempt to protect the googly-eye “bra” on my mail art to Kathy. Thanks to a Halloween mail art party with Donovan, I’ve have a huge stack of Halloween envelopes to work through. Now that I’m feeling better, more spooky mail will be written. Better late than never, I guess.

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Cocktail Perfected: Purgatory

Purgatory Cocktail, Old Overholt rye, Chartreuse, BenedictineI am embracing the Halloween spirit this week, finally finishing decorating and reading a few spooky short stories. We are reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” for book club this month. One of our book club members sent over Edith Wharton’s “Afterward” as a bonus suggestion since our stories are so short and everyone loves reading a good “ghost story” this time of year. I can’t wait to read “Afterward” and this post has some other great suggestions if you’re into Halloween reading.

I have a couple of good cocktails to share this month for Halloween. These aren’t Pinterest-y cocktails like a Witch’s Brew or Candy Corn Jello Shots, but classic cocktails that always put me in the mood for ghost stories, scary movies, and ghoulish mail art.

The first cocktail is Purgatory, a rye-based cocktail with warm, herbal, and spicy notes. It’s potent, especially considering it’s a 4 ounce pour, but there’s nothing like it on a crisp fall night.

Purgatory Cocktail

2 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (I like Old Overholt. It’s budget-friendly!)

3/4 oz Chartreuse

3/4 oz Benedictine

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Drink slooowwwwwwly while reading about headless horsemen, the return of the dead, or Casper the Friendly Ghost.

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Plot #6: PUMPKINS!

Pumpkins, Forest Park Community Garden, plot 6Things are slowing down in our garden plot. On Saturday, I spent some time cutting down our broccoli “tree” (seriously, that thing was so tall and its root was enormous!), tearing out a tomato plant (the Cherry 1000 was not producing anything), and harvesting more than a pound of Brandywines and Juliets. I still have five more tomato plants that are flowering and producing, so I’m hoping to have a few more tiny crops before it frosts. And our loofah plant has two babies, but I don’t think they’re going to grow enough before the winter. I’m also swimming in parsley and thyme, but I’ll share more about that soon!

In the spring, Laura and I planted pumpkin and loofah seeds on the hill in the community garden. Sadly, no loofahs made it (I think the dirt was too heavy for them) but the pumpkins grew like gangbusters! Naoto and I picked our pumpkins last week, a tall one and a tiny one. They are on the lanai now with the mums and the waning summer plants. I need to get out there and take down the party lights and get rid of the sad summer annuals, but every time I think about it, the weather warms back up and we are able to sit outside and eat dinner!

Is your garden done for the year? Are you already making plans for next year? (I am!)

 

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Packing Tape Postcards for Halloween

packing tape postcards Halloween, Angry Chicken InspiredI started reading blogs in 2007 when a coworker told me about Angry Chicken. Angry Chicken is a personal blog by Amy Karol where she shares a variety of things from homeschooling and sewing projects to homemade deodorant and cake recipes. I love that it’s an unpredictable range of topics and that there are no sponsored posts. (Not that there’s anything wrong with sponsored posts…it’s just nice to have a break from them once in awhile!) I was so fascinated with her blog that I stayed up late one night reading all of her posts from the beginning. It’s one of the few blogs that I continue to read after all these years.

Over the summer, I was inspired by this post about packing tape postcards. I love how her three girls sandwiched anything and everything between two strips of packing tape and made it a postcard. Simple, but genius. I thought it would be fun to try but I was out of packing tape and kind of forgot about it until last week when I broke out my Halloween mail stuff. I have loads of confetti and ribbon and some chunky copper glitter that I felt would make a perfect Halloween packing tape postcard. packing tape postcards Halloween, Angry Chicken inspiredI only made two, but I hope to make a few more before fall ends. I forgot the glitter in Margaret’s, which is fine…there’s no right or wrong, but I love how the glitter pieces fill the void. I also didn’t write messages on them, but next time I will. My postcards ended up being about 5×7 inches so I used a Forever postage stamp on them (stuck on the outside of the packing tape!) And because I didn’t write a message or sign the postcards, I stamped my return address on them with StazOn ink, pretty much the only thing that will dry on the slick packing tape surface.

I can’t wait to make more of these! It would be fun to make one with bits of ephemera from a vacation or an event. For now, I’m just hoping to make a few more fall-themed ones.

P.S. I finished my 31 Postcards in 31 Days project on November 1st! Yay!

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Scenes for Halloween

decorated bar cartHappy Halloween! Here are a few scenes from around the apartment this year.Halloween decs living room Halloween decs dining room Halloween decs dining room Halloween decs living roomHalloween decs bathroomWe aren’t hosting a party, but we have had friends over throughout the month. But even without visitors, I’m glad I decorated. There’s something fun about having a festive home, especially as the days get shorter and darker and you find yourself inside watching spooky movies and reading scary stories.

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Forest Park Casket Races 2014

Forest Park Casket Races 2014The Forest Park 3rd Annual Casket Races were held on Saturday and they were wickedly fun! It was the perfect day–cool and crisp and sunny. And look at those leaves! Forest Park Casket Races 2014We found a good seat on the curb kind of in the middle of the “track” and had a great time seeing the funny costumes and caskets. My favorites were the guys above, who all dressed like The Count from Sesame Street. (Although, I do believe those giant heads cost them the race…not very aerodynamic.) Forest Park Casket Races 2014 Forest Park Casket Races 2014I also loved this Weekend At Bernie’s themed casket. (The second picture shows them carrying Bernie during the post-race casket parade.)Forest Park Casket Races 2014The Forest Park Library got into the action with zombie librarians. Forest Park Casket Races 2014And the Kiwanis raced a peanut casket.

