Feeling Fallish

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThriftDCreationsFall is my favorite season.  I love seeing the colors change and the crisp feel in the air.  It makes me want to grab a cup of cocoa, light a fire, snuggle up in a cozy sweater and watch the leaves fall as I start to plan for the upcoming holidays.  But fall is also usually one of my busiest seasons so it’s pretty rare when that actually happens.  This time of year I’m prepping for the holiday bazaars, creating family portraits for client’s holiday cards and preparing our home for winter, which will be here before we know it.Fall4

I will admit that I did attempt to ignore the initial signs of fall.  Alaska’s amazing summers are hard to give up and those first few cooler days are not well accepted because we know it means our days of endless sunlight and amazing landscapes will soon be replaced with darkness and cold.  But once I accept it I always fall in love with this wonderful transition season.

Fall1Now that I’ve conceded that summer has passed, I’ve embraced fall and carved out a bit of time to get out and photograph it’s beauty with my photography Meetup group.  We went up into the foothills of the Chugach mountains where the colors are more pronounced due to cooler temperatures.

Fall2I love the vibrant colors seen in the plants, which are offering the last of their harvests and one last burst of beauty before the first frost arrives.

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Fall6And our beautiful fireweed has now released it’s seed to blow in the wind and begins to display a variety of colors including green, red, orange and even purple on it’s leaves.  This was one of many I spotted along the trail recently.

Fall7In fact a colorful autumnal fireweed is one of my favorite shots to date.  It literally screams fall every time I see it.

FallI took Friday off to make the long holiday weekend even longer so I can wrap up a few outstanding projects around the house, like getting the deck prepped for cooler temps, cleaning up the garden, reclaiming the garage for parking and of course decorating for fall!  I’ll also be updating my Etsy shop inventory, revamping my photography marketing and testing out new designs for the holiday bazaar I’ll be selling at after Thanksgiving.  But I’m determined to squeeze in a little fall relaxing too.  In fact I already purchased all of the s’more making materials needed for our firepit’s fall debut, and I can’t wait!

Gallery Wall Additions

Gallery

Howdy strangers!  It’s been pretty busy around here lately, which doesn’t leave much time for projects or posting, but I did manage to get a few more items added to our on-going gallery wall in the family room.  This collection is definitely a work in progress and will evolve over time as we add to it, but it means I’m always on the hunt for special pieces to add.

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I finally put up the metal numbers we got at the Great Junk Hunt and love them.  I chose 907 because that’s Alaska’s area code and is representative of the lifestyle here.  I wasn’t sure about the different colors and fonts at first, but overall it works and if I ever want to change it up I can paint them all to match.

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I also added one of our favorite photos of Tequila and Sangria listening to the ice in the bay.  It was previously in the gallery wall in the dining room so it was ready to hang once I chose a spot for it.  It fills the spot between the metal D and the fireplace perfectly and because it’s level with the TV we see it daily. :)  Below the D I added a little Alaskan art, in the form of a framed postcard I picked up at the Seward Sealife Center when the hubs and I went there with our friends.  This piece was in the guest room as a table top frame, but I’m changing a few things up in there so I had the hubs pull off the support piece and hung it here instead.  It’s just the right size to fill the awkward spot between the fireplace switch and the TV and I like that there are a few smaller frames to balance out the larger items.

Even with these additions, there’s still plenty of room on the wall to fill.  I’m considering a couple of favorite quotes to create a simple text canvas piece and plan to add a frame where I can rotate seasonal chalkboard prints.  I’d also like to add a few circular and odd shaped items like antique bread boards, wood slice art and maybe even a driftwood cross to keep a balance with all the rectangular frames.  I’ve got a couple of options in my project pile so we’ll see what makes the cut!

Goodwill Patio Umbrella Rehab

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Way back when we made our road trip on the Alcan, we hauled back an outdoor umbrella we found at a Portland Goodwill for $12.99.  One of the arms was broken, but the hubs assured me he could fix it, so I couldn’t pass it up at that price.  It hid out in the shed for a while, but now that the deck furniture is in place we were ready for a little shade.

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The hubs used a left over piece of molding we had laying around to make it operational again.  I plan to eventually paint it to match the rest of the framework, but it’s not super noticeable so it’s not a high priority.

