With my youngest son away at university our household Halloween mojo has been split in two, severed if you will, covered in cobwebs and devoid of life.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I knew Halloween would feel different this year. My youngest has enormous Halloween spirit, and that spirit has momentarily left the building.
I shook off my wistfulness and set about decorating in my abbreviated style. We didn’t set up the inflatables this year, and there are no teenagers at home to “build” a haunted house.
The light-catcher is up in the window, and my pumpkin collection adorns the table, now set with two places, not four. There are a few night lights lighting the way to the bathroom in the dark hours of the night. Both lights were gifts from friends.
We have pumpkins, of course. The squirrels planted a few seeds last fall, and most of the vines grew in the planting box.
My Halloween cards are also simple this year. I pulled out my Big Shot and a few watercolor postcards and made pumpkin leaf impressions. The transfers turned out really well with the extra moisture from the leaf absorbed into the paper. They have a nice, organic scent to them too, though I’m not sure it will last. Who doesn’t love the smell of chlorophyl?
The process is simple. While the leaves are freshly harvested, you sandwich the leaf against the water-color paper, then insert between folded scrap paper before running it through the Big Shot. The leaves have a lot of moisture, so the extra paper helps absorb it.
After drying, and pressing the cards between a hefty volume of Shakespeare, I hand-stamped a few images on the front and back of the card.
I found beautiful dragon postage stamps at our local post office in orange, purple, and gold. They’re the perfect finishing touch.
We attended one Halloween party this year, and as usual had a wonderful time. The theme this year: horror kitsch. We struggled with a concept, till one of the women at our favorite costume shop, Natasha’s Attic suggested the ghosts from the Haunted Mansion Disneyland ride. I love Natasha’s and the folks who work there. It’s a family owned business here in San Jose. They’ve been around since 1977. It takes me back to my theatre roots whenever I’m there.
Natasha’s pulled together vintage pieces for us from their costume shop. We bought shoes from a charity thrift store, donned wigs and painted our faces a ghostly tint. My friend Isaac suggested seed lights to add to the ghostly effect. I sewed one strand under my skirt and another strand under Mike’s cravat.
Mike’s makeup is superior to mine *and* he did it all himself. He applied latex, then makeup, and even bought a pair of “rotten teeth” for full effect.
With the horrific news of this past week, Halloween gave us a welcome respite from the madness. If I haven’t said it lately, thank you for being here. My heart sings a little song with each comment and like.