Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Autumn

I'm interrupting the great Debbie exploration to bring you a little bit of fall decorating. Fall is, after all, my favorite season of the year. It's probably the season that is the most like me. You know... kind of dried up and chilly with periodic flashes of unwelcome heat.

I love it, though, and it appears that it might actually be here to stay. For that, I'm truly thankful. It makes me feel more like bringing it into the house.

I've been working on my mantel.  It's different this year, thanks in part to my decision to drag another window out of the attic and off  The List

This is one of several old windows in my attic that used to hang at our church. I'm trying to use them all differently.

So with this one, I pounded out the glass instead of leaving it in.

Then, instead of painting it, I stripped the window to its bare wood. I thought it was more fallish that way.  That, by the way, was not a project for sissies. Stripping exterior wood is a lot different than interior wood.

Yeah, I know I could have just bought an unpainted window, but I where's the history and adventure in that?

I was planning to use a grapevine wreath on it, but then I saw Vanessa's post At the Picket Fence so I decided to copy her corn husks instead.

As you can see, my taste is pretty streamlined. I see (and love) all of the beautifully appointed mantels in blog land and often try to duplicate them. I'll dink away for a while and finally remove half of it. I think I'm just a simple gal with simple tastes at heart.    

Plus, autumn in south Georgia isn't draped with colorful foliage. 
It mainly looks like this. 

A favorite Steubenville plate just because I like the colors...

Gourds on one side, and pumpkins on the other. 

This morning, I added these cattails. 

I'm not sure about them.
They might hippity hop down to the hearth or maybe to another room completely. 

What do you think? Should the cattails stay or go? 

Posting this with Table Top Tuesday and since Miss Vanessa was my inspiration, I'm schlepping it to  Inspiration Friday. as well.


T.O. Geezer said...

Your fall decorations look great! My wife loves this time of the year too. She's a big time baker & decorator and I'm a big time eater :-)

Have a Great Week! :-)

BTW, thanks for your comment on my "Don't Mess With Old People!" post. ~Ron

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Good for you, Debbie! I have done ZERO Fall decorating yet this year. Your mantel looks very nice. Since you asked... the cattails do add another texture to your vignette, and I always love texture, but they're taking my eye away from your pretty new wreath. Personally, I would first try them tucked in behind and between the gourds and plate (they'll show up better in front of the white). If that doesn't keep the eye focused "front and center" enough, I'd tuck them in laid down flat (rather than in a vase) - or take them away entirely. [Now, did you REALLY want to know?]

no spring chicken said...

Exactly what I was going to say Susan... well, I didn't think of the laid down flat thing. Your autumnal display looks terrific. I have to do a bit of house flushing before I dare to decorate. I'm hoping to do it today, but then again I was hoping to do it yesterday and Friday and Thursday...

Blessings, Debbie

Cass @ That Old House said...

LOVE the cattails. I like the asymmetrical height they give to the mantel.
Which, BTW, is gorgeous!
Love the plate, and the gourds behind bars.
Plus -- the season is like you? Hahahaha... laughed a lot, b/c that describes me too!

Cass @ That Old House said...

PS Me again. If you answer questions in your comments, the questioner most likely won't see them -- I don't know many people who go back and check comments on posts they've already read and commented on.

To ensure they'll see your answer, you can just click on their name at the top of their comments, it will bring you to their blogs, and you can leave your answer in a comment on that blog. Easy!

sweet violets said...

Love this mantle decor.....esp. the window and wreath....very simple and elegant....hugs...cleo

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

You're way ahead of me, girl! I've got to go find mine in the garage first, and get busy. Your mantel looks great too. I love your pretty wreath...good job.

Dianne said...


Ann said...

I see others have already made the same suggestion. Keep the cat tails, but put them on the other side of the window.

Also, had you considered putting mirrors in the open window slots? Perhaps one or two ... not all four panes?

I can no longer decorate my mantel .... not with the big dumb TV up there now. : /


Ann said...

Hm? I guess I should have counted the panes .... 6! Not 4 .... LOL!

Oh, a reason I would move the cat tails to the other side was to balance the colors. It's very light on the left and darker on the right.

In any case, you do a splendid job of decorating. I can sew, but I can't seem to arrange my house well at all!

Cheers, again!

Sonja said...

I think stay... they add another dimension of height.

Good job!! :)

Kathryn Ross said...

Well, we finally have a real CHILL in the air here in South Jersey and it feels great! So glad I got my fall stuff a month ago - trying to herald in the cozy! I'm a bit more "abundant" than you - and I might have left that window glass in and just painted over the wood. But, you've done a great job with your Georgia Autumn mantle. All the right touches. Love how you're always tweaking, though. You'll have to let us know if you move the cat-o-nine tails!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I love the cattails, Debbie! And, your whole mantle looks great. I do think there is some kind of message in your attraction to "stripping down to bare wood" right now... I'm just sayin'. ;) LOL! I LOVE the window frame. It is my favorite thing of all. Love the cotton and the book... church window... the whole thing tells a story of the south. And, you know I love that. hugs and blessings ~ tanna

Tricia said...

