Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Harvest Home

 Welcome to my harvest open house!  Before it's time to tuck away some of the things I truly enjoy most, I wanted to share a few of them with you.  Come on in!  These two fellows are here to greet you.
This has been a warm fall in the south.  I have held off buying my real pumpkins and gourds for outside decorating due to the heat.  My first tiny gourds and mini pumpkins began to mold, even inside...yuck!  I replaced them with safe, fake, but pretty odds and ends.  Our dining room table decor depends on my mood.  If you came back next week, it will probably be different!
If you love cookbooks, you must pick up Gooseberry Patch Hometown Harvest.  The cover makes me happy and I love to display it on my cookbook stand in the kitchen.  This one has some of by favorite sections...church gatherings, game-day get togethers, slow-cooker pleasers, and more.  I picked up the "Live Life Simply" one year to remind me to focus on what is really important.  Cooking for my family is a simple way to bring warmth and love to any season.  I whipped up a batch of banana muffins just for your visit! 
I also enjoy displaying my faux caramel apples in the kitchen.  If you missed last years tutorial, click here for my Faux Caramel Apples.
Let's move on to my reading room. I shared this room with you last year. My husband asked me about rearranging the room again.  He loves my grandmother's old table and wanted to use it as a breakfast table, but I still wanted to use it as a study table.  With a little rearranging, we have a new room!  He can eat his breakfast looking out into the woods and I still use it as a study table of sorts.  If you look closely, you will see that Grandma's buffet still has the moving pads under the legs.  Can you tell that hubby doesn't think this arrangement will last?! 
Another corner of the Reading Room has my favorite turtle table with a festive harvest sign.  My cousin wanted this table, but I got to it first! Finders keepers!  He still loves me...I think!
The desk and bookcase area off the kitchen is one of my favorite places to decorate.  I love looking out the window into the woods as I am doing now. The gorgeous picture to the left of my computer was taken by our youngest son about this time last year.  We enjoyed taking him on a photo op to the Smoky Mountains.  It was a precious time for all of us.   Our little Maltipoo Luke is in the corner of the photo!  He needs to visit his groomer!
I made this "Punkin, Crows, Kats, and Treats" craft several years ago.  Of course, no Mississippi State graduate's home would be complete without a MSU pumpkin! Hail State!!!
A little wreath decorates this old phone.  Our boys used to love to crank it up and pretend they were calling someone.  Years ago, this phone rang while we were eating supper.  The boys were little and their eyes were round and huge!  It was lightning outside at the time and I am sure the vibrations caused it to ring!  Makes for a good Halloween story!!
Since we moved around the Reading Room, I ended up with an extra wing back recliner that needed a home.  We moved an antique round table and the recliner to a corner in the Master Bedroom.  It makes a great place for morning Bible study, watching the evening news, reading a good book, or just drinking a cup of pumpkin spiced coffee.  By the way, the pillow is another item I made at the same time as the "Punkins, Crows, Kats and Treats" one shown above.  Really easy!
Our living room mantel is festive with a simple leaf garland, candles and an iron cross.  In the evening, the candles cast a beautiful glow into the room.  We have a double mantle which our oldest son designed for us.  We love it, but it is so difficult to get a good picture due to the mirror.  One day I will be able to figure out my camera and get some good shots of this beautiful mantle.  Any suggestions?
I love this Halloween village.  We are not big on scary decorations, but do love a little Happy Halloween decor.  Love the characters of this village.  My all time favorite item is the runner under the village.  It has scarecrows, cats, and signs embroidered in the linen.  It makes me happy to get it out each fall. Speaking of scarecrows, click on the link for a hilarious, true scarecrow story! A Still Woods Scarecrow Story
My laundry room could not go without a harvest touch.  It makes laundry a happier experience.  The candle on the window sill is on a timer as are all candles across the front of our home.  I enjoy the welcoming glow if I get home after dark. 
Wherever you are, I pray that you are enjoying this glorious time of year.  God certainly has blessed us with the glory of His work!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Decoupage Pumpkins!

Happy Fall!  The Mississippi Gulf Coast has experienced a touch of cooler weather the last few days.  It is so nice to sit out on the porch, rocking and enjoying God's creation.   Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that "God makes everything beautiful in its time".  My favorite time is fall...the crisp air, the smell of cinnamon and cloves, football, the beautiful hues of changing leaves, and on and on.  Not to mention my hair always looks better in cool weather!

Since fall is in the air, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite fall decorating projects.  This is an easy project and may bring back memories from childhood.  Do you remember decoupaging?  I did a few class projects involving "gluing" strips of torn paper onto objects.  It was always messy, but fun.

