Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Postcards for Halloween

Welcome to the last VTT before Halloween. I know this must sadden many of you, but just think: I'll be starting with Christmas things pretty soon! Maybe even next week! Today I have vintage postcards for you. After you check them out, click on over to Confessions of an Apron Queen and see what the other participants are offering for your perusal.

Oh, and have you seen this adorable vintage baby? I wonder who it is!
Have fun tomorrow, and be safe! Now go see what everyone else has at Confessions of an Apron Queen!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home Made Costumes

My sister is a talented mom. She makes fabulously creative birthday cakes, puts together detailed parties, and makes the kids' costumes for Halloween or dress up days at school. I thought I'd show off some of the costumes the kids have worn over the years.
I don't know what the boys were for their first Halloween, but they would have only been 5 months old. For their second, they were skeletons. Here they are sitting in the pumpkin patch the art teacher from my school made with the students. These are just white sweatshirts and pants with black bones on the sleeves and legs. The front of the sweatshirts have a cream colored ribbon making the ribs.The next year they were crayons in their favorite colors. A winter hat, a slip-over anything tube and appropriately colored sweatshirt. Easy, even for someone who isn't super crafty. The hardest part would be the crayon details. Then the baby sister came along! Now we might get some real girly costumes, like this Snow White. It was a store-bought costume from a neighbor that was too big, so many alterations went into it. It was nice that it was big because bulky clothes to stay warm could go under it. The pirate was easy to put together with purchased items, the most difficult part being finding the red & white striped shirt. The bat is another sweatshirt with a hood that has little stuffed ears sewed on, the mask and wings being added with a heavy fabric.This year, Frick was a pirate again. A little more menacing with his sword and razor stubble, though! Frack was a fireman, in another black sweatshirt and pants. Duct tape and reflective tape were used, as well a reflective letters from the hardware store on the back spelling out his name. The sweatshirt was cut down the front to make a jacked and held together with Velcro covered with electrical tape. The butterfly was a lime t-shirt over a purple sweatshirt and pants. The headband was thickly twisted pip cleaners and large sparkly pompoms and the wings were 2 layers of heavy tag board with 2 layers of tissue paper sandwiched between.The bat is back! All 3 kids wore this costume at one time or another. Frida is a real cutie in the scarecrow costume that is just jeans and a flannel shirt with patches sewn on them. She also has straw hanging out of her arms and legs, which kept falling out all night when I took them trick or treating. My sister, K, said a better idea would have been to make a bracelet of the straw on a rubber band. That would have taken a long time, I bet. This was the first year that one of the boys wanted to do the scary mask. I think all boys want this at some point. He ended up hating it because it was sweaty and he couldn't see or talk well.I liked the firefighter costume so much I asked for one for myself. Here it is on Career Day at school. My colleague Christina is a trail guide.There are lots of costumes I just couldn't find pictures of right now. The pink witch, a clown, Dracula, just to name a few. This year Frida is going to be a speed bump, which was my idea. Another sweatsuit with a hood, this time bright yellow. Paint put on a thick-tread tire and rolled over it. Simple! I've been pushing my idea for years and this year she picked it even though I haven't mentioned it in a while. K is also currently working on 12 eagle costumes for Frida's soccer team. They are in a costumed tournament, so they need matching costumes that they can wear while playing. I'll get you some pictures of that when it's done.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crafty Blues

Welcome to Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally! Every week we post pictures of blue, or primarily blue, things. Home decorations, clothes, cars, anything you can think of and get a picture! After you look at my offering this Monday, zip on over to Sally's to see what she and the other participants have on display. If you've never participated, try and join us next week!
I noticed the other day that many of my crafting tools are blue.

Circle CuttersPaint Brushes & PaintI knew I was addicted to fun pens, but this is ridiculous!

If I have this many blue, what have I got in other colors!?Then there are the blue supplies like these yummy buttons.Lacy & Shiny RibbonsThe most important item in the Craft Room, CHOCOLATE!

I hope this post made you look at the things around you every day that are the color blue. Why is it used on so many everyday things? Don't forget to visit Smiling Sally and the other participants to see their Blue Monday posts!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pink Halloween

It's another Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound! I thought I'd show some pictures I found of Halloween items that are pink. After you check them out, be sure to stop by Bev's and see what other people have to share this week.

This first one is made out of beads and wire.

Looks like a fun craft!

These glittery spider earrings would look great on me! I bet there's a way to make them into hair clips, also! That would be very cool!

A spider cake would be a great treat.

I hope it has buttercream icing!

