autumn transitions

Being that we’ve reached mid-November, Christmas decorating is at full blast in the retail sector and even in some homes.  Remember when Thanksgiving was strictly a fall decor holiday?  Now it seems like it can go either way – burnt orange and crunchy leaves on the last Thursday in November OR a red and green feast.  Me personally, I am ready for Christmas decor and have been decking our retail halls.  The selling season is really short after all.  However, I don’t switch our own home decor until after Thanksgiving.  The best of both worlds!

Here are two fresh and fantastic wreath ideas that lend themselves to either holiday.  Better yet, they can don your door for both – more bang for your buck!

Southern magnolia wreaths are pretty much season-less.  Their rich green leaves dry out and get better looking with age.

Southern magnolia wreaths

The green leaves contrast against the coppery underside in such a beautiful way.

coppery magnolia leaves

The silver dollar eucalyptus wreath is an oldie but goodie in terms of style.  This silvery-blue-green wreath can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through the winter months.  It can easily be dressed up with burlap or velvet ribbon.

silver dollar eucalyptus wreath

What holiday spirit are you in?

 

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

Jennifer-Rizzo-link-party-button-Holiday

my current crushes

I am so into everything in this photo right now.  Deep boxwood green, warm brass, a very old typewriter that has been in my family and turquoise peacock feathers.  But one of the most seriously underrated colors in the milk paint palette has got to be that Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I took the liberty of pairing it with Artissimo…one of the other warm milk paint colors I’m crushing on.

boxwood milk paint dresser

This chest was a dark nearly cherry stain.  A light color wouldn’t have provided great coverage over that finish.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I painted the first coat of the drawers in Artissimo with bonding agent.  Artissimo is a nice rich navy.  It feels wintry especially combined with Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

After the first coat I tried a technique that is a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I created a controlled resist by applying hemp oil around the drawer pulls between the coat of Artissimo and the coat of Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

The technique created a worn finish around where the drawers would naturally get the most wear and tear.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I like the controlled resist technique.  Moving forward I may try it on another area like around the base of a table or the edges of drawers.

boxwood milk paint dresser

For the top coat, I also used hemp oil.  The stuff is so versatile!  We are now carrying it in a larger size.  It is even food grade.  I am going to use it on my cutting boards soon.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I am a fan of the matte finish the oil provided over Boxwood.

By the way, all of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint products are now available online here.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I’m also a fan of the giant book page wreath.  I started cranking some out this week.  They seem to have a holiday feel without being too over the top.  Plus, there’s no guilt if they stay up through January!

boxwood milk paint dresser

And that rug!  Guys, I am completely obsessed with the over dyed blue kilim rug.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I dreamt up this hand woven gem and then it appeared.  Just like that, out of thin air.  Well, sort of.  I got it at an estate sale.  The same one where I got the orange kilim that I shared last week.  I actually thought the blue would go in that space and was the finishing touch I was dreaming about but once I got both rugs home (thank goodness I bought both) the orange was better under the storage bench.

boxwood milk paint dresser

Now the blue one is in our den and I can assure you that you’ll see more of it in furniture staging pics so hopefully you love it as much as I do!

boxwood milk paint dresser

The Boxwood dresser is for sale and headed to Serendipity Shops of Doylestown this weekend.

As am I.  On Sunday, I am hosting another free milk paint demo.  I will mix milk paint and explain the different finishes.  No need to register.  Just bring questions about your own projects.  Cell phone ‘before’ pics are always a plus.  After the demo, I will help you pick colors and top coats if you’d like.

Denise from The Painted Home will also be giving advice on creative holiday wrapping.  Join us at 1 pm.

demo

farmers market roundup

I’m usually that girl who plants mums in August and has pumpkins out for Labor Day.  This year, however, I have been reluctant to say goodbye to summer.  I’m simply not going to do it ’til summer is really over.  At the end of September.

But I can’t deny the crisp air and winding down humidity so I have been thinking about switching out my seasonal decor and introducing some late summer favorites.  I love this time of year at the farmer’s market.  The colors, textures and pickins’ are in abundance.  Not only do I want to eat the season’s harvest but I want to decorate with it!

fall bistro table

Here are a few decorating ideas that will bring the changing season in without breaking your budget.  If you’re lucky, you might already have these crops growing in your own backyard garden.  If not, you know where to go!

Indian Corn Wreath:  Husks of Indian corn aren’t just for the lamp-post.  Pick up clusters of mini Indian corn which show a variety of colors.  Attach them to a wire form and you have yourself a new wreath plus a squirrel’s feast.  These are best hung between a storm door and front door or you won’t have anything left in a matter of hours!

mini Indian corn fall harvest wreath

Hot Pepper Wreath:  Pick up some hot peppers next time you’re at the market.  If you can find a surplus of them, you’ll get a better deal.  Wire them up to wreath form for new door decor.

hot pepper wreath

Farmers Market Vignette:  This vignette is nothing more than colorful, seasonal squashes and a pumpkin mixed with locally grown flowers that are drying out.  Arrange them amongst some other items that are already on hand like a rusty old scale and homemade pumpkin for instant impact!  When you’re not sure about what’s for dinner, slice open that squash and steam it.

fall vignette

Mumkin:  There is always the classic pumpkin planter stand by.  Grab a large pumpkin and 6 inch mum at the market.  Carve and hollow the pumpkin.  Plant the mum, pot and all, directly into the pumpkin planter.

Mumkin

Seed Packet Art:  If you can’t bring the freshness of the harvest inside, you can always create your own original seed packet art.  I duplicated a few vintage seed graphics last fall with paint and reclaimed wood.

vintage sunflower seed pack reproduction sign

on the road

Today was a pretty great day.  The perfect fall day to be on the road with my sidekick, Wilson.  (This was the best shot he’d give me.)  Fall is still hanging on and the sun was shining high.  We had a gorgeous drive.

We made a new friend who was all about posing for the camera.

She wasn’t shy at all.  In fact she gave me her better side.

And then invited me in for a tour.

I don’t know what it is about barns and farms in general that I am enamored with.  I suppose it is a lifestyle that I know little about having grown up in the suburbs but I’m always caught off guard by all of the simple, natural undeveloped beauty a farm offers.

And the old construction of the barns plus the new patina.  Boy, what I would do with that door.  It would look great above my mantel.

So what was a non-farm girl like me doing on this beautiful horse farm?  My upholsterer’s studio is located there!  I know.  Amazing.  I love taking that trip.  There are a couple of cute outbuildings and several homes on the property including a grand old farm house!

Back to biz though.  I picked up a fabulous club chair that I will post about next week after I tweak the finish.

Wilson and I made a few other pickups today.  Mostly of the holiday merchandise type.  Specifically vintage and handmade!

We also made some wreaths, painted a bit and planted paperwhites when we returned home.  Actually who am I kidding?  Wilson took a nap!  I did those things.

Prep mode continues for the holidays at our Brick & Mortar.  Hope you’ll come visit this weekend!  Open Saturday & Sunday 10-5.  Don’t forget, we have Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in stock too!

Other local events that I am participating in this weekend include viewing Freud’s Last Session at Arden Theatre after attending The Scene.

And on Saturday night I will launch my modeling career at The Frock Shoppe’s charity fashion show.  And then I’ll retire my modeling career.

What are your plans for the weekend?

thanks and a fall wreath

First of all can I just start by telling you how incredibly moved I am by all of your support and sweet feedback on Wednesday’s post about Ryan’s diagnosis?

Seriously moved over here.

Social media has become a very powerful tool.  As I wrote about us, reviewed it, re-reviewed it, hesitated to post it, I just hoped that a positive message would be transmitted.  We basically want to take something that we are already doing and that is well-liked and make a contribution with it.  So thank you all for your enthusiasm in this fundraiser!  It truly means a lot to us.

Now how do I follow that up with a fall wreath?

Well here it is.  A mini Indian corn wreath.

In January, after we removed the holiday Douglas fir wreaths from our windows, we saved the metal wreath forms.  They look something like this.

I pulled a few out to make mini Inidian corn wreaths.  You can buy clusters of the Indian corn at just about any Farmer’s Market this time of year.  I laid clusters of 2-3 cobs in between each prong, overlapping one after another.  The corn covers the mechanics of the prongs.

The prongs close over the stalks while adding rustic fall texture.

And of course it wouldn’t be complete without a bow!  I went with a simple 4 loop bow.  The ribbon I used is like a combination of burlap and raffia.  It can be found at flowers shops.  I also looped the ribbon throughout the wreath.

Indian corn can be really brittle to work with.  It naturally wants to disconnect from the stalks so hot glue may be necessary for keeping it in tact.  I wouldn’t recommend hanging this wreath outside.  It will be gone in no time since the squirrels love Indian corn.  Definitely hang it behind a storm door or indoors!