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Warm Pie Happy Home

Aunt Ruthie’s 2013 Fall Home Tour!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on October 6th, 2013


 Happy, happy Fall Sugar Pie darlin’s! It seems like I’ve been decorating, taking photos and working on this blog post for weeks! What should have only taken me maybe a few days has been drawn out so much longer. Goodness! You know how it is…the stuff of every day life sometimes gets in the way of us getting things done! 

But here we are! Finally, I bring to you, dear ones, my Fall Home Tour!

May I first tell you that it is an honor to have you here, that you would take the time out of your busy schedule to come visit me blesses my heart! I hope you’re able to gather a few ideas that get you excited about celebrating this glorious season of fall!

Well, are you ready to come inside and get cozy! I’ve got candles glowing with the sweet aroma of apple pie baking…

little women

…the sparkling and festive sounds of the Little Women Soundtrack, my official Autumn-time music, is creating an ambiance of joy and whimsy throughout the rooms of Sugar Pie Farmhouse! These are little things but they make such a difference in the feeling of warmth and welcome in our home. 


My other NEW FAVORITE background music that will make southern joy-bells ring in your heart is this most amazing collection titled, HEARTLAND: An Appalachian Anthology. Oh. My! LOVE THIS!!

IMG_1288      Here’s a peek through my front window…

“The cheerful joyous season,

The Autumn time is come.

With song and shout we welcome

The Golden Harvest Home.”

~Author Unknown


One of the things I love to do when decorating for the seasons is to create little vignettes that seem to tell a heartwarming story. As you know I adore anything “farmy” (my own silly word! It’s a combo of the words farm +homey = farmy!! hee hee!) so that certainly has an influence on the kinds of things I decorate with. Rusty buckets, chippy dishpans and white pitchers– fresh from the farm–these are things I use over and over in every season. They were part of someone’s life somewhere long ago. In my “Granny’s Apple Farm” story, the white enamel bucket in the photo above held the milk from a gentle cow named “Daisy” that was churned into butter to spread on hot buttermilk biscuits from the wood burnin’ stove in Granny Pearl’s kitchen. Her straw hat still hangs on the orchard ladder (I actually did find this ladder on the homeplace when we moved here, for reals!). The washpan, hung to dry,  was used to give the fresh-picked apples a good scrubbin’, then they were peeled and sliced into pies and cooked in a kettle to make cinnamon apple butter. Yes I add a lot of whimsy…sappy yes, but it makes me happy! I guess you could call me sappy-happy! :D 


I painted this sign last year to sell in my shop but it didn’t sell so I pulled it out this year and decided to use it. Then I found a vintage photo of a cute granny and I decided to name her Granny Pearl.


 Granny Pearl; farmer’s wife, prayer warrior, maker of delicious pies,  wore an apron from sunup to sundown, looked for ways to comfort her family with sweet acts of kindness, always had a kettle of soup simmering and an encouraging word to warm the hearts of folks she loved, kept the cookie jar full in case her grandchildren or neighbor-folks came by for a visit, loved to snap beans on the front porch, said “Glory be!” whenever she was thrilled about something, hummed old hymns with a fancy vibrato while tidying up her home,  counted her blessings all day long, stocked her pantry early in the fall to provide for her family during the long cold winter, quilted by  firelight, cherished her Bible which was well-worn and underlined, was nicknamed “Honeybelle” by her groom of 62 years…


…Granny Pearl looked forward to when her children and grandchildren traveled “over the river and through the woods” to gather together with grandpa and herself for Thanksgiving… “hooray for the pumpkin pie!” And they all lived happily ever after. The End. (I wanna be like Granny Pearl when I grow up!)



I saw this idea of  buckets sitting on the steps of a ladder with pumpkins nestled inside on Pinterest, and thought hey! I can do that! I looked for the source of the idea to give that creative someone credit, but couldn’t find it. So where-ever you are…thanks for sharing this pumpkin-in-a-bucket-on-a-ladder idea!


