Saturday, September 28, 2013

Around the House

Around here at our home, we have an ongoing issue. Organization.
Reorganizing what we have with stuff we brought in from Hubby's Dad's house. It has become all encompassing. Every part of the not very large home has been touched. We are making headway, but it seems sometimes overwhelming. Do you ever feel that way??
Well, today I am cheering for the small things that get done.

Now this looks a bit problematic, however this antique armoire's shelf had collapsed, spilling the entire contents out its doors. Because one side of this armoire's doors (left) do not really work anymore, I needed a plan....
Well, there was this plastic shelf system that we adopted from Hubby's Dad, and it fit perfectly!  Well, only 36" long, but since the one side really can't be used due to the door, it was perfect...
Now, I have access to the quilts and blankets that I store in there. Gee, I didn't know I had stuffed so many in there! Poor armoire..... This really does look better than it did and no nails in an antique to build shelves!
So, one has to enjoy the smallest of organizing successes....right? Here is one. A great little corner of olive wood cutting boards. They are art and at the ready. Yeah, another collection. However I do use them, as hors d'oeuvre boards.....

And Hubby's Aunt brought the most delicious apples from her ranch in Julian.....fresh yummy apples, another simple pleasure!
 Another simple pleasure, sunflowers in the kitchen! I have a small vase inside of the crock holding the sunflowers, and around the outside staying dry is dried lavender.....
So, as we organize slowly, I am focusing on the little things.....
How do you go through a huge undertaking??
Have a great weekend!
Nancy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Painting a frame

I was asked by a friend to paint her painting's frame. She had recently repainted and the faux antique brass frame was the wrong color for the newly painted wall. The painting was firmly backed into the frame so it would be a bit tricky, but if you know me, I needed a little project to paint!

So, I found painters tape, a brown paper that has tape already and I used some plain paper with frog tape. Once the painting was securely protected I began painting! No sanding, no priming.....


The color she chose was French Linen, with a subtle Old White wash....and then of course wax, clear and a touch of dark.

It really did turn out quite nicely.....
And for those who wonder, that is really me and yes, I am painting on a dropcloth thrown onto the dining room table. That is where I paint probably 90% of the time, unless the item is too big.....
Sometimes, I just paint the item right where it is with a dropcloth.....It works!
Have a great day!
Nancy

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pioneer Apple Butter

Pioneer Apple Butter, pictures of hot steaming kettles on a wood fire range race across the mind. It's true. This recipe was given to me from a sweet lady, Mrs. Crumb, who at the time was an amazing 87 year old lady. I had told her about an Apple butter recipe that I had tried and she scoffed at it. Then proceeded to tell me the true apple butter recipe she learned when she was about 12. It has stood the test of time.
Of course over the many years I have done the recipe I haven't changed it. It did indeed take hours of watching and stirring and cooking. Yesterday, I tried something I saw on a blog, doing the apple butter in a crock pot! I really don't know why I didn't think of doing this, but life just got easier, and I will over time be able to perfect the recipe with a crock pot....but I am happy to report, it works!
It doesn't look like much from here, but trust me, your house will smell wonderful for hours and hours!
Then, when it has gotten a wonderful yummy brown soft mush, (about the color of cinnamon), I ran it through a food mill. This food mill I ordered last year from Amazon, it is stainless steel and is made in Italy. Italians know how to make food mills! Easy, efficient and dishwasher safe, it is perfect for this job!
Now, it is actually ready here, but I like a super smooth consistency, so I go one more.....I run it through my blender to get it that smooth, spreadable, apple yumminess that is oh good.....
And this is the final result....a quart and two pints worth of apple goodness....hummm, I am thinking it would be good on some french toast.....
Have a great day!
Nancy

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Harvesting Fall

Yesterday, my brother was coming for a visit and it was clearly Fall. On top of it, the apples were more than ready to be picked. So, what is a suburban "farmer" to do? Make pie and apple butter!
Our apples were mostly kinda small, though we had so beauties. So, my daughter and I washed and chopped. The best went into the pie and the smaller ones were chopped and thrown into our crock-pot.





But oh the pie! We have a fondness for dutch apple pie with its crumbly buttery, full of cinnamon topping! And then, it was done and cooling by the time everyone came together for dinner.....
Meanwhile, all night on low, the apple butter cooked. I need to run it through a food mill, and then it too will be ready....
Hope you have a great day!
Nancy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blueberry buckwheat pancakes

I know. I am supposed to be dieting. Ha! Then, how come when Saturday rolls around, I crave pancakes?
Well, trying to make them a bit more healthy, I made them with buckwheat flour, well, not completely as that makes it a bit heavy. So, I looked up a few recipes and came up with my own.
The main thing that makes it work? Buttermilk......

Just like any other pancake really, just substituted some buckwheat flour, and used a buttermilk pancake recipe. The problem was, the recipe really feeds a family of 6 or more.....
I added a few fresh blueberries to the top of the pancakes and when they were cooked on that side, I flipped them and finished them. Yummmm
In a saucepan I took about a tablespoon of water and about a cup of blueberries and 3/4 cup of sugar and cooked that into fresh blueberry syrup....served the pancakes with butter, powdered sugar and the syrup and we both have enough energy to do almost anything....well, perhaps after a little nap....LOL
We do plan to work in the garden this morning....
Have a great day.
Nancy

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Planting

It is definitely Fall.
We woke up to a cool mist fog this morning, and it triggered the need to plant Fall crops in my raised beds.
The first two raised beds are mostly clear and got fresh soil and compost last week. The first box still has an eggplant, that with the heat we had, has been blooming and is growing a fruit....
So, in the first box we planted lettuce and onions that were started from seed. Oh, and we "cheated" and bought the started plants from Roger's Gardens. I had a gift certificate there, so why not?

I chose a delightful six pack of mixed lettuces, and then set an onion in between each, in hopes that it keeps some bugs away.....
I did the same in the second box with kale.....
It looks like we will have lots of creole red onions....
The second box still has the king bean growing, and tomorrow I plan to harvest....it looks like its time is coming, with lots of leaves starting to fall, and it shows signs of fatiguing....
Over in the pot next to the house, my elderberry that I started from a cutting in the spring has some berries for me and I wanted to show them to you....
They are such pretty berries, but not very many per branchlet. At least there are a few. Hopefully soon I will have enough to do something with them. I have been collecting them up into ziplocs and putting them in the freezer.....
So, this weekend I plan to get caught up on some big gardening things that need to be done, weeding etc. I will try to collect some pictures for you.
I hope you have great weekend plans.
Nancy

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Internet woes....

In case you have been looking for me, I have been unable to get internet for four days....
It has been down, and is just now working, though a bit "glitchy". We may have to have it "tweaked".
In any case, thanks for checking in and come back again. I will post again in the near future....
Nancy

Friday, September 6, 2013

Another chapter

After over 6 years of having a store on Etsy, I have closed it.  
When it ceases to be fun, it is time....
I started selling with Etsy when everything had to be handmade, which of course I did.

Then, Vintage became accepted, so when I went treasure hunting, and I found linen treasures and such, I added that to the store.


It was fun and exciting, selling to much of the US and some countries as well. Then, shipping went up, and still I persisted. It was afterall, still fun.....
Then, over the years the number of sellers on Etsy increased and increased. Competition became an issue, as well as the cost of posting and selling and then shipping.
Times have changed and keeping the store wasn't fun anymore. So, WildOakDesigns the store on Etsy, has closed.
Eventually, I will be able to find homes for much of the stock that still exists...handmade and vintage alike.
If anyone still reads this blog, I have a large amount of wonderful linens and doilies that need homes, so just contact me and let me know...
wildoakdesigns@gmail.com

I will be sifting through what is left in the next few weeks, so let me know what you might be interested in....
In the meantime, I will still be crafting and enjoying creating something from nothing....
Nancy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our store is closed...

Well, we closed WildOakDesigns.
We are sorry if this is an inconvience.
After months of very few sales, it became apparent my heart just wasn't in it.
There are so many stores on Etsy, competition is pretty great.
Nancy