Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Feline Fondness for Fall Tablescape

Welcome to my blog, Panoply! Today I'm experimenting a bit with some fall decor elements in a new tablescape I'm calling Feline Fondness for Fall.  I love fall and I love just about anything leopard.
When it comes to fall fashion, several staples may come to mind if you ask any trend-conscious man or woman: blazers, scarves, jeans, boots, etc. I'm no expert, but I bet leopard is considered a secret weapon in any woman's wardrobe, particularly in fall and winter. So, is there any reason to doubt a little leopard can be that same secret weapon in home decor as well? Or even in tablescaping? Raise your hands if you agree! 🙌 A little leopard can go a long way, just like a red lipstick, and it's my springboard in today's table. 
First, a thank you to Chloe Crabtree, from the blog, Celebrate and Decoratefor hosting and organizing several bloggers each day this week, to bring you an entire week of fall tablescaping ideas, all listed at the end of this post. 
Typical of my personal style, I always like to mix vintage items with anything new, whether it's fashion, home or garden. I also have no problem mixing high- and low-end elements with no bias toward either. Today's table is all that. While the leopard salad plates are the new found fun items on the table, there's plenty of other well-loved elements being incorporated too. See source list for resources.
The tablecloth is a humble dropcloth, and the plaid, mohair lap throw-used-as-runner is a vintage estate find. The napkin rings are old belts, recycled, with added grommets. The napkins, chargers, dinner plates and flatware are all recent years' retail purchases, as are the velvet and felted pumpkins and napkins on the table.
Mid-century wooden candle holders and a silverplate pitcher sit comfortably with Art Deco period salt & pepper shakers. The little acorns are new this year, felted, with real acorn caps attached. The vintage wine sipper acts as a catchall tray for the acorns, but could just as easily serve its intended purpose with wine being served.
Vintage crystal is original 1970s from Lenox, part of my earthy registry choices way back then. Water goblets are interchangeable as wines, and tall glasses are in the same pattern.
Since adding the vintage Japanese folding screen to the dining area wall, the space feels much more inviting, especially for a table setting.
As takeaways for guests, I purchased several vintage, stamped spoons with messages appropriate for the guests and the fall theme. One example is pictured below, next to the felted acorn: "what you think you become". Think about the message intended there. These are great conversation starters, and you can order any message you'd like.
I hope you've found a bit of inspiration for ushering in fall and finding a way to perhaps use some of the things you may already have to create your own style. The source list below gives you a better idea of how I mix things up and, in this case, added the proverbial "red lipstick" of the leopard plates to build upon.
Feline Fondness for Fall Tablescape Source List
Dinner Plates - Pfaltzgraff Filigree
Salad Plates - Ballard Designs
Chargers, Flatware - Pier 1
Brown crystal glasses, goblets - Lenox Impromptu
Napkins - French Garden House
Velvet Pumpkins - LoveFeast Shop
Natural (dropcloth) tablecloth - Lowe's
Wool Plaid Runner, Wooden candlestick holders, silverplate pitcher, wine sipper, salt & peppers - Vintage Finds
Be sure and stop by each day for updated links below, taking you directly to each blogger's table setting with a their ideas of a fall themed tablescape.

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment. I appreciate each one of you, and getting to know new visitors is a fun part of blogging. Hopefully, you'll return again. Thanks so much for your visit and readership today.
Rita C. at Panoply