Debbie, I don't do abundant well, either. I prefer simple! Sometimes my vignettes are TOO sparse, I'm sure. I love your mantel -- mine is still almost bare, awaiting inspiration and probably the purchase of some gourds. I like the cattails, but I think the wonderful window and wreath stand out better without them.

Sharon said...

Looks like the intermission in *The Great Debbie Exploration Adventure* was quite productive!

The mantle looks great. I vote that the cat-tails STAY. I think it always adds interest when different *heights* are brought in. As to putting them on the left - that's not a bad idea. Especially letting the white kinda highlight them.

The church window is lovely. You are an amazing stripper...just sayin' I have to agree with Tanna in the above comment. There probably IS a great lesson in that window. God is always working on getting us back to that original design He had in mind in Eden. And sometimes, it just involves a lot of laborious, time-consuming stripping of the layers...


But, from a strictly decorating viewpoint - I really like your vignette. You continue to be a tastefully refined Southern belle.


At The Picket Fence said...

Oh YAY!! How fun to come over here and see your corn husk wreath!! It looks absolutely beautiful and I think I actually like yours better than mine...hmmm...maybe I will copy your copy next time around. LOL! Your entire mantel looks just lovely all dressed for fall and I'm thrilled that you are going to be sharing it at Inspiration Friday this week!
Blessings to you,

Barbara F. said...

I love that window, Debbie, and your mantle. I especially love that book, my favorite to boot! Hope you are feeling better these days. xo

Kathleen said...

Hi testing testing

Kathleen said...

Sorry about the previous nonsense comment. I've been trying to comment here for a couple of days and just not been able to - very frustrating!

Anyway, I'm here now. I love your mantel. I think you've got the balance between too much and too little just right. The little touch I like is the Gone With the Wind and cotton boll on top of it - so appropriate.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my Indian Summer post, it made my day.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed this comment makes it!

Miss Char said...

Debbie, this looks great, I love the window effect as the centerpiece. For me I'd keep the tails. Thanks for sharing your south GA fall. BTW, if you want to see lots of color come on up, I've got guest rooms all ready for you and the color is just coming in.

Denise said...

Well, this south Georgia cotton farmer's wife just LOVED the cotton boll!! It definitely says fall to me. The window and wreath are so different. I love them as well. As for the cattails...I guess I would have to see them on the other side because I'm not sure changing them would change everything that much. (Dark cage on one side and dark box on the other). I think I just like them where they are. Great fall mantel, BTW!

Pam said...

I liked your streamlined look. Your window is gorgeous. I agree that the wooden look is much more fallish looking. Worth the stripping effort.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Lovin' your window on the mantle Debbie, I can just see it with pretty snow flakes dangling down between the panes shortly! Happy Fall:@)

elizabeth said...

Cattails stay! Your mantel is perfection and the cattails are a lovely finishing touch. Love, love, love what you've done!

Sherry said...

That looks beautiful Debbie. I like the window and the wreath! Very creative too.

FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh, I love it! Fall is my favorite too!!! I desperately need to decorate my porch. I wish I could do my mantle, but it's now got a big 'ole TV and a Direct TV box. So Not Pretty!

As far as the cattails go, I like the texture and the height. Love it!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh Debbie you are not dried up! You have it way over me, at the risk of being kicked out of blog land, I don't do fall decorating, It is back in the 90's here in Orlando. If it ever gets to the 70's I will have to take out a coat mittens! I'm not much of a clutter girl either, I kind of like stream lining! Hum cat tails...I love cats!


Chatty Crone said...

I have the same Gone With the Wind book - and I must say that window turned out amazingly. Love it. You have no worries - it was lovely.


HHL said...

Thank you for visiting my little corner of blogland! Autumn is also my favourite season... your window frame turned out beautiful!! Your mantle looks great! HHL

Kelley said...

Love the history "in the window." Beautiful mantel, and fun!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Looks great...my son has a garage full of old gym windows, he found them at a great price and hasn't decided what to do with them...I should send his wife your post.

You have a mantel!! There isn't one in this house...first time ever, well it is just sheetrock without any depth...so decorating will be a challenge this year. UGH!

Welcome fall...but could you not bring your allergies?

Mevely317 said...

Me, too! ... Lovin' Fall, that is! I hope Heaven is just like autumn!

Kelli said...

STAY! The mantel is so inviting and I'd love to sip cider with you. It's fallish here as well and we actually used the fire pit tonight. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your prayers for my precious friends. Their lives forever changed and longing for heaven like never before. I was at a retreat with his mother this weekend and her emotions are still raw, understandably. We all cried with her. Again, thank you!

Dayle said...

