I am a papier mache folk artist with a love for all things vintage. My specialty is Halloween, and I create whimsical characters which are hand-sculpted, painted and often adorned with my illustrated party hats. My fanciful creations bring back sweet childhood memories of warm holiday traditions, and my intent is to spread smiles and joy through my art. Even though Halloween is my favorite subject matter, all seasons are a joy to create!
Currently, I design holiday and all-seasonal products for Primitives by Kathy & now most recently, Bethany Lowe Designs! I also create one of a kind art pieces, candy containers and other delights for my cherished collectors.
Thank you for stopping by!
Winter arrived with an arctic blast of chilly temps and just in time to inspire my holiday folk art-making! The workshop is filled with winter-themed sculptures awaiting painted details, glass glittered trims, vintage buttons, tinsel and magical mica dust for that snowy shimmer. These characters will all be part of a collection of originals that I am creating for my Holiday Web Sale on the evening of December 4th! The sale takes place on my Folk Art Originals page. In the wintery mix thus far are 15+ snowmen, Santas, mice, foxes, reindeer and elves in holiday hues. For more details and sale start time, please Join my Mailing List.
My OH my, friends so dear,
HALLOWEEN is now here!
The hour is bewitching,
and Jack is itching (to show off his conical hat)
I also took photos by evening candlelight,
of vintage novelties and Halloween delight.
An October 31 birthday is ever so sweet,
as I'm often gifted a vintage Halloween treat!
We placed our corner cupboard inside for fun,
to fill it with pieces from my collection.
I also snapped a few photos during the day,
to share a small peek at my Halloween display.
I wish I had more time to festoon the whole place,
with orange and black decor, filling the space.
But, I have been quite busy making my art,
So, with limited time, this is a start….
Best Wishes to you for a Halloween so jolly!
May it be filled with smiles and sweet folly.
* Jack perches on a stool, wearing his new hat! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
* Our corner cupboard at glance…. And yes, this is the same cupboard that we take to our shows to showcase my one of a kinds! It's typically stored away, but we decided to bring it indoors and fill it with Halloween delights. I have so many more Halloween pieces in my collection that I will just have to find myself an additional curio cabinet to display them all in!
* A peek up close reveals one of my original owl ball characters that I gave to JP as birthday present a few years ago. He's surrounded with vintage Halloween finds.
* Down below, a cloth pumpkin man with a walnut shell head was created and gifted to me by my mom! She also made the sweet woolen stitched pumpkin above, left. Vintage horns, noisemakers and other delights have appeared in packages at my doorstep by dear friends and thoughtful collectors who know that I love antique Halloween novelties.
* An old orange bird cage reveals one of my reproduction crows roosting inside. A vintage owl clicker suspends along the edge.
* A grouping of my original candy containers that I have collected over the years, traipse across the top shelf. Below, a sweet papier mache "Bewitched" cat candy box was gifted to me by a dear artist friend, Kitty Nikolai of Sweet Invocations.
* Vintage jack-o'-lanterns grin and glow next to an old orange ceramic cat that I found at a garage sale.
* A closer peek reveals my cat, witch and crow trio tucked in the corner of the cabinet.
* An older original spider of mine sits atop a timeworn candy tin. Behind, vintage tin noisemakers are mixed with some of my Halloween art.
* A creepy cool Spooklight lantern suspending from a stylized bat are both designed by my fellow Halloween designer friend, Bindlegrim! I was lucky to snatch this set at this year's Halloween Trunk Show!
* Below on a stack of old suitcases, you'll find an original owl bust that I created a few years ago… "Wise 'ol Owlexander"
* And, here's another peek of our corner cupboard from the side… It's tempting to keep this out all year, as it's all eye candy to me...
* Looking across to the mantel, we see Jack wearing an orange crepe paper bow tie. To bring in a little Halloween cheer, I added some orange accents to the decor.
* I quickly turned my new "Trick or Treat" bag from Primitives by Kathy into a pillow by stuffing it with another pillow! (thanks Mom for the idea :) In the distance, our handmade fire screen mirrors the play on black cats…
* JP brought me home a bouquet of birthday flowers, so I added those to a Roseville vase. Two of my new Halloween stand-up characters from Primitives by Kathy add some seasonal spunk!
* A headless dress form serves as an unusual illumination along with a canvas to adorn for the season. I added my "Oh Bats" hanger and draped the bodice with an orange scarf that my mom gave me last year.
* An orange and black handmade basket from our close friends carries one of my new Halloween box signs, "Halloween is Calling."
