Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ornament Placeholders

For those strolling in from Between Naps On The Porch the instructions for the eggs are towards the bottom of this post. Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas is past and ornament placeholders are now passe. BUT, if you will scroll to the bottom I will show you how to make a placeholder out of just about anything. If it has a hole, or you can make a hole and it is able to stand upright you're in business!

I loved the ornament place holders on the tablescapes of BNOTP and the The Tablescaper. I loved them so much that I thought I would make my own and share that process with you.
The first way is the easy way and works great in a pinch.

You'll need
1 ornament
2 wire ornament hanging loops (scavenge the second one from another ornament)
Sand, bath crystals, rice, peas or what have you to use for ballast to keep the ornament upright.
I used

Ok, it was all I had on hand! Sand or bath crystals would be best if you are going to make them ahead of time or leave them out for a few days. Ants or other bugs crawling out of your place holders wouldn't be a good thing during dinner.

Here are your parts. Remove the top and pour your ballast into the hole in the ornament until it is about half full. Put both loops into the top and replace on the ornament. Gently shake your ballast to even it out so the ornament will stand upright. You may need to do this a few times until you get it just right.


The second method is more fiddly and is great if you need to get your craft on.
You'll need
1 ornament
Thin wire. I used 20 gauge for this demonstration.
1 pencil
Wire cutters
Needle-nose pliers

Cut a length of wire that is comfortable to work with. I cut mine to 9 inches. Straighten the wire as much as possible. Place the pencil against the middle of the wire and wrap one end around the pencil twice to make a double loop.

Remove the pencil. Leaving about about 2 inches of tail on each wire, trim the bottom of your wires evenly. You will want these rather long so that they expand against the inside of the ornament. If you cut them too short your wire loops will wobble around in the top of the ornament and aggravate you to death

If you need to, slide the pencil back through your loops and adjust until even. Then slide the wire through the ornament top. Pull the wires apart to create a little tension.
Replace the top on the ornament being careful not to bend your wires in too much.
You're done!

This method also works for plastic Easter eggs. Use a hot ice pick to poke a hole in the top. I used a cork screw as someone took mine out of my toolbox. I wonder who that could have been? cough Jeff cough. The corkscrew left a ragged hole on the top so if you have to use that you'll want to cover it up with some decoration. You'll need to experiment to find the right length to cut the tails. I used the wire loop from my ornament demonstration and it's a little long but it demonstrates the concept. Why an Easter egg? Christmas is gone for another year and there is a whole year of tablescaping ahead. I just wanted to give you an idea to get you started.

Labels are easy. I would suggest a sheet of blank business cards and your printer. I don't have pretty handwriting so that is the route I would take.
You could dress up plain ornaments with glitter, paint, lace or fabric. Let your imagination guide you and have fun!

Please visit Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for more great Metamorphosis Monday!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New To Me

For years my Mom had a shadow box hanging in her living room. I always thought it was the coolest thing. But then I have a fascination with mirrors as anyone who has ever visited my home can attest. I've always wanted my own shadowbox but they aren't exactly in vogue nowadays and buying one on e-bay was out because of shipping costs. Well I got lucky is all I can say and found one at a local antique shop.

I even got them to knock 5 dollars off the price. Heh. Jeff hung it for me like the sweetie he is. He asked me if if I had anything to put on it. You bet! It was filled in less than 15 minutes. My little bird plates are held to the glass with tape, they wouldn't stand on their own. They sure look pretty.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Tablescape

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a great Christmas with good food and lots of presents. Today I am posting the tablescape I created for the occasion. I love creating tablescapes and the best part is that my family enjoys them too. I think I am getting a little better at photographing my tablescapes.

This Christmas tablescape is a mix of inherited pieces and vintage items picked up at garage sales. I think from now on I shall refer to the inherited items as the Nanny Collection.
Lucky me, WalMart put their holiday linens on sale BEFORE Christmas. I snapped up this pretty tablecloth and 8 matching embroidered napkins for less than $20 dollars. I like those kind of deals!

