Like Valentines Day, I can’t help feeling that Halloween has got a bit commercial these days. When it comes to plastic fangs, rubber rats and glittery skulls (BTW this is possibly the most hilarious ‘crafting idea’ ever from the mighty Martha. Simply dig up a grave…) you can count me out. Having said that, I’m all for a bit of pumpkin soup, some beautiful autumnal leaves scattered on a tablecloth, rustic party decorations, and cute Halloween crafting ideas – just not the whole plastic bat, plastic tat thing.

SweetsI love these pretty sweetie cones made from origami paper and tied with rustic twine. Beautiful – and a great idea for wedding confetti, too. Of course, in reality, any children trick-or-treating at my house on Saturday night are more likely to get a fun-size (what’s ‘fun’ about small?) Mars bar thrust into their sticky paws than a carefully crafted country-style cone, the aesthetic beauty of which would probably be wasted on the greedy little monkeys anyway. But it’s nice to dream.

halloween2If you’re artistic and clever (not sure if I attempted this that it would be a success!) you could carve lovely leaf shapes into pumpkins – much more classy than an evil face but, I admit, not so much fun lantern-wise. There’s nothing like a spot of apple bobbing to spoil guests’ carefully applied face paints – this idea of turning the bucket into a decoration itself is easy and it looks lovely. Float little candles among rosy apples, and choose a rustic metal pail (as opposed to a plastic washing-up bowl), for a gorgeous look.

hallAnother alternative to a scary face on a pumpkin is to cut small circular holes and create an elegant lantern look. By the way, if you’re having pumpkin trouble, the lovely people at House to Home have created a great ‘how-to carve a pumpkin’ video which might help! Check it out. I like these fab painted pumpkins from American Country Living magazine, too:

painted-pumpkin-1009-deSo many lovely ideas! And not a plastic bat in sight. I’m going to a Halloween party this weekend, but as the theme is ‘dead celebrities’, I’m not sure it’s going to be a classy, gorgeously-styled affair sadly… – Ellie

Antlers, antlers, everywhere

October 21, 2009

Think Dark Romanticism, Gothic Glamour, taxidermy, or, as Lisa refers to it: Night-at-the-Museum-chic. This season, there’s a huge trend towards the dead and decayed – we’re seeing skulls, bell jars, butterflies in display cases and skeletons scattered all over fashion and homes – it’s Natural History meets rock ‘n’ roll. But there’s one design item we just can’t escape. Every collection we see, every press show we go to, every book we open, has a pair of antlers – centre-stage.

Giselle NaturalAntlers have been cool for a while now, but only in designer-style homes. Now, they’re going mainstream. M&S has just revealed a huge, stunning, wooden stag head in its spring/summer 2010 collection, and Crown‘s newest young stencil designer, Bronwen Marshall, has produced a series of very cool antler stencils for The Stencil Library, if you prefer your bones 2D.

Giselle WhiteI’ve seen all kinds of antlers over the past few months. Elegant chrome ones at Next; sparkling Swarovski crystal-encrusted bling bling antlers on the walls of Whisky Mist nightclub;  colourful papier mache stag heads at Rockett St George

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It looks as though the antler trend is in full swing. Do you like them? Loathe them? Own a pair of your own? Let me know what you think! – Ellie