Finally, Fall! And A Very Vintage Halloween…

 

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Happy Fall, Y’all! What a long, hot summer it was! I usually adore the hot weather, but this year was extremely humid, hot, rainy and uncomfortable. I felt as happy as Linus in a pumpkin patch when Autumn “officially” arrived, and we had our first cool fall day here in New England!

I’ve been cleaning out the garden and flower beds, and adding color outside with mums, asters, decorative kale and pumpkins. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I especially love Halloween!

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New England is just so pretty and cozy this time of year; it’s at its best.

It’s places like this that make our winters worth dealing with!

It’s places like this that make our winters worth dealing with!

A chipmunk tries out a new home before winter sets in...

A chipmunk tries out a new home before winter sets in…

Newtown in October

Newtown in October

My daughter is a junior in high school now. I don’t have a little one anymore, but I still (and always will) like to decorate the house for Halloween. My Halloween decor is a nod to the old, vintage Halloween of generations past. Jolly, spooky, but never full of gore.

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Most of my Halloween decor is found in my kitchen and in the family room, where we spend most of our time together.

I think vintage treadle sewing machines look a bit “steampunk” cool, and I like to deck the “Red Eye” out for the seasons, starting with a few fun Halloween touches.

My favorite Halloween is vintage inspired. I made the needle felted pumpkins.

My favorite Halloween is vintage inspired. I made the needle felted pumpkins.

I love the paper mache decorations from the 20s - 40s, but they are usually out of my price range. This inspired cat in a pumpkin has the same vintage charm. From HomeGoods, marked 2001, it’s actually terra cotta.

I love the paper mache decorations from the 20s – 40s, but they are usually out of my price range. This inspired cat in a pumpkin has the same vintage charm. From HomeGoods, marked 2001, it’s actually terra cotta. The little candle/mobile is Scandinavian. Delicate and small, when the candle is lit, the top spins.

 

I usually don’t like resin, but this cat in a ruff looked ol’fashioned and caught my eye.

I usually don’t like resin, but this cat in a ruff looked ol’fashioned and caught my eye.

A few years back, I found Ellen Clapsaddle themed fabric, which I sewed into throw pillows.

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I used the rest of the fabric to sew up a cute Halloween apron to hang in the kitchen, using some vintage flour sack fabric for the ties and pocket.

No holiday is complete without light up vintage plastic. My best friend gave me this 60’s blow mold one year.

No holiday is complete without light up vintage plastic! My best friend gave me this 60’s blow mold one year.

And this vintage jack-o-lantern is one happy camper...

And this vintage jack-o-lantern is one happy camper…

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My kitchen sideboard takes on a different look each season. The first thing that comes out in fall is my Anchor Hocking glass pumpkin. My mom had one on her sideboard when I was growing up in the seventies; when she pulled it out in October, I knew Halloween wasn’t far away! A classic, I’ve had mine for over twenty years. I love that you can still find them on store shelves, like at Target.

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My aunt also shared a love of antiques, vintage and Halloween. We always sent each other Halloween cards. She sent me the “Wizard of Oz” leg lamp and coffee cup several years ago. Sadly, she passed away this past December, but I will always think of her and giggle when the lamp comes out each year.

Halloween in the kitchen. The 1940s clackers come out at Halloween and again at New Year’s.

Halloween in the kitchen. The 1940s clackers come out at Halloween and again at New Year’s.

Favorite cards of Halloweens past from my aunt, mom, bff and Farmgirl friends are displayed in an antique soda crate.

Favorite cards of Halloweens past from my aunt, mom, bff and Farmgirl friends are displayed in an antique soda crate.

Dessert plates from 2005 look more like vintage. Each has a different design.

Dessert plates from 2005 look more like vintage. Each has a different design.

I’ve never burned the realistic looking candle cake I bought many years ago. Odin and Scarlett wish it was real, too...

I’ve never burned the realistic looking candle cake I bought many years ago. Odin and Scarlett wish it was real, too…

Antique milk glass looks good in any season. I love how against fall colors it takes on a GHOSTLY look.

Antique milk glass looks good in any season. I love how against fall colors it takes on a GHOSTLY look.

The dollhouse got a fall makeover, too. I made costumes from tissue and felt using scraps I had on hand, all in the time it took to drink a cup of coffee. I wanted to convey the sweetness of vintage Halloweens past.

The dollhouse got a quick fall makeover, too. I made costumes from tissue and felt using scraps I had on hand, all in the time it took to drink a cup of coffee. I wanted to convey the sweetness of vintage Halloweens past.

