From our home to your home, Happy Thanksgiving. Let us all count our blessings!
Okay people, tell me that the sight or smell of Candy Corn doesn’t evoke some type of childhood memory. I for one didn’t really like the taste of them but as a young kid I loved sticking them over my teeth(orange end up) giving me a pointy candy corn smile. This eternal Autumn candy is a Halloween icon and per Wikipedia was created in the 1880s by the Wunderlee Candy Co. Another fact I found via Google is that over 8 billion Candy Corn kernels are consumed each year. Now a days candy corn isn’t just for eatin’. It is a fun item to use in your Harvest decorating. Some ideas for using them in your decorating is:
- Sprinkle some in with pine cones that are set in a rustic wood bowl for a little pop of color
- Use as a base in a candle safe jar and set a candle on them
- Put some in your Harvest potpourri
- Make a Autumn garland by stringing cinnamon sticks, small pine cones, and candy corn alternating as you go
I have even found craft tutorials on the internet on how to make Halloween charm bracelets and earrings out of Candy Corn. In celebration of Candy Corn, I want to share how I make my Primitive Candy Corn Ornies. These are very easy to make and don’t take much time to put together.
Items needed are
- Muslin Fabric
- Fiber Fill
- Sewing Machine
- Needle & Thread
- Fabric Paint in Burnt Orange, Mustard Yellow, & Antique White
- Paint Brush
- Fine Sandpaper
- Grunge Powder (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Clove mixture)
- Embellishments if desired
So have fun and enjoy some Candy Corn!
Autumn breeze… the fall chill in the air…nope not this year! My family and I went to go find our Harvest and Halloween pumpkins in a nice summery 80 plus degree weather. Now, not that I am one to complain about sunny hot weather but I look forward to October so I can pull out the ol’ sweaters, scarves and warm boots. Something that I have come accustom to living in the Pacific Northwest like we do. Instead of starting the day with a cup of Hot Chocolate or a nice steaming Latte, it was iced coffees and juice except for the hubby who is a die hard and went with the steamy cup of hot coffee. This year was to be extra special in the pumpkin pickin’ department because it was the first time out for our 3 month old Grandson. Being the camera in hand Grandma that I am, I had all these ideas of must have photos of the grandkid in the pumpkin patch Hah… Delusions of Grandeur! What I got was photos of our fair skinned, blue eyed grandkid under wraps so he wouldn’t sunburn and the rest of us with sweat rolling down our fore heads as we forged our way through the pumpkin fields. We still had a lot o fun and each of us picked the perfect pumpkins and some nice gourds too. We will have “warm” memories of this day to reminisce about on our future pumpkin picking expeditions and isn’t that what it’s all about any ways? Have fun in the moment even with the unexpected happenings, like a very hot October day. Enjoy…
FILLIN’ the WHEELBARROW
A TRUNK LOAD OF PUMPKINS
HAPPY HARVEST TO ALL!!
Well, it’s that time of year again! Where we send our children off to school for another fun filled year of new friends, homework, PTA, Soccer practice, Dance Recitals, and the list goes on. I remember my school years fondly, and one of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the school year was to bring my teacher flowers. Now I have to admit, when I kissed my mother good bye to venture forth to the old brick school house, I did not have any flowers in my hands. But I had a pretty little bouquet by the time I entered the class room, much to the chagrin of the neighbors along my walking route. Now, I am not promoting any one to take their neighbor’s flowers, so I have a fun and quick project for those first of the year teacher bouquets. It is easy enough for the kids to help and inexpensive too! Here is a list of what you need:
- 1 empty can from vegetable/fruit (emptied & cleaned)
- 33 new yellow #2 pencils
- 3 rusty bells
- rusty craft wire
- glue gun
I have been lucky enough to be able to have had two trips to New England in my past. For those of you who like the hunt of primitives and antiques there is nothing like a slow drive through Vermont, New Hampshire, and all of the other states that make up New England. My favorite place is Vermont in the colors of its Fall foliage and then throw in some old barns and buildings full of primitives for sale…it’s Heaven on earth! My first trip to New England was only with my hubby and we stayed just in Vermont. Since we flew the friendly skies, I was only able to purchase smalls that I could fit in my suitcases and my hubby’s suitcase too! He was such a good sport about it. We had four glorious days there and we didn’t waste any of it. The second time back, we again flew and made it a family vacation and took along our adult daughter. The states we hit that time were Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Again, I kept with only purchasing the smaller items. Though I have to admit that I made a promise to myself that if I ever get to go back to New England for a third time, I will go for some of the absolutely fabulous primitive cupboards that can be found there and just have them shipped home. Now I know that you can find beautiful antiques and primitives in any of our great 50 states but there is a certain romance to be had in New England, especially in the Autumn months. So, take a suggestion from me and if you are able, try an antiquing trip to New England, I know you won’t be disappointed.
