Saturday, October 11, 2014

Skeletons In My Closet!

Ohhhh yes! There are skeletons in my closet! And it's time for them to come OUT! I love this emerging new national holiday. October 1st appears to be establishing itself as the proper day to infest the house with whatever waited, wailed, scratched, snarled, poked and peeked from within boxes and bags for eleven long months in storage.

I'm late this year, but in the next few I'm going to take this tradition one step further. I'll have my three daughters (fellow Halloween-iacs!) ditch their young families and creep on over to join me late on the eve of that day. We'll sip hot cider and nibble "witch's toes" while viewing seasonal classics, screaming in lusty, loud abandonment when Freddy fleetingly flashes his fearsome face. When the clock strikes midnight, we'll tear open cardboard crypts and festoon my house from head to toe. And then we'll scramble like a pack of rabid rats to the next house! And the next! And the next! At six AM we'll hop back on our bristled brooms, returning home to relish shock and awe on faces of those we haven't seen awake since dusk on 30, September!

Halloween fever is in no danger of abating in our family. In fact, my oldest daughter, Mary Jo, has two life sized skeletons and employs them in "Elf on the Shelf" capers, delighting her children for four fun weeks. The oldest boys dash in after a full day of Kindergarten and race to locate their own "Mister Bones." Those characters have been caught building at the Lego table, snacking on bags of chips in the bushes outside, nestled in, bony skulls on pillows, for a very early bedtime and rattling around, "conducting business" in the bathroom!

Over the past few years, I've designed and posted Halloween projects and activities for the family. When I opened my closet today, this is what tumbled out!

Crafting with grandchildren:

BOO! We made ghost families, carefully constructed of paper mache. Enjoy plenty of extra fun with finishing touches!

A hodge podge of punched paper shapes, ribbon, beads and straws makes lovely seasonal jewelry!

Home made windsocks tumble, twirl and twist in the breeze, dancing to the rhythm of falling leaves and the magic that is Halloween!

Think there's an age that's "too young" to craft with grandma? Ha! Think again! Tiny spiders printed from one month young dainty little fingers make a cherished keepsake.

Make a decorative garland for grandma! Grow it every year with original pictures contributed by each child.

Crafting for Grandchildren:

Encourage all kinds of spontaneous entertainment with a cardboard box spooky theater and simple sock ghost puppets.....

and this year, a batty new character joins the fun!

A seasonal outfit is simple to make with a white t shirt and iron-on fabric scraps. Add matching flip flops too!

What's nice about making your own monsters is that they'll turn out friendly, cute and ready to party! This one's nearly three feet tall and easily made of paper mache.

Party Food and Games:

Here's an easy way to scare kids into eating healthy food at a party!

Big, bright and lots and lots of fun! This home made dart board is perfect fun for kids, but at our house daddies and grandpas can't stay away either!

Here's an original party game that not only personalizes family fun, but ensures that everyone emerges a winner!

Engage kids in scouring the yard for stones shaped like ghosts, monsters and pumpkins to paint as playing pieces for Tic Tac BOO!

Gifts and Decorations:

If I didn't already have six "non-Halloween-color" cats, you can bet that this one would be real and purring in my lap right now. And neither one of us would be loosening our grip on that Mason jar brimming with candy!

I love the elegance of black crows. And the way they remind me of Edgar Allen Poe. And how much I enjoy inserting myself into the eerie ambiance he summons from the point of his pen. And the word "tintinnabulation." I love that too. I think it's my favorite word. Ever.

Party Time!

Gather the family for an afternoon of harvesting food, fun and crafts. Don't worry about keeping grandpas and daddies entertained though. If you pick the right day, they'll be glued to the football game, leaving the ladies alone to glue much more fun things together with the kids!

One of my earliest posts, in 2011, described - in three parts - the annual Halloween party I host for my daughters and their husbands. These parties originated when the guys were still only boyfriends. At that time grandpa was useful for pushing the correct button on the remote control rat that scurried about the foyer as guests arrived. Now we need him for babysitting!

Last year, Mary Jo hosted a small party for her four and a handful of neighborhood children. The kids' table was delightful! - a real riot of color and monstrous fun!

I contributed an assortment of sweets. Rice Krispie pumpkins, red-eyed chow mien noodle spiders, frosted sugar cookies....and a batch of scurrying, lifelike cockroaches! - my favorites!

And here's the lovely hostess herself. The one her husband calls "Mini Martha." She's stirring up a nice potion to serve parents of the guests. I may have mentioned that she writes her own blog. This Halloween party has its own delightful post - right here!


  1. I love the name -- Mini Martha! You guys are both just amazing. Looking back on all of these wonderful posts I think the lovely seasonal jewelry was my favorite! But maybe that is because you shared! xo

  2. Wow - my head is spinning - so much fun to be had. Such a good time will be had by all, I'm sure. I love the windsocks.

  3. I went over to Mary Jo's to read about the much fun both here and there as well ! :)

  4. Not my favorite day, but the grandkids love it!

  5. If a person is looking for Halloween inspiration and can't find it here, they can't find it anywhere. :-)

  6. What an awesome Grandma!! I just love Halloween - all the fun without all the stress of buying gifts like at Christmas! Plus we get to dress up! Your Grandkids must love coming to your house!

  7. You always have such clever and creative ideas! I love, love, love them.

  8. Stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. Great post and a fun way to get into the season. Boo! Thanks for sharing.

  9. LOL! You've made me realize I also have skeletons in my closet!

  10. Oh gosh it's amazing as usual! Isn't it fun to look back at all the post from previous years? A lot of memory making happening here!

  11. How fun! What a great post and so much inspiration. Pinned. Thanks for sharing at the party & I'll be sure to share this. Theresa @DearCreatives

  12. Halloween at your house looks like so much fun! Thanks for inspiring us at Make It Monday!