Layering On Fall









Ahhh, fall! My favorite season, my favorite colors, my favorite comfort foods, my very favorite temperatures! Bonfires, falling leaves, sweaters…welcome changes. Time to spruce up the house for Thanksgiving. I love the way this Trailing Jenny grew in this urn all summer, and I’m going to try my best to keep it around until time to decorate for Christmas, but it does need a little updating for fall, don’t you think?

In the same way that throwing on a cozy cardigan, a soft scarf, or a denim jacket can add the perfect touch of fall to your wardrobe, a few simple additions to what you already have can easily transition your home decor from summer to autumn without breaking the bank.

I started with the dining room table, replacing the summer place mats with a bronze paisley tablecloth I’ve had for six years. I promise I did press it, but by the time I got it to the table, it did not look ironed. The Southern Living fall cake stand that I’ve also had for years is the perfect color and textures for our dining space.










Now, on with the layering. Oil rubbed bronze charger plates I often use at Thanksgiving, and sometimes at Christmas.


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And earthy colored dishes. Oh, and there is that simple burlap place mat left over from the set I made last year. I think one in the center under the cake stand will be sufficient this year. And you can also see that I added a few mini pumpkins to the arrangement on the cake stand. Saint grew a ton of those in the garden this year.

Next, more fun layering on whatever I can find in my stash.










Gold rimmed goblets I got in a box of junk at an auction last summer, some raffia crocheted napkin rings I bought at a garage sale-8 for a dollar, napkins I already had, a sparkly fern leaf, and odds and ends silk leaves to scatter. I threw in a few sprigs of the bittersweet we try to protect here on Redbud Ridge.

And now, the piece de resistance…











A little table runner of paper flowers. I made these from natural coffee filters I learned about here:

I love, love, love paper flowers. Hers are prettier than mine, and this picture does not do justice, even to these, but I may play with adding more color, later.











On to the mantel. I liked what I did with it last year, but wanted a little change. You can see last years here.

This year, added some lighted twigs and a “Blessings” banner.










I made the banner from a wispy strip of cheesecloth, squares of leftover canvas from the drop cloth curtain update, burlap, and the one thing I actually purchased for this project…nothing says fall like plaid flannel. I bought the plaid ribbon at WalMart for a dollar. I kind of like last year’s mantel better, but this will be easier to dust. 🙂

Finally, I needed to layer up the outside a bit. I started with the door arrangement I had, added a dark brown burlappy bow for texture, and just stuck in some fall colored flowers and a bit of bittersweet.










I brought the wonderful birdcage Tiffany got me for Mother’s Day around from the deck and loaded it with Kale, and some of our garden harvest.  Purple eggplant screams fall, doesn’t it? And a few more random veggies and some more bittersweet. Don’t you love it?











Behind it, I propped one of our corn stalks…we grew some a-maize-ing Indian Corn this year…get it? And threw a few dried grasses and cock’s comb from the garden into the summer planter. I’ll add a couple of mums, later, if I don’t find anything free in the fields between now and…next week.


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And then I added some of our colorful corn to these iron candle holders.


So, there you have it.  The scarves, sweaters, and jackets of home. I have several other “layers” planned but I’m waiting for Elle Belle to come help me with projects.

Are you ready for some football bonfires?








When Life Gives You Lemons…or White Elephants

The gifts have been opened, the mess has been cleaned up, the decorations have been put away, and the decadent leftovers have all been eaten or disposed of; all that’s left are the memories. Well, not quite!

At the Huffman family celebration, I suggested a white elephant gift exchange, instructing family members to bring something they already had and no longer needed. We would, then, do our traditional “steal the gift” game with everyone trying to get the least, least-desirable gift. Legal re-gifting, as my SIL called it. I made only one stipulation: You must take the gift you end up with home with you.

Some people just can’t follow instructions. The next morning, when I opened my cabinet to get a cup for my first cup of coffee, this greeted me.
All I can say is, my son had better be glad he didn’t put it in the refrigerator!

