Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Friday, September 27, 2013

$10 Find: Antique Farm Table and Fall Tablescape

*This had been my most popular post on all forms of social media so I decided to share again for all the fun fall parties of 2015. We moved last year so I have a new dining room to show this upcoming weekend as well. I hope you'll check it out too!

Hello again all you fellow fall-loving friends! Today I am so excited to show you our fabulous yard  find, an authentic antique farm table! We only paid $10 for it! The top was covered with a cheap veneer and I was just going to get the table to use in our basement because it seemed like a solid table, but my husband looked underneath and noticed it had the big wooden planks. We tried not to do the happy dance right there in the stranger's yard and offered the seller ten bucks (she was asking $15). Sold! We brought it home and he immediately ripped off the veneer, sanded, and stained. When it was completely dry we used a paste wax to give it a nice smooth finish. The bottom part was ugly flat brown so he just chalk painted it and distressed it to match our buffet. At some point someone had chopped the legs just a bit to make it an odd height, but never fear, this junker keeps a stash of junk in the basement with several sets of vintage casters "just in case." We already had the paint, stain, wax and casters so it actually did only cost $10. Similar tables sell anywhere from $200-$1500. And this people, is why I am a proud junkaholic!
Here it is right after it was finished. It turned out stunning! Love the morning light coming through and resting on the table. We are really getting that blend of a farmhouse-cottage feel now and it's so
cozy. I hadn't really set a tablescape yet in this picture, but even unadorned it is beautiful. I had some
faux pumpkins so I stuck them on top with some leaves until I could get to the market for some real
pumpkins and gourds. So pretty for early autumn.

In my "Saying Goodbye To Summer" post I showed pictures of our white table for the last time. I was
a little worried that the farm table would be too primitive but actually it ties in all of the romantic
farmhouse style elements that I have working into the cottage, so it's pretty much perfect for our décor. And yes, we use it. It's sturdy and wonderful!

You can't help but wonder what meals and stories were shared around this well-worn table. I love the gorgeous depth and age of the wood.

I love coming down stairs and seeing the table first thing in the morning, especially now that it's adorned with autumn goodness!

I have been trying out some some different color combinations of pumpkins and gourds for the centerpiece and they all have looked wonderful. I have so much fun playing with pumpkins it  will probably continue to change and evolve through Thanksgiving.

While we are touring the dining room a bit I'll go ahead and show you my chalkboard. You can see it in the background of some of the photos but it's always a bit blurred.

I just came up with a quick free hand design for early autumn. My younger sister is a very talented artist who just graduated with a degree in graphic design and she loves hand lettering. She's coming to visit this weekend so I'm going to have her create something unique and spooky for Halloween. I'm so excited for her visit!

I digress easily. I get excited, it's fall! It's almost October! Okay, back to the table. For the center I used a very old antique linen runner topped by a few faux gourds mixed in with real gourds and
pumpkins, deer antlers and fall leaves. 

I found the awesome jute place mats at Home Goods for $2.99 each and they matched the Pottery Barn rug ($20 yard sale STEAL!) perfectly. Then I simply set out my cream plates and saucers with tiger striped pumpkins on top. I will add gold flatware, napkins, vintage amber glass saucers and goblets in November.

I have been playing around with different candles for the table. First I used one single pillar and it was nice. Then I used two primitive battery operated flicker candles and they were nice. Finally I 
settled on dollar store pillars that I embellished a little with twine, antique lace, fall leaves and old skeleton keys. Love them!

I am looking forward to many years of family meals and memories shared around this table. It's definitely a keeper!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my previous and upcoming fall posts too! 

Enjoy you upcoming "fall-i-days!"


 2015 Parties:

I've been  featured!:

Parties! creativity4you (Just a little Creativity)

Friday: blogspot/bCGJMl (Common Ground) NoMinimalistHere (No Minimalist Here)

Mod Mix Mondays



Monday, September 23, 2013

Harvest Mantel And Woodland "Pets"

It's really fall now and I have completed most of my indoor decorating just in time for it's arrival. For today's post I would like to show you some woodland creatures who have joined our family for the season!

I have been so inspired by the beautiful posts this season featuring owls. Owls have always seemed a bit sinister so they are perfect for Halloween decorating, but on a positive note, they are gorgeous and also represent wisdom and knowledge. They display very will in fall  décor. I often find vintage owls at the flea market and yard sales and they are usually very inexpensive. On their own they do seem retro tacky, but worked into a vignette they add a bit of natural and mysterious beauty.

