Precisely one month spans the chasm between now and fall’s first breath.
In turn, give or take a few days, there is about a month before the next edition of my quarterly blog post series, Magick, Crafty Makes, and Me.
I tend to save the majority of my life updates and accounts of recent happening for those posts. Sometimes, however, I want or need to speak about topical happenings in the moment.
Before we launch into the #MakeHalloween365 project share that is at the heart of today’s post (sneak peek above), I am going to do just that for a little while.
The local BC wildfire situation here in the North Okanagan
There are certain things in life, including some that are far from ideal, which become part and parcel to our years.
For those in various corners of the world, one of those is an annual forest fire season.
Typically beginning in earnest come May or June and running until September or even October here in our area, this season isn’t exactly one to get excited about.
We live in Canada’s most westerly province of British Columbia, a portion of the country that is often amongst (if not “the”) hardest hit each year by wildfires in this nation.
The wildfire season of 2021 has been especially brutal. Record smashing temperatures, exceedingly little rainfall in many parts of the province, and other climate change-related impacts have brought about one of the worst summers BC has ever experienced from a forest fire perspective.
As I shared in my Instagram Stories a few days ago, Tony and I have, at times as of late, been put on wildfire evacuation alert.
Mercifully, however, we have not actually had to evacuate our home yet, nor has our property/neighbourhood come under immediate threat of likely destruction.
That isn’t to say things haven’t been tense or stressful at points. They certainly have been.
The first evacuation alert we received came on Tony’s birthday (August 6th) – what are the odds! – and lasted for about three days. During which time a hailstorm of falling ash pummelled our area and the skies took on a deep brownish-orange hue, as seen in the photo above.
The second evacuation alert arrived the following Saturday and lasted well into the week that is currently wrapping up.
At its beginning, we saw skies so red and chocked with smoke and ash it would not be unreasonable to describe the sight as apocalyptic. Or, as my mom astutely observed, perhaps what the skies of Mars might look like if you were standing on that planet and gazing skyward.
In both cases, the alerts were largely the result of the substantially sized nearby White Rock Lake Wildfire. Though this blaze was not the sole reason for the smoke, ash, and eerie colours in the sky, as scores of other forest fires are burning both near and further afield to our area of British Columbia.
Presently, the White Rock Lake Wildfire (also known as both the White Lake Fire and Monte Lake Fire) is sitting at a touch over 80,000 hectares in size, and continues to remain as being classified as out of control.
In recent years, Tony and I have been keeping well-stocked go/bugout bags at the ready for all manner of potential disasters that could arise at any time.
The moment the first alert came in on the evening of his birthday, we packed up our most important essential items (vital documents, computers, cameras, health necessities, etc) and created a “go pile” near our door, to be loaded – along with our bugout bags – into the trunk of our car immediately if word came that we needed to evacuate.
Of course, our own lives and that our cherished dog, Annie, always come first, but if there is time to save some important items during an emergency, it behooves us to be ready to do just that.
Having lost our home and virtually everything we owned at the time to an arson fire almost five years ago now, we know firsthand the damage and devastation that a serious blaze can cause, and want to be as prepared as we realistically can be should a forest fire ever get close enough to envelop our home.
On the worst days thus far, we’ve heavily drenched our property and house with the hose and used sprinklers to help keep the ground and structure wet (these measures can sometimes help to lessen risks such as live falling embers).
Currently, we have four different plans in place regarding where we would most likely stay should we get evacuated. We are keeping our gas tank full around the clock so that we can not only flee town if need be, but be able to get by for several hours if traffic slowed to a crawl on the highway or we had to enact one of our plans that involves staying at a location outside of our region of the province.
As I type these words, we are not currently on evacuation order. Save for our laptops (which can be grabbed in mere seconds), we have not unpacked, however, and will not be doing so until the local wildfire situation is much less of an imminent threat.
Evacuation orders, dangerously bad air quality, and the risk of having to get out of Dodge, if you will, aren’t fun. They are small potatoes though, of course, compared to what those who have been/currently are evacuated and/or who have suffered property damage from any of this year’s wildfires have been dealing with.
We count our blessings, but do so with a heavy and immensely understanding heart for everyone – both in BC and elsewhere in the world (including Greece) – who has been experiencing the wrath of forest fires throughout 2021.
Zero pun intended, but we are far from out of the woods at this stage on the wildfire front. It will likely take a few more weeks and hopefully quite a bit of desperately needed rain before that state returns.
Having been born, raised, and later returning in my late 20s to BC, I am intimately acquainted with wildfires and the risks they pose.
