I have been patiently waiting for imperial inspiration. And now I have it. I think.

As you may know, Jax and I have decreed southern gothic as the theme for our Halloween / Samhain dinner party. I’ve been asking The Oracle (aka Google) for design elements, but have not found anything that really fits. [Note: If you ask The Oracle for a site on “southern goth,” you will get PaganPrincesses.com!] Designs have either been too southern, or too goth. But I think I have finally asked The Oracle the right question. I asked for images for an “antebellum Halloween.” And voila’! A slew of images with a nice balance between the two were called forth.

Rather than focus on creating a single design element (like the iron-gate-arch I proposed last week), we will turn our attention to smaller elements that will cumulatively provide the desired ambiance. Black lace and brocade fabrics are still part of the design plan. New additions will include: a collection of empty frames (probably painted black), lots of multi-colored and/or painted pumpkins, handmade cutouts that read “Happy Hallowe’en” and/or “Trick or Treat.” The links included here are to sites that I will use as a resource for the design plan. Said plan should be executed by my own hand (and the hands of willing, crafty friends!). That is, I won’t be buying the handmade cutouts from Etsy (even though many Etsy products get a royal stamp of approval). I found the Modern Country: Our Life in Black and White blog particularly inspirational. I also love images from vintage Halloween cards, but I am still thinking about how to incorporate these as a design element without tanking the treasury.

We want our southern gothic to be true to antebellum sensibilities. Reconstruction was a time of economic hardship (I won’t draw obvious parallels here) and folks had to make their own decorations for holidays. We will do the same. Well…as much as time allows. And as long as crafty doesn’t translate to tacky. I will also be digging through my things to find anything that will contribute to the “feel” we want to create. I have a lot of stuff. I am bound to find something I can use!

If you have any images you think will help inspire us, please share them!