Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Party Sneak Peeks!

Since the big Halloween party is only a couple days away, I wanted to share a few more sneak peeks before the big bash!  Can you guess what these are? 


IMG_8017 IMG_8007 IMG_8033    IMG_8023

I’ll be back next week with pictures of all the fearsome festivities!

Until then,



Sunday, October 23, 2011

[Halloween] Party in the Parlor

Next stop on the decor train is the parlor of the Guthries haunted mansion.  It’s decked out for the Halloween party with bats, ivy and spiders… Oh My!

Here’s a look around:


The room is dominated by a pool table in the center, but we didn’t let that stop us from creating some intimate seating areas for party-goers.  In one corner, a little round table is topped with sparkly spider web fabric.  A skinny lamp lights the tree behind.  Ivy is creeping along the walls and bats have infested the whole place!


Opposite, a vintage chair with side table creates the perfect spot to watch a game of pool while enjoying a snack.  More ivy and bats mingle with a haunted house and a quartet of ghosts.  Even the Barbies are getting into the spirit of Halloween as they hang out (in costume) on the porches of their festive house.


Over by the window, bats are swooping over a small couch.  A couple of graphic pillows (that I embellished with nothing but a black Sharpie marker) make for a comfy spot to relax.  Spiders are making their way up the wall of vintage Halloween prints (courtesy of The Graphics Fairy—I simply printed, distressed and tea-stained them).  The black cornice lends a gothic air to the pale room.  (The cornice was a thrift store purchase.  Formerly upholstered in a navy and peach brocade, I painted it black with craft paint and hung it over the window frame.  I LOVE it!)


An ornate gold mirror gets a spooky treatment of creepy cloth and a black rose wreath (formerly of my laundry room decor, spray painted black!)  Perfect for setting the scene in a spooky parlor. 


The real reveal comes when darkness falls and the candles are lit on every surface.  That’s when the ghosts come out to play!

Come back soon!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Lewis Fork Acres Cemetery…. People are Dying to get in Here!

The 2011 Halloween Decor Tour continues as we venture outside to the graveyard.  For years we’ve had a graveyard as part of our party decor, but this year, we repositioned it for maximum exposure as well as added a new entrance sign.  I also repainted all of the headstones with more information about the deceased.  I love it!  Here’s a look during daylight:


Visitors are greeted by a grinning skull and welcomed to Lewis Fork Acres Cemetery, nestled on a private property in a wooded area.


An age-old brick pathway leads to a small fenced area where three souls were laid to rest.


Beyond, three other mortals were consigned to their graves, finding eternal rest among the foliage.


By day, Lewis Fork Acres may seem a peaceful place to visit those who have gone before, but come nightfall, the dead rise and walk among the living.  Bonfires are lit in the boneyard to ward off malevolent spirits.  Visitors to the cemetery must be especially vigilant on All Hallow’s Eve when souls are wont to wander and make mischief. 


I hope you will come back to see the spectacle on Halloween night when candles are lit, fires will blaze, and the dead will walk.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Haunting of Fort Guthrie Continues… Outside

I am back (Finally! Yes, I know!) with more Halloween decor from Fort Guthrie. 

Here, Papa, this is for you, in case you haven’t been outside at your house lately. ;)

Today I will reveal the front porch decor for our Halloween party!  This year, I wanted to do something different from what we always do.  We spend so much time decorating the inside of the house that the outside sometimes gets left for last.  But not so anymore!  Here’s what we came up with this year:


We started with our “bundles of branches” trees that Mama made for Hannah’s wedding three years ago and strung them with white lights.  Then I hung skeletons (from the Dollar Store) among the branches. 


And this year I finally found pumpkins large enough for the pumpkin topiaries I have always wanted!  I found them at Michael’s and luckily I got them on sale, because they were pricey!  The middle pumpkins are real heirloom pumpkins and the top ones are fake, also from Michael’s.  Maybe someday I will stumble upon a fake pumpkin just the right size for the center of the topiary.  The middle one wasn’t quite as shiny as the two fake ones, so we rubbed it down with vaseline to give it some shimmer!  You can’t even tell the difference!  I wrapped the topiaries with black and orange tinsel and orange lights.  These cuties will be coming with me after the party at Fort Guthrie to live out the season on MY porch! Whoo!


I hung this festive orange and black wreath on the door.  I found it at Sam’s Club and I just love it!


