Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Dining: Time to Bring out the Leaf Placemats and Dinnerware! (Updated for 2015)

Leaf dinnerware and table linens in blazing fall colors (or subtle fall colors) make autumn dining a special experience.  (Updated for Autumn 2015)

A couple of weeks ago one of my friends served lunch on a beautiful combination of leaf plates with lovely leaf placemats. I never thought that a simple salad of raspberries and peaches could be so appealing:

She just acquired this beautiful pumpkin bowl, which could be used as a sugar bowl, a soup bowl, or just a cute seasonal candy or nut dish:

Let's start at the bottom of settings for those autumn meals with placemats appropriate for the season:

These 15" by 22" placemats are 100% cotton. Houzz carries the same placemat in rusty red, sage, terra cotta, and yellow for $9.95.  I spotted the same placemat for $7.95 (but only in gold) at the Country Porch.

Bright Fabric Placemats:  

I found these quilted leaf placemats on Ebay a few years back, but I can't find the same this year.  I'm including them just for reference as the style looks very much like the leaf placemats that my friend was using for our luncheon that I photographed at the top:

Make some yourself!

If you are crafty, you may want to try leaf-shaped placemats or coasters yourself.  Quilter Patricia's instructions at can be found HERE at her blog My Patchwork Quilt.  Her placemats turned out great (see below) and she has also made coasters.  (And she has great recipes at her blog as well!)  

Faux suede with satin on the reverse side:

Here's a collection of bright maple leaves in soft faux suede originally found at
Collections, Inc.  Unfortunately, Collections Inc.  writes: "
Sold Out. We are unable to guarantee this item will be available in the future. Item #24755".   But, as of September 23, 2015, there is a set available HERE at eBay for $35.99 plus shipping.  The collection is (still) gorgeous, and sold in a set of 4 bright fall colors:  Red, orange, green, and tan.  They have a satin back, are polyester, and 19" by 20".  Unfortunately, there is only one set for sale, and it will probably go fast. 

Satin Leaves:

These satin leaf placemats are very similar to the placemats above; a set of 12 in two colors was on sale last year at eBay HERE.   These were branded by "Better Homes" and the set of 12 included 5 rust and 7 green.  They seemed like a great deal, but they are gone.  They are beautiful, perhaps if you are lucky you will find them at a yard sale.... or someone will put them up for sale on eBay at some time in the future.

Keep them clean and use them all autumn long!  

Keep your special holiday cloth placemats clean so that you can use them several times over the autumn months before washing them: Buy a set of clear vinyl placemats to place over the fabric placemats. You'll be able to keep those gorgeous fall placemats on your table until the last leaf is off of the trees around Thanksgiving time.  Or until it is time for Christmas placemats.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween: Great Creepy Stuff on Sale!

The ghosts have moved into this birdhouse!

Creepy Stuff at Etsy has so much great Creepy Stuff that it was really hard to decide which pieces to feature.

In addition to all of the great things you see below, there are voodoo dolls, a great collection of cards, a monster ring and a monster bracelet.. and other bracelets. Not to mention the paper mache sugar skull jester rattle and many sugar skull pieces for celebrating Day of the Dead.

Creepy Stuff is having a very un-creepy sale right now as well. I guess you will just have to link over to Creepy Stuff at Etsy today to see that stuff that I missed.

At the top, a one of a kind ghost birdhouse fully renovated for the mini ghouls in the neighborhood with glow-in-the-dark ghosts, moss, toadstools and a tiny skull (perhaps to commemorate a tiny former occupant who has moved on to the spirit world?) The ghost house is completely made of sticks & a log and is 7 1/4" tall and 15" in circumference. Details and purchasing information HERE.

Conjuring the spirits on the Day of the Dead

Below, a Day of the Dead Ouija board decorated with sugar skulls from Creepy Stuff--

Sugar skulls are a tradition used in the celebration of the Day of the Dead (November 2nd) in Mexico and wherever people of Mexican heritage now live. Vendors sell the colorful sugar skulls during the days before the holiday. From the website Mexican Sugar Skulls: "Spirits of the dead are welcomed back to their homes with beautifully decorated altars made by their loved ones. Sugar skulls, marigolds, candles, incense and special foods adorn home altars."

