Spooky – Caramel Apples

October 5, 2021

If you are new to me, I will let you know that I’m the girl that is all about Halloween.

A little spooky, a little creepy chic, and mostly a little elegant luxe Halloween.

So Let’s Creep It Real!

I’ve been wanting to create some caramel apples that had a little poisonous appeal.

So, today I’m sharing a post on my spooky caramel apples.

I think these caramel apples are well fit to feed and poison a princess. Hahaha!

While they are dipped in caramel and not boiled from a cauldron…

they do however, look a little bewitching.

Caramel Potion – Double double, toil & trouble…

This is so simple and easy. I customized this for speed and ease.

  1. 1. I opted to use the caramel sauce in the tub.

Fire burn and bubble…

2. Put the caramel dip in the sauce pan and melt on low-medium heat stirring constantly, adding 3 generous drops of green food coloring, & 1/2 cup of water until the caramel sauce is bubbly.

I wanted to give my caramel apples that poisonous appeal – hence the green food coloring.

Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog…

3. Skewer your apples & Dip

I used cleaned twigs cut from an apple tree for the skewers. I sharpened the ends a bit with a knife.

This made it a bit easier to push the twig into the apple.

Wool of Bat and Tongue of Dog…

Dip your skewered apple in the bubbling caramel and then roll in chopped walnuts – then place on parchment paper.

By pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

4. Refrigerate

Refrigerate for about 10 -15 minutes to set the caramel and serve.

To keep this bewitching recipe simple I chose walnuts for my topping.

You can easily sweep together many other delicious candy toppings to add to your caramel apples.

These apples are perfectly imperfect!

Still tasty and delicious – covered in gooey layers of caramel and nuts.

The only toil and trouble was boiling the caramel, adding 1/2 cup water, and about 3 generous drops of green food coloring.

Happy October folks!

Autumn in the Butler Pantry

September 30, 2021

The Last day of September!

And, I’m baffled how the months just seem to fly by.

This has been an odd summer. First, the miserable heat. Second, the lack of rain, third, the terrible amount of smoke from our neighboring state, and the sinus infections that I have suffered from as a result. The list could continue, but I will stop there. I need to look at the sunny side!

I wanted to share with you a little autumn styling in the pantry.

The side you see when the barn door is open.

The butler side of my pantry is all about my collections on display.

Open storage display.

Shelves filled with my collection of white serve ware.

This is a little favorite spot for styling dishes for the season.

All year long there are various dishes on display and for autumn- metals and pumpkins are in the rotation.

I love a collected feel!

A Charming Collection

I gathered up the white dishes, stacks of plates, platters, bowls, teacups and more.

The pitchers and cake stands are all stacked on the shelves where vintage and new mingle side by side. By keeping the color scheme all one color, it creates a charming display while storing all of those pieces used everyday and on occasion. I used the concept of grouping similar items together.

All the cake stands and all the pitchers together.

I’ve mingled the few pieces of copper that I have collected along with my collection of white for my autumn decor. I love to sprinkle a touch of those warm tones with the pale neutral colors.

The pieces of copper add additional warmth and brightness.

Copper just might be a new obsession.

I have become such a fan of metals for the autumn season. It is so easy to incorporate those delicious tones into your decor. And the best part is- that when you aren’t using those pretty little mugs or copper pots- you can enjoy them on display.

Charming baskets are a favorite way to store items and keep them tucked away while keeping them easily accessible.

For me, autumn doesn’t always have to be in the traditional orange tones. 

I do love a few traditional orange pumpkins tucked in among the mums outdoors on the porch. 

Harvest Banner

 My harvest banner was made by me.

I saw this and copied. Well, you know? When your budget is short, you do the next best thing. I think this is a form of flattery to the original.

This is just another way that I have added a touch of autumn decor to my space.

Create a sense of beauty even in the mundane.

Stack Something

Stacks of plates and serve ware.

Anything else that stacks. This is a simple one- but something I have found to really work when it comes to open shelves. Often we just think of setting this on a shelf – but how it is set on the shelf can make a difference. Stacking things like plates or bowls adds height. Stacks add visual appeal and interest.

Storage can do double duty and be as pretty as it is practical.

A collection of wine stems tucked here and there.

Bring in The Metal

Silver. Gold. Copper. Or brass. And then repeat it so that it ties the various shelves and elements together. 

Real and Faux

I used a real and faux pumpkins throughout the open shelves for that touch of autumn…

added some golden grasses to a top pitcher for more texture and contrast.

Collect everything at a slow and steady pace.

This little space is a somewhat bright spot and it just tells me to decorate. I’ve shown it a couple of times in my blogging, but Autumn just seems to be the most natural to dress it up a with.

I hope you enjoyed my autumn decor in my very neutral pantry.

This is where I share a little bit of my wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’.

Mom’s Fresh Apple Cake

Monday, September 20, 2021

Friends fall is here! Literally days away!

I’m so excited to be in the kitchen baking my Mom’s Fresh Apple Cake.

Mom

This cake recipe came from my mom’s kitchen – so this is a special and unique cake!

I hope you enjoy and give this recipe a try.

I will be sure to share all my tips here for your baking success.

Here is the Recipe:

Written by Mom –

Tip 1:

Use Granny Smith green apples

Ingredients:

  • 3 -4 large Granny Smith Apples (4 cups diced apples – peeled, not chopped too fine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Instructions:

  • -Cream oil and sugars, add beaten eggs and vanilla.
  • -Sift together dry ingredients, add to sugar mixture and stir/mix well until well blended. (This batter is very sticky)
  • -Fold in apples (I added my chopped apples to the cake batter while using my mixer)
  • -Bake in 9×13 pan @ 350 degrees until tested done
  • -When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 

-1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 

-1 tsp. vanilla 

-1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)

Let’s Make It!

-Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.

-Add powdered sugar gradually, beating after each addition until blended and creamy.

Serve Your Dessert:

Serve your dessert to guests with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I hope you enjoy my apple recipes coming at you for fall.

Rustic Jute Twine Pumpkins

September 15, 2021

A rustic fall DIY done on dime and in less that 30 minutes.

You know me, I’m all about rustic!

These little jute twine pumpkins fit that bill!

Are you ready for autumn?

Ready for some quick autumn decor done with twine string?

These jute twine pumpkins were created from supplies that I already had on hand.

Here Is What You Need:

-Jute twine

-cinnamon sticks

-hot glue gun

-scissors

-foliage, leaves to decorate

That’s It!

Most of us DIYers already have these items stashed in our pantry or craft supplies.

Here’s How to Make The Rustic Jute Pumpkin:

Step 1:

Wrap the twine around 4 of your fingers 20 times.

Wrap the jute around your 4 fingers 20x like this.

Step 2:

Using a small cut section of jute twine, wrap the piece of twine through the middle of the coil of twine and tie it off.

Tied off section –

Make 5 to 6 of these sections. Depending on how full you want your twine pumpkin.

Step 3:

Glue the section to a cinnamon stick, twig, or a pumpkin stem.

One roll attached to the cinnamon stick

Step 4:

Glue the 5 sections to the cinnamon stick – stem.

The final product – Embellish as you wish.

How cute is that!

Oh, I love this time of year!

I hope you enjoyed this DIY and it inspires you to create your own.

A little wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’

An Apple A Day – A Baked Apple Oatmeal Treat

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day seems to mark the end of summer.

With that being said, fall is just around the corner.

And you know what that means???

Apples, pumpkins, early morning frost, and falling leaves, and maybe some baked apple treats coming your way.

Even though the temperatures are in the high 90’s … Yes, and it’s still HOT, I’m thinking cooler weather and autumn desserts.

Today, I wanted to share a dessert or a breakfast – depending on how and when you serve it.

This is an oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts stuffed into a delicious apple (I used a Honey Crisp) and baked (or any big delicious apple of your choosing) . This is a simple recipe that is so easy to make. I found the recipe here while browsing Courtney Allison’s beautiful blog at French Country Cottage.

While I love to try fresh new recipes and my husband loves apple pie,

I had to try it- and we thought it was good enough to share.

So you are aware, I adapted the recipe to our liking.

Here Is What You Need – Ingredients

2 – 4 apples 

1 cup rolled oats 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 cup butter

Fresh Bluberries

chopped walnuts or pecans

caramel topping for drizzle (optional)

vanilla ice cream (optional)

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Core each apple making a large well in the center and arrange apples on a baking dish/pie plate

(Save some of the apple meat to add to you oat mixture)

Mix oats, the1/4 c brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Cut in the butter until evenly combined. (I softened the butter a bit before adding it to the oat mixture.)

This is the apple crumble with oats, cinnamon, apple chunks, and butter combined.

Spoon the oat mixture into each apple.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and walnuts.

Bake @350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Bake the apples until they are tender for approximately 30 minutes,

or until the filling is lightly brown and bubbling.

