Sunday, September 25, 2011

Low Effort Fall

My very simple decor for Fall this year was pretty low effort. I mean there was some work involved when I planted a pumpkin patch with my mom over at her place back in May. We decided to grow all of our pumpkins and gourds for Fall ourselves, and they were quite easy to do.
I grew theses two beautiful Fairytale Pumpkins from the one I bought last year from Trader Joes. I just saved the seeds and stuck them in the ground with a bit of water and a few months, voila! I picked these and have 2 more small ones still growing.

I also finally decided to cut the 2 hydrangea blooms from or back yard. I just love how the white blooms changed to green, and although they are fading a bit I think it looks just fine for a Fall centerpiece. The little tattered edges to the flowers have a rustic look that's just my style.

Outside I filled one of my many garage sale wicker baskets with numerous decorative gourds. All grown from just a few plants. These things grow like crazy. I planted them for our wedding 3 years ago as well, and we were thrilled with how many each plant yields. There are also "jack be little's" and Kabocha squash.

I ran to the new craft store today with coupons in hand to pick up some knitting needles. While I was there I grabbed a couple 40% off Fall decor items and put them together for this really simple fall wreath.
It's just a grape vine wreath a cute "Welcome" sign and an adorable plush crow that is so much cuter in person. I like that the wreath is bare, it feels appropriate for Fall. I was going to add moss and a bow but I think less is more here.

The little crow had this tag around his neck that said "welcome friends" but with the other sign on the wreath that seemed redundant. So I flipped it around and wrote, "Nevermore!" instead. I have always loved Poe, and it seems too fitting.

**Updated to show a close up of the plush crow, who I named Edgar. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cupcake for a cause

A friend of ours is helping organize an event tomorrow night to help raise money to build a hospital in Haiti.
She asked me to bake some cupcakes for a bake sale at the charity. Hopefully these bring in some money for the cause.

I made Coconut rum cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting. I topped them with fondant hearts in the colors of the Haitian flag.

I also made Chocolate cupcakes made extra dark with coffee in the batter, and Cinnamon Frosting. Yum!

About 63 in the Coconut.

And about 66 in the Chocolate. So just about 130 mini cupcakes total.

I baked a few large cupcakes when I ran out of mini papers and had extra batter. These guys will have to stay home for lucky Mr. B :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Clutter fix

Everyone's got some spot of their home that gets cluttered. Whether it's a drawer in the kitchen, a closet down the hall, or like us the whole backyard!
This has been our backyard for the last 3 months. Yard tools strewn about, and pool toys laying around.

Mainly we have this problem because we have a 2 car garage, and WAY too many toys that go in it.
So we decided to remedy some of the overflow with a garden shed. We picked up a very well priced metal shed from Home Depot, USA made, which is great, only we had to actually assemble it!

Not really a problem, since we have plenty of DIY skills, but it was one of the hottest weekends of the summer and this shed had about 10,000 screws to put in.
I am smiling here, but I am still on my coffee high.

We finished it after two half days of work, stuck it in our perfect spot for it on the back side of the house, and promptly filled it with all of our tools for the garden.

(Baxter thinks it's a giant dog house)

And now for something completely different. Well it's still garden related, but look how pretty!
This is the beginning of a new hydrangea bloom, I am super excited to see if it opens up blue, because it's supposed to.

I bought 2 hydrangeas this July for our Fire pit install and backyard face lift. One was blue, and one was white.

Since then my blue bloom died, and now has a new one about to open, and my white hydrangea turned pink then the green!!
Here is a bloom from the white plant, you can see a hint of purple/pink to the centers of each flower.

WTH? I love the green older blooms, but the in between pink blush is not my favorite. I really had no idea they would morph like this, I think its a pretty cool surprise.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Passion for baking

You might be wondering what those wrinkly purple things are. If you aren't familiar with this fruit, it is the yummy result of the beautiful Passion Flower.
This photo of a passion fruit flower was taken by Mr. B's Dad, he has a passion fruit vine that as taken over the front half of his home. You can see here how much the bees love it, and the fruits are very much appreciated by us humans.

I cut about a dozen of them in half, scooped out the juicy seeds and strained them. I then made a passion fruit curd, similar to lemon curd just subbed out the lemon juice for the passion.
Then I whipped the passion fruit curd into a whipped cream frosting.

I baked a two 8" round coconut butter cakes.

Cut the tops off then cut each in half horizontally.

Here is my Coconut Butter cake with Passion Fruit Curd filling and Whipped Cream Passion Fruit Frosting.

I layered the first cake with the passion fruit whipped cream, then a layer of the passion fruit curd, and the final layer with more frosting. I had just enough frosting to cover the whole cake.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What happened to projects?

I've been totally MIA with blogging lately, not because I forgot about it. I just haven't been working on any cool projects. I have totally stopped decorating and have been busy working, maintaining our yard and knitting. I smell a change in the air though.

Fall is certainly in the air this morning. We awoke to a thunder and lightning storm and even a bit of rain. After the 105 degree temperature we had this week, it's really refreshing. I have been harvesting my decorative gourds, and watching our pumpkin patch grow.
Yesterday I picked up a few goodies that will hopefully be the new stars in my Fall decorating.
This wooden bench for our front door entry.

I plan to decorate it seasonally, and have already set out a basket of gourds.

Then I checked out a new craft store in town! (can you sense my giddiness?) I found these awesome papier mâché skulls for $3. They are the perfect blank canvases for me to dec out in Dia de Los Muertos fashion. I am calling them Mr. & Mrs. Muertos for now.
I cannot wait for the hand painted fun that awaits me! Craft on!

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