Slooow Fall

Dear Sisters,

Do you ever get a hitch in yur creative git a long? It’s rare that it happens to me, but I’ve got a slight case of it right now.  Hey, it happens to the best of us!  I’ve got a list of fun fall things to  make and projects to do but I just can’t seem to get at em… It’s as though something’s blocking my way. I always call this sort of lull ” the calm before the creative storm”. Don’t panic sisters! I think I know the CAUSE AND the CURE to my SLOOOW FALL conundrum. Can you relate?

For starters the weather has been so nice for the last couple of weeks. You know the sort of lazy Indian Summer Days I’m speaking of… Sun high and bright, not quite sweater weather, barely a breeze. I’d rather do anything but clean and organize during weather like that. But, just under this relaxed façade of mine my instinct’s are telling me it’s time to clear the decks and batten down the hatches for another long New England Winter. Maybe that’s why I’m draggin’ my behind? I want these long perfect days to last forever and ever so I can avoid the inevitable.

My beach sisters and I were lucky enough to get one of those perfect weather weekends for our annual Beach Sisters Weekend. We didn’t make crafts this year, instead, we walked our favorite walk around the point of our little peninsula and returned to the cottage for a soup feast!

I didn’t take many photos inside this year, but take my word for it, the soups were scrumptious! Lynn made Butternut Squash soup, Val made Pumpkin Soup and my sister in law Jo Jo made some delicious sausage soup. Carol made her famous crab-dip, I made Caesar salad, cornbread and white chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts and glazed cranberries and walnuts. The Cookie recipe is simple. Just follow the recipe on the back of your white chocolate chips package for all ingredients including the macadamia nuts, then just add in 1/4 cup of glazed cranberries and walnuts. I find them in the produce section near the croutons!

I’ve yet to put away my flip- flops and summer clothes but, it’s gotta be done. It’s to early to put the garden to bed. I’ve still got dahlias blooming and my pumpkin on a stick hasn’t even turned orange yet!

And, is it just me or do we still get way too much junk mail in our snail mail boxes?

A girl takes a few weeks off from sifting, sorting and tossing the mail to enjoy the great weather and work on a project or two and before you know it she’s got a case of the ” piles”!

Every surface in my kitchen and dining room ( including the dining room table which is still covered with 295 pieces of vintage silverware that needs to be priced before I can take it to my booth) was covered up until a few hours ago when I sat down to write this blog. No wonder I’ve not done an ounce of fall decorating!  I didn’t even have room for a little mini pumpkin! I’ve been living in the wake of the last creative storm that hit here! Hence, the CAUSE of my clogged creative state of mind. We creative types are known for acquiring clutter. You might be a quilter but that hobby can quickly turn you into a fabricaholic and turn your house into a mini quilt shop! If you enjoy junkin’ you have to be careful not to let it take over your entire household even if ” you really ARE gonna do something with that some day ! My handsome Yankee and I are both guilty of that one but we’ve learned to be more selective in the ” junk ” we bring home but for no other reason than we lack the space to store “good junk” and the lawn mower! Something had to give. Anyway, back to the discussion at hand… Clogged Creativity! BALANCE is the key to keeping the creative flow moving along. I haven’t mastered it yet, but I believe it! Now that I’ve spent the better part of the day “cleaning up and catching up my kitchen looks like a kitchen and not an artist studio/junk room for found treasures. Whew! It feels good to have that done.  And, I’m ready for the next creative wave when it does wash up!

Here’s a peak at some of the CREATIVE fun I was having while( things got out of control)  my mail piled up!

I have a couple of vintage crystal lamps in my booth that are ” shade less” at the moment so I grabbed a two tired bell shaped shades from my stash and up cycled them into a pair of Burlap and Bling Beauties! Have you worked with burlap? It’s messy with a capitol M! Little fibers fall off the burlap when you cut it and while you’re working with it and it sticks to everything but it’s worth it in the end.

You can get the full tutorial at Dandelion House!

One morning I woke up to blanket of leaves on the top of our shed and chicken run. So, I grabbed my camera, walked right past the piles outside and snapped a few fall photos around the farmyard. The girls wanted a little photo shoot too!

Liza Jane is NOT camera shy! She’s always first to come and greet me, check for treats and make sure I’m not up to anything she wouldn’t approve of. She was a very willing subject for her fall portrait sitting.

I found the rest of the girls around the corner of the shed having a little spa time together in the newly fallen leaves. They weren’t too interested in having a sitting. They were too busy pecking and preening to pay me any mind.

The garden takes on a muted glow with only a few pops of color from the knockout roses, and the New England Asters. It’s the different textures and the mix of muted color snuggled up to the brighter blooms that make a fall garden so beautiful and interesting to observe. Is it just me or is the smell of decaying leaves and composting earth AMAZING? I love it!

The ornamental grasses are at their peak flaunting tall feathery plumes that whisper in the wind when you walk by. I can’t walk by this grass without running my fingers back and forth through it.

