Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Help Wanted

Well, the brown paisley tablecloth and the fall silk flowers have come out. It must be autumn at Little Red House. :)

Yes, I know silk flowers are tacky. And I really wish I had fresh flowers every day. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

And one of those living wreaths made with succulents would be lovely, too. But unfortunately, all I have is this silk one which is beginning to show it's age.

I'm going to have to see what I can do about celebrating the season more naturally. Any suggestions? You are all my design gurus. I'm counting on you! :)


  1. Very pretty! You're nest situation has recently changed, time to re-feather it! I love keeping the old traditions/decor but adding a new twist each year. Back in our hey day, I got some wonderful wreaths through Jackson Perkins. You should treat yourself to one. Also, a trip to the Farmer's Mkt can be inspirational, fun and tasty! Your home is always lovely and welcoming, Have fun "decking the halls" for FALL!

  2. p.s. did I say Jackson Perkins? I meant Williams Sonoma. Remember, you DESERVE a treat for sharing all your beautiful images with us!

  3. Your wreath is lovely but might look fresher if you put a nice bow on it and wove the streamers through the flowers. I cut appart my permanent flower bushes and add wooden picks to the ends then I can scatter them through the arrangement making some taller or shorter to give depth. Add some new green stuff (ivy or fall leaves) and you have a new arrangement. Voila. I worked for several years making permanent arrangements for a big box craft store and they can actually be very beautiful..Use a blow dryer to swish away the dust. Have fun! Casey

  4. I love the silk flowers! I use them myself and I don't think there is a think wrong with them unless you live near the pier in Seattle and you can go and buy fresh cut HUGE BUNDLES of flowers for $5! I would do that a couple time a week, IF I LIVED IN SEATTLE! But...for now, I love my silks! and yours are beautiful!

  5. About a year ago I decided that my silk flowers were tired.... and then I took another look and decided that silk flowers were passe. So all but some Christmas silks are GONE. Now fall is a wonderful time of the year for natural decorations. Gourds, pumpkins, pretty leaves, acorns. Part of the gone business was not so many "things" around ......

  6. Very pretty, Mary! Of course I prefer fresh flowers but I have no problem with silk flowers...Christine

  7. Mary, you gave me permission to use silk flowers when I saw how beautiful they look in your home. Please don't take away the permission now (especially when they're all over the place at my house now). I'll suggest what Dawn told me...twigs and acorns. My neighbor has some lovely ivory and pink hydrangeas. I'm seriously thinking of requesting some so that I can dry them.

  8. I love fresh flowers, but honestly for fall decor, silk ones work better. It's great to pull out the real gourds and pine cones and acorns too! I'm sure you'll find the little touches you're looking for in no time.

    - The Tablescaper

  9. Fresh flowers would be wonderful every week, but costly, one year the kids gave me a gift certificate to a florist for Christams and I was able to get fresh flowers thru Jan. and Feb. But I do like your wreath just add some new seasonal elements and you get a new wreath.

  10. The silk flowers are great. I do have a persimmon tree that makes beautiful arrangements this time of the year too. Carla

  11. Oh, how lovely! They're you're old faithful friends, too!

    Okay, Mary, it's getting kind of "spooky" (use of a seasonally appropriate word) how you keep posting exactly about what I've been "discussing" with a British lady who has a brilliant gardening blog (in England, of course.) First, she had a post about yellow flowers in her garden. I've said that I just can't bring my hand to reach out and buy a black eyed susan. Then, came your convicting post. LOL! Although, I struggle with those strong colors in my own planting scheme, I find that I am oohing and aahing and taking pictures of black eyed susan's everywhere. They are beautiful at this time of year.

    THEN, I have been having a running discussion about dried flowers vs. fresh and, just today, mentioned my confusion about silk flowers. I love the arrangements that I got at a local craft store - they're really beautiful - AND autumny! I'm not really over dried flower arrangements, yet, either - although, I am tired of the typical arrangements.

    I have to tell you, though. When I was at Border's, yesterday, in the sale nook in the front - you know, where they have 50 - 75% off - I saw a beautiful little book for $4 on flower "recipes". I flipped through and the photography looked pretty inspiring. When I got home, I settled in to read and got to the second paragraph that said something like, "We, here, at Pottery Barn...." SCORE!!! Oh, lucky me! I got a PB book for, in the end, $3.50! Anyway, the point is, the whole last chapter is on using dried and silk flowers in the home. THEY say that it's okay! =]

    Love, Katy xo

    P.S. I must just mention that I've been scouring through hundreds of paisleys to find just the right one that I can make a table cloth with. I AM TELLING YOU - great minds......

  12. I love branches, leaves, acorns, pods, gourds, corn--I love it all -- My favorite antiques store had an old gate on the mantle and it was festooned with a wonderful cotton garland --Yes, real cotton plants and it was amazing. They had a wreath of it too. I will try to photograph it for a post next week! In front of the gate and cotton garland were these fabulous carved black wooden crows, with a little burnished wood peeking through the finish.

  13. I believe in re-using things....especially on a tight budget....so I use magnolia leaves to dress up an old arrangement of silk flowers. If you don't have a magnolia in your yard, a farmer's market usually has some....smiles.

