Some Fall Inspiration and Origami with Mom

As most of you know, from my blog, and my Instagram,

I had the pleasure of spending the past two weeks with my mom.

We picked her up two weeks ago from my brother and sister in law’s home in Georgia

where she resides in a very large and comfortable “mother-in-law’s” quarters.

I decided that I would devote every moment to her in those two weeks,

thus my absence from my blog and social media. She needed to know and feel

that she was the most important priority in my life during that time.

She mentioned that my life was very busy as I took her to all my activities

and social events that were pre-planned months before her visit.

So for my “first day back” in a long while, on this blog, I thought I would present

some  Fall inspiration around the house and Origami with mom!

Autumn Joy-HousepitalityDesigns-3

A few weeks ago I spotted this beautiful sedum. The colors were perfect

for my Fall decor of plums, and shades of purple.

It is called Autumn Joy. . . . and it truly is!

Autumn Joy-HousepitalityDesigns-2

My mother actually thought it was fake.

Autumn Joy-HousepitalityDesigns

I am actually replacing many plants with succulents/sedums

as they are so low maintenance.

I made certain there were lots of flowers around for her as she loves them.

Fall Florals-HousepitalityDesigns

She especially loved this cache pot filled with mums.

The silver champagne bucket got refreshed with hydrangeas this time.

Fall Floral Arrangement-HousepitalityDesigns

I spotted these unusual green hydrangeas at Trader Joe’s.

Unfortunately, they did not have a botanical name on the tag. I love the petals

and the pretty bright green color. The petals are very velvety to the touch and eye.

If you know what variety of hydrangea this is, oh please let me know.

Hydrangeas-Housepitality Designs

In other areas of the house, I decided to go really simple,

just adding greenery to simple containers such as this ironstone pitcher.

Fall Vignette-HousepitalityDesigns-2

O.K. here comes the fun part of this post.

My mom loves the art of Origami. I had some Origami paper,

in which I discovered she prefers a thinner paper than what I had on hand.

I asked her to teach me how to make a crane.


So she picked up a piece of paper and started folding.

I am so amazed that at the age of 92 (almost) her memory and coordination is still

really great . . . she is just slower . . . but I am too and I am not 92! . . . yet!


I am amazed that she still remembers how to make her little creations of paper.

There are so many folds, steps, etc. and other variations of making

these cranes . . . there are great tutorials on You Tube on how to make these.

I saw one and realized that she makes a very old version of one . . .

one that she learned well over 80 years ago.


If you have ever met my mom, you would have noticed her wonderful outlook on life.

Every one who meets her always comments about the twinkle in her eyes, her smile,

and her unique charm. She is always game for anything. But she will not

watch a movie about war. Too many difficult and sad memories.

She had gone through so much in her life, but you would never know it, or hear of it

unless you ask. Oh, snakes! …. she hates snakes!!

Origami Crane-HousepitalityDesigns

My mom . . . call her Micki . . . has taught her grandchildren on how to make the cranes.

I believe one of my nieces has made well over 1,000 of them.

Origami Cranes-Housepitality Designs

I made the purple one!

I got up from the table to prepare dinner.

She continued to make cranes and about 30 minutes later,

she made a flock of them!

Origami Cranes-HousepitalityDesigns

My mom never met a stranger. She is very sociable.

One afternoon we went to the grocery store where they have a sushi maker.

By the time we selected the variety of sushi for our dinner,

she had sucked out all of the information out of the poor sushi maker’s brain,

and by the time we left, she had his whole life’s story

and she made a new friend.

Hmmmmm, I am glad I got her genes!


I am very fortunate to still have my mom in my life. . . in our lives . . .

the lives of my siblings . . . the lives of her grandchildren and great grandchildren

who just adore her. Yes, she is the Ichiban Grandma to them.

My dad was a very smart man to have realized that she was the one for him.

And we thank him for that!

Have a most beautiful day! It is definitely beautiful here . . . Fall is in the air!

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  1. I am a fortunate one who has met her and dined with her. She does have the best outlook on life and is always smiling. Look at her working with her older hands and making those little folds. I am way younger and already have a finger that aches from time to time. I can only imagine at 92, if I’m still around, how my fingers will feel. The world would be a better place if we all had her fun spirit and personality. Oh, and I hate snakes, too!!
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  2. I love to see your mom creating the origami birds. You are fortunate to have her still. God bless.
    Also I so enjoy viewing your florals, especially love the sedum which I have blooming outside right now.

  3. Amy Kaminski says

    Love seeing your Mom on the blog. She is just adorable. Cherish every minute you have with her. I for one would love to pick her brain on life. What an amazing life she has had. As always I love your flower choices and placement. They just make everything seem better and brighter don’t they?

  4. What a blessing to have your mom. She looks so charming and delightful. I love the cranes.
    Her gift of creating origami will be a legacy carried on in your family for yesrs to come.

