Tag Archive - Samhain

Apartment Therapy Feature!

Thanks again, Sarah Rae! If you’re coming over from AT, the full post and all it’s glory is just a few entries down. I can’t say enough how honored I am that others like what I do when it comes to seasonal ideas. I definitely have to give props to my mother for motivating me. She’s taking over for Thanksgiving.

ATspooky
{ Click on image to go to feature. }

I’m more than happy to answer any questions!

Thanks again!

Bon Weekend – Samhain preparations.

{ Thank you Sarah Rae! }

I’m posting this a little early as Michael and I will be out of town this weekend and it’s not very easy posting via my phone. Today’s post is focusing on our Samhain interior decorations. The main area we focused on was the dining room|foyer. Goodness, I find myself more excited than usual about the upcoming sabbat. We didn’t decorate or really take part in any festivities surrounding the sabbat last year as my fathers illness was progressing and we were still in the ‘trying to diagnose’ phase. He was hospitalized for the final time just after.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term Samhain and how I sometimes interchange it with Hallwe’en, I asked Michael to write some of the history|origins of the sabbat, and how it is celebrated. I wouldn’t be surprised if more things find their way into this setting!

On October 31 we celebrate the Celtic feast of Samhain. Samhain, is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” and is the most important of the ancient Celtic feasts. During this time we honor the opposing balance of intertwining forces of existence: darkness and light, night and day, cold and heat, death and life. Our year is divided into two seasons: the light and the dark, celebrating the light at Beltane on May 1st and the dark at Samhain on October 31st. Therefore, the Feast of Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of our year. We believe that Samhain is the most important festival, since it marks the beginning of a new dark-light cycle. We observe this time as proceeding from darkness to light because we understand that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane was welcomed in the summer light with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of Samhain is at night. The Eve of Samhain, is the most important part of our celebration. We will gather our best autumn harvest for a feast. We will put out food and drink fthat was special to those who have passed on with great ceremony, and we will leave windows, doors, and gates unlocked to give our ancestors free passage into our homes. We will offer personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing our wishes or notes stating ailments to be healed will be cast into a fire. We will offer up many gifts in thanksgiving for the harvest. We carve “jack o’lanterns” and keep them at our doors to keep out unwelcome visitors from the Otherworld. We also dress in costumes in the tradition of our ancestors symbolizing the spirits of departed family returning home for the festival. For us this is a great time of contimplation as we come to recognize our own part in the eternal cycle of Life.

I generally love to decorate for the seasons|sabbats|holidays using family heirlooms, but it always feels more appropriate during this particular time of year.

Samhain tablescape
{ All images click through to larger versions }


Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

The tablecloth is basic gauze and the netting we picked up at the dollar store. I’m hoping that the gauze develops picks and runs as time progresses. I want it to feel tattered. That’s my mothers wedding china, silver and crystal, and we also acquired those 1960s wheat glasses several months ago. The black place mats can be seen in greater detail here. The black box in the center held my grandfathers important papers at the house and the birds were painted by my grandmother.

The very lovely tankard – or beer stein as my mother calls it 😉 – has been in my mother’s family for multiple generations and came from England. The branches were collected in the woods behind the house and we spray painted them black. The brass candleholders were part of a cache we scored from the thrift store recently. We painted some them black but keep these untouched, as they have a lovely patina on them.

Photos of our deceased family members have been placed on the hunt board as well as a dish, bowl, and glass.

Samhain

garlandBefore

Bat garland information can be found in this post.

Chandelier

Vintage glasses

Samhain tablescape

Samhain tablescape

The hexagonal terrarium in the front was purchased last fall at the same thrift store that we’ve found so many wonderful treasures. The tri-candle holder was purchased a while back on Etsy. The Staffordshire dog is another one of our ‘old’ things.

The dish that holds the eyeballs can be seen in more detail at http://thehappyheathen.com/?p=269.

Raven

Raven

The tree in the foreground came from the DC area, I believe. My mother bought it in ’73 and I need to look on the plaque for the artist’s name. I’ve always loved this tree.

And of course some of my great loves, our Carew Rice tumblers.

Foyer scene

Bats

The black candleholder is actually brass and came from the same the thrift store we love so much, for about a dollar. We spray painted it matted black. The bowl the skull is sitting in is a Goodwill score from last week for $3.50. The black and gold tin tray has been with us for a very long time!

I downloaded the image of the bats from The Graphics Fairy and printed it. The frame came from the thrift store and the ribbon is was used to hang the photos on our memorial tree at our wedding: www.flickr.com/photos/38016153@N03/3637770059/in/set-7215

Goodness, I hope I haven’t left anything out! Happy ready and bon weekend.

Bat Garland

eta – Thanks to AT for featuring this project!

More DIY projects! This is a bat garland using the same black poster board as I used for the placemats. I used the bat template provided for the Clothespin Bats project on Martha Stewart. I also made a master tracing template from velum. After I cut out all the bats, with the help of my mother, I hot glued them to black ribbon that I had in my ribbon bin. I have a couple lengths of garland, with the first being placed in the dining room, as pictured below.

Bat garland
{ Click image to enlarge }

Fraidy cat ‘lace’ placemats.

We’re working on putting the final touches on our dining room Samhain decorations and I wanted to share the placemats we’ll use. I made these last night using some of the leftover black poster board, the MS cat punch we bought several years ago, and a regular hole punch. The last time I used the punch was while I was restoring my shoes for the wedding. This was a fairly fast, easy and fun project to do!

Fraidy cat placemats
{ Click image to enlarge }

Thrifty Decorations

We’re trying to maintain our mantra of reuse from previous years of decorating for the Sabbats. Our glitter skulls will make an appearance for the 4th year in a row, and others will be making return appearances. We’re adding a few new items to our cache with this lovely glass candy dish. We picked it up for a quarter while thrifting some items for Saturday night. I knew this was the perfect opportunity to use this inspiration from SMP. We had a couple cans of matte black spray paint in our supplies and this is the outcome:

Candy Dish
{ Click to enlarge photo. }

We also scored several lovely brass candleholders at the same store, and we’re painting those as well. I’ll post photos of our new tablescape soon!

Vintage Costumes

I love vintage elements of Samhain/Halloween, and costumes are definitely a favorite! I found these beautiful illustrations via The Graphics Fairy.

witch

bat
{ Click images to enlarge }

Bon Weekend

We’re starting to think about Halloween decorating ideas for a guest blog post. This vintage three legged/triple candleholder we bought on Etsy arrived today. I found it while doing research among Etsy sellers for said post. It was a fantastic deal, but I’ve learned that eBay and thrift stores are still the best value for old candleholders. I stopped by the dollar store and picked up some ‘creepy cloth’ and taper candles, all for about $3.25. The miniature pumpkin was a dollar and the moss was free.

Samhain ideas
{ Click image to enlarge }

Bon weekend!

Halloween 2010 by Rifle Paper Co.

I’ve been a big fan of Rifle Paper Co. for a while now and when I saw these on Poppytalk today I knew I had to repost. These invitations and cards are the cat’s meow!

More info. >>

Simply Awesome

I got to know Rachel through the OBT (Offbeat Bride Tribe) while we were both planning our weddings. She and her husband Tom are pretty badass. Our wedding was on Beltane and theirs was the following Halloween. Well, today I read that they’re featured today on Offbeat Bride.


{ Photo credit: Tinywater Photography }

Congrats you guys!

Samhain

I will remember today the gift(s) that I have received from my ancestors and give thanks.

Our table decorations from last year.


A photo of one of my great aunts in Colombia, South America. Early 1900’s.
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