The weather has been wonderful (and very un Ohio-like) with bright blue skies and warm fall days. The garden and produce markets are overflowing with gourds and pumpkins and inspiration for me to revisit my fall planters–see blog post here.
I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas and adding them to my Fall Planter Ideas page. I found so many beautiful ideas for my urns (as did many of you, from your comments – I’m so glad!) but there was one picture that really stood out to me.
I love the planters with the pretty yellow mums and although I wanted to stay away from stacking pumpkins yet again this year, I thought using the metal obelisks filled with colorful gourds and pumpkins was so unique. This picture appears to be at some sort of public place (if you look closely there are museum style directional signs and railings) and their planters and obelisks are huge but I figured I would give it a try on a bit of a smaller scale.
Off I went in search of the perfect metal obelisks. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far. Graf Growers, one of the best garden stores in town, is mere minutes away from my home, and they had these pretty obelisks sitting in the back of one of their greenhouses as if they were just waiting for me!
I liked these because they were not too tall–about 3 feet high. I thought the twisted wrought iron was a little different and might make it easier to balance my pumpkins and gourds inside. I also love the sweet little birds – what a nice detail!
My next step was to buy the gourds, pumpkins and two 12″ mums. Luckily, Grafs also has a large supply of those so I could get everything in one place. I gathered up what I thought was a ton of gourds in a box and off I went to start my urn masterpiece…
First, I planted the mums in my urns:
Then, I began stacking my pumpkins and gourds. I started with the larger ones on the bottom and built up from there, only to find that what I thought was my huge selection of gourds was not even enough to fill up the obelisks half way! Back I went to get more pumpkins and gourds…
With more gourds and pumpkins at the ready, I began stacking again. It was sort of like a puzzle. Even my 3 year old son got into the action.
My last step was to lift the obelisk up and place it in the center of the urn, on top of the mum. It took a little work to get it centered and well placed so that it was deep enough in that it didn’t fall down. It was at this point that I realized it would have been easier to place the obelisk in the urn before I placed all the pumpkins and gourds, because they were heavy! Live and learn, I guess…
And finally, the finished product. My Fall Planter problem solved? What do you think?
We came from all over–Colorado, Boston, Charleston, Cleveland–and it was fun. Like pee in your pants laughing most of the time fun. It was hard to get away (a NASA shuttle launch might be less complicated than the list of logistics I left my parents and baby-sitters before I left) but so worth it. Being with friends that you have known all your life and having all the pieces fit together so easily is a gift and something that really hit me while I was there with them. When you have great opportunities that build you up, make you a better person and make you happy–like spending time with lifelong friends–don’t pass them by.
So when this image popped up on my Instagram feed the other day, it really struck me.
I think it was the simple white paper and pretty gold lettering that first caught my eye but it is what it says that has stuck with me. Damn right. I should go do them. What am I waiting for? Long pause…um…I think I’m not sure of the things that I’ve always wanted to do. I honestly don’t know what my “them’ is. Going back to school, starting my own business, doing a triathlon?
I do know that the thing I do–my them–has got to be something creative. I’ve been reading a lot and following blogs and Instagrams of people who are considered “Creatives,” a buzz word for artists, writers and designers who work in creative fields. Many of them show their own Inspiration Boards–a collage of images and ideas — and advocate for other Creatives to build an Inspiration Board to kick start a project or get inspired.
So I figured what better way to get started making my list of things I’ve always wanted to do than an Inspiration Board? So here goes…Let the magic begin!
Every summer as the season comes to a close, I experience a summer sadness. It’s not anything as serious as depression, but certainly a malaise. As our trip home to Ohio edges ever closer, a little bit of greyness starts clouding my head and my heart. About a week ago, when I felt that greyness creeping in, I began to think just how silly it was. How foolish to be missing something that isn’t even over yet? Missing the beach while you are sitting on it? Duh.
It got me thinking–just what about summer is it that I love so much? Of course, everyone loves action packed summer days, beautiful starry nights, bike rides, beach sand, swimming…I could go on and on. But there is something else for me. I have almost a different personality or persona–happier, more relaxed, carefree and fun. I’ll call her Summer Beth, and I definitely like her better than that more stressed out, uptight Rest of the Year Beth.
So, I decided this year, Summer Beth needs to have a talk with Rest of the Year Beth because Summer Beth doesn’t need go away. Even after summer has waned and the cold, crisp days of fall have set in, Rest of the Year Beth needs to remember–that greyness can’t creep in if the warm summer thoughts, relaxed attitude and especially the memories are there to keep it out. After all, as the ultimate Queen of Summer, Lilly Pulitzer, once said, “Its always summer somewhere.” Yep–in my heart and mind.
My husband and I went to a phenomenal Woodstock party last weekend but I have to admit, when I got the invitation several weeks ago, I was not thrilled with the theme. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of theme parties and definitely not a fan of costume parties. Some people really enjoy these types of parties and come with incredible, creative and fun costumes while I end up feeling envious and self conscious, thinking…”Why didn’t I come up with that idea?”. As a result, I’ve opted to forgo most themes and just wear whatever I would to a dinner party. We went to a 50’s themed party last year and I wore a black cocktail dress–yawn.
But this party was a little different. I started texting my friends to find out what they were wearing, hoping that perhaps we all could just agree to ignore the costume part of this party together. Nope. I got texts back saying tie dye skirts had already been purchased from web sites like hippieshop.com and there was even some mention of go-go boots. I definitely had to step up my game. When I went online to look at costume ideas, I a) absoltluy could not picture myself in a million years wearing a tie dye maxi dress and b) decided there was no way in hell that I was going to spend more than $10 on anything for this party. I pulled up a bunch of pics from the actual Woodstock Festival and most of the women weren’t wearing tops or were completely naked, and nobody judged them, right?
Searching my closet, a J.McLaughlin tunic I bought a few weeks ago stuck out to me as being a good hippie-ish option. I decided to cut off a pair of old jeans that I had recently tossed in my “Give Away” pile and grabbed a cool Native American necklace that my husband brought back for my daughter from a trip to South Dakota a couple years ago. I have a great blue-faced vintage watch from, coincidentally, 1969, that I just had to throw on. I still needed to amp it up a little bit so I went to the mall and found a cute black, white and blue beaded headband for $7.99, and voila…my version of Woodstock.
Granted, I looked more like Parker Posey in Dazed and Confused (picture below & one of my favorite movies of all time, BTW) than flower child from Woodstock, but hey, even putting on a beaded headband and going out of the house was a stretch for me.
But for some reason, putting that headband on actually changed what was IN my head. I’m not sure exactly why but for once, I didn’t feel silly and self conscious, even after I got there and saw some of the amazing costumes. It was a beautiful night in an idyllic setting next to pond with good friends, food, music and free flowing drinks. In the free spirit of Woodstock, I embraced the theme, tossed away my inhibitions and simply, had fun.
I had so much fun at this Woodstock party, I would love to host my own. It is really fun to look at pictures from that weekend in August 1969 and imagine what it must have been like to be there and how I would recreate it. The list of bands that played is just unreal too…The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jimi Hendrix, Sha Na Na?!?!?! Here are some fun pics I found online from Woodstock (Janis Joplin drank Veuve backstage!) as well as some ways you could add some cool touches to a modern day Woodstock party. Peace!
Memorial Day has passed and the pool is open, but I’ve always felt like summer doesn’t really arrive until the day after the last day of school. Even as an adult, I’ve found that having kids in school keeps this childhood rule of mine as true as ever. While many people mark the new year on January 1 and others love the crispness of the first day of school in the fall, the day after the last day of school feels like a new year to me. The beginning of a new routine (or lack thereof) filled with days at the pool, ice cream, dinner on the patio, and late sunsets by the ocean provide me with a freshness that only summer can bring.
So, on the first day after the last day of school, I am taking the advice of a very good friend and jumping into something new with my first post on this blog. I have studied and stewed over creating a blog all winter long but it took a pep talk by an honest friend and the feeling that there was no better time than MY new year, to just go ahead and take the leap to launch.
In honor of the first day after the last day of school and new beginnings, I pulled together a few old favorites that always feel fresh and new for summer–pink peonies from the garden, my favorite summer purse and the best summer lip gloss ever (Nars lip gloss in Orgasm–I swear it looks great on everybody). All I need now is a glass of wine and that sunset I mentioned earlier and summer has officially arrived. Cheers!