After living on the shorelines for 12 years I finally have an abundance of hydrangea shrubs that afford me to cut fresh blooms all summer long and well into the fall. Hydrangeas are Cape Cods signature flower. They thrive in the salt air and misty climate as long as they have proper soil conditions. For blue hydrangeas, nothing more than a PH level of 7 will keep them in the blue all summer long. If you want your blue hydrangeas to turn pink them you’ll need to make your soil more acidic by adding lime ( which is easy to find at your local garden center) then test your soil’s PH again to be sure it is above 7! Then you can plant your pink hydrangeas!

This year, I was inspired to create small bouquets ( three stems each) and sell them in my booth! People love to craft and decorate with dried hydrangea. The secret to drying them is, well, there’s really no secret. Simply cut them after they have lost the brilliant color of summer when the petals have faded to a light green, purplish, bluish, tint with brown tinges on the ends.

You can put them in a vase of water, or forego the water all together and they’ll stay looking just as they were the day you cut them. Late August – September are the best times to cut them for drying depending on your gardening zone.

Here’s what they looked like gathered in my vintage clam basket before I loaded them into the car. That little card you see is the back of my postcard business card that I attached to each bouquet.

Here’s how they looked before I bundled them all up!

But hey, it’s not all about me. We have a new resident at our house. I’d like you to meet Toady. The Toadster. Toad Man. He’s the new guardian at Dandelion House. He arrives on our steps every evening at dusk and he’s still there when we lock up at night to go to bed. I looked up what Toads mean in Native American Animal Totem Language. Here’s what it said.

Inner Strength, Luck

The appearance of a Toad heralds a successful time of drawing upon

and using our inner resources.

Toads are associated with money and luck –

especially changing your luck from bad to good.

People with a Toad totem can see things and people more clearly. 

A Toad heralds the need for self-examination.

Ask these questions:

Am I hesitating to act and missing opportunities?

Am I allowing fear to hinder progress?

Have I forgotten my inner strength?

A Toad totem is a representation of the Moon, and represents both Life and Death.

In alchemy, the Toad signifies the dark side of Nature.

In the ancient cultures of Mexico, the Toad symbolized the Earth.

Interesting isn’t it? I had a feeling he was good luck! I think he belongs to my husband. He started a new job in May and things are going well!

Speaking of totems and good luck. Is this not the cutest darned farmgirl scarecrow you’ve ever seen? She’s the mascot for South Shore Organics. A new local CSA Home Delivery business in our area! Keep your eyes peeled in the April/May issue of MaryJanesFarm to learn more about the GIRL GENIUSES behind this brilliant farmgirl enterprise!

Well sisters,I’d better run! That silverware I need to price is calling me then I’ll be all done with my de-cluttering ( for a while anyway). That’s sure to be the CURE to my sloooo fall syndrome. Heck, we might even be able to eat dinner at the table this week! Can you relate?

Tell me about it in the comments section below!

Until our next shoreline visit~ Happy Nesting and wishing you the best of all things fall!

BEACH BLESSINGS and much love,

Sister Deb # 1199

  1. Kelly Ryan says:

    Thank-you for your lovely descriptions and the beautiful photos. Your hens are so lovely. Thank-you for taking such good care of them. 🙂

  2. Joan says:

    Oh yes, Deb, I can relate, even had some weepies this week seeing all the garden turning brown, yes shades of brown but still brown. I get spoiled with all the beautiful colors of Spring and Summer. I have been busy too, picked rose hips until I thought, jeepers the birds need some, also picked the Hawthorn berries. Now I don’t do anything with either except to dry them and use them for sitting around in containers and I also cut all the rose buds, these I string on thin wire, shape like a heart and give to friends. So all is done except for the cutting of the holly hocks, bushes, grasses and all the other perennials, so I have plenty to do but right now we are having a nice rain – so it is later to be done. Love all your pic’s wish I was a better photographer. God Bless

  3. Debbie says:

    Love this and your sharing on this. I have found that when I start to get too much going and get too much clutter OR am spending too much time on something that is not in alignment with what I really want to do I begin to declutter. I call it nesting– it is that piddling around, cleaning off shelves, putting new candles out, etc. This week I spent morning putting all my dried beans in Ball jars from their previous plastic bags, tupperware like containers, original whatevers, etc. OHHHH I felt so good when that was done. AND that simple thing freed me up to go sew. So happy walking beaches, cleaning out mail, etc. We just have to be in touch with what our insides are telling us to do. It is usually right on! Thanks for a great blog Deb!

  4. Sukochi Lee says:

    I live in a little town in the North Georgia Mtns. Every Fall just before the Apple Festival, the whole town is decorated with Scare Crows. Some are just so funny!! I LOVE Fall. My fave season!

  5. Louise Marie says:

    i always love your posts. This one was especially endearing. The pics of the girls, the toad, the scarecrow, and your words regarding fall warmed my heart. Thank you for the pics and the post. Happy Fall!

  6. Shery says:

    Oh how I enjoyed the fall tour! I especially loved the photo of the shed and run with leafy frosting. Much colder here than in your corner of the world. Nice to see autumn taking its sweet time elsewhere. Your photos were visual therapy 4 me ;o)

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