I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Monday, 31 October 2016

Flying with the Witches

Hello all, and a happy Halloween to you all.  I'm flying with the witches today - travelling home to the UK from Columbus, Ohio after an exciting three months here.  I'll be sharing some of my Romeo and Juliet adventures soon, but I'm here just now to offer up some Halloween spookiness.

I had my first go at pumpkin carving at a Pumpkin Carving Party last week.  You know me, so you'll probably guess that I didn't go for the classic scary face but decided to try my hand at a spooky bare-branched tree instead.  There have been a lot of trees around here lately... I seem to be hooked!

I think it's rather good for a first try, though I do say so myself!  There were points at which I was a bit scared I was going to lose a whole branch or two, but I managed to keep control of the knife.

I also did a bit of crackle on some of the gorgeous tiny pumpkins you can get here, using craft glue and gesso.  I did mean to add some more distressed detail with paint shading and spatters, but sadly they still weren't dry by home time, so I had to leave them as they were.

The rest of the R&J company came up with some more traditional pumpkin faces, as well as the odd sports team fan-pumpkin.

It was all great fun - a lovely way to spend one of our two evenings off from the show.

I also wanted to share pictures of some of the fabulously decorated houses around the streets of Columbus.  I know that for the American followers amongst you this is probably old hat, but to those of us from east of the Atlantic, they're pretty impressive!

I was passing these houses on the bus every day, watching the decorations become ever more elaborate each weekend as people had time to add the next layer.

I love the friendly skeletons on the balcony, as well as those creepy spiders making their way across the walls.  Fabulous cobwebbery... even spreading onto the bushes all the way down the drive.

Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the one which was probably my favourite.  It had three full-size, very realistic skeletons simply sitting on the porch furniture having a drink and a chat... it made me laugh every time I went by.

This one with a whole graveyard in front of it was a treat though.  I think that purple spider above the door may be going to be inflated for the actual Halloween celebrations...

... the gatekeeper certainly doesn't look very welcoming...

... but all the various carvings on the gravestones are so cool in their different fonts.

How about this rather terrifying bat - with wiry wings at least ten feet tall - guarding the porch at this house?!

Of course, my real favourites are the stoops where you see the lovely autumnal gatherings.

I just love the variety of gourds - shapes, sizes and colours - and they look wonderful arranged on the steps.

I hope you have a great evening whether you're trick-and-treating or just hiding away from the ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties.  I'll be tucked up in my aeroplane seat keeping an eye out of the window for witches on their broomsticks!  Happy Halloween!

Pixie, kobold, elf and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon's silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.
Joel Benton


Helen said...

well done on your pumpkin carving, it looked amazing! thanks for sharing the decorated houses, they all look incredible! Safe journey home.

Monika Gulyas said...

Great design for your pumpkin, Alison! It's really impressive mainly with the candle inside! xx

Brenda Brown said...

On your way home, wow, three months has gone so quickly, have a safe journey. Love your unique pumpkin carving and seeing all the Halloween displays around the houses, some people really go to town. Catch up soon. Hugs xxx

Jane said...

What a brilliant post Alison..those houses are amazing and so were your pumpkins. Have a safe journey home it will be wonderful to have you back. Hugs xx

sally said...

It's quite amazing the way they do go to town with the Halloween decorations- those ones that plug in & light up/ inflate at night can be incredible! I'm a wimp when it comes to carving my pumpkins, I tend to draw on them instead- but my terracotta one is currently placed over the top of one of the garden lights so it's lit up at night. Welcome home ( do not expect the same glorious weather here!)


chrissie said...

Fantastic pumpkin carving form everyone and I love that yours is different. The house all look brilliant and people certainly go to town there.

Hope your journey home is safe and happy for you.

Take care

Love Chrissie xx

froebelsternchen said...

Wishing you a good trip home Alison! Amazing decorations!

Astrid Maclean said...

Ohhh, safe travels and welcome home when you get there!! Love your unique pumpkin, much more my cup of tea, and gosh it is amazing what our friends across the pond will do to mark the season.... How fun too to go to a pumpki carving party! xxx

Cestina said...

One really never knows what one will find on Words and Pictures! Now I know what the spiders were up to on last year's Christmas tree out front - a mass of tiny webs last night..I almost got the camera out.

Travel well xx

Redanne said...

Well, now you can add pumpkin carving to your long list of talents Alison, your tree is brilliant - as well as being spooky!

Thank you so much for sharing the Halloween decorations out and about, they look fabulous! My Canadian visitors brought me a full size skeleton on their recent visit, I won't be putting it outside tonight though, I don't want to scare off the only and only child that is likely to visit!! Safe journey home. Anne xx

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Brilliant pumpkin for your first attempt Alison and wow how stunning are all those houses and their Halloween displays!!
Donna xx

Dorthe said...

