Creative Home and Garden Ideas From Our Cottage in The Woods
About Pearl Sanborn
I have the rare opportunity to spend my days with the man of my dreams! We have also been blessed with 4 amazing children, and we all enjoy doing life together. I am a dreamer with a creative mind, which also allows me to enjoy life in technicolor ;)
I absolutely love the beautiful surroundings that God has blessed us with, and as each season
unfolds, I try to bring as much of that beauty inside as possible for our family to enjoy. With
the rich bounty that Autumn brings to the woodland, finding little treasures to feather our nest
for the long winter ahead, is both an easy, and a favorite thing of mine (I have many ;)!
Every year different things catch my eye, and this year, one of those things was our hydrangeas!
They did amazingly well over the summer, and bringing them inside allows us to enjoy them for the
rest of the year as well!
I’m also in love with the fact, that our oak trees seemed to produce an overabundance of acorns
this year! I’ve tucked them here and there all over the place, & I think our squirrels would
definitely approve. Next week, I’ll turn them into Christmas decorations, so we can continue
to enjoy them.
I like to hang a hops wreath each year, and this year, a local farmer friend made me a larger
one to hang hang over the mantel. I love the delicateness and soft shades of green in the
beautiful hops flowers … hops wreaths are one of my favorite things.
I hope you had all the shades of white & green at the farm stand this year like we did! They
were amazing! Just look at that chunky green beauty on the mantel! When I saw it, I knew it had
to have a place of honor among the hydrangeas.
I started with a green and white table runner, then a piece of burlap, topped with some dried
gourds that I’ve had for a few years now, assorted pumpkins and gourds, acorns here & there,
and some beautiful strands of bittersweet. Did I mention that bittersweet is one of my favorite
I found this darling little french bakers rack in a little antique shop not far from the
village. The shop keeper hated to part with it, and told me how it was one of their favorite
things in the shop… now it’s one of my favorites as well. It’s fun to go through my
cupboards, and pull out different things to display on it. Vintage yellow ware bowls,
hand carved butter bowls, quilts, linens, and dried flowers all speak of the season with
their beautiful deep shades of autumn colors.
The use of deep blue & orange is new for me this year ~ and I love it! I was surprised at
how the dried hydrangea blossoms kept their deep blue color. And those orange Chinese
lanterns give the arrangement such an unexpected pop of color!
This year, I decided to use a lot of green & copper on the open shelves & buffet table that
my husband made for our dining room. See my cuckoo clocks? The one on the far right is the
first clock that I took completely apart & fixed. Here’s another recent cuckoo clock I repaired.
I’ve repaired 3 so far, and have 3 more in various stages of repair.
I love cuckoo clocks… they’re a favorite!
The light green of this beautiful gourd, next to the deep green of the vintage yellow ware
bowl is a beautiful combination. I’m hoping this little gourd dries nicely, so I can use
it again next year
And… oh those greens in the hydrangeas! They look so pretty against the matte black finish
of the vintage bread bucket we found at the antique show this year. They add such life to our home!
While it’s true that I love all of the things our home is made up of, my favorite
things are not “things” at all! My favorites are the people that fill our home, the
family & friends that God has so graciously blessed us with.
With the season of feasting upon us, I thought I would share a new way of preparing the PERFECT turkey, that my
friend Sue shared with me!
Wait a minute… is there really a perfect way to cook a turkey? What you need to find out is, what is the
perfect way for you & your family
If the thought of …
Juicy dark meat, as well as juicy white meat
All the skin being crispy, instead of half of the bird having soggy skin
Quick cooking times
Delicious juices to make gravy
Having a platter filled with beautiful slices of meat
And my personal favorite… not having to spend half the day picking a carcass clean to get the meat
Then you’ll love this cooking method!
It’s called “Spatchcocking” your turkey.
Here’s a full video to teach you these “secret” methods 😉
Enjoy your feast… and the compliments on the juicy meat… and all the extra free time you’ll have!!
While walking through the forest yesterday, I was reminded again of the seasons of our lives.
It seems like every time I take a walk, I’m reminded of yet another life lesson. And because
I’m in another new season of my own, the change in seasons seems to be speaking the loudest
lessons right now.
When I came upon the acorns scattered here & there on the forest floor, it took me back to
one of my favorite memories as a little girl (I have many )
One of my fond memories as a little girl, was playing in the grass & coming across the
tiny little treasures left by the mighty oaks that lined our schoolyard. I had pockets
full of the tiny beauties.
Now, years later, I am thankful that someone took the time so many years before, to plant
those gorgeous trees, so that I could have the adventures that I did beneath them.
Every little acorn has such potential. Inside is everything needed to produce a
mighty oak tree. All it needs is the right conditions to begin growing.
With Autumn being upon us, we see such changes everywhere we look. Leaves are bursting
with color, there’s a chill in the air, animals are putting away food for the colder days
ahead, & wood piles are being stacked to warm families everywhere. The trees are also
preparing… by giving their fruit in season, to produce a harvest for generations to
Perhaps you find yourself in a new season as well. Maybe you don’t have a clear vision
on what is yet to come, and feel like you’re not growing & changing as fast as you’d
like. Don’t forget…
“Within a tiny acorn, a mighty oak is waiting! Great things always start small, so
embrace beginnings & take joy in the journey.”
I just LOVE Autumn! It’s my favorite season, and I especially love the beautiful colors this time of year!
Instead of just using pumpkins, I like to use all of the things that “speak autumn”, mix them together.
Enjoy every moment of this gorgeous season!
“I’m so glad I live in a world with Octobers”
Anne of Green Gables
I’ve always loved automaton, perpetual motion machines, music machines and anything with movements & gears. Cuckoo clocks are a particular favorite, & I picked this one up recently at a VERY good antique shop clearance sale! I had to do some repair & paint, but now it’s up & working
I often dream about a little cottage tucked in the woods, filled with all sorts of tools and everything that a woodworker / clock maker would need to create the most enchanting little creations. There’s lots of clocks ticking, and wood carvings in different stages of being finished. Then, as I see the hands hard at work in my minds eye, I move up to see their face… whoops it’s me 😉
Wouldn’t that just be the sweetest!
This little cuckoo clock is a 5 leaf, 1 day, musical clock made in the black forest of Germany. It was such a great deal, & needed very little work, so I couldn’t resist.
I’m not much for the bright colors, so as you can see here, we needed to do something about that.
Whenever you move a cuckoo clock, be sure to put a wire through the links of the chains closest to the holes. This keeps them from falling off of the gears.
I’m thankful that all of the parts were included with this one. That almost never happens in places like this.
Don’t you just love these dancing couples! Not only are they beautifully dressed for a night out on the town, but they give us a show with the music every hour.
You can see that the top left clip that attaches the carvings needs to be fixed.
Instead of re-staining the piece, I decided to use a watered down black paint. That way, a bit of the color can still shine through, while darkening everything quite a bit.
Then I carefully removed the ever so tiny nails from the face of the clock, and propped it up with some folded newspaper to keep the paint from getting on it. (wow – those are the tiniest nails I’ve ever seen!)
Here’s a better view of the chains & the wire protecting them from falling off of the gears.
You can already see a huge difference in color!
I’m holding the carvings up to see how the colors are coming, and to be sure that I got the clock face back on straight.
It’s starting to really come together now!
Now, it’s finally finished & ready to go! I love the dark color against the robin’s egg blue walls.
Now for the final test… removing the wire, pulling the chains, setting the time, and swinging the pendulum … and … it works!!!
I am so thrilled to have another clock in my little collection … I wonder what will be next 😉
Here’s how cuckoo clocks are made in the Black Forest in Germany