Friday, September 12, 2014

Sweater Weather has Arrived, Beautiful Fall Transferware & Winner

As I walked out of the bedroom this morning, still a little groggy having just awakened, and into the family room I could feel a brisk nip in the air and I thought to myself, "it's finally sweater weather".  Simultaneously having that thought I pumped my fist, pulling it towards myself, with that motion which only can be construed as a very happy "Yesssss"!  We opened all the windows and let the house air to the point of it being cold inside.  Yessss again I say.  It's been a little cool all day, overcast and lightly raining.  Fall is in the air and it is filling my home.  



It's no secret that I'm partial to colder weather than to the heat and humidity that Oklahoma summers deliver.  I'd take snow and mountains over the water and a sandy beach any day.  I know a lot of you would disagree with me and that's okay.   My thinking is that we can always cover up or add a sweater in the colder temperatures but in the heat it's not like we can strip down to nothing and walk around naked.  Some of you might disagree with that too!  lol  

I spent much of last weekend adding a few touches of Fall to our tv room which I showed in my last post and I've continued to add little Fall hints around the house as time permits.


I also recently posted about a lovely blue and white cottage dining room that has gone through many transitions over the years, but it began humbly as a stable.  I believe I commented somewhere, maybe on a Facebook post, that the room had me dreaming up my own blue and white room.  Drawing on some of the inspiration from the featured dining room, on decorating for Fall and on my love of transferware, I decided to create a blue and white vignette in our back entry way.   I had a little help pulling from my inventory of transferware for sale to put this together since I don't have much blue and white in my own collection….so….most of these pieces are for sale!  



I have some unique pieces on the table (which, btw, I can't wait to show you all what table this is) including a wonderful example of an antique flow blue wash basin and pitcher with sumptuous gold detailing by Brown Westhead Moore, circa 1880's.  I plan to keep a large pitcher and basin on this table year round; filled with seasonal flowers, whether real or faux…probably the latter.   I've added some greenery and some spikey, wispy brown faux florals to the pitcher.  I have no idea what these are but I thought they looked the part of something natural, that you'd find growing this time of year!  Maybe they are Spider Mums???  The leaves look like Chrysanthemum leaves to me.  Anyway, I like 'em!  To the back of the arrangement is a wonderful, antique flow blue plate by Copeland Spode Game Birds with a downed turkey and over on the right a rare James Kent flower frog.    A flower frog vase is a piece with a removable pierced top which you can use for placing flowers so they 'stand' rather than droop over the edges.




Simple ways I have added hints of Fall around the house include a pheasant feather gently tucked onto the stand alongside the plate and scattered twigs gathered from a walk in a wooded park all around the base of the plate.  Both add such a rustic, earthy and natural look.  In this photo shown below, simply laying a pheasant feather across the side of one plate adds a hint of Fall.  The pilgrim motif on the plate doesn't hurt either. =)  



My kids are all out this evening, a couple went to the Union / Jenks football game; one of the biggest high school football games and rivalries in the nation, another couple or three of them are with friends and one is at work.  Shawn and I have the music cranked up as we both work and I finish up this post by announcing the winner of the Almondina cookies which, chosen by Random.org, is Donna at Brynwood Needleworks.   
Hoping you all have a sweater weather weekend!





Joining some of these parties:
Anything Blue Friday at The  Dedicated House
Blue Monday at Smiling Sally
Romantic Home
BNOTP
The Scoop
Redoux Interiors
Super Saturday Show and Tell
The Charm of Home
Six Sisters Stuff
Be Different, Act Normal 
Share It One More Time
Cooking With Ruthie
Art is beauty,Our Home away from Home
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 
Sundays at Home at Thoughts from Alice
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings of Your Heart and Home
Share Your Creativity Party at It's Overflowing
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Your Gonna Love It Tuesday at Kathe with an E 








Monday, September 8, 2014

First Signs of Fall in The Family Room & An Easy Natural Arrangement


I pretty much spent my weekend in decorating mode, and well, my pajamas!  I've been hanging plates (I know that must come as a real shock to you guys), creating vignettes around the house, tending to my hubby who isn't feeling well and I made up a great Mexican rice / chicken dish that I'm going to share soon because everyone here love, love, loved it, so much so that we're having it again tonight!  lol




I've been seeing Fall decor popping up all over blogland and every where else so I decided to get in on the action and pull just a few things out that I could easily get to.  

My sister, Lauri, and I are both October babies and we share a love of the entire Autumn season and all that it encompasses; from the cool, crisp sweater weather, crunchy orange, brown and golden leaves below our feet, the sweet aromas of cinnamon spiced candles wafting through the house and, yes, Halloween!  Several years ago she gave me this cute pumpkin candle holder for my birthday.  It's been out in the garage since we moved here…one of those items we packed up at the last minute with  random stuff laying around at the other house.  I remembered exactly where it was so it was the first thing I thought to get out.  It was a little dusty so I decided to give it a bath. 


 I had the pumpkin in one hand under running water and as I turned it around towards the opening, where you would place a tealight, to wipe the whole thing down, inside I saw something moving around.  I got a surprise.  Nope, it wasn't a creepy critter…this was a welcomed surprise!   I have no idea who hid this there (it may have been me) but it is MINE now!  Finders keepers, right?  Now it's laying out to dry.  If only I could find a suitcase full of this stuff!


So back to the first touches of Fall in the TV / Family room. You saw my ceramic pumpkin in the first pic of this post, so the next thing I want to show is a little arrangement I put together for my mantle.  See the tole planter in this pic below?   I have had these for at least 15 years.  Originally I made some really pretty topiaries covered in fruit and tied with tassels for these.  In this house, they are on either side of the mantle and hold seasonal arrangements.  These were so simple to put together…it literally took only a few minutes to assemble them.  I gathered some dried wheat bundles (you could use any dried or natural grass, etc) and then I placed dried pinecones around the edges.  This was super simple but I love the look.  These will work through Thanksgiving! 




The pinecones have sentimental value to me.  Last Fall, for the first time in years, we took a little, bitty trip and visited Colorado.  It was our first trip back there since we'd left and moved back to Oklahoma 7 or 8 years ago.  Kalyn, Trevor, Ashton, and Shawn and I gathered these pinecones in Colorado Springs and in Vail while on the trip.  I love decorating with natural elements, especially ones that I've gathered myself; that spark a sweet memory.



Here's a view of the fireplace mantle with both tole planters.  Our tv is there as well.  It's not my choice for a focal point over the mantle, but it beats where the cable guys originally had it set up, and if I get my way (which I usually do when it comes to decorating) it isn't going to stay here.  I'll show you all later where it was and where I hope it's going in this room.  Shawn is already complaining that the tv is too high for comfortable viewing and that he gets a neck ache from looking it at.  So, hehe, things are looking up, no pun intended.



On the opposite side of the room, as you enter through the main entryway is a narrow wall behind the French door. As soon as I saw this space, I knew I had a perfect plant stand to fill it. This stand holds one of my Aesthetic Movement pieces that I got from another transferware dealer, Aesthetic Transferware.  It is a huge pitcher with a sparrow on it and dates to about 1870-80.  In keeping with natural elements, I placed a single pinecone still attached to the branch, gathered from our Colorado trip, on the stand and a little bird next to it.  


I think it's so, so cute, but I'm a total sucker for just about any kind of bird decor or transferware!



The last thing I will show, as I feel I might be rambling on a bit much, is my coffee table.  This table is one of my favorite pieces because it has so much sentimental history for my family.  It is the first antique piece of furniture I ever bought.  I paid $125 for this at an antique store in Jenks (Jenks is a small town on the South side of Tulsa and has a wonderful Main Street of antique shops).  Originally it had tall legs and served as our breakfast table in the tiny 6' x 6' breakfast nook at the little bungalow home, our first, near Utica Square.   We had our first four kiddos in that house, all sharing one bedroom, and I was pregnant with number 5 when we moved into a larger home, what we refer to as the 71st Street house, the one that, sadly, we lost to foreclosure which I wrote about HERE

  When we moved into the 71st Street house neither Shawn nor I wanted to get rid of the table though our family had outgrown it as a dining table.  One night, out of absolutely nowhere,  I hear the electric saw and walk in to find that he was sawing off the legs. He said, "now we have a coffee table for the tv room", and it has pretty much played that role ever since.   The paint is original, sort of a gray-green color with lots of chips, chunks and scratches attesting to the fact that it has been totally, completely and most lovingly abused over the past 25 years by our family. One can only guess as to how many years of abuse love it endured before the Roberts' family got hold of it.  
  





I hope Autumn brings you many relaxing nights by candlelight.





Please see my last post and leave a comment for a chance at a case of Almondina cookies, plus I featured a lovely stable turned dining room renovation that is amazing!



I'll be joining several of these wonderful blogland parties:

Susan at Between Naps on The Porch
Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Cozy Little House
Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Homemaking Linkup at Hope In Every Season 
Table It! at Rustic & Refined
Anything Goes Party at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Fridays Unfolded at Nancherrow


Friday, September 5, 2014

Stable to Workshop to Garage to Blue Transferware Dining Room & Almondina Cookie Giveaway!

Once upon a time there was a bungalow in the Berkeley flats that had behind it a stable which was constructed at the turn of the century.  From one owner to another and years upon years the stable was converted into a workshop and then to a car garage.  The structure  never dreamed it would one day be more than used for housing animals  then tools and then cars but it would be.  Someday, a dreamers dream would come to fruition and give the once stable a fairytale worthy existence. 

Step into this once neglected building given new life as a pink cottage dining room filled with blue transferware and chinoiserie and you will want to linger for as long as possible.



 This cottage style dining room was featured in House Beautiful  7 or 8 years ago.  The owner converted a stand alone garage in her back yard into a china lovers and interior design enthusiasts dining oasis!  

 Filled with blue transferware, flea market finds and heirloom furniture all painted white, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a cozy cup of tea and some Almondina cookies which is just what I'm doing as I write this post.  




 Original features of the structure included two sides of glass windows and a private courtyard garden to which it was connected.  The china cabinet belonged to the owners Mother and was handed down to her.  She painted it white along with most of the furniture with exception to the sideboard, leaving it as it was to add some weight to the room.   She had previously worked for Ralph Lauren and loved how he used an unexpected array of elements in his designs and did the very same thing by adding a sumptuous mix of china, crystal, silver, gold mirrors and gilt framed paintings.  It works beautifully!


Seeing this makes me want a blue and white room!  I'm in love, aren't you?  There is something about blue and white that is so compelling!





Now I have a sweet treat for one of my readers.  I was recently asked to review Almondina cookies and give a case of them away to one of you. I happily agreed.  Who doesn't love cookies?    Almondina is a perfect snack that is guilt free as there is no cholesterol, added fat, trans-fats, salt, or preservatives.  The crunchy, wafer like cookies have the texture of melba toast but these are slightly sweet.  Not too sweet at all but just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, which I am guilty of having.  They come in a variety of flavors with a delicate hint of roasted almonds, chocolate, cherries, raisins and vanilla.  I am loving the Chocolate Cherry and snacking on them as I write.  mmmmmm.  I might need to open another package.





If you'd like a chance for a variety case of Almondina Cookies sent direct to your door, just leave a comment and you'll be entered.  Visit their website to see all of the flavors and options available.  I will use a random generator to select the winner next Saturday, September 13th and announce it here on my blog. 


P/S I almost forgot to announce the winner of the jewelry giveaway.  The winner is gadawn57  Please contact me asap with your choice!  I will contact you through your link as well.  Thank you to all who entered…and if still interested the costume jewelry is all 50% off on my site.  Just enter the code JEWELRY for the discount!


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Joining some of these parties:

Dedicated House  Wow Us Wednesday
Pink Saturday
Susan at Between Naps on The Porch
Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Cozy Little House
Cindy at My Romantic Home
French Inspiration Thursday 
Share the Love Wednesday
Farmhouse Friday
Funky Junk Interiors
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Share It Sunday

Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff 
Homemaking Linkup at Hope In Every Season 
Anything Goes Party at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Fridays Unfolded at Nancherrow

Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Apple Unpicked - Fall Tablescape & Giveaway




  

 I think that many people favor the time of year they were born and if that's the case, then it makes perfect sense that Fall should be my favorite season.  It is.


