One of the things I miss most about WA, (besides friends and family, of course) are fall leaves. There really is nothing quite like a sunny and crisp fall day, filled with bright orange, red, and yellow leaves everywhere you look. Fall makes me want to drink hot apple cider, bake cookies, and put on a nice warm scarf. You just don’t get that living in Southern California. I’m not complaining though. It’s pretty neat having 80 degree weather in October.
I decided that this year I was going to find a way to bring fall into our home. I’ve found several versions of this craft floating around the internet. The best part about it—it was easy and FREE! James and I took a walk and gathered up some sticks on a stifling 90 degree afternoon earlier this month, and then I arranged them in a vase that used to hold silk flowers.
Next I took leaves off of an existing leaf garland I had (they just popped right off) and I popped them onto the ends of the sticks. I thought I’d have to hot glue them onto the sticks but the branches were small enough that they fit perfectly over the ends. This is great because if we can’t find a place for them in storage, I can discard the sticks and keep the leaves to use again next year!
If you like the wooden ‘fall’ pumpkins, you can find out how I made them HERE. They were also a nearly free craft!
I took the leftover garland and draped it over the piano.
Now I can enjoy our warm weather and a little piece of fall at the same time. 🙂
What do you enjoy most about fall?
There are two things I can’t resist—flip-flops and home decor. Especially, holiday decor. I could really get myself in trouble, especially around the holidays so I’ve been trying to make things, rather than buy. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always helps to feed my need to be creative.
And some projects take longer than others, lol. I have a lot of great ideas, but there just isn’t enough time in the day! We (yes, my awesome husband helped too!) started this one last year after I saw this neat tutorial. James cut some wood blocks and sanded them, used a dremmel tool to curve the edges, and then banged them up to give them a lovely weathered and worn feel. I took some orange and brown paints (I’m sorry, I can’t remember which colors I used) and mixed them until I found the color I was looking for, and painted the blocks. It took a few coats because the paint kept soaking into the wood. Then I took sandpaper and lightly sanded the color off the edges. It was almost Thanksgiving by the time we got this part done so the Christmas decor came out and the blocks were tucked into the cupboard until just a few weeks ago.
I’m a terrible painter, so I had secretly been dreading painting the letters on, but James came up with an awesome idea. I printed out the letters in a font that I wanted to use as a template (The one I used is called “A Yummy Apology” and can be downloaded here.) and then he suggested that I put the letters on the wood and trace them with a pen. The wood was soft so it would create an indented outline for me to use when painting. GENIUS! I wasn’t strong enough to get a good indent so he ended up doing that part for me, but it worked wonderfully. I used some white paint I had leftover from another project and easily painted the letters on. Next we found a big stick to use for the stems and James cut them down to size. I hot glued them on the wood and added ribbons, raffia, and silk leaves for embellishment. We’ll spray on a couple coats of sealer before we store them away for next year.
What do you think? I have four more wood blocks left. What should I use them for?
I am falling in love with all things chocolate and pumpkin! Last night I made Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding. It really only took about 5 or 10 min to make and it was yummy. James thinks it would taste great in a pie crust too. Does anyone out there know of a way to make it a little stiffer so that we could use this as pie filling?
Check out the recipe here. There were 4 of us eating it and plenty left over to have again tonight . . . unless James eats it for breakfast. 🙂
Allergy/Intolerance note: We used Safeway brand whipped topping. Free of soy and not a significant source of lactose.
On Wednesday I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread for small group. It was a huge hit! I didn’t take a picture but you can trust me, it looks like pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. 😉 This is the 2nd time I’ve made this and it has been a crowd pleaser both times. You can find the recipe HERE. If you haven’t made bread or anything from scratch before, don’t be intimidated. This recipe is super easy! It should be noted though that this recipe is for muffins and I made bread. Both times I’ve made it I had to turn the temperature up halfway through and cook it a little longer because it wasn’t getting done in the middle. I have no idea how to combat that so I’m hoping an expert baker out there might be reading this and share their thoughts. 🙂 Oh, and as always, I used a little less butter than it called for.
I have a little bit of pumpkin left so I may have to try another one of their pumpkin recipes!