Monday, November 14, 2011

The last flicker of fall

Last week was quite busy for me! I enjoyed soaking up the colors of Autumn during a trip to Cedarburg, WI. Every year, my mom and I head to this old town to see the beautiful scenery and do a little shopping. Usually, some after-Halloween deals await us there.

These wild grapes were growing on the side of a building. Many of the shops in this town are operated in Victorian houses. I go wild about this style of architecture, and I know some of you do too!

OK, Raise your hand if you want to move into this place. It's just beautiful. A lot of Halloween merchandise was moved onto the porch of this shop:

I like the Welcome to the Nuthouse sign.

Check out the Victorian gingerbread details going on here! I'm going crazy trying to remember what the metal details on the roof are called. If someone out there knows, please help me out. I've even added that feature to my own haunted house paintings! So I need to know the name of it.

One Victorian house shop had an old shed out back. The Halloween merchandise had been moved into it. The door was guarded by this skeleton torso.

The shed was actually kind of dark and spooky to enter...

The small amount of light that was cast into the room sparkled off this glittery skull.

We did find this dapper little crow in the old shed, so it was worth looking around!

He is carrying a cute little jack-o-lantern in his wing:

The streets of downtown Cedarburg were filled jack-o-lanterns. I wonder if there had been a pumpkin carving contest in town. I was especially impressed by this gargoyle carving. It looks like it was done with a linoleum cutter.

Here's a goofy one. I think his tongue was made from the pumpkin that was cut out to make his mouth:

I took some photos of pumpkin creatures during last year's Cedarburg trip. Since some of you weren't following me back then, you might want to take a look: Cedarburg Pumpkin Creatures

The sun was setting as we got ready to leave. A beautiful golden glow was cast onto every building. I captured a little of that glow on some stone work at the end of a bridge. The leaves growing around the stonework turned an intense crimson in the light.

This vine of leaves resembled a reaching hand. Look at the variation in color!

Cedarburg really is a picturesque place to visit. It was recognized as a town in 1840, and is rumored to be full of ghosts. Someone I know has had a lot of ghostly experiences there. This might be because she happens to work in an office that is a former funeral home. I know that October ghost tours are offered throughout the town. Whether or not there are any ghosts, it would be fun to view Cedarburg's architecture on an Autumn night!

Mom's Birthday celebrations continued with a Paul Simon concert last Friday. I was lucky enough to win tickets to the show by calling into a radio station. That was an exciting moment. The concert was a few days after my Mom's Birthday, so it was another way of celebrating. It was also cool for me because I've been a fan of Paul Simon's music since I was in grade school. I had a music teacher who was really into his work. Through grade school we listened to his music and watched videos of his concerts. So I'm really up on his catalog of music! Also, I'm a fan of The Graduate soundtrack. Speaking of The Graduate, this is as close to Goth as Paul Simon gets! Really, silence can be one of the most frightening things in the world. Here's The Sound of Silence, complete with the beautiful and thought provoking lyrics:

Every time I hear this song, I think of an English teacher I had in high school. He was kind of an eccentric guy. I remember one day he walked in the room and said in all seriousness "Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again." Then he just went and sat at his desk. I don't know if he was having a bad day, or just wanted our attention.

The concert was very casual and intimate. Paul Simon is so incredibly humble. He just walked out like a normal guy and put on a great show. I also think he has a sense of humor, because Frank Sinatra's cover of Mrs. Robinson was playing on the speakers as we left the theater.

Paul Simon's opening act was the Punch Brothers, who I ended up loving! I wasn't familiar with them before this. They play lively Bluegrass music. I'm not even going to try to tie this band to a spooky topic. They just play good music, so I want to share it with everyone!

This is pretty much the experience we had, minus Steve Martin. This video is from their performance on Letterman. I would love to see the Punch Brothers in concert, if they ever visit Milwaukee again. I just love when an opening act I've never heard of, turns into a new favorite band!


  1. Time flies... it's hard to believe Halloween has already passed .

  2. I know! I don't even know what happened to the whole month of October. I felt like I was celebrating Halloween all month, and then like a flash it was gone! There's still a little Autumn beauty left, though. For some strange reason, I'm not dreading Winter this year!

  3. Your pictures are magnificent. I love the red leaves and vines in stark contrast with the stone. I envy your trip, but with your post, I feel like I tagged along somewhat.

