Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Fall Y'all

I have been decorating the table at the front door for Fall.  I brought several boxes up from the basement and began trying to make the house cozy for the cooler days we are having.


I am still tweaking the table ... are you ever really satisfied?  I never am!

My sweet Jim Shore bunny Amber gave me the last Mother's Day before she went to Heaven :)  He now holds his fall bounty basket.  He is actually a garden statue but there is no way I am putting him in my yard!  He keeps an eye on me all the time.

Sunflower tealight I found at Cracker Barrel.  The house smells yummy!

On top of the entertainment center ... gotta have Jennifer with her hubby!   I made the little pumpkin topiary.  I used a little flower pot, painted it black inserted the pumpkin on a stick and added the leaves and berries.  Simple! 

And here is Amber.  If you read my blog I have shared with you that she loved sunflowers :)  Jennifer and I were in Yankee Candle last week and we both purchased the little harvest girl sitting to the right.  I should have gotten a closeup pic of her ... adorable! 
The little pumpkin girl to the left of her picture is one like I have on her headstone. 
Of course she has sunflowers in the vase!  I was having a "blah" day yesterday (more than usual).  When I went yesterday to the cemetery I began looking around and there were so many sunflowers in other vases.  It was like she was telling me "Mommy ... smile"!

Now I am headed out to the front yard to try to arrange the pumpkins Jennifer and I bought at a Pumpkin Patch Party we went to on Saturday.  Loved the party Melinda if you read this! 

And thank you to Linda at Coastal Charm for featuring my bench makeover on her wonderful blog!

Thanks for visiting!

Hugs,
Donna


Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall is Finally Here!

First  ... let me thank you for the comments on the bench and cedar chest we painted in an earlier post this week.  It took me forever to decide to paint the pieces and I am so glad I did!  Life is too short to not be surrounded by things you really like.  So why not get out the paint!   We had our master bedroom furniture painted in the same color a couple of years ago.  I will share it with you in an upcoming post.  I am trying to find "before" pics! 
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I am so glad Fall is here!  It's my favorite season with the cooler days, less humidity and the changing  colors of leaves on the trees. 
Decorating the house with the oranges, reds and golds of the season makes it more welcoming and cozy. 
This is what I am planning to do this weekend ... buy pumpkins!
If only I had a red truck like this to fill with pumpkins!  I adore this little red truck I bought several years ago at Hobby Lobby.  It's just the little things in life that can bring a smile to my face :)  I put a Christmas tree in it for Christmas and I thought why not get it out and put pumpkins in it for Fall.
And my sweet little girl with her denim dress.  Isn't she the cutest with her sunflower and harvest basket full.  Love the sunflower!
Jennifer is coming home tomorrow and we really are buying pumpkins to decorate the front porch and who knows what else we might get into!   I love having her home if even just for a few hours. 
If only we had an old red truck to jump into and fill with pumpkins!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs,
Donna


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quilt Blocks for a Fallen Soldier's Family

Everyone who reads my blog knows about my precious Amber and my journey since she went to Heaven two years ago. 
I know how it feels to lose a loved one and so many of you have helped me with comments, sent me notes in the mail or emails saying they are praying for me and my family.

One of sweet blogging friends, John'aLee (that I have actually met) just lost her soon to be son-in-law serving our country a couple of weeks ago.   She is going to make quilts for the family and is asking for quilt blocks.  Please go here to read her story.  It will touch your heart. 
John'aLee even dedicated a quilt block to Amber in her latest quilt called "Sunshine in the Shadows".  It has a sunflower :)
John'aLee emailed me the other day and said she never thought she would be trying to find "sunshine in the shadows".  It breaks my heart.

I went yesterday and bought fabric to make blocks for the quilts and will be making them this weekend.  Even if you don't quilt just go to her blog and let her know you are thinking about her and her family. 

Thank you!

Hugs,
Donna

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bench Makeover

I have had this bench for a few years and wanted to lighten it up with some paint and glaze.
This is the bench that was dark and it was okay but I was tired of it.  It had so much detail that did not show.
Here is the after and I like it much better.  We used paint and glaze we had leftover from other projects so there was no cost involved.
Closeup of the details on the arm of the bench ...
and on the front legs.  This piece has so much detail that you just didn't notice until the glaze was applied.  Love it now!
It will be in the same room as the cedar chest I painted here.
Here is the cedar chest from the previous post.

