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vintage white fall tablescape

over the next several posts, I'm going to show you how to use the same basic elements
to create three different tablescape styles for fall.

today we begin with a style that expresses soft, feminine vintage look in a pale palette:
Tablescape #1: the Vintage White table 

white, ivory, and soft tan colors are represented in the linens, dinnerware, natural materials
and decorative accessories.

branches of dried eucalyptus leaves are used for the centerpiece, 
paired with leaves cut from vintage paper.
in this case, the paper is vintage sheet music - 
you can find my tutorial to make these leaves HERE.
the leaves are placed in a weighted vase, which is covered with a creamy and soft sweater sleeve.
the vase is placed on top of a cake pedestal in the center of the table.
an assortment of both real and handmade pumpkins in white and ivory colors 
gather around the vase and under the pedestal.
a few extra leaves and white carnation blooms are placed throughout the arrangement.
candles in white and soft ivory are placed around the centerpiece
[not too close to the dried leaves and cotton sweater pumpkins!]

another vintage touch is the addition of glass canning jars, with votive & tealight candles on top
you could fill the jars with white beans, seeds, or other natural materials 
to coordinate with the color palette if you wanted to.
the dinnerware for this setting is white ceramic, the vintage flatware has a floral design,
and the linen is a vintage embroidered tablecloth and damask napkins. 
a soft tan napkin would look lovely in this arrangement, as well.
 as shown in my last tablescape, the coffee cup is used as a place marker holder - 
and the take-home gift of a small Sweet Sweater Pumpkin nestles in the cup, as well.

stay tuned for my next post, and watch this tablescape change!


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to This Party...

 the alternate title that I was considering for this post was 
'when plan A turns into plan B turns into plan C'
because the point of this post would be when you plan your decor for a party,
plan for a last-minute change in case of unforeseen events
(rain on the day of an outdoor event, for example)
and then plan for any other casualty that may occur however remote the possibility.
in other words: be ready to think on your feet!

the table decor shown in my last post
was designed for a guest list of seven, for a brunch to be held indoors.
so a large table to fit all of the guests and a long, low centerpiece was plan A.

recap: plan A illustrated below:
yep, that was the plan.
until two of the guests cancelled.
ok, no problem...
actually, it was more than fine because hosting a smaller group 
meant that the brunch could be held outdoors on the patio.
all of the same planned elements could be used for the table setting,
with a few adjustments...

cue plan B:
the planned centerpiece goes from being long and low 
to being arranged on an ivory china pedestal in a round configuration, 
adding height to the center of the round table now being used. 

removing the darker green/gray pumpkins and leaves from the plan A centerpiece,
 and using only the pale ivory and warm spice tones for the pumpkins and gourds and leaves,
made the arrangement more simple -
which is smart when being used on a smaller table.
the place settings remain the same -
except the decision is made to serve Champagne instead of red wine,
so the bowl wine glasses change to flutes.
as planned, place cards are simple manilla tags tied to coffee cup handles.
mini pumpkins sit in each cup, and the napkins slip through the cup handles.
the guests were a bit delayed, so brunch became a late lunch.
fortunately the menu was quiche and salad, easy to hold over.
the weather was warmer than planned for, 
but other than that it was a lovely and relaxing autumn afternoon!

sometimes, you just can't know what might happen...
a little extra preparation makes it possible to tweak the plan and come out looking like a pro!


fall tablescape: spice it up!

some eye candy to inspire you for fall...  
this spicy autumn palette is perfect for a fall gathering of any kind...
simple elements combine for a low centerpiece that doesn't impede dinner conversation
and candles on two levels add warmth to the setting
[ always use unscented candles at the table,
 so that the scents and flavors of food and wine are not altered ]
use a coffee cup as a napkin and 'place card' holder to save space!
making your place cards a take-home treat is a thoughtful gesture -
and it can be as simple as a mini pumpkin [or - dare I say - a Sweet Sweater Pumpkin! ;0) ]
the large leaf placemats under the centerpiece are cut from felt
[ available at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $1.99 each! five colors ]



debuting today is the new BROADWAY+THRESHER website and blog

this new publication (premiers in 2013)
will focus on the blend of urban sensibility and rural lifestyle
exploring the cutting edge of architecture, art, fashion, food and artisanal manufacturing 
and the untold stories of the people who have made it possible.

this publication was developed by a talented and hardworking team of writers 
whom I have had the pleasure to meet and work with on another publication:
David Gobeli and Andrew Kohn.
their staff of expert curators and contributing writers reflect the diversity of city-meets-country style.
this promises to be a sophisticated rural perspective like nothing you've seen before.

it's literally a crossroads of downtown and down home
this vintage street sign was the inspiration for the magazine's name...
head over to their website to read the whole story!

NOV 14: a guest blog post by 
Debi Ward Kennedy of HOMEWARDfound Decor

Also in November, a guest post by BROADWAY+THRESHER 
here on HOMEWARDfound


Happy Halloween!

i have always enjoyed adding sweet little seasonal decor touches to my home.
it all began with my Mom, who did the same thing when i was a little debby,
and i continued the tradition with my four kids.
it never took a lot, just a fun tablesetting on the morning of a special day
and a touch in the entry of our home, to set a mood.
the photos here are of a display i created in the window of our kitchen one year,
using my prolific pumpkin collection.
now my kids are adults, with families of their own, and they continue this tradition!
Halloween has so many great memories for me... here's just one:
Years ago, when my four kids were small, we'd travel from our home in the mountains to a friend's home in the valley. She lived in a neighborhood with hundreds of nice houses, so it was a prime Trick or Treating location. We'd have a great time taking our combined five kids around the neighborhood, while the hubbies stayed at her house and handed out candy to the munchkins. When we returned, there was candy for the kids and a nice dessert for the adults, while we all watched 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'. Then we'd head home with our exhausted brood - and it was an hour drive from her house to mine.

