So It Begins

See the little countdown clock I just added to the right?
Over there ------->>>>
It's 60 days today exactly, until Halloween.
That's only 1440 hours to get in as much Halloween as possible before it goes away again for another year. Marfi's Haunted Humpday definitely started to get me into the spirit and that's not all she did. She also got me thinking about how I developed one of my big obsessions.

Stay with me here and I'll explain.
One of my fondest memories from my first visit to Disneyland was seeing the Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square. I might have been around 12 so I was old enough to really have those memories stick.
Of course I was just your average California kid and I had no idea there was a real 'New Orleans Square' that existed somewhere out there. We really didn't travel much outside of California and my parents had no interest in southern culture. I just remember walking around the square, taking in the pretty buildings and shops, thinking, forget Sleeping Beauty's castle, this is where I'd rather be. I even remember what I was wearing that day.
I remember asking my parents for a couple of dollars to buy a souvenir from one of those pretty shops. I don't remember what things I looked at exactly but I ended up buying a pretty little bottle of rose water perfume. I was so excited to be able to conjure up the memory of this place anytime, just by opening my own bottle of magic.
To this day the scent of rose water reminds me of that first trip.
Anytime I could visit Disneyland or Disneyworld the Haunted Mansion was the first place I would always go. I would pretty much stay in New Orleans Square all day if I could.
Fast forward many, many, many years later and I discover there's a real 'New Orleans Square'. An entire city in fact with real architecture, an amazing history, a diverse culture that doesn't seem to exist anywhere else and food and art that would require one to exist on a minimum amount of sleep to be able to take it all in. Oh and the parades. How can you not love people that need no excuse to have a parade....with those pretty parasols and that infectious music.
Above all else I was inspired by this city's resilience. Through Katrina's devastation and other disasters that followed after. New Orleans seemed to draw a certain type of spirit. Artists, gypsies, saints and sinners. I know somewhere in my soul I keep hearing that same call.
One day.
I've been hooked on Nola far longer than I realized and it's all just starting to make sense to me now. I always thought it was the aftermath of hurricane Katrina that peaked my interest but I think it really goes back to that first Disney trip to the Haunted Mansion and New Orleans Square. It sounds silly I know and I have yet to make my first visit there. I do know the real thing is nothing like the Disney version and that's what I can't wait to see.
So what does all this have to do with Halloween you ask?
I've been trying to do a New Orleans themed Halloween for years and I've managed to add a little of that flavor to my regular spooky décor. But this year Marfi inspired me to really embrace the haunted bayou voodoo theme and we've been brainstorming about how to bring that experience to our own non bayou corners of the country. We'll keep you posted and in the meantime you might want to start looking for your old book of voodoo spells or that gris gris bag you tucked away in the bottom drawer of your grandmother's old wardrobe.
The spirit of Marie Laveau calls.
Better be ready.

It's Haunted Humpday!

I'm joining Marfi at Incipient Wings for this fun weekly challenge because for some of us it's never too early for Halloween. I keep some of my favorite Halloween pieces out all year long, do you?
Like my witch Lucinda who's been on this blogging adventure with me from the start. She lives in my studio and never misses a blog party.
Of course there's always a witchy broom next to my fireplace. What proper witch would ever be caught without one ready for a quick spell or perhaps a moonlight flight?
I love visiting thrift shops. During one of my visits this summer I found this fun piece which I grabbed right away to add to my collection.
What's behind the shutters you ask?
Someone working on a witch's brew!
I will probably play with this and alter it before Halloween but I thought it was cute and I'm sure I didn't pay more than $2 for it.
Since my day today started at the shelter where I volunteer with a pit bull rescue I thought I would also share this sweet pup. She's black and white which makes her sort of spooky (in the cutest way) right?
Jada is a two year old enchantress looking for her forever home. She's one of the pups I train at the shelter. I get to teach her basic manners to help her get adopted. Isn't she the sweetest witch?
And that is my first Haunted Humpday post! I can't wait until it actually feels like Fall out there and I'll have more goodies to share. Thank you to the ever awesome Marfi for getting us through these last days of summer. Be sure to visit Incipient Wings to play along and don't forget to check out all the great spooky goodness everyone has to share.

First Signs and Spooky Fun

The best part of August is when shops start to bring out their Autumn and Halloween wares. I started spying little displays at Michaels and Marshalls the last 2 weeks and this weekend I noticed other shops bringing out more Fall goodies.
Our local RiteAid already had their cards on display!
Marshalls had a nice spooky table that included this fun book box.
There's just something about seeing these first glimpses of Halloween that makes these last hot days of summer bearable. It actually hasn't been too bad here for this time of the year but I'm ready for boots and sweaters, flannel and fleece.... hats
image source: Flickr
and pumpkins of course
image source:Flickr
I've been out of the blogging loop again but there's nothing like my favorite season to draw me back in. The best way to start is with Haunted Humpday, a fun spooky challenge created by Marfi at Incipient Wings. Go visit her for all the details and grab this adorable button to join in the fun.
Are you getting excited about Halloween yet?