FALL, in the foyer

This Fall, I’m definitely into pumpkins and the warmth of falling leaves and I think the foyer is the perfect place to display a family-representative pumpkin as well as one that says…

  “WELCOME HOME”!

             

And I wish I could shrink myself down to spend time in this sweet Craft Shop and attend the Scarecrow Festival! 😉

House – Scarecrow Harvest Festival by Dept. 56

Placing decorations on top of risers (like candlesticks and cake plates) gives them more prominence and are easier to dust around during the season.

And if you want to display a wreath in the center of a mirror or artwork and cannot hang it from ribbon, try a heavy duty (clear) suction cup!

This is another design that would also look great over a mantel.

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

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Annual “WELCOME FALL!” Picnic

[CLICK ON ANY PHOTO, for a more detailed & larger view]

This weekend was our Annual “WELCOME FALL!” Picnic at The Seasonal Home… a celebration that I started, several years ago, with the daughters of one of my best friends (who happens to live next door). The first year, it was simply my way of giving her a little parent-break, but has now become an annual tradition. Once my boys were grown, I really missed the creativity of doing fun things like this so now, I’m creating new memories with my 2 sweet neighbors – Emme and Gretta.

This celebration is our way of welcoming in the Autumnal Equinox (a/k/a Fall) and even though it is usually still hot outside, a good fan and our imaginations help us pretend that it’s breezy & cool. Here’s a peek at some of our fun, in case you want to start this tradition yourself.

We always have our picnic first. This year, we decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches (cut into pumpkins), homemade sweet potato fries (Sandra Lee’s recipe, Food Network), and diced apples over graham cracker crumbs with a drizzle of hot caramel (an idea we thought up ourselves). P.S. If you ever want to see a young child have fun, give them some graham crackers in a plastic bag and show them how to turn them into crumbs, using a wooden rolling pin – hilarious!

For dessert, we made a healthier chocolate muffin from a new mix called “Simple Mornings”. They served as our cupcakes, topped with a little homemade cream cheese frosting (Food Network recipe), sprinkles and a small, candy pumpkin.

We had SO much fun making all the food… together!

Of course, we decorated for our picnic too! I found over-sized, felt, fall leaves (in 3 different colors) at The Dollar Tree and we simply used a piece of fishing line to hang them from the pergola beams.

They looked so pretty (moving), when a breeze finally kicked up! Check it out in this short YouTube video I made:

With the addition of a few scarecrows, pumpkins and fall flowers, we were ready to enjoy our “WELCOME FALL” picnic.

And funny enough, every year, we seem to be visited by a representative of Mother Nature. Last year, it was a caterpillar and this year, we enjoyed the company of a beautiful & HUGE Swallowtail Butterfly, who really liked the flowers in my up-cycled wheelbarrow Fairy Garden.

And he didn’t even seem to mind that I was following him around with my camera.

The girls were really hoping he would land on their fingers.

Once he fluttered off, it was time for lunch!

Uhhh… please ignore the well done sweet potato fries – they were the unfortunate casualty of our hectic kitchen preparation.

Once we saw that a few of our fries were slightly overcooked, the girls tried to make lemonade out of lemons by suggesting that “maybe adding some ketchup will help”…. soooooo sweet!

After we ate, it was time for crafts and games! We usually have an apple bobbing contest, but little Gretta is about to lose a front tooth, so we decided to try some new things this year.

So, first up…. a little painting of face masks.

And ta-dum…. the cute, personalized results. Hey, that looks a awful lot like my hair!!

Next, a competitive game of Halloween B-I-N-G-O. Check out the concentration on their faces (LOL).

And last, but not least…. a game of PIN THE HAT ON THE WITCH.

I’m not sure who was the best spinner or worst pin-er, but when you’re having fun, the results don’t really matter.

First up was Gretta….

Hmmm… close! Then, it was Emme’s turn.

In the end, it really didn’t matter who won because I had gathered a few inexpensive, special treats, as a surprise for both of the girls.

I found a cute $1.00 pumpkin box (Wal mart) to place them all in and added a “Happy 1st Day of Fall” note to each.

Once we headed back inside (we had enjoyed the Florida heat & humidity quite enough, thank you very much!), the girls had fun opening their goodie boxes.

Two of their favorite things were the Spider rings, modeled here by Emme –

and a small bag of the newest M & M flavor “Candy Corn White Chocolate”…. YUM!

In the end, we all agreed we had tons of fun and that cupcakes taste even better in air-conditioned comfort! (LOL)

I hope we inspired you to consider starting your own “Welcome Fall Picnic” tradition. 🙂

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

FALL, HALLOWEEN & THANKSGIVING – 3 Looks in 5 minutes or less!

