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Friday, September 30, 2011

Falling into Fall: Decorating Le Beau Paon Victorien

I seem to be extremely late getting my fall decor up. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was surprised that October was already almost upon us and I realized I hadn't done anything (except obssess over fabric for window curtains).

Last week I started making my way up and down the steep attic stairs to ferret out my fall decor. A lot of my fall decor I use along with my Halloween decor, so they are typically stored in the same storage tubs. Last year I decided to get smart and separate the more "fallish" stuff from the spooky Halloween stuff  but ,of course, a year has passed and once I went up there and saw the mostly identical tubs, I couldn't remember which ones had strictly fall decor and which ones were hard-core Halloween, so I had to open a number of them and peep under the lids. Maybe if I was as smart as I think I am I would have......hmmm, I don't know.....labeled them???

I bought this little autumn apple basket last year on clearance at Michael's. I also bought all the faux flowers and berries and fall leaves on clearance. I had this on the front porch last year as part of my porch display. This year I put it on top of the spinet piano in the entry hall. The vintage thread- crocheted runner is normally on the fireplace mantel in the parlour.

I really shouldn't count this faux flower arrangement as part of my 'fall decor' because this arrangement sits on the entry hall fireplace mantel all year around (except Christmas), but it has fallish colors, so I included it. And it's fabulous!

This pretty arrangement looks lovely on the hall table.

I love this carved gourd; he is a favorite with everyone that sees him. I received it as a gift several years ago so I don't know where it came from. I  like to fill his big gaping mouth with faux leaves.
Here's a sad, depressing story about our attic: I was somewhat fearful, ridiculously so, of going up there this year and poking around. Technically our house is 3 stories; the third story is unfinished and used as attic space. I don't go up there much in the spring and summer months because it's really hot up there and the stairs are scary steep and we only keep Christmas, Halloween and other holiday decor up there, so there's not much need to go up there otherwise. Additionally, there's lots of spooky corners under the eaves because it's huge and lit with only one very old light fixture and the windows up there are very small, dormer-type windows. 
Last spring when I went up to the attic for some reason I noticed there were some white splotches on the stairs that looked like bird poop. I knew they had not been there the last time I was up there. Concerned that there was a bird either trapped or living in the attic, I went up there several times over the next week  and looked around with a flashlight but the bird was either hiding himself pretty well and being very quiet or he had gotten out again, because I didn't find anything.
We had just had a bird in the house a couple of weeks before; it somehow got down one of our four chimneys and flew through one of the flue holes that still remain in our bedroom. We were able to catch it in a towel and let it outside. It was an adult starling and I know that they nest on top of our chimneys. There are wire grates in our chimneys to prevent critters from getting in, but somehow this one got in.  The chimneys run through the attic, of course, but all the flue holes that I could see (the attic must have been heated at one time with coal stoves like the rest of the house) were cemented over. I couldn't see any way that a bird had gotten in but I hoped that it had got out the way it came in.

Not so. As you may have guessed, the poor thing must have been up there still and eventually it died. Luckily, as it may be, it must have been near the attic stairs when it died because it was just inside the door that leads up to the attic stairs and it was actually Olive, our cat, who alerted me to it's presence. She had been unusally interested in the attic door and had been laying on the floor outside of it for the better part of an evening. I thought this was odd, but didn't pay much attention until I noticed that she kept sticking her paw under the crack in the door and that she was playing with something that was sticking out under the crack. It looked like a piece of black ribbon, but when I bent over to look closer, I saw right away it was a black feather. It had been more than two weeks since I had first seen the bird poop on the stairs and it had been about three days since my last sortie into the attic looking for the bird so I knew what had happened.