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I picked up a weighted base at Pier 1 with reward points so it was free as well.  It took a few tries to find the right size pipe to join the umbrella and base, but the winner ended up being just $12 and the one that didn’t work out will be used for another project, so it’s not a loss.  I plan to paint the pipe to match the base, but again, not a huge priority since it’s the end of the season.

Umbrella

So the grand total for the umbrella and base was just $24.99.  That’s pretty minimal compared to $70+ for umbrellas in the retail catalogs plus another $70-150 for a weighted base.  Now we’re living the “fancy” life for a bargain price! :)

Master Bench – Industrial Style this time

ZRemember our pretty upholstered DIY bench that sat at the foot of our bed?  It suffered a fatal injury while we were on vacation and had a house sitter.  I’m not sure if the dogs jumped on it or if something else happened, but this is how we found it when we returned from our trip.

Broken

Both legs on one end had lost connection with the base of the cushion.  We probably could have fixed it but we knew it wouldn’t be as sturdy as it had been and if it couldn’t withstand life in our house at it’s strongest then it wasn’t going to work for us.  So we came up with a plan to replace it a bit of industrial style and plenty of support so we don’t have to go through this again.  The hubs drew up a plan to use pipe for the base and wood for the top based on pictures I found on Pinterest.  Once it was assembled and put in the room we realized our scale was a bit off.

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1If we needed a coffee table it would have been perfect, but it just didn’t work as a foot board bench.  Not only was it too high, it was too wide and took up too much of the walkway.  So the hubs took things apart, cut a few pieces and reassembled everything.  This time it was a much better fit. (Excuse my ‘naked’ bed – it was sheet washing day!)

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Now we only needed one of the boards from the first version for the top.  And presto – a perfectly proportioned foot board bench!

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Since the board is a little hard and the stain we used will likely seep for a while added a faux fur skin on top as a cushion and stain guard.

6I really love how it turned out and the rustic/industrial look it gives to the room, especially since I just changed up the décor in here to go more that direction.  I’ll be sharing those details soon.  I’m planning to work up a new base for the old bench cushion top and sell it in my booth at the upcoming holiday bazaars.  I’ve got a couple of ideas on what it will look like already, but if you have a suggestion I’d love to hear it!

Junkin’ Up the Yard!

Welcome back for part two of how we’re using the cool ‘junk’ we picked up on our recent vacation. Here’s where things ended up outside along with a little garden update while we’re at it.

Star

The big rusty metal star the hubs picked out at the junk show for $18 had to be hand carried on the plane. We were sure it would be considered a weapon thanks to the top point sticking out of the only bag we could find that kind of fit it, but TSA said as long as it went through the scanner it was ok. I’m very glad it made it through because it looks fantastic on the front porch!

Excavator

Nearby, the cool metal excavator I found for $20 found a home in the front flower bed where it appears to be digging up spots for more plants. It’s definitely something you won’t see in everyone’s garden and that’s just what I like about it!

Trellis

Several items ended up in the gifted garden including the cool trellis the hubs surprised me with. It works perfectly for the troilus that started blooming soon after we got home. I still can’t believe this piece was only $23!

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The trio of rusty pulleys we got for $10, $20 and $30 are the perfect “dog proof” garden art. They have since been knocked over by those energetic fur balls, but ‘eh – it makes it look more authentic so oh well.

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Pulley

We also picked up this massive pulley at an estate sale last weekend for just $25.  I love the little number tag on the side!  It’s found a home down in the rain garden.

PullyHook

Back in the gifted garden, I adore how these metal quail figures we found at the junk show look in the garden too. I’ve wanted some ever since I saw some just like them in a family friend’s amazing garden so I made sure to snag a few when I spotted them at the show. They remind me of living in the desert and watching the little quail families dart between the tumbleweeds. :)

Quail

My last find of the day at the junk show, a cast iron campfire cook pot now holds Johnny Jump Ups the neighbor brought over.  I admit this picture is a week or two old because those plants behind the pot are now massive!  They were also gifted to us by the neighbor but I have no idea what they are.  They sure seem to like this spot though, because they are 5 times this size now!

JumpUps

This little stained glass lady bug – an appropriation from my sister’s garden – now adorns my marigolds in the front yard.  He’s so cute I might have to make a few more, and possibly do some dragon flies and butter flies while I’m at it!

