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Ladies Crafting Spectacular Pumpkin Carving!

On Monday evening, the ladies of the Ladies Crafting Spectacular carved us up some pumpkins!  We had such a great time! I had posted about our get together in conjunction with promoting Paperless Post which I used for the invitations (read about that here).  I have been looking forward to this for quite some time!  This is an amazing, crafting, funny group of girls and I was ready to carve me a punkin’!  We decided to include our men for this particular event–we needed someone to get all the pumpkin guts out.  Or that was our thought process.  Turns out the girls did most of the work and guys socialized.  Strange.

We, sadly, were missing a few LCS (yes, it now has an acronym) ladies, but we still had ourselves a grand ole time!  Some of my pictures aren’t the best and they are all grainy because it was dark outside, but I’m still pleased with how we captured our good times!

Gettin’ started with the carving!
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Miss Natalie working really hard on her pumpkin!  She gets the award for cleanest pumpkin insides.  Mine still had all kinds of goop in it…I just gave up after a while.
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And here’s my face about the whole matter. I had NO help getting the pumpkin guts out!

HUGE thanks to Rachel who thought to bring pumpkin carving knives.  They were WAY better than my kitchen knives we were trying to use. Embarrassing fact about me, our knives haven’t been sharpened since we got married.  3 years with 1 set of knives makes for VERY VERY dull knives.  I’m pretty sure someone might have lost a finger or a leg or something without Mrs. Rachel’s fancy knives that saved the day!

Here I go getting started!

Surprise surprise, I carved an Alabama ‘A’.  I did have a pattern that William traced onto the pumpkin for me.  I didn’t freehand it so don’t go getting all impressed on me.

OOOoooo… Ahhhhhh…
Some pretty girls I know.
Me and the pumpkin gutting champion!
Roll Tide!

Elsa of Always with Honor took the pumpkin guts, picked out a ton of seeds and made some amazing roasted pumpkin seeds for us.  She used maple syrup on one and the other had some great spices on it…I am forgetting right now what she used but they were great!  I have, strangely enough, never eaten pumpkin seeds before but they were quite tasty!

The best thing about the whole evening, besides the company of course, was the weather.  I cannot remember the last time I carved a pumpkin when it was COLD and felt like fall outside!  Actually I do, it was freezing in Mississippi one year when Mr. Fancy Pants and I carved pumpkins at MSU, but other than that…I can’t remember another time!  We discovered a new need for our backyard…a FIRE PIT!

This picture is so awkward and I love it. William was trying to use the lighter to make the ‘A’ light up…and this is what we ended up with.
TWINSIES! Let’s match more often!
Finished products!

From the top left down/top right down you have:

  • Tyler & Elsa’s lighthouse
  • Rachel & Eric’s initials
  • Natalie’s amazing faced pumpkin…that to me looks like he’s wearing an eye patch but I’m not quite sure if he actually is
  • Shannon’s (with the help of her hubby) cyclops
  • Lizy’s BOO pumpkin (with the help of Travis)
  • My Alabama ‘A’ pumpkin
  • And the winner, winner chicken dinner…best pumpkin I’ve ever seen… DEXTER!  Abby carved this so carefully and it turned out AMAZING!  If there was a prize, which there wasn’t, she would have won!
Two pretty pretty ladies that I love!
Two more lovely ladies!

I’ll leave you with this picture.  Mainly because Rachel and Shannon’s faces are hilarious.  And I am awkwardly about to fall into/on top of my rosemary bush.  That staircase is NOT very wide! Regardless, great time was had by all!  I love fall!  I love pumpkin carving!  And I LOVE the Ladies Crafting Spectacular!  Can’t wait for next month!!!!

We were about tired of the picture taking by this point!
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It’s beginning to look a lot like fall around these parts! I have so many decorating ideas floating around in my head! I promise Mr. Fancy Pants to keep the glitter to a minimum. Sometimes though, when the holidays roll around, a little glitter or sequins is 100% necessary!

