Monday, October 6, 2014

A Personalized Halloween Surprise

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be sent a whole box of Halloween goodies from Kate at (a site that's full of costumes and decorations). Kate sent me these gifts so I could share them on Pinterest if I chose to, but they were too cool not to share on my blog. Here's the box of goodies that she sent:

I was amazed at how generous this gift box was! Kate told me she would send me a personalized assortment of products and she really got it right! These items are perfect for someone like me who has an annual witch themed party. Especially since there will be an added skeleton theme to the party this year. The title of each of these products is linked to its store listing, if you're interested.
There was a bag of 12 mini-skulls:

They might work well sitting in a decorative bowl or scattered on the table.

A cute 12" skeleton along with a black, straw-like pumpkin. It's difficult to see in this picture, but the pumpkin is covered in black glitter. The glitter catches the light in a really pretty way.

This pile of bones is one of those things I probably wouldn't think to buy, but I love them! They're actual size bones and heavy. They're really good quality. It's not like I have any experience with the real thing, but this is just what I imagine them to be like. These bones might be part of the centerpiece for this year's party.

There was a giant spider in the box, complete with a web and mini spiders! This creepy crawler tarantula is one of those spiders with bendable legs, so it can be posed around.

The Beware, Spooky, and Boo wall pieces stand on their own. I think these are called wall pieces because they could stand on a shelf.

A perfect witchy bottle:

I'm planning to use this as a vase and place a bouquet of fake autumn leaves in it.

I received six luminaries designed by Bethany Lowe. I'm familiar with her stuff, but I didn't know she made luminaries! They've got this cool, Victorian thing going on. They also conveniently fit with the witch and skeleton theme for this year's party! I actually never told Kate about the party themes, so her choices are pretty astonishing.

This is what the luminaries look like from above. They come as flat pieces of vellum that you curve into a cylindrical shape. 

I took some photos of the luminaries in the dark to show what they look like lit up.

I haven't messed around with this haunted cloth yet, but it looks like you can tear and stretch it to decorate doorways, tabletops, etc.

Here's some of it rumpled up under the pile of bones:

My absolute favorite item in the box was this toad:

The toad has a spongy foam-filled belly, which somehow adds to his authentic appearance.

I had to photograph him in his outdoor environment! Doesn't he look natural there?

His warty, decorative back:

One of his detailed, little toad hands:

Isn't he cool? A big, full-sized, very realistic, warty toad! I can't wait to dress him up for the party! He's a fitting witches' familiar. This toad might look cool posed with the broom/cauldron/witch shoe display that goes up every year.

I'm sure you guys will be seeing all these goodies in this year's party pics!

P.S. ~ I'm planning on putting together another blog party this year! I'd like to see all of you there. If you have a photo of yourself in costume from any time in your life, please send it to me and I'll include you! You can email your photos to this address: 


  1. Love those luminaries! Your toad is pretty cool too. Think he will make an excellent addition to your witches party. Looking forward to the photos again this year! Btw I don't get a "respond" option when you post on my blog for some reason. Although admittedly I do not understand all the mysteries of the Google!

    1. Mark ~ Thanks! I'm going to have to go out and buy more candles for those luminaries. More of those tall, religious candles should work fine. The luminaries stand pretty tall and could maybe work well outside.

      That's weird. So you can't reply to the comments I leave you? Maybe it has something to do with Google+? I think you use Google+ in conjunction with your comment form if I'm remembering correctly. Maybe I'm not clicking the right box or something. I'll take a closer look the next time I leave you a comment. Yeah, the mysteries of Google is right! :)

  2. That's a sweet box of Halloween goodies you got there, I bet you will be able to put them to good use. I can't wait to see pics of your next witch party!

    Also, in regards to Mark Faucett above...his Shingle Creek Manor blog is in my blog list, but since he switched to Google + I can no longer leave any comments on his page because I do not use Google +! And this has happened with lots of wonderful blogs that I follow. I can read them, but I can no longer comment and I hate it, but I just don't want to switch over to Google +. I wish there was some other way for Google + people to still receive comments on Blogger from their readers who don't use it! I was gone for most of last year due to my Mom's stroke, and when I got back on, everything was different and I can hardly communicate with anyone's rather frustrating! :o(

    1. The Artful Gypsy ~ It sure was! I'm trying to find places for all this stuff now. The toad has been moving around quite a bit and wearing different accessories. :) Probably a lot of these items will end up outdoors.

      Oooh, I didn't know that a person had to have Google+ to leave comments on a page that has switched to that format. You'd think that since blogger is also owned by Google they could get those two things to mesh! Hmm... I've had endless problems to solve with blogger comments over the years. From comments not showing up, to not being able to use my account to leave a comment, to having my username show up with all kinds of weird characters instead of an apostrophe! One thing after another. And that's without even using Google+! I remember blogger wanting us to use Google+ for comments a while back, and I thought "I don't want to figure out another thing with blogger and comments!" so I didn't do it.

