Hello! Welcome to Ivory Pumpkin. Here you'll find snippets of things that I like and, hopefully soon, of things that I've created. Please stay awhile and browse.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

110 Days of Halloween....More Great Halloween Reads!

I've compiled a nice little list of books that, I think will keep me reading well past Halloween and, may even become a yearly read!

Paulette at Art Dust reccommends:
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Halloween Party by Agatha Christie

Victoria at Brushstrokes reccommend:
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Both Paulette and Victoria recommend:
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Other books that I forgot to mention in my last post:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Little Witch by Elizabeth Anna Bennett - have read this book since I was about 8 years old when I got it from the school book club
The Witches by Roald Dahl

I'll try to do a review as I go through the books. I'm looking forward to many a cozy evening with a great book.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Halloween Reads

I'm a big movie watcher during the Halloween Season. Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Sleepy Hollow all must be watched sometime during October, usually at night or on a gloomy day with popcorn, hot chocolate and under a blanket with the dog. But, I also love to read. I don't have a big list of Halloween books that I read year after year but, I'd like to grow that list, so please respond and I'll post your favorite reads.

The one book I do read right around Halloween is The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. It's the first in a series of books about Lewis Barnavelt. If you haven't read it, here's a sysnopsis from Goodreads:

"Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion--his Uncle Jonathan's. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn't bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard--but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near--unless Lewis can stop the clock."

Yes, it is a book for elementary aged children but, a good book is a good book! I love the characters, especially Rose Rita Pottinger and I really want a neighbor just like Mrs. Zimmerman. The second book in the series is The Figure in the Shadows, followed by The Letter, the Witch and the Ring which I've yet to read as it's really hard to find...I might have to go over to Amazon for a splurge for a Halloween treat....

Please let me know what you like to read during Halloween so I can grow my list and share with everyone.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Thriller by Michael Jackson

I'm very fortunate to work for a company here in Las Vegas that allows me to see Vegas shows for free from time to time. This time we were invited to go see Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay. It's a show produced by Cirque du Soleil so it involves lots of acrobatics, it's an amazing show to say the least. I think The Gloved One would have been proud.

In spite of what anyone may think about Michael Jackson and the life he led, I don't think anyone can deny that the man was a musical genius and the show really pays homage to that genius. In the show they of course did a routine to "Thriller". According to Wikipedia.....

- It was M TV's first world premiere video
- It was voted as the most influential pop music video of all time
-In 2009 it was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The first music video ever to receive this honor.
- It is the most watched music video of all time, seen by more than four billion people all over the world.

I grew up listening and watching Michael Jackson and will always be a fan. To me it's not Halloween until you've watched "Thriller". Enjoy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

100 Days of Halloween.....Craft Time!

Well, Michael's is in full swing for Halloween......

 Aisles and aisle of Halloween goodness. I love the little bottles, below. Sometime soon I'd like to create some apothecary bottles or jars.

Here is a little box I made recently. It was my test run in decoupage. I tell myself that I can only use items that I already have on hand. The only thing I bought for this was the box itself and that was only about $1.

 You can't tell in the photo but, I really like how the gold over the black paint gave the box a weathered look and I like how the lace looks on the box.

My next project is this birdhouse. It's going to be a haunted birdhouse! I did buy the house, $4.99 at Michael's but, I'll be using all of my scraps to decorate.

Oh! I did buy these little guys to go on the house when it's done....

I'm almost done with this picture frame. I was trying to go for a vintage, creepy, Victorian type of look. This was a leftover over picture frame from when I was working at the pre-school and we had the kids make Mother's Day gifts. I don't go in for decorating with heart shaped things so, I've been trying to hide or soften the shape of the heart by collaging over and around it. I used the same paint treatment as the box - black paint then using a dry brush in a bit of antique gold to give it a weathered look.

I'm trying to use up some of the 1x1 inchies that I have on hand. I bought pages of them to make jewelry with when I had my Etsy shop.

Are you crafting for Halloween yet? What are you making? If you have a cool craft site, let me know and I'll be putting up links soon for Halloween resources and I will definitely link back to you if you want to share.


