Decorazioni e segnaposti per festeggiare l’autunno – A free printable Fall and Thanksgiving

Segnaposti e menu autunnali da stampare - Printable Fall place cards and menu

Happy Friday! Cosa farete in questo lungo weekend? Io, se i malanni di stagione non avranno la meglio, domani sarò al cinema, sabato avrò alcuni incontri con futuri sposi e poi mi precipiterò alla festa di compleanno in  maschera del mio amico F., domenica cenerò a casa di una nuova coppia di futuri sposi e infine lunedì mi rilasserò alle terme. Ho il sospetto, comunque, che le uniche opere che completerò saranno quelle lavorative – e poco male, perché hanno annunciato un fine settimana molto freddo, perfetto per un buon libro (da leggere con il segnalibro che vi avevo regalato), le caldarroste che girano e una serie di file da stampare tutti per voi!
Avete preparato casa all’autunno? Se qualcuno mi segue in Facebook o Instagram avrà visto la mia zucca decorata:

Happy Friday! What will you do in this long weekend? I, if this seasonal sickness won’t have it its way, tomorrow I will go to the cinema, on Saturday I will have some meetings with future spouses and then I will rush to my friend F.’s birthday costume party, Sunday I will dine at the home of another couple of future spouses and then Monday I will relax at the spa. I suspect, however, that the only things that I will accomplish will be the working ones – and never mind, because they have announced a very cold weekend, perfect for a good book (to be read with the bookmark that I gave you), roast chestnuts and a set of printable files all for you!
Have you prepared your home for Fall? Those who follow me in Instagram or Facebook have probably seen my decorated pumpkin:

Fall Centerpiece - Centrotavola autunnale

L’autunno, questa tregua dal rimbombo dell’estate, misura il tempo in ricordi e colori degli alberi e sparge un bisogno di bonaccia, di gatti e vita interiore. Mi sono portata addosso il suo spirito di coperte, crema di marroni e fuochi accesi con questa spilla a forma di zucchetta: Salagadula, mencica bula, bibbidi bobbidi bu…

Autumn, this respite from the summer thunder, measures time in memories and colours of the trees, and spreads a need for calm, cats and inner life. I brought with me its spirit of blankets, chestnut cream and fires lit with this pumpkin brooch: Salagadoola, mechicka boola, bibbidi bobbidi boo…

Spilla autunnale zucca - Autumn pumpkin brooch

Per il tradizionale pranzo della fiera del paese ho preparato dei segnaposto (qui trovate quelli che vi ho regalato l’anno scorso):

For the traditional lunch of my hometown fair I have prepared these placeholders (here you can find the ones I gave you last year):

Segnaposti e menu autunnali da stampare - Printable Fall place cards and menu

Segnaposti e menu autunnali da stampare - Printable Fall place cards and menu

Naturalmente non poteva mancare un menù… e, già che ci siamo, perché non una pagina autunnale per le plannerine? Per una lista desideri o, perché no – visto che si avvicina il Ringraziamento – una lista delle cose per cui siamo grate all’autunno.

Of course a menu couldn’t miss… and, while we’re at, why not a Fall page for planner users? For a wishlist or, why not – since Thanksgiving is approaching – a list of things for which we are grateful.

Segnaposti e menu autunnali da stampare - Printable Fall place cards and menu

Segnaposti e menu autunnali da stampare - Printable Fall place cards and menu

Nel frattempo il mio centrotavola con la zucca, non ancora carrozza, si è arricchito di frutta secca e di stagione:

Meanwhile my pumpkin centerpiece has been enriched with dried and seasonal fruits:

Felt flowers pumpkin centerpiece thanksgiving - Fiori di feltro su zucca centrotavola Ringraziamento

Felt flowers pumpkin centerpiece thanksgiving - Fiori di feltro su zucca centrotavola Ringraziamento

Tutti i file da stampare sono scaricabili qui. Aprite l’immagine che vi serve e fate partire il download con la freccetta in basso a destra.

You can download all the files here. Open the image you need and start the download with the arrow at the bottom right.

Wholloween, Balloween and a different kind of Halloween.

Hair clip and bowtie

Halloween is not a real tradition here in Italy. We celebrate the Day of the Dead, eat pumpkins and decorate, but it’s a totally different kind of celebration, more intimate and familiar, without parties. Something has leaked, indeed, among us, but it’s more a commercial side of the celebration that we accepted like we accepted fast foods.
This Halloween, I made a bat-bowtie and a pumpkin hairclip (it’s very simple: you basically just need to draw a poinsettia template, cut it and then curl the petals into the pumpkin), I made a sugar skulls garland and a Tardis lantern (I spent the whole night gazing at it, while watching some old magic Doctor episodes with Franklin). I also made some splatter hot dog – unfortunately I don’t have a good picture, so I’ll just use one I found on Pinterest.
But my real Day of the Dead was something different, as you will see after these pictures.
Four and a half hours on my knees restoring the color of an incision on marble so thin that I had to use a toothpick instead of a brush must have something to do with an ancient rite, with amanuensis, when you turned a thought into a gesture. To persist in finding the time to remember, in a world that boasts of rush and chores, means persist in understanding, going beyond, watching.

Those who stop at appearances feed on peels.

 

Halloween non è una tradizione italiana. Celebriamo il Giorno dei Morti, mangiamo zucca e decoriamo, ma è una giornata molto diversa, più intima e familiare, senza party. Qualcosa, in realtà, è trapelato anche fra noi, ma è il lato più commerciale della festa, che abbiamo accettato come abbiamo accettato i fast food.
Questo Halloween ho creato un farfallino a pipistrello ed una zucchetta da portare sui capelli (molto semplice da fare: basta disegnare la sagoma di una stella di Natale, tagliarla e curvare i petali per formare la zucca), ho preparato un festone di teschi di zucchero e una lanterna del Tardis (ho trascorso la serata a fissarla, mentre guardavo alcune vecchie, magiche puntate del Dottore con Franklin). Ho anche preparato degli hot dog molto splatter – sfortunatamente non ho belle foto, perciò ne userò una trovata su Pinterest.
Ma la mia vera Giornata dei Morti era qualcosa di diverso, come vedrete dopo queste immagini.
Quattro ore e mezza in ginocchio a restaurare il colore di un’incisione su marmo così sottile da dover usare uno stuzzicadenti al posto del pennello ha qualcosa del rito d’altri tempi, dell’amanuense, del trasformare in gesto un pensiero. Ostinarsi a trovare il tempo per ricordare, in un mondo che si gloria di fretta e faccende, significa anche ostinarsi a capire, ad andare oltre, a guardare.

Chi si ferma alle apparenze si nutre di bucce.

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[Free Printable] Last-Minute Halloween Masquerade

Halloween Masquerade - Free Printables

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.
Andre Berthiaume

Early references to wearing costumes at Halloween come from the Celtic festival of Samhain: the Celts believed that, during this period, the boundary between this world and the next was very thin and that spirits could more easily come into our world. To scare away evil spirits they dressed up in costumes and wore scary masks, since they believed that dead souls were seeking vengeance and wanted to disguise their identities.

Portiamo tutti una maschera, lo sappiamo bene, e giunge il momento che non riusciamo più a strapparcela senza togliere anche un po’ di pelle.
Andre Berthiaume

I primi riferimenti a maschere e costumi di Halloween provengono dal festival celtico di Samhain: i Celti ritenevano che, durante questo periodo, i confini tra questo e l’altro mondo fossero più sottili, e gli spiriti potessero entrare in questo più facilmente. Per scacciare gli spiriti malvagi indossavano costumi spaventosi, perché credevano che le anime dei morti cercassero vendetta, e volevano celare le loro identità.

Halloween Masquerade - Free Printable “Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.”
Arthur Schnitzler, Dream Story

Masquerade balls, instead, were fashionable and rich dances held for members of the upper classes, hiding their identities in order to allow them to take part in activities considered immoral.

“Se sono sicura? Tanto sicura da presentire che la realtà di una notte, e anzi neppure quella di un’intera vita umana, non significano, al tempo stesso, anche la loro più profonda verità.”
Arthur Schnitzler, Doppio sogno

I balli mascherati o Masquerade balls, invece, erano eventi fastosi e alla moda organizzati per i membri delle classi abbienti, mantenendo nascoste le loro identità perché potessero partecipare ad attività considerate immorali.

Halloween Masquerade - Free Printable

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20 Great, Scary and Not So Predictable Books (also a cute DIY) for Halloween.

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What are you going to do tonight? Are you going to a party or are you staying? I haven’t been feeling well lately, so I’m probably opting for a terrifying indoor night, with old scary movies (“M”), Halloween TV series episodes (that means a lot of Buffy, Fringe, and that brilliant, unmatched classic that is “Blink” from Doctor Who), popcorn, pumpkin candles and… books!

Since we are still going to start the evening with some friends (a brief happy hour before they go to a nightmarish dinner+party and we come home to our freaking evening), I prepared these super cute mini witch hats.

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Creating them is easy and funny:print this file on a white paper, cut it and use it as a template to draw the shapes on a black paperweight paper. Cut, glue and decor them with what imagination suggests! I made a white bow, a dark feather and an orange flower for my hat, and three feathers and a dark bow for my handsome half (here the tutorials). At the end, just glue the hats to a hairpin, a bobby pin, a clip or a hairband.

Curling in a blanket together and reading scary stories will be also funny with them… Wait, aren’t you gonna read horror stories in the dark tonight? Too bad. Seriously, that’s too bad, because I have a spectacular list for you just after the image!

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20 Great, Scary and Not So Predictable Books for Halloween

1. The turn of the Screw, H. James 

Half-seen figures who glare from old windows, playing a evil hide and seek with two innocent children. Day by day, night by night, the creatures come closer, haunting them, with growing horror of the helpless governess. What else do you need?

2. Dracula, Bram Stoker

Poor Jonathan Harker is being “hosted” in a Transylvanian castle by none other than Count Dracula. The standard for gothic horror, when vampires were charming but real villains, and the macabre plot were terrifying. An incredible classic.

3. Tales, E.A. Poe

Tales of Terror, of Mystery, The fall of the house of Usher… every Poe’s book will do. Murderers, premature burials, madness, haunted houses, terror, suspense, dark landscapes: one of the greatest figures in American literary history, but turn the lights on.

4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, R.L. Stevenson

The shocking story of a good man exploring his dark side. A classic horror tale, extremely well written. Good and evil in a scary short novel.

5. The midnight folk, J. Masefield

One of my favorite books when I was a child. Orphan Kay Harker lives in an old house with lots of portraits of his ancestors. One day, his great-grandpapa steps out of his portrait to take him in a creepy, terrifying and funny world of witches, talking cats and pirates that adults can’t see: things are different in the dark when you are a child.

6. The master and Margarita, M. Bulgakov

This is a real classic, not a horror story… But in this surreal, dark fairy tale we have a scary Satan in Moscow with talking black cats, writers, Pontius Pilate and… of course, Margarita. Fear (and humour) everywhere, so maybe this is the right night to read it, if you are looking for a masterpiece.

7. Rebecca, D. Du Maurier

A (not so) modern Jane Eyre marries the dashing and fabulously rich Maximilian de Winter. But once in his famous estate Manderley, she begins to recognize the large shadow of his dead wife, a lingering evil that threatens to destroy them from the grave. This gothic, thrilling book is also a great Hitchcock movie.

8. Sometimes they come back, S. King

Thing is, I can’t read Stephen King. I’m too scared. So you won’t find here It or other novels, because this is his only adult book I’ve ever read. I can still remember the terror of a child who had stolen the book from her brother’s library and is reading it under the bed because she knows that she shouldn’t read it, and really, reading it under the bed doesn’t help.

9. Something by H.P. Lovecraft

I still haven’t read anything by Mr. Lovecraft, but being he the master of classic gothic tales (and one of my fiancée favorites), I can only apologize and put him in the list, looking forward to the day we will meet.

10. Wuthering Heights, E. Bronte

Are you really prepared for this book or do you think it’s just a darker Jane Austen? Love? Yes, but a mad, haunting and demonic one. A cruel, obsessive and vengeful one, which doesn’t end with death and has no redemption, in the isolation of the windy moor. My goodness.

11. In cold blood, T. Capote

Everyone’s worst fear written in an impartial, intense reconstruction that creates both suspense and empathy: on November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered without apparent motive. Monsters are among us. They look like us. And are we really, really sure that we aren’t as much monsters as they are?

12. The rime of the ancient mariner, S.T. Coleridge

Supernatural in poetry. Timeless.

13. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, T. Burton

This was a gift and I haven’t read it yet. But we should always trust Tim Burton.

14. The Picture of Dorian Gray, O. Wilde

Eternal youth and corruption, where vanity leads to cruelty and sin, and monsters are beautiful outside. You don’t need me to explain Dorian Gray, do you?

15. The princess and the Goblin, G. MacDonald

I’m not sure I’m not partial here, but I read this book when I was very young, and the Goblin really scared me.

16. Pandora, A. Rice

From the author of Interview with the vampire, when vampires didn’t sparkle, you know. A classic of the genre.

17. Guilty Pleasures, L.K. Hamilton

When vampires didn’t sparkle #2, in case you need a contemporary novel.

18. Lois the Witch, E. Gaskell

Gaskell wrote gothic tales indeed, but I was more fascinated by her tragic, historical tale of the Salem witch hunt where witches didn’t exist. Set amongst the American hysterical trials and the Puritan beliefs of the 1600s, this story leaves you struggling with anger and pain.

19. Le più belle leggende del Trentino, G. Borzaga

I don’t think you will ever be able to read this book if you don’t know Italian (it is acually not so easy to find also here, anyway if you want to try, here you are), but every country has a nordic, cold district, where light goes out soon and shadows hide scary worlds. Trentino is an italian mountain region with an incredible mythology, full of creepy legends about cruel elves, ghosts, frightening witches and the devil itself.

20. J.K. Rowling

Is she or isn’t she going to give us a new Harry Potter’s short story today?

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