Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's the little things: scented drawer liner

When I was about 10, my dad's mother - my grandmother Helen - gave my sister and I a white four-drawer dresser to share. She had put scented liner in the drawers, with tiny blue roses all over it. I have looked a few times over the years for scented drawer liner - specifically the kind that's padded, with tiny blue roses all over it - but with no luck. Until a recent thrifting expedition, during which I found THIS: 

A fabulous vintage box, with a full roll of the padded, scented liner, intact! 

Look at those fab retro graphics - 

And those sweet roses - pink instead of blue, but the same pattern and the same soft padding - 

It even still carries the scent. And the price? Just 95 cents! My daughter has given me permission to line the drawers of her antique dresser. I think I might also line some bookshelves. Or maybe my barrister bookcase. (*squeal!*) 

I am linking my treasured  find with Vintage Thingie Thursday at Suzanne's blog, Colorado Lady

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Christmas with Old Country Roses

Okay I am sort of not really thinking of my table settings as "tablescapes," because honestly, all I do really is set the table. But you have to understand, using a tablecloth and clearing the table of electronics before eating is really special in our house and only happens maybe twice a year. So it feels monumental, like a major tablescaping effort has occurred, even when most people would say it's just a centerpiece and tablecloth. 
Still, because such a monumental effort did occur, I feel compelled to share. :) So here is my Christmas table, set for our little family of three. I was able to use my new-to-me Old Country Roses dinner plates and many other thrifty bargains to set a lovely little table for Christmas lunch. 

The place settings are made up of a sparkly gold round placemat, Old Country Roses dinner plate, Anchor Hocking gold-rimmed bread plate, and cloth (gasp!) napkins with a gold-tone deer motif ring. 

My sweet daughter, not realizing I had purchased the gold charger mats, gave me a set of four pretty red sequined placemats for Christmas. The photo doesn't capture the scarlet color - they look more orange-red in the picture, but they are a beautiful deep red, a close match to the tablecloth.
I used the gold as planned under the plates, but I did use one of hers to anchor my centerpiece. The centerpiece incorporates the free greenery I found at a tree lot, my faux mercury glass attempts, and two pretty, heavy crystal votive holders I found on a recent thrifting expedition. 
Drinkware is vintage from my grandmother Verdie, flatware is vintage Oneida Chandelier from my great-Aunt Hazel, and the S&P set is vintage from my mother-in-law. All of these delightful ladies have passed on, but I love using pieces from their collections. 

Finally, here are the OCR pieces I used on the table, all (hand-) washed up after lunch and dried with a cheerful vintage dishcloth. 
I have a hard time explaining why it is that having family dinner on Old Country Roses seemed so special to me - I suppose because it took me a long time to get enough pieces together to be able to do it. At any rate, our lunch was delicious and certainly this was the prettiest table we'd enjoyed together for quite a long time. 

I'll be sharing my sweet Christmas table at Tablescape Thursday (even though this is really just a table setting - LOL) at Between Naps on the Porch, as well as Let's Dish over at Cuisine Kathleen
I hope your Christmas was as lovely as mine!
More soon,

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow Day 2012!

We received about 12 inches of snow overnight, and still snowing and blowing this morning, so I took a snow day and now am off work until just after Christmas! There are trees and lines down all over town (all over central Iowa, I'm sure) so we are lucky - we still have power and internet as of this writing (although our cable line is drooping precariously from the house to the pole, so TV and internet may be gone before the day is out!)... and our tree damage is confined to the yard. 
Here are a few photos from this morning's beautiful mess... 

I'm sharing these photos over at How Sweet the Sound - Beverly's lovely blog where this week, "Pink Saturday" is showcasing snow and snowmen :) 

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Free, fresh greenery for my table

I'm sure many of you share my sentiment when I say that my heart is heavy for the innocent children and teachers killed in Newtown, CT this week. I feel I am doing my part by ignoring the news, remembering the victims, and NOT giving the psychopath even a moment of my time in thinking about him or considering his motives. Perhaps I am just burying my head in the sand, but quite honestly, it's the only way I can cope with such horror.

