Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snow covered clear jars (amost snow like)

Just had to give a sneak preview of a few of the items featured on our recent Open House tour. What a great time we had. My son assisted in moving this cute project to another level by using a product on the glass BEFORE adding glue and snow. This makes for easier cleaning. I drew the tree and he taped it - did his magic and waited hours for the snow to dry completely. They are so pretty with just a hint of glow at the bottom of the tree - Hope you like it. Look for more posts - perhaps tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Making a definite impact - small or LARGE?

Each of us has probably purchased one of the black wrought iron wreath stands - I have a couple and use them a lot. While rummaging in the basement for something different for my Christmas Tree theme this year, I came across an old floor lamp - you know the type that has a swing arm or it can be stationary but think of re purposing it into a BIG wreath stand. I removed the electrical parts of this one about fifteen years ago with good intentions to rewire the thing, but it never was placed on any one's list of things to do. I've used it a couple of times to display an item and even a wreath - years ago, but only this week - realized how neat it would be to bring it out again. Dusting the cobwebs off was all it needed. My bathroom is very small, but what an impact this makes? This gem won't be cast aside any longer. Enjoy - oh - please check back in for some photos of our Christmas 2010 Open House. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

From tablecloth to a "needed bed skirt"

I switch tables out like you would not believe. I must have owned about nine or ten during my lifetime. My current house is the only place I have lived that offered a separate room off the kitchen as a dining room. I used it as such for years, but always gravitated to the small table in the kitchen, or perhaps the small bistro table on the screened porch (off the kitchen). Our dining room was used mostly as a "pass through" to get to the short hall and bathroom, so a few years ago,Carl and I decided late one night to do some rearranging and get rid of the dining room atmosphere all together. It has worked quite well, for now I have a small TV room that tends to be our favorite spot. The windows face west and even on severely COLD days, the room receives plenty of sunshine to warm you. So, after all this explaining, I arrive at the reason for today's post. I was rummaging through my huge collection of tablecloths and found this really pretty, white with small blue scallops and cut-out work. Needing another fresh cottage look in our guest room, I removed about twelve inches from the center and still have the CENTER of the tablecloth to make a nice pillow sham. I had sufficient length to do several pleats which compliment the bed skirt. Careful planning and cutting is my only expense to this recent project. One of the photos shows a small view of my recent slipcovered rocker.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A cast-away chair gets new life

This old rocker has been around my sister's place for years; we traded a chair a few years ago and in the swap, I acquired this one. It was painted white a couple of years ago and nothing else done to it. It has sat outside in the elements for over a year and you can see from the BEFORE PHOTO - painting was done without any taping, so I decided yesterday to start a slipcover from a nice piece of Waverly fabric. I'm so.............glad I remembered to wash FIRST in hot water and dry because it shrank quite a bit. This little gem will come upstairs now and enjoy a corner in my guest bedroom. You gotta love this fabric in ANY color.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn greetings from my front porch to yours

Sorry I've been out of touch for a while - too much going on and just couldn't get in the groove to blog. But I'm back today - Happy Friday also. My son just completed a makeover of my front porch. Removing a "not so good brick job from years ago", marks and scuffs from deck boards to original concrete substance was quite a feat, but it looks great. Our small 8x12 porch took 25 bags of concrete mix - I could not believe it. I look forward to this new smooth finish for many years. Enjoy the pillows from a previous post - I thought they would look great on the two chairs, flanking the small round table displaying an antique crochet piece. I made the large fall arrangement from my stash of stuff in the basement. Not a penny was spent on this autumn look. You gotta love any project that doesn't cost money.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Using what you already have . . . . . . sometimes it is GREAT

