Autumn Treasures


Hi Friends!

We are celebrating another lovely Autumn weekend here in the Midwest! The leaves are just beginning to show their colors. The next two weekends should be prime time for leaf peeping in our area. Midwesterners are making the most of our nice weather.

Perhaps you can guess why we left home very early on a chilly Saturday morning to drive out to the countryside…

As long as I can remember, one of my very favorite pastimes has been antiquing. I have such sweet childhood memories of tagging along with my parents at outdoor antique fairs, learning about the fascinating things that were part of daily life for our ancestors. As I grew, so did my love for the old ways and the simple things that make a ‘Home Sweet Home.’

Now at a vintage age myself, I still love the anticipation of the hunt and the thrill of learning more about old, well-worn treasures. You just never know when you will find something that sparks joy! It’s always a treat to find inspiration for new ways to use my own antiques. From time to time, a tiny treasure or two might even come home with us!

This pretty park sits along the peaceful, historic waterway.

This pretty park sits along a peaceful, historic waterway. The small town of Morris is just a one hour drive from Chicago.

On Saturday, we visited the last 3 French Hens French Country Market of the year, held in the small town of Morris, Illinois. Over 140 vendors set up their booths in Canalport Park, along the banks of the historic I & M Shipping Canal. I practically danced into the park! There is always so much inspiration here… I could just feel it in the air!

DSCN5941It’s so interesting to peek at the upcycled items ~

especially signs made from old barn wood, vintage doors, or tobacco lath.

I always take time to admire the fonts, the time-worn wood, and the sayings on each piece.

DSCN5939Vintage frames were in abundance at this month’s fair.

Some were turned into chalkboards. Others held chicken wire and clothespins to create display boards.

DSCN5952There were so many memories here, too!

While growing up, I played at a small, wooden, roll top desk that was passed down through our family.

The red handled rolling pin looks just like the one in my kitchen today.

I can remember a Charles Chips cookie tin at our house, too.

It’s always a happy stroll down Memory Lane!

DSCN5943Vintage wooden ironing boards were popular.

Old doors were definitely trending here!

They were repurposed into hall trees with bench seats, book shelves, coffee tables, and chalkboards.

I was thankful to see the original hardware preserved on each door.

DSCN5947Autumn’s gifts were everywhere!

Bittersweet bundles were cut from roadside plants in Indiana.

Farmers brought their fruits, vegetables, and honey.

DSCN5945Pumpkins and gourds were everywhere!

DSCN5950Our search for the perfect pumpkins and gourds

always leads us to Anderson Pumpkins.

These expert growers harvest over 102 varieties on their

farm in nearby Newark, Illinois.

DSCN5949It’s fascinating to learn more about pumpkins and squash from them each year.

We learned that pumpkins will be more scarce this season

due to our cool, very wet June.

(Insider tip straight from the grower ~

“If you buy canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving baking,

it’s a good idea to buy it extra early this year. Supplies could be short!)

DSCN5810The blessings of Autumn

were everywhere we looked at the

 3 French Hens French Country Market.

Beautiful chrysanthemums, long bundles of dried wheat,

bales of hay, and bouquets of bright, orange Chinese Lanterns

were a celebration of Autumn in the Midwest.

A few bits

of holiday magic

were sprinkled in, too!

DSCN5956The most wonderful time of the year

is just around the corner!

DSCN5955What a wonderful Autumn morning!

There were little treasures that

sparked joy ~

a small, silverplated ‘Bride Basket’ plate (made in England) for holiday tea parties,

a bar of handmade ‘Ocean Sunrise’ soap, scented with peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus,

and small pumpkins and gourds to create Autumn centerpieces.

Best of all, my heart is filled with inspiration!


We bought delicious fare for

our picnic lunch

and headed off

further into the countryside

to our afternoon destination…

This beautiful place is really old!

It’s an original ‘antique’

dating back

 10,000 years!

Can’t wait to share… next time!

I’m so grateful that you made time to stop and visit today.

Wishing everyone bright, colorful Autumn (or Springtime!) days ahead!

Sending warm Thanksgiving Blessings to our friends in Canada!

