Halloween Junque Journal

Next to writing, I love crafting.

So, whenever I take a mini-break from the keyboard, I search for fun and easy crafting tutorials on Youtube. I like the kind of crafts I can make in an afternoon.

This past summer, while taking a break from editing my novel, “Butterfly Hollow,” I had a blast creating these cool junque journals.

I found Tangie Baxter’s tutorial the easiest to follow. Tangie has a series of three videos starting with a Junque Journal Introduction. I love the fancy way ‘junque journal’ is spelled. Though, I’ve also seen it spelled ‘junk journal.’

So, what’s a junque journal? It’s like a junk drawer tucked away in a book. And it starts out as a composition book just like this one.

Then, with a little scrapbook paper, glue, ink, and some ribbon it’s transformed into a scrapbook/journal where you can tuck away paper ephemera such as photos, concert tickets, postcards, or anything else flat that can be glued or clipped onto a page.

Since I love Halloween, I used all of my favorite Halloween paper and created two journals. I know I’ll have fun filling them up. Junque journals also make great gifts. And with the holidays around the corner, I’ll be sharing a few more with you soon.

Here’s my Youtube video featuring both of my journals. Sorry about the rainbow discoloration in my video. My iPad acts goofy sometimes.

Do you like to make crafts? If so, what type of crafts do you like to make?


A Halloween tribute to Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember how I found out about the new writer’s group forming in our small mountain community, but I looked forward to spending Sunday afternoons with fellow wordsmiths. It was through my writing group that I learned about author Ray Bradbury presenting a lecture at the Hilton Hotel, in Lake Arrowhead, California.

Ray Bradbury. I only knew of him from reading Fahrenheit 451 in freshman English class. And our oldest son had read The Martian Chronicles several times as well as other Bradbury paperbacks.

At the lecture, as soon as Mr. Bradbury began speaking, it was as though he were talking among old friends. I was mesmerized by his storytelling, the way he spoke of his youth and his love of comic books, carnivals, and his passion for writing.

To this aspiring writer, his words sparked like magic.

Afterwards, I purchased a copy of The Halloween Tree then had Mr. Bradbury sign my book.  That day, I became a Bradbury fan.

The Halloween Tree is one of my all time favorite reads.

Here’s the blurb on the back of the book…

On Halloween night, eight  trick-or-treaters gather at the haunted house by the edge of town, ready for adventure. But when Something whisks their friend Pip away, only one man can help the boys find him. Join the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud as he takes them on an unforgettable journey through space and time, deep into the mysteries of this spookiest of all nights. Can the boys save Pip before it’s too late?

In 1993, a Hanna-Barbera animated version of The Halloween Tree narrated by Ray Bradbury and featuring the voice of Leonard Nemoy as Mounndshroud became available on VHS. To my knowledge, it’s never been released on DVD. If you find a copy, treasure it. Your best bet of finding the video is on eBay.

And during that time of year, when Halloweenistas make a beeline for the Haunted Mansion, when it becomes Jack Skellington’s house, there’s an oak in Frontierland with jack o’lanterns hanging from its branches. It’s the official Ray Bradbury Halloween Tree.

Me (Maria) in front of the Halloween Tree at Disneyland, in Anaheim, California

The oak tree is dedicated to the famous author and his beloved book.

With Ray Bradbury’s passing earlier this year, my hubby and I wanted to pay tribute to the author who loved Halloween as much as we do.

Here’s our version of The Halloween Tree.

Hubby made a long pole with a hook, wire hooks for each pumpkin, then carefully placed each one in just the right spot.

After a second trip to Target to buy more pumpkins, our Halloween Tree is completed.

At dusk, hubby flipped on the lights to our Halloween Tree. Neighbors smile as they drive by.

Santa Ana winds began to pick up and pumpkins sway as though ready to come to life.

Happy Halloween, Ray Bradbury. And thanks for everything!

Sally Bell’s art is a sweet Halloween treat!

Meet former Disneyland artist, Sally Bell.

Here are the cool Halloween art prints hubby treated me to during our recent visit to the Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch, in Redlands, California. The illustrations are creations by artist Sally Bell. I can hardly wait to shop for frames, so I can display them in my work space and enjoy Halloween all year long.


Headless Moon

Monster Treaters

City Witch

1313 Grimsley Lane

Late Arrivals

Headless Horseman’s Playground (Because of its size I split this one up into two pictures.)

Headless Horseman’s Playground

For more cool art by Sally Bell, you can drop by her Web site at http://www.sallykinzstudio.com

Former Disneyland artist, Sally Bell, tends to her garden where Halloween grows all year

October is the month for ghosts, goblins, candy, and fun, spooky surprises. So, meeting artist Sally Bell at the Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch was a special treat for this Halloweenista.

Maria (me) with artist Sally Bell

Sally’s pumpkin-orange tresses tucked beneath her awesome witch’s hat and quirky get-up caught my eye. As soon as I stepped inside her crafty booth The Witch’s Garden, I fell under her magic spell. My gaze quickly shifted to the Halloween art sprouting all around me.

Sallys paints on gourds grown at the Pumpkin Patch, in Redlands, California

Beckoning were fantastic images of dancing skeletons, black cats, witches joy riding on broomsticks, lively haunted houses, graveyards, spooky trees, and the legendary Headless Horseman. The Halloween scenes are all captured on gourds, hat boxes, original art prints, canvas, and ATC’s (artist trading cards). And did I mention she designs cool potion bottles?

