Sunday, November 11, 2012

Home is where the homey is

I've now owned the Frankenhouse for a little over a year.  Time has passed; work has been invested by many people.  Time and hands have combined to start shaping the house into a home.   Because you know-- a house is one thing; a home is another.  

To make my home even homier, I wanted to decorate for Thanksgiving.  I love the fall.  Or, well-- having grown up in Phoenix and living now in LA, I should say that what I love is the idea of fall, the theory of a crisp autumn breeze.  I know that places with seasons exist.  I know that somewhere, there are trees with leaves, and around this time of year those leaves change color.  I know this mostly because I lived in New York City for two years right after college, and in the fall, riding the 86th Street crosstown bus was one of my favorite things to do because the bus went through Central Park and all the trees would amaze me with color, like this:

New York, a land of actual seasons

Even though I can't have fall foliage, and this year it was in the 90s up until last week, I was determined to make my house feel autumnal and homey.  I went to Costs Plus and Michael's for homey home decorating inspiration.  This proved harder than I thought it would be.  Why is it so hard to find Thanksgiving decorations?  It's like somehow, in the Retail Mind, we all go from Halloween directly to Christmas.  Why, why, why?  Why do we skip this one truly autumn holiday moment?  At one point in my shopping expedition, I looked up and felt relief when I saw this sign:

--only to discover that this was the area of the store with Christmas decorations. 

Somehow, in these slim pickings, I needed to find decorations for my dining room table and my fireplace mantle.   Among the options I encountered were:

Enormous-nervous pinecone turkey?
Delightful, but no.
Irresistible!  This turkey is a star!
But, I mean-- no.
Do I want fake assorted squash?
I mean, maybe...
No.  No, not for me.  I'm still working out my feelings on decorative food.

Oh my gosh, it's a draw-your-own-turkey!
This is awesome, and if I had kids I'd totally bring these home!
But as much as I like these, I can't use them.
(Also-- did this turkey just make out with another turkey?)

Cute as these things were, they weren't really fitting the bill.  I also found a lot of word-based art.  You kind of have to give it to word art-- whether or not it's your thing, it's the homiest, coziest, snuggliest way to decorate.  

This is pumpkin-like!
This is also fall-ish and pumpkin-referencing!

"Bless Our Home" is a really nice sentiment.  But, as homey as word art is, I think it's not my thing.  It's not just these words-- somehow, I don't find myself wanting to use any words as adornment. 

After a couple hours of hemming, hawing, deciding, and re-deciding, I found some lovely fall candles, hurricane candle holders that were on sale, a table runner, and some garlands and supplemental fake plants. (Because somehow, even though I can't do decorative food, turns out I can handle plastic plants.)  I ended up with a dining room table and fireplace mantle that now look like this:

Fall table

Fall hearth

Recognize that plastic plant?
It's amaranth!

I am totally into these strange Saturday Evening Post-style Thanksgiving paper bucket things.
The candles are 'Mexican Pumpkin Pie Spice' scented.
I'm pretty sure 'Mexican Pumpkin Pie' is not a real thing.
But they smell so goooood.
Given the limited selection, I'm pretty happy with the way the fireplace mantle turned out.  The table though...I feel like it could use a little extra something, but I'm not sure what.  I could put something (flowers, maybe?) inside the pumpkin centerpiece; I could scatter decorative vegetables or pine cones around the candles and pumpkin.  I'm not sure.  What do you think?  I probably won't add to it for this season, but I'll keep my eyes open for something that will work next year.

And then, in a few weeks, it'll be time for Christmas decorating!  Luckily, I know just which store aisles to visit for Christmas-style homey.