Oct 12, 2011

Festive fall vignettes

Well, it's done -- finally -- my fall "mantel"! Okay, I don't have a mantel, but I do have a pair of floating shelves and a console table in the living room perfectly suited to seasonal decor.

Unlike my summer vignette, which I finished in about 20 minutes, this one took a couple days weeks to come together. I just needed inspiration to strike! Luckily, even though I had the day off Monday, my inspiration did not take a day off :)

Even though it took me a while, I'm super duper happy with how it came out. Dare I say, my favorite one yet...?

The inspiration began with all these empty bottles my father-in-law dropped by our house a couple months back. Remember the hubs likes to home brew? Well, his dad does too, but needed extra space in his basement, so he brought over all of his brewing stuff, including boxes and boxes of empty bottles. The hubs didn't need them all, and I was very happy to sort through them! I fell in love with the bottles' green, brown and amber colors.

The feathers are authentic turkey feathers, from the turkey the hubs bagged a couple years ago (yes, he hunts and makes his own beer. He is a man's man!). I love the texture they add.

Branches collected from the yard got a couple coats of white semi-gloss spray paint. I purposefully didn't coat them 100%, so some of the bark shows through. A few leaves from the yard add pops of fall color, and a little dab of hot glue holds them in place.

White beans from the grocery store make great mason jar and vase filler! The runner I made earlier this year for my summer centerpiece.

Remember how I wrapped those votive holders in pieces of bark for my dining room centerpiece? I did the same thing to this pillar candle. I picked up the candlestick a while back at Target, on clearance, and moved it from a side table on the other side of the living room. A couple gourds from the local apple orchard add seasonal charm.

For the shelves, I hung a fall-hued bunting I made from cardstock and some jute twine. I really love that tree pattern!

This cutie owl was a mere $4 from Home Goods! He looks chummy next to that mini pumpkin.

Please ignore that Scotch tape. I was at a loss as to how to attach that bunting without permanently marking my shelves! It's only noticeable up close, and it's nearly impossible to get this close without use of a stool, which means no one will notice, I hope :)

On the top shelf, I arranged a few more bottles, including some I wrapped in jute, and feathers. And here's my favorite part, the floating leaves in my flea market frame. I simply glued some more leaves from the yard onto fishing line attached to the back of the frame. I love love love how they just look like they're floating, like they're in the midst of falling to the ground.

On the bottom shelf, I arranged a few of the hubs' old books and a couple more bottles.

I filled my wire basket with DIY jute and sisal twine balls. I'd seen these around the blogosphere, but FYI if you've never made them -- they took forever! I've got another owl down here...isn't he cute?

I filled my wooden bowl from the antique store with rocks I collected while camping and a few acorns from the yard.

A basket next to the table holds my crocheting. I'm making a cozy blanket right now!

On my little phone table next to the television, I put yet another owl, this one a mercury glass guy from TJ Maxx. I wrapped a vase in jute twine and filled it with some dried lilies from the garden. They have almost a Halloween appearance. And this Autumn Leaves candle from Bath and Body Works smells heavenly! Down below are a few more old books and my yarn pumpkin. (Sorry for the lighting...I was losing daylight!)

Lastly, our DVD cabinet got a little fall love with a couple more gourds, a little mason jar candle and a lantern I picked up at a place called The Mill Store. Oh, and more owls! I cut apart a cute gift bag and glued the owls to a piece of white cardstock. I think it's super adorable!

(I also learned this lantern is NOT made for real candles. I left it lit for only a few minutes and when I went to take the lid off to blow it out, it was so hot it burned my thumb!)

And just a couple more pictures...for fun :)

So, that's our fall living room! I hope it was worth the wait. I'm really happy with how it all came together. I love decorating with natural elements, and things that have a special meaning for us, and I think this accomplishes both. Oh, and I had most of this stuff on hand -- only the two owls, the lantern and the gourds are new.

I'm not much for Halloween decor, so this will last me until Thanksgiving and it's time for....dare I say it?...Christmas! Ahhh, I love Christmas. :)

Linking up!

Somewhat Simple

Oct 10, 2011

Shopping around

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! Anyone else have the day off like me?

We spent some time this weekend shopping around for some things for our laundry room project. We're not quite ready to make a purchase on anything like cabinets or countertop, but we wanted to see what our options are and start firming up our budget before moving ahead.

Here again is an inspiration photo for our laundry room, since it captures a lot of the elements we're going to include: a utility sink, some vertical storage on the left side, and cabinets along the top.

First, we stopped at our local ReStore to see what they had. They had some wall cabinets in decent shape for about $20 each. They'd need to be refinished, and the shelves were in rough shape so we'd have to build new ones. But they were definitely good options.

But...we've never actually bought cabinets, so we had no idea if the ReStore prices were good or not. So we went to Lowe's to see what they had.

These ready-to-finish cabinets were about twice the price of the ReStore ones, but happened to be 20% for the weekend. We didn't make a decision about buying from the ReStore or buying new. We definitely want to save some mula, but since the ReStore ones would need new shelves, and if we could get the new ones on another sale, we might decide to go for the Lowe's ones instead. We also have a couple Lowe's coupons to use, making a new cabinet purchase more economical.

We also priced out laminate countertop, because we really want to install one over the washer and dryer, as a nice flat surface for piling folding laundry. A four-foot section was only $54, and I really liked the gray one on the left.

