falling for October

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the first frost is still looming.  We had a few unseasonably warm days this month that had me believing fall would never come.  That quite literally changed overnight though and the vibrant leaf colors have peaked.

collected fall living room 16-637

I’ve cut and enjoyed the last of the bold zinnias as doomsday is near and they’ll all be history once that frost does set in.  Any day now…

vintage collected jungalow living room-16-644

Our potted plants have all been moved inside and continue to get shuffled around until we settle on just the right place for their winter habitat.  The Christmas cacti are showing buds and will be blooming before we know it…Thanksgiving actually.

macrame jungalow plants-16-623

We’ve started pulling out our favorite wool blankets for cozying up by the fire.  We’ve only lit a few so far but soon the wood stove will be blazing.

vintage locker and woodstove fall-16-624

I’ve embraced my knack for using orange in my decor even outside of October.  I’ve never thought of myself as an orange person but as you can see, I apparently am.  It definitely adds some punch.  That’s for sure.

vintage mohair and wool pumpkin collection fall-16-677

You might also remember my pledge just a few posts ago that I wouldn’t be changing a thing about my living room.  Well, certainly that wouldn’t last.  And it didn’t.  We found this cool, handmade coffee table on a trip to New York in August.  The table top is reclaimed hardwood floor cut on a bias and married to an iron base that was once supported a soapstone utility sink.  Needless to say, it is sturdy. It could easily be a bench in another space or lifetime.

vintage collected fall living room-16-650

I also came across a great wicker trunk recently and decided to keep it for myself.  This is a vintage European piece that is ideal for hoarding my throw pillow stash.  I was previously at capacity on seasonal pillows but apparently I have room for a few more now so I recently picked up that handmade pumpkin pillow cover.  The wicker trunk is sturdy enough to double as an end table topped with a tray and more plants, of course.

vintage european wicker trunk plants-16-656

In addition, I’ve been stockpiling furniture projects for the the slower winter months.  It’s always hard to find fresh finds when it’s freezing out and let’s face it, I can’t merely shuffle pillows, plants and throw blankets around my house all season.  There are a number of recent projects completed that I’ve yet to share here.  You may have caught them on instagram or facebook.  If not, here’s a glimpse…

stenciled-schloss-nightstand-615

There are a pair of these boxwood green nightstands with chippy insets…still available.  That lamp is made from a recycled corbel salvaged from a Victorian Cape May house that was in a fire years ago.  We made a pair which sold very quickly so we made another pair which are currently available.  Those are all of the Cape May corbels we have left though.

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Another pair of fantastic nightstands are available.  These gray “schloss” beauties are not so chippy.  I like the soft finish achieved with white wax.

stenciled-schloss-nightstand-608

This coffee table is taking it back to summertime.  It is extremely chippy, on the other hand.  People who get the distressed chippy look, get it.  This table sold in a day.  Not for the faint of heart.

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Just a sweet little stool and a stencil.  There will be more news to share on this stencil and others very soon.  I can’t wait!

stenciled-stool-590

That’s what I’ve managed to document here over the past few months.  What’s new as the seasons change in your world?

 

 

 

 

 

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the winemaker’s table

One morning a few months ago I set out on my treasure hunting route feeling extraordinarily optimistic.   You know when you know there is a good treasure waiting for you and you just have to uncover it.  Yes, that feeling!

fall table setting-256

The morning was off to a slow start though.  I hit several garage sales not turning up much more than then 1970’s ceramics.  But I knew the show stopping piece was out there.  The next stop was sort of barn sale at the end of a grassy lane.  I felt this one had promise until I got inside the dusty building and found nothing more than tools.  No cute wooden toolboxes but nails, wrenches and the like.  Not my thing.

I did another lap around the building feeling dissatisfied but not quite ready to leave.  It is like a game of hot/cold and I was getting warm.  I knew it had to be there.  That’s when I spotted a wine-press off to the side.  An antique, oak wine-press!  It was dusty, dirty and smelled acidic but I knew this was the treasure waiting for me and it certainly had potential.  It was screaming table to me.

the winemaker's table - antique oak wine press-245

Then that thing happened when someone expresses interest in a one-of-a-kind piece.  Suddenly everyone is interested and a near bidding war ensues.  As a buyer, this is extremely irritating but as a seller it is wonderful.  Being the buyer in this scenario, I found the other shopper to be in poor form as he elbowed in on my negotiation insinuating that he was going to use the press as intended to make wine.  Of course, it was evident that I wasn’t and merely loved the rustic patina.  I’ve always been a form over function girl.  I quickly handed the seller my cash and rolled it down the lane before anyone could change their mind.

