After a long week at our day jobs and a strenuous schedule of home improvement projects, Alex and I decided to relax and unwind on Friday night at a favorite local hangout. After munching on delicious fried buffalo shrimp and fish tacos, and washing it down with a schooner of beer (32 oz of sweet goodness for those of you who are curious), we called it a night.

On our walk home, we opted for the route that would take us past a cute local florist. It appeared that they had done some late Spring cleaning that day, and we were about to benefit from their hard work and cleanup efforts. Sitting, perched precariously on top of a line of black trash bags, was a beautiful bundle of curly willow branches. I know it probably looked like a bunch of sticks to the average Joe, but given my history of looking past what others may see as trash, my heart began to race. I knew I had just scored some serious loot. Here I am in action:

 

While I enjoy seasonal decorating as a whole, Halloween is my holiday. While others may revere Christmas or even Mother's Day as their time to go all out, come September I am in full blown, no holds barred, bats hanging from every surface decorating mode. And this beautiful bunch of curly willow is the perfect accoutrement to my autumnal efforts.

I love to use a mix of bittersweet and curly willow to adorn our two mantles, the transom window above our front door, and sometimes as a centerpiece on our dining room table. 

 

There's just something unpredictable and creepy that makes them the perfect accessory for Halloween decor. And given their popularity, they can be difficult to find as well as what I consider extremely expensive for "a bunch of sticks." I've seen bunches, a fraction of the size of my find, run for $20 or more at local farmers markets.

Maybe it was the schooner talking. Or maybe I'm just a Halloween nut. But in my opinion, it's never too early to start planning your holiday decorating efforts...especially if an opportunity presents itself.

Does anyone else have a holiday they're obsessed with? Or any great trash-to-treasure stories about re-purposing found objects? Please share. In the meantime, I'd better get to safely storing my new find. For some reason, our four-legged crew members were chewing on the branches all weekend. I can only hope they're practicing their Dracula bit for our Halloween party.   

 
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