Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What’s for Supper? And Make it Easy, please!



I know…. most of you are going to say ~~~~ “SOUP???”  Has the lady lost her mind?  It’s the middle of summer!

DSCN4072_124 - Copy

Well, we had this meal a few days ago and YES, it was soup weather!  I was wearing jeans and a light jacket!  We have had a crazy summer and lots of cool, rainy weather.


Anyway, back to my meal!  Keep this soup in mind for an easy summer meal or perhaps in the fall.  It is DELICIOUS  ~~~ and soup, salad and a muffin are often my favorite things to order for a summer lunch at our local restaurant.

As you can see this soup is from Trader Joe’s.  Mr. Brown Socks and I both really love it.


I mixed up these delicious strawberry muffins.  Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe.



The recipe stated to mix in the blender, but that means I would have to go downstairs for the blender!  How lazy of me.  My food processor was just sitting nearby and worked just as well.





These really had great flavor and went together fast.







We have had an excellent crop of lettuce in our garden this spring and summer.  With the cool temperatures it has continued to produce.  In a hot season, the lettuce would bolt and would be bitter.


I love going to the olive bar at the grocery stores and adding a variety of olives on our salads. Yum….feta cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes and cukes round it out.



My muffin recipe comes from this cookbook, The Best of Cooking Light.  It’s a good one.  I found it at a thrift store for around $3.00 or so.  There are many recipes I have marked to try already!






Strawberry-Orange Muffins


1 1/4 cups halved strawberries

3 T. butter, melted

2 t. grated orange rind

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

Cooking Spray

2 t. sugar

1/2 c. strawberry jam (optional…I did not use)


Preheat oven to 400*

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender and process just until mixture is blended.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until mixture is moist.  Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray (I used paper liners).  Sprinkle batter evenly with 2 t. sugar.  Bake at 400* for 20 mins. or until muffins spring back.  Remove muffins from pan immediately.  Serve muffins with jam if desired.  Yield 1 dozen.




Easy Pezy and we were full. 

I’m glad you stopped by!!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are they Real or are they Faux?

Only your Silk Floral designer knows for sure!! Winking smile 


Oops, I guess I just gave it away.


Take a look at today’s creation.  Customer brought this magazine picture with dimensions from table top to light fixture.  That’s always good information to have, especially when using crazy curly willow.



Instead of an open grid container we went with an enclosed white, footed GORGEOUS pot.  The enclosed container will  not allow the drippy sheet moss to escape onto the tabletop.

Pot measures about 11” by 11”


Linda’s dining room has very high ceilings but is rather dark, having no outside windows.

We decided to go with a mix of green AND white silk hydrangeas.




Finished piece is about 24” wide by 30” to the tip top of the curly willow







Oh, it’s such fun to work with pretty things.

Linda is coming soon.  She’s also picking up a bottle of this stuff..

It works GREAT on silks.


It’s always nice to have you stop by.  Do let me know you were here.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Frog Went a Courtin’



Does anyone remember that song?  My mom and sister and I used to sing that over and over when I was little.  I still love the catchy tune and sing it to my grandsons.  Not sure they like it like I did though.  um hum, um hummmm.


I have a frog story for you. 


Last summer Mr. Brown Socks told Jamie and me he had a pet frog that hung out around our house.  He said he was always on the lookout for the frog when he ran the mower so he wouldn’t nail him.  He even named his pet frog.  His name was Hans.  Mr. Brown Socks liked Hans because he said he ate bugs in the garden.  Personally I think he just had a soft spot for the little warty critter.



One evening last summer Jamie and I were returning home from a walk and saw a smashed frog in the road.  Jamie came in and broke the news to her Dad that Hans was no longer.  He had met up with a car.  Honestly we didn’t think it was Hans, but it made for a good story.  Do you think we are warped now? :-{







Well Good News!!  When I was working in the garden a couple weeks back I found Hans!  He is alive!  He’s cute, isn’t he?

I do enjoy this picture of him.




Looking around my yard I’ve discovered that without even realizing it, I have a frog collection of sorts.


This one watching over the pansies is rather small.








And this one is rather large.

Both were purchased at estate sales.  Frogs must have really been popular back in the day.



Here we have a copper frog watering can.





I was having fun snapping pictures of Maggie while outside.

She here through the yarrow?










We’ve had a few 100 degree days and a lot of cool days so far this summer.

Finally we are starting to feel warmer days and even noticed the tomato plants are taking off.

I’m so anxious to pick tomatoes and cucumbers, but that’s a little while off.



For the first time this growing season, I am happy to join Glenda over at Tootsie Time.

Let’s go over and see what people are growing.


Hans says “See ya later!”


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Second Thought

Hi Friends, 


I know…it’s been awhile AGAIN.  Wish I could be a better blogger.  I do hope there are a few of you who still check in with me from time to time!  I do love it when you come for a visit and once again, I’m going to try harder to blog on a regular basis.


Let me just show you a big project I’ve worked on recently. 


This was a TOTAL redo.  My customer had an old copper boiler that she had filled MANY years back.  You may remember the look…Drieds and more drieds.  Now, I used to really love this look too, but dried arrangements are nearly impossible to clean.  After they become really dusty, it is a great idea to pitch everything and start over.  My customer came to that conclusion and brought this to me for a make over.


Does it make you want to sneeze?



I really try and “interview” my people to find out just exactly what they have in mind for their arrangements.  Sometimes they have no earthly idea and leave it totally up to me.  Other times they are very specific.  Most fall right in the middle..having some idea but not totally.

Betty’s words to me were that she wanted the arrangement to be natural looking with a “woodsy feel”.  She looked around and picked out a few specific things she liked.


I set down to begin this big project





Here was my first attempt for this copper container



Nah, it just wasn’t doing it for me.  I’ve mentioned before that on large arrangements  ~~ after I’ve completed most of the look, I always bring it upstairs and set it on my kitchen counter.  I walk past it several times and look to see what changes it needs.  I was not happy with this one. 



Here is Take Two



I liked it.  I pulled out some of the messy grasses and inserted a moss ball (lower right of above picture) and the long wooden branch that draped across the front.

Woodsy and Interesting. I also like the balance better.

Lots of texture too.

Okay, time to call Betty over for her inspection and approval.



Betty was the boss as this Is going home with her to live with for probably several years to come.

She did not like the red berries and asked if we could pull those out and put something else in.  Her first thoughts were she didn’t want flowers (only some natural looking orchids).  After seeing the arrangement complete, she decided she DID want a few flowers.  She went with hydrangeas.

Here is the final look that met with customer’s approval:







If customer is Happy, then I am happy!


I’ve had a few more ladies stop by in the past week, so more work to do.

Thanks for coming by to see me!



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Final Tablescape for Women’s Meeting


Are you tiring of this ongoing Tablescape Meeting my sister in law Connie and I hosted a few weeks back?  We decorated so many tables I decided to share this fun evening over a three week period. 


In case you have missed the other posts here and here, Connie and I decorated eight tables ~~ some small little bistro tables ~~ and two full size tables to share with our friends.  This was a salad supper that we turned into ideas for setting tables. We end up the year in May and we will start back up again in the fall with our monthly meetings.


Everyone brings a salad and then someone usually offers to collect the recipes so we have copies of all the various salads each person brings.

SO Typical ~~~ I forgot to take a picture before we started the salad line.  There was a wide variety of salads this time.

Here are two guests just before they left full of food and friendship.




This is the last Tablescape to share with you.

Connie and I chose our solid colored faux Fiesta plates for the main table because we had the most place settings for matching purposes.

The extremely vivid color scheme was just what we needed for the end of a long winter and a big hello to Summer.

The table was most festive!



We did a little mixing and matching of salad plates since we didn’t have quite enough of one pattern.

The salad plates, glasses and napkin rings are from Pier 1.



Red silverware is from JC Penneys

Red and Gold napkins were thrifted as was the

tablecloth.  Don’t you love the fabric for the tablecloth?  I think it was just a yardage of fabric someone pieced together.  On the tag at the thrift store it stated it was a bedspread but I seriously doubt that’s what it was used for.  It’s very thin.



The centerpiece was extremely last minute.  We went down to my work room, took a big basket and loaded it with colorful faux fruits and veggies.  Some faux red berries, a couple of extra napkin rings for bling and interest, some reindeer moss and my sweet little “fruit fly” worked together very well in the center of the table.




We lined this open metal basket with reindeer moss and just piled it high with colorful things.

At the very last minute, we decided to perch the bird off the side.  The oversized bird added a bit of whimsy.






Since the salads are always pot luck I decided to make little sandwiches so we had a little protein.







Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches

2 cups cubed, cooked and seasoned chicken

1 medium unpeeled red apple, chopped

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 c. thinly sliced celery

1/4. c. chopped pecans

2 T. thinly sliced green onions

3/4 cup mayo

2 t. lime juice

1/2 t. ( I used more) curry powder


Directions:  In bowl combine first six ingredients.  Combine mayo, lime juice, and curry; add to chicken mixture and stir to coat.  Cover and refrigerate til ready to serve.  Cut each slice of bread with a 3” cutter.  Top with lettuce and chicken salad.












Thanks for joining me today to see the final chapter of our Tablescape Meeting.  I hope I’ve inspired you to do lots of mixing up with your dishes, table linens and napkins AND to share your creations with friends.  Our friends truly seemed to enjoy the evening, walking around looking at all the different things we put together at each table.  It also gave Connie and me an opportunity to share some of our favorite dishes that we’ve either had for awhile or have picked up with our new thrifting hobby!


I am linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday


Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. 

I’ll meet you over there!