Yet, for all the fires that have torn through British Columbia over the years – including the Garnet Fire of 1994 that ravaged parts of Penticton, where my family was living at the time – this summer is the first time that we have personally been put on evacuation alert.
While stressful at times, no two ways about it, we are holding up well, and are immensely grateful that thus far neither ourselves nor any of our loved ones in this province have lost their home to the unforgiving siege that is wildfire season.
This is certainly not the August we had envision or planned for, but it is not altogether surprising either given BC’s annual battle against forest fires of all sizes.
As you might imagine, our usual routine has been disrupted somewhat by everything this month, and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get another project share posted before August drew to a close.
Happily, however, a little earlier in the year (before the recent short-term e-commerce website building job – mentioned here – for a local business that consumed the bulk of my and Tony’s available time between May and the start of August) I had a chance to make a heartwarming Halloween themed scrapbook page.
As I have not been crafting much in recent weeks and needed a spooky season-themed project for August’s #MakeHalloween365 entry, now is the ideal time to share it. 😃
Born Halloween lover scrapbook layout
If there is a Halloween loving gene, I am certain that I was born with it. For as far back as I have memories – and as photos like this one of me as a costume-clad babe in my mother’s arms attest – prior still to that point, I have adored Halloween.
Much like the season of autumn itself, no other day of the year fills my heart with as much glee, excitement, contentment, spiritual connection, creativity, or inspiration as October 31st.
This off-the-charts passion was a big driving force in the launch, earlier this year, of my #MakeHalloween365 hashtag for fellow Halloween adoring souls around the world.
Just as Halloween has been the inspiration springboard for countless other things throughout my life. 🥰
As a Pagan witch, I choose to celebrate this date as both Halloween and Samhain. To my mind and own spiritual path, the two are inseparably interwoven and I can scarcely fathom observing the end of October any other way.
While I have felt I was a witch since childhood, I was not raised in a house with Paganism, witchery, or Wicca, so in those early days, October 31st was Halloween pure and simple for me and my siblings.
Like genes in general, I am convinced that I got my gene for loving Halloween from my sweet mama.
She adores Halloween herself and has always done everything she could to not only help make All Hallows’ Eve a fun-filled event for her kids, but she has also helped to support my passion for October 31st in countless ways throughout my entire life.
I am grateful beyond measure for this point and wanted to create a scrapbook page that not only celebrated my adoration of Halloween itself, but also the love and appreciation I have for my fellow spooky season-loving mom.
Enter this layout, which stars a mid-1980s photo of me dressed in a cute white cat costume and my mom, who, while not in costume, did rock a great witch themed button on her pretty yellow top.
And speaking of yellow things, this photo (a scan taken from a photograph that had been stored for decades in various non-archivally safe albums) shows its age and storage methods a bit. Instead of seeing that as any type of determent, I leaned into this image’s colour palette for the rest of my scrapbook page itself.
The end result is a classic colour palette of cream, yellow, orange, brown, and gold that is as much at home for fall and Halloween as it was for plenty of interiors during the 1970s and 80s.
The metallic cardstock on this page – and indeed, this layout as a whole – was a bit tricky to capture on camera in our relatively low (interior) light setting, I hope that this gist of this page comes across in the project share photos throughout this post all the same though.
I added several of my favourite scrapbooking techniques and elements to this Halloween layout. There’s plenty of paper tearing, inking, punched edges, handwritten journaling, layers, (faux) stitching, and embellishments – not to mention a cozy fall colour palette. 🍂
Plus, the charming Pebbles brads that I included here are just so sweet and festively fun! 😊
I led off on the lefthand side of the page with a classic Halloween witch themed brad in a nod to the fact that the little girl shown in this photo would one day grow up to a passionate October 31st adoring real life witch. (As well as that the witch on that brad very much resembles the one in the button my mom was wearing in the photo. 😊)
I’m wild about how this Halloween scrapbook page came together and look forward to sharing it in person with my mom herself come the return of All Hallows’ Eve season.
Now, let’s take a gander at the supplies and steps involved if you would like to whip up a similar October 31st scrapbook page of your own.
