Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Inside The French Farmhouse: Fall Decorating with Pumpkins, Pinecones and Bittersweet

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Fall decorating continues this week at The French Farmhouse. I used a few more faux mushrooms (left over from my rustic fall grapevine mushroom wreath HERE to fill my vintage wood dough trough along with natural elements like moss and pine cones that I gathered from beneath one of the trees in my front yard.



I can't tell you how much fun I'm having living on a property where there are several different types of mature conifers as well as mature oaks from which to gather acorns and pine cones!



I've been a little slower than usual in doing any fall decorating at all this year. I decided that it's primarily due to the fact that the thought of going up into the attic and carrying down the very same boxes that I carried up less than a month ago seemed just a little counter productive to me. Have you ever felt that way?


While I do sometimes miss the burlap wrapped dining room chandelier HERE that I made at my last house, I really LOVE my new dining room chandelier...especially now that it has a little bittersweet wound through it.

Of course, a few pieces of my ironstone collection have made their way into the mix which also includes pheasant feathers,wheat, and this great vintage paper mache' owl that I purchased from Nellie's Barn Sale a couple of years ago.

In  the kitchen, there are baskets filled with bittersweet and wheat.


Remember the kitchen herb garden basket that I made in the spring? Look closely at the photo below and you'll see that the basket is now in the kitchen while the herbs are awaiting their new home in a cold frame in the yard for the winter.


There are garlands of pine cones and dried orange slices hang in the window (You know...in place of the curtains that I've yet to sew.)


and a happy bunch of golden yellow sunflowers in a white enamel pitcher join more ironstone and a pumpkin on the kitchen table.


The only other decorating that I've done so far is on the tops of the cabinets in the living room.


Faux pumpkins have replaced the collection of  plover decoys which were there for such a short time that I never even took photos of them....

                                                                                                          .....ah well, there's always next year.


My old, rusty,crusty, piglet feeder filled with pumpkins, leaves, and acorns rests in a vintage barn wood tray which is sitting  on the ottoman in the living room.


I'm still working on  the mantel...mainly because there isn't one...it's just a 3 inch wide ledge that's so narrow that everything I've tried to place on it ends up looking more like it should be tagged for an estate sale than the lovely autumnal display that I had envisioned.

The French Farmhouse Project Update:

In case you haven't been seeing the photos on Facebook, last week I met with Tim from Wet to Dry Waterproofing. This is the company who will be installing the drain tile and the sump pump in the crawl space under the bedrooms at the farmhouse and then pouring concrete so that I can use this as storage space for the mountain of "stuff" that's currently filling my garage....because I'd like to park in there....before the snow comes....

After hearing Tim say, "Oh, that's  not good." and listening to the unmistakable sound that a stone makes when you toss it into eight inches of standing water in the crawl space under where I sleep, I put on my boots and finally went into the crawl...where I saw this: (Warning: GRAPHIC photo...for those of you with weak stomachs...AVERT YOUR EYES).



This weekend it rained....hard. The "pond" became a "lake" that was 8 inches deep in the crawl and I learned a couple of things: 1) Tim the waterproofing guy can't possibly get here quickly enough (he starts in a week) and 2) The people who previously owned this house lied when they signed the form saying that there had never been water in the basement. The good news is that I knew it before I took on this project.

Also this week, I met with Dennis from Parsons Architects who will be, as Dennis put it, "helping me to engineer my vision" for Phase 2 of the renovation of the French Farmhouse.


Phase 2 will include converting the existing two car garage into living space, replacing all of the 20+ year old mechanical's in the house with more energy efficient systems (heating, air conditioning, water and sewer lines) as well as replacing windows, roofing and building two new garages. It will also entail the reconfiguration and upgrading of the existing space so that I can have windows that open and  bathroom where I don't need to remove the door from the hinges to let myself out.


In the mean time, I'm enjoying my first fall at the French Farmhouse. I'm learning that a few well placed pumpkins and some gourds can go a long way towards making this house feel more like home. I'm also excited that things are moving forward and becoming a little more normal (those of you who know me can stop laughing now).

Have a wonderful week!

Kimberly
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