Pumpkin towers

IMG_6502

IMG_6504

IMG_6506

IMG_6513
Oh autumn how I love thee! Yet another excuse for me to create new little vignettes to reflect the change of season. Like I said before mother nature doesn’t need much help in creating the most beautiful of scenes but I can’t help it sometimes to lend a helping hand.

At this time of year it is hard for me to walk past the many varieties of gourds and pumpkins sold at the market. I like to combine different colors and textures and stack them on top of one of one another and then look for places in my backyard space that could use some height and dimension as well as a pop of color. I choose places close to the house like the patio and by my back door. They bring a smile to my face each time I pass by.

Although there is still much blooming and growing in the garden, I have had to remove a few plants from some pots that have petered out, a perfect place for a few pumpkin towers. I love how they look nestled in with trailing vines and herbs.

Oh and speaking of herbs, head on over to TEND where I write about one of my favorite herbs, Lemon Verbena.

A time of renewal

IMG_6359

IMG_6360

IMG_6361

IMG_6492

IMG_6495

IMG_6499

IMG_6515

Happy Autumn friends!
I miss this space. I miss the rhythm and routine of coming here.
Our summer was a beautiful, bountiful and busy one full of many new adventures along with much tradition.
I am ready for fall though. It is a time of renewal for me.
I have begun to bring the gifts of this new season indoors to incorporate into our decor. We are eating squashes, brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens and soon soup will be a weekly meal.
We have a trip to the orchard planned to pick loads of apples to turn into sauce to can for winter as well as for holiday gifts.
And soon there will be daily trips to the woodpile.
I feels good to be back.
xo

A Bit of Holiday Cheer

IMG_0202

IMG_0210

DSC_0317
these last few days i have been slowly adding some holiday cheer to our home. i just can’t help myself!

i haven’t put electric candles in the windows for a few years now. i missed the cheery glow. especially with these shorter days. my mom always had candles in our windows at christmas times. it was one of the first things that went up for the holiday and i loved falling asleep each night with those little lights on.

i’m on the look out for fallen evergreen branches, pinecones,magnolia leaves, osage oranges, etc.

we head off this afternoon for a few days to visit chris’ family for thanksgiving.
hannah and i have to leave a day early for her nutcracker rehearsals.
but we will be sure to make time to stop on the way home for our annual tradition.

wishing you all a peaceful thanksgiving.
i am extremely thankful for this space and for all of you who take the time to stop by.
cheers!
xo

Wains Coating

DSC_0310
DSC_0303

my grandfather and chris installed wains coating in our dining room about a month ago.
if you look at the photos in the previous post of norah’s birthday, you can see that the trim is attached to the wall both vertically and horizontally. and when painted it gives the effect that it is all wood when really it is mostly the wall.
it’s a clever and affordable solution if i do say so myself. it gives structure and texture to a room and it’s amazing how much brighter and bigger it feels now.

this past weekend my best friend and i had a blissful two days of painting it all while chatting, giggling, drinking tea and eating chocolate.
when we first started i never thought we would finish by sunday.
but time really flew by and before we knew it, the room was complete with time left over for a glass of wine and a pot of homemade cauliflower, butternut squash soup.

i love a finished project just before the holidays!

Turning 8 and a Sleepover

DSC_0216 DSC_0219 DSC_0224 DSC_0228 DSC_0231
While talking to my mom the other day she told me she had been a bit disappointed with second and edgemont as of late.
thanks for the nudge mom, you’re right, i’ve been a bit absent.
she even reminded me i hadn’t posted about norah’s birthday yet!

our little norie turned 8 this november.
her birthday wish was to get her ears pierced and have a sleepover party.
both went quite successfully.

i hardly snapped a photo (hence the blurry not so great photos above) of the celebration since i was busy with a party of 12 girls. yes you read right, 12!
it was our first experience hosting a sleepover party and it actually ran quite smoothly especially for such a large gaggle of girls ranging from 7-12 years old.

there was pizza making, chocolate cupcakes with butter cream icing, rainbow looming, and a movie .
oh and there was lots of chattering, laughing, squealing and screaming in between.

chris and i were quite surprised when we found them all asleep by 11pm.

i heard the first few up whispering at 6am which soon turned into giggling and then loud thumping.
a game of “slide down the staircase in your sleeping bag” had begun.

our cue to get up and start making pancakes.

Seasonal Decor

DSC_0376

DSC_0393

DSC_0395

DSC_0396

DSC_0400

DSC_0403
i love the change of seasons.
as the light fades and the cooler weather sets in, we are forced inside a bit more.
routines shift, our meals become warmer and hardier and our home becomes the heart of everything we do.

i like my seasonal “decor” (if i can even really call it that) to reflect the changes happening out in the natural world.
acorns, feathers, pine cones, seed heads and dried grasses adorn shelves and corners.
beautiful edible orange and blue squashes sit on my counter and act as a reminder that fall is here.
i bring out the nutcracker, buy some nuts and we feast on them well past christmas.
windowsills and counter tops begin to fill up with plants that i try to salvage from the frost.
baskets of knitting and blankets become part of the scene and we begin to hunker down for the winter.

i do of course have to satisfy the needs of my girls (who i think secretly wish i was a little more mainstream in the decorating department) by observing that halloween is coming with a few postcards and handmade black cats.

