The Corner Bounty

Visit any nearby farmer’s market during this time of year and you’ll no doubt be greeted by a tsumani of color and texture.  Just observing the many varieties of seasonal and organic produce so beautifully displayed at my neighborhood farmer’s market (Fairmount Market & Nursery at 230 Old Turnpike Road at the crossroads of Routes 517 and 512 in Califon, NJ) is enough to make the mouth water and make you want to run home, light the fire and dig in.  What is it about the fall season that makes us think of nesting, of slowing down a bit?  Take a moment to visit your farmer’s market or get in the car and head out to discover one.  They’ll deliver a Rustic Chic feast for the eyes as well as the palette.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Downcast Eyes

Money may not grow on trees, but at this time of year gemstones do.  A visit to a friend’s home after a recent rain shower revealed a cornucopia of color in the form of a jewel-toned carpet unfurled along the blue flagstone path.  Our usual collective tendency is to look upward to the trees during autumn to enjoy the changing colors, but as these photos show, sometimes it’s Rustic Chic to have downcast eyes.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Long High Lonesome

What is it about abandoned and long-neglected houses that stirs the romantic in me?  Is is the rescuer instinct that allows me to see what a perfect gem this little shingled house could become?  The home is not large but sits on a substantial piece of property and would be perfect for a small family or make a Rustic Chic weekend residence.  From the look of the place, it appears that it was forgotten long ago as the dirt, rust and choking vines slowly consume it.  On a happier note, it also appears that the door’s open.  Come on in!

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Unfaithful?

Do you ever wonder if the famous Mr. Blandings, who once upon a time built his dream house, was ever unfaithful?  To his house, I mean.  (How could Cary Grant ever leave Myrna Loy?)  For some time, I’ve felt a twinge of guilt upon observing (lusting after?) this neighbor’s house while driving by, and ever more slowly each time.  There’s something so appealing about its starkness, its pristine white paint job, its prideful stance in the middle of a field. The lines are simple, classic, symmetrical and elegant and I sometimes picture myself there.  But then reality hits and I return to my senses and my own dream house.  All is well, I didn’t go too far.  Well, at least until the next time I get behind the wheel.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Let’s Sit This One Out

A couple of weekends ago, while I attending that great apple cider pressing party, I took a minute to take a brief tour around my host and hostess’s barn and gardens.  When I turned the corner of one of the stone walls separating the barn from the garden I came across this beautiful and unusual garden bench.  I was instantly charmed by the patina and subject matter of the bench – from the hunting dog and the foliage motifs in cast iron to the weathered wood seat.  I had to fight the urge to sit and rest a spell while surveying the lush surroundings.  Sometimes it’s Rustic Chic to dance and sometimes it’s Rustic Chic to sit this one out.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Slow Down, It’s OK!

I was running late for the shop yesterday.  No excuse other than I was just enjoying the first really cool, crisp, and sunny fall morning.  And like everyone who’s a bit behind on getting along with the day’s business, I was getting concerned about being where I needed to be.  While heading down the narrow road to the shop, a pickup truck pulled out in front of me  – just far enough to further my annoyance.  The truck was going at a snail’s pace.  Why doesn’t he move it?  At least go the speed limit, ok?  As I approached the truck I saw something which appeared to be glowing in its bed.  Sunflowers!  Freshly cut and on their way to the farmer’s market in town.  While I couldn’t “stop and smell the roses,” I did slow down to enjoy the view.  My annoyance faded and I even followed the driver to his destination and asked him if I could snap these pictures.  So what if this added a few more minutes to my tardiness? Just goes to show – sometimes work will still be there if you’re a bit late.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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It’s Rustic Chic To Press Your Luck

Last Sunday I had the great pleasure of attending an apple cider pressing party and luncheon at Bird Haven Farm.  Our friends who own this beautiful property know how to throw a Rustic Chic shindig, complete with a local country band, fabulous guests (including John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross; the incredible ceramicist Frances Palmer; uber landscape architect Thomas Wolzer; and outdoor furniture wizard John Danzer of Munder-Skiles).  Delicious food, good conversation, and meeting new people, not to mention the deliciously fresh apple cider pressed from the farm’s apple orchard made for a terrific time.  Sometimes it’s Rustic Chic to press your luck.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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