Vampire Pumpkin Mantel

Happy Halloween to my favorite fanged fans!

via Martha Stewart

Ghoulish whispers, foggy night
Haunted cornfield, chilling fright
Open window, creaky door
Wind-whisked curtains brush the floor

Dusty mantel, flickering glow
Chandelier swaying, Scent of snow
Muslin bandage drags the dirt
Witches cackle, bloody shirt

Rusted bed frame, dusty lamp
Torn book pages cold hands clamp
Scent of pumpkins burnin’ afar
Broken acorns fill mason jar

Thistle and dried rose stems scatter
Splintered floorboard pitter-patter
Onions, ale, and carrot stew
House to field wafts wicken brew

Haunted Eve, a Halloween poem by Fresh Cut Spaces

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Winter… Ahem! FALL Renovation Update

Hello friends!

MotoMan and I have been working hard these past few months improving our lives professionally, re-vamping our home, teaching wee-ones how to swim, and organizing/nesting. Travelling’s coming soon, too! We’ve just established a winter-home improvement plan of attack. After working all fall on the front of our house, MM and I are moving things indoors to avoid frostbite. We removed the old, old, old aluminum awning and siding. We chopped down and pulled out the huge hedges out front. And we drank wine and Sailor Jerry rum when things got crazy. (Not together). MM restored the brackets (corbels, if you will) and painted them a lovely shade of blue. He restored & painted the paneling and porch windows. Then sanded, stripped, and repainted the front door and hardware and is now putting brand new lumber over the ledge. Next week – rebuilding front steps painted to match. I can’t wait to share before/after photos in the next few weeks. Though the landscaping is spring’s task. Sorry, gardeners.

Adios to everything in this photo except for Dixie!!

A few unexpected happenings (aka life) have scooted into our schedule including:

1. One day, when reaching to open the old wood bilco door, the handle remained gripped while the door stayed in place. Thank you hurricanes of the middle Atlantic! Rebuilt bilco door with new lumber, caulked, primed, and painted. It’s a pretty blue to match the planter he built for me this spring. I’d take photos, but they’re covered with snow. Yep, look at my post date.

2. New clients, new jobs, new promotions, new career directions and tests… sorry housey-poo.. less time for you.

3. Basement mini-flood and subsequent airing out of space. Ick. On the bright side, the floor’s clean!

4. Leaves falling. Yardwork calling. (One could argue that this should be expected. We were in la-la land apparently.)

5. Random fall snowstorm. Broken branches. Cold mess. Mud. Broken plants. Dead mums. Hidden pumpkins. General flake-induced destruction.

Plan of Attack:

Plastic-off a portion of the first floor next weekend, jam our furniture into the dining room, and roll up our sleeves! Re-finishing stairs as mentioned right here, wall-papering stair wall as also mentioned there, and [story of our lives] Sand/Spackle/Scrape/Prime/Paint our lovely living room (Churchill Navajo White, duh).  Come January – dun dun dun…. the powder room/first floor laundry room. <cringe> The wonderful thing about first floor laundry is that I will probably never go down to the basement again. Until we move. Hehe. Hey, they call it a man-cave for a reason.

Dear visitors,

Sorry in advance. Don’t wear nice clothes. Beer is welcome. Pardon our dust. And please be ok with sitting in a fold-up camp chair if you drop by.

Love, Us

Back to work! Chop! Chop!

Mad for Mason Jars

While popping into the grocery store for laundry detergent and fabric softener (I recommend Snuggle which is what my mother in law uses and her home smells amazing), I noticed a flat of mason jars. Completely relevant, I know. With my ever-wandering mind, I realized that I never did write that feature on mason jars as I had hoped to do this summer. Since there are no rules here – and I’d be making them anyway – I’m dragging these summery staples right into fall. Here are a few of my favorite creative uses for mason jars. *Click on images for source and how-to’s where available. xo

Mason Jar as candle, torch, oil-light | via Raised in Cotton

Mason Jars as Planters | via CSI Project

Mason Jars as storage | via Lovely Little Details

Mason Jars as lighting | via Decoratualma

Mason Jars as wedding decor | via Style Me Pretty

Mason (or Pickle, or Salsa) Jars as Kids Storage | via Pinterest

Mason Jars as drinking glasses | via Style Me Pretty

And because these lyrics paint a gorgeous, Southern picture of happiness and life and love:

“An old man and an eight year old boy
Rolling down that midnight highway
Warm Kentucky memories from a winter Georgia night
I started drifting off and Grandpa tucked his coat around me
I think I tried to smile as I slowly closed my eyes
And I dreamed I was with him on the farm
Grandpa, I can hear the evening wind out in the corn
Wild flowers in a mason jar and the bus rolling through the night..”

– John Denver

Speedy Post: Little Sachets

I have an Etsy addiction along with almost every other sensible girl on the planet. And sometimes, all the time, I come across a find which I have to share. Instantly. So, here I am – it’s 9:22 on a Sunday night. And I find these beautiful little, scented sachets. They belong in my home. And perhaps yours, too. Lotta Helleberg’s creations bring refreshing design to your dresser, chair, or shelf. Come, sit with me. Enjoy.

Autumn Gold Geranium Sachets via Inleaf on Etsy

Treat Your Windows…

..beautifully. These striped drapes compliment the subtle geometric print of the wall-covering so well, it hurts! Reasons I love this space: the horizontal stripes don’t thwart the towering presence of the curtain panels – in fact, they balance it. The hanging star is such a pleasant surprise and suits the space better than a huge painting. The gold pillows with the dusty purples and grays… the bright orange flowers stealing the show from the corner. The allure. The comfort. It’s unpretentious and yet so rich all at once.

Living Room | The Curtain Exchange

Cool Homegoods Finds: Console

My latest Homegoods find – this charming, rustic console table. The photos don’t do it nearly the justice it deserves, but try to imagine! The colors have somehow achieved both subtlety and vibrancy, making this a unique addition to most any distressed-wood-lovin’ home. See photos below! (By the way, this table was either $129 or $149… and I’m leaning on the lower price – a stylish steal!).

5 Ways to use it!

1. Beside your front door as a mail sorter and key holder – place a pretty pottery dish on top and a dark woven basket on the shelf for outgoing mail.
2. In your kitchen to hold your microwave. Store bread or snacks in behind the doors or cute dishtowels in the drawer!
3. As a side table in your bedroom – that’s right – but I’d recommend this only if your bed is on the higher side.
4. Bring some country into your home office – great for a printer, to hold photos, or to store office supplies.
5. In your powder room. Set a vessel sink (like this!) on top, wall-mount a faucet, and [find someone to] disguise plumbing behind the drawer. Set some hand-towels and jars on the shelf!

Halloween in Paper

I love the handmade look of paper Halloween decorations and I hope this trend hangs around. The following pieces of paper decor have vintage flair and elements of both charm and creepiness. I hope you find some inspiration for your Halloween party – I’m posting this a few weeks early in case, like me, you wish to order everything on this list in time for the 31st!

"Daring" Treat Labels | Crafty Pagan Designs, Etsy

Bat Invitation | Easy Made Invitations, Etsy

Creepy Mice Decorations | Cotton Ridge Emporium, Etsy

Hanging Letter Banner | Party Paper Scissors, Etsy

25' Paper Garland | Sweet Things Etsy by Mara May, Etsy

Spooky Favor Bags | Crafty Pagan Designs, Etsy

Have a spooooky Halloween!!

Mapping Out Style

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

No better words could introduce today’s feature. Life and design are about thinking outside your comfort zone, exploring, taking chances, and finding influence in the world around you (the entire world, that is). Not only are maps a visual resource and directional guide, they’re beautiful displays of possibility, extents, and discovery. I liken “maps as decor” to reverse-Impressionistic painting. Up close, they are intricate, clear, and intriguing; from across a room, these details are transformed into lines, shapes, and subtle changes in color. Bring maps into your home as both art and inspiration. Some worldly backdrops…

DIY Map Drawer Console | Flea Market Trixie

Maps on Ceiling | Kevin Sharkey via Martha Stewart Living

Maps Arranged in Grid | Dransfield & Ross

Wallpaper | Elle Decor

Layered Maps | Kevin Sharkey via Martha Stewart Living

Map Throw Pillows | via My Bearded Pigeon on Etsy

Kids Bedroom with Map Wallpaper | via Pinterest

City Map as Poster | via Pinterest

Garden Getaway

Yes, even as the weather is cooler and the leaves are trickling down around us, spending time outside is so refreshing and grounding. Here’s a garden scene that just took my breath away. How wonderful would it be to sit under a knit blanket with a friend and some hot cider in this setting? I hope you’re inspired to create your own space in nature to escape and gather your thoughts.

Garden Escape | Scotch & Scones via Tumbler

The LoveSac is a Little Old Place…

…we can get together!! About 8 months ago, I discovered the casual, yet fabulous comfort of LoveSac. The name initially creeped both me and my client out, but once this wonderful and versatile cushion-y chair-rocker-y thing was in her home, we both agreed, it is worth the weird looks. Also, professionally speaking, I’m not allowed to acknowledge any degree of “goofiness” when it comes to shapes of desks in plan, pillow chair names, or the like. Unless the client begs me to acknowledge. Which happens all too often.. And I promise I’m a good sport. (Giggle) (Darn you, Pioneer Woman!!)

We selected the Pillow Sac in “King Phur” for her children’s playroom. I’d post some photos of the actual space, but we have some finishing touches to accomplish before showing it off. Naturally, when this monster arrived, it was incredibly huge and awkward. Once the insert was sealed up all pretty in the cover and placed on the rocker, it looked a little something like this.

Photo courtesy of LoveSac.com

But, like – not nearly this bright grape-juicy color. It’s more of a subtle, royal, less-shiny purple without a halogen spotlight exposing every last fiber.  I promise.

It looks really sharp with freshly painted walls in Timothy Straw (Benjamin Moore). This next image illustrates the refreshing, yet neutral hue. In the playroom, it looks gorgeous with the dark wood floors and white trim. Swoon. Word on the street is that the kids seem to dig it as well. Hooray!

Timothy Straw | My Cup Overflowing