...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring is like a perhaps hand.... ee cummings

Pansies. I have always loved pansies. As far back as I can remember, I have loved pansies. I believe it's their smiling faces that peer at you out of the blue. 

Saturday mornings. Just Regan and myself. Home alone (without the antics). Watching the birds, hearing their song through the open doors and windows, doing chores, watching the sunlight play shadow games across the porch.

Talavera. Colorful. Cheerful. Handpainted. I had found the best place to buy it in El Paso and also in Santa Fe. I can never have enough. 

Begonias. In all colors. Waxy leaves. Lovely petals.Cheerful yellow tufts in the centers. They grow in shade. Are not phased by heat. 

Herbs planted in wire baskets. Morning sun. Shade in the hottest part of the day. Evening sun. Prolific. Taste good. Waiting on me to use them. 

Gentle breezes that flow through the house when the windows are open. They move the curtains. The create shadows that move. Entertainment for Regan.

All things natural. This vine covered bowl. Spring flowers. Renewal. The promise of our salvation. 

Entertaining outside. Eating outside. Sitting outside. Doors open. Sleeping with windows open. A renewed energy. All before the blast furnace (aka Summer) arrives. 

What about Spring do you like the most?

Spring is like a perhaps hand

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and from moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything.

e.e. cummings

Linking to The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday. Please drop in and see all the goodies in store for you. The Tablescaper has done a tribute to the newlyweds. Which ones, the ones whose gorgeous wedding was broadcast all over the world! Prince Williams and Lady Catherine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something to crow about tablescape

We've been extremely blessed with extraordinarily warm weather these past two weeks (I set this table March 26, 2011!). The bulbs are not blooming yet, but the wisteria is providing a gorgeous backdrop and lending it's heavenly scent to our home. What could be better than a later than usual breakfast outside?

Made the tablecloth myself. G-Street Fabrics in Rockville, MD carries fabrics that are tablecloth width! I was in heaven. Had I been able to foresee that I would quit my favorite job with Bernina, I would have purchased yardages in everything in stock.  Blue handled flatware suits this setting perfectly.

Delightful yellow daisy mums in a white Wedgwood pitcher. What's breakfast without a rooster pitcher to deliver the orange juice?

Our new kitchen dishes, I simply adore their ethnicity, topped with a golden bowl inside which rests one of my collection of Gail Pittman eggs.  Was able to visit her studio in Ridgeland, Mississippi years ago. I certainly wish I had purchased everything there way! (Thanks for the best memories Marlo!)

I know roosters don't lay eggs, but loved how they looked on the table, especially this close to Easter.

Mrs. Fitz and Mr. Floyd are preened and ready to dispense salt and pepper, should they be needed.

My favorite butter dish, a piece of Vietri in a most fabulous shade of green!

Our favorite coffee mugs, handmade by my dear sister-in-law Becky. She threw the clay, formed the mugs, glazed and fired and sent them on their way to our table.

My favorite glasses ( right now) - Mikasa French Countryside. I love their curvy-ness, their weight, their beauty. Most of all I'm a sucker for a flared glass.

I placed the napkin between the large plate and the smaller plate (today for sliced fruit) which adds a bit of definition between the two plates. The smaller plate has a wonderful peacock on it. Passaro, World Market.

A beautiful, old, silver, toast holder. I actually used it for it's intended purpose today. Usually it holds cocktail napkins.

Tablecloth - made by me from fabric at G-Street Fabrics
Bowls - "B" - TJMaxx
Flatware - Horchow
Mugs - Becky LeBoeuf originals
Napkins - very old and well loved
Chargers - Pier One
Butter dish - Vietri
Rooster salt and pepper - Fitz and Floyd
Rooster pitcher - Cracker Barrel, OKC, "egged" on by my dear friends Faith and Barbara

 Thank you so much for dropping in, your comments spur me on my creative journey. I hope you enjoyed your visit today as much I enjoyed bringing you this breakfast scape. I'm linking to Susan's delightful party, Tablescape Thursday, at Between Naps on the Porch. Please feel welcomed to the wonderful blogparty she hosts for all of who love our dishes.

I am humbled by the many people who visit, follow and comment. Acknowledging that you give your time to me brings me to my knees. So In return, my napkin giveaway is a little bit of my time as a gift to you.  If  Dianne of Dianne's Creative Table would look at Embroidery Arts (click HERE) and select your favorite monogram style, select which letter you want embroidered, decide what color the monogram should be on the white napkins, and then email me back, I'll be able to get your new set of napkins to you in a timely manner! Congratulations Dianne, I hope you have many happy meals using these!

Monday, April 25, 2011

How lazy people iron tablecloths, last chance to enter giveaway!

Do you still use a regular ironing board to iron your table linens? Sometimes, I send mine to the laundry, but most of the time, I prefer to do take care of my linens myself. Here are some quick tips for healthy linens:
1. Remove from table promptly after a meal. - it's okay to wait till the guests go home.
2. Place them in the washer with a measure of Oxyclean. I usually leave them in overnight. Who wants to do laundry at night? This gives any stain a tough time as it tries to set.
3. Complete wash cycle in the morning. Check for any residual spotting and treat accordingly. Usually there are none.
4. Damp dry or hang to dry if you are lucky enough to have a clothesline.
5. Iron them if they do not require any starch and will look fine without it. If starch is needed, put them away; either hang up or fold them neatly. You don't really want to fold starched items as it will weaken the fibers over time (especially crucial for delicate heirloom quality pieces). Depending on where you live, the starch might attract weevils to dine on your pieces.

I had my husband cut me a piece of plywood that is 30" by 75". I then padded it with a wool blanket. Wool is perfect to use as it absorbs moisture from ironing. I covered the wool covered board with some heavy muslin. Fold it so that the staples are on the side as shown above (I know I could have been neater,  but who was going to ever see this?) This way, when the board is placed on the end of your dining table, the staples won't mar the surface.

I place a stool on my right side that holds my ironing station and iron the entire width of my tablecloth at once. I can iron one in about 15 minutes.

1. For linen or cotton tablecloths, give a quick rinse in the washer with a homemade solution of starch. Buy the dry starch and add about 1/2 cup to a 1/2 washer load.
2. Damp dry in the dryer.
3. Iron right away or place the folded tablecloth in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours. Why this works, I have no clue, but it does make ironing easier.
4. Use the hottest setting on your steam iron. Since the starch is in the fabric, you won't have any residue on the bottom of your iron.
5. As you iron, pull the tablecloth onto the table. No wrinkles and no ironing the length twice! I do usually put a pad on the table for dinner, but omitted it in the step above!

Hope this helps and that you can begin to enjoy your linens again!

Please drop in on this post HERE and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a set of 8 monogrammed white dinner napkins, your monogram, your style of monogram, your color of monogram. Winner to be announced Wednesday April 27th, 2011. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Blessings

Matthew 28

Jesus Has Risen
 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

John 3:16

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I pray for you that the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ are many and that you have a most blessed Easter. Click HERE for the meanings of the items used on the Easter Holy Day.

Please drop in on this post HERE and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a set of 8 monogrammed white dinner napkins, your monogram, your style of monogram, your color of monogram. Winner to be announced Wednesday April 27th, 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grilled mixed veggies.. so easy and so good.

Photo: Taste of Home
You can certainly tell when the weather gets warmer around here. More of the cooking is moved outside. We made this dish this past weekend.. it is on the top of the make it again list!

by Lori Daniels, Beverly West Virginia. 
via Taste of Home

1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher salt)
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 large ears fresh corn, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1 large green pepper, diced
10 cherry tomatoes
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) whole mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup butter divided

1. In a large bowl, combine the oil, salt, parsley and basil. Add the vegetables and toss to coat. Place on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 28 in. x 18 in.). Dot with butter. Fold foil around vegetables and seal tightly.
2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10-13 minutes on each side or until corn is tender.
3. Yield: 8 servings.

Since we didn't have 8 people around, and we were just two that evening, I made the following adjustments (the corn was also standing in as our starch for the meal):
2 ears of corn, 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 12 tiny portabellas left whole, 1/2 large bell pepper, 1/2 medium onion. 
I left everything else the same and oooh was it ever so tasty!  I hope you enjoy.

I'm linking up with Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, so drop in on the party and pick up a new recipe or two!

Please drop in on this post HERE and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a set of 8 monogrammed white dinner napkins, your monogram, your style of monogram, your color of monogram. Winner to be announced Wednesday April 27th, 2011.


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