My friends call me the "queen of recycling" - I love it. It's a great way to save the planet, save some cash and who out there doesn't like doing that? My son had a few pieces of shelving left from our bookshelves project and I was pondering what to do with perfectly good boards. I had spotted on a blog months ago something similar but did not want to copy exactly, so I chose another route. Rather than use fretwork and painting the whole object, I decided to install a cute ROUND frame I've had for years, tossed in a drawer downstairs and then the real fun began. I love taking photos and must have hundreds like many of you, but I was seeking the "perfect one to compliment the look I was going after" and this is what I come up with. It is all painted white and houses a beautiful photo I took over six years ago after a brief shower of snow. I love how all the trees around Carl's workshop stand out. You gotta love a free project once in a while. This gem will be enjoyed during Christmas season and I can even display other favorite photos.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Framed piece for all to see and enjoy

Sorry this was delayed in being posted with first post. Blogger was not the usual ease of use today. Photo would NOT upload. Here is the finished framed small plate. I found just the right spot to hang this and enjoy it so much. Look on right side of screen under LABELS to read post that should have been included with this one.

Newly dressed treasure for all to see

Don't you just love a new look for a treasured piece; perhaps a small plate from a previous collection; perhaps a wedding plate from a grandmother's house - Anything can be mounted on the appropriate mat and framed. Having the best framing expert can be helpful and I'm fortunate to live in a town that has one. Jonathan is a friend and does wonderful pottery pieces, teaches classes at our local museum and he also owns a great framing shop and is great to work with. I found these two lovely small plates at our local DAV thrift shop (the set of four had been broken up and only these two remained). Of course, since there was red on one plate, I knew my cousin Patty would love to be the new owner AFTER I had Jonathan frame them. They are so pretty - try this look on a treasured piece - I bet you have just the spot on a wall and you can enjoy the piece much better than moving it around in a drawer or china cabinet. Lucky me - I spotted these for less than $3 and already owned two really nice walnut frames.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here I go recycling AGAIN and AGAIN..........

Just had to show off this cute contemporary looking photo frame with curved back (it has the easiest access door to the back of the frame). Picked it up at a little flea market just outside of town earlier today. The wood appears to be oak and I thought of using it to display a cute saying regarding dinner (or rather, the lack of it). I loved the way it just sits on the counter - no easel or stand - just the curved shape allows it to stay put. Almost forgot to mention..... it was only $1.50.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Getting dressed for a "new look"

Don't we all love to create new spaces? I do. I love bookcases and have been toying with an idea to have some installed, but kept putting the project off. My son is visiting and has some great carpentry skills, so we got together and he came up with this look in our small TV room, off the kitchen. Living in an old house has some advantages, because of niches and areas jutting out, etc. This area housed a nice beveled edged mirror that I wished to keep, so the approach worked out great. I love the way the shelves wrap around the wall and framing the mirror. You can see a small section of shelves that face the kitchen. All of my cookbooks are stored here now for easy access. I've never been a fan of all books on shelves; I love to sprinkle in treasures and objects I love to be around. I'm very proud of my son's efforts - he did a great job in just two days and I'm fortunate to have a sister close by who LOVES to paint. She opted to assist in this task and the whole project was moved to COMPLETION within three days. You gotta love a plan that works this smooth.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Slipcover 101 - finished project for my book

For those that follow on a regular basis, I promised a post of completed slipcover. That was a while back, I'm ashamed to say, but it is FINISHED now. This project was by far, the most difficult and challenging, but that was because of my fabric choice, NOT the slipcover itself. I've completed three in the past, but NEVER NEVER NEVER attempt one with something this difficult to match. I am motivated to start on a slipcover for a small sofa we use daily but the fabric is not my choice, so the next BEST THING to do is a slipcover. I plan to purchased several good quality painters cloths - WASH THEM FIRST in hot water and dry in a drier which will shrink fabric BEFORE MAKING SLIPCOVER. In addition, washing will make the painters cloth much softer and easier to work with. Hopefully I will enjoy this cute slipcover in my living room where it proudly sits. Can't wait to show it off to my guests. A lot of my friends who visit are probably wondering "has that slipcover been completed yet?" but they are much too kind to ask.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New look for a great piece of art

Sorry I've been out of touch with blogging for a short time, but I'm back. I missed you. Wow - how fortunate can a person get? My cousin Patty and her friend Susan of Alexandria Va met me in a quaint lakeside town called Clarksville, Va for a girls outing and upon arrival, she presented me with a gift. I had been introduced to this wonderful artist months ago but to own a piece of Capodimonte - wow that's GREAT. A pair of these belonged to Patty and a lot of things don't have to seen together and she parted with one of them - we both use a glass votive holder and candle RATHER than the usual tall taper. Who says you can't get out of the box and do something different?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sinks are NOT just for washing up. . . . . . . . .