Cherish today!


P.S.  What Autumn activities have you been enjoying lately?

24 thoughts on “Autumn Treasures

    • So true, Judy! It’s amazing to me that so many people paint beautiful wood furniture pieces and cut into old quilts to upcycle them. I have bought painted furniture and bunting made from old quilts, but I can’t bring myself to actually paint or cut the originals! So, I’m happy that others are inspired to do it! ♡

  1. Such a glorious day you had, Dawn. I so wish we could have made it to the market on Saturday, but, joyful to see your photographs and read your words. I look forward to hearing about your afternoon destination.
    Wasn’t it a great weekend? We headed to the Morton Arboretum, early, for a long walk on the east loop, a quick bite to eat, and then a walk around Lake Marmo. The colors are just starting to show – my favorite time of year.

    • So glad that we both had lovely weekends, Penny! The 3 French Hens Market had even more vendors than last month. Just wonderful! Our afternoon was an awesome place to take a long walk ~ from my list of Penny’s Great Places to Visit! We had a nice picnic lunch there and then a peaceful walk in nature. All will be revealed very soon! 🙂 It looks like a good week in the garden. We are blessed! ♡

  2. Love the trip through the 3 French Hens market. What fun! I would be there forever reading all the signs and love the pumpkins. Alas no pumpkin farms here. You have to buy pumpkins at the grocery stores and Walmart. No fun. And it is still in the 90’s! Fall teased us and then went away.
    Looking forward to the second half of your day.

    • Good morning, Chris! It’s always such fun to walk around at 3 French Hens in Autumn. There are pumpkins and gourds scattered through all of the displays. We were so lucky to have a warm weekend. Yesterday it reached 80 degrees! Change is on the way, though. We might have frost next weekend. So much to do in the garden this week! I’m so happy that you stopped to visit this morning, Chris! Wishing you a nice week! ♡

  3. Dawn,
    Your visit to 3 French Hens antique fair would be my idea of the perfect autumn morning…we’ve been having a sweltering heat wave, so I have to live vicariously. Our autumn weather might join the rest of the nation later this week. I wish we had a source for bittersweet around here, it always looks so festive. We do have a wonderful pumpkin growing farm very close by. I can’t wait to see where you decided to picnic.
    Enjoy this week, Happy Columbus Day.

    • Good morning, Karen! Kindred spirits! It was such a festive antique fair this month. We even spotted two greyhounds walking around in their Halloween costumes! On Sunday, it warmed up to 80 degrees. We might have frost next weekend. That should help the leaves put on a colorful show! Hope Autumn weather arrives in California very soon. Our Midwest pumpkins have been affected by our cool, wet weather in June. I wonder if the California pumpkins will be smaller due to the terrible drought? Thanks so much for stopping to visit today, Karen! Happy Columbus Day! ♡

  4. Your shared delight is infectious! If only our “perpetual” heat wave would ease up a bit. We are all anxious for some crisp fall weather! Off to the beach for a wee bit of “releaf” instead…ha.

    • Thanks for the sweet morning *giggle*, Anne! Wish I could join you for a wee bit of ‘releaf’ by the ocean! It would really help my Autumn allergies. Yesterday, our temperatures reached 80 degrees! The warm weather was hard on the 45,000 runners in the Chicago Marathon. By next weekend we are expecting frost. The changing weather will keep me busy in the garden this week! Have fun at the beach, dear friend! Hugs! ♡

  5. Oh how fun this market is! We are enjoying a beautiful season, and we are outside more than in. Great tip on the pumpkin! I’ll be getting some at my next trip to the store. Enjoy your day and thank you for a wonderful trip through your photos.

