Sunday, September 23, 2012


I spent the better part of the day Saturday mowing and starring at the beautiful sapphire blue of the sky. I love how the light changes and plays among the trees this time of the year, Dylan dog just likes rolling in the leaves.

What better way to welcome autumn in then a little fall baking and I couldn't think of anything better then cookies.  

The citrus smell of fresh grated orange rind along with the sweet smell of cinnamon and pumpkin.

Best part is for those of you that really like a little extra something with their cookies, these get glazed! Use a little or a lot and you have yourself one fine tasty treat.
Be sure to use only the freshest and best ingredients…..

And you’ll be rewarded with something so sinfully good!

These cookies bake up light and moist, like little mini cakes! Mister man really enjoys these and he doesn't have a big sweet tooth.

If you don’t like pumpkin you could always indulge in a few of these little treats. Lucky for us we happen to have this tray of fresh made macarons in our refrigerator so we had the best of both! I have to tell you these macarons arrived freshly made and some of the best I’ve ever enjoyed aside from in France.
Pumpkin Cookies

1cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup butter
1 tablespoon grated fresh orange peel
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins


¼ cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, pumpkin, butter and orange peel. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Drop by teaspoon onto un-greased baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown about 8-10 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack. Spread with glaze and enjoy!

(The cookies will still look a little like dough when they come out of the oven but don’t worry they’re cooked and will set up more as they cool. They don't spread when they cook so go ahead and place a bunch on your cookie sheet.)
If you try these pumpkin cookies be sure to let me know what you think, I would love to hear.
I hope you all enjoy your first week of autumn and welcome to all my new followers!
(All pictures are mine.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Barn Interiors

From my previous post about barns it’s safe to say that most people would love to live in a converted barn. But have you thought about decorating one?

How many of us could walk into such a massive space with undefined rooms and actually know where to start? The possibilities are endless!

Barn decorating typically centers around natural finishes and materials, just because it’s a barn doesn’t mean it has to look like one. People are more interested in the big open space and the rustic beams. But with that big open space it means you have to think bigger when it comes to decorating. These lanterns we hung in our barn are four feet tall and three feet wide but because of the massive space they’re hanging in they were quickly dwarfed down so think BIG!

Since a barn is a massive space you have the opportunity to bring in more natural light with a wall of windows. While one whole wall in our barn is windows I really wanted steel frames but it didn’t flow with our home, a girl can dream.

Just because you live in a barn doesn’t mean you can’t have the best of every décor scheme be it traditional or modern. I like how the next couple of spaces have married in industrial/natural finishes with the railings and walls with the iron and steel.

Don’t forget you can still use sliding barn doors to help define spaces as walls or doors. And the best part is…..

You can still bring the cows home in the form of their hides. What could be better?
I have to be honest I feel very lucky to have my studio in our carriage barn and to have so much space to call my own. So if a barn is something you’ve always dreamed of I say go for it they’re no more expensive then a normal home.
I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Barns for Home Renovation

Our renovated 18th century carriage barn
Mister man and I always seem to be on the same wavelength probably because we've been married so long we're starting to think alike. Last week while we were talking we both mentioned how we're getting the itch to renovate something again. It's been two years since we renovated our carriage barn and I'm over the shock of the mess so time for another project.
(Yes we should have buried the propane tank and yes the wires will be buried once all the big work is done on the property and no more big trucks to ruin our driveway since the wiring will go down along the drive. Eventually you won’t be seeing the electrical box either.)

English style hay or threshing barn
While we were talking mister man just happened to mention this barn he found not to far from our home and it’s for sale…coincidence…I think NOT! Mister man wants a barn in our old barn area to house a sauna so we really only need a very small barn. I say old barn area because there used to be a very big barn out back but was struck by lightening in 1900 and burnt to the ground. Dylan dog and I took a drive over to have a look at this barn and snapped a few pictures.
My image
This is the most typical type barn dotting the New England countryside and is called an English hay barn or threshing barn. This structure lends itself very nicely to barn home conversion and is capable of multi-level living spaces. The hay barns range in size from 24 - 36 feet wide and 24 - 50 feet long. This one is on the smaller side and is being advertised as being a two horse stall barn and that means small.  
My image 
This is the front of the barn and the picture below gives you an idea of what it could look like once renovated. Unfortunately the sellers are asking over two times what the barn is actually worth considering how much work and money are needed to be thrown at this place.
The frame is the most essential and interesting component of any barn’s construction. Their engineering and construction have survived the ravages of time because they were kept dry and had good foundations. A barn is basically a framework of solid timbers clothed with a replaceable exterior skin so it really doesn’t matter what the outside skin looks like, that’s replaceable.
My image
This is what the barn above would look like once fully reconstructed. I thought it might be fun to drive around the block, our block being eleven miles around, to show you some of the different barns in our neighborhood. This barn was just renovated five years ago and the shame of it is they don’t use it for anything not even as a garage but it’s beautiful.
My image
This barn is huge at three stories and was used as a chicken house…that’s a lot of chickens! The larger barns average 30 - 40 feet wide and 50 - 100 feet long. They are most often utilized for commercial developments or larger homes. Can you imagine what an amazing place this would be turned into a home?
My image
Another over sized hay barn that isn’t used for anything any more. I wish I could have gotten inside because it has a circular cow staircase made out of granite. The cows would have actually used it to go up to the first floor. The steps are only 3-4 inches making it easy for the cows to climb. Can you imagine all that work for cows?
My image
This is a smaller hay barn and has been converted into offices for a basket company a couple runs from their home. This barn has two floors so the husband and wife team each have their own office space.
My image
This barn is three miles up the road from us and one of my favorites. They renovated this barn six years ago and added a small side barn/garage and has two floors. The couple uses this barn for their picture frame business. Many of the barns around our area are used for businesses and artists studios. The little things you see on the roof are heat coils to melt the snow in the winter.
My image
A view of the garage they just added and I love this place so much. This place is also a working sheep farm...fresh lamb chops anyone? 

My image
This neighbor is two miles up the road from us and he took one of his outbuildings and converted it into an entertaining space for parties. Who out there doesn't love those sliding barn doors?
My image
This is the backside of the above barn and because this is a working cattle ranch every now and again they get a cow standing in front of that large window. That's enough to make someone think they've had to many martinis! 
My image
This same neighbor has a bit of a sense of humor as you can see from his sign. Trust me I’ve been in the field with the bull’s and they don’t have the ambition to chase you across the field.
My image
So there you go a few different types of barns around our area and they aren’t just for these babies any more. This is Rigger, the white horse, and his sidekick Kizazz Dylan dog just loves Rigger.
Each barn offers pleasing proportions and design simplicity, which are easily adaptable either to contemporary or traditional interpretation. I would love to have another barn and add a wall of steel windows and doors. Modern, industrial and antique features blend beautifully into these barns and talk about floor space.
Anyone out there wishing for a barn of their own for living? Plenty of styles and choices for everyone.
I hope you’re all enjoying your long Labor Day weekend. Me I’m off to another textile show tomorrow and then the Brimfield Antique Show is all next week….woohoo! Enjoy your week!
Related Posts with Thumbnails