At The End of Summer

A little shed overgrown with a virginnia creeper vine turning bright red

We are well past Summer now and into the late days of Fall, but I still wanted to share these photos from last month, chronicling the changing of seasons.

Oak leaves changing yellow and seeds from a hollyhock

Oak leaves have such an interesting shape. On the right, hollyhock seeds plant themselves for next year.

sunflowers

The cheeriest of garden flowers! We let the large seed heads dry out, so the birds can enjoy them.

brussel sprout leaves

We tried growing brussel’s sprouts this year for the first time. They didn’t taste very good, but at least the plants looked marvellous.

yellow zucchini and orange tomatoes

We had much better luck with these delicious yellow zucchinis and tomatoes!

pink hydrangea

Our hydrangeas don’t get very big, but they are still quite pretty.

cosmos blooms and yarrow

cosmos bloom with a bee sitting on top

So are these cosmos and yarrow blooms, and this one friendly little bee.

the last rose of summer

The last rose of summer, that lasted very well even past the first couple of frosts.

sunset

Sunset through the golden leaves.

wood stack ready for winter

The wood is all stacked and ready for winter nights. I’m thinking it’s about time we started making fires in our fireplace again…it’s starting to feel like the changing of the seasons again.

A World Where There are Octobers

woman spinning in front of a row of yellow trees

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

The leaves are going quickly. Only days ago this row of trees in our backyard were covered in bright golden colours and by today they are mostly gone. Bare branches are left in stark contrast to the pale azure autumn skies. The bright yellow leaves are slowly deepening in colour, and the days are cool and crisp. I love this time of year and, like Anne, I am glad I live in a place where I get to fully enjoy Octobers.

woman walking in front of a large row of trees

mountain ash tree berries and woman wearing a wrap skirt and navy blue t-shirt

I am also happy that my sister was able to get these photos for me when she did, since I think this is the last time I’ll be pulling out this linen wrap skirt for this year. It’s time to reach for the tights and woollens and scarves!

patchwork quilt purse

This is the patchwork purse I mentioned that I was making. It took quite a while to finish, since I decided to hand stitch it to give more control over some of the very tiny pieces of fabric. I’m not a skilled quilter, and since I didn’t follow any pattern (each piece was fitted in place as I sewed) it ended up quite quirky! I think it gives it a rather authentic 1970’s feel though, don’t you?

After I finished the quilt, I then appliquéd it onto a canvas backing and then lined the entire thing to give it some strength, especially since the last one I made came apart. I was able to use so many unique pieces of fabric that I’ve saved over the years- you can even see in the picture above that I used a piece of the fabric from this skirt! Well, at least I know that this bag will coordinate with almost everything in my wardrobe…

woman spinning in front of autumn leaves

woman standing in front of golden trees looking into the distance

woman twirling in front of autumn trees

detail of a gold heart necklace

Friendship necklaces used to be such a “thing” when I was a kid, but they kind of went out of favour, didn’t they? A few years ago I found this friendship necklace; the heart cut out of the centre of this piece forms the other necklace! I like that it’s so delicate and minimal.

woman wearing a wrap skirt and carrying a patchwork bag

mountain ash berries

patchwork quilted purse

cognac coloured ballet flats

Why is it so hard to find brown shoes? Have you ever noticed that? Since deciding that brown is my “neutral” I have had the hardest time finding nice shoes that aren’t black. I was so glad to be able to find these from Vionic. I think it’s about time to put them away for the season, though. They are perforated, which is lovely for warm days, but a bit chilly for autumn!

I hope you are faring well and enjoying your October, whatever it’s looking like for you!

mountain ash tree

poplar branch in golden sunset light

Social Saturday | October 2

golden fall leaves

Happy October! Even though it’s a short season I love fall. I can’t believe that it’s already the beginning of October and the leaves are starting to fade!

Yesterday I snapped these photos of the beautiful golden light shining through the trees…and today is a cold and blustery day which has left almost all of the trees bare. We’ve had a beautiful long fall this year though, with so many sunny warm days. I love seeing the contrast of golden yellow leaves against a crisp blue sky.

fall leaves with golden evening light

Today is a quiet day spent inside with a book and a cup of tea. I got a couple of novels from the library yesterday, and have already finished one of them! (Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce and moving onto Longbourn by Jo Baker next)

patchwork 70's inspired purse

I finished my patchwork sewing project a while ago. I made a new purse to go on these vintage wooden handles from my Mom. The bag that was originally on them was coming apart, so it was time for a refresh. I was able to use up a bunch of beautiful scraps I’ve been saving for years. I’ll have an outfit post with this purse up soon!

floral pillowcases

Another quick and easy project recently, was making some new pillowcases. I sewed them out of a couple of damaged vintage sheets I had and they go perfectly with my pillow shams and quilt. I used to have 50 different patterned throw pillows and white pillowcases, but I was starting to get tired of how busy it was when paired with my quilt. So, instead of changing out the throw pillows for new ones, I decided to update with floral pillowcases and keep my shams and throw pillow all white lace. It was the perfect solution and I love the look!

new greeting card designs

One final item of note for today is that I added a couple of new card designs, as well as phone cases etc. to my Society 6 shop. I added these ages ago, actually, but never posted them!

