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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]


'Fast, Cheap & Easy': Spellbound Photos

 alright, witches....
here's a 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' TM Halloween decorating tip if ever there was one:

1. grab a bunch of family photos. the more women in them, the better ;0)
doesn't matter where they are or what they are doing.
2. scan them, or take them to the local printer and run copies, in black and white.
3. use a black Sharpie marker and draw WITCH HATS and SHOES onto the women in the photos!
4. frame them in cheap dollar store frames painted black, and hang anywhere.
see how EASY this is?!
you can turn any gathering of girls into a witches' convention!
the photos can be of women at the beach, on a roller coaster, in the pool, on the runway... 
in any era, any decade, any style.
just add hats and funny shoes!
and maybe a cobweb overlay as a skirt or shawl. 
[ black cats, cauldrons, brooms and magic wands optional ]

one important note:
you might not want to use photos of your mother in law for this!
you can also use smaller photos, draw the hats on them, 
then place them into clear glass jars and bottles.
i added printed captions to mine - just funny lines that sort of describe the action in the photos -
and embellished the bottles with black ribbon and silver chains & charms.
 the image on the large bottle here is from an old book page -
i added the black hat and then glued the whole image onto the outside of the bottle.
[ a similar photo of these bottles appeared in PORCH magazine back in 2009 ]

I've got another easy and FUN idea for using a witch hat...
check out this post, too!


Inspired by Charm likes Sweet Sweater Pumpkins!

 in the last few weeks of september, i was on a pumpkin-making mission
(i called it pumpkingeddon!) to prepare products for a huge corporate order.

but it was very 'hush-hush' and i couldn't share what it was for.
so i cut and stuffed and tied and tagged a few hundred pumpkins
and bagged them up in sets of three, one from each color palette (Light, Bright, and Neutral)
it was a special package created just for this company...
loaded them into boxes
and then shipped them off to chicago on a wing and a prayer.

from the corporate office, they would be re-boxed individually 
and sent off to customers who had ordered a 'grab bag' sort of offering.
yes, sight unseen!

i was finally given permission to share the news today:
my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins are featured
in Michael J. Wurm's 'Inspired by Charm' October offering for 

Michael and i 'met' when we were both contributing writers for FOLK Magazine
[not in person, just in lots of word-y posts, comments, and emails]
and he has been very generous in sharing word of HOMEWARDfound with his fans.
[the man has over TWO MILLION Twitter and Pinterest followers!]
he's a 'style spotter' for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine,
 a contributor to home decor and design websites and resources, 
one of his bffs is Kim Myles (yes, the DesignStar winner!),
so he's truly a design STAR himself...
and I am so honored that he chose my product for his Lost Crate offering

Thank you, Michael at Inspired by Charm!
Thank you to Jack at Lost Crates!


make a crystal ball from a glass lamp globe!

i'd like to share another of the original projects i created a few years ago: 
A Crystal Ball Lamp

it's made with a clear glass lamp globe (yep, i find lots of things to do with those!)
a 'hurricane' electric lamp with a clear glass base, and some black beaded trim.

i printed the Glam Witch image (without the hat) onto clear acetate, 
then cut out the silhouette to adhere to the lamp itself
 so that it would appear to float inside the globe.
[the globe sits on the part of the lamp where the glass hurricane shade used to sit]
a pleated vintage ribbon and bit of black beaded trim add a nice finishing touch.

i also made some crystal balls that weren't on lamps - 
simply mounting them to a base of crystal, black or white ceramic urn gives them presence
[the image appears to 'float', but is attached to a small  lid sitting low inside the urn]
Crystal ball lamp on left . crystal ball in rear right

like those swanky pumpkins?
i made them from fabric, using the same method i use for my sweet sweater pumpkins
my tutorial is available here


a friend who saw the graphic in my last post ('Witches are just Princesses with PMS')
said that at some point in life, that excuse would run out.... so I added more to it! ENJOY!


Halloween Inspiration: Mad Science

 Welcome to October at HOMEWARDfound!
Let the Halloween Decor Inspiration commence...

I was recently at an local store's event taking photos for a magazine story (more about that in a bit),
and was delighted when I saw the ghoulish Halloween display shown above.
I knew as soon as I saw it that this would be my October 1st blog post,
 because there are so many creative ideas shown here that we can learn from...

This mantel has some terrific cost-effective ideas:

*the taxidermy bat
 it's a primitive DOLL hung on a board! and it looks for all the world like taxidermy because it's ratty, old, dirty, and beat up. ok, so bats aren't MY thing.... maybe they aren't yours, either. but take an old deer or moose mount, spray paint it matte black, then rub some dirt into it, scuff up the nose and antlers, and you have a creepy old animal thing to hang over your mantel. stretch some cobwebs between the antlers, put a few spiders in there.... positively ghoulish.

[i am NOT advocating killing animals. do you know how many dirty old head mounts there are at garage sales, thrift shops, and antique malls? someone else killed them, let's just make use of them.]

*the draping.
simple cheesecloth dyed black - you can buy it at fabric and costume & party supply stores.
it's lightweight, so it can go just about anywhere without a lot of support needed. you can stretch this stuff out, rip it to shreds, and it just looks even better. i'd have taken a length of it and created a ratty scarf for the mannequin, and tucked a bat into it like a brooch!  

*the specimen jars
these are simple big old glass canisters and pickle jars  - stuff you can find at every garage sale, thrift shop, even at Ross and Marshalls stores. gather up a few (and old & dirty is PERFECT for this!), then start working on the contents...

inside the jars, you can have any kind of scary, grotesque specimens you want. the dollar store and Walmart are a great place to grab plastic and rubber spiders, snakes, cockroaches, eyeballs, fingers, skulls, sponges that look like brains....

[ok, I love a good movie reference. and that just made me think of  a scene from 'Young Frankenstein', where Igor tells Doctor Frankenstein which brain he grabbed from the lab: 

"Abby somebody".
"You brought me an ABNORMAL BRAIN???".

so i'd put a sponge brain in a jar with pink tinted water, and a label that said 'Abby Somebody'. that would make me laugh every time i looked at it!

the jars could be filled with cheap plastic bones from the dollar store - femurs, hands, feet - but they don't LOOK cheap because of what you do with them: simply paint them flat white, then use a dry brush technique to smear some flat black paint into the crevices, making the details stand out. take them outside and roll them in the dirt, too, just to make them look like they came out of the ground - then pop them into the jars and close the lid.

a humorous tag will make people smile, too.  
do ya' see what i did there?

over on a cabinet next to the mantel, more specimen jars gather...

*old medical books
used as a base for more specimen jars, this just adds another layer of creepiness to the decor. the whole book doesn't even have to BE a medical journal - just the two pages you have it opened to. buy ONE ratty old medical book or magazine at an antique store, then tear the pages out and glue them into regular dictionaries. (THOSE are pennies on the dollar at thrift shops).

you can also add lettering to the cover and spine of old books, turning a plain old dictionary into a CREEPOLOGIST MANUAL or an EMBALMING GUIDE... just use a black sharpie marker and write right on the cover!

the photos you see above were all taken by me at
Down Home American Country Antiques, located in Orange, California 
it is owned by Peggy and Don Arentz, and Peggy is the mad scientist who thought up this display!