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Cozying Up the Condo

Summer to fall transition in our new condo has me honing my nesting instincts. Most of summer was all about settling in, furniture placement and organizing closets. Now it's time to have some fun in decorating. I'm cozying up the condo in anticipation of fall's arrival. While some of what I've been doing (pillows, throws) is for seasonal change, much more (wall art) is for enhancing the overall decor, which will likely stay through the seasons.
Today's post gives me the opportunity to share with you the little creature comforts I've been adding to the condo, filling in what were previously some blank spaces. Thanks to Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home for organizing a bounty of bloggers who are doing much the same kind of seasonal decorating in their homes, you'll find lots of inspiration in the links provided at the end of my post today. These are bound to help you jumpstart your own creativity for fall in your home!
The first and only pumpkins to arrive on the scene in my home for late summer, early fall transition will greet you at the front door entry mat.
Inside, a freshening up on the sectional comes with a mix of older pillow covers, together with a perfectly coordinated pair of lumbar pillows I found on sale recently at Pier 1. Their colors match a throw I already had almost exactly (see lead photo in this post).
These pillows aren't just for show either. I use them for back and leg support!  And pillows rotate around from place to place in my home with the seasons. What was previously on the sectional stays for fall, this time on the Parsons chair behind the sectional.
Little things like antique, wooden croquet balls are suddenly elevated as seasonal transitional showpieces in a quadruple silverplate bowl (antique estate and auction finds).
A West Virginia potter's piece with signature maple leaf design works especially well for fall.
The wall behind the sectional leads to two additional rooms on either side of the central fireplace niche pictured below.
The 5" original sketches are by a WV (now NJ) artist/friend. They are my state outline (WV) and my state's official tree (sugar maple) leaf.
While we're in the great room, I want to show you the Japanese byobu (a folding screen) I mounted on the wall behind our dining area, below, as viewed from the sectional.
I have owned this screen since 2007 (estate auction purchase) and am just now hanging it! I found an art gallery in Honolulu, HI (specializing in Asian art) which sold the mounting clips that solved my biggest dilemma - how to properly mount a folding screen of this size. 
On the table currently is the vignette pictured below (normally on the glass top, but placed on a tablecloth to eliminate glare). The quilted runner was purchased from a WV artisan, the antique dough bowl at an estate sale, and the bouquet of sunflowers inside are faux.
Sunflowers on the kitchen counter (real) and a MacKenzie-Childs teapot are other welcoming visuals seen as visitors step inside our door. The framed prints on the wall are foods among the flowers, our main food groups as I like to refer to them: fruits, veggies and ice cream (the latter being Mr. P.'s main food group 😉). These are vintage cross-stitched finds recently purchased at an estate sale.
Sunflowers are also in my laundry room, which I have decorated with mostly garden themed items. In a basket on the counter are my melamine plates I created with pictures from my garden on Shutterfly (mentioned and shown here, here, and here). Late summer blooms are featured.
In my office, I hung my vintage Art Deco framed needlepoints (estate finds).
This room carries a distinct Asian vibe with furnishings, and the Asian art vase now holds cotton bolls and pheasant feathers for the summer to fall transition.
The bookcase in my office has a gathering of my favorite things: a vintage mannequin head form with Art Deco period beaded skull cap, a Parisian-themed child's purse on hatbox, a couple of my antique trophy collection, along with a treasured antique lion's head embossing seal (which reads, "ST RITA CIRCLE NO 45 INST MAR 28, 1915, NATIONAL CIRCLE DAUGHTERS OF ISABELLA"). The shelf framed art is a unique, androgynous Art Deco figure, handmade of paper and folded satin (estate purchase).
Even the fire exit in our condo has a seasonal transition, a sort of back-to-school / library feel. The jib door holds various books, while the framed art includes a pencil sketch of my undergrad alma mater (by local artist), with an Andrew Wyeth lithograph, Early October, on the wall beside the books. I've held onto the Wyeth litho since 1989 and never hung it, just stored it.
The master bedroom is getting cozier too. The quilted wall hanging is yet another item I've had, this one since 2001, now taking center stage on the wall behind the bed. A WV artist created it in 1999.
The nine botanicals on the side wall are my most recent estate acquisition. I am pretty excited about these. They are 1885 original chromolithographs by German botanist Otto Wilhelm Thome. They were all professionally matted and framed recently, very tedious for me to hang, but I am in love with the end result.
Having these in the bedroom gives me another sense of garden zen in my surroundings. For some reason, the fig illustration was what grabbed my attention first at the sale. I don't really know why, but it speaks summer to fall transition perfectly in my mind. While the prints themselves do have some foxing, the left side matte is just glare from the light in the room when I took the photo.
Though I'm not quite finished hanging art in the master bedroom, I am happy with the cozy factor progress with pillows, throws and lighting.
I also swapped the grey flannel chair pictured above into the bedroom, and took the leather barrel swivel chair previously there into Mr. P.'s space. You can see the before looks in this post, here. His room is the least finished (no hurry), but still very cozy for watching TV. I have ideas for his space that I still hope to persuade him to go with.

It'll be a little while before I go all out with the pumpkin patch I've accumulated, but I gathered most of them into my dough bowl for a look-see of what's to come.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your readership. I love reading your comments too, and I try to respond to each one. If you don't receive a direct email response from me, check back and see if I didn't leave a reply here on this post. Some who leave comments have a "no reply" when I get notified, so I may not have your email to reply directly.