Products used to make this shabby chic Halloween scrapbook page
-Cream, sandy brown, warm medium brown, dark brown, and black cardstock
-Gold metallic cardstock – from Recollections (Michael’s brand)
-Orange metallic cardstock – from Recollections (Michael’s brand)
-Elegantly shaped tag die (or tag die/punch or premade tags of your choosing)
-Fall leaf and orange striped patterned papers (both from) – Pumpkin Spice 12 x 12-inch paper pad from Craft Smart (Michael’s brand)
-Vintage handwriting print paper
-Halloween words cut-apart paper – After Dark Spellbound paper from Crate Paper
-Doily edge border punch – Lace Doily Border Punch from Martha Stewart
-Dark orangey-red ink – Dew Drop Ink in Morocco from Memento
-Golden yellow-orange ink – Dew Drop Ink in Cantaloupe from Memento
-Brown ink pen – EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink 07 Pen from Pentel
-White gel ink pen – Uni-Ball White Gel Pen from Signo
-Orange and white polka dot letter stickers – Julie Nuting Bootiful Alpha Stickers from Photo Play
-Black glitter letter stickers (I received these as a gift without their original packaging; I suspect they are from Martha Stewart’s product range)
-Thin cream and black yarn, twine, or embroidery floss/thread (the thin yard used here is from the dollar store “Craft” brand)
-Fall coloured and patterned chipboard flourishes – Autumn Song Chipboard Pieces from Bo Bunny
-Set of Halloween brads – from the brand Pebbles (no product name was specified on the packaging)
-Dimensional foam, pop dots, or similar to elevate some of your layers
-Adhesive, such as a tape runner, of your choice (I often use my Scotch Tape Glider)
How to make a fun tag filled Halloween memories scrapbook page
This festive Halloween scrapbook page begins with a sheet of 12×12-inch cardstock. As this cardstock is completely covered by the next layer of paper, it can be any colour you wish.
Take a piece of fall leaf print paper from the Craft Smart Pumpkin Spice pad and ink it on all four sides with Memento Dew Drop Morocco Ink. Adhere to your base layer of cardstock.
Next, rip all four edges of a piece of sandy brown coloured cardstock so that the final size of this piece is a little smaller than the leaf print layer. If your cardstock has a white core, embrace that and let it shine on the ripped areas. Adhere this piece of cardstock to your previous layers.
Repeat the same process with a cream (or light yellow) coloured piece of cardstock, inking, in this instance, all four edges with Memento Dew Drop Cantaloup Ink. Adhere to your previous layers.
Cut a piece of dark brown cardstock and top this piece of cardstock with a slightly smaller sized piece of orange striped paper (from the Craft Smart Pumpkin Spice paper pad).
Hand draw faux stitching with a brown ink pen or fine tipped marker around the sides of the orange striped paper, then ink the edges of that piece with Morocco Ink. Adhere those two layers to your previous layers.
Using brown cardstock and orange leaf print paper (from the Pumpkin Spice paper pad), create various layers with border punched edges (using the Martha Stewart Doily Lace border punch). Ink the edges of the orange leaf print layers.
Rip the edges of some pieces of sandy brown cardstock and vintage handwriting print paper, and arrange both these layers and the ones you just made above in the center of your layout, as shown.
Mat your photo with a layer of cream cardstock, a layer of dark brown cardstock, and a layer of orange leaf print paper. Adhere layers together, but do not adhere the matted photo to the layout itself just yet.
Next, create two blocks of cardstock, one in warm medium brown. Write your journaling, in white gel ink pen, on these blocks and adhere them to your layout.
Once your journaling is complete (and dry – especially important when using white gel ink), attach these blocks to your layout, then adhere your photo to the left of your journaling.
Next, using orange and gold metallic cardstock, die cut five tags (I opted for three gold and two orange metallic cardstock tags here, alternating the colour order that I adhered them down).
Cut out the Halloween words, mat each one on a piece of dark brown cardstock, and draw faux stitching with brown ink on each of the word pieces. Adhere one matted word per metallic cardstock tag.
Loop black (or brown, if desired) and cream (or white) yard/twine/floss to the top of each metallic cardstock tag, alternating colours as you go.
Adhere your completed tags along the left-hand side of the layout using foam dots or other dimensional adhesives.
Intersperse four of the Halloween design Pebbles brand brads amongst the tags.
Note that you may find it easier to do so if you use wire cutters or small tin snips to remove the prongs on the back of the brads first, though this step isn’t strictly required.
Adhere brads using hot glue or another very sturdy adhesive of your choice.
Use letter stickers to create the title of your layout.
Arrange Bo Bunny chipboard flourishes so that one pokes out from behind the photo and the other from the righthand side of the layout.
Place two additional Pebbles Halloween brads around the larger of the two chipboard flourishes.
And there you have it, your “Born Halloween Lover” scrapbook page is now complete.
As a fun alternative to a Halloween layout, this same colour palette and design (perhaps with different brads or other embellishments in place of them) would be great for a Thanksgiving or other fall related page as well.