This room makeover is taking forever!  I took a couple of chairs that were my mother's to the upholstery shop to have recovered.  They will be a huge transformation too!  I can't wait to see them with the new fabric. 
I now have to decide on drapery fabric for the large window you can see in the pic at the top and another smaller window.  Decisions ... decisions!  Hopefully I will have this project done soon!

Linda at Coastal Charm for their linky parties.

Thanks for visiting!

Hugs,
Donna


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Decorating the Mantle for Fall

I have been working on my mantle for Fall.   I just added a few little pumpkins, gourds, leaves and of course ...

sunflowers! 

Now I have a large basket to arrange for the hearth. 
I am also going to pull out my Fall quilts, light up a yummy candle and do so more decorating!

Thanks for visiting!
Hugs,
Donna

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pretty Dresses Quilt Blocks


When I was reorganizing my sewing room I found these quilt blocks I began years ago. 
I always made Amber and Jennifer's dresses and loved sewing for them. These are all "dresses" made from my scraps leftover from dresses I made for them when they were little and in their first few years of school.   Often they were dressed alike when they were younger.  Two adorable little girls :) if I say so myself!

These are just a few ...  have sixteen in all.  It's hard to take a picture around here without a little cat wanting to help!  She kept rearranging them for me! See her little paw in the top left corner.
This fabric was from little sundresses when they were little bitty girls!  I still have the dresses.  I still need to blanketstitch around the dress forms on each block.
The pattern is from the book "Quilting With My Sister". 
I do remember thinking what I would use for the sashings since I had all different colors of dresses.  Got any suggestions? 

It is a beautiful day here in the South.
Have a good weekend.

Hugs,
Donna

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Perfect Winter Beef Stew

I thought I would share the recipe for the stew I was making yesterday and it is so yummy.  I have made this for several years.  I found the recipe on a Kraft calendar that I had at the time.  The only thing I don't use in mine is the mushrooms, my husband doesn't care for them. 

Perfect Winter Beef Stew

3/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 lb. beef stew meat, such as beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
6 carrots (about 1 lb.), sliced
1-1/2 lb.potatoes (about 3), peeled, cut into large chunks
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth

POUR dressing over beef in resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; turn to evenly coat beef with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.

COOK bacon in large saucepan on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from saucepan; drain on paper towels

 ADD mushrooms and onions to saucepan; cook on medium-high heat 10 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Add meat, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth and bacon to saucepan; stir.
BRING to boil, stirring occasionally; cover. Simmer on low heat 1-1/2 hours or until meat is done and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally and uncovering for the last 15 min.








*I prepare mine using KRAFT Light Italian Dressing.
Here is how to Prepare Stew in Slow Cooker
Marinate beef, and cook bacon, onions and mushrooms as directed. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Add beef, onions, mushrooms and remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook 10 to 12 hours on LOW (or 5 to 6 hours on HIGH). Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour mixed with 2 Tbsp. water. Cook, covered, 15 min. or until sauce is thickened.
Hopefully some of you will try it.  It's very simple.
Thanks for visiting,
Donna

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This and That


I can't believe I haven't posted in nearly a week.  Today I am getting some of my Fall decorations out for the season.  I love Fall and all the colors ... especially the Jim Shore figurine in the pic above.  There is so much detail in his pieces.

It sure feels like Fall here today!  It is in the 50's!  We went from the 100's to the 50's just over the weekend.  TS Lee came through here over the weekend and brought needed rain to this area.  The rain along with the high winds kept us inside the last two days.  No Labor Day party around here ... unless you had a boat and wanted to go floating in the pastures.  I just picked everything up off our front porch that the wind blew down.  There was nothing left standing.  We were lucky that we didn't lose power.

My husband and I did celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary on Friday.  It doesn't seem like 34 years at times and then again it seems longer :)  I have the most caring and loving husband a wife could ask for ... he is a keeper for sure!  And he is a wonderful daddy as well.

Well I have got to go add potatoes and carrots to a pot of stew I have cooking.  It smells yummy!

Hugs,
Donna