Wildlife Wednesday – Pumpkin Eaters

More squirrel shenanigans to share with you today!

I read an article in the paper about putting a pumpkin out for the squirrels to munch on. I cut a hole in it and let them dig it out. It’s funny to watch them try to climb inside to get more seeds. I was hoping this would keep them away from the bird feeder but they still try to devour that too. They are a bit frantic this time of year, trying to fatten up for winter and store food.

Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

It’s been fun getting reacquainted with my watercolor sketchbook again. I’ve been working on some fall-inspired illustrations.

sketchbook page apples

sketchbook page apples

sketchbook apples sketchbook sunflower illustration

sketchbook sunflowers

sketchbook pumpkin illustration

sketchbook pumpkins

I have really missed experimenting in my watercolor sketchbook. I’m excited that I only have about 3-4 blank pages left to fill it up!

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.


Art Cards – Autumn

When Michelle and I decided to make a set of art cards each week and share our tips and techniques on our blogs or Flickr, we agreed to exchange cards and a care package on the first day of each new season.

Here we are, welcoming Autumn. For my Autumn cards, I used that text layered technique once again, which I love so much. I ended up making two sets of these cards, one set for her and one for me.

I also illustrated a new set of cards for the week, as we welcomed the first day of Autumn.

We’ve been embracing Autumn with an exhilarating hike, our first fire in the fireplace, a pumpkin-flavored latte, a juicy crop of honey crisp apples, beautiful fall flowers, and some illustrations to capture these moments.

Autumn Farmers Market

Happy day – This is the first Saturday I’ve had off in over two months.

Since we haven’t been to farmer’s market since the 4th of July weekend, we’ve been looking forward to this day all week.

I  knew there would be a variety of colors to admire.

That’s the beauty of Autumn – colors and surprises.

Some of my favorite flowers are the daisies, sunflowers, asters and mums we see more of this time of year.

I always forget to plant sunflowers, so I have greater appreciation for them at the end of the gardening season. They are so majestic, aren’t they?!

I love the tranquil charm of Autumn’s harvest, from the varieties of squash to mini pumpkins to varieties of gourds.

I also love the vivid colors we see in Fall flowers.

It makes me happy to be able to enjoy my favorite day of the week, and to find this much inspiration for art projects and drawing practice.

A Fun and Productive Weekend

We had a nice dinner party on Halloween night. We invited my aunts and uncle who live in a retirement complex so they could see all the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood.
front porch on HalloweenI think we had at least 30 kids, and they were all wearing fantastic costumes. I was so impressed! After our guests left, we hung out at the neighbors’ bonfire for some cocktails and a few laughs.

pumpkins lit up on the porch

Next up, I finished quilting my table runner today! I mentioned previously that I used Anina’s pattern, which I liked and would recommend. I don’t think I was as precise as her pattern calls for, so it turned out a little more wonky, but in a good way, of course! This project is made from the Natural Territory fabrics by Terry Atkinson, which I found at my local quilt shop.

Fall Table Runner

(My photos turned out a little dark – I had to hurry before the sun set early today with our Daylight Savings time change.)

I used the walking foot to quilt random lines across it, which was fun. I think the straight lines gave this project a cool, modern effect.

Back of Fall tablerunner

I just need to finish hand sewing the binding to the back and then it will be ready to use through the month of November. It measures 17 inches x 46 inches, just right for our buffet.

fun colors for fall tablerunner

I am looking forward to working on a few patchwork products this week to post in my shop for the upcoming holiday seasons. Hope you all had a great Halloween weekend, and have a great week!

Fall Duties

CORRECTION: I forgot to include the 3/4 cup brown sugar in the recipe I posted below! (Thanks Amy!) I’m so sorry about that! I hope I didn’t mess up anyone’s baking adventures.

We spent a lot of time this weekend working on many Fall duties, especially yard work. We are usually so enthusiastic in Spring to get out into the yard and plant new things and tend to the gardens. But now it’s just tiring and not as much fun anymore!

We had to stop at the garden center to pick up some bulbs and fertilizer for the lawn.

pumpkin display2

They had the coolest pumpkin displays set up next to their entry way.

pumpkin displayI bought a few more tulip and crocus bulbs to plant around our new trees. Then we spent a lot of time raking, mowing, and cutting down the dead foliage.

crocus bulbsBecause of all that yard work, we didn’t have the energy or time to go on our usual Sunday hike. I didn’t do a lot of sewing either, but I had time to make a batch of Apple Spice Cookies, which taste even better than plain old oatmeal cookies. My husband doesn’t like fruit so I didn’t tell him they have chopped up apples in them. He didn’t notice and he loves them. Ha!

Apple Spice CookiesIf you’re interested in trying these cookies, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 small apples, peeled and chopped (2 cups) (I used Macintosh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, shortening and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Beat in oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and flour, scraping side and bottom of bowl until blended. Stir in apples.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls about 2-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set. Cool 2 minutes on pan.

Drizzle with vanilla glaze… and enjoy!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice weekend too! I’m off to get some rest before Monday gets here.

Fall Decorating

The temperatures turned cool around here last week, making it feel like Fall, so I decided it was time to decorate our front porch for the season.

Fall CenterpieceWe had an early frost last week, so I had to pull the flowers out of the containers and replace them with little splashes of color.

Welcome FallIt was also a good weekend to stock up on pumpkins, while the selection is still good.

We usually don’t carve our pumpkins until right before Halloween, but it’s fun to have them lining the front sidewalk and porch.

pumpkins and black cat

I also ordered these fun Halloween fabrics, which I hope to make into trick-or-treat stuff sacks for my shop. (I know, I better get my act together!)

Spooktacular FabricsHope you found some Fall color in your life this weekend!