Happy Autumn Eve Eve

Josh is very concerned about the propriety of declaring Autumn before the actual day on which autumn begins. Apparently that is September 21. Since it’s only the 19th, please allow me to be the first to wish you all a joyous Autumn Eve Eve.

However, since it’s late September and feels Fall-ish to me, I decided to change a few things in the decorating scheme to be more in keeping with the season.
Since the bird’s nest incident, our front door has been bereft of a wreath. To remedy that sad situation, I used a grape vine wreath form and added in some berries and bittersweet, plus ribbons and some apples to make a fall wreath that looks nice against the green of our front door, I think. The wreath is kind of oddly shaped, but I don’t know what to do about that.
My zinnias are still blooming apace, so our centerpiece will probably be fresh flowers for a few more weeks at least. Zinnias are summery, but also match with fall colors, so I switched out the crystal candlesticks with light sage green candles I’ve been using this summer, and switched in brass candlesticks with muted coral candles. I think the set-up goes nicely with the placemats shown.
If anyone out there is researching the secret to living forever, I’d suggest studying acuba leaves. Every time I post about new seasonal decorations, I mention my pitcher full of these leaves. They never die. I’ve had these leaves (and they are not plants, they are cut branches from a plant in my parents’ back yard) since June 2005. Yes, you read that correctly. That was over three years ago!

Anyway, the above picture is the top of our piano. I put the everlasting acuba leaves there, and also a green basket cornucopia filled with autumn leaves, some interesting pinecones and dried sycamore pods, some berries, and two fake artichokes. I know, you’re thinking, “fake artichokes???” but somehow it works.

And in case you’re wondering, I have a large box full of various decorative baubles like berries and whatnot that I have gotten in years past when craft stores put seasonal decorating items on 90% off clearance. I don’t usually pay more than 15 cents for these things, and often I pay less. Most of it keeps from year to year so I can make wreaths and decorations for autumn and Christmas that change every year. There is a fine line between nice and tacky when it comes to this kind of stuff – not all fake fruit is created equal – but I strive to keep my fake pomegranate collection tasteful.
I’m kind of tired of the mantle looking fussy, so I just put a simple display up there. It’s not particularly autumnal, but it’s refreshing to have a change. The birdcage is one I bought in Hong Kong when I was in 8th grade, and I also put out two pairs of brass candlesticks with moss green candles.

Frugal tip about candles: lots of places put their candles on clearance for practically nothing after the season is over. For example, after Thanksgiving last year I found really gorgeous fall colored tall tapers at Walgreens (of all places!) for four cents each! I like to use candles during dinner because it makes even simple food for an everyday family supper seem more elegant and special. At four cents each, that’s cheap ambiance! And so I’m going to count this as my Frugal Friday tip, unless Crystal disqualifies me for having too much decorating discussion before getting down to the business of frugality. 🙂

So have y’all done your Fall decorating, or do you wait until after September 21? Or do you wait until November? Autumn is my favorite season, so I like to extend it!

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