The day was gray and overcast. However, far from being depressing, the grayness provided an effective contrast for the burgeoning colors and golden light of autumn.
I felt inspired to capture those golden tones by lighting candles throughout the house and on the deck. Not only did the glow from candles warm my home and welcome in autumn, they created their own pools of gold, reminding me of the importance of being Light in the darkness.
Golden Autumn Throughout the House
This Sunday Short is captured through the power of photos, accompanied by some of my favorite quotes about this season.
“Turn your face to the Light, and the shadows fall behind you.” Unknown
“Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.” Oprah
“There will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief.” L. Whitney Clayton
“I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere of autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints.” Henry David Thoreau
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl
Before the light faded from the autumn sky, I slipped outside. The rust and gold colored tassels adorning the ornamental grasses in the garden stirred in the breeze. There was a ripple of energy in the garden, born by the wind but independent from it.
The energy carried the stories of plants nodding off to sleep, after a time of great growth, and falling leaves, and the promise of long nights of rest and contemplation. Autumn marks the beginning of a time of harvesting what we have created and of nourishing and replenishing ourselves.
How appropriate are the colors of fall, to warm our souls and our nights. How necessary the golden light of autumn to illuminate our way through winter’s darkness, until spring makes all things new.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring great joy, like a drive on a beautiful fall afternoon. Although autumn arrived precisely on time, by the calendar, the trees have been very slow to signal the change of the seasons. As October drew to a close, I began to think that the trees were going to just drop their leaves, without a flash of color first.
Cooler temperatures and a bit of rain at last provided the necessary catalyst. Yesterday I noticed golds and oranges and reds showing up. Today I had the opportunity to drive south into Arkansas, and appreciate fall’s finery.
It is difficult to adequately capture the beauty that I drank in today. The world was aflame with color. Where just a week ago there were dull greens and dry browns, today there were vibrant yellows, splashes of deep crimson and every shade of rusty orange possible.
The older I get, the more I cherish fall. The crisp cool air is welcomed after the heat and humidity of summer. And the earthy hues of autumn rival the explosion of color from spring’s flowers. I like wearing my boots and jackets and hoodies. And this season is my favorite for decorating my house. From here, I transition right into holiday decor.
While in Arkansas, Greg and I stopped at Crumpet’s Tea House. This was a delightful first and the perfect mid afternoon destination. We arrived about half an hour before closing, but I had time to savor a small pot of pomegranate and berry herbal tea. I will stop by again earlier in the day next time, and try their lunch.
On the drive back to Joplin, we paused in several places to capture the beauty of the day. Because I love water so much, there was often a creek or river flowing nearby. We got a close up look at the crane above, who was calmly fishing for his dinner.
I didn’t walk through nature today, however, I drove through it, I experienced the wonder of the season, and the result was the same. I felt such peace, such gratitude for this time of year. In autumn, every leaf does indeed become a flower, to paraphrase Albert Camus. What a gorgeous bouquet I visually gathered today.
This afternoon I continued with the seasonal change over, moving fall indoors. I enjoy creating vignettes, on tabletops and chair seats, on shelves and in boxes. I have a vintage suitcase in my bedroom that I change with the seasons, as well as an old wooden sieve that has a place of honor on my dining table.
It becomes a game, a form of artistic playing, to create a fresh look, using items I have on hand. I combine different pieces to create something new. This year I took the game to a higher level. I decided not to purchase anything to add to my decor or the vignettes. Typically, for fall, I buy mums, pumpkins and gourds for the front porch, and mini pumpkins for indoors use. And stores such as Michael’s or Kirkland’s always have cute seasonal items that tempt me.
But I chose not to shop.
There isn’t anything wrong with making such purchases. This is just one of my quirks. I like to play…and I like to challenge myself in new ways. The game was on!
Here are the areas that got make overs today:
The old battered suitcase switched to fall with seasonal colors in a shawl and a vintage wooden tray. I kept things simple. I added a large glass candle holder and a pair of red ceramic birds. A footed enameled metal bowl holds fabric balls.
I added a couple of fall candles to the wooden box I keep at the foot of my bed, and included a little blessing sign.
The 119 year old china doll, with her orange, yellow and green dress, always makes an appearance for fall, somewhere in the house. This year she shares the wooden sieve with an old pocket watch, a box with Abundance written across the top and a glass pitcher full of picks with red and yellow berries.