And the general design of this scrapbook layout could be utilized for countless other types of pages, too – including those for winter holiday season projects.
(The journaling on this layout says: From my earliest of days, I have loved Halloween beyond measure. I am immensely grateful to my mom (pictured here with baby me in the mid-1980s) for always supporting and sharing in this adoration of October 31st. 🖤)
The very real risk of losing everything again
As a paper crafter who has already lost all of their supplies, scrapbook albums and other completed projects once, I am keenly aware that living in a part of the world that deals with serious wildfires annually means that I could easily lose everything in a blaze for a second time.
This might, understandably, cause one to wonder why I would risk putting myself through that heartache again by continuing to papercraft. (Or to live here – though moving away is neither presently desired nor very feasible for us.)
Valid though this question is, to me the positives and joys, the blessings, creativity, and fun of papercrafting far outweigh the pain and challenges that losing my work and supplies for a second time would cause.
Experiencing that (be it due to fire or any other reason) would be horrible, of course, and I hope with all my might it never happens. However, having lived through it once, I know that rebuilding and connecting again with your greatest passions in life is possible.
Not necessarily easy, straightforward, or inexpensive, but certainly doable in many instances.
And in my heart of hearts I know that, much like my undying love for Halloween, darn near nothing could shake my adoration for paper crafting to the point where I would willingly drop it from my life for good.
Naturally, I hope and pray we that never find ourselves standing amongst the ashes of our home again. If we do though, I will take strength and solace in the fact that we pieced our world back together again once and could surely do so – with time, strength, and perseverance in spades – again, if need be.
For just as I’m a born Halloween lover, I am also a very tenacious born fighter and be it fire, my health, or any other challenge life throws my/our way, I will go on fighting tooth and nail until the very end. 💪
Hopefully, within a few weeks, this year’s wildfire season will have finally calmed down and we can embrace autumn’s return (the second now since the Covid-19 pandemic began) in high spirits and with no shortage of jubilation for what is both mine and Tony’s very favourite chapter of the year.
From fires to floods, Covid to earthquakes and much more, 2021 has been another year of immense challenges for the inhabitants of this world.
Know that whatever you and/or your loved ones may be going through this year, my thoughts, support, and uplifting energy are with you – and that I’m always just an email away if you never want or need to chat with someone about anything that you’re going through.
As I began this entry by saying, there is just one brief month left to go until fall comes calling again. Whatever life may throw our way between then and now, that fact alone will help to bolster my spirits and keep a smile on this perpetual Halloween lover’s face.
Has your area been impacted by wildfires, flooding, or any other natural disasters this summer? Do you consider yourself a die-hard born Halloween (and/or Samhain) fan as well? 🧡🎃🧡
You have an amazing spirit Autumn, sending positive thoughts your way.
What an incredibly touching and meaningful compliment, dear Donna. Thank you very much from the bottom of my sincerely touched heart.
Mercifully, thus far we’ve not been evacuated and our house has remained safe. Heartbreakingly though, dozens in the general area have been lost and the fire that is to blame for such still rages on a similar size (just over 80,000 hectares) to when I penned this post.
The weather has cooled off a fair bit in recent days and we’ve got a wee bit of rain, but would need substantially more, I believe, to help douse the flames in any sort of serious way. Fingers crossed that near monsoon level rains arrive soon (unlikely, but you never know) and help to make that possible.
Really, thank you again, my sweet friend. I hope that your August was a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful than the one we experienced on this end.
I do hope you and you family can remain safe. I can’t image the strain you must be under. Take care and be safe. Love Dawn x
You are tremendously kind and caring, sweet Dawn. Thank you wholeheartedly. 🙏
I am extremely happy + grateful to say that thus far, we – along with our house – are still safe and haven’t yet had to evacuate our property. The large nearby wildfire is still going strong, but hasn’t spread too much further towards our specific area in recent days (knock wood!).
As summer begins to receed, cooler weather returns, and rain hopefully falls in larger volumes, with any luck, it won’t be too much longer before another brutal BC wildfire season is behind us again. This one did a ton of damage both to the landscape/ecological system and to the homes/properties of many people throughout the province, and will surely standout amongst the worst (wildfire seasons) BC has experienced to date.
I hope that your own August was a lot more enjoyable and that it has blossomed into a sunny, relaxing, and very happy September for you, my friend.
I love this scrapbook page – a wonderful memory! Stay safe my friend, I hope the rain comes soon and you can relax into autumn.🌧️☔🍁🍂🎃
Thank you tremendously, my very dear friend. I am immensely sorry that your own beautiful country has been duking it out with some massive and very destructive wildfires of its own this year.
