Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gordon's Pumpkin Farm... a local legend

In this little agricultural valley known for its picturesque rural landscape and friendly residents, you can almost count on something wonderful just around the corner.

So it was no surprise to find that Gordon's Pumpkin Farm had completely outdone themselves this year.

 I guess we go in pretty heavily for the rustic, vintage look in the Skagit Valley.

All I know is it's homey here and there's eye candy everywhere you look.

 Even the old farm equipment is worth a second look.

Who knew that brooms could make such whimsical fences?

Pumpkins, squashes and gourds of every variety spill from the fields into Gordon's displays and barns, each brighter and more tempting than the last.

Oh, Gordon's...
We hauled home a barrow full of pumpkins, gourds, squash, cider and cornstalks.

Our front porch is decorated and pumpkin pie is in the oven, smelling sweet.

But already we are looking forward to coming again next year!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preserving Autumn's Beauty

Has it really been the best autumn ever?

Have the leaves been brighter? 
The skies bluer?

I decided to preserve the leaves as best I could so I could enjoy them after they'd blown off the trees and vanished.

Janelle and I gathered the most vibrant leaves we could find and preserved them simply.
It was lightning fast and so easy we decided to share a little tutorial with you here:

But that wasn't enough. I sketched and painted and snipped a bit...
Here's how you can do that, too.

First I did a very pale pencil line, simple as could be.
Then I used a pen to ink it in, refining and adding more detail.

Then paint and calligraphy and a layer of cut paper under the main sheet on a matching watercolor completed the piece.

Two ways to remember the foliage of autumn...

What fun!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


You may think I've photoshopped these pictures but this is how they came out of the camera.
And in real life it was immeasurably brighter, more vibrant.

 Have you ever in your life seen red leaves like this?

I had not.

The red of these trees has been beckoning me for days, and we decided that Mr. Wonderful's birthday would be best spent by taking a little walk.

We were so stunned by the red that we didn't even notice the mossy green trunks until we saw the photos.

What a gorgeous combination.

May a deep peace fill you this precious autumn day.

I pray you will live this moment with mindfulness
because life is as fleeting as the leaves on the trees
and you are a treasure more stunning than all the red leaves on earth.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pressing apples with the neighbors

My phone rang.
"Come to Scarlett's. She's pressing cider right now and you're invited!"

So I put on my jacket and walked down the road.

My friends must be some of the most imaginative people in the world.
Take a peek at Scarlett's garden for proof.

It's her outbuildings that capture my imagination the most.
Oh, for a garden shed this rustic!

And a place to sit outdoors under cover of a roof.
Notice that back wall... stacked wood.
Is Scarlett not ingenious???

What a joy to spend a glorious golden afternoon together pressing apples...

Soon the Happy Valley Cider Press was humming along, and the laughter with it.

Picture the sipping of cocoa and the scent of a wood fire as the sun went down...

The seasons fade from one into another and we celebrate them in turn,
each one sweeter than the last.

The last of the tomatoes, the honk of a goose, the harvest of grapes and gathering of both apples and friends.

Afternoon faded into evening 
and the stars peeped out again.

Cheerful goodbyes and waves as we walked home with calls of "thank you" and "see you again soon!" All too soon the day was gone.

But the memories linger and only sweeten as the seasons roll by.