  4. Yep yep, gotta get in that last glow of Fall.

  5. Oh, WOW! I think you can already guess that I WANT that Victorian house. Oh, it's sooooo beautiful!!!! I love the turret and the little windows in the roof. Imagine having a studio in the turret or under the pitched roof! Sigh. That first little shop makes me think of the town in 'Beetlejuice' or 'The Witches of Eastwick'. So pretty. The patterned wrought iron over the porch on the next house is so lovely. I love wrought iron. My dream house would have plenty of wrought iron.

    So did you end up buying the little crow? That dark shed is making me think of the dark basement you had to go into to get that postcard of the spooky girl. You're certainly an intrepid bargain hunter! Haha.

    That teacher of yours sounds hilarious. I suppose he certainly got your attention. It's funny how odd things like that just become burned into your brain and you never forget them. "Hello darkness my old friend" is a very cool line, and also more than qualifies in the goth department!

    Happy Birthday to your Mum!!!

  6. I was in Cedarburg this year for their Oktoberfest. You are right, it is a beautiful town and a definite fall destination.
    And I do believe- there are ghosts there!

  7. What a great post! i haven't been to Cedarburg in a long time. I think I'm going to have to make a trip back!

  8. I've been buying "Halloween" ceral boxes and bags of candy to use as inspiration for haunted houses, but there is nothing like the real thing! These houses look like perfect "Haunted" houses! These pics would be great for ghost stories!

  9. wicKED ~ Thanks! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. Yeah, there really is something about that time when the sun is about to set. Everything looks golden and beautiful. Especially in Summer and Autumn! I'm sure you have lots of neat old architecture to look at in your State. You could probably find a fun Autumn experience like this somewhere nearby. It's cool that you feel like you were there. I feel almost obligated to share trips like this with everyone who doesn't live here!

    Mantan ~ Yes you do! Today it's feeling a lot more like Winter, so I'm glad we were able to fit this day trip in while it was still nice out.

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ :) It sounds like we have the same taste in houses! That doesn't really surprise me, since I know you are into the Victorian goth stuff too. I really wish I could remember the name for that metalwork on the roof. I have some wrought iron books and even a catalog of Victorian house additions somewhere. I ordered that, not because I live in a Victorian house, but just to page through. I'm sure the name for that piece is one of those books! I just love wrought iron too. I really wanted to learn some welding and do some iron work of my own. I've been saying that for years, maybe it will happen some day!

    Oh, yeah! The crow came home with us. I guess by "we found it", I meant we bought it. :) I'm such an intrepid bargain hunter, you wouldn't even believe it! Wow ~ Way to remember that part about the antique shop basement. Shopping in those dark and musty old places is burned into my brain. It was such an experience, especially as a person shopping alone! I never felt alone down there, which was part of the spook factor. I think it's fun to have a story to go with a purchase, though.

    Yeah, I agree that darkness and silence can be very Goth. :) Yes, that teacher got our attention. He got mine, anyway. I was hoping there wasn't something wrong with him. He was a memorable guy. I remember how he always used to pound his fist on a desk to get our attention or prove a point. One time, while yelling about how teenagers shouldn't watch movies like Scream (although he thought it was called Yell) he pounded the desk so hard that a leg snapped off! The broken desk lay on the floor, and he looked down at it saying "I'm not going to do that anymore." :) He was one of the better High School teachers I had, although I'm probably giving you a bizarre impression of him!

    The October Boy ~ Cool! How was Oktoberfest? I was thinking about going there again for their Christmas festivities. Have you ever been to Cedarburg in December? Yeah, there have to be a few ghosts in that old of a town. It sounds like you might have had a few paranormal experiences... If so, I want to hear those stories!

    Stacey ~ Thanks. :) When were you last in Cedarburg? I think it's really worth a day trip. There are lots of fun shops to look through!

    Matt ~ So true! I agree, in fact the first house looked like some good art reference to me. I liked the angle I got of it, sort of looking up. Halloween cereal boxes? Do you mean like Count Chocula? Some of these houses may have real ghosts to go with them. I intend to do a little online searching for which of these places has ghosts. I'd like some specifics to go with the rumors!