How about a little decoupage history?  I didn't know this, but there is documentation of the decoupage technique prior to the 12th century. Artisans were known to apply up to 40 layers of varnish creating a smooth, inlayed look.  Even though this technique has been around for ages, my inspiration for this project originally came from the October 2011 issue of Country Living...and didn't take 40 layers of varnish!
Items needed for this project include:
1- Craft store pumpkin, medium size
1- Bottle of  Mod Podge ( aka modern day decoupage in a jar)
1- sponge brush
3- sheets of scrapbook paper
1- Pair of disposable gloves (optional)
For my first pumpkin, I selected an orange patterned scrapbook paper that was more expensive than some of the others, so it was fairly thick.  I began cutting wavy strips between 1 inch to 2 inches in width.  After laying everything out, I applied Mod Podge with a foam brush to the back of a paper strip as well as on  the pumpkin.   Next, position the paper strip and then repeat the steps until the entire pumpkin is covered.   Use your fingers to press the paper onto the pumpkin, sealing edges with the pressure of your fingertips.
 Lastly, I applied a couple of layers of Mod Podge to the entire pumpkin and let it dry overnight.  After topping it with a raffia bow, it is ready to add a cheerful bit of color to our home.
I also used a smaller pumpkin and made this black and white beauty.  The scrapbook paper used for this project was thinner and I found that it was much easier to apply to the pumpkin.
I have a large walk in closet dedicated to storing bins of holiday decorations.  These pumpkins continue to look as good as when I first did them 3 years ago.  I hope you try this easy project.  It would be a wonderful family project as well.  Anytime spent with your family is time well spent!

Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

I will be linking to these terrific blogs! 

Metamorphosis Monday at  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com

Friday, August 15, 2014

Puppy Love

Hi everyone! My name is Luke Bailey and I am an apricot Maltipoo.  My mom is busy washing clothes, so I decided take over her blog!  Shh, don't tell her.  She thinks I am hiding under the couch!  This is me when they first brought me home.  It was at Christmas, so I have a Christmas name!  Luke is from the the Bible and story of Jesus' birth.  Bailey is from my mom's favorite movie, It's A Wonderful Life!  When humans see me they say, "Awe, how cute"!  My dad says I look like an Ewok!
It took a lot of  finagling before I could come live here.  My mom did a "Like if you think Luke should live with us" campaign on something called Facebook.  See, my dad does not like inside dogs and said "NO, NO, NO" each time my mom asked.  So Mom stopped asking and starting posting really cute pictures of me on Facebook.  She even asked Santa for me! Here is Mom asking Santa!
Mom showed Santa my first portrait and Santa said he liked my blanket!  He thought my dad should give me to my mom.  Yea, Santa!!
Mom had lots of "likes" on Facebook and her friends said that I needed to come live here at Still Woods Farmhouse.  So one day my dad surprised my mom when he said, "Let's go get your puppy"!  Mom was so excited and so was I.  Now I have two BIG brothers to play with when I go outside.  Their names are Lucky and Lucy.  Lucy likes to put my head in her mouth!  She has a BIG mouth!  She gets in trouble when she plays with me like that.

It wasn't long before it was time to get my first haircut.  I go to a special grooming salon that I love.  They even have "Pawdicures", but I think those are just for girls!  I sure was a shaggy puppy, but look at me after my day at the spa! I smelled good too.
This winter lots of white stuff fell from the sky!  It was snow!  My mom and I got out her sled and my dad pulled us through the woods.  He is nice like that! Here is me with my mom! Not many people in Mississippi have a sled.  Mom's sled is the one she had when she was a little girl living in Rockland, Maine.  Mom said they get lots of snow. 
Well this picture is a little embarrassing.  Sometimes our niece comes to visit and she likes to put bows in my hair!  Geez, doesn't she know guys don't wear bows?  This was my Halloween bow! I have eyes in there somewhere.
 I hope you come back and visit me again.  I like new people!  Maybe we can play fetch in the yard or go swimming in the creek.  Thanks for stopping by Still Woods Farmhouse!
We are sharing with these terrific blogs!
Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No Matter Where You May Roam...

It has been a busy summer here at Still Woods Farmhouse.  It seems we were in the car more than in our home.  My husband attended a conference at Disney World, so of course, my college son and I had to tag along!  A few days after our return from Mickey's house, we made the long trek from Mississippi to our oldest son's home in Virginia.  I miss that boy so much and treasure the family time we have together.  After returning from Virginia, I was home long enough to wash my clothes, repack and head off with my parents and sister to visit relatives in the Hill Country of Texas.  After three plus weeks of travel, I was never more relieved to find myself back home.