This year for my Autumn mantel I wanted to do something very simple that I could change out quickly for Halloween and use again with some tweaks for Thanksgiving. I literally just threw together this mantel chanting my latest decorating mantra: "Use what you have! Use what you have!" 
 First I covered the mantel with a burlap runner. I arranged an ironstone pitcher filled with fall foliage and berries and created a little "fall time" cloche with parts of a vintage watch displayed an old ball jar. I added a couple of ripe harvest fruits, and a vintage flea market owl and estate sale brass candlesticks ($5.00 for the pair). A stack of neutral-toned vintage books and small ironstone mini platters are topped with a vintage flower frog displaying a little monthly prayer book. I added the "Harvest" scrabble tiles (looks like a falling leaf has obscured the letters a bit) and a couple of my favorite white pumpkin soup tureens.  This is a much simpler and quicker mantel than I have created in the past due to my health limitations, since I just don't have the stamina to work on décor for days and hours. Nevertheless, I am pleased with how it turned out. I need to scoot that candlestick in a bit on the right though! I'll have to take another photo and edit the post later.
Whooooo's ready for fall? I am!

I have no idea what happened with my camera here, as it joined the two pictures together but I like it!

Moving on around the dining room...

I have to travel out of town for my doctor visits where there is a Home Goods and if I am feeling up to it we try to do a quick stop. Even though I have been sticking to my mantra and refraining from buying new seasonal décor, I did find this one owl I couldn't live without for only $7.99. I wanted to keep him for a pet so I brought him home and put him in my 1930's birdcage. Those big eyes just suckered me in!

I am starting to add just a little bit of Halloween touches here and there. I think this little bird cage display looks enough like fall to work without screaming Halloween, but if you look closely you can see "Watch Out" at the base of the owl. In October I will start lighting him up and he will look a lot spookier.
I filled the cage with Spanish moss and  realistic looking faux leaves. I added a tarnished silver plate tray for reflection and a vintage silver plate vase repurposed as a candle holder for a grubby primitive candle. I love this display!

Here is my fall buffet display which I will be creating a post for later in the week, but I wanted to show you the sweet little owl picture I found at an estate sale for .25. If you look in the basket you can see him peeking through his "cage."

Oh how I love quarter treasures! I stuck him in the basket with some leaves to add a bit of fall to the display and didn't realize until I took the pictures that I had inadvertently created another caged owl display. Magic! Don't you love how vintage junk just has a way of coming together?

Lastly I want to show you something "deer" to my heart. I purchased this deer lawn statue right after Christmas at an estate sale. I have been meaning to creating a post about her forever so I thought fall would be a perfect time to introduce her.

I buy what speaks to my heart and don't always know about what is trending in decorating. I sometimes get frustrated because I think I have an original idea, and then I see something similar pop up in a magazine a few months later. In this summer's Flea Market Style, there is a page featuring a similar deer which talks about bringing outdoor lawn sculptures indoor and it being a hot new trend. I have had "pet" deer inside since January!

She is a pampered pet, wouldn't you agree?

Well I don't know about you but I am just ecstatic about fall! September is my bloggerversary and it was fall decorating that inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I am looking forward to the next few months in blog land and seeing all of the gorgeous autumn and holiday displays!

Happy fall!!!!

I am honored that his post has been featured at these parties:

Parties: blogspot/QoLtm (FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE) NoMinimalistHere (No Minimalist Here)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Architectural Salvage "Ladder"

Hello everyone, hope you are having a lucky and fun Friday the 13th!

Before I start redecorating my corner cabinet for fall and Halloween I want to show the architectural salvage porch piece that I am using to display my dried flowers and favorite lace. My last post was about adding fall to the kitchen and I highlighted some of my primitive elements, but most of my style is "shabby-junky-chic-romantic cottage." Actually I just buy (or salvage, scrounge, repurpose, etc.) and use whatever vintage junk speaks to me, and if I like it I make it work somehow!

