Christmas mantle decor

I guess I just wasn’t ready to give up my Fall “mantle” decor… so rather than take it all down and change out to something completely different for Christmas, I decided to do my Christmas mantle decor the super-simple way: I updated what I had for Fall by just adding a few Christmas elements. I think it worked out pretty well!

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

The items I added include the large round gold plate and crystal violin at the back/center, the sparkly pinkish-gold poinsettia on the right, and the gold berries on the left. I also gave the duck a bit of bling around his neck.

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’ve been very fortunate that the white pumpkins I bought in late September have not started to spoil – so as long as they’re still lovely, I will stick with the elegant colors of this display and simply adapt for Christmas. Cheating? Perhaps… 😉

 

 

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Thanksgiving tablescape with Old Country Roses

I’m so far behind on blogging… if I were any good at being a lifestyle blogger I would probably be posting about Valentine’s Day decor right now! LOL BUT, I would like to share one more Fall-related thing with you and then we will at least move on to Christmas, okay? 

Last year Thanksgiving was a challenge for me – my (adult) daughter was far away working at Disney World (actually Animal Kingdom), and it was the first time ever that she would not be around for the “holiday season.” I struggled with both Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, a lot. But this year, she is back and finishing school and while she spent most of Thanksgiving day with her dad, she did come over in the late afternoon and we fixed a “Whole 30”-friendly meal of roast turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and a mock-pumpkin pie that was really delicious!

Apart from preparing and enjoying the meal with her, my favorite part of the day was setting the table. I asked her what she wanted to use for dinnerware, and she requested Old Country Roses. This pattern can go a lot of different directions, but until this year I hadn’t really considered it a Fall or Thanksgiving pattern. I took that as a challenge – to set a table using this gorgeous fine bone china that looked like Fall!

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s the place setting I ultimately decided on… I used a lot of gold in my Fall home decor this year, so instead of trying to play off the pink and yellow roses in the plates, I pulled the softer greens and the gold.

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Big fluffy faded green peony napkin rings, and the light tan herringbone napkins, are by Pier 1.

 

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Flatware was my electroplated Americana Golden Heritage by International Silver, acquired last year secondhand around Christmastime. Green drinkware is by Dollar Tree.

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

The tablecloth is also a nod to Fall – it’s a suede drapery panel I actually used in the Thanksgiving tablescape I created last year using Johnson Brothers Windsor Fruit and Harvest Time.

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

The centerpiece is, I think, where this all comes together… the greens and golds pulled from the china, and the faded pinks and purples of the silk flowers… even the brown tones of the found goose feathers… I love the way it all works together and makes Old Country Roses absolutely perfect for Fall!

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

Of course, my tablescape post wouldn’t be complete without a put-away shot… all the elements pictured together, ready to go back into the cupboards for next time!

Thanksgiving with Old Country Roses | Vintage Floral Cottage

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was lovely!

 

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Fall mantle decor

Okay so right away I have to admit, I don’t have a fireplace. Therefore, I don’t have an actual mantle to decorate. But what I do have… are cabinets! About four of them, in fact… and because each of them has a fine flat surface across the top, I use them as stand-ins when I feel like decorating a mantle. So even though I don’t technically have a mantle, I wanted to show you how I was able to do some Fall mantle decor using mostly just items I had on hand.

This “mantle” is actually the top of my three-tier barrister bookcase, which sits near my front door and has a large vintage gold mirror above it – off center, due to challenges finding a stud.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

So my main goals were to create something rather opulent… lots of layers, and lots of details to look at and enjoy… and to avoid traditional Fall colors of red, orange, and yellow. I wanted to capture that “Faded Summer” look, rather than straight-on Fall. The large wreath was a beautiful starting point – it had a bit of yellow-gold, but otherwise its colors were faded greens, deep plum, light brown, and even a dusty mauve.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

The only items I bought new for this vignette were the white pumpkins… about $8 worth from the local pumpkin patch. Everything else was already on-hand from prior visits to Goodwill and other second-hand stores.