Piping hot. Fresh out of the oven.

Here Is What We Did: As a Dessert –

We drizzled warm caramel over the top and served the warm apple with vanilla ice cream.

My husband contributed his ideas and likings to this recipe.

So delicious and good!

For Breakfast –

 Top with fresh blueberries, serve and enjoy!

A blueberry topped breakfast treat.

Maybe a little on the healthier side;)

This is a delicious apple crumble recipe with oats, cinnamon, and a buttery crisp stuffed in an apple.

A perfect fall comfort food.

Seriously a delicious and fun treat.

I hope you get a chance to make this delicious dessert/breakfast treat.

Weekend Roundup – Home on the Range

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Welcome to the weekend roundup.

When I was growing up in Northern Nevada it was quite common to see the Basque herders moving their sheep from grazing range to grazing range.

So on our mountain travels to the high country, in the Jarbidge Mountains, I had to stop and take some photos of this nostalgic sight.

 Sheepherding in Northern Nevada arrived around 1841 when it was said that the first domestic sheep had traveled with wagon trains on their way to California.

During the gold rush, thousands of sheep were driven to California, across Nevada, to feed the miners. So this is a pretty old tradition and profession.

Herding Into The Sunset

On our way home around Charleston, Nevada this caught my eye.

Trailing the sheep home towards the winter range.

Just riding drag.

In summer the herders keep the sheep moving to fresher grazing and water everyday.

A herder and his dogs

Not only are sheep dogs great companions, sheep dogs are essential to the herder by protecting the sheep from predators and are great herders themselves.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Herder-n-dogs-@-dusk-in-NV-desert.jpg

This dog got a little excited when we slowed down for me to take photos. Needless to say, I didn’t get out of the vehicle while he was around.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is White-Sheep-dog.jpg

Even though I wanted to make friends with this pretty guy, I thought best not to since his job is protecting the sheep and they take their jobs seriously.

Beautiful dog!

Part of the Job

This herder (on horseback) is packing a lamb.

Maybe the lamb just got tired and laid down, so it’s given a ride.

Packing a lamb horseback might be a preferred qualification and responsibility.

Sheep graze in the Nevada mountains in the summer and Nevada deserts in the winter.

Keeping the flock together

The Flock

Sheep have always played an important role in the economic history of Nevada.

Family-run sheep ranches, large and small, have been and continue to be valued businesses in rural areas of the state.

I can even say that sheep have been a part of my rural heritage.

Range Grazing

Whether its sheep or cows, range land grazing is essential to the environment.

Sheep and cows clean up the grasses – grasses make great fuel for range land fires. Range land grazing helps reduce/eliminate the risk of fires.

We spent the day in Jarbidge visiting friends, eating, yard sailing, and taking in the sights of this small town. I think my favorite part of my trip is taking in this view of the sheep traveling to their new grazing area.

I hope these traditions never get lost!

Traditions have a very special way of keeping favorite memories forever in our hearts.”

I hope you enjoyed my weekend sights!

DIY Sweater Pumpkins – Cozy Up With Fall

Monday, August 30, 2021

Summer is slowly fading, even though it is still HOT, and Autumn is just around the corner. I’m thinking and feeling that the mornings are a bit cooler and the evening light is fading faster. I’m definitely getting that fall feeling…even with the decor.

I’ve been lighting a few candles in the evening and thinking a bit on the cozy side.

I even started adding touches of fall, but in the most subtle way possible.

So, I wanted to share a DIY. A pumpkin crafted from a sweater and twig stems.

Heirloom style pumpkins crafted from an old sweater.

You won’t need a sewing machine for this project. However you will need a needle, thread, or yarn.

 These sweater pumpkins are filled with polyfill and the stems are made from twigs I gathered from around the yard. Other ideas for the stems, you could also use cinnamon sticks.

Yes, there was a sweater harmed in this project. I felt that it needed to be retired.

My sweater pumpkins are so easy to make and are a bit on the cute side. So they fit two requirements.

I was able to make two pumpkins from the one sweater.

How To Make A Sweater Pumpkin

What you will need:

1 clean sweater (color of your choosing)

Polyfill

Needle

Thread or yarn

Circle pattern

Twig, or cinnamon stick for stem

Felt for leaf

Button

Twine for accent

Hot glue gun

Step 1:

Circle pattern

Don’t mind the wrinkled paper. This came from a Marshalls purchase.

Step 2:

Place pattern on sweater.

