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January 28, 2016

Dried Roses for a Blue Lady

Okay so I stole the line from a song which really is "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" but my "Dried" Roses apply better for my title!


While purging my stock of deco items I sat staring at this pretty vase with dried roses that I was considering letting go.  I talked myself out of it and decided to try it over on my little round entry table.

Several years ago I found this at a cute little shop in town and it came with the dried roses.   I had it in the bedroom for a long time but it lost it's space when we re-did the room last year as seen "here".

She's an antique with some chips but I loved it the moment I saw it so home she came with me.

I also found this lace table topper while purging as I went through a drawer full of table runners and toppers a couple of weeks ago.   I decided to place it on top of the burlap covered table and it immediately changed the tone of the table. This vase full of dried roses seemed like a perfect romantic look to go with it.   Since Valentine's Day is approaching I figured why not add a touch of romance!

So there you have it- my Red Dried Roses for a Blue Lady!

If you don't know this song you can click on this and listen to it.  There are lots of versions of it on YouTube.  


Joining
Between Naps on the Porch
for

January 27, 2016

Purging Through The Winter

Boy I have got a steam roller going through my house!  Well maybe a broom but just the same I'm happy with the things I've been doing.

Last weekend while I watched the tv showing all the stuff going on over on the east coast I decided to go through my napkins.  I sorted them by color and theme.

I got the idea from Pam over at DIY Design Fanatic .  She was organizing her storage in a chest drawer and turned her napkins on their side.  

I knew that's just what I needed to do.  I have mine stored in these plastic tubs (with lids) but they were stacked on top of each other and it was a lot harder to pick out the napkins.  I let go of several of them too since I own way too many of them now!  There are more containers than I've showed.

On Saturday during the storm out east we were granted a gorgeous day here in northern Michigan with blue skies and sun!   It was warmish (above 32) and everybody was out and about enjoying it.  

Seeing our driveway is special to us this time of year!  I cleaned off the hand rails, steps and the side deck which had about 20" of snow and enjoyed the fresh air.  The next day I was stiff but it reminded me what I had done so I was happy with that!

Next I got real serious and went through my extra deco items and made two piles- one to get rid of and one to go back into storage.  I tore apart my hall closet started staging things on the shelves.  A couple of years ago I organized the basement.  We got all new shelving and lots of plastic tubs.  As seen "here".  Only problem was remembering what was there  and I was not happy having to go down to the basement to rummage through it all.  

Now this might not look too impressive but at least my deco stuff is up here and I can get to to easily.  I got rid of at least 50% of what I had so I'm tickled about that.   The shelf with the green baskets is holding cleaning items and vacuum bags, etc.  I need to pull the containers out and thin it down too or at least organize them again.   It's still a work in progress.  We gave this closet a bit of a makeover as seen "here" a couple of years ago.  I changed up what was on the shelves more than once but at this point I'm planning to stick with it this way. 

I have a few more things to sort but essentially I've accomplished what I wanted.  Now I have a bunch of empty containers to take back down to the storage area.  Somehow I have a feeling they'll get filled up again!

So onward purging through the winter I go!


January 20, 2016

Wintry Country Morning Breakfast

Well winter has placed her firm grip on us up north here and I am officially calling this "deep winter" now!  Any of you who would like to have snow just take a peak at my pictures and you can pretend!

My little jingle bells poinsettia is still going strong.  After doing some cleaning up in my office I found this basket that had been forgotten about so I place the plant in there and surrounded it with moss.  I wanted to keep the table setting kind of countrified so this is how I started.

I also wanted to still keep the blue coloring going in this area so I dug out my Johnson Brothers Devon Cottage dishes.  I've used these staged on the plate rack as in "here" "here"  and "here" with another tablescape.

I used this tablecloth to keep the design plain and added the red napkins to compliment the poinsettia.

The wicker chargers draw on the color of the moss adding some organic tones and keep country feeling going.

I adore this cow creamer made by Polish Pottery and my new glasses were perfect for this setting.

I'm using my tripod and have the camera on a manual setting because it's just not all that bright out.  We received about 15" of snow in the past 5 days.

See the bird feeders out there?  We keep them filled all winter and as you can see there's a lot of snow on them!  The tops were empty of snow only last Friday.

They like the tray feeder and empty it first.  The bottom left one holds suet.  The hang on from the bottom to feed.  My regular visitors are Cardinals, Chickadees, Nuthatches and various woodpeckers. Sometimes the finches show up but not consistently until spring.  If you have one feeder and want to know what to use just put out black sunflower seeds.  Don't buy the wild bird mixes because they usually have a lot of seed that only a few birds want.  It ends up getting kicked out on the ground.

I crave color in the winter.  Though there is really only the two of us it looks nicer to set the table for 4!

 The tablecloth is something I bought from One King's Lane several years ago.  It's one of my favorites.  It has a nice weight to it and I love the soft red striping.  They called it "Classic Stripe Tablecloth Red" by French Laundry.  They still offer it in a pillow but not the tablecloth.

Last Sunday I made these scrumptious pancakes that my sister shared with me.   Turns out the recipe is from Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network.  It makes a lot of pancakes so next time I might try half the recipe for hubby and myself.  I failed to take pictures but trust me they're delicious! 

Blueberry Pancakes
by Trisha Yearwood
This is the "link" to the recipe but I also copied it and dropped it on the page below here.  I added one little change regarding the butter.  They should have said "divided" for the stick of butter because you only use a 1/2 stick in the recipe and the other half was simply for cooking.  I didn't have blueberries or lemon zest so I made it without and they were still very good!  

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted (divided)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


I will be joining the following parties:

Have a Cup With Mrs. Olson
for

Ivy and Elephants 
for

Between Naps on the Porch
for 

Rattlebridge Farm
for

Rustic and Refined
for
Table It 

A Stroll Thru Life
for
Inspire Me Tuesday

January 18, 2016

The Sun's Out Take Pictures Fast!


Boy the sun was beaming in the room and I grabbed my camera and just started taking pics.  I wasn't even done setting up the mantel yet but I snapped away!
For Christmas I had moved my furniture into new positions.  The striped cabinet had been moved over to this side and I do like it under the picture.  They both have a very Tuscan look and go together well.  I was a bit heavier into Tuscan for a while but have been breaking away from it a bit.

I don't keep a lot of family pictures around the house but I do keep a small group and these were a part of our son's wedding.  I elevated the urn with my newer glass display piece that I used at Christmas which had a small tree on it.  

The etagere was moved back to this corner.  Same things on it as before.  

I keep this copper dish displayed because the kids gave it to us and it is a little mental tie in to my Dad's past.  He grew up in Calumet Michigan which was at one time a very important copper mining town.

On the other side I switched a couple of pieces on this wood top area.  The floral arrangement had previously been on the coffee table, then the dining table and now here… call me fickle!

I found this runner during my visit back home.  I love the quatrefoil pattern and this had to come home with me.   I guess I should have ironed these.  That white linen piece always looks frumpy.  :-/

The big bowl with the deco balls keeps floating around the room too.

I've added pieces from three different stores.  The ones with the brass bands are the most unusual since the body is made of cut pieces of bone.  

Same stuff on the coffee table. I like these elements so they stick around.

 One thing I changed after I took the pictures are the two white candles on the brass candle holders. When I first had chosen the white ones I decided they reflected the shape of the large white hurricanes but after Christmas when I put them back they felt too modern and bold.

I remembered seeing these feather shaped candles somewhere so I went shopping on the internet.  I thought I'd get a pair and see how they'd do.  They aren't offered in white, but I think this ivory is nice because it softens up the look.

 These are called Feathered Twist Beeswax candles made by Dadant Candle.  These are the 8" ones and they are also offered in a 12" size and in multiple color choices.

These candles also make me think of a quill pen which seems appropriate for the period of the picture on the wall.

I feel like something else is needed up there but I don't know what it is yet.  Perhaps some books or a neat box.

I was looking to do something different with the candle holder.  I was staring at my etagere and noticed the golden metal orb looked about the right size so I decided to try it out.  Turned out to fit in there rather well.  Makes me think of a King's Scepter.  :-)

This picture is current the other ones with the sun were from a week ago.  We've had some real mixed up weather here lately as I know many of you have.

I'm joining the following parties:

Between Naps on the Porch
for
Metamorphosis Monday

Our Home Away From Home
for
Tuesday's At Our Home

A Stroll Thru Life
for
Inspire Me Tuesday

Ivy and Elephants
for
What's It Wednesday 

January 14, 2016

Winter Dining for Two!

I started a crockpot dinner and the house already smells delicious!    I set the table for two and centered my ruffled bowl loaded with a pot-pourri of pine cones, wood chips and pieces of cedar.  It smells good too!  Notice the new goblets….they were a Christmas gift from my daughter and hubby.  I fell in love with them at Williams Sonoma.  I've always wanted some etched stemware with a floral
design and these have a vintage look which is what they are also called "Vintage"!  I hope to add on to this collection with more pieces. I have 12 of these now so I'm off to a good start!

The old aerial view!  The white dishes are my everyday ones by Mikasa called Antique White.

Last week I made a trip out to a favorite local store and found these placemats.  They're made by C & F Enterprises.  I googled it and found tons of styles.  This one grabbed my attention because of the colors- perfect for my setting.  It reverses to a beige/white stripe.


Waiting for dinner!

This is a recipe I found on Facebook through a group called FOOD52 but then I went to the actual person that they copied it from which is at this link "HERE" at laurassweetspot.com . The recipe is called "Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin".  Towards the end of cooking she has you baste the meat with the homemade glaze she gives the recipe for.  

I carefully lifted the pork tenderloin onto a baking sheet and drizzled more glaze on it. Then I put it under the broiler to caramelize it and it came out perfect.  Her recipe suggests 6 to 8 hrs. on a low setting.  I went the full 8 hrs. but I could have quit at 6.  I read through some of the comments people made about it but I didn't have any issues with it like some complained about.  This is a keeper recipe as far as I'm concerned!

I also made baked potatoes and cooked up some of the green beans I froze up last summer.  A little slice of artisan bread and yum!  We'll have leftovers for a couple more nights.  These pictures were taking with my iPhone.  I didn't do any staging for it- just reality!

The meat fell apart and the glaze was delicious!  

We're also making sandwiches with it.  I toasted some bread, buttered it with miracle whip, added some stone group mustard, shredded some of the cold meat, making sure to have some of the glazing included and wow what a great sandwich!   Just click that link I gave earlier for the recipe.  

I'll be joining
Between Naps On The Porch
for 

and

Rattlebridge Farm
for

January 12, 2016

Étagère and Sun

We are supposed to be having a big snow storm with high winds and they even closed the schools I guess in anticipation, but it's calm outside and the sun has come out…yay!

Had to take a picture of this shadowing

This is the first time since I got this Etagere to decorate it with everyday items and not something themed for a season.  I started with my little blue and white hen on this display piece.  Very few of my dishes can fit here so I decided to try the clay tray and it fits perfectly.

I did go with mostly blues and chose to mix a couple of different patterns together on the next shelf.  I found the navy blue cream pitcher a couple of months ago and have been waiting to use it.

This shelf I decided to stick to a theme for wine.  I need a nice looking corkscrew for this too.  The marble wine chiller came from the Williams Sonoma outlet down at Birch Run (MI) and the copper wine coaster also from WS.  That wood tray is from Pier 1- a clearance item but possibly still available. Great for a cheese tray which is always so good with wine.

I set a tray on this level and incorporated a dairy theme or so I tried.  I need some eggs for the basket but I didn't want to use my Easter Eggs since they're colored and I'd like a more natural look. I stuffed a couple of faux cabbage pieces in there for now.  There are roosters on the side of the basket but they don't show up well.  Someone needs to highlight them with a little accent paint!

On the bottom I stacked all my round or square tablecloths in the large basket. Behind it is a wicker tray that is standing up against the frame.  It provides a screen for the accent light that shines behind it in the evenings.

I did the same in the other smaller basket that sets on the bottom of the little table next to it.  I did manage to force myself to put a couple of tablecloths in the donation bag.  

So that's how it looks for now!  You know me it probably will change before long :-)

Doesn't look like a big storm does it!  I think the weathermen scared the school into thinking it was going to be far worse than it ended up being.  It's safer though than trying to let school out early and have the buses trying to navigate in bad weather.

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