I love that this happens in Forest Park!

(To see last year’s Casket Races, go here.)

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Spooky Short Stories for Halloween

Edgar Allan Poe book with skullEeps, Halloween is fast approaching! Are you in the mood for some spooky reading? In years past, our book group has read some good books for Halloween: Dracula, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, and The Jungle to name a few. My favorites, though, are the short stories we’ve read. Just because a story is short doesn’t mean it can’t leave a haunting impact. These are my favorites:

“Graves for the Living” from Nightwebs by Cornell Woolrich (1937): This one has it all–secret societies, paranoia, fear of being buried alive–such a good one for Halloween week. The fifty pages turn quickly and you find yourself gasping for air and being suspicious of everyone! Woolrich also wrote the short story “It Had To Be Murder which became Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie Rear Window.

“The Apple Tree” from The Birds & Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier (1952): We inched outside of our “pre-1930s” restrictions for this one and it was worth it. A man is “haunted” by his dead wife in the form of an apple tree on his property. “The Birds,” another story-to-Hitchcock movie favorite is included in this collection.

“The Monkey’s Paw” from The Lady of the Barge by W. W. Jacobs (1902): Three wishes on a mummified monkey’s paw…what could go wrong? This was named one of the scariest short stories of all time and I would have to agree!

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe (1841): It’s the first modern detective story, but it has enough mystery and suspense to be a great “ghost story” too! Anything from Poe works this time of year though, right?

What creepy stories have you read lately?

P.S. Totally unrelated: Happy Anniversary to my parents, celebrating 42 years today!! (Here’s a picture of them on their wedding day!)

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October Paper Parcel

Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel I know it’s been awhile since I’ve shared my paper parcels from Saturday Morning Vintage. It’s not because they haven’t been wonderful, they have! I just got a little bit tired of writing about them. (Is it okay to admit that?) But i figured, since Halloween is fast approaching and this months paper parcel is right on theme, I would share some quick pictures of all the amazing vintage bits! Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel The parcel came wrapped in a kraft paper bag with a sweet vintage bat cupcake topper taped on the front. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel Most of the paper parcel was orange and black (obviously!) but there were hints of purple too. Some of the larger pieces included patterned papers and a page from a vintage insect book. There were also tickets, price tags, milk caps, game board money and a Sleepy Hollow stamp (one of my favorites!) Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel I loved the Halloween Charade cards. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel Some of my favorite pieces were the horoscope card complete with bats, owls and cats and the vintage pharmacy labels. Saturday Morning Vintage October Paper Parcel And, last but not least, the array of playing cards completed the paper parcel. The witch and the jack-o-lanterns are my Halloween favorites! Oh and the round scalloped leaf is a vintage paper coaster–cute right?

I’m excited to use some of the pieces for mail art this month. I just started decorating for Halloween yesterday and it’s gotten me in the mood for the season. I’ll share more soon!

To see the other Paper Parcel posts, go here.

Spooky Saturday: Halloween Letter Social

Royal typewriterLast Saturday was Halloween themed. After the Casket Races on Saturday morning, I went to a Halloween Letter Social at Pieritz Bros. The Letter Writers Alliance once again teamed up with everyone’s favorite office supply store to host letter writing and typewriter typing. I used that festive orange number up above…it typed like a dream in a lovely cursive and I was able to crank out three letters during the social. LWA Letter Socialinks at Pieritz BrosThanks to the Halloween Mail Art Workshop, the Letter Social, and a letter writing cram session on Monday morning, I have almost caught up on my correspondence. Almost. Halloween Mail ArtHalloween Mail ArtHalloween Mail ArtI used some of my vintage postage, but I really loved the look of the Johnny Cash stamp on the black envelopes.

It feels good to be participating in the world of mail again. Presley on mail

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My Edgar Allan Poe Paper Playset

 

Happy Halloween! It is definitely going to be a scary one! The winds this week, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, are whipping all of the leaves off the tress, leaving behind creepy bare branches. And the full moon has been shining through mists of clouds, and the filtered light is sifting through the branches painting spooky shadows on our walls. Between the shadows and the crazy flying leaves, Presley is going a little crazy around here.

So far to get into the Halloween spirit, I read some Poe (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” for book group and “Ligeia” upon Cath’s recommendation), Naoto & I made dinner in our new dutch oven (I’ll blog about it soon!) and drank a bottle of Darkhorse wine, I watched a round of Roseanne‘s Halloween episodes (best TV ever!), we watched The Shining (It’s so scary to me…and to Naoto, too!) and I built my Edgar Allan Poe Play set (pictured above)…oh, and I also painted my nails with glow-in-the-dark polish. They are really not fun unless I’m in a very dark room…

But back to the Poe paper doll. A few years ago Naoto bought me this Edgar Allan Poe paper play set from Lisa Perrin. On Tuesday (proof that it takes me awhile to get around to things around here) I cut out the figures (using my favorite Kai scissors!) and assembled the play set. Isn’t it great?! I love that Poe is wearing bunny slippers! I’m looking forward to breaking this out again in January, for Poe’s birthday (January 19th).

What are your plans for Halloween? Any spooky movies or stories in your day? Are you dressing up? (I’m not…)

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