Shop Your Cupboards: Autumn and Halloween Decor

People who know me know autumn is my favorite season. It has always been a favorite since I was a wee one. There are a lot of great memories attached to this season. Childhood Halloween gatherings, making the seasonal sauerkraut at Grandma's, baking pies from apples fresh from the orchards, high school football games and Homecoming dances, the smell of bonfires, and the crisp feel in the air reminding me to bring out the sweaters. 

There are bins of autumn and Halloween decor in storage, but this year I chose to keep it simple. Recovering from hip surgery, numerous medical appointments, physical therapy, and dental surgery, co-hosting a sorority annual autumn gathering in a few weeks, and after two years in quarantine, the goal was to get out of town for a couple of days even if it was only 113 miles away. 

One of the places I "shopped" was in my pantry cupboards which are stuffed with old crystal and copper pieces. Of course, I had to bring out my old copper Jack o Lantern kettle and pose it next to the copper basket I use as a paper napkin holder. Behind them is a Lazy-Susan made from the head of a local Walla Walla wine barrel. I keep cooking "accessories" on it such as salt, pepper, sugar, vinegars, oils, and other cooking condiments. 

One of many treasured copper pieces from second-hand stores 

A velvet pumpkin found its place on a stack of my books

This year I chose autumn decor that would go right into Thanksgiving without having to put anything away, and just add a few vintage glass turkey-shaped candy dishes. Pumpkins. Plenty of mercury glass pumpkins. This year I followed the advice of two of my favorite YouTubers. 

In France, they do not celebrate Halloween with the same enthusiasm as we do here in America. However, it's slowly catching on. Paper artist, Laetitia MiĆ©ral, known as the "Paper Magician" lives in a charming apartment in Saint Etienne, France. It's not easy for her to just drop by the department store and expect to find a plethora of Halloween decor. So, her talents come in handy. She creates paper sculptures in the shapes of dollhouses, animals and creatures, ornate miniature clocks, and towers. Yes, Laetitia, of Merveilles Enpapier crafts a lot of her Halloween decor and uses everyday props like tarnished candlestick holders to give that eerie Halloween atmosphere. 

It would appear this season I am following in the footsteps of Paige from Farmhouse Vernacular. She's been enthusiastic about decorating for fall and especially Halloween with a "witchy" flair. This year with a busy schedule and a new "tiny human," she is limiting her decor using a couple of simple tips: #1. Less is more, #2. Don't make it complicated, #3. 
Go for essence pieces, not literal pieces, #4. Give yourself a small budget for new things, and #5. Rediscover your favorite pieces.

Tip #3 is a favorite.
Essence pieces and not literal pieces, meaning you don't need to decorate with items that are actually printed with "Happy Halloween." Instead go with items you have around your house like tarnished candlestick holders, books with mysterious titles, vintage apothecary jars and bottles, and dried fall foliage. Also, for the last couple of years, I have been following Tip #4 giving myself permission to buy one new mercury glass pumpkin per autumnal season.

Christmas is just around the corner. The essence pieces and not literal pieces will be my quest. Make it easy, but quaint and colorful.

Mercury glass pumpkin and candy corn colored votive

Wine recommendation for decorating: A big bold, bloody, and spicey Syrah, preferably one from Walla Walla AVA.


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