Seasonal Interest in the Garden

DSC_0286

DSC_0297
:: hop on over to tend today where i’ve written a post on seasonal interest in the garden.
:: i found this piece inspiring and empowering. i have always loved erin’s positive outlook on life.
:: i am super excited about this book. make sure to scroll down to watch the book trailer.
:: this documentary was wonderful. i can only hope that in my seventies and eighties i will still hold true to who i am and enjoy life to it’s fullest like these women.
::you can now find second and edgemont on facebook head on over and like us!
:: ok we are off and headed out for pizza and then the roller rink tonight. not sure who’s more excited. i love to rollerskate!

Hannah’s Room- part two

DSC_0299

DSC_0304

DSC_0306
there’s still some painting to be done but i thought i would share a few more bits and pieces of the addition.

i knew i always wanted to incorporate an open staircase into the project and i love how it has transformed our second floor. our carpenter did a beautiful job at crafting the post and railing and blending in the fact that that post needed to run all the way from the third floor down to the basement(the reason why our dining room wall is all patched up with spackle at the moment). it is essentially holding up the new third floor. the other post is hidden under drywall. i was a bit grumpy when the engineer first showed up to inform us that we needed to run two posts right through the middle of the project. but we got creative and i am very pleased with the end result.

mid way through the project we came up with the idea of a light tube in the ceiling of the staircase and i have not regretted the decision one bit! i adore the natural light that streams through all day long down the stairs and into our second floor space. with the ship lap it feels like we live on a boat with a little port hole.

my mom and i are always trying to find more and more ways to utilize every inch of our home,hence all of the built-ins in my house. she came up with the brilliant idea of some shelving along the staircase which bumps into the attic storage space. for now it holds games, something we have a lot of and i can’t seem to find enough space for. and the little bump out shelf at the bottom of the staircase above holds some of my basket collection. i may over-winter some plants up there with all of that sunlight streaming through.

The Joys of Thrifting

DSC_0295

DSC_0302

DSC_0320

oh thrifting.
i used to struggle with the guilt about how much i love it. but recently i have embraced the fact that for me it is an art. a creative process. it’s a big part of who i am and how i express myself and my style in both my wardrobe and in my home. but most importantly it brings me a lot of joy!

i like having things that no one else has. i like finding other creative uses for things. i like recycling and giving things another life. i like the hunt. i like old, well made things. i like the history and the story these things hold. i like mixing these finds in with our handmade crafts and what we find out in the natural world and tying it all together to tell our own story.

creating a home filled with things that i love is something i grew up with. my mother instilled in us an appreciation for beautiful useful things even down to your dustpan and broom.

above are a few things found on a thrifting adventure yesterday.

:: a cream colored cable sweater with toggle closure. a new color for me!
:: wool fringed checked scarf. a small square sized one perfect for one knot around the neck.
:: rust cabled gloves. to match the new fallen leaves.
:: wooden spindle chair to pair with hannah’s desk. plan to make a little cushion for it.
:: an old wooden scoop used as a shelf in my kitchen for now but also to be used to hold napkins and utensils when hosting dinner and parties.

A New Room and Floor

DSC_0264

DSC_0265

DSC_0266

DSC_0267

DSC_0268

DSC_0269

DSC_0270

DSC_0278
oh i could not wait to share this with you.
it’s all pretty amazing really to have watched this room in all of it’s stages and now in all of it’s glory!
it is officially complete and hannah is over the moon.

she chose benjamin moore maiden hair fern for the color. and as much as this mama of hers would have loved to see revere pewter on the walls, i love how it blends in with the leaves right outside of her huge windows.

to get an idea of how much we needed to dormer out you can see the original roof line just above the staircase. behind the mirrored door is the old attic space which comes in handy for storage.

the woodwork and trim was made to match the rest of this arts and crafts style house and we added some ship lap on the walls for a little more modern feel.

my grandfather crafted the built in bookcase (who’s top i am picking up from his shop tomorrow) to house books and collections.

she has a nice sized closet which fits all of her shoes and clothes and allows for more space in her room for dancing, playing and hanging out.

her antique bed was a gift from my mom and the drawing above it lived in my room as a child. artwork by hannah and my sister also lives on the walls. her desk was salvaged and given some new hand crafted drawer pulls.

on her first night up there i laid with both her and norah (who has been invited up to sleep and snuggle whenever she likes) and looked out at the leaves rustling on the big maple tree. we listened to the rain tapping on the roof and i marveled at this little house of ours and how it keeps on expanding and growing along with us.

stay tuned for more details and photos of this exciting new project!