Happy Halloween! Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Boo describes the Halloween decorations in the photo above. The “something old” are the Madam Zelda taking head crystal ball (more about her later), the twigs and branches spray painted black and the picture frame. The “something new” is almost everything else on the table. The “something borrowed” are the books I borrowed from Charlie. The “something boo” is Madam Zelda. She talks. And, she has lots to say (more on that later, too).
This is the first year, in six years, that I have done some decorating for Halloween. I love Halloween – always have. But, I’d just finished decorating for an upcoming Halloween party when we lost our home in the fire 6 years ago. I had bats hanging for the ceiling, a village display and Halloween knicks-knacks everywhere. Then, poof! Gone…
I haven’t had the heart to decorate for Halloween. I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty sure I have a form of PTSD suffered by victims of catastrophic disasters. Although we (Charlie and I) have “moved on” and we have recovered fully financially from the loss (good insurance), emotionally this time of year is extremely difficult for us. You would think after 6 years that we would be fine. But, seeing news stories, such as the ones running this week about the status of the victims of Hurricane Sandy a year ago, opens the wounds and we are right back “in the moment” again. My heart goes out to the Hurricane Sandy victims and all victims of catastrophic disasters everywhere…
I have broken down (crying) several times this month. I say to myself “get a grip, Carole; it’s over. You, Charlie and Coco are fine.” And, we are. Just the memories linger of that time…
I’ve made two trips to Bates Nut Farm this year over Halloween. This is the first time in 6 years I have been to Bates Nut Farm during the Halloween season. I did go back with a friend, a couple of years ago now, during Christmas. But, I haven’t been back to the Pumpkin Patch until this year.
I’m so glad I did. Those two joyous outings, filled with the love of family, got me excited about Halloween, even though we don’t have very many Trick-or-Treaters. Actually, we have about 3. And, we’ll probably only have 3 tonight. But, inspired by the many pumpkins I’ve collected this month, I decided to attempt to decorate, at least just a little. So, I decorated the entry area by our front door.
The photo at the top of the post is my attempt of photo editing to make a terrible picture better. In an earlier post, Pumpkin Fever, I mentioned that many parts of our home are poorly lit and therefore, hard to photograph, at least with my current knowledge of photography and the current photography equipment that I have. So, these pictures are no different (poorly lit) because they are in an area our home with bad lighting!
Anyway, on with the decorating!
I have this giant, old picture frame with no picture. It belonged to my aunt and when we moved her into assisted living, it ended up at my house (with lots of other stuff!). Anyway, Tiffany painted it blue (picture #4 above) and we were going to use it for our Blog-o-versary Party. But, two things happened: (1) the stuff that we were going to put in it was too small (miscalculation on my part) and (2) we ran out of time. But, I thought it was the perfect size for my Halloween display idea, so got it out and painted it!
- The back of Charlie’s old pickup truck. Sometimes I use his truck for painting. It’s the right height when you don’t have saw-horses!
- A plastic tablecloth. I have a few of these leftover from a party. Makes a great throw-away drop cloth!
- Unwrapping the plastic tablecloth and laying it on the back of the truck.
- The blue picture frame.
- Blue picture frame on the back of the truck.
- One coat of black spray paint.
- Second coat of black spray paint (the wind kicked-up; had to put little rocks on the plastic tablecloth to keep it from blowing over the picture frame!).
- On the ground in the hot sun to dry thoroughly!
Then, I went to gather twigs and branches.
Well, actually, I didn’t gather twigs and branches right at that moment. I actually gathered these branches in July for our Blog-o-versary Party. Another project left undone! I wanted to make a display of silver glitter branches and hang blue butterflies from them. But, using glitter spray paint is much harder than I imagined! The spray cans kept clogging and became unusable with half of the paint left in the cans! I bought two cans and it happened to both. I took them back to the store and abandoned the project. So, I painted them black!
- Silver branches on Charlie’s truck.
- Close-up of silver branches.
- First coat of black spray paint.
- Final coat of black spray paint.
Once these two components for my display were dry, it was time to put the rest of the display together!
This is kinda a jumble of pictures! My Halloween mind-numbing puzzle trick to readers! I decided to make a photo collage (or two) of the instructions (tutorials, if you will), so that readers won’t have to scroll through a hundred pictures!
- I removed my painting from the wall and hung the black picture frame in its place.
- Then, I put a Halloween-type tablecloth over the entry hall table.
- Next, I added a vase filled with the spray-painted branches from my yard.
- A wooden Halloween sign rests on the edge of the picture frame.
- A faux cobweb is stretched across the frame connecting to 3 corners of the frame (no need for tape or thumb tacks; this cobweb material is stretchy and easy to use!).
- Close-up of the cute Halloween wooden sign resting on the picture frame.
- Next, I got one of my birdcages down from where they live on top of a cabinet in Charlie’s office. I have two: a large one and a small one. This is the small one. I ended up using the small one (they are alike in design; one is just larger than the other), because the larger one is jammed and I couldn’t unlatch the latch! I wanted to unlatch the latch because I wanted to put one of the crows inside! Anyway, I put one inside and hooked another crow on top and placed it next to the vase of branches.
- Close-up of crow on top of birdcage.
- Close-up of crow inside birdcage.
- Then, I added my Madame Zelda talking head crystal ball.
- Close-up of Madame Zelda inside her crystal ball.
- Close-up of Madame Zelda talking with her eyes flashing.
Here’s a better picture of her flashing eyes:
Now it’s time to tell you more about Madame Zelda as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post: I bought Madame Zelda about a month before the fire. She was on a table near our front door and firefighters rescued her. Here’s a picture:
They had placed her on the asphalt, between the disk blades of our John Deere tractor. They thought this might be a good, safe place for her and it was, because I didn’t notice her for several days after we were allowed to come back to our property! As you can tell by this picture, she was filthy – covered in soot and ash. We picked her up, took her home and stored her away in a box – soot and all. We didn’t take her out of storage for 6 years; until I decorated, this year, for Halloween.
Her batteries were still inside (it is not a good thing to store batteries inside of equipment!) and corroded. We clean her and put new batteries in her, turned her on and she came to life! With a rattle and a roll of her head, soot poured out all over my clean, black tablecloth! But, the miracle is that 6 years later, she still works!
She’s very annoying! She’s motion activated, so once you flip the switch, every time you walk by, she talks. And, this is some of what she says:
“Ohhh, you have come for my wisdom. I have just one recommendation for you: eat well and stay fit. You will die anyway, but at least you’ll look better!”
“Come close so that I may feel your future. My advise to you is – if you are too open-minded, your brains may fall out.”
“Ahhh, you wish to know what lies ahead? Then listen carefully. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.”
A real charmer, that Madame Zelda!
Okay, back to the decorating part:
- Next, I added a garland of bats. The bats were too long for the picture frame, even though it’s a large frame, so I placed the excess garland behind the frame rather than cutting it. If I change my mind and want to use it later for something else, it is intact.
- Close-up of the glittering bats on the garland.
- Then, I added my cute little “Keep Calm” wooden sign. I just rested it against the wall next to Madame Zelda. Also, I got out my candy bowl and laid that on the table.
- Close-up of candy bowl. It’s metal bats welded together and is so cool! Love this bowl!
- I decided the frame needed a second row of bat garland, so I added that. And, I taped glitter crows to the wall inside the frame.
- Close-up of bat garland.
- Close-up of glitter crow. This crow seems to be perched on one of the branches. In reality, he’s taped to the wall just above the branch and unless you are up close, you don’t realize that he’s not actually on the branch.
- Close-up of the other glitter crow. This crow, too, is taped to the wall. He’s right above the Halloween sign, so appears to be on the sign.
- I added a real Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin next to the “Keep Calm” sign.
- Close-up of “Keep Calm” sign and pumpkin.
- I then decided to elevate the candy bowl.
- And, I went into Charlie’s stash of books and selected books with Halloween-type titles.
Here’s a better picture of the books:
And, here’s a close-up of the cute bat garland:
And, here’s a close-up of the crow on top of the birdcage and the one inside the birdcage:
And, here’s a close-up of the cute wooden Halloween sign resting on the picture frame:
And, here’s a picture of the cute bat candy bowl:
And, here’s a close-up of the “Keep Calm” sign and the pumpkin:
And, here’s a picture of the finished display:
And, here’s a picture of the display in the early evening twilight (another excuse for a bad picture!):
But, wait! There’s more!
I went to Bates Nut Farm, again! This time, I found a flying crow, so I bought him and added him to the display. And, I went to the grocery store and found the cute little plant with orange flowers. Also at the grocery store, I found this adorable witch and had to have her!
Finished at last! But, there’s always next year…
(other posts about Halloween)
- 42 Shades of Orange
- Blue Pumpkins
- Call of the Whinny: Yet Another Story from the Farm
- Children of the Night
- Cute and Easy Halloween Candy Packets
- Eye of Newt
- In Search of The Great Pumpkin
- Nuts at the Nut Farm
- Pony Rides, Playtime and Pumpkins
- Princess P Picks a Pumpkin
- Princess Sweetie Pie Picks a Pumpkin
- Pumpkin Fever
- Pumpkin Season
- Scarecrows, Sunflowers and Face-painting: Another Story from the Farm
- Scary, Spooky, Haunted, Forbidden
- Straw Maze and Lazy Daze