Watching the Leaves Turn

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence, author of A Southern Garden   Through the wavy old glass in my windows, I've been watching the leaves turn ...   ... but I can't look out the window all day, so I decided to bring some in and share them with you.   Today's tablescape began with the leaves -- and this old wool runner I found recently in an auction box. I love it!  There are patches all over, but it seems someone treasured it enough to want to keep it around. Seriously ... it appears to have been around a long time.   Wood is one of my favorite decorating elements for Autumn tablescapes, so I started with my bamboo placemats then added these wood-look ... Keep Reading...

From Blah to Beautiful

My all-time favorite cleaner for vintage linens ... To purchase Restoration, go here. * * * * * I'm linking to these great blog parties ... Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch Mosaic Monday at Little Red House Blue Monday at Smiling SallyThanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful week! ... Keep Reading...

C is for Cookbook … and Cancer … and Courage

You expect to see red, don't you? But it's pink ... red faded to pink. This cookbook's been around awhile.   Were the inside pages always pink? I wonder ...   This cookbook is one of my "treasures" because it belonged to my Grandma -- and boy could she cook! I especially loved her divinity and pecan rolls. (Does anybody see a "sweet" pattern there?)   I was very fortunate to know my Grandma. She had breast cancer when my Dad was just a young boy, but she survived it! That wasn't very common back in the late '40s. Things were different then, and cancer was a "whispered" topic if spoken of at all. Several years after receiving her shocking diagnosis, Grandma wrote an article for Home Life magazine entitled "Should a ... Keep Reading...

Rustic Elegance

Interior design professionals and DIY designers alike are attracted to the beautiful plumage of the ring-necked pheasant.   This species of pheasant appeared in the U.S. as early as 1773, but it wasn't until 1881 when 100 pairs of Chinese ring-necked pheasants were released in the Willamette Valley of Oregon that their population thrived. They were then propagated and introduced throughout the country wherever there was a suitable habitat. Though found elsewhere, pheasants are especially well-established as game birds in Oklahoma, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, California, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. It was a pheasant hunt several years ago that resulted in my sweet husband providing this ... Keep Reading...

Asian Influence

From my earliest memories, the tea set in the center photo has been in my parents' home.  My Dad gave it to my Mother. There is something about Asian design that my Daddy really likes.  And Mom?  She has a great love for the Asian people, but she just isn't drawn to the design.  In fact, there is very little of the influence in their home.  Maybe only the tea set ...  :-) But today is my Dad's birthday, and I thought he might like a "dose" of beautiful Asian design. (Mom or Sister -- you'll have to tell him he made the blog so he'll see this!) Some of the pieces are mine, and I would never part with them -- particularly the bowl in the bottom center photo which was a wedding present.  ... Keep Reading...

Falling for Wood

A few weeks ago I showed you the kinds of elements I like to use to bring warmth and texture to my Fall decorating.  (If you missed it and want to read the post, click here.)  One of the elements I mentioned was POTTERY, and I've already done a pottery-focused tablescape here.   Today's tablescape focuses on another of my "foundations" of Fall decorating.  This time it's WOOD.  Once again, you might be surprised to see that I'm using "non-traditional" colors for my Fall tablescape.  Let's see if it works ...   I began with my inspiration piece -- a RUG with great texture -- and laid it on top of an eggplant-colored tablecloth. (Purple is a wonderful color for Fall decorating! Try adding a touch of it to your ... Keep Reading...

"Shop the Yard" Centerpiece

Anyone who does very many tablescapes knows that eventually you end up "shopping the house" for items to add to your tablescapes.  True?  You just go around your house and look for things that will either give a focal point -- or "filler" -- to your tablescape.  (Isn't it fun when the creative juices start flowing?!!!) Today, I'm going to show you the result of "shopping the YARD" for this week's tablescape. I knew I wanted to use this wooden pedestal bowl for my centerpiece ...   ... and I wanted to end up with this basic shape.   A dear friend who owns From The Garden Floral Events taught me how to make it happen ... Begin with a block of Oasis floral foam -- then soak it in water.    Next ... Keep Reading...

Personal Metamorphosis: 50th Birthday

I did it.  Last week, I reached the half century mark.  Overnight I went from being "forty-something" to being a 50-year-old woman ... and it didn't hurt one bit!  Quite honestly, the transformation began to take place a few years ago when I was shopping in a cute little boutique store and saw a plaque.  I am usually not at all attracted to resin plaques, but this one got me.  It was The ABCs of Ageing Gracefully.  Since that day, I've seen it many places, but at that moment, the words were brand new to me.  As I read them, I made a commitment to do just that -- age gracefully!   I bought the plaque and hung it just inside the entrance to our master bathroom.  I wanted to be sure I would see it every day ... so I would be ... Keep Reading...

