Christmas is coming

 Aside from tree ornaments, there are very few things we pulled out of storage to create a warm, seasonal home.  Instead we opted to use everyday and season-less items with just a hint of Christmas ambiance in a relatively traditional color palette.

Organic Christmas 2014-Circa Dee

Our decor this year is very organic with the exception of the vintage chippy mirror and salvaged pillars.  The blooming paperwhites whimsically frame a live succulent wreath.  Why go for evergreens when you can have succulents?  You must ask yourself.

live succulent wreath

Preserved boxwood topiaries add a bit of formality as they anchor the ends of the mantel plus they will last for  years.

Christmas mantelscape with cotton & candles

I continue to obsess over cotton stems.  I simply laid them on their side to create a nice, full garland across the mantel.

cotton garland

Fresh holly from the yard nestles amongst the cotton.

cotton & holly Christmas garland

Firewood is accompanied by a nearly blooming Christmas cactus.

Christmas firewood

The firewood tea light candle holder adds just a bit of warmth to the holiday display.

firewood log candle holder

How are you decorating your mantel this holiday season?

Natural Christmas 2014-Circa Dee

Many of these items and similar ones are available at The West End Garage.

Bonus:  they can easily transition into the new year with the omission of the holly and ornaments!

holiday door decor

We’ve been decking the halls for weeks already yet somehow we’ve barely scratched the surface at our own home.  That is about to change though.  Over the weekend we rolled out the welcome mat and pulled the vintage sled out of storage.

holiday door decor - vintage sled, mistletoe wreath, lantern, retro chair

There is a simple formula for holiday door decor that I like to follow every December: vintage sled (always), seasonal wreath and fresh greenery.

holiday door decor - vintage green sled, mistletoe wreath, mixed greens tree

We’re going bold this season with blue, yellow and layers of green.  Sort of nautical, sort of traditional.  I painted the sled in boxwood milk paint this time around and framed it with a joint ruler star and holly.  The felt mistletoe wreath, from Uncommon Goods, fits right in as it is traditional yet unexpected.

felt mistletoe wreath, brass anchor door knocker

The folks at Uncommon Goods contacted me last month to check out their Christmas gifts.  I love the texture of the mistletoe wreath and the adorable white berries.  I’ve been a fan of Uncommon Goods since I learned about the company a few years ago.  They provide a platform for uncommon artists and designers to sell their handmade wares while also highlighting their work spaces and studios so you can see where the products you’re about to purchase are made.

felt mistletoe wreath

Uncommon Goods is a B Corporation which means they use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  Ryan and I have consciously sourced inventory for our shop from other B Corporations since earning the B seal means the company meets a rigorous standard on a range of issues, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the local community.  We can certainly get behind that especially in the season of giving.

Later this week, I’ll share details about that little statement tree by the door.  You’ll never believe how easy it is to make!

mixed greens Christmas tree

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!

hot pepper re-run

Hello all!  Tuesday already, huh? We certainly had a busy weekend around here with the Harvest Party sale and all.  Thanks to everyone who came by.  I love meeting new vintage fans and followers.

We had beautiful weather for the first weekend of fall which had me thinking about this time last year.  My how quickly time flies.  We had similar blue skies and crisp weather.  This little blog has grown tremendously since then so I thought it would be fun to post a project I did exactly one year ago.  I loved my hot pepper wreath and hopefully this blog re-run will give any fall nesters out there an easy DIY idea…

SO…

I was inspired at the farmer’s market again. There was a huge basket of wrinkled hot peppers on sale. $3 Take ’em all. Who can argue that?

Shiny. Red. Luscious. A couple of days past their prime for cooking.

Not for crafting. So I got a 12 inch flat wreath form.

And some wire. Layer 3 peppers on top of the former 3 and secure with wire.

I wired half of the wreath with the pepper stems out and the other half with the curly ends out.

I love the curly shape of these peppers.

I worked in some burlap scraps to up the fall factor and to hide the mechanics of the wire.

There you have a farmer’s market red pepper wreath.

Only 4 “ingredients” used.

Linking to Thrifty Decor Chick & Southern Hospitality Blog