* And, just a quick glance to the back sunroom invites those who enter to take a seat. Jack has clearly abandoned both his hat and tie to sit and relax for a little bird-watching fun. As our bittersweet vine turns golden outside, a pumpkin and a pair crows add some fall spirit to the inside scene.
Hi friends! You are in for another Halloween treat! Meet Jody, a dear collector friend who is sharing a peek inside her decorated home. We met about 7 years ago when I was exhibiting at the Halloween & Vine in California. An artist feature inBetter Homes & Gardens Tricks & Treats Magazine was the catalyst that brought us together! I recall her excitement to meet me and to see my works in person. It was her enthusiasm, like that of so many others, that fueled me forward with my passion to make vintage-style art that expands the imagination and generates smiles. Jody has an affinity for both my one of kind original characters as well as my licensed designs, and she weaves them together in her thoughtful arrangements. She also collects the art from fellow Halloween artist friends, and it is a delight to see how our individual styles compliment one another. For me, it is a pleasure to share her collection of photos with you! I am honored that my art has captured her heart and the fancy of her family and friends. Many thanks goes out to Jody for inviting us into her beautiful home, and inspiring us to celebrate the season in this most whimsical way! Let's begin with an Artist & Collector Q&A that will meander along the way. Enjoy! J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?
Jody: I was thumbing through a magazine in search of decorating ideas for an upcoming Halloween party I was hosting when I spied an article about you. There were pictures of your beautiful home and originals, as well as adorable “Jack”. I instantly fell in love with your artwork. I soon purchased a few of the pieces featured in that article. The moment that I received my first JP original, I was hooked and traveled to a show to meet you in person and acquire more of your Halloween originals. My Halloween party ended up with lots of JP whimsy incorporated into the theme, and your originals were a big hit. J: What a fun story! I am so grateful for that fun magazine feature as it connected me with so many like-minded, vintage-style Halloween-loving friends. And look now, here we are featuring your lovely home and collection! I am so glad that you spotted my story and were so inspired that you made the trip out to see me! That means so much… :)
* Jody's white stone fireplace and wooden mantel are the perfect backdrop for a Halloween display! A simple spider web sets the scene for a cast of spooky characters! She weaves a glittered garland of black leaves and orange glowing lights to add texture and whimsy to the line-up of collectible figures.
* Across the mantel, two original black cats, a candy container and shelf sitter, look as if they are whispering a "BOO." Cats by Johanna Parker Design.
J: How long have you been collecting my originals?
Jody: I have been collecting your originals since 2007. My first one, named “Unruly Rosco”, was purchased from an online sale. His spooky expression warns of tricks ahead. I then attended the Halloween & Vine show later that year. I had never been to a Halloween show before, and it was overwhelming! :) Meeting Johanna and JP was the highlight. I have been attending Halloween art shows ever since.
Through the years, it has been a pleasure to watch your business grow leaps and bounds. I still enjoy finding your products at local stores and seasonal events. I just attended a harvest craft festival in Costa Mesa. There were several booths selling your new and older Halloween items. J: Before I found my path as a Halloween folk artist, I was not aware that there were Halloween art shows. But since I found my niche, I realized that there are dozens of these special spooky markets across the country. What fun that JP and I were the highlight for you at your first H&V show! I am honored… It's fun that you continue to frequent some of these art festivals and often come across my licensed designs! It's like going to a Halloween treasure hunt!
* At left we see "Unruly Rosco," perching proudly on a black pedestal. Back in 2007, Jody spotted him in my arched wall niche, featured in Better Homes & Gardens and there, this Halloween collecting story began! She has him grouped within a gallery trio that spotlights each character. In the middle, my reproduction owl candy bowl, from Bethany Lowe Designs, tempts those with a sweet tooth. At right stands "Spirited Tess," one of Jody's newest acquisitions from my 2014 collection of originals. The three are grounded with black spider web coasters that offer more impact and definition to the display.
* As we step back, a comfy seat with a Halloween throw and crow pillow look oh so inviting! Take a seat and savor the Halloween delights!
* A side table twinkles with Halloween baubles dangling from a cluster of artfully arranged branches in a vase. An orange-themed mosaic bowl that Jody crafted is the perfect vessel for a Johanna Parker Design reproduction black cat. He peers off to his side, captivated by the ornaments!
J: What is it about my creations that captures your imagination?