I have posted this table in the past but it remains one of my favorites and hints at my favorite season to come, which is Fall.  I can't wait for cooler weather and to listen to the wind rustling in the trees!  Wouldn't this be a great table set inside a big red barn with hay scattered all over the floor or hay bales as seats with the doors opened on either end, or even out in an apple orchard?  Speaking of apple orchards, you can read my depressing apple poem at the end of this post.  I wrote it in my mind while on a tractor ride through an apple orchard with, I think, Kalyn's kindergarten class many years ago.  




A big strip of burlap fabric makes a super simple and rustic long runner for the table.  It sets the whole mood of 'casual'.  I have set many tables with cloths that don't fully cover the table and leave some of the wood exposed.  I love this look. My table is worn and rugged but it did not start out that way.  I still run across this very table in magazines but it still looks brand new there.  I like that we've worn this baby in.  It looks like an antique now because it's been weathered naturally ( if you call a family of eight natural). 

Inexpensive dish towels were used in place of chargers or placemats.  They are tri-folded lengthwise and allowed to hang over the edge of the table. They help define each space.  I bought these at Tuesday Morning for only a few dollars per pack of six.  I now wish I'd purchased some of the other colors they had at the time; blue, green, and black.



I crumbled up a little Raffia at each place setting as I think it conjures up the image of hay, and I love the added texture.  This is easily removed before dinner as it may prove to be a little cumbersome to eat around (that's what Ashton thinks).

I began setting the table with these Royal Doulton plates...
 ...such a pretty pattern...
...with the sweetest little butterfly trying to hide amongst the fruits and flowers...
...and then I got to the last place setting only to realize I had seven plates, not eight.
Improv time.
Take away three of the Royal Doulton plates and bring in four of these Ridgway plates for a mixed table setting.  I like mixing it up anyway.
 Aren't these pretty?  I have one of each of the plates in my every day set of mix-n-match red transferware plates.  The rest of them are for sale in my online shop, Nancy's Daily Dish.


This one has a pretty border as well.

I chose to use my faux bamboo flatware (Horchow)

 and old fashioned, mock bubble glasses (Walmart).






Believe it or not I couldn't find one of my napkins either.  I mixed them up and then wound up finding the missing one...so you might notice this in some of the photos.  What's uniform is that I tied a few strands of hemp around each napkin instead of using napkin rings.  I love this stuff.  I've found so many uses for this as of late, including my demijohn project.


I've wanted to use these grapevine spheres as a centerpiece for a while now and this seemed a perfect match.  I scrunched up a gingham tablecloth, laid a leafy, fruity garland on top and then wedged the forms into the greenery so they would be stable and not roll around.  To further evoke the feeling of Fall, I placed a few apples here and there.  Simple centerpiece!  The grapevine balls  are from Hobby Lobby, and if I remember correctly, they are only $2-3 (when you buy them half off).  



Shawn remarked a couple of times about how much he liked this tablesetting.  I hope you all like it too!


An Apple Unpicked

I took ride upon the tractor,
Bushel at my breast
Through fields of amber,
Past the birds empty nest.

On through leaves of crimson,
I arrived to look down the lane
Where apples should be upon the trees-
But already had been slain

I could see no fruit was there,
Not one apple in the trees
I just stood...still, and quiet,
And listened to the buzzing bees

Never did I pluck from the tree
A singe fruit, round and red-
Only off the ground I lifted
An apple bruised and fallen dead.

Never I got what I thought,
To pick my apple from the tree-
To taste a bite, deliciously ripe-
The experience was not meant for me.

Nancy M Roberts ©2002



Also a little reminder that my jewelry giveaway ends tomorrow.  See my last post linked above and simply leave a comment on it to enter!  Lots of cute choices!

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Joining some of these parties:
Pink Saturday
Susan at Between Naps on The Porch
Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Cozy Little House
Cindy at My Romantic Home
French Inspiration Thursday
Share the Love Wednesday
Funky Junk Interiors
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Share It Sunday
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff 
Homemaking Linkup at Hope In Every Season 
Anything Goes Party at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Fridays Unfolded at Nancherrow