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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Heirloom Sewing part five

Welcome to part 5 of the Heirloom sewing entries in the judged contest at 

 This was one of the winners in the category. Isn't the detail on the inset darling? 
Love those dimensional flowers.

 A very sweet chiffon dress. Green and pink always looks so fresh!

This is really a precious bubble. Matching hat and booties. 

 I am not sure but this dress might be embroidered with color changing thread. 

 Are ya sittin' down? Really? A 15 year old made this garment.. not one stitch out of place. 
The bonnet is the crowning touch! Another winner in this category.

 I love this little crocheted ensemble!

Another winner in the category. Look at the piping detail! and the sweet embroidery along the hem.
The scale of the embroidery is in perfect proportion of the garment. So lovely.

Thanks for joining me today, I am humbled by your presence.
Do drop in Monday for some Monograms, embroidery and care tips!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guacamole with Crab

I will admit that I heart, heart, heart Guacamole - a lot! I had this delicious version at a Texas Tech tailgate before a home game last year. The AMBUCS (of which Mr. CJ is a member) hosted a chef from Dallas who is employed by Jack Daniels. I could not get enough of this dip. I finally blurted mustered up the nerve to ask him for the recipe. He gave no measurements.... nice huh! LOL.. but I was so happy to experiment. It's a constant for easy entertaining!

Guacamole with Crab
adapted from word of mouth instructions from a Dallas area chef
who seems to have adapted a recipe by Emeril Lagasse

3 large avocados, peeled, seeded and coarsely mashed
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 Tablespoon minced jalepeno - seeded and deribbed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or regular sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne - be wary this gets hotter as it sits
1/2 cup red onions, minced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 small can of sweet corn
1/2lb lump crab meat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage

put everything in a bowl and then just mix once!

Mash the avocado, leaving some chunks in the mix. Pour the lime juice over and mix thoroughly. This covers the avocado and will help it retain it's perfect green hue. Place the remaining ingredients on top of the mashed avocados, then gently toss until mixed well.
Be careful not to overwork the avocados nor breakup the crab meat. Season to taste. I tend to adjust the seasonings to compensate for the flavor of the avocados. I like more cumin and more garlic, tend to shy on the red pepper. 
Serve with tortilla chips.

I'm humbled that you gave of your time to come visit. 
I hope it was enjoyable.
 Drop by tomorrow for some more Heirloom creations and on Monday I'll show you some Monograms along with embroidery and care tips.
I'm joining Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday - see ya there! 
I'm also linking to Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescapers.. see you there too! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Outside Elegance tablescape

An elegant table set outdoors. Who says you can't use your good china, silver and crystal outside? It's so totally unexpected and the outdoor setting makes it so much less formal than if it were set inside. 

I was over at Artie's beautiful blog, Color Outside the Lines, where he showed these fabulous tables all draped in cloth. Layers upon layers created a beautiful mosaic commanding your attention. He made me do it! I pulled out a Frette square cloth as the base. It's a very light shade of beigey-taupe. Layered a blue linen next to coordinate with the placemats. The icing on the cake, is an antique damask with drawn-thread work. Looks like a parfait or layers of clouds, doesn't it?

Silver chargers, my wedding china, estate sale silver, silver goblets, crystal napkin rings, and my new to me favorite, the epergne. Click HERE to find out more about this wonder!

I layered two vase arms and inserted the vase into the uppermost center holder. Filled each vase with baby's breath (gypsophila), some creeping jenny, some wood snippings and blue thistles.

Bottom tablecloth - Frette
Blue Cloth - linen from Stein Mart
Top Damask cloth - estate sale
Blue wavy placemats - Tuesday Morning
Silver trays and plateau - estate sales
China - Lenox Snowlily
Silver - Beloved; Wm Rogers-International Silver*; estate sales
Epergne - Cambridge; estate sale
Crystal napkin rings -
Napkins - Tuesday Morning
Crystal - French Countryside by Mikasa

Thanks so very much for dropping in. I'm honored and humbled by your visit.
Please come back Friday for a delicious guacamole with crab recipe!

I'm joining the hostess with the mostest, the lovely Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 
Tablescape Thursday party. Do drop in and see the other lovely tables set just for you.
I'm also linking to Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescapers.. see you there!

*The International Silver Company was organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey on 19 November 1898. Immediately upon organization, the company bought the total capital stock of the following companies: Barbour Silver Company (Hartford), *Holmes & Edwards Silver Company (Bridgeport), *Manhattan Silver Plate, (Lyons, New York), *Meriden Britannia Company (Meriden), *Norwich Cutlery (Norwich), *William Rogers Manufacturing Company (Hartford), Rogers Cutlery (Hartford), Rogers and Brothers (Waterbury), Rogers and Hamilton (Waterbury), Wilcox Silver Plate (Meriden), Watrous Manufacturing Company (Wallingford), Standard Silver Company, Ltd. (Toronto, Canada).  The Beloved pattern began production in 1940.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What in the world is an epergne?

Epergne - An epergne generally has a large central "bowl" or basket sitting on three to five feet. From this center "bowl" radiate branches supporting small baskets, dishes, or candleholders. There may be between two and seven branches. Epergnes were traditionally made from silver, however from around the start of the 20th century glass was also employed.

 From the Silver Lining (click the name to read more): "By the eighteenth century entertaining had developed into a grand art, and the English epergne can claim a strong link to seventeenth century France and the great changes in manners which began with the French Court.  This revolution greatly affected the silversmith’s output, and led to many of the articles common to the twenty-first century table.  For example, foods that had previously been eaten from a common bowl with either fingers or bread came to be eaten with spoons and forks from individual plates, and by the late 1600’s there existed different plates for different foods.  Further, individual chairs replaced benches at the table.  Before the close of the century silversmiths found themselves making large matching services for their aristocratic patrons.  A new emphasis on decorating the table led to the development of the centerpiece."

About a month ago, I decided to venture out in the heat and scope out a Sunday estate sale. Arriving early, I stood in line outside the house in 100+ temps. Many glass and crystal objets were advertised. You know that objets are much more expensive that simple everyday objects - right? I was very surprised when I walked in and saw three Cambridge glass epergnes awaiting a new home. 

I purchased this one that day. And then dreamt about another one. Why, because these wonders are all in pieces and I knew that two could mingle and I would have so many more opportunities to use them.

From National Cambridge Collectors: "The Cambridge Glass Co. used the term epergne to describe a combination consisting of any candlestick to which a detachable arm that held vases had been added. The arm consisted of a vase holding ring at either end and in the center either a candle pocket or a decorative knob, depending upon the arm model, and was produced in three sizes. The vases used with these arms lacked a foot and thus, could not stand by themselves. The vases were made in two styles, with and without a small knob at the bottom."

I did go back the next day to pick up epergne number 2. I should have bought #3 too. Hindsight!
This combination is the first epergne I purchased. Two vase arms, one base, one center vase, 4 drop vases and one center vase.
This is the second epergne. It has the base, a 3 arm insert, 3 bowls, one short center vase and one longer center vase. Did you notice the bases are the same? 

The previous photo had the larger center vase and this one shows the smaller center vase, which is identical to the vase used in the first combo that came home with me.

I think you can see the pieces more clearly here.

First base with one arm and two vases. Don'tcha just love the little tulip candle holder in the center?

And with the second base... I can divide up the arms and have two darling pieces on the table!

Or, be inserting the smaller vases, I could have two floral arrangements on a buffet table or dining table.

Or I could use a center bowl in each...

Or I have two depression glass candleholders..

The three arm insert also holds candles if you don't use the bowls.. could put one bowl in the center... 

Or flowers..

I think I'll be on the lookout for a few more pieces. I think this is one of the most versatile pieces I have. What do you think about it? Still dreaming of a gleaming one in silver, but I'm so happy with this, I don't care if it ever happens!!


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