Saw something similar on one of my blog searchs a couple of weeks ago and thought about duplicating the look. Earlier this spring while roaming the woods behind our house, I spotted an old iron bathroom sink halfway buried in leaves and debris. It stayed put until yesterday after I talked my husband Carl into going among the poison ivy leaves and pulling it out. A good scrubbing was all that was needed to move it to a usable state and I spotted a perfect spot for this HEAVY gem under the stair landing off the deck. We had a bit of a struggle to install it with sufficient holding elements, but soon we had it mastered. I ventured to Lowe's and rescued a wave petunia plant on the discount table for only $3. It looks so cute - just had to share this one. Also, for those that are following posts, I promise to get back to the slipcover project TOMORROW. I have to drive that little project to completion. Thanks so much for stopping by our blog. We have ALL been a little absent lately.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recycling again and again - newest approach

My eyes had spotted the round, heavy metal looking contraption for weeks, laying in the grassy field that adjoins our property, but I didn't pick it up. Much later, I spotted it again in late spring and decided that I should take a better look at this piece. I asked Carl if he could identify the object and he took one quick look (it must be a man thing for sure) and said "it's a brake disc" from an older model car. Not sure how long the thing had been in the field, but I claimed it and moved it nearer our flag post in the yard. Last Friday, I saw it again as I walked from the mailbox at the roadside. I brought it to the basement where Car was working on something and asked him if he had a grinder or something that would clean the rust off. He handed a small palm sander to me with coarse grit sandpaper and I started working on it and in a few minutes, it was smooth and looked much better. We strung some rope through four of the holes, tied good knots to secure it and hung it. I had just the perfect size candle object to place in the center opening. I like it a lot and love the fact that it has taken on new life. How long - I don't know, because I tend to change things around often.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Last photo of outdoor tour

Somehow as many of us know, Blogger failed to upload this last shot which I think is the best, to show off the covered patio and some of the upstairs deck. Hope you get a birds eye view of the nice areas we enjoy so much. Have a great weekend.

More of the outdoor tour (see other posts)

Finally took the remaining photos of the back deck and downstairs for you. Had to delete a few photos during this process because memory card is full. Don't you just love a camera that reminds you that YOU CAN NOT TAKE A PHOTO. Back to our tour - Not sure of the sequence photos will show (I am still comfortably ignorant in this portion of blogging). Something like the LAST photo you take will actually be the first one show posts. The data I am entering is from my mind and I don't see rhyme or reason in that sometimes, but I hope you enjoy the view at the back of our house. It faces west and on severe hot days - the slipcovers I made for the deck chairs really take a beating, so I dress the chairs only for company. This row of three chairs remind me of a ship's deck - You can recognize the steps going down to the back yard and there you will be greeted by the covered deck. All of the pieces of black slate were picked up by me at a local quarry site years ago and finally were put to good use.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lights on - chiggers out (hopefully)

Strange how we look forward to spring, then we rush summer and now many of us are hoping for fall weather. On nice evenings as we are having tonight, I find myself enjoying our screened porch. Here are a few shots; it's not very large but it suits our needs perfectly and we have a large adjoining deck that I will post tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Slowly but surely - I see the completion of this one

Wow - I must have been totally out of my mind when I contemplated sewing a slipcover for a wing back chair. This has been quite a project I think mainly because of the plaid fabric being used. I have to take care and make sure to match plaids, but it's turning out pretty good. Now all I have to do is the other arm (you can see the hideous green leather which is original). Thought I had better take a little break from the project because I know my limits. I will do a lot of top stitching which will give the slipcover a better fit and hanging capability. Anyone having a slipcover done professionally - please don't quibble over the price quoted - trust me - it is worth every penny.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today's small catch of my day. . . . . . . . . .

Quiet in our little town this morning. Not much traffic, so I ventured across town to my favorite thrift shop (DAV) and found these cute items. Not sure if the painting comes out very clear, but it's not signed however, I loved the rich colors of it and will refit this in a larger frame with a mat. The wooden box-cut box is made in the US, so that was a good find at $2. The neatest thing I imagine is the handmade Christmas ornament with hanger from Dillards. Original price on the red box was $15 - I paid only .50. The handiwork on this ornament is unique - I will enjoy seeing this on display. I found two hardback books - both contained Christmas decorating and they were both $2. The cute golf club framed piece is nicely framed and original sticker on the back indicates - you got it - Made in USA. This was $5, but on sale for $2.50. My cousin Patty's husband Al is the only golfer I know and I thought he would enjoy this cute little gem either at home or perhaps at his office. He is such a good sport when I visit and I always like to pick up a special item for him. Of course, he had rather have a container of the roasted nut mixture, but I'll save that for later. Almost forgot the cute handmade piece of pottery displaying a nice beige color with small flecks of brown and tan with cutouts of hearts around the edge for.25 - I would say this was a good little haul.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Never too early to start planning for Christmas

I mentioned the other day that Christmas is only five months away. That is true, but we have to be ready by the first of December and the countdown has begun for me. I have a lot of things on my "punch list" as we used to call incomplete items at my workplace. While visiting a local Goodwill, I spotted these nice needlepoint, handmade Christmas pillows. I do needlepoint (not too good, I might add), but I love the handiwork and claimed these three immediately. I checked the label of the designer but had NEVER heard of her. I sent a photo to my cousin Patty knowing she would love them too and her first response was "did you Google and find out anything about them". NO was my reply, I was just happy to find these Christmas gems. She checked for me and furnished the site for me to check out. Laura Megroz - value of each is a whopping $79.00. Of course, I only paid $2.50 each - what a deal of the month? I could not believe my good fortune. You can be assured that I will Google again and again on future purchases. Can't you just picture these three on a sofa waiting to greet holiday guests?

Friday, July 9, 2010

More of the tour (missed yesterday)

Greetings: so glad you stopped by for a visit. I knew you would find your way up the decking boardwalk. Perhaps soon, when you visit, we will have the stone walkway in and direct you to the original front entrance. I love the tropical giant leaf plant on the same little drop leaf table that houses my Christmas window pane display. Can you believe that Christmas is almost five months away. I must start on some of my holiday decorations now, but that's hard to do, with all the heat in July.

Another view of the entrance we use. I love the two toned coleus plants as you step up onto the porch.

Lavender is one of my favorites but I find it is somewhat difficult to maintain. I tried planting it in this large container. So far, so good - it takes watering every day, but I can see small lavender blooms emerging. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


Recently I applied some sheetrock compound on the walls because they were in bad shape and textured walls are all over the house because of plaster issues. I love the bold color and white trim. In one of the photos, you can spot a section of a cornice I my son and I constructed. As you can see, I love round mirrors and thought the black accents would tie in well. My very favorite thing in the house is the footed tub. Gayle and I rival all the time as to who has the smallest bathroom. The round fixture housing shower curtains was the only option available for shower use which is a luxury for a house of this age.

