Saturday, September 24, 2011


I promised a few more pictures of our Halloween merchandise, so I thought I better get this online before it sells out!
Here are some of our best selling shimmer lights . . .we have witches and pumpkins, too.  Beside them, you see our set of two hand/guest towels.
candle and towels
Mix-up your favorite poison with these skull and cross bones drink stirs.
cocktail stirs

Here are some vials inspired by the Gibson Girls of the past.creepy gibson girls
A skull under glass, a coozie for your favorite bottled beverage and a set of three candlesticks (battery operated) dripping blood red wax!
dinner for the dead
Here we are—the perfect hat stand—a glitter skull ( I would estimate it is “full size”) with a stylish witches hat—complete with veil!  You’ll be the best dressed witch on the street. glitter skull in veiled hat
Alright—these are my favorite decorations this year—SPIDER MAGNETS!!!  Not being a fan of spiders, I was surprised to find how much I like these.  They have strong magnets, so it looks like the real thing, as their bellies don’t touch—just their legs.  (I just shivered!)  Pair them with a silver-beaded web (almost too glammy to be spooky) and it will be very convincing.
glitter web & spiders
Fool your friends with these “family photos.”  Our holographic images are real vintage photos which change into spooky apparitions at different angles.
mantel w family pics
A glamorous feathered mask is practically required when drinking potions from a mercury glass  apothecary jar.mask & potionmercury glass skull

A mercury glass skull is my idea of the way to decorate for this holiday.morticia's black roses

Black roses worthy of Mortician Addams.

One of our Plush Pumpkins  in espresso.  It is “wearing” our wicked cool spider web pendant.
plush pumpkin w spider
Skull & cross bones bracelets—can double as napkin rings for your spooky gatherings.
skull & cross bones bracelet
A rather convincing skull.  I feel a Shakespeare soliloquy coming on . . .
A well dressed ghoul will have plenty of bling!
spider rings
Sugar mold votive holders in the perfect fall finish.
sugar mold in fall color
Tip the top hat to your date—the veil and enhancer guarantee your presence on the “best dressed” list.
top hat w veil

There are a few items I haven’t captured in photos—glowing aliens in futuristic goo, a haunted nightlight, chalkboard pumpkins and oversized flies, to name a few.
I hope you feel inspired to introduce a little spectral elegance into your Halloween décor this year.
How do you decorate for this holiday?  For the kids?  For adults?  Any special tips you can offer are welcome.
Thanks for your indulgence,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Autumn

There are so many reasons to love the fall season—cooler temperatures, pumpkin cookies, vibrant colors, soup, Halloween and bonfires—just to name a few. 
At Hodgepodge, we have been so busy unpacking Christmas ornaments (ARGH!) that we’ve barely had the opportunity to bring out the fall décor.  Yesterday, I asked Ryan to take a few pictures of what little we’ve accomplished, so I could provide a teaser, for you—and me, as I’ve been away from the shop for a few days.
Well, imagine my surprise when he uploaded this picture:
fall arrangement
I didn’t do that! 
It seems Ryan was very busy this weekend!  What a comfort and a blessing to know I’ve got such wonderful, capable and talented help in my friends:  Patty, Ryan and (in abstentia) Jennifer when I have to be away!  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my wonderful, capable and talented daughter, Hunter, as well.  In addition to carrying her full load of college courses this week, she is running the shop during her hours away from the classroom.  How lucky am I?!?
He also tweaked a few details prior to taking these photos.
fall plush pumpkins
Plush Pumpkins—our quickly dwindling  supply!  Come in soon for the “cream of the crop.”
harvest time table
A few pumpkins, persimmons, plus our new artichoke candles complete the fall harvest.
screened door table
Add a pumpkin and sunflowers—you have a fall table setting.
Now, to put you in the mood for All Hallows’ Eve, just a few pictures:
family portraits
Our wall of family photos will capture your attention . . .

mercury skull under glass
A Mercury Glass Skull . . . under glass.

sparkle skull witch
This sparkle skull is the perfect perch for
one of our witch hats.

spooky mantel
Mantel decked in an array of spooky paraphernalia—complete with hand beaded silver cobweb—
no house should be without one!

spooky stuff
A former mantel topper reflects our huge variety of Halloween decorations.
For the best selection of any of our seasonal items, I encourage you to drop in the shop, if at all possible, but if not—give us a call and we’ll help you over the phone!
As always, thanks for your indulgence!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sticks and Branches

Resistance is futile. I’ve been fighting it—standing on my moral high ground of the September equinox—but it is pointless. Fall will arrive at Hodgepodge next week. We will add the velvet pumpkins, the transforming hologram pictures and the fall colored silk flowers. Frankly, I’m a little excited as it is my favorite time of year. My house will not transform until after the equinox, but being in a retail business, I must conform ever so slightly to the big box stores if I want to survive.

One of my favorite year round decorations, sticks and branches, take on special significance this time of year. I’ve mentioned them before—their many uses are amazing and seemingly endless. One of my favorite uses is as a canopy—suspended from the ceiling.

