Happy Harvest Welcome to all of my Sugar Pie Sistas!
Can you believe it’s September already? Here in the Ozarks, we’ve had a cooling trend in the weather. The evenings are a crisp 5o degrees and in the 70′s during the day, that is very unusual for this time of year, but I’m liking it! The cooler weather came just in time as I pulled out my bins of autumn decorations that I have gathered over the years. Pumpkins, apples, garlands, and leaves…they never fail to delight my heart because I have so much fun creating festive little story-book vignettes in the nooks of my home to celebrate this glorious golden season!
Can I just say,I love the beginning of a new season! We get a fresh look at the exquisite grace and beauty the Lord surrounds us with…it’s as if He re-decorates the earth to refresh our perspective on life. A new season marks the passing of time, and it reminds us to live our life fully alive….cherishing the sweet simple moments….counting our blessings….and to be a blessing to others.
Fall is like a breath of fresh air, apple-sweet and bursting with an abundance of nostalgic delights. There’s a thrilling sense of anticipation as we look forward to our family traditions of old fashioned hayrides, going to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, craft fairs, family get-togethers, simmering hearty soups, baking pumpkin pies, sipping cider by the fire , and munching on popcorn while watching our favorite movies. It’s the time when our motherly nesting instinct really takes hold of our hearts and inspires us to spruce up our home, clean out closets, re-organize and stock the pantry and then grace our rooms with the simple beauty of jolly pumpkins, autumn leaves and candle glow to make it warm, cozy and happy before blustery winds begin to blow.
I like to start early with my preparations for fall because I want to be able to have time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor before the hustle and bustle of the holidays are upon us. I don’t know how many times I’ve been caught between the frenzy of so much to do and so little time as the holidays approached. Our days are filled with unexpected things that come up and take priority over our best laid plans, so getting a head-start leaves room for the things that beg for our time. It really does help to do whatever we can to prepare in advance so that we can eliminate stress, feel peaceful, keep a grateful heart and embrace the happiness of the season. But remember (I have to remind myself) things don’t have to be perfect. It’s not about that. It’s all about the love and joy that we want our family to feel at home.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household.” Proverbs 31:27
When we make the effort to cozy up our home and fill it with an atmosphere that glows with the celebration of the season, it is a gift to our family and those who come to visit. It’s those extra little things we do, to create a feeling of warmth and whimsy, joy and goodness, that communicates a message to our family that says: you are loved and it is my pleasure to make you feel nurtured and cared for. It’s a message that hugs the hearts of those we love and it gives them a delicious affection for home. We must never underestimate the importance of providing a loving environment for our family, it sets the stage for happy memories that will last a lifetime.
For all of us, today’s experiences are tomorrow’s memories. ~Barbara Johnson
So Sugar Pies, come on in to the Farmhouse….kick your shoes off…have some pie and take a peek at “Aunt Ruthie’s Harvest Homecoming”….
“The cheerful joyous season,
The Autumn time is come.
With song and shout we welcome
The Golden Harvest Home.”
I found these vintage buckets in St Charles Missouri, on my recent trip there. My hubby had the most perplexed look when I came out of the store with them. Of all the beautiful things that were available to buy, I opted for these two old, dented and dusty galvanized pails for $12 dollars. (He did not understand. “Trust me….I have plans for these ” I said with a wink. Still, he shook his head…and flashed a sideways-smile). Now he gets it. ( I have to say that I am soooo thankful for a husband who lets me decorate in my silly whimsical way! )
The Freshly Baked Pies sign was painted by a friend years ago who belong to a little Bible Study I went to. It’s one of my favorite pieces.
In order to keep the branches standing up, I took duct tape and made a lattice pattern across the top of the bucket and then inserted the branches in the openings. Then I tucked in raffia to cover the tape. I found burlap ribbon at Michael’s Craft Store to tie a knot around the middle.
A little glue and some glitter adds just the right sparkle to my pumpkins!
Pumpkins in the cornfield,
Fodder in the shock,
An ear of yellow-golden grain, Hangs on every stock
Blackbirds flying here and there, The yellow corn they spy,
But I’m not thinking of the corn, I’m thinking pumpkin pie!
Harvest Home, harvest home!
We’ve plowed, we’ve sowed,
We’ve reaped, we’ve mowed
And brought safe home, every load.
~Old Harvest Song
Each year I try to think of new ways to give my seasonal decorating a fresh look. This time I looked around my house (mainly my kitchen) and started pulling together things that would give me a Farmhouse feel in my great room….things that looked like they could have been found in an old abandoned barn….
A large white enamel dishpan….a rusty colander….a worn cutting board…
an old milk pail filled with straw and a creamy pumpkin…..
a rooster crowing….a vintage pie tin…a rusty candle holder….
I threw in some fall leaves and two more white pumpkins sitting on candle holders, accented by the flickering lanterns and my “don’t mess with Texas” star…..all together I got myself a Farmhouse Harvest theme! The old orchard ladder and rusted shovel—with a homemade hickory stick handle–were actually found here on the property in an old falling-down barn—they are probably between 75 to 100 years old. My home sits on an old farmstead that had been owned by the same family since the Civil War until we purchased it three years ago.
When our local pumpkin patch opens it’s gates for business, I’ll be adding some Indian corn and sugar pumpkins for a little more pop of color.
As soon as there is a nip in the air my hearth will be warming hands and hearts.
When all the leaves are off the boughs,
And nuts and apples gathered in,
and cornstalks waiting for the cows,
And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,
Then Mother says, “My children dear,
The fields are brown, and autumn flies;
Thanksgiving Day is near,
And we must make our Thanksgiving pies!”
