Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Orange ~~ It’s the new Red


We are turning the calendar over to February, the month of RED hearts.


For as long as I can remember, red has always been my very favorite color in the whole wide world.  As a young girl, I remember having a pair of RED fuzzy wuzzy slippers.  To be honest, I think I still have them ….somewhere!  My parents built a house while I was still in high school and I picked out red carpet for my bedroom.  The color has always made me happy.


Lately I’ve been thinking about fabric choices for my kitchen windows and the thought of red toile came to mind.  When I started looking around at first my kitchen ~~~~~







and then on into the adjoining rooms, I realized that I have a lot of ORANGE!


DSCN0512   Here is my dining room wall color.  It’s called

Cajun Red.  Notice I chose a color that still had the word “RED” in it!

dining room redo 008

Hard to see but the draperies have an orange swirl mixed in with a heavy dose of brown and a lot of gold.

dining room redo 018


These are fabric swatches that turned into pillows and chair covers in my hearth room and kitchen.

kitchen trim


On into the living room are more accessories in orange.





I still see hues of red playing off as oranges. 


Red, my friend, I will always have you in my heart.

No doubt I will come back to you some day.

Do you find that you are using orange more than you might realize?

Thanks for your visit today,


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Signs of spring

Well, in the stores anyway ~~ certainly not outside my window.


My daughter was home on Monday and on the spur of the moment we decided to stop for lunch and browse an upscaled mall in our town. 


First we savored all the pretties in Anthropologie  ~~~~~



Wishing that even their sale item prices would be cut in half again.  We just love milling through everything from their dishes to home decor to aprons..




It’s all so crisp and alive and a little mysterious at the same time.  It’s a little difficult to absorb what the price tags are telling us however!


Next we wandered into Pottery Barn and got a dose of spring with their latest tablescape. 

Tablescape Thursday

I just had to join in with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to show you this darling table.


There was so much detail to take in.  Can you see the little crystal napkin rings?  I was so tempted but how many napkin rings can one person use?


Speckled eggs, button ferns, springy napkins, footed glass ware.  Notice the little birdies sitting on the mug handle.




I love the grapevine chargers for a spring luncheon.  The chubby little bluebird is actually a candle. 




bird s and p

And now for an update from my last post.  I took this arrangement to the customer’s home and the designer had not quite read the homeowner’s mind exactly right.  She wants it much larger and much rounder with lots of stuff drooping down.  So….it came home with me and I will rework it and try to make it more to her liking.






Thanks for stopping by.  It’s fun to have visitors!


Monday, January 25, 2010

An Unusual Container

Back to work for me.  After doing a little organizing of closets and cupboards, then traveling to Dallas for market, orders placed by customers are needing to be filled.


This first one I’m showing you is a fun vessel.  I keep it in my inventory from time to time.  It’s a great piece to hold a large, orb, but it can be really fun for a floral arrangement too.  The designer working for the client chose this to go on a buffet.  There is a lot of wood in the dining room and she felt like this antiquey looking metal piece was just what the doctor ordered.  The photographs are in my dining room by the way.



Notice all the ribbing and detail of this unique piece



Here it is filled to capacity with all sorts of unusual stems, pods and grasses.  I ask those of you who pooh pooh silk arrangements ~~ where are you going to get this sort of look going out into your back yard and picking flowers to put in a vase?  Yes, there are times for that wonderful fresh flower look, but if you want something colorful and permanent, you can’t beat a silk floral arrangement! :)



A closeup of some berries and grasses.  I used different colors and different heights.


Notice the moss rocks and the reindeer moss  ~~ texture and vivid color!!





Here’s another arrangement I just finished using the customer’s container.  She wanted it to be somewhat open so that the bowl could be seen.






DSCN0446  No flowers, just berries, pods, greens and twigs.  I am going to her house today.  We’ll see if it’s what she had in mind!



Another snowy day in our area.  Hope your winter is nicer than what we are having in the Midwest!

Stay warm and cozy…..Donna

Thursday, January 21, 2010

While I was away at market…

I see all you talented people have been doing what you do best!  Creating new looks for your home, tackling home projects, cooking up good food and just blogging your little hearts out.


              In the meantime I’ve been walking all over Dallas Market


                     This picture is taken from about the seventh floor

                                           Here’s Up


                                        And here’s looking down….


There are approximately seventeen floors and it’s blocks wide.  Even with all these many, many people and  showrooms and steps we took, I managed to find a blogging buddy, Kristen!  We had planned this out ahead so we would be sure to find each other in the crowd.