I am such a fan of re-purposing old items into something they were totally not designed for. It is so much fun scavenging through Flea Markets, Junk Stores, Garage Sales and even online auction sites for items that may be able to be used in new and exciting ways. Don’t get me wrong I still love my primitives and antiques that I have and use for exactly the purposes they were intended for with out changing them in the least, but to see an item in a new imaginative way is a cool feeling. Especially when you have people give you that “look” with that little “nod” when you explain what your plans for the item is and then when I finish my project and see their looks of amazement… I love it! I have an eclectic array of items that I decorate my home with and I think that I balance originality of pieces with their re-purposed counterparts very well. Now, I will admit that most of my re-purposed items aren’t to far fetched like my old church pew that I use as a bench seat to my long dining table and a primitive saddle makers bench as a table under my wall mounted TV that has the DVD player setting on it or my antique pickling crocks that no longer holds pickles but now holds pine cones and such(and Christmas trees at the holiday season). If I had a larger house (hint to the hubby) I would use either (or both) my antique church pew and my antique large rolling wood library bookshelf cart to hold my crock collection. Unfortunately one of those items is still in storage while the other one is my dining seat. My re-purpose pièce de résistance is my sofa table that I made from an old antique large wood egg incubator and four orphaned antique butcher block legs that I had. I think it turned out beautifully and so far all of my house guests that I have had in my home since it has decorated my living room have agreed. A lot of my re-purposed pieces have not had their integrity questioned, as in the incubator sofa table. I think it would be a shame to change it by painting or drilling holes in it. The incubator is in as found untouched condition (other than a thorough cleaning). It is just sitting on a frame made of a few 2×4’s, angle brackets, and 4 orphaned antique butcher block legs. The incubator is heavy enough(my back can attest to that) to sit on the leg frame and be stable with out fear of it being able to slide or be bumped off.
There is a multitude of ways to re-purpose or re-use items that are not just decorative but can be useful as well. Go out find things, use your imagination and have fun. Enjoy reviving something old to new again!
We just had a baby shower for our daughter and her hubby a week ago which as eclectic as it was, it turned out very nice. I called the theme “Shabby Chic French Woodland Owl with a Hint of Ooh La La” when you take a look at the photos you will see what I mean. We made the celebration a co-ed BBQ, after all the “daddy-to-be” helped out in the baby process so why shouldn’t he and his guy friends be able to join in the fun and celebrate the impending arrival of the new bundle joy too! My daughter wanted the color Teal and owls to be involved in the day some how, so my friend and I took those two items to the next decorating level and by passed crazy some where along the way. Now me being… well me, I had to throw some primitives and antiques into the decorating mix because I just couldn’t resist the urge. We had a lot of fun putting this together and all in all I think the look of it turned out great.
Family, Friends, and good food what better way to spend a day!
To all mom’s everywhere, have a wonderful and happy Mother’s Day. Take a little time and pamper yourself, go do something you enjoy, this is your day make the most of it!
Tis the season of saying the “I do’s”… I was recently asked of my thoughts on how to do a prim style wedding. I have to admit that I had to sit back and think a little bit on how you could incorporate the pomp and circumstance of what people think of when wanting that perfect classical wedding and then throwing a primitive twist into it. I have photographed many weddings in my day and to date I have to admit that a prim style is one that I haven’t seen yet. My own wedding(to my wonderful husband) some 24 years ago had a rustic bohemian style which we played out high up on the side of Mt Rainier much to the chagrin of our guest that dared to come, but I wouldn’t have considered it a primitive style, though I had a love for antiques and primitives even back then. So at first I fell back on what I told all my previous clients and told them to look at photos of the magazines they like reading. After that though, I started thinking a little more about it. I got back with them and suggested that they first needed to find the location and then play off of that. Some ideas I had on locations were old post & beam barns, old wineries(these two I knew were no-brainers), antique colonial homes, historic railroad depots, for a Autumn wedding find a Maple Tree Grove that has the trees in their vibrant fall foliage , covered bridges if you are lucky enough to live around one and the town allows it, or even a friends field. Once the location is found at that point it should be easier for deciding on decorations.
- Antique canning jars – wrap rusty wire around the necks and making a loop so they can be hung on beams in old buildings or on tree limbs if outside. Use battery operated tea lights in them(these are much safer than their flaming counter parts) If you can’t find a stash of antique jars use new or recycle store bought food jars with taking the labels off. You can also put whole coffee beans, cinnamon stick chunks, or drieds(fruits, corn or flowers) in the bottom of the jars when using the battery operated tea lights which will also give a subtle yummy smelling aroma. To help make the battery operated tea lights look prim you can grunge them up with bees wax and cinnamon.
- Old railroad lanterns or barn style lanterns – chippy paint or rust is a must
- Tall skinny hand forged wrought iron candle stick holders(again I recommend grunged up battery operated taper candles for safety purposes) – Hanging and table top varieties
TABLES, TABLETOPS, & DRESSINGS-
- Long antique wooden plank gathering tables – even if you can only find one, it would make a beautiful way to showcase the wedding cake.
- Primitive Cabinets – to use for table wares, gifts or even food
- Antique tool caddies – the type that have partitions in it so you can stand the silver ware up in each of the partitions
- Wood Bowls – Make sure that they are food safe
- Brown butcher paper or burlap or tea stained muslin for table top runners – add a little flair with some scatters like small pine cones, cinnamon sticks, small rusty jingle bells, or dried flowers
- Primitive drop front desk for the sign in book
- Antique gallon size canning jars with antique flower frogs for table top flower vases
- Use bronze ware chargers with the dinner plates
- Enlarge sepia toned or muted colored photos with distressed edges of the happy couple to hang or to put on antique style easels.
- If your’e using a field try putting small potted trees in old stone ware pickling crocks
- Hang garland made of dried fruits, pinecones, or cinnamon sticks in any combination on beams of buildings, railings, or outdoor trees
WEDDING BOUQUETS & BOUTINIERS-
- Some ideas for the bouquet are dried flowers maybe even throw in some dried fruit, long pheasant tail feathers(naturally molted, please) or pincones. An all pinecone bouquet by glueing the pinecone type of your choice individually onto 6 to 8 inch long wooden dowels, then wrapping the bunched together dowels in ribbon or raffia. Bunch together a lot of autumn colored Maple leaves that still have their stem intact together for a vibrant colored Autumn bouquet. Or a large bunch of Sweet Annie with the stems wrapped in ribbon would also be very pretty and prim.
- For the guys a little bunch of Sweet Annie about 2 or 3 inches in length tied with a single ribbon would make a nice boutinier or a small single 1 inch diameter pine cone glued to 1 to 1 1/2 inch small diameter wood dowel with the wood dowel wrapped completely in ribbon would make another nice choice for a boutinier.
These are just a few ideas, but what ever style you do your wedding in remember to put in a little of your own flair, make it personal that way the beauty of you and your loved one will shine through!
Here’s to eating a multitude of chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks not to mention all those colorful jellied beans! I found out a few edible tidbits about these sugary sweets… Did you know that over 90 million chocolate bunnies and about 16 billion jelly beans are made each year for Easter (info came from History.com)? That’s a lot of sugary goodness. I have to admit that I’m a cause for a few of those numbers. My favorite Easter treat is the chocolate bunny and yes I start with eating the ears, but no matter what end you start with it still tastes great! While you enjoy the sweets, also take time to enjoy family and friends and take stock in the true meaning of the day. Have a blessed Easter!
St. Patrick’s day is almost upon us and I finally decided to learn a little more about this day of wearing green. With a little internet research I found out all about St. Patrick, shamrocks, leprechauns, and all of the other “day o’green” traditions. St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland and is credited for being the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. He also designed the Celtic Cross. St. Patrick is said to have chose the shamrock or three leaf clover for an easy representation of the Holy Trinity. Four leaf clovers on the other hand is supposed to represent Gods grace. Now the Leprechauns are a little on the darker side of the story, they are said to be mischievous, grumpy, tricky, and generally untrustworthy little men(hmm, I think I may have heard this this story once or twice before from friends). They are stingy sorts too, but as legend has it, it says that if you can catch one of them, you can force them to to tell you where they hid their pot of gold. The wearing of green has a few different background stories. Some say that is a US tradition started back in the 1700’s, or because Ireland is so green and has the color of green in its flag, or that green symbolizes Spring and rebirth and lastly back to are little leprechaun friends… it says that they can’t see the color green, so if you wear green you are safe from their antics. Otherwise, if you don’t wear green these little guys can see you and will sneak up on you and pinch you. Now, supposedly the real story behind the pinching is a little less sinister, it is said that this custom was started by school children long ago. So… if you feel lucky (and brave) don’t wear green this coming March 17th but don’t say I didn’t warn you about those mischievous little leprechauns. As for me, I’m not going to take the side of chance, I will be wearing green that day… besides I hate being pinched whether its by a leprechaun or any one else for that matter!
In honor of St. Patrick and his shamrock, I have a quick no-sew craft that is easy to do
- green felt
- shamrock cookie cutter
- hole punch
- green ribbon
- safety pin
- black marker
1. outline cookie cutter shape on green felt
2. cut out shape
3. using hole punch, punch out hole centered on the top leaf of shamrock
4. put ribbon through hole
6. slide safety pin onto ribbon on the backside of felt shamrock
7. tie ribbon in a knot at top of felt shape, leaving equal ends of ribbon
8. tie the ends of ribbon into a bow
9. trim ribbon ends to desired length
Remember how exciting Valentine’s Day was when we were in elementary school? The anticipation of whether or not you were going to get that special card from your first love and what it might say. Some of those years I had store bought cards to hand out but my favorites were the years that I pulled out all my construction paper weeks before that heart filled day and made my own. Why not relive a little of that excitement and make home made cards this year for your friends, co-workers, and maybe one for your true love. You can do this on your own, with friends or if you have kids, involve them and let them make some for their friends. Go dig through your craft drawers for buttons, rick-rack, sequins or anything that can be used as embellishments. Get some old fashion construction paper or scrapbook paper and get creative. Try using heart cookie cutters for your cut out heart templates if you don’t want to freehand your paper hearts. Make your Valentine’s a sweet treat by attaching heart shaped foil wrapped chocolates to your card or give a sweet treat bag along with your card. Here is an idea for an easy bag…
- Get a zip lock style sandwich bag
- Cut a piece of any style paper the width of the bag by 3″
- Fold the paper in half, so its 1 1/2″ tall by the width of the bag
- Embellish one or both sides of the folded paper
- Fill zip lock bag 1/2 to 3/4 full with a fun snack then zip shut
- Attach folded paper over the zip part of the bag using staples or double back tape
Here’s a few ideas for goodies to put in the bag
- Heart shaped sugar cookies (no they are not just for Christmas). This gives you some thing else to decorate!
- Empty a box of those candy message hearts into the bag
- White chocolate covered popcorn
An easy recipe for the white chocolate covered popcorn is-
- pop microwave Kettlecorn style popcorn, making sure all of the stales are removed or just buy a store bought bag of already popped Kettlecorn or Caramel corn.
- Lay the popped corn flat on a waxed paper lined cookie sheets
- Melt white chocolate chips
- Drizzle the melted white chocolate all over the popcorn. You might also want to add red food grade coloring to some of the melted white chocolate and drizzle over the popped corn for a little added flair
- Refrigerate until the white chocolate is harden
- Break popped corn apart and fill zip lock bags about 1/2 to 3/4 full, at this point for an added yum factor toss into the bag one to two tablespoons of cinnamon red hot candies.
