Thursday, October 8, 2015

Embracing Fall . . . Outside

Those who know me well, know that 'my' season is summer and that fall, while beautiful, makes me sad because I know it means winter is around the corner.  However, THIS year, I am committed to 'embracing' fall (we'll talk about winter later) and seeking to enjoy the beauty of it.  I am really working on being grateful for each day and not complaining about the things I don't like.  So in keeping with that theme, I began with outdoor decorations.  My first inspiration was this beautiful porch.  Now, I have looked and looked for the source of this photo to no avail so if you know where it originated, please let me know.  I love the fact that this porch made me see fall in a new 'light'. 
In my attempt to recreate this, I began gathering what I had and filling in with pumpkins, mums and gourds.
 The chair and stand were already on the porch from summer.  I added the mums in baskets I already had, threw a fall tablecloth onto the stand and added gourds.  The battery operated lamp was a Christmas lamp. I just replaced the Christmas greenery with a silk mum.
 I put plastic bowls in the baskets so I can water these without getting the chair or table wet.
I saw this cute idea of adding bows to the pumpkins at fynesdesigns .  I really like how it adds something 'extra' to a plain pumpkin. 
 Did you notice how shiny my pumpkins are? I did a little research on how to keep those pesky squirrels from eating your pumpkins and spraying with hairspray seemed to be the one that most recommended so that's what I did.  Day two  . . . so far, so good!
 This old minnow can was on the porch all summer as well with the white lights in it.  I simply put a metal bowl on top of the lights inside and plopped a mum plant in!
 I didn't have a cute metal gate or crib mattress frame but I DID have a few of these fence panels that a friend gave my hubby because he KNOWS how I like all this kind of 'stuff' and he just KNEW I'd find something to do with it!  I just added a little screw and hung the welcome sign on the fence panel and propped it against the wall.
 And finally, my favorite part, the grapevine and lights! Now this took some 'thinking' to come up with a way to hang the grapevine from the soffit.  I know there are siding clips you can buy but I opted for suction cups.  Of course, they wouldn't stick to the aluminum so what did I use to attach them?  E6000 of course!  I know some people are gasping that I glued suction cups to my siding but honestly, no one will see them and I plan to use them year round to decorate the porch.

 I found these at the Dollar Tree.  I removed the hook part because I wanted to feed wire (or in my case, twist ties) through the hole and wrap around the grapevine and lights to attach.
 I added a few leaf garlands (also from Dollar Tree) and so far, it's all staying in place.
 I'm really happy with how this turned out.  It will also transition easily into Christmas with some simple changes!  I am grateful for each day, grateful that I have a home to decorate, family to share the season with and so much more so again, I am working to embrace fall!  (I'll let you know if I'm as successful with winter!).

Monday, September 14, 2015

Baked Honey Berry Oatmeal

I'm really trying to "embrace" fall this year.  It always makes me sad because I know it means summer is over and winter is on the way.  As part of my "embracing" we went apple and berry picking this past Saturday.  It was a beautiful day out in the country and we came away with a bushel of beautiful apples and baskets of blackberries and raspberries.
 I found this wonderful recipe for Bake Honey Berry Oatmeal at Apple of My Eye's blog and thought I'd give it a try this morning. Since I have to be at work at 7:00 a.m., I prepared the dry ingredients and wet ingredients the night before so all I had to do was assemble and bake.  One note though, I did not melt the butter and add to wet ingredients the night before.  I thought it would solidify in the refrigerator so I melted it and added it before combining everything.
 This is what it looked like before baking.  I decided to save my blackberries for a dinner recipe so I used blueberries with the raspberries.
 The recipe says to bake 15-20 minutes.  Mine was not nearly baked by then so I actually baked it an ADDITIONAL 20 minutes so 40 total.  It came out fully cooked, bubbly and yummy looking!
 It was SO good that we each took a piece with us to work to enjoy for a mid-morning snack.  
 I've tried the "overnight" oatmeals and did not care for the consistency but this baked version is amazing!  The recipe says to serve hot OR cold.  I didn't think I'd like it cold but I did try it and yes, it is indeed good both ways!
 Embracing fall (and my handsome hubby) in the orchard (wink wink) 
So how are YOU embracing the season?  Are you like me -- sad to say goodbye to summer or are you an "all season" person?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fence Board Art

 I love working with old, weathered wood.  Fence boards are a great medium for all kinds of projects! I have gotten several different types and widths all for free from friends, curbsides and freecycle.  This sign was made by attaching three boards side by side.  
I do most of these signs by painting the letters on.  I print them out on copy paper and trace onto the wood using graphite paper, then paint.
Usually I'll go over it all with final "light sanding" to distress a bit more.  My hubby came home the other day with a trunk load of fence boards that someone gave him!  
This sign was for my son and daughter-in-law's rehearsal dinner.  It was made from two pieces of old wood siding.
Using a different method for applying the image, I created these little boards to give away as favors at the rehearsal.
So keep your eyes open -- there are so many possibilities with fence boards!