In their defense, it was obvious that several of my family members had not participated in white elephant exchanges before. My younger brother cleaned out an entire shelf in his hobby room and wrapped it in a box. My older brother’s wife did the same, but she was clever enough to pretty-up the package and trick her own daughter into picking it. Terri wanted to leave the whole kit and kaboodle, but I was very selective. There were two little, ugly, gold mirrors and a planter that I agreed to take. Don’t ever under estimate gold mirrors. I wish I had taken a picture of before, because it’s truly amazing what a little paint will do. I sprayed on white primer and later brushed on the sea glass blue. After it dried, I rubbed on a little antique glaze and wiped it down, leaving dark areas in the crevices.
I decided I needed to shabby it up a little, so I added some burlap strips and some woven brown ribbon.
And here are the pair of them displayed with some metal work in back and another with the burlap bookends I made last year.DSC00016DSC00014
I also shabbied up some plain Jane candle holders to add to the grouping. Some natural burlap strips, ruffled by pulling a string partly through, some jute twine tied into little bows, the new glue gun I got for Christmas,and some strips of string to match the mirrors achieved this.

Pretty chic, huh? I’ll bet my niece is going to want them back.
But what on earth am I going to do with this ancient headlamp?
Any suggestions…other than never do a white elephant gift exchange at your house again?

Presto Chango into fall


This has been my summer mantel since the baby shower decor was taken down. Pretty boring, huh?

A seasonal change is a comin’. I found this very old oval frame at a flea market last month, and this little scroll with one of my favorite scriptures on it was a couple of dollars at a yard sale. The frame was in pretty bad shape, so I did not hesitate to get out the twine, burlap, and glue gun.


I made a few loops of natural and white burlap, added some leaves, and twisted some jute twine around the frame and added some braided rope. I like the textures, don’t you?


Next, I found some rusty flower tins in the basement, added some sheer bronze fabric ribbons and dried florals to the votives I already had. The little wooden pumpkins were purchased at a wonderful gift shop called Boomland Square several years ago and have been used as place card holders, cloche decor, and a number of other fall displays.


Views from upstairs and then from the living room:


In less than 30 minutes, Presto-chango! I may need to play with the flower buckets a bit and scatter a few leaves or acorns around, but…better, don’t you think?





Woo Pig Sooie!

Dumpster diving is not on my bucket list. Yet. But I must confess, I am now an official trash pile picker. On one of our daily weekly sporadic walks, Saint pointed out the large pile of junk materials that one of our neighbors had accumulated. This was not news to me. I had been coveting eying that pile every time I drove by it.

“Wonder what he’s planning to do with that?” I asked.

“Burn it,” Saint replied. “When the burn ban is lifted.”

Our walk continued uneventfully until we were returning. Rain was in the forecast. That burn ban might be off in a couple of days. My feet guided me right up the back way and straight to that neighbor’s door. Saint stood way back at the end of the driveway, like he was embarrassed or something, as I asked the neighbor if they were throwing away the dresser frame in the back. She smiled. “Help yourself,” she told me.

After a minute few minutes while, Saint decided he should go get the truck. Here are a few things I dug out of the pile.


And, since SEC football is starting, I had this idea for one of the old windows. First I cleaned, painted, and distressed (that didn’t take long…I got it out of a trash pile, after all) it. Then I used some of that hazardous wicked chicken wire (I had lots left on that huge roll, remember?) and some red and white wavy fabric. Saint helped me staple everything to the back.


 I painted and dotted some wooden letters to attach to the top and screwed in a few eye hooks to attach some heavy twine roping. Then I added a few symbols and letters with decoupage, and no project of mine would be complete without some burlap, so I cut out this banner.


Go ahead! Call those Hogs!



I can think of all kinds of ways to use this. For a message board, just add a Razorback schedule, some cute paper clips, note pads,etc. Or use it as a welcome sign for your tailgating party. I really intended it to go in a dorm room. Hats, visors, jewelry, messages, assignments.