LadyBug

Beyond the junk things are still blooming.  We got home just in time to see the iris, which I was so happy about.  I have a few varieties including water iris, wild iris and arctic iris.  They each have slightly different colors and leaves but they’re all beautiful to me.

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Iris

We also have a few poppies blooming.  These were another gift from the neighbor – have I mentioned how much I love having a gardening neighbor?! :)  The fact that I’ve done nothing to them and yet they seem to be doing quite well makes me even happier.

PoppyWhite

Poppy

The hydrangea I planted this season is also blooming!  I’m so excited to have this one establish itself and grow bigger and bigger each year.  The blooms started out pretty small but now they are  almost full.  I’m torn between cutting some to bring inside and letting them continue to grow.  Thus far I’ve just let them grow, but as the season wraps up I might go ahead and snip a few.

Hydrengea

Hydrengea2

I do need to add a little support for it though since the back side seems a bit heavy for the thin stalks.  I’m thinking one of those large rings might work well since it’s not very tall yet.

HydrengeaBush

My lilies are also making an appearance after teasing with tightly sealed buds for weeks.  I have several varieties of these as well including pink, orange and yellow.  I made sure to get a few shots of them to enjoy right away since I know they won’t last long. LillyPink

I love how the orange lily compliments the little excavator in the background. :)

LillyOrange

YellowLillyThe lambs ear I brought back from my mother-in-law’s yard is doing well in the rain garden.  It’s certainly not going gang-busters, but it’s green and healthy after an overnight trip in a ziplock baggie on a plane, so I’m not going to be too critical.

LambsEar

I added some bushes I got for $20 on the buy/sell page to the side of the deck to get that landscape started.  I don’t remember the names of these right now so I’ll have to dig the tags out of the gardening cabinet, but I believe they are both varieties of spirea.  The one on the left gets pretty purple flowers and the one on the right has small white flowers.

DeckBushes

My Columbines are doing well, both in the rain garden and the gifted garden.

ColumbineAnd after some pretty lush leaf growth all season the campanula is finally blooming.

Speedwell

My freebie raspberries are slowly getting established, so I’m just letting them be for now.

Raspberries

But there is a potential harvest this year if these little guys come in a bit more and ripen!

RaspberriesHope

That is of course if I can keep this big boy out of them!  He stopped by the other night during a huge downpour and thankfully seemed more interested in the weed patch just in front of the raspberries.  Good thing I haven’t been able to keep a super tidy landscape yet!  Luckily, the raspberries are close enough to the back yard fence that the dogs typically keep the moose at bay.

Moose

So that’s how we junked up the yard.  Do you have ‘junk’ in your gardens?  I’d love to see it, so share a photo or a link below!

Updating Our Décor With New Treasures

Jar2

Remember, like forever ago, when I promised I’d share all the items we picked up on vacation and how we used them around the house? It’s finally that time! Some pieces worked just how I planned and others had to be tested out and ‘lived with’ in a few different spots to finally find their perfect placement.

LunaBasket

Several items found homes in the Laundry Room. The first was a basket I snagged on clearance for $10 at Marshalls. It became Luna’s new nap spot! Her previous cat bed was a freebie leopard number that we got soon after bringing her home. While it was functional, it didn’t fit the style of the room so I’d been looking for a replacement for a while and had decided a basket would be perfect. Although I was nervous that she wouldn’t adapt to it the hubs was certain she’d sleep in anything I put in that spot and apparently he was right! She took a couple quick sniffs, curled up and went right to snoozing before I could even put any padding in it for her! Eventually I added a towel inside an allergen pillow case cover so it can easily be taken apart and washed with the whites each week to help reduce my allergy symptoms.

LunaBasketSleep

Overhead, I changed out the red basket and hat box for a lovely olive bucket my mother-in-law gave me, a metal sphere I found at Home Goods for $10 and a large blue glass jar I already had. Everything fit nicely around my DIY Laundry Room sign and I added a bit of faux greenery to the olive bucket to balance everything out.

