17 October 2009

The Venetian Ball - Halloween 2009

Historically Halloween has been the time the veils are thin.

Then again, historically lot's of things have been known to have happened.
And quite honestly?
People often say a lot of things.
Whole worlds have danced through being...which if you think about it can make your head quite spinny with the knowledge that if the veils separating time are thin, one step and you can be entirely somewhere else indeed.

Which is why one should assume a careful step on All Hallows Eve indeed.

...Or maybe you should dance instead.

It is on thin veils I would like to blame my eyes for what I saw this Halloween...then again, it could be the cupcakes. For it was heard that one bite of these enchanted cupcakes could change you into a party reveler, someone who would be dancing the night away...and perhaps even totally unaware of who your partner could be...but I had thought that was only true for the undead, those who passed before us. But I discovered instead it was their enchanted masks that brought them back to their living bodies for the night and the cupcakes are only enchanting to those who are currently inhabiting their living bodies, and thus ensure that once they leave this life that they are able to come back for one more celebration.

Imagine walking down any deserted street on Halloween and coming upon this scene. Hearing the gentle sound of music from days gone by...from a wind up record player, it's scratchy music carrying through the tree tops and up to the full moon in the still night. You hesitate for a only a moment, a bit unsure of where the music is coming from before you continue to walk further down the street, only to stop short by the ghosts of a distant past who are gathering, as they do once a year, at the old deserted house at the end of the street...waiting for the veils to thin enough that they may reach through and pick their enchanted masks...the masks that are only available to them because by chance, or fate, they ate the enchanted cupcakes while they were alive, and ensured they would forever dance the night away on All Hallows Eve.

This is not to say that they unhappily roam the Earth in their skeletal remains every other day of the year, but when given the opportunity they happily leap forth, claiming their once lost loves and live again.

If only for one night.

Peering through the gate of the house at the end of the street you would see this scene unfold...Husbands and wives, Lovers and friends each smiling at each other with their permanent skeletal grin...taking each others bony hands in theirs and gathering for their party, waiting for their masks to appear out of the swirling mists of time.

It is said in this life, if you put on a mask you can become anyone or anything that you want to. Masks breathe life into who you have hidden from yourself and you are free to be what it is you want in every wild dream you have...even if it happens to be such a thing as alive (as it often is) and it is from behind the mask that you realize you are truly magic.

Of course, enchanted cupcakes help...but only in the afterlife.

But the masks? They help bring fort your own hidden magic. The magic that you sometimes have put aside and have learned to hide.

You see the skeletons that are gathered in the overgrown yard reach through the thinning swirling veil and excitedly grab for their masks...the gentlemen so politely helping their ladies with their new faces for the night before reaching for their own, each hand turning once again to the soft flesh they once wore as they grasp their masks and each partier delighted to be alive for one more night.

You would think that given the chance, these apparitions may yearn for more than this one brief night of eternal life, and would jump at the chance to dance each night away...But reanimation is hard on one, and the reality is that they need to lie in wait the other 364 days of the year for this party...after all, one could say that the chance to come back even for one night to experience life once again is a gift, and they are not a greedy bunch.

They frolic and laugh and sing and dance as they follow each other through the thicket to the party that they know lies somewhere around this house...as it does every year. The party that waits in time and imagination set forth by some unseen universal butler and maid, waiting to be attended. You follow them then, by opening the gate and walking far enough behind to not catch their attention, there is no need to be a party crasher and besides, you think you may have seen the littlest reveler wink at you, taking her finger to her lips in a silencing motion, before beckoning you with her little hand to come with them.

Come join the party.

Truthfully however, the partiers would never mind another soul joining them for the dance...it is for them in the after life as it was in the living and they abide by the creed The More The Merrier, for it makes the dance so much more fun, and there are always enough masks to go around.

This way, they can switch partners if they wish, because all you have to do is ask...

As they only have one night to inhabit their living bodies, they push through until dawn only stopping to take refreshment and eat one last enchanted cupcake before the veil demands the masks back and they go off to rest once more.

But, that enchanted cupcake is so very important...for it ensures that they get invited to come back next year for another party, and another chance at real breath and real magic.

What would you do if after a night of dancing a thin hand reached out of the swirling mists of time to offer you an enchanted cupcake and the chance to use your own magic to return to your loved ones after you are gone from this life?

