Velvet Pumpkins

Last fall my husband and I went to Sundance for a fall get away weekend to Sundance, which just happens to be one of the most magical fall places on earth!  While shopping in their store I saw these darling velvet pumpkins.  They were gorgeous with their real stems and luscious fabrics....but they were priced at $100 + per pumpkin!  I knew how to make them myself and had to "grow" a velvet pumpkin patch of my own.  

I got to work popping off every pumpkin stem I could find and dried them out in a special place to await the next pumpkin season.  The leaves began turning a couple of weeks ago up here on the mountain and I got to work making a wagon full of these little pumpkins.  I love that they are super easy and quick to make and will last all through the fall months...right up to the time you put up your Christmas tree!

To make them you will need...


1 yard of velvet, corduroy, of faux suede fabric (yields three large pumpkins)
round template
matching embroidery floss
crushed corn cob bedding (found at pet supply stores)
hot glue
pumpkin stem 

1.  Lay your fabric out and trace around your template using a marker.

2.  Cut out circle.

3.  Using matching embroidery floss (all six strands) stitch a running stitch around the outside edge of the pumpkin about a 1/4" from the edge.  Leave a tail about 2" long when you not knot.  You will need this "tail" to cinch the pumpkin closed.

4.  Once you have stitched around the pumpkin...gather the fabric into a pumpkin form leaving the opening about three inches wide to allow for stuffing.  Do not remove the will need this in a minute.

5.  To stuff your pumpkin, pour in the crushed corn cob to about a inch from the top.  shake lightly to get the cob mixture into the edges of the pumpkin.  Don't fill it all the way to allow some "play" in your pumpkin form.

6.  After filling the pumpkin, cinch the opening closed as tight as you can by pulling on the two strings.  There will be a whole about the size dime in the opening.  

7.  Tie the two strings into a knot and using the needle stitch the opening shut all the way.  Pull the opening tight to get all your gathers into one small spot.  

8.  Now that your opening in stitched closed and no cobby stuff will come out.  Use your hot glue gun to glue your stem to the pumpkin.  Press it down into the pumpkin to make an indent.  If any glue seeps the fabric against the stem to hide the glue.  It will give it a natural pumpkin look.

9. To finish your pumpkin, you can either fluff, scrunch or whatever you like to get the shape you want OR you can embellish it with leaves, berries, acorns, or any other fall type 

To watch the tutorial from Fresh Living click on the video link below....

Now that you are expert pumpkin "farmers" ...get yourself some pumpkin steamers this weekend to share with your friends or family...and make your own little pumpkin patch to enjoy this fall!  

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Fall Wreath Hoop Art Pattern

Happy September!  Up here on the hill the leaves are changing all sorts of colors, the mornings are chilly and my herb garden is ready to FALL.  This is hands down my favorite time of the year.  It's no surprise to me that I was born in October right in the middle of the earths most glorious time!

I have designed a collection of seasonal hoop-art embroidery patterns to celebrate each season...and I had to debut the collection with Fall.   

The pattern and stitching guide is available in The Shop now!  If you love fall as much as I do and are looking for something to do on those chilly nights...pick up this pattern and stitch up your own celebration to the best season of all!

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Ginger Peaches & Cream Pie - Made With Chobani

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to create a recipe using Chobani Greek Yogurt that would highlight the last hurrah of summer for their Made With Chobani Summer Series.  In Utah one of the last fruits of summer is the soft, fuzzy, golden juiciest of all fruits...the peach!  You can't say goodbye to summer without enjoying a bushel full of them!

I created recipe for a Ginger Peaches & Cream Pie using orchard fresh peaches and the creamy deliciousness of Chobani's Greek Yogurt.  This pie has a ginger crumb crust that my taste testers said was yummy enough to eat alone with a glass of cold milk.  It is the perfect cradle for the large slices of fresh peaches and the vanilla custard that make up this oh so fabulous summer pie!!!  Here are the step by step instructions for the Ginger Peaches & Cream Pie....

Ingredients to Gather

Ginger Snap Cookies 
1 Cup Softened Butter
9" Pie Plate

3-4 Large Fresh Peaches
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon 
1/4 Granulated Sugar
1/2 Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Soft Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Chobani Vanilla Blended Greek Yogurt
1 Teaspoon of Real Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon of Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Large Egg

 3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

To begin the crust place about four cups of gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse them until you get a course consistency.  You want small pea sized crumbles mixed in with the crushed cookie.  If you don't have a food processor you can use a blender or a good ole fashioned rolling pin.  Crush away!  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pour your gingersnap crumbles into a medium sized bowl and using your hands gently mix in 1/2 cup of softened butter.  Mix until the butter is incorporated.  The crumble mixture should be able to hold together when pressed.

If the mixture is too dry, add a little more softened butter until it holds together.  
It should look like the consistency in the picture above.  
Once the crumbles are ready, butter your pie plate.

Buttering the pie plate first gives the crumbs something to stick to.  
Press a slight rim edge, slide and then the bottom until firm. 

Once your crust is formed, place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to set it prior to baking.

Now that the crust is frozen and set, bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. 
 Remove when finished and let cool on a baking rack.  

While your crust is baking, you can prep the peaches and get the custard ready.  There are several kinds of peaches.   While Rosa's are the sweetest for eating, Alberta's are the best for baking.  They are sweet, tart and take the heat without turning to mush.  I used the Elberta's for this recipe for this reason...
I wanted firm and sweet bites of peach in every bite of this pie.

To prep the peaches, place the peaches (whole) into a pot of boiling water for just a few minutes. Carefully scoop them out and shock them into a bowl of ice water.  
This process will loosen the skins so they come off super easy!  

Once the skins are off, slice in half and remove the pits and slice into 1" slices. 
 Put into a bowl and add the granulated sugar and lemon juice.  
Lightly toss and set aside.

To make the custard, add the brown sugar, softened cream cheese,
 Chobani Vanilla Blended Yogurt, real vanilla, Saigon Cinnamon 
and egg to your mixer.  Whisk together until smooth.  

To assemble the pie, pour a small amount of the custard into the bottom of the ginger pie crust.  Place the peaches one by one into the custard beginning in the center and circle outward until the pie crust bottom is covered with peaches.  It takes a couple of rows.

Pour the remaining custard over the peaches to just below the crust edge. 
 You will have the large pieces of peach peaking out and that is perfect!  
Bake for 45-55 minutes at 325 degrees until the custard is set.  
Test the center with a toothpick to make sure it is set.  

Let cool for 2 to 3 hours on a cooling rack.  
Serve slices with a dollop of fresh whipped cream at room temperature 
or my personal favorite...chilled!

To make the whipping cream, add cold heavy whipping cream to a cold mixer bowl. 
 Add the powdered sugar.  Using the whisk attachment, whip on high until stiff.  
Add a dollop of whipped cream to each slice!

I hope you enjoy this Ginger Peaches & Cream Pie!  Our family has LOVED it!!! There is nothing better than getting the perfect bite of peach, cream, custard, and crunchy ginger. This is my last hurrah to summer!  for even more creative ways to use Greek yogurt in recipes, go ahead and check out Chobani's great healthy recipes!  

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