Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree!

Have you heard about The Halloween Tree?
"Suddenly the day was gone, night came out from under each tree and spread." -Ray Bradbury
A Tree Full of Jack-o-lanterns
I have always loved Ray Bradbury...but I had never heard about The Halloween Tree.  The book is a 1972 fantasy novel which traces the history of Samhain and Halloween.  Last year I wrote about the origin of Jack-o-lanterns, which was a lot of fun to research.  I am going to download this book to my Kindle.  The following plot summary is from Wikipedia:
Plot Summary:
A group of eight boys set out to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, only to discover that a ninth friend, Pipkin, has been whisked away on a journey that could determine whether he lives or dies.  Through the help of a mysterious character named Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, they pursue their friend across time and space through Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek, and Roman Cultures, Celtic Druidism, Notre Dame Cathedral in Medieval Paris, and The Day of the Dead in Mexico.  Along the way, they learn the origins of the holiday that they celebrate, and the role that the fear of death, spooks, and the haunts has played in shaping civilization.  The Halloween Tree itself, with its many branches laden with jack-o-lanterns, serves as a metaphor for the historical confluence of these traditions.

Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree
Just a few days ago I was sitting underneath this tree.  George was waiting out a bout of motion sickness...lol!  I told him that I really liked this tree...I loved the simplicity of a tree full of jack-o-lanterns.  I noticed a plaque at the base of the oak tree dedicated to Ray Bradbury's dream of a Halloween Tree.
A Tree Full of Jack-O-Lanterns
On October 31, 2007, Ray Bradbury attended the presentation of a Halloween Tree at Disneyland in California, to be included as part of their annual park-wide decorations every year.  When I read this, I couldn't wait to go home and make a simple version for my yard.

My Halloween Tree 
I tried to just keep it simple...hanging a dozen little pumpkins in the tree.
These were 97 cent pumpkins from Walmart.
I would have bought more...but I bought all there were in a "normal" orange...lol!
The faces were done "free hand" with a sharpie...easiest project ever!
I was going to wait until tomorrow to publish this...then thought...why? 
Happy Tuesday!

Note:  I tried to find The Halloween Tree on Amazon...but no luck.  Is it out of print?

Spooky Spoolies Swap!

What a Fun Swapportunity!
Swaps are one of the most fun parts of blogging.  We bloggers tend to flock together with others who share similar interests and values.  One of the best ways to get to know each other is to swap crafts and crafting supplies with each other.  I just love this!  I have met so many new friends this way...and have gotten to know a few of the "regulars" a bit better. 
Halloween/Fall Spoolie Swap
My most recent "swapportunity" was organized by Sandy of 521 Lake Street and Deb of Garage Sale Gal  The challenge was to create a fall or Halloween ornament out of an old wooden spool.  We've done it for other holidays...like Easter...and it's so much fun!  I am a lucky girl.  I inherited a huge tub full of wooden spools from my Grandma Patta.  She was a doll collector and Grandpa Rich made Barbie furniture using the wooden spools.  I will never run out of spools in this lifetime!  My partner for this swap is Sandy from 521 Lake Street.
My spoolie for Sandy.  She chose a "Fall" theme.
I tried to make it using only things I had on hand...I need to do that more often.

I found this wee owl in a set of three at an antique mall in Salt Lake City.
Sandy's Creation...

Sandy must know of my love of a Jack Skellington Christmas!
I can hear the soundtrack from "Nightmare Before Christmas" in my head.

Cutest little scarecrow!

The spoolie came wrapped inside this jar.
The jar is perfect for storing...temporarily of course...the Candy Corn M&Ms.
Thank you, Sandy, for this adorable little fella...and for all the fun papers and supplies!
Disney Shop Decor and Miscellany...

This little scene is in an alcove in one of the Main Street shops.

Pinterest Inspired Porch Pillows.
I used burlap from the reunion projects and stencils from Walmart.
These are the pillows I "pinned."
There is a tutorial on Be Different Act Normal
Can't wait to see your swaps!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Disney Halloween Carnival...Vintage Holiday Fun!

More Fun Than a Barrel of Mickeys!
Ever since I was small I have loved Halloween Carnivals...you know the old-time PTA sponsored galas with Fish Pond, Bobbing for Apples, and Spook Alley.  You remember...the kind where you buy a ticket for a nickel, and a dollar paid for a night of fun for the whole family?  The lunch ladies served up sloppy joes and rootbeer in the cafeteria and you would always find popcorn balls and candy apples in the bake-sale corner.  Little kids came...wide-eyed behind their Lone Ranger masks, still clutching their grimy pillowcases full of candy...and waited their turns at the bean-bag throw.  I once won a back-scratcher in the Fish Pond...amazed at such a handy-dandy piece of technology!  Was there ever such a night of wonders?

Disneyland Halloween Carnival...
Cute Log Cabin/Scarecrow Shack
In the far back corner of Frontierland lies Big Thunder Ranch.  It's a down-homey place where they serve barbecue "family style" and there is live entertainment on both stages.  It's currently the place where my four favorite musicians perform...Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.  I have a crush on Billy...lol!  They're all named Billy!  There is a petting zoo and is often the home of whichever turkey is pardoned by the President on Thanksgiving.  I especially love it, when it is decked out for the holidays...Halloween and Christmas!

Poker Night in the Scaredy-Crow Shack.
You should have heard all the OMGs coming out of my mouth when I entered the cute little cabin...it was a vintage Halloween lovers dream come true!

Ceiling festooned with the cutest garlands!
All my favorite postcards blown up to poster size on the walls.

What is better than a hutch filled with black cats and jack-o-lanterns?
Time out for a little Dutch Oven cooking.

Miss Kitty is ready for her close-up...with you in the picture!

Carnival Time...Free Admission!

Orange and Black...the colors of Halloween Happiness!
There were Pumpkin Carvers, Crafts, Games and a Spook Alley with Disney Villains.  It was my childhood come to life!

More wonderful garlands!

Waiting for the Billy's to come onstage.
Cobwebs made from rope!

Lots of Haunted Fiddle Music.
Love my Billys...lol!

Minnie dancing a jig.
Speaking of Halloween Carnivals...
My Little Halloween "Scare-us Wheel"
Black Cupcake Ferris Wheel.
I still have Halloween carnivals on my mind.
I used it for George's birthday cupcakes and decided it needed
some Halloweenies to ride in it.

Spoolie Ghoulies.
I found just enough cat heads and pumpkins in my stash.
Some scraps of paper and wooden spools.
The checkered disks are for balance in the baskets.

No tickets required.
I'm thinking the wheel needs some embellishing...hmmm!
Back to the laboratory...
Happy Crafting, Halloweenies!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Halloween Family Traditions...Repost!

Halloween Family Traditions 
I'm updating this post from September 2011

Where did your Halloween family traditions start?  When I was a little girl we lived in Alpine, Utah.  The old school...which was pretty creepy and had only four classrooms and a rickety fire escape...also had a gymnasium next door.  My fondest Halloween memories from that time are of the school's carnival and spook alley in that old gym.  The whole town turned out for the fun...fish pond, pop bottle ring toss, bean bag games.  Afterward we did a little trick or treating, which I did with my eyes shut...because people in costumes are scary!  I wish I had a picture or two from back then.
The Old Alpine School
Did you ever see the movie "Lady in White?"
This is one of my favorite Halloween movies.  The little boy on the cover has been locked in the school and is hiding in the cloak room...what happens next is spooky fun! The old Alpine School had cloak rooms like this.  The time period of the movie is my childhood...it's like watching your Halloween memories come to life...if you were locked in the school after the class party!
Halloween Class Party...not mine, though!
When we moved to American Fork, I was in third grade.  My mom was in PTA, so she helped out with the Harrington School carnival.  Spook alley mostly...grape eyeballs and spaghetti gutts.  The classics!   My favorite part of the carnival was the sloppy joes and doughnuts.  Today, they are still the perfect Halloween foods.

We were too broke to buy costumes, so we had to use our imaginations and whatever we could dig up out of an old box in the basement, but I think we came up with some pretty good ideas.  Still, it was annoying to be dressed as the world's scariest witch and then have to wear a coat!
Lovely store-bought costumes...lol!

Devey Family Trick or Treats
Like I was saying, we didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't afford to give away full-size candy bars like many of our neighbors.  So we improvised.  With a little creativity, we made some of the most popular treats on the block.  Our two favorites were treat bags filled with candied popcorn and Tootsie Pop Ghosties.

One Saturday I made a huge batch of candied popcorn...for demonstration purposes.
My recipe card is below...still written in my high school handwriting.
(I made recipe cards for my "hope chest")

"Karen Lundell's Candied Popcorn"
Also known as "Granny Goose Popcorn."
  It was colored bright red and was sold in bags in the Potato Chip aisle. 
I can still taste that red dye they later banned.

3/4 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Food Coloring

Cook to a softball stage.  Pour over a dishpan (?) full of popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is coated and becomes sugary. Note:  I use 4 to 5 bags of microwave popcorn.  The buttered variety makes it even yummier.

My collection of little treat bags.

My favorite bag from childhood immortalized on a tee-shirt.
My "Halloween Costume."

Some bags I stuff with batting and use for ornaments.

Best filled with popcorn as Nature intended.

The Tootsie Pop Ghosties I was telling you about.
Suckers, cocktail napkins, ribbon and a marker.  Easy Peasy! I decided to give these as treats this year...2011...but I'm getting them done in advance. Do you ever have that nightmare that it's 5 p.m. on Halloween and you haven't bought the candy yet? Nowadays, they put the candy out so early, I buy it three or four times!

Simple Halloween Candle Jar
All you need is a pint canning jar, a pumpkin scented candle from Walmart and some candy corns.

Set the candle in the jar and surround with candy corn.
Tie on a fun tag with jute twine.
Wa La!

Hope you enjoyed this blast from my Halloween past!

Some Fun Treat Bag Graphics...