Monday, February 16, 2015

Feelin' Home Goods Happy

Hi Everyone!

Oh boy, Monday here we are.  Don't the weekends just fly by?  They surely do for me.  On the bright side, we are one day closer to spring and I am more than ready for that!

I happened upon this old soda crate awhile back and thought it would be perfect to put on top of the new-to-me cabinet I recently acquired from my mom.  For more on the cabinet, check out this post. I had hoped to fill two of the large compartments with antique glass demijohns, but holy cats Batman, those things are a tad expensive!  (On a side note, the little wicker demijohn was a $1.99 Goodwill find a few years ago.  I do not know why it looks dusty (it isn't), but several of the pictures in today's post look that way, too.  I am still learning the ins and outs of my new camera.  Need to figure out the "anti-dust" mode, lol, lest you think I have been neglectful of my cleaning!)

A-n-y-w-a-y, back at the ranch.....antique glass demijohns weren't happening for me, so this morning I set off to my local Home Goods to see if they had any "reasonable facsimiles."


Trying not to be distracted by the pillows, lamps, and candles (who am I kidding? I checked out the whole store?!), I kept to my mission of finding something for the crate. 


 Of course, Home Goods did not disappoint!  I found these vintage looking canning jars with antique bronze lids.  They are the perfect size and scale for my crate.  For under $15.00 with tax, they jumped into my cart and made the drive home with me.



They fit quite nicely, thank you.




Hooray for Home Goods (and an honorable mention to Marshall's - located in the same store - for having a super cute infinity scarf for me as well).  Have you gotten Home Goods happy lately?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Tablescape

Hi Everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day yesterday.  It was a great day at the Bluebird house, that's for sure.  We hadn't done any entertaining for what seemed like years, so it was fun to host a Valentine's dinner for some of our favorite people.

When I was considering what to do for a table setting, the main goal was to use what I already had on hand.  Last month I made my own pine table "trough."  This became the base for the entire table.


I dug out some canning jars from my stash and painted them in light and dark pink, using them as vases.  Nestled among burlap ribbon, they are a nice contrast to the rough texture of the trough and the ribbon.  I tucked in two flameless tapers for that all important romance factor (it was Valentine's Day, after all)! A $3.49 WalMart bouquet of mini carnations finishes it off.  Fitting with the theme of the day, I was in LOVE