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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Tale of a House in Spitalfields ~ England

Happy Halloween my dear friends!

Today I wanted to share with you a home located in London that is high on my bucket list of places to visit.

Is is an enchanting Georgian terraced home located at 18 Folgate Street Spitalfields, London, England.

Spitalfields is located in the East End area of London. Beginning in 1685 several French refugees settled in the area after receiving the Edict of Fontainebleau which was issued by Louis XIV. The edict revoked the previous Edict of Nantes (1598) which had given the Huguenots (French Protestants) the right to practice their religion without persecution from the state. The Edict of Fontainebleau ordered all Huguenot churches and schools to be closed or destroyed. The Huguenots were also ordered to convert to Catholicism. As a result hundreds of thousands of French citizens left France seeking asylum in other countries.

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Christ Church, Spitalfields

At the time the area was outside of London as the French refugees hoped to avoid the restrictions of the City Councils. Most of the Huguenots literally fled with just the clothes on their backs. But they had tremendous skill in the area of silk weaving. This proved to be a very lucrative skill indeed for those who had settled here.

Spitalfields silk weavers, 1893.

By the late 18th century the area was filled with well appointed terraced houses and mansions which surrounded Spital Square. As the silk industry died the city fell into a deep decay that lasted for decades. Thankfully Spitalfields has recently been revitalized by the Spitalfields Trust, who saw the value in saving the area from urban blight.

In 1979, when the area was still questionable, an American, Dennis Severs, moved into the dilapidated property on Folgate Street . It had no electricity or running water.

He set about restoring ten rooms inside the house. Each room is decorated in a different historic design style from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The rooms were arranged as if the owners, members of the fictional Jervis family, have just left each room moments before your arrival.

There are displays such as half-eaten bread as well as different smells and background sounds for each room.

Mr. Severs referred to the scenes in the rooms as “still life drama”. It is indeed an art installation that lives out the lives of occupants that are said to not truly exist.

The attention to detail is astonishing.

Some of the rooms are opulently furnished as befitting a silk merchant.

Other rooms indicate that the family fortune has begun to dwindle.

For me this would be the ultimate ghost story to experience.

Mr. Severs generously bequeathed his home to the Spitalfields Trust shortly before his death in 1999. It is open to the public and run by his friend, curator Mick Pedroli.

The motto of the home is “Aut Visum Aut Non” (You either see it or you don't).

Part I of a brilliant BBC program.

Part II

Part III

I see it. Do you?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do The Mash ~ a DTA Playlist

Beasts and ghouls at the D├ęcor To Adore haunted manor have created a fun playlist of their 40 favorite Halloween hits.

You can find the list (and listen if you wish) on the sidebar of the blog. It does not automatically turn on as a courtesy for those who prefer quiet settings. You can also go directly to the Playlist site HERE.

Let me know if I overlooked one of your frightening favorites.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Candy Here!

Yes, I am of the School House Rock generation. (Smile)

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When I was creating the banner for my recent tablescape I ended up not using the extra circular images that Moselle generously added. But I can’t let a good thing go to waste so I enlisted Sweet Boy’s help and he used a circular paper punch on these cute images. Additional images from Moselle can be found HERE.

We were trying to think of how we could use them in a craft or treat for his classmates. I remembered that I had some leftover lollipop sticks (from Michaels cake decorating aisle) and a crafty idea was born.

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Sweet Boy glued the stick in between two paper images with a bit of Elmer’s craft glue. I placed a heavy phone book on top of the lolly’s while they were drying to press the paper firmly together. Afterwards the images received a bit of Stickles glitter for accent, Halloween colored raffia bows and one wee button from the old button box.

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We added a few lolly’s for decoration in linen bags filled with animal crackers for our neighbors.

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The rest of the lolly’s received a small square of photo tape placed on the backside and a piece of candy was attached.

You could also use double sided tape but I do not recommend hot glue as it could melt the candy wrapper.

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Sweet Boy will pass out the remaining lolly treats to his classmates on Halloween. As I had everything on hand this goodie was only the price of a bag of candy.

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I am a sucker for Reese’s Pumpkins. What is your favorite kind of candy?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

B is for Boo!

The typography trend is still going strong and I wanted to add a bit of fun to my buffet.

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I had looked for inspiration on Pinterest and found some really darling designs.

This wall hanging was created from wooden letters by Then She Made.

Uncommon made clever yarn wrapped letters.


I adore the delightful details A Diamond in the Stuff added.

There were several white pumpkins embellished with “BOO”. My favorite design was done by my good friend Yvonne.

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But for all my searching there were very few letters in non traditional neutral colors. So I decided to give it a go. I began with paper mache letters found at Hobby Lobby.