    I too love my Autumn Joy sedums…Im sitting here at my window looking at three beautiful ones in my garden.

  5. One of the last of the greatest generation, your mom is! What a treasure to still have her with you, Shirley. My parents would not talk about the war either, probably part of their coping mechanism that allowed the positive to shine through.
    Your garden greens through the house are lovely, as always. Happy October!
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  6. I love her beautiful little hands!

  7. Oh I love this. My mom’s brain is only partially there these days (she’s 95) so there are no more fun moments like this anymore. What a fun time to have making the origami cranes. She is adorable and makes me smile seeing her face. I don’t like snakes either!
    Liz @ Home and Gardening With Liz’s recent post…Autumn Deckorating 2017My Profile

  8. Your mother is adorable and you are lucky to still be able to have her with you. I’ve been without my mother for almost two years and there are times I just want to hear her voice and sweet laughter. Your flowers are lovely and I especially love the hydrangeas in the silver champagne bucket. That is how I use mine too. Have a blessed day! Love your blog!

  9. I love this post! I am so glad you had time with your Mom. I love those cranes!

  10. How blessed you and your mom are. What a gift you gave to her and she to you.

  11. What a sweet Mom! enjoy here while you can love the cranes!!

  12. Shirley, I am so happy that you both had a wonderful visit. I know that you treasure your mother dearly. What wonderful memories you two have made. All of your fall touches look so beautiful throughout your home. I am loving the plum shades you are using this year…so pretty! Happy Tuesday!
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  13. I have to say, your Mom’s hands look WAY better than mine!!! No wrinkles! You can tell just by her smile how great her outlook is and how sweet she is. Your Dad was a very smart man, indeed! I wish I could meet her. My FIL was like that, made friends with everyone he met. I REALLY miss him. Have a beautiful day, Shirley.
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  14. Great post Shirley! I love all the pictures of your mom….what a delight. Enjoy every moment with her…you were wise to take a hiatus from the blog and social media. I wish I had the dexterity and patience to tackle origami….it looks like it’s a fun project to do! ;).

  15. Shirley, it’s so easy to see that you have inherited your Mom’s love of life, and delightful caring and warm personality! You are also the type of person who never meets a stranger, and can make instant friends.

    I’m so happy you spent this time with your adorable Mom. I love the photo of her hands folding the origami best, make sure you keep a large format size of that one so you can perhaps have it cropped and printed out as a work of art in a frame. I hope that all of us can be like your mama when we get to her age, to be blessed with every day, and find at least one thing to be grateful for, and to go out of our way to bless others. Xo
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  16. How wonderful that you had two weeks to dedicate to spending with your Mom! My mother is 97 and lives with us. Wonderful that your brother and sister-in-law have an apt. for her as part of their home! I realize the sacrifices they must make to do this! Your mom has a definite “glow” that shows her happiness. Keep up the wonderful care!

  17. Shirley: A lovely post. So wonderful that you had a treasured visit with your dear mom. You can tell from her smile she is absolutely delightful. Loved seeing her folding the origami. Her hands must be so nimble. She is amazing for almost 92.

    Enjoy your week.
    Sandra @ Maison De Jardin’s recent post…HopeMy Profile

  18. Shirley, My heart is warmed by this post. Seeing your mother and hearing about her and your time together is so very special. Every minute with her is precious and blogging is not important.
    Your home looks lovely with the fall touches and pretty flowers. The green hydrangea is indeed lovely. I haven’t seen one like it either. I cut my sedum for the first time in many years and also did an arrangement I shared on instagram. Fun to do something different. I love how easily autumn joy roots just by sticking it in the ground.
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  19. A wonderful, touching post. Brought memories back to me of my own Mom who always had a twinkle of mischief in her eyes and would make friends just waiting in line at the grocery store! I miss her.
    rosie M’s recent post…A Happy Ending and BeginningMy Profile

  20. Hi Shirley- I enjoy your blog so very much. While you decorate your home, I “decorate” my garden. The name of the hydrangea is (perhaps) Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hortmagreclo’ PPAF, or Everlasting® Green Cloud as it is tagged in most nurseries. It opens with celery-green flowers, each with a white eye-zone with the color shifting to red and green tones as the flowers mature.
    My husband’s mom turned 89 yesterday and we realized that we need to be even more present for her so as to demonstrate how much love we have for her, thus returning what she has always given so freely to us.

    • Pam standley says

      I loved what you shared about your mother-in-law. That is exactly right, they need to know they are loved everyday. My mother is 99 next month and my mother-in law, 92, who lives with us, both of whom give love freely. It’s a joy to have them both in our lives.