(Our province of) British Columbia is no stranger to brutal wildfire seasons during the warmer months, but this year’s has been amongst the worst this part of the world has experienced on record. It’s still going strong in some spots (and indeed, the fire nearest to our town is still over 80,000 hectares in size) and the authorities are saying it may continue to do so well into October in some areas at least.
We’re very fortunate to have not yet been evacuated and that our house has thus far remained unscathed. Dozens of homes (last I heard, the count was at about 80) in our general area have not been as lucky, heartbreakingly, and one can only guess at what the final count will be there at a province-wide level with this year’s last forest fire is finally snuffed out.
On a significantly more upbeat note, our beloved fall is almost here and as the days become cooler, the nights longer, and the leaves crispier, I can feel my internal well of happiness filling up all the more again.
I think of you often as well and sincerely hope that you + your family are doing positively, staying safe, and enjoying a beautiful tail end of the season.
Oodles of hugs,
I hope that the fires can cease and everyone to be safe as I’ve been thinking about everyone over that way and can’t imagine what you’re all going through. Sending hopeful wishes your way!
And for the Halloween layout…it’s totally precious and what a wonderful memory to have with your mom! Although I think I’m a bit older than you, I was also born a “Halloween spirit” and have always loved it and tried to pass that fun onto my own children as well! Not everyone feels the same as we do, but we can inspire each other! Sending HUGS
Thank you immensely, my sweet friend and fellow born Halloween lover. I truly appreciate your care and concern. 🙏
At present, though the fire nearest to us still rages on, thankfully we are not on evacuation notice (or evacuation itself) and our home (+ us) remain safe. Tragically, the same cannot be said for the dozens of homes and properties this merciless blaze has consumed in our area and my heart goes out on the deepest of levels to everyone who has experienced home/property loss or damage due to this blaze and all others around the world.
Little by little, the temps are dropping and we’re getting a wee bit of rain. Not enough to have a huge impact on the local wildfires, but every last raindrop does help a bit and coupled with cooler temps, hopefully it won’t be too much longer until another brutal BC wildfire season is extinguished for good.
On a more upbeat note, less than two months to go now until All Hallows’ Eve returns! Nothing can dull my excitement for fall and Halloween/Samhain and I can hardly wait to share oodles of fun and festive new content here in the weeks/months ahead. Just as I look forward every bit as much to seeing and being inspired by the seasonal posts of others in our wonderful creativity filled circle.
Thank you again, lovely Vicki. I hope that you’re doing well and enjoying a sunny, relaxing Labour Day long weekend.
Big hugs coming right back at you!
I’m hoping that the fire season is over soon and that you can turn your full focus to celebrating the return of Fall and your beloved Halloween/Samhain. Your Halloween page is beautiful, as is your Mom. Hope you two have a lovely celebration very soon!
Thank you immensely, my cherished friend – on every sweet, care filled front. (I will pass along your lovely compliment to my mom – who, I swear, is even more gorgeous today – and just know it will make her day.)
As things presently sit, we are not on evacuation alert or notice at the moment and our home/property have remained unscathed (knock wood!). We’re still packed and ready to leave in a flash, if need be though, as the local wildfire remains at just over 80,000 hectares and new fires continue to pop up around the province, so there’s no saying another one couldn’t appear in our area. We’re far from paranoid about that risk though, simply mindful and prepared.
How are you doing as we hop eagerly into our beloved fall season? Has the weather begun to shift on your end? The temps took a massive nosedive her a few days ago and we’ve since seen brief spurts of rain. Today is mild, sunny, and utterly beautiful – the sort of summer-into-fall weather that cannot help but make one feel extra grateful to be alive, no matter the stresses, worries, and challenges that may be filling your days.
Both Tony and I sense winter will arrive extra early again this year, so the sooner fall wants to start, the better in my autumn adoring books. I’m holding off on decorating (for the most part, lol!) a little longer, just in case the order to evacuate does still come, but as soon as we’re comfortable with unpacking, I’ll be decorating from floor to ceiling. 🙂
As we embrace the season that we both hold dearest to our hearts, I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones have a relaxing, immensely safe, joy-filled, and entirely lovely fall time.
Huge hugs & the happiest of Halloween countdown wishes coming your way!
Wow, those are some scary-looking skies, Autumn! We’ve been very lucky here in Victoria, with only a few days of poor air quality hitting us. However, I worry about the drought’s effect on the local trees, especially my beloved Gary Oaks in our front yard – they have very shallow root-pans, so too much rain after a drought season might cause them to come crashing down in a storm. Yikes.
