raven, haunted, Halloween A perched raven on spooky branches is an iconic Gothic and Halloween symbol, representing everything from death, a bad omen, or a complete void, to being as fulfilling as defining solar elements and used as prophetic messengers.

Ravens are a magnificently curious and mischievous creature that boasts rich, dark plumage and black eyes that plunge through the deepest layer of your soul to easily capture true intentions…

Over the past several years, I have scribbled out/shredded/deleted hundreds of handcrafted raven reflections, attempting not to incorporate these dark feathered shadowy images in the traditional “birds perched on branches” or “stuck in a cage” style, while instead trying to devise an additional tier of emotional perceptions complicating where they are located, and why they exist there. These raven silhouette forms are enhanced with gradual depth and textures in the background to offer an eerie appearance at night, yet shifts through moods depending on the time of day, lighting involved, and additional visual surroundings.

They are meant to be included as part of my Gothic Haunted Forest Bedroom Theme, however, we placed them in the living room in frames first, and now no one wants to take them down… So here’s one of my natural spooky Halloween displays this year with ravens, black floral features, pumpkins, branches, feathers, and potions, on an amber and golden leaves setting:

The raven art is completely reversible, and one forward and one reversed image must be purchased to get the same look as featured above: Raven Posters.

Of course, there was a little additional WebSpinstress Halloween humor hiding in that display, just in case you happened to miss it…

Here’s a very close look at my dancing skull specimen creature – who is handcrafted with love from the finest materials available – the skull shifter knob from my dearly missed 3000 GT, a small driftwood piece from one of our many visits to various Boston coastline hideouts this Summer, and one of the very few leaves we collected that is fully preserved from the nasty Fall fungus this year.

What a special little guy he is! :-)

 

There are many sinister species of bad botanicals and poisonous plants. They creep around hiding in the shadows, waiting to grab your legs with their vicious vines, and threatening to prick your last drop of blood with their thick thorns to feed their sinfully soiled souls.

The fierce and frightful Flora World is far from fictitious, and truly (quite curiously), just wicked…

Carnivorous plants capture their prey with trapping mechanisms such as pitfall traps or pitchers, flypaper, snap traps, lobster-pots, and bladder traps. The Venus flytrap is the most recognized and cultivated carnivorous plant, but unique species such as the Cobra Lily are famed as a pitcher plant with a very apparent serpent’s head and sneaky snake-like abilities.

Poisonous plants are toxic predators for producing magnificently bold-colored blooms and boasting delicately deceiving petals of doom. Nightshades such as Mandrake, Belladonna, and Nicotiana contain alkaloids that range in all pains from pleasure to death, though Hellebores are absolutely heart-stopping. So, if handling these varieties, please be cautious and don’t skip a beat.

Some wicked plant species do no harm at all, yet still “leaf” an impression that “stems” fear into others. The Black Bat Plant is also known as the devil’s flower, bat-headed lily, and cat’s whiskers. It’s one of my favorite tropical black flowers that includes the dark and curious appeal of both bats and cats, and they are also very visually dramatic – thus inspiring the beginning of my new series of Gothic botanical prints, pictured to the right:

So, the next time you Blog like it’s the end of the World, alarming others of the upcoming brutal Zombie attack, it might be a good time to plant a few new seeds and collapse civilization by withering them away with those pretty little Petunias you thought were safe to grow in your window box this year…let the Angel’s Trumpets sing!

For further evidence, be sure to reference real-life accounts of the wicked, wild, ways of the plant kingdom: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

It’s an intoxicating compilation that’s a definite must-have for garden lovers of botanical atrocities that aim to strangle, paralyze, poison, and derange the minds/bodies of their caretakers.

 

Display all of your creepy concoctions, potion bottles, and squishy jar specimens in groupings together to create a realistic spooky setting – one that’s captivating enough for the most inquisitive of minds to sort through.

Natural exhibits of morbid curiosities (such as dried sea specimens, bones, and preserved botanical varieties) can complete an arrangement of curiously creepy intricate findings, allowing your guests to speculate what your strange collection is manifesting.

Some of the spookiest specimen acquisitions are from early Victorian science and medicine practices, including various species of entomology, botany, lepidoptery, etc.

Here’s a few ideas of what specimens to capture, and how to include them in your Halloween decorating this year… Halloween Specimens and Curiosities

 

specimenjars, specimen jarsTo create your own specimens, you need a good assortment of clear glass containers. Use canning jars, potion bottles, apothecary jars, wine bottles, or rinse out the spaghetti sauce jar from last night’s dinner. The concept is simple – refill the jars with colored water, add a slimy and creepy specimen, and embellish with labels, paint, and twine.

Wilton makes a Halloween drink-coloring dye set with green, orange, red, and black already mixed for you, available at your local craft store. Hard-boiled eggs, cauliflower chunks, mini skeletons, and light-colored creatures work well in dark colored dyes for the added appeal of not being able to distinguish clear details apart from each specimen.

I found a very inspiring display of potion bottle specimen jars arranged on an antiquated bookshelf with a full tutorial included. Create your own Witches’ Kitchen this Halloween for a unique party theme that will have your guests brewing and bubbling over (with anticipation, I mean. I certainly hope you don’t plan to stuff them into the cauldron…).

Use vintage-style potion bottle labels for added authenticity, such as this beautiful set from the talent behind Love Manor: Bottle Labels.

For more apothecary jars, potion bottles, and specimen jars ideas, visit my complete list here: Halloween Apothecary and Specimen Jars