“There’s a Little Witch in All of Us”…one of the well known quotes from Alice Hoffman’s 1995 book, “Practical Magic”. It’s a tale of two sisters navigating the trials of love in the “real”world with just a touch of magic. The book was turned into a very successful movie in 1998 and has become a favorite to watch during the Halloween season.
Before entering into Practical Magic a big thank you to Rita of Panoply for hosting this wonderfully fun and creative Halloween Tablescape Blog Hop. If you’ve just come from Home Is Where the Boat Is, welcome. What a super Halloween tablescape she put together. It’s great to gather with all these talented Bloggers for a little “Spooky” creativity. You’ll find the links to their Blog Sites listed at the end. Have fun exploring all their wonderfully creative ideas for some haunting Halloween tables.
For me, one of the best reasons to watch the movie, Practical Magic, is to see the house in which the sisters grew up. It’s a picturesque Victorian situated at the edge of the sea complete with beautiful gardens and a conservatory for drying herbs and mixing herbal products and… a few magic potions.
Welcome to the Blog today for a slightly Victorian table setting reminiscent of the movie, “Practical Magic”.
The theme “Practical Magic” allowed me to incorporate some lovely elements that include elegant and fun bits from the movie to create a Victorian tablescape with a bit of “witchy” fun. A black table cloth with a white lace overlay was my starting point. Each place setting has its “witch’s” hat in a Victorian paisley pattern with a black brim embellished with potpourri. Rose petals appear in the movie so it seemed appropriate to include them in the place setting. A quote from the movie was placed at each setting…something the guests can keep. Mounted on a chalkboard and completed with a ribbon the favor can be hung in a favorite spot when the guest returns home.
Here’s a closer look at the quote in its Victorian frame.
The hats were a fun project to make. I used two different embellishments…the bow and the flower in jet black beads.
The witch hats looked very much at home with the black and white motif. You can see the plate stack in the above picture. A silver charger with a beautiful scrolled edge holds a black and white paisley plate that blends with the paisley fabric in the witch hats. A beautiful black china plate edged in gold with an inner rim of gold comes next. Finally a white plate edged in black and gold gives a nice background for the hat.
A closer look at the plates can be seen above. Royal Stafford and Lenox china paired together well in this setting.
An etched cut crystal goblet was paired with a silver wine goblet to reinforce the Victorian theme. The silver was left unpolished as a nod to Hallowe’en.
Silver-plated flatware in a lovely floral pattern fit in well with all the flowers and herbs seen in the movie. A black napkin was held in place with a twisted black wire napkin ring. A broom, with the brush pointing up for good luck, was inserted in the napkin ring. Every self-respecting witch needs her broom.
In the center of the table a ring of Fall flowers surrounds the stem of the candelabra. A bit of color in the black and white setting brings the garden to the table.
Here you can see the candelabra rising out of the ring of flowers. The candelabra is quite intricate in twisted wrought iron and holds six white candles. White because only white magic is practiced here.
The windows behind the table look out into the garden. They are decorated with grasses and cats, a spooky light up sign , brass candles, and a potpourri crescent moon filling the lower middle window. A pumpkin in the same paisley fabric as the Witch hats fills the right hand window. Two black cats, one on either side of the center window, are poised to watch the fun.
Looking into the room you can see the gallery wall decorated for a “Practical Magic” Halloween. The chandelier is turned into a witch’s hat made from the same paisley fabric as the witch hats on the table and the pumpkin in the window. Herbals both modern and antique are displayed on the shelves. Potion mixing begins with an understanding of herbal plants.
The “There’s a Little Witch In All of Us” sign was made especially for Hallowe’en and is a quote from the movie. Black cats abound in “Practical Magic”. Cats have been a witch’s familiar in much of the lore surrounding witches. Pages from an herbal from the early 18th Century sit next to a wood block of a Medieval maker of pewter items. Knowledge of herbs and their properties and the alchemy involved in making metals were tools used by wise women and alchemists who were some of our first chemists and doctors.
The full moon is an amazingly beautiful part of Hallowe’en lighting the sky with silver light. The Penny Magazine excerpt about the Moon is from the 1820’s. The facets of the moon and the placement of the stars have been studied for centuries. A simple depiction of three favorite herbs is set in a white frame. The wonderful cat pen and ink drawing framed in black and gold is by a Georgian (Russian) artist who is quite well known. His name is Irakli Gabashvili and he made this original drawing in 1994. We found it at a local Thrift Store a few years ago and just love the image. The artist did a series of cats from T.S. Elliot’s work that was later made into the stage show, “Cats”. This is “Gus the Theater Cat” whose full name is Asparagus. He loves to come out during the Hallowe’en season and perform on his Pen and Ink stage.
More cats stand or sit around the room and the one above has just eaten a fish. Another Thrift Shop find, he really is quite fun at night with a votive candle lighting his skeletal fish.
A witch’s hat sets the room aglow at dusk. The light is dimming and night is drawing closer. Soon it will be the witching hour and magic will be in the air.
Candlelight casts a soft glow in the room and all things seem possible.
The candelabra looks mysterious but not scary. Spells will be cast but only for happy endings. No black magic is welcome at this table.
Everything looks softer by candlelight. Reflections in the window magnify the light and the crescent moon shows beautifully with its lovely rose color.
The place settings are ready for guests to sit down and enjoy a wonderful Hallowe’en dinner.
“Always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Plant lavender for luck and fall in love whenever you can.”…Practical Magic
Hallowe’en words to live by in this “Practical Magic” Halloween.
Be sure and visit all the Bloggers listed below for their fun and imaginative Halloween tablescapes. We hope you find some ideas to inspire your own Halloween celebration. Have fun!
Pandora’s Box – Snack Hour Portable Tablescape
Bleu Belle Interiors – A Sweet Halloween Table
Me and My Captain – And the Band Played On
Everyday Living – Halloween Critters and Treats
My Hubbard Home – Halloween Inspired Fall Tablescape – The Best of Autumn
Debbee’s Buzz – Spooky Spellbound Halloween Centerpiece and Table
Home Is Where the Boat Is – Black Cat Trading Company
Thrifting Wonderland – Practical Magic Halloween
Red Cottage Chronicles – How to Set a Halloween Tablescape Fit for a Princess
Life and Linda – If the Shoe Fits
The Little Yellow Corner Store – The Debonair Vampire, Leonard
The Bookish Dilettante – Halloween Tablescape: Midnight at the Ball
My Thrift Store Addiction – Jadeite Whimsy: Seasonal Tray and Table Setting
The Painted Apron – Slightly Spooky Halloween Tablescape
Bluesky at Home – How to Set Up a Sweet Halloween Buffet
Corner of Plaid and Paisley – Table of Vexing Vermin
Zucchini Sisters – Halloween Table Top Decor with Skeletons
Celebrate and Decorate – Halloween Tablescape in Gold and Black
Dinner at Eight – Welcome to Ghostly Hollow!
Karins Kottage – A Bewitching Black and White Tablescape