Be sure to check out all the links below for more inspiration!

(A special thanks to Debra at Common Ground's All About Home Link Party #5, Rebecca at Zucchini Sisters' Celebrate Your Story #197, Kathy at A Delightsome Life's Home and Garden Thursday, Amber at The Yellow Brick Home's Thursday Favorite Things, and Suzanne at Pieced Pastimes' Saturday Sparks Link Party #340 for featuring this post!)

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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote #20 and a Giveaway

Hey there, traveling troubadours! It's time for another instalment from me and my sisters of the Traveling Tote, and a giveaway! Be sure to read further for instructions on how to enter to win the giveaway, and also to catch all my tribe sisters' travels with their post links provided.

Following an interim, "summer fun" post (you can backtrack to see where we left off in that update, here), the group is now back on our normal, quarterly schedule of sharing travels. Today, I'm sharing the last bit of summer outings with my town tote, Miss Charley C.

August was 🔥HOT🔥. So what do you do when it's hot? Go underground! Mr. P. and I spent a day traveling about an hour south here in West Virginia to visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
A city run facility since 1962, it was once a bonafide, working mine that originally opened in 1889 and continued operating through 1953.
First, a little background.....
At the beginning of the 20th Century, coal was the engine of industrial progress. Coal was KING in West Virginia's economy for many years, and men were even recruited from other states to work 10-12 hour shifts to mine coal by hand in horrific conditions. Coal camps were established, wherein mine owners/operators had entire towns built and owned by the company, including housing, general store, school, church, post office, barber/beauty shop, and doctor's offices. This permanent exhibition has all these buildings, relocated from their original locations elsewhere in the city, to this site.
The tours for the Exhibition Coal Mine are led by retired coal miners. Ours was Don B. Below, Don was demonstrating how far down the miners had to crouch (sometimes lying on their backs) to (hand)drill the wall in order to excavate the coal.
Don took us on the mantrip (small rail cars which carried miners and their supplies to the mine face). It was dark and dank.
Miners were expected to dig up to two tons each per shift, and were initially paid as little as $3 per shift. Deductions were taken if the load included rock.
Miners carried their lunch pails into the mine, and didn't come out until the shift was over.
Women raised their kids in the coal camps, and sometimes worked in the company store, or did sewing/ironing, while the husbands worked in the mines. Their children went to school within the camp, and families worshipped together at the coal camp church.
Working for just $3 a day, being paid in scrip (company issued coin), while trying to feed a family, often prompting women to signing groceries on credit, was the crux of a vicious cycle of poverty for coal mining families. Tennessee Ernie Ford's song, "16 Tons", couldn't have been any truer with its lyrics in the early days of coal mining:
"You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"
Most people who have lived lifelong in West Virginia have a relative who worked for a coal company, including me! I worked in what field workers referred to as "the ivory tower" - the main office of one, very large WV coal company, in their finance (budgeting) department, back in the late 1980s. Mr. P.'s family lived in a coal camp for a few years. His father worked in the mine, and his mother worked in the company store. His grandfather worked and died in a coal mine. His death certificate reads, "mashed in mine".

Today, coal is a dying industry in West Virginia. The day we stop seeing sights like the one below will, indeed, be a sad day for our state.
Enough of the sadness! We moved on from the coal mine, and headed to Tamarack: the Best of West Virginia. If you're ever traveling WV Turnpike (I-77 / I-64 at Exit 45) and you've never experience Tamarack, you stop you next opportunity!
Simply put, it showcases the best of West Virginia's artisans in a retail center: wood works, pottery, glass, and many other art forms you can purchase.
The food court offers notable regional cuisine, and has been reviewed and given accolades by Southern Living, among other critics.

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway. Debbie at Mountain Breaths is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Debbie's September 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this MacKenzie-Childs whisk! Hurry over now!
As promised, here are all the links to the rest of tribe members' travels since our July 31 post. There are some very seasoned travelers in this group, and you won't want to miss the tote antics!
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home

Be sure to visit us all again on our next instalment, coming to you on December 1, 2019.
Thank you so much for dropping by the blog today. I love reading your comments, but don't forget to leave one on Debbie's blog for a chance at the giveaway! If you're here in the US, I hope you're enjoying your Labor Day weekend. Ta ta for now, I'll just zip along in my little checked mini now.......Ha! Don't I wish?!