Friday, October 16, 2015

Shake them bones!

In this post I will share a little bit of Pagan history and hopefully amuse you with a bunch of funny photos in our row-home. Our Halloween theme this year is skeletons. But first congratulations go to Penny White of Angelsdoor you have won my French giveaway from my last post. Please email me your address and the movie, music and cookies will be sent to you wrapped in my signature gift wrap for you to enjoy.

My disclaimer right up front is that even with all my seriousness in explaining celebrations this will hopefully turn into a fun Halloween post. I will share October 31st my poem I wrote for this post followed by a 1929 Disney short film that’s one of my Halloween favorites.

A felt handmade skeleton face pillow and Dammit Doll (a gag gift from my Grand Gabrielle).

Halloween is believed to be when the veil between the Worlds is at its thinnest between Earth and the other side. Ask people what is All Hallows’ eve and many will just say Halloween is when kids go out knock on doors and shout trick or treat for candy. There are 3 days of celebrations that occur between October 31 to November 2. Halloween is referred to as All Hallows’ Eve meaning hallowed evening. 

November 1 is a festival in Christian churches with prayers dedicated to remembering the dead, which includes Saints (Hallows). November 2 is All Souls’ Day. A festival in Christian churches with prayers for the Souls’ of the decreased. Both All Saints day and All Souls’ Day have Pagan roots. Where people attend services and light candles on the graves of the dead.

Photo credit Randal Sheppard

In Mexican tradition the celebration of the Day of the Dead begins on the evening of October 31 and ends on November 2nd. A celebration born over 3000 years ago with pagan Aztec roots. Day of the Dead is known as Dia de los Muertos. Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died and it runs parallel with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. See it’s just not about gathering candy during trick or treat. Although I simply adore a fresh “Almond Joy” on Halloween.  

I love the exuberance in the festivities during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos and do hope to one day participate in its celebrations in Mexico. I guess it too has been added to my “bucket list”.

(Kah Tequila hand painted Day of the Dead skull bottles in Blanco and Ańejo on our dining room bar cart)

Were you aware that in Mexico Marigolds are sometimes referred to as “flowers of the dead”. Personally Marigolds are not favored by me, although Mom always told me they help keep bugs away, especially fly's and ants. In Portugal and Spain ofrenda’s (offerings) are made in honor of the deceased. But ofrenda’s and celebrations are also held in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, El Salvador and Brazil.

I do find comfort in all the prayers and remembrances worldwide because my son Chris passed on November 2, 2013 and I truly believe there is much healing power in prayer. 

This couple snuggles on my French sofa upstairs in our sitting room and I swear I hear much laughter out of the two. Sure maybe it’s my overactive imagination but I do believe in - a love so strong, forever together is where they belong. 

Not my jokes - I googled them

On the way upstairs I often in my imagination see this. The guy telling jokes and she’s laughing in absolute delight.

(Mark Parisi - October 2015)
I enjoyed this and thought I’d share.

Marcel the French Bulldog jumped up on our bed ready to take a little snooze. Imagine his surprise when Bones tried introducing himself.

Sniffing each other and quickly becoming friends. We purchased Bones 8 years ago at Target. He’s a battery operated motion activated skeleton dog who says a few rude things. Every year on Halloween night we sit out on our stoop giving out candy to over 200 kids. Most kids get a kick out of Bones and will wave their hands to hear all he has to say. But then there are those few who are afraid of him and we have to walk down the steps to hand them their candy.

Well I’ll admit in the dark with glowing eyes saying things like “Hey what did you wake me up for? I was having the best nightmare - all the cats in the world were turned into Zombies and were eating their own litter”! Bones can frighten.

Max -->^..^< joined in (he was curious about what I was doing upstairs).

Friends it seems, guarding the street.

Skeleton rats on top of my Edgar Allan Poe book in our living room.

While I was setting up the 3 rats to photograph them for this post Simon >^_^< checked him out.

On steps 9 and 10. A share - when my brother Kevin saw the numbers I painted on the basement steps his comment was ... “Don’t you think they are a bit Adrian Monkish, Vera?” What can I say Kevin is a psychologist and one of his favorite old shows was “Monk” who had OCD.

An attack ensured, I guess you can never trust a dirty rat. Below is my poem October 31st I wrote for this post, followed by sources and then a short Disney film from 1929. Enjoy your Halloween celebration, it falls on a Saturday this year. See you soon.

If a spine chilling response is what you feel when things go bump in the night,
I've oftentimes found it turns into an unexpected exhilarating evening delight...

Not trying to cause you anxiety or any heightened deep rooted fear,
I'm just saying All Hallows' eve for me is an enjoyed night of the year.

Halloween is once again upon us with all its ghostly, ghoulish skeletons that on this evening inhabit the earth.
I believe in participating in trick or treat and then observing All Souls' Day and Old Saints day and celebrate for all it's worth.

If the veil is lifted and the past spirits walk amongst us in present time on Halloween eve -
Perhaps the veil is just a filter for insightful perception while we can see what others aren't willing to perceive.

Shrouded in eerie costumes to obscure the otherworldly haunting that permeates the moonlight mist,
Participating in the evenings activities a ghostly encounter could be ignored or quickly dismissed.

I grew up with hearing gruesome urban legends that sent tingles up and down my spine.
Now I believe in my heart and mind a love never dies and I'm always looking for a message or sign.

On November 1st I will celebrate as they do in Mexico the day of the dead, for its an important start ...
To share stories and participate in festivities to honor the dead while holding memories alive in your heart.

© Vera

Rusty metal cross garland - Anita Spero Design - etsy
Skeleton face felt pillow - uneekpillows - etsy
Rat Skeletons -
Marcel the French Bulldog bobble head -
Find Zinc on Instagram at Modern Industrial Farmhouse

Friday, October 2, 2015

en Noir et Blanc and a French giveaway...