SKULLSI love anything that sparkles like this belt buckle.This is a great skull vignette to have on an entry hall

table with creepy music playing.I wonder how long it took to make this skeleton!


Even the Japanese anime artists get in on the Halloween fun!

Of course Minnie is a good witch!

This witch calls herself Gruella DeVille.

Must be a cousin or sister of Cruella!

I'll wrap it up with this creepy pink goblin!

I hope you had fun with all of these pink Halloween items! Be sure to visit the other participants listed at How Sweet the Sound.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mark Twain House

Do you enjoy touring historic homes as much as I do? Whenever I go somewhere new I check things out to see what historic homes are in the area that allow visitors. Sometimes they have been converted into offices, a B & B, restaurant, or shop, but still maintain historical elements and the people using the building will let you look around if you make an appointment. Of course, the most fun are the homes that are either preserved the exact way they were in their heyday, or restored as closely as possible. For this Hooked on Houses tour I thought I'd take you to one of my favorite places. Most of these pictures can be clicked to enlarge for more detailed viewing. I've also included links to sites with more pictures as well as information about the architect, designer, and style of arvchitecture.The first historic home I remember visiting is the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT. I went with my Girl Scout troop for the Christmas tour. In addition to being a beautifully restored National Historic Landmark, at Christmas they go all out and decorate and change the tour to include Christmas stories of the Clemens family. Most people think of Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain as living in Missouri, but he built and lived in this home from 1874-1891. He chose to move to Hartford because it was the location of his publishing company. The house is the place where many of Twain's major works were written, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In 1891, after a large investment went bad, the Clemens family moved to Europe. In his later life Sam Clemens lived in Redding, CT where he died in 1910.
Sam, Livie, and their 3 daughters enjoy the porch.

If a person is sitting on this long porch next to the porte cochere, looking out over the yard, she will also be looking at the neighbor's house. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin lived less than 50 yards from the Clemens family.
It's another example of beautiful Victorian architecture.

The conservatory is just off the library and juts out next to the Ombra, the nifty circular porch. Below are pictures of the ceiling and brickwork of the porch. Edward Tuckerman Potter was the architect of the Victorian Stick Style home built in the Nook Farm neighborhood of Hartford. The house was as modern as could be for its time, with a telephone, running water and bathrooms. Louis Comfort Tiffany, best known today for his lamp designs, was the interior designer. The home was decorated with dark, heavy woods, velvets, and custom wallpapers, all in the highest style of the day.Upon entering the house, visitors are awed by a grand entry. The ceiling and walls have intricate patterns of woodwork, metallic paint, and wallpaper, inspired by Northern Africa.
Laura Bush visited the house and enjoyed the drawing room. Over the fireplace is what appears to be a mirror, but is actually a large window into the entry hallBeing a literary family, of course there was a library, which opens to the conservatory and back yard. Just put in a TV and you've got a modern family room!
The top floor of the home was Sam Clemen's personal domain, housing his office and a comfortable billiard room.I hope you've enjoyed what is just a small taste of the Victorian-era opulence of the
Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT.
Be sure to visit Hooked on Houses to take the tours being put on by Julia and the other participants.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintage Halloween

Welcome to Vintage Thingies Thursday, one of my favorite days of the week! This fun carnival is hosted by Lisa at Confessions of an Apron Queen. Be sure to go on by and see what others are sharing this week. I have an assortment of Halloween items that may bring back memories for some of you.
My sister and I each had one of these pins with the mouse peeking out of the jack o' lantern. The face lights up when a cord is pulled. Very fancy in the 70s!
My mom got me this tambourine at a yard sale the year I was a gypsy for Halloween. I wore it hanging from my belt so I jangled as I walked. I didn't realize it was something nifty until I started participating in VTT! Now I've seen it on eBay and other places! I use it for a decoration, propped in a little vignette.

These are just two of the many cardboard items my mom hangs on the kitchen cabinets every year. She has a ghost and a Frankenstein, jointed black cats, and a 4 foot jointed skeleton. They are all from the early 60s when my grandfather owned a card shop.In the 70s when ceramics was a big thing, my mom took some classes and made these pumpkins. They both have lids that come off so you can put cookies or candy in them. The little one, dated 1972, is actually the first thing she ever made, and you can see that the paint for the face ran. Once Halloween is over, I turn the face around and just have 2 pumpkins!
Only one more week until Halloween! Be sure to come back and see what I will have next week! Now float in a ghostly fashion over to Confessions of an Apron Queen and see what other people have on display!