Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Halloween Chronicles

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Well, Halloween is finally here and this is one excited house! Growing up, my mom hated Halloween. She wanted nothing to do with the decorations, and she dreaded costumes. It was all just too much trouble to go through for one night. I vividly remember the one Halloween my sister was an opossum, tail and all. I am not sure whose idea this was, but it is an ongoing joke that she was "road kill". While all her friends were rock stars, fairies, cheerleaders...she was the opossum. She swears she is scarred for life. Every Halloween, this story brings me great laughter. I mean, she even had the furry feet.

So maybe that is why I actually have come to love Halloween. Each year, I seem to embrace it more and more and having kids was just the icing on the top. In their eyes it is magical. The one day even adults get to dress up and get to pretend. And did someone say candy? We have been practicing "trick or treat" everyday.

In our house, we gather all the seasonal books into one wicker basket to pick before bedtime. Mainly, because I end up forgetting one of my favorite titles and find it months after the season or Holiday. This way I am sure to get all the books we love and we get to read them several times. Since September, we have had all our Fall and Halloween titles featured in the basket.

Tonight, Onna and I were talking about switching out our books. I explained that Halloween is only for one night and then it is over. A certain sadness seemed to take over her face. I explained that we will wait a whole year for it to come back around. There was utter silence in the room. A little difficult for a four year old to grasp, but she understood enough to know that it was a sad thing. So good thing in our house, dress up and costumes are a daily event, otherwise, I may have had to peel her off the floor. She even has her little brother, Boston, in the mix and pretends he is her little witch's mouse! I often turn around to find him wearing wings or rabbit ears, curtesy of big sister.

Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed we can put our milk jug decorations and pumpkins back outside and enjoy the night. Onna loved this project! Luckily, our outdoor orange lights withstood the wind. Omar had rearranged them three times to get them just perfect.

We found the little cat decorating kit at Target. It came with all the jewels and pattern inside. Who wouldn't want to bedazzle a pumpkin?

We prepared by making some Nutter Butter ghost cookies. Simple, simple! Just dunk in white chocolate and icing the face on.

I found this idea a little too late for this year, but I am definitely stealing it for next year. My neighbor's house was adorned in masquerade masks and feathers. I'm thinking this is a great idea for an adult party next Halloween season!

What is your favorite childhood Halloween memory? Share it in the comments!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Basement Treasures

While on a quest to clean out our basement, and let me clarify that it is the previous owner's belongings we are cleaning out, I stumbled upon this old window frame. It was already missing the glass and was surprisingly light weight.

I decided to use it to display the bazillion photographs of the kids in the playroom. It really is too difficult to frame all of my favorite photographs and they are ever changing so this will work perfect.

We used wood putty for a few small holes, but attempted to keep its aged look. We gave it a couple of quick coats of a metallic silver spray paint and attached picture hanging wire and hooks to the back.

I laminated the pictures so that the sun doesn't fade them. The playroom gets wonderful direct light, but it could easily ruin your photos. This way the kids can rummage through the basket and pick the photos they want to display and I don't have to worry about the photos being ripped or bent.

Eventually I will have Onna paint the clothes pins with various paint samples I have picked up. It will make for a nice rainy day project for her.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Accents

A perfect time to loom over table spreads!

(Courtesy of Southern Living)

Oversized Pendant- Is it a keeper? My husband would say a definite NO!

How many of you will be dining outdoors this season? We eventually want to build a back porch to take advantage of the three seasons of outdoor dining opportunities that the Philadelphia weather affords us.

Super easy garland-perfect for your fall feast!

(Courtesy of Better Homes & Garden)

Personal photos of Autumn Accents from our latest trip to the mountains.

Vase from Platypus- check them out on

Photo taken at Hillside Farms-Mercantile Shop, a family favorite stop whenever we come for a visit!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Love Affair

You seem to see it everywhere now. Walls washed in it, furniture upholstered in it, linens and artwork.... The color Gray! I had fallen in love with gray a long time ago and can't seem to get over it. Then again, why should I? In my opinion it is the best neutral color you could find. It can be a backdrop, or stand strong and beautifully on its own.

(Courtesy of Canadian House & Home)

Ironically, I didn't always have a love affair with gray. My first home I purchased had gray walls. I found it to be depressing and gloomy and I immediately painted over it. I traded the gloominess for a soft hay color, taupe and bright red. I can't exactly pin down when I fell in love with gray, but our new home, has been drenched in gray. It is kinda like that friend you always had around and one day you looked at him and realized, he was so much more. Well, thats how it happened with the color gray and I. Don't tell my husband! Gray is vintage, but it is also modern. It is worn, but it is all new.

(Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens)

My taste has evolved to find it refreshing, soft, comforting and well...a much better backdrop than white. I grew tired of white, khaki and taupe as the "go to" neutral. When I saw gray paired with goldenrod, pumpkin, then with lime green, navy, and even pink, and I realized that gray is that new white. The color that everything looks better with. It is a staple in my wardrobe. I'd be hard pressed to find a day that I didn't have some form of gray on.

(Courtesy of Southern Living)

(Courtesy of Martha Stewart)

So if you are looking for a neutral and you have grown tired of white and taupe....just give gray a chance!

And if you are looking for an accent color "Almost Charcoal" by Valspar is an amazing deep gray. It comes from the Color Studio Fall/Winter Line. I will be using this color to redo an old vintage mirror!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mill & Warehouse Sale

Spent the morning rummaging through a Mill & Warehouse Sale in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. I am loving the old industrial items. I didn't end up buying anything today, it was a little difficult to rummage through items with two little ones! I did manage to get some great photos to share. Here are some of my favorite images from today.

Several large laundry bins of thread and yarn spools.

Fell in love with this vintage sign.

Saw several wooden and metal tables along with old card catalogue cabinets and drawers. The card catalogue cabinets are hard to get your hands on. If you see one, grab it! People love them.

And my trusty assistant for today, Onna!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekend Special!

One of my favorite events is happening this weekend! The barn sale at Three Potato Four in Manayunk. Always a unique display of vintage and antique items. Check them out this weekend at 376 Shurs Lane, Philadelphia from 9-3. If you can't make it, you can also find them online at Great place to be inspired to incorporate some vintage pieces in your decor.

I scored a pair of psychedelic orange chairs. Bonus swivel feature! Stay tuned for their transformed look.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October Inspiration Shots

As a newly self-proclaimed blogger, I find inspiration for Collected Comfort in many different things. As we delve deeper into Autumn, there is something so refreshing about being in touch with nature. This shot of my daughter Onna's feet says a lot about my design style of Collected Comfort. Something effortless, something natural, something so simple, yet profoundly beautiful.