Won't you join us?

Special Thanks and Acknowledgments:

DaNece Hacker for her complete creative photographic vision and image editing skills and her complete enthusiasm for this shoot (even if she didn't get to actually be IN it this time)

Clay Lightfoot for being my dance partner and all his encouragement and help in setting up, staging, acting and posing.

Sadira Conley (myself) who organized, propped, costumed, art directed and co created this fun Venetian Party...and who is, as always, totally honored by the outpouring of encouragement and enthusiasm she was lucky enough to receive from her community.

Kim Garrett who is a wonderful long time friend and continuing source of inspiration who enthusiastically waved her hand around and volunteered to participate in this project (and hopefully many more)

Sean Souva musician extraordinaire and a very brave man who for some reason, jumped at the chance to pretend to be dead for an evening...and all around good sport and great friend.

Rowan Rain who is a very talented masseur when she is not eating enchanted cupcakes for the chance to dance the night away, and when approached about joining the party, immediately delved into her wardrobe of party clothes and danced her way over...

Rozzilyn VanTuyl my beautiful and talented niece (who is also tall and much more the model type than some of us, ahem) who donned a mask and partook of the enchanted cupcake for an evening.

Susan Smart who also happens to be my mother...who has been and will always be my first source of inspiration and encouragement. She also owns Keystone Antiques and Gypsy Street Antiques (a few doors down, but is so new there is no listing as of yet) which were both completely instrumental in the staging and propping of this shoot. She stocks a wide variety of whimsical and fantastic antiques, collectibles, and decor at her two shops and welcomes people 7 days a week to pop by and visit. Dancing is encouraged.

Please join all the other parties going on this Halloween that are being hosted and inspired by Vanessa over at The Fanciful Twist! Who, without the invitation, this party may never have taken place (or rather, it would have taken place but certainly not photographed and documented quite the same)

The list of parties is on her sidebar and will be made into a permanent link in time.


Anonymous said...

Love the costumes and the props! I'm betting y'all had ton s of fun on this shoot.

Designs By CK said...

Hi there!

Happy Hallowe'en and great party post!!!

SpOOky Best,
Chris (-:


Pixie said...

Wow, what a great party! Looks so fun. I'm having a blast visiting everyone this morning.

Tonya said...

Oh thank you for that wonderful enchanting party! I will have one of your cupcakes so I can be sure to return next year. I'm so happy to have such a creative and inspirational friend.

michelleK said...

Wonderful costumes!

Happy halloween party!


Anonymous said...

Yum, enchanted cupcakes! Great story and beautiful photos!! Looks like you guys had fun!

:) Amy

Rhonda Roo said...

you dont just create venetian parties, you create whole other worlds.
I love you
XOXOXOX Rhonda Roo
PS Thank all of the players for me please! EXCELLENT

Maggi said...


Wow, I had so much fun with these fabulous guests! And cupcakes too! Thank you for a hauntingly good party!

I'm visiting from Beyond to celebrate the spookiest Halloween blog party ever! I hope you are having a fang-tastic time today! You are cordially invited to share in the celebration at my party HERE. I do hope you'll stop by!

Have a spook-tacular day!

Princess Crystal said...

oooo very nice pictures and thank you for inviting me over for the party. Happy Halloween :)

Kate said...

Ooh... a beautiful and perfectly spooky soiree! Loved it.

Sandi Van Winkle said...

Love the photos! Great party. Will be back soon. Must run others are waiting!


Hauntingly Yours....

Autumn said...

This turned out wonderfully! I adore your images, costumes, surroundings!
~Autumn Clark

Karin said...

It looks like a wonderful party, with great guests. Thanks for giving us the chance to party with you1

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

Beautiful, enlightening, moving party full of mood! I like what you wrote about masks. Thank you for visiting me!

.oOo.☆♥ Maria-Thérèse parties at www.afiori.com ♥☆.oOo.

bluemuf said...

WOW...great post and wonderful pictures. What fun you must have had.

Have a Spooky Day

Anonymous said...

Happy Halloween Party to you! :)

Lisa said...

Fabulous party!!! I had a great time feasting on all the delicious eye-candy.

Happy Halloween!

flutter said...

there is nothing about this post that I don't totally love

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

What an amazing party. Love the costumes and photos!
Happy Halloween!

Jo said...

