Tag Archives: Fall

Autumn Walk: San Anselmo & Ross


I love this time of year! I took a walk in San Anselmo and a bit of Ross on Saturday, and it was so beautiful. This is on Crescent Road looking towards Mt. Tamalpais.

At the corner of Sunnyside and Austin Avenues – tiny white flowers on a huge green hedge. It made me think of a friend who lived there.



From Glenwood looking toward Mt. Baldy.


I turned on Fernwood and walked past Branson School, than passed St. Anselm Church on Shady Lane.


Susan’s Store Room on San Anselmo Avenue is ready for Thanksgiving. This little window display includes pilgrim candles just like the one’s on our Thanksgiving Table when we were growing up (and mom still has them).


An old eagle icon high on the wall outside Comforts Cafe, the former site of the post office.


There are several signs downtown that show the high water line from flooding. They are situated so you can see the same buildings shown on the sign. this one is just before Pine Street, across from the Wells Fargo Bank.


Sugarfoot, the cast iron deer on the lawn by the City Hall/Police Department and the Library buildings.


Another flood sign near City Hall.


Barton’s Bagels – although these looked delicious, I picked up Asiago bagels for the egg-bagels sandwiches my mom and I enjoyed for breakfast.


The elegant Siren Salon was once the home of Toy Circus, THE place for birthday gift shopping. You knew if one of the packages had been wrapped in the store because they had their one big roll of wrapping paper.


I saw another flood sign by the fire station. Molly waits patiently when I drop her leash to take photos. The beautiful mosaic obelisk in the background shows scenes from the history of the community.


Beautiful walkway of yellow leaves on San Rafael Avenue.


Cutting through Robson-Harrington Park I noticed this decorative plaque on a wall. Maybe it was a fountain years ago.


I’m getting close to the end of the walk – more beautiful foliage on Crescent Road.


You can just make out part of the San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) through the leaves.


I let Molly off the leash at the bottom of the driveway to my mom’s house.  She trots right up and I trudge behind her. She’s waiting on the front porch when I make it up the hill.


Even though I veered off her familiar route, she was happy to come along (or to let me join her).

“Thanks for the walk, now let’s have breakfast!” (I imagine she might be saying)


Thanks for the visit!

After breakfast, a final picture from the front yard: the seminary and Mt. Tam.





Filed under Life

Fall Colors

Yellow Red Grape Leaves

Here’s a quick photo post.  I had Veteran’s Day off and we went for a drive through the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

Yellow Red Dark Green

After a string of warm, sunny days, it was a cool, foggy day.

Down the row

Purple Grapes

Stripes of crops

Trailing Red Leaves

The tapestry of different colors was beautiful.

Big Red Leaf

Glowing, Warm Color

Yellow Vines in Rows

Vines on a hill

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Life

Little Yarn Pumpkins

Mantle Pumpkins

I’m ready for Fall, even though we’ve been in a heat wave that feels very summery.  It’s been getting into the 90’s but we expecting “only” a high of 87 today. I made a batch of these cute little Yarn Pumpkins at the free weekly Craft Gym at Once Around. They had directions from the parenting site Make and Takes which has lots of kids craft projects and recipes. Make and Takes made Yarn Apples first but I think the project is more suited to pumpkins.

They are very simple to make and look pretty adorable in little groups.

White, Orange, Green

I brought some to work and put them on the counter by our Department Administrative Assistant, Monica, and she said people were commenting on them all day long.

Supplies needed:

  • Yarn
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • A little scrap of cardboard is helpful but I usually just use my fingers

Yarn and Pipe Cleaners

Cut your pipe cleaner into two pieces, about 2/5ths and 3/5ths.  I used tan in this picture but green for the stem in some other pictures.

Pipe Cleaner

Now take your yarn and start wrapping it around the piece of cardboard or around your fingers.  Don’t wrap your fingers too tight!

Wrapping Fingers

My big hand with my fingers spread out like this made a pumpkin similar in size to a grapefruit.  Wrap at least 100 times around – for smaller pumpkins or if your yard is pretty chunky you can do less.  My smallest pumpkins were between 80 and 100 and wrapped around two fingers, spread out a bit.

Once you finish wrapping, take the shorter piece of pipe cleaner and put it under the yarn then bring the two ends together and twist very tightly.

Full Wrapped with Pipe Cleaner

Twisted Pipe cleaner

Trim the ends.  If the wire in the pipe cleaner is poking out,  mush the pumpkin down on the table to press the ends flat.