Paper Mache Letter - B

Before I started painting I traced the letter onto the backside of the scrapbook paper. It was a heavy card stock weight. The letters were spray painted with a light coating of Krylon semi~gloss white. Once they were dry I hand painted the sides and interiors of the letters with Folkart Metallic Champagne acrylic paint. I then added a light coating of Mod Podge onto the letter and carefully placed the hand cut cardstock paper in place.

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Once the letter was dry there were a few edges of the cardstock that needed to be cleaned up. I used an hobby/utility/exacto knife I purchased ages ago at Hobby Lobby.


A generous amount of Elmer’s glue was added to the sides and interiors of the letters. Then a heaping amount of platinum colored German glass glitter was sprinkled over the glue. Once dry I added a seam binding bow, a bit of raffia and a button to the “B” with a bit of hot glue.

On a side note, I selected two different designs of cardstock for the front and back. One shade was more of a white palette and the other a darker cream so I could change the look on a whim.

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For now I am enjoying the creamier letters. But after Halloween I plan on hosting a garage sale and I might use the white letters in another configuration: OBO (or best offer :)

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Boo to you!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Party Favors

I created a few Halloween favors for a recent tablescape as well as some treats for a few special kids in my neighborhood.

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A few years ago I had seen common peat pots elevated to Easter bliss in an issue of Somerset Life. Recently I was reading Heather Bullard’s Souvenir Autumn Gazette‏. Inside this online gem was an article on creating chalkboard treat baskets.

As luck would have it I had some round peat pots leftover from another project and some black paint on hand. I rounded up some cheap labor my children and we painted the pots with simple black acrylic paint. I imagine that you could spray paint the pots as well.

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I never like to copy another persons creativity exactly so I added a bit of gold glitter to the top edge of the pot and printed out a royalty free image that reminded me of a sweet black cat I used to have as a child. 


I then took a large piece of tulle and using a dinner plate as a pattern cut out a piece of circular netting to line the baskets. Trail mix was placed inside.

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Simple black and white curling ribbon secured the netting closed. I used a chalkboard pen to write “Boo!” on one side and hot glued a pair of googly eyes to the other. (I can particularly relate to the guy with wonky eyes on the left. :)

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In addition to the tabletop treats I created some takeaway gifts that I attached to the back of each chair. This metal cone was filled with a chocolate bar and two old fashioned candy sticks from Walgreens.

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Another cone received a wrapped tube of M&M’s, candy sticks and a bar of wrapped soap.

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Here is the owl image I used from The Graphics Fairy.


Smaller guests received linen bags filled with animal crackers and paper lollies which I will show you how to create on Friday.

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Overall the treats were a sweet addition to the Spooktacular Tablescape.

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This week marks the end of the Fall In Love Linky Party. It is hard to believe but November is almost upon us and so starts the holiday season. Although I will no longer be hosting a weekly linky party, I do plan on hosting a seasonal Home For The Holidays linky party as well as a few great giveaways. It has been fun and I thank all of you who have participated.


I can’t wait to fall in love with your creations!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paper Rosettes

In Monday’s post I shared with you that I had covered up a decorating faux pas with a paper rosette. The are so fun and take just minutes to make.

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You will need:

Three pages from a book. (For the rosettes I’ve shown it was an average sized paperback.)

A hot glue gun (Although you could use regular glue and a clothespin to hold the pages in place while drying.)

A bone folder (To help create a crisp crease/fold.)

You can purchase bone folders at any craft store. They come in a variety of sizes.

Now I could have spent approximately one hour trying to photograph myself creating a paper folding tutorial, and another hour uploading and adjusting the images, etc. but of course some other brilliant person in blogland has already done it. Thank you Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks. I can now use the two hours to craft other things. (Working smarter, not harder.)

Take one book page and make one even fold approximately 1/2” wide. (No need for a ruler though.) Just as you made paper fans as a child, make another 1/2” fold in the opposite direction. I actually fold my pages from the bottom of the page, up, verses the side to side shown here. Continue to do this for the entire length of the book page. It will then resemble an accordion.

Fold the pleated page in half. While Kirsten used tape, I added just a bit of hot glue inside the folded edges to secure. You can also use regular glue and a clothespin to hold the folded page in place until it dries. (A good option for kids.)

Once you have three “fans” you will then glue each fan to another forming a circle.

Your finished rosette will resemble something like this:

Once you have your rosette you can then add a paper doily to the back and a punched image on the front. Creating a rosette sandwich of sorts. I also added a bamboo skewer so that I could tuck it into the netting.

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The image used for the above rosette came from the wonderful Graphics Fairy.


Of course you can forgo the doily and add the rosette directly onto other surfaces such as a gift bag or chocolate bars. I wrote a detailed post on how to create paper wrapping for chocolate HERE.

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Whooo did the owl image? It was of course The Graphics Fairy once again. I just used a circular paper punch and added a bit of Stickles gold glitter glue to the leaves.


The rosettes can be strung together to create darling banners as well. This one is by Kirsten.

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So are you a “fan” of the rosette?