Hey, Pumpkin! No, I Lucas.

…this is a daily conversation in our house. Lucas dislikes nicknames and for whatever reason my first instinct is to call him “Pumpkin”. Not sure why. It just comes out. And he corrects me with his given name every time.  I just love that kid.  Anyways, speaking of pumpkins, we bought a few this weekend at a local pumpkin patch.

As we were leaving, Lucas swooped in like a superhero, grabbed the cart from me and stated “I’ll take care of that!”…

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Such a little man.   🙂

When it came to decorating the pumpkins, we decided not to carve them this year since they go rotten so fast (at least ours always have) and the thought of Lucas wielding paints almost caused my brain to short out.  Upon inspecting my craft box, I came across a jar of Mod Podge that had been long since neglected. Perfect! I raided our stash of tissue paper and came up with red, orange, green and pink. Pink made the cut because of Lucas. Occasionally, we’ll be sitting in silence and he’ll randomly state “I like pink.” You can tell he’d been thinking quite intensely about it. And it cracks me up every time.

I decided that we needed some bat silhouettes for a Halloweeny vibe, so I folded the tissue paper into small squares, then folded that in half. I googled “bat sillohuette” and chose a pic I liked, then I sketched half of the bat on the paper right along the fold. Like, so….

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I cut it out with scissors, unfolded it and behold! I was left with many symmetrical bats.

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I did larger bats in green and smaller ones in red. Then, I cut out circles and triangles with the other colors.

I set up our supplies…..

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Then, we got to work. We used foam brushes to smear the Mod Podge on the pumpkin,

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We placed on our tissue paper and patted it down gently to be sure it adhered,

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Then, we added another coat of Mod Podge on top of the tissue paper. It worked better when we waited a few minutes before Mod Podging the second coat. If the paper became too saturated while it was still mobile on the pumpkin, it tore more easily.

A few action shots…

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We just decorated our pumpkins randomly. Whatever floated our boats. I’ve always liked homemade-looking pumpkins. I can see the fun that was had decorating them and that makes me smile.

As for Lucas, he LOVED this project. It kept him occupied for much longer than we’d expected. He painted on the Mod Podge easily and did a great job adding paper. In fact, he loved it so much that when his pumpkin was done to his satisfaction, he started working on the back of Joeys. And he was quite the brush hog. Who knew??! I really need to do projects like this with him more often. I did have to go back and Mod Podge over his tissue paper once he was done since he didn’t seem to have patience for that part, but all-in-all it was a two-year-old success! And I’m hoping that maybe the Mod Podge will help preserve our pumpkins so they last a little longer.

Here’s the finished product…

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And the rest of the porch…

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I have to say I’m proud of myself for decorating the porch. BEFORE the first fall holiday.  I still want to make a wreath for the front door, but at least there are signs of life now. Our porch says “Hey, hot stuff. People LIVE here.” Not that Mat didn’t. It’s just more obvious now.   Flowers, a few pumpkins, and (gasp!) I cleaned the chair. Did you know it’s actually black? I’d almost forgotten.  These simple additions are definitely not ground-breaking, but a happy improvement from this for sure…

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So, next we’ll hopefully be replacing our light fixture (spoiler alert: we bought it about a month ago. It’s been holding down the fort in the garage ever since.) I’ve also been casually looking for a second rocking chair and have been trying to narrow down a paint color for them. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess.

So, does anyone have any other toddler-friendly pumpkin-decorating ideas they want to share?

Falling

I’m usually not huge on decorating for holidays (except for Christmas of course!), but when it gets cool in the fall I can’t help but “autumn” it up a bit. I just love fall. And cool weather. And wearing jeans and boots. It all motivates me to celebrate the end of summer with a few alterations in our home. My indoor changes are usually just limited to a few choice places and I rarely (if ever) buy new stuff. I like somewhat non-traditional autumness that isn’t overly leafy or obvious with just a few traditional fall decor pieces mixed in there.  Just subtle hints that remind me that autumn is here.

The first location that got injected with a dose of autumn is our floating shelves.

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… And we were lucky enough to have a live model on set (Say hi to Lucas!).

To me, fall means natural materials. Cork, wood, baskets, burlap. So, I incorporated all of these textures among the shelves.

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As you can see, Larry, complete with his burlap hydrangea got relocated to this woven tray. He is Larry the Table Guy no more, but seems equally content in his new home. I added a bit more literal fall stuff in the form of more cheap gourds (which I glazed with gold craft paint for some shimmer).

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On the media console, I paired the existing silver tray and red vase (which is filled with coffee beans) with a fake pumpkin (which I spray-painted white and added a few fake leaves to) and a carved wooden bowl filled with floating candles.

The other area is our dining table. Our centerpiece is an ever-changing project.  I like to swap it around pretty regularly to keep from getting bored (and because I seem to have a problem with sitting still).

First, I started with this….

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I simply stuck a metal pumpkin candle holder into a woven basket and added a few leaves of fake greenery, rattan balls, and cheapo gourds that I spray-painted white. The candlesticks remind me of fall for some reason. Like ones you’d find in a haunted house with spiderwebs on them. I added gold candles for some bling and traded out my bamboo table runner for round woven placemats that I got from Ikea for a buck a pop on clearance.

Then, because no project in our house seems complete without me spray-painting something (else) white, I spray-painted the metal pumpkin and added a table runner and some galvanized steel buckets with burlap hydrangeas.

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Then, I traded the basket for a gold platter and added some spooky black branches…

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For a touch of whimsy, I swapped out my pumpkin for this guy and added some colorful flowers  (sorry about the lighting… it was really overcast that day so I had to turn on the lights).

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He started as a very traditional-style Christmas moose that I won as a door prize. I painted him gold and added the red paint. He was intended to be a trophy for a costume contest at a Halloween party we threw a few years ago. The victor happily accepted the winning title, but very sweetly and respectfully declined ownership of ole’ Moosey as he was too creepy.  I love him, though I’m pretty sure I’m a smidge different on a scale of normal (as if you hadn’t gathered yet).

But, alas Moosey wore out his welcome so, I went a little simpler….

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Then, I threw simple to the wayside….

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And now I’m here…

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And my wooden candleholder got a friend…

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I’m sure it’ll change a few more times before the Christmas season rolls around.  So, there you have it! Our newly autumnized living/dining area. It’s not over the top, but it’s enough to remind me that my favorite time of year has arrived. So, raise your glass and bring on the boots!!