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Category Archives: Fall

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This is my favorite Thanksgiving picture – a

photo of my youngest granddaughter

in a 2010 first-grade Thanksgiving pageant.

Thanksgiving greetings to everyone.

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Last week, my daughter and I had a chance to re-visit one of our favorite vacation destinations – Holmes County Amish Country (Ohio).  We’ve been visiting this area for 17 years and always stay in a cottage situated on a Mennonite farm.

MelMary_Oriole03Although the cottage looks rustic, it’s very comfortable with two bedrooms and an equipped kitchen.  My favorite spot is on the porch with a good book in my hand and surrounded by the most gorgeous scenery.  I count it among the three most beautiful places I’ve ever visited along with Vermont and Switzerland.

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There are lots of cornfields ….

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and lots of horses …

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and lots of cattle.

MelMar_cattle03A short drive away are small towns with shopping (good quilt shops) and restaurants.  We especially like Troyer’s Market in Millersburg.  Their homemade ice cream is amazing.

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Of course, the most interesting and charming sights are the Amish people going about their daily chores on their perfect farms and traveling in their black horse-drawn buggies.  I respect their wish that they not be photographed.

For a peaceful, quiet place to stay, we highly recommend Mel and Mary’s in Baltic, Ohio, and the nearby shopping in Charm, Walnut Creek, Millersburg and Sugar Creek.  I hope we get to go back again next year.

Holmes County Amish Country

Mel and Mary’s Cottages

Troyer’s Country Market


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I’m continuing with projects that use vintage embroidery and lots of autumn-colored scraps.  I found this free pattrn online and made it into a place mat.

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I embroidered another vintage pattern and added fabric to make a Halloween pillow.

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The scary, feathered owl was a birthday gift from my younger granddaughter who liked it so well that she bought one for herself.

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I made a pillow set for my vintage folding chair.  This design is based on a Helan Barrick decorative painting pattern that I first used about 25 years ago.

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It’s fun to take the embroidered pieces and figure out what I can do with them, using scraps and reducing the amount of leftover fabric I have to store.


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Because of back problems the past two years, I haven’t been able to travel too far and my daughter and I have taken one day a week during the month of September for a “staycation” day in an area that doesn’t require too much driving.  We enjoyed our last day of this year’s staycation traveling about 1-1/2 hours to Springfield, Ohio.  We pass through the charming town of Yellow Springs and love to have lunch at Young’s plus a stop on the way back home for one of their renowned Bull Shakes made with cream from their own Jersey cows.

It’s about 30 minutes from Yellow Springs to a huge antique mall called “Heart of Ohio” with 650 dealers.  I found a treasure -a  handmade book rack that I would date to the 1940s with my favorite Scottie theme.  I imagine it was made from a kit and includes flaws like the very visible screws and holes drilled in the wrong place, but that made it more lovable to me.

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When we got in the car, my daughter handed me something she had bought as a remembrance of our trip.

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It’s Roseville and the chips (which I don’t mind) made it very affordable.  I love the little dog lapping up the spilled milk.

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On the way home, I was telling my daughter I had seen a small “Made in Japan” Dutch planter which I talked myself out of buying.  Later that evening, she came out with another package that she was going to save as a Christmas gift – the planter I wished I had picked up.

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This was a very successful day.

One week of our staycation we went to a favorite restaurant (Grand Finale in Glendale, Ohio) and our favorite local antique mall (Ohio Valley Antiques in Fairfield, Ohio).  We’re at these two places so often, I didn’t think about taking pictures.

Last week we visited an Adams County, Ohio, store.

The first week we stayed local with lunch at our favorite barbecue restaurant (Eli’s in the East End of Cincinnati) ….

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…Stopped off at Avoca Park in Terrace Park …

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…and did some antique store browsing in Milford, Ohio.

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I’m beginning to really love this staycation idea.


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I’ve made a few pieces that incorporate my TV-time embroidery panels.  I made another set of cushions for my vintage folding chair.  The nice thing about a folding chair is that it can also go outside very easily.  I just happened to have a blue granite ware coffee pot and skillet to accompany the cushions.
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One of the designs I used for embroidery on a table mat is an adaptation of a decorative painting pattern by Helan Barrick.  I used to love to paint her Amish boys and girls.  I adapted this one for fall.

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I used another vintage embroidery pattern to stitch a scarecrow with a crow on his shoulder.  I outlined the pattern in black embroidery floss and then used crayons to color the design.  After using the crayons, I placed a piece of white paper on top of the panel and pressed with a hot iron to set the colors.

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I made a quilt for my table mini-quilt rack with a 1930s-40s era pattern of a scarecrow and chubby birds.  I especially like the way the trees are worked in this piece.

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Now, it’s time to think about some small projects for the Halloween season.

Click on photos to enlarge.


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For many years, my daughter and I traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, to spend several days in Amish Country.  I can’t travel too much any more and we have been taking one day a week during September to visit an area that is not too far away.  This week, we decided to drive about an hour and a half to a small Amish community in Adams County.  It was well worth the driving time and, in fact, the drive was a really enjoyable part of the day.

We started off the day with brunch at a Cracker Barrel in nearby Milford, Ohio.  I recommend the pecan pancakes but unless you have a hearty appetite, order just two pancakes – not three as I did.  They are huge!

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We wanted to visit Miller’s Amish store in West Union and I was especially anxious to shop in the Bulk Foods building.  I bought some hard-to-find items along with pumpkin fudge to eat on the way home.

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They have a large selection of furniture and I especially liked this glider with the morning glories.  My daughter said it was very comfortable.

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My daughter loves to travel the back roads and we passed many houses with the familiar Amish clothing drying on clothes lines and an occasional buggy.  We also passed one buggy on the road, trying to contend with automobile traffic on a bridge.  These horses were beautiful but kept their heads hidden behind a fence.

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This was one of the back roads we traveled with no traffic at all.

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We were able to cross over a perfect covered bridge.

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To me, it was a condensed trip to Amish country with everything we wanted to see, only there was less of it.  A very successful staycation day.

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Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving

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