      From the sounds of things, you could still leave him a comment if you created a Google+ page or had a Gmail account. I think if you use Gmail for your email you automatically have a Google+ page now. You shouldn't have to change anything with your own blog or comment form. So I'd say, just sign up for a Gmail account even if you never plan to get one email there, and then you should be able to comment. It's frustrating I'm sure. I don't think people should have to have an email account on a certain site to use a different blogging site. It appears google is connected to everything now!

      I'm sorry to hear about your Mom's stroke. I hope she and you are doing alright. I didn't realize that blogger had changed that much in the last year, but then I probably ignored a few things. So many web sites (especially social ones) are changing constantly! So I just complain a little with each change and try to figure things out before the next change. :)

  3. Big fan of the frogs. My friend on the left and moi at Steamcon 3.

    1. Old Fashion Halloween ~ It would appear that we own some toads from the same family. :) Haha! That's awesome. Aren't these toads great?

      I'm trying to figure out your costumes. There are obviously some references going on that I'm not familiar with. Could you please explain them to me?

  4. What a cool box of stuff!!! The lumineries are really nice! I've printed stuff on vellum before and wrapped them around cheap dollar store cylinder vases and put candles in them. And I absolutly LOVE the toad!!! Thinking that we need to find one for my mom's witch's tea!!! Ours is on the 18th so I'll post pictures!!! =)

    1. Heidi ~ Yeah! I was super excited! I had no idea what was being sent or that there was going to be this much! I love the luminaries. They have a subtle, antique look to them. I've printed a few things on vellum but not to make luminaries. I never thought of making my own luminaries from that material, but it's a good idea. I like the look of printed vellum. I'd like to see some pics of your luminaries if you bring them out this year!

      Oh, I love that toad too! I feel like a little kid because I keep dressing it up and posing it around. It has a cape on now. :) The cape is from a small dog costume. It must have been made for a really small dog. I don't have a dog, but these small dog costumes work well on other props. I'm sure you'd love to have a toad around! These toads have a lot of character.

      I think our party is going to be on the 18th too! I can't wait to see your pics. I'll of course be posting some too!

  5. Hey Justine...thanks so much for the information. I laughed because I have shared in all those same issues you mentioned...I swear sometimes Blogger is just an exercise in frustration for me. I noticed that on some of the Google+ people's pages, my blog is in their Halloween list, but it shows that my last post was from over a year and a half ago, as though I haven't been posting at all since then which is inaccurate. I thought that after posting it would update on those people's pages, but it hasn't, so I guess I'm being punished for not using Google+, ha! I think those people think I'm no longer blogging as a result. But you made a good point about the 'work around' with a gmail account. I just don't want a Google+ page because it has to be public, and my Halloween page is actually a private blog, but one that can be accessed and found easy enough for other Halloween people who find me on other Halloween folk's blogs and blog lists. I'd like to keep it that way, so I think I'll try your suggestion and see if that helps. Thank you so much for your help.

    Also, I can't tell for sure...but I'm curious how big that awesome toad actually is? He looks really huge from the photos but that may just be an optical illusion. For some reason when I look at him I think of Macbeth and Witches around a cauldron! He's really cool! I have a couple of good realistic looking toads in my Witches apothecary too...mine are close to actual size, maybe a bit larger. Can't wait to see what you do with your goodies! :o)

  6. The Artful Gypsy ~ I know! I didn't even list all the problems I've had with blogger! The newest little issue is when I put up a blog post and it doesn't show in the dashboard. Then when I start over by deleting that post and putting up a new one, it's there twice! I finally figured out a method of dealing with that, which is to write every post in the same old draft and then copy and paste it into a new one right away and post that. It's tedious, but it works! It's as if blogger doesn't want to post anything I've saved or previewed too often. That problem just started for me this year.

    I hope my suggestion works for you! Having a private blog might create extra complications, but hopefully not. Yeah, Google+ is public as far as I know, but maybe there are some privacy options. I never checked that out. I guess so long as your Google+ page just said "The Artful Gypsy" or whatever name you chose, that's pretty private. My only problem with Google+ came in with wanting two pages under the same email address - one with my name and the other with "Justine's Halloween" as the name. I think I had an automatic profile that came with my name and then I just tacked on a business page for the other. I never have done anything with the regular old profile which just has my first name on it, but I like to update the Justine's Halloween page from time to time.

    If you look at Old Fashion Halloween's comment above yours, you'll see a link to a pic of the toad. That way you can see how it is in size next to people. I just measured the toad and much to my surprise he is 19" around! He is more or less 7" high. He very well might end up next to a big ceramic cauldron. There are so many options! I'd love to see some pics of your apothecary! Do you have any posted online?