finding inspiration

November really brings a battle between Christmas enthusiasts and those standing-up for Thanksgiving from a decorating/shopping standpoint, doesn’t it?  I mean who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?  No one wants to skip the feast.  However, some are overlooking the cornucopia for the twinkling Christmas lights immediately after Halloween.  I’ve always been a fan of keeping autumn harvest decor fresh, until the day after Thanksgiving when it is game-on for Christmas decorating.

As I’ve ventured further into the retail world I can understand why Christmas comes immediately following Halloween.  It is a very glitzy, very short selling season.  A lot of effort goes into merchandising for the holidays yet the season is definitely shorter than autumn harvest.  Perhaps that is why we’re seeing it grow just a little more every year, annoying as it may be to poor Thanksgiving.  With that said, I may even be behind the eight ball in getting all of my holiday inventory on the sales floor.  Yes, I surely am.

For me, November is all about balance.  Autumn harvest at home with Christmas on the brain and in the store.  While looking for inspiration for the season, I found some of my favorite holiday themed signs that I’ve painted over the past four years.  Here are the highlights…

Santa on a barn door is definitely a favorite which I’ve replicated again and again.

rustic santa barn door

Holly Jolly Christmas is indeed available now at The West End Garage.

holly joll christmas sign

Believe is always a crowd pleaser.

handpainted believe sign on reclaimed wood

The deer is a favorite from last year and it ended up in the home of a family member.  I may just have to make another one for 2015!

oh deer

Probably not my favorite work but any reference to classic Bedford Falls is a winner!

wonderful life sign

I love the juxtaposition of the message and the rustic canvas here.

rustic joy to the world

Moose Lodge is another one that I’ve done a few times.  Not necessarily reserved for Christmas either.

moose lodge

How’d this one sneak in here?

Painted Signs on Reclaimed Wood - maryland crabs

And the original “On the Way to Cape May” sign!  This one started it all.

Cape May Sign

Well, we’re most certainly off of the Christmas track now and perhaps back on harvest.  The sunflower seed packet resides at my parents.  I didn’t have the heart to sell it.  It’s possibly my all time favorite.

vintage sunflower seed pack reproduction sign

I’ve got a thing for fonts and vintage inspired signs which led me to start a pinterest board dedicated to other handmade holiday inspired signage.  Check it out here.

Where do you stand on the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas decorating debate?

rustic & reclaimed mantel

Falalalalala.  Ok, so I’m in full on Christmas mode.  The mantel is complete, the tree is up, the cards are, well, they’re in progress.   

It’s kind of hard to believe it was 70 degrees again yesterday.  We didn’t wear coats to buy our tree which seemed odd.  I have no problem decorating for Christmas in any weather.  I could do it all year!

 I love the scent of the Fraser fir tree we selected.  But the live princess pine roping on the mantel is just gorge!  It is so delicate.  It balances the rustic, woodsy decor.

I used an old Royal Crown Cola crate as an upright display shelf for some vintage Christmas balls.  I have acquired a ton of these old ornaments.  They’re on display in just about every corner of the house.

Remember my architectural salvage finds from just last week?  The chippy green board provides a background for the Victorian pink spindle turned candle holder.  In fact, all of the items that make up this mantel vignette are from recent picks.  Who needs family heirlooms this year when we’ve got perfectly good junk to display? 

I’ve fully embraced burlap, galvanized, reclaimed wood and sheet music in my overall Christmas decor this year.  I’m really happy with the rustic combination so far.  See the cute little burlap stocking?

You know that phrase “Go Big or Go Home”?  That is sort of what I adapted with me 3 foot plus Santa.  The huge poster was surfaced over the summer and the barnwood frame came from another pick.  I put them together and voila…

Because the poster is about an inch smaller than the frame around, I added yellowed book pages to create a matting.  I am also really happy with the birch pieces.  Side note: Ryan cut all of the birch for the fireplace not the mantel.  They’re just too pretty to burn though, aren’t they?

Oh!  Remember the old gas station belt hooks I got last week?  The mint green worked perfectly in this vignette.  I didn’t even plan that in advance.  The hooks also function well for the mini sheet music wreath to hang from.  Yes, I have gas station junk out for Christmas.  So what?

There are the galvanized buckets…the perfect flower-pot for my white poinsettia.

More burlap.  This old toy sack is excellent for holding firewood.

More green…this time in a dented pail that I just love to use as a flower-pot.  Yes, there are white pumpkins still out for Christmas.  Why not?  The color goes perfectly with the poinsettia.

And there you have our rustic & reclaimed Christmas mantel!  Stay tuned for more burlap/galvanized/reclaimed wood/sheet music decor from Circa Dee this rustic holiday season.  Do you have a theme for you decor this year?

Linking to:


Funky Junk's Sat Nite SpecialHoliday
southern hospitality

corbel vision

I went to my first “demo sale” on Saturday morning.  The ad said to bring tools as the house was being demolished & rebuilt so everything could go. 

So I brought Ryan.  And he brought tools. 

Since it was on a street full of 100 year old+ houses, I had this vision of pulling down original molding, corbels, glass door knobs and other architectural salvage.  I had a major sense of urgency to get there first so I could get all of those corbels.

On the way over I thought about how we didn’t bring a ladder!  Darn.

Well I was wrong.  The house was old but there were no corbels or anything else that I dreamt up.  Nothing I wanted required tools.  It was more like an estate sale.  I’m glad I brought my muscle though because we did end up making a big purchase. 

Let me backtrack and show you this before picture…

This is our breakfast nook at the beach house.  The table came with the house.  It is cute and has done just fine for us but (there is always a but)…it is too small for the space.  And more importantly, too small to hold anything other than our breakfast plates.  We’ve been passively looking for a replacement table.

The demo sale came through with just that…

The table is much larger and boasts vintage charm with an enamel top

cutlery drawers with glass knobs (at least I found glass knobs)

and chippy white and seafoam painted chairs.

I’ve always loved enamel tables!  Plus its so much more functional for us than the last table.  Yay!  This might just be the beginning of a beach house kitchen makeover. 

Ok, so I didn’t stop at  the demo sale.  After unloading our new enamelware, I rounded up a few more charming finds.  I paid less than $20 for everything in this picture.

I will never pass up cute fish plates.  These may end up in a future dining room display rack.

A hexagon hat box dated 1966.

A little one sided planter. 

Onto the really good stuff.  My 2nd favorite find of the day!  A vintage chrome mixer by Hamilton Beech.  I was thrilled to find this.  It’s time to bake pumpkin bread!

I can use help with this one.  This cute purse caught my eye but I don’t know what it is.  Celluloid handle?  Some kind of plastic purse.

Golden velvet interior.  Any idea what this could be made from?

Did you notice the picture in the background?  I literally took this off the wall at an estate sale.  Not for the print though.

It is the reclaimed barnwood frame that caught my eye.  3rd favorite find of the day.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing this again.

Did you find any fabulous vintage this weekend?

Linking to:
Southern Hospitality
Her Library Adventures
Apron Thrift Girl
Mod Vintage Life
Coastal Charm
House of Grace