A Day in November

With November comes indoor time. Gone are the revolving back door rambles in and out of the house to the compost pile, to pluck something from the garden, to hang laundry on the line or just sit in the sun on the back steps with a cup of coffee. Going out is a little more involved. It requires things like shoes and socks and jackets. And pretty soon it will be even more of a ritual with boots, hats, gloves and layers. Trips out are planned. If I'm going out on an errand or walk I'll also take out the garbage, maybe sweep or shovel a bit of snow, or pick up the mail...as along as I'm already bundled up.

We had our first snow this morning. Just a dusting, but it's still lingering in the shady corners of the yard late this afternoon. A gentle reminder from Mother Nature that we shouldn't waste time getting ready for what is surely just around the corner. We still need to get out the snow shovels and equip the cars with their snow scrapers, brushes, and floor mats; find those boots, gloves, hats and scarves; dig out the down jackets from the back of the closet. There are still quite a few leaves on the trees, which is surprising considering all of them that are piled on the ground or that have already been raked! The days are growing considerably shorter too. At 3:45 this afternoon the sun was just grazing the rooftops of the houses to the west. 

It felt like a good day to do some baking. A couple days ago I roasted one of our Halloween pumpkins, envisioning a couple of yummy pumpkin pies in our future. A medium sized pumpkin yielded a grand total of nine ounces of pumpkin puree. Whomp whomp. Oh well, not enough for a pie. But enough for a recipe of pumpkin cheddar scones and some left over to make myself a pumpkin chai protein shake for tomorrow's breakfast. The scones were delish with my mother-in-law's grape jelly. You can see the bits of cheese that don't quite melt. Next time I think I'll add some grated apple to the recipe which would be great with the cheddar.

After that I spent a little time giving my dining room cupboard some fall styling. I like having the window blinds pulled all the way up this time of year so that I can enjoy the view of autumn colors. The oak trees are particularly beautiful in November. I didn't want anything that would compete with the splendor of Mother Nature so I came up with this rather neutral and simple color scheme.

Every item on these shelves is thrifted, with the exception of the teapot which I've had for years. I can't remember when I last bought any dish or decorative item new. Once I discovered the gold mine of stuff that is in thrift stores I never looked back. And with everything I already have I can usually just go "shopping" in my own cupboards and closets to get a new look. 

On the top shelf I have some of my favorite thrift finds ever! The Danish teak candlesticks! The carved bird art (Mexican I think) stays on the shelf pretty much all the time. I recently found the set of four ceramic shell dishes which are great for small plate appetizers. The acorn s&p shakers come out every year at this time to grace the Thanksgiving table. And finally the African gazelles...plural, see the baby?

Another new acquisition is this set of cups and saucers. Their fall colors and sunflower design drew me in. They're not vintage but I fell in love with them. I kept this shelf simple, pairing the cups with a set of antlers that I also found in a thrift shop. 

Finally, the bottom shelf has the inlay bird tray that also is a staple item on this cabinet. The chartreuse teapot and covered dish are the only pops of color here. We use the covered dish to serve our pancakes and french toast for weekend breakfasts . The little silver partridge s&p set adds a bit of shiny bling. 

I've been displaying these little pumpkins and mosaic tray on my coffee table for a couple weeks. I like how the pumpkins sort of mimic my tomato red pouf in the background. I had three but I noticed one was starting to get moldy so off to the compost it went. I might add in a votive or two and some unshelled nuts to fill in the blank spaces.

I have a couple little indoor projects I've started. Fall and winter is always knitting time for me. It's nice to have something to do while watching TV during the long evenings, which we tend to spend more time doing this time of year. Currently that would be watching episodes of Monarch of the Glen and Doc Martin. I have a little secret project on the needles. (I'm picking up my new prescription glasses tomorrow! Goodbye drug store cheaters.)

After the long drawn out cupboard project (pictures still to come...waiting for a good sunny day to get photos) I was in need of a small project that would give me some quick gratification. I have a little antique sewing cabinet that I inherited from my grandmother. For years it has been stashed in the attic collecting dust because I didn't have anywhere to keep it. I came across it again when we were looking for things to add to our thrift sale. It has a veneer finish that had seen better days. It was scuffed up and some of the veneer was loose and chipped off in places. The legs wobbled precariously and one of the feet had actually broken off. My husband glued the foot back on and I marked it for sale. Then at the last minute I changed my mind and pulled it out of the sale. A rehab project was born.

It has some neat hardware detail like the claw feet and lion head drawer pull. The dark wood didn't show them off to their best advantage. In the cabinet's new life it will be painted white with an aqua interior. Here are a couple before and in progress pictures. I can't wait to get this one finished.

What sort of things are you doing at home now that the days are shorter and cooler? Do you like to curl up with a book? Watch movies? Bake and cook? Sew or knit? Fluff your nest? Do indoor remodeling projects? Any or all of the above? Judging by these photos I need to spend some time working on my indoor photography. Drat you lack of natural lighting.

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