The thought of having to live with a “bug-out” bag at the ready is terrifying, but I’m glad you are taking strength from the knowledge that it is possible to rebuild. As I remind my husband, “it’s just stuff,” and the only things we really need are the external hard-drive (back ups of everything!), our important papers (all in a handy folder near the door), and Vizzini (cat carrier at the ready!). I remember your poor Stella losing her life in the arson fire, and cried for her.
Love that scrapbook page – is it going to your mom or just a memento for you? The soft colours matching the fade on the photo are so perfect for a summery-fall palette. Gorgeous!
Thank you wholeheartedly on every front, my sweet friend. The drought has wrecked a fair number of trees in the Okanagan, Thompson, and Shuswap areas this year (including some on my aunt and uncle’s property in Kamloops) and no doubt elsewhere in BC, too.
I’m very sorry that the gorgeous oaks near you are in danger. I sincerely hope that you’ve been getting some rain in recent days and that these majestic trees are able to pull through the impact of the drought and wildfire season intact (fingers firmly crossed!).
I can very much understand that feeling bugout bags – and goodness knows that while we try to be prepared, we’re not full-on preppers by any means.
Personally, I find a lot of comfort in having a bugout/go-bag at the ready. Not only are they super handy for natural disasters, but they’re awesome to take with us on road trips and longer car journeys in general (especially in the winter, when breaking down and being stranded becomes even more perilous).
The BC government recommends that citizens create their own go-bags and have a handy list to use as a starting point:
I was in (the) Girl Guides for many years as a youngster and have always loved camping/roughing it, so fortunately making a bugout bag in the aftermath of the arson fire we experienced wasn’t stressful for me/us as it brought back many happy memories of packing for camping trips during my youth.
You have an excellent memory and a heart of pure gold. Thank you beyond words or measure for not only remembering that we lost Stella, but also grieving for her loss as well. That means more than I can possibly begin to convey. 💗
Next month will mark five full years since that devastating night and the loss of our endlessly beloved cat. Though gone in corporal form, she is with us always in spirit and lives on in our hearts and memories. Still, nothing about what we lost in terms of our home or belongings, or went through in the aftermath of that fire, compares to the pain of losing her and I will grieve her passing until I take my own final breath.
Mercifully though, Tony and I, along with our darling dog Annie, made it out safely that night with no serious injuries.
Five years on, though life is radically different for us in some ways, we’ve pieced our world together again, as well as processed and healed a good deal from that experience.
We are stronger, more resistant people as a result and I think that makes facing the prospect of going through a massive trauma like a house fire (of any sort) again easier (to a degree) to handle.
Of course, though we hope and pray we do not face a similar tragedy again, just as I truly do that nothing cataclysmic ever befalls you, your DH, and precious Vizzini either. 🙏🙏🙏
On a more upbeat note, thank you SO much for your super sweet words about this Halloween scrapbook page. Love your question!
At present, it is residing in one of my scrapbook albums, but if my mom expressed a strong interest in having it at her place, I’d be delighted to send her home with this festive layout. 🧡
I think of you often and hope that things are well on your end as September takes hold and we steam on towards the gorgeous autumn months (or weeks – this being Canada after all 😄) that lay ahead.
Immense hugs & the sunniest of September blessings,
Those skies are looking truly apocalyptic, Autumn, and I think your Mum’s observance is very apt too. Speaking of your Mum, what a gorgeous photo of hers! And of you, obviously. How sweet and absolutely amazing that you were dressed up for Halloween at such a young age! No wonder you love it so much. xxx
Dearest Ann, you have me blushing up quite the storm over here – just as I know my mom would be, too, if she read your wonderfully kind compliments.
Thank you deeply, my sweet friend. It’s true, I’ve been dressing up ever since my first Halloween and have clear memories of what I’ve worn for most Halloweens since the age of three. Photos weren’t taken each year (especially pre-digital camera), but some certainly were and I’m grateful that my mom has scanned copies of some of them that she’s been able to share with me/us over the years.
At one point on my vintage blog, I penned a post all about some of the Halloween costumes that I wore as a youngster. Discussing the topic here with you now is making me think that perhaps one day I’ll repost (perhaps editing or updating it a touch, as needed) it here as well. The more places cherished family photos can be stored online for safekeeping, the better in my books.
But enough about moi! How are you doing, lovely lady, as September finds its footing once again and we gear up for the return of fall, sweet fall?
I think of you often and really hope that your summer has been going positively (in so much as anybody’s can during these pandemic-filled times).
Many heartfelt thanks again coupled with a bevy of the biggest hugs imaginable.
