Friday

Re-purposed Lighted Pumpkin Centerpiece

I love white pumpkins and especially when they glow!  Years ago I bought a lighted white jack-o-lantern pumpkin at a decorating store made from ceramic clay, and I love it.  The only problem with it is that is is designed for Halloween and I try to make my fall decorations last from September through November.  So my favorite lighted pumpkin goes back to the storage room every November 1st, and I miss the white glow in my home.


I found a solution while helping to clean the garage with my husband.  He is a contractor and has boxes of old parts, and one of those boxes was full of glass light covers.  I snagged a few of them and decided to make them a part of my fall decorating by turning them into a Re-purposed Lighted Pumpkin Centerpiece.  It is super easy...only took a half hour and I love the results.

To make this you will need to find round light white frosted light covers, you know the kind that everyone is getting rid of for newer light fixtures.  If you don't have them laying around like we did, you can find them at thrift stores or building supply stores.  They cost pennies.

Materials

Round Frosted White Light Covers
Large Basket
Pumpkin Stems
Silk Fall Foliage
LED Battery Powered Lights
Glue Gun




1.  First clean your light fixture and place them in your basket bottom side down, to see how they fit and look together.

2.  Using a hot glue gun glue the leaves and dried pumpkin stems to the top of of your pumpkin or the opposite side from the opening.

3.  Take your strand of LED lights and bundle a few of them in each light and string the next bundle to the next "pumpkin".  Leave your on/off switch in a place where you will be able to turn on your pumpkins without disrupting your florals.

4.  Weave your florals in and around the lighted pumpkins.


Find a place where you want a soft glow of light and turn on to enjoy!  I love this project because it was inexpensive, quick to put together and can be used from September through November!  I am going to use the rest of the covers to make a similar basket for winter with the light globes as "snowballs".  


I'll post pictures soon...

Wednesday

Swoon Barn Quilt

One of my favorite quilt blocks is the Swoon block by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms.  I've seen it stitched in so many color combinations and each one is better than the last, so to pay homage to this awesome design by painting it on a barn quilt!


It is painted onto my reclaimed wood boards and finished for indoor and outdoor use.  Mine will be hanging in my sewing room.  To order your own Swoon Barn Quilt, go to The Shop and place an order!  I do paint custom boards, so if you love this block and want it in different colors, send me an email and I will get one whipped up for you!


Thursday

Give Thanks - Embroidery Pattern Download

I know we still have a couple of weeks until November comes...but I am helping you get a jump start on the month of giving thanks with a free embroidery pattern...


...it's simple and sweet and can be stitched in an evening!  I was inspired to design this pattern after a couple of weeks of not so great and great things all rolled into one whole.  Have you ever had a time in life like that...you know, the worst of times and the best of times?  One of the greatest skills we have been given is the ability to choose.  


Whenever things get overwhelming the only way I get out of it is to choose to look for the blessings in my life.  These past few weeks we have had a lot of blessings and my greatest are my family and this beautiful place we live....which makes everything else all ok!


  1. To print off the pattern, right click on the image below and print off on your home printer. It is sized for a 9" oval hoop. 
  2. Take a 10" square piece of black cotton fabric and a piece of cotton batting the same size and stretch into the hoop.  
  3. Trim off the edges.
  4.  You will need to trace the image with a light box and a white fabric marker pencil. 
  5.  Using ECRU DMC floss, back stitch the stems and words using all six threads.
  6. Laisy Daisy the leaves.
  7. Wipe off any extra markings with a damp cloth and let dry.


Friday

Stuffed Apple Pie Caramel Apples - Fresh Living

Have you ever had the perfect bite of fall?  Get ready for your life to be changed forever because there is nothing like these Stuffed Apple Pie Caramel Apples! 

I love love love caramel apples...but when you add a layer of white chocolate, cinnamon, sugar and then fill it with cookie butter... OH MY!  These are pretty easy to make and are great to slice and serve...especially since there isn't a core.  Allow yourself a couple of hours to let things set, the perfect activity for a family night before Halloween.   After numerous batches, I have learned a few tips that will ensure success.  

