Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baby Boo Bonanza & The Fall Cubby

Last fall we were disappointed when we couldn't find any Baby Boo pumpkins for our fall and Halloweenie decor. So we did what every baby white pumpkin loving person would do. We bought seeds. 

We were first time pumpkin planters and we had big plans for our harvest...

 ... of millions.

I planted 10 seedlings in the oak half barrel next to the Lavatera. They grew beautifully, had oodles of flowers... and nothing else. A little post-planting research told me they wouldn't bear fruit in a container. They needed lots of room to spread their prickly stems and tendrils. Oops. There went our dreams of little white pumpkins everywhere this fall.

Lucky for us I accidentally planted one seedling in the front flower bed thinking I was planting a Lavatera. They look quite similar when small. Well, this pumpkin went crazy out there growing across the lawn and pushing around the perennials and annuals.

The frost took it's toll on the leaves and with the weather supposed to get cool this week we thought we'd better harvest our Baby Boos today. No wheelbarrow was needed, but it was still fun.

Max was a big help. He always has embarrassing problems with leaf litter.

Macy arranged our harvest on the front step. There was actually one more teeny one that Mr. C.F. "accidentally" harvested with the whipper snipper...

A leafy smooch!

In we came to add our pumpkins to our fall cubby. Note Mr. C.F.'s whipper snipper delight down on the bottom shelf there. Macy picks up leaves on her walks home from school and adds them to her collection on the Parlour Cabinet. The Graphics Fairy provided me with instant fall squirrel art. The new pumpkins won't be perched there long as it is almost time to turn this cubby into our Witch's Halloween Apothecary Cabinet.

I had to give you a closer view of this fabulous owl shaped jar that I got from my neighbour friend Louise. It was made in Montreal and held olives.

They were distributed in the 1950's and it has this cute coin bank lid.

I made another addition to our white pumpkin collection last night. I picked up some Bernat Alpaca blend yarn and crocheted up this baby with my favourite pumpkin pattern that comes free with the equally adorable hat pattern. I just made the white amigurumi pumpkin one row bigger than I did for the orange pumpkin, used a chunky weight yarn, and got this great size. I loved working with the alpaca blend. So soft and yummy. I see more alpaca pumpkins in our near future. I see more real pumpkins next fall. Now that we've gained some experience we'll be better prepared come spring. Maybe we'll even need a wheelbarrow to harvest... provided Mr. C.F. and his whipper snipper can be kept at bay.

Thanks for visiting!

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The Graphics FairyRooted In Thyme

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Procrastination, Puttering & Pictures

We finally have an arrangement over our piano. All it took was a thrift store find yesterday, getting out a favourite painting by my aunt today, and an uncanny ability to procrastinate on the project I was supposed to be working on.  Ta-da!

The before shot. Note the Barbie vacuum & iron on the piano.

The only NEW item here is the gorgeous cow print found yesterday at my favourite thrift shop for $10 -- the frame is in perfect shape and I love the colours. The sweet prairie farmhouse watercolour was painted for me by my dear Aunt Shirley in 1986. She's the one on the backseat of the horse in my header above (my mom is in front). I found the hand turned frame for $3 about 3 years ago and was going to paint it white. Glad I didn't get around to that yet. I printed the butterfly art from The Graphics Fairy and the picture is hanging from the same old twine that it came with. The chickadee cross stitch was another thrift store find for $2... I loved the frame and mats and who doesn't love chickadees? I printed the lake photo to fit in a $1 thrifted frame.

Here are my grandparents at the same lake in the mid 1930's, around the same time as the photo above was taken. If you have a really keen eye you'll recognize the photo from one of my favourite bits of Halloween decor.

The farmhouse is the one my mom grew up in and is the same one she and her family are in front of in the horse pic on my header. It is her parents, Fred & Anna, in the other photo. Thrift store frame. Surprised?

The embroidered verse is another $2 thrift store bargain.

The photo print is of Lake O'Hara and is one of a set of three prints of the Banff area that belonged to my grandparents. JD (Grandpa) worked around Banff in his years on the railroad and my dad, aunt and grandmother would spend the summers camping nearby. 

My apologies for the shiny pictures... even with the blinds closed I couldn't get rid of the darn glare!

I shuffled around a few other items last week -- probably during another moment of procrastination. Don't mind the empty hook there... not sure what I'm doing with that yet.

My teeny ode to the cow moooovement -- because I won't splurge on an original bovine oil painting. Maybe if I look in a few more boxes tomorrow I might find one! Probably not. I'd better buckle down and work on the family photo wall for Mom. Wish me luck.

Edited to add:
Miss Vickie, I am proud to announce that zero extra holes were poked in the wall. I use this thingamajiggy... the Hang & Level. Works like a charm. And no, that slim young thing isn't ME... I wouldn't be caught dead hanging NEW pictures!

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Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tackling the Fall Mantle

Here it is, another mantle decorating season and I still have my unsightly Canadian Tire sconces, wafer thin mantle, and the fireplace is yet to be updated. Those changes are getting closer to the top of the list though, thank goodness.

