"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Halloween Folk Art & Carvings

While everyone else seems to be enjoying long days on the beach, sitting by the pool, and sipping ice cold drinks, I'm busy inside whipping up some Fall folk art!

Would you believe I actually had to look up the difference between a crow and a raven? Now class, attention forward. One way to tell the difference between a raven and crow is a raven's tail comes to a triangular point, while a crow's tail is more rounded.

The raven, we'll just call him, "Sebastian", sits on top of a hand-carved jack o'lantern. It doesn't appear the JOL is too pleased about it either! Sebastian's all dressed for the Halloween party - complete with a party hat and his trick or treat bag. A vintage orange chenille "bump" and silver garland help decorate his costume. I thought it still needed something so I mounted the JOL on top of an old toy block and then painted and sprinkled it with purple glitter. A decorative trim finished off the piece.

Standing about 10 inches tall are three stacked hand-carved and painted jack o'lanterns.

Somebody stop me! Here's another raven I'll call, "Betsy." Before her night on the town, Betsy dons her witch's hat and wool cape. An old cloth orange button completes her Halloween look. She perches herself on top of a hand-carved pumpkin with vintage velvet leaves.

This mini Headless Horseman is one of my very first attempts at needle-felting last year. He's rough around the edges, but you'd be too if you were missing a head.

Another one of my first needle-felting projects. The boy stands about 5 inches tall and is sculpted from wool. I then used 100% wool to make clothes. His little sheep is also needle-felted and has a tiny rusty bell around his neck. What I most like about the sheep is that his legs are made from antique rusted square-tip nails.

Toil and Trouble!

A needle-felted witch holding a cauldron of turtle-egg stew! Kaleena is made from 100% wool and is soft as a pillow!

Looks like Gertrude is paying her sister a visit! Gertrude is hand-carved and painted. She wears an apron detailed with a Halloween motif and carries a very frightened jack o'lantern on her back.

I got the idea to do this carving from an old Halloween postcard, but instead of a witch, it was a black cat walking with the JOL.

It seems I'm constantly looking for new things to create! Here's a bottle brush tree I bleached and dyed black. Using pieces from old jewelry, black flowers, tiny charms, and other assorted pieces, I came up with this silver and black creation.

You never know when your Muse will redirect you! Originally. this Halloween witch was supposed to be Mrs. Santa Claus!

Not so much for Halloween, but more of a Fall carving of a big cat resting on sheep.

A hand-carved frightened pumpkin man!

Believe it or not, these two little trick-or-treaters (about 3 inches tall) were probably the hardest pieces you've seen. Working with such a small amount of wood and a knife can be pretty tricky! I thought they turned out really sweet.

I made this big chunky piece about two years ago for my friend, Shannon, who was hosting a big Halloween party for a bunch of kids.

I thought it would be boring to just paint them orange!

This Fall, I'm hoping to open an Etsy shop and maybe join a new website that features art from the Bucks County area. I hope to be just like Grandma Moses, creating until the day God decides to bring me home!


  1. When in the world did you have time for all of that?!?!? You need to send the first raven and the headless pumpkin guy in to be published!!! Seriously! You need to do it soon so that they can get it in the fall magazines!! I will send you the length.

  2. what great creations, and NO i didn't even ever consider the difference between a crow and a raven! You're like all the stores now, way ahead and ready for the upcoming holidays, ha,ha! Really great creations, and I loved the felting boy too! Suzie

  3. Can you carve a mother goose with a patchwork dress? Just asking...and wondering how much you would charge. I LOVE your work, it is wonderful. You are very very talented. How about a gnome my dear!

  4. I love you caving It makes me want to go carve.I have a bird started now I have to finish it Laura Q

  5. You. Are. Amazing!!! I love it all, and I am bowled over by your talent. I love Fall and Halloween so much. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm ready for both! We haven't turned the air conditioner off in about a month. It's the hottest summer I can remember. Bring on the Fall! Oh, and that Headless Horseman is just awesome!
    Happy Sunday!

  6. Oh My Goodness! You have the most jam packed creative blog I have ever seen! I have so enjoyed scrolling through your posts amazing at your wonderful carvings. I love the photo of all your supplies and the items that become your creations. All the little spools waiting to be carved - WOW! Apron tag! Do you know I have sent it out, but for some reason if you haven't gotten it, it has been mistakingly sent to someone else. When I get my own back in the mail I will send it to you. I am so sorry about the mix-up! I have terrible short-term memory, and answering comments I will often mix up people. Have a great week ahead! Elizabeth

  7. Thanks so much! My head is so swelled right now I don't think I can fit it through the door.

  8. The needle felting is AWESOME! I've been wanting to have a go at it myself, but need to gather supplies first. And Sebastian! I love him!

  9. OK I get it....I have been spending too much time at the pool...and not enough time in the studio. Your creations are wonderful...so glad you stopped by to visit my blog.

  10. Hey Jill, thanks for stopping by!! No esty yet, gotta get that studio done! Sim is on vacation next week!! Grand Opening? Didn't think of that one! LOL That sounds scarey to me!! LOL Are you gonna have one? LOL I do like cookies and coffee!! tee hee My most favorite bird is a crow!! I just found out they are also called JACKDAWS!! Ravens are awesome too!! I wrote down in my book the diff between them. Thanks!! XO Fran.

  11. Oh, be still heart. I am totally head over heels in love with that first raven. Mrs. Claus the witch and the two little trick-or-treaters. Woman, you have been BUSY! What an artist you are. And I agree, you should submit to publications. Great stuff.