observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Fresh Start......

I love the New Year....nothing like a fresh start to make you want to create. I am working on a January update for Rabbit Hill with lots of lovely browns, winter whites and burnish berries. I will post the date next week when Lydia is back at school.

I also like to reflect on the past year and count my blessings. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and friendship in 2008, it means so much to me.

I don't usually make resolutions....I love cookies too much! But I hope for 2009 to make more time for friends and appreciate my family and the blessings right here at home. Smile each day and be the best that I can be. Always to have faith and trust in God and never stop believing! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2009. Warm hugs and blessings...........Jenn

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Every Christmas I like to journal a few special momments to remember because I swear the older I get the less I remember. This is a sweet memory from last year.

Christmas 2007
I had a small sweet blessing this Christmas morning from my daughter Lydia. She is 7 and all she wanted from Santa this year was a MP3 player and a bell from Santa's sleigh…she loves the Polar Express. Her older cousins have been teasing her about Santa. I remembered that I had this old sleigh bell with no dinger (don't remember what that thing is called??) I bought it for .25 cents at a flea market for something???? It is about the size of a baseball and has a little old crack in it. I was able to squeeze a tiny jingle bell inside and it sounds magical. It was tucked in her stocking. When she found it on Christmas she cried, almost sobbed with happiness. She ran over to me and hugged me so tight. It even brought a few tears to my husbands eyes. Her joy this Christmas morning is one I will treasure always. She is my little blessing from God.

Thank you God for the joy you give us. Thank you for the gift of grace demonstrated by the indescribable gift of your Son! Wishing you all a truly Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The first snow is so exciting....the more the better I say. It puts me in the mood for Christmas and everything that comes with it. It gives me energy to stay up into the wee wee hours playing. I've been decorating from room to room. Spending one night on each room in between other chores. Tonight I have my sewing room to clean, gifts to wrap, homework to do, more cookies to bake (...you can never have enough), laundry to fold and wine to drink.

That last one isn't really a chore but I think I'll keep it on the list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Please join me tonight at 7:00 p.m. est for Rabbit Hill Primitives Online Christmas

I've been working very hard to create many new goods for this online event. Plus I will have some wonderful old vintage christmas decorations....which just tugs at my heart. Please join me tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. This year 10% of all sales will be donated to our local Childrens Hospital.

If you'd like to be notified of any updates, please email me at~~ jenn@rabbithillprimitives.com ~~

Thank you all so much for your support thru out the year. I've been so thankful for all the new friends that I've made and the old ones that stay in touch....they are near and dear to me. May your Christmas be filled with magic and the love of God.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Trip to Lancaster, PA and Amish Baked Oatmeal

Now that my dear friend Connie reminded me that we only have 3 WEEKS until Christmas I feel a little panicky. But like every year, it will all get done....somehow. A few weeks back I went on a little trip to Lancaster County here in Pennsylvania. I took a few pictures but forgot to take so many. My mom and I travel there at least twice a year and usually stay with good friends of ours that own a Bed and Breakfast. We talked so much I forgot to take pictures of her place but here's a link. http://equestrianbnb.com/ We are so blessed that the Lord connected us with these lovely people. It's like coming home every time we visit.

I love all the little Amish farms ~ I guess they really aren't little!

I just love seeing this sweet garden in Strasburg, PA. Note the repeat blooming Irises.

I want to paint something this color!

Dienner's is the place to eat! We eat here a few times every visit....its always delightful.

Below is a copy of Linda's Amish Oatmeal Recipe (from the BnB). I can't tell you how good this is...of course it always taste better when she makes it! Warm hugs and blessings today....Jenn

Equestrian Estates Amish Baked Oatmeal
½ Cup Butter Softened
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs Beaten
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Milk
¼ Cup Oil ~ Canola or Vegetable
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla, milk and oil. Stir this then add the salt and baking powder until well blended.
Spray medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish. Stir in Oatmeal.
Bake 35 minutes until brown on top.
Serve with brown sugar and hot milk. I also add fresh fruit….strawberries, apples or pears are good!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sending Warm Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

My family will be going to my mom's for dinner then to my sister-in-law's for dessert (or as my friend Bob says desserts). I'm truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family near and far. Sending you all my best for a Happy Thanksgiving. xoxox

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pictures from the Weekend

What a great weekend! So many wonderful friends visiting for the 1824 Antiques "Christmas in the Country" holiday open house. Audrey and David make it so special and really go above and beyond. The shop looked so pretty. We had a long line waiting at the door Saturday morning in the freezing cold weather but everyone seemed to have so much fun shopping with Christmas music, the smell of pine and spices, and little twinkling lights everywhere. Here's a few pictures before we opened for those of you who couldn't be there. Many blessings.........Jenn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2nd Annual "Merry Little Christmas" Open House Planned

I'm home! I've been on a lovely road trip with my mom to Lancaster County...pictures will be posted later this week!

Things get a little crazy around here. I am getting ready for a Christmas Open House this weekend at my friend's Antique Shop. http://www.1824antiques.com/. My mom is making some wonderful handstitched pillows for this also. The craziness must run in our family....she meant to stitch "Jingle Bells" on this pillow but look how it turned out! She was going to take the stitching out but I stole the pillow from her before she had the chance! Its something I will treasure always.