How is your Fall going? What are your plans for October?

Looking Forward to Fall, From My Fashion Scrapbook

Vogue 1998 photo of a girl wearing a fur coat and a flower crown looking out a window

On a cold, blustery Fall day like today, it’s the perfect time to look through my fashion scrapbook for some seasonal inspiration! It’s still technically Summer, but it’s time to start phasing out the summer dresses and straw hats, and replacing them with wool layers and berets. In this in-between stage of seasons, I like to merge and slowly transition to the next season of clothing. Here are some of my favourite fashion photos from the past that I’ve saved in my scrapbook!

vogue october 1998 photo spread of a girl wearing a tan skirt suit, an oversized fur collar lying in the grass looking at a building

This is one of my favourite photo shoots of all time! (It includes both of these photos above) By Angela Lindvall for the Vogue October 1998 issue, this picture, above, is inspired by the Andrew Wyeth painting “Christina’s World” and it’s beautiful!

smokey eye makeup and a wool camel coat

I really like this bold yet soft makeup look for Fall and Winter. I’m not sure if it would suit me very well, personally, but I really like that 20’s inspired smudged look!

two women walking in the woods wearing pink and yellow fur coats and dresses

I know that people have conflicting feelings about fur, but I personally love the look. If it is ethically sourced or vintage, I have no problem with it, though I do understand why some people don’t. Gorgeous fur coats and collars are beautiful for cool weather!

fur collars and dramatic wool coats

paris inspired vogue 1998 photoshoot

Again, from that same 1998 Vogue magazine (so many good photos in that one!) is this lovely European inspired photo shoot. Again a lovely fur stole, this time paired with a fabulous feathered hat.

elegant winter wool coats

If fur isn’t your thing, though, there are so many beautiful wool coats for cool weather. I love my vintage cashmere coat, and will treasure it forever!

walking down a lane wearing burberry

And here’s another from Burberry in 1998; again such a classic coat for cooler days.

checked blouse and wool skirt in a grassy field

velvet and wool coat with a dramatic feel

bold octaganal sunglasses

I don’t think this is technically a Fall image, but I love the colours and patterns of these bold sunglasses and zebra collar combination.

retro inspired fall layered look

The socks and shoes pairing was definitely a trend a few years ago, but I actually don’t mind it as far as trends go, because it’s inspired by the even older trend of bobby socks and saddle shoes!

ralph lauren ad

I’ll end with this gaucho and blazer look from Armani, below, in 1998- it’s so classic that you could wear this today and look just as fresh.

Armani gaucho layered outfit

If you come across vintage fashion magazines in the thrift stores, buy them! They have so much good fashion inspiration and, because they are no longer trendy, you can really sift through the looks and determine which pieces were trendy and which pieces are classics. If you can look at a fashion spread from years ago and pick out pieces that you’d wear today, then you know you’ve hit on a Classic!

Which are your favourite looks of these? Do you like to page through old fashion magazines? It’s not as popular today, in the days of Pinterest, but do you save magazine clippings?

Salvaged DIY Craft Room Organizer (Or Plant Stand!)

diy salvaged organizer stand

I love decorating, and I especially love salvaging old furniture and “junk” and transforming them into new pieces for my home. While it can be fun to buy new ready-made things, it is so satisfying (as well as zero waste!) to save something old or broken from the trash and turn it into something completely new. While this post is a little bit out of my usual blog niche, I am really happy with how this latest DIY craft room organizer project turned out, so I wanted to share it here, in case it can provide you with some inspiration.

salvaged organizer before

At the shop I used to work at, we had these carousel stand organizers, but they were poorly made, and over time the bases broke. They got put in the back storage room until we were clearing out the store, and my boss decided that she didn’t want them anymore. I couldn’t bear to put them in the dumpster, so I called my mom and asked if she thought we could do something with them. At the time, I wasn’t actually thinking that I would use them as a spinning organizer- I was thinking more along the lines of turning them into plant stands, or hanging them as outdoor planters. My mom said we should definitely save them, so we brought them home and put them in the workshop…where they have been sitting ever since! Then, a few weeks ago when my dad was cleaning out the shop, I was reminded of them again, and started thinking that perhaps an organizer for my sewing and art supplies would be a good idea after all. I was trying to think of some way I could make a new base, or fix the old one, when my dad mentioned that he had seen an old umbrella stand at the dump. “Aha!”- that was the perfect solution!