Recently, my daughter and I had a rainy day together on the sofa while she had a bad cold, so we made some cocoa and watched a few horror movies. We both decided that modern Halloween has taken such an in-your-face-gory turn, and that the spookiest flicks are the classic, original ones…”The Fly”, even the original “Halloween” movie with a young (now still so cool and beautiful) Jamie Lee Curtis…more psychological spooky than all-out bloody.

I think we are lucky to live in a small town. While it has grown so much, especially in recent years, we still have a great Halloween tradition: Main Street.

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Every year, our town shows a classic Halloween movie at our historic Edmond town hall. This year, it’s a double feature: “The Bride of Frankenstein” from 1935 and “The Beast with Five Fingers” from 1946.

By Halloween night, all the houses and businesses on Main Street are decked out in all their Halloween finery, and hundreds of trick or treaters take to the sidewalks.

A historic home becomes a haunted one on Halloween night...

This historic home becomes a haunted one on Halloween night…

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

D6B0B561-0B32-431D-951F-5EB46A2E7440The great thing about it is you see all ages – from little ones in their first costumes to teenagers from the local high school (and no one seems to mind). Not all teenagers are wild and partying…many of them are big kids at heart! Even for adults, taking a stroll on Main Street at Halloween is a treat – seeing all the decorations and the kids in costume. The tradition has gotten so large, that the police block off the street, and to help defray the enormous cost, there are drop boxes all around for folks to donate bags of candy.

We have a Halloween tradition at our house, too. I hostess an “Open House” for our friends. After trick or treating, after everyone is off of work, friends come over every year for a big pot of my “famous” Pumpkin Chili. It’s a delicious, cool-weather treat!

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Suburban Farmgirl Halloween Pumpkin Chili

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet peppper, chopped
1 can of tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can of dark red kidney beans, drained
½ cup corn kernels, can use canned drained, fresh, or frozen kernels
1 can of packed pumpkin
1 Tbsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Sugar
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Cloves
¼ tsp. Allspice

Brown ground beef, onion, garlic, and sweet pepper in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer on low, for at least one hour before serving. Can also be put in a crockpot on low heat for six hours. The trick with this chili is to let it simmer before serving , so that the pumpkin cooks down and the flavors meld. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and grated cheddar cheese.

ENJOY…HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Don’t be ghostly and just read…leave me a comment so I know you stopped by!

 

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

 

Leave a comment 48 Comments

  1. Marlene Capelle says:

    What a marvelous collection you’ve got. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marlene, Thank you! I hope the blog made you smile. Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Your decorations are really nice, I like vintage also. I still decorate even though my little ones are grown to. I can relate with you. Very nice article thank you

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Elizabeth, Thank you! I love the style and sweetness that vintage items or vintage looking things have; vintage decor makes a home cozy, don’t you think? I am so happy you liked the blog. Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a very Happy Halloween! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Saundra Kellogg says:

    I love Moscow. My grandson plays football for the team. He loves Moscow.
    I love your store.
    We live in Northern California
    Balboa Island Ca decorates like Moscow for all the holidays. Never seen another town that does until Moscow.
    Love your site
    Sandra

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandra, MaryJane lives in Moscow, Idaho. I bet it’s awesome, but I have actually never been to that part of the country, or to California, yet. I’m actually in Connecticut. Glad to hear that other parts of the country decorate for the holidays, too! I think it makes the holidays special. Welcome to the wonderful world of “MaryJanesFarm”, and thank you for stopping by the Suburban Farmgirl Blog! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Rebecca says:

    Your decorations look awesome.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Rebecca, Thank you! I love to pull out my decorations each year. Sometimes I forget what all is in the box, and it’s fun to see favorite pieces again. Thank you for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Julie says:

    Loved the old vintage Halloween decorations! So cute…I loved the witch’s leg lamp that your aunt gave you…Your blog put me in the mood for Halloween. The chili recipe with pumpkin looks tasty….

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Julie! Thank you. Isn’t that leg lamp a hoot? I’ve never seen one since she sent me that so many years ago. She sent my mom one, too. I love the Wizard of Oz and watch it every once in awhile. Did you know that Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch (so superbly) was also at one time a kindergarten teacher? It bothered her a bit when children were afraid of her. She was supposedly a very, very lovely person who loved her fans. Happy Happy Halloween! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Susi says:

    Hi Nicole-
    I agree fall in New England is the best time of year. Here in Concord, NH we have several similar traditions. Not having kids though, we put a costume on our dog and head to my sister-in-law’s house to join our niece and nephews and friends for trick or treating. I do love to see your vintage spin on things – Halloween included. I’ll think about trying your pumpkin chili this year – looks yummy and easy to make veggie.
    peace and hugs…

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susi, oh, New Hampshire is so lovely! Not too far from me, I’ve been there a few times. I love that you join you family for trick or treating. Pip, my little dog, has several costumes for Halloween. One year, he won the town’s “Scariest Costume” at the Dog Park Howl-O-Ween contest…he was dressed up as a little spider! Let me know what you think of the chili and have a very, very Happy Halloween! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Alice Minasian says:

    I love your decorations, Nicole! And I agree, it’s the best time of year! I love everything about fall. The cool crisp air, fresh apples, mulled apple cider, Halloween, pumpkins… Thanks for sharing your recipe – I’m going to give it a try with a meat alternative!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Ali! Thanks! Yes, aren’t there so many lovely things about this time of year? Let me know how the recipe comes out with the meat alternative. Remember to let it simmer so the pumpkin blends in. 😉 Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Sandy says:

    Nicole, your recipe is very similar to my invention, I thought I was so original! Fall is our favorite time of year as well. We were married in October, met in October, twin daughters born in October! Fall in Minnesota is very beautiful, colors are vivid and the lakes so lovely against backdrop of colors. Halloween is disappearing here which makes me so sad. Private parties have taken over and organizations are having “harvest” parties.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandy, Great minds think alike, I guess, lol. I love to create recipes, especially with extra veggies. I always say I like pumpkin so much, if dirt was wrapped in pumpkin, I’d probably eat it. I’ve heard Minnesota is very beautiful, with several friends there. I think it is sad that Halloween is disappearing (as are so many traditions). Last year, a radio station here started a petition to make Halloween always fall on a certain Saturday regardless of the date, and trick-or-treating illegal on the actual 31st. Thankfully, it never came to fruition. It makes me sad when traditions fall by the wayside. Anyway, enjoy fall, and have A Happy Halloween!! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. Jackie Walker says:

    I look so forward to reading your posts. I am a Texas girl with a New England heart. It’s our favorite vacation destination, always in the fall. Our last trip was 4 years ago. It’s been way too long!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jackie, Thank you! You will have to write and tell me when you are going to be this way again. There’s so many great places to visit in New England. What part of Texas are you in? I love your comment…”a Texas girl with a New England heart”…my chili is perfect for you! Happy fall! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Diane Ryan says:

    So fun! Love all your decor and fall enthusiasm! Thanks for sharing, my friend.

  11. Deedra Steele says:

    Very wonderful decorating

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deedra, Thanks! I just wish we got trick or treaters here at my house. (Everyone goes to Main Street). But I will have my chili cooking! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Linda Weston says:

    As usual Nicole I love this months blog, the pictures are wonderful I wish I had a thimbleful of your ambition. The house is all decked out.

  13. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Nicole! Happy Fall and Halloween!
    Your post got me in the mood to get out my fall decorations and start decorating! I love your vintage Halloween decor, too. You’re such a clever collector and decorator.
    You’re also right about fall here in New England. It’s our reward for staying through winter! Your Pumpkin Chili sounds yummy, too. I’ve never heard of it. Must give it a try. :)
    Stay cozy and warm!
    xo
    Deb

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deb! Thank you! I love to change things around and make my surroundings cozy. Let me know what you think of the recipe. It’s my own creation, two of my favorite things – chili and pumpkin. Stay cozy there at the beautiful beach, too! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. winnie Jackson says:

    Happy fall to you! loved all you had to say. The photos were delightful! Yes, we all are preparing our outside gardens to for the cold winter in New England. I also thank you for your family chili recipe. Sounds wonderful. Comfort fall recipes are always welcomed in my home. I enjoy new recipes.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Winnie! Enjoy! Let me know how you like it. My family and friends love it. It smells so delicious, especially in a crock pot. Happy Fall! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Heidi says:

    Just lovely!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Heidi, thank you! It’s been a long time, my farmgirl friend, since you have visited this way! Hope all is well. Miss you! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Beverly Battaglia says:

    I love this blog!! Your tradition on Main Street sounds like so much fun! I will try your Pumpkin Chili! I agree, the old movies that my twin sister and I saw in the forties and fifties were much scarier because they left more to the imagination which ran wild! The Fly still scares me and I had dreams about it. Barbara and I would run all the way home after seeing Dracula or Frankenstein movies. Your home is beautiful with the vintage decor. Love you,
    Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mama! Thank you. You always made everything special…do you remember the giant skeleton with crepe paper arms and legs you would put in the picture window? I still haven’t found one like that though I’d love to have one. So cute! And the terra cotta jack o lantern. I have a similar one from years ago found at Stew Leonard’s when Audrey was a baby. I also remember you letting me have Halloween parties. You always made them special. Love you, Nicole

  17. Nancy says:

    I love your vintage collection. One of my sons has a Halloween birthday so after the grandkids go trick or treating we usually have pizza and ice-cream cake, or a special cake his wife makes. I think this year we will try your chili recipe. It sounds delicious!

    Nancy

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, A Halloween birthday…what FUN! What an honor to hear that my chili recipe will be served at your family’s celebration. I hope you enjoy it! Have a great Halloween, happy birthday to your son. Thank you for sharing. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Jacqueline Ferri says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I love fall! it is my favorite season. Your decorations are so much fun! I too love to decorate the house for Halloween. Which I am doing right now! Have fun!

    Jackie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jackie! I miss you! I’m sure your decorations look awesome…you are one of the most stylish people I have ever met! Beautiful inside and out. Hope you have a wonderful fall season and that we see each other soon! It’s been too long. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Marilyn says:

    You did such a nice job decorating. Your collection is great. We have the pumpkin and cat light. It is on our desk. We have a few other vintage decorations. That house is so festive and looks so scary.. It sounds so nice how your neighbor celebrates Halloween. Thank You for sharing.
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Farmgirls! Thank you!! I am so glad you enjoyed the blog. Thank you for your comment. Wishing you a very Happy Halloweeeeeeennnn! :) Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  20. LaRoyce Eskew says:

    I do enjoy reading your posts! Think I might try the chili recipe!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      LaRoyce, thank you so very much! Enjoy the chili! Remember, the trick is to let it simmer down so that the flavors blend together. If you “taste” the pumpkin, it hasn’t simmered long enough. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  21. Sandi says:

    I love Halloween. Hope to do as you have done and decorate for it this year in my new home, which I haven’t been able to move into as yet but hopefully before Halloween. It is getting closer. I love what you have used. I also have a vintage sewing machine and I will copy your idea and use it also in my decorations. It is still hot in my area, but by Halloween it will cool off I am sure. So much to do and so little time. Old time movies are the best especially for Halloween. They also were more humorous than today’s picks. I watch a lot of older movies on TCM and I bet they will be airing some Halloween favorites soon if not already. Have a Happy Halloweenish time.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandi, Congratulations on your new home! How fun to get to deorate from ‘scratch’! I have lived in the same place over two decades now, but I still manage to find new places for things or refresh an area. I’m happy I’ve inspired you to use your vintage sewing machine in your decor, as well. Enjoy and thank you so much for reading and commenting! Happy Halloween! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  22. Denise says:

    you have some cool Halloween decorations!

  23. Marlene Burns says:

    Need to try the pumpkin chili recipe. Never heard of it .love all the fall decorations and the dollhouse. Love all fall things. We go to a Amish fall festival and it is Apple fritters, Apple butter on fresh bread. All made fresh on site. Blue grass music, crafts wine tasting etc.Love it. Photos are great. Marlene

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marlene! It’s so lovely to hear from you! I need to PM you! I bet that Amish Fall festival is so much fun. I would love to go to that. Apple butter on fresh bread! My mouth is watering! Thanks for sharing! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  24. Denise Ross says:

    Love your Halloween decorating, looks fabulous. The history and memories behind the different pieces is beautiful. Love how small town America really gets into decorating and celebrating the different holidays and festivals. It’s really sweet. I’m going to try your pumpkin chilli, looks yummy.
    Here we are in spring, and more Australians are embracing the fun of Halloween. Tho I haven’t got into the full decorating of my house, maybe I will once I have my own home, I do love having trick or treaters come to my door and reward their efforts of dressing up with treats, I love how inventive they can be.
    Springtime blessings to you

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise! thank you! I remember when I was first married to my husband, and my mother-in-law visited from Denmark. She had never really experienced Halloween, and loved the jack-o-lanterns I had carved. She had never seen them. So, the following year, she carved one and put it out. She jokes that she “brought” Halloween to Denmark, because more and more people there celebrate it now.
      In America, there is a movement trying to make Halloween and trick or treaters the last Saturday of October. It is traditionally on October 31st, and I think it should stay that way.

      Enjoy your spring! I am curious, are Halloween decorations different there because it is Spring? Have a wonderful season! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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