If your interested in these e-mail me jenn@rabbithillprimitives.com. They are $20 each. Handstitched on the best black wool felt with lots of rusty jingle bells. She has a few also that say "Sleigh Bells". They are darker than pictured here...I think I had the flash on.

Please stop by for our 2nd Annual "Merry Little Christmas Open House" here at Rabbit Hill Primitives. It is on Wednesday December 3rd at 7:00 p.m. est. I'm stitching away to create lots of primitive Christmas wares. Plus I'll be adding some new antiques and vintage Christmas goodes from my trip!

I've got to get back to work....we've had some beautiful snow flurries this morning and I've got the new Harry Connick Jr. Christmas CD on. Life is good. God Bless......Jenn

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful for thoughtful friends

"Which way to the show????"

Taking a break today from sewing. It's been a busy week. My lovely friend Audrey called last weekend to tell me there was a cancellation and this was short notice but did I want to send some of my wares with her to the Simple Goods show? hmmmm YES! That is one of the best shows around.

Just a little background here to catch you up.....Audrey and her husband David own 1824 Antiques which carries the best primitives around these parts. They are the kindest people you will ever meet and really go out of there way for you. If you visit their home, you really never want to leave.

"Blessed is the man who has the gift of making friends; For it is one of God's best gifts"

Audrey is a true kindred spirit and David is just a dream ~ hee hee! He'll get a kick out of that one....but its true!

So yesterday I dropped off a few boxes for the show because I can't go (yes I'm a little jealous). I had big plans for making so much more but unfortunately you gotta sleep sometime. Ohhh the antiques they are bringing will make you droll.....early textiles, old farm finds and some lovely pieces from a personal collection that many of you may know..... Jimmy Cramer of Seven Gates Farm. The truck was full and ready to go. They are probably setting up right now....did I say I'm a little jealous??? Until next time ~ blessings!

For more information on the Simple Goods Show and it's wonderful exhibitors here's a link: http://www.simplegoods.net/SimpleGoodsInfo.htm

If you'd like to visit Audrey and David, here are their links: http://www.1824antiques.com/index.html

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

They fought for our right to vote...

"The struggle of today is not altogether for today -- it is for the vast future also."
-Abraham Lincoln


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns) They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis) They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. (Alice Paul) When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/nwp/prisoner...

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democrat, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

Friday, October 31, 2008

On Spooky Halloween...

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate; The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late." The second one said,"There are witches in the air." The third one said, "But I don't care. The fourth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!" The fifth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
"Wooooooo" went the wind,
And out went the lights.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

I'll bet you thought about clapping your hands together when you read the "And out with the lights" part. Okay maybe its just me. Every time I hear that poem I think of my baby when she was 3 in her first year at preschool. Her and her friends all dressed up and acting this out. She was so little, always wanting to be a princess for Halloween (just like every other girl). Then something happens I think it's called growing up, I hate when they do that. They want to "choose" there own costume and do their on hair. Even bribery doesn't work "I'll buy you sparkly earrings to go with that". Nope not anymore.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween Everyone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What about Thanksgiving?? Make this Pumpkin Bread Pudding!

"Yes'm," answered two meek voices, and after a few irrepressible giggles, silence reigned, broken only by an occasional snore from the boys, or the soft scurry of mice in the buttery, taking their part in this old-fashioned Thanksgiving.
Louisa May Alcott "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving"

I love that story.
I was up unusually early this morning and decided to pull out my Thanksgiving decorations....really just Turkeys. I love them! I'm looking forward to Saturday to re-decorate a little and put out the Toms. I know it seems early to think about Thanksgiving with Halloween only days away but it will be here before we know it. It seems like we always go straight from Halloween to Christmas and Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. I think we should start a campaign "Give Thanks for Thanksgiving!" I found this enjoyable little clip about the history of Thanksgiving with lots of lovely scenes and reenactments....its only a few minutes long http://www.history.com/minisites/thanksgiving/

You will be well loved bringing this dish to Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Butter, for baking dish
1 baguette, (8 ounces) slice 1/2 inch thick
4 large eggs
1 quart half-and-half
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square or 2-quart shallow baking dish; set aside. Toast bread on a baking sheet in oven, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Add toasted bread; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface. Place a plate small enough to fit inside bowl on top of plastic; weight with a large canned good. Let soak until bread is saturated, about 25 minutes.

Transfer mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Bake on a baking sheet until firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners'; sugar and topped with whipped cream.

Gobble Gobble!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


"Piped a tiny voice hard by, gay and polite, a cheerful cry, Chic-chic-a-dee-dee!

Out of my sewing room windows there is a large pine tree with millions of little cones all over it. I've noticed as the days get shorter and frostier the little black capped chickadees visit me more often. They keep me company as I go about my business....unfortunately sometimes I forget my business and watch them flying back and forth and swinging upside down on the evergreen branches to pick at the dangling cones...such sweet little birds. I know I can depend on there happy visits all winter long.