Amber lampshades, especially in Autumn, create a calming warm glow that makes a room feel cozy. I prefer lamps with shades rather than overhead lighting—which can be glaring and harsh on the eye.
I keep my little Choir Boy out all year long…he is just too sweet to put away! ( I found him at an antique store near Knotts Berry Farm several years ago.)
A couple years ago I started picking up brown Transferware plates and platters…just a couple, here and there, at flea markets, T.J. Max, Homegoods, and some on ebay…they are such a classic Farmhouse Style. I use the dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas–they are mis-matched, which is how I like it. It’s creates a beautiful homespun look for a holiday meal.
Nestled inside this old cupboard I pulled together elements that you might find in the attic of a Turn-of-the Century home. Hatboxes….Chocolate Brown Victorian boots…an old hymn book….vintage photos…and an old suitcase which I filled with straw then tucked in some happy little pumpkins. ( Michael’s Craft store has straw bales that you can snip the wire off of and you’ve got yourself a pile of straw to decorate with! Why not fill a bucket with that straw and some apples for a Down-On-The-Farm centerpiece!)
A branch from my apple tree mirrors the farm scene on one of the oval platters hung in the background.
“Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.”
~ Henry Alford
Opposite the vintage cupboard the mantle is adorned with a silk garland, pumpkins frosted in glitter and orchard apples. I added more bare branches, that I gathered from the woods behind my house, to give it a more natural look.
I put a baby pumpkin in a birds nest!
The beauty of the house is order,
The blessing of the house is contentment,
The glory of the house is hospitality,
The crown of the house is godliness.
Pretty leaves are falling down,
Green, orange, yellow brown.
Here comes one colored red,
It landed on my head!
Well, I hope y’all enjoyed my Harvest Homecoming, there is more to come!
Please know that I go a little overboard when it comes to decorating for the holidays….it’s a passion of mine…I just get giddy about it …..but you know what, a simple pumpkin on the kitchen table or a bowl of apples or a crayon drawing of an autumn leaf colored by your child is just as exquisite as anything. Sometimes it is the simple things that are the most beautiful. I share my ideas to hopefully inspire you not to overwhelm you. I just want to encourage y’all to embrace the beauty and excitement of the season in whatever way fits you, your home and your life. Just celebrate! Life is short.
Until next time, I just have to share with you, a few books that I love so much I wanna….well you know… (MARRY THEM!) these are the ones I grab for, in late August, to get inspired and excited about Fall….WOnDeRFuL FaLL!
Autumn: By Susan Branch: This has got to be my favorite book about Fall! Many of you may already have it, but if you don’t..oh my goodness girlfriend…you need it….that is if you love the romance of Autumn. (You will want to marry it, trust me!) Every page is filled with Susan’s delicious illustrations to go along with her decorating ideas, recipes and memories of Autumn moments that will warm your heart down to your cute little toes! Click Here to see it on Amazon, you can even see inside the book!
Celebrating Home: By Season’s of Cannon Falls: LOvE! LOvE! LOvE! This book takes you through the year with darling decorating ideas. All of the photos were staged in a gorgeous white victorian home…so dreamy and fabulous! My favorite is the Thanksgiving Chapter….oh my…it makes my heart swoon! I think I want to marry this book too. Click here to see it on Amazon!
Fall With Family & Friends: Gooseberry Patch
How many Gooseberry Girls are there out there? Count me in! Are these not just the cutest books Ev-ah? Yummy recipes, memories, ideas….they are full of fabulous fun! The perfect kind of book to snuggle up with and enjoy a yummy cup of tea! Here are the charming chapter titles: Favorite Fall Sippers…. Farm Fresh Breakfasts…Hay-Day Appetizers…Farmstand Fresh Sides & Salads…Country Style Soups & Breads…Slowly Simmered Flavors Of Fall…A Thankful Heart–Harvest Main Dishes…Autumn Treats. There is a mouth watering recipe for Prize Winning Chili on page 128 that I make every fall that everyone loves! It’s so hearty and warms the tummy! Click here to see it on Amazon!
Autumn In The Country: By Gooseberry Patch
This book just makes me feel all cozy inside! Just look at the chapter titles…A Cozy Country Brunch…Hometown Homecoming…Indian Summer Picnic…Fireside Fun…Bountiful Harvest…We Gather Together…Seasonal Sweets. How adorable! And the cover is just so charming, I set them out in my kitchen as part of my Fall decorations. At the bottom of each page are quick and easy ideas for decorating and fun things to do with your family. Click here to see it on Amazon!
Make sure to head over to The Inspired Room for Melissa’s Fall Nesting Week! She is having a great give-away and has provided lots of links to other domestic blog-girls who are gearing up for fall!
I want to say “thank you, thank you very much” to all of you who encouraged me with your precious comments regarding my Elvis hair mis-hap (this photo is pre-Elvis hair). You were all so kind and your words blessed my heart. Y’all made me feel all better! You girls are the best! I love y’all so much!
Just a little word about Sugar Pie Farmhouse Web site….Y’all know my wonderful son Dusty is the man behind the scenes, well, all summer long he was so busy working full time and building his first home…as a matter of fact, he just moved in and is still getting settled….a lot of loose ends to tie up. I tell you this because I have lots more fun stuff to add Sugar Pie Farmhouse but I’m at the mercy of my Hi-Tech boy to implement them, and so, I just have to be a nice patient mama and wait until he has the time. I just wanted y’all to know that slowly but surely new things are coming down the pike….that is if the Good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
Be Blessed today my Sugar Pie Sistas!
You are always welcome at Aunt Ruthie’s Sugar Pie Farmhouse!