May 31, 2010
All garage sales are not created equal. Nor are all garage sale seasons. At this point last year, my garage sale acquisitions had leaned decidedly toward creepiness. I had acquired two weathered iron candle holders. I had acquired several dirty corked bottles, that just begged to be filled with wolfbane and tana leaves. I had acquired a few old outdoor light fixtures, a couple of which fit nicely into my haunt.
And this year . . .
This year my one acquisition so far has been this circle-of-bats pillar candle holder. Including the candle. For 50¢. The only item I've encountered at a garage sale this season that is even slightly reminiscent of Halloween.
I was so excited, I just couldn't resist. Even if those bats look way too cute and happy.
May 23, 2010
With the Victoria Day weekend upon us, my thoughts turn to vegetable planting. And more specifically, to pumpkin planting. Although I am tempted to try planting basil again if only to see how many consecutive times I can fail. But I digress. Pumpkin planting time is almost upon us. Last year, I had started some seeds indoors by now. But we know how well that turned out. So this year, they're going directly into the soil outdoors. Soon. I've discovered that the professional growers plant on June 1st. It can't hurt to follow their lead.
In an effort to learn from last year's pumpkin crop disaster, I intend to alter my strategy this season. The majority of last year's pumpkin plants were located behind the house. An area that receives significant sunshine. But obviously not enough. Or at least that's what I have chosen to identify as the problem. The front of my house, on the other hand, receives constant, non-stop, blistering sun from morning until evening. I think the pumpkins might be happier there.
So I was thinking aloud and contemplating where in the front yard I might plant some pumpkins when I encountered an obstacle. A 5' 10", 46 year-old obstacle. My husband is horrified at the thought of growing pumpkins in the front yard. Even just a few strategically placed pumpkin plants. Absolutely not, he says. It will look horrible, he says. Yes, definitely an obstacle. But not an insurmountable one.
If there's one thing I've noticed in over 20 years with this person, it's his short attention span. He objects. He complains. He obsesses. And then he moves on. He forgets. I am confident that by June 1st, he will have completely forgotten our conversation about the pumpkin plants. And then I can quietly slip a few seeds into the front yard garden beds.
I'm hopeful that by the time he realizes there are pumpkins growing in the front yard, he will be overcome with admiration for my burgeoning pumpkin crop. And if this year's crop, like last year's, is less-than-stellar, we can pull up the failed plants together and drive to the nearest pumpkin farm.
May 20, 2010
Every time I glance at this rack of magazines, Hautedoll catches my eye. Except that I misread it as "Haunted Doll" and do a double-take. Not once. Not twice. More times than I care to admit.
If only . . .
May 17, 2010
I have a cupboard in my kitchen that, when my children were younger, was called "The Art Cupboard". Therein lived colouring books and crayons and paints and construction paper. It was a happy place. As time passed and they grew older, however, the art cupboard became the cupboard of rejects. Sure, it still housed some art supplies. Paint and brushes and glue mostly. But it also became the home of the forgotten and the incomplete. Unfinished Halloween projects, materials for ideas that never materialized and other random failures.
So my goal is to probe the depths of this cupboard and its counterpart, the backyard shed of rejects, and use whatever I can in the construction of this year's Halloween props. I am determined to purchase no new materials until the possibilities of the cupboard of rejects have been fully exhausted. In keeping with my Haunted Garden theme, this might mean flowers with foil petals, bats with felt wings, and butterflies with styrofoam eyes. So be it. Whatever it takes, the cupboard of rejects will be purged.
This could yield some . . . interesting results.
Or some unmitigated disasters.
May 11, 2010
Yes, meeting Doctor Doom at Free Comic Book Day was a thrilling experience. But it also delivered a much-needed wake-up call. I need to get back to my costume-making plans, which have been on the back burner recently. My local scifi/comic con, not to mention Halloween, is creeping ever closer. Doom, you have been an inspiration.
May 5, 2010
At this time of year, I traditionally become obsessed with my garden. Raking and weeding. Moving plants and dividing perennials. Fertilizing and mulching. Frequenting plant sales and garden centres in search of new additions. Not that I have room for many new additions; I have a small yard, and each year a little more lawn is sacrificed to the cause. Some plants grow more successfully than others. Shrubs love me; vegetables, not so much.
My springtime gardening obsession, however, typically loses momentum by midsummer. When I become more interested in sitting on the deck than digging in the dirt. By then, my enthusiasm has dwindled. I no longer care that bugs are devouring my roses. Or that the leaves of my lilac bushes are turning brown. Or that my "fail-proof" basil crop has failed for yet another year. I want to care. But in the heat of August and in the anticipation of autumn, I don't.
But this year, I have decided to make this late-season apathy my friend.
So rather than struggling to summon the interest and energy required for the autumn tasks of pruning, mulching, and general tidying up, I have decided to do absolutely nothing. Instead, I have decided to allow the decrepit appearance of my garden in October to create a natural backdrop for a haunted garden theme this Halloween. This is a theme that creates itself. Perennials will be withered and dried and listing weakly over patches of bare earth. Shrubs will have become shriveled shells of their former selves. Mulch will have broken down or blown away, exposing clods of weed-infested soil. Limp vegetable plants will provide a long-dead memory of what might have been. I expect it will be ideal. The best part, of course, is that I will feel no nagging guilt. No little voice in my head telling me to get out there and make the yard at least semi-presentable. No, it'll all be part of the plan.
I'll create my own additions to the garden, of course. The trees should fit in nicely. I may be able to cobble those old science fair backboards into something resembling a garden shed. And I'm currently working on turning an old papier mache mask experiment into some lovely Halloween flowers.
This could work. I'm feeling less apathetic already.