It's First Friday once again! After a leave of absence for a few months, the feature has returned and, this time, it shares a variety of Halloween-themed, handmade goods. Furthermore, there are no tricks, only treats. Rhonda's Originals and Crimson Hollow generously offered a giveaway and a coupon code, respectively! Three individuals will win a free download from Rhonda's Originals, which specializes in Victorian and folk art-themed paper goods. Furthermore, until Oct. 31, the code "Friday" can be used at Crimson Hollow for 20% off your purchase!

And if you're in the mood for some spooky (or some bizarre) music, listen to "Dark Matter," a playlist created by the wonderful (and ever-strong) Kelly Ann Mount.


Rhonda's Originals offers vintage, Victorian folk art ,,, in the form of paper goods. Indeed, her shop is chock-full of downloadable patterns, of paper dolls and holiday decorations. Her Marie Antoinette collection is delicate and detailed, but is still just as recognizable as Rhonda's other work--from the nostalgic-looking Christmas line, to the more steampunk-themed Halloween decor. I appreciate that Rhonda's work has character and history, details and imagination. Her Halloween dolls, especially, are appropriately spooky, in an old-fashioned way. And since Rhonda's a generous soul, she's offering three individuals the opportunity to win a free download from her shop! (You may find the giveaway below.)


For the past couple of years, I've had the pleasure of getting to know Mary, the crafter behind My Hideaway. Mary and I "met" after being paired together for an ornament swap, and I can say with ease that she is a dear "blogger friend." I cooed over the felt ornament she crafted me, and later found myself eyeballing her other felt creations. Truth be told, I own one of her bird brooches, and have been eyeballing her hedgehog ones for some time. Mary is a wizard with felt, really, and--in addition to her animal and flower brooches--you can find illustrated and embroidered journals in her shop. And while I'm drawn to Mary for her wit and her creative eye, I'm interested in her work for its cheery neatness.


Words, thoughts, dreams, and fears have to go somewhere, right? Thus, it seems appropriate to scribble down some haunting memories in a journal by Crimson Hollow. The shop, which specializes in journals and muslin bags, offers a variety of hand-stamped goods. Edgar Allan Poe gift tags? Yours. Wedding dress muslin favor bags? Available. And, of course, there are always coasters and candle holders. But no matter the item, you can rest assured that Crimson Hollow will supply you with a quality product, one with bold, hand-stamped image. And, luckily for you, Crimson Hollow is offering a 20% off coupon! The code, "Friday" is good until Oct. 31. 


I was haunted by her images when I first saw them. And now, two years later, I'm still haunted by Mariell Amélie's work. It's a healthy fascination, though. I spend time wondering how Amélie--who was raised in "a rural place, a small island above the arctic circle"--manages to make every one of her images enticing. Though the few I've shared here are more about solitude or spookiness, Amélie has a vast portfolio. Some of her clients include Purified Footwear, FIASCO,and Kirsty Ward. And though the London-based photographer does commissioned work, she also schedules regular, inspirational visits to her hometown. Her self-portraits are honest and fragile, and her portraiture can be both solemn and mystifying. A bit ghostly, you might say.


It was creepy. It was intriguing. And I couldn't stop staring at it.The work of Karen Ruffles--the artist behind Drawing in Dark--was thick with shadows and details. And though "Stephen" was a bit frightening--and a bit perfect, given the upcoming Halloween holiday--I was stunned by other works. The fur on a squirrel, the spots and stripes of a cat, all done with charcoal. (Or, in the words of Ruffles, "carbon in all its velvety forms.") And while the crows may be my favorite drawings, Ruffles also offers figure studies and insect drawings. And, unsurprisingly, her work is created in the depths of evening, when Ruffles starts "to wake up again and [do her] most inspired pieces."


We may not know her true age or her real hair color, but we do know one  thing about Indianapolis-based Mab Graves: she's a pop-surrealist artist whose work is inspired by fairy tales and classic literature. Her work is "grimmsical:" whimsical and grim, pink and shadowed. (That said, the artist's bio lists her favorite colors as "glitter and clear. And every color.") In her own words, Mab describes the pop-surrealism movement as "a marriage between surrealism and pop, usually with a heavy amount of symbolism and a splash of irony. You will find widely varying styles and themes, but it is usually a visual story with a twist. It’s not in any way abstract. It’s often highly illustrative, edgy and clever."

Remember to use your 20% off coupon to Crimson Hollow by Oct. 31!



  1. These are certainly some creepy images!! The print with the floating woman is amazing and creepy too!!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, friend! Totally blushing right now. :)

    Also, so many good things here! I love spooky Halloween stuff. I tend to go more cute than creepy in my own Halloween decor (you probably figured that), but I can definitely appreciate a disturbingly surreal or haunting image.

    Also, I've been loving your photos on Instagram lately! I usually just hit the "like" button and don't comment that often (laziness combined with the fact that I'm terrible at typing on my phone) so I just thought I'd say it here. Hope you have an awesome weekend. And take pictures for my viewing pleasure while you're at it. :D


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