  10. Justine - LOL! Yes, Quaker Oats Granola Bars has a good one to!

  11. Matt ~ Quaker Oats makes granola bars? I had no idea! I'm surprised that they had spooky wrappers on their products, but I guess a lot of foods have Halloween wrappers in October.

  12. Justine, great post once again and equally as great pictures to accompany it. Those victorian houses have stolen my heart :) Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures of them. T

  13. I'm raising my hand. I'm raising my hand. BTW...I made you blog of the day.

  14. Countess ~ Thank you! :) I'm glad that you enjoyed this post. Yeah, I think most of us would be happy if we were given a Victorian house to decorate! I dream of filling a house like this with Victorian antiques. This may be an expensive dream. ;)

  15. Copyboy ~ It looks like we were commenting at the same time! Haha, there were probably a lot of hands raised for that. :) Thanks so much for making me the blog of the day!

  16. First of all, I just have to say that I lost it laughing over your teacher. I'm sure I've got it wrong, but I'm imagining Kramer pounding on a table. I'm sure there was an episode where Kramer was banging on a table to try and get the attention of a sporting legend, and they thought he was mentally unstable. And that's hilarious that he thought 'Scream' was 'Yell'. Hahaha!

    I've got a couple of books on Victorian Gothic architecture and American Carpenter Gothic style on my Amazon "Wish List", but they are quite expensive so I'm hoping they will come down in price. They are not books that Amazon will let you "look inside" first, so I don't want to take the chance that they're not as good as the covers suggest.

    I've always loved the idea of having big stone walls with a gorgeous wrought iron gate, or just a very Addams Family wrought iron fence. One of my best friends from High School did a hobby course in welding iron, but I was living in London at the time so I don't know much about it. She did tell me that it was very strenuous and hot work. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to create your own pattern in iron though?!

  17. Oh no! He was actually built a little more like George. :) I can totally see Kramer doing that, though. He was so klutzy! Now I'm thinking of the way Kramer closed the door with his foot in an awkward way in that Maestro clip. That character always thought he was so slick too!

    I just checked my wrought iron books as well as that catalog I ordered, but the name of that architectural element is still a mystery to me. Really, Amazon doesn't give you the option to peek inside a few a pages of every book? That's weird. Have you searched for the books elsewhere online? There may a lower price out there somewhere...

    Did you get to see any of your friend's wrought iron projects? I bet it's strenuous work! I would absolutely love to work with the material one day and create my own design. I used to know some people who went on iron "pours" but I never went along with them. I would probably want to make a fence, although that seems advanced for a first project!

  18. Yeah, they won't let you peek inside some of the books on Amazon. I don't think that has anything to do with Amazon itself, but is a decision by the individual publishers. It's silly really, because you can pick up a book and flip through it in a bookstore. I am going to investigate further because since I've started blogging I've become more and more interested in American Gothic architecture. I just don't want to judge the books by their covers, so to speak, because I've been burned doing that before. There's nothing worse than getting a lovely parcel from Amazon only to find the book is a bit of a disappointment. I'll send you the links to the two books I've been eyeing. Maybe you've seen them before?

    Unfortunately I didn't see my friend's projects. She does come and visit me, but we keep living in different countries. When I was in London she was in Australia, and then when we were both in Australia we lived on opposite sides of the country. Now she works for a travel company and was in Canada for a few years, and has just moved to London. I'll have to ask her about it.

    Haha! Yes, a fence does sound like a very ambitious first project, but how fabulous it would be!!

  19. I just responded to your email. I'm not familiar with either of the books you found! I sent you links to a few that I own, and the site where I ordered that Victorian architectural elements catalog. I think you should be able to view at least a few pages of a book to see if it is for you! You're right, you can do that easily enough in a store. I wouldn't dream of just picking up a book and buying it without peeking inside.

    It sounds like your friend gets to do all kinds of exciting traveling! Yeah, I'd like to see some pictures of her iron designs, if she kept up with it. A fence would be fabulous. I have some photos of lovely wrought iron gates around Milwaukee. If I can find the pictures, I'll send them your way!

  20. Why has it taken me this long to find your blog? Thank you Second Street Cemetery for sending me your way.


  21. Ali ~ Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Sometimes when I find a new Halloween blog, I'm also surprised I didn't know about it before! There are probably tons of us out there. :)

  22. Oh, if you can find the pictures of the wrought iron gates, I'd love to see them. Definitely!