Anyway, I’ve had my eye on these two pictures as inspiration for a while now.  Sunday afternoon I created my own version of both!  I saw the pine cone garland last year I think.  I never got around to it, but the idea was held up in the decorating depths back in the back of my brain.

Pine Cone garland

The instructions on Twig and Thistle make the project seem so easy.  I am happy to say that it actually was.  The only change I would recommend would be a pair of crafting gloves.  My garland strand has 15 pine cones on it and by cone #8 my hands were getting a little sore!  You can see the original post about the garland (including directions and materials) here.

I had also seen this idea for a fireplace on none other than Pinterest.  I actually just spotted this a few weeks ago (thankfully) because I haven’t had a fireplace until we moved to Portland!  This one would have been another that made it into the decorating vault!

Pumpkin filled fire place!

I took both of these ideas and put my own spin on things.  I love the pumpkin filled fire place, however I didn’t want painted gourds.  We used the pumpkins we snagged at the pumpkin patch this weekend to fill our fireplace.  I also used burlap for my garland strand instead of ribbon.  I think it adds a more fall/rustic touch AND it matches the bow on my front door wreath!

Pine cones on the hearth, pumpkins in the fire place! It’s fall y’all!
Close up shot of the fireplace & garland
Up close and personal

I’m not sure if I wrote about my wreath last year.  If not, I made a wreath out of dried corn husks.  Other than the fact that my hands were sore for a week afterwards, it was a great project!  My favorite part about it is that it’s re-useable.  I pulled out my fall wreath the other day and its still looking great!  I gave it a new bow this year and had to re-wet a few of the pieces to reshape them a bit, but other than that it’s looking great!

Here she is! Awaking from winter/spring/summer slumber inside the wreath container!
TA-DA! Ready to welcome guests!

I have a few more elements left to add.  I need to photograph our porch.  It’s looking mighty fall-ish if I say so myself.  I have red/orange and yellow mums planted and a host of pumpkins on the steps.  I put my Round Top Collection pumpkins in a planter by the front door.  I love their stuff.  Mr. Fancy Pants does not.  Ha!

I purchased a runner for our dining room table made of burlap (can you tell I’m really in to burlap these days??).  It is a flat runner with a ruffle on each side.  I can’t wait to see it!  I have a few more pumpkins to spread out here and there and that may be the gist of it for this year.  I feel like the house doesn’t need as much “help” bringing in fall when it actually feels like fall outside.  Ha!  I have a few other things from last year that I probably won’t use but I’ve put out most of my decor already.  I have to ease Mr. Fancy Pants into the holiday season.  Before he knows it, Christmas decor will have thrown up all over the place.  And I do NOT hold back!

Happy Fall!

Portland Pumpkin Farm

Making family traditions, though we’re not “technically” a family (with children) yet, has been one of my favorite parts of being married.  I cannot say if Mr. Fancy Pants would agree with me.  I know he tags along to humor me, but I hope that if he digs down real real deep, he finds some enjoyment in it too.

This October marks the third fall we’ve been married.  It also marks the third time I have carried him along with me to a pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins.  Our first two falls were spent in Austin, TX, and we traveled to Marble Falls, TX to Sweet Berry Farms two years in a row for some pumpkin fun.  (I wrote about the first trip here and apparently didn’t blog in October last year (yikes) so you can see pictures here.) The first year it rained but we went anyway.  We were almost the only people there and we had so much fun.  There really are few words for me to express how happy these memories make me.  Last year, my dear friend Tiffany came along with us.  It was a beautiful afternoon and there were TONS of people there–very different from the year before.  We still had a blast.  It quickly became an annual tradition.

