Monday, November 30, 2009
These little angels are from The Vermont Country Store, which has a marvelous catalog and website that sells all things from the past. A lot of items like old fashioned sweets and confections, home and beauty products, and my favorite, old fashion flannel nightgowns for our cold Midwestern nights. Heaven! I remember these little candles from when I was a little girl. My mother had them and I think she may have gotten them at Woolworth's. She didn't drive and the closest town was about 10 miles away. So we walked, my mother leading her six little ducklings to a corner along the highway where a bus would pick us up and take us to this town. I remember that besides Woolworth's, there was a Sears where we bought our appliances, and a Fannie Mae, which was not on the itinerary. After shopping in Woolworth's for things like socks, underwear and toiletries, we were rewarded for good behavior by having lunch, which was inevitably grilled cheese, or hot cocoa at the snack bar. I think of those days when I see my little angel candles. In fact, I ordered three more because the head broke off one of them. She is not looking too appealing headless.
I also have these reproduction ornaments that are just like the ones hanging on my Dad's tree now, only his are the real deal. Again, I remember examining all of the ornaments on the tree once it was up and just loving the glittery pictures and script. Weren't the ornaments of our childhood just so fascinating? I took these pictures last Christmas as alas, I have not even brought my boxes upstairs yet. And...I am going to do a thorough cleaning of the house before I do. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with so many thing to be thankful for, but I had a lot of cleanup to do afterward. I got Abigail off to school yesterday (sniff sniff), and today I will keep busy with the cleaning and the boxes. Friday I will go buy our tree. :-)
Christine, my good friend from Christine's Home And Travel Adventures had a Pay It Forward Giveaway, and I was one of three people that won. Above you will see the gifts she so generously sent me. How I love getting packages in the mail from my blogging friends and you know, I got to meet Christine last April when she was in Chicago. We had such a fabulous time and I am so hoping we will get together again soon. She sent me a set of four gold chargers and you can see the ornate detail along the rim. The little gold ornaments are actually place card holders. How elegant!
Here you can see a pretty silver box with a verse on it that I love. Inside were these pretty peace dove ornaments that I believe you can put a picture in. Well, I will try. The crochet doily is also from Christine and in the back you can see a gold wreath she made that I put a candle in. It can be hung of course but I think it looks so pretty this way. All of the winners will receive the wreath. She also gave me a cute little ceramic candle holder with two birds on it and it got cut out of the picture. Sorry! I will post it another time...it's SO cute!
And finally these cute letters. Gosh, I hope I smiled enough when I met her...I know I had a great time!
In my last post, I rambled on at the end about the progress of my kitchen at the lake. I had my new knobs and pulls put on. Well, I forgot to post the picture. I don't think anyone noticed!! So here it is, better late than never. As I said, my counters are full of stuff, but I don't stage too often, and I am a clutter bug. I was just sitting there one evening and it looked so pretty with just the pendant lights on, so I took some pictures. Anyway, you can read my ramblings below in that post.
Now I want to tell you that it is my turn to do the Pay It Forward. The first three people to comment on this post will win the PIF. I will send each person a gift(s) and in turn they will have a Pay It Forward and do the same. It is a lot of fun. I have to say that I will probably not get the gifts out until after the new year because of the congestion at the post office, but as you can see from the package I received from Christine, it will be well worth the wait! Now off I go to visit all the people in Vintage Christmas Monday and then I have to clean (ugh). I hope everyone has a great week!! :-)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
22 lb. turkey basted with butter and lemon
Herb stuffing with sausage
Mashed potatoes with sour cream, cream cheese and gravy
Sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar
Celery stuffed with cream cheese and green olives
Chocolate cherry cake
Now you know why we all take long naps after dinner!
We went to the lake this past weekend after missing 3 weekends in a row. Talk about withdrawal! And above you will see the BIG thing I was talking about in one of my recent posts. I finally got my Hoosier cabinet!! After searching high and low, in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, where did I find it! Right here in a Chicago suburb! I am so in love with it. The owner of the antique store said it was probably from the 30's or 40's and it has the original flour bin and sifter. I rubbed this baby down with furniture oil and put a few pieces on it and in it. I'm still not sure what I will display with all of my favorite things spread out amongst both homes. You can see that monstrous Philomena Philodendron found a new home. I have my ironstone tea set outside and my new (old) French dishes inside. I can't wait to decorate it for Christmas!
And finally I took an updated picture of the kitchen because I now have my pulls and knobs on. Wow! Progress. Still a long way to go. Pardon all my stuff on the counters. Nothing staged and I say somewhat embarrassed, this is just me. I am a clutter bug. I have to have my small appliances out where I can see them and use them. The Husband just bought the new crock pot because he wants some nice warm meals cooking away on Sundays, the aroma drifting through the house. I like that too. And it frees me up to do whatever I want without worrying about dinner.
Finally I want to announce the winner of my giveaway. I pulled the number out of the proverbial hat and the winner is Lou Cinda of Tattered Hydrangeas! She will be receiving the note cards by Karen Harvey Cox of A Scrapbook Of Inspiration as well as some other goodies I will be picking out. Thanks everyone, for leaving their comments over the past two weeks.
Here is wishing everyone a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
So back to my specific boredom/foodie problem, I thought about putting a lidded jar in the refrigerator with little notes inside such as 'Clean me!' or 'Fold the laundry!' But those are more like commands. I need something like 'Play with the dog' or 'Ask The Husband if he has heard any good jokes'. Nooooo...this would never work. I'll have to think about this.
So in the spirit of keeping myself from going stir crazy this afternoon, I went to Borders. I really didn't need to buy any books, but it sure beat the post office. I'm in the middle of one book and have a small stack. I cannot go to the library as I have, er...abused my card. So, I parked as far away as I could to get exercise, which I personally think would have added up by now and I could just jog to the book store. The whole time I chanted under my breath, "Just one book. Just one book." I don't do well with rules, especially ones I make myself, for myself. But I was determined. Like eating from the fridge when I am bored, buying books is like feeding my appetite another way. However, I did really well. I picked books up, read the front, back, inside jacket, about the author, the reviews, and then judiciously made my decision. And above is the prized book. This is a debut novel written by an author from Jackson, Mississippi, who went to the University of Alabama and now lives in Atlanta. And it has to do with a young woman who graduates in 1962 and comes home to find that her beloved maid is missing. The story also involves two other black maids living in hardship and "...Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk....because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times." One of the reviews called this book a "...button pushing , soon to be wildly popular novel." So I think I did well. And sometimes when your appetite is big, you just have to have one thing, but make it the best. I will let all of you know what I think of the book if I have it finished by next week. But I'll give no hints to ruin it!
My appetite for books was also fed this week with the arrival of the above book and an email from my good friend, Brenda, at A Cozy Little House. She is just the best. I don't think she knows how much I enjoy reading cookbooks! And this is a good one to read because I did spend a bit of time going through it. And I saw it displayed at Borders today, so it must be new and selling well. Thanks so much Brenda!!
And finally, I won a giveaway that I am so pleased with. Sandi from Small Town Living At It's Best pulled my name out of the hat and I won a copy of Mary Carol Garrity's, O Christmas Tree! How excited I was! Best of all, you can see, the book is autographed by the author! How cool is that? Sandi did the tour of Nell Hill's last summer and had two copies signed. She is SO generous! So I have a lot of reading on my hands, a lot to whet my appetite. Now if I can just stay out of the refrigerator...
Monday, November 16, 2009
Visit Kathy and see the list of all the ladies participating in this event. Find all sorts of ideas for thrifty holiday crafts. And if I can do something simple, anyone can.
This is a picture of the tablecloth in Country living. Unfortunately, I have a round dining table, so I decided to take the easy way out and make a runner. I think the 'easy' part of this would have flown right out the window if I had had to hem a round tablecloth by hand. As of yet I have not learned how to use my new sewing machine, but my sister~in~law has promised to help me. If you would like to enlarge the picture from Country Living, click it on and you can skip my directions below.
The project calls for a canvas drop cloth, grout tape and fabric paint. Off I went to our local hardware store and for some reason I asked the man for caulk tape. He searched and searched and had another man help him and I really had them scratching their heads for awhile. When they gave up the search and gave each other 'knowing' glances, I meekly grabbed a roll of masking tape and the drop cloth. I then went to Hobby Lobby for the red fabric paint. When I got home I realized the drop cloth was about 1000 yards long. My table is 46' in diameter. So I now have enough fabric to make curtains for the whole house and reupholster all the furniture. You must wash and dry the drop cloth about three times to soften the fabric. It came out gorgeous. I then measured according to a runner I already had and added 2 inches to all sides for the hem. I then taped where I wanted my stripes by measuring from the middle out. I just eyeballed the space between the stripes. The masking tape worked just fine but to be sure, I ran a warm iron over it so the paint wouldn't bleed under. Then I just dabbed the paint on lightly. After four hours I removed the tape (this is according to the directions on the fabric paint) and then I hemmed it with fusible webbing and pressed it with an iron. Voila!!
I even took a picture of it with the grapes like it is in the magazine picture!! I was really happy about the look of shock and pleasure on The Husband's face when I was finished. While I was working, he kept walking by and shaking his head. He asked me where I was getting these crazy ideas. He sounded like my mother! He was also surprised to learn the fabric was a drop cloth. Before the project started I said I might make some pillows because I had so much fabric and he said, "I'm not lying my head on drop cloth!" Well, we'll see about that!! Please visit Kathy after you leave a comment and have a happy week!! :-)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I admit I fiddled and tweaked. She is too impatient to learn how to fold a napkin or position the silverware correctly (or like perfect soldiers, the way I tend to do it). I switched out the napkin rings and lit a candle. By then she was in the shower, all was forgotten. So here we have it. She did a great job, didn't she? The black and white mixes in well with the white china and off white capiz shell chargers and napkins. She mixed in some gold fall colors with some silver serving dishes. And she tied the dessert/bread plates in with a whimsical touch, a small trifle glass filled with black and white buttons.
Hey...if you enlarge this picture you will see Nina, the parrot, in her white cage off to the right. Probably waiting for the cabbage rolls. You might also see the door to the china closet open wide also. So much for staging. I want to remind you all about the giveaway. Tell your friends! My blog button is on my sidebar if you want it. It's new and I am proud of it, of course. This weekend I am going to the lake after missing 2 weekends in a row. I am going nuts. And I have something big there that I am going to tell you all about when I get back!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
In my last post I spoke of going up to our Lake house to check on the progress of our renovations and then drive up to South Haven, Michigan and stay overnite at the Old Harbor Inn. South Haven is a quaint little town with lots of antique and gift shops, an excellent kitchen store where I bought my first pasta roller (you had to see the long strands of pasta draped over the dining room chairs drying. Wish I had a camera for that!). Anyway, Saturday morning I awoke at 6:30 a.m. to the above. Yep, that's my car covered in snow. I was too busy Friday night eating popcorn and watching holiday movies to put it away. We called our resident carpenter (and I mean resident-he lives in the lake house while he does said renovations. He is currently putting in hardwood floors throughout the house with the exception of the kitchen, and that is the reason we were going to stay in South Haven, no floor.)and he said the snow was worse there. The husband and I threw a few logs on the fire and sipped our coffee while contemplating our alternatives now that we were fired up to get away. Hence, the following pic.
Downtown Chicago. Yeah, Christmas shopping!! We booked ourselves in the Whitehall Hotel which is quite a historic building in it's own right, but I was just thrilled to be a block from the Magnificent Mile, better known as Michigan Avenue. The Fifth Avenue of Chicago. The rival of Rodeo Drive. One of the GREATEST PLACES TO SHOP!! I was in Heaven. Until The Husband lost his credit card in Macy's which was having it's biggest SATURDAY SALE IN HISTORY. Granted, we have other credit cards, perhaps too many, which some of you can identify with. C'mon, admit it. The problem was, The Husband insisted on searching for said card in Macy's, all 11 floors. After being accused of losing said card (he supposedly handed it to me in a very uncommon moment of shyness) in the lingerie department. I was instructed not to leave, not to move from my spot in the lingerie department. So I did what any normal blonde would do, I purused the bras and sexy undies and (gasp) thongs (ouch). Apparently while I was purchasing a sensible pair of flannel jammies, he came looking for me and as a typical male, probably made a quick sweep through the place and left. After smoking a cigar out on the street he traced my imaginary steps back to said historic hotel. Not finding me in the room of course, he made full use of the facilities, read the paper and smoked another cigar. Upon returning to Macy's he finally found me riding the escalators, hot and mad as all get out. Two hours in the lingerie department with no desire to ever see a thong again in my life. No credit card was found, but The Husband did manage to find the bag of expensive candy we bought and his gloves. I'm glad I was wearing the parka I purchased earlier or he would have lost that too. So much for our big shopping trip, It was 6:00 p.m. it was 10 degrees and the wind had picked up off the lake. As I hunkered down in my new parka I managed to see some yummy shops: Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Bebe, Cartier. Oh sigh of sighs. We went back to the historic hotel and ate cashews.
I wish you all warm weather, good shopping days and please avoid the lingerie departments as a favor to me.
Lots of love,
Monday, November 2, 2009
Our room is not incredibly big. It is off the loft where we watch television and read, so I am content with not having a sitting area in it. Plus, I have a large balcony with an arbor over it that I am going to have fun fixing up next summer. That will be a wonderful area to sit and enjoy a sunny day or warm evening. I am thinking about a big chaise and rocker as well as a bistro table and chairs for some al fresco dining. But I digress . Above is my old rocker with a swan pillow in honor of our lake swans. I bought this pillow from a website called Cola's Cottage. Nicole makes some really pretty things and I love this pillow. Before I go further, let me say that nothing was staged on the night that I was running around taking pictures. So if you spot any undies lying around...
My husband picked this bed up at Marshall Field's in downtown Chicago before it so rudely turned in to Macy's (I could still cry). It was the first thing we bought for the Lakehouse so I guess our marriage is good. The duvet cover was mentioned in one of my recent posts. I was going for a beachy sort of look and then thought I ruined it with this duvet, but I fell in love with it. I found it at Macy's... lol!! The pillows and sheets also came from Macy's and the area rugs came from Orvis. The shell lamps came from HomeGoods and the little beachy dresser scarves were found on one of my little jaunts in Michigan. I bought the starfish at Michael's and painted them white and then added Martha's glitter with her glitter glue. Sort of hard to tell, but they are cute and add that nice sparkly look of excess glitter all over the night stands. If you look on the floor to the right of the bed, you will see Layla's hind end halfway under the bed. She must have spotted my camera. She is not the ham Milo is!