The Clock is Running Down: Four More Days of Halloween Fun

Who knows where this month went. It was here just a moment ago, a freshly turned page on my wall calendar. I think the unseasonably warm weather led me to believe it was still August…or September. Is it really October 28th? Only four more days of Halloween fun.

Just chilling in the wee garden

Just chilling in the wee garden

I had a restless night with so much rattling around in my brain. I got up around 5 am and finished Mike’s costume. We have a party tonight and two more tomorrow. I really cut things close this year. Life doesn’t stop just because I want to play all month-long. That said, I squeezed in a lot.

October 1/2:

I celebrated my birthday weekend in Santa Cruz. It coincided with Mike’s company picnic along the Boardwalk, so we celebrated with work friends, then slipped away for some shopping, dinner, a movie and a night’s stay at Chaminade.  We had lovely weather and a relaxing time.


All month-long, friends and family treated me to dinner, high tea, a movie, a live show, wonderful cards and thoughtful gifts making me feel just like one of those entitled white men we’re always hearing about. (cough-cough) It’s nice to be pampered, eh?

October 8:

I took a four-hour crafting class with my sister where we created a mixed media Haunted Graveyard. It inspired lots of additional Halloween card making at home. She took me out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants at Santana Row, then we browsed the glass pumpkins on display.


The last of the pumpkins are off the vine. In the end, three different plants produced seven pumpkins. What a generous bounty. I enjoy arranging them in different places around the house, as they await carving day. That makes me smile.

Over the course of this month, I’ve spent hours pruning three vines away from the side yard fence. Up and down the ladder I went, using best practices to remain safe and still favoring my surgical foot. There will be no accidents on my watch! Now that the vines are off the fence, I need to start getting quotes to replace it. Broken boards, dry rot and possible termite damage stayed hidden behind the vines. No wonder I’ve been putting off this big job.

It’s finally done and I have the sore neck, dull tools and blisters to prove it. And since I’m a blogger, I have pictures too. Ha!


Vines intertwined in the lattice-work made it tricky to free the tangled mess. That’s Mouse the Cat’s tail exploring the scattered vines.

October 28/29th:

We’ve been invited to three costume parties this season, but only one with a specific theme: Sweeney Todd. If you’re not familiar with this gruesome musical, you can read about it here. It’s been a penny dreadful serial, a stage musical, and most recently a film starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. We rented the movie to learn more about the characters, and frankly I found it dark and dreary, beginning to end. There are only three female characters, Mrs. Lovett the baker, Sweeney Todd’s young wife shown in brief flashbacks, and later his teenage daughter. Not a lot to choose from. Since I like to mix things up a bit, I decided to dress as the baker, and make my husband into one of her meat pies. They’re not any old pies, by the way. After the barber slits his client’s throat, they’re cooked in the oven and baked into pies. Did I mention how gruesome the story is?


Paper bag pattern (my favorite), distressed inks and stains, silver lame fabric covering a pie-shaped piece of foam, distressed fabric and the back side of the pie tin.


I cut two circles of tan-colored felt, then sprayed the edges with stain for a distressed (baked) look. I hand-sewed the two pieces together, stuffed with batting and made slits for various gruesome body parts. A bit of theatrical blood adds drama.

I rented my costume from a family owned shop called Natasha’s Attic. They pulled together all the pieces I needed including Victorian era boots, tights, lace gloves and layers of dresses. I love that place and all the wonderfully creative people who work there.  I bought a crazy wig ’cause that’s how I roll, and if I get the makeup just so I’ll be unrecognizable. Stay tuned for pics of both of us in costume.

Of course I had to make time to bewitch the fairy gardens. The succulents loved this summer’s heat, and doubled in size, making the garden look over-grown. Perfect for Halloween! How do I get so lucky?


Setting the Scene


It’s a fairy garden jungle


Hollowed trees and gauzy skies (the neighboring tree shed’s its bark in late summer. I picked up a few pieces and saved them for the bewitched fairy garden


A little fairy garden haunting (tombstones from my son’s long ago Halloween crafts)


Come join the ghosts for tea and pumpkin soup (I found the tea set at a craft store for $3)

Happy Halloween!