I can’t imagine what it must be like living under the threat of forest fires, in the UK we have the occasional heath fires but they are usually far from residential areas and quickly brought under control. I sincerely hope that your forest fires are brought under control soon and that you and everyone else stays safe – we have had a lot to cope with recently without the threat of loosing our homes due to fire.
Your layout is fabulous, a wonderful way to display that adorable photograph of you and your Mother.
Take care and stay safe.
Pauline – Crafting with Cotnob
Sweet Pauline, I am sorry beyond measure that your own home has been threatened by fire recently. It really is a profoundly stressful and challenging experience to live through – even if, mercifully, your abode pulls through such an ordeal. Please know that my heart and deepest understanding are with you – and that I am always just an email away if you ever need/want someone to talk privately with about anything you may be going through (fire related or otherwise).
Thank you deeply for your very kind and caring comment, including the lovely things you said about this layout. I was extra happy to have no posted it here yet, as with everything that’s been going on and all of our photographic equipment still packed (in case we need to evacuate), I’ve neither been able to do much crafting or, moreover, to photograph anything lately. Granted, I could go back to using my phone for such, if need be, but I vastly prefer the image quality that my trusty little Canon Rebel delivers – especially given the batcave-esque light in our wee home. 😄
Definitely not the summer (or 2021 as a whole) that I imagined or hoped for, but things could, of course, be much rougher and the fact that we’ve not been evacuated (or worse) thus far is a blessing beyond measure. As is the gift of sweet, wonderful friends like yourself. 💗
Thinking of you and sending a torrent of sunny September hugs your way,
While the pictures are lovely actually my heart goes out to you – esp from your previous trauma – that is just so stressful!!! You are in my thoughts and heart whenever the smoke comes our way – I need to stop complaining about air quality ( cuz I do hate the smoke ) and think of you whom are in the thick of it and just send out the spirit of love and protection . You are quite brave . I’m glad you are prepared too . Please let me know if there is anything you need .
Beautiful scrap pages and I’m looking forward to your personal posts – that is my ultimate fav!
My sweet, immensely caring friend, thank you wholeheartedly for your touching words, incredibly thoughtful offer (which, I assure you, I will not hesitate to take you up on it, if needed), and for thinking about how a situation like this is impacted by what we experienced nearly five years ago now.
Happenings like this summer’s evacuation alerts are unquestionably stressful for all those impacted by them.
Interestingly (and very fortunately), I find that far from magnifying the current situation, what we went through in 2016 has helped to make me stronger and better able to handle the prospect of enduring something similar again.
That isn’t to say, of course, that there aren’t elements of times like this summer that don’t stir up some mighty powerful memories and emotions (goodness knows that there are), but rather that thus far, I’ve rarely struggled to process and move beyond them.
Poor air quality and thick smoke are awful unto themselves and well worth bemoaning or wishing would vanish. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way, even if others are in more perilous wildfire situations. When something is unpleasant, it is usually unpleasant regardless of if worse situations exist (or could exist) out there or not.
Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoy my more personal posts. I know they’re not everyone’s fave (which is 100% okay, of course), so knowing they are yours means all the more to me. With the next edition of my quarterly “Magick, Crafty Makes, and Me” series rounding the bend soon (give or take a few days on either side of the Fall Equinox), it won’t be too much longer before I share some more personal updates here.
Really, thank you again for everything. I hope that you and your beautiful family are all doing well, staying safe (very much including on the wildfire front), and gearing up for a stellar fall time.
Huge, gratitude-filled hugs coming your way,
Hi Autumn, I’m just reading this now. I’m glad to hear that you and Tony were not on evacuation order at the time of writing this. How are things currently?
I enjoyed reading about your Born Halloween scrapbook layout. It’s a great design and I love the picture of baby you and your mum! 🙂 As a fellow Hallowe’en/Samhain fan, I’m already looking forward to the festival!
Hope you’re doing well. Thanks again for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave comments. I appreciate it. Wishing you a wonderful end of week and start to the weekend. <3
Hello sweet Zania, thank you very much for your wonderfully kind and caring comment. It sincerely brightens my week whenever I receive one from you.
It really means a lot that you asked how the wildfire situation is currently unfolding here. While the massive forest fire closest to us is still sitting at a hefty 80,000 hectares or so, some controlled burns have recently been done to help try and keep it from spreading dangerously close to town.
They, along with cooler temps and a tiny bit (thus far) of rain, have helped somewhat in terms of keeping the blaze from growing even bigger (knock wood!).