Continuation of tour

Very small hallway in center of the house will lead to two bedrooms, bathroom and a linen closet and oh, I almost forgot - stairs to the basement. Ask Sharon what she thinks of the steps. We had them shortened this past winter since originally they were 7-9" and very steep. Going up and down them many times a day is a chore, but when I get to the top of them and close the door, I am comforted by the fact that my living space is too neat to trade in for something more convenient. You can see the ceiling to floor bookcases (flanked on two walls) - these were installed several years ago when we had the footed tub installed in the bathroom. That post will be done tomorrow, so please check in again. I'm still not proficient in furnishing data and photos - after all, I am comfortably ignorant with the technical stuff surrounding me. A good sized linen closet is also off this hallway and I am planning a makeover for that little gem as soon as I can muster the energy and ideas.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour continued - entering from small foyer to living room

Higgins our sweet, eight year old lab will greet you at either door, but we rarely open this door. He happened to come up to view out at the traffic, so I snapped this photo of him - he blends right into the tone of the hardwood floor. How neat - try color matching with your pet.

Oh - I see I already need to do a look about BEFORE photo shots - the floor lamp at the end of the china cabinet (posted in an earlier post) should have been removed. It has to be rewired. As you can see in the photo, you have a clear view into the small hallway and beyond that is a view of the bathroom (to be posted in another post). I love the fireplace, but we don't use it too often because of the expense and also being in the middle of the house, I don't think it's too safe. Anyone that knows me, attests to the fact that I LOVE old 40's style furniture. I don't have any new furniture anywhere. I have three platform rockers; this one has a nice ottoman but I rarely have it placed in front of the rocker unless someone is visiting and needs to raise their feet.

This photo shows more of the room and into the kitchen. It's a good idea to take photos occasional and view your room - we can see the mistakes, etc. I need to work on hanging something over the fireplace. I just removed four framed pieces of art the other night and relocated them to the bedroom because they NEVER looked great hanging over the fireplace. More on this one later. You can see into the kitchen also and I have photos ready to post, but just in case Gayle or Sharon has a desire to sneak in a post or two, I won't be hoarding the site. Thank you for stopping by - I promise to share some more photos on next post.

This is not a good photo of the foyer, but I promise I will gain some expertise as I move along. Please bear with me. Houses built in this era had a coat closet as you entered the door; my husband Carl uses this one as he doesn't require as much "stuff" as I do. Beautiful oak floors greet you as you enter from the foyer -----

As you can see, I do not place the sofa against the wall - it doesn't work in this house. The round drum table was acquired from an old friend when he moved to the nursing home. I love the simplicity of the table and have used it all over the house, but my favorite spot is where it's housed now. The 3 drawer chest is an old piece purchased over twenty years ago. The top board is over 24" wide and the wood is walnut. A couple of years ago while sitting and pondering what to do, what to do in this room for an uplift, I went to Lowes, selected a bright orange stain and while it was sitting in the same spot, rubbed the stain right over the piece and have the look of it since that time. I love painted pieces, but really HATE to paint and do not like to hassle Carl too much. He hates to paint as much as I do. The door at the back of the room is the door opening to the porch off the side entrance. Having lived in this house for over twenty years, it would be strange for me to enter through the front entrance. But, stay tuned, I am working on solving this dilema with a stone walkway leading from the driveway to the front and rerouting guests to this door.

Attempting to offer a tour of my favorite place..............

Bear with me as I make my first attempt to open my house and give a short tour. Our cute brick cottage was built in the late 30's and my grandparents lived several yards above. I used to babysit the children in this house while it was the parsonage for the church across the road. I always loved the smallness of the house and it was a joy to go inside. I was fortunate to be able to purchase this house in 1990 and jumped on it fast. Knowing the owner personally gave me an edge and the Reverend knew I would take care of this place. Not much has changed on the outside. There never was a sidewalk to take guests to the front entrance; everyone assumed that the main entrance was at the porch. After all, when it rained, you didn't get soaked. Step inside the front door into the foyer and I'll show you around the living room.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Little shelf among lots of books...not intimidated at all

