Halloween is here and I'm happy to report that my son is finally pleased with all of our new decorations. After weeks of crafting with my sister, we managed to come up with some pretty nifty, not-at-all-babyish decorations for boys (and girls) who want something a little bit scarier, but not so scary that they don't sleep for weeks on end.
After my son banished all of my adorable folk-art decorations to the basement, I was at a loss for words. (I hate when our kids grow up when we're not looking!) I wasn't quite sure how I would balance his need for skeletons and zombies with my younger daughter's need for all things cute and cuddly. So, I did what I always do; I called my sister and begged her to help me make our home "much more scarier" than it had been in the past.
Some people, like my sister, are born with the arts-and-crafts side of their brain fully functioning at birth. Whereas others, like myself, need very strong visuals to make it happen. While I was busy tapping into my sister's uuber crafty brain, I also decided that it was time to work on my own creative side. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I didn't have anything to lose by trying, so I gave it a whirl.
Since I'm not really comfortable in a traditional creative role, I decided to play to my strengths - gardening and science. (Yep, I'm a nerd - and I'm proud of it!) I knew that as long as I incorporated these two elements into my plan, I could make something happen.
So I packed the kids into the car and off we went to Stables Nursery to go plant shopping. Yep, you heard that correctly - we went plant shopping. In October. Why? Well because we were going to create a "Garden of Despair" filled with purple-black flowers like Clear Black Pansy Viola wittrockiana (Proven Winners) and ornamental cabbages. We tossed in some black Zombie Flamingos for my son - and a white wooden horse to combat evil for my daughter - and we were off to a great start!
We were on a roll, so we headed on over to Michaels to see if they had any more white funkins left but they were all out them. We were pretty bummed because I promised my son a Jack Skellington funkin, but on our way out the door, we spied this incredibly cool Skull tealight holder. But, from the moment I saw it, I knew it was meant to be something far more extravangent...like a succulent planter! I mean, because really, what's creepier than having succelents creeping out of some eye sockets?
A few days later, I was shopping at The Dollar Tree for a work event, and I spied some really cool last minute items that I had to have. As I stood among the shelves of fake eyeballs, mottled skull heads, plastic skeletons and black rubber rats - my inner-nerd kicked in and I knew what I would do. I would make a make-shift science lab for our mantle!
I giddily tossed in all sorts of creepy goodies into my cart and then skipped on over to the glass aisle where I scored a bunch of apothecary vases for...yep, a buck each! I knew that my son would love the ick factor of having his very own little oddities & curiosities display up on our mantle and I started to shriek a bit in the store. My sister happened to be with me and was getting a bit embarassed by the scene I was making, so she ditched me. I'm not kidding - she actually left me in the middle of the aisle and just walked away! Hmpf!
Needless to say, over the past few weeks, we've been busy. It's been lots of fun coming up with new ideas and watching the whole family get involved. Even my husband caught the decorating bug and insisted that we add food dye to the skeleton's jar to make him really stick out. (Good job, Brennan!)
I've lost count of how many other creepy things we've added, but I do know that we have several not-too-scary zombies hanging from our front porch, a graveyard in the middle of our front lawn with a disgusting skeleton creeping out of it, several black ravens perched about, and lots of pumpkins that are just waiting to be turned into jack-o-lanterns tonight!
Happy Halloween Everyone,
Denine & Daniele