Thursday, October 30, 2014

Styling The Seasons - October

style, season, design, mantel, surface, styled surface, vintage, midcentury modern, Halloween, candles, Fiestaware, Pearl Grey Fiestaware, swedish candleholders, danish candleholders, midcentury modern, My Mind's Eye paper banner
    October and Halloween are a big deal at my house.  My kids love Halloween, with the costumes, trick-or-treating, and time spent with friends.  And candy.  For me, it's a great excuse to haul out the boxes of decorations and find new and different ways to use them each year.   

This post is about one of the two surfaces in my home that are reserved for my collectibles and other treasures that I enjoy looking at.  I also use these surfaces to place items I am currently fascinated with, usually a new thrift store find, or as a place for greeting cards and other memorabilia.  This mantle is in my living room, and I enjoy the idea of creating a themed statement that is in keeping with the season.  Tag along and I'll tell you about these items.  

style, design, mantle, styled surface, surface, Halloween, My Mind's Eye garland, swedish candleholders, Pearl Grey Fiestaware

The pair of mid-century candlesticks in the above photo were thrifted and are made in Sweden of black painted wood.  The small vase holding the black faux foliage is a piece of Fiesta ware; this style of vase is still being made by Homer Laughlin, but the color, pearl grey, has been retired.  The black bird is from the craft store, and the orange and black striped candle was found at a local charity shop.

style, design, surface, styled surface, mantle, Halloween, danish candleholders, vintage, vintage owls, Hong Kong owls, My Mind's Eye paper banner

Another pair of 1950s candle holders!  These are made in Denmark of cast metal.  And that little owl is another thrift store find - on the bottom it's marked 'Hong Kong'.

style, design, styled surface, surface, mantle, BOO, Halloween, vintage, vintage pumpkin, My Mind's Eye paper banner

The 'BOO' sign is made from real wood, and fairly new for a thrifted item.  That cute pumpkin, made of plaster, is also from a second hand store, and is very old.  And last but not least, I made the banner with scrapbook paper, paper punches and trim.

style, design, styled surface, surface, mantle, midcentry modern, My Mind's Eye paper banner, swedish candleholders, danish candleholders, Halloween

My goal was to create a styled surface with some autumnal color that celebrates the season, as well as the holiday of Halloween, utilizing my collectibles and seasonal items.

Thanks for taking this little tour with me through my styled mantle.  If you would like to know more about Styling The Seasons, visit Katy Orme of Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts And Lots.  See you next time!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Life: Autumnal Changes

weekend, life, lifestyle, snoopy, woodstock, fall autumn, flag, banner, leaves, tree, garden
    Both the autumn and the spring are busy seasons in the garden.  While mother nature brings a full display of color for us to enjoy, we gardeners are busy preparing and planting beds.  This year's autumn season here in the Willamette Valley has had perfect planting weather, with just the right mix of sunshine and rain, and although my heart has been heavy with family matters lately, my thoughts have been distracted by the color inspiration that is all around me at this time.  

I've been thinking a lot about color this season, particularly red and green, so when the weekend rolls around I am anxious to tackle my to-do lists, especially items that say something like 'photograph the garden in the early stages of autumnal change - look for red and green'.  

leaves, red, green, June, hands, fall, autumn, autumn leaves, acorns, moss
It's amazing when I get hooked on an idea like this because, for awhile, all I see are reds and greens!  It's like getting a song stuck in your head.  So, here are a few of my favorite songs, ah, photos, featuring red and green:

maple, maple tree, red, green, Jimmy's maple, Jimmy's maple tree, garden
plant, cactus, red, green, garden
Japanese maple, maple, red, green, garden
lily, red, green, red and green lily, garden
red, green, blueberry, blueberry bush, garden, autumn, fall
In the first photo above you can see that Jimmy's maple is still growing strong. I'm not sure what that next plant is - I bought it as part of a potted assortment of plants, of which this is the only one left.  I think it is a succulent of some kind.  Next is the Japanese maple I bought at the Saturday Market several years ago when it was just a twig.  It's really come a long way!  Then there is a spring lily, or what's left of it.  And last but not least, a blueberry branch.  

Earlier, I mentioned planting, and that was part of my weekend too.  I bought a couple of fall mums to plug in, since I love the instant color they provide.   

red, green, mums, crysanthemum, garden
variegated crysanthemum, crysanthemum, garden

As you might notice looking at the first picture, I was still thinking about red and green, even when choosing mums.  The second mum has beautiful variegated orange and yellow blossoms.     

blueberry, blueberry bush, water, plant, garden
Jimmy added two more blueberry bushes to the garden plot, which brings the total to five.  Our first three were planted several years ago, and although it took a couple of seasons until they began to bear fruit, it was worth the wait.  When early spring rolls around next year, we will plant strawberries around these new blueberries.  Strawberries love the shade provided by the bushiness of blueberry plants. 

I started my bulb planting this weekend as well; about half of my tulip bulbs went around the base of the maple tree.  There are still crocus and muscari to plant, and I'm hoping it actually happens before the fall is over!  Although we have planted spring flowering bulbs as late as, well, spring, and they still grew, and blossomed!

All the gladiola bulbs in this area were moved.  It appeared that the blueberries developed an aversion to them.  Sounds strange, I know, but the blueberries started veering off in weird directions after the gladiolas started to take over.  So, for now, the gladiolas are sitting in a tub...

fall, autumn, leaves, rake, raking leaves, yardwork

And what would an autumnal weekend be without some leaf raking?  I love to rake leaves!  It's an invigorating sport, and a great excuse to take a look around the front and back yards and see what's happening.  

snake, garden, garden snake, sun, snake in sun, snake sunning
mushrooms, dirt, oregon, garden
bird, warble, yellow bird, backyard bird, garden, niger, niger seed, feeding birds
turkey, eugene, front yard, turkey in my yard

And as you can see, I did come upon some interesting things.  I found a snake sunning itself on the wood pile, some mushrooms in a shady spot, and now that I've placed niger seed socks outside my kitchen windows, I was delighted to have some warblers visiting.  And, a flock of wild turkeys came through my front yard; about eight or ten of them.  They were grazing through the grass and leaves, looking for food.  This particular turkey came over and checked me out, even though I was sitting very still!

flowers, carnations, vintage, Bonette, Bonette china, faffing, Instagram photos, Instagram photo shoot, my Instagram
Another part of my weekend involved doing photo shoots for my Instagram account.  Right now I am photographing some of my collectables and have joined the 'Faffing' community.  Click on my Instagram link at the top of my blog (or just click here) and see what I'm up to!  

hydrangea, purple, purple hydrangea, backyard, garden

What kind of autumnal adventures are you experiencing?  Or maybe is it spring where you are?  No matter the weather, there are always interesting changes to see in the natural world.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Bird Diaries

Dear Diary,

Today I walked a very short distance from my hotel room here at the Trail's End Motel to the sandy beach where I fed the seagulls. 

Of all the stuff our family does in this tropical paradise - beach strolling to collect shells, playing mini-golf and shuffleboard, or walking to the shopping center to look for souvenirs, I love feeding birds
the most.  You see, Dear Diary, I have loved birds for as long as I can remember.  

In fact, when we drive the 1,000 miles from my hometown of Chicago to our destination of Treasure Island, Florida, I don't even think I'm really in Florida until I see that big colorful bird on top of the Thunderbird Motel!

That's all for now Dear Diary.  See you next time!
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