Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween..!!

Halloween is not an obvious holiday for us Swedes.. Though it has made its way into our culture it doesn't come naturally to us to carve pumpkins, slip into a catsuit and throw a party. Really most of my country men would probably rather slip on their bathers at some tropical destination in total denial of the seemingly everlasting darkness and forthcoming Winter.. :)

I am saying all this with a pinch of sarcasm, because of course the Swedes (like everyone else) know Halloween very well and some actually do celebrate. But it isn't all that common to make a fuss about it and I must admit it has taken me several years (22..!) to actually pull myself together and make a ghostly effort..! Having said that, I am not the kind to decline an opportunity for some fun and what a brilliant idea it really is to spice up the 'home run' of the year with a party!

1/4/5. Martha Stewart, 2. unknown, 3. Country Living

Unlike the Northern half of the world, Australia is all but dark and gloomy this time of the year (!!) and it is actually quite hard for me to work up a real feeling of Halloween. It absolutely works so much better at the height of Autumn as opposed to smack in the middle of Spring-time Sydney...!

These three via Twigs & Thistle

I am a little ashamed to say that this year was the very first I actually decorated the house since the kids were born.. Though it was not the stylish design statement that some of my dear friends achieved, we had fun doing it and the kids were so excited! And as I sit here at the end of this years celebrations  (three days in a row!!) feeling relieved that the immense 'sugar shock' my children inflicted upon themselves has now worn off, (OMG..!) I am glad I made the effort..

I attempted and succeeded in carving a pumpkin for the very first time ever this year.. As a total beginner I am very proud that a) I still have all fingers and b) my pumpkin isn't a total slaughter...! Though it may look very elementary to you, I am mighty proud to have done this without any kind of guidance or instructions.. :)
P.S. That is Oscar's PJs.. he actually doesn't leave the house with pants like that.. :)

For the inside I opted for black/white and spiders. I was very happy with the idea until our dinner guests arrived on Saturday night and it turned out that the husband of my friend suffered arachnophobia..! It took a swift and stiff (!) Gin & Tonic to get him to relax, and as they left many hours later they happily accepted a little favour bag full of spiders (and lollies..) for their kids..! Phew!!

I bought little plastic spider rings from the local $2-shop and used them as wine glass charms.  Other spiders were fastened to the wall with blue-tac making them look scaringly like the real thing... And let me just say that they are not a rare sight here in Sydney.. Eeek! 

The tomb stone was a favourite with the kids and they really can't understand why I don't want to keep it in the dining room permanently... Hmmm...
Sadly I will disappoint them and head over to my florist and pick up a nice big bunch of brightly coloured flowers tomorrow. It is high Spring here in Sydney after all..! :)

*********** * ***********

Before I bid farewell to all the ghostly fun for this year.. Here are a few Halloween ideas from around the cyber world that I enjoyed..

Martha Stewart and Country Living

Aren't the stemmed 'claw bowls' fantastic..!?!

I love the black bottles that Purple Area shared with her readers.  So easy to make! And the smokey glasses are so yummy don't you think?! As are the black pumpkins with golden spiders.

And how easy and fun wouldn't it be to print some wine labels to spice up the drinks table..!?!

I can hear the late Diana Vreeland whisper from her grave: 'Why don't you park the car for the weekend and make it around town on a plumed black stallion like the Spanish...." Wouldn't it be fabulous..!?! :)

Gorgeous earthy colours via Twig & Thistle

via Martha Stewart

Did you dress up for this Halloween weekend? I actually didn't, but next year I am planning to scare the life out of my Swedish neighbours and make a real effort..! I am joking of course..! :)

Hope you all had a fun weekend!

xx Charlotta

 P.S. The state my kids were at the end of this candy-clad weekend... !


samantha. said...

this is so interesting to read about halloween from a swedish perspective :)! i suggest you watch some spooky movies to get in the mood like hocus pocus, practical magic, charlie brown and the great pumpkin, etc :)!


Acanthus and Acorn said...

I think you did a fantastic job with your decorations!!! And, thanks for all the other images to get us all in a spooky mood!

A Perfect Gray said...

Charlotta, isn't carving pumpkins so much fun. and easier that I imagined. I really didn't do it growing up, either. So we began when our son was young. Seems he's outgrown it this year! Too soon!

I. and O. look wonderful. I love your shots of them. Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

Love, Donna


Looks like you did a fabulous job getting into the spirit! Hope you had a fabulous Halloween, sweetie! xoxo

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Lovely to read and see Halloween from your Swedish perspective, Charlotta! It's funny becuase it never used to be that big a holiday over here in the UK, but it's getting bigger every year.

For me, it's all about Christmas! tee hee.

Thank you for your lovely comments today, they really made my day. A big hug to you from the UK! xo

anita @ a dreamer's den said...

maybe next year i'll get into halloween...this year it just wasn't in me.
love your round-up of photos -- and your pumpkin looks fantastic!

Cashon&Co said...

what a great job at the jack-o-lantern by your son!
i had to laugh about your sidenote about him being in his pajama pants. My 7 year old son actually DOES leave the house in his! If I would let him, he'd wear them to school! Happy Halloween!

pretty pink tulips said...

Love that you're embracing Halloween. We have the most darling British ex-pat couple who moved to our neighborhood for 2 years. They made the biggest effort this year of anyone - dressed up, brought adorable decorated cupcakes to our annual potluck and have vowed to take the traditions home with them next year!
xo Elizabeth

katrina lauren said... did a fab job! your decorations were very scary indeed with creepy spiders scattered about. spidey rings for wine charms....good thinking! i can't lie though....i've never been a halloween fan....even as a child. i would say 'alright i'll be a witch again this year' when mom suggested i should dress up....what a funny kid i was.
happy spring to you....

Style Attic said...

Well, trying something new and if it's something for the children to's never a waste of time. You did a great job at the pumpkin carving! I did a double take :) Your last bit about the sugar state is so funny. I know that medical condition well. My boys are sacked out in their annual home office campout, clutching the candy treasures and dreaming of the next round of Holiday craze! Next up, Thanksgiving!! Love to you and yours XOXO, Kelly

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

I feel amused and happy after have read your cute, yet a bit scary post about Halloween. Lots of great inspiration.
Here at my place there has not been much of a Halloween- celebration. A couple of kids banged on the door on saturday night. In my home you´ll always find some sweets(being addicted and know exactly what you meen with sugar shock, I´ve had them even if I´m a grown up:)!), therefore luckyly we also got away with the 'tricking part', Thank God:)!
Your children are such cuties, you must be a very proud mom!
I wish you a great start this monday!
Lots of love from Sweden!
Ps. Tack för mail, tänker på dig(!), skriver snart! Kram Ds.

Splendid Willow said...

Happy, happy to you all!

Good job with the pumpkin. I used markers on mine...!

Hope you all survived the weekend. The kids look adorable!

I put a very proud Statue of Liberty, Dorothy and a Firefigher to bed last night! (Today the candy fairy is picking up A LOT of candy and sending it off to kids who have yet to get some...)

A warm hug. Mon

Stacey said...

I am ashamed to say that i'm yet to carve a pumpkin or even decorate my home for Halloween. I guess since Halloween isn't apart of my culture, i have been a bit slow in embracing this tradition, but maybe next year... I think you did a fantastic job with your decor though:-). Beautiful post and i adore the pictures in all their Halloween glory:-). Hugs to you too for always checking up on me:-). XX

Cindy said...

Looks fantastic!! Happy Halloween! xo

Nuit said...

OH MY!!! leave it to Charlotta to come up with the BEST holiday post. So cool!! xoxoxoox

Carole said...

So funny Charlotta! Have to say your children are beautiful.

Charlotta Ward said...

Hello my darlings and so sorry for leaving such late responses to your lovely comments.

Yes, Halloween is a fairly new tradition for us 'Swedes' (in the scheme of things..), and I think it 's a great one. October/November are such dull months in our part of the world.. Forgotten is the fun of Summer and Xmas feels too far away.

Big hugs to all!

xx Charlotta

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