What a fabulous time! Thanks so much for sharing! I've enjoyed my visit! Happy Halloween & Fete!


•¦Amy¦• said...

I felt like part of the masquerade! Simply...well, magnificant! Brilliant!

Wonderful Party :)

laterg8r said...

love the costumes and masquerade masks, the skeleton masks were freaky :D

Chrisy said...

oooh you poor darling...so pleased I could drop by to check on you! Thank you for your hospitality! Please come visit at my party for more treats....if you haven't flown in already!

WrightStuff said...

Looks like you had a real party!

The Josie Baggley Company said...

Greetings Deary! Fantastic Gathering here! Won't you drop by & enjoy some Tea & Cake ...put up your stripy legs & leave the broom to de-smoke for a while!

BIG WUGS (Witchy Hugs) & a wish...'May Magic Forever Rage Within Your Little Heart''

Must Fly Deary!


Anonymous said...

woohoo, the most awesome costumes and photos!! hautingly fabulous i dare say. thanks for a wonderful party. have a happy haunting halloween!

Deborah said...

Brilliant! I love the crowd you hang with. Beautiful photos.
**clapping of hands** Do stop by and party with Alice and Dead Bob, if you dare! **kisskiss** Deborah

mermaiden said...

what a lovely bit of fun and enchantment!
thank you for the invitation, and my door is open for you :D

Julie Ranae said...

So very glad I stopped by to join your party...very unique and fun!

Hope you will stop by The Open Window for my creative offerings for the party


Whisperings 13 said...

How wonderfully magical! what fun you all must have had!
Happy Hauntings!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Yum, Cupcakes!!! Wj=hat great pictures!!! I really love the masks!
Happy Halloween!


Sarah said...

Oh my what great fun!!! Wow!! So glad I came it was wickedly fun!! Fly by mine if you can, Happy Halloween, Sarah

BTW I adore Prescott..my Dad used to live there!

AwtemNymf said...

Nice photos! Great post!
I flew in from Vanessa's Magical Party!
I enjoyed my visit! <{:O)
Be Enchanted!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful and elaberate! I knew eating cupcakes were good for you;)

Sophia said...

I am totally taken back by your incredibly, spooky but AWESOME party! And look at all of your guests! Mine are still making their way inside the manor tonight...

PS.......Harrington Manor's doors are now open for a enchanted, yet haunting evening...won't you and your guest drop by?....MUUUwahahahahaha!

Kelly said...

Fabulous pictures and costumes! Just enchanting!

Happy Halloween, Kelly

yyam said...

Wow! What a wonderful shoot! Love the costumes! Thanks for sharing!

Happy Halloween to you!

Rowan said...

How wonderfully well this all turned out! It was absolutely my pleasure to attend this fabulous ball. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Mytutorlist.com said...

Fantastic! I love the photographs and story!!! Great work!

Erica said...

wow that was a wonderful party, you and your guests have created such marvellous display, photos and settings are stunning
(thanks for calling in on my meagre effort - I can see there will have to be some raising of the bar next year VBG)

Janine said...

That´s a real cool party- post.
You made some wonderful photos.
Have a great sunday

queen-of-nostalgia said...

Absolutely fabulous! I would love for you hop on your broom and fly over for a visit if you haven't already :) My party is here


Kristal said...

My dear sweet Sadira, you have truly put on the most spectacular party! And although I am enchanted with the mask, I believe that I have been guilty of hiding behind one for the last few years, and it's time to reveal the "real" me. But I would still love to have one of yours, just in case I ever feel the need to become someone else, even if just for a little while.
I am so honored to have gotten to know you and you mean more to me than you can guess right now :0)

kate said...

Those pictures are awesome. I love the costumes and masks. That must have been so much fun to make... I love it.. thanks for stopping by my party!!!

Happy Halloween


jewelstreet said...

Love, love, love! What imagination and creativity! Utterly fantastic.

Happy Halloween.

Sylvia said...

Ohhhh love the name of your ball and the costumes are awesome. Had a great time..thank you for inviting me....

slommler said...

Wonderful party and all the guests are fabulous!! What fun was had by me at your beautiful affair. If you have time; please stop by mine.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Now this is what i call a PAR---TEE.

So much work went into this i can see. Lots of love to share too.

Thanks for letting us join in the fun!

