Halloween or Samhain, as it is known in Ireland, has become extremely popular and more sophisticated in recent years. While many of the old games may be a thing of the past, new decorative traditions like intricate carved pumpkins, leafy autumnal wreaths and creative costumes are thriving.

Halloween represents the change in the season between the end of the harvest and the beginning of Winter making it a key turning point in the year. Traditionally, this time of year celebrates the connection between this mortal, earthly world and the spirit world when an array of ghosts, goblins and ghouls might make an appearance. Bonfires are lit both for protection from any ill will from such forces as well acting as a kind of cleansing ritual to mark the move into Winter.

For a moody and atmospheric décor, Leona Guidera’s artwork “Escapism” is guaranteed to stir your emotions. With your ghoulish Halloween dinner, you can serve the magic potions in one of the “smoke” glasses; these hand-blown glasses make for a very special treat! Finally, to add a touch of seasonal colour to your own or a loved one’s Halloween costume, you might like the quirky orange Froufrou stud earrings by Dana.

Be prepared to be spooked!

Small Treats

The little ones and big ones are getting ready to dress up as witches, vampires, pumpkins, pirates and superheroes. Barmbrack recipes are being revisited and creepy sweeties purchased. Small treats for your treat bags could also be: a tooth fairy by Guadalupe Creations, the Petit Bijou earrings by DVM, a sample of Graphite Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan or a juniper wet stone soap by Baressential!







All treats, no tricks!

Halloween is a very Irish feast. As the evenings get shorter, it’s all about getting spookey costumes on and enjoying the autumnal dark nights and the cracking of the burning fire logs. My own favourite thing about Halloween is taking out the recipe books to make barmbrack and other seasonal treats like pumpkin soup and oven-baked apples. A great way to celebrate the end of the summer and face the coming winter season.


Plenty of other treats in Handmade Design Studio this autumn  such as woolies to keep you warm on All Saints’ night: black of course ! Hand-knitted scarves, warm and stylish hats by Mad4hats, fine merino felted wrist warmers and matching snood by Niki Collier Designs. Add a bit of drama and sparkle with some earrings or cuffs by award-winning jewellery designer Bláithín Ennis.

carrot blanketCheck out the new carrot twill handwoven blanket by Studio Donegal : its orange colour will brighten up any room and create a sense of pure comfort, guaranteed ! Gail Kelly’s signature leaf pattern printed on unbleached cotton is a striking yet simple contemporary design. It adorns the dining table as a runner and would be a lovely backdrop to your own home-cooking and edible treats !

And if you are painting the town on All Saints’ night, make sure it is in Annie Sloan chalk paint™ Graphite or Barcelona Orange !