10.03.2012

Bewitching


I have always been fascinated with the folk belief in witches. Magical, powerful women (or men) who could bless or curse you on a whim. The fact that our ancestors, not so many generations ago, let fear and their lack of scientific knowledge, lead to outrageous accusations and even death is incredibly thought-provoking. I've always wondered what I would have done had I been in that sort of environment and had those beliefs.

My interest in that old folk belief was heightened once I discovered that I had a direct ancestor who was arrested for witchcraft and imprisoned in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Apparently, it runs in my veins. But witches, especially the stereotypical witch, have always captived me. And I believe that the Halloween witch with the pointy hat and green face and warty nose actually pokes more fun at the people who believed such nonsense rather than at the unfortunate, accused witches themselves, and I love it. I even have a purple and black pointy witch hat that sits at the top of my closet because that is what I want to be every Halloween.

alyson witch photo A4EED04A-2F10-40EC-9DD5-11F569F644D6-11243-00000AFAFFE14267.jpg
Me in my witch hat last year.

There's also nothing I love decorating with more at Halloween than with witches.  I'm always drawn to them, and I must thank my talented, artistic friend Heather (who once painted me a beautiful portrait of my accused witch ancestor, by the way) for introducing me to Nicol Sayre's Halloween folk art figures.  I picked up a couple of witchy ladies to adorn my living room this year.

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My living room coffee table and mantle.  It's hard to see in this shot, but a crow sits atop one of the pumpkins.

I love this batty witch folk art doll!  She is just beautiful.  I also picked up these lovely pumpkins made of black and white toile fabric and real pumpkin stems from etsy.

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That little furball on top of my couch, is our dog Ollie.

Before I go on, I must say that I am in love with my exposed beam ceiling!  Those massive beams were hand-planed and put in place probably over 200 years ago and they fascinate me.  Anyway, on my mantle I strung tissue paper bats and glass pumpkin lights around the fireplace.  My metal crow, which I purchased in Salem, MA, is always on my mantle, but looks especially fitting at this time of year.  My batgirl/witch that says "enchanting" on her base, sits amongst my BOO sign.

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My mantle


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The details

In the opening between the living room and kitchen I hung cheesecloth, which I cut into strips and mangled up, to give a haunted look to the area.  I also added little, black spiders.

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Sometimes these dangling spiders actually scare me and I have to remind myself that I placed them there myself and they are not real!

Kitchen Halloween sign photo 6477d5a5684748510a8f269700be6a87.jpg A shot of my eat-in kitchen area with a burlap "happy halloween" sign I purchased at Pottery Barn.  For some reason, my kitchen looks a lot brigther yellow than it actually is in this photo.

Of course I have decorated more than just this area for Halloween.  I especially like how my library turned out, but I will save those pictures for another time. 

I am so happy to finally be in my favorite month of the year.  Happy October, everyone!  Hope you all have a witchy good time this month.

18 comments:

  1. OH MY! Your new house is gorgeous! And I love how you decorated it. Want to come do mine? I am awful at decorating. I'm only a few hundred miles away. ;)

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  2. Oh, your house looks amazing, Alyson! I love all your spooky touches, especially your Nicol Sayre dolls!!! Just this morning I am bringing all my girls out to the mantle. The season is here!~!

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  3. This has inspired me to get some Halloween decorations up. My little ones would love it! My oldest daughter has a late October birthday and years ago we did a "haunted library" theme and it was awesome.

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  4. Your house is darling!

    I'm going to have to get some cheesecloth, I love the way it looks.

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  5. Lovely decorations... You have a beautiful home!

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  6. HEy there! =) How are you?!? I love your decorations so amazing!

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  7. Whenever I think of Salem I think of the movie Hocus Pocus hehe. And when I visited Boston, the fav part of the trip was going to Salem. It's the history of it that intrigues me about witchcraft. It's so interesting to try to put ourselves in the shoes of those at the trials. So unfortunate and sad.

    And I LOVE your decorations. Adorable!

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  8. October is indeed a fascinating month, very special to me too. Gorgeous home decoration Alyson, congratulations!
    Looking at your bloodline, I believe that you can be a witch once a year with no problems whatsoever. So much beauty will bless the Halloween.

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  9. Love Nicol Sayre. She makes many one of a kind dolls, too, though they can be pretty expensive. You did such a great job with the house AND the Halloween decorating--love it!

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  10. Chanelle - thank you! You're such a sweetie!

    Heather - thank you! And thank you for letting me knw about these awesome dolls!

    Eileen - so cool! I love the haunted library look!

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  11. Sue - thank you! The cheesecloth is fun and easy. Go for it!

    Erin - thank you so much!

    Kari - hey you! Thanks! Yeah, it's been forever, huh? :)

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  12. Leeann - I love Hocus Pocus!! Salem is super awesome. I go there all the time.

    A. - aw, thanks! October is such a special time, especially here in New England, as you well know.

    Heidi - thank you! Yes, I've seen her one of a kind dolls and want one! They are always sold out though, even though I'm on her notification list. Maybe one of these days!

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  13. I love seeing pictures of your house! Keep them coming! I like that eat-in nook in the kitchen, and the witch dolls, and the exposed beams. It must be neat to think of the hands that handled those beams so long ago, and there they are, just sitting above you in your living room. The beams, not the hands. Ha ha. I'm glad you're enjoying the awesome month of October!

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  14. Your decorating has me all excited for Halloween (even though we don't really celebrate it here in the UK). I've also long since had a fascination with all things witchy so I loved this post!

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  15. I just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  16. Hey Alyson!

    We haven't met before but I'm your SIL Sophie's cousin from San Francisco. She mentioned how much you love Halloween (since I do as well) and I'm so glad I get to see your decorations for this year. Everything looks wonderful and I especially love the toile pumpkins. Do you have link for their Etsy shop?

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  17. You have done an amazing job with your house! It is beautiful. I bet you are loving it! (you'll have to tell us the challenges that come with an old house too in a blog someday, as we are seriously considering buying one in ct this next few years...from 1800s and now you know so much so please share with us!) I remember the before pictures on your old blog, and you are seriously talented! We love exposed beams too. Houses just have so much more character there. Do you just smile when you wake up everyday? Your halloween decorating is so tasteful and ecletic....i love it! Thanks for sharing! we are a halloween family, my favorite holiday and my oldest sons birthday!

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  18. Alyson, I have to tell you how impressed I am with your blog. Your photos are great, your writing is professional and tasteful as well as insightful, and I love the design. I love your take on the halloween witch poking fun at those who believed and persecuted people for such things.

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