My friend Rita of Toltec Jewels is hosting her third annual Octoberfest Blog Hop today and I thought it would be fun to join. She asks only that participants do something - anything - to celebrate autumn and blog about it. I've been enjoying autumn for the past several weeks, and what's more autumn than apples? A friend has over twenty apple trees and sent home a whole bunch of apples for us.
After conning my daughter and her friend into helping, we peeled and chopped apples until we couldn't stand it anymore. We ended up with a huge roaster (the giant one I use for Thanksgiving turkeys), a huge dutch over and a large crock pot full of apples. I added a little sugar and cinnamon and a splash of apple juice and set them all to cook for hours and hours and hours. The sugar in the apples caramelizes and the apples break down and when all is said and done, you end up with apple butter.
We ended up with something like 15 pints of apple butter and still had bags and bags of apples left. I've been slicing them and drying them in my dehydrators every night for a week now. And honestly? I am not sure when I'll ever be able to even LOOK at another apple.
In the weekend between apple butter and dried apples, my husband and I took a trip up through the Rocky Mountains. It's one of our favorite things to do in the fall and we always try to time a trip when the leaves are turning.
My photography skills are just not good enough to capture the beauty, but I always try. Notice the gorgeous waterfall in the distance in this one? We hiked up to get this view and it was so worth it!
My favorite, though, is always the vibrant yellow.
A while back I found a great variegated cord and used it to make a chain of leaves (the class is available here if you want to try it). I was never quite satisfied with the outcome, so I set it aside. After being inspired by the mountain trip, I dug it back out and made a few changes. At a suggestion from a friend (thanks, Lindsay!) I used some lizard leather to make connectors and added some swags of colorful glass seed beads between the leaves.
I also made a clasp to match and sponged on some of the necklace colors.
And I ended up with a colorful autumn necklace with cascading leaves, funky leather connectors and multiple strands of beads.
And that, my friends, is this year's ode to autumn from me. I hope you'll take some time to visit the other participants below and see what they did. And be sure to swing by Rita's site and tell her if you like her blog hop!
Toltec Jewels (Hostess)