Ingredients



12 - 15 Medium Sized Organic Apples - I used Jongolds or Honeycrisps

Large Food Grade Sticks - I found mine in the cake section of Hobby Lobby


Homemade Caramel:

1 cup butter
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon real vanilla 

Filling:

1 jar of Biscoff or your favorite cookie spread
1/2 teaspoon of Saigon cinnamon

White Chocolate Layer:

48 Ounces of Vanilla Almond Bark
1 Tablespoon of Shortening

Cinnamon-Sugar Dust:
1 cup of Raw Crystallized Sugar
3 Tbs. of Saigon Cinnamon
Random Items:

Piping Tool
Silpat lined cookie tray - or line a tray with vegetable spray covered wax paper
Double Boiler or two pans that fit together
Candy Thermometer
Apple Corer
Knife


The first thing to do is to get your apples ready.  Wash your apples.  Make sure you buy organic apples because they do not have wax on them.  The wax makes the caramel slide right off.  If you do not have access to organic apples, you can dip them in boiling water and wash them with a good dish soap to get the wax off.  Make sure you rinse them well.  Dry. Using your apple corer, remove the center core of the apple all the way through. 

 Now it's time to make the filling.  In your mixer add the jar of cookie butter (Biscoff) and cinnamon.  Whip together.  Using a spatula, scoop the filling into your favorite piping tool and squirt the the filing into the center holes.  Wipe off any extra that comes out.  




Take your sticks and turn the apples on their sides.  Poke the stick through the filling area and into the bottom part almost through...but not quite all the way.  Set on a cold lined tray. Refrigerate for  an hour or two to set the cookie butter.  

Time to make the caramel....


To make the caramel melt the butter in a medium pan over medium to high heat.  Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.  Whisk together.  Cook the caramel mixture until it reaches 235 - 240 on a candy thermometer (softball stage).  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let cool a few minutes.




Take the pan of apples out of the fridge and wipe any extra moisture or filling off of the apples.  This will help the caramel stick.  Dip the apples into the hot caramel and hold up to allow the caramel to drip up toward the stick.  Using a butter knife wipe off any extra from the bottom.  Set them on the cold lined pan and return to the fridge.  Let chill for one hour.

Once the apples have been chilled it's time to make the white chocolate coating.  To make the white chocolate covering melt the vanilla almond bark in a medium sized saucepan on low heat.  Add a tablespoon of shortening to thin the chocolate.  Whisk until smooth.  

Take a cold set caramel apple and dip into the white chocolate spinning it to coat the apple. Set on the cold lined tray and let rest for a few minuets.  Sprinkle with a dusting of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Return to the fridge and let chill until everything is set.  Once you have covered your apples, pour some of the melted almond bark into a clean squeeze bottle and drizzle over the tops of the apples.  Let chill.

The best way to eat these apples is to slice right through the center.  Each slice will have the perfect bite of chocolate, caramel, cookie butter and of course fall's best bounty...a crisp tart-n-sweet apple.  If you want to be adventurous, you can fill the apples with peanut butter and dip in caramel and chocolate.  The possibilities are endless with these stuffed caramel apples....


Enjoy!

Thursday

Happy Halloween Mini-Hoop Embroidery Pattern

Happy October or should I say Happy Halloween!  This is one of the funnest months of the year...when else do you get to dress up in your craziest alter-egos, eat a ton of candy, and celebrate cobwebs and all things creepy?  
I love stitching up something new each season and for Halloween I designed a mini-hoop embroidery pattern called Happy Halloween.  It is super small which is great if you are like me and on the run constantly with concerts and football games.  It will tuck into any bag and only uses five colors of floss.  It took me one concert practice and part of a football game to stitch this up.  

The pattern is in The Shop today and will ship the same day so you can get it in time for Halloween!  I hope you are having a great fall..make sure you take time to enjoy every bit of it.  
 
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