We weren't really sure what kind of vertical storage we were looking for -- did we want a couple cabinets stacked? Open shelving? But as soon as we spied this tall, multi-purpose cabinet, we knew it was just what we wanted. It comes with shelves or rods for hanging clothes, which would be handy to hanging those wrinkle-prone shirts when they come out of the dryer. It's also only $108 -- a great price!

I'd definitely switch out those handles for something jazzier, and even contemplated adding some trim to make it look a little nicer. I'm fine with white, and no matter what cabinets we get, they'll need to be painted, so we'd paint the other cabinets white to match.

We also checked out the doors, since we'll need one. We found these pre-hung, primed doors were only $70, about the same price as a used door at the ReStore that didn't even include the framing. (Where are these incredible ReStores where all these bloggers get amazing deals?!).

We still have to finalize the layout of the room, so we're not 100% sure yet how long a countertop we'll need, or how many cabinets. But now that we've taken a look at everything, it looks like we'll probably spend aat least $1,000 for the whole project, including everything for the plumbing, electricity and the pump we need to be able to put the washer and dryer down there in the first place. But we think it'll be money well spent.

The only thing I did buy at the ReStore? This big bulletin board, for the office, for $10. But now I'm really wondering whether or not it was a good deal. Oh well. I'll be rehabbing it somehow -- I'm thinking of painting the frame a glossy white and covering the cork part with some fun fabric. I also really loved how Aubrey & Lindsey gave theirs a nailhead trim, so I'm pondering that too. Stay tuned!

Annnnd...I'm still working on fall-ifying the living room (can you believe it?!?). Hoping to wrap it up today...here's a sneak peek!

I'll leave you with a shot of the trees in our yard, which are starting to show off their fall loveliness. If only the weather would cooperate and give us that scrumptious fall chill...it was practically 80 degrees over the weekend! No, that is not normal for Maine. 

Have a great day!

Oct 6, 2011

Fall crafts: Paper flower wreath and yarn pumpkins

Well, hello, everyone! I hope you're enjoying your week.

I'm still working on my fall mantle and other indoor decor, but I wanted to show you this simple fall wreath I made for our front door.

I saw something similar for spring, but I cannot for the life of me figure out where...so, my apologies for not giving credit where it's due!

It's the same grapevine wreath I decorated with shells for summer. I cut out a bunch of flowers from scrapbook paper and hot glued buttons to them. Super easy!

I'd like to replace that puny twine with some orange ribbon (and paint that gold wreath hanger!), but I'm liking it a lot right now. The colors make me so happy!

I haven't done much to fall-ify our porch, but I did add my Pottery Barn lantern and some Indian corn. (Please ignore the ugly storm door.) I'm hoping to add some more pumpkins out here, but was waiting to buy them so they'd last until Halloween and we could carve them.

I also thought I'd share a little fall craft I copied from Martha (she's brilliant, isn't she?). Yarn and twine pumpkins!

I shaved the ends of two styrofoam balls to make them a little flat at the bottom and the top, then wrapped them in some chunky yarn and twine. Not hard at all, but surprisingly time consuming, especially the twine one, mostly because I was super picky about the placement of all of the strands.

Martha used rope for the stems, but I just cut pieces of a real branch and hot glued them on. I'm not digging them as much as I hoped I would, but they are cute. I might cut the stems a little shorter.

They'll be more fall decor next week, after I finally finish my mantle (floating shelves!). Hopefully you're not sick of all this fall stuff.

I'm linking this up to Sarah's Fall Outdoor Spaces party, and Kate's Fall Crafts party! Also linking up my post about my pumpkin, mums and apple barrel to the Outdoor Spaces party. So much fall awesomeness happening in the blogosphere! Yep, I missed the fall mantel one...by a lot.

Oct 3, 2011

A cozy fall centerpiece

Hello, and happy October, everyone!

I'm totally slacking at my fall "mantel," but I did manage to fall-ify the dining room table, so I had to show it off.

I used a table runner I bought last year from Target; it's got a bit of a sparkle, but is otherwise pretty neutral, so I love using it. I filled the Pottery Barn lantern I scored for a good deal with some orange and white mini pumpkins -- I'm swooning over it!

To complement my mini-pumpkin masterpiece, I scattered some pine cones I collected from the yard last year, as well as mini pine cones, cinnamon sticks and dried cranberries from some potpourri I have. I also added a few orange-hued and clear tealight holders.

I wrapped the clear tealight holders in pieces of bark I brought back from our summer camping trip. No, I didn't pull the bark off a tree -- I found it along the beach; the tree it was on had rotted away, but the bark was intact and had dried in these really cool curliques that made it easy to wrap it around the tealight holders. I love the texture it adds, and that you can see the opposite side of the bark too.

I'm really loving this autumn look! It's warm and cozy and the perfect backdrop for a yummy fall meal, like a roasted pork loin with sweet potatoes and apples. Yum yum!!

The only thing I bought were the pumpkins, which were only a few dollars at the grocery store, of all places. I hope they last me through the month, but we'll see.

Here's a look at the dining room table before, when it was decorated for spring. I did decorate it for summer, but it was very simple, so I never showed it to you, I don't think.


And now, one last time!

Have you done your fall decorating yet, or are you behind like me? I'm hoping to tackle my "mantle" (I say mantle in quotes because it's really floating shelves!) this week...I'd love to see your fall decorating, so leave a comment with a link back to you! Maybe your creativity will rub off on me :)

P.S. You might notice my blog has a new header now! Let me know what you think of it -- I'd love to hear your feedback!

Linking up!