What a great celebration! Please stop by and while they might be a bit on the slacking side, come see some of the cutest Witches on the planet! Would love for you to stop by if you have a moment.


TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

Annabelle said...

Oh the spirit of the hour …that is the Bewitching Hour … Donning on the frocks of a long ago past and magically returning for one more HALLOWEEN Ball!
A VERY Lovely Haunting!

Happy Haunts and a Happy Halloween too!!!
A Witch called Annabelle >^..^<

Bella said...

What a fabulously creative post! I love all the costumes - and I'd really like to try those enchanted cupcakes. :)

http://afancifultwist.typepad.com said...

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to really be there in person! Maybe one day???

I love your groups of ghoulish glamourous friends, and how they all join in to haunt the town!!!

FABULOUS my friend!! xoxo

Bwuahahahaaaaaaaa ~ thank you for being a delightful part of the festivities!!

Christine Edwards said...

Phew, still partying well into the next day! Wow! Enchanted cupcakes? Yes, please. Fantastic pictures, you all did an incredible job. Thanks for stopping by earlier. Happy Haunting!

Torie Jayne said...

Hi, Wonderful Halloween post! Great photos! Happy Halloween to you!

Shell said...

A truly magical and thoughtful party. I have a special person who I wish could eat an enchanted cupcake so he could come back for a day. It would be heaven.

Candace said...

I love this post. Yes, the veils are always thin around here, trust Me. Thanks for hostessing such a wonderful and thrilling party. I felt right at home.
Thanks too for your visit and sweet comments on my blog! See you next year!?
Candace in Athens (EyeCandy)

~* The Beldame on Peach Street *~ said...

Oh What a magical party indeed!! Thank you ever so much for the invitation...next year though, I'd certainly love the opportunity to attend in person...or in spirit...whichever is requred. Enchanted cupcakes are just my thing!

Happy Haunting,


She'sSewPretty said...

Oh...I hope I'm not too late...Please pass me a cupcake!
Happy Haunting!

Kelli Bear Haven said...

It's Day of the Dead meets A Mascarade Party. I love of of the wonderful costumns and the photography was awesome.

Happy Halloween!!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post!
Gorgeous photos too

Happy haunting!


Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Wonderful Party Post! So glad to have come. Loved all the costumes and magical decor! Thanks so much for visiting my party! Have a lovely week!

Lisa :)

darlene said...

Beautiful story - and delightful images! Very creative. I MUST have one of those enchanted cupcakes. Thank you,and your fellow-bloggers, for the MAGIC!!!

noodle and lou said...

this was deeeelightful! a real live magical party with fabulous costumes and decor!! woohoo! happy halloween! xox...jenn

Heather said...

What amazing costumes!!!!

Please stop by my party for a giveaway and fun!


Seahorse Ranch Girl said...

C-O-O-L gathering. And so many skelly's joined you. What is your secret elixir? Ranch Gal

Sares said...

What a magical post! All the work and effort you put into it paid off. It looks beautiful, and a bit creepy spooky! Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Jorgelina said...

Wonderful costumes!
Beautiful story .
Happy Halloween!!Boooo

Stella Dora von Swineburg said...

Thanks for the invite to your magical party! And thank you for stopping by ours!

Snap said...

This looks like you and your friends had so much fun! Great post about a Halloween Extravaganza!

Whimsical Creations said...

What a wonderful party. Thank you for having me.

Happy Halloween.
=) melanie

julietk said...

Still working my way through the party list (i would feel bad if i missed anyone out)Great party post Happy Halloween Juliet

Alix said...

Haunted cupcakes? And I was warned to be wary of the jello shooters!

Magnificent Halloween party Chickenbells! I felt so welcome.

Do please accept my humble apologies for joining your party so late, though. You see... I was traveling home from New York on Saturday and had no computer access. Now I'm playing catch-up and visiting all of Vanessa's wonderful parties.

Thank you so much for flying over to Casa Hice on your broom and leaving your little petite witchy footprints on my welcome mat. Do come again, as the door is always open.

And now, I must away and subscribe to your enchanting blog with haste!

Happy Halloween!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi ChickenBells, What an enchanting and ghostly party and please may I have a cupcake. I would take a bite so fast your head would spin. :) Just to see his smile again. xo Lynn

creativegoddess said...

It may be Tuesday but I'm still making the party rounds! Great party post!
Thanks for stopping by my party. See you again soon!


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