I know many of you adore her blog.  She is extremely talented.  None of you will be surprised when I tell you she is just as sweet as she is creative!  Oh!  I ordered one of her great frames that she brought for me!  It’s beautiful….


Oh my, I could be her mother!!! ;;;)  Isn’t she cute?


We were getting a glare from the window, but it just seems appropriate to show you a pic in front of a floral showroom!  Most of my time is spent in floral and I know Kristen was doing some looking around too.  I met her friend, Sherry too.  Another nice lady!  I would love to see her floral work as well.



Here is an article from a publication I picked up at market called Home Accents Today.  It’s always very interesting to see their picks each year for what’s in and what’s out.  I don’t necessarily agree with all of these points.  How about you?  I wonder who decides this?


     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Retail update

Susan Dickenson, Retail Editor -- Home Accents Today, 1/1/2010

An interesting thing happened when I solicited retailers' picks for this month's annual In & Out list — I received about three times as many "Ins" as "Outs." Is it the result of better inventory management? Positive thinking? Or, in these recessionary times, a sort of "Stand by Your Manufacturer" loyalty?

As in years past, the results represent a variety of geographic areas, store sizes, merchandise categories and price ranges. They also reflect a variety of tastes — for some, blue is definitely out while others are selling it in every shade; some retailers say shine and metallics are flying off the shelves, other shops are shunning sheen.


in's  what is selling
in's  what is selling


  • Red
  • Purple, in all hues
  • Primary colors
  • Bright colors and combos, especially green and blue
  • Muted tones, such as browns and grays
  • Orange, red, brown and blue combinations for textiles
  • Pillows with bling in stitching, beads and/or fringe
  • Plum and light blue replacing brown and blue color schemes
  • "In the new year, our products will focus on what we saw at market — gold, yellow, teal and brown, plus black and white combinations"
  • Greenery that leans toward natural garden and spice variety
  • In florals: Burnt orange, bright to arid yellows and golds, deep reds and burgundy
  • Mixing old with new
  • Character
  • Pairing upholstery covered in natural fabrics like linen with rustic, old (or old-looking) case pieces
  • Understated chic, comfortable, well-priced goods.
  • Homey, "we've-had-this-old-expensive-thing-forever" looks
  • Candles
  • Throws
  • Pottery
  • Small artwork, like canvases and framed prints
  • "Repurposed, reclaimed, recycled furniture and accessories."
  • Monkeys
  • Bling Western styles: soft leather lampshades with gemstone beads, barbed-wire chandeliers with crystal embellishments
  • Cozy, warm chenille throws in all price ranges and colors
  • Crosses, religious items, inspirational sayings, motifs, words
  • "We are in a coastal community so everything nautical.
  • Crosses
  • Nature
  • Animal prints
  • Animal prints in non-traditional colorways
  • Large scale floral prints
  • Fleur de lis
  • Butterflies
  • Honeybees
  • Bird themes
  • Geometric repeats
  • Facets
  • Barware
  • Chrome
  • Silvery blues
  • Metallic and embellished wallpapers
  • Mirrored dining table pads
  • Bedding
  • Metallic leather
  • Cashmere blankets
  • Crystal ... everything!
  • Tone-on-tone damask
  • Original artwork purchased as investment
  • Americana
  • Mediterranean
  • Antique chairs upholstered in modern fabrics
  • Photo frames
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Quantity over quality
  • Anything too shiny
  • Showy labels
  • Formality
  • Firm pricing
  • Tea accessories
  • Over-the-top ornaments
  • Antique gold
  • Matchy-matchy bedding ensembles
  • Exaggerated arms on upholstered seating
  • Fussy floral arrangements
  • Equestrian/hunt themes
  • Black lampshades
  • Mass-produced artwork
  • Tuscany



The one that makes my hair stand on end is the point about the hunt theme is “out”!  I just did my family room in hunt theme and  love it!  Are there any on this list you don’t agree with?

Personally, I think if we love something and it makes us comfortable in our home, it is never really out.  It’s just the way we like it, like good food for the soul, it’s the way we’ve put together what we love.

                It’s good to be home with my dust and my decor!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Planning a Wedding

My daughter Jamie and I attended a local Bridal Show yesterday.  It’s just what we needed to start our minds racing about all the plans that need to be made.


Some of you may remember Dan proposed to Jamie at a Mystery Dinner “Titanic” party at her sister’s last October.

Mystery Dinner Titanic Oct.2009 022

Miss Tessie Anderson said  YES!

Mystery Dinner Titanic Oct.2009 017


We sat through a lengthy but enjoyable style show.  The dress shown below is ever so slightly similar to one of our favorite designs.  I do believe my daughter’s face will look softer and happier than this model!  Jamie likes the mermaid skirt and we really liked the one shoulder neckline.  She has not tried any on yet so she may totally change her mind at that time.  Soon we will have a mother/daughter (and her two sisters) shopping day to watch the Bride to Be model wedding gowns!

bridal gown


We sampled many, many wedding cakes.  Funny that most vendors were serving chocolate.  I just had to show you this wedding cake below.  A family friend’s daughter was married last summer.  The bride’s sister made this cake!!  Isn’t it absolutely picture perfect beautiful?  She is only twenty something and I can see a future in cake decorating for her if that’s what she chooses!



This is called Basket Weave

Jordan's wedding cake


We have been talking about flowers.  This will be a fall wedding and she is considering a burnt red/orange. 



She likes callas, hydrangeas and roses.  I am trying to decide if I want to tackle the flowers.  I have been a floral arranger for twenty years but have not done wedding bouquets.  This will be a destination wedding to Mexico and I may try doing the flowers since we won’t need so many.


Are any of you helping to plan a wedding this year? 



Friday, January 8, 2010

A Crockpot Recipe and a Bonus



Having been housebound for three days it only seemed right to dig out the Crockpot for some good ole comfort food.  I can’t even think in my lifetime when I have chosen to stay in the house for three days.  Our weather is just that bad.  We are in the midst of deep snow, ice, blowing snow and sub zero temps.  Accidents are shown on TV with each and every news report.  What better time to stay indoors and organize than early January in the midst of an arctic blast?


I’m joining Michael at Designs by Gollum along with many others for Foodie Friday today.  Need some new recipes for the New Year?  Go over for a visit!



Many of you may have a recipe for White Lighting Soup or White Chili but we really, really like this recipe so I thought I would share.





Simple ingredients and good for you too!


White Lightning Chili

4 cans of North White Beans, drained

2 cans Chicken Broth

4 chicken breasts

1 onion, diced

1 can Rotel tomatoes

3/4 block monterey jack cheese, grated

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. chili powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

Dice and brown chicken with diced onions.  Add all ingredients to crockpot.  Cook on low all day.  Leave 1/4 block jack cheese for topping.  Makes a full crockpot.

*I did not have a block of jack cheese, but I had slices of monterey pepper jack.  I just improvised by tearing some slices into the mixture.  I added a bit more just before serving.





Now for your Bonus!

During my Christmas Silk Show I always serve food .  My sister said she would bring a couple of appetizers to help me out.  She is a great cook with many good recipes so I love it when she offers to help out.  She happened to be short on time and told me she hoped I would be okay with what she brought.

This was it!


You have no idea how very good this is until you try it!  Many, many ladies at my show asked for the “recipe”! :)  Then again on New Year’s Eve short on time I decided to pull out a package of this I had purchased and got the same reviews.  Each family member asked for the recipe!  This is a hot dip that only requires a can of artichokes, some mayo and mozzarella cheese. 

It’s Fantastic!




This is another variation from Good Seasons.  It is almost as good and very much enjoyed too.  This is a cold dip.  From now on this will be a staple in my pantry when I'm in a pinch for time.


Okay, back to organizing for me.

By the way, which closet was I on???


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Aura of Candlelight

No one loves candles as much as me, or do you?  I love the warmth, the glow and the feeling you get in a room from candlelight.


You’ve seen my sconces before but in case you aren’t aware of the newest candle feature, I wanted to share. 

When I purchased these sconces a little over a year ago, I bought two LED candles to go inside.  From the beginning, I was rather disappointed as the light emitted was so dim you could barely see it when the lights were off, let alone if you had some back lights on. They just looked like wax candles sitting there not doing their job. :(




Now enter the ones pictured below I found at Target half price after Christmas!  Not only was the price right, they do a fantastic job pouring out a brilliant glow!  They are definitely improving the LED’s!!  These do require four AA batteries, so stock up.




These are so realistic that Mr. Brown Socks was upset with me, thinking I had lighted real candles against the wall.  He was walking over to blow them out when he realized he had been fooled.  He just grinned while my Mom and I were giggling.



If that isn’t exciting enough ~~ one of my local interior stores carried these remote control ones!


Before you go asking “how lazy can she get?” I have to say I’m excited with this find because it’s awkward removing the metal ring and pulling the candle out through the narrow glass globe each time to turn it off and on.  I think I’m going to LOVE these!  Did you know they had such a thing?


Also at Target, I found these little votive LED’s and dropped them down into my first ones that didn’t really glow.  Now these work well too!




Ahh, very nice!  Bright candles that flicker about and a happy husband.


What’s making you Smile today?