We decorated her china cabinet top, her buffet and her dining table. I bought some greenery (I love the mossy greenery garland), fall garlands with fruit and leaves, pumpkin, cute squirrels, fall picks, and ribbon. The rest are items from around her house. What better way to reflect the homeowner than to use items she already owns and loves! I love the mix of the globes and books together on top of the china cabinet. They just go so well together. Putting collections together makes a more powerful statement than spreading them all over the house. If you have a collection, you can really make it shine by putting it together. Also, you don't have to put every piece of your collection out. Rotate it.
The homeowner's daughter and I tackled making the fruit topiaries. I never made one before and it was a fun project challenge. Kumquats would have worked better as the skin is tougher, but they couldn't be found in the store. We used tiny mandarin oranges very successfully. The smaller the better. We used the larger bamboo shish-k-bob skewers rather than toothpicks. Be generous with the length of your stick. If the sticks are too small, the weight of the fruit will make it pop out. Also, putting the skewer in at an angle helped to anchor it better. Putting whole cloves into the spaces between the oranges would have covered up the green Styrofoam showing through. But, really, it isn't necessary. Keeping the plastic on the Styrofoam cone (12" cones work best) makes working with it easier and cleaner. I used a straight pin and put it through two long strands of 1/2" gold wired ribbon and into the top orange. The homeowner had this idea in her head and it worked so perfectly! I think putting moss on the cone prior to putting the oranges on might have been very pretty too. I'll try it next time.