My easy-on-the-budget mantle display used items I had on hand.**

**With the exception the curly top white pumpkin that jumped into my cart at WalMart this morning. Who could resist it's crackly goodness and wacky stem? (The flour and sugar in my cart needed some seasonal company anyway.)

I found my dad's old tackle box last month while up in their attic. I also found out that it is very hard to do a happy dance when you're in a confined space. The antlers were from the attic too and this pair were left 'au naturel' for now. The painting was a gift to a friend of the family in the early 1920's.

My dad and grandfather about 1942 -- the pre turquoise tackle box era. I'm not sure who took the photo but it appears they got lessons from my mom. 

I've had the unused berry garland for so long that I think it was probably purchased at the Michael's on the Mayflower kiosk. (That was way before they offered coupons.) I did print out the crow painting today and slip it into a frame I picked up at my aunt's garage sale last month. I think that counts as 'on hand'.
Mom's old Brownie camera is nestled in there too.

I realized as I was doing up this post that I totally forgot the main items I wanted to put on this fall mantle. I've only been thinking about it for a month and they were the entire reason I was up in the attic in the first place. I even got them out of the garden shed and cleaned them off before starting today. Sigh.

Well, I guess I will have to come up with another location for their debut. I knew my memory would be the first thing to go but I didn't expect it so darn soon!

I'll take a trip back 10 years to when Macy was only 3.5 months old. I'm sure my memory was much better back then. My parents, sister and her girls, and our little family. You can probably see why one of Macy's first nicknames was "Fuzz". 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Fashions for Composers

With frost on the pumpkins a few mornings this week we figured it was high time that Bach and Beethoven switched to their autumn finery.

Johann is sporting a warm pumpkin chapeau adapted
from a free pattern found here on Ravelry.

Ludwig flaunts a jaunty leaf collar, lovingly hand crocheted from the finest acrylic yarns in my stash. Please don't tell him it is actually a free pattern for wine glass cozies, also found on Ravelry.

Piano lessons started again yesterday for Miss M and she always enjoys festive company at the ivories.

Perhaps I'll make myself a matching ensemble.
Or not.

Rooted In Thyme

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Friday, September 7, 2012

The Pumpkin Blues

Well, it's not really the blues, more like the aquas. Fall is in the air here and that means it's time to change things up. Naturally that involves another vehicle and holiday trailer. I was initially disappointed when my VW bus arrived in orange but it has grown on me over the years... it's perfect for fall!

We are still on a bunting binge, so I made this one with digital papers
by Michelle Coleman and this handy free template.

I found the small orange pumpkin at WalMart for $1.50
-- everything else I had on hand.

The crow & pumpkin were a bargain find in January at Kohl's when Macy was
just three; we were in California visiting Granny & Gramps.

I was the only crazy woman snapping up Halloween clearance. 

I printed the lovely pumpkin label from The Graphics Fairy, found here and slapped it on a big tin of diced tomatoes. The white pumpkin on a pedestal has a black cat
on the other side -- she won't make her appearance until October. 

The scale and iron stand belonged to my mom's paternal grandmother. They came along with the family on the move to Canada from Wisconsin in the early 1900's.

Great Grandma Becker is in the centre with the spotty dress. My grandpa is behind her, my grandmother is a bit hidden behind the young boy and my mom is the youngest in the front. I loved spending time on this farm growing up;
those memories are among my happiest.

Doughboy found himself a pint-sized squash and made a run for the Sunbeam. Remy's whereabouts have not yet been disclosed. Rest assured they are still in kahoots and have big plans for October. As does Macy. It is all I can do to keep the Halloween decor in the boxes. I'm hoping this pumpkin and aqua kitchen bit will keep her happy for a few more weeks. Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Popeye, Gladys, & the Budgies

One of my favourite treasures is my 1950's American Bisque Popeye the Sailor cookie jar that belonged to my Grandma Gladys. I think I get quite a few traits and loves from my grandma, funky kitchenware being one of them. She and my Grandpa Jack, my father's parents, are in the photo on the baking pan;
the apples are from our tree. 

Gladys with Buttons and Bows circa the late 60's or early 70's. She groomed her dogs, my mom groomed our dog when I was growing up, and I groom Max.

(He's even starting to look like a schnauzer again, so I must be getting better at it.)

Grandma, my Aunt Marlene, and one of the trailers that my grandpa built. Look closely and you'll see a budgie in the cage in front of them. I guess I come by my love of camping, retro trailers, and budgies honestly.

Macy, four, and our budgie 'Cookie'. Oh how he loved lime tortilla chips. As soon as the bag was rustling he'd fly over and perch on your shoulder looking for a nibble.

I like to think that all of my relatives who have gone before me are looking down and smiling. I love all of the photos we have, the treasures that belonged to them, and stories about their lives and antics. My research into our family genealogy has only made me more curious. I hope to one day visit where both of my parent's families settled in eastern Ontario, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Washington.
One day. Maybe I'll even travel there pulling a vintage trailer.
We probably won't have a budgie on board though.
That might be pushing it.

Thanks for visiting. :)

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