survey says

Here we are. The last week of August and Labor Day weekend coming up. My son's school is on a traditional schedule so he goes back the day after Labor Day. Other schools already started a week or two ago. I remember when everyone went back the day after Labor Day and all of a sudden it felt like fall. You just new pumpkins weren't that far behind.
There is a blue moon on Friday. Wouldn't it be exciting if it really were blue? I kept trying to come up with something fun to post for the blue moon but right now I'm drawing a blank. Check back again on Friday in case I think of something :)
Some of you have taken my Practical Magic survey so I thought I'd post some of the results. The one that surprised me the most was the question about when to have the next blog party. When I asked in a post earlier nearly everyone that commented said spring. Turns out fall is still the favorite.
When would you like to see the next PM blog party?
WINTER (17%)
Who is your favorite character?
SALLY (48%)
Book or movie -- which did you like better?
BOTH (53%)
MOVIE (43%)
BOOK (3%)
Favorite part of the movie? (multiple answers)
Favorite scene?
I really enjoy finding out what you think. The survey is still open if you would like to share your opinion. Link is on the right sidebar.
I also started a Facebook page for my blog. Finally! This one is just for my art and everyday stuff. My animal advocacy page is separate. If you get a chance stop by and like me. The link is on the right sidebar too.
Whatever you have planned for the holiday weekend I hope it's lots of fun. Keep those carnival and Halloween ideas coming and I'll see you soon.

carnival mysteries

Maybe it's my imagination or I might just be too eager to see summer come to an end. Now that I'm looking forward to fall again I search for signs that it's just around the corner. There's a certain time in late summer when the light starts to change. In the evening especially when the sunset starts to look a little bit more golden, outlines are less harsh and shadows start to come out of hiding. That's when I begin to feel that autumn tingle in my toes.

I can't help making frequent trips to my favorite shops to check for more Halloween goodies. Stores like Home Goods and Pier 1 are in full Halloween mode already and I try to visit them all before everyone else starts picking the pretty displays apart.

I'm also in carnival mode now. It's so exciting to see the growing list of revelers for our Le Mysterieux Carnival blog party. What carnival you might ask? The one Marfi and I are hosting in the haunted woods of course. If you haven't signed up yet head on over and visit our page. I'm always adding new links to the sidebar for more ideas and inspiration.

Mysterious creatures are starting to gather around here too. Here is a lass with a story to tell. Come to the carnival and hear the tale of Sirena McKenna, one of our curious attractions from the mystical waters of Loch Ness.
Don't forget your silver ticket!
Amazing creatures are also gathering over at Marfi's house. Take a look! Are you ready for our Halloween carnival? We can't wait to see you there.
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I also want to say thank you for helping to give my pet rescue awareness page a great start. It's nice to see a few familiar faces supporting our furry friends. Please visit Peace Paws Petunias on Facebook. Cross posting and spreading the word about dogs and cats waiting for homes gives each one of them a better chance. Please become a friend and help if you're a furry paw lover too.
Hope you're having a great week so far. It's back to school for lots of our kids so I know we're all busy busy busy!


peace paws petunias

Hi and happy Friday everyone. Today I want to share something close to my heart. You probably know that like many of you I am a big animal lover. I'm crazy about kitty cats. The three beautiful girls on my sidebar are my baby and angels. Luna is my 3 year old studio assistant. A super feisty butterscotch fur ball with a taste for buttered toast. Kushka is one of my angels. I lost her to cancer  from a vaccine 3 years ago when she was only 3 1/2. She was the sweetest, most gentle soul. LaLou was technically my neighbor's cat but she spent every single day in my yard and a few nights in my house. She was stunning with the most gorgeous green eyes. For 4 years I thought of her as my own and looked forward to her visits. Last year she became very sick and I said goodbye to her just before Christmas. I miss all my furry angels everyday.

All my cats except for one have been rescues or strays. I know there are far too many homeless pets out there waiting for a home everyday. The sad reality is that there are more cats and dogs euthanized than there are that find homes. I wish I had the funds and resources to make a big difference but like many of you there are challenges I face that keep me from adopting more than one pet at  a time.

