Behind My Red Door

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good friends + good food = Great Time!

Warning – picture heavy and long post! Hello peeps! Happy snowy Sunday to you! Yes you heard that right – snowy Sunday. This is what it looks like on my deck and in the back yard right now…



Yup, October 18th and it is snowing – a weee bit early don’t ya think? But this is not the earliest we have seen snow in these here parts! Nope, Actually this was the scene on October 16th - FRIDAY - as was preparing for my Harvest Gathering…008

What? You can’t see out the windows very clearly? Sorry… here is a better look…035


I bet you can see that snow now huh?? But never fear, 15 minutes after I took these pictures, the sun came out and it was a lovely day. And it stayed that way right throughout the fun yesterday . Only to start up today as Jill and I headed home from delightful lunch out HERE. We intended to make some additional stops on the way home, but with a 2 hour drive to Maine ahead of her, she decided to cut the afternoon short and she headed home.

So back to Friday. Back in the summer, I posted on the forum over on A Primitive Place, that I would host a Harvest Gathering. As time went on, the number of gals that could make it dwindled to just 4 of us. Which was Ok because it allowed me to use my yellow ware - I only have 4 place settings of those dishes and they are perfect for a fall table!



I have to give my friend Kathy credit for the leaf idea. She set her table that way for her Thanksgiving dinner recently. She always has wonderful ideas that inspire me! I made place cards and had favors for each of the guests.004

We did swap, and I got mine all wrapped and ready to go!


I spent the rest of the day cooking and cleaning and anticipating their visit.

Jill arrived early Saturday and as usual, she brought me some great hostess gifts. A bag of these really neat pods.


I added some to my treenware bowl on our harvest table..


This cute little jar that I have plans to prim up….


and she also made me this adorable prim cat pillow!


And we did another swap of sorts – she made me something and bought her more hand dyed wool for her pillows and hand wrought nails for a future project of hers. Jill asked me if there was something I wanted her to make me. I thought and thought, and after a visit to Kris’s Simply Prim blog, I knew exactly what I wanted!


Can you guess what it is? Need a closer look?

hearth 2

Did you guess yet? Okay – in case you gave up, here it is…


Yup –it’s a chair just the right size for Liliana! Also called a pouting chair. Isn’t it sweet? Didn’t Jill do a wonderful job? I love it and I don’t think Lili will be pouting when she comes to visit Grammy! Thanks Jill for another wonderful piece that I will treasure. And thanks you so very so much to Kris for sharing all the measurements with us. Jill said it made it a lot easier!

Shortly after Jill arrived, so did Audrey and Bonnie. I had Hot Mulled Cider, Spiced Chai Tea, and Coffee ready to warm them up. I was so excited to use these pretty fall napkins that my sweet friend Colleen from And Baby Makes Five gave me last year. She knew they would be perfect for this fall and she was right! Thanks Colleen!


As we visited and chatted, we munched on fresh Veggies with Garlic dill dip. I served the dip in a hollowed out Green Pepper. And would you believe, none of us remembered to take pictures of my carefully and artfully prepared food! UGH!

After some chatting, we then had our swap! It was so much fun seeing what everyone got. I numbered the bags as the gals brought them in, and then had each of them pick a tag with a number. The tags were placed face down so they couldn’t see which number they were picking.

I picked the number to Audrey’s bag. I got this gorgeous Give Thanks plate, some adorable seasonal note pads and the cutest little early doll that Audrey made. She is so talented!


Here is a better look at my goodies…


As part of a birthday celebration over at APP, we had a sale earlier this month and I purchased this adorable wool Pilgrim Girl that Audrey made and donated so she brought it with her. She included the sweet pumpkin as well. I have very few accessories to decorate with for Thanksgiving, so I was thrilled with my purchase and my swap! Thanks Audrey! Stop over at Audrey’s blog – Audrey’s Prim World when you have a minute!


Audrey picked the number for Bonnie’s swap and she got this beautiful wool penny rug and yummy candle tapers.


Bonnie picked the number to Jill’s swap and she got this gorgeous spoon rack that Jill designed and crafted herself.


And Jill picked the number to my swap and she got a prim cat, hand painted pumpkin plate, a bag of gourds and some pumpkin dip mix. We were all so excited with our new treasures! 006

And then it was time for some lunch! We feasted on ~

Pumpkin Soup (recipe at the end of this post)

Chicken Salad with Cranberries & Almonds

Couscous Salad with Apples, Red Onion & Pecans


Nine Grain Bread with Cinnamon Butter

Yummo – and I still can’t believe we didn’t get pictures!

