Road to Thistlewood

This is the winding road that leads to Thistlewood….

….and this isn’t even the post I was going to write today.

I had a story and a project and when I went to post it, I sighed and stared at it and decided it wasn’t enough and wanted more.

I wanted fall.

I wanted color and texture and leaves and pumpkins and a crisp morning with the smell of fall in the air waiting for the bus with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand wearing an old gray tattered sweater and laughing at an ant joke.

So today I curated my favorite fall pictures from blogs gone past rated from 10 to 1.

Kind of like a best in show.

It’s a little random.  I know…..right?  But today I’m following my heart and if you like fall as much as I do…..

….this is the post for you.


10.  The Leaf-Covered Church Pew

This is a pew from an actual church.  It was kind of falling apart which is why I got it for free. #freeisthebest

I hid all the broken parts with leaves.

And I wish I could tell you that I imported the leaves for this picture.

But I didn’t.

This is an actual leaf per square inch of yard representation.


9.  The Spider Web That Looks Like a Grill Cover

I posted this picture two fall home tours ago.

Someone e-mailed me and asked if it was a grill cover wrapped in twine.

I wish I was that creative. #butimtrying


8.  The Mercury Glass Pumpkin Heard Round the World

This picture is from when the blog was nine months old.

It was my first fall tour and I made a mercury glass pumpkin with spray paint.

And found that barn door for free to match.

I still have that pumpkin…..and that barn door.


7.  The Leaf Charger Idea

I loved this idea.

Cut a leaf out of plywood and sand it and paint it.

I’m using these again this year, but I think I’m painting them with chalkboard paint.


6.  The Kitchen Hutch

I’ve loved this hutch from the moment I found it 14 years ago at the back of a garage covered in old tools.

It’s been a lot of different colors, but it likes gray the best.

And bee skep that I found at another yard sale.

fall decorating front door ideas

5.  The Newcomer

This is a picture from this year’s tour.

When I look back at old tour pictures I’ve decided I’m currently going through a minimalist phase.

A little less is more by the front door.


fall flower arrangement

4.  The Color Arrangement

This is another newcomer to the group.

This year I decorated my hutch for fall three different ways and this arrangement was my favorite.

Mostly because of those gray iron leaves.

Summer to Fall Mantel

3.  The Mantel

I love the look of this mantel.

I’m not even sure why.

Maybe it’s the wood sticks and wood flowers against all that white.

Maybe it’s because it only took five minutes.

Maybe because I got everything on sale.

Whatever.  Whenever.  Becauseever.  It’s my favorite.


2.  The Countryside

This picture comes in at number two because this is my view every day.

This is a minute from my house.

And when you drive through the country, past cow barns and fields of hay and corn fields and rolling hills.

…..this is your artwork.

Farmer's Market Sign

1.  The Story of the Bowl

And this is my favorite fall picture.


In the history of ever.

Not for the apples.  Not for the pumpkins or the vintage mantel or the toile  pumpkin that is much too small for the vignette.  Not for the constantly reappearing barn door.

I love it for the story…..

…..of our family tree.

PS  Don’t think I forgot about the project.  I’ll post it next week.

PPS  Do you agree with my ranking?  Which one was your favorite?

And I’m sharing some fun fall mantel ideas over on today!  You can check it out here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for gail gail

    kari My favorite was the pew, and then the two outdoor ones... equally. Your projects are great, but your pictures are always spot on! I love you photography skills! happy fall! gail

  2. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Love it all Chief Lady Thistle:D I do believe I miss living in the country...All of your pics remind me of my childhood. Thank you for that:) Happy Fall!

  3. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    You in a ratty grey sweater, drinking coffee, looking around at the fall colors while waiting for puppy to do his duty. Oh! You didn't post that photo? If you'd taken a selfie of that it would have been award winning. Fall is my favorite too but I certainly don't like what follows -- I'm repeating myself aren't I? I'll just have to savor every minute of fall. Have a great day, sending big hugs!

  4. Image for Dêbbie Dêbbie

    The winding road and the countryside are my favorites. I would never get tired of seeing either of these. I love Fall.

  5. Image for gina gina

    Of course I adore the color show of your winding road. I live where it's been the warmest spot in the US this week, so no fall here...ever. I love ALL of your vignettes. That's how we do fall...inside and on the porch. :) So much inspiration! But I think you missed my favorite....I recall corn husks on the front porch...remember that one? Amazing like the rest.

  6. Image for Mary lish Mary lish

    I live in the woods and sometimes forget how beautiful the leaves, nuts and limbs all over the yard can be. Thanks for reminding me, I do so love the Fall and your blog!

  7. Image for cindi cindi

    I can't decide.....I love all things fall! All of the pictures are beautiful representations of God's hand upon us all.