LaundryJunk

I hung a metal organizer on the wall next to the door to the garage so we have a spot to collect papers that need to be taken to work or for errands. Hopefully this keeps our counters clear and the papers safe from getting damaged in any way. Plus it’s a good reminder since it’s the last thing we see as we head out the door, which makes it harder to forget something. I think I paid around $13 for this at Home Goods. I’m liking all the little hints of black and metal that are now working together – the handles on Luna’s basket, the sphere and this rack. It’s starting to get that rustic industrial feel I’ve been wanting!

LaundryFiles

I found an amazing large glass jar that was almost identical to one I spotted on a favorite décor page recently for $45, and at half the price and knew I’d make it work somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be the dining room table – for now at least. It may eventually migrate to other areas as I change things each season, but for now I love it here.

Jar

The big metal can the hubs found at the junk show for just $25 now lives next to the front door where my holiday tree used to be. Although I loved my seasonally decorated tree, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my time and that was one of the things that could be given up without consequence. Instead I’ll just use those items in my seasonal vignettes throughout the house. I like that this piece can also double as an umbrella holder if needed. It’s not something we get much call for, but should the need arise its ready and able to corral those dripping covers.

MetalJug

I tucked another junk show find – the little metal oil can, on the other side of the entry table. I’m not sure it will live here permanently, but it works for now. It’s a great little $10 find.

EntryCans

OilCan

The bubble glass lantern became part of my summer décor on the entry way table. The blue tint to the glass plays off the red, white and blue elsewhere so it was fitting. I got this for around $12 from a store called At Home.

EntryCandle

 

One of my favorite pieces was a large antique wooden crate we spotted at the junk show for just $10. It was combined with a stem of preserved cotton to become art in the corner of the guest room. The chair may look familiar since it’s from the office. We’ve decided to switch to real office chairs that roll and have better lumbar support for my long hours of editing. Although we haven’t found the perfect replacements just yet, the hubs doesn’t sit at his desk all that much so we went ahead and moved his chair to complete the guest room for now. I love how it looks with my hope chest and the old crate art and I hope guests do too.

WoodCrate

Speaking of the office, we also snagged two wire inboxes – one at the junk show and one at an antique shop I spotted across the street from a gas station we stopped at! They are the perfect way to corral all those piles of paper the hubs and I seem to accumulate as we work on things.

Inbox

So that’s where everything ended up inside. Check back tomorrow to see where the rest of our finds ended up outside, along with a little garden update!

5 Minute Vintage Crock Succulent Arrangement

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We have an odd little nook in our Master Bedroom between the dresser and the closet door that just wasn’t living up to its full potential. I‘ve tried a few things in this spot but nothing seemed to fit quite right. Then I noticed several of my favorite blogs using plants in large baskets or vintage crocks. LIGHTBULB! I’d already been on the hunt for a large crock after someone beat me to one on the local buy/sell page so I knew that was the option I’d choose.

After losing out on one on the local buy/sell page, I spotted this beauty at an antique shop for 20% off because of a crack on the back, making the final price around $60. Since no one would see the back once it was in place that didn’t bother me at all.  See you can’t even tell it has a crack can you?!

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Once I had it home I searched for an indoor plant that would do well with minimal maintenance and low light since the dresser blocks the light from the sliding door in this spot. Unfortunately, everything I liked didn’t fit those criteria so the crock sat empty for a week or so. Then I spotted some large faux succulents at Michaels while browsing the other day and immediately knew they were the perfect option, so I picked out four stems along with one that would cascade down the front of the crock.

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I dug out a Styrofoam block I’d had forever and started arranging the stems by sticking them down into it. I started with the two larger stems, placing them on alternating corners of the block.

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Next, I added the other two stems and the cascading piece to create this arrangement.

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I filled the bottom of the crock with a small box and some packing filler to create a ledge for the Styrofoam block to sit on.

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Then I just plopped the arrangement on top and turned it this way and that until I liked how everything lined up.

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I could have left it just like this, but seeing the little bit of extra space on the sides of the arrangement would have eventually driven me crazy so I added a bit of moss I had on hand to finish it off.

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I’m downright giddy with how it turned out – and the fact that I don’t have to water or prune it and that I know for certain it’s not hazardous for our fur babies just sweetens the feeling.

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So there you have it.  The easiest 5 minute arrangement ever. I’d love to hear what you think of our new faux greenery, so leave a comment below!

Shared on Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party #199!