Halloween was an especially magical time for my family and has been one of my favorite holidays since I was a child. In the small farming community where I grew up, children dressed in homemade Halloween costumes and went trick-or-treating door to door.
Every year our community hosted a Halloween party for the children where we carved pumpkins, bobbed for apples, played Halloween games, and had costume contests.
When my older brother and I went trick or treating as grade schoolers, we covered the entire town. Every house on the block had the welcome light on and was decorated to greet the greedy youngsters in search of goodies.
Carving pumpkins was something that our entire family did together. Not only did we carve a face, but my mother also taught us to use gumdrops, licorice and other candies to create accessories for our pumpkins, such as earrings,lips, eyebrows and so forth. Hats for pumpkins were constructed from old newspapers or wrapping paper. Our pumkpkins were not just pumpkins; they became magical Halloween characters to light up the night. Remembering back to the costumes I wore as a child, the silliest ones had to have been the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head my brother and I were forced to wear. My mother thought the outfits were outstanding, but at age 6, I was totally horrified. I wore my favorite costume at age 9. I went as a one eyed purple people eater, which also happened to be the most popular Halloween song that year. My mother sewed the costume based on my original drawings. My creativity probably comes from my mother, who sewed all of these costumes.
My love for Halloween design stems from the possibility to capture this whimsical holiday with fresh and original ideas. More than any other holiday, Halloween encourages me to venture down many avenues of interpretation. Halloween is the one holiday that allows adults to become children again. It is the time of the year that we are all willing to dress up and make fools of ourselves.
Halloween themes are many and varied- from spooky and scary to whimsical or sweet. Halloween parties encourage friends and family to gather together for a good time, fun treats and lots of laughs. My vintage look is inspired by my passion for anything old with a story to tell.
In recent years, Halloween has become one of the most celebrated holidays – with consumers expected to spend more than $6 billion in 2009. I began creating Halloween collectibles for our company Bethany Lowe, because there were no high quality Halloween designs in the market with a vintage feel (www.bethanylowe.com) Collectors were limited to buying authentic vintage pieces- which are expensive and fragile. I wanted to decorate my own home with unique folk art-style Halloween decor, and I knew other people felt the same way. I decided to create them myself. Paper mache buckets, candy containers, and tin lanterns were some of my earliest vintage designs.
Today, whether you plan to host a houseful of guests, or just welcome trick-or-treaters, you can easily convert your home into a stylish haunt that will bring out the spirits of the season. And the best way to set the mood is to decorate so an air of mystery pervades the gathering place. Use ghostly luminaries or candles along with jack-o-lanterns, goblins, spiders, witches and bats to help you set the party atmosphere. When the party begins… read horoscopes, tell ghost stories or have a monster mash. Fantasy and fun are the essence of every Halloween celebration, so for one mystical evening, anything goes.