I love to collect vintage photos of farm-folk! Here, I’ve clothes-pinned them to this straw tree. Take a lookie at their sweet faces!



More buckets, old books, pumpkins and leaves…oh yeah, and Daisy the cow! 


When all the leaves are off the boughs,

And nuts and apples gathered in,

and cornstalks waiting for the cows,

And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,

Then Mother says, “My children dear,

The fields are brown, and autumn flies;

Thanksgiving Day is near,

We must make our Thanksgiving pies!”

~Author Unknown


IMG_1213 Moo!


 Don’t even get me started about chalkboards!

I love ’em so much I wanna…you know! 



I found this cute metal folk-art turkey at Harrison House ,one of my new favorite vintage shops in Ozark, Missouri. We have so many wild turkey walking through our yard every day, it just seemed fitting to have one to decorate with!

IMG_1193For the beauty of the earth,

for the beauty of the skies,

for the love which from our birth

over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our grateful hymn of praise.

(~Folliott S. PierPoint 1835-1917)


 ~The Great Room~


 I’ve had these lights strung along my mantle for a year now and just don’t want to take them down. They are so festive and provide a soft happy glow in the room.



For my bunting, I took some light colored burlap and cut the edge in a zigzag design. Then hot-glued seam binding to the edge and hung it up. Easy!!


At an antique mall recently I found this long wooden box for $12. It may have been a farmers tool box at one time, although it didn’t have a handle. It fit perfectly on my coffee table to display some of my favorite seasonal books.


 When I just want to snuggle on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, it’s so nice to have some of my favorite fall books at my fingertips to pick up and read. I’ve also got a few books for my grandkids. A wooden flower box would work well for this idea too.


Some of the books I’m enjoying right now are: Hoosier Mama, The Apple Pie Papa Baked, Hardscrabble Harvest,


 Homecoming Cooking with Gloria Gaither, Autumn by Susan Branch,


 Taste of Autumn and The Many Blessings Cookbook.


 Come on into the kitchen…


 I’ve got my windows open to bring in the cool and sweet fall air.



 “When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be in the kitchen,

because it was warm, and that’s where my mother was.” ~ Dolly Parton


This Turn of the Century telephone reminds me of the one at Disneyland at the corner market on Main Street USA. There’s a recorded party-line conversation of “Mama” talking to her daughter “Annie”  that you can listen to… it’s so charming…it takes you back to the late 1800’s!
I’m so excited to have found that very recording from Disneyland!   Now I can listen anytime I want to…so can you!

(click on the left side of  the bar below to hear it —left of  00:00)


Isn’t that recording just the cutest thing!!



Although I try to change things up for my Fall Home Tour, there are just some things that I look forward to bringing out each season. Like this Freshly Baked Pies sign painted by a friend in California. This year I added my little collection of vintage pie pans. I love that there are several cut marks on the tins revealing pie was served and most assuredly enjoyed! 

“Tradition gives us a sense of solidarity and roots,

a knowing there are some things one can count on.”

~ Gloria Gaither


IMG_1366 IMG_1364

This one is my favorite!! I’ve enjoyed many of Mrs. Knott’s Boysenberry pies from her beloved restaurant at Knott’s Berry Farm in California. My hubby and I spend a lot of our dating days there. After we married and had kids we brought our family there several times a year. Lots of happy memories!

mrs knott making pies1

Here is sweet Cordelia Knott making her famous pies!


And this is where I make my pies!