Amidst all my preparations for Christmas so far this weekend, here's one of many bright spots: I've been thinking about what to do for a centerpiece at lunch on Christmas day, which is our small family's main Christmas meal. I find that I'm drawn to natural elements with a bit of sparkle, and in thinking this through I had two specific elements in mind: real greenery (not faux, and preferably white pine), and something in mercury glass. Oh - and did I mention I didn't want to spend any money? 

I was only semi-joking when I told my family I planned to drive to a nearby park with my garden clippers in hand, and clip me some branches. ("I am a taxpayer! I am only taking my share as a taxpayer!" I would cry as the forestry police hauled me away in handcuffs...) 

In the end, I got just what I wanted and did not spend a dime - I simply stopped at a Christmas tree lot and asked if I could have some branches out of their scrap pile. They were happy to give me an armload, so here is my haul: 

It is a nice mixture of balsam and white pine. I brought it all indoors and clipped all the stems, then plunked it into a bucket of water to try to keep them from dropping too many needles in this final week before Christmas. Meantime, it sure smells good in the house! 

And, I've been experimenting with (and loving) this faux mercury glass tutorial using Krylon Looking Glass paint, so I'm almost there! (Here's a preview:)

I am not quite finished with my gift shopping, but today I think I am going to do a "dry run" set-up of the table to make sure I'm not missing any elements. 

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

More soon,

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Adding some Christmas sparkle

I had a lot of fun making this little project - can you guess what it is?

Well here is a hint: remember the "Charming Farm," my little romantic cloche from - oh my goodness! 2010?? 
That's right, my new project is indeed a cloche. And not just any cloche - the Charming Farm has disbanded (at least temporarily) and I've used the rotating base to create this little wonderland of romance-hued Christmas baubles, under glass! 
To make this, I simply held the cloche cover open-side-up in one hand, and loaded the contents with the other. I started out with the glass ornaments... a few balls, and those charming little trains and pink flowers, and one copper-glittered pinecone just for accent... then covered the whole pile with the string of gold beaded garland. Last but not least I added a fluff of poly-fiberfill on top... er, bottom... then set the painted "pan" upside down over the glass opening. I carefully held it together and turned it right-side up, and let the contents settle. 

A couple of gentle shakes to get them to move around a bit, and it created a mesmerizing little pile of Christmas sparkle. I set the whole thing down on the pink-painted rotating base, so it's lovely from every angle. The neatest part was, everything was already on-hand so I didn't have to spend anything to make this nifty little bit of entertainment! 
I am sharing this project over at Making Monday Marvelous on Jamie's delightful blog, C.R.A.F.T.  ("Creating Really Awesome Free Things"), at the Creative Bloggers Party & Hop at Homemaker on a Dime, and at Michael's Put a Cloche on It party at Inspired by Charm! Be sure to click through to see what other creative folks have been up to this holiday season! 

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Monday, December 3, 2012

A little Christmas decor

I've spent the last couple weeks with a cold, but this past weekend I finally felt pretty good and was getting anxious to get some Christmas decorating done. On Saturday I completed a couple of tabletops, and on Sunday I got the tree up and the window garlands hung. That's all in the living room. Next project is the dining room, which is a bit trickier because that's kind of our "catch-all room" and it requires a lot of tidying up (gathering mail, clearing flat surfaces) before much of anything can be decorated. So that's maybe next weekend. 
I did want to share one of my two favorite tabletops this week - I really like how this worked out. First, here's the scene in our living room - you are correct, we have lived in this house more than four years now and still have almost nothing on the walls. (See those perfect pillows on the loveseat? They were a true thrifty bargain at $1.99 each!) 
Here is the table in question... this is the antique table from my grandparents' house that I used in my springtime tablescape some time ago. 

The scarf used as a runner belonged to my mother-in-law Betty. I wanted to pull in a little of the metallic shimmer from the scarf so I framed one of my favorite Christmas cards in a dollar-store frame. Later I changed this to a card with red and gold in it, and I think I may change it yet again to a family photo. I do normally keep decorating magazines on this table, but for this display I rounded up a small stack of holiday issues of Romantic Homes for seasonal browsing.