I love small corner shelves - have several throughout my home. Our home is over seventy years old and like so many others built in this era, corners in rooms were not easily decorated because of door and window placement, etc. When I spotted this cute, small walnut corner shelf, I had no idea where it would end up. So it sat on top of a row of books, patiently, knowing that in due time - a permanent spot would be determined. Today I was in a book dusting mood on some floor to ceiling bookshelves I had installed years ago. I moved a few books on one of the shelves that your eye just lands on each time you pass and the spot was selected. I walked around the house, spotted a cute tiny white vase of ironstone I've had for years and placed it on the shelf. It looked lonesome so I explored other possible choices and spotted this cute, wooden bear my cousin located at her mom's house recently while relocating her to an assisted living home. This sort of seeking and putting together complimentary objects are what make our homes comfortable and cozy and receiving accolades from guests. This shelf brings a whole new look to the end of the very heavy wood constructed shelf, housing loads of books and marks a spot for something tiny, but well loved.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From matress frame and pickets to wall art w/ pots

I guess if I were to sum up the most recycled items in one project - this one has to take the blue ribbon. 100 nice, strong bed springs are awaiting another project, but - listen to this! I caught the ending of a HGTV post recently and only saw the finished look with small clay pots, so I set out to create this same look for an area underneath our covered deck. The bed frame was still around AFTER cutting springs loose, so Carl used that wood to make top and bottom of this frame. Lucky for him, there was two 4x4 posts already installed in the area needed to house this new project. After much measuring and using some old pickets left from another project on the deck - YEARS AGO - this cute project was on its way to being enjoyed again. The hardest part was getting paint to stay on the wood - even though it was primed, it soaked up about five cans of spray paint. I had all the appropriate other items to accent the piece, just had to gather them all up and affix to the frame. The back of the area was not pleasing to look at, so I did some quick thinking and retrieved a good sized piece of burlap from another project and we stapled a finished edge to two strips and nailed it to the back of the 4x4 post. It turned out really good and we can't wait to have guests come by and see our newest project. Re purpose - rethink outside the box - it's usually a good idea. Hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anything of Johnson Brothers ... I love it!

Many of you are aware that I rarely decorate using blue, in any form. Well heads up bloggers...................I have treaded into new territory and I love the color of this china. My cousin Patty called last Saturday to share the good news about finding a place setting for four and a couple of accessory pieces. She was excited because the pattern was English Chippendale - Red, of course, Johnson Brothers. Every collector of any china knows the history of JB and I was thrilled for her. Envious also, I might add. After all, she lives in Alexandria, VA - home to the largest and BEST Salvation Army I have ever shopped in. I didn't set out to hunt for this same pattern, but while I was at our local DAV thrift shop yesterday - I looked down at the shelf, near the end of the housewares section and my eye spotted two dinner plates and one nice great shaped platter - they were offered in the most gorgeous cottage looking blue I have seen. Immediately - I turned them over to see the name and pattern - YOU GUESSED RIGHT. Johnson Brothers, English Chippendale - Blue. You will never know how happy I was. All three were only $10 and I could not wait to call cousin Patty and report to her. She was shocked that we both have been fortunate to locate pieces of this beautiful and sought after pattern. A few minutes ago, she called to say that she has found a couple of pieces for me in red - she already has a set of four, so her finds will be placed in a corner of her guest room, awaiting a visit from me to claim them. How fortunate I am to have such a wonderful cousin to do this for me - we have decided that I will have a set of four, using all the colors of the pattern. I am excited about this new project and can say that "I am on a mission to locate more of these". It was Patty who challenged me to post a photo - after all, she is our Blog Police and reminded me that nothing had been posted in several weeks. This post is for you cousin Patty. Enjoy and thanks so much for putting me onto such a beautiful pattern.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My recent BEST FIND ......... I think

Don't you just love to locate that cute, extra special thing - you weren't looking for it - so you would not have recognized it, BUT when your eye spots a neat item, suddenly your brain is engaged and the wheels turn fast at first, then really fast. You can not WAIT to get the thing home, clean it; and then figure out another way to use the item. I love to do this and would rather re purpose than most anything. When I saw this neat photo frame on a swivel post with glass - it holds a 4x6 photo, I instantly knew it would never hold a photo - not this cute item. It would be displayed wherever I was holding a brunch, lunch or a hot dog supper or cook-out for any event. It is so neat. I had some card stock index cards that fit great, after trimming to fit. I thought of painting it black, but didn't want to. I would use a black fine point Sharpie to write my menu on anyway. It was done in a few minutes or when I had my mind set on a menu I'll serve next week for Gayle and our friend Debbie who is moving. How cute is this!

Repurposing AGAIN and AGAIN

Can you guess what this item is? Years ago my sister Lois and I discovered a good idea to reuse old bed springs. Imagine that? We spent half a day cutting them out one by one with wire cutters then wiring a short section of picture hanging wire on the sides, spray painted them BLACK and came up with some cute innovative hanging vessels. We talked our brother into cutting stems from goblets because we needed to have the right height inside the spring. I don't think mattress springs are substantial like these were and we thought our idea was so neat. This event took place over twelve years ago; we should have marketed the item, but like a lot of folks, we enjoyed our invention, sold a couple to some friends and family members and after years of sitting - decided to throw the rest of them out. Such a shame now that I see mine. It's so cute. I use it with flowers rather than candles - either one works really well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's squeeze some lemons or limes - your choice

I can not understand my reasoning when purchasing some of the items I have acquired over the years. I have always loved fresh squeezed lemonade and make it often. Of course, those nasty seeds are always a hassle to remove, so I started looking around the house recently for some old ones I knew I had packed somewhere. Months passed and I spotted two old ones, downstairs on a shelf. I knew more had been purchased, so I kept looking and come up with these . I love the glass cutting techniques that must have been used in the production of them. I looked glass juicers up and found that most were made in Australia. There must be hundreds of them around; I'm proud of the ones I have and after seeing such a host of them, intend to display mine better. The best thing about owning one is making lemonade - of course I made a simple syrup and added fresh basil - it's so.....................refreshing. Please try it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh grown basil meets chicken breast - wow

I love basil. It's used in so many savory dishes and they are so.............good; perhaps basil would be great when paired with lemon and a simple syrup when making lemonade. Fresh basil lemonade was made over the weekend and was well received. Having purchased several boneless skinless chicken breasts for dinner tonight; I thought why not use basil in the marinade - I just poured a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, the juice of a whole lemon and about three top portions snipped on my basil plant - chopped fine of course. In with the chicken and back in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I browned the chicken in my black skillet on top of the stove; then into a preheated 375 degree oven. Baking time was about 45 minutes and I basted them a couple of times on both sides with - you guess it - basil butter - they were so good; I had to take a photo and then I said "why not post this one". My husband paid the nicest compliment when he said "these are much better than the chicken breast I ordered at Lone Star Restaurant last week". Wow - but he was right - they were tender and had a fresh flavor of basil and lemon. Try this - Neither of us have gotten into the grilling thing - we always burn the chicken, so I resort to my oven and very trust worthy black skillet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Branching out in two places

While visiting my sweet niece Keely at their new home - we HAD to check out the nearby thrift shops. Not too far from her home we found the neatest consignment shop. Two of these jewels were hanging high on the back wall and I spotted them before Keely had the car in PARK. I jumped out first to check and see if they were even open on a Friday afternoon, after 4 pm - no sense in her getting Easton out of his comfortable seat and getting the nice, but difficult to work, stroller, but they were OPEN indeed. The nicest lady greeted us and was so gracious to move items about to allow Keely to stroll through and around things. I purchased these two great pieces for $10 each - they are hand forged and really versatile. Keely found a couple of neat items and Easton was admired and praised by the other shoppers. What fun we had. The match to this little gem is hanging between windows just like these two - in my living room. I think they were made to have clay pots in them, perhaps 4" size, but as gardeners know - you can't grow a good plant in such a small space, so I did the next BEST THING - scouted around the house and found the appropriate size piece to fit in the opening. I will cherish these for quite a while. They are beautiful and most of all, I can think of Keely whenever I see these in my home.