“Into all our lives, in many simple, familiar, homely ways,

God infuses this element of joy from the surprises of life,

which unexpectedly brighten our days,

and fill our eyes with light.” ~Samuel Longfellow


Here I’ve filled two vintage food mills with mini pumpkins. Back in the day almost every farm kitchen had one. They were used to puree or strain all kinds of cooked fruits and vegetables for soups, baby food and canning. I’m sure there are some farm-gals that still use them! These are well used and have that farmhouse charm that I love! The fun part about renting a booth at an antique mall is that I can try out my new/old finds at home–to figure out how to re-purpose and decorate with them, and enjoy them for a while– then I can turn around and sell them at my little shop! 

vintage childs hutch

The other day I was out junkin’ with my sister-in-law and I found this darlin’ child’s hutch. It was singin’ my name so I had to take it home! It’s very old, chippy and farmy…just the way I love it! I can imagine a farmer-daddy building this for his little girl…maybe as a Christmas present! I just know that sweet girl had lots of fun playing house with this endearing childhood treasure!  Oh honey! I could not wait to bring it home, give it a good scrubbin’ and bring it inside to decorate! Along with my cow creamers, milk glass hen and candleholders, white enamel platters and  pumpkins, I added a vintage photo of my hubby’s grandma as a little girl and a copy of her Pound Cake recipe clipped to the cupboard door. 



Ya know, I think you can tell that I really do love decorating but all of it wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t backed up with love…love for my family. One of my biggest passions is to make my house a home, a place my family loves to be. A place where they find comfort, compassion, joy and laughter.Where grace and mercy are served fresh daily. A place where honor lives. Where Thanksgiving is a way of life. A safe place, nurturing and warm, where happy memories are made.  I love to share my ideas and thoughts to encourage you to set the tone of warmth in your home. To keep the “home fires burning” and to be a blessing to your family. 


“Women can do no greater thing than to create the climate of love in their homes.” ~ Eugina Price

( the darling farmgirl apron in the middle was made by my dear friends Sara and Abbey from Sweet Magnolias Farm...they make the cutest stuff!)


 Be a ray of sunshine in your home…bright, warm and welcoming to your loved ones. Light up the rooms of your home with comfort and love. Celebrate this season of harvest-time with thankfulness. Add little touches of pumpkin-joy in the nooks and crannies. Make your house clean and cozy…simmer some soup and bake something yummy.  Be generous with your hugs, pats-on-the-back and smiles. Your dear ones will feel pampered and loved. As homemakers we have the ability to change the atmosphere in our home. 

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ~Mathew 5:14


Pampered and loved…that’s how I hope you feel when you visit me here at Sugar Pie Farmhouse! Thank you for stopping by for my fall home tour!


hot spiced cider

If you would like my Hot Spiced Cider recipe that you make in a Crock Pot then click here: Aunt Ruthie’s Hot Spiced Cider

Please do take a moment to say hello! I would love to know where you call home! (State, town or country). I’d also love for you to share something you do to make your home cozy or  how you bless your family during this glorious fall season!

Sugar and hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

 P.S. My Fall E-book Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides will be available for just a few more weeks! You can click the button on the banner at the top if you’d like to get it!

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Warm Pie Happy Home

Faux Caramel Apples Tutorial & My Fall e-book, Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on August 21st, 2013


Howdy Sugar Pies! Can you believe Fall is just around the corner? I know some of you are squealing “YES!! Bring on wonderful, glorious Fall!” for other’s of you adorable sweeties, you’re plugging your ears and singing “la la la la…I don’t want to hear about it yet!”  Well darlin’s, my heart is in both places, while I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Fall and all the goodness and coziness it brings, I also love summertime and having my daughter home! So I decided to be thankful for both! Choosing to be happy about the last juicy days of summer and also rejoicing and looking forward to scrumptious Fall!

In this blog post I have two very joyous things to share with you! Yee Haw!! One, is a fun tutorial on how to make whimsical, faux caramel apples for your Fall decorating! The photo of the  caramel apples above looks so yummy…but they’re FAKE!  Yup! They are! But they look so real! I know, right?!


Now of course the real thing is better (and tastier too! Hee hee!) but I wanted to make a batch to use as fall-themed props for my booth at Spring Creek Antique Mall (in Ozark, Missouri). The real thing would get too sticky and would probably end up with a few bites in them…probably from me! Hee hee! These on the other hand will create the fall-ish feel I’m after and last a lot longer!


Secondly, I’m so excited to re-launch my fall e-book…

Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides!

