Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 11 - Hallowe'en - Assorted Images

Here are some more of my favourite images for the season. Enjoy looking at them. Have fun tonight and today for that matter. Stay safe and have a Happy Hallowe'en!

This wooden panel is 7 3/4" wide and 9 3/4" high. It is produced with a technique called pyrography or wood burning. The design is burnt into the wood and then painted, in this case with gouache or opaque poster paint. I have no idea how old it is.

A delightful and mischevious little imp is pictured on the piece of sheet music from 1922.

This image is from a "Dennison's Crepe Paper Almanac 1913".

 A Baby Ruth chocolate bar advertisement from a 1939 magazine. And guess what, as the ad says it has dextrose!

This is the only Hallowe'en image in this entire book of party games from 1924.

This school reader is from 1941. Can you imagine the excitement and anticipation that this book would cause leading up to the big event.

Gathering the perfect pumpkin from the cornfield.

 After carving the pumpkin it is put out for all to see.

 Finally the party with all of your friends.

 This picture is from the "Children's Party Book" published in 1935 by A. E. Staly Mfg. Co. Decatur, Illinois. They were a sugar refinery I believe. If you have any information about them let me know. It appears that his wife did this book for the company.

And finally a candy wrapper that I saved. I have no idea how old it is or if the candy is still made but the look is very nostalgic.


Friday, October 30, 2009

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 11 - Hallowe'en - Bridge Tallies

I love the graphics from vintage bridge tallies and the Hallowe'en bridge tallies don't disappoint at all.

This is the first tally that I picked up. It was in a bag of tallies that cost a few dollars. The mushrooms and tree are quite delightful.

A friend gave me this tally one Christmas. I like the use of the non-traditional colours of a soft yellow and green.

This tally is probably from the same era as it uses the same yellow and green as the previous tally. I like the use of Japanese lanterns and serpentine, it immediately says costume ball.

The diecut shapes of the tallies are always interesting. A lot of the tallies have a cord and tassel attached to them.

This tally has a perforated bottom to ease in bending it. The guest’s name is written in the white area and bent forward to a right angle. When it is placed on the table each guest can read where they sit and the tally becomes an upright decoration on the plate.

This tally and the previous one may be part of a set. They were probably less expensive as they are smaller and it uses plain coloured string with no tassel.

This tally was in the bag of tallies with the flying witch tally.

This tally has a small pad inside and is printed both front and back. Great graphics are on the front and back.

Forget scary Hallowe'en this tally is just plain cute. The colours are soft, the witch is pretty and black cats are kittens!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 11 - Hallowe'en Displays, the living room mantle.

Today I'll show you the living room mantle. Remember the "more is more" school of display and home decor, well the same applies to the mantle. I don't display like this all the time as I mentioned in my last post, it would drive my wife crazy and me as well. This is an overall look at the mantle. All of these pictures including the hallway display were taken in the early evening, that is the reason there is an orange cast to the pictures. I liked it and decided to use them as they were.

All of the Thanksgiving items came off of the mantle. I then added the faux silk autumn branches and mini pumpkin stems that I pulled from the hallway Thanksgiving display. These were wired to the front of the mantle.

Dressmakers pins stuck into the top edge of the wooden mantle about 12" apart are what the wire is attached to. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to force them into the wood. Pins are very brittle and can snap when force is applied to them. The trick to pushing them in is to hold the pin in the needle nose pliers about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch from the point; figure the angle that you want the pin to be at and then push in to the wood without bending the pin. It shouldn't break. If the pin does break pull out the piece and start over, your hole will have already been started. Always secure the wire at the base of the pin, as any excess weight will break it off. It is surprising though the amount of weight, relatively speaking that the pin will hold.

Once all of the branches were wired in place I added two strands of mini lights with autumn leaf covers. Old party hats and vintage cookie cutters are tucked in among the leaves. Crepe paper nut cups and plastic nut cups are hung from the branches with wire.

I arranged the large vintage pieces such as the owl cookie jar on the mantle first. An old grape basket and an old orange crate on their sides were added to double my display space.

All that was left to do was to arrange all of the Hallowe'en items into groupings.

The witch in the picture on the right is a 1940's candy container that I got for next to nothing from a Salvation Army Store about 15 years ago. In front and to the right of her is a brass cauldron with a flying witch on one side and three witches on the other, all in relief. Over the years I found items that went with the Hallowe'en collectibles but were not actually made for Hallowe'en. Beside the witch you can see a vase that is in the shape of a gnarled twisted old stump.

The veggie salt and peppershakers went into the orange crate. They aren't Hallowe'en as such but I like to include them.

On top of the crate is a black cat teapot. I managed to find the bottom and the matching top in two separate shops.

The lit ceramic pumpkin is a Hallowe'en florist vase. The flowers are placed in the back compartment. The pumpkin has a light bulb in it that flashes.

I had to be careful not to place any of the candles above the areas in the hearth where the heat from the fireplace would rise. The candles look better when they are not little sagging slumps of wax!

