and Valentine's Day.) I have taken the liberty of showing some ideas that I thought you might enjoy. Please, excuse the sloppy layout. I still can't figure out how to use the image uploader...it drives me whacko!
In the first picture, I have taken a white metal cone and spraypainted it black. I then came back with a rust spray and "hit"it lightly to give it an aged look. I went to Dollar Tree (and promised that I wouldn't spend over $10) and bought 10 flower bushes for a $1 each. I had some of the berries and the twigs. I stuffed the cone full and hung it under my porch light.
In the second picture I have built a vignette for my countertop. I used a glass and metal tray and layered a few fall leaves, a bird's nest with a real egg in it and a Peter's Pottery bird. The candle holder is one that I made in a ceramics class years ago. I placed a Bath and Body Works candle in an orange glass on the candle holder and topped the whole thing with a wavy glass hurricane. The candle's scent is pumpkin, naturally!
In this picture I am unceremoniously captured in the mirror...sorry. This is a small buffet in my dining area. It is backed with a long vertical mirror. On either side of the buffet are two tall lamps with tan polka dot and black stripe shades. The charger in the background is a heavy inexpensive ceramic one that I have had for years. In front is a McCarty Cotton Row vase filled with seasonal bittersweet branches. I found the handcarved chickadee at the Hwy. 49 Flea Market. Nobody noticed it was handcarved and signed but being the investigative spirit that I am, I DID! I bought him for $2. I LOOOOVE a good deal and this was one!
This arrangement is the one that I use most of the year on my dining table, except for Spring, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving. I just added the fall leaves to the berries and feathers already present. My point in all this is that you don't have to spend tons of money to make your house feel like a change of season is taking or has taken place. When I used to teach Foods at the high school, I would ask how many students had mothers who changed the table centerpiece or wreath on their doors seasonally. Years ago, most would raise their hands. As the years fast forwarded, I found fewer and fewer mothers did just that little bit to make their home more welcoming. One girl raised her hand and said, "I always look forward to seeing what my mother finds to put in the center of the table and so do my brothers and sisters."
I always made a big deal of Valentine's Day at my house. Branch with hanging red and white hearts, colorful napkins, a good meal and a little gift for everyone. One Valentine's Day I decided I was just too tired and the men in my life didn't seem to notice anyway. So I did nothing. We sat down to eat and I noticed my son and husband looking at each other. Finally, #1 son said, "Where's the branch?" And husband said, "Where's the gift and the napkins?" OOOOHHHH! so they did notice afterall.
Look, I know we are all busy and I know we are all tired, but a few leaves and pumpkins here and there aren't going to break the bank. And, who knows, when times are tough and children become grown children, the memories you create might just be the thing that gets them over the hump of a bad time in life. Go forth and create a memory today!