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.