Friday, August 9, 2013

100 Days of Halloween......Costumes

The best part of Halloween as a kid is dressing up and going trick or treating. I loved to think about what I wanted to be and how I would make the costume. A majority of the costumes I've had were ones that I made myself with what I had on hand. I racked my brain trying to remember what costumes I had over the years. This is what I could remember:

Clown (age 3 or 4) - I think this may have been my very first costume. My mother made a clown costume for me and my sister. I don't actually remember trick or treating in this one so I must have been very little, maybe 3 or 4 years old. It was red on one side and blue on the other with white polka dots all over it. I remember using it as pajamas too.

Cinderella (age 4 or 5) - this was one of those cool retro costumes with a mask. Something like this:

I remember this costume but, I don't remember trick or treating in this costume either. I do remember playing with it after Halloween was over. I truly wanted to be a princess.

Red Riding Hood (age 7) - This was a total homemade costume. I had a traditional German or Swiss dress, in red, that my aunt bought for me when she was in Europe one year. I wore that with a red poncho that I had and tied a red kerchief around my head and carried a basket.

Angel (age 8) - This was a actually a nightgown/costume. It was white flannel and I think it had "Little Angel" embroidered or written on the front. I remember going to the craft store with my mom to buy pipe cleaners to make a halo. I had a hard time choosing between the gold, silver or pink sparkly pipe cleaners. I choose the pink sparkly ones in the end.

Hobo (age 9) - another homemade costume. I used one of my dad's old plaid shirts, bought a plastic derby hat and painted a beard on my face.

Gypsy (age 10) - I had a beautiful skirt that my aunt had bought me. It had different plaid patterns all over it in reds, yellows, black and other earthy colors. I scrounged for lots of bracelets from my mom and found a pretty scarf, also from my mom, to wear around my shoulders.

Roller Disco Queen  (age 11) - Borrowed a red, shiny leotard from my sister. It was one of those one arm leotards and the other arm was bare. I bought some silver (ooh, more shiny stuff!!) sequined trim and sewed it around the edges of the leotard and down the sides of some white shorts. I wore some rainbow socks (yes, it was 1976) and of course roller skates! I remember getting lots of candy that year cause roller skating around the neighborhood was a lot faster than walking.

Chorus Line (high school) - Total store bought costume, silver top hat, black & white tuxedo top and tails. I wore this with a black leotard and very high spiky heels. I can't believe I wore that to school!!!

Black Cat (also in high school) - nothing too special, just kitty ears and a tail, but it is one of my favorite costumes to this day.

Bride of Frankenstein (when I was about 6 months pregnant...yes I was out of high school!) - this is a great costume if you're very pregnant! I just used an old white sheet with a hole cut in the middle, put it over my head, wrapped my arms in gauze bandages, ratted my hair and sprayed the sides white. Donned the traditional make-up and there I was!

I know I skipped a couple of years but, think there were some years that I thought I was "too big",  "too old" or "too cool" to dress up. I believe my last year of trick or treating was when I was 11 or 12. Sigh.....

The one costume that I've never worn, that to this day I've always wanted to be is a fairy. Something like this

I definitely need something with wings.

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Monday, August 5, 2013

100 Days of Halloween...Vintage Images

Here's a sweet little witch for you.......

and another......

 I love this black kitty image. I've made this one into a pendant that I sold on my Etsy shop, it was a favorite there as well and I sold several.
Feel free to use the images in your craft projects. I only post images that are in the public domain so no copyrights are violated.

Not including today we are now at 87 days till Halloween but, whose counting? I am!!! Also, at one of the empty stores in the strip mall by my house I saw the best sign....Spirit Halloween Store! I don't think they are open until mid August but I will keep you posted. I got so excited when I saw the sign, that I screamed and, my husband thought I was going to hit a car or something!

Friday, August 2, 2013

100 Days of Halloween....Brooms and Broom Lore

I love brooms. Of course they are associated with one of my favorite Halloween icons...witches. I think witches get a bad rap all year round and I don't agree with the whole "witches are green, ugly and wicked" stereotype but, more on them later.

