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Happy Halloween!

i have always enjoyed adding sweet little seasonal decor touches to my home.
it all began with my Mom, who did the same thing when i was a little debby,
and i continued the tradition with my four kids.
it never took a lot, just a fun tablesetting on the morning of a special day
and a touch in the entry of our home, to set a mood.
the photos here are of a display i created in the window of our kitchen one year,
using my prolific pumpkin collection.
now my kids are adults, with families of their own, and they continue this tradition!
Halloween has so many great memories for me... here's just one:
Years ago, when my four kids were small, we'd travel from our home in the mountains to a friend's home in the valley. She lived in a neighborhood with hundreds of nice houses, so it was a prime Trick or Treating location. We'd have a great time taking our combined five kids around the neighborhood, while the hubbies stayed at her house and handed out candy to the munchkins. When we returned, there was candy for the kids and a nice dessert for the adults, while we all watched 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'. Then we'd head home with our exhausted brood - and it was an hour drive from her house to mine.

EVERY year, she'd call my home phone and leave a message before I even got to my house - saying something along the lines of  "BEAT 'CHA! I got all my Halloween decor put away and my house is decorated for THANKSGIVING already!" Cracked me up.

In a similar thought, I know some bloggers and pinners are already posting Holiday content - but I just can't go there yet. There are a few posts I want to share with you, filled with Thanksgiving Inspiration, and then it's full-bore into Holiday content. I even have a FABULOUS giveaway lined up already! Stay tuned...


Fast, Cheap & Easy: Last-Minute Halloween Party Decor

 so it's THREE DAYS before Halloween
and you're thinking 'If it hasn't been done yet, I don't have time to do it'.
Halloween should be scary, but not because you aren't prepared...
here are a few tips to help you put together some EYEPOPPING Halloween Party decor

In the photo above, there are some great ideas:
*make a paper banner
*spray paint some old frames black and orange
*put black masks from the Dollar Tree store on pumpkins
*haul out all the black pillows and candlesticks and accessories you can find.

but here's the big idea:
unearth an old chair or piano bench or small table or mirror - a really ugly ornate one -
from your garage or shed or wherever you stash stuff.
you know, the stuff you don't want the hubby to see that you picked up free off the curb last trash day. 
[no judgement here, sister!]
 then spray paint it orange. BRIGHT orange. 
When done, you'll have a hot orange prop for your party - 
use it on the serving table to show off your scary snacks and terrorizing treats!
Whether it's a table, a bench, a chair or a mirror, one POP of orange will make an impact
and pull everyone's eyes into your table scene. they'll ignore everything else in the room. 
this works in retail stores, as shown here- it will work in your house. trust me.
Another FAST way to make your table scary good is to use lots of party paraphernalia:
*use pedestals and stands to show off the goodies
*use all white or black or clear dishes to coordinate the look and make the food the star -
and serve fun BRIGHT foods: orange, yellow, green, purple!
*use battery-op candles on a table for safety (the ones shown here look like candy corn!)
 *hang lengths of orange & yellow ribbon from the chandeliers / light fixtures
 this huge chandelier in an entry hall is hung with mini plastic & paper pumpkins on fuzzy yarn
[from the Dollar Tree store, naturally]
and long strips of black netting.
 Last tip:
grab some bright orange flowers from the grocery store 
and use them to add more of the orange color all over the house with minimum effort.
it's fast, it's easy - and after the party, you can enjoy them


Pumpkins on Parade!

I spent Thursday on the road with a van full of Sweet Sweater Pumpkins,
 delivering them to two of my FABULOUS local retailers here in Southern California - 
let me share them with you!

 One was A Beautiful Mess by Kymberley Fraser, located in Agoura Hills.
Her daughter took one look at the orange pumpkins and declared that the front window needed one...
I think she found the perfect place for it!

[although if it were ME, I might have tucked the pumpkin under his ribcage, in the place where his heart would be....'cause, well, these babies are the heart of my business right now!]
Kymberley's store is beautiful, and the neutral pumpkins fit perfectly
with all of her soft, warm, colors and the elegance of rustic industrial style.

I love how she has them displayed in this old wooden goat cart on a harvest table...
Kymberley has a selection of pumpkins in a neutral palette in sizes from mini to Extra Large
[the Extra Large size is ONLY available from these two retailers]
and now, she has some very special pumpkins made from Angora and Cashmere sweaters!
I delivered 12, and half of them sold before they even went into a display!

I so enjoyed meeting Kymberley's husband and daughter,
her store manager Amy,
and her really sweet customer Heather and daughter
(thank you so much for your enthusiastic support of my little product!)

I want to let you know about a VERY special event this weekend
over at Julie O'Keefe Home & Garden in La Canada
[um, that's pronounced "Lah Can-yah-dah" for those not from the Southland. It has nothing at all to do with our neighbors to the North!]

Julie is hosting a party on Friday & Saturday, and Sweet Sweater Pumpkins were invited!

She's all stocked up and even has some new colors and sizes to offer,
please click HERE for information about her event.

Her shop is as lovely as her booth at the Remnants of the Past show was... 
speaking of which, here are a few photos from last weekend!
 Julie is an incredible floral designer with applause-worthy original ideas,
like these darling vintage linen flower pockets...
I can just see this on a doorknob, a doorknocker, an armoire handle, 
or filled with flowers as a sweet hostess gift for ANY season!

