Happy Halloween!

Hallowe’en Greetings! Our carved pumpkins are all lit up and ready to greet the trick-or-treaters. We have a kitty theme this year – happy cat and scary cat. They decide who gets tricks and who gets treats!

carved Halloween pumpkins

And speaking of treats – I received the most wonderful surprise in the mail today from my bestest customer Sally!

Halloween candy and card

She sent me a beautifully handmade, amazingly detailed Halloween card, which I adore, and an assortment of Halloween chocolates, which I have been munching on all day! (I looooove chocolate!) There were actually a few more little jack-lantern chocolate balls in the bag to the left at first, but I couldn’t resist eating a bunch before I took the photo. 🙂 THANK YOU, Sally! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Chenille Cat Ornaments

A new set of Christmas kitties are available now from Old World Primitives!   I think they are my favorite set of cat ornaments that I have made yet.

chenille Christmas cat ornaments

I also realized that I never posted the new set of black cats (for Halloween – or any time of year!) here on this blog yet, so they are also pictured below. They have been available in my Etsy shop for a few weeks now.

chenille black cat ornaments

Both sets of ornaments are available at either my:

or my brand new:

Both online storefronts allow you to shop my entire inventory, with the main difference being that my ArtFire shop allows you to buy in larger quantities without requesting a custom listing.  ArtFire also does not require you to register for an account in order to make a purchase.

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the 36th Annual Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm Harvest Festival. This is an event I try never to miss. There are so many delicious goodies to eat and drink there – all grown and prepared right on the farm. The weather was beautiful and the setting looked pretty with the fall colors starting to turn.

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

They also sell the most wonderful-smelling bunches of sweet annie and arrangements of dried flowers. I bought two bunches this year. I also picked up some bottled bee pollen, as I have been reading lately that it is one of the most nutritious foods on earth. I am trying it sprinkled into my breakfast cereal in the morning. I couldn’t resist starting my Christmas shopping early either when I found a beautifully hand crafted item that I know my husband will love finding under the tree… but shhh, I’ve already said too much!

I learned so many interesting things from the demonstrators, too – which is the part I look forward to most each year. This year I learned about herbs, woodworking, different styles of lace making, life during the Civil War (I learn something new from the Civil War reenactors each year), cheese making, and natural yarn dyeing the old fashioned way – just to name a few!

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

The Witches Ball 2010 in Mount Holly, NJ

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending The Witches Ball in Mount Holly, NJ for the second year in a row with my husband Max.  This event is now one of our much-anticipated Halloween traditions!  The caliber of costumes that folks come out in rival what I have seen in Salem, MA or the NYC Halloween Parade.  This year we brought a couple of cameras and a tripod, and were able to capture some fun – and scary!, be forewarned – photos of the event.

Moan-a, the giant witch
Moan-a, the giant witch, welcoming us to the Ball.
The Witches Ball 2010 - Mount Holly, NJ
This sign was greeting us near the start of the Ball.
The Witches Ball judging booth
The judge's stand at the costume contest. (Click to enlarge.)
The Witches Ball - Spirit of Christmas shop in Mount Holly, NJ
View of the Witches Ball crowd. The building in the background is a delightful Christmas ornament shop called Spirit of Christmas. Max and I bought several ornaments there. The proprietress was very nice, and told us the building was built in 1775. It was so charming! (Click to enlarge.)
The Witches Ball - historical costume
A favorite historical costume. (Click to enlarge.)
The Witches Ball - Best Witch costume winner
Winner of Best Witch Costume - Linda Chamberlain of Mount Holly, NJ.
The Witches Ball - scary costume
This was my favorite costume of the night. He had two strings of skulls hanging down his back, too.
Creep Show Zombie
The Best Over All costume contest winner - Brett Walker of Gloucester City, NJ - Creep Show Zombie.
Creep Show Zombie and devil friend
Creep Show Zombie and devlish friend.
giant devil costume
Scary giant devil costume with Mona in the background.
The Witches Ball - devil costume
Spooky photo of the giant devil costume. (Click to enlarge.)
Terri Lindahl-Castro of T.L.C. Interiors
This is Terri Lindahl-Castro sitting outside her shop, T.L.C. Interiors. She had the coolest interior design shop I have ever been in. Her sense of style is amazing! She also designed many of the props at the Ball.
The Great Pumpkin
I'm The Great Pumpkin. Don't think I'm not!

Revisiting Home

Yesterday I spent the afternoon finding inspiration in the peace and quiet of The Great Swamp in Basking Ridge, NJ.  My husband took the two photos below during our visit.

Sunset at The Great Swamp

Sunset at The Great Swamp

On the way there, I finally got the courage to visit the town I grew up in again. I had not been there in 25 years, because I knew that what I remembered would be gone. I visited the spot I once called home, but my old 1771 saltbox home with its two barns, outhouse, and many gardens was no longer there. The modern world has replaced everything with modern things, and two new houses now stand on the property that I once spent my days playing on. It was a strange experience to not be able to see anything familiar at a site I once knew so well any more, save for a few trees, but it was nice to visit my old town again. I miss living there.