Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kitchen Collages

Still waiting for the contractors to finish up their current job so they can come to our home.  
In the meantime, I've been playing around with collages.  I'm trying to come up with something relaxed and a little bit European country.  Dreaming of fresh, light, neutral backgrounds, classic dishes, good quality basic cookware and the ability to change out fun, inexpensive fabrics on a whim.  Most importantly, I want a real working kitchen where nothing is too precious to use and where our family will be happy to make messes together!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vintage French Chair Makeover

Recently, I had a chair reupholstered that I bought at a consignment store.  I bought it because I loved the frame, but then let it sit in the corner of a bedroom for a couple of years because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it!  I had been looking for an additional chair for the front room where our piano is.  It finally occurred to me that with new fabric, this old chair would work well with the newer chairs already there.

Before, with rust colored velvet...

And after, with a Sunbrella linen texture fabric on the front side and buffalo check on the back…

I wanted something easy to clean on the front, 
but something with pattern on the back side, which backs up to the front hall.
It's one of the first things you see when you step inside our home.

And here is the old chair sitting across from the two chairs I bought new a few years ago.

Drop me a line if you've redone an old piece of furniture…would love to see!

I thought it would be fun to link up to the party at Savvy Southern Style.
Lots of great inspiration over there!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Great British Bake Off

Last night was the much anticipated premiere of the 5th season of Downton Abbey.  As if the evening wasn't great enough, there was a fun reality show aired the hour before Downton, "The Great British Bake Off." I've never heard of this show, but last night was Episode 2 of its 5th season and I thought it was kinda fun. 

Two judges, two funny co-hosts and a group of amateur bakers trying to win the title of best baker in the UK.  The cute English kitchen is in a garden tent with Union Jack bunting.  Last night was all about biscuits, and the ultimate challenge at the end of the show was to build a 3D form out of English biscuits.  

The two judges on the left and the co-hosts

Good, clean, baking fun in a pretty garden tent kitchen…my kind of reality show!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Bit of Our Christmas Decor

* Happy 2015 *

In the new year I wish much health and happiness to all of you who stop by here.

We had a wonderful Christmas Day at home.  The following weekend we drove to my parent's farm and celebrated with my seven siblings and their families.  We have never been so far behind
preparing for Christmas as this year.  We didn't actually get the tree decorated until the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  Today is the last day to drop off trees at the nearby park for mulching and
I feel a little sad that we didn't get it decorated earlier and enjoy it a bit longer!  We'll probably
leave the rest of the decorations up for another week or so...

The kids made these Nativities for us as gifts Christmas 2013.

About 4 years ago, I planted a red-twig Dogwood shrub in the back yard
to have these lovely branches at Christmas time.  Most of our greens
were cut from the yard or the Christmas tree.

When the kids were toddlers, we were visiting their grandparents in Germany,
and bought a pair of these hand carved angels at a Christmas market.
One of them usually hangs above the mirror in the dining room.

My son and I picked up lots of pinecones on a walk and then baked them to get rid of any critters.

I used dried orange slices on this little tree and plopped it down into one of my
favorite blue and white pots.  It got in the way of cooking though,
and I had to move it to the front hall.

German nativity pyramid on the kitchen table.

I potted up lots of Amaryllis, Poinsettias and Paperwhites to scatter around the house.

The powder room got a couple of fresh boughs from the bottom of the Christmas tree. 

The white angels were the kid's handmade gifts to us Christmas 2012.

We bought the small Santon Nativity for our first Christmas after we were married.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy many blessings with your loved ones in 2015.

P.S.  Downton Abbey Season 5 Premiere tonight at 8 Central on PBS!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dried Orange Slice Ornaments

Orange Slice Ornaments
Cut the oranges into thin slices, about 1/4" thick, keeping them as uniform as possible in thickness. If your oranges have seeds, pick them out.  Lay on a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet in the oven set at the lowest temperature (around 150 degrees F). Leave them to bake for about four hours, then turn with a spatula, checking them every hour until they seem almost dry with a bit of moisture left so they still have an orange color (they will continue to dry at room temperature). Create a tiny hole in the top of each slice with a small paring knife, and string twine through each to hang on your tree.