Fall Decor & Fireside Chats

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you’re enjoying the day and giving thanks for the blessings in your life.  Since I plan to switch all the decor over to Christmas today because I don’t have another chance to do so for quite a while, I thought I’d take this last opportunity to share my fall decorations. If you look really closely, you’ll catch a sneak peek of another decor change I’ll be sharing soon.

I’ve found that using pumpkins and autumn elements can carry me from the first signs of fall in September all the way through to Thanksgiving.  This theme starts in the entry way with a collection of pumpkins flanked by lanterns with large pine cones and light strands I found in the dollar zone at Target.

0Next to the dresser I have a pumpkin wax warmer.  It casts a pretty orange glow near the front door and looks like mercury glass which is a favorite of mine.

1Over in the family room I featured a fancy purple velvet pumpkin in the new cloche I got at Home Goods during our recent trip to Portland along with my favorite woodland creatures, Mr. Fox and the thrifted Whooty Owl.

3On the mantel there are, you guessed it, more pumpkins.  The velvet one in the center is a rich burgundy so I gave it a bit of prominence on a birch round.  The new lanterns I got at the end of season clearance sale for outdoor accessories will work well for several seasons thanks to their neutral classic style.  And my favorite little raven is tucked up in front hiding out after he saw Brinley chew his buddy’s beak off after she mistook him for a chew toy and snagged him from the windowsill.  He’ll get some reconstruction soon so he can join his buddy again next season.

2The tray on the end table got a gold votive and a glittery pumpkin.  I thought for sure that little sparkle would make it fall prey to Brinley’s teething chompers but she never showed a bit of interest in it thankfully.

4Over on the curio, my favorite little scarecrow is guarding some gourds.  He also stays up high because his button legs would be too much temptation for our fur babies.

5Over in the office a metal lantern goes autumnal with some mini pine cones and two colorful floral picks.

6In the dining room I filled this large glass lantern with moss stones, mini yarn pumpkins and pine cones.  These antlers fit perfectly around the curve of the glass give the whole arrangement a more rustic style.

7Beyond the centerpiece is this vignette with another velvet pumpkin, my little turkey votive holder and this fun rusty cup I picked up at a new local shop filled with orange mums.

8On the next windowsill I added a fun little dollar store pumpkin I snagged on our recent trip to Portland next to the creeping Jenny I brought inside for the winter.

9On the sideboard a crock with decorative grass takes center stage with my rusty owl.  More velvet pumpkins line the top of the sideboard leading to more lanterns with moss and pine cones.

10Outside there are even more pumpkins, including the only REAL one in the entire collection which is being perfectly preserved by the recent low temps.

outside My wooden pumpkin stakes and the metal spheres from the garden adorn what’s left of the dusty miller in the whiskey barrels out front.  Behind them my DIY 4×4 pumpkins decorate the steps next to the metal and burlap planters.  outside5 outside6outside3

outside4Up on the porch my welcome pumpkin hangs on the front door and a ceramic one joins a metal lantern on the milk can table.  In front of the table is the lovely fairytale pumpkin I bought at the local grocery store.  It was originally inside but Brinley attempted to make her own pumpkin treats with it so it moved outside before she could really do damage to it.

outside7 outsidepI’d never seen a real white pumpkin before so I had to have one when I saw them at the store.  I’ll be saving the stem from this one for DIY projects next year, but the rest of this large beauty will become compost in the garden.

And while we’re still thinking fall, I had to share this pretty set-up one of my networking groups did for our “Fireside Chats” meeting.  This is a group of wedding professionals – event planners, photographers, cake makers, and more so there is usually some sort of decorations but this was the perfect mix of rustic and chic.

1The smores themed cupcakes were quite yummy and those who wanted the real deal had the ingredients ready just steps away from the fire.

24And if you wanted a snack to go, they had that covered too.

3Just shows you don’t have to make things complicated to create something special.   I hope the rest of your Thanksgiving holiday is fun and relaxing.  I’m gearing up for the big bazaar I have a display at this weekend and then more photography clients in need of Holiday portraits. I’ll be back tomorrow to share our quick trip to Denali with friends, so check back for that after you emerge from your turkey coma! 🙂

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Our New Media Cabinet

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Today I’m sharing our fantastic new media cabinet.  This is another piece created by Anne-Tiques who refinished my family heirloom hope chest and did our dining room sideboard.  If you’ve been around the blog a while you know this is what our previous media cabinet looked like.  It was nice, but seeing all those DVDs made it feel cluttered and I was way over constantly cleaning dust bunnies out from underneath it.  Once we’d found a piece to refinish we posted this one for sale and it sold instantly.