31 thoughts on “The Clock is Running Down: Four More Days of Halloween Fun

    • Thank you, Kate. The glass pumpkins are really something. Numerous artists were represented and all of the pumpkins are for sale. I don’t think I could possibly choose one. They’re beautifully unique in shape, size,color and of course the wonderful peduncle.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Eeeek – your pie is horribly authentic looking. For once I’m quite glad not to be joining you on Halloween!! I’ve not seen that movie, there are just some subject matters I won’t involve myself with. It’s hard to believe this fictional character made it through various books, a musical stage show and a movie – it’s quite beyond me! It does sound as if you are going to look quite glam though as Mrs Lovett in your petticoats and boots. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures. The fairy garden looks very spooky, the real garden looks like it has had a real clean up and I recognised that tail immediately! Aren’t those glass pumpkins pretty – it’s so amazing how far you all go with this festival 🙂 Have a wonderful time Alys, it will be Thanksgiving before you know it! xo


    • Pauline, I’ve had a wonderful Halloween. We attended two parties (too exhausted for the third), followed by a day of Mike carving, and finally handing out Halloween treats. I’ll post soon, but I wanted to catch up on my blog reading and commenting first.

      I’ve saved two pumpkins for eating and found a recipe on Sheryl’s blog! Serendipity! Thanks for encouraging me. I’ll let you know how it goes.


    • PS. Those glass pumpkins are really something. It was so hot when we were there, and the mid-day glare on the straw made it hard for Sharon to see, so we raced through. Hopefully one year it will be overcast and cool and we can take our time. There were hundreds of them.


  2. The fairy garden is looking very seasonal and quite wild with tose ‘tall’ succulent flowers! I don’t know the film, but it sounds gory and the pie looks very authentic. Look forward to seeing how it gets incorporated into your costumes! Have lots of fun Alys! Happy Halloween!


      • Glad it arrived safely Alys! But it didn’t quite make it for Halloween! Yes, I made it myself… I’m not really a crafty person, but with the internet for guidance I manage. Where would we be without YouTube! LOL!


  3. Fun, fun, FUN! You do really love this time of year–and I’m glad you have 3 parties, so you can indulge yourself. The photos of Santa Cruz look delightful and a belated Happy Birthday to you!


    • Thank you for your birthday wishes and for all your good cheer, Kerri. We made it to 2 of the 3 parties. We simply ran out of time. Both parties were great fun. Mike carved one of the pumpkins Sunday night and three more on Monday. He worked, but was able to get home early. We have so much fun.


  4. I love how you make Halloween fun. I really LOVED the glass pumpkins. What fun that must have been. You had a wonderfilled October and I can see why you enjoy it so much. Even all the hard work of pulling down the vines. I like that you always decorate your fairy gardens for the occasion. I have moved mine to the portable greenhouse. This warm weather is bringing the bugs back big time. Yesterday was almost the worst of it. It was like a scene in a horror movie which I never watch. My sister came in the door yesterday with one attached. She screamed, I got it and disposed of it. Spiders are exceptionally large and prolific this year too. Perfect setting for a ghoulish night. I’m sure we will be seeing lots of photos of your party costumes. Looking forward to it. Have so much fun. 😉


  5. I think you love halloween so much because it gives you the perfect opportunity to use many of your talents ~ gardening, creating, delighting in everything. And you also have the chance to celebrate in costume! I love your fairy gardens, as always. happy Halloween!!


  6. ! I came and read your post one late night before Halloween and planned to come back to chat….then yadda yada….no kidding that month flew by. You packed in a lot and I know you only have the hi-lights here. You’re a mom machine. Hey?! Remember the box I planted the fairy garden in? I’ve barely had to water it. Maybe twice all summer and not at all since I brought it in 3 weeks ago. Everything looks like the day I planeted it. Weird. You’re ghostly fairy cemetary must be for guests who wander in but never leave, teehee (alla Hotel California).
    I didn’t knowtice in your party photo’s the gruesome body parts baked into Mikes pie costume! LOLOL, very macabre ! Where on earth do you buy fingers and ears? That’s too funny 😀
    I can sympathize with you on the grueling garden job. Good grief that looked like a ton of work. Thank goodness Mouse was there for comedic relief 😀 Will you have someone come in to rebuild it for you? Yesterday, Jim and I spent the whole day in the yard. First cleaning eves troughs then blowing leaves out of shrubbery and bagging. omgosh, I’m stiff this AM. I was out until dark, which is actually only 6:30ish now, LOL. I think that’s the last of it though. Do you have to rack many leaves? oooops, message about low battery on my MAC…gah! Well my dear, off I go to rewarm my morning coffee. Smooches xoxo K


  7. The glass pumpkins are fabulous..The pixie garden is looking extremely regular and very wild with tose “tall” succulent blooms! I don’t have the foggiest idea about the film, yet it sounds violent and the pie looks extremely credible.


    • Thank you for your kind words. I would skip the movie if I were you. I regret seeing it. I like a nice comedy, and substantial drama or something that makes my heart sing. Life is hard enough without inviting dreary movies into the mix. I may need to transplant those succulents next spring, given how shallow the dish garden is. Or, conversely, perhaps it’s time for a deeper container for the fairy garden. Hmmm


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