OHHHHHH Alison, such fantastic decorated house fronts, and gardens ,I never see such in Denmark, it is truly amazing, thanks for showing, dear. Your pumpkin is beautiful, I totally love the cut, instead of the usual faces ...also the glue and gesso crackled ones ,looks gorgeous !!
Happy Halloween- hugs, >

Kasia said...

Love your pumpkin, Alison!
For me, living in Europe, all these decorated houses are really amazing :)
Safe journey home! Hugs!

Mrs.B said...

Love your take on the 'Fall Pumpkin', looks very impressive.
Thanks for sharing those wonderful photos. I have an American friend living here in the
UK and she decorates her house - all over- looks so strance in her street, (especially as her neighbors are all quite old) but such fun!
Have a safe flight home.
Avril xx

Cocofolies said...

Ooooh, fabulous!!!!
How fun!
Thank you for sharing, Alison. and your carved pumpkins are really impressive (pinned this on my Halloween inspiration board!) xx

Meggymay said...

Happy Halloween Alison, your pumpkin carving was fantastic, you must have had a lot of fun carving it.
The decorated houses looked amazing. scary but fun when seeing them in the dark.
Yvonne xx

Paper Profusion said...

The tree looks fantastic Alison and so you! Well done! Thanks for sharing the pics.... Wonderful decorations... they are serious fun! Safe travels home... Nicola x

Jennie Atkinson said...

Wow Alison - I have not seen Halloween celebrated in such style! Fabulous photographs and thank you so much for sharing them with us. Safe trip back to the UK. Jennie x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

How awesomely fun and just too cool!

Deb Riddell said...

Safe journey home Alison, it must be wonderful to be heading back to the UK after being away so long. Wonderful pumpkin carving and thanks for sharing the Halloween displays, some folks really go all out. Happy Halloween and hope you don't run into any witches on your flight home 😨 Deb xo

Jackie PN said...

Alison, I so love your tree carving instead of the usual face! Great job!! Safe travels and I look forward to tales of Romeo & Juliet!

Evelyn Walter said...

Hi dear Alison, nice to hear that you are back home!
Your pumpkin looks fabulous, unique as you are =)
Those decorated houses are great! Here in Germany we don´t celebrate Halloween that much, so it is great to see this.
xxx Evelyn

Mary Elizabeth said...

Absolutely lovely pumpkins!!! What a great party to have with the R&J crew. Sounds like it was a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing the All Hallows Eve decor with us. It's amazing how creative people can get at this time of year. Love the friendly skeletons on the balcony. They made me laugh :). Your crackle pumpkins were gorgeous and that carved tree is astounding. I'm not very gifted with a knife. I don't do pumpkin carving (I value my fingers too much). Welcome back to the UK. Hugs -- ME

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Good job on your pumpkin carving. Leaving behind small spidery branches and bits is not easy! And I'm guessing you got home with all your fingers intact!

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful spooky decorations and autumn gourds. I tend to only drive major streets so I didn't see many decorations. Our own were rather pathetic, but we tried. We owned things to decorate our two small porches/yards for our apartment. Now that we are in a big house, our decorations did not stretch far! Next year we have to get one of those huge spiders (not inflatable).

Unknown said...

Just fab. Has given me some great ideas for next year.

Diana Taylor said...

I love your pumpkin carving, and would definitely choose the tree over the scary faces any day! I tried leaves last time but ended up with blisters so gave it a miss this year - they are tough old things to carve out! I am loving the photos of the American Halloween decorations - they really go to town don't they!

experiments in paper said...

Wonderful depiction of our American obsession with Halloween - not quite sure how all that started, but was not that way when I was a child (and too bad, as my birthday falls on that day, lol!) So look forward to seeing what you were up to whilst in the US, and what future projects you have in store! xxx Lynn

Lynne Moncrieff said...

The pumpkin is lovely Alison. As a child, traditionally we carved turnips in Scotland - hard work, let me tell you. I've only ever carved one pumpkin and that was a few years ago now, just before I got into cardmaking. It was great fun and always intended to make it an annual event but that didn't happen. Maybe 2017 I will have a stab at it again. BTW, it was a haunted house I carved.
So enjoyed viewing your photos.

maria's knutselplezier said...

Wow , real art!!


A Pink said...

Terrific pumpkin carving ! Alison and fab photos of the decorated houses around Columbia . Spooky fun for sure .
have a safe journey home x

pearshapedcrafting said...

This looks like a lot of fun was had Alison! Although I am not a great fan of Halloween I would love to be in the US around Halloween, although I suspect I would enjoy seeing the Christmas decorations more!! Hugs, Chrisx