halloween preparations – it’s going to be fun!

Once in a while I do something and I think … surely this makes me the BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!?

Like buying this pumpkin.  It is so great isn’t it?  I have included the apple just so you can see how big and fabulous the pumpkin is!

Scarlett is having her birthday party on Halloween. Her birthday was mid-September, when Art4All was on.  So the friends party has had to wait.  But now I have some energy.  And yesterday morning I spent some quality time online checking out Halloween party ideas (just for fun you know) and compiling my favourite ideas on a Pinterst board.  You can see it here.

And then I decided to go shopping. I thought I might stick with my new op shop philosophy and go somewhere I haven’t been before, so I headed to Camberwell Salvos on Riversdale Road just next to Camberwell Market (that’s the fresh food market).

It was a super op shop … if you haven’t already, you should check it out.  I’ll post what I bought at a later stage.

Because I am on a Halloween roll and I don’t want to get distracted.

So, after the op shop I thought I would take a look in the market for pumpkins, because last year Wendy and I were going to carve some pumpkins for Halloween and she went all over Fairfield/Northcote/Thornbury on the hunt for some the day before Halloween but they were all sold out. So this year I thought I should get in early.

And what a score. One of the fruit and vegie stalls had about 8 of these special carving pumpkins. They were slightly* more expensive that your average Queensland Blue, but well worth it as the centrepiece of a Halloween party!


And then, I thought I should find a $2 shop and get the other stuff I needed. I went out onto Bourke Road and couldn’t see a $2 shop, but Riot Art and Craft was right there.  Which was terrific because it had most of the other stuff I was thinking about, including:

1. A stack of cardboard in orange and black (hello bats, witches shoes and pumpkins …)

2. Candy eyes.  These feature on pretty much every Halloween cake/cookie on Pinterest.

3. Halloween stickers to go in the lolly bags.

4. Some orange tinsel/string to tie up the lolly bags.

5. Some ‘blood red’ sparkle gel …. blood was Scarlett’s special request.  I am imagining white iced biscuits with blood (nice!).

6. A cardboard pumpkin basket (didn’t need it, just thought it would be useful and India thinks it will be ideal for trick or treating- it needs to be painted orange though).

Now all I need (apart from fresh ingredients) are white paper plates (I am going to draw spider webs on them with a black Sharpie), black patty pans for the cup cakes and a packet of plastic spiders.  Because I saw a great idea where you freeze plastic spiders in ice cubes and then add them to the drinks …oooh pretty icky huh?

But then there was also this super idea of making a big ice cube in the shape of a hand by filling a glove with water and freezing it … and then serving your blood red (raspberry lemonade) drink from a punch bowl with a hand floating in it. Aagh.   I can’t decide which is better …

And just one more idea, how about witches legs on the table.  I gave it a try and it looks fab. It could do with a bit of padding so the legs don’t look square of course … but you know, the vibe is GOOOD!  I am soooo excited about Halloween this year (if your kids live near by send them trick or treating my way …) xxx

* $35.  A bit more expensive that your average pumpkin.  That’s the problem with Halloween in spring rather than autumn I guess.  Still, it’s going to be worth it!

our new op shop table

We’ve had a round table in our kitchen.  A lovely oak one.

But it has 4 legs and so we only fit 4 seats, and there are 5 of us.  So, we always have to pull up a chair.

For a long time I have been looking in magazines at round tables with a central leg, and thinking that this would be a much better option, as you can fit 5 chairs at these tables easily.

On Friday I went to Churches of Christ op shop on the corner of Oakover Road and High Street and found THE PERFECT table.

It has a nice solid central leg and HAS ALREADY BEEN PAINTED WHITE (so I don’t have to do it!).  And it was only $50.

I bought  it at about 2pm, and by 3pm it was delivered and promptly installed in it’s final resting place by Elise and I (we are quite adept at moving chunky furniture around houses now).  I wiped it down, and viola!

For our family it works so much better than the old one (which is going to Elise’s house … she has been wanting a round table to replace the rectangular one in her formal dining area, perfect!).

I found 5 odd chairs around the house and put them at the table.  I think I might paint a couple of chairs a deep blue  (ie. the one currently painted brown), and leave some timber, and maybe make some chair cushions in blue too.

Matching, but not too matching.  That’s my aim.  And I will be SO HAPPY.


Now I just need to get the tiler in to do the old fireplace (only a year after our renovation …) and the caulker, and the kitchen will be done!

dining blue


If you are looking for something to collect that doesn’t take up too much space and gives your second hand shopping a purpose, then how about table cloths?   I have a whole cupboard of them that I use whenever we have visitors.

I have big table cloths for our formal dining table, and mid sized ones for our round kitchen table, and then I also collect small table cloths to go over the top and create layers. Layering if a very handy approach to dressing the table, because then if they aren’t quite the right size, you can have another one poking out underneath … like it’s meant to be.

And, if sometimes they have stains (mine NEVER DO of course, OTHER PEOPLE have just mentioned this idea to me …) you can hide them with a smaller cloth.

Yesterday I set the table with a blue theme.


I used my trusty favourite underneath – it is a 60s or 70s cloth, with big blue and green flowers in mid tones.  It has a white background.  Over the top I put my new white table cloth with the small blue pattern.  From a distance the pattern looks like it has been hand stitched, but in fact it is just printed onto the fabric.  I can’t remember, but I think this came from the tip shop …

I set the table with my willow pattern china which I have been collecting along the way, and I put out matching plates and boring old Maxwell Williams round bowls that I purchased new years ago.  And I also put out the rectangular small trays with edges that I picked up from the trash and treasure stall at our school fair this year.

Then I just had to cook something …