  14. I use anything and everything I can find. I love how pretty and creative you are. Your wallpaper and drapes are just stunning in the room in your first pic too. Stunning. Hugs, Marty

  15. I think your things look very pretty. I don't always thinks silks are a bad thing...of course I prefer fresh, but most of us can't really have them everywhere...sadly.

  16. Hi Mary! Well, I think your silk flowers look lovely! I use the fauxs all the time and have a ball with them. I am really loving seeing your pretty home.
    I'm having a party next month - Heart of the Home Party and we'll be showing our kitchens. I hope you'll come.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  17. Gosh you are so far ahead of me! Things haven't even come out of the basement yet!! I am still working on canning in between all the other things to do!

    One thing I used last year is branches in urns on the mantle- you could paint them black or leave them natural even

    bee blessed

  18. i always just love plain grapevine wreaths with bits of nature tucked in. or the moss wreaths.

  19. I think we all agree that silk flowers are completely acceptable. :)

    I use a lot of twigs and leaves in my fall decor because my yard is always littered with them!

    I also make bouquets out of dried flower heads and pods - they look like fall, add some nice texture and don't require any watering!

    And just so I don't have to try and explain it here, I've also done little things like this:

  20. I've been trying to grow some things for fall; but due to an exceptionally crazy growing season; my sunflowers are 15 feet high but not yellow yet! However, in our neck of the woods there are people who grow dahlias by the thousands. They have stands out by the road and you can get 5 stems for a dollar or a whole bunch for just 5 dollars. I treat myself a couple of times every autumn. But really, the silks are great if you get snuffely from pollen! Love your tablecloth, roosters and cozy autumn scheme.

  21. Your silks look lovely from here. But, it sounds like you need a change. I think Autumn is the perfect time to add gourds, pumpkins, pods, pinecones, grapevine, brambles, feathers, faux leaves, sticks and twigs everywhere. Don't do away with those pretty pieces, just use them as the base to create something new. Take out what is really worn and work in naturals.

    ANd if you really must get rid of them completely... send them to me. They are really beautiful!!!!!

    The end of the month I am doing a tutorial on a "sticks and twig" fall wreath for the front door.
    BTW~ I LOVE your wallpaper and your curtains... so rich and welcoming!

  22. I get it about the silks, but if fresh just isn't available, silk is the next best thing!

    As far as decorating naturally, how about the usual gourds, acorns, pinecones, real leaves? In the right bowls/containers, this would be lovely!

    LOVE the tablecloth!

  23. You've gotten some good ideas in comments, some of which I will snatch for my own use, but I do have to say I like the shape of your arrangement on the table -- it's so nicely loose, as if you just came in from the field with an armful of cut stems.

    As for the wreath, you can try and straighten out the wrinkly stuff, or just think of it as a "dried wreath," which it is resembling now.

    I think silk's fine when we can't have fresh. I saw instructions for making fall wreaths the other day, including poking holes in REAL fresh apples and oranges and hanging that on your front door. Really?

    I'd have chipmunks building scaffolding to get to that, and in a few days I'd have wrinkly old rotten fruit hanging on my door -- and doesn't THAT say welcome?

    That "say No to Faux" bit is fine when we can, fine if we have time and funds to continually buy beautiful flowers (and isn't that everyone's first choice?). Otherwise, we just make it pretty.

    There's used to be a once-a-year sale of homegrown dried stuff in Montville at a beautiful big old house on a hill -- If it's still being done, I'll let you know -- great stuff, great prices.

    What a gorgeous day! I'm taking my Dad to an apple farm in Hackettstown for the early Winesaps.

  24. Hi Mary,
    I love dry flower arrangements also silk flowers. I use them in my home too. I think most of us do.. Every now and then I will pick up fresh flowers while shopping or bring in flowers from the garden..
    I see nothing wrong with your wreath..its pretty maybe just add a ribbon..
    Have a sweet day, Hugs~Elizabeth

  25. My solution is to shop around in my own backyard. It's amazing the things you can bring in from outside (just clippings from shrubs, twigs from trees, etc.) that come together to create a simple, but living, arrangement.

    BTW, I'm loving that tablecloth!

    I'd love you to link up to my Simple Pleasures series some Thursday.

  26. How about sticks? I love using sticks. Here in Australia we have lovely gum nuts that fall from the eucalypt trees. If you have something like that you can use those glued on to sticks.

  27. I think everything looks great! I was thinking of maybe attempting a sweet gum ball wreath this year (except I don't have a sweet gum tree, ha!), but it might be kind of dangerous to try! ;O)

  28. I'd love to have fresh flowers all of the time too, but the cost is prohibitive. Therefore, I am not opposed to silk flowers. I do find though that if you get creative with colored leaves and pine cones, gourds and small pumpkins you can have more realistic decorations for fall. My Mom and I always look for the prettiest colored leaves we can find on our walks together and work them into decorations for the table and the front porch.

    Susan and Bentley

  29. You're askin' me? Me who has silk flowers in my house, (which btw I don't think are tacky -- not the ones I have!)

  30. I always tell my husband if I were ever really rich my big splurge would be having fresh flowers in the house daily!
    I LOVE the beautiful brown paisley tablecloth.


  31. I love your blog and I think your wreath is very nice. I'm tired of the silk flower police telling me I can't have silk flowers. I have beautiful faux flowers in my home. They are not plastic, they are very realistic looking. If I could afford real, I would have real.


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