Winemaker's Table- antique oak winepress 243

After a thorough cleaning and the perfect 48 inch glass topper, we have ourselves a beautiful table.  A swanky, rustic table fit for sipping cocktails and noshing at while admiring the craftsmanship of the press.  I have to admit that this one was almost a keeper.  We really love how it fit in our little dining nook.  But I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, “We can’t keep them all.”

Winemaker's Table-252

This one of a kind beauty is up for sale at The West End Garage.

schloss telephone table

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

What color is schloss anyway?

It can be so unclear on the milk paint samples and bags in store.  Schloss is actually a bit of a chameleon color much like grainsack, in my opinion. It changes with the light and based on the surface you’re painting.  The latter is true with most milk paint colors actually.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Schloss is from Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint European color line that came out earlier this year.

Schloss Reinhardsbrunn
Schloss Reinhardsbrunn

It is named for German castles.  The color itself is meant to represent old stone fortresses common in Europe much like the one pictured here.  Sometimes it turns up gray and sometimes a weathered brown exactly like the patina of the castles.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Hopefully this clarifies the nomenclature of this color.  Either way, schloss is a great neutral.  I’ve been using it lately layered with other grays (coming soon) and on its own like in today’s feature.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Shown here is a vintage telephone table where two coats of schloss were applied without bonding agent.  It was topped with furniture wax to protect and bring out the color.

Schloss Telelphone Table-227

The piece was a bit raw and worn as it was pulled out of a barn where it was in hibernation.

telephone table before

The side in sets are more than likely a veneer.  Those areas on the side are the only place the paint chipped adding character.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Telephone tables are certainly becoming extinct, but why?  This one serves perfectly as a nightstand or end table.  It is available for sale at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown along with the great vintage carriage blanket and p.f. candles too!

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

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well, hello september

Oh September, I’ve been waiting for you. Summer on the front end. Fall on the back end.

Layla's Mint Console Desk-168

From flip flops to tall boots and iced coffee to the famous pumpkin spiced latte.

antique piano stool

You might be my favorite of all…

Layla's Mint Console Desk- vintage aqua mixing bowl

Slightly bittersweet with back-to-school and the mass exodus around Cape May.

Layla's Mint Console Desk- antique piano stool

Homework and schedules are at ease as we retreat to September.  We’ll take a few quiet, lingering afternoons on the beach before we trade sand for crunching leaves underfoot.
Layla's Mint Console Desk-173

Pictured here is a sweet little desk painted in Layla’s Mint and finished with antiquing wax.  It is available at The West End Garage.  Open daily 10-6 in September. 

this is happening

I’m really enjoying pulling together photo shoots.  In this case, I had a finished coffee table to share as well as new seasonal merchandise so it just made sense to style it all together.  It is so much more interesting than simple before & after pictures, I think.  Plus it has given me the opportunity to work with my new lens and continue to refine my skills in prop styling & photography.

burlap autumn living room accents

At any rate, the coffee table base is painted in Layla’s mint over flow blue.  Both are August’s colors of the month.  Admittedly Layla’s mint looks very similar to Eulalie’s sky in this equation.  The flow blue underneath the green made it sway more bluish if that makes sense.  A bit of the blue is peaking through on the legs.  The top of the table is curio with a bit of white wax.  The table is available at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

burlap autumn living room accents

We’re big on burlap as we transition into fall.  Who am I kidding?  We’re big on burlap every season!  The bow front pillows are a new addition.  Check out the adorable burlap pumpkins and daisies.  You can find all of these at both Circa Dee shops.  (The table shown here is not for sale but it is painted trophy with white wax.)  autumn burlap daisies

We’ve also introduced ferns to the mix at West End Garage.  They are the perfect low maintenance interior plant for fall.

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Are you feeling the pull to nest for a new season?

home for the plants

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.

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They’re now sitting pretty in our living room amongst my favorite pair of vintage chairs.

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug,  reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug, reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase, locker

terra cotta & olive, mohair chair

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.

simple DIY: reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand/ bookcase

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.

olive tree,  reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand-4999

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.

succulent garden, reclaimed wood plant stand-4992

simple DIY: reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand-

The plants have happily been relocated to the new plant stand where they are enjoying the expansive window and, normally, bright light.

indoor terra cotta succulent garden, reclaimed wood plant stand-4993

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!

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug, reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase

DIY pumpkins

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…

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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!

wood slice pumpkin-

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…

Burlap Pumpkin

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?

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a blanket rack

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.

vintage ladder blanket rack

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.  vintage ladder 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.

vintage ladder blanket rack

Have you scored any new vintage treasures lately?

seed saving

seed saving-4678We 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…

seed saving

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!

seed saving jar

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.

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2015 now available at The West End Garage