home decor, Uncategorized

A Late Summer-Early Fall Table Styling…

I love late summer  when there is just the barest hint of a cool breeze during early morning walks ~ not quite enough to say that fall is coming tomorrow or the next day but enough to wish it were here sooner. This coming week’s Pinterest Challenge will be featuring a late summer-early fall inspired post so I thought I’d share this lead-up post with you today…

I was inspired by the stuffed birds both Presidents Roosevelt collected when they were boys.  President Theodore Roosevelt shot hundreds of birds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and then performed taxidermy on them himself. He was quite the collector and naturalist, as evident by the hundreds of big game trophies he shot throughout his lifetime, while his cousin President Franklin D. Roosevelt shot a number of birds but had them stuffed by someone else. Both enjoyed bird watching and studying each species they collected, which was quite a hobby back in the Victorian era.

Now I don’t like the idea of killing innocent birds but I do enjoy studying birds and had two cockatiels in our house as my children were growing up. I have quite a few carved and ceramic birds plus many others which I’ve used in my decorating.

Ken Burns: The Roosevelts - An Intimate History

The program I have been watching on Netflix is called: The Roosevelts ~ An Intimate History. Ken Burns wrote and directed this series of films and it is very good! If you like biographies and history, do check this program out; I am confident you will enjoy watching it.

A small collection of two owl feathers and one large crow
feather. The latter is suitable for cutting into a pen.

Here’s how to create a natural tablescape of your own:

Collect found bird feathers each time you are out in local parks, on hiking trails or in your own backyard. Clean them carefully of any bird droppings, dirt or bugs and store in a dry spot until you are ready to use them in your decor.

For your table vignette, bring in those bird feathers and objects like a few gardening books, a flower press, anything wood like this candlestick and of course your bird sculptures.

Playing with the light meter, I wanted to capture the essence of an Old World table styling with nature in mind. Everything added to this scene looks like something you’d find in a naturalist’s hundred-year-old sketch book. 

The painted wooden candlestick base, the flower press with it’s corrugated cardboard and wood top and bottom pieces, and the goldfinch’s wood base set a warm scene atop the French style oak tabletop. All the wood elements bring in an early fall feel and the bird and feathers bring in nature.

I’ve also added a pair of freshly washed gardening gloves to the vignette as they were still indoors when I was setting up this tablescape. The two-tiered table server with birds on its handle was already on the library table as was the cut-glass candy dish filled with dried rose buds, another nod to our nature scene.

Looking out to our backyard from this window,  I am always watching the antics of house sparrows, mourning doves and cheery crimson cardinals eating from the bird feeder and from the spilled seeds on the ground below. 

I hope this tablescape inspires you to create a late summer or early-fall vignette of your own!

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Happy decorating,

A Camera Try-out ~ Canon EOS 70D

A mini vacation after a busy weekend
was just what was needed with a day trip visiting thriftshops
and getting out and 
photographing nature…

On Tuesday, driving over to Yankton, South Dakota

to browse through the local thriftshops, 
{still searching for old Ball jars to use for table pieces
for our son and his fiancée’s wedding this summer}
I came across the
KOA campgrounds
I’m writing up for the next blogpost. 
Then I found the other KOA yesterday morning…
along with these beautiful flowers…

While walking around North Sioux City,
where my son and his fiancé just moved,
I found these sweet flowering plants
growing alongside the walking path.
Sorry, I don’t have any idea what the name
of this sweet pink flowering plant is…
If any of you know the name of this plant,
please let me know!

I forgot my camera when we drove to the airport last Friday,
however it turned out to be a blessing to be able to borrow my son’s!

This camera is a bit heavier than my little
Canon EOS Rebel especially with the bigger lens.
Please forgive me for some of the photos being 
slightly out of focus.
I didn’t find a tripod amongst my son’s things.
But it was fun shooting the photograph above 
and the one below.
I was down on my hands and knees {seriously} 
for this next shot.
Even came away with grass stains and wet spots on both knees.

I was having The Best Time shooting with his
Canon EOS 70D camera
his used and refurbished
Canon Ultrasonic 24-105mm lens!!!

The quintessential French Ethereal flower: anything lavender ~ love this!

He started borrowing this bigger lens 
for filming class projects and then quickly
decided he needed to buy one!
He bought it used from
Borrow Lenses
a company which ships lenses to customers 
inside well-padded suitcases. 
When you are done using a lens
you just ship it back.

{You can click on the link above to visit Borrow Lenses.}

The Canon Ultrasonic 24-105mm wide-angle lens
is perfect for taking really close-up photographs plus it 
creates the “boca” effect that photographers
try really hard to reproduce
{like me!}
where what you are focusing on is “in focus”
and the background and the surrounding area
is slightly to fully blurred.
*called bokeh*
Love it!!!!!

I even just looked up into the sky and shot a few pics of this
cottonwood tree that was next to me!
The leaves were rustling in the light breeze
and interestingly enough
this shot has a 3-D effect to it!

More of these purple lovelies! Perhaps purple loosestrife?? Might be larkspur.

My favorite shot: amazing clouds in a French blue sky! Also, check out the “moving clouds…” Just stare for a bit… 😉

This is one of the United States of America’s tri-state areas where South Dakota meets up with Nebraska and Iowa.  
The convergence of the Big Sioux and 
the Missouri rivers 
happens a few miles down Highway 29 
from where I shot these photographs, 
along this 
very lower right tip of South Dakota 
where it overlaps with 
Nebraska and Iowa.
“Gateway to South Dakota” say the words on the blue water tower ~ the opposite side says “Welcome to Iowa.”
I think I’m going to have to save up my money
for a really long time so I can get a lens like this!
I love how you can shoot photographs 
really up-close then turn around 
and shoot far away and get photographs
like this landscape portrait.

 My son and I will be going over to the
Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
later this morning so I’ll be sharing
about this lovely place and more photographs 
of this beautiful area and my 
“second spring” with you soon.

Happy Thursday to you!
Blessings to you always,
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Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage