There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

of cats and men at Halloween

I don't know how it escaped my notice until this year, that October 29th was National Cat Day. When decorating and photographing this spooky tree to celebrate Halloween this year, I debated on whether to use my cat painting (by local Atlanta artist, Ronnie Land) as a backdrop over this buffet table. Now I am glad I did—even though the setup is more complex than usual. Because many of R. Land's artworks are packed with hand-drawn imagery like this poster done for Atlanta's infamous Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade, it all seems to fit together quite nicely. I've never been a minimalist at heart. I like the discovery and surprise found only when many delightful things are vying for one's attention.

These magical and well-crafted mushroom ornaments by Wendy Addison, designed for Midwest CBK hang from a glittered Halloween tree from Target. I purchased the mushrooms from Bayberry Cove. The large "Christmas spider" ornament is an antique Czechoslovakian beaded ornament from my collection.
"Founded in 2005 by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige, National Cat Day brings attention to the number of cats that need to be rescued each year. It is also a day for cat guardians to celebrate their own amazing cats." I truly like that "cat guardian" moniker, but I feel it is the other way around. I have always thought of cats as my guardians, or muses, or familiars, or warm and fuzzy companions. My father always loved cats and I have been lucky to have had many special cat companions throughout my life. I've only had one dog as a pet. All the rest have been cats. I love their peculiar nature and independent ways—I truly am a cat person, through and through. Don't get me wrong, I love all animals, but I can't escape the feeling that cats are superior creatures in many ways. The feline world and I have a magical understanding.

Frida, the tuxedo cat (left) and Abella, the Bengal cat (right) are my sweet guardians.
An assortment of cheeses, crackers and fruit are a visual and literal feast.
Cats, magic and Halloween all seem to go together. Add the creepy presence of spiders and earthy balls of moss and you've got a tableau that visually creeps and crawls in just the right way. Mushrooms add a touch of nature's magic that sets the mood for the season, along with an abundant cheese and fruit buffet, of course. And if you're lucky enough to have earned the trust of a cat or two, you're all set for Halloween's spooky route to the beginning of the end-of-year holiday season. Happy All Hallows Eve! 

This mushroom ornament is also by Wendy Addison, designed for Midwest CBK. A glass-glittered wire spider from Pottery barn adds a creepy, crawly touch.
The standard pot the tree was purchased in is dressed up with dried moss and an unusual tire pot by River Market Pottery in Kansas City, Missouri, adapted from sewn leather working techniques, but made from up-cycled rubber tires that had previously been bound for the landfill. The perky bronzed metal mouse sniffing for the cheese is from Pottery Barn.

collecting, photography and styling by Darryl Moland

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