Early in our marriage, I completed a cross-stitch which states, "No matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home".  Don't you find this to be true?  I am comforted by the thoughts of home.  Rocking on the front porch, in the quiet of the morning, readies me for the coming hours.  I enjoy watching the sun dance among the trees as it rises for a new and glorious day. An afternoon walk to the creek to watch Lucky and Lucy romp in the cool water is a balm to my soul.   And at the end of the day, I love to lay my head on my own pillow.  Listening to the sounds of the woods at night, I am gently lulled to sleep.  It is true . . . no matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Honoring Our Heroes: Part 2

(Patriots Point)
What do you think of when you think of Memorial Day?  Picnics, maybe a trip to the beach, extra time for cleaning your home, a much needed break from work?  For me, Memorial Day means more than a three day weekend.  It is a day for honoring the heroes who courageously fought to keep our lands free.  I think of all of my relatives who are included in that list.  My dad is one of the heroic.  He joined the Coast Guard after high school and served with honor and dignity until his retirement.  His military career afforded our family the opportunity to live in places like Puerto Rico, Maine, Hawaii, California, and finally the place we call home, Mississippi.  All beautiful places, with new adventures.  However, what stands out most in my memory are the  long months in Hawaii without my dad as he served in Vietnam.  I remember  proudly watching as my dad and the other men, all in dress uniform,  lined the deck of the ship as it departed the dock in Oahu.  Before the ship slipped from view, a long, sorrowful horn was heard.  It is as that exact moment that the dock, filled with family members, erupted in weeping.  I dreaded that moment.  I knew it was coming, but you cannot totally prepare for it.  Especially for a little girl watching her dad sail away.  I am happy to say that my dad came back to us from Vietnam, but so many others are not as lucky.
(My dad's ship prior to leaving for Vietnam)
Our lands are dotted with the resting places of many fallen soldiers.  The song "Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones"  beautifully describes these hallowed grounds.  We have had the privilege of visiting many of these resting places during our travels.  Arlington National Cemetery's purpose is to "honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery".  I can attest to the beauty of Arlington National Cemetery.  Our youngest son had the extreme honor of laying a wreath at Arlington.  He was in 8th grade and it is a memory that we will never forget. 
(Courtesy of HBO) 
While visiting our oldest son in Virgina, we stumbled upon their Memorial Day ritual of placing flags and luminaries on over 15,000 graves at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.  Many of those buried there are from the Civil War.  It was a beautiful and touching sight. 
This morning, hundreds of volunteers meet at the Biloxi National Cemetery to decorate the cemetery with a beautiful display of flags.  We have been participating in this meaningful event for many years.  My husband's father and sister are buried at this cemetery as well as my aunt and uncle.  It is a special privilege to place a flag at their grave.  It is also a loving tribute to our soldiers and loved ones.  If you have a similar activity near you, I urge you to join this year in honoring the heroes in your community.
 Blades of grass and pure white stones
Shelter those who've come and gone.
Just below the emerald sod
Are boys who reached the arms of God.

(Lyrics from Blades of Grass and Pure White Stone)

Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler!

Here in the south, we are all about cobblers.  Fresh peach, blackberry, dewberry, blueberry, even chocolate cobblers.   My all time favorite cobbler was a dewberry cobbler made by my grandma Mercer. Dewberries grow on trailing, bramble vines located close to the ground.  Grandma would always warn us to be careful while we were berry picking.  Not only from the brambles, but from dreaded snakes.  It seems snakes like to shade themselves under the vines.  Luckily for me, I never met a snake while dewberry picking!  We would gather our juicy berries in metal bowls until we could find no more or until our bowls were full.  Berry picking was a chore we happily accepted because we knew what was to come.  Later in the day, we would smell the delicious aromas wafting from the oven as a fresh dewberry cobbler bubbled away.  We eagerly awaited the moment when Grandma would place the dewberry cobbler on the table!  Grandma also made batches of dewberry jelly which we enjoyed year round.  Such a wonderful treat on her homemade buttermilk biscuits.  I sure do miss my grandma and her wonderful cooking.  Everything was always so delicious and made with love. Such wonderful memories!
After church today, I decided to make a fresh strawberry cobbler to go with our Sunday lunch.  The strawberries have been terrific and I can't seem to leave the market without a a large container in the cart.  My Uncle Nick made the best strawberry cobbler.  This is not his recipe, but I think he would be happy with my rendition.  It is a very simple, but scrumptious recipe. Put on a cute apron and let's cook something yummy!

