Yo, Southern Hemisphere! I know you're springing into summer now. I'd love to hear your stories of what's happening on the flip side as spring drifts in, so if you have something to share from the south side, send it my way!
I know, I heard it from y'all that fall isn't exactly blustering in to the US. We're still in the 70s in Iowa, but the trees are changing and nights are getting longer, anyway. And it's a sure sign that the seasons are changing when the internet is splattered with lusty decorating images of fall vignettes like the one up there.
In a time of year when the natural world is the focus of so much admiration, there are ways to bring autumn home by taking advantage of simple beauty.
In fall the air is crisp and less humid and smells don't stick around like they do in the wet peak of summer, so it's a little nicer to create them. Dollars to donuts, you associate warm smells like apple and pumpkin pies with the sound of rustling leaves on a dark, chilly evening.
If your internal clock hasn't acknowledged it's October, pop a couple cinnamon sticks (or a generous amount of the powdered stuff) in a pot of water and set it to boil. The house'll smell all like fall in a jiff.To explore more exotic scents, visit your local alternative grocery or New Age store and pick out an essential oil. Most places let you test a sample bottle, but if you can't at your joint and aren't sure what to get, I like sandalwood or jasmine oil.
Adding a few drops of oil to a pot of hot water — or a tea kettle — will do the trick here, too. To get a quicker injection of spice in a room, you can shake up oil and water in a spray bottle and spritz where needed. Do be careful; some oils will discolor fabrics.
Remember Indian corn?
Also called flint corn, this is the stuff that's mostly known for its use in America as a fall decoration. Flint corn has calico-colored kernels of corn bearing hard outer shells on each seed — it's too hard to pop a kernel with your fingernail, like with sweet corn.
I haven't seen it around as much recently, so it must have fallen out of style, but it's so pretty. If you have a farmer's market, the vendors there may have ears of this stuff out for display. Or you can hit up Amazon to buy decorative versions.
Repurpose garden goods
Most of the stuff in my garden is ready to be dealt with. How about yours? I have these great wall planters along the front of the house, but my watering negligence during the high hot days of August killed off the petunias therein, or I'd probably have a few weeks of green left. Clear the spent plants from pots and planters (if you're not planning to winter them inside!) but keep their decorative purpose: try adding a layer of showy pebbles and using pretty sprays of grasses or twigs (with leaves still attached, maybe?) to change over for the season.
If all you can find are plain jane ash branches or something, you can still adorn them.
Or use hot glue and small glass votive vases to create a suuuper simple rustic candle set, like this one.
Do you do anything differently at home in the fall? Are you all about collecting pretty leaves, or do you have a set of be-glittered, fantastical leaf-themed decor that comes out of storage? What's your home look like this season?