Our most recent evacuation alert notice was rescinded in late August, though we’ve opted, for the time being, to remain packed and ready to bolt at a moment’s notice, just to be on the safe side.
The air quality is presently quite good all things considered and the skies have not taken on such eerie hues again for quite a few days now.
Given that we’re still in September and continuing to reach temps well in the 20s celsius some days, it’s too soon to say we’re completely out of danger on the local wildfire front, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we make that statement with confidence.
This blaze – like many that tear through BC each year – has caused substantial damage, including to dozens of homes and properties in the general area, and in doing so turned many lives on their heads.
We count our blessings daily that thus far our home has remained safe and have never looked forward to the cool, damp, wildfire-free days of fall and winter more than this year.
Thank you again, dear heart. Your thoughtfulness means so much.
Immense hugs & the cheeriest of Mabon season wishes coming your way,
Hi Autumn, thank you for your reply. Sorry for my late response, I’ve just seen it now. You’re very welcome and I’m glad to hear that my comments brighten your week. It’s always a pleasure to receive one from you too! 🙂
I’m glad to hear that the wildfire has been contained somewhat and hope that things are still ok. Thinking of you both and others in the same situation and sending love. <3
Hugs to you too. Hope you had a wonderful Mabon and are enjoying the official start of autumn! 🙂
You are such a kind, wonderfully sweet soul, dear Zania. Thank you very much for your response. Please don’t worry in the slightest about your reply time. It’s all good!
Blessedly, it’s relatively safe to say at this point that 2021’s wildfire season is drawing to a close again here in BC. A few are still underway in parts of the province, but most of the major blazes are either out now or on their way to being extinguished entirely.
Also very blessedly, we did not end having to evacuate (though I think we were ultra close there for much of August and early September) and our home made it through this year’s forest fires completely unharmed. There are not words enough to fully convey how grateful I am (we are) about that.
On a less sombre note (than wildfires, I mean), I had a fantastic Mabon (complete with a serenely beautiful sunrise nature walk that day). Thank you sweetly! I hope that yours was cozy, enjoyable, and thoroughly magickal as well.
Just as I’m wishing you the loveliest, safest, happiest, and most enchanting of Samhain seasons. 🎃
You are such an amazingly resilient young woman, Autumn! I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through all this with the wildfires, especially in light of that experience only a few years ago!
But then seriously, how cute were you as a baby? This is such a perfect pic of you and your Mum! Loved it!!
Hand on my heart, your incredible sweet, supportive comment brought tears to my eyes, Donna. Thank you deeply for the blessing of your boundless kindness. 🙏
And let us thank every star in the universe that a worst-case scenario has not – knock wood! – unfolded here regarding the local wildfire situation.
Despite September housing cooler temps and a few rainy days so far, that huge blaze is still going strong (and is actually estimated to be slightly larger now than back when I wrote this post). However, controlled burns and other measures carried out by the BC Wildfire personnel has helped to keep reaching our immediate area thus far.
May that continue to remain the case and may this – and all other – forest fire(s) of 2021 soon be extinguished for good. 🙏
Aww, thank you very much! I cherish and adore this special photo. Who knows, maybe one of these years I’ll go as a cat again as a tribute to my very first Halloween costume and in celebration of my awesome mama who has always supported my boundless passion for October 31st.
Less than 1.5 months to go no until All Hallows’ Eve returns. I can scarcely wait and hope that the ensuing few weeks between then and now are a safe, happy, festively fantastic chapter of the year on both our ends.
Immense hugs & the most heartfelt of thanks again,
Such a gorgeous page and well thought out layout. The state of the world makes me very very sad. It must be terrifying to be so close to these horrendous fires. Hugs Emmax
Thank you wholeheartedly, dear Emma. You are such a caring, thoughtful person and I feel blessed to know you.
You’re absolutely right regarding how unnerving it can be to live around major wildfires. Even having grown up and lived a solid chunk of my life in parts of BC where large forest fires are, sadly, often the sunny season norm, the risk of a blaze reaching us never becomes something that one gets fully accustomed to.
Mercifully, that has not happened yet this year, but it was decently touch-and-go there at times in August.
The large fire nearest to us is still active (and still very big), but thankfully, due to controlled burns and other fire fighting measures, it is not currently posing the same degree of risk to our immediate area. Hopefully, as the temps drop further and rain returns after a summer of drought, it won’t be too much longer before this mighty blaze is finally quashed for good.
On a more upbeat note, fall is nearly here and that has me all but bouncing off the walls with joy.
I hope that the upcoming season is a time of immense wellness, positivity, joy, inspiration, and festive fun for you, dear lady. 🍂