Monday, September 30, 2013

Apple Happy

To many, the pumpkin may be the queen of fall, but this year apples rule.
Michigan has been blessed with apparent perfect conditions for apples this year and every tree you pass is dripping and drooping to the ground with beautiful apples.
We already picked our dwarf trees, which bore great fruit for the first time in approx. 30 years!
We aren't the best at keeping them pruned and taken care of, and they are w-a-a-a-y out at the back of the yard so we seldom pay them much mind, but this year they bore beautiful fruit.
The apples below are from our neighbors trees. They have two enormous trees so heavy with fruit that they actually lost some major limbs. I asked if they were going to use the fruit and they said no, take all you want!
 Just like ours, their trees were not sprayed with pesticides, but the conditions were so good this year, the apples were nearly untouched by bugs.
We will get bushels and bushels of organic apples from these trees. This basket of apples was picked just moments ago, see how perfect they are?
 We already have 3 1/2 gallons of home made cider in the freezer and we plan to make a lot more and have a big cider and donut party in the next couple weeks if the weather holds.
There is apple butter cooking in the crockpot right now and I'm dreaming up an apple pie fund raiser for missions at our church.  It seems such a shame to let such beautiful apples go to waste!
So now you know what I'll be working on for the next few weeks. Lol.
How is the harvest near you?  Do you plan on canning or freezing anything this year?
Happy last day of September, it seemed like a very short month!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Grab your morning cup of coffee, this is a long one:>)
Earl and I haven't had a real vacation in several years. We take a weekend here and there as time permits, but this year we wanted to do something fun and special and since we love to learn new things we decided to look for a class to take. We ended up taking different classes, for reasons that will quickly become apparent, but we had plenty of time to explore the area and relax together at night. We chose the John C. Campbell Folk School because they are nestled in the mountains of North Carolina and they offer a wide enough variety of classes that both of us found something we wanted to take in the same week.
I took photography! Yes, I am finally, after 3 years, no longer afraid that I will bump a mystery dial and have no idea how to get my settings back to normal. I'm no Ansel Adams just yet, but I learned a lot!
 There was plenty to practice on, not only on the beautiful farm campus of the school, but also in the national parks and surrounding mountain vistas that we visited on field trips. One morning found my class up before dawn so we could catch the sunrise over the mountains. I could have never captured this before. I took over 600 photos and had a hard time deciding which ones to share.
 Earl took a blacksmithing class, something he has long had an interest in trying. I didn't envy him standing next to a forge when the temps were already hovering around 87-90 degrees, but he soldiered on and made some great things. They had a first project, a fireplace poker, that every new student made to get the hang of working the metal. Then he was able to forge some great hooks that I will be finding a place for, a new handle for the garage door he plans to build to replace the old one this fall, and some secret items that I can't tell you about because they figure heavily in some gifts he plans to build for our kids;>)
I managed to handle the heat long enough to get some photos of him at work on some of the things he made. The last photo shows him adding a beautiful twist to one of his projects.
He came home a mess every night after school, but fortunately we had made week long reservations at a beautiful B&B just down the road that provided a wonderful air conditioned room and all the amenities we could have wanted. Fabulous gourmet breakfasts and a deck off our room for our late night and early morning coffee. We even had a friendly little visitor our first morning there!
This little 6 point buck is a frequent visitor to the B&B, where they feed him carrots and apples. He walked right up the steps to the deck and came looking for his breakfast. We both got to pet this little darling, it made my week! I snapped this with my tablet which I had out on the deck with me. He is actually wrestling with Earl's arm with his velvety little antlers! L♥ve!
My only regret was that I was supposed to meet Penny at The Comforts of Home, she was a mere 2 hours away but we just couldn't make the schedules fit! I have been friends with Penny for maybe 6 years through this blog and we were so close to getting together! I hope to get back to the area some day and finally meet her.
Just one last note, I will be extending the 20% off sale on fall items in my etsy shop for one more week, final day to get a great deal will be Sept. 28, so make a beeline if you want any of the new designs:>) Thanks for all your support and for your visits and comments. I read every one and appreciate you all so much!
So what are you planning for this week?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Giveaway Winner and a Sale

And the winner is ...#23 Renee of Sewn with Grace!
Congratulations Renee! Send me your address and let me know if you still want this pillow cover or a different one, and I'll get it to you right away.
As a big thank you to the rest of you, I'm offering a 20% discount on the pillows in my shop until September 21. Just enter the coupon code FALLFUN when you order:>)
We arrived back from vacation last night and I can't wait to dive right back into home life and preparing for Autumn. I have a ton of backlogged emails to get through and I need to race to all your blogs to see what's been happening while I was gone!  We were in the mountains of North Carolina and it took me a couple of days but I finally got unplugged (for the most part) from technology. It's something that was sorely needed.
I have a ton of photos to edit and then I'll share some of the fun we had.
A big thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and for pinning the new line on Pinterest.
I'll be stopping by to see you soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Autumn Giveaway!

I'm really excited about the fall line of pillows in the shop! So excited in fact that I am going to give one away! One of the pillows shown in this post will go to one of you:>)
 All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which one you like best!
 On Sept.17 I'll pick a winner .
So say hello, pin your favorite for an extra entry and let me know you pinned it:>)
And then come back Sept 17 to see who won.
It could be YOU:>)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ahhhh September!

I can't remember the last time I felt this good about September. August was a stinker in so many ways. I'm actually looking forward to cooler temps and the slower pace that September brings. We have a vacation planned that we have been looking forward to all year, and I can't wait to share where we are going,  some parties with friends coming up and I have some fun fall pillows for the shop!
 I've never been a big fan of the ghoulish side of Autumn, Halloween doesn't float my boat at all except for seeing little kids all dressed up cute. But I love cider,and pumpkins, hay rides and campfires.
Linen cotton blend stretched on a canvas with a fun checked border.
 All the cozy, fun aspects of fall are depicted in a fun design that I had printed up at Spoonflower for wall hangings and pillows. 
I'm planning a fun fall giveaway too, so come back later in the week and check it out. One of these fun designs could be yours:>)
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Labor Day weekend. I know I am!