[Click on any photo for a more detailed view]

This may sound strange, but for me… FALL is a tough time of year, when it comes to decorating.  It’s hard to decide whether I want to be surrounded by a Fall, Halloween or Harvest (Thanksgiving) look because I love all 3!  Good news though because, this year, I came up with a solution!  And although I created these looks for my fireplace, I think they would be a great “fit” for a foyer too.

To start, I kept it simple, using…

  • Inexpensive, fall garlands (doubled for a fuller look) with 2 strands of orange lights added-in for warmth & whimsy.
  • (Faux) pumpkins & gourds of all sizes [Hint: I finally own a collection of these because I bought them after they were placed on clearance, and you’ll find small ones at dollar stores]
  • Pumpkin-filled wreath
  • 2 bunches of gathered twigs that I added twine & fall leaves to after spraying them with a Wood Tone Spray Paint (can of diluted, brown spray paint, available at craft stores) by Design Master
  • 2 orange candles on black candlesticks (both found on clearance.  Shop for orange candles during Christmas time & don’t forget, if a bargain candlestick is not the color you need… paint it!)
  • F-A-L-L sign (letters painted on wood blocks).

So, this created a beautiful Fall feel and the base for my Halloween AND Thanksgiving decor too!

A fun whimsical touch that I also added to this look  –  Fall leaves hanging on fishing line, at various lengths, which I taped underneath the mantle to create a “falling leaf” look.  Also in this photo, you’ll spot Brick Clips being used to hang up my F-A-L-L sign, suspended from fishing line.  If you want to hang something from a 2 to 2-1/2″ brick (inside or out), these blend in really well & work great!  You’ll find them in most DIY & discount dept. stores.

The next look is Halloween and I changed or added a total of 6 things to create it:  (1) replaced the orange candles with 2 Spider themed ones.  (Check out my STORE , if you’d like to purchase some of these items)

(2) placed an orange spider web in the center of the wreath…

  (3) exchanged the fall leaves (hanging from the mantle, on fishing line) with black spiders and (4) replaced the F-A-L-L sign with a Halloween one featuring a black crow and the word “NEVERMORE”…

(5) added black (dollar store) crows on top of a few of the pumpkins (a hidden piece of packing tape is your friend here, to keep the crows in place! lol)

and finally… (6) turned around the center pumpkin because it is actually a lighted, faux Jack ‘o Lantern!  For the original Fall look, I wanted to display it as a regular pumpkin, so I used packing tape on the back of a leaf and placed it over the hole (to hide) where the single light bulb is usually inserted (p.s. a leaf lying on a random pumpkin is what actually gave me the idea that leaves should be falling from the mantel and the fishing line idea was born!)

 

For the Halloween look, I removed the Fall leaf, flipped the pumpkin around (to the Jack side), and plugged the light cord into the light strand (already in the Fall garland) –  adding the perfect, final touch to my 5-minute Halloween makeover!

For Thanksgiving, I basically put back the Fall look, but added a Pilgrim couple (also in my store)  in 2 different locations – the center of the wreath and on the mantel, among the leaves.  See which one you like best…

So, there you have it – 3 Fall designs where changing the original won’t take you more than 5 minutes, each time.  Have fun decorating and…

ENJOY THE CREATIVITY!

Eileen

Fall is coming! :-)

Fall 

(a/k/a The Autumnal Equinox)

arrives Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.

It’s such a wonderful time of year and so much fun to decorate for, so here’s a little, early “outdoor” inspiration from around The Seasonal Home…

Pre-Fall SALE!!!!

PRE-FALL SALE

This SALE is for the Early Birds among my readers – those of you who have some idea about your holiday themes and want to grab unique decorations to spice things up…. at a great price!   For a LIMITED TIME, please enjoy 20% off your ENTIRE ORDER in The Seasonal Home’s Shop!!!  Also, included in your order will be a BONUS gift…… AND…… shipping reduces on each additional item you add to your SHOPPING CART.  In other words, we combine your shipping rate to save you money!

So, take your Coupon Code with you (SPOOKY) and enjoy browsing the adorable holiday items among the Categories of The Seasonal Home’s store and take advantage of our sale.   Don’t wait because many of our items are one-of-a-kind!

  • 20% OFF SALE
  • BONUS GIFT
  • COMBINED SHIPPING
  • MANY LIMITED AND ONE-OF-A-KIND ITEMS

For your convenience, here’s a direct link to my shop:  www.theseasonalhome.bigcartel.com

I’ll be adding more items as time permits, but there are almost 100, hand-chosen or handmade (by me!) items for you to choose from now and once (some of them) are gone…. they’re gone!

Happy Shopping and thanks for your support!

Eileen

Acorn Treats… an Easy FALL YUMMY!