For easy cutting, pin the paper pattern to the sweater.

Step 3:

Cut along the paper pattern.

Cut out your sweater circle.

Step 4:

 With a needle and double thread or yarn, sew a running stitch along the outside perimeter so you can gather the knit fabric and fill it as you go.

I used yarn for my thread with a large yarn needle.
Lightly gather the fabric/knit and stuff a little at a time. Careful not to pull too hard as you may break the thread/yarn.

Step 5:

 Carefully tighten the thread and place your stem inside. At this point, secure the bottom of the stem in the fabric by placing a generous amount of hot glue at the bottom and along the outside of the stem. Pull the thread tight. Since the knit fabric is bulky you may have to stitch the top of the pumpkin closed around the stem.

I added the button to tie-off my thread and to add character.

Step 6:

Once the stem is glued in place, you’ve stitched around it – this is what it will look like.

Step 7:

I hot glued jute twine around the bottom of the stem to disguise the bunching of the fabric, and as additional dressing.

Step 8:

Using felt, I cut out a leaf and hot glued it at the base of the stem. (On one pumpkin leaf I added stitching for additional detail.)

How is that?

Start your fall off right with a new cozy knit pumpkin for early autumn decor.

And… I didn’t break the bank!

It’s pretty much white pumpkins and dried florals around here at the moment.

Kind of loving this neutral Autumn look at the moment.

I hope you like my DIY cozy knit pumpkins, and this inspires you in some way to get your Autumn decor on.

This is how I home – A little wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin.’

XXOOs

 

A Rustic and Refound Christmas Holiday Table Setting Idea

Monday, August 16, 2021

Christmas in August???

Am I crazy? Maybe…;)

However, this might be the first time I’ve ever been early for a party.

I maybe living in a mixed-up seasonal world.

You might have noticed that I am somewhat obsessed with setting tables for all occasions and maybe all year long.

So when a Jeanne d’ Arc Living (see it here) photo shows up that you just love, maybe you want to duplicate it and put your own spin on it and that is all you can think about!

Yes, I included my cowhide chairs, a drop cloth tablecloth, black mis-happen plates, candles, twinkle lights, glass(crystal candle holders & found bottles), olive branches, and golden pinecones & pears all in keeping with my style and rustic luxe.

For a simple centerpiece idea-

Starting with… candles. Because, I am obsessed with those too.

Using white candles I placed them into crystal candlesticks.

I mixed in large green pillars on mercury glass candle holders (for an additional punch of green) & gold mercury glass votives. With an added extra sprinkle of magic- a string of battery operated twinkle lights were strung down the center mixed with the pinecones foraged from a friend/neighbor’s yard.

It’s All In The Details-

Faux fruit was purchased at the Dollar Store and spray painted gold

I think the golden pears just add that additional touch of pretty.

Down the center of the table, I scattered gold pinecones along with a coupe of sprigs of olive branches.

Added Greenery-

Found bottles are filled with additional sprigs of foraged olive branches from trees on my property.

Olive branches with green berries. Even better.

Did you know that an olive branch is a symbol of peace and friendship?

A little fitting for a Christmas inspired tablescape.

Wrapped presents in white butcher paper were added & we already talked about those twinkle lights…

things that add a little more cheer.

On The Table-

This tablescape is all about that rustic luxe & vintage.

The Rustic –

Painters drop cloth & shop rag napkins – purchased from Home Depot.

The mix of dinnerware – Black stoneware bowls & melamine salad plates from Marshalls.

Large black melamine plates – purchased from Joann’s.

Vintage dishes

vintage cream teacups with a gold rimmed edge & gold rimmed stemware-mingling with vintage flatware.

All gathered from thrifting and yard sales.

This is a table setting that is not too fancy or unattainable.

I love it to be pretty, but I also want it to be practical – and easy!

Without a lot of fuss, I tried to pay attention to detail.

It’s pulled together and very festive, but with a casual side.

I hope that I have inspired you to think outside of the box with my country decorating style.

-Maybe bring out all of your beautiful vintage dinnerware.

-Use your creative DIY ideas.

-Add some simple recipes

-Maybe start some new Christmas traditions.

Cheers my friends!

A Rustic Wine Barrel Band Wreath

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Hi friends! Hello August!

Yes, I’m always late for a party. Hot August days party that is.

Summer is moving right along at a break-neck speed, with some pretty hot days.

You know what happens after summer… autumn. Autumn brings some cooler temperatures, and I must say that I might be looking forward to some cooler days.