  8. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Awesome..if I had a drive like that I would just go back and forth just to see it..LOL. Very beautiful for sure. I agree on your mantle..Love, Love, Love it. I do think its the variety of the sticks and how it looks on the mantle. Gives me ideas for sure. My mantle is oak and that color. I may have to do something like that with oranges and beige to bring the color out. Very nice. Beautiful barn too. I love painting barns that was my all time favorite things to paint for some reason. That one is very cool and the background is wonderful. Your countryside is just breathtaking.

  9. Image for Diane Terry Diane Terry

    This is my absolutely, hands down, favorite post of your blog...ever! Love your posts! Keep up the great work! From a fellow fall lover!

  10. Image for Leona Leona

    Ok so you had me at picture #1. In Connecticut the leaves have turned ever so slightly due to the lack of rain and it is still warm. I am so waiting to #fallinloveagain. Brought out the kleenex for the bowl story. Loved all the pics.

  11. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    What a great idea for a post! Loved it! Even sang the title by the way! I love the winding road and rolling hills with red barn. Pew covered in leaves warmed my heart too. Love your Post and yes you too!!!

  12. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Well, outside pictures always win in my book so the church pew! But I also love your front door and the color arrangement with the metal leaves. Sigh, how I love Fall! It's truly my most favorite time of year!

  13. Image for Pat Pat

    I choose numbers 1 and 2 as my favorites...I especially enjoyed the picture of the drive with all the beautiful foliage on the way to Thistlewood! You certainly have beautiful scenery surrounding you! Enjoy a wonderful day.

  14. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I don't know that I can pick one favorite. I looked again and I like them all for different reasons. I too am longing for fall. I'm afraid where I live I'll have to wait until February though to feel the coolness in the air. Nancy

  15. Image for Winnie Winnie

    From one Fall Lover to another - thanks for showing us your pictures!! I loved every single one of them - Fall makes you feel so alive, doesn't it?!?!? Happy September and October to everyone . . .

  16. Image for shirley shirley

    It's so hard to pick just one. But I think I like the church pew the best. All those leaves. You are so lucky to live where you do. Imagine that barn being only 5 mins walk away! Bet you count your blessings every day.

  17. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I don't cry, but I almost did, with the story of the bowl. The picture of it (with the story, of course) is the winner.

  18. Image for Shelley @ Calypso in the Country Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

    Your photos are stunning! I am loving the cooler evenings and the crispness of this time of year. We barely had any rain in NJ this summer so I have a feeling the leaves won't be as vibrant as last year. Such a shame because we have had some beautiful falls. Enjoy your weekend! Shelley

  19. Image for Gail Gail

    Love seeing the color.. Here in the south we are still green. The weather has cooled to high 80's and cooler at night. I was raised in Penna. though and really miss the changing of the seasons and all the rich colors.

  20. Image for Lanita Lanita

    It's a close tie between the mantel and the front door/porch them both!! Thanks for the great fall inspiration - would love for that winding road to be on the way to my home someday.....beautiful! Have a happy day! Lanita

  21. Image for Aphrodite Aphrodite

    I really appreciate you sharing all the lovely photos! My favorite is the countryside because I grew up in rural Ontario, Canada and l was transplante to busy California. I sigh at the beauty of God's incredible handiwork, nothing compares to the works of His hands!

  22. Image for Velia Velia

    Your autumn photos are beautiful. My favorites are the landscapes photos and church pew with all the glorious colors of the season.

  23. Image for Terri Terri

    Absolutely #1 to me is that red barn .. and ohhhh the cows... :) love them!!! #2 would be the mantle for sure!! Gorgeous!!!!! but then...all the pictures make me smile.... (not to mention the family tree story) Love this time of year! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!

  24. Image for Susan Susan

    It is soooooo difficult to pick a favourite from all of these glorious are such a gifted photographer and, goodness knows, you are working with the best of subjects, too! I do have to say, though, I am in love with the photo of your winding road...I would want to hop on a bike and wind up and down that road repeatedly every single day and never get another thing done the rest of my natural life...hehe! I also have to say, I soooooooooo remember that faux-mercury-glass pumpkin...I loved it then and I still love it now! Then entire vignette is just dazzling, really! You just continue to amaze me with everything you do...just had to say it! :)

  25. Image for CGinAZ CGinAZ

    Photo #1 made my heart skip a beat. Here in AZ it will be in the low 100s all weekend. I long to just stand there in the middle of that road and gulp in that gorgeous golden air. My father's family was from KY. Makes me think about a really long overdue family reunion.

