October. It's properly autumn now, and one of my favourite months of the year. The air is cooling, the leaves falling and the mornings are damp and chilly. Clocks go back and afternoons shorten, while gardens are tidied up for the winter and bonfires lit. It's a smoky, mellow, misty month, when the woods are heavy with the scent of decay and full of feathers, conkers and pine cones.
I'm continuing with my monthly mantel project, marking the seasons and rhythms of family life with a hotch-potch of things that were found outside and in, things that were given to me, things that are precious, the old and the new. On the mantel this month: lots of pine cones, collected from the school playground and strung into a garland. (You can read about how I made it further down.)
A vase full of rambling rose hip and a smaller one full of feathers. We've been collecting feathers for weeks, with the aim of doing something crafty and creative with them. So far, they are still sitting in this pot.
A beautiful handmade wooden spoon I bought last weekend. (I am also using it to eat with, I've not gone completely mad.)
A clay bowl Bella made in school, filled with berberis berries from the garden. I like their bright orange colour, a nod to Halloween at the end of the month.
Feel free to join in! I should mention that Karen at A Quiet Corner has been documenting her monthly mantel displays throughout this year since January, and her blog is full of simple, beautiful seasonal ideas. Blogland is, as always, an interesting and inspiring place.
How to make a pine cone garland
I'm not ashamed to admit that this perplexed me for quite some time. I spent hours squinting at images of all kinds of pine cone craftiness, trying to work out how on earth people had attached the string to the cones. I gave up and found the answer in Bella's box of beads.
You will need pine cones, a glue gun, some small wooden beads, a needle and thread.
Glue the bead to the base of the cone. Let it dry. Drink your tea. That's it.
I am probably the last person in the world to figure this out so feel free to mock me. But I do love my glue gun.
Then, since it's Autumn now, light that fire.