Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall - It's all about Pumpkins

Pumpkins range in color from almost white to a deep rust with all shades of yellows and oranges in between. From the winter fruit that grows to 1,300 lbs in Alaska to the tiny ones we tuck into a bowl of apples for a centerpiece, the pumpkin is truly versatile. Pumpkins are nutritious, loaded with Beta Carotene (Vitamin A) and Vitamin C and loads of fiber. Check this link to Heritage Farms for more in-depth nutritional information.

The small "sugar" pumpkins which are used commercially for pie fillings have a stronger flavor than the large "cow" pumpkins we carve for Jack-o-lanterns. they are actually, and were originally, grown as feed for livestock. However, the large pumpkins are certainly usable for pies and breads and by increasing the amount of spices recommended in recipes calling for canned pumpkin, I doubt that anyone could tell the difference.

Today I'm decorating with pumpkins.
I've been dragging out these very inexpensive, orange, plastic pumpkins for years and decided to so something different with them this season. I started with thoughts of Halloween...a simple matter of masking and black paint.

Mid project, I visited one of my favorite decorating blogs which was making use of white pumpkins and it caused me to do an immediate about-face. Fortunately, I also have white paint and liked the results so well that I took a brush to my larger pumpkins, too.

This great shaped squash got nothing more than a couple coats of white paint.

Considering the possibility that there might me such a thing as too much stark white, this plastic pumpkin was "antiqued" by simply rubbing it with Old English furniture polish and rubbing off the excess.

My oldest daughter surprised her sister and me with a craft day of making these adorable little pumpkins.

They are made from 2' lengths of clothes dryer vent hose, the two ends wired together with floral wire. They are first spray painted solidly with orange and then sprayed lightly with a dusting of a burgundy color. The stems are corks and the silk, fall leaves add the finishing touch. It occurred to me that these would make a really cute topiary, threaded onto a dowel, secured in a terracotta pot and dressed with moss.

A note about blackboard paint...

It is said that a touch of black always adds class. That is fine and appropriate for the decor of many of my friends. But my look is so very Florida Casual that I worry about things like that. Blackboard paint has become my bridge between two worlds. Too much white, or "light" IS boring and the addition of a touch of black does give the eye a place to "rest". My shabby frame was cheap, cheap, cheap...simply painted and distressed. The original (and ugly) picture inside was painted over with the blackboard paint. The freshly painted piece of slate, only yesterday displayed a blue and white, Made in China family of snowmen. I bought it at a yard sale for a quarter. Now it makes a statement and serves as background for the little pumpkins.

And, speaking again of a couple of days, I'll be cooking fresh pumpkin, roasting seeds, making pies and breads and will share methods and results with you.


Sarah said...

I love the look you have created and how you got away from the tradional orange color scheme.. I want to try the white look, now too!

donna said...

love the pumpkins, will send somepics of the gourds I am creating for thrift store if you like, and some painted ones coming soon

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect idea to liven up my usual fall decorations.

Jen said...

Looks like your house if very "light". Mine is very dark with deep rich wall color and heavy dark fabrics and dark woods. I like it very much but it has been hard to decorate. The autumn colors always just blended in and got lost. I followed your lead and painted my pumpkins and gourds white and absolutely love the look. Thanks for the inspiration.

cindylbaker said...

You're decor is AMAZING!! I absolutely love the chalkboards! What a fantastic idea and you can change the message daily, or for a special dinner party, a welcome to guests, any season, any reason! I just love it! And the white pumpkins & squash are beautiful! I can't wait to share this with my Facebook friends!!!