Fall (my favorite season!) is in full swing here at the cottage.
There is a chill in the air, which always delights us with its arrival, as it is a very welcome respite from the heat and humidity of our Texas summers. Even though the daylight hours are fewer, we are able to spend much more time outside because the weather is so pleasant; there is nothing quite as energizing as crisp air and golden sunshine. The windows can be opened and the house aired out, and this is usually a time for deep cleaning around the home. We just had a garage sale, and it feels good to have everything decluttered. The house feels very fresh.
The leaves don't change into beautiful colors here like they do in other places, but I still try to bring the outdoors in and reflect the beauty of God's creation in my seasonal home decor. Sometimes it comes in faux form, but that's ok! That simply means things get to be reused.
Years ago when Colton and I were first married, I was able to buy faux pumpkins and leaves during an end-of-season sale at Hobby Lobby. Everything was 80% off, so I was able to buy lots for very little. I keep it stored away in a tote, but every year around the beginning of October, I dig it all out and set to work adorning the home. John is at an age now where he gets really excited about special changes, so he was thrilled when I pulled the pumpkins and leaves out this year. When the first cool spell hit, even Colton asked when I was going to bring out my pumpkins. So you can see this is a highly anticipated event.
In this home, we are blessed to have a huge fireplace, and the mantel is the perfect focal point for displaying my collection. I added twinkle lights woven through everything to add a cozy glow. I turn them on in the early mornings and evenings to really set the atmosphere.
I have a little shelf above my kitchen sink that Colton just recently renovated for me. It was a cabinet, but he took the doors off and added bead board inside before painting it white. Now it serves as a little spot that I can beautify as I please, and it really adds a bright spot to my kitchen. It currently displays a little fall vignette.
Being my favorite season, I do have a weakness for shopping when the stores set out all of their fall wares. This year, though, I set a goal to use only what I had. (Nothing like a garage sale as a deterrent for bringing in more stuff!) Of course I saw lots of pretty things, but I challenged myself to make do and stretch my creativity a bit. That is what I did with my kitchen shelf, and I couldn't be happier with it.
I took the idea to use food as decor and brought my homemade apple butter out of the pantry and put it on display. Books make a good way to add height and to use as filler in empty spots. I did purchase the pumpkin, but it was purchased with a coupon at the grocery store and will be eaten when the season passes. Pie, I'm thinking.
The vase in the corner (below) belonged to my husband's great grandmother. It holds baby's breath from a friend's wedding years ago that I dried. The pie pan in the opposite corner (above) belonged to my great grandmother. Still missing something, I decided to make a little leaf banner that I showed in my October craft post. I used a brown paper bag for the leaves and glued them to twine from my craft stash.
Keeping with the theme of using what I already had, I set out a basket of magazines that I had saved from previous subscriptions. I gathered several of the fall issues of Victoria, Countryside, and Hobby Farm Home and set them where they are out of reach of little hands, but still easy enough for me to grab on a chilly morning or evening when I want to relax under a blanket with a warm drink- be it coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or apple cider- and peruse the glossy pages for inspiration. Autumn has such a richness to it, don't you think?
With pureed pumpkin left over from that, I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. It was a new-to-me recipe but definitely turned out to be a keeper. You can find the recipe here.