A pair of metal birds rest outside the sieve. And at either end of the table, metal cloches cover artificial pumpkins on bright orange plates. I pulled the brown, gold and red striped placemats from another location, to tie everything together, color wise.
And old wooden chair becomes a great spot for a little bird themed vignette.
And finally, the small table by the front door was reset. On the bottom shelf I’ve featured a print by local artist Alice Lynn Greenwood. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. Rumi
And on the tabletop, a small enameled metal bowl, candles and a metal wire cloche. I usually stack miniature pumpkins in the cloche. I considered running to the store…but what about the game I was playing? I said I would use what I already had. This is where I wandered about the house a bit, in open to receive mode. And an idea came.
I had wooden acorns, in a little wooden crate. Perfect! The acorn was my sub-symbol two years ago. It represents potential…and remembrance. I really like the way they look in the cloche, plus I had two left over to rest next to the stack of books that serves as a candle holder.
I created a couple of other small arrangements and then I was done for the day. I am pleased with the new vignettes and I had fun challenging myself to be creative. In the midst of decorating, I had an odd thing happen, an unexpected bonus.
The old clock that hangs above the entry table is 103 years old. It’s been in Greg’s family for a while, and I have had it hanging on the wall for the last five years. It’s never worked while I’ve had it. Hasn’t worked for years, even when it hung in Greg’s parents’ house.
Tonight, as I dusted it, resting one hand against it to steady it while I ran a cloth over it, the clock pendulum slowly began to move. I thought I had bumped it enough to cause the pendulum to swing slightly. But no. The clock began to tick as the pendulum swung steadily back and forth.
Hours later, the clock is still ticking. And it’s keeping time. I had Greg look at it. He moved the hands to the correct time and the clock has stayed accurate. He used the big metal key to wind it, and discovered it was already wound up.
Something shifted. Energy moved. I am a clock whisperer. I don’t know what happened. But as I type this blog post, I can hear the comforting sound of that old clock tick-tocking. I like it. As the days become shorter and the nights longer, the clock ticking adds a wonderful coziness to my home.
I don’t know how long the clock will keep working, but tonight, I am loving it. What a wonderful addition to the fall decor…and a fun surprise during the decorating game. I think I won.
The autumn equinox today marked the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Although the equinox signals shorter, and cooler, days ahead, the temps this afternoon soared into the high 80s. In spite of the lingering heat, I decided to start the fall decorating.
As a kid, I ranked fall as number three in order of preference for the seasons. Summer, with its long days of freedom, was my favorite time of year, followed by spring and then fall and winter. Now spring and fall tie for my favorite seasons. The reappearance of my flowers, plants and herbs in the gardens give spring a slight edge in my heart. But oh, I do love this time of year.
Changing my house over to a new season begins with my front porch. The welcoming change begins here and then moves throughout the house. This is a good time to clean and declutter and throw away, in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.
I also love using an abundance of candles. I always intend to keep lighting candles, after the Christmas decorations are packed away. However, realistically, as the temperatures climb I feel less and less inclined to light candles and create additional heat. The arrival of longer nights naturally inspires me to dispel the darkness with light, hence more candles.
I usually add real pumpkins, gourds and potted mums to my fall decor. This year, I decided to do something different. Rather than purchase anything to accentuate what I have, I chose to create using only what I already own.
So instead of grouping real pumpkins beneath the table on the porch, I added a vintage gas can, a metal bucket and a weathered hurricane lantern. I like the way this fresh grouping looks.
The biggest challenge, in playing this game of using what I had on hand, was redoing my vintage red box. I call this cherished piece Annie’s Box, as I brought it home after my Aunt Annie passed away a couple of years ago. I freshen the box with the seasons, adding terra cotta pots of pansies in the spring and colorful begonias or coleus in the summer. For fall I normally replace the summer flowers with tiny mums or yellow pansies.
I nearly wavered and headed to the Garden Center. But then I had a nudge of inspiration. Near my raised vegetable bed, ground cover has appeared, sporting stalks of tiny purple flowers. I don’t know where the plants came from. Perhaps the seeds were carried in with the dirt used to fill the raised bed.
This afternoon I carefully dug up some of those volunteer plants and potted them, adding them to Annie’s red box. They look wild and beautiful, in the box, with a few pinecones tucked among the clay pots and a garland of rusty stars wound around the handle.
Near Annie’s Box I grouped a vintage copper teapot, a cinnamon scented candle, a sprig of red and yellow berries, and left over from summer, a dark red coleus in a copper pot. I am very pleased with the transformation of the box, and I didn’t spend a penny on any of it. I enjoyed revving up my creativity instead.
As twilight deepened, I lit candles on my newly decorated front porch. The flickering flames not only add warmth and charm to the porch, they welcome in this new season and and send light outward, literally and figuratively, into the world.
While potato wedges roasted in the oven tonight, I had just enough time to switch my little entry table from summer to fall. Sticking with my desire to change up the decor, I didn’t even look at what I created here last year. I cleared the tabletop and bottom shelf, and freed my creativity to play.
A vintage double globe lamp came to mind for the tabletop. This piece is from the home of Greg’s parents. Unfortunately, I know nothing about how old it is or when Bob and Leta acquired it. Greg knew it had been in their home for years. The light brown designs on the white glass globes look fallish to me. It became the centerpiece that I built the vignette around.
I was nervous handling the lamp. A similiar, older double globe lamp from Greg’s parents was destroyed when the tornado struck in 2011. Debris crashing through a window broke the globes. I was sad about that loss. And yet, here is another to grace my home. I prefer to display these treasures and enjoy using them, rather than storing them safely away because I’m afraid of losing them.
Completing the top level is a stack of mini pumpkins inside a tall wire cloche, and a spicy scented candle atop a couple of small books, chosen for the colors of their covers. A beautiful shawl in autumnal hues defines the tabletop vignette. My mom brought the shawl to me from one of her trips abroad.
Mixing up the bottom shelf, the focal point is a signed print from my friend, Carthage artist Alice Lynn Greenwood. I love the Rumi quote and her beautiful artistic design. The colors make it ideal for a fall vignette. The framed print came off my bedroom wall, where it normally hangs, to rest on a dark wooden easel.
Also new to the bottom shelf is a tea light holder adorned with a leaf cutout, a small plaid pillow with the word Blessings on it, and a rustic cone resting within a rusty base. The metal cone is full of pumpkin-shaped seed pods, scented with cinnamon oil. I bought that interesting little piece at the 2 Friends & Junk show recently.
Just as I lit the candles in preparation for taking pics, the kitchen timer dinged, announcing that dinner was ready. What perfect timing. And what a festive and welcoming little entry table.
It has been so warm here in southwest Missouri, that I’ve yet to switch my front porch and house from summer décor to fall. With the arrival of October, however, it is time to reset porch and tabletops, vintage suitcase and the big wooden sieve, cooler temps or not!
I felt drawn to begin with the large wooden sieve that rests on my little dining room table. I love this vintage piece. It is just the right size to hold two or three smaller pieces, creating a vignette that can be easily changed.
And I had change in mind. I wanted to create fresh new looks for everything, including the wooden sieve, the vintage suitcase, tabletops, and the front porch. I remained open as I began unpacking my big plastic tub full of fall decorations.
As I thought about the now empty wooden sieve, the old china doll came to mind. The last two autumns, she has stood in the vintage suitcase in the bedroom. Apparently this year, she was moving to the dining room table. This was a good start to mixing things up!
The only item that returned to the sieve, that was present last fall, is the white footed bowl, cradling mini pumpkins. New to the vignette are the red berry and rusty jingle bells picks, the votive candle holder adorned with a wooden oak leaf, and the small framed quote, that I purchased at the recent 2 Friends & Junk show. I love that quote!
Also new this year are the adorable wire and metal cloches that I purchased at the same show. They look great covering artificial yellow pumpkins as they rest on orange dinner plates. Simple beaded garlands in fall colors create a nest for the pumpkins.
I’m happy with the final result. I freshened the vignette by introducing new pieces. It is very warm and homey and definitely brings fall into my home. Walking by the arrangement tonight, I am inspired to keep shifting summer décor into fall, catching up with the season. I’m looking forward to creating more new vignettes, using pieces that I already have in different ways.
Where will I turn my attention next, as I make everything around me beautiful?