Woo Hoo!  I love getting a head start when it comes to preparing for a new season! I don’t want to miss a thing! Before you know it the scent of fall will be swirling through the air! Whether it’s  the aroma of burning leaves or our favorite pumpkin pie scented candle!

Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is a wagon-load of fall wonderfulness!

Take a lookie at my grand-babies Kade and Johnny…the two farm-boys on the front cover!

Pumpkin Pickin' & Hayrides

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Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is everything I love about fall…


…the beauty!

The glory!


…the starry-eyed passion I have for gathering autumn goodness

to adorn my home and making my nest warm and cozy

before the blustery winds of winter chill the air…Brrrrr!


Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is a celebration of God’s blessings and goodness to us! It’s jam-packed with 96 pages of dear and sweet blessings from the Lord that are meant to warm your heart…to make it swell with thankfulness & joy and put a sparkle in your eyes. My hope is that this e-book of fall wonderfulness would make you feel delightfully and joyfully domestic as you cozy-up your home so you and your family would wholeheartedly enjoy this delicious season!


Throughout the book I’ve sprinkled old time farm-y photos and images…

what I call “vintage eye-candy”.

Images of the “good ol’ days” to remind us of the goodness of old fashioned fall fun…


…images that will hug your heart with the comforts of hearth and home!

Darlin’ it’s drippin’ with nostalgia like sweet golden honey from a warm buttermilk biscuit or a hot apple pie fresh out of the oven!

“As mama hens, we love that feeling of being prepared, having all of our needful provisions stocked and ready in  our snug homes. And when the icy frost sparkles on our windowpanes, we’ll be simmering hearty soups, and baking old family recipes; scrumptious cookies and delicious pies to bless and nourish your family and mine.” – Excerpt from Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides, by Aunt Ruthie


Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is divided by chapters,

each focusing on a theme to get you down-right giddy

about celebrating this glorious time of year!

Get a sneak peak inside the book below…


I share tips for getting your home tidy and smelling sweet to welcome your family home…


…simple and delightful decorating ideas…


…ideas for preparing for Thanksgiving Day…




Oh, but there’s more!

I’ve included several recipes under “The Dinner Bell” chapter… yummy fall country fixin’s! There’s not a sweeter sound on the farm than the Dinner Bell a-ringin’! It means supper is on the table and its good ‘n hot! This collection of recipes is a “cream of the crop” sampling of my home cookin’ during this chilly fall season.

  • hot ‘n’ savory artichoke dip
  • mama’s warm-yer-tummy cold day soup
  • thanksgiving cranberry salad
  • sugared-pecan sweet potato bake
  • granny’s secret apple pudding cake

( Granny’s Secret Apple Pudding Cake is pictured above. This dreamy recipe came from an old newspaper clipping. The day I made it, my daughter and I took a bite of the sweet-warm-gooeyness and together our eyes got big-as-saucers and our mouth’s squealed! Oh. My. Goodness! I think I know why Granny kept this a secret…it’s fabulous! It’s worth getting the book just for this recipe alone!)


Also included is my hubby’s Grandma’s Praline Pumpkin Pie …


I can’t wait for you to see all of the ideas I’ve gathered to bless your heart!

There’s lots of family fun ideas too!


The chapters “Harvesting Joy” and “Harvesting Comfort” were meant to hug your darlin’ heart. To open your beautiful eyes to see the love that God has for you! To see and cherish His blessings. To fill your heart with thankfulness…for that is the key to joy!

“May I encourage you Sugar Pie, in the midst of the flurry of your Thanksgiving celebration that you take a minute to step back and intentionally savor the moment. By that I mean, take a minute to stop and look around you…take note of your loved ones…their faces…their smiles…the sounds…the aromas…the blessings. Breathe in the beauty and the wonder of the moment. You know, each day is precious and life itself is a gift. So stop and smell the pumpkin pie…stop and listen to little girl giggles…stop and hug grandpa a little longer…stop and breathe in the sweetness of a newborn baby…stop and thank the Lord for His blessings. Let’s make sure these sweet moments of our lives don’t become just a blur when we look back, but will glimmer as treasures in our hearts.” – Excerpt from “Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides” by Aunt Ruthie, Sugar Pie Farmhouse


I think you’ll enjoy seeing several never-before-seen- photos of my family fall memories!

Get ready to giggle! I had some interesting back-in-the-day hairdo’s!! Oh dear!


Here’s what a couple of my dear friends said about Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides:

Cat from the Vintage Housewife said: “OH MY WORD!!!!!!!! I can’t hardly stand it…. This is like the biggest Christmas gift under the tree …it’s like blowin’ candles out on your Birthday cake…Good golly can you see me running all over the room clicking my heels?!!! Oh my word, could this book be any more adorable?! Um…NO! For sure it’s the most wonderful thing ever!

Melissa from Huckleberry Prairie said: “Oh my goodness, I pretty much lost my marbles for your Fall ebook. haha Literally. I am telling you, God has blessed you with such a beautiful gift and you are glorifying Him by sharing it with all of us. What a blessing you are! Shining like a big ol’ light on a hill… such refreshment for the soul. :) I cannot wait to blog about it, facebook, instagram, tweet… (haha!) because I think this is the very encouragement that homemakers need. In a world that likes to distract and scatter your attention every which way, minimizing the role of “homemaker” as just something you are when you aren’t busy being everything else…it is SO refreshing to be encouraged that our role as a homemaker IS important.That home is the foundation for security and comfort, love and memories…and we have the privelidge of facilitating this for our family. What an honor God has given us! Now, it certainly didn’t hurt that this ebook was full of pumpkins and pie (and pumpkin pie) and all of the goodness that Fall is. ;) All of your images alone made my soul as giddy as a schoolgirl! I really am looking forward to sharing it!”


Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage said: “Oh my, I am so excited! I am half way through reading it but had to stop for a moment to write you. I LOVE it to pieces! You never disappoint in making…being a woman, wife, mother, sister and a friend a blessing! Your uplifting words of wisdom just make ya want to be the best Mama/Grandma ever!!! Thanks for all your tips, recipes and praises to the Lord. Everything a gal needs in these times. The pictures are beautiful too!”

Lisa from The Warming House said: “Thank you for sharing your delightful Fall book with me! I adore the precious autumn vignettes throughout the pages of “Pumpkin Pickin’ and Hayrides.” Love the “Home Sweet Harvest Home” vignette; the vintage towel draped above the jars of beans with pumpkins on top; the clothespins hugging colorful leaves onto the line; the lantern, crow and pumpkin on the rustic table . . . and on and on. Your artwork, photos, recipes, quotes, and scripture references are absolutely charming. And, of course, I appreciate the endearing way you continue to refresh our souls with encouragement and inspiration to be better homemakers – and remind us of the significance of that essential role in our families. The warmth and coziness of this book made me want to crawl inside and live there!”


When you read Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides on your computer you’ll be able to view two pages at a time, just like a book. Each time you click the “down” arrow it will automatically switch to the next two pages.


You can also read it on your iPad or Kindle. You’ll see one page at a time but it will be crystal clear! You can also print it out if you prefer!


The best way to read Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides

is curled up in a cozy spot, in your comfiest jammies and your favorite yummy hot beverage to sip and savor!

My favorite for fall is Hot Spiced Cider!

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Now that I’ve got you in the mood for fall…

let me show you how to make these fun faux caramel apples

so you’ll have them ready when you’re ready to decorate!


Here’s what you’ll need: ( I got everything at Walmart except the twigs…I didn’t think Walmart would appreciate me trimming their trees in their garden department! Hee hee!)

  • 6 fake apples
  • 1 bottle of Gloss Mod Podge (I had the large size, but used only half)
  • 2 bottles of caramel colored craft paint; the color I used was “Cinnamon”
  • a round plastic bowl & plastic spoon to mix paint and Mod Podge
  • wax paper
  • glue gun
  • flat-head screwdriver
  • garden sheers (if using twigs)
  • 6 twigs (I cut mine from my apple tree. You can use any kind of twigs, wooden dowels or large Popsicle sticks)
  • faux leaves / optional
  • corn cob bedding/litter  for the “nuts” (found in the pet supply at Walmart) Pour some in a wide, shallow bowl and have a spoon handy to scoop and drizzle the “nuts” on the wet “caramel apple”


This is the corn cob bedding that you can find in the pet section of Walmart or you can order it online HERE. It’s a HUGE bag and will last you for pretty much the rest of your life! Lol!  It’s cheap too! You might want to share with a hundred of your friends! Or you can buy a rabbit or a bird and just use the rest for the litter box. Hee hee! I’m just sayin’.


Okay here we go! Take the flat-head screwdriver and twist it back and forth to make a hole where the stem is to make room for your twig. Take out the stem.


With your glue gun, glue the twig in place.


Now mix up the Mod Podge (I used half of the large bottle/about 1 cup).  It’s best to use the “Gloss”  Mod Podge so the “caramel” will be shiny when it dries. Add the two bottles of caramel colored paint).


Stir until it resembles delicious caramel!


Now for the fun part! Dip the apple in the “caramel” and swirl like you would if you were making the real thing!



Be sure to let some of the apple skin to show at the top.


Now take the gooey “caramel’ covered apple and drizzle the “nuts’ (corn cob bedding nuggets) around the sides.


This is why you need a wide shallow bowl, so when you sprinkle the corn cob nuggets on the apple the extra will just fall back into the bowl. Less mess! Yeah, I learned the hard way the first time!


Twirl the apple as you drizzle the “nuts”.

img_0946Line a tray with wax paper and set your wet apples there to dry. They will need to dry over night.


As you get down to the last few apples, tilt the bowl so the Mod Podge/ paint mixture will pool in one spot so you’ll have enough to cover the rest of the apples.


As I mentioned above, let the apples dry over night.

c4In the morning, lay the apples on the side to dry underneath.

You’ll have enough paint left over to touch up if you need to.


Okay so, I cut my twigs from my apple tree and I left some real leaves on. Unfortunately, after about a week the leaves turned crispy brown and crumbled. On my second batch I painted Glycerin on the fresh leaves to preserve them (Glycerin is a natural emollient  used for dry skin and for preserving leaves). It did help a little but the leaves still got a little curly and slightly faded. So I thought since these caramel apples are fake anyway why not hot glue some fake leaves. I found a stem of berries at Michaels with realistic leaves and just cut them off to use on the twigs.


Here they are with the faux leaves. It’s totally up to you which way you prefer.

You can skip the leaves and add some bows made from Raffia or strips of torn gingham!


Either way, they’ll look cute sitting in your kitchen!

And that’s it! Easy Peasy! Right?

Ready or not Fall is on it’s way…lets look forward to it with joy-bells ringing in our hearts!

Pumpkin Pickin' & Hayrides

So darlin’s are you ready to get in the mood for Fall? Then you’re gonna love Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides!

I’m so happy to tell you that a portion of the proceeds from this book will go to “Samaritans Purse” (A relief organization founded by Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham) and “Feed The Children.” What an incredible opportunity to help support these two amazing organizations in their efforts to relieve human suffering around the world.

Also, for a limited time, I’m going to give all my Sugar Pie Sistas a 25% discount on my eBook, Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides. This discount will be available  until  November 30th, 2013To get your copy and to receive the 25% discount click here or click the giant button below. Paypal and Credit Cards accepted. Once you’ve purchased the eBook, you’ll receive an email with all the download instructions.

Just so there’s no confusion, I want all my Sugar Pie Sistas to know that this is a PDF document that you can download, view and print on your computer. This is NOT a printed book that you’ll be receiving by mail. If you have any questions about your download you can contact my son at (auntruthie @  He will answer your emails as quickly as he can.I know you’ll understand that he has a full time job and fatherly duties.

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Happy (Almost) Fall Y’all!

Sugar and hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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