Take your second, longer piece of pipe cleaner and put it through the opposite side of the yarn, twisting it tight. This is the top of the pumpkin and the ends of the pipe clear make the stem.  After twisting close to the yarn, I fold one end of the pipe cleaner than wrap the other end around  it.

Top of Pumpkin

Now you just need to foof it out!  Bang it on the table a few times, get your fingers into it and squish the yarn around until you are happy with the shape.  I think it looks more pumpkin-like if it is a little flat, not completely round and spherical.

If you use the cardboard, the steps are the same.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard.

Using cardboard

Put pipe cleaner under the yarn and twist the ends tightly together.  Folding the cardboard makes this a bit easier.

Yarn on cardboard with pipe cleaner

Trim the ends of the pipe cleaner on the bottom and put the second piece of pipe cleaner through the yard and twist tightly for the step at the top.



After twisting pipe cleaner for the top of your pumpkin, bend one end down and wrap the other end around it to form the stem.

Twisting Stem

Now just fluff it and foof it and play with it until you’re satisfied with the shape.

Mix of real and yarn pumpkins

Here’s a mix of yarn pumpkins and real mini-pumpkins together.

2 yarn, 1 real

I like how it looks with pumpkins made from different yarns, especially the plushy, soft chenille yarn they had at Once Around (the green one in the photo, above).  It was great going to the Craft Gym because everyone was sharing the various yarns around the table which meant more variety without having to buy all the different yarns.

I made a few using two colors by adding orange or green yarn on top of white.  Several people in our craft class made pumpkins by twisting two strands of yarn from different skeins at the same time, but I didn’t try that.

White with Green

This is wavy white yarn wrapped around the cardboard with a bit of green wrapped on top, before the pipe cleaner step.  The finished pumpkin is in the top photo.

Little vines

After I took some pictures at my mom’s house, I decided to add a bit of curly “vines” to some of the little pumpkins.  I unraveled a strand of green yard and using single ply, I wet it and wrapped it around the handle of  paint brush.  A chopstick or pencil would also work.

Wrapped Yarn

Using a heat tool, I dried the yarn while it was still wrapped around the paint brush.  I experimented a bit, trying hairspray, hair gel and mat medium but found that just using water and heat was effective.  If you don’t have a heat tool, a blow dryer should also work.  You can easily loosen the curl to look more like a vine.

Staight to Curly

Drape a strand or two of curled yarn around the stem of your pumpkins if you want to take the extra step.


Now I’ve got some cute fall decor, maybe fall weather isn’t too far behind

Thanks for the visit.

Curly vines



Filed under Crafts

Fall Favorites

Little Acorn Treats

Here are some of my favorite fall recipes and craft projects from previous posts.  These Little Acorn Treats are made with mini Nilla Wafers, chocolate kisses and butterscotch (or peanut butter) chips.

Copper Leaves look beautiful and are surprisingly simple to make using copper tape you can by at a hardware store.  Click on the link for the instructions.

Cooper Leaves on a branch

If you get the copper tape, you can also make these great Copper Tape Pumpkin Pins!

Halloween is just around the corner and these little Bottle Cap Necklaces are a fun project.  I love cute seasonal accessories like pumpkin pins and skeleton earrings and I always get compliments when I wear one of these.

Bottle Cap Necklaces

I can’t resist these Eyeball Donuts.  They are easy to assemble and kids love them both for their gross-out factor and because donut holes are yummy!

Eyeballl Donuts

Thanks for your visit.


Filed under Cooking, Crafts

Emerald City Salad

On vacation in Seattle I had a version of this salad from a store called PCC Natural Market.  I’ve been eating lots of kale and chard but usually cook it  (and occasionally juice it) so having it raw in a salad was new for me.  The PCC recipe has ribbons of kale and chard mixed with wild rice, fennel, bell pepper and green onion in a lemon/olive oil dressing.  It was very good but I wanted to tweak it a bit.

I switched brown rice for the wild rice, though wild rice is great if you want to splurge on it.  I added some apple and dried, sweetened cranberries for a little bit of sweetness and celery for more crunch.  I also omitted the garlic from the dressing and reduced the green onions.  A little toasted sesame oil in the dressing enhances the nutty quality of the brown rice.  The resulting salad is delicious and colorful.  It is perfect for a potluck as it makes a lot.  It also holds up better than most green salads.

It is loaded with healthy ingredients and might be just what you’re craving after a weekend of turkey, stuffing and pie.  I think it could be the perfect fall salad and with a little leftover turkey on the side would make a very nice lunch or supper.  I like to make a big bowl of it on Sunday and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.