The glass creation was a gift from my sister-in-law last year. It's kind of a "totem," made from various glass pieces that she thrifted. I stuffed a long string of red shiny beads under the base, and it needs a red or green votive in the top. (The figurine behind the votive holder is a hummingbird.)

The little snowman was a Walgreens acquisition several years ago... and the wooden bud vase containing the silk poinsettias was hand-turned by Mr. Piglet last year, using box elder wood. 

More to share very soon - for now I am linking my little shimmery red tabletop display at Tabletop Tuesday, over at Marty's delightful blog, "A Stroll Thru Life," and also to Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage. Be sure to click through for more pretty displays and great ideas! 
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Belly up to our home-built, super awesome basement bar!

Okay this space doesn't fall into the category of romantic, or cottage, or any of that... it just falls into the category of kitschy fun! 

When we moved to our new house in 2008, the previous owners left us a pool table in the basement rec room. So we decided to go with the theme and make a game room and bar out of it. We painted it English pub green, Mr. Piglet built a fabulous bar, and we covered the walls and surfaces with fun, entertaining and vintage stuff. Activities for this space include pool, Wii, karaoke, and drinking - those last two being my personal favorites. Ready for a tour? Here we go! 

This is (obviously) the main bar area. The bar itself is hand-built, made from kitchen cabinets (uppers) and then faced with hollow-core doors. 

Another view of the bar. The top is also made from hollow-core doors, joined together in an L shape and then anchored to the base with L-brackets.

Here's the bar mirror and the "top shelf," also hand-built by Mr. Piglet. I like the little rail that corrals the bottles.

Here's a close-up of the bar top. We glued down dozens of these little "dash plaques" from many of the car shows we used to go to, then poured liquid epoxy all over it. The epoxy was a mess-maker, but it turned out really neat.

The jukebox plays an iPod so you can pump your favorite playlist into the bar. Next to the box is one of several autographed celebrity photos all - miraculously - made out to Steve (Mr. Piglet)! The one shown here says, "Steve - we'll always have Paris! Love, Judy." 

Here's the door to the "secret room." Seriously! When we were going through the house with the home inspector after making our offer, we didn't know this door was here. A large armoir was parked in front of it. The inspector looked at it from across the room, and said, "Oh, watch this." He walked over to it, pulled on the armoir, and the whole thing opened on a hinge revealing a little storm shelter room! Obviously he had seen this sort of thing before. We had been in the house at least three times before that, and NEVER knew the armoir was attached to a door!

Here's a closer shot of the door. That's faux "diamond plate" and faux "rivets" covering the door - hoping it looks like a heavy-duty industrial bomb-shelter door... which just happens to have a tamborine hanging on it, in case Linda McCartney stops by.

Hey I could've said Davy Jones, but he's unavailable.

What, too soon...? 

The basement has a very nice fireplace, but the chimney is all screwed up so we never use it. Here's a look at the mantel, again hand-built (but not yet finished). Over on the right you can see the singer's karaoke screen - the lyrics also appear on a larger tv on the wall out of frame so everyone can see them and sing along. You can also see a few more celebrity photos ("Steve: Many thanks, Jimmy Stewart"). 

Close-up of some items on and above the mantel. That's my "Bar Hounds" picture, of course, and some other family-favorite items. The Hamms Bear calendar has the name of a TV show on it - "Beat the Bear," which was a local sports prediction show here in the 60's and 70's. The show was sponsored by Hamms, and featured a guy wearing a Hamms bear suit who would come out and write down his predictions for who would win the week's Big Ten college football or basketball games. Viewers would send in their own predictions and try to out-guess the Bear. (Hence, "Beat the Bear.") For years, my dad was the guy in the bear suit. 

Finally, here is a little corner where you can listen to the karaoke or wait your turn at the pool table. 

Overall the space is not entirely finished yet (there is still some blank wall space here and there... plus the carpet desperately needs to be replaced!)... but it is a fun party room! 

I'm linking our party room to the Remodelaholics' "Fun Spaces" link party! Join me for a beverage? 

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