Autumn Apples plus The Princess & the Pea Project


“The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
–   John Updike, A Child’s Calendar  

Haf’s Apple Orchard Photograph – Old Apple Tree


Walking through Haf’s Apple Orchard last month was a picnic of smells and color. Some trees seemed to be chosen for allowing dropped apples to remain on the ground. The smell of vinegar rose from these fallen apples and the bees were having a wonderful afternoon.

If you live near Haf’s, remember that apple season is not over in November. They have coolers kept at 35 degrees and all of the wonderful varieties are still for sale at prices less than the grocery stores. The comparison stops there as there is no comparison between taste and freshness-Haf’s is the winner in that category, also. All of the apples are marked by variety and purpose. My freezer is full of pies now. I look forward to baking one on a cold January and February night. 


From where I sit in the dark shop late this afternoon,  leaves are rattling down the sidewalk like old chicken bones. I’m still in the Autumn mode of enjoying mystery movies curled up in the chair with an old cotton blanket from the 1940s. Just as the movie begins, I take two out of the drier and curl up covered in soft, old cotton.

I finished three Christmas wreaths, two to sell in the shop and one to send my sister for the door of the post office where she is the postmistress. I made it from tiny envelopes stamped with dates ranging from the 1930s to the 1950s and Midwestern place names.



Before I leave you in November, I want to show you the Princess and the Pea bed I began last winter. I have 22 mattresses finished for this antique doll bed marked 1898. Using only ticking and other fabric made between 1930 and 1960, it is a like a small encyclopedia of fabric design.3-img_57795-img_57826-img_5783

If you are a local reader, remember that Haf’s sells bags of apples with tiny flaws (like a real apple) for 1.00 a pound! It’s fabulous!

~ Ginene


Create a Reusable Stencil for Decorating Vintage Painted Furniture

The Graphics Fairy web site is a free resource of over 4,000 vintage images for any creative work that you can dream up. Block Posters is the go-to spot for free image enlargements.

The Graphics Fairy has a dozen tutorials on how to transfer images using different methods. I wanted to make a stencil that I could use over and over and that was the one method I didn’t see listed.

I learned about Block Posters from my favorite blog q is for quandie  Wait till you see her sense of design. Stop over and look at her furniture to  get some good ideas for yourself. Her furniture sells in Minnesota if you are in her part of the world.


I picked an image from The Graphics Fairy and printed it out easily on to the size I needed for the dresser. I printed the design on  stiff cardstock and then cut out all the letters and designs with a stencil knife.


A coat of  boiled linseed oil covers the cardstock paper making it strong and transparent. Wipe off the excess linseed oil and hang it up to dry overnight. Then tape both pages together.


After the cutting, the rest was quick and easy. I measured the width of the top of the dresser using a flexible sewing tape measure, folded the tape measure in half to use as a guide and made a pencil mark to mark the center.  I did the same thing with the depth measurement, leaving a pencil mark to mark the depth center of the dresser top. Repeat the same  procedure to find the center of the stencil. When I had the center of the dresser top and the center of the stencil marked, I lined up the two little crossmarks on each (The boiled linseed oil makes the paper transparent.) and taped down the corners of the stencil. It is as simple as that.


I used flat latex paint from a Martha Stewart tester jar and covered the cut-out completely with paint, dabbing it on as I went, using a small stiff brush.


I may sand slightly over the stencil paint to fade it after it dries completely.


This beautiful old dresser has dove-tailed joints, dust dividers between the drawers, and center rails so that the drawers always ride smoothly. Its veneer finished was so damaged that it couldn’t be saved. The secondary wood is white oak and the workmanship is a thing of art.  I think it is beautiful in a creamy white with glass knobs.

I got four pieces of furniture finished in my spare time during the two weeks of cold weather and felt good about that accomplishment. I’ve got to get down into the building basement next week and organize again. I sent two cartons of things to Purple Heart last week so I made a small start on it. Lots more to do and I can’t wait to get started.

Meanwhile, one of the cats, Emma, contemplates life.on the inside.