  21. Heartwarming! This is what family is all about. Sharing of traditions, culture, cooking, arts & crafts and much love. Plus more. I too had the fortunate life blessings of sharing these things with my Mom. She loved flowers especially Hydrangas.
    I still have my Father whom I continue to learn so much from, God bless him. Shirley you and your Mother are delightful and I wish you many more years together. It is important to focus our attention on our parents who’s lives faced challenges we never had to. God bless and protect them. Enjoy your home, flowers and family. You’ve inspired me to get some of these gems and my porch looks so pretty in the beautiful Fall colors. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Love your story with your two weeks spent with your Mom. Makes me miss mine, being that they have a lot of the same traits. My mom loved flowers and would do these beautiful flower beds out in her yard, almost causing several fender benders….lol….everyone loved my mom just like they love yours. She loved people and people knew it. She had a heart of gold. Our moms sound like they are so much alike in so many ways, nothing but pleasure to have around. My mom passed in 2010 at the age of 89. I miss her so! Spend as much time as you can with your sweet sparkle-eyed mom. She is precious!

  23. As little time as I have spent with you, I’m thinking you have a lot of your mom in you. How lucky you are to share a loving relationship. She will be with you long after she is gone and you will pass on many of her good qualities.
    Linda’s recent post…Destination: Morse’sMy Profile

  24. Pam standley says

    What a beautiful blog today, Shirley. I have shared with Mom your beautiful words and pictures devoted to her. She glowed as she read and looked at everything. She thanks you for a wonderful time with you in your beautiful home and loved meeting all of your many friends. I love the Autumn Joy sebum. Just beautiful. And the hydrangeas in silver….gorg!

  25. Becky jackson says

    What a sweet story to share…I enjoyed every minute of it! You are so fortunate to still have her and she doesn’t look at all like she is 92!! I love her cranes and I love origami myself. I have loved folding paper all my life and find myself doing that instead of doodling! Thanks for sharing this special time with your mom with your readers. It was a treat to hear your story!

  26. Teresa A Harral says

    Really enjoyed your blog today and the story of your beautiful mother! I have a friend who loves to share origami with everyone. She wrote a beautiful story with the origami illustrations. I must share this blog with her, for she would love it! Hugs to you and your sweet mama!

  27. Bobbi Duncan says

    Know you had a wonderful time with your precious mom. I teared up reading about your mom’s personality because it described my mom perfectly. I so loved that about my mom–that she never felt uncomfortable about meeting new people and always had such a great sense of humor. She was such fun that all my friends called her “mom” and they always wanted to come stay at our home. I love your hydrangeas. I thought the green ones might be limelights, but yours appear much greener, so I don’t know. Hugs!

  28. Shirley, this is the sweetest post! What a beautiful lady that you are blessed to call mother! Your autumn joy is so pretty, mine was knocked over by Irma! The origami cranes are so beautiful and such a lovely art. I am sure you made so many more memories over the past couple of weeks. I never go a day that I don’t think of my mother and miss her terribly, she was only 74 when she passed away! Have a gorgeous autumn day dear friend!
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  29. It makes me so happy that your Mom is happy! You guys have such a close and loving relationship. It’s so great that we still have our Moms in our lives! Whether it’s to teach us origami or cooking or whatever…it’s a blessing to have them. Please tell your mom hello and Happy Fall from me in Missouri!
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  30. Oh…forgot to tell you I was at Nell Hills today after my doctor appointment and saw a bread board a scrolled wood riser very similar to yours! I bought 2 of the risers but balked on the bread board only due to lack of space. I may go back and get it when I’m up that way again after my MRI next week.
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  31. I love seeing your sweet mom’s face, she looks SO young for her age…you’re lucky to have her genes! My Autumn Joy sedum is planted outdoors is a pink variety, I’ve never seen the purple. Love that green hydrangea, it’s so velvety it looks faux!

  32. It’s hard to write anything that wasn’t already stated in the replies above. But I can’t help saying that this was a beautiful blog, not just about decorating, but about what truly is important and that is our relationships with our loved ones. I am so happy that you had 2 special weeks with your Mom. She is incredible and such an example to all of us! I, too, loved her hands as she made the origami cranes. Her hands look so young and must reflect that young inner spirit she has that just radiates from her smile and the twinkle in her eyes. What a blessing she is to you and your family and now to all of us who have read this blog!

  33. Your mom is such a treasure! She does have a sparkle in her eye! I noticed that when you posted her a couple of weeks ago. I’m so glad you got to spend this special time with her.

    The cranes remind me of that book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. We always read it when I was teaching and my own sons read it. My younger son made many a paper crane. 🙂

  34. Your Mom is beautiful! I am so happy you had those precious times together 🙂 I was 32 yrs. old when my Mom went to heaven; I still miss her and it has been 35 yrs. I have a variegated leaf Autumn Joy is in bloom and they make great potted plants.

  35. Could you share with us how your parents met, fell in love and got married? I’m sure it’s a beautiful story.

  36. So beautiful! You did a fabulous job on it. The wreath looks beautiful, really I appreciate your wreath color combination, and it is definitely one of my favorites.

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