The kids are back in school and Fall’s around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about easy recipes (to make) for Fall Festivals, Bake Sales, Classroom parties, Planning Meetings or any Autumn get-together (at work or home)… even Thanksgiving.  Here’s one of my Fall treat recipes and best of all…  it’s not only YUMMY, but super EASY too!!

Ingredients…. SIMPLE!  Hershey kisses (you name the flavor!), “Mini” Vanilla Wafers and Butterscotch Morsels

HELPFUL HINT:  I put these acorn treats together on a day when I had a big batch of chili simmering in my crock pot, which gave me a creative idea to try that actually worked great!   I realized that placing a Hershey kiss or Butterscotch Morsel up against a very warm surface (no stove top burners, of course, but something like a plugged-in, warm crock pot) provided the perfect amount of heat to soften the bottom of the chocolate and butterscotch morsels, allowing me to stick it to another food item – the vanilla wafers!  And I just wiped off the chocolate residue each time.  I would imagine an electric griddle would work too and now that I’ve got your imagination working, I’m sure you’ll come up with a few ideas too.

DIRECTIONS:  Very important…. lay out (and unwrap) all of your ingredients, allowing you to grab them easily and quickly.  Place the flat bottom part of a Hershey Kiss against a very warm surface (like mentioned above), for about the count of 3, remove and immediately stick to the bottom of a mini vanilla wafer.   Place the Butterscotch Morsel against the hot surface, for about the count of  3, remove and stick to the top-center of the mini vanilla wafer.  You’re done and have made yourself a little acorn mini treat!!  Now, go and amaze everyone with your bite-size magic. 😉

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Secret Fairy Garden in an Upcycled Wheelbarrow

[As always, click on any photo to view it larger]

Nothing renders a trusty wheelbarrow “useless” faster than a broken handle.  And as you can see, The Seasonal Home is now the proud owner of one. (LOL)

  

My first instinct was to head to the DIY store to purchase a new handle, but let me be the first to tell you that they are only sold in pairs and are super expensive!  And as you can see (in the photos below), there is only a $20 difference between a pair of handles & a brand new wheelbarrow.  So, I decided to up-cycle my ol’ one-armed wheelbarrow and purchase a new one for yard duty.

  

First, I cleaned the wheelbarrow and let it dry completely.

  

Next, I spray painted it (using a spray paint that doesn’t require priming and adheres to most surfaces) to coordinate with the other accessories in my yard (chandelier, bird bath & outdoor planters) that I’ve also painted bright blue (check out my older garden posts to see those ideas).

It needed more color, so I accented it with light green, using a stencil to create the design, outlining the design elements (using a black marker) to make them pop.

  

Once it was painted, I looked for the perfect spot to place it, in my garden, and found an empty area next to an orange tree I recently planted.  Also, I’ll place it so the side with the missing handle faces the fence (wow!  need to re-stain that soon…lol).  So, the wheelbarrow will be perfect there, because I can move it once my tree grows large enough to fill in the area.

I knew if I filled the wheelbarrow with some soil and plants, I would have instant height, volume & color, so this was the perfect spot!  I was so excited that my wounded wheelbarrow warrior would accomplish 3 things:  bring my bright blue accent color to another garden spot, fill a hole in my garden bed and create height, becoming a triple problem-solver.

But, I had a 4th idea – to also tuck in a secret fairy garden!  I already had a little fairy, but she needed a cottage.  You can find fairy houses in stores, but they are usually pricey.  Luckily, I found this bird house in the clearance at Home Goods for only $12 and with a small renovation, it will be just as cute.

  

I turned the bird house into a fairy cottage, by gluing a doll house door (using a piece of gift wrap for a curtain) to the front.  Before I glued it to the bird house, I painted it, added an address and (snap) doorbell.  The front door step is a length of balsa wood (that I also painted).  Of course, any respectful fairy would busy herself by collecting trinkets, so I glued a few of those to the front door step also.

To protect my fairy cottage from in-climate outdoor weather, I coated it with urethane and glued it to a stand, so it wouldn’t touch the dirt.

With a few more accessories in place, my up-cycled wheelbarrow now has a secret…. a little fairy and her sweet cottage.

Click on photo to view larger detail

And now, I have a brand new, gorgeous focal point in my garden, filling up a (formerly) open space with color, texture and whimsy.  This would be a great summer project to create with children of any age.  Suggestion: consider adding a couple of new accessories to match the changing seasons (mini pumpkins/hay bales, basket of eggs, tiny Christmas tree, etc.) to keep the fun fresh, which would also make a great seasonal tradition you can all look forward to!

And now, for a touch of  “FALL” in the Fairy’s Garden:

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

P.S.  Here are a few other “everyday” items you might consider re-purposing into a garden planter before you discard them:

                

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