This post is about mystery, suspense and film noir while capturing en noir photos in our home. There is a French giveaway too, no hoops to jump through just leave a comment to have the opportunity to win. Film noir is a term coined by the French, literally meaning "Black film" predominantly Hollywoods crime films from the 40's and 50's. Film noir crime and thriller films that use dark shadows and lighting with oftentimes foreboding background music. To set the mood, anxiety is expressed mingled with confusion and distrust. My favorite en Noir film is "Casablanca" from 1946 starring Bogart and Bergman. Followed by my second favorite "Key Largo" in 1948 with Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Bogart's spouse Lauren Bacall. I simply fell in love with film noir.

It wasn't until my early 20's I discovered film noir and first watched "Key Largo and "Casablanca" I was captivated by the lighting accents to the dark and dramatic. I believe it set a mood deep within me that I've chased after all my adult years and reflects in all my choices in décor.

Last month during my Birthday fête, antiquing followed by a French meal in Lambertville, NJ. I took this photo. As I watched John place a purchase into the back seat of our 1972 French Citroën DS Pallas in my minds eye I saw it en noir and became the inspiration for this post and a very new creative adventure and new interest.

I usually post my poetic expression at the end but here it is as we continue on exploring en noir.

Murder, espionage, mystery and intrigue, these have always been the genre of films that captivate me.
A thriller so suspenseful it grips you with anxiety as you watch through fingers held over your eyes afraid of what you may see.

A brilliantly written psychological thriller that puts you at the edge of your seat, a plot so scary you truly think you will pee.
A "private eye" or law enforcement investigator gathering the clues as you watch intensely attempting to foresee.

As the plot thickens your heightened awareness is causing your pulse to race as you fixate on discovering the pivotal key...
It's through the anticipation of climatic suspense that the rush of adrenaline surges through your mind and sets you free to experience glee.

So pop some Popcorn, dim the lights and enjoy en noir delights of film and in its mystery hopefully you will appreciate and agree
Films en noir et blanc or just about anything from the 40's and 50's are unique and in today's standards ever so artsy.
© Vera

The giveaway includes: "The Red Balloon" a French fantasy short film from 1956 which won an Oscar for short film, only 34 minutes long. The filmmaker Albert Lamorissa filmed it in the Ménilmontant neighborhood (20th district/arrondissement) of Paris. Also a CD - Les Grand Charisons Francaises. French songs, 18 hits and is 59 minutes long. It's a historic award winning collection. To add a taste enjoyment I've added a box of my favorite French butter cookies. Pierre Biscuiterie butter cookies in sea salt caramel. I will wrap the 3 gifts in a French inspired paper wrap with Parisian ribbon which is my signature gift wrap. The giveaway is open world wide, so who ever wins - enjoy.

Film noir is Hollywoods own true artistic movement. So here goes my photo essay of my experimenting en noir. I tried and key word is attempted to capture en noir throughout our row-home. 

Setting a mood in the dark and dramatic shadows of light.

While researching for this post I found something to add to my bucket list. Every January since 2003 in San Francisco a film noir festival and extravaganza is attended by people from all over the world for 10 glorious days to participate in a festival of films and star appearances which also includes guest speakers.

Recently I purchased this software program by idimager. 

I want to be able to use it effectively to produce my Holiday presentation this Winter. I will join in again this year with other blogger friends and we will each present a performance in our theatre's as our little Christmas time folly and entertainment for you.

I'm currently trying to produce an enchanting production staged in two counties in two different theatre's this year. Yes, of course it's all make believe! A play that takes place in France and Romania. I truly hope I've interested you and here's a little un-staged peek at one of the plays. Of course en noir and hopefully suspenseful with an imaginative story line.

Although en noir is an art form not easily defined I prefer to define it as a mood and an emotional feeling. We live a vertical lifestyle on 3 floors in our row-home and stairs to me often take on their own unique personalities. Photo is ascending upstairs in converted noir.

Walking downstairs from the kitchen into the laundry room. 

Dramatic and moody oftentimes intense helps to define en noir.

My en noir photo of a mouse, on our mantel in the sitting/reading room.  The two larger pumpkins were created by me in silk velvet.

An en noir capture of a display of a signed print "Wicked" by the very talented artist Penny White from the blog Angelsdoor. In a future post I will show this in its actual unaltered light and placement.

When I started to blog it was my son Chris who most inspired me to share from my heart... To share my talents, beliefs and my poetry in every post. I try to honor him and his request. I try to post in creativity and not of a religious nature or in a political view just posts that are thought provoking.

Posting this photo gave me much hesitation. Saturday September 26th on the last leg of a historic visit in the US the Pope was in Philadelphia. The city I love and choose to call home. John and I headed north to avoid gridlock and traffic congestion. We met up with a few French vintage car friends at a friends home and enjoyed a small get together with food and drink and then went to a vintage car show. During the walk around chatting and looking at interesting cars my friend Carmo started to look upwards into the clouds and started to snap some photos... I paused a few moments and when I looked up I saw a very powerful message in the sky, this is the photo I captured.

Since this is an en nor post I did not alter the photo I took and just simply put it en noir. I will email the original photo to anyone who requests it. I ask for comments as to what you see, powerful sky, no doubt, but I saw a very powerful message and the reason for me to share this. Look past the wire utility poles, look in the center and to the right ... Tell me what you see, I am a humbled Catholic and will say message received.

See you soon with my Halloween post and poetry. Please leave a comment to enter the giveaway and as always I love to hear your thoughts and enjoy reading your comments.

source of print