Early Halloween Tablescape

I'm going to tell you something I've told very few people...   I'm not crazy about Halloween. (There, I've said it!) There's no particular reason.   I love decorating for Fall, but Halloween... I just never got into it that much.   I have fond memories of Halloween from my own childhood -- especially the year I was Casper the Friendly Ghost! -- and when my daughters were young, I made a big deal of dressing them up and trick-or-treating at friends' houses.   I put festive Halloween window clings on the windows and mirrors so they could enjoy them.   We carved Jack-O-Lanterns.  Beyond that -- not much.   ... Well, that's not quite true. There was one other thing I did -- faithfully... ... Keep Reading...

I Need a Metamorphosis! … Fairy Tale Ball Gown

Once upon a time, there was a couture wedding dress designer who made the most beautiful ball gown-style dress with a fabulous 7 1/2 foot-long cathedral train.   That dress was ME!  Um, it still is ...     Hundreds of dollars were spent to purchase my yards and yards of champagne-colored silk. Then my lovely drop-waist style bodice and long lace sleeves were embellished with a stunning flower design made up of thousands of pearls.         To show off my lovely designer's talent, I was worn in a few fashion shows. Quite honestly, those events had me whirling and twirling so much that I just don't remember how many ...  As you can imagine, the fashion runway is a fast-paced ... Keep Reading...

Mother in the Kitchen

Several weeks ago I wrote a post highlighting this vintage praying lady. You may have seen it...   Click here to read the entire post. In response, I received a comment from Sandi who writes the delightful blog Small Town Living At Its Best. She told me that she has a set of these praying ladies that once belonged to her grandmother. That got my attention. An entire SET? I told Sandi I would love to feature her set here and asked if she would like to write a post for her blog that I could link to. I was so glad when she said "yes"! While Sandi prepared for her post, I decided to do a little research on the praying ladies. I came across an eBay Guide written by Judy (eBay seller sagalot) in which she gives lots of ... Keep Reading...

Summer to Fall

  The last time I was here, I showed you these tablecloths and invited you to come back to see what blue and yellow have to do with Fall decorating.  You're back!  I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit. Thank you!  Now let's talk decorating ...   Do you like to decorate with blue and yellow in the Summer? Have you ever extended that blue and yellow into the Fall? Let's try it and see what happens!   Several weeks ago I was in Big Lots and saw this Fitz and Floyd piece for $30. I absolutely loved it, and it was calling my name -- but I walked away.  Not much time to shop ... it was large and I wasn't sure where I would store it ... I didn't NEED it ... the lines were long ...   I walked away.   Last week ... Keep Reading...

What has 12 arms and stands on 3 legs?

Do you know what this is?     I picked it up at an auction.   Maybe this will help ...   Do you know yet?  How about this?   Almost there ... Do you have it figured out?   How'd you do?   Did you guess it?   If you want to know what blue and yellow have to do with Fall decorating, stop back by on Thursday. I'll show you!   I'm linking this post to these great blog parties: Blue Monday at Smiling Sally Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm >Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady ... Keep Reading...

The House with Nobody in It

I'm joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday ...   When I was 10 years old, my Grandma gave me a book of poetry entitled All the Silver Pennies.  I remembered it recently when my husband and I visited Half Moon Bay, CA. I looked out the window of our B&B and saw this ...   The House with Nobody in It by Joyce Kilmer   Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black. I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.   I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things; That they hold the talk of spirits, their ... Keep Reading...

Table for Two: quick & simple

I recently picked up an old round wicker table at auction and put it on my front porch. I've wanted a round wicker table on my front porch for a long time ...  It needs to be painted, but I don't have a lot of time this week so all it got is a pretty tablecloth! It works for a quick and simple romantic table for two, don't you think?     You may recognize these Dollar Tree ceramic pumpkins from last week's tablescape...   Red glassware is a year-round favorite ...     Dried beans surround the candle ... and are sprinkled like confetti across the tabletop   A small doily and wooden napkin rings add texture ...   Mikasa "Italian Countryside" dinner plate paired with an unmarked ... Keep Reading...

Ironing Vintage Linens

I once received an email from a blog reader who asked this question: If I may ask, what iron do you use?  My iron doesn't seem to work very well for getting the wrinkles out of linen. Maybe it doesn't get hot enough?   When I'm ironing just a few small pieces at a time, I use a Rowenta PowerGlide2 steam iron that I've had for years.  When I have a lot of ironing - or large tablecloths - I use a 1940s Ironrite ironer. Source I suspected, however, that the iron really wasn't my blog friend's problem.  Let me show you the basic steps I take when ironing linens. Start with a clean iron!  That may seem obvious, but you just might be surprised ...  Your iron needs to be clean both inside and out. ... Keep Reading...