Our piano is in a very central location in our home. So I use it for display space when I need it (read: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas). When it’s not display space, it holds a good lamp and a few books and whatnot.

I had three ravens in my Halloween box this year, picked up around last Thanksgiving in the clearance bins at Michaels. And I thought some black branches on the piano would be an excellent way to show them off. So Sunday afternoon (yesterday), I took the older three kids for a walk to collect branches.

We didn’t have to go very far. Our across-the-street-neighbors had a perfect pile on their curb, waiting for the village to pick them up on yard-waste day. We spray-painted them black, with an accent coat of bronze in a few spots, and put them in a ceramic urn. (What is it about urns that feel appropriate for Halloween displays?) We filled the urn with pebbles to weight the branches down and attached the three ravens. We added our creepy skull — the first Halloween decoration I ever purchased — and a few votives.

It looked great and stark I lived with it for a few hours before I knew I wanted more stuff in the display. So I took a roll of wire mesh — used last Thanksgiving as a table runner — and hung it down the wall. Then I framed a drawing Ralph had just finished of himself and his siblings in the Halloween costumes they’ve decided to wear this year — a mummy, a witch, Mrs. Frankenstein, a werewolf and a jack-o-lantern.

Olive cleverly thought to add a plastic spider to a branch. The spider creeps me out every time I notice it. And Ralph (who was getting pretty excited about this display) added a few books from the Unfortunate Events series, which he felt were gloomy enough to be worthy of the branches, plus a couple more candlesticks. Then we were satisfied.

There is a 100% chance that this display will change in big and small ways everyday until we take it down, but I’m glad I’ve got a few shots of how it looked the first day.