If you don't celebrate Day of the Dead, you'll want to link over to Mexican Sugar Skulls now. You can never have too many holidays to celebrate if you celebrate them with honesty and appreciation of the traditions behind that holiday.

If you already know about and celebrate Day of the Dead, you'll definitely want to link to Mexican Sugar Skulls! Molds, information, socks (Yes, they do have Day of the Dead socks), a gallery of finished Day of the Dead sugar skulls and other treats await you.

Here's an original, handpainted & handlettered Day of the Dead ouija board. It's small (about 7" by 7" and half an inch thick), so you can carry it and use it whenever you might feel the need to contact the spirits. It's made of acrylics on wood; varnished, with a matching planchette. It has felt pads, and can be used as a wall-hanging as well. They can be custom made; just check with the Creepy Stuff. Details and purchasing info HERE.

Decorate your halls and doorways:

Here are some creepy, one-of-a-kind monsters painted on wood blocks for a creepy Halloween touch to any hallway, doorway, or entryway. Use them to great the little ghouls and goblins who will come trick or treating to your house on Halloween. Each block measures about 3 1/4" by 3 1/4" plus the length of the chain. Details and purchasing info HERE.

The first thing that caught my eye at Creepy Stuff was a shadowbox that has since been sold. I had to include a picture here because it is such a great thing. If you like it as much as I did, you may want to ask if Creepy Stuff can make a similar one for you. Perhaps if you promise tasty brains?

You can sit that little cabinet right next to your Trick or Treat bowl. The marauding candy-eating spirits would love that!

Here's a smaller zombie and brain shadowbox that is available now:

It's a one of a kind zombie & brain shadowbox. The zombie & tasty brains are made of handpainted polymer clay. Shadowbox is painted black & has "blood splatter" inside & out! The zombie head & brain are suspended & appear 3 dimensional. Glass front. Varnished. Ready to hang in your entryway to greet those goblins! Details and purchasing info HERE.

A Coffin purse!

What could be more appropriate than a coffin purse to carry those essentials.. like blood red lipstick... at the next monster gathering? Painted black & adorned with the handpainted symbols for Baron Samedi, the handle is made with handpainted skulls & coffins beads. It includes a mini handpainted voodoo doll featuring the Baron's symbol and painted clay face. the purse is varnished & measures about 12" long by 6" wide at its longest point, about 4" deep. If this one sells, it will be gone, as Creepy Stuff will not make another one. So if you don't yet have your coffin purse, you will need to get it NOW! Details and purchasing info HERE.

Creepy Halloween pins decorate everything!

Finally, three handmade and handpainted Halloween pins. Decorate your coat, sweater, or hat for the upcoming haunting holiday. Or perhaps your curtains or pillows? You'll get a glow in the dark ghost, a tombstone & a coffin. 1 1/4" up to 3"; Varnished. From Creepy Stuff. Hurry. Not much time left and things are going fast! Details and purchasing info HERE!

It's Creepy Stuff at Etsy.. for some really Creepy Stuff!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tree magic: Mushrooms and Tree Men

Tree People and Tree Faces to give your trees personality!

Nature decorated this tree with a natural gnarly face... Well, I see some kind of face right at the top of this picture.. Do you see it? Today it looks more like a dog.

Then Nature gave this tree an abundance of mushrooms. (Speaking of mushrooms, Autumn is the time to make homemade cream of mushroom soup and mushroom gravy over meatloaf. )

This tree wasn't lucky enough to have a naturally gnarly face, so the homeowner gave him a tree face:

Halloween is near, and this would be a great time to give your tree his (her?) own face to bring out its own personality. You've got a number of choices. From Amazon, the Woodland Prankster:

Below, from eBay, here's Whistlin' Pete and a there's a whole family of Tree People at the Genuine Tree People : Whistlin' Pete, Dagwood, Simon, Mr. and Mrs. Mapleshade, and Old Man Winter are high quality, original designs handmade by a Texas artisan.

Then there's The Joker over at Etsy; this is the first in a series of tree faces by Oklahoma artist Kendall Howerton. This tree face sticks his tongue out at your neighbors and friends.
The artist says that this tree face can be customized to meet the diameter of your tree or it can be cast to be attached to a flat surface such as a fence. Again, more information and purchasing information for the Joker HERE..

A good note on which to end tonight ... Check tomorrow for a completely whimsical yard. Dozens of birdhouses and friendly frogs.. The tree face in the second picture above keeps watch over the riotous happenings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Silly Pumpkins and Witchy Witches: Halloween Jewelry from Etsy

Some of my favorite Halloween finds at Etsy:

These bracelets and earrings, from ArtandArtisan at Etsy, are silly and cute and so great for Halloween:

Navy goldstone and lampwork art beads in shades of lime green, purple, black, and orange come together for so much fun, whether you are accompanying your kids while they Trick or Treat, or handing out candies to visiting ghouls, goblins, and witch princesses.

Another pumpkin bracelet with more traditional Halloween colors, same appealing pumpkin face:

Here's the detail on the silly pumpkin face on that great bracelet:

Frankenstein clip earrings (other similar styles available):

Many witchy pieces as well. Just witch hats, or below, full witchy heads:

Witchy hats clip on style; check their shop for hook earrings as well for pierced ears:

Last but not least from Artandartisan, pumpkin earrings to match the pumpkin bracelets... or just to wear all by themselves!

What a great etsy store! For these and more: It's ArtandAtisan at Etsy. ArtandAtisan's great Halloween jewelry is going fast and, as their items are one of a kind, if you want one of these items I've featured (or others that are similar), you'll need to link over to ArtandArtisan very, very soon--- like today!

Friday, September 23, 2011

We're welcoming Fall with Autumn Bracelets (Updated for Autumn 2017)

Fall is certainly in the air over here; the trees are decorating the skies with their red and gold autumn finery, even though the temperature in the day has still been in the 70's.

We've gone from summer sun and heat to the coolness of the autumn.. seemingly overnight. I just hope we'll get enough sun and warmth to ripen the rest of the tomatoes still on the vines.

Celebrate autumn with a beautiful new bracelet in classic autumn colors, or choose something unique and different: So many colors, so many motifs to choose from!
Note:  This was first written in Autumn 2011. Unfortunately, none of the beautiful bracelets featured here are still available, but the sites at which I found the bracelets, Beach Glass Memories at Etsy and Novica, the National Geographic's Artisan shop, are still open for business. 

Etsy is always a favorite. Just look at this beautiful bracelet and earrings combo fromBeachGlassMemories at Etsy. They're made primarily of autumn amber beach glass. leaf charms, and beads on a gold plated bracelet. Classic and versatile. Details and purchasing information HERE.

Here's another from BeachGlassMemories at Etsy. Sea glass in sea foam colors and autumn amber glass beads decorate this one-of-a-kind bracelet. Sea glass and that beautiful amber color always make me feel as though I am standing on a beach on one of those last warm Indian summer days with the wind whipping at my face. More details and purchasing information HERE.

Remember that Etsy features handmade, one-off articles, and any article featured here may be sold.. If you really love a piece, you'll need to link over to BeachGlassMemories or any other favorite Etsy store pronto! However, even if a particular item is sold out, the artisan may have other similar pieces or may make a piece to your specifications.

Another favorite autumn bracelet from Novica in pearls and peridot:

Novica is the National Geographic's artisan's shop, featuring hand-crafted gifts from some of the finest artisans.

On this bracelet, "Precious Fruit", designed by Anusara from Thailand, pears, plums, grapes, and other fruits in colorful autumn glory are recreated from a mix of golden pearls, orange chalcedony, smoky quartz, peridot, and transclucent beads. The stones and beads are knotted on a golden silk cord. Check out the detail below and the bracelet as worn below that. More detail and purchasing information HERE.

Is it any wonder why I love Autumn?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome to My Favorite Things!

Flowers are among My Favorite Things, and the flower boxes outside of my kitchen window are richer and fuller this year than they have ever been before! I'm so pleased to share these pictures with my readers:

I find beautiful things all over the Internet and beautiful things all around me. I want to share them with my friends and others who care about attractive, interesting things for their homes, friends, families.. or for themselves!

I love Etsy and eBay and I will happily share with you the many beautiful items I find in my "travels" both online and in real life.

Watch for several new items, shops, and posts every day starting in mid-October.

Happy hunting and shopping--- and Happy Living!
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