I started with basic white ironstone for the plates and added some sherbet cups that were a garage sale find. Green glass ornaments were added for a shot of contrasting color to a predominantly red and white table. (I'm still working on bringing back the sparkle to the sherbet cups. I've picked up several pieces now that have a slight yellow cast. You can't see anything on the glass but whatever it is gradually washes away. I call it cabinet funk for the lack of a better term.)
In this view you can just barely see the gold bottoms on the ornaments. I found them at Dollar Tree and I wish I had been able to get more than one box.
This is my favorite shot. The centerpiece is in focus while the surrounding objects are softened and a little blurred. I made Jeff drag out ALL the boxes of decorations this year so I could find the little ornament candle holders. I haven't seen them since we moved here and I wanted them for my tablescape. I bought them at Hobby Lobby aeons ago.
The little flameless votives were half price at Big Lots. The design is flocked and not painted. Makes for an interesting texture but I hope I never have to wash them.

The ice tea glasses are from the Nanny Collection. She used them at holiday gatherings and so I included them in my tablescape in her honor. I don't know who made them or what the pattern is. My Dollar Tree ice tea goblets don't really coordinate but I needed some filler.

The silverware is Rogers Adoration from the Nanny Collection. We inherited a basic service for 8 that I have expanded to service for 12 with serving pieces. Thank goodness for for e-bay! Here is a shot of a couple of the serving pieces. The set came with two serving spoons. I've added two meat forks and a casserole spoon. I almost had a pierced serving spoon in an e-bay auction but lost the bid. I still need to add the ladle, pierced serving spoon, cake/pie server and a bon-bon spoon.

Another addition, individual butter spreaders. This silverware was introduced in the 30's and was offered again in the 70's. This set was purchased in 1974 for her birthday. We still have the card that his Papa gave to Nanny with the set. We keep it in the box with the silverware.

Now I am off to have my favorite post Christmas breakfast. Ham, grits and biscuits!

Be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for more fabulous tablescapes!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

❤♫❤♫❤♫❤ .•*¨`*•..¸☼ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫❤♫❤♫❤♫❤.
╔═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╗
ೋ ❤❤❤~~Merry Christmas~~❤❤❤ ೋ
╚═════════ ೋღ❤ღೋ ═════════╝
❤♫❤♫❤♫❤ .•*¨`*•..¸☼ ¸.•*¨`*•. ♫❤♫❤♫❤♫❤.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mango Chutney

This is the best stuff to serve with ham. Every year I am searching for the recipe so I am posting it here.

Simple Mango Chutney

Fruity bites of mango and golden raisins are energized with ginger, vinegar, cinnamon and sugar and caramelized into a golden sweet and sour treat that glistens like polished glass. This easy recipe will amaze your friends and family and eliminate the mystery of the costly gourmet chutneys you’ve seen at the store.

1 bag (12-16 ounces), frozen mango chunks thawed
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 box (12-16 ounces) of golden raisins
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a medium heat.
  3. Cook until thickened, stirring regularly to avoid scorching, for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Chill before serving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Goodwill Goodness 2

I am trying to ignore the siren song of potential garage sales on this fine, chilly, sunny Saturday morning. I will not grab the pile of shiny quarters beckoning from Jeff's nightstand. I will be content with the 50 cent spending spree at a garage sale on the way home from work yesterday. I will not die if I don't go to a garage sale.
So, in an effort to distract myself and possible entertain you, my readers, I present my latest Goodwill find. A Reed and Barton hotel silver bowl. Reed and Barton supplied the Navy with silver serving pieces at one time and I think this may have been one of those pieces. It has USN stamped into the bottom.

Before ( I actually remembered to take a before shot!)


Someone loved this bowl and took care of it. It polished up like a dream. Too many times I've brought home something that took an hour or two of polishing to make it look half this good.
I think perhaps it will go on my dining room table. When I go grocery shopping Monday I am going to buy some apples to put in it. ( I hate Monday paydays.)
For now I am going to take a bath and then work on my problem child. My Mother gave me this silver pitcher and it is the cutest thing. It has some kind of film on it that is an absolute beoch to get off. It's getting there though.

I think the garage sales have shut up now. I don't have the money and it's more fun if I have 20 dollars to spend. If I go sure as anything I will find at least 5 things that I've been looking for and will have to leave them behind. Which is why I had to leave behind the green glass Wexford salt and pepper shakers I saw at that garage sale yesterday! Grrrrrr!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let There Be Light

I've recycled this post for Metamorphosis Monday with Susan of Between Naps On The Porch.

