Fall Front Porch Continued ~ Fall Bliss Day 3

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After I wrote my post for Day 2 of Fall Bliss and receiving a comment about the quilt shown in that post, I realized I may have left out a small but significant detail about this one decoration. So the quilt…

The quilt is a precious heirloom!

My mother-in-law, Ida, made the quilt about 15 years ago. She is not longer with us as she passed away three years ago just before we moved into this home. But she left a wonderful legacy in her many quilts she made for my husband and I and our three children. Each child has two quilts given to them handmade by her. She did her own quilting on this masterpiece. A close up reveals the autumn leaves stitched lovingly by her hands.

The hand stitched leaves go all the way around the border of the quilt.

Here is another fall quilt hanging she did especially for the kids when they were little. She also sewed many of their Halloween costumes! I am saving some of those for our grandchildren to wear someday!

All hand appliqued!

I want to thank Sherry at No Minimalist Here for pointing out the quilt to me! Please visit her wonderful blog! You will not be dissappointed!

Happy graceful living!

Fall Front Porch ~ Day 2 Fall Bliss

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Welcome to my second day of fall bliss! I am overwhelmed by how many have come and visited me here at Grapevine Wreath! Please leave comments and ask questions if you like…that way I can come visit your blog too!
The first impression of your home is the view from the front and I love that my home of three years has a nice sized front porch! This last summer I invested in some buttercup yellow country chairs. I bought them at Lowes towards the end of the season…one chair, one two seated glider, and small table to match…and got a great deal at a 50% discount.

Country metal chairs

 I started with the little table and began layering fabric on it…a solid, large crocheted table topper, a checked napkin, and then a plaid towel. All the fabrics were complimentary to each other. You can also see I added just a few more things after the linens!

Linens and lace...just a few of my favorite things!

 I love this next pic. It was early morning and I sat with my cup of coffee as the sun warmed my legs on the cool fall morning! Do you see that big gourd …so proud of it… I grew it in my garden this year!

Notice my cup of morning java!

The glider turned out beautiful. Don’t be afraid to mix up different textures. Notice the warm brown blanket behind the flirty ruffled pillow. I purchased the oversized (fake) green apple at Marshalls for $5.99 and the dainty pillow for $14.99.

Cozy!

All the pumpkins and fresh mums I purchased at Valley View Nursery. I find them the most inexpensive in the area and a very good selection!

Vibrant colors!

Wow!

From under the tree in my front yard.

Panoramic view...new camara!

Just one more close up! I found a whole large canning jar full of these old spools at a craft show this summer. Don’t forget to be inspired by  nature and find some good decorating items…like these acorns I picked up at my daughter cross-country meet last week!

Spools and acorns!

 Happy graceful living!

Fall Mantle ~ Day 1 of Fall Bliss

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I love fall! So much in fact, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to start my 31 days of fall bliss! Today I am going to share my mantel design for this autumn in hopes to inspire you to put a pumpkin or two on display during this beautiful season we call fall!

I love the old frames I found in Iowa!

I hand painted the sign with one of my favorite verses found in Psalm.

Psalm 34 remains my favorite and nothing brings peace more than the change of nature in the season of fall…crisp leaves, beautiful colors, and a scent in the air unlike any other season!

Can you spot the doorknob pumpkin?

I love the addition of texture to any of my decorating. Do you see the lace and feathers nestled in amongst the wooden spools? It brings warmth to any display and keeps the eye moving.

My curly willow branches.

My hubby brought the wooden weight home from a garage sale…he got it for just $1.00! Notice the feathers tucked beneath the leaves with the lace as its background. I love the cute little sweater pumpkins…they bring some coziness!

Another peek at my curly willow.

Candles...the final touch!

I hope you liked the fall mantle! Please scroll down, leave a comment, and let me know you stopped by the Grapevine Wreath. I would love to visit your blog or site! And stop again every day in October to get more great ideas for the fall season!

Find some more great inspiration by “clicking” on the picture below and meet two wonderful sisters who enjoy life to the fullest inspiring others with great ideas!

Happy graceful living!

Fall Photo Shoot – Gring’s Mill Park

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A part of my own, “happy graceful living”, is taking photographs of different things. Over the years my children have been the focus of my camara, but I have come to realize…I  love taking pictures and it gives me great joy. So I thought on this first weekend of fall I would share pictures I took at Gring’s Mill Park in Wyomissing, PA this morning with my kids!

This huge tree stood alone.

Reflection on the water.

I loved this old wagon!

The squirrels are collecting for winter!

My favorite photo of the day!

Leaves afloat!

Fall is definitely here! I hoped the trees were more colorful, but it was such a peaceful time with my children and our dog Rosie!

My three gifts from God!

Happy graceful living!

Cupcake Surprise – Chocolate Raspberry

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I made the most fantastic tasting cupcakes!

Raspberry Fluff Frosting

I actually got the recipe from a magazine in my eye doctor’s office. I had the receptionist make a copy for me and unfortunately the magazine title was not included on the page. I tweaked it a bit since I didn’t have any Oreo cookies in the house. However, I did have Peppermint Patties and decided to use them instead and I will tell you I don’t regret it!

Look at the Peppermint Patty waiting to be indulged!

Here is the recipe…

  • 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour (leveled)
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 Cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Peppermint Patties)
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 Cups marshmallow topping
  • 1/3 Cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups (I got 18 out of this recipe) with paper liners. In large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Lightly beat egg and egg yolk and add 2 tablespoons of the butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of hot water; whisk until smooth.

Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup and top with cookie (Peppermint Patty). Top each with 1 tablespoon batter. Bake until cupcakes are puffed and set, 15 minutes (mine took 20 minutes), rotating pan halfway through (I didn’t rotate my pan). Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and raspberry jam on medium-high until smooth. Add marshmallow topping and confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth, 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to quart-size zip-top bag; with scissors, snip a small hole in one corner. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve immediately. (Store unfrosted cupcakes, in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 2 days.)

Plated Cupcake

Happy graceful living!

 

 

Fall Decorating ~ The Entry Way!

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I love to decorate for fall! This past weekend I started and plan to continue with some more this weekend and possibly bake a few goodies as well!

I love the large acorn and paper flower I found!

I love boxes...yellow carpenter box in background

Gorgeous dovetailed corners on this unique box!

And the Cheese Box on the top shelf!

Loving the burlap texture

Primitive Fall doll!

More texture with more burlap, ribbon, and lace

Over all a great success...really enjoyed the time!

Happy graceful living!

Sunday Cooking – Rustic Apple Raspberry Tart

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I decided I would cook and bake with my daughter by my side this past Sunday. I wanted her to watch, help, and do in the kitchen with her mama just like her grandma Ida (my wonderful mother-in-law) had taught me. My girl wanted to make potato salad and I wanted to get baking something with those fresh apples and raspberry’s I had picked at Weaver’s Orchard on Friday. So I decided on some rustic apple raspberry tarts. They both turned out wonderfully and tasted delicious.

Rustic Apple Raspberry Tarts

filling as follows…

    • 6 Golden Delicious apples peeled and sliced thinly
    • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
    • 3 Tablespoons of flour
Mix filling ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Place in a large microwave dish or container and heat on high for 5-7 minutes. This is a trick I learned from my mother-in-law Ida Jacobyansky. The microwave helps cook the apples so it doesn’t take as long in the oven. Your apples will always be softer rather than harder after baking in the oven.
crust…(8-9 inch two crusted pie)
    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 plus 2 Tablespoons of Crisco (put in freezer to get chilled wrapped in plastic wrap and flattened)
Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Take Crisco out of freezer and break apart into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, work the Crisco into the flour mixture until small balls or crumbles of dough begin to form. Add one tablespoon of cold water at a time and cut into flour mixture with a large fork. Continue to add a tablespoon of water one at a time until dough sticks nicely together. Chill dough for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Cut dough in half and roll out into two 9-10 inch circles. Place dough circle on baking sheet. Add about 1 teaspoon of flour to bottom of dough (another trick Ida taught me…flour helps absorb the juices so the tart or pie is not to runny). Spoon half of the apples onto the middle of the circle and add a handful of fresh raspberries on top of the apples. Fold crust in on sides leaving an opening on top. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Repeat a second time for other tart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until fruit bubbles.

Beautiful!

 Happy graceful living!

Weaver’s Orchard

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The kids had a very long weekend off from school. Not only do they get Monday off for the Labor Day holiday, but they also got Thursday and Friday off this past week. I really wanted to do something with them all, but the age range of my three children almost 17 down to 10 years old makes it a bit of a challenge. So I decided to take them to a local orchard to pick some fruit! My oldest didn’t like the idea so much, but consented when I said, “If you want to do the things you want to do, sometimes you have to do what mom wants everyone to do.” It did help that I said he could drive!

So we headed to Weaver’s Orchards which was a fairly short trip of twenty-five minutes from our home. Let me say it was just lovely in every way from the fruit we picked to the friendly employees! We picked raspberries, pears, and a couple different kind of apples including sumptuously sweet Honey Crisp apples! I would encourage all who live in my area to go to Weaver’s website by “clicking” on Weaver’s Orchards above in green. They have some great fall activities for the family and plenty of fruit to pick. I’m looking forward to going back in October and getting some farm fresh Granny Smith apples! Oh may I also mention it is a great photo opportunity for your kids as you can see from my pics below!

The Little One loves raspberries!

Raspberry Picking

Plump and Sweet

My favorite pic of the day!

Awww...I like this one too!

Golden Delicous in the hand of the quiet giant

My girl...no...God's girl!

Happy graceful living!

Gourd Growing

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Last week was eventful week here in the Eastern United States. First, an earthquake and then hurricane Irene. I was really worried about my new venture in gourd growing as I wondered if the gourds themselves and the vines would make it thru the pounding sheets of rain and winds over a span of eight hours.

However, I am very happy to report … the gourds are doing well and all stayed in tact except for a few leaves and a rotted old tree which fell to the ground thankfully missing our home. Here are some pics of my beautiful gourds ranging in color from dark green to golden-yellow!

Bird Nest Gourd

Dark Green Decorative Gourd

Apple Green Decorative Gourd

Golden Yellow Decorative Gourd

Happy graceful living!