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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Cloches and Lanterns...The Scoop on Creating Fall Vignettes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Today is the last day of the five days of 
twenty-five bloggers showing us amazing fall vignettes as part of
The Scoop on Creating Fall Vignettes. 

While this is the last day for this collection,
there are many more great ideas coming our way.

 This is only the first collection in a HOW-TO series
hosted by these inspiring bloggers.

Anita from Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Yvonne from StoneGable
 Debbie from Confessions of a Plate Addict
Anne from White Lace Cottage
Barb from The Everyday Home

Oh, yes, we are in for a special treat every month.
Each month there will be another
collection from twenty-five incredible bloggers over five days,
perfect for the current season
with more great ideas just when we need them.

This month's The Scoop on Creating Fall Vignettes is
just in time for ideas for Thanksgiving.

Not only is it fun to see all the beautiful vignettes, 
but these talented bloggers have been showing us 
insider tips on HOW TO create their stunning vignettes.
The tips they've shared are so good anyone can
create vignettes similar to those seen
on their blogs and in magazines.
I've learned several good tips.

Each month there will be MORE great tips. 

I am excited to be one of the bloggers on 
today's schedule. 

French Cloches and Lanterns 

Fall scenes can be bright and colorful with gold and red foliage,
but as the days grow shorter and darkness comes earlier,
fall scenes in our homes are also ones in which our homes
become cozier with blazing fires and
the warm glow of candlelights.

How did I create the ambience of warmth and light in this fall display?

One of my favorite places to decorate is a shelf
in the kitchen on the back of our white limestone fireplace.

Here it is...empty and ready for a fall display. 

Tip: When there will be a crowd at the house and every spare inch 
on the dining table(s) is needed for food and place settings, 
create a seasonal display on a buffet, mantle, bookcase, or 
a kitchen shelf like this, and place only small displays on the table(s). 
Not only will it allow more space on the tables, 
the display will be safely out of the way when people jostle 
each other and objects. 

Where to begin?

With a theme,
with something that connects the items in the display.

Sure this is a fall display,
so fall will connect the items, but I will also
use objects that remind me of France.
The large print on the wall is of Chenonceau Chateau,
a beautiful castle in the French Loire Valley.
The vignette on the shelf will include French-inspired objects
to connect the display to the print.

See Vignette Design Series #2 - Theme for more ideas on themes.

There are two groupings of French-inspired items
with space between them for a flower arrangement
which will be the focal point.
Overall, there will be three visual groups.

Tip: Odd numbers of items are more visually appealing 
than even numbers of items. 
Really, marketing research bears this out. 
And, this idea has been put to the test and demonstrated by 
talented bloggers everywhere on this tour. 

The group on the right side of the shelf includes a French cloche, 
an expression that is almost redundant. 
Cloche is a French word referring to a bell-shaped glass cover 
originally used to protect tender new plants in the garden. 

The globe oil lantern will provide a soft, steady glow of light, 
much more so than the flickering small candle to its right. 

The wire mesh candle holder has a scrolled embellishment 
that reminds me of French designs and patterns. 
Plus the candle holder is grey meshed metal, very French looking. 

Finally, the little grey crowned bird repeats the grey color and 
its crown is a symbol often used in French designs. 
The bird sits below the globe lantern to fill that space 
and visually link the three objects (three items again.)

The three items on the left include an etched hurricane lamp and 
a metal candle holder with a glass cover that echoes the cloche on the right. 

By placing the metal candle holder with its pierced metal vent on the left, 
it balances the grey mesh candle holder on the right. 
A mix of both metal and glass are used on both sides of the shelf. 
Also, the two etched glass items (hurricane lamp and cloche) 
are used on opposite sides of the shelf.

There is not perfect symmetry of matched identical items, 
rather just a visual balance of similar items.  

The short French script decorated candle holder is beautiful on both sides. 

By using the candle's side that has the larger design, there is a greater impact 
of grey that also acts as a balancing factor. 
The crown on the candle holder gives a crown on each side of the shelf 
(remember the grey crowned bird?) 

These three objects are placed so that the shortest one is 
between the two taller ones and is slightly in front of the taller ones. 
Varying the height so the the shortest one is in the middle 
brings the eyes down, then back up. 
See Vignette Design Series #1-Composition for more explanation 
about varying heights to create movement. 

The flower arrangement is anchored by the white spider mums
that came from the local grocery store. 
Are there any flowers that define fall more than mums?

The flower arrangement is taller than the objects on either side, 
which reinforces the flowers as the focal point. 
Height and central location draw the eyes to the flowers. 

Tip: Flowers are not only beautiful and add wonderful fragrance 
to a setting, but the choice of flowers suggests the season. 
The flowers I chose help set the tone of fall. 
When my sister was helping me arrange these, 
I said, "Don't use any cedar.  I don't want it to look like Christmas." 
See what I mean about flowers suggest the season. 

The foliage was free ... cut from my yard. 
The crepe myrtle leaves and vitex tree seed pods add color and texture  
to the arrangement, and create  
the feeling of fall in the arrangement. 
This is the time of the year for plants to set seeds and 
to go dormant for the upcoming winter. 

Tip: Thoroughly wash foliage cut from your yard 
in warm sudsy water to clean the plant material 
and to remove any insects hitching a ride. 
I use dish-washing liquid soap. 
Rinse under barely warm-to-cool water. 

Remember to include flowers on all sides of your arrangement
so it will be pretty when seen from the sides.

Tip: Allow some stems to hang down over the rim of the
container so the flowers look connected to the container,
not floating above it.
See French Flowers Today for more tips on arranging flowers.

As the sunlight fades and evening shadows grow, light the candles for a warm glow. 

I added a small concrete dove with outstretched wings on the left 
as a companion to the small grey crowned bird on the right side of the shelf, 
providing another balancing element.  

Candlelight's soft glow reflects fall 
just as brilliant sunshine reflects summer. 

Evening is the fall of day 
filled with lingering lights as the day prepares to sleep. 

As twilight deepens into darkness, the candles' soft lights calm our souls 
and blur the sharp edges of life. 
The soft light exudes warmth and draws us together, 
 to enjoy each other's company as the day draws to a close. 

Tip: When sharing your vignette, do not apologize in advance for 
what you see as shortcomings. 
That only draws attention to whatever you see as a flaw. 
Most people will not even notice what you see. 
Candlelight will help camouflage any less-than-perfect details. 
Enjoy any compliments, and graciously accept them with no apologies. 

A French fall vignette transforms a bare shelf into one 

filled with ambience from cloches, candles, lanterns, and flowers. 

May your fall be filled with a cozy soft glow. 
If you missed any of the other bloggers' vignettes and tips, 
here's a link to the full schedule for 
The Scoop on Creating Fall Vignettes. 
The five days are filled with amazing 
beauty and outstanding tips.