Jody: A year has rarely passed during my life without a Halloween party, movie night, or get-together of some kind. For my family, Halloween has always been about fun, imagination, tradition, and parties. Your work embodies all of these aspects. Each character looks like it is ready to celebrate! I am a fan of art deco and vintage Halloween decor. Your little vintage details are exceptional and harken back to an old story. In fact, each one looks like they have walked out of a tale. I also appreciate that you infuse a sense of humor into your work, aesthetically and in their names. The clever, old-fashioned names are half the sale for me! Whenever I am at one of your events, I try to read the names of each piece. I guess it brings them to life even more. Your creations make me smile. J: Well said Jody! You just captured everything that I pour into my characters from the art deco inspired designs to the humor and smiles that they ensue! The old-fashioned names that conjure a tale are all part of the package and make the story even sweeter. Thank you for really tapping into my process. You get it! :)
* A Greg Guedel witch guards a bowl of candy and welcomes guests with a little "Witchful Thinking!" A garland of autumn leaves festoons this antique hall tree and frames the scene.
* A closer peek reveals one of my reproduction candlestick spiders, crouching on the ledge. These spooky guys are still available via Bethany Lowe Designs.
J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?
Jody: I have acquired originals in different ways but have had the best luck acquiring originals by attending shows and with web sales. I highly recommend attending shows to anyone as it’s great to be able to chat with Johanna and other obsessed collectors. J: I agree, the shows are probably the best way to see a broader collection of my originals in one place. And of course, I prefer that path above all others because I have the opportunity to meet wonderful people like you! Speaking of, it was a treat to see you at this year's 9th Annual Halloween Trunk Show! Thank you for making the journey to come out and see us again!!
* Returning to the mantel, we see two original characters that Jody collected at the Denver Halloween Trunk Show a few years back. A perching owl and a jack-o'-lantern with a bat hat, both roost atop black candlestick pedestals and make a spooktacular pair! Owl and Jack are originals by Johanna Parker Design.
* Another view of Jody's mantel reveals a large grinning witch by Greg Guedel, standing center stage!
J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?
Jody: That’s tough! They are all so fun….If I HAD to pick a favorite, I would say that the black cats are my favorite, maybe ‘Black Paw Pocus’ or ‘Spirited Tessa’. Black cats are synonymous with Halloween, and yours look especially mischievous. There is a very close margin, though, with the rest of the characters. J: I knew you were going to choose a black cat or two from your collection of characters! Clearly, we both have an affinity for these cuties. And indeed, my black cats certainly do possess a mischievous air about them. * Towering on the mantel's end is "Black Paw Pocus"- one of Jody's faves! He proudly perches in a hand-sculpted base chamber vase and carries a pumpkin scepter. His buddy black cat candy container friend shares a grin and wears a number 31. Both are original candy containers by Johanna Parker Design.
* And, Jody also mentions "Spirited Tess" as one of her faves! I just created this piece last month, so she is fresh in my mind! I especially enjoyed painting her cup and adding the ghostly spirits. Notice how the two form a heart?… I had the pleasure of wrapping and handing this cutie over to Jody at this month's Halloween Trunk Show! I am happy to see her enjoying her new home...
J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?
Jody: I do not have any ideas for any “new” faces or characters, per say. I DO suggest that you create more orange cats! :) . (You have never made a base chamber vase with an orange cat, by the way…hint…hint…Lucky-List-kind-of-hint…. :) J: Hmm, I am getting the hint indeed.. Gosh, it's been several years since I made an orange cat! Thanks for reminding me as those would be fun to make next year. And, I agree, and orange cat base chamber vase would be stunning. Feel free to "bug" me from time to time, and perhaps we can add one to your collection….
* I got a laugh seeing this clever arrangement ~ a caged crow surrounded by a group of my cats! Hehe!….. It's fun to toss in some humor while adding decor to the home. Is it just me, or do the cats look like they are up to trouble?
* And, Jody's Halloween spirit extends to the bath as well! Ivory towels with spiders with webs invite a visit to this intimate space. A shelf above, carries out the haunting theme with a Nicol Sayre witch figure and one of my "Oh Bats" signs from my new line of vintage style Halloween via Primitives by Kathy.
* More of my Halloween hangers made their way to the kitchen and dangle from magnets on the fridge! What a fun idea :)
* And this is a cleverly fun idea!…. My reproduction jack-o'lantern candy bowl reminds guests to wash up. The look on his face says it all :)
Well, that was a delightful visit into Jody's home for Halloween! I really enjoyed the Q & A, and her inspiring arrangements in the spirit of our favorite holiday. Again, it is such a pleasure to see my art taking up residence in her lovely home. It makes me happy to see these creations filling out there mission to bring smiles, year after year. Thank you for cherishing them, and thank you for allowing us to visit your warm home! To leave a message for Jody or myself, please click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post. Thank you!