Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Hint of the New Countertop and a Barscape

     I had hopes of actually doing a tablescape this week, but putting my kitchen back together took a little more time than I planned. We got the plumbing hooked back up last night...running water is such a treat! I decided to share a barscape (is that a word?) with you today. We actually have a bar in our basement, but it doesn't get used often. I might have a glass of wine every few months, but very little drinking goes on at our house.

     You may remember my granite cheese board from some party tablescapes. I bought it in Michigan, and I love it. It used to sit on the low bar that we removed in the kitchen. I wasn't sure where I was going to put it in the "new" kitchen. I also had some concerns about how the granite of the board would look against the new granite of the countertop...but, I like it. I added a few of my favorite "bar" items.

Vintage shot glasses and a vintage
crystal bottle stopper sit in one corner.

An autographed bottle of my favorite Florida
wine was a gift from my daughter at Christmas.

Wine glasses from one of our favorite Michigan
wineries are filled with corks from special occasion wines.

     A Waterford Crystal bowl holds bottle stoppers that I love. Look closely and you will see Mickey Mouse! I love having a few that have interesting shapes and colors. They never go in wine bottles, they are just kitchen "bling"!

     It makes an interesting presentation tucked in a corner of the kitchen. This picture gives the best preview of the new countertop. There will be more pictures on Monday for Met Monday. We still have some work to do, window treatments and barstools to buy and the tile backsplash won't be installed (by my Dad) until May. However things are almost normal and I'm thrilled with it. I just wish I'd done it sooner.

I'm joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
for Tablescape Thursday.
Please take time to visit her today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


     This week for outdoor Wednesday I'm wishful thinking. The pictures were sent to me by my dad, who was on this beautiful yacht yesterday. It is a floating art gallery and it just happened to float into Sarasota, FL for a few days. Dad didn't realize he would be "guest posting" when he took the pictures, but since it is so much prettier there than  around here...he got the job. Dad said the privately owned yacht was 283 feet long and had a crew of 7. It is owned by a couple who sail the world, showcasing the artwork of others. That is all I know...but, dad was impressed by the ship and the art.

The peacocks are covered in crystals and the feathers are real.

Now that you've been to Florida,
I'll show you a little of Illinois this week.
This is what pussy willows look like if you don't pick them.
They usually don't have snow on them!

I am joining Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer
for Outdoor Wednesday. Please visit her today!

The Spool Cabinet Found a Home

     You may remember that we brought home this unique spool cabinet from my in-laws home a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure where we were going to put it, but it was such a treasure to them that I knew we had to find a home for it in our home.

     It was actually easier than I expected to find a place for it. We have an antique mirror that hangs in our entry. It is a favorite piece of ours and used to hang over our fireplace (when we had one). The wood matched beautifully.

     I wasn't certain what to put on the spool cabinet. The hinged top makes it difficult to balance things on it. I decided to wrap a book in some vintage sheet music to help balance the small lamp. I was thrilled to find "mother-in-law" music, since this piece of furniture was her favorite. The beaded flowers were my mom's and I liked the spring touch and the hint of color.

     I decided I wanted vintage buttons for a spool cabinet. I bought 5 pounds of them on Ebay. I don't sew at all. I had no idea how many buttons I was buying. Let's just say that I filled the jar and a large ziploc bag. If you have very easy craft ideas for me to use some of the buttons, please link them in the comments. I have lots of buttons! I was happy with how they look in the jar.

The buttons after I emptied the box
they came in and before washing them.

     I wanted to share the detailing on the mirror. It is so heavy that we are always terrified it will fall and kill someone. We love the unique edging on the mirror. We didn't have to touch this piece. We bought it at an auction 25 years ago.

I am joining Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday and
Linda @ Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.

Please visit our wonderful hostesses!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time to Brighten Things Up

     I love seafoam and white. I decided to lighten up our bedroom for spring/summer by simply changing the bedding. I packed away our deep chocolate brown comforter (you can see the before picture here) and pulled together a new look.

     The seafoam comforter I already had. The white matelasse coverlet and bedskirt are new. The seafoam throw is my favorite, it is so soft and gets well used around our house.

     I used taupe sheets and mixed new white euro shams in a cable knit (they are just like sweaters for pillows, complete with buttons down the back), with standard shams in soft taupes, seafoam and white. If you look closely, you can see they have tulips on them. A taupe pillow finishes the look.

     Such a small change can make a room feel completely different. The warm and cozy is gone and the light and airy has arrived. Do you change your bedding for the seasons?

     Tomorrow will be an exciting day around my house. The countertop arrives at 7:30 in the morning and hopefully the plumbing will be hooked up before we go to bed tomorrow night. I am so ready to have a working kitchen again. Of course we are painting the open space of the kitchen, living and dining, we are still going to have a mess for a few more days!

     I am joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday
Please take time to check out all the wonderful
projects you will see linked from her blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Very Early Spring

The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up into the sky--
So many white clouds--and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver, and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears....
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.

by Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The French Press

     Not long ago I was telling a friend about some delicious French Pressed coffee that I had enjoyed at Cakes on Walnut, in Champaign, IL. My friend wasn’t sure what French Pressed coffee was. Considering the fact that I am still unable to set a pretty table at my house with all our “redo” mess, I thought this might be a good week to discuss the perfect French Pressed “cup of Joe“.

     My first experience with a French Press pot, was at a nice restaurant at Disney World many years ago. I think I was as impressed with the presentation as I was with the coffee itself. It was served on a silver tray, surrounded by small bowls of lump brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and tiny pitchers of cream. My first sip and I was hooked on the dark, rich flavor. I do find it to be stronger than most coffee and generally top it with a bit of the cream (of course that may be simply because real cream is such a treat). I came home and bought my own press pot.

     The early coffee press was probably made in France, thus the name French Press. It was made from a metal or cheesecloth screen fitted to a rod and pressed down into a pot of boiling water. Today’s pots are generally clear with a plunger like piece that fits snuggly into the pot and has a fine mesh filter. The coffee is prepared by mixing the coffee grounds and boiling water in the pot, allowing it to steep for a few minutes and then slowly pushing the press down into the pot to trap the grounds beneath it. In many ways it is similar to making coffee on the campfire, only you have a way of keeping the grounds out of your cup. $29.95

     As I said earlier, the presentation is very much a part of the process. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when you bring a French Press to the table. The aroma of the coffee beans, the time element of waiting for it to be the perfect color and the assortment of treats to add to the coffee and serve with the coffee make it an “event” at the end of the meal.

Sur La Table-$39.95

I am joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Make sure to visit the most "famous" weekly party in Blogland!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Week in Pictures

A full moon at night...

A beautiful sunrise the next morning.

A tiny bit of color starting to "pop" in the yard!

The first tulip is almost ready to open.
Obviously his "bed" needs some work as
soon as the ground dries a little bit.

The pussy willows...finally inside the house!

Spring is finally here!

Please take a moment to visit Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for
Outdoor Wednesday. I'm sure there will be some beautiful spring photos this week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Bunny Hop!

     It is Tuesday and that means it is time to share a little vignette with you for Table Top Tuesday. Make sure you stop over and visit Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for her weekly party. Today's little bit of spring sits on the library table behind the loveseat in living room.

     I start many of my groupings with a simple silver tray. This is one that I've had for a while. The vintage vase says "Hand ??? Original" on the bottom. I can't tell what the middle word is. There are also some interesting markings. I've had it for many, many years and it was my mother's or grandmother's before it came to my house. The silver compote holds a few Easter eggs.

I found this little moss bunny at a new shop in town. I loved him!

     I have so many things sitting around the house while we paint that I couldn't get a clear shot of the entire table. I think you have to use your imagination a little bit this week.

     I have a little bunny hiding under the palm on the left end of the table and my little bird has taken up residence next to a sculptured piece on the right side of the table!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Too Many Projects...Too Little Time!

     It was a busy weekend at our house. We are trying to get several things done before the kitchen countertop is installed, plus we had a few unexpected interruptions. I don't know exactly what happened, but my husband had to did up some plumbing stuff outside and replace it on Saturday morning. Let's just say it could have been lots worse than it was and luckily it only took a couple of hours and not many supplies to fix the problem. He also spent Sunday afternoon driving to a little town about 70 miles south of us to pick up a little electric car that his company is sponsoring. Evidently it is making the rounds so people can see it. In between those things, he put up and stained beadboard on the back of the kitchen peninsula and started painting the kitchen (which is open to the dining room and living there is no stopping now).

     We changed the copper (they really aren't this dark) handles to brushed nickel. I wanted something very simple that would look nice with the stainless appliances. We have 33 of them and this is the second change in 3 years...we won't be doing it again anytime soon!

     I have had some time to work on a few projects while my husband is busy with his. I made a wreath for our mail woman. She is very good to us and she had commented on a wreath on my front door. I kept it very neutral since I had no idea what her house looked like.

I painted a few things that I had picked up last weekend.

A $7 bunny for the front porch. Why was it gray in the first place?

He looks better white with a little stain to tone him down a bit.

     I had been looking for something to use as a "perch" for a bargain ball that I found. The ball was $2.99 at Gordman's (they only had one) and the candlestick was $3 in the 80 percent off aisle at Hobby Lobby.

For now it is going to sit here.
 I'm sure it will find a new home once the house is put back together.

I also found this at Hobby Lobby for only $4. I actually loved this
one just as it was, but I painted it anyway.
After all, I'm a blogger...we paint everything!

I have no idea where it is going yet...time will tell!

I am joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday,
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday and
Linda @ Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays