Friday, December 11, 2009

Joy To The World!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

We welcomed sweet Adalei into the world on December 9th and of course, she is beautiful. It has been two weeks since her arrival and all is well. Adalei is so very cuddly and content ... Layla is adjusting well to the new addition and to being a big sister.

We are so very thankful for God's continued blessings in our lives.

I knitted a few things recently as gifts. Still have some projects in the works ... just didn't seem to have enough time to finish them. You know how that is ... never enough hours in a day!

Rodney looks quite dapper in his rustic sweater doesn't he?

There is something quite comforting in the making of homemade bread. It speaks of home and warmth and comfort … and in this case, the holidays. I make a sweet bread, which is more like a pastry, just before Christmas every year. It has become a tradition in my kitchen.The bread is given to friends, neighbors and family (and of course, we keep a few in the freezer for later on) The recipe was shared with me many years ago by my twin sister, Sharon. Just thought I'd share the recipe for any who might want to try it. It is delicious!

Cream Cheese Bread

1cup commercial sour cream

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ cup melted butter

2 pkg. dry yeast

½ cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 eggs, beaten

4 cups all purpose flour

Heat sour cream over low heat; stir in sugar, salt, butter; cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large mixing bowl, stirring until yeast dissolves. Add sour cream mixture, eggs and flour; mix well. Cover tightly, refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.

The next day, divide dough into 4 equal parts; roll out each part on a well-floured board into 12x18 rectangles.

Spread ¼ of cream cheese filling on each rectangle and roll up jellyroll fashion, beginning at long sides.

Pinch edges together and fold ends under slightly, place rolls seam side down on greased baking sheets.

Slit each roll at 2 inch intervals about 2/3 of the way through to resemble a braid. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Spread with glaze while warm. Yield: 4 loaves

Cream Cheese filling

2 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add egg, salt and vanilla; mix well.


2 cups powdered sugar

4 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine and mix well. Drizzle over warm loafs

Hope you all have a very, merry Christmas and remember to take time out in the midst of the hussle and bussle to celebrate the reason for the season. Do you know the greatest gift of all?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Any Day Now!

Our family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Adalei Grace, due to join us any day now! She is our third grand child and we are just as excited about her arrival as we were the first two. I can hardly wait to hold her and tell her I love her; to bond with her as I did with Bradyn and Layla and to watch her grow. Don't little ones grow so fast!
I knitted a blanket to bundle Adalei in and a cap and socks to keep her warm. It gives me great joy to knit for my grands and already have a sweet little sweater pattern picked out to knit for Adalei ... looking forward to getting started on it as soon as I finish some Christmas projects in the works.
If you would like to have a sneak peak of Adalei, please visit Lindsey's blog at There you will see some recent ultra sound pics of Adalei. It is amazing at the details you can see! She has the sweetest little mouth and the shape of her eyes are so pretty.
We also have maternity pics of Lindsey on our blog at so check them out. Rodney wrote the sweetest article too. Make sure you have a tissue handy, you will need it!

A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
~ Eda J Leshan

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Week in a Different World ... or So It Seemed!

Last week was the bi-annual High Point Market, an international furniture market that has been going on for ages in High Point, N.C.. We,( Autumn Song Photography) had the pleasure of photographing the HOUSE BEAUTIFUL magazine party. House Beautiful really knows how to throw a beautiful party and what a great staff! It was an honor for Lindsey and I to be there and so much fun to see all the people that attended.
Stephen and Kate with HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, Barclay Butera, Marietta Gomez, Barry Dixon, Raymond Waites, Annie Selk, Thomas Jayne ... just a few of who was there!

location of the HOUSE BEAUTIFUL party in High Point, N.C.

Dominck Rotundi, Steven (HB editor), Marietta Gomez

Michael, Ann Lambeth, Barry Dixon

Barclay Butera and Christine Phillips

Frouwkje Pagani, Kate (HB), Stephen Pagani

Raymond Waites and friend

Cynthia O'Malley and Thomas Payne

I also had the pleasure of working for Randall Tysinger of Randall Tysinger Antiques during the week of market.
I worked for Randall years ago before opening an art gallery and was delighted when he called to ask if I would help out ... not only to be surrounded by the beautiful antiques but also the opportunity to meet people. (If you know me at all you know I love people, all kinds of people!)
Randall has the most amazing eye for European antiques. Designers and homeowners, both nationally and internationally, visit Randall to purchase antiques. Barry Dixon, Marrietta Gomez and Raymond Waites, internationally renowned designers, are clients of Randall Tysinger Antiques.
Here are a few photos of some of the antiques. It was a little difficult to shoot in the showroom because of spot lights and track lighting but at least you can get the gist of my surroundings.

This is an English pine cupboard, Circa 1880. I am really, really wanting this cupboard for my breakfast room! I will add this to my wish list ... Santa?

Now back to the real world ... of which I love too! Good times with my family and our photography business ... and, oh yes, knitting ... I have so many projects going for Christmas! I will share those on another post. Thanks for visiting and have a blessed week.

"Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Run 4 Revolution

My husband and I believe in making a difference in the lives of others. That is one of the many reasons we support Run 4 Revolution. I know I just posted about our support for Operation Smile but Run 4 Revolution is such a worthy and important cause ... I felt in my heart that I needed to share this with any who may read this blog.

So what is a revolution....
Derived from the Latin word "revolutio", revolution means "a turn around".

Our daughter, Lindsey, is very passionate about the fight against human trafficking and she has had an ache in her heart for YEARS, for innocent children (over a million of them) all over the world who fall victim to sex trafficking - children who are ripped from their homes and sold into prostitution, some as young as four years old!.

Lindsey has educated herself about human trafficking and her heart and soul has been on fire to do something ... to raise awareness and to fight to protect innocent children that fall victim to human trafficking. She, along with her friend LIndy who is a missionary in Kenya, have joined to make a team to raise funds to fight this horrible crime. How are they doing this? They are running for the cause ... Run 4 Revolution.

So, Lindsey and Lindy are starting, what they hope, will be a monster of an organization that works like a worldwide track club where members sign up to run races and raise money for the International Justice Mission's effort with human trafficking under the banner of Run 4 Revolution. If you have not heard of the International Justice Mission, please take some time to check them out.

Lindsey is 8 months pregnant with her second child, Adalei. The two will be running the Ardmore 5K in Winston Salem on October 17th to raise money for this great cause. Want to learn more? Check out her site at:

In the meantime, some other ways you can help...

~Educate yourselves on human trafficking
~Read books on human trafficking. I recommend "Terrify No More" by Gary Haugen
~Pray about joining R4R

We support this cause 100%, in fact, we will match every donation made for Run 4 Revolution up to $100 per person. Contact Lindsey at: to make your donation or visit her blog at:

You can also check out Run 4 Revolution site at:

Run 4 Revolution is a worldwide running club that, through its members, creates awareness and helps fund the fight against the violence that steals dignity and health from children trafficked into forced prostitution. Human trafficking is the world’s third largest criminal enterprise–just after drugs and weapons. There are nearly two million children, worldwide, who have been forced into the commercial sex trade. This is an industry that is based solely on force, coercion and exploitation–an industry that profits $32 billion annually from rape. This is an industry that WE are doing our part to see crippled–brought to its knees with your support.

All donations received and money earned by Run 4 Revolution go directly to fund International Justice Mission. The International Justice Mission fights to secure the protection of the law for trafficked women and children. Human trafficking will continue as long as it is a profitable criminal enterprise. By working to free victims and prosecuting the criminals benefiting from this industry, IJM operations actively increase the risk and decrease the profitability of trafficking.

Help us in making a difference in the lives of millions of innocent children!

Thank you for your interest and support for this great cause.

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!"
-- Anne Frank (1929-1945), Jewish Refugee and Diarist

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Help Create A Smile

A smile is universal in meaning . . . and it is pretty contagious! But what about children who cannot smile? Those who find it difficult to even speak or eat?

I want to share with you about something that is very dear to our hearts ... helping children through Operation Smile.

Recording the faces of children and their families is our greatest pleasure. That’s why we believe so strongly in the work of Operation Smile. Each year this incredible organization of more than 6,000 volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, and specialized health-care professionals, perform free reconstructive surgeries for children suffering with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. More than 100,000 children are born with a facial deformity each year in Operation Smile’s 26 partner countries.
This October our photography business, Autumn Song, will participate with an elite group of photographers around the country in a very special family portrait promotion. Throughout October we will celebrate “Family Portrait Month,” a wonderful opportunity for you to update your family portrait (or portraits of your children), and help to support Operation Smile, which treats children around the world who suffer with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

Along with other studio members of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), we have pledged to contribute a portion from each session to PPA Charities, which has chosen Operation Smile as its charitable partner.

We hope you will join with us in helping to make this vital work possible. Don’t forget that the holiday season is right around the corner, so there’s no better time for a family portrait, which is always appreciated as gifts for family and friends and to send along with holiday greeting cards.

A smile is universal in meaning . . . and it is pretty contagious! But what about children who cannot smile? Those who find it difficult to even speak or eat? Now is your chance to give them a smile. Participate in Family Portrait Month and make a difference! For further information or to schedule a portrait session email us at or call 336-475-6457.
To find out more about Family Portrait Month visit our website at:

If you are not interested in family portraits but would like to make a difference by contributing to Operation Smile you can do so by visiting their website at:

"There is more happiness in giving
than in receiving."
Acts, 20:35

Friday, September 18, 2009

Autumn Is Here!

Autumn is here and I have been so anxious for it's arrival ... Don't you just love this time of year? Cool nights, the beautiful foliage colors, football games, fresh apples and leaves just starting to dance their way to the ground ...

North Carolina is a great place to experience the seasons, especially Autumn. We are fortunate to live in the Piedmont where we have easy access, not only to the foothills, but to the mountains and the coast.

So, with Autumn finally here, I am making a list of fun stuff to do and projects to accomplish ..... hiking, knitting, fall planting, new recipes and books to read.... and, of course, joyous outings with our family.

Recipes ... on my, there are so many good, hearty ones for fall and tons of delicious dessert recipes using fresh mountain apples! The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network has some of the best fall recipes!

Rodney and I really enjoy riding up to the mountains to get apples to have on hand for making apple crisps, apple pie, apple butter, stewed apples, apple jelly and ... apples just for slicing.
Apple Crisp

One of our favorite recipes is from Cooking Light, the Fall issue of 2006 on page 174. This one was actually their cover recipe; Classic Beef Pot Roast ... it is so savory and hearty AND we partake of it at least once a month during the fall and winter months! I thought I would share it with you just in case you want to try it. If you like pot roast, you will love this! Toasted crusty bread and a glass of red wine are nice companions with this hearty dish!
(I love cooking in my big Le Creuset pot!)

Classic Pot Roast
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces roast, about 3/4 cup vegetables, and about 3 tablespoons cooking liquid)


* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 4 thyme sprigs
* 3 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
* 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
* Fresh thyme leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Ode to Autumn Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Baby in the Basket!"

Rejoice in the Lord always, delight
yourselves in Him; again I say, Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

We have a baby on the way due to arrive the first of December! Our daughter and her husband are expecting their second child. We are so very excited and are so thankful for God's many blessings in our lives.

Here is the little lace baby blanket I am knitting. Can you guess what we are having? Not very difficult when you see the pink..... a sure give away! Her name is Adalei Grace. Isn't it a sweet, pretty name? Very feminine and elegant. I saw the pattern and thought it was so fitting for Adalei.