Well, the New Year has started and we are over a week into to it and I have to say that I am excited to say that we have already been on the hunt for old prims and antiques! We have been to the Canadian border and back down to our Capital city in just the first two week ends of the new year, I have a feeling this year is going to be a busy one! I have to admit I have found a couple of pretty nice (and old) primitive pieces that are now adorning my home, but more than that there have been some really nice people that I have met too, from the owners of the shops to the customers perusing them. Take time and talk…get & share ideas on decorating, learn or tell knowledge on primitive and antique pieces, share stories, and maybe make a friend. That’s a true treasure! Enjoy everything that this year has to offer. Peace, Happiness & Simpler Times to all.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all…
I bet by now, if you are like me your home looks as if Ol’ Kris Kringle himself decorated it. Every year I say to myself that I have enough decorations but still find myself with more decorations in my shopping cart online and in the stores, not to mention the hand made ones in process on my craft table. Christmas music plays almost 24/7 in my house, I love this time of year.
I believe decorating with a rustic or primitive look makes the home feel warmer with a cozy feel. I try to leave my prim pieces out and decorate around them. Bring some outdoors inside, the aromas are wonderful. However you decorate your home, I hope you truly enjoy yourself and that the decorations brings happiness to you and all who enter your home.
Here’s a fun idea…if your family has a kids table for the children to eat Thanksgiving dinner at, make a memory table cloth. Buy a white fabric table cloth and a bunch of fabric markers in various colors and have the kids outline one of their hands on to it to make a hand turkey then they can color it in like a turkey. It’s a twist on what we did back in the olden days with construction paper. Make sure that they sign their name & age by their own hand turkey, younger children may need help doing theirs. Each year you can re-use it and have each child draw another hand turkey and so on. It makes a great growth chart timeline. To keep it clean while the children are eating get heavy mil clear plastic and cut it the same size as your table cloth and put the plastic over the table cloth while the kids eat. If the children eat at the same table as the adults have special fabric place mats for them that they can outline and draw their hand turkey on and just get a new place mat for them each year. Or just do it the old fashion way and use construction paper each year. Any way that you choose, it will just be fun to have it to look back on or even sew the drawings into a memory quilt once the children have grown.
Happy Halloween! Enjoy carving the pumpkins, the costumes, and the multitudes of candy. Be safe and watch out for the witches, ghosts and goblins haunting the countryside.
What is it about the start of a new holiday season that makes one nostalgic? It always starts with me at the beginning of the Halloween season in October and continues through Christmas. The smell of caramel apples or candy corn just time warps me back to the sixties(Ooops, I think I just dated myself) when my biggest worry was what I was going to be for Halloween. One of the only costumes I remember is when I was a black cat. My dad was an upholsterer by trade and made me a cat head dress, not unlike what Batman wore, out of scrap black vinyl and he also made a long black tail out of that same vinyl. These two items along with my black ballet leotards made me into the purr-fect little black kitty cat. I loved it so much, I wore that costume three years in a row and I probably would have gone a fourth year with wearing it, if I hadn’t grown out of it. The outfit was so much more special to me because its was handmade for me by my dad. I had so much more fun wearing the costume than I did eating the bagful of Trick or Treat candy that I scored. It was such a wonderful memory that when I had a child, I wanted to make her costumes and truly loved handmaking them for her. I think my crowning victory was the year I transformed my child into a Blue and Gold Macaw Parrot using nothing but a glue gun, blue material, scissors, cardboard, and a bunch of yellow highlite markers. I’m not sure who had more fun…her wearing it or me making it. I hope my father knows how much the costume he made for me meant to me as do I hope my child knows how much it meant to me making the costumes for her and now that she is an adult, I hope she looks back to those costumes with fond memories.
We made our annual pilgrimage to the pumpkin patch, but this year we decided to make a whole day out of it and visit multiple patches. We started out early, the sky was clear and bright, the leaves on the trees were a shimmering gold and there was that crispness in the air where you could see your breath… what a perfect Autumn day to go pick the perfect pumpkin and in my case it would be perfect pumpkins because I just can’t pick one. We drove further out into the country and first found a little old fashioned diner to have breakfast, which the food was fantastic; a good stick to your ribs type of meal one that you don’t tell your doctor about. But hey, we were about ready to go work the fields and you need an old farm hand type of meal. Well, with our bellys full we were off to let the day take us it where may as long as pumpkin picking was involved. We stopped at quite a few patches but there was one in particular that was nestled in a bend of The Snoqualmie River that my hubby and I decided will forever be our annual pumpkin picking spot. The people were warm and pleasant and the patch had so many different varieties of pumpkins that it was so hard just pick ing a few. By the time we were done filling the wheelbarrow with pumpkins we could barely move it. 158 pounds of pumpkins from that patch alone! The day went by entirely to fast but the backseat of our vehicle was filled to the brim with pumpkins. It was a good day!
Now that the neighborhood kids are back to school, I decided that I can start decorating my home with out to many people thinking that I am nuts. I love the Fall and its warm rich colors. I consider the Fall the kick off to the holidays and I just cant wait for the Labor Day festivities to get over with so my Fall festivities can start. Half way through August I start to purchase all the home and decor magazines that even hint that they contain anything that pertains to Autumn to see if there is anything new to decorate with. I admit I am a full fledge Autumn addict! I am the first one at the grocery store with a cart load of gourds and I start watching the local pumpkin patches for the open signs to pop up in early September even though I know that they never open until late September around here. My home is filled with so many different types of gourds and multitudes of mini pumpkins and if that isn’t enough I spend my evenings making my primitive stuffed pumpkins that I put up around the house(plus I make a few extra to sell to support my gourd habit). My hubby says I am the only girl he knows that would rather have a bouquet of pumpkins than a bouquet of flowers. Happy Fall Every One!!!
Blackberry cobbler, need I say more? I am giving up one of the best cobbler recipes I’ve ever tasted! I have to say I am a little bias though because I grew up up having my mother making it for us kids. I would go to vacant lot near our house and pick a bucket of the juicey berries for my mom to make us cobbler and finally when I got old enough to cook I started making the cobbler for our family. But I have to admit to this day I think my mother still makes it better than any one else. This recipe has been in our family for generations, I hope everyone who makes it enjoys it as much as I do!
Sift together into a bowl
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
BEAT UNTIL SMOOTH
SPOON OVER FRUIT
1/4 tsp nutmeg
BAKE AT 375 DEGREES FOR 40 TO 45 MINUTES
There has to be something said about a nice warm August evening sitting out on the front porch with the evening breeze bringing slight hints of the coming autumn. I love spending time on my porch in the morning with a cup of coffee going over in my mind what I need to do in the coming day and especially in the evening sipping on some lemonade with my hubby by my side. I know it’s a little old fashion but its kind of nice getting off the couch and turning off the television once in a while. Take time enjoy a “Norman Rockwell” moment on your porch, patio, stoop, front step or what ever place you may have and enjoy some quiet time alone or with a loved one…it’s good for the soul!
Well, the lilacs on the trees came and gone as did the 4th of July so now Summer is in full swing. Summer for me is mowing the grass, weeding the various gardens, and generally getting the ole homestead fixed back up and ready for the coming Fall and Winter. I don’t mind though because I love the longer days and being outside on that old mower with the smell of freshly cut grass and the hint of blackberries in the air. I put in my ear phones and turn the Ipod on and rock out to the tunes of my carefree youth. It’s just me, the mower, music, memories, but most of all just time to be with my thoughts!
Some of the trees are finally giving up some fruit and the blackberry bushes are trying to ripen their berries, Mmm can’t wait for those to make old fashion Blackberry Cobbler (but more to come on that topic & recipe in another post). The birds took a very well planned out military assault on our cherry trees this season but at least they were nice enough to leave us some cherries on the top of the tree…just out of reach even with a ladder. My husband finally gave in and purchased some cherries at the neighborhood grocery last night all the while cursing our greedy little suet fed yet still hungry bird friends. Oh and just a reminder to my hubby don’t count on the apples either…
Ahh, the joys of living in the country!
I guess I’m still a little kid at heart because I still can’t walk by a Teddy Bear with out picking it up, smiling, or just saying a quiet(and somtimes not so quiet) “AWW” to myself. My husband is a good man and is good humored about my enthusiasm for bears. I have them in just about everyroom of our home. My bears range from the teeny tiny to almost 4 feet tall. My biggest bear whos name is Big Ben greets everyone who enters our home, he has a front row seat to the comings and goings of the home. But seriously, Teddy Bears do make a cute design statement and go well with antiques and primitives.