I sort of freaked out anyway and had to run to call Erik to look. I didn't want to open the door. I grew up in a very rural area and most of my friends and both sets of grandparents were farmers and many were hunters, so I'd seen my share of dead animals (When I was five my brother and I found a dead robin and we played with it and wheeled it around in our Little Red Wagon for the better part of a day before my mother found out what we were doing and made us get rid of it), but I've become somewhat more squeamish about this sort of thing as I've gotten older. I don't know why.
Erik did his husbandly duty and looked behind the door and when I asked him if the bird was there he said yes. When I asked him if it was really dead, he said, "Well, it certainly isn't sleeping." He very kindly removed it for me. It just broke my heart just the same, that the poor thing was trapped up there and probably starved to death. I felt awful about it for weeks.
I am relieved that it hadn't been dead for awhile before we found it because that would have been extra gross, but now when I go up to the attic to poke around boxes I'm fearful that there was more than one bird up there and that I'll find it's mummified body or something. It's totally irrational, I know.

So that was my long story about the bird and the attic. Now that everyone is thoroughly depressed, we can continue:

The fireplace mantel in the living room also gets some fall splendor.

Comfort Cat is so sweet! 

And this is Ginger Cat. I bought both of these from an Etsy seller a few years ago. I thought they were so sweet and cute. Comfort Cat and Ginger Cat are always part of my mantel decor year 'round. You may have noticed the framed bugs behind them. Those are real insects. This one above is a grasshopper from somewhere in Peru. I've bought these for Erik; they are going to go in his man cave when we start that project.

This is a fall display I put together using funkins and faux berries, leaves and pine cones. I usually arrange it here on the brick hearth of the living room fireplace.

In the kitchen on our little breakfast table, a very pretty fall centerpiece graces the table.

I also have some pretty harvest-themed placemats for the table. These were a gift a few years ago from my mother-in-law.

My black chair with a painted pumpkin on the seat was brought down from the attic also.

A faux bittersweet wreath for the back door. As you can see, a little bit of Halloween has slipped in already.

The dining room:

Aren't the candy corn candles adorable??

This pretty fall centerpiece was a housewarming gift from my mother when we bought our house (we closed on our house September 29, 2006). I arranged some faux silk leaves around the base. I have to re-arrange the leaves often, however, because Olive has decided that they are toys for her to play with and she messes them up quite a bit.

In fact, here she is while I was trying to take pictures, even though she's not supposed to be up on tables:

As I mentioned, even though I haven't started really decorating for Halloween yet, a few things have slipped in already:

There will more Halloween to come later, so stay tuned!

In my flower gardens there's not much left blooming:

My 'Oranges and Lemons' gaillardia is still going pretty strong. It will usually bloom pretty well into fall until we get a frost.

Fall is also when my toad lilies bloom. They look absolutely lovely when planted near ferns.

These are Japanese Painted ferns which were newly planted this spring.

                                                   Thanks for stopping by! I'll be linking up with these parties:

Show and Tell Friday with My Romantic Home

Feathered Nest Friday with French Country Cottage

Seasonal Sunday with The Tablescaper



marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, it is all wonderful. You have such lovely floral arrangements and I love all of the pumpkins and fall decor. The "spooky" is so cute too. How fun is that. Great job. Hugs, Marty

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

O My!! That is terrible about the bird!! I would be upset over it too!
I LOVE all of your beautiful Fall and Halloween decor!! And I adore those candy corn candles!! So cute!!
I finally finished decorating for Fall and Halloween. It seems like it took me forever this year.
I posted my Fall decor so please stop by if you have a minute and i will be posting my Halloween decor in the Dining Room next week!
Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful home all decked out for Fall and Halloween!!


The Tablescaper said...

I'm loving all of your Fall decor. With a black kitty as pretty as that I can well see why Halloween has already slipped in. Wonderful to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

I totally understand the dead bird thing. I don't like seeing dead animals, and one in my own house would freak me out. My poor husband has to handle any dead mice the cat kills when they get in once in awhile. I get squeamish about such things!

You have so many pretty fall decorations, and I know you two love your Halloween parties, so it makes sense you're starting to put those things out, too!


Chris said...

Hi Katie, thanks for sharing all your beautiful Fall decorations and so sorry to hear about the bird, but these things do happen. They would somehow get into the Library where I worked and more often than not, they just disappeared on their own. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris