Wednesday, October 31, 2012

LeClaire Countryside ~ From the Farm

One of my favorite times of the year for capturing photos to add to my portfolio is Fall.
LeClaire is absolutely beautiful as the trees have turned & leaves begin to fall.
The picturesque simple scenes remind me daily of why I am smitten with small town living.
A few weeks ago Travis & I were visiting my father-in-law's farm just on the edge of town.
It's not an operating farm any longer,  just a few rolling acres of serene Iowa countryside.
I couldn't ask for a better little escape from the everyday.
I think at times they think I'm crazy, to them it's just home &
 a field that's a bit overgrown without the horses roaming the pastures any longer.
To me it's a place filled with small gifts from nature, that I just simply refuse to take for granted.

A beautiful place to continue to hone my photography skills.
My creative side needs a place that appeals to my photographic style & aesthetic to really thrive.
Do you have a place that inspires you?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LeClaire Annual Witches Walk 2012

Last weekend was the Annual LeClaire Witches Walk.
Each year for Halloween our town has a fun filled event for the kiddos.
Witches Walk is a free event that the local businesses and
volunteers sponsor to give back to our community.

We have a costume contest for the kids & give out lots of prizes!
We keep the little ones entertained with a petting zoo, train rides, & clowns.
For the last few years I have been a volunteer & one of the event planners for the occasion.
All the kiddos line up and parade through the downtown on main street.
The shopkeepers pass out candy for our Witches Walkers.
So much fun!!!
This hot air ballon costume was one of my absolute favorites this year!
Isn't she absolutely adorable?
There were so many creative costumes this year!
It was great to see so many talented people really support the event.
Everyone had a really great time!
That is what it's all about.
A fun filled afternoon for our community:)
The Petting Zoo has been a main attraction the last few years.
A local couple brings in their animals that they have on a large farm.
They travel with the petting zoo for local events.
It is such a big hit!
Want to check out last year's Witches Walk click here.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

LeClaire ~ Fall Mums

One of the things I love about Fall in LeClaire are the vibrant colors of the Mums.
As you stroll down main street in downtown LeClaire,
 you can't help but be charmed by the stunning display of Fall Mums this time of year.
Aren't they fabulous?
The Faithful Pilot
Primitive Cottage
Wide River Winery
The perfect stop for a tasting on my Fall afternoon stroll.
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Photography ~ What it Means to Me

This post means more to me than any of you will ever know.
It may not get the most views or be the most popular post on my blog.
But, for has been a long...long...long time coming!
I have taken the plunge into becoming a big kid.
Yep, no more point & shoot for me.
I finally have purchased my very first DSLR.
I am absolutely extactic about it!!!
I purchased the Canon Rebel T4i.
For as long as I can remember photography as had a special place in my heart.
One of my favorite childhood memories was of my Dad & I going to shoot photos on one chilly & brisk Autumn morning just before the sun came up, as the fog was lifting from the river.
I will always cherish that day.
Some things just come to you, almost naturally.
On that day I realized that I too had a gift & I knew just who I got it from.
Now, I am not a professional photographer or anything like that.
I have studied a bit, mostly on my own.
Truth be told , I just know what's in my heart.
{Photography is my Passion.}
It's one of the reasons I love to blog.
I get to share three of the things I love the most!
{Home, Smalltown Lifestyle, & Photos}
I have been really trying to improve my photography on my blog over the last year or so.
Especially in the last few months.
I have also taken back to rising early in the morning just before dawn to shoot,
just like Dad showed me many years ago.
It is one of the most resilient feelings in the world for me, completely at peace.
Over the next few weeks & months, I will share with you as I learn all I can about my new DSLR.
I hope you enjoy following my photography journey.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Witches Walk ~ Annual Fall Festival in LeClaire

This weekend is the Witches Walk in LeClaire!
Festivities will be on Saturday on the LeCalire riverfront.
The streets will be lined with ghosts & goblins!
Each year for Halloween the community does a free event for the kiddos!
It's great the stores give out candy & the kids parade through downtown
showing off the creative costumes.
We are helping to put on the event again this year!
So much fun!
Can't wait!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Renovation - Accent Window Dilemma

The architectural detail of windows.
I love the architectural character added by the detailed design of the accent windows on this home.
I believe that windows can make our break any great home design plan.
Love the 3 windows in the peak.
Windows are the added character of the home's exterior.
They also add natural visual balance and warmth to a home both inside and out.
Windows are the main source for an abundance of natural light.
Every one of my ideas of the picture perfect dream cottage has an abundance of great windows.
The round windows in the peak.
I love the nod to a port hole with a round window in a peak.
Simple Single Square window in the peak.

That being said....
We have a window design dilemma!
Okay, so please try to work with me here.
Forget that the bushes are absolutely out of control and that that horrendous porch has got to go!
In due time my due time.
Please concentrate on the windows:)
Originally I shared that the reclaimed obsessed restoration admirer inside me
 wanted to save the architectural windows on the front of our home. I think they look like crap!
(Please excuse me, there really was no easy way of saying that.)
So, now I have to decide the best way to handle this dilemma.
I need your help!
Here is what I am thinking...
1.)  The Gable on the Left could be without a window.
We are thinking of using an accent siding on that gable.
We are also planning some extra details on the trim to add character, more on that later.
2.)  The gable on the right could be a single small square window.
The problem with this option is that the peak is slightly off center from the
 windows below and things like that drive Travis absolutely insane.
It really doesn't bother me.  You???
3.)  Use another window layout with small squares on the right gable.
Oh yeah...& that budget issue.
We have pretty much used up our window allowance.
So, whatever option we go with has to be affordable.
The accent windows do not necessarily need to open.
They are in the attic.
What are your thoughts???
Please share I really could use some good old
 fashioned blogger to blogger DIY advice!
all images from
the old shabby house that's ours:)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dwellings ~ Fall Storefront 2012

Each year the shops of downtown LeClaire decorate their storefronts for Fall.
I thought I would share the Dwellings storefront with you.
It's been Mummified!
Each year about this time Dwellings gets a SPOOKY visitor.
Scarecrows, sailor boy & this year a MUMMY is our spooky guest.
 You can check out last year's here.

Just wanted to share & charming part of what I love about small town living!
We are gearing up again for our annual Witches Walk that will be next Saturday!
You can see more of last year's Witches Walk click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fresh Fall

fresh kale
There are so many things I love about the Fall.
One of my favorites is the abundance of warm textures of freshly grown produce.
Perfect for simple outdoor decor or a centepiece at your farmhouse feast.
heirloom pumpkin
gourds & potted mums
One of the things that I love best about Fresh Fall touches is,
 it's a very inexpensive way to add the perfect festive seasonal decor inside & out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Fest ~ Today in LeClaire

Today in LeClaire.
Our Annual Fall Apple Fest is today in historic LeClaire.
There will be craft & baked good vendors.
Local growers will bring in apple bushels & lots more.
Now...if the rain would just go away & come back another day that would be great!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Our Renovation ~New Windows

We have been busy at work on our renovation the last two weeks.
Starting with prepping for the new windows to go in.
Removing the remaining old siding on the house.
Wrapping the entire house in house wrap before the siding goes on.
(You can also see part of the new roof in this photo.)
And last, but certainly not least, installing new windows.
Yesterday Travis installed our new windows!
We chose to go with the Thermastar Vinyl Windows from Pella.
As you know, Travis is a contractor.
He works with all different brands of windows and different quality levels and price ranges.
From a contractor's point of view, the Thermastar from Pella
were a good quality & affordable option for us.
As you can see, we have a few remaining older windows still.
The house has an upper level.
The upstairs is somewhat strange & the ceiling heights are very low.
We chose not finish the upstairs for now.
So, the remaining older windows....well...I suppose you could say are still up for debate.
We plan to change out the older windows on the side of the house eventually.
But, trying to stretch our budget as far as we can we are leaving them for now.
French doors that will entually lead to our deck & patio area.
I have always wanted to have french doors in my kitchen.
I'm so excited!!!
These windows are actually my favorite windows from the inside.
They are part of the kitchen.
They also have some of the best views in the house.
They sit up just high enough that, through our neighbor's trees
you can catch glimpses of the Mississippi River.


It's very exciting to finally begin to see some major progress around here!
We may actually get to move in one day!
Ok, maybe I'm getting just a bit ahead of myself...
So, maybe there is still a LOT of work to do, but we are gaining on it.
Thanks for being patient with my blog posting that as been sparadic at best lately!
I'll try my best to keep updating you!
Interested in seeing how far we have come on click here
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