This year we of course were not able to make it back to Marble Falls, but no fret.  There is still pumpkin fun to be had!  The two BEST things about fall in the NW are 1. that it actually feels like fall outside and 2. Sauvie Island.  Digressing for just a second, Sauvie Island is one of my favorite parts of Portland.  It is actually located about 10 miles NW of downtown Portland.  It is an island, hence the name, that is separated from mainland Portland by the Columbia River, Multnomah Channel, and the Williamette River.  The island is FULL of amazing organic farms, one of which we visited and I blogged about here, beaches, wildlife, rivers, lakes, etc. etc.  It is AMAZING how close to Portland it is, yet how far away you feel once you’re there.  And because I love a good map…here’s one of the island:

Map of Sauvie Island in Portland, OR

Alright, enough putting off the inevitable.  I again was in my happy place in a field full of pumpkins. William pulled our wagon of amazing pumpkins and gourds.  I again did not have a child like everyone else there.  But what the hay (pun intended).  It makes me unbelievably happy.  I did think it would be funny to look at pictures of us from the last three years.  Aren’t we just growing up!?  (and isn’t my husband a fantastic sport!?)

Pumpkin patch x3 (2009, 2010, 2011)

Here are some of the pictures from our day.  It rained on us a little bit but we didn’t mind.  We both wore our boots and rain coats and had a great time.  No corn for me this year but we did actually PICK the pumpkins off the vines which you couldn’t do in Texas.  And yes, Mr. Fancy Pants and his mad Eagle Scouting skills navigated us through the corn maze in record time.  What a wonderful, wonderful afternoon!

Pumpkins still on the vines! They are prickly little suckers!
Holding one of our punkins after I plucked it from the vine!
Oh don’t mind me. I just tripped on a pumpkin and almost fell over. Second time this week!
Us in our L.L. Bean boots! William is so happy to finally have some! Thanks Mom and Dad Bryant!  Great day to break his in!

OH and for any Portland-iers out there wondering where we went, we were at the Portland Pumpkin Farm. (though, Kruger Farms seemed to have a lot going on there too.  We would recommend either!)

Trying to show off his boots. While also falling over.
One happy, happy wife.
Mr. Fancy Pants with our wagon! He’s having a good time! I promise.
Our loot!
Me with the wagon!
Yes, there were rules. Yes, we broke them.
Here we on on a bridge that was in the corn maze.
Navigating and probably checking Twitter while in the maze.
Mr. Pumpkin Scarecrow man
One happy lady. (with really bad posture)

Mrs. Fancy Pants with our 18 pound Fairy Tale pumpkin

Mrs. Fancy Pants with our 18.35 pound Fairy Tale pumpkin

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants on the hayride

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants on the hayride

Mr. Fancy Pants and I made the trip out to Sweet Berry Farms on Sunday afternoon. Granted, I was so excited about this trip after a week of built up anticipation and honestly expected to be a little let down by the whole experience.  I am happy to say that this was not the case–not even bit.  It was a rainy afternoon in Central Texas and it drizzled on us off and on for the two hours we spent on the farm, however, both of us agreed afterwards it didn’t bother us a bit!  This place was a Mecca of fall fun!  As you can presumably tell already, I am a HUGE sucker for holidays, decorating, seasonal spirit and the like; and maybe I was skipping towards the entrance of the farm with my hair in pig-tails right along-side a herd of 4 year olds, but even the Ebenezer Scrooge of fall (if there was such a thing) would leave with happy memories from Sweet Berry Farm.

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Beautiful Fall Foliage

Even though it’s still 400 degrees outside here in Austin, TX, my fall spirit is in full swing.  This will be mine and Mr. Fancy Pants’ first fall in Austin.  I will say, I didn’t think there would be a huge difference in between here and Northeast Texas where we both grew up, however, i am quickly realizing that there is.  By now in our good-ole hometown of Texarkana, TX it’s at least five to ten degrees cooler than it is here.  One of my favorite things about fall is how beautiful everything is when the leaves change and begin to fall off the trees.  With all of the color, I think it’s one of the times in the year that the world around me looks its best; it’s like the rare days that I actually take the time to put on make up–it’s amazing what a little color will do.  Ha.  Back to the leaves, apparently don’t change into such beautiful colors here.  From what I gather they go from green to brown to dead.  However, don’t be dismayed, I have plenty of enthusiasm stored up to get me through.

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