This cute little doormat was a $5 find at a local thrift store.  Perfect!


And this silver candelabra is on loan from an antique dealer friend of the family.  It’s awesome.  It is so massive that I deemed the only safe place for it was on the porch.  And, of course, we won’t be burning the candles since they would probably just blow out.  But it looks super cool, anyway!


Last, but certainly not least, is the “garbage bag garland” that I made to wrap the railings.   I basically cut a million strips of black garbage bags and tied them onto a string of twine.  A million times.  Literally.  It took forever.  I made enough to wrap the entire porch.  I hope it lasts forever, because I am not eager to make more. :)  It remind me of a feather boa… only plastic.  Here’s the other side:


The entire garland is wrapped with orange lights.  It looks amazing at night.  But you will have to wait to see that after the party (or at the party if you are a guest!).  I’m not spoiling all the fun… there are a few more surprises in store for the porch.  However, they won’t be added until right before the party.   You’ll have to come back to see the rest of the spooky details!

The outdoor decor continues in the nearby graveyard… stick around, there is more to come! :)


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Purple Spider Web Pillows

Lately I’ve been highlighting the spooky purple and black decor for our Halloween party.  I revealed my fancy haunted mantel and also the raven’s feathery banister.  Well, today I whipped up a couple of spider web pillows to go with the color scheme in the front room and I’m back to share them with you!

This lovely pillow design at BHG inspired the project.  These pillows are made with black leather and silver paint.  So cool! 


Since I didn’t have any black leather, I decided to use some purple wool felt that we saved when we refelted a pool table.  I already had some pillow forms just longing to be used, so I pulled them out of the closet and cut out my pillow fronts and backs to the size of the form.  I made the backs with an envelope closure, so after Halloween I can slip these covers off and make regular ones for my Mama’s living room.  Or maybe some Christmas-themed ones!  Yeah, I just said the C-word.  :)

I found that my paint pen wasn’t wholly successful on the felt, so I opted to do a simple design of lines rather than filled-in areas.  I decided to do two spider web pillows like the one in the inspiration picture.  I drew the main lines of my design in chalk first, then went over it with a white paint pen.  Then I filled in the rest of the lines trying to make it look a bit wonky for fun.  Nobody likes a perfect spider web, right?  After my web painting was dry, I sewed up the covers and stuffed them with my pillow forms.  Here’s how they turned out:

Spider’s web 1:


Spider’s web 2:

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I can’t wait to see how they look in the living room with all the purple and black!  Now I’m thinking we need a couple of silver vinyl ones to coordinate... or some black satin ones?

I’ll keep you posted…


Monday, October 03, 2011

Decorate with Feathers… Halloween style!

I wanted to call this post “New Ways to Use a Feather Boa” but I figured that might get some strange inquiries from googlers. :) 

So as you might have imagined, I used a feather boa to dress up the banister for our Halloween party…  In keeping with the purple and black theme, I had to look beyond our traditional railing decor… harvest tinsel, orange and black lights, leaf garland, etc. and find something new and creative to use…

Then I had a “flash of an idea” as my mother likes to say.  Only it wasn’t just a flash, but the whole idea!  Wrap a black feather boa around the banister railing to punch up the wow factor and also coordinate with the black and purple color scheme!


And of course, I didn’t stop there.  Mama bought black and purple tinsel and two strands of purple LED lights!  And I raided the Halloween boxes and discovered some purple beads that I repurposed as a swag garland beneath the boa.  The tinsel and lights were woven in front of the boa to add fullness and glitter to the display.  And to finish off the spooky scene, I carved out a hole in the bottom of one of my spray painted dollar store pumpkins and stuck it on top of the banister finial!  Genius!  :)  A raven perched on top of the pumpkin echoes the feathers in the boa. 


What do you think??  Isn’t the pumpkin finial super clever?

Perhaps I shall make fill-in-the-blank comments just to make it easy for you:  “I think your Halloween banister looks _________.  I especially love the ___________.   Way to go, Sarah!  You are so _________.   XOX, Your Name Here.”

Aww, thanks! :)


P.S. Only 26 days until our big soiree!  Check back soon for more Halloween decor as we continue haunting the halls at Fort Guthrie!

P.P.S. If you are coming to our Halloween party, you must still act surprised/awestruck/amazed by all the decor when you see it in person! It’s all gonna look so much better at night! :)