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
3 cups of strawberries, washed and coursely chopped
1/2 cup of sugar for strawberries

Wash and remove stem from strawberries.  Cut strawberries into chunks.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over strawberries, turning strawberries to coat with sugar.   Set aside.
Place one stick of  butter in a casserole dish.  Place the casserole dish in the oven, allowing the butter to melt while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of self rising flour.  Slowly pour in milk, stirring until just combined.  After butter is melted, remove the casserole dish from the oven and slowly pour the batter into the dish.  Do not stir.
Gently spoon strawberries on top of the batter. Do not stir.  Do you see a pattern here?
Place back in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.  I wish you could smell this!
Cobbler is best served with vanilla ice cream.  They just make a great pair.  Sort of like good friends!  I recently read that topping a cobbler with ice cream originated in the Deep South.  No wonder I like mine topped with ice cream! So get yourself a bowl and spoon up a generous helping of warm, delicious cobbler.  Don't forget to add a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!! 
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
Sharing today with:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/
Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Make Decoupage Easter Eggs!

Today I am joining the Share It One More Time link up party.  This is my first time for the party and thought, what can I share?  My decoupage Easter eggs came to mind.  What a perfect time!  If you are having a rainy day like we did yesterday, it would be a perfect, fun project for the little hands in your house.  They would also make a terrific gift from your little ones to their grandparents.  Before we start, let me show you a vintage Easter egg from Germany.  Believe it or not, these are not that expensive.

Now for our project!  Since they are already having Easter sales, head on down to your local craft store and buy all the paper mache eggs available, select some pretty scrapbook paper, a sponge brush, and a jar of Mod Podge.  If the Peeps are on sale, grab a pack of those.  A little sugar inspiration can do one wonders.  Now let's get crafting!

Supplies Needed:
Paper Mache eggs
Scrapbook Paper
Sponge Brush
Bottle of  Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre  (decoupage in a jar)
Pair of disposable gloves (optional, but I learned the hard way)
Wax Paper
Peeps or my favorite, Reece's peanut butter eggs (for snacking only)
As you can see, I didn't have a sponge brush and it was too late to go get one.  However, I can say from experience that the sponge brush is faster to work with. For my first egg, I began cutting strips about 1/2 inch in width.  After laying everything out on wax paper, I applied Mod Podge with a brush to the back of the paper strip as well as on  the egg.
Next, position the paper strip and then repeat the steps until the entire egg is covered.   Use your fingers to press the paper onto the egg, sealing edges with the pressure of your fingertips.  This process moves along very quickly. I didn't get a picture of this, but I am sure you get the idea. 

Continue in this fashion until all your eggs are done or until you run out of Easter candy!  Lastly, apply a couple of layers of Mod Podge to the entire egg and let it dry thoroughly.  Now they are ready to add a cheerful bit of color to your home for Easter!

I didn't like my first egg with the long strips, so decided to cut the paper into tiny squares.  I have voted the this one "Best Egg"!
Or maybe this should be the "Best Egg"?  Oops, I see a spot I missed.  Do you see it? Good thing about this project is that you can go back and fix it!
I can't decide!  Is this the "Best Egg"?  For this one, I randomly cut flowers from the paper and positioned them on the egg. 
I also did a green and yellow polka dot which you will see in the bowl below.  I cut the yellow pieces too large, so there are wrinkles on the egg.  Make sure that you cut the pieces so that they lay smoothly on the surface.  I still have 18 more eggs to do, but wanted to share this easy project with the ones I have completed.
I think this will be the perfect addition to the Reading Room.  By the way, this is another pair of gloves I picked up for my holiday decor.  They are soft kid leather with small pearls across the top.  What small hands she must have had!
TIP:  I didn't use gloves when I made the pumpkins (Delightful Decoupage Pumpkin Project) and found that Mod Podge, even after repeated hand washing tended to stick to my nails resulting in a  "Mod Podge Manicure", another one of my inventions! In other words, you may want to use gloves!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!
Sharing with these terrific blogs:
Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com
Metamorphosis Monday at  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com
Tuesdays at Our Home at http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/
Tuesdays at The Scoop at http://www.stonegableblog.com
Tuesday’s Treasures http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/
Inspire Me Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/
Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/
Wow Us Wednesdays at http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
Wednesday DIY by Design Party at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/
Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Fabulously Creative Fridays at http://www.jenniferrizzo.com/
Design it Friday at http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/
Friday Party Junk at http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
Friday at Redoux Interiors at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/
Feathered Nest Friday at http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
Home Sweet Home Fridays at http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/
Thrifty Things Friday at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/
Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Vintage Inspiration Friday at http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/
Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
Saturdays at http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com/
Spotlight Saturdays at http://www.classyclutter.net/
Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/
Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com/
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/
Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at http://creativehomeexpressions.blogspot.com/
Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/
Share It One More Time