And then it was time to go shopping! We piled into my Murano, and off we went.

We headed first to Walker Homestead on 19 Martin Road in Brookfield.


Up and down the winding road…


Past the horse pasture…


and then in the clearing you can start to spot it…


Is this not quintessential New England?? Come on -let’s get a little closer….


is the sun in your eyes…


is this better?

front of house

Let’s go inside!!


When you walk through the front door, you enter the quilt shop just full of fabric, wool, thread, and patterns for just about any fiber art you can imagine. Make sure you look past all the goodies at the architecture of this wonderful old home!





Hi Doreen!047

When you are done shopping in here, make sure you head through the narrow hallway and enter the world of prims….



OOPS caught Jill with her hand in the cookie jar…028




If anyone needs ideas for my Christmas gift this year, this hooked rug will do nicely…041

Here is a peak at the back of the house as we headed over to the guest house…23

Some birdhouse gourds…


and the friendly chickens greeted us…


On the path to Ivy House. 055

And inside the Ivy House – choke full of herbs and drieds!



We so enjoyed our visit to the Walker Homestead!

After traveling the long and windy road again, we headed to Sturbridge for some more shopping with stops at the Handmaiden


and Village primitives – both on Main Street in Sturbridge neither with a website. We decided to pass up all the other shops in the area, as the day was getting long. We piled back in the car and headed back Behind My Red Door for some coffee, tea and dessert! The gals each brought something and it was all delicious!!


After some more chatting and fun, it was time for Bonnie and Audrey to head home to their hubbies and kiddos. Later, Jill and I enjoyed another small bowl of pumpkin soup as we reminisced about out wonderful day! We are hoping to head back to Walker Homestead in November! I can’t wait!


I decided that I am going to join Gratitude Attitude Challenge over at The Stone House. Mercy’s idea was that each time we post until December 19th, we mention something we are grateful for. I am always game for another way to appreciate the blessings in my life. Thanks for this great idea Mercy. Today, I am grateful for blessings of friendship with so many wonderful woman that I have met on the Internet through sites such Webshots, blogging, Picture Trail, and A Primitive Place. You have enriched my life beyond measure!

Did you know that A Primitive Place has 3 distinct entities? I think there is some confusion so I wanted to explain. First there is the main website A Primitive Place. It is simply that – a website. You do not need to join or sign up to view the many pages of home galleries, decorating ideas, craft ideas or the special pages like my musing’s.

If you so choose, you can click on APP Forum in the left column and join a wonderful forum where other like minded gals share ideas and pictures and recipes and crafts and support each other. You can choose to read threads such as Primitive Displays, Gramma’s Attic, Fall Foliage, Winter Displays, Holiday Crafts, Patterns and Freebies, Brag Book, Primitive Eye Candy and many many more. You can share pictures of your home or ask for decorating advice. You can find resources for just about any prim item you need or want.

And A Primitive Place now has a blog. Bonnie does a great job of keeping us informed of what is new at APP. Head over there to see the great video she and her daughter made of our fund day yesterday!

Well the snow continues to fall. I have been working on this post off and on this afternoon/evening as I have some time in between making a pot of vegetable beef barley soup (using leftovers veggies from yesterday) and other chores. Just before it got dark, I snapped these…




Do you want to see the cutest Lily ever?


Grammie Lori bought Lili her first Halloween costume. Isn’t it perfect ? Thanks Lori! She looks adorable!

Now it’s time for me to try that soup that has our home smelling so good. Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda

Pumpkin Soup

2 cups of cooked mashed pumpkin

1 medium onion finely minced

2 apples peeled and finely minced

3 tbsp butter (use the real deal)

3 tbsp frozen apple juice concentrate

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup light cream ( I sometimes use Fat Free half and half)

salt, pepper to taste

Saute onion and apple in butter until very soft - but don't brown. Add the pumpkin and stock, juice, and simmer for 30 minutes or so. I cook it longer in my slow cooker.Just before serving, add the cream. Add salt,and pepper to taste and carefully reheat to serving temperature (the cream will have cooled it down). Enjoy!! I always do! ( Can be made up until just before you add the cream and then frozen. )