I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!
Autumn creeps in slowly here at The Beach...our much anticipated crisper nights are punctuated with warm sunny days, interspersed with cool and grey days, sometimes rain, sometimes fog. Or Autumn can blow in like March's lion, swept ashore by a nor'easter's gale. The marshes slowly turn amber and the roadsides present a scarlet tumble of Virginia creeper and poison ivy. I love those first chilly nights when I go out  to see Orion hover over the black ocean or watch the Harvest full moon rise, enormous in the velvety sky. As October passes its mid-point I begin to fill my house with autumn accents mostly natural things like pumpkins, squash and bittersweet.
I dig out the orange quilts too...in quilt collecting terms orange is designated by the more charming terms"cheddar" for bright golden-orange and "pumpkin" for deeper red-orange tones; an occasional dash of "bittersweet " may be used also---it means a warm red brick color. Lucky for me, the brilliant antique oranges look great with my summer blues and white.
Earlier this month I found a wonderful used book at my flea market: Seasonal Home by Kristin Perrers; photography by James Merrell [Time-Life Books, 1998]. Lovely photos and ideas about bringing nature indoors. It's sometimes hard to store away the summer's finds---bowls of white shells and seaglass, sand dollars and starfish, the special driftwood pieces---sorting them out and boxing them up seems too final---so the book was quite a wonderful inspiration for only a dollar! Pristine condition too.

When I lugged home this old tin bowl--a baby bathinette, to use the old-fashioned term---? everyone wondered what the heck I'd use it for, but I knew the oranges of the pumpkins would contrast beautifully with the old bright turquoise graniteware. (Later I'll use it to store my yarn, for winter knitting...)
And of course I must have flowers! Deep burgundy-black dahlias from the farmers market were a great pleasure too, shown here in an antique English transferware pitcher c.1880 in the Japonesque style. It is prized for its rare orange and gilt pattern.I put it on my coffee table with a cheddar colored quilted runner and a scented candle("Farmers Market" from Yankee Candles, how could I resist? I bought "Autumn Leaves" too. Lovely!). For safety I put the candle in an old tin star-shaped cake mold, then set it on another transferware piece, this one a black & white small bowl.

Even the stairway gets Autumn-ized a bit!
A tiny pumpkin has joined the seashell display on my Pennsylvania farm bench. Note its wonderful old turquoise paint.

More pumpkins, plus colorful Indian corn set casually in early 1900s era pumpkin-glaze yelloware bowls.
And yet more dahlias from Stan-Pat Farm at my farmers market! Don't they look like an old Dutch still-life painting. Glorious colors, glorious Fall!

Happy Halloween!