I was just going to use the original rod, paint it and call it a day, but my dad came up with a much better method of building the pole/ stand. Even though you probably won’t have baskets exactly like these, this method could still be used to easily create a stand with trays, or other baskets.

vintage vertical plant stand and illustration

I also saw this picture online of a vintage pole plant stand, which I think would be so cool to make with this method (especially since the only other versions I can find online are ugly plastic ones!)  If you offset the trays, or used small wooden shelves you could easily make a really cool space saving plant stand!

OK, so here’s how to make this DIY shelf/organizer. My dad did all of the work with the pipe, and I basically just did the painting! Firstly, I took all of the basket pieces apart and cleaned them with some soap and water and then rinsed them with the hose, because they were very dirty!

baskets and umbrella stand before

We used 3/4″ copper pipe and couplings to create the pole. I know that new pipe can be expensive, but we had a bunch of old used copper pipe lying around from past renovations, so it worked perfectly for me. You could also salvage pipe, use black steel pipe (which has all sorts of threadable pipe fittings available) or even use an extendable metal curtain rod.

diagram for stand assembly

We cut the pipe with a tube cutter into the lengths needed. The bottom two pipes are 17″ and the top one is 10″. We then used 3/4″ pipe couplings to create the connections for the baskets to sit on top of (so they don’t slide down the pipe). The bottom basket sits directly on top of the umbrella stand, and then the pipe threads through the middle, and so on until the top.

umbrella stand salvage organizer

Because the umbrella stand’s diameter was much wider than the pipe, my dad made a wooden spacer with a 3/4″ hole drilled through put inside the tube for the copper pipe to slide through. There is a coupling flush with the top of the stand and then a washer on top as a spacer for the basket so it doesn’t sit directly on the stand.

assembling the stand bottom baskets

We didn’t solder the couplings to the pipe, but you could solder one side, leaving the other loose so it can be dismantled. Or if you don’t need to it to be able to be taken apart, you can place your shelves and then solder both sides of the couplings to create a more rigid and sturdy pole. Because I had that original pole, I didn’t solder the pipe, but slid it straight through the copper pipe to make the entire stand sturdier, since it was a bit wobbly.

If you aren’t using pipe, but are instead using an extendable curtain rod, I would make it by cutting the thinner pipe the height that you want it to be (my stand is 54″ tall, by the way). Then, instead of using small couplings, cut the outer rod into “spacers” the height you want the shelves to be placed at. So, instead of having just a small coupling, the entire inner rod will be covered with the outer rod and you can assemble it by threading “stand, basket, spacer, basket, spacer…etc.” until you reach the top. Using a curtain rod will work perfectly too, because then you can use your finial to finish off the top!

salvaged organizer diagram

After my stand was assembled, it was time to paint it!. I debated about polishing up the copper and have it metallic with black baskets, but then decided that I don’t really have copper as an accent in my home, so I painted it. (Of course after I decided that, I remembered that my fan is antiqued copper so I could have….)

painting the diy craft room organizer

I painted it black to give it a more industrial look to match the style of the punched metal. I started with satin finish paint, then realized that I should have gone with matte since the shine highlights all of the imperfections of the metal! Oh well; it is a salvage project, after all. I used Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Canyon Black, (and noticed that I took the picture of the French side-haha) since I already had 1/2 a can on hand. I did three coats and I guess that I used about 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 cans of paint for the entire project. I still have almost an entire can of paint left over, so I can use that for a future project!

finished diy craft room organizer

Once the paint cured, the organizer was done and ready to use! As I brought it inside, I realized just how heavy that umbrella stand is when you need to move it around. I am keeping my eye out for the base of an old metal rolling desk chair to swap out the stand for. That would make it so easier to move around when required!

finished metal diy craft room organizer

I haven’t filled all of the compartments yet, but this is going to work perfectly for ribbons and laces and zippers and other sewing notions. They were previously in drawers, which made it hard to find anything. I usually like closed storage solutions, but for some things, open storage just works better. And sewing and crafts, is one of those things that works better when I can see things and find them easily.

This method worked so well to create this craft room organizer stand that I am considering whether I should make another with offset shelves using the curtain rod method in order to create a plant stand. (I have a lot of plants!) The curtain rod I have is already black metal and I could use wood for the shelves, so it wouldn’t require any painting. Maybe a good project for over the Winter?

Do you like to DIY furniture or other home projects? What’s the best “salvage” piece you’ve ever saved and transformed? And do you prefer open or closed storage solutions? 

diy salvaged craft room organizer