To me a broom symbolizes home and hearth. And hell yes, I would fly on one if I could! I'm starting a collection of handmade brooms. I have two -  one that I bought at a Christmas faire a couple of years ago (I tried to take a pic but, it didn't turn out very well). It is a lovely handmade one similar to one of these:

It has a multi-colored bristles with sort of a knotty wood handle. It is perfectly usable but, it stands next to my desk and I love to just look at it, it's so beautifully made. The other is one I bought at the Halloween store a couple of years ago. It's totally fake and just a Halloween prop but, I still love the look of it. It's very similar to this:

Shortly after I purchased the brooms, I wondered if there was any meaning behind them. They are a centuries old housekeeping tool that almost every culture uses. Here is what I found on broom lore, I found this info at Crimson Wolf

Broom Lore and Superstitions

~Lisa L. Fetcher

*Certainly, the most common superstition connected with brooms is
that they were used by witches to fly on... However, did you know
that it was in the fourteenth century that brooms were first
regarded as a vehicle for witches' transportation? This tradition
may stem from the fact that, in many of their ceremonies, witches
did dance with a stick between their legs, jumping high in the air.
Toward the end of the eighteenth century, the question of witches
flying was settled once and for all in an English law court. Lord
Mansfield declared that he knew of no law that prohibited flying
and, therefore, anyone so inclined was perfectly free to do so.
Shortly thereafter, reports of witches flying on broomsticks ceased
(except for isolated reports of East Anglian witches skimming across
church spires).

*It is said that a new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only
after it has swept something in.

*An ole English Rhyme....."Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep
your friends away."

*Also never sweep after sunset since so doing will chase away
happiness or hurt a wandering soul.

*According to Yorkshire belief, should a young girl inadvertently
step over a broom handle she will become a mother before a wife.....
(I will add here....this belief is also Appalachia and rural country

*Among the Dyak people of Indonesia brooms made out of the leaves of
a certain plant (doesn't say which plant) are sprinkled with rice
water and blood. These are used to sweep one's house, and the
sweepings are placed into a toy house made of bamboo. The toy house
is then set adrift on a river. It is believed that bad luck will be
carried out to sea with it. 

*In Africa, should a man be struck by a broom, he will grab hold of
it and hit the broomstick seven times, or he will become impotent.

*In Sicily, on Midsummer's Eve, people often put a broom outside
their homes to ward off any wickedness that might come knocking.

*In Wales, among the Gypsies, an old custom of the broomstick
wedding persisted for some time. The couple solemnized their rites
before witnesses by leaping over a broom placed in a doorway,
without dislodging the broom. Should they wish to dissolve the
marriage, they simply had to reverse the process, jumping backwards
out of the house, over the broom, before the same witnesses.

*American country folk say no good can come of carrying a broom
across water, leaning a broom against the bed, or burning one. Good
luck can be had by sending a new broom and a loaf of bread into a
new home before entering it.

*Likewise, brooms laid across the doorways are believed to keep out

*And a few more traditional ones....
Never use a broom when there is a dead person in the house.
Never use a broom to sweep outside the house, unless the inside of
the house has been cleaned first. (oops!)
Never walk on a broom.
Never sweep upstairs rooms in the afternoon.
Never sweep the room of a departing guest until he has been gone for
some time, or else your sweeping will bring him back
Never bring old brooms into new houses...(remember a broom becomes
attached to houses...always leave the old one behind....)
Finally.........always sweep dustballs into the middle of a
room.....they will protect against bad luck

*One old wart cure consists of measuring a wart crosswise with a
broom straw, then burying the straw The straw, so intimately
connected with the wart, will decay, and so too should the blemish.

*Placing a broom across any doorway allows your departed friends and
family to speak to you if they so choose. As long as the broom
remains in place, they can communicate freely.

*If you feel as though you are being followed and haunted by
unfriendly ghosts, stepping over a broomstick will prevent them from
disturbing you.

Interesting, huh?

Maybe, my next broom purchase should be the Nimbus 2000 or a Firebolt?

Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!