Ghoultide Gathering 2012....

We have returned from the long road to the Ghoultide Gathering! Luckily, with no hitches along the way, we are safe and sound. And when we close our eyes, images of Halloween whimsies dance in our minds and memories swirl of reconnecting with fellow artists and friends. The experience is always bittersweet as the clock ticks by too quickly to converse and catch up with all, but nevertheless, it's a treat to unite and share our common love for Halloween. And, it's certainly a pleasure to see each artist's interpretation of this favorite holiday.


Gray skies, haunting winds and icy sprinkles tried to scare us away, but excited collectors were determined to wait out the weather events. A covered tent, decked out in Halloween decor and strewn with hay bails for folks to take a load off, served as a shelter for those who arrived early. A food truck along with other vendors offered warm, delicious eats and hot drinks to keep those bones from chillin'... Scott Smith's haunting jack-o'-lanterns towered over the arriving guests, perching atop stacks of hay bails and tiers of beautiful pumpkins.


* For a brief moment, Saturday's skies offered a glimpse of blue!

Inside, about 30 artists lined the walls and center isle of a lofty green barn on the Chelsea Fairgrounds in Michigan. We all set up our tables on Friday morning. The back and forth from the car to the table and all the commotion in between kept me warm under such chilly circumstances. Adrenalin was kicking in as we configured our layout, unpacked all the treasures and set each out with love and care. Then, I rushed around to peek at the other displays, snapped photos of what was in place, and we rushed off for a tiny little nap and to change into our Halloween attire.


* Johanna Parker Design ~ that's me!  Before the Friday night early buy commenced, we snapped some more photos for the 'ol memory book.


* My table included a menagerie of Halloween characters from owls and bats to mice, witches and cats!


* And there's my handsome hero JP d'Andrimont who drove me the whole way to Michigan and back while I sat, passenger-side, working on my Trunk Show blog post (see post below) along with preparing graphics for our new high-tech check-out system. I really couldn't do this without him........


* Stuffed in our VW beetle, I brought along an old chair, vintage tins and tambourines, stools and a pair of old lamps to dress up my table and prop my collectibles....


* And there I am showing off my beak alongside the one of a kind raven base chamber vase with his bold beak too! I collected the pretty hair fancy from Mandy Yocum of Clever at Denver's Trunk Show, just one weekend before. (see post below)


* When the doors opened, loads of people rushed in like a stampede to see the creations of Scott Smith! The rest of us jokingly waited for the dust to settle :)


* I'd like to take you on a tour of some of the creations that were offered! Below is just a sample from each artist that exhibited at this ghoulishous event! I regret that I did not snap a photo of the work of Lori Hough. She set up her eerily realistic bats and creepy animals after we left on set-up day, and we forgot to take photos later. I hope I didn't miss anyone else.... ENJOY!


* The Whimsical Whittler * Vaughn & Stephanie Rawson ~ Wood Carvings


* Tinsell and Whimsy * Sue Bartolucci ~ Folk Art with a Pun


* Kristen Beason Designs ~  Whimsical & Contemporary Folk Art


* Reddog's Pottery * Kevin L. Haney ~ Woodfired Face Jugs


* King of Mice Studios * Carolee Clark ~ Wicked & Whimsical Art


* Aron Lowe ~ Felted Figures & more


* Notforgotten Farm * Lori Brechlin ~ Textile & Needleworks


* Murphy Bears ~ Mohair Bears & other characters


* Jerry & Darla Arnold ~ Spun Cotton Figures


* Prim Pumpkin * Jennifer Hepler-Takens ~ Pumpkin Dolls


* Paul Gordon ~ Dressed Papier Mache Figures


* Allen Cunningham ~ Small Dolls inspired by the past


* Katherine Webber ~ Spine Tingling Creations


* Soft in the Head * Pam Gracia ~ Soft Sculpted Characters


* Monkey-Cats Studio ~ Papier Mache Folk Figures & Paintings


* Enchanted Productions ~ Ghoulightful Fabric Characters


* Artistic Confections * Kim Short ~ Professional Cookies & Petitfours


* Nicol Sayre ~ Bewitching Papier Mache Dolls


* William Bezek~ Haunted Halloween Figures


* Rucus Studio * Scott Smith ~ Unpredictable Characters


* Hats in the Belfry ~ Sherri Taylor


* Hop Hop Jingle Boo ~ Papier Mache Figures


* He-Be-Je-Bes * Debbie Hawkins ~ Wool Felted Characters and such


* The Spotted Hare * Lori Ann Corelis ~ Mohair Animals


* Sheila Bentley Designs ~ Sculpted Witches & such


* Novelties & Illuminations * Arbutus Hunter ~ Spun Cotton Ornaments


* Lucky Stradley~ Stoneware Pottery


* Irene Gates ~ Whimsical Painted Collage


* All along, outside hand-picked pumpkins were scattered in the field and for sale...


* Outside the barn, I spotted this adorable child picking a sweet "just her size" gourd....


* And of course, a visit was not complete without having your photo taken under Scott's enormous skeleton which reminded me of a larger than life puppeteer! Creepy cool indeed!

My heartfelt thanks goes out to my dear collector friends that made the journey to see us in person and collect some special pieces! The weekend was filled with ooo's and ahhh's, and I enjoyed all the favorable comments regarding my folk art creations. I am happy to delight you with what I create, and am pleased to spread those smiles for years to come. And, one more hearty THANKS goes out to Scott Smith & the Rawsons for putting on a show like none other. All the details and care to make it so very special were much appreciated by all.

Happy Haunting,
~ Johanna