I'm a simple kind of gal, too, and I love your choices for the mantel, cat tails and all. You're way ahead of me. I've decided no indoor fall decorating this year ... it just doesn't last long enough in SE Texas, so I put a few crotons and pumpkins outdoors and will be lighting fall-smelling candles inside. Gotta have that, for sure.

Babs said...

Your mantel looks great. Love your corn husk wreath. Where did you find the corn husks? I was at Michael's and they don't carry them. Love Gone with the Wind and the cotton. Can't get any more Southern than that. :)
The cat tails... well they look like they're too far to the right. I liked the photo without them better. The window pane and wreath make a nice focal point. Good luck. :)

At The Picket Fence said...

Beautiful Debbie! I am in love with your pumpkins and gourds in the metal piece and your two pumpkins sitting in the wood box, that is just too lovely! Your wreath turned out amazing as well! Beautiful autumn decor! :)


Amy Kinser said...

Hey Debbie! I love your mantel. I think it all looks just wonderful.

I have one more thing to say...YOU GO GIRL!!

Can't wait to see more.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Stay. I say they stay. Love what you did with the mantle. Looks spiffy!



Ms.Daisy said...

I love the stripped down window with the corn husk wreath. Actually, I like the mantel just the way it is but I have a feeling you will be tweaking it a bit more before long. Thank you for the sweet comment on my grandbaby's birthday post.


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Gorgeous mantel Debbie!

I remember making corn husk wreaths at the farm. Of course, we had an abundance of corn husks back in those days.:-)

Anonymous said...

This is lovely, Debbie, I love it. So many favorites of mine, including the book, and, of course, you know how I feel about autumn.

Thank you for your kind words about Boon. :( Difficult days for us but I agree, let's not miss the beauty of the season by not lifting our eyes. Thank you.

PS-I have not forgotten your tag, just need some time.
Much love,

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I love your mantel. You are very creative. Did you make that wreath? I am so not crafty. Have to buy things already made. We don't get much fall color here either.

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Hey I have a window like that! Hmmmmm.

I had a pile of cat tails sitting around last week getting ready to decorate and some small four footed predator in my home thought they looked like sausages. Cat tail poof everywhere. LOL.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

LOL! I like the cotton on GWTW! I think the cattails should stay. Your mantel is lovely! I really like the corn husk wreath!

Canadagirl said...

I have to say...STAY. I love love love what you are doing here. I love old frames and need to find one. They have so much character and I love the ones with history. It make it oh so much better! Your cattails gives it more demention to it. I need to find a way to decorate in some fall'ish way. I am not someone who tends to do this b/c I have so much going on and so many piles that take up the decorating room. ((blush))

But I do have a eye for things and need to stop being lazy. [o=

Blessings and ((HUGS))

Nezzy said...

What a beautiful mantel ya got there. You did a magnificent job and I just adore that corn husk wreath!!! I'd move the cattails down on the hearth to keep your focal point where ya want it.

God bless ya and have a glorious day sweetie!!!

Maryann said...

Love the mantle, wouldn't change a thing. I am going to copy the window idea for my mantle, I have a garage full of them, I love the look

Mary said...

I have to chuckle at "kind of dried up and chilly with periodic flashes of unwelcome heat" :)

Love your mantle with the refinished window frame! Your book with the cotton reminds of your FUN, FUN cotton field table!

SavannahGranny said...

I love your mantel. I can't find any cotton around here. We never get color until almost Christmas. The window turned out great and I like the cattails on the mantel. Hugs, Ginger

Jen said...

I say, Cattails go, but really, I don't know much. It's just about symmetry. And by the way, I've missed you!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I really, really like this!! Wish I had a window :-(

Maybe the cattails should go on the hearth instead of the mantle.


Patti said...

Totally gorgeous!! You decorate as beautifully as you write.

And "Gone with the Wind" is an awesome addition to anyone's decorating scheme.


Kathleen said...

You did a great job on the window and the wreath! I have done nada! I think I will just go right to Cmas! It takes me so long to carry everything up and down.
Wait, I lied. I stuck a scarecrow from Michaels in a plant on the porch!
As always, thanks for your sweet comments and beware! Those witches know where you live!

xinex said...

Great idea on the window, Debbie. It looks beautiful up there. Love your Fall decorated mantel. Thanks for being persistent in leaving a comment..Christine

Lynn Richards said...

who cares if you copy a mantle or make one up? At least you decorate for fall!!!!
I vote take the cat tails down, it distracts from the wreath and it's really cute!! I'm going over to Vanessa's to check it out.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

These are beautiful decorations. I like cattails personally...and Gone with the Wind

Anita said...

Hey, I couldn't make a comment above, so I hope you see this one! Those are the cutest scarecrows!! It is such a great idea too. I've been trying to figure out what to do with some old windows, but I don't have a mantle, so can't try this! I'm so glad you like the song and happy you were able to get it!! We'll have the whole CD out by end of the month.

Crickit said...

Debbie! I just needed to say... I absolutely love your mantle decor! It is just perfectly beautiful! :)


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