The Chickadee
"Piped a tiny voice hard by,Gay and polite, a cheerful cry, "Chic-Chic-a-dee-dee!"saucy note Out of sound heart and merry throat, As if it said, "Good-day, good Sir! Fine afternoon, old passenger! Happy to meet you in these places Where January brings few faces."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 20, 2008

Adventures in Ohio...part 2

So I am the one with the camera but my sister is the one driving (visit previous post if you have no idea on what I am talking about) and my mind is never where it should be. Instead it is like this "Look at all that pretty bittersweet!" or "I wonder what color paint they used??" yada yada yada... in this case if you look close at this not so great picture you will see a bunch of birds picking at the hay and 3 boxes filled with white pumpkins. Visit my sisters blog to find out the stupid thing I did at this little Amish store on our way home from Ohio http://blackcatcandlecompany.blogspot.com/

We also love to drive the back roads to look for bittersweet which is so pretty to decorate with. Usually its the three of us....My mom, driving the getaway car, while my sister and I cut bittersweet like madwomen before another car drives by and calls the cops on us...."we are just doing our part to prune back this crazy weed to beautify this lovely state we live in officer" (I don't know about the other two but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

If your not sure what bittersweet is, its a North American vine that grows on trees and bushes which are difficult to eradicate from your landscape. But during the fall season bittersweet vines put on a lovely display of a deep yellow shell of berries that when dried bursts open to reveal an orange jewel within. The bittersweet plant's fall foliage covers its victims in a yellow splendor. They grow naturally in central and eastern U.S. except for Florida.

So if you wish to help your state out also, this is what to look for....just never dig it up only prune a little here and there.

This is the vine growing up a tree. It's the same color as wild grapes but has a different leaf.
Here's a close-up
And this is what it looks like when dried.
Have a happy day today!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Adventures in Ohio part 1

I love this time of year. The leaves are glowing in reds, golds and oranges, big fat pumpkins, bittersweet, hot apple cider, cooler days and nights. My daughter Lydia was born in October…a gift from God with a little bling on the side. There are many things to love about autumn….

Yesterday my sister and I took a little road trip to Ohio while the girls were at school. We are lucky to live close enough to do this. We visited one of our favorite shops “Day’s Gone By”. So many wonderful primitives antiques and hand-dids in this shop and Clydine is so kind. I wish I would have taken photos for you but forgot I had my camera until we were on our way home.

And this is how the pictorial story goes....
Uh oh, a truck and he's going pretty slow. Not bored but needing something to do I remembered my camera.....

Hello beautiful!

Did you ever notice how many barns are in Ohio….

I love old barns. I want one.

Come on truck, I have to go to the bathroom.

I'll take this one.

Hello ~ Can I please use your bathroom??

And maybe stay for dinner.... What a lovely home.

Yeah! We passed the truck!

And a boat.

I like silos too...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rabbit Hill Primitives Update and Primitive Gatherings Offerings for October

Just a quick post to let you know that I have added lots of new primitives on my Rabbit Hill Primitives website. Above is just one of them. If you have the time please stop by and take a look. http://www.rabbithillprimitives.com/

Also the Primitive Gatherings website has been updated for the month of October. Below are additional pictures. To visit them ~ http://theprimitivegathering.com/rabbithillprimitives.htm

Thanks ~Good Night and God Bless!
Primitive Olde Scarecrow

Harvest Bounty

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy.... Plus Lydia's Favorite Pumpkin Muffins

Lots of work to be done. I have been working on the October update for Rabbit Hill Website which will be October 14th, 7:00 p.m. est. Please stop by if you have a chance. This is the last update for fall. Next month I'll be adding Christmas. Time to get the carols out! My family thinks I'm crazy but Christmas music gets me in the mood. It also helps accepting the cold weather coming!

I'll be adding a few new items for The Primitive Gathering on October 15th also. Check back here for more pictures.

Even though I have been busy this weather makes me want to nest. I've been baking almost every night! I've made muffins, cakes, cinnamon rolls....tonight I think I may make a pie! It's like therapy, it clears my head and helps me think. Most of this I freeze....frozen pumpkin muffins are the best! I always make these for Lydia's birthday, they are her favorite. Below is the recipe.

Did you ever notice how colors bloom in the garden. Sometimes it's predominately yellow, sometimes orange. Even though it's fall I have been seeing lots of blue in my garden this year.

I've been trying to get out there to clean things up a bit. Dig up and pot the herbs. Plus I need to harvest the carrots and last of the tomatoes and peppers but as you can see, I still have a lot to do and the morning glories have taken over the veggie garden. I think it looks pretty.

Pumpkin Muffins (aka Lydia's Birthday Muffins)

4 Eggs
2 Cups White Sugar
1 & 1/2 Cups Oil ~ I use Canola
1 & 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree or 1 small can Pure Pumpkin
3 Cups Flour
1 TBSP Cinnamon
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, oil, pumpkin and beat thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. I add a cup coarsely chopped walnuts to mine also. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 90 mini muffins. I always make the little ones but if you want the larger muffins bake for 15 - 20 minutes. This makes about 35 muffins.

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