Friday, September 05, 2008

Halloween Pics

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The exterior: Mannequin legs buried
in an iron urn. Vintage frame and gilded farm ax on the door.


Ghoulish greetings everyone!
The perfectionist in me cannot help but apologize for the quality of the following pics but at least I got them documented. After the staff left last night, I quickly zipped through the store at midnight and got these shots before the crowd picked it over this morning. Now at 3:00, some of the real good-goods are gone but many surprises are left and some have not even made their way out.

Antique baby clothes hanging on old wooden ladders.

The Brides of Frankenstein....

The crowd squealed and gasped their way throughout the melange of haunted merchandise. Rats, bleeding candles, cobwebs and the like where grabbed and the cameras and cell phones were snapping away. Although I am dragging today, this is what it is all about: that first hour when the real fans of The Sofa get here- this part is exciting for me. These are the people I stay awake thinking about. Will they be disappointed? Do I have enough surprises? Is there enough of that item for everyone? A large handful of these folks have followed and supported me for years. They tell their friends and they have learned not to miss these moments. It means the world to me to know they plan their day (and their money) on these events in my store.

Our top seller: These red ink syringe pens.
All the signage I made on my computer, reminiscent of the Batman spotlight.


The mad scientist laboratory. We ended up calling this the Boo Radley shed!

Lots of black candy and licorice fill all our glass apothecary jars.

Dirty glass bottles I have been collecting all year.
I designed the labels, added iodine, corked and sealed with melted wax over tea stain cheesecloth.


These white tapers (and pillars) bleed red wax. Very creepy & fabulous.

After I load this post, it is time to reassess. More merch needs ordered, a few projects still need completed and lots of tweaking needs to happen. But overall, the troops rallied, the inspiration was there and I am ready to make a list of the things to do differently next year!

Our witches banquet table.
A giant hallow log was placed down the middle and filled with kale, ginger root, sweet potatoes and turnips. The giant urn is filled with deep, blood red velvet roses, dried twigs and black feathers. Old lace and Spanish moss are used throughout to fill in the gaps.
At each setting, veiny radicchio heads were placed in the witches hand with a fork stuck straight up. Spiders and rats crawl about too. The old tattered lace curtains came from home and we have them hung by wire on all our front windows.


I bought this $5.00 brass and wood chandelier,
spritzed it black and wired moss and twigs about.
Springy felt spiders hang around it too.


Piles of dirty silver can be found everywhere.


Another fun project: cutting little masks and skeleton faces and gluing them on these vintage photos.


Behind the counter we removed our fabric awning and randomly hung old shutters and crows to resemble tornado wreckage. The vintage lamps were already black and I added the furry cat-masks over the lampshades.


Another project: I bought this old tattered chair last week and was going to just sell it as-is but got the idea to iron-on a black crow silhouette to the back. Think of the possibilities!

A quick trip to the Thrift Store and I was cutting and gluing new outfits for our Santos.
The mask below was printed on my computer and cut out with scalloped craft scissors.


As I was wandering through the store to find a home for these vintage portraits, I snuck this one under the Santo's skirt. I love the eerie image it makes.

We covered this old chair with a vintage coffee sack.

My idea of piling these old, distressed books became quite the humorous project: Cindy found them, Beth removed the covers, I toted 100 paperbacks home and soaked all of them in a tub of water and hung each one clothesline style on my porch to dry into an eventual wonderful, wrinkled mess. The neighbors did not know what to think.

My latest, fabulous display purchase- an old hay wagon.

Another last minute project! I found this old doll house painted pastel mint green with messy white windows four days before the opening. An hour later I just kept squirting paint colors in a bowl and came up with this wonderful witchie green, added the cheesecloth and we have it displayed with a fan behind it blowing the curtains. These pair of legs were also going in an outdoor urn but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do this.



Cindy and Donnie wiring the shutters.

Enjoy.

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61 comments:

  1. OMG! What fun today!!!! I told you earlier in the store... you've made Halloween fun again for me. The last few years have been hilarious and fun and inspiring and creepy as all hell. THANK YOU! Heading back tomorrow to pick out rats with my kids. Thanks again Debbie!

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  2. What a fun, fun store! btw, that was one, skinny bride! LOL!!

    Teresa

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  3. Wonderful, Grand, beautiful and all inspiring photos !!! Your blog is sensational.

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  4. You are so awesome!!! My pocketbooks is really lucky that you're several states away.

    - Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

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  5. Fantastic ideas, Deb. What great ideas for Halloween!!

    D~

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  6. deb, this is over the top awe inspiring. you are such an inspiration to shopkeepers everywhere. thanks for sharing the pics! patricia at ReFind Home and Garden atlanta obtw we have a blog now http://refindmaisonjardin.blogspot.com/

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  7. WOW! You really have a talent for creative displays and thinking outside the box...We have a store in Snohomish,Wa and I know how hard it is to keep things fresh and creative. Thanks for all the ideas. I think I'm going to have to hunt for witch legs...

    Jana
    Joyworks-shopgirl.blogspot.com

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  8. Wow, great stuff! How much time that must've taken you!! Love the pumpkins and the axe in the picture frame.

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  9. I've never been a Halloween fan but then again I've never seen it done your way. Absolutely spooktacular......

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  10. INCREDIBLE!!! You and your staff are so talented....you have amazing ideas!!! I had a huge smile on my face the whole time I looked at your pictures. THANK YOU so much for sharing them with all the people who wish they lived near your store!

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  11. W-O-W...this is really amazing, by far my favorite touch was the spiders on the bed.. CREEPY! ~Jamie

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  12. Now I know what to do with my witches legs!!! I have had them hanging out of a drawer....I feel stupid! Once again you did not disappoint. Thank you for sharing. Paula

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  13. Fiendishly delightful! You are a creative genius.

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  14. Debbie~
    Thank you! I received your Dark Carnival postcard just a few minutes ago and ran to my computer.

    You do Halloween the way Halloween should be done ~ perfect!

    It's hard to choose, but I think the haunted house with the fan blowing through it is my fav.

    Even though I'm in California, I love visiting you and always love talking to the Curious Gals while ordering on the phone.

    You do things others couldn't even dream of and I believe I feel as your customers who live close by - a real sense of awe ~ even from my little laptop.

    Thanks for the thrill. I will check for spiders tonight on my bed before calling it a night...
    ~Tracie

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  15. Ohmigosh! How I would love to live close enough to visit your shop! I have been enjoying your blog ever since I saw you featured in the Women Entrepreneurs article, and I'm ever so inspired and fascinated by your work! You are truly gifted, and I certainly commend you on the hard work and effort you put into making your shop what it is! I have a few little booths to manage, and I know how much work I put into that, so hats off to you! LOVE LOVE LOVE the house that fell on the witch - total Wizard of Oz childhood moment for me! Polly McCormick

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  16. WOWWOWWOW!! Miss Debbi, you all did a FABULOUS job. I would have been one of those first hour customers if I lived there, but I will be there next month to take it all in! Thank you for all the inspiring pics. You guys really outdid yourselves this yeat. I love the witch legs in the urn and the dollhouse vignette. All of it is "Witch a licious"!
    Tricia
    vintagebliss

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  17. A triumph! Wish I lived close enough to come. So inspirational. k

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  18. Just found this blog, and LOVE all the displays here!! The creativity involved is amazing. One of my fav's is the masked old "instant ancestor" photos hanging on the chandelier!! I collect those old photos, and LOVE this idea:)
    Wish I lived closer, I'd definitely be at your sales!

    Blessings,
    Stacey

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  19. halloween utopia! loooooooove the house with the witch's legs. like the others, i'm grateful you share your store with those of us who can't visit. awesome job!

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  20. Thank you for sharing. GreAt Fun!
    I need more Ravens and ratZ

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  21. I am speechless...I would love to have a book of your ideas here in Washington State! WONDERFUL!! Thanks for making the blog world a great place to relax and visit.

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  22. Fabulous! The witch's legs in the urn are our favorite - we think they top last year's umbrella witches (and we thought that was good!!) Everything looks great!
    Karla & Karrie

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  23. Well........what can I say, but you really "got" what Halloween is all about. As a Halloween fanatic..I encourage you to let your Halloween "show" everyday of the year in some way or another............hidden or not. I hear witch underpinnings are making a comeback. Thank you for sharing your magical Halloween tricks. I have your blog on my favorites list, and you can be sure I will visit it often.......wishing I lived closer than California. Maybe a trip to Kansas is in order for the future.

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  24. All your work really paid off...it looks fantastic. You are so talented, I get so inspired to do off beat things for my store. Halloween is a non event here in Australia, so it is all about xmas, Valentines, Mothers Day etc for me. Ness xx

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  25. SandyT is right - it's BOOOOOtiful!
    Deb, I'm impressed, as usual! Thanks for your hard work in putting these photos together for us to see (we live vicariously through them, you know!)

    DivaDeb

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  26. GENIUS! Really!
    Doll house/Wizard of Oz scene and the axe on the door my faves.Just amazing!!

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  27. Deb, I could hardly WAIT to see what you were doing with the store for Halloween….and was I blown away! I have forwarded your website to all my travel clients telling them about the store and your blog and pictures (and hinting that a motorcoach trip is in the works to see your holiday surprises!)

    Surely there is an award or a prize or something out there in retail –land to honor and recognize and showcase your particular talents and gifts. I mean it. You are just brilliant!!!

    Please take a moment to congratulate yourself and staff on a job better-than-well done.

