Wednesday, October 12, 2011

getting ready to get ready!

My article for The Leaf Chronicle for Sep 4th—sorry for the delay.
Now that everyone has their home adorned with branches and sticks, as put forth in last week’s column, I guess it is time to offer up a few other ideas.
Perhaps you’re ready to introduce a touch of fall into other areas of your home. Again, no need to go all out in one decorating frenzy, your transitional decorating should be exactly that—transitional. If you’re like me, you probably need to start with a good, thorough cleaning of the house. I think it’s time to prove that my base boards are, in fact, white. I’m also going to perform a serious assessment of the contents of my wardrobe; it’s time to make some donations to Goodwill! These actions will allow me to feel more comfortable about adding my fall decorations to the mantels and other surfaces. I’ll also be able to starting adding my fall clothing to our wardrobe—which is really our closet, as our “closets” aren’t deep enough to accommodate a standard hanger and are only as wide as the door. (Yeah, I’ll go toe-to-toe with someone lamenting their lack of closet space!)
Okay, so what I usually end up doing is cleaning as I decorate. I decide which room I’m going to tackle and I start cleaning as I put away anything I won’t be using for the new vignette. Many basics remain, but some things are set aside for the season. I use books all over the house—their titles are often related to the season, but sometimes they’re chosen for their color and size.
You’ll also find candlesticks and pillar stands throughout the house, but the colors of the candles will change. I have a plate stand that holds four tea cups and saucers—I change the china I display with the season.
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Here you see my tea cup stand, an unpainted ceramic pumpkin and several other accents for the mantel.

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Here is a tight shot of the of the amber bottles and an orange book entitled, coincidentally, “Hodgepodge,” (a gift from my dear friend, Taylor)—so it meets the title AND colors  requirements.  In the right hand corner you see and old Ferry Morris Seed ad I had framed.
During the summer I don’t use tablecloths, but beginning in the fall, I’ll usually drape something across the table. I also tend to leave the table top empty during the summer, but now I’ll add a centerpiece. I’ll start with our sugar mold candle holder, but I’ll elevate the display as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.
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You can see from this pic—
the only thing I’ve left on my table this time is my beer!
Part of the cleaning process is shaking the dust off of the silk and dried flowers. This is when I have to really evaluate how much life is left in these items—especially the dried flowers. I prefer to dry without preservatives, but that really limits their display life.
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My all-time-favorite display—the perfect example of dried hydrangeas that have given their all and will be retired this year.
This is also a good time to take inventory of my glassware and dinnerware. As I prefer to use vintage items for my table settings, the search for replacements isn’t always a quick one. If I’m going to need a new turkey platter or gravy boat for my holiday table, I need to start looking now.
I like to make notes about those needs on index cards and stick them in my purse/wallet, that way I have it with me whenever I happen upon some possibilities. Notebooks are good, too, but they take-up a lot of room and I tend to get frustrated and toss them out of my purse. Chandelier prisms are another thing I am constantly replacing, so I trace them on the index card, so there’s no confusion about the style and size.
I figure, with my typical approach to cleaning/decorating and the amount of “free time” I’ve enjoyed lately, I’ll have my pumpkins out in time for the Easter Bunny to hide some eggs behind them! I hope your decorating efforts are quick and easy.
I wrote this weeks ago—the decorations made it to these locations . . . yesterday!  Just slightly before the Easter Bunny!
Thanks for your indulgence!


Ella said...

Decorating also inspires me to clean, but sometimes I start arranging decor before the dust settles...oops! These are wonderful pics! I love the magic of this mystical season~

Paige Thomas King said...

Ella--you are too kind--the photos stress me out! never look right to me. as for the dust--it is a way of life. if you read between the lines, i only clean four times each year! Paige

Auntie Bliss said...

My head is swirling with ideas you've given me...or maybe it is cobwebs or bats in my belfry...
OH! I have some inherited prisms...I should bring you to do something strands of them.

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