I have followed several animal advocacy groups online. The stories often break my heart and it frustrates me that I'm limited as far as what I am able to do. Then it occurred to me that just spreading the word might be the least I can do. I just started a Facebook page that simply follows the work of various shelters and charities around the country. Many of you are probably already familiar with them.
There are cats and dogs that are literally waiting for an 11th hour rescue and stories like those of Lennox and Corona that will make you cringe and scream. If I can get the word out there maybe it might help one more kitty, one more dog. I'm hoping that some of you that follow my blog will take a minute whenever you can to help.

Visit my Peace Paws Petunias page on Facebook. You're welcome to share your own pet stories, pet art, post rescue alerts, share a favorite animal cause or charity. I know it's a small step when you look at the big picture but I believe every little step matters.

pretty parasols

When I was a little girl my grandmother would often walk me to or from school. Whenever it was sunny she always showed up with two parasols, one for her and a little one for me. I loved walking around with my parasol, I think it was a red plaid one, and even today I can't resist picking up a pretty one to add to my collection.

I still can't wait for the first rain so I can use one of my umbrellas. Many of which have accumulated in the trunk of my car. I wish more ladies used them here in sunny California like they seem to in the south. I think there is some strange unspoken rule that says umbrellas are just for the rain and only little old ladies use them on a sunny day. How silly is that?

I have been revisiting my parasol fascination again and I recently came across this really fun project at Dollar Store Crafts.

It looks super easy. I really wanted to make one first before posting it but I couldn't wait to share. I'm also still on a hunt for the right umbrella. So here is the project. Thank you to Disney from Ruffles & Stuff for creating it.

  • boring old umbrella (on hand)
  • Dollar Store shower curtain liner $1
  • An old button
Cost Estimate: $1

1) First you want to measure all the way around the bottom of your umbrella, and double it for how much curtain liner you will need (plus extra for a flower, and top ruffles). For example, my umbrella was 120" around, and I cut four 2" sections that were the full length of the curtain, for a total of about 280 inches. No need to add seam allowance because it doesn't unravel! Yay!

2) Then sew a straight stitch (on your machine's longest stitch length) down the middle of all the strips, and pull the bottom thread to gently gather.

3) Hand stitch them onto your umbrella, wherever you like! So easy!!

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I also wanted to share another beautiful wedding with you. This one was posted on Green Wedding Shoes. What I love about this wedding isn't just the way they used all these beautiful parasols...

...but the theme for the wedding was also a vintage carnival! So if you need a little inspiration for your carnival booth take a look at what this couple did. I also added links to Le Mysterieux Carnival's homepage under CURIOSITIES. You'll find another amazing carnival wedding, artists and even an old  TV series about a mysterious dark carnival.

Hope you're having a great week. It's been crazy hot here, 110 this weekend and our air has been bad due to several wild fires. Good time to stay indoors and work on our blog party!

looking for a challenge

I'm curious about the different challenges you guys participate in.

OK maybe not one like this.

Or this

I've done a few atc swaps and weekly art challenges and I'm looking for something new to try. I know there are tons out there. Weekly word, color, phrase, table settings, work space, funny photo...

I'd love to hear what challenges you're doing or favorite ones you've done before.

And if you've ever done a challenge like this I'd love to hear about it too.

what to wear?

Just in case you might be wondering what one wears to a carnival in the woods. I found some fabulously whimsical fashions in this photo shoot by Paul Schmidt and worn by Charlotte Free.These were originally featured in Jalouse June/July 2011. Black and white stripes, big polka dots, pumpkin orange and pink cotton candy hair. How perfect is that?

Click "read more" for rest of pics.

window shopping

August might feel like midsummer to lots of people. The weather certainly won't argue. But once I turn my calender from July to August I'm already thinking of Fall.

I have been finding the cutest Halloween stuff. Each year I tell myself I really can't add one more thing to my collection but as soon as the stores put them out I start finding reasons to justify just one more witch...or ghost...or owl.

I'm really excited about our Halloween carnival blog party so I'm starting to look for goodies I can use for it. Hunting for treasures and planning an event is always exciting for me. I was at Cost Plus World Market a few days ago and found these fun treats.


Carnival cupcakes and cotton candy! How perfect are these?


Do you remember funnel cakes at the carnival or fair? It's been ages since I've had any. It might have been at a state fair I went to years and years ago. I think it might be fun to try this and give it a Halloween twist.

Hope you're having a great weekend and please stop by our blog party page, Les Mysterieux Carnival. Grab your ticket and join us for some wicked Autumn fun.