ForeverJoy Designs

Getting into the “Spirit” of Halloween

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Without fail, the first crisp October day I need to go up to the attic and pull out the cozy sweaters, it’s officially Halloween Season around here! I LOVE Halloween- I always have.  I grew up in an apartment building in NY, so we didn’t have a font porch to decorate, or even windows anyone would see.  But my Mom made a big deal about decorating the front door to our home.  Our urban “front porch” 😉 Together we would go to the store and put great decision into which of the paper decorations we would get that year?

 We never liked to be too scary- people didn’t decorate like that then.  No blood or ghouls- just simple things like a scary black cat , a skeleton or maybe a ghost.  And pumpkins! Lots of pumpkins!  I was always the one in charge of the actual design of the door (foreshadowing of my work today, I guess!).  I would make homemade decorations to match of course, out of construction paper and tape.  I wish we had photos of those decorated door. *sigh*  I can remember them vividly in my head though, and sometimes, when we walk thru the neighborhood today at Halloween I can still spot a vintage decoration that I used and loved on the door of one of our elderly neighbors.
It makes me smile.


Of course, back when I was little, there was no “Party City”, Disney store or Amazon to buy your costumes from.  You either made something (that was much cooler in your imagination than in real life and typically involved da’s clothes and mom’s makeup!) – or you went to the local Five and Dime and looked thru the boxes of costumes that were stacked on the shelf.  I remember the masks would get steamy midway thru the night, and the elastic bands would start to squeeze a bit too tight.  But oh!  What joy there was looking thru that little plastic window on the box, imagining how awesome you would look in that costume!

There were no pumpkin patches in Brooklyn, so we would go to the supermarket to go “pumpkin picking”!  We always chose BIG ones, and poor dad would scoop them hollow for use.  Then the big decision: scary pumpkin or happy one?  My sister and I would sketch it out (*mine were always best!) and daddy would carve them for us.  We would roast up the seeds (usually they burned!) while he worked- and when he was done… we would dim all the lights… carefully place the candles inside and then watch the magic as the flames danced inside them, casting spooky shadows on the walls and ceiling!  It was awesome!

I tried to catch some of that old fashioned magic in the kit I designed for the Holiday this year…nothing too scary, just some spooky fun. Maybe I’m just getting a little nostalgic.. who knows?  You’ll find some retro-style elements and colors I remember from those days.  We didn’t have purple- but there was alot of orange and black….and blues.  So I worked those in- and really fell in love with it all

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    DW Quilt Art
    October 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I love reading your words Renne, so evocative, i can see the images you are painting with your words 🙂 And it seems we were of a similar era, although I was not quite as urban in Newark NJ…thanks for the memories 🙂

  • Reply
    DW Quilt Art
    October 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I love reading your words Renne, so evocative, i can see the images you are painting with your words 🙂 And it seems we were of a similar era, although I was not quite as urban in Newark NJ…thanks for the memories 🙂

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you 🙂 New Jersey? *waving* Hi neighbor!! maybe we were kiddis on the Circle Line visiting the statue of Libery together 🙂

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you 🙂 New Jersey? *waving* Hi neighbor!! maybe we were kiddis on the Circle Line visiting the statue of Libery together 🙂

  • Reply
    southernlivingexpat
    October 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I just stumbled on your work after hearing it mentioned on the Daily Digi podcast. I LOVE your papers! I also have had such a nostalgic moment after seeing the picture above of the boxed costume – what a memory. I would have completely forgotten about it had I not stumbled on your post. Takes me back a zillion years. Thank you and keep creating!

  • Reply
    southernlivingexpat
    October 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I just stumbled on your work after hearing it mentioned on the Daily Digi podcast. I LOVE your papers! I also have had such a nostalgic moment after seeing the picture above of the boxed costume – what a memory. I would have completely forgotten about it had I not stumbled on your post. Takes me back a zillion years. Thank you and keep creating!

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    thanks so much! sometimes it does seem like a forever ago- but sometimes *sigh*- just like yesterday! AND- if we had only saved our costumes boxes- we could be rich on ebay! 😉

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    thanks so much! sometimes it does seem like a forever ago- but sometimes *sigh*- just like yesterday! AND- if we had only saved our costumes boxes- we could be rich on ebay! 😉

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