EVERY year, she'd call my home phone and leave a message before I even got to my house - saying something along the lines of  "BEAT 'CHA! I got all my Halloween decor put away and my house is decorated for THANKSGIVING already!" Cracked me up.

In a similar thought, I know some bloggers and pinners are already posting Holiday content - but I just can't go there yet. There are a few posts I want to share with you, filled with Thanksgiving Inspiration, and then it's full-bore into Holiday content. I even have a FABULOUS giveaway lined up already! Stay tuned...


Fast, Cheap & Easy: Last-Minute Halloween Party Decor

 so it's THREE DAYS before Halloween
and you're thinking 'If it hasn't been done yet, I don't have time to do it'.
Halloween should be scary, but not because you aren't prepared...
here are a few tips to help you put together some EYEPOPPING Halloween Party decor

In the photo above, there are some great ideas:
*make a paper banner
*spray paint some old frames black and orange
*put black masks from the Dollar Tree store on pumpkins
*haul out all the black pillows and candlesticks and accessories you can find.

but here's the big idea:
unearth an old chair or piano bench or small table or mirror - a really ugly ornate one -
from your garage or shed or wherever you stash stuff.
you know, the stuff you don't want the hubby to see that you picked up free off the curb last trash day. 
[no judgement here, sister!]
 then spray paint it orange. BRIGHT orange. 
When done, you'll have a hot orange prop for your party - 
use it on the serving table to show off your scary snacks and terrorizing treats!
Whether it's a table, a bench, a chair or a mirror, one POP of orange will make an impact
and pull everyone's eyes into your table scene. they'll ignore everything else in the room. 
this works in retail stores, as shown here- it will work in your house. trust me.
Another FAST way to make your table scary good is to use lots of party paraphernalia:
*use pedestals and stands to show off the goodies
*use all white or black or clear dishes to coordinate the look and make the food the star -
and serve fun BRIGHT foods: orange, yellow, green, purple!
*use battery-op candles on a table for safety (the ones shown here look like candy corn!)
 *hang lengths of orange & yellow ribbon from the chandeliers / light fixtures
 this huge chandelier in an entry hall is hung with mini plastic & paper pumpkins on fuzzy yarn
[from the Dollar Tree store, naturally]
and long strips of black netting.
 Last tip:
grab some bright orange flowers from the grocery store 
and use them to add more of the orange color all over the house with minimum effort.
it's fast, it's easy - and after the party, you can enjoy them


Pumpkins on Parade!

I spent Thursday on the road with a van full of Sweet Sweater Pumpkins,
 delivering them to two of my FABULOUS local retailers here in Southern California - 
let me share them with you!

 One was A Beautiful Mess by Kymberley Fraser, located in Agoura Hills.
Her daughter took one look at the orange pumpkins and declared that the front window needed one...
I think she found the perfect place for it!

[although if it were ME, I might have tucked the pumpkin under his ribcage, in the place where his heart would be....'cause, well, these babies are the heart of my business right now!]
Kymberley's store is beautiful, and the neutral pumpkins fit perfectly
with all of her soft, warm, colors and the elegance of rustic industrial style.

I love how she has them displayed in this old wooden goat cart on a harvest table...
Kymberley has a selection of pumpkins in a neutral palette in sizes from mini to Extra Large
[the Extra Large size is ONLY available from these two retailers]
and now, she has some very special pumpkins made from Angora and Cashmere sweaters!
I delivered 12, and half of them sold before they even went into a display!

I so enjoyed meeting Kymberley's husband and daughter,
her store manager Amy,
and her really sweet customer Heather and daughter
(thank you so much for your enthusiastic support of my little product!)

I want to let you know about a VERY special event this weekend
over at Julie O'Keefe Home & Garden in La Canada
[um, that's pronounced "Lah Can-yah-dah" for those not from the Southland. It has nothing at all to do with our neighbors to the North!]

Julie is hosting a party on Friday & Saturday, and Sweet Sweater Pumpkins were invited!

She's all stocked up and even has some new colors and sizes to offer,
please click HERE for information about her event.

Her shop is as lovely as her booth at the Remnants of the Past show was... 
speaking of which, here are a few photos from last weekend!
 Julie is an incredible floral designer with applause-worthy original ideas,
like these darling vintage linen flower pockets...
I can just see this on a doorknob, a doorknocker, an armoire handle, 
or filled with flowers as a sweet hostess gift for ANY season!

 The Limited Edition 'Luxe' collection Cashmere & Angora Pumpkins were very popular,
and perfectly presented some one-of-a-kind artisan button bracelets...
The regular Sweet Sweater Pumpkins nestled into several displays, 
showing how they coordinate with many kinds of decor:
 All of the vintage linen accessories you see here are handmade by Julie...
beautiful lavender sachets, cell phone purses, tote bags, aprons, flower pouches,
pillows, tea towels, tree & gift package ornaments.... I don't think Julie ever SLEEPS!
I am just so very grateful that Julie had my pumpkins in her booth at this wonderful show, 
and allowed me to come and be her booth helper.
We had so much fun working together to set up the booth, and then during the show!

This is the very best part of being in business - 
the amazing people I meet, the support I can give AND receive, 
and the wonderful experiences & opportunities that come my way.

and just think...
it all started with a pumpkin ;0)  my grandpa would love that! 

I've been collecting pumpkins my whole life, and I love to decorate with them in fall.
my grandpa used to call me, his first-born red-headed granddaughter, his 'Little Pumpkin Eater'.
his nickname for me started a collection that my mom and I have been adding to for decades.
that's what seasonal decorating is to me: meaningful.