My next project is to make a similar one for Mizzou fans. My friends and family tell me I have to choose, and I guess I do, but not until 2013! :))





DIY Burlap Tableware Pocket

If you are anal a planner like I am, chances are you’ve already started Christmas shopping thinking about the fall holidays. A welcome chill in the air this week prompted a trip to the storage closet to inventory fall decor. I came across these adorable wooden pumpkins I purchased a couple of years ago, and my ADD kicked me right past Halloween into Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving, but it is one of those holidays that I just can’t depend upon. When my dad was alive and my parents lived on the farm, we knew where we would be at Thanksgiving. It often coincided with deer and quail hunting season, and both my brothers and their families joined Saint, me, and our two kids for a big family gathering at the folks’. But for the last sixteen years, as Dad passed away and Mom moved from the farm to a small apartment in the city, kids married and had kids of their own, and in-laws multiplied, our traditions have been hijacked and we sometimes find ourselves wondering how we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s a Norman Rockwell. Occasionally, it’s a Walton Family celebration, but, occasionally, it is just a handful. No matter, I am determined to give Thanksgiving its due, even if it means this lovely outdoor dinner for two, complete with a smoked wild turkey from Redbud Ridge.


Worthy of a festive table setting, wouldn’t you think? Uh-huh, I did make it back around to the DIY project!


Doesn’t this little tableware pocket scream vintage Thanksgiving? For this project you will need:

Natural burlap

Bleached white burlap

A button or brooch

Rubber bands


Either a sewing machine or fabric glue.


For each pocket, you will need a 15×5 1/2 rectangle of natural burlap. Fold up approximately 5 inches from the bottom to make the pocket. Then run a stitch down both sides. If you want a no-sew project, you can use fabric glue and just glue the sides of the pocket. I ran the seam all the way down each side rather than just along the pocket edge to keep the burlap from fraying too much. Next, fold down about an inch at the top and fray the edges. Press the seam to make the “flap” at the top. This is purely decorative. You could add vintage lace, ric-rac, or anything you like. I chose to leave it plain.

Now, cut a piece of the bleached burlap about 5″x9″. Fray all the edges a bit and gather it in the center like a fan. Cut a rubber band and run one end through the hole (or holes) on the button. Tie the rubber band back together and wrap it around the center of the fabric to secure it. Fan out the ends and tack them together with a needle and thread or fabric glue. Attach the fan to the pocket using your needle or more fabric glue. Tuck in your silverware, and there you have it.


Cute as a button, don’t you think?

In the meantime…

I know! You are waiting to see the ugly door reveal part II, but I have been unable to find the missing piece, so in the meantime, I’ve been working on a little something. I found this old antique headboard and foot board at a yard sale for $7.00. I really loved it, but it just

wouldn’t fit anywhere in my house.                  Image

So I asked Saint to take it apart and cut some pieces off for another project aka ugly door part II. We ended up with about twenty pieces to use in various crafts up-cycles. These two bed posts started to take shape in my mind.


I cleaned them with TSP and put a coat of Zinsser primer on them. Only then did I remember that I’d been reading some neat blogs about “crackling” paint with Elmer’s Wood Glue. It would probably have been better to do that process before the first coat of primer, but, well, what did I have to lose? After the primer dried, I smeared carefully wiped the glue all over the post and waited patiently (you know better) for the glue to become tacky. Next, I painted another coat of the primer over that. It worked! It really worked!


A final coat of linen white finished the painting part. The rest of the project involved last year’s old sweater that was too little had shrunk in the dryer.


And some burlap, of course.


So, you might have guessed by now that those two bed posts have become the sweetest little snowmen.


I plan to add them to the awesome Christmas display that I’m working on for the flea market, but they may just adorn a table, mantel, or shelf right here on Redbud Ridge.

Lesson for the day…don’t throw ANYTHING away. Please don’t tell Saint I said that. He will never clean out the garage!