Monday, September 26, 2011

concord grapes, estate sales and sheets drying in the sun.........

It's Monday morning and it is supposed to be a gorgeous 80 degree day here in upstate memories are still so fresh from this weekend and it's gorgeous weather. I live in the Finger Lakes region of NY, about 20 minutes north of Canandaigua Lake. On the other end of the lake is the quaint little town of Naples. The ride down to Naples is gorgeous....through winding roads in the countryside dotted with vines and vines of grapes. The area is known for it's vineyards and now is harvest time....and so this was the weekend of the Naples Grape Festival. You can literally smell the concord grapes as you drive by....
and they are beautiful to look at up close!

All the way home we stopped at the barn and antique sales on the side of the road and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this idyllic scene with the lake in the background.......
an estate sale on the side of the road (that's my friend Kristie!)....
I will be making concord grape pie with streusel topping today with the grapes I got fresh off the vine from a roadside stand....yum!

And so it is Monday morning and back to the routine of a normal week.....the gorgeous fall weekend has to become just a memory....but as I sat in the dentist's chair for a cleaning, the neighbor next door came out and hung her pink sheets out to dry in the bright sun. Something about that brought a nostalgic feeling that will stay with me the rest of the day.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Crisp and other things....

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn Equinox. My husband has the day off so we are going to garage sale our way to Schutt's Cider Mill in Webster, NY (don't worry Jena, I will go again with you next week!) to get THE best apple cider and homemade fried cakes around. Their cider is clear and so crisp tasting. It is also a farm market and gift shop with a lot of great things to look at and buy. A nice woman at work gave my husband some apples and so I had to make my first apple crisp of the season. This is an old Betty Crocker recipe and what I think is the best I've ever tasted. I am kind of a messy baker....I keep the recipe right where I am measuring and mixing. You can go through any of my cookbooks and tell which recipes are my favorites because the page looks like this!
This recipe makes an 8 x 8 pan, which is never enough, so I double it for a 13 x 9 pan and then sometimes 1 1/2 times the topping....yum!
Here it is in readable form:

4 cups sliced, pared tart apples ( about 4 medium)
2/3 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
Heat oven to 375. Grease square 8 x 8 pan. Place apple slices in pan. Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly. Spread over apples.
Bake 35 minutes until apples are tender and top is golden brown.
6 servings

Today I am also finishing up some button gifts I have been working on. When I first started making button items all my friends got them as gifts. I started making these frames earlier this year, combining scrapbooking paper craft with buttons. This one is for a dear friend who LOVES to knit and LOVES sheep. Her name is Bonnie and if you look close at the top of the frame above the two sheep it says "Baa    nie". I just have to glue it all on and it will be done!
There are other frames like this in my Etsy these for a baby girl....
and for a baby boy....

there are also seasonal frames, like this one for fall....

and for summer....

you can find all these at

Another button gift I am working on today is for a baby girl with the initial K and a butterfly theme....after I glue it all down and embellish it a little more, I will attach a ribbon  to hang it from.
Here is a picture of what I made for my new granddaughter's room..... her theme is ladybugs....

Have a wonderful Fall weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The last of the Beautiful Hydrangeas

I just had to post this picture of the last beautiful, pickable hydrangea in my is huge at 8" wide by 7" tall (the flower head, that is!)

Oh, and this beautiful flower just happened to stop by to see me today! I am a happy NaNa! Her name is Chloe and she is 6 weeks old
While all the other flowers in my garden will be fading, Chloe will be growing and growing.....can't wait till she knows who I am!
 Love you Jena and Britt for this beautiful baby!
Goodnight all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn is almost here!

I LOVE FALL! The weather this past weekend and today in Upstate New York was absolutely gorgeous.....sunny, high 60' was enough to put me in full Fall mode. I am starting to think about all the comfort foods I like to cook, like chili over rice with cheddar cheese and sour cream, and bake, like pumpkin bread with chocolate chips and warm apple crisp with double topping and whipped cream. I have what I think are the best recipes for those two must have baked goods for this time of year. I will be sharing those with you when October comes around and I can't hold off making them anymore!
I am also thinking about fall sweaters and boots and my favorite accessory, jewelry. I love the fall colors and acorns and leaves so I came up with this design for a bracelet, listed in my Etsy shop....

When I figure out how to post the picture without it taking up the whole blog, I will do that ! I have other fall items in my shop I wanted to show you.....
like this pin which is made of puzzle pieces and vintage buttons. I saw this puzzle design and added the buttons to put my signature on it, then realized that the puzzle piece is the national symbol for Autism Awareness. I have a few girlfriends with autistic children and wanted to support them. I thought this is a great thing to wear on your cold weather jacket or coat to show support. They are popular in my shop and one woman bought four of them because she has an autistic daughter and collects puzzle jewelry for her. I think they are unique in themselves just to wear on your jean jacket.

I also have frames with a fall theme. This is how the whole passion for buttons started and so I still try to make seasonal frames with buttons....

Hope you like!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It is September 18, 2011 and this is my first post! Welcome to my blog!

I decided to start a blog because I love what I do and I want to share it with as many people as possible. For me it is more about others loving what I create, which encourages me to create more, than it is about selling and making lots of money from what I do.

Growing up with a Grandmother, Ga, who surrounded herself with antiques and beautiful things from Europe, I couldn't help but to love those same kinds of things. A few  years ago I became passionate about vintage buttons when I decided to take an old jar of buttons I had displayed for decoration and make a picture frame out of them. I loved doing it! This fueled my other passions for antiquing, shopping and jewelry. I needed more buttons to keep creating so I started scouring antique shops and flea markets for vintage buttons to make jewelry and other home decor things. A year ago I opened a shop on called The Button Lady and now I am in the process of opening another shop called NaNa's Things - a variety of vintage things that are in my attic and basement that I have collected over the past 25 years. I am a self-admitted pack rat, but my defense has always been that I WILL use the things I have saved someday! I lived in a 1900's farmhouse for 14 years and it was Country Living at it's best. Now I live in an 1870's Victorian house and all that stuff from my farmhouse is what is in my attic and basement! Those are the things that I will be pulling out to sell on NaNa's Things. I tend to hold things like that close to my heart, because there is a memory to all of them, but I am going to do my best to part with some of them! Each time I make something new for The Button Lady shop, I say "I just might have to keep this one" (my husband will confirm this) but I eventually list it and sometimes hope it doesn't sell!

I am sure I can think of so much more to say but I will say goodnight for now....

If you want to check out my Etsy shop before I get back it is