 Here is an example:

First off, I would like to apologize once again for poor picture quality. When I get the urge to do a post, it's just easier to snap with my iphone but the pictures aren't very good and as you can see from the light coming in the window, my dining room is very bright and it's difficult to get good pictures even with my real camera. I know you all are creative and talented people who can visualize how it all looks in real life and you'll forgive my lack of photography skills! Along with sewing, learning to use my camera is also on my to-do list!
Okay enough of that. Let's talk about this "ladder," which is actually an ornamental architecture piece  from a porch. I bought it from another junk lady simply because it was old and chippy, originally thinking I was going to hang above a door opening, but when I propped it up I decided to use in different ways. At Christmas, my vintage knee hugger elves are displayed on the "rungs."
This spring I got the idea to display my dried flowers on it since I usually get nice bouquets of roses from the cast on the last night of our musicals and I had been wanting a unique way to display them so the ladder works nicely.
I am an absolute sucker for vintage lace. I just can't resist it. The older, the better. I have found a lot of old intricate lace and tatting from the 1800's on numerous occasions and I just marvel at the skill it took to make it all. I like draping the lace over the spindles so it's easy to see the details.

                     Some of my shabby-junky-chic favorite things...


I love adding things to the house that are part of my dream homes. Although I love cottage style and the goal of our exterior look is to evoke a magical, story book cottage, I am also crazy about Victorian homes and farmhouses. Who says you can't have it all? I just add pieces of those styles here and there. In my dining room I have a rustic farm table, an old farmhouse salvaged door propped up as a divider, this corner display, and a very French chair that some people would never dare to put in the same room with a primitive farm table, but it all works for me and gives me a little bit of everything I love. After all, our homes should be a reflection of what we love. With a little creativity and imagination, it all comes together.

Now I'm off to party hop for fall inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Amber blogspot/QoLtm (FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE) blogspot/bCGJMl (Common Ground)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fall Kitchen Tweaks: "Use What You Have"

Happy September! I am just getting started adding a few fall touches around the house. I started with the top of my fridge and kitchen cabinets. This year I decided to go with the "use what you have" idea and I just took things from around the kitchen that already had fall tones and added in some faux pumpkins, leaves and gourds. I am not able to go digging through my fall decorations because I am just too weak from all of my various health issues but I am really enjoying how it turned out anyway. I kind of like the challenge of being forced to be creative with what you have. If I have one of my "good days" this week I'm going to try to get my husband to get the totes out so I can start really decorating but I just couldn't stand it any longer! I love fall!!!!

 I collect vintage soda memorabilia and normally I have several coke items on display in the summer. For fall I swapped out the red, white and blue Americana themed accents for my orange Sun Crest crate and added some fall tea towels. I noticed the orange writing on the Maxwell House tin and decided it would work for fall with a pumpkin on top.

I like to use vegetables in my autumn displays since it is harvest time. My stepfather, Frank, passed away a few years ago. The canned veggies are the ones he grew and canned just a month before he passed. They are very dear to me. I was so excited when I found the vintage Frank's beverage crate! Perfect for displaying the jars! 
I found this old gumball machine a while back and have been intending to paint it a creamy white and fill it with pearls but for now I decided to fill it with festive candy corn for fall. Behind it is my favorite old ice cream bucket  filled with burlap scraps and topped it with a realistic faux pumpkin. I remembered the wooden blackbird in the basement and decided to add him to the bucket. I especially love his  rusty bottle cap eye. 
For the most part my decorating style is a "junky chic" potpourri of vintage treasures with the most focus on romantic cottage style, but I do love primitive accents, especially in the fall. Adding country primitive pieces to the cottage gives our home a bit of farmhouse charm as well.

 I recently found the large white duck for $5 at a rummage sale. I had been wanting one for years but couldn't bring myself to pay the ridiculously high asking prices in most primitive shops. Gotta love junkin'!

One the things I love best about primitive decorative is the ambience created by the use of lighting. I like how this strand of silicone dipped rice lights cast a soft, golden autumn glow and a grubby primitive candle placed inside the old grater creates interesting light.

Well after editing the photos and getting a good look at what I've done, I have decided that I like the look of my kitchen now  just as well as any of my other displays in the past using traditional fall decorations. I will probably add a few more things when we actually drag at the totes but I am really thinking about the stress and time it takes to keep everything in storage and I'm seriously considering purging some things since I have enough junk around the house to use in seasonal displays anyway.

 I hope this post inspires you to look around the house for things you already have that you can use in new ways. It's really fun!

Have a great weekend!

Great Parties!

  blogspot/QoLtm (FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE) blogspot/bCGJMl (Common Ground)