    Vickie in TX

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  28. The best smile I had today were your pictures on the blog from the Open House. The witches legs sticking out of the urn and underneath the house was tooo funny and axes....only you would have made them look cool hanging from the perfect black ribbon in the perfect cool gold frame. I LOVED the paperback books in the cabinet, what a simple but stunning visual when all placed together. Of course I can't forget the "girls" dressed up with the skull heads and one holding the cracked baby! OK, bleeding candles and the tablescape-speechless. The multiple shutters with the "BIRDS" reminiscent of my favorite Hitchcock movie.....I am sure you are EXHAUSTED, but man what a Dark Carnival ride.

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  29. The store looks amazing. I love the theme too, Dark Carnival is perfect. Lots of wonderful ideas as usual. You DO manage to out-do yourself each year. How is that possible? I love so much about it but the pile of distressed books is one of my favorites. I'm sure your neighbors gave up trying to figure you out years ago!

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  30. Deb. You are a true inspiration!!! You really make me want a shop again ( I never thought I'd say that). You are awesome!!! Love it!!! Come say hi if you are in TX. Peg

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  31. I am so impressed and inspired. Well done! I wish I lived closer or had the time/bank to stop by. Thanks for posting the photos so I could at least visit virtually!

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  32. This is too good! Wish I lived close enough to visit in person. Halloween is just great fun!

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  33. I don't know how you find the time or energy to do this. My goal is to accumulate a great and energizing staff like yours to help me get all of the great ideas out of my head. Well done, as usual.

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  34. Most impressive! I love the witch legs and the altered photos the best. What an amazing post!

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  35. And now begins my newest shopping quest: mannequin legs. That's fantastic! Wish I were closer, I'd be there shopping this afternoon!

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  36. You have absolutely the BEST ideas! Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday...well, maybe Arbor Day...but your ideas almost have me excited for it to come!

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  37. I'll take one of EVERYTHING!!! OMG! What a Spooktacular display of treats!

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  38. Absolutely fabulous!!!! I can only hope to get there one day and shop. What a gift you have for design-.
    AHJ

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  39. that is AWESOME! i've never seen such a place! sure wish i lived close by...

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  40. We are coming to KC...for the AMerican Royal....how close are you? I soooo want to see your shop!!!!

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  41. Wow!!! Martha Stewart should feature your shop on her show! Great job. I wish I lived close enough to stop by and shop. I love Halloween, hope you don't mind if I use some of your ideas at my house:-)

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  42. I'm so glad Nester over at the Nesting Place linked to you today. What an amazing store!! Do you sell plane tickets?

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  43. TALK ABOUT CREATIVITY & TALENT WHAT PILL DO YOU TAKE I WANT ONE... MAN YOUR JUICES ARE FLOWING... UNBELIEVABLE...UNREAL,AMAZING...THIS SHOULD BE IN A BOOK..
    XOXOXO LAURE... VERBENA NESTED TREASURES

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  44. Your shop is awesome and I wish it were near me. Of course it would probably deplete my wallet, but how fun would it be doing it.
    Jean in Virginia

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  45. I'm totally bookmarking this. Wonderful, witchy ideas!

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  46. This is a store I would love to shop in! You are out of control, in such a good way!

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  47. Oh too bad you are so far away , my kids and I would love a shop like yours , incredible.
    Chris
    CK interiors
    www.chriskauffman.blogpot.com

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  48. Awesome job! I'm blown away by the photos, wish I could see it in person.

    Wow. What's Christmas like at your store???

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  49. Absolutely Spook-tacular! I found your blog through a link on the Nester blog. I love Halloween and you have definitely captured the spirit. I am in South East Missouri, but will definitely have to make a trip to KC in the future.

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  50. Fabulous photography..! All of these Halloween pics are fantastic and little horrible.

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  51. oh. my. goodness. i found the fountain of design youth. i wish i could come.

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  52. I love the look of the skulls you placed in the giant clam shell! It's almost eerily piratish!

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  53. The store is Spootacular!!!I am anxiously awaiting to see what you do for Halloween 2009!! Please hurry I have a huge party and I am ready to start getting new ideas.

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  54. I love the mannequin urn display! I have been scowering my city looking for used and damaged mannequins...no luck! I really want to make one! Yours is so inspiring....any ideas for me?

    Love your store!!

    Cindy

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  55. You can certainly order legs online from display suppliers but ebay also has some now and then. Expect to pay $50-$100 though.

    Keep checking your local junky flea markets and antique malls for cheaper prices.

    If all else fails, stuff striped pantyhose with wooden dowels and polyfil to form leg shapes.

    Search: Mannequin legs

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  56. Great idea about soaking the books! I'm doing an edward allan poe theme this year (I do corporate events) and so am looking for multiple ways to display "old" books.

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