Of all of the beautiful items I carry in Hodgepodge, nothing gets more complimentary commentary than my canopies of branches! We’ve used them in the windows, at the entrance of the shop and in our Halloween room—laden with black leaves and pods (one of my all-time favorites--here’s a link to my blog about it). Even as I type, there are two large, moss covered branches waiting on the front porch of the shop. They will be hung today and I will add smaller branches to fill-in the space next week. String lights are a requisite part of this plan, but I will put them on the big branches only. (This has been a lesson I’ve gleaned from many years of trying to retrieve string lights from the brittle branches once they had served their time.)


(I was in a bit of a time crunch and didn’t get the lights on yet, but here it is with spider webs and oversized flies!)

One of the things I often overhear friends whispering to each other as they stare up at my display is: “How could I do that at my house?” Or, “That would look great in my ________ (fill-in the blank) room.” So, I’ve decided to give some tips for creating your own natural canopy.

First, you’ll need to gather the braches you want. The storm last week has left our yard littered with branches the wind “cleaned” out of the trees. They seem like the obvious solution, but you want to make sure that they are not too brittle and dry, especially if you intend to leave the display up for a while. (Here’s where I need to insert the disclaimer about spraying your stick with a fire retardant if you plan to use string lights. I haven’t done it in the past, but considering our propensity for fires, I probably will this time! Do this outdoors prior to hanging.)

branches and vines

Second, you need to scheme out how the branches will hang—in a fan-like formation or a bow-like formation. Once that’s determined, you’ll need some medium-sized eye hooks (cup hooks will work, too, but you need to be careful to turn the opening away from the pull of the string). Screw the eye hooks into the ceiling; you’ll need several per branch. If you’re just hanging the branches with a string of lights, you probably don’t need to use anchors, but if you plan to suspend other items from the branches you should use anchors.

Next, it is time to grab a friend. You can probably do this part alone—I often do—but a friend makes it much easier and quicker. You’ll need monofilament (fishing line) or another string to hang the branches. I usually use jute twine, because I like that look. You will cut a length of string 2 times as long as you think you’ll need. Tie one end to the eye hook, then have your friend hand you the end of the branch. Loop the string around the branch and pull to adjust it to the right height. Run the string back through the eye hook and once more around the branch for security. Repeat this process until the branches are suspended as you desire. Adorn with string lights, paper lanterns and/or faux silk flowers and vines; you’re only limited by your imagination and the weight of your adornments!

I hope you’ll let me know if you decide to try this idea in your home!Thanks for your indulgence.


Monday, September 5, 2011

What’s in a Monogram?

Brain cramp! I’m rarely at a loss for words, but when it comes to thinking of something new or, at the very least, old, but interesting to say, I’m starting to suffer from that thing called “writer’s block.” So, I shifted gears and remembered how many of my wonderful readers have told me that they feel like their having a conversation with me while reading my articles. (The BEST compliment I can receive, thank you!)

So, I called my Mom and started talking . . . we chatted about a myriad of things, mainly ideas for transitioning into fall. I know this seems to be the subject that won’t go away, but summer is the season that won’t go away! Thus, I’ve landed upon another idea that will work in any season, in any room of your house and you can use what you’ve already got at home.

I’m talking about monograms.

There was a time, during high school, when I wouldn’t be caught dead with anything monogrammed, but now—I want to monogram everything. There is something about adding your monogram to almost anything that takes it to a new level.

I’ve sold monogrammed items in the shop ever since I opened, but I didn’t have many monograms in my house. Then one day—okay, over series of days, weeks, even months—monograms started to insinuate themselves into my personal décor. It started with one little throw pillow on the bed and now, they’re everywhere. I am, for the moment, referring to embroidered monograms. Here’s how you can use them:

. . . in the bedroom. As I stated, I monogrammed a pillow—a simple hemstitched linen pillow—but you can monogram your euro shamsH monogram with a large centered monogram. This can be a large single letter or the traditional three letter monogram; you might add a wreath or other embellishment. You can also add your monogram to the hem of the standard pillowcase or the flat sheet. Make sure you have them stitched on the side which faces up when the bed is made. (Seems silly, but they could come back wrong!)

. . . in the bathroom, of course, you can monogram towels. If you do this, consider how you hang your towels—folded in half, folded in thirds or on a hook. I would limit it to bath and hand towels. Basic monograms are nice for your bath, but you can also embellish with something expressive, such as an icon (crown, fleur de lis or ladybug). Don’t forget the hand towels for the guest bath.

. . . in the living room, you can add a monogram to your sofa pillows or your throws. A beautiful monogram centered on a luxurious throw you drape on the back of your sofa will make a huge impact.

K monogram

And finally, in the dining room you can add your monogram to an infinite number of surfaces, such as the tablecloth, napkins and chairs.  (Of course, this one isn’t a monogram, but it is along the same lines . . .)bon appetit

I have more ideas, but I’ve run out of room! Check out my blog for more ideas and, of course, pictures! Thanks again for reading—I really appreciate it!

Do you use monograms in your home?  Any new ideas?

Thanks for your indulgence!


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