A set of 4 ceramic pumpkin shaped bowls that I picked up about 10 years ago have been filled with some finely shredded cream coloured tissue and used to display the noisemakers. The plastic pumpkin is a lampshade. Eventually I found a wooden lamp base for it. Back in the shadows you can just make out an old fez. For some reason I seem to like it mixed in with the Hallowe'en items.

Here is a larger full-length version of the mantle. On the right hand ledge is a group of cake decorations and cookie cutters.

This final picture is what could be called a dumping ground for lack of a better term. All of the paper items have been placed into this stand. I don't have room to display all of them so they end up here. It's fun to take them out and look at each of them individually. This stand is 3 separate wire stands that I purchased at Homesense. They were displayed standing in each other exactly this way. I liked the look so waited until they went on clearance and bought them. They were bright yellow so I spray painted them black and then wired them back into a tiered stand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 11 - Hallowe'en Displays, the hallway entrance

Here is the Hallowe'en display that I did in the hall entrance. Those of you that have been following my blog will have seen the Thanksgiving display that I put up. I took out the items that were specifically for Thanksgiving and then adjusted the main body of the display. The vintage Hallowe'en items from my collection that I wanted to display were then added in.

You will notice that I that I follow the "more is more" and the "enough is never to much" school of display. I tend to do that at home, especially for holiday displays. I heard a comment one time that holidays should be like opera - bigger than life. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!

Our son said that it looked like Hallowe'en vomited against the wall! I think he's right.

This lovely big Jack-O-Lantern is by Lori Rudolph of RetroRudolphs. On the right hand side you can just make out a black cat ornament of hers. I displayed her lantern on a green glass cake stand that I recently picked up at the Salvation Army thrift store. Underneath the cake stand is a vintage pulp pumpkin nut cup and 4 modern wind-up toys. The two grey top hats are 1950's Japanese papier-mache. Over the years I have picked up domino masks, some plain and others with a frill around the edge. The two on the column are edged in plastic ruffles.

The Donald Duck mask is hollow plastic; the inside fits the contour of a child’s face. The bottom part of the bill is separate and attached to the upper part with string. This piece is also hollow plastic. The inside is moulded to snug up to the child’s chin so that when they speak the bill opens and closes. The plastic pumpkin above this mask is a rattle. It is filled with very coarse sand and mounted on a wooden stick.

This picture shows some 1950's Japanese domino masks that I have pinned to the draperies. The masks are made of a thick paper that has a layer of very fine silk fabric glued to the surface. The masks were then die-cut and embossed to a general facial shape all in one quick process. They have 2 1/2" tarlatan ruffles decorated with foil stars and foil circles of various colours. I love these masks! Exquisite opulence made from cheap materials.

Hanging in behind the taller column is a Japanese cloth pirate costume.

On the column in front of the costume is a Starbucks “Day of the Dead” lantern. Nestled around the base of the lantern are Hawaiian leis made in Japan from rice plant fibre. Underneath the cake stand that they are displayed on are some copper glazed ceramic pumpkins. Pinned to the draperies in behind are vintage gauze masks from Japan.

In the last photo you can have a better look at the gauze masks. There is a puppy, a very incorrect African Tribal image, and an American Indian face that is as incorrect as the African native is. Underneath the Indian mask is a fabric "Tonto" costume.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And The Winner Is... And The Winner Will Be...

I would like to thank everyone that participated in my first blog sale. I will definitely be doing this again; it was a lot of fun. Thank-you to all who left such kind compliments on my blog and thank-you to those of you who publicized the sale on your blogs.

The winner of the "Portrait Rattle - The Man-in-the-Moon Brought French Champagne" is Lori Davis of  "Vintage Palette Art". Visit her site, have a look around, and congratulate her.

Black Cat still says that he would like to see the winner walk the plank and that it would be a lot of fun. Jack has eaten far too much candy. The best part is that I don't have to wear this eye patch and pirate hat any more!

And now on to the other cryptic part of my blog heading; "And The Winner Will Be..." 

Iva Wilcox of "Iva's Creations" is celebrating her 100th blog posting and a "Haunted Masquerade Soiree". She has created a 5"x7" beeswax collage on a wood board, titled "Halloween Mischief" for the first place winner and for the second place winner they will receive as she puts it "a curious eye ornament". Black Cat wanted to know how you could put that on your eye. Pay no attention, he is being silly. Both Jack and I rather like it a lot. Black Cat said that he was just joking and he likes it as well. To try and win either one of these lovely pieces just click on the link above.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Pirate Sale Ends at 12 Midnight!

Time is running out!

The "Hallowe'en Pirate Sale" ends tonight at 12 midnight. I will be very happy to take off this eye patch and pirate hat. Both Black Cat and Jack are not letting me take them off and I have noticed that they rather enjoying themselves about it.

Click on this link to have a look at what is for sale.