    • We had so much fun, Julie! Everyone here is also taking advantage of the nice Autumn weather. This is our chance to live it up outdoors. We know what kind of weather is just around the corner! We are adding pumpkin to our shopping list, too. Happy Columbus Day, Julie! Have a great week! ♡

  6. I love our little visits to the 3 French Hens and can’t help be a little sad that this is the last visit for the year. Can you just imagine 3 French Hens at Christmas? Oh! My! wouldn’t that be something? How glorious all the Autumnal goodies ~ magical pumpkins, magnificent ‘mums ~~~ a treat and a feast for the eyes indeed.
    Happy Columbus Day Dawn Dearest ~~~

    • Hi, Deb! I love having you along whenever we visit the 3 French Hens Market!:) So much inspiration fills the park on those market Saturdays! It would be magical at Christmastime, but waaaaaaay to cold for an outdoor market here! They do have an indoor Holiday Market, but we haven’t made the trip for that. I know it would be a fun day, too! We took turns picking out our small pumpkins and gourds grown our favorite pumpkin growers. Today I’ll wash them and decorate the dining room table with our ‘harvest.’ Happy Columbus Day, dear Deb! There is a big Columbus Day parade in downtown Chicago today. Lots of people will be celebrating on this nice, sunny Autumn day! Sending hugs Across The Pond! ♡

  7. p.s. I will be reading your last entry on The Fairy Tale Girl as soon as I’ve read my copy, which may be here this week. I’ve had to stop going on Twitter as I’ve already had a spoiler or two, so not taking any chances ~~~Deb xoxo

    • Oh, Deb! Do let me know when your copy of The Fairy Tale Girl arrives. (Perhaps I will hear the squeal all the way Across The Pond!) I’m looking forward to reading it again ~ with you! I can’t wait to chat about the book together, my friend. I’m going to read much slower the second time, savoring each word and all of Susan’s artwork. On the first reading, it was too hard to read slowly! 🙂 I tried to write about the book very carefully, without any spoilers. It’s more of a love letter than a book review! Happy reading, dear Deb! ♡

    • It was a glorious Autumn day, Karen! Two small treasures and a few small pumpkins and interesting gourds came home with us on Saturday. Such lovely little reminders of a perfect day! Hope the unpacking is going well, and that you are settling in to your lovely, new home. Wishing you warm, sunny Autumn days in Florida, Karen! So glad that you stopped to visit today! ♡

      • Sounds perfect. I’ll definitely miss the crisp autumn days but thankfully it has been in the 80’s lately so not too hot. Have about a dozen boxes left to unpack so the house is looking better. Thanks.

      • You are really making fast progress, Karen! When the first holiday comes along, it’s sure to feel like ‘Home Sweet Home.’ Enjoy! ♡

  8. Dawn, my first comment got lost in cyberspace, so I’ll try again. I’m in love with the lovely fair you attend. It would be very hard to leave those lovely paintings of the little girl. All of those beautiful pumpkins would temp me also. Thank you for sharing all of your autumn happenings. I enjoyed seeing all of it. ♥

    • Oh, Martha Ellen! It’s so sweet of you to come back again to say “Hi!” There is such a friendly spirit at 3 French Hens. It is held in a very small town. The population swells on six Saturday mornings each year! Although the talented artisans and vendors come from far and wide, most of the shoppers seem to know one another. I just love being there! Those paintings caught my eye, too. Wouldn’t they look right at home in one of the homes you visited in England? The pumpkin growers we talked to were so proud of their beautiful pumpkins and gourds (102 varieties) and were able to tell us the names of each variety! We took turns picking out several small pumpkins and interesting gourds to create an Autumn centerpiece on our dining room table. I’m so glad that the 3 French Hens Market was last Saturday. This Saturday, it will be much colder ~ with frost and freeze warnings! Lots to do in the garden! Wouldn’t it be such fun to walk through an antique market together, Martha Ellen???? Big hugs! ♡

    • Hi, Susan! Lovely to meet you here! The 3 French Hens Market is a small treasure, in the countryside about one hour south of Chicagoland. We try to visit at least once in the Spring, the Summer, and the Fall. Each time, the anticipation and the hours spent looking around bring me such joy! My husband always finds interesting things to look at, too! 🙂 I can always find such inspiration there! (It feels a bit like walking through wonderful Pinterest boards!) After reading about the shop that you owned, I can tell that it would have been a favorite place of mine, too! Your new hometown in upstate New York sounds just lovely! So grateful that kindred spirits can connect through our blogs and share a few of the small moments that make life sweet! Thank you so much for visiting today, Susan! ♡

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