A neighbor recently passed away and her daughter held a garage sale after she cleaned out the house. I went by several times over the weekend as they were still putting out stuff from the storage shed. I found a few pieces of vintage glass but this little lamp was nowhere in sight. On Monday I was headed to work and I noticed a large pile of stuff put out on the curb for the trashman. Well Miss Opportunistic here wasn't going to let that trash pile go unpicked. A milk glass lamp caught my eye so I stopped and when I picked it up I noticed this little gem. This is the after picture. Who knows how many years it's been since this lamp was actually used but now it is shining brightly.

The next picture is as good as it gets for a before. I'm terrible about taking before photos. I just go excited and start going for the after. When I picked up the lamp I couldn't believe that the glass was intact, no breaks, chips or cracks at all. It was filthy and the wiring needed replaced but that was small stuff. I couldn't say the same for the milk glass lamp, it had a huge piece missing out of the base and only one piece was salvageable.

This is the lamp cleaned up and ready for assembly. I painted the metal parts an antique bronze. I felt this color was more suited to its age and dignity than shiny fake gold. The football lamp was intended to supply replacement parts but the socket was riveted together and I couldn't get at the wiring. Instead of spending 10 dollars on a replacement kit and another 10 dollars on a shade I thought I would save some money and buy a cheap lamp and use its innards instead. Well that didn't work out but the cheap lamp had a shade that was perfect for my lamp. I have quite the collection of spare lamps so I was able to scavenge the wiring and fitting from one of them and Viola! A new old lamp!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I spent few days with my Mom week before last and of course we had a a thrifting expedition. We finally made it to the Catholic charity resale shop and then she took me to an awesome place called Savers.
The charity shop had a few goodies, mostly in the form of 5 damask napkins at 25 cents a pop. I also picked up a modern reticulated plate to add to my white molded plate collection.
We hit the jackpot at Savers. I've been wanting a romantic place setting but at $40 dollars a place setting the Pope Gosser Cathay Rose I really like was out of the question. So when I saw this it had to come home with me. I bought 7 dinner plates, 4 for $2.99 and 8 salad plates 6 for $2.49. You can't beat those prices! The pattern is Beverly Rose by Tabletops Unlimited. (The red-headed duck is quite pleased with all the attention and photo ops.)
Look at that molded edge! I'm sure there is a technical term for this but I don't know what it is.

I also picked up this little lovely at Savers. It's Rogers silverplate and it is was $4.99.

And speaking of molded edges, this came from an estate sale. I think it was 75 cents. This was a purchase I made several weeks ago but since we're talking molding it was appropriate

I have lots more to catch up on as I have been a bad blogger.
See you soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

Today I am joining Susan from Between Naps On The Porch for my first tablescape!
I love autumn hues and here I've gone wild with the oranges and browns. With the exception of the wine glasses, the items used are our every day dishes.

Close up of the place setting. I have a twig basket filled with pinecones and a couple of fake gourds as the centerpiece. The place mats were purchased at a garage sale and have oak leaf and acorn pattern quilting. They were originally sold at Wal-Mart and I just couldn't afford them at the time. They look like they have never been used and I got 6 of them for 3 dollars. Now that's my kind of bargain! I also picked up 4 blue place mats at the same garage sale. Another set I had been wanting too. I was a happy camper that day.

The red-headed duck has flown in from the bookcase to keep us company. Next to him is the pumpkin salt shaker. I love these little salt and pepper shakers. They were three dollars at Wal-Mart.
Plates - White ironstone, International China Works (Inherited from Jeff's Nanny.)
Silverware - Rogers Futura Stainless (Nanny.)
Place mats - Garage sale, 50 cents each.
Tablecloth - Purchased from Wal-Mart long ago.
Napkins - Walmart 2.00 for a pair.
Wine Glasses - Unkown pattern, Garage sale 4 for 2.00.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Simulating Fall

It's sorta Fall outside. The nights have been quite chilly but old Mr. Summer is giving it a last gasp during the day. It's 85 degrees right now and rather warmish so I've retreated to the air-conditioned kitchen to make candles. My favorite Fall candle scent is Pumpkin Spice found at Wal-Mart. I buy a big one every year and it usually lasts through the winter. I've been craving the scent so I melted down the ends from previous years candles and made some new ones.
(No pictures yet. My laptop has decided to quit reading disks.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Enough Week In The Weekend

Boy was this a short weekend. I've been trying to organize and declutter and sometimes I am just overwhelmed by my stuff. Maybe it's time for an Etsy store, if I can make myself part with anything at all. Yah right!
So I spent three days with my Mom last week and we had a blast thrifting. I found out I inherited my love of dishes from her. Big surprise there right? So here is what I thrifted.
I haven't been able to locate the pattern yet. Any ideas my fellow glass aficionados?? There were 4 of each and despite telling myself I was NOT going to spend any money they were my favorite price. So, well, you know how that went. If it's a dollar I have to have it. I'm going to have to figure out a way to store glasses now LOL!
Mom picked up some punch cups and short glasses in the Wexford pattern. She loves that pattern. I picked up some additional pieces for her at the Saturday garage sales. I was thrilled to find a relish tray for her in that pattern. It's so pretty and sparkly. I'm having trouble parting with the bowl I found though. Sorry Mom!

I also brought home some lovely vintage colored pyrex bowls that belonged to my Grandmother and a hand made quilt that features vintage handkerchiefs shaped into butterflies. One of the handkerchiefs belonged to my Grandfather. My Mom made the quilt for me and used the stash of handkerchiefs my Grandmother accumulated. (My Grandmother was an outright hoarder so I have scapegoat for my hoarding tendencies. I feel for my children when I pass on LOL! She passed away in 2006 and my Mother is STILL cleaning stuff out of her house.) I love it. I wish I had a guest room to put it in.

Some individual shots of the butterflies. The first butterfly is the Grandpa handkerchief. How cool is that?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goodwill Goodness

The urge to go to Goodwill has been nagging at me the past two days so I gave in and went.
Look what I found!

What do you think? 1880's? 1890's? There are no markings that would give me a a start on dating it. She has a hairline crack in her middle and most of her gilding is gone but she's still beautiful. I fiddled with the picture settings so the swirls and curliques would show up. She had a twin but the poor thing had a huge chip on the rim. I hardly ever go to Goodwill. Our seems to have more than its fair share of over-priced, worn out junk. I lucked out today though. This little treasure was .75 cents.
The candle holder was a gift from my Mother. I spent several days with her this week and we had a blast thrifting. I'm saving that post for this weekend as I have a ton of pictures to take.

I do have one picture from our thrifting spree I can share right now.
It looks like Hull but there are no markings. I just thought it was pretty with its combination of pink and green. I love pink and green.

And this is the reason why the little table I used in my setting is bare of its usual hand crocheted coverings.

Meet Pearl. Pearl is a Snow Bengal mix that I rescued. Feral Mamma cat moved her and two siblings into my garage. One disappeared, one suffered a horrible demise (if you don't mind we won't go into details) and she was the only one left. I managed to catch her and after 3 months she is quite happily domesticated. She loves to hide under this table and claw at the lace (and any passing feet) so it has been put up. I took it out long enough to take my shots and she very quickly discovered me. Why is she licking the lace? Goofy cat.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Sorry for the skipped week, life interfered with my best laid plans. So,where was I? Ah yes, what do you call a sale that has neither garage or yard? A rummage sale? A tag sale? Occasionally a lady will set up shop behind an old abandoned gas station here in town. There's plenty of grass and trees for shade but nothing fancy in terms of display. It's all packed in battered cardboard boxes so you have to bend over and dig. Most of it is your average junk but my search yielded a few unexpected treasures.

Desert Ware platter

I almost missed this little gem. I found a smaller matching platter in another nearby box. They don't look like much but in my studies I am learning that anything vintage pottery is usually a find. I found the platter on the Internet listed for forty dollars. What did I pay? You guessed it, a dollar. I paid the same price for its little sister. They are a cheerful sunny yellow and they make me smile.

Anchor Hocking Wexford Footed Cake Plate

I'm on love with this piece. I am slowly amassing a collection of Wexford pieces. It is in perfect condition and just waiting for its debut on the dessert buffet during the holidays. Do I really need to say how much I paid for it? LOL! Perhaps I need to rename my blog to The Dollar Queen.

Amber Glass Pitcher
My youngest daughter loves all things amber glass and she was quite thrilled to get this for her birthday. One of these days I'm going to quit using it and pack it with the rest of her collection. Do your grown children use your home as a storage unit too? The picture isn't mine, I stole it from an e-bay listing. The day I photographed everything it was full of Crystal Light so it didn't get its picture taken. It has a lovely ribbed handle that feels really nice in your hand. Of course it was a dollar!

Homer Laughlin Plate
This came from a different sale but it was in a cardboard box too so it continues the theme of finds in a box. There wasn't much left at this particular garage sale so it was the only thing I bought. The Queen of The Dollar strikes again!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Saw My Future

Today I went exploring around Ft. Wolters. Ft. Wolters is an Army post that is most famous as a helicopter pilot school during the Vietnam War. Now it is an Industrial Park with the majority of its WWII buildings re-purposed. I took a side street at random and arrived at the most amazing and unexpected place, Kathy's Collectibles. I walked in the door and fell in love. I also instantly saw what my house will look like in 20 years! Kathy is a retired Air Force spouse and she told me the contents of her shop represented 21 years of buying to furnish her newest home. She told me that when they were stationed somewhere new she would pack it all up, put it in storage and leave it there. Once in her new home the collecting would start again until it was time to move then she would pack and store. She has 4 rooms of vintage and antique items plus she showed me her upstairs show room, her storage room and the room where she is STILL unpacking boxes from storage. Wow!
I plan on making another trip this weekend or next and I promise to remember the camera!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My First Blue Monday!

I was looking at other Blue Monday bloggers and realized "Hey! I took some pictures of blue stuff this weekend!"
So without further ado meet my blue.
Who doesn't love blue and white china. I'd wear it if I could. This little treasure is currently at home in my dining room keeping the "hand painted periwinkles" company on the bachelor chest. Kudos to those who can identify where "hand painted periwinkles" came from.

What do you call a sale where there is neither a garage or a yard involved? Paid 50 cents for this one. Sorry for the cut off picture. By the time I came to this one the heat had really done me in. Is summer in Texas ever going to be over?

I love birds and I fell in love with this little guy.

Crown Staffordshire. Local thrift shop. His feathers really picked up the turquoise of the tablecloth but in real life he is blue-jay blue.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

At Last! The Booty!

I picked this lot up a few weeks ago. I spotted this particular garage sale while driving through a neighborhood. There were no signs posted, I just caught a glimpse of an overflowing driveway and movement. All very good signs of a garage sale!
It was late in the morning and starting to get hot so the owner was in a deal making mood. My kind of deals too, most everything was a dollar.
Please excuse the lack of artistic presentation. Sweat was dripping in my eyes and the mosquitoes were feasting on my calves.

A Godinger silver-plated cake stand with a grape theme. One dollar :-) The pattern on the surface is a reflection of the oak tree behind me.

I would post a closeup but the insert picture link isn't cooperating!!! Oh, my bad. The upload window was hiding behind my active window, dratted thing.
Ok, on to the closeup

It's a little tarnished. It has some weird hazy funk on it that the Wright's is unable to remove. One of these days I'm going to have to break down and buy some more Maas. Best stuff around for polishing silver IMHO.

An Imperial candlestick. Cool and only a dollar. (The upload window tried to hide from me again but I was onto it this time!)

Look at this little precious! It contains tiny hor d' ourve picks. A dollar, of course. (And a sneak peek at one of next weeks items.)

This one broke my dollar streak but when it says quadruple plate it means old so I plonked down three dollars. Whoa! Watch it there big spender!
Wilson quadruple plate tray. I'm not sure how old it is,the styling looks Art Nouveau to me.

Closeup. Aren't the little daisies divine?

The lady running the garage sale confided to me that it was worth some money. Mmm, not so much after being used a key holder. The silver is scratched and pitted. A shame really.

All in all it was a productive Saturday morning. One things for sure, I am definitely learning my china, silver, glass and pottery. After I bring something home I hit the Internet to see what I have.
The turquoise table cloth was a 50 cent garage sale find from when I lived in Weatherford. I don't know why but I found a lot of table linens at the Weatherford garage sales.

Ok that is all for this week. Next week a Wexford cake plate and an unexpected pottery find.