 The Limited Edition 'Luxe' collection Cashmere & Angora Pumpkins were very popular,
and perfectly presented some one-of-a-kind artisan button bracelets...
The regular Sweet Sweater Pumpkins nestled into several displays, 
showing how they coordinate with many kinds of decor:
 All of the vintage linen accessories you see here are handmade by Julie...
beautiful lavender sachets, cell phone purses, tote bags, aprons, flower pouches,
pillows, tea towels, tree & gift package ornaments.... I don't think Julie ever SLEEPS!
I am just so very grateful that Julie had my pumpkins in her booth at this wonderful show, 
and allowed me to come and be her booth helper.
We had so much fun working together to set up the booth, and then during the show!

This is the very best part of being in business - 
the amazing people I meet, the support I can give AND receive, 
and the wonderful experiences & opportunities that come my way.

and just think...
it all started with a pumpkin ;0)  my grandpa would love that! 

I've been collecting pumpkins my whole life, and I love to decorate with them in fall.
my grandpa used to call me, his first-born red-headed granddaughter, his 'Little Pumpkin Eater'.
his nickname for me started a collection that my mom and I have been adding to for decades.
that's what seasonal decorating is to me: meaningful.


Halloween Countdown

 Halloween is just days away, 
and there are some pretty creative people out there getting ready for the party!

During a recent day spent on Balboa Island, California, 
a friend and I spotted some outdoor decor that really made us smile.
None of this is over the top, but the effect is traffic-stopping.
(and i mean that literally - we weren't the only ones poised with cameras to capture a shot!)

The decor at the house shown here is totally coordinated -
their 'guests' attire matches the colors of the siding and patio furniture in tones of gray, black, and red.
The figures are made much like scarecrows - just stuffed clothing with a Halloween mask.
so EASY - and great impact when used in multiples like this.
The fact that they are sitting in the chairs and sofas is just smile-inducing - not scary. 
And how cute would this be if you used your old costumes from Halloweens past?

Another home made use of one simple element to bring the 'fear factor': Spiders
Hung from the siding, perched on the umbrellas, and dangling from the railings, 
these giant arachnoids are the perfect creepy detail.
[It also doesn't hurt that they coordinate with the half-moon black awning over the door
and the black metal patio furniture.]
These were store-bought - but how easy would it be to use bendable copper tubing 
covered in black fake fur for the legs, 
and a giant black round pillow as a body to make your own?
This goes to show that you don't have to be 'that house' in the neighborhood
that is totally over run with Halloween Decor to be festive.
A little bit of decor really can go a long way!


Pumpkin Couture!

 everyone is thinking about Halloween costumes,  
so let's have a little fashion show!
Sweet Sweater Pumpkins on the runway, if you will, 
to show you some ways that you can embellish my pumpkins with some couture costumes...

above, a nubbly sweater pumpkin is embellished with
a mask made from vintage sheet music and a black paper witch hat.
 this tiny little pumpkin is topped with a royal vintage crown that holds a birthday candle! 
the white milk glass shoe was Cinderella's, naturally...
this one is a Princess Pumpkin,  using a rhinestone hoop earring as a crown.
the lace collar on this mini pumpkin is a tiny little doily with a hole in the center.  
i slipped the doily over the stem before wrapping it with the twine.
 the pretty lace collar on this pumpkin is actually a necklace!
i made it from vintage trims, a rhinestone pin, and an old crystal from a chandelier
 and finally, you can really glam it up with a fascinator!

how have you embellished your pumpkins this year?

and you can always purchase my Sweater Pumpkin Tutorial HERE
to make your OWN versions of my pumpkins!

shared online:

Fabulously Creative Friday | Jennifer Rizzo's blog


Published: Creating Vintage Charm Magazine Fall Issue

the fall issue of Creating Vintage Charm Magazine is now available!
orders are placed online via MagCloud, then the magazine will be mailed to you.
yes, this is a REAL magazine you can hold in your hands!
it is not available in stores, only via MagCloud online.

i am honored to be included as a new contributor in this issue, 
and thank editor in chief Sonia Cardona Crouse for the opportunity.
Creating Vintage Charm is filled with beautiful inspiration, crafts, seasonal decor, book reviews, 
home & business features and more for the fall season.

all of this remarkable content is contributed by an amazing group of women from across the globe - 
just LOOK at the lineup!


a Bewitched Mirror Trick

while my last post was about adding witch hats to photos,
here is yet another easy way to turn mere mortals into bewitched souls...

add a paper witch hat to a mirror. 
yes, it's really that simple!

cut out and tape a black paper witch hat to a mirror
[or crown, or clown hat, or any other kind of hat you like]
and when people walk by and look in the mirror, 
they'll see the hat 'sitting' on their head. it looks like it's floating:
this is miss Malia Karlinsky, writer for GalTime Seattle, photographer, 
and blogger extraordinaire over at Yesterday on Tuesday.
Malia snapped this photo of herself at one of my vintage events up in the Seattle area a few years ago,
where i had made use of the 'floating hat' mirror trick. 
the entire wall of this area of my shop was covered with old photos and book illustrations of women
that i had drawn black witch hats and funny witch shoes on. 
it was a gallery of witches, so to speak, 
and the hat on the mirror enabled the viewer to BECOME a witch while looking at the gallery
it was really cute, and everyone loved it! 

so there you go.... if you combine the two ideas, you'll have some bewitched decor!
perhaps for your powder room or entry hall, during a Halloween party?
[though if you did this with crowns, it could work for a birthday or any other occasion]