Today, we’re welcoming Heidi Ashworth who has some great ideas for decorating for autumn and Halloween.
I love to write more than almost anything else in the world. However, there are times when I feel sucked dry. When that happens, I find I am able to fuel my creative juices by turning to other creative pursuits. Growing up, my mother saw every holiday as a chance to fill her home with festive touches that her eight children thoroughly enjoyed. Halloween was always a very fun time, perhaps more fun than it is now, back when Mom, shortly after dinner on October 31st, would rummage through her closet and throw together a gypsy costume complete with a pillow case in which to collect our loot. It was uncomplicated and stress-free and we had the time of our lives marching all over the neighborhood after dark.
As such, one of my favorite creative pastimes is holiday decor. Not only do I love collecting and arranging, I get a kick out of making my own creations based on their more expensive counterparts I find online or in the magazines.
This banner is my homemade version of one I saw in a popular store that sells country pottery and furniture. Painter’s canvas, twine and black paint was all that was needed. I printed up the word I wanted (I also have a “wicked” banner) in a fun font and cut out the letters to form a template. After tracing around the letter onto the square of cloth, I painted it in. Easy and every bit as great as the original.
This ornament is based on a pair I saw in the catalog of my favorite folk art designer. Two ornaments, very much like this one, carried a price tag of $56! I made my own by painting an old Christmas ball orange, and decorating it with stickers and trim that I had lying around the house from other projects. The lady in red is a sticker–I added a witch’s hat to bring her into the right holiday. The whole is enclose in an old faux pearl beaded hair net. My cost–$0.00. It is hanging from the center piece of a crystal chandelier adorned with white gauze ribbon that doubles as “mummy wrappings”.
This simple and easy project involved covering a mercury glass lantern in orange crepe paper and finishing it off with metallic pipe-cleaner. When the candle inside is lit, it makes for a lovely glow that will last through Thanksgiving.
A few years back, I saw this banner in Country Living magazine. It is made of string and construction paper and I have loved it just as much every one of the past five years as the last. It makes for a great graphic look against the white cabinet. For a few months each autumn, my home becomes a fall fest. One would never know that my home is usually a mass of pink roses.
My latest release is a regency holiday anthology featuring a ghost story as well as an autumn-themed story and a Christmas tale that will melt your heart. Ghosts in the Graveyard: October1816. When Sir Anthony’s cousin dies, a grieving widow is left behind, one no longer wanted when her father-in-law, the Duke of Marcross, sires a new heir. She is welcomed to Dunsmere by the Dowager Duchess; she has a plethora of empty bedrooms now that Sir Anthony and his bride, Ginny Delacourt, have moved from the premises. When Lady Avery claims she saw a ghost in the graveyard attached to the church on the Dunsmere estate, Anne, with help from Baldwin, the gardener, and handsome stranger Mr. Williams, attempts to unearth the meaning behind the eerie happenings at the Duchess’ estate. Will they solve the mystery of the ghost before the cantankerous Dowager Duchess sends Mr. Williams away and all of Anne’s hopes with him?
A Rose For Christmas: Autumn 1812. The Dowager Duchess of Marcross wants nothing more than to win the annual flower show and has been developing the perfect Christmas rose, sure to be a winner. However, the rose is stolen and she is faced with a moral dilemma. Can she win the competition without compromising her integrity and sacrificing her reputation ? A young Sir Anthony and Ginny Delacourt make an appearance in this heartwarming tale of loyalty, devotion, and gratitude.
The Lord Who Sneered: Christmas 1818. Debutante Lady Sophie Lundell has been warned away from the Marquis of Trevelin by her father, but why? When she meets the infamous Marquis at her first ball, she is fascinated by his scar, one that causes his mouth to be drawn into a perpetual sneer. So determined is she to learn how he came by it, she follows him out onto the veranda and insists on hearing the story from his own lips. Her curiosity transforms into a profusion of emotions when she discovers there is more to the Marquis’ wicked reputation than his injured mouth. When Christmas day dawns, she learns that the best of gifts are bestowed only by the heart.