With the fear of frost looming at the end of October, we had to come up with a suitable winter home for our plant collection which was taking up residence outside and our deck.
They’re now sitting pretty in our living room amongst my favorite pair of vintage chairs.
We came up with a game plan to extend our sunny bay windowsill in order to accommodate the plants and my favorite vintage pots, bowls and vases. We started with fantastic weathered old 1×6 lumber that has almost a barnwood-like quality. We needed 6 – 5 foot boards in total. The boards previously made up a section of simple post and beam fencing in our yard. Each was stripped down to expose the worn grain. Two boards were paired together to make a 12 inch deep shelf. Three sets of boards were attached vertically to one another to create a 3-tier shelf system.
Plumbing pipe shelving is not a new concept but we came up with our own simple plant stand version using pipes and fittings to connect the unit. There are 2 connecting points on each shelf therefore we used a total of 4 – 9 inch plumbing nipples and 8 flanges which screw into the wood. These also double nicely as book ends. The plumbing materials were the most expensive part of this DIY project.
We decided on a set of simple 7 inch turned legs for the bottom which cost less than $5 each at Lowe’s. The raw wood of the legs and shelves received an application of hemp oil for a durable water repellent topcoat which also left a subtle stain highlighting the wood grain.
The plants have happily been relocated to the new plant stand where they are enjoying the expansive window and, normally, bright light.
These snaps are from this morning during a dreary, cold November rain. I love the mix of terra cotta amongst the saturated colors in the kilim rug and mohair chairs – all vintage finds of course. Such a cozy new space!
Halloween is just a week away! Fall is my favorite season and about a decade ago, Halloween was my favorite holiday. Although celebrating Halloween has slipped from my radar, fall decor has not! Earlier this season Ryan and I made pumpkins out of materials we already had on hand. They are a bit abstract but they were fun to make none the less. Check them out…
Ryan cut a few logs to create wood slice pumpkins. Using a drill press, he made a hole in the top to insert the branch stem. So rustic!
I put a monochromatic spin on the popular fabric pumpkin by using just burlap and jute twine. You’ll never guess what I stuffed the pumpkin with…shipping peanuts! The shapes on these guys greatly varied just like in nature…
In addition to DIYing pumpkins, we’ve been working with real ones as well – mostly in the kitchen. This season we’ve enjoyed spiced pumpkin bread, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin pizelles. Yum!
What pumpkin inspired crafts & treats have you made?
Fall brings out the nesting instinct in so many of us. Definitely me. I found myself pulling out all of my favorite cozy wool throw blankets. Too many really. Although they do all get snuggled up against throughout the season. But still I have quite a stack of them.
The issue of too many wool throws combined with a corner begging for height and color brought about the idea of a repurposed ladder blanket rack. The paint splattered aqua ladder is one of my favorite treasures. I could have sold this ten times over but always knew it belonged with me and now, here as a blanket rack.
That corner is really shaping up to be my favorite, stacked high with vintage treasures. The captain lamp on top of that desirable card catalog table framed by those blankets and ladders. Yes, please! I think that the introduction of aqua in the corner has saved the card catalog from the white paint job that I was contemplating.
Have you scored any new vintage treasures lately?
We had a prolific crop of bush beans this year. It was probably the best yield in the garden, second to lettuce, with no pest issues. We planted three rounds of bush beans in purple, green & yellow. The purple is my favorite simply because they turn green when you cook them. Right before your eyes! We’ve been eating them fresh for a couple of months and I blanched and froze some for winter.
As we continue to harvest more, I’ve grouped the pods together in bunches to dry out. Once the bean pods are all shriveled up, they’re ready for seed saving. The pods open up pretty easily along the seam with a fingernail or scissors. And boom, there’s next year’s seeds so we can do it all over again. A frugal little DIY…
I have repeated these steps with snap peas as well so we have a little stash of peas to plant next spring. This is a fun garden task to engage kids in. The seeds are big so they’re hard to lose although I’ve had a few pop out of the pod and fly across the room!
These seeds are, in fact, the actual bean. As in, the dry bean you buy from the store so we could always soak them and eat them this winter. It is just another way to preserve the bean harvest. I think we’ll plant a bigger crop next year so we can produce a decent amount of dry beans. At this point, we have a few dozen – enough to plant but certainly not enough for a bean soup!
Speaking of next year, The Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2015 is now available at The West End Garage. I took a sneak peek at the weather forecasts! Let’s just say that we may have been spoiled by our mild summer weather this year.
For the most part this season, I am decorating with elements inspired by nature. Rather simply too. I opted for a lighter, brighter color palette rather than the traditional warm, fall colors. This palette can also be found at the shop and many of these elements are for sale there. Typically I am decorating similarly at home as I am at West End Garage. It keeps things simple!
Cotton stems have been very popular and you can see why. They’re so easy to work with. Just plop them in a vase or in this case, a galvanized flower bucket. They really can be on display from late summer/harvest season through New Year’s. So many options! They look good alone or with an accent flower. I thought it was fun to pair them with twigs and vintage arrows for this vignette. I used just 3 stems in each bucket to get this look.
The other accessories include feather balls, mini pumpkins and antler ornaments. The antlers are small reproductions so they’re sort of guilt free for people who are into the antler trend but not a fan of decorating with animal relics. They’re available at West End Garage too along with a quickly growing collection of ornaments. Tis the season!
I got my wish of beautifully stacked wood after pining and pinning! Our wood burning stove has been installed and is ready for winter. I love how the seasoned wood accents this display and gives purpose to the mantel. And the faux bois planter certainly doesn’t hurt.
Peering past the mantel into the corner, you can see the Captain has something new over there and it’s not just the orange raffia pumpkin (also available at West End Garage). He’s perched up on a vintage 6-drawer card catalog which I am super excited about. I spotted this in an antique shop and spent a week dreaming about it for this space while fearing it would be gone by the time I got back. It was there waiting for me and it is the ideal fit for this corner. Plus the drawers are the perfect size to hold DVDs.
I am deciding where to go from here with it, aesthetically. It needs to be boosted up a few inches to true side table status. Probably with casters since I seem to put casters on everything in my home. Also, should I paint it? That corner seems dark and the wood isn’t anything spectacular. Linen seems like a viable option – maybe just the frame and not the drawers? Please do weigh in! Would you paint a vintage card catalog?
I had the opportunity to do a little wine-ing down this weekend. A much-needed girls getaway for sure! Have you ever been to Long Island?
I was completely blown away by the beauty. It boasts everything I love rolled into one, well, long island. We stayed in North Fork, Suffolk county on a harbor nestled amongst the wineries.
The majestic fall color was in its prime.
Vineyards galore. One right after another and then another and another.
Antique stores! Yes, Long Island had some gorgeous little shops full of inspiring displays.
Clever repurposing ideas. I’d love to replicate this wine bottle “wall” somewhere.
Beautiful old farmhouses and farm markets…all along the bay.
If you are looking for a getaway, I’d highly recommend a weekend trip out to Long Island. It is just another reason to love this beautiful country!
But back to biz! Next up, I will be at The Painted Home’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop with 2 of my favorite comical and creative bloggers. I’ll be alongside Kelly of Eclectically Vintage and Denise of The Painted Home this Friday from 2-8…or until we run out of wine.
Unfortunately, I can’t make it Saturday so be sure to come for Friday happy hour if you want to see a free milk paint demo! Good thing I just came back from wine country. There will be plenty to share plus some tasty treats to pair! Yup, I’m a poet.