September 21st kicked off the Halloween Countdown over at MHH. It's a great plan for getting ready for the holiday and any festivities you are planning. I've never hosted a Halloween party. I leave that to my bestfriend and her husband. I did make her a notebook to help them keep things organized and offered my assistance if they need me. My BFF is pumped. She and her husband cleaned their house from top to bottom and already have their fall decorations up. The house looks so warm and welcoming. I bought her a Halloween countdown calendar from Avon I new she would like. When I gave it to her, she immediately hung it on her kitchen door. Plans to decorate will start the first weekend in October.
The first week of the countdown basically has you setting up a notebook. Fortunately, her book is done -- she's off to a good start.
Hey today is the first day of Autumn. Can you believe it? I'm for one am psyched. I'm looking forward to spending more time indoors and just snuggling up. I've started putting up my fall decorations. So far the porch, half of the living room, and the foyer are done. I hung up my newly crafted broom on the front door and put out the doormat. Once I finish the living room and set up my wagon outside the front door those areas will be finished. I also hung up my newly purchased curtains at the patio door. Boy do they darken the room. I'm going to love laying across the sofa with just candles burning and dimmed lights, watching a movie, or listening to music or reading a book.
Sunday I took my nieces and nephews to a farm to pick apples. It was Johnny Appleseed Day. They had a blast. In addition to picking apples, there were lots of arts and crafts, games and a huge slide. The kids were good and tired by the day's end. Off to sleep they went almost immediately once they got into the car. One minute they were pumped talking about all they did, next minute -- silence. It was a nice drive home. Next month we're planning a trip the pumpkin patch.
We're near the end of week three of the HGP countdown. This week focuses on the foyer (or whatever area you choose). My foyer is small so I was able to finish most of it in a day. The only part that still needs doing is the coat closet.
I've got a lot on my plate this weekend... hope that I can get most of it done. Besides the coat closet and moving furniture, I want to start decorating all finished areas: balcony, livingroom, foyer, front door. Actually the balcony has had fall decor since the week it was cleaned. I just need to add the garland/lights to the railings and hang the candle chandaliers. The mums I bought a few weeks ago are starting to bloom. The yellow ones seem to be blooming faster that the red ones, though. Can't figure that out.
Still haven't finished the livingroom... And I didn't get around to the Halloween invitations. I'll make an attempt on the cards at the end of September. Ike did not bring the rain as the weatherman predicted. Instead we got a bunch of heat the entire weekend. It was so hot that I wasn't in the mood for tackling that livingroom. I really need to finish it though. Now that it's feeling like fall, I'm anxious to hang up my curtains. Can't wait to see them hanging up at the patio doors.
Tomorrow is the first part of GPD for this month (the date is also celebrated at the end of each month). Now that I think about it, this is the last month as next month is Halloween. I have made some changes to my plans for decorating for fall so I will spend a little time making revisions. Then I'll start working on the invitations for my best friends Halloween party. Also I want to go over my plans for my Harvest Breakfast gathering. Ike's bringing us rain this weekend which will keep me in the house so I'll definitely get some work done.
Yes, I'm giddy. I found some curtains last night for my livingroom! My bestfriend and I met after work and went to the Walmart near her house. They're not the faux silk ones (which is what I really wanted), but the next best thing - Taffeta. I found some faux silk panels but in every fall color but cranberry/burgundy. No bother, the taffeta panels are nice too and look so rich. Plus they were only $10.88 per panel (the silk ones were a bit more). I can't wait to hang them up. We're supposed to get a lot of rain starting Friday and Saturday is expected to be washed out as well. So I'll take this as an opportunity to finish my livingroom. The only things left to do are vacuum/shampoo the sofa/chairs and carpet and rearrange the furniture. I'm really rearranging my furniture to make room for my Christmas tree.(LOL) Anyway I'm very excited. Once the furniture and carpet dries I think I will start putting up a few fall decorations in that room. I especially am looking forward to displaying my "Harvest" sign. I plan to dress it up a little with little pumpkins, silk leaves and miniature scarecrow.
Well I finished the invitations for the Harvest Breakfast. They will go out in the mail on the 26th.
I used brown scrap-booking paper for the larger square, light green (like a yellow-green) color paper for the middle square and ivory card stock to print the information on for the smaller square. These were so easy to do and best part is I already had the materials, including the leaves. My guests are going to get a kick out of these.
One problem - they don't quite fit in the envelopes. I have the greeting card envelopes but the leaves stick out. I hate to have to bend the leaves...may mess up the look. I may have to make some envelopes. Oh well, time to pull out the American Greetings crafts cd's.
Just looked out my boss's window, it's raining. I'm supposed to work my second job tonight but I'm going home. I'll go in tomorrow. Besides, I'm super tired. I'm going home and go to bed.
A few posts ago, you may remember me mentioning some projects I hoped to finish before the HGP countdown started. Well needless to say that didn't happen. So what I did was if time permitted, do a couple of projects along with the cleaning. I'm happy to tell you that I have completed all but three projects. Here's the latest.
Broom Swag (closer look)
I'm so proud of my self. The broom will hang on my front door. I've decided to go with the deep green paper to put on the front door. I think the broom will look nice against a green background. I made four wreaths to hang in the bedroom windows. The wreaths are small but will look nice and will be seen with the help of electric candles.
I didn't get to start the invitations. My best friend called to say she was making chili, except when I got there she had changed her mind and instead her cousin fried some party wings, made Spanish rice and collard greens. It was great but my mouth sure was set for some chili. For desert the kids made cupcakes.
In addition to the invitations, there's the centerpiece and wreath for the office to make. Then I'm done with any fall craft projects. Let's hope.
Over at MHH we're into the second week of the Holiday Grand Plan countdown. This week focuses on the livingroom and answering questions about traditions and the way we celebrate Christmas. So when I got up this morning I went and sat out on the balcony to look over my list of 'to dos'. I love my balcony, especially now that it's clean. Those flower pots are still sitting on my balcony waiting to be taken to the dumpster. I even put out a few fall decorations.
Back to the livingroom. So far I've polished all of the furniture, cleaned the inside of the patio doors/windows (they were dirtier on the inside than on the outside - go figure), took down summer decorations(didn't have a lot really) and made space for my fall stuff to go up by clearing of shelves and tables. I've decided to change my livingroom around but didn't feel like doing it Sunday and I won't be able to get to it until the upcoming weekend. Plus I still need to clean the sofa and chairs. They are white and I have to clean them at least twice a year. Hopefully around the first of the new year I can get a new set.
After work I went to my favorite two places - Walmart and Dollar Tree - and to a party store. I picked up a pumpkin spice 3-wick candle for the living room, a jar scented candle for the office, a couple of autumn fragrance room air fresheners that you plug into the wall, more faux Indian corn, cushions for the patio chairs, and a couple pots of mums. I grabbed a few bags of my favorite fall mix (peanuts, m&m's and candy corn) but put them back. They would be gone in less than a day if I bought them now. I'll just wait until the end of September - first of October. There were folks already buying their Halloween candy. Walmart had an entire isle (both sides) of nothing but bags/containers of Halloween candy. Dollar Tree also had lots of Halloween candy.
At the party supply store I picked up some pretty leaf print plastic cups and napkins for the breakfast gathering. I asked the manager of the store if they would be getting in any fall print wrapping paper but they don't sell it. The lady did give me a great idea though. She suggested using a fall print table cover. That is a great idea! I have a huge poster board behind my desk at the office I plan to decorate for fall. I keep changing my mind on how to decorate it. I'll have a finalized plan by the time I decorate it.
Since yesterday I've been feeling really good. I spent a couple of hours in Walmart yesterday just walking around looking at everything. While there this warm feeling came over me and I began to smile. All types of thoughts went through my mind. I thought how nice and cozy my little place is going to feel once it's cleaned from top to bottom. Wearing my jeans, turtleneck sweaters and boots. Taking my nieces and nephews out to pick apples, run through the corn maze, going on a haunted hayride - such fun. Being home cooking hearty meals, baking sweets, and so on. In the car on the way home I was listening to Sirius 8 satellite radio station (Big 80's)just singing along and looking at the mounds of trees. I thought, "Soon these trees will be so full of color. I can't wait to see them." That made me even happier.
I don't have to work my second job tonight so later today I'm heading to Walmart and Dollar Tree. I had plan to go yesterday but instead I went to my second job. It pays double time when you work on your off days and the extra money will come in handy.