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Unfortunately, the new cabinet wasn’t ready yet so we lived like the Clampits for a few weeks using a Rubbermaid tote as a stand for the cable box.  We’re classy like that… 🙂

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I knew I wanted a printer cabinet style piece for this spot and had Anne on the lookout for one, when she suggested we consider reworking a piece she’d picked up a while ago but had been buried in her stash.  It originally had drawers so she removed those and made doors with faux drawer fronts and created a panel at the bottom to continue the faux drawers all the way down.  She also closed in the sides so I didn’t have to worry about dust bunnies!  Here’s a great before & after shot she did.

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It’s got a completely different look now and works perfectly in the space.  I love how the grey grounds the area without being heavy and the distressed finish is perfect for my crazy household.

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It was fate that we ended up with this piece and requested it when we did because Anne had just purchased the exact amount of handles we needed and they were the style I requested.  I wasn’t sure about the brassiness at first, but I like a mix of metals and it gives a good contrast to the panels.

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The top drawer became an open shelf to house the cable box, DVD player and Wii.  Now that they each have their own space we can put them all on risers to help with the heat these types of electronics create.  Inside she created multiple shelves where the drawers used to be so we have plenty of storage room.  And because there’s no dividers inside it frees up extra room that we can utilize.

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She also created a secret compartment at the bottom where we can store our Wii Fit board and accessories.  It’s a great spot for all those larger pieces that I want handy but not out in plain sight.

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And of course it look absolutely fabulous combined with my favorite show, Fixer Upper!  I think it looks like something Joanna would use in the houses she designs.  It’s gone from an Asian style to farmhouse chic with this revamp.

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Luna was quite interested in the piece when it arrived, and had to check out every nook & cranny to see if she could fit in any of these new hiding spots.  Luckily they are just a tad too small for her and because they are higher than the last piece it’s too awkward for her to try to squeeze into.  Although that’s what I thought with our last set up and she proved me wrong with this sneaky little move so who knows what she’ll attempt.  So far, she’s content to sit on the top and block the TV.

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This was the first of a couple changes I have planned for this room.  We’ll be switching to a sectional sofa and that rug will move out to the deck we’ll be building next summer so I’ll be replacing it with something else.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect option for both of those changes, but there’s no rush.

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For now I’ll just enjoy the handiwork of my idea and a great local maker’s skills.  Remember this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, so shop small and support your favorite local shops.  Doing so can have a big impact on your community!

Life Lately & Feeling Grateful

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Hi everyone!  I hope you’ve all been well during my recent unplanned hiatus from the blog.  Life got a little crazy and I felt like not only was my candle burning at both ends but somehow the wick in the middle had been exposed and lit as well.  We were dealing with medical issues for both the Hubs and the fur babies, as well as a death in the family, compounded with a rush of photography clients, several big changes at my day job, preparing the house and yard for an Alaskan winter, a trip out of state, creating inventory for the big upcoming holiday bazaar and everyday life.  It was too much all at once, so blogging had to take a backseat for a bit.

Although there was plenty to write about over the last few months, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done and I didn’t want to rush to provide you with posts that weren’t well thought out.  But I can say that I’ve truly missed writing and sharing our adventures with you all.  So I’m back and will try to stick to the regular schedule now that my big commitments are about to wrap up for the year.  In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing a recap of our trip to Denali, several changes we’ve made around the house and our experience at the Junk Bonanza show in Portland.

During my time away from the blog, I also witnessed several moments that made me appreciate the blessings I have.  As we prepare to gather with thanksgiving this week I thought I’d share them with you as a reminder to be grateful for the positive things we often take for granted in the daily rush of life.

  • The first was when I spotted a homeless man shuffling alongside the road during my morning commute and watched as he stopped to inspect a splatter of spilled food on the sidewalk before bending over to scoop up a handful of what was there and shove it in his mouth.  It made me thankful to have a warm home and plentiful healthy food to nourish my body.  And when I saw another homeless man changing clothes on a bus stop bench the following week I was reminded to be thankful for the security I enjoy knowing I have a safe place to rest and meet my daily needs.
  • A few days later there was an active shooter situation near an elementary school just a few blocks from my office.  As I drove past the SWAT officers in full tactical gear with their weapons at the ready I was thankful for those who serve and protect when danger hits close to home.
  • That afternoon I passed a car accident where both vehicles were heavily damaged.  Beyond the wreckage I saw a couple embracing as they cried, obviously in shock over what had just happened but happy that they were both OK.  It made me thankful for the time I get to spend with loved ones because you never know when life can change suddenly.
  • Later that week I went to the large medical center for a routine appointment during my lunch hour.  I was flustered and in a hurry, but the sight of a young girl in wheelchair with a bandanna poorly hiding the fact that she had no hair and a nasogastric intubation coming out of her nose who was smiling from ear to ear made me pause.  This child, who was obviously battling a serious medical condition, was joyful while I was mumbling under my breath about some minor stress at the office.  It made me think twice and reminded me to be thankful for the relative good health both I and my family enjoy.

So take a moment to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.  Life is never perfect, but when you choose to focus on the good things it sure is a lot better for everyone.