Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Splendor for the Hearth

I dearly love this time of year.  Autumn...the word excites the senses with vivid colors and wonderful smells. I think of candy apples, warm cider, hay rides, apple pies, and the unforgettable smell of brisk, autumn air. I am so thankful to the Lord for the beauty of this season.

"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1.  

As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, the hearth becomes an important focal point in our homes. It's a place where the family gathers and where memories are made. Why not make your hearth a signature statement by creating a lovely autumn display?  I enjoy changing my display often.  This is my September-October mantel. I was incredibly bummed when my 11 inch mercury glass pumpkin skittered off the mantel and crashed to the floor.  I searched the internet and local stores for a replacement.  Luckily, I found one that blends in and will do for now.  My display features mercury glass pumpkins, a lantern lighted by a candle, a few books, a clock, and a little owl. A garland with fairy lights add a slight twinkle to the display.   It's still too warm to light a fire, so I put a few battery operated candles in the fireplace to create a warm glow.
Life and Linda created a mantel with frames.  Love this idea.
I would adore an outdoor fireplace. This inviting setting is from Better Homes and Garden.
Doesn't the fireplace in Neil Hill's blog look cozy?  What a fantastic place to curl up with a mug of spiced cider. The deer looks like he rules the roost! Notice the equestrian pillows.
Another terrific idea. The lanterns are especially nice.
Here is another outdoor fireplace.  This one compliments of Southern Living.
Sondra Lynn at Home has a beautiful fall mantel.  So many items in natural tones.
The Seasonal Home decorates with the vivid colors of fall.
Finding Home selected a very unexpected color palette for the autumn mantel.  The creams, blues, greens, and peacock feathers work well together
Serendipity Refined blends silver, copper, creams, and browns fabulously.  All the colors are enhanced by the gorgeous wall color.
I love the many levels in this sweet mantel from Denise in Bloom.  The use of the various heights add movement to the display.
The Frugal Homemaker decorates from the mantel down to the hearth.  This allows the eye to wander and enhances the display.
How are you decorating your mantel for this beautiful season?  Please jot me a note and tell me about your display.

Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Delicious Spice Muffins

Are you looking for a delicious, autumn inspired muffin to serve your family?  This is one of my family's all time favorites.  I love to make a batch of these spice infused muffins when the weather is cool and the leaves begin to turn. They are moist and scrumptious!  Let's get baking!
The Starting Line-Up:
1 cup soft butter                                                          1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sugar                                                                1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs                                                                          2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups applesauce (preferably unsweetened)         4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon                                  1 cup nuts, chopped
2 teaspoons ground allspice                                      Powdered Sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Mix in applesauce and spices.  Sift together salt, soda, and flour.  Add to applesauce mixture and mix until combined.  Stir in nuts. You will end up with a lovely caramel colored batter! Bake the muffins immediately or refrigerate until ready to bake.  Bake in a lightly greased muffin pan or in muffin cups at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. If the batter has been refrigerated, bake for 15-18 minutes.
While the muffins are cooking, enjoy the wonderful "autumn-like" aroma wafting from your oven.  Apples, cinnamon, and cloves remind me of everything I love dearly about leaves...crisp cider...and these muffins!  One you remove the muffins from the oven, allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Sift powdered sugar on top before serving.   These muffins are perfect for breakfast or with a cup of coffee for a late afternoon snack.  I love them straight from the oven with a glass of cold milk.
The batter keeps very well in the refrigerator.  The original recipe states that the batter will keep "indefinitely", but I wouldn't do that for numerous reasons.  The main reason is that we eat them too quickly! I usually refrigerate the remaining batter for about a week and then make another batch.  This recipe makes approximately 24 muffins.  Let me know if you try them!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse
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Monday, September 7, 2015

A Bedazzled Monogram Pumpkin

I saw half-cut pumpkins at Michael's Craft Store and had to have one.  After quite a bit of debate, I decided I wanted to bedazzle my pumpkin with a simple monogram and a little scroll work.  I was in the mood for an easy project and this one fits the bill. The entire project took no more than an hour to complete.
The Starting Line-Up:
One- 1/2 Cut Pumpkin of Your Choice, Sold at Michael's Craft Stores
Martha Stewart Brushed Bronze Metallic Craft Paint
Peel and Stick Bedazzling Items
If desired, you may want to apply a glaze to your pumpkin before bedazzling.  I chose Martha Stewart brushed bronze metallic paint.  Use a sponge brush and paint the glaze on in sections.  I added a little more glaze to the natural crevices in the pumpkin.  If you put too much in an area, simply wipe it off before it dries.  I did a few practice strokes on the inside of the pumpkin before starting on the visible side. As you can see in the close-up before and after photo, it's adds a nice touch.
The monogram and scroll work come in sheets.  Trim away the excess portion of the sheets and position the items on the pumpkin prior to peeling and sticking.  This gives you the opportunity to get an idea of where you want everything to be placed.  Next, gently peel off the backing and place the items on the pumpkin. TIP!  If you have a large embellishment, peel off a section at a time of the backing.  The items will be easier to position using this manner.  If you don't like the positioning, I found they can be peeled off and re-positioned.  Continue in this manner until the pumpkin is bedazzled to your hearts desire. Add a cute ribbon topper and that's it!  I love mine!
Bedazzled Blessing from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse
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