Welcoming Fall

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? 

Surrender 67: Vintage Easter

One of the items, on my list of things to do at the Arkansas house today, was to gather up the Easter decorations. I don’t normally decorate for Easter, choosing instead to flow with the seasons, and focus on spring. However, I recently discovered Mimi Leta’s ceramic Easter pieces. The girls shared fond memories of those hand painted beauties, when they were at the house two weeks ago. I decided to bring the decorations home and use them in my vintage wooden sieve.

The two pieces painted by Leta are themselves vintage. I’m grateful she signed and dated the bottoms. The Easter egg covered dish and the rabbit were created 55 years ago.

I was nervous as I gently washed up the collection, lining my sink with thick dish towels, in case I dropped something. I saved the dish and rabbit until last, after gaining confidence as I washed the other pieces. As I cradled the clean rabbit, I noticed something I had never seen before…a hairline crack encircling his right ear.

I felt so relieved, as I realized this rabbit had been broken before, and glued back together. It’s endearing, knowing this brave little rabbit has survived a fracture. He’s wabi sabi, beauty in imperfection.

                                                    I’ll fill the egg dish with Jelly Belly jelly beans. 

In a few minutes, I had a fresh vignette in the wooden sieve. Every piece, except for the white footed bowl, came from Greg’s mom. I love the colorful shirred fabric eggs. The kids hid those when they were young. The delicate pink hankie and crocheted doilies I found tucked in a drawer. The fabric duck pillow, made from an old quilt, adds an interesting contrast to the ceramic pieces. And the little jewel green candle holder is the perfect finishing touch.

I brought back enough pieces today to create several vignettes throughout the house. Stay tuned for more delightful bursts of Easter!

Surrender 15: New Vignettes – 3D Collages

This week, post holiday decor, I’ve gradually been creating fresh vignettes in my vintage pieces. And I had fun with a new piece that I received as a Christmas gift. 

What occurred to me today, as I’ve also been working on my 2016 vision board this week, is the similarity between the two processes. I cut out images and words and arrange them on my board, capturing where I am currently in my journey. All of my dreams, big and small, are represented there as well. 

With the vignettes, I’m taking actual objects and arranging them in an eye pleasing way. These items are fun purchases, cherished heirlooms, repurposed treasures or family mementos that I love. They are pieces of my past, or my family’s past, arranged to tell new stories. 


The vintage suitcase got a new look. From Christmas I reused the old green pitcher with dried eucalyptus and red berries. The small dark red JOY pillow shifted to the suitcase as well. Returning to the suitcase from previous vignettes is the 116 year old china doll, the vintage tea cup and saucer, the trio of porcelain birds and the ruby red and dark green bud vases. A white candle and newspaper bird garland completed this freshened up look. 

I received this awesome wooden chest as a Christmas gift from my son Nate and daughter-in-law Megan. It is perfect for holding my growing collection of colored pencils and a couple of Daria Song coloring books. To complete the grouping I added an old photo of my Lauderdale grandparents, on their wedding day I believe. And an amber glass bud vase and candle holder that belonged to Greg’s mother. 


And finally, the vintage wooden sieve was redone. This is where the flow of life guided me. I added a white glass pitcher with rusty jingle bells and red berry picks that I repurposed from Christmas. A pair of plump white  birds are nestled on a vintage lace doily. I envisioned paperwhites growing from a pot, for the final piece. 

I often purchase these bulbs before the holidays and by Christmas the delicate, fragrant white flowers are in bloom. But I didn’t buy any this year, and suddenly, I wished I had. I could see, in my mind, that paperwhites would be the perfect accent for my sieve. 

I had to pick up a few groceries at the market and while there, I noticed a display of Christmas amaryllis kits marked down considerably. Interested I wheeled my cart over, and discovered ONE paperwhites kit, which included a pot, soil, moss and six bulbs. Those were surely my paperwhites! The bulbs were already sprouting, and in just a few days, they have grown tall and have blooms appearing. 

I love when a thought so quickly manifests into reality. And I was right! The paperwhites look perfect in the vignette. 



Journey 281: Bringing Fall Indoors

Today’s journey has been very similar to one of my Sunday self care days. I had an hour of physical therapy on my Darling left leg this morning, and she wasn’t at all sure that she liked it at first. Margit Schmid, of Massage & Posture Therapy, is wonderful, and although her initial attention to my leg was painful, as she worked to relax tense muscles and irritated nerves, her expertise soon brought a measure of relief and more mobility to my leg. I am grateful and I will see her again next week. 


I opted to work from my recliner this afternoon, taking care of business by phone and computer. Eventually I ended up in the garden, stretched out in my anti-gravity chair. What a gorgeous day! And how amazing, in October, to kick off my shoes and roll up my jeans. The air was warm and fragrant with the scent of basil, lemon balm, sage and jasmine. I am ever so blissful in this paradise. 
I felt inspired to gather freshly cut herbs and change over my vintage wooden sieve, from summer to fall. I’ve been slow to welcome fall, doing a little at a time, as Darling allows. Today she cooperated beautifully and I enjoyed creating a simple vignette that included mini pumpkins and a pitcher full of herbs. Scenting the air inside now is a mixture of basil, Russian sage, pineapple sage and lemon balm. I added a few stalks of ornamental grass as well. 

As I admired the finished vignette, I said aloud, “And that’s the limit of what I can do today.” Yes, my leg was tired and aching. However, I was aghast at what I had just said. I immediately spoke again, “Look at what I just accomplished! My leg did great!” It’s a small shift. But it is important to me to not see myself as limited. I am learning to care for myself in a greater way. I am listening to my body, in this case, my left leg, and appreciating the way she functions. I’ll do all I can to care for  my leg, and the rest of me, while I am enjoying life and the journey. And my body parts and I did create a lovely arrangement that brings the beauty and scents of my garden indoors and welcomes fall into my home. That truly is an accomplishment.