The pattern is a Feathered Baby Blanket by Kaye Smith and was shared with me by my friend Leslie. She blogs at

Layla is so excited about being a big sister. She has picked out a special stuffed animal for her baby sister. Layla talks about baby Adalei often. Bradyn is looking forward to having another cousin, although, he was pretty blunt in saying he really wanted a boy cousin to play with. Kids are so open and honest, don't you just love'em!

A baby girl is a treasure rare;
A sweet pink angel, a little doll,
Nothing else can quite compare.
Her smiles and coos will bring you joy;
She'll fill your hearts with love and pleasure;
So cherish these special infant times,
With your little girl, your precious treasure.
By Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Local Produce

Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green beans, okra, corn, watermelon, peaches.........

Do you buy produce from local farmers? We do and really enjoy having all the fresh veggies and fruit, especially this time of year. We also like knowing we are supporting our local farmers. There's a local farmer's market within a couple of miles from where we are and another one about 20 minutes away. Rodney and I enjoy the fresh veggies so much that we plan our meals around what we can get fresh at the market.
One of our favorite lunch menus during the summer is a tomato sandwich with nothing other than Duke's mayo, salt and lots of pepper ..... oh yeah, can't get much better than that when you have fresh tomatoes!'

And what about a sweet, juicy crimson sweet watermelon....... makes my mouth water just thinking about it.......

"When one has tasted it he knows what the angels eat."
Mark Twain

With the temps in the 90's, this is the perfect time to cut open an ice cold watermelon!

If your are not sure where you can go to buy fresh, local produce....... check out

Buy local and enjoy all the great tasting, good-for-you produce. I just bought some fresh blackberries this morning at the Farmer's Market and am going to make a blackberry cobbler... I am already thinking how it is going to taste with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream......... wanna join me? :)

“The difference of a single day is perceptible. Vegetables and fruit can only be tasted in perfection, gathered the same day.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cool and Refreshing Summer Drinks

Lemon-Verbena Iced Tea

During the summertime we all like cool, refreshing drinks. Some of my favorites are iced teas and margaritas. Here are a just few varieties of refreshing teas.

Chamomile-Lavender Mint Iced Tea

Iced Mint Tea

Sparkling Cranberry Tea

Blackberry Iced Tea

These teas are so cool and refreshing!

I do enjoy margaritas, especially in the summer, but not all the sugar in them. Did you know you can make margaritas with at least half the calories by making homemade margaritas with splenda?

My favorite tea is the classic Southern sweet tea which we call "proper" tea!

My favorite margarita, by far, is the classic margarita.... just love the lemon-lime flavor.

What is your favorite summertime, cool and refreshing drink?

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
~ Jerome K. Jerome ~

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beach Photography - Family Vacation

Vacation is over but oh what good memories! We had such an awesome time and are already looking forward to the next one.

We played on the beach, jumped the waves, built things in the sand, swam in the pool, fished off the pier, played games, ran on the beach, watched movies, ate too much, etc.....

Here is our crowd at the beach. Nick, our son, did not come down until later in the week so he is not in this pic. (Sorry Nick!)

Here are more pics from the week, thanks for allowing me to share with you.

Layla and Bradyn....... aren't they sweet!

That's me in the white and jeans with my twin sister, Sharon.

Layla loved playing in the sand!

Bradyn and his mom made a cool whale in the sand.

Rodney and Bradyn.... they are like peas and carrots!

My sister sure enjoyed the attention from Layla!

Bradyn loved being a "pirate"!

This old truck sits out front of the Litchfield Fish House.... a local place that is packed every night! They have really good seafood and a nice bar. I have never seen a restaurant so kid friendly! They even have a small playground for the kids.

If you would like to see more pics from our vacation or our work, visit our website at:

Do you have a favorite summer vacation trip with the family that you take? Where do you like to go? I would love to hear from you!

(by the way, in case you are wondering, I didn't knit very much at all.......too busy having fun and making memories!)

Sites you might want to visit for travel tips:

"Remember, happiness is a way of travel, not a destination."
R. Goodman