Jack would like to remind you to tell others about the sale and prize. He says that it is not polite to be greedy and keep this to yourself. Black Cat said that he still wants a better pirate costume!

Remember to leave a comment for 1 chance in the draw. Join my merry band of followers on the right and you will have 2 chances in the draw. Post a link to my sale on your blog and let me know for 4 chances in the draw.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome to our "Pirate Sale"!

Here it is, I can't believe that it has finally started. Sorry for being late. Minor problems kept coming up.

Black Cat is swooshing his sword about and ocassionally jabbing me all the while saying stuff like "Me heartys" and "Shiver me timbers". Jack is over at the pirate "booty" eating it. We decided that, actually they decided that it would be more fun to have candy instead of pieces of eight. We now have pieces of eat.

Remember to leave a comment for 1 chance in the draw. Join my merry band of followers on the right and you will have 2 chances in the draw. Post a link to my sale on your blog and let me know for 4 chances in the draw.

Click on this link to have a look at what is for sale.

Email me with your orders. I do have paypal and can accept credit cards through it. Send me your address and postal or zip code. I will combine items to give you the best postal rate.

Black Cat says to buy lots because he wants to get a better pirate costume. He didn't like the hat that I made for him. I'm sorry about his rudeness, he isn't really. He lives in the moment and speaks his mind. He really is a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We are having a Pirate Sale!

I was talking with Black Cat and Jack a few days ago and mentioned that I was going to have a sale of Hallowe’en items on my blog starting on Monday at 3:00 PM Pacific time and ending next Saturday at midnight. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it. Black Cat was full of ideas.

“Why don’t you do what "Sweet B Folk Art" did and get people to post about your blog sale on their blog and get people to become followers and give something away and…”

“Wait a minute, I just can’t copy what someone else did. I’d feel like a scurvy pirate.”

Then Jack chimed in, “Why don’t you ask her and see what she says?”

This seemed to be the first bit of sense in the conversation so far.

I emailed “Sweet B” and asked how she felt about me using her idea. To my surprise she didn’t mind. I told Jack and Black Cat what she said. Jack piped up with, “Well now you don’t have to feel like a scurvy pirate.”

That is when Black Cat said, “Let’s dress up like pirates while you have the sale and the person that wins we can make them walk the plank!”

“You can’t do that, they wouldn’t like it.”

“But it would be fun.”

“No, Black Cat, we will ask very politely for people to post a comment on my blog for a chance to win in the draw. If they become a follower they will get two chances to win in the draw and if they post about the sale on their blog, give a link to my blog sale, and let me know I’ll give them 4 chances to win in the draw.”

“Can we still dress up like pirates?”

“Sure, why not.”

So, that is how we ended up having a pirate sale and this is what the lucky person will win in the draw for helping me promote my Hallowe’en blog sale.

Oh… and thank-you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Little Tour of My Brain, Part 10 - Thanksgiving Postcards (Turkeys)

Today is marked on the calendar as Thanksgiving Day. Our dinner went well yesterday. The two best things about the day after Thanksgiving is to be able to relax and leftovers. Leftover turkey dinner is the best.

As I promised today’s posting will feature turkeys.

This card shows quite a beautiful white turkey. Are there white turkeys? I did not know that there were. It is a truly majestic bird. If anyone knows anything about white turkeys let me know.

Turkeys are quite a majestic bird but evidently not that bright.

Using the wishbone as a design element for the postcard is very interesting. Two people holding the wishbone and snapping it to see who gets their wish granted because they have the long piece of the bone is one of the long held traditions associated with eating turkey.

How to make Turkey Stock
We carve our turkey in the kitchen and then bring it to the table so there is no wishbone for two people to break and see who will get their wish granted. All bones go into the stockpot. Like leftovers this is another of the perks of turkey dinner. Put all of the turkey bones into a large stockpot and fill with water. Throw in about 6 washed carrots coarsely cut, 3 or 4 large onions with the skins on but make certain that there is no mould under the skins and all of the vegetable water from the vegetables that wasn't used for gravy. Cook this slowly for several hours. Strain through a wet and thoroughly rinsed tea towel. A wet tea towel helps to remove some of the fat. Let cool, skim of any excess fat, put into individual containers and freeze for later use. It is a great for base for soups. I also like to use it for risotto.

I love that brick wall in the background. We have seen similar walls on old estates.

Pink is not a colour that is associated with Thanksgiving. Note the use of the wishbone used as a design element on either side of the church at the top of the card.

I don't know if I could kill my bird, gut it and rid the carcass of its feathers ready for cooking. I like to be removed from all of that process and buy our turkey at the supermarket.

This is an elegant and understated postcard. I like the stylized tracery of the branches and the scrollwork framing the turkey and wheelbarrow.

What a wonderful bird! This is the quintessential image of a Thanksgiving turkey.

If you have had your Thanksgiving dinner already, enjoy yourself today. If your turkey dinner is today have a lot of fun with your friends and family.

"Happy Thanksgiving. Get stuffed, we did!"