Tag Archives: seasonal decoration

Halloween Reflections

It’s the day after Halloween and I’m still basking in happiness from last night. I’ve been looking forward to our first Halloween in our house for a long time. Halloween in a third floor apartment = no kids. Halloween in a neighborhood FULL of kids = more trick-or-treaters than I could count. I would have to estimate that we had somewhere between 60 to 75 kids at our door last night. 

Because I’ve been looking so forward to Halloween, I really wanted to decorate outside. There’s not much point decorating inside, because we don’t have kids around who would really enjoy it, so I decided to put all my efforts outside for our trick-or-treaters. I knew Dave would come close to killing me if I bought everything I wanted this year, so I started my collection and I’m planning on increasing it by a piece or two each year. I started off with a cemetery kit from target. It included two styrofoam tombstones with plastic stakes that go into the ground, a skeleton head and two arms, a small bag of fake cobwebs (which was more than enough for our front yard), and four freakishly realistic-looking plastic spiders, and a few pieces of fake fencing. I’ll have to replenish my cobweb supply next year, but otherwise everything is re-usable from year to year. Unfortunately, there were two problems with the kit. The first was that the fencing pieces were not going to go into the ground. GraveyardWe have really hard clay in central Indiana, so it might not be a problem if you live somewhere with sandier earth, but the ground was bending the plastic ends of the fence. It was a no-go. Second, we’ve had some decently strong winds throughout October and the larger of the two tombstones ripped off the stakes and blew into our neighbor’s yard. We retrieved the tombstone, but it will need some repair if it’s going to be used again. That said, the smaller tombstone with the skeleton looking like it’s coming out of the ground was fantastic. Tip: don’t do what Dave did and put the arms right up by the head….no one crawls out of the ground with their elbows next to their ears. Be anatomically correct and put our arms down a bit farther! Dave suggested that he could make me some sturdier tombstones that are made out of wood, so hopefully we can have several of those next year for a full-out graveyard. Oh, I also bought a skeleton dachshund from Target for Dave because he has a thing for weiner dogs….he kind of loved it, and it’s creepy enough to go into my display. Skeleton DogNext, I bought a few things from Grandin Road. I had never ordered anything from them before, but I will definitely be a repeat customer. If you’re looking for festive home decor, Grandin Road will have what you’re looking for, and the quality of everything I’ve bought so far has been excellent. My purchases this year included: one zombie, one zombie cat, and a set of three bats. The zombie and zombie cat were both pretty heavy so there was no way they were blowing away and they didn’t need to be staked into anything. Like the skeleton, the zombie looked like it was coming out of the ground. So I put him right by our walkway so it looked like he was coming to grab a little trick-or-treater. We put the cat right on our front porch, and we hung the bats up on the front porch as well. Both the cat and zombie took batteries that we put in yesterday afternoon. The cat’s eyes just glowed red, but the zombie must have had a motion sensor or something and when he went off his eyes were red and he made some creepy moaning and groaning sounds. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween decorations that make sound, but this one was a) subtle (no stupidly insane shrieking) and b) fairly realistic. I’ll have to see what Grandin Road has to offer next year, but I know I’ll be tempted to get another zombie. That said, I really want to get some skeletons that look like they’re crawling up the side of our house. In years to come I’m also going to want some ghosts, mummies, giant spiders…..out get the picture! Continue reading Halloween Reflections

How to Make an Autumn Garland

How to Make an Autumn Garland

Growing up in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving in mid-October….about two weeks before Halloween. So when we celebrated Thanksgiving, the house decor was for Thanksgiving / Halloween / autumn. Here in the U.S. it’s a bit different since Thanksgiving is celebrated a month after Halloween. You can take the Halloween decor down and put up Thanksgiving decor. Of course after all that you switch it out for Christmas decor, making the last three months of the year the most intensive period of decorating changes. 

Since we used to live in a tiny apartment, we really don’t have a lot of decorations. We do have a decent amount of Christmas stuff, but almost nothing for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Now that we’ve moved into a big house, I figured I would primarily focus on Christmas decor for the first couple of years, and just slowly build up things for the other holidays. That all changed when we talked to Dave’s family and were assigned to host….Thanksgiving. 

This is going to be my first time hosting any major holiday, and I find it ironic that it’s a holiday I didn’t even celebrate growing up as a kid. In fact, when I was working in Kansas I volunteered to cover Thanksgiving Day because I had nothing to do on that day, other than watch some college basketball. Thankfully (no pun intended) the traditions surrounding Canadian Thanksgiving aren’t that different from American Thanksgiving, at least in terms of the food. (Obviously the Canadians don’t really get into the pilgrims and all that jazz, it’s really more a celebration of the harvest). 

Since we’ll have almost about a dozen people in the house, I figured I should probably make the place look somewhat festive. Step one….decorate the fireplace mantle.  Continue reading How to Make an Autumn Garland