Along with the thoughts of cooler days, I have been thinking ahead seasonally just a bit to maybe some autumn decor.

 When a friend texts you and asks if you are interested in some rusty metal rings from a rotted wine barrel, you say “Yes.” Her great inspiration and gift provided me with this opportunity to create!

A Rusty Metal Wreath

A rustic wine barrel band. There will be rust residue and other imperfections.  The rust residue was sanded, wiped clean, and sealed, trying not to lose some of the unique imperfections and character.

Go Fabulous Faux

Choosing some autumn inspired flowers along with a rusty metal band I crafted a simple wreath in design. I wanted something that had clean lines but created a little drama. I incorporated the chocolate, burgundy, gold, and dainty white faux florals bringing contrast, texture, height along with pops of blue from the globe-shaped (Echinops) thistle-like foliage.

Adding a pop of blue with the faux globe thistle.

Using zip-ties I fastened the faux florals right to the metal band. To disguise the zip ties, I wrapped copper wire around the zip tie and stems. A now constantly blooming bounty that is mindfully made and ethically sourced all the while sustainable.

A little trash to treasure.

Maybe a little on the autumn side of florals with a little harvest-y vibe;).

Pretty faux florals with a usual rusty treasure.

My favorite mix of pretty & rustic.

The Look on a Door

A great pop of color in any space.

An Inside Statement

Brightens a corner.

Any where you place it… this faux floral wreath is pretty…

Even hung on the back of a chocolate cowhide chair.

This wreath is a natural accent in any room, and makes a great welcome statement to guests & a gift.

 I love the charm this rustic wreath adds to the space.

I hope this wine barrel band DIY inspires you to create your own wine barrel band wreath. If you do, let me know! xx 

I always enjoy sharing my wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’.

 

A Forgotten Beauty

Friday, July 16, 2021

Have you ever come across something that just grabbed at you, and you know you had to have it?

Like maybe an old forgotten rocking chair quietly sitting, waiting for someone to see it’s potential… and appreciate it’s simple beauty?

It was partially hidden among some other old chairs. A press back rocker.

With the back top detailed in open carvings of floral scrolls.

It was dirty and grungy with a very worn and tattered seat.

The finish had been stripped off here and there from being weathered, sitting on a front porch…partially protected from the elements.

Even though it was just a forgotten frame there was something about it that I just fell in love with. So when this shabby beauty of a rocker was offered as a freebie, I said “Yes,” and it came home with me.

Restoration

I began the process of restoration by removing the tacks just to remove the tattered, torn, worn-out seat.

I sanded the rocker down with 60 grit sandpaper and my orbital sander in places that I could get the sander to. In places that the sander did not fit…I used good old fashioned elbow grease with sandpaper to remove dirt, grime and the remaining stain. I sanded it down to bare wood, to my liking.

Some spots may still seem darker, but I like that it gives the chair age and depth…

keeping the natural warmth of the wood.

How Did I Treat the Carved Back?

Using the corner of my orbital sander and a point on a piece of folded sandpaper I gently sanded the carvings to clean out the stain, arriving at the patina I have achieved.

Originally, I thought I would reupholster it and repair it to bring it back to what it once may have looked like. But the more that naked chair frame has sat…  the more I appreciated it’s rustic elegance and decided to leave it to maybe simply wearing it’s elegant carvings and nothing else.

Simple and beautiful!

I love this chair with all it’s rustic goodness and beautiful imperfections.

It evokes beauty and curiosity.

It has inspired me to play…

Adding folded burlap & dried florals to the seat, I snapped some photos of it’s reclaimed raw and natural beauty.

As my friend from Burlapluxe would say…

“Decayed raw beauty, not for sitting & rocking, but just for looking at.”

~ Dore Callaway https://www.instagram.com/burlapluxe/

A non-practical piece.

They say that if you love it, you will find a place for it.

For now, it is front & center sitting in the foyer of my house.

Maybe tucked a little out-of-the way…;)

I would like to think that as it holds that sprinkle of dried floral beauty it creates a little romance.

Beautiful imperfections…

Tack holes & all!

The burlap looks quite good…I may have just found the covering for a new cushion. But, rest assured, it won’t be covering the tack holes or marks of love & use.

It’s not complete…still missing a cushion for it’s seat and a back support…

If not for rocking…

then just for looking soft-n-pretty.

I hope you enjoyed my wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin.’

If you stopped by the blog, thanks for stopping! I would love to hear from you, so please drop me a little note.