Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Monday, November 21, 2011

Read All About It!!

Last week my friend Susan’s daughter was married. 


As all weddings are, everything was just beautiful.  I really loved the table decorations and thought you might enjoy seeing them too.  Susan’s daughter used to work in a library, loves to read and is in a field now where her words just flow.  The bride told her mother early on that she wanted the centerpieces to have “books and sticks”.  Susan and I were both scratching our heads wondering how this was going to flow.  Well, flow it did and I overhead many, many positive comments.




This was our starting point ~~

Table Seating

Don’t  you just love the card catalogs??

Names were alphabetized and placed in the right drawer by letter.  You would look and find your name.  I forgot to take a picture

but the last letter of our name was in a big font on the left side of the card.

Then our names were listed followed by:


Title:  Table #15

Subject: Wedded Bliss

Date Checked in: 11-11-11





Many, many,many old novels had their covers removed and were tea stained and bound with twine.

These were free romance novels, or 25 cent books from the thrift store. No one really looked at the pages.


Just look at the fancied up book with pages rolled and fluffed to perfection.

Lovely real flowers were inserted in the middle.


The “sticks” were beautifully arranged in a tall cylinder vase

with bookprint flowers attached.

You can see the cylinder held more of the coverless tea stained books.



Can you see tucked into each napkin was a salal leaf with a book page cut out to match the leaf and glued on?




Here are more twigs tied around cylinders for one table’s centerpiece.



The head table held the most ruffily and fancy, smashy book



There was so much detail. It was such fun walking around to look at all the variations of books at each table.



Susan really did her homework in research for discovering all the ways to make books wedding reception ready!  She and our FABULOUS floral designer friend Damon worked magic.

Just a beautiful reception it was.

Best wishes go out to the happy newlyweds!

Joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life Tabletop Tuesday

The Shady Porch

Kim at Savvy Southern Style

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mums and Pumpkins and Apple Dessert

I LOVE Fall!  I love the many colors of mums.  I love decorating with pumpkins and I love apple desserts!


Just days before my new granddaughter made her entrance into the world I had a family luncheon in honor of my

Dear Mother’s Birthday







Louisiana Gumbo

Tossed Salad with Assorted Dressings

Outback Honey Wheat Bushman Bread

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

Spiced Apple Cider

Pumpkin Coffee




The gumbo doesn’t photograph well, but OH!!  Was it ever good!  Totally homemade with chicken broth and three meats.  I used chicken, sausage and shrimp.



Here’s how the table looked with the morning sunshine streaming in




We had eight guests but I only had four of these square, fruit plates



For the other place settings I used these buttery yellow plates which worked just as well




Look closely and you can see all the touches of fall I enjoyed incorporating into this tablescape.


Small little vases held single stems of brightly colored marigolds

while a silver pot from the thrift store was my vase for a variety of garden mums.




Each place setting started off with a mini pumpkin to add to the fall theme

Napkins were tied with natural twine with a fall leaf tucked in.

I quickly learned these wilt if not brought in right before the guests arrive.  I had to replace many the day of the luncheon.



Footed brown glasses were a garage sale find last summer. 




The birthday cake was SO good.

Everyone raved over it and some even thought it was an Apple Bread Pudding.  DSCN5035_1064



I think that was because of the caramel sauce drizzled over.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream added a few more calories.


Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce


4 c. diced Granny Smith apples

2 eggs

2 c. sugar

1 c. chopped nuts

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. salt

Beat eggs add the sugar, oil, apples, and the remaining dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Put in 9 x 13 an and bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Serve with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce over.


Caramel Sauce

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. half and half

1/2 c. margarine

1 T. flour

1 tsp. vanilla


Boil sugar, cream, margarine, and flour for one minute.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Serve on top of ice cream on cake.


Let me know if you try it!  Your guests will love it…I am SURE!



On my table ~~

Square Fruit Plates  TJ Maxx

Round Buttery yellow plates and black bowls  Thrifted

Brown Stemmed Glasses  Garage Sale

Fall Dessert Plates  Hartstone Dishes

Silver Bowl   Goodwill

Light Brown napkins  Dillards

Tablecloth  Target




Today I am joining:

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Designs by Gollum  ~ Foodie Friday

The Shady Porch

Monday, November 7, 2011

Is that a Five legged, quarter sawn oak table???

My mother in law and father in law have been gone quite a few years now.  After their passing, Mr. Brown Socks and I made several trips back to our home town to clear out the house he grew up in.  My in laws stayed in the same little house for YEARS and didn’t get rid of a whole lot.


There were many uncovered treasures.  Everything was divided up quite fairly and the whole experience was a nice one, under the circumstances.  It’s hard going through things and remembering back but I am so pleased to have many things to remember my dear in laws by.  Of course Mr. Brown Socks was most interested in tools of his dad’s and many things out in the garage.  I received some heirloom jewelry, an old teal blue fan which I will show you soon AND this:



A few years after bringing this table home my friend Susan was out in the garage with me and I uncovered the protective sheet to show her what I had planned to refinish one day.


She so excitedly screamed out:




She said it so fast that the words all ran together and I had no idea what she had said.  She had to repeat and said it just the same!

Well, I didn’t know at the time that quarter sawn oak is indeed a beautiful cut of wood and makes for a gorgeous table. 

This piece of furniture was indeed special too because it belonged to my husband’s parents.  He remembers it sitting in their dining room and eating from it.

For years I had planned to refinish it and maybe even use it as our kitchen table.  There was a major problem though.





As a boy my dear husband and his brother used to use this table as leverage while they were sawing wood pieces.  You can see the results of their hobby!

I just wasn’t sure what I should do about this problem as there were saw marks on 3 sides of the table.  So procrastination worked for many years and it sat in the garage under a sheet.

I finally decided this table would be a perfect piece in our game room next to our downstairs family room and bar.


We stripped off all the old finish




and filled in the slits with Wood Putty by Minwax.  The stain color was called Early American and matched up pretty well.

We discovered this wood had such beautiful grain and color there was absolutely no need to apply stain.






Ta Da!!



Yes, you can see where the repair work was done.  I wish I had applied a bit of stain or rub of some sort as the varnish makes the putty shine a bit.

Character, I call it!  This table has a story to tell!!


I think it will be fun to tell our grandchildren what happened to this family keepsake as we are using it for games or putting puzzles together or having a holiday meal.


My sister in law recently told me another story.  This was the table my mother in law would herd all her children under when a tornado was approaching!  Of course Deb was the only obedient child.  Mr. Brown Socks and his brother would run out to look at the clouds forming as dear mother in law would be hollering at them to come under the table for safety!  I can just hear her now!!  I love old stories such as this!


When I joined the family I remember it with a piece of plywood over it.  It was used as a ping pong table.




Where is the fifth leg you ask???  We don’t know!  Somewhere a long the way, the fifth leg disappeared.  We never found it to bring home, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what happened to it.  Last week I had a handyman stop by and he is going to make us another leg.  The table also has FIVE leaves!!  Those still have to be stripped and refinished.





On a totally different note, I now have a beautiful granddaughter!!  We are thrilled to pieces to have Amelia Leone join our family.  I actually was invited in to watch her come into this world. 


Beautiful Baby Girl

She is so loved already!




Thank you for stopping by.

I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for

Met Monday