  26. Image for Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse

    I can't tell you how these photos and this post speaks to my heart, friend. It's still quite hot in California, but I am. so. ready. for fall. Thank you for the beauty, the inspiration and the hope for cooler, wonderful Autumn! xo Lidy

  27. Image for Kris Kris

    Does it count if I like the very top picture that isn't even numbered? It reminds me of all the autumns I've ever known. I lost my daddy earlier this summer so I really appreciated your story of the bowl and the tree whisperer.

  28. Image for Marjorie Smith Marjorie Smith

    Love all. The fall photos but my favorite one is the road leading to your home with all the gorgeous fall leaves!

  29. Image for Julie Julie

    There is just TOO much fall goodness here for one post!! I'm feeling inspired... thank you! :) The "newcomer" really speaks to me, as I am going through a similar phase. Last year, my front door and porched looked like I forgot we don't sell pumpkins here ... a sort of happy, yet chaotic explosion. Sometimes less really is more. More calming, simpler and easier to take in. Here's to making room to breathe... (Though I WOULD sell pumpkins if it meant I could pull off any of your looks above! Love them all.). ~julie

  30. Image for Debra W Debra W

    I read the story of your family tree, it brought love and sadness to my heart. Such a touching story. And what a wonderful brother to give a little of your dad back to you. Many blessings to you and your family.

  31. Image for Ruth Ruth

    The winding road with those gorgeous leaf colors. God's art. We just don't have those colors in southeast Alabama. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Image for Jere Jere

    karianne, You just keep tugging at our heartstrings and walking us down our own memory lanes. Pleasenever stop. I looked at your brothers Esty shop. Two things came to my mind immediately..Should be named "Whatabrother" and I wondered if he ever thought about making a pallet board in shape of Texas? I am a Texan thru and thru (what Texan isn't?). Just thought I'd toss that out or as we say in Texas "Put a bug in your ear." Jere PS. Sadly I don't live in Texas now but my Bluebonnet heart is there..good song title.

  33. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    I finished reading your story of the tree, and your father, and the bowl. It was so sad, and then reading the end where your brother made the bowl, I really had big tears rolling down my face. What a very lovely story, your blog is always a delight...and brothers are the best!!

  34. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Fall is also my favorite season. So much so, that Don and I used to travel to New England every year to go leaf peeping. Now, I need only to step outside my own back door! Your photos are beautiful!

  35. Image for Vicki Vicki

    My husband and I drove from our home in Pinson, Alabama to Bell Buckle, TN today in search of fall. The entire drive was beautiful and peaceful, with just the slightest twinge of color change in the leaves. It is coming, and isn't the air such a cool sweetness these days? Love your beautiful pictures of what is to come! Your drive is beautiful!

  36. Image for Michele Riggsbee Michele Riggsbee

    I loved #1 The Story of the Bowl. Thank you for always having such wonderful stories that truly touch my heart. Your positive attitude always makes me smile! I think we would be fast friends as we look at things very much the same way. I really enjoy all your lovely projects and ideas. Thank you for sharing.

  37. Image for Mary Mary

    KariAnne... Your pictures are truly extraordinary! You have such talent behind the camera lens!! Thanks for sharing such beauty. So anxious for the trees to turn and the temps to drop! Mary

  38. Image for Jane Jane

    I was just about to ask how and where you get all of your inspiration and then you had the photo of your view everyday. Oh, you lucky, talented, funny and sweet girl! Just love ya! And all of your fall, past and present. Jane x

  39. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and this time of year the temp should be around 65 or so. This weekend it is going to be upwards of 85. Everyone is excited. My friends, co-workers and even my husband is thrilled. I am angry. I was angry at the poor weather girl last night when she did her forecast. I. Want. Fall. I want all of those things you spoke about in your post. I want them badly. Fall is my favorite time of year. It can start on September 1st as far as I am concerned. I have a pool that I could use this weekend, but just for the principle of the thing I refuse. I should be wearing boots and cool sweaters not bathing suits. Fall, with all of its beauty will come, I know. There is a tree in my yard that is beginning to turn red which gives me hope. I am sitting looking at it longingly as I type. I will try to enjoy this weekend as they "gift" that it is. Oh, and I couldn't pick a favorite. I love all posts about fall.

  40. Image for Patty Soriano Patty Soriano

    I am so durn jealous that you have a windy road to get to your house! And you have red barns down the road! POO!

  41. Image for Mary Ferguson Mary Ferguson

    Your pictures are terrific and I like all of your past Fall decorations. You really have a talent for putting items together. Thanks so much for sharing these with us/ Happy weekend. Mary

  42. Image for kathy kathy

    I like the mantel....but all are calendar-worthy! The story of the tree is so sweet. I am glad your brother made that bowl for you . What a treasure!

Comments are closed.