I want to get those cushions for the chairs on my balcony. They have the fall colors - pumpkin, green, and cranberry. I also will be looking for a flag to hang on the dividing wall and maybe a nice fall sign. Because I sit out there a lot I'm going to also put a small lamp on a table to use at night. I was in a Dollar Tree briefly and they had a whole isle of Halloween stuff. A person could clean up in there on decorations and party supplies. I couldn't really look around to see if the Halloween candy was out. I called my bestfriend to tell her to get there quick because very soon people are going to hit those shelves. During the fall I love to eat a mixture of honey roasted peanuts, candy corn and m&m chocolate candies - yummmy! I keep a jar on my desk at work for my co-workers too. They love it.
I've been looking for some faux silk curtains for my bedroom and livingroom. I've been to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, K-Mart and Walmart. It's wearing me out. Either the price is a bit too high or they don't have the color I want or if they do have the color, there may be one or two panels - I need five for the livingroom. I won't even waste my time looking in a department store because I know I'm not paying those prices. I really like the look of those faux silk curtains. I hope I find them soon.
In 18 days Fall will be here. Right now it's not feeling too much like it. The heat has come back - yuck!. I'm sooo ready for the slightly warm sunny days and cool, crisp nights. I've been looking at the trees and many of them are beginning to change. Over at Magical Holiday Home we were talking about what we love about the season. Here was my response:
"...I love the colors that fall brings. Something about the colors really awakens something in me. I get energized and just want to do all kinds of things - from cooking to cleaning, spending time with family and friends to spending quite time alone. I love the rustling sounds of the leaves under my feet, the smell of the neighbors fireplaces in the air, cozying up on the sofa with soft light while scented candles fill the rooms of pumpkin, apples and cinnamon and other spices. I love to drive through the neighborhoods in the morning on my way to work and look at the big beautiful old trees and the vibrant fall colors of the leaves...the people out there raking them up on a Saturday afternoon... stuffing them in pumpkin trash bags. I love to get up in the morning and sit out on my balcony with a cup of hot chocolate and just listen to the birds sing their final tunes or watch the squirrls gather their food before going into hibernation for the winter months and watching flocks of geese flying overhead heading to warmer climates. All these things and everything you ladies have mentioned are what makes me fall in love with fall."
Sunday started the HGP over at OC and MHH and let me tell you I put in some work. This week we were to get our porches in order. I live in an apartment so my balcony was my porch.
I swept all the leaves and dust off the outdoor carpet as well as knocked down all the spider webs
Wiped down the railing and dividing wall which seperates my balcony from my neighbor's. We just got them over the last two years and they are great. They're made of that hard resin like you see in people's yards as fences. Very easy to clean.
Then I wiped down the patio table and chairs. Boy were they dirty. I have trees right outside my balcony... you can almost touch the branches. So everything- pollen, dirt, leaves, pineneedles fall on my balcony.
Next I cleaned the patio doors/windows. Surprisingly they weren't that dirty. I also wiped the screen. Now that was filthy. I couldn't believe how much dirt came out of that screen. Now I can see through it. (LOL)
The only thing I didn't do was throw out those flower pots. By the time I finished cleaning, I was too tired to tackle them. I have two and they are filled with old potting soil. They are extremely heavy and I was not in the mood for taking them down three flights of steps. I think I will get my boyfriend to take those out for me this week. After I was done I just sat out there and enjoyed my new, cleaned balcony until the sun started going down (or rather until the bugs ran me back inside). While out on the balcony, I decided to work on a few fall crafts. I made this acrylic post-it holder which will go on my office desk once I decorate it a little for the season. Isn't it cute. I found the paper and the ribbon at the dollar store (my favorite place).
This arrangement I saw in Michael's and decided to copy it. So I went to the dollar store and bought the grass, twigs, brown ribbon and a tall glass cylinder candle holder. My plan was to hot glue the branches around the glass, fill the glass with some stones, add the grass then tie the branches with decorative ribbon. Well the next day I was in Walmart and they had the base part already made up. Plus it was much nicer than mines would have been as it also had eucolyptus stems mixed in too. So I bought it and added the grass to the center of that and finished it with brown ribbon. I think it will sit next to the tv armoire in the livingroom. Now what to do with the branches I bought at the dollar store? I have a burgundy tall metal vase that I can place the branches in. That will likely go in my bedroom or maybe in the bathroom.
I'm back to work today and I've bought in my supplies to work on the broom swag for my front door. I've been thinking about my door and I want to cover it with moss green (or some type of green-fall related) paper. The door is an ugly color. I hate it. During my lunch break I will go into a empty room and work on it. If I finish it today I'll come back and post a picture. I've decided to keep my digital camera with me at all times so that I won't miss important photo ops.