Emerald City Salad


2 cups cooked brown rice (I use Trader Joe’s frozen, microwavable brown rice or their Rice Medley which is a combination of Brown Rice, Red Rice and Black Barley).  You can, of course, start with raw rice and cook it according to the package directions.

1/2 half bunch of kale (about 7 ounces before trimming)

1/2 half bunch of Swiss chard (about 7 ounces before trimming)

1/2 a large fennel bulb

1 red bell pepper (or half of a red bell pepper and half of a yellow bell pepper)

1 apple

2 stalks celery

2 green onions

1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries, such as Craisins


1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 to 2 teaspoons Dijonnaise, Dijon or other mustard (I love Dijonnaise by Best Foods aka Hellman’s – it is a creamy blend of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise and I use it all the time in salad dressing and on sandwiches)

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper to taste


Remove the tough stems and ribs from the kale and chard.  You can grasp the leafy part in one hand and kind of zip the stem down with the other.  Lacinato or Dino Kale is pictured below though I more often use Curly Kale.

Stack and roll up the kale and chard leaves and cut into thin ribbons.

Thinly slice the fennel.  Dice the bell pepper and apple.  Slice the celery and green onion.

In a large bowl combine the cooked rice, kale, chard, the vegetables and the apple.  Add the dried cranberries and toss together.

Put the olive oil, toasted sesame oil, about 3/4’s of the lemon juice, Dijonnaise, sugar and salt and pepper in a jar.  Close the lids and shake well to combine.  Taste and adjust with the remaining lemon juice, additional olive oil, Dijonnaise and/or salt and pepper as needed. (I like it quite lemony and mustard-y with the kale and chard, but others might prefer it on the milder side). Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until greens are well coated.

Salad will improve if it sits at least an hour in the fridge once it is dressed.  Adjust seasoning before serving.  This salad keeps well but I found it needed a little more lemon juice after being in the fridge for a day.

Serves 6 to 8

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Cooking

Copper Foil Tape Leaves

Here is another project using copper foil tape: simple leaf shapes hung on a bare branch.  The leaves would also look great tucked into an autumn wreath for your door or scattered on the table.  I can imagine them used in place of name cards for Thanksgiving (write names on with a Sharpie) and I plan to hang a few on our Christmas tree.

This is very similar to the pumpkin pin here but with a few differences.  If you purchased the tape for the pumpkin pin, you should have plenty left over to make these beautiful leaves.  If you didn’t buy it yet, you just might consider this project and pick up a roll.

In case you missed in in that previous post, this tape is sold in hardware and gardening stores and it is designed to repel slugs and snails.  Making these leaves, in my opinion, is both more lovely and more creative than using the copper tape for its original purpose.


Copper Foil Tape

Card Stock

Leaf Stencil or Pattern about 2 1/2 inches from stem to tip (I used a rubber stamp, stamped onto thin cardboard and cut it out.  You could trace a real leaf or find a leaf image in clip art.)


Pencil (not too sharp)

Glue Pen (optional)

Ultra-Fine Copper or Gold Glitter (optional)

Small Hole Punch (if hanging leaves on branch or attaching to wreath)

Thin Copper or Gold Cord

For Tabletop Decoration:


Black Spray Paint


Foam Brick (such as Oasis for holding floral arrangements)

Dried Black Beans (to cover foam brick and weigh container down)


Start with a piece of card stock just large enough to fit the shape of the leaf.

Cut four strips of foil, two for each side, large enough to cover the card stock.

Peel a corner of the backing paper from the first piece of foil (don’t peel the whole strip off because the foil has a tendency to roll back up and stick to itself), and lay it down, aligning it with the edge of the card stock, peeling the rest of the backing off and pressing to the card stock as you go.

Start the second piece of foil the same way, aligning it with the first piece of foil.

Repeat on the reverse side of the card stock.  You now have a sandwich: foil on either side with card stock in the middle.

Put your leaf pattern down so the seam between the two piece of foil on one side are more or less lined up with the center vein of the leaf.  Use the pencil to carefully trace around the leaf.

Cut out the shape.

Draw veins onto both sides of the leaf with the pencil.

Using a glue pen (I love the 2-way Glue Pen by Stampin’ Up!), go over the veins on one side.

Cover the leaf with glitter.  Tap off excess.

Set aside to dry briefly before doing the back side. (I found it simplest when working on multiple leaves to do all the steps for about 4 leaves at a time)

Repeat glue and glitter on reverse side of leaf.

Punch a small hole at the base of the leaf.  Thread a thin piece of copper or gold cord through the hole and tie a knot.

For the branch:

Rem spray-painted a branch with  black paint for me.  If I did this again I would be more careful about the  branch.  This one would have been have been better if I had cut it down a bit shorter.  It doesn’t have to be painted black but I think it looks more finished.

Put a chunk of foam block such as Oasis into your container.

Push branch into foam block.

Fill container with dried black beans until foam is covered.

Hang leaves from branch.

Enjoy the beautiful fruits of your labor.

Thank you for the visit.


Filed under Crafts

Pumpkin Pin Made With Copper Foil Tape

Here is a fast and easy little project: a cute little pumpkin pin made from copper foil tape.  You might remember the aluminum foil duct tape project I did here during my 30 Days of Creativity.  This is very similar but using copper tape I found in the hardware store. The tape is made to repel slugs (Corry’s Slug & Snail Copper Tape Barrier) from plants in your garden but lends itself beautifully to crafting.


Copper Foil Tape

Small Pieces of Card Stock



Bone Folder (optional)


Small Ball-peen Hammer (or spoon)

Foam Mat (or folded paper towels)

Oval punch (optional)

Thin Cardboard (such as cereal box)

Decorative Paper

Hot Melt Glue Gun and Glue Stick

Pin-Back  (Found at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or other craft store)

Sharpie Pens in black, green and orange (optional)


  1. Cut shape out from card stock, no wider than 2 pieces of copper foil tape (about 2.5 inches)
  2. Use a scrap of card stock to glue another layer of paper to reinforce stem.
  3. Cover shape with copper foil tape: carefully peel back corner of paper backing but leave most of the paper on. Adhere from the bottom of the pumpkin shape, pulling paper backing off as you go. Repeat with second piece with a seam up the center of the pumpkin.
  4. Use your fingers to smooth the foil over the paper, especially the edges.
  5. Trim foil close to the edge of the paper and smooth around edges with your finger or a bone folder.
  6. Layer an additional piece of foil to stem.
  7. Using a dull pencil, draw curved lines on pumpkin, including up the center to disguise the seam. 
  8. Put pumpkin, foil side down, on a foam pad (or several layers of folded paper towel) and rub with the ball end of a ball-peen hammer (or a spoon) in circular motions, pressing the pumpkin into a rounded shape.
  9. Use a green Sharpie to color the stem and a black one to color the lines.  If desired, add a line of orange Sharpie next to the black lines.
  10. Punch (or cut) two oval shapes from thin cardboard and one oval from decorative paper.
  11. With hot glue gun, glue the two cardboard ovals together.  Glue the decorative paper oval to cardboard ovals.
  12. Glue to the back of the pumpkin.
  13. Glue a pin-back to ovals.

With the supplies on hand you can probably make a pumpkin pin in almost the time it takes to read this post.


This little pumpkin looks great pinned on your lapel or sweater.

More Halloween posts to come. Thanks for the visit!


Filed under Crafts

Little Acorn Treats

I saw these cute little acorns on Pinterest the other day and decided to make a bunch to welcome Fall.  This is our one-eared squirrel, Woody, and our house gnome.  We call him Gnome.


Mini Nilla Wafers

Chocolate Kisses (I like dark chocolate, but milk would be fine too)

Butterscotch (or Peanut Butter) Morsels


Put a handful of Butterscotch Morsels in a small glass dish and microwave until melted.   Please check every 15 seconds or so.  I did mine for 20 seconds at a time but I know I don’t have a very powerful microwave.  So go slowly and stir them after they start to soften. Mine were still holding some shape after 60 seconds but once they were stirred again they were ready to use.

Spread a small amount of melted Butterscotch Morsels on the bottom (flat side) of a Mini Nilla Wafer and  stick a Chocolate Kiss (unwrapped) on it.  Let it set.

If you have a gnome in the house, he might be interested in helping.

Other small folk may also be interested too.  Sticky fingers may ensue.

With a small brush (you could probably do it with a toothpick), put a bit of the melted Butterscotch on the top, rounded side of the Nilla Wafer and stick on a Butterscotch Morsel. Let it set.

Warning: Mini Nilla Wafers have a way of disappearing from their box.  Maybe it’s the gnome.

Chocolate Kisses at least have foil to slow you down.

Or not.

Aren’t they cute?  And easy as can be.  I think they’d be a great garnish with an autumn dessert or a sweet addition to a plate of cookies.

I put mine in little cellophane bags with tags stamped with leaves.

Happy Fall, Y’all!


Filed under Cooking, Crafts