I started my design over on the right – because the mirror is hung off-center, it left a bit of blank wall on that side and I wanted to fill it in a bit. So a tall Limoges coffee pot filled with silk peonies in “Faded Summer” colors was set in first. I then placed the real pumpkins, spreading them out across the surface.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

On the left side I used the largest of the pumpkins, then filled in all around with faux grapevine greenery. After that I just started tucking in random Fall-themed things wherever they seemed to want to go – Dollar Tree ceramic pumpkins, a hand-made sweater pumpkin in ivory, a pretty Noritake teacup with a pear motif, silk sunflower napkin rings, and other items of various textures.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I tried a number of things on top of the small stack of books in the  middle, but the hand carved wooden duck seemed most at-home there.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I created this bit of Fall mantle decor around the end of September, so I’ve been enjoying it for several weeks now. I’m keeping a close eye on the real pumpkins in case they start to go bad, but I love this so much I’m hoping to actually transition it into the Christmas season.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Adding Cottage Charm, Decorating | 1 Comment

Taking a walk in the woods – Faded Summer becomes Fall

Well it’s definitely Fall now, that’s for sure! I want to be sure to tell you about the walk in the woods that Greg and I took in October, but first, let’s catch up a little!

September was a good month for the most part: I began working at the antique mall where I have my booth, and began managing their Facebook and Instagram accounts as planned. My booth quickly doubled in size, as the store owner encouraged me to expand into the space next to mine which became available right after I moved in. And to top it all off, I had very good sales reports for both September and October. Here’s the booth as it currently looks, ready for Christmas, although I have filled it in even more since I took these pictures at the end of October:

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Greg and I also took a trip over to Walnut, Iowa for their Fall outdoor antique market. I attended the Rustique outdoor market on my own, and I continued to buy and sell furniture on Facebook Marketplace with good results.

The weather took a turn in September as well. It was hot and humid at the start of the month, but by the end we were only reaching the mid- to upper-50’s in daytime temperatures with lots of rain. In fact, the entire first half of October was dreary, chilly, and rainy. But the second half of October was glorious!  Here’s where our walk in the woods comes into play.

I had decided that one of the things I most wanted to do this Fall was take a walk in the woods. But, because of my experiences earlier this year with a broken ankle (and frankly, for personal safety reasons), I was reluctant to go by myself. So I recruited Greg to accompany me to Brown’s Woods, which is a county park not far from my home. Now the short version of this story is that because neither of us was familiar with the trails at Brown’s Woods, we set off to walk maybe 1.5 miles… and ended up walking 4.5, which may not sound like a lot but it was not the easiest terrain and the most I have walked at any one time this year has been a mile. Fortunately, it was absolutely beautiful (if painful during the second hour – LOL) and I took quite a lot of photos showing the Fall color.

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

Coming up soon, I’m excited to show you a tablescape that I recently put together – although it has a few Fall elements, it’s decidedly more Summery in its color palette, but I finally had all the right elements to assemble it so I went ahead and did it kind of “off-season.” Also coming up, I created quite the sumptuous Fall vignette across the top of my barrister bookcase (I don’t have a mantle, but the barrister is a fine stand-in) and I’m excited to share that as well in a near-future post.

More soon!

 

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Back in the antique mall booth business

Lately I’ve been thinking about returning to the antique mall booth business, for a variety of reasons. So this past week I went to the mall where I had my first booth three years ago. Knowing it had changed owners, I went in to shop and scope out/inquire about available booth space. It’s called Memory Lane Antiques, Collectibles & Gifts, located at 208 Fifth Street in West Des Moines.

Original antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s my original space at Memory Lane in West Des Moines. This was two adjacent wall spaces, so primarily shelving but it was a great entry into the antique mall booth business!

In talking with the new owner, who is a gal I knew from my prior run as a vendor there, I discovered that not only did she have some space available, she also needed help with marketing the business via social media. So I’m very excited because I will once again have a small antique mall booth and I will be trading a bit of my time to help her with the marketing in exchange for the booth rent!

Antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

This is a booth we had at another local mall – it was quite large and we sold a lot of project furniture pieces here.

This is absolutely perfect for me because I do feel that having an established retail space could be helpful in selling my vintage and vintage-inspired merchandise. But I won’t have to worry about possibly having to pay out-of-pocket for my rent because I will be working it off instead of trying to reach/exceed it in sales. I’m also going to fill in occasionally at the checkout counter, which will further ensure that I have no out-of-pocket expenses related to maintaining my booth space.

So this week I’m busy planning (once again) an antique mall booth space and putting together a social media plan. It also feels like a huge opportunity to learn more about how the mall business itself operates, and to observe first-hand the types of things that sell in this particular mall. I move into my booth space on Friday the 14th!

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