My September Shelves + Other Apple Decor

I decorate with apples in September. Okay, I know I’m a little crazy, but I just can’t bring out the “fall” stuff until it’s officially fall. As in September 23rd this year. Some years I’ll fudge a little and decorate over the weekend before, but most of the time, we do it on the day.

Problem is, by the end of August, I’m generally itching for fall. It’s my favorite season.

A couple years ago I decided that apples would make a fair bridge. They are adorable, and they don’t really match with my leaves and pumpkins (so I usually don’t use them). It’s the perfect solution. Apples in September.

Early Fall Decor | Apples in September

My husband built these shelves for me (out of American Chestnut beams he pulled out of the walls of our house) last September when he took some time off to work on the house. That means this is the first time to decorate them with apples. Most of my apple stuff came from my mom when she moved out here to be with us. Her last kitchen was decorated in apples, so she had plenty and I had my pick.

The hand lettered piece on the left side of the top shelf I created last year. The pie on the bottom shelf is watercolor on a piece of wood I did the year before that. I’d like to do that one over sometime because it smudged a bit when we added the clear finish. But for now, I like it.

Early Fall Decor | Apples in September

Under those shelves on my counter, I put my chalkboard frame (which is really just a white frame from Walmart with a black paper in it. I use white water based paint pen or chalkboard pens on it.) The design was there from my mom’s chocolate themed party, but I changed the words to “apple cider please” to match the apples. I thought the little wood apple was cute here and it all went well with my after meal clean up chart which is there all the time. (I scribbled out the names of my children for privacy.) I’m loving this set up because it mostly blocks the pencil sharpener that lives on the corner of the counter there (for lack of a better place for it). Homeschool families need their pencil sharpeners!

Early Fall Decorating for September

This cute little collection is sitting in the corner of my kitchen by the windows. Old basket with puffy red check fabric, jar, candle, plastic apple and my new favorite apple artwork (available to print… check it out!)

I moved this from the living room early last week when I moved my stack of Pergo out of there to get ready for some renovations coming up.

Early Fall Decorating for September

That’s right, the little “table” it’s sitting on is really a covered stack of flooring waiting to be installed. 🙂 You never do really know what someone’s house looks like based on a blog, do you?

How do you decorate in September??

Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

Pick Your Own Apples | Hand Painted Printable
My Shelves Dressed Up for Fall
My Shelves Done Up for Valentine’s Day

Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat Wrap Up

Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

This past weekend was our church’s Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat. We were at a new venue, which turned out just right. It was in the mountains, we were in a lodge of sorts, and once we were done with set up, it was decidedly cozy!

Decorating - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up
Pre-cut fabric squares strung up with mini clothes pins were a cute and colorful addition to our mantle. The fabric was an adorable cabin in the mountains theme. Sorry, I don’t remember what it was called.

Unfortunately, though I promised myself I wouldn’t let this happen, I got so busy that I forgot to stop and take pictures of everything. These are the few there are. 🙂

Lit Tree and Snow Blocks on the Piano - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up
White lights added a whimsical touch. Since we used the lights and trees the church already had, it was also a huge budget helper!

When I put away my winter decor at the end of January, I put a number of pieces into our retreat box. The snow blocks, wooden trees and the jar of “snowballs” were some of the ones from my kitchen. And since the mountainside out our windows were covered with snow, it was perfect!

Centerpieces - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

The centerpieces were simple. One of the families in our church had a baby shower this past fall with a woodland animals theme. I was able to use the same tree trunk slabs they had made for that (another budget saver!) Baby’s Breath flowers in Ball jars with rocks were inexpensive and gave a lot of bang for their buck. The little birds in nests were in our decor closet at church as well. That was an exciting find. And for the tables, we used Kraft paper. Simple, less expensive than cloth, and more durable than plastic. Plus it had that rustic quality I was looking for.

Centerpiece - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

The framed cabin print was one of the ones I painted (now available in my shop). All 7 of the tables had one and they were given as prizes as part of the “door prize drawing”. Each person got something. When it came to these prints, they were allowed to choose between one of those or one of the remaining prizes that I hadn’t painted myself. That way ladies who wouldn’t have a use for the artwork, had a choice to opt out. 🙂 I was super excited to see most of them taken.

The food table we set out in the evenings was more elaborate than these pics let on, yet still simple. Not only had I brought the Birch Tree Pretzels and Mountain Rice Krispies Treats, but also some veggies and dip, chips, pretzels and popcorn. And other ladies brought things to share also. No one ever had cause to be hungry! 🙂 And my kids were thrilled with some left overs!

DIY Chocolate Wrappers - Cozy Mountain Lodge Woman's Retreat

The custom chocolates I left on everyone’s pillows (read that post here) were a big hit too. And even though I had a ton to do, I disappeared to put them out myself. I’m so glad I did! I didn’t want anyone to know they were coming (even the other helpers) and I wanted a chance to pray a few words for each of the ladies who came.

The remaining artwork I created for the retreat (available here) was framed and left around the room in cozy places where the ladies sat to visit, read their Bibles, or crochet. Sorry there aren’t any pics of that. Each one has it’s own post: Get Away, Get Going, Get Cozy, and {God’s Got this} Let the Adventure Begin.

God's Got This - Hand Lettered Artwork - Joshua 1:9

Are you planning a mountain themed retreat? I’d love to hear about your plans! Share some of them in the comments for others to enjoy!

Gathering here.

The Best Conversation… Hearts ~ In Watercolor

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Real life has kicked in and what I said at the beginning of this whole journey is really happening.  I do this in my spare time, and these days I don’t have much.  January was great for posting because I had a lot of content from the past year plus to share.  In addition to that I had a project with a deadline I was working on and my husband was working evenings helping a friend on a house project for 10 days so I was alone at night a lot (I paint a lot more when he’s not around).

In the last 4-5 days I’ve painted hardly at all… surely not conducive to finishing projects. 🙂  That said, this project isn’t finished either, but I wanted to show you the finished part.

I love the look of conversation hearts and, in fact, have this jar of candy more as a decoration than for the kids to eat (I’ll let them start having some after Valentine’s Day… though they each had one while I had them scattered on the table for these pics).  They are just so… iconic Valentine’s.  At least from my childhood.

I’ve wanted to decorate with them for years, but I didn’t want the standard messages hanging on my wall or from a garland or on my corner table.  “BFF” and “Be mine” and “Call me” weren’t going to do.  So I came up with my own messages.

Instead I’ve god “Put on love”, “Love one another” and “Be His” among others.  I included the Scripture reference in the border and framed them in these inexpensive white Walmart frames.  (I love these!)

I had big dreams of having these finished by now and having a printable version for you to use either as wall art or handing out Valentine’s, but the other three have little problems that still need to be fixed and I just can’t justify painting when other things are going undone.  Hopefully I’ll at least have them to show you soon! 🙂 Maybe even before Valentine’s Day!

***Update 2/2/19: Click here to find printable files of these conversation hearts for framing and Valentines.

This post may be linked up at one of these gatherings!