And all of her prices were in my mad-money price range, so this girl was in Halloween heaven!

Sally, who worked for Disneyland, in Southern California, as a decorator and designer inherited her passion for all things creative from her mother. While working for The Mouse, she designed window displays throughout the theme park including the store windows on Main Street U.S.A. The same windows I’ve oohed and awed over for years.

I totally love this orange cape with the blact cats!

She also designed and installed the uppermost room of the Tarzan Treehouse where her artwork can be enjoyed throughout the attraction. She even painted a picture of herself which sits on the dresser in the Gorilla Room.

“It was a fabulous creative job,” she said. “I will always love Disney.”

Sally’s other love—Halloween. She created her first haunted house when she was only twelve years old, and every October she transforms her family’s home into a haunted mansion. I mean, how cool is that?

Sally’s artistic motto—if she hasn’t done something creative, she feels the day has been wasted. A good motto to live by. Where are my sticky notes? This writer is jotting that one down and posting it by my computer.

It was fun meeting you, Sally Bell! I love your hat. And your artwork is awesome!

Stay tuned… tomorrow’s blog will feature close-ups of the artwork we purchased from  Sally Bell.

To learn more about Sally Bell and see more of her fabulous artwork, visit her at www.sallykinzstudio.com


Pumpkin Picking Time

Yippee! Halloween means pumpkin picking! Aside from dressing up in cool costumes and trick-or-treating, there’s nothing more fun than picking the perfect pumpkin and turning it into your very own glowing jack o’lantern.

Recently, on an early Sunday morning hubby and I ventured out to the Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch nestled against hills covered in a blanket of dry Califonia brush. The farm is one of my ultra favorite places to hang out during the month of October.

I love the varieties of pumpkins and gourds grown at the farm in Redlands.

And I especially look forward to visiting the gift shop featuring unique seasonal items.

On weekends, the farm bustles with families roaming the fields of low-lying, tangled vines, searching the grounds for just the right pumpkin.

And to add to the fun, fall festivities, there’s a corn maze, life-size real monsters, hayrides, bounce houses, and a petting zoo for little ones, and so much more!

Joey and I had a great morning at the pumpkin patch!

Happy pumpkin picking everyone!

Arrrooo! Happy Howl-o-ween from Jack & Sally!

Now that our children have grown up and moved out of the house, hubby and I have enjoyed raising our canine kidlets, Jack and Sally. Though, you can’t tell by looking at them, Jack and Sally shared the same womb. Jack is the handsome spitting image of his chihuahua pop, and Sally is as cute and lovable as her terrier mom. They’ve been a part of our family for seven years, and they make us laugh as much today as they did when they first arrived at our home.

Here they are modeling the latest Halloween garb from Target.

Aw, but I wanted to be a princess.

Do I really look as pretty as peacock, Mommy?

I don’t wanna look at the camera.

Huh, treat? Okay. I’ll look at the camera, but only for a second.

Oh no! How did a skunk get into the house?

It’s s’mee, Sally!

Oh, oh! Where did Jack go? Jack! Jack!

Woof! Woof! Jack and Sally wish you all a Haunting Halloween with fun, spooky treats!

Welcome Foolish Mortals to the Halloween Haunted Mansion

T’was the nightmare before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was peaceful not even a mouse. The stockings all hung by the chimney with care when opened that morning would cause such a scare. The children nestled and snug in their beds would have nightmares of monsters and skeleton heads! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha….

My hubby and I are big kids at heart. We love Disneyland especially at Halloween when the park is decked out with pumpkins of all sizes and friendly ghosts on Main Street U.S.A. But most of all my heart pitter-patters as soon as we approach the Haunted Mansion which has now been deliciously transformed into Jack Skellington’s house through the holidays.

Welcome foolish mortals…

This year was extra special because we got to meet the Pumpkin King, Jack, himself. Talking to Jack was the BEST treat ever for this Nightmare Before Christmas fan. I totally felt like a kid meeting Santa Claus!

My hubby Joey, Maria (me), and Jack Skellington.

Hope you enjoy our pictures. And just for dropping by for a pumpkin spell, you’ll find a fun virtual ‘treat’ waiting for you at the end of this blog post.

What’s that on the rooftop? Sandy Claws’ sleigh!

Hmm… some of those Jack o’lantern’s look strangely familiar.

Oh my gosh, we’re getting closer! There’s still time to turn back.

C’mon. it’s not that scary!

Something’s up with Jack!

Board your doombuggies everybody!

Do not open till Christmas. No fair peeking or you’ll turn into a toad!

Um…sir, could you please tell me where the ladies’ room is?

Uh, nice family portraits! No, really. They’re nice.

On the 13th day of Christmas my ghoul love gave to me…

Ooooh, presents for me!

I want an annual park pass. I’ve been good. Um, well, sort of.

Oooh, pretty! Halloween angels!

Halloween angels coming to turn you all into Jack o’lanterns! Augh!!!

Oops! Too late. Hey, Joey…isn’t that Lynn and George Kelley over there? And there’s Yvette Carol, and Carol J. Amato, and Kathy Sant! Wow, the whole gang is here !

Now, I promised you all a treat…. all you need is 10 minutes of your time for a fun, virtual ride through Jack Skellington’s Haunted Mansion. Just click and enjoy!


Have fun ride & hurry back! And be sure to bring your Sandy Claws hat!

Happy halloween & haunted holidays everyone!