Fall Moves Indoors

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.

Welcome Autumn

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.

Welcome autumn.

Entry Table Goes Fall

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. 

Journey 239: Autumn in a Box

I’ve been looking forward, with joyful anticipation, to creating a lovely display with this old red box. I brought it home a couple of weeks ago, from Derby, KS, a gift from my sweet cousins. I spied the box in my aunt’s garden shed and fell in love. My cousin Greg encouraged my sisters and me to take whatever we could use or would enjoy, as tokens of love from his mother, Annie. Spurred on by his generosity, I continued to look and found stacks of terra cotta flower pots, which fit perfectly within the wooden box. 

 

My beautiful aunt loved to garden. It was a hobby that we shared. I cherish the items I’ve brought home from her house, yard and shed that I can use or repurpose in my own garden. It makes me think of Aunt Annie, and brings me joy. I hope she strolls with me, as I putter in my garden, and smiles. 

This evening I took time to pick up pansies, in yellow and orange, and a couple of small, rust colored mums.  This cool weather is triggering fall fever in me. Although I’m waiting until September to bring out my crates of autumn decor, I couldn’t resist creating my first fall arrangement tonight. 

I’ll redo the rest of the front deck next month. Tonight the red box rests on one of the wooden benches, the yellow, orange and rust colored blooms hinting at what’s to come. I love the natural look of the terra cotta pots, in varying sizes, nestled within. I foresee many delightful uses ahead for this simple wooden box with the fading red paint. The contents within may change, with the seasons and according to my whims, but this box may never leave my deck. I think Aunt Annie approves. 

  

Day 286: Fall Vignette in Vintage Suitcase

vintage suitcase fall

Fall is well under way in Missouri. Today was a classic example of the season, with cool temps and an abundance of rain. Fall décor has been a bit slow to make an appearance at my house. This evening, I opened the storage boxes and began unpacking pumpkins and candle holders, wreaths and pillows. I had time to really focus on one project. I chose to transform the vintage suitcase from spring/summer to fall, creating this look for the first time with the suitcase and also displaying a central piece for the first time.

I have really enjoyed this old suitcase. Last year I brought it out from the closet where it had rested for years and dusted it off. I had such a great time creating a Christmas vignette in my grandfather’s old army truck that I wanted to keep going! The suitcase is small enough to fit atop my bedroom dresser and large enough to create fun vignettes within it. Tonight I packed away the summery items nestled inside and perused the fall decorations scattered around my dining room. I had already selected one piece that I for sure wanted to include in the suitcase.

Greg’s dad recently gave me a very old china doll, that had belonged to his father. Yes, Greg’s grandfather had a doll. And apparently, it meant a lot to him because he kept it, long after his other toys were gone. Before he passed away, he gave this treasure to Greg’s mom, who kept it safe from the grandchildren and on display in her bedroom. I stored the doll in the closet after I received her. I wanted to keep it safe. And, as anyone who knows me well knows, I am not overly fond of dolls. But this one is different. Her china head has yellow china hair. The eyes are painted on and there are no teeth showing! She has a soft body with china hands and feet. I estimate her age to be about 114 years old! I DO NOT want her to get broken. She’s been around far too long to have anything adverse happen to her. However, I also don’t want to keep her stored away in the closet, where she can’t be enjoyed and appreciated. Tonight, she became the centerpiece for the fall vignette in the suitcase.

vintage suitcase fall close up

The doll, who as far as I know, doesn’t have a name, is dressed appropriately in autumnal colors. I brought a vintage looking birdcage in from outdoors, added green and orange tea light holders with cute fall cutouts and a blown glass candle holder with fall leaves and berries inside surrounding a mercury votive holder. My golden dragonfly plate completes the lower section. A simple fall wreath adorns the top of the suitcase, along with a small plaid pillow with the word “Fall” on it. I love the way it looks! And I didn’t buy a thing. I especially enjoy creating vignettes with what I have on hand. It becomes a challenge….one I enjoy pulling together.

I’ll grab some spare moments over the next few days and pack away the last of summer and then welcome fall throughout the house. I love this time of year, actually, and the transition from fall right into the holidays. For tonight, there is a cozy vignette to greet me in the bedroom. I sure hope that doll likes it there!

vintage suitcase spring summer

Spring/Summer Vignette

vintage suitcase winter

Winter Vignette