Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Days Later

There are still extra people in our home. Some of our guests left last night but two of our daughters are still here and sleeping in this morning. They slept together in our guestroom double bed and I could slightly hear the hum of their sweet voices well after midnight. I know they had many sister secrets to share and I'm thankful they have that bond. My sister is so special to me. I would be lost without her. There are just some things you can tell a sister but no one else. Because we normally host Thanksgiving and we do a little shopping the next day, I am always behind getting Christmas decorations out. I have a huge mess to clean up this morning. After my mom and sister in law left last night some of us had a coffee date with a good friend. We enjoyed coffee with Baileys :) and some good conversation. We didn't have time to tidy up the kitchen, but isn't that what makes life enjoyable? Just dashing off and enjoying people instead of having to go by the clean house book of rules? I never got a copy of that, somehow. I do have a story to tell. After eleven of us enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with pies and cakes galore, we did our normal sitting around. Some napping, some playing games, lots of talking and I even modeled my fox stole for the ladies! We were so full that no one could even think of the evening meal until around 7:00. It is cold here in the midwest and our patio table seemed to be the perfect spot to hold the leftovers that just couldn't quite find a spot in the refrigerator. I went outside to start bringing in the food when I stopped dead in my tracks. The big pan that held the leftover turkey was 100% empty. The tinfoil that was placed tightly around the pan was on the patio floor. :{ Holy Cow....I then had to go back inside and announce that Chester, our dog had eaten the entire pan of leftover turkey, bones and all. It was so cold, that I thought he would only go outside to do his business and come right back in. Our patio is up a flight of stairs. Everyone was such a good sport and laughed and joked about the year Chester ate the turkey. My husband was even out with a flashlight looking for a leg or bones or some trace. He couldn't believe our 115 lb. dog could eat the whole thing. I could believe it. We decided we will remember this Thanksgiving long after the dog is no longer with us! A question for you: For the second year we have fried our turkey. They really turn out moist and good, BUT there are no pan drippings for good gravy. Do you have a solution?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Much to Be Thankful For

I feel sure that many of us are stopping to count our blessings this week. It truly should be something we do always, but it certainly comes front and center with the Thanksgiving holiday. I thank God for my comfortable life and that I have such a wonderful, supportive and closeknit family. That isn't something that should be taken for granted as I know there are some who can't say that. I thank God that my mother is doing so very well after giving us a big scare in the spring. She is now back to traveling and shopping at the mall and going out to lunch with her friends on a regular basis. She was being fed with a feeding tube for two months!
I am also thankful for YOU, my new blogging buddies. You bring me much joy each day by allowing me to see your beautiful homes, your projects and so much more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nanny, Nanny, Boo Boo and one last look at Fall Flowers

Is anyone still looking for their Thanksgiving turkey? I found one!
When we moved into our new home two years ago, our youngest daughter was still living at home. She came running into the kitchen one morning yelling, "Mom come quick!!" This is what was peering into her bathroom window. We have a walkout basement so this was at ground level. We could not get over how he was just peeking in the window like nobody's business. We officially called him the "Peepin' Tom". We kept hearing a funny noise coming from the next room and there was yet another Tom peeking in that window. He was HUGE but I didn't get his picture.
Yesterday my husband and I watched a flock of about 15 out in the woods behind us. They must be on the run! As excited as I am for the approaching Christmas season, there is a part of me that hates to give up the deep fall colors, full of richness and warmth.
I will be finishing up my grocery shopping today for our Thanksgiving meal and figuring out my table settings. Good bye Fall,
.........until next year.........

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Quiet Little Breakfast for Friends

There are three of us who have similar businesses, share a few clients and just enjoy each other's company. We meet for breakfast at a local restaurant about once a month or so. Susan had suggested we meet this week and we all agreed on a time and place. Something came over me and I decided I wanted to have the chat and food in my home.
Sometimes impromptu is the best, don't you think? I didn't have time to worry too much about my house being in perfect order. We are close enough friends that it didn't seem to matter.
So I decided on a menu:
Eggs Continential
Cinnamon Rolls in a Muffin Pan
Sauteed Apples w/ brown sugar and Spices
Southern Pecan Coffee, lots of it
Recipe for main dish:
Eggs Continental
4 hard cooked eggs, sliced
3/4 c. soft fine bread crumbs (2 slices bread in blender)
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sour cream
2 T. minced parsley or chives
salt & pepper
1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow, small casserole or 8" pie plate. Make a layer of egg slices over the crumbs. Saute the mushrooms lightly in the bacon fat. Add the bacon, sour cream, parsley and s&p to taste. Spread this mixture over the eggs and top with cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 15-20 minutes in a 375* oven or til cheese is melted and sauce bubbly. Serves 4. Note** for the first time, I prepared this the night before and just popped in the oven the next morning and it worked fine. You may need to increase the cooking time a few extra minutes to heat thoroughly.
I pretty much had the table ready for dishes. Bronze metalic tablecloth thanks to TJ Maxx and my dome was already in place with fall berries. Remembering I had never used these dishes with these friends, I couldn't resist using my brown transferware again. Are you tired of these dishes yet? I don't think so. ;) It was nothing fancy but we ate, licked our fingers of cinnamon roll gooeyness and drank an entire pot of coffee in the small but sweet Old Britain Castle cups. Back in the day, people must not have enjoyed coffee like we do with our big mugs.
Let me encourage you to plan an intimate breakfast or luncheon for a few close friends during the Christmas season. My friends were so happy to be in a home setting vs. a noisey restaurant.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Guest Room, Undone

I really would prefer showing you this room after it's all fixed up cute, but since so many of you asked to see more pictures with the furniture, I decided "why not?" Feel free to offer any suggestions on color, etc. In case you didn't read my post from yesterday, I'm trying to decide if I should work around the vintage fabric in the little chair or have the chair redone. The room is quite large, like 12x10.4 and 9' ceilings. I had always thought I would want the walls painted a warmer, darker hue but something that would still allow the beauty of the wood to show. The furniture is made of burled walnut.
I purchased this three piece bedroom set in Oklahoma many, many years ago for a song. It was at my first estate sale. I was all by myself and scared to death to make an offer. After it was clear I had won, some sweet little old man tapped me on the shoulder and said, "it's okay honey...I'll buy it from you if your husband doesn't want you to have it." That did make me feel better.
Please try and pretend the accessories aren't there.
Another piece of furniture in here is an old Singer sewing machine from my husband's mother. I would love to find a beautiful old secretary to add some height in furniture. It's always nice to have a desk in a guest room, don't you think?
Come and around and then you will see you are back to where you started.


I have two other things to tell you. Remember the lady on Halloween that I didn't recognize because she had lost so much weight? Well it happened again. I ran into an old neighbor at Target. She called me by name and then I realized who she was. Because of the last incident, I said nothing. That night in bed I was mad at myself for not telling her how good she looked. Will we ever get it right?


Friday morning I had two friends over for a little breakfast. I couldn't wait to pull out the fox stole I had found the day before. THEY LOVED IT! Cindy has a daughter getting married on Saturday and she asked if she could borrow it for the wedding. She had purchased a faux fur at TJMaxx for $40 and said she would never wear it again and she liked mine MUCH better! We were all just sitting there smiling over my great find.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"THE" Chair

I couldn't wait any longer to show you the chair I found last week. Do you remember I told you a friend came to town for a visit and we found this at an auction house ~ on the floor~ ready for me to purchase.
Carol actually laid eyes on it first, although I was right behind her. We both gasped and said how darling it was. Carol lives in Florida while I am in the Midwest and I had no idea she would really consider purchasing it and having it shipped. It was that cute! The more she talked to the owner the more I knew she was serious. I was thinking and somewhat pouting ;) how sweet it would be in my guest room. I reminded myself that she did see if first by about two seconds, and while she thought about how she would get it home, I told her it needed to be purchased and placed in my car because one of us "needed" it. She paid for it, so I knew it was hers.
Fast forward to her coming next to my new home. I was giving her the tour and we went into the guest room which is barren except for my charming antique burled walnut three piece bedroom set and a little end table. The room was silently crying out for a precious little old chair to sit sweetly in the corner. My friend Carol is very observant and unselfish. We came upstairs and she said, "let's go get the chair out of the car and try it in your guest room." Well, I'm really not sure what she is thinking! Oh yes! She thought it would also be perfect in my home and sadly for her, she already has 4 chairs of her own that needed to be reupholstered. So! I am forced to go out with her and bring THE Chair in. We noticed while carring it in that it has a number etched into it.
Look at the detail on the legs.....
And on the arms....

Would any of you have any idea of the time period or any details about this chair? Now I have a question for you. I had definitely planned to reupholster this baby until my decorator friend came in to look. She loves the little vintage print and thinks I should paint the walls a golden color, using a creamy bedspread on the dark walnut bed and use the chair as is (after a good cleaning.) What do you think? This room is very, very large with 9' ceilings. I feel like it needs to be cozied up with a darker wall color and darker fabric for THE chair. What do YOU really think?

Do I need to show you more pictures of the room?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Shopping Plus Bargains for Me

How are you doing with your Christmas shopping? I'm feeling pretty good so far this year. I have really been working at it and have come up with ideas that I'm pleased with. Of course there is always more to purchase and I always seem to buy too much. This year (okay I say it every year) I am not planning to buy as much. Really, I won't!!
On one side of the family we have even decided to change tradition totally. The men will bring a man's gift and the women will bring something for women. Details are still sketchy but we will do the game where someone opens and then another person can choose to take that gift or open another. Does anyone have a really fun way of doing this? I know it can really be good for laughs and I'm excited for the change. Too many times I fret over what to give~~ especially a guy ~~ and never know if he will use/wear or whatever the gift I have struggled with. We are doing a $15 limit on this.
Because of you fellow bloggers I have really gotten into thrifting this year. I have always loved antiquing but didn't frequent thrift shops so much. The thrill of the find is contageous! Yesterday I found this little lidded silver piece. So cute and it was only $2.00.

Won't it be cute to hold splenda packets or calcium pills or butter or jewelry or who knows what. I really love silver and this just had my name all over it. Then I moved over to the Goodwill and wasn't finding much until......

I found this! I think, but don't know for sure that it is a red fox stole. Those are little pockets in the front. I very possibly will never wear it but my daughters LOVE Halloween and my married daughter and her husband host an annual Mystery Dinner party. It will be great for some character.
I think it's real because it has Memphis Furrier inside on the label. Also someone's initials are sewn inside. It was mine for $9.00!
Please don't judge me about the animal fur thing. I am here to tell you I LOVE ANIMALS. This was just a fun find at the Goodwill. Okay? Are we still friends??? ;) ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Would you, Could you?

Would you consider using peacock feathers in a floral arrangement? Five years or so ago a designer asked me to use peacock feathers in her client's huge centerpiece. I sort of gave her a funny look, but we were trying to bring in another texture and the blue coloring that peacock feathers offer. Well, I had to admit it was rather striking. Sorry, but I didn't get a picture of that one. ************************************************************************************* Then one of my clients loved, loved, loved peacocks and wanted me to bring in the feathers with several of her pieces.
Yes, the wrap did come off the lamp at the end of the redo. :)
I found this yummy bowl for her.....and..... filled it with Christmas greenery and ornaments. It was a sight for sore eyes placed in her lovely entry. This was a very elegant old home that was going through a complete remodel.
For another client who didn't want any flowers and had bronze and navy window treatments in her dining room we choose this look.
What could look more elegant?
I have grown to love peacock feathers.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanksgiving.......on my mind

Our holidays have been changing in the past few years. Time has a way of doing that. Through the loss of parents, the marrying of children and life moving on ~~the traditional ways we have known aren't always the way things are now. It seems the past few years my husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving in our home. I do love having it although with my business some years it seems it's a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas...with having a tree up and the mantle decorated for The Silk Thumb Christmas open house. Luckily all the women in our family love Christmas and they seem to enjoy the mix.
I am fortunate that the women all bring a dish. We have always done this since we can have up to 25 people. It's easier on the hostess and it's fun to see what dishes others come up with.
I have been thinking of my menu which is usually pretty close to the same each year. The entrees are favorites of someone and if they don't appear on the menu someone wants to know where it is! :) It's always fun to try a new dish but I haven't thought it through yet to decide what that will be. Do you have any thoughts for something new? A favorite that must appear on your Thanksgiving menu?
Menu for Thanksgiving 2008
*Turkey cooked in fryer (we did this for the first time last year and LOVED it prepared that way)
*Crockpot stuffing (this works well since we don't have a turkey in the oven to's a very moist stuffing)
*Cranberry salad I insist on a cranberry salad although sometimes I feel many don't care for cranberries
*Sweet Potato Casserole...yum!
*Spinach au gratin courtesy of Barefoot Contessa (I must figure out how to add a link!)
*Homemade Pumpkin Pie
*Iced Tea
Of course there will be more added. This is just a start.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Cornucopia \ n (1508)1: a curved goat's horn overflowing with fruit and ears of grain that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance.
Cornucopia / Horn of Plenty
Such funny words to describe something that holds so many pretty things from nature.
It is the symbol of our gratefulness for all God has blessed us with.
I was very thankful to have a family with a large enough dining room table to order this 4' or so cornucopia. :) :) It's doubtful you can really judge the size by the picture, but the table seated twelve nicely.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Fall to Love

I'm not quite sure when white pumpkins came into vogue, but don't you just love them? I especially love them mixed in with traditional orange and brown...just so soothing. I am still enjoying and relishing the beautiful season of fall even though the tv and other forms of media would like you to think we are in the Christmas mode already.
Let me introduce Maggie, my best friend who follows me around the house all day. She manages to keep her girlish figure even though she just turned 11. Don't you just love this little picture of her peeking under the glass dome? This little frame is one of my favorites for fall. It's metal with little leaves on it.
A good friend of mine who lives far, far away came to town yesterday. We had the best time together. Soon I will show you a picture of yet another chair I found. It is fabulous! I'm so excited about it.
Until then....back to fall.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Have a Seat

I had this old chair for several years that I would pull up to the table when we needed extra seating. It was one of those chairs from maybe the 40's. It looked like something someone in more recent years stood on to reach something high or to reach a spot to do touchup painting. It was less than pretty. One of the shops in my area has a lady who paints on furniture and I loved the look of what she does.
I recovered the old burgandy leather {vinyl?} seat with a traditional Waverly looking black printed fabric and gave her a swatch of my colors. Here's what she did.
When I went in to pick it up she had brought in a couple of other old chairs she had painted and reseated. Good grief, now what was I suppose to do? I almost loved the one in the store more than mine I had brought in. I took mine home but couldn't quit thinking of the second one. Yep, you guessed it...I went back for the other thinking I was being too spendy.
On one leg of this one she wrote in copper paint: Good friends, Good drink, Good Conversation On the other leg it says: A Good laugh is sunshine in a House
Sorry, I know it doesn't show up very well.
I LOVE both of these chairs and use them frequently. They are great to pull up to my dining room table when many of us are gathered. One sits at our kitchen desk (the one with the coffee cups) and the other is in the corner of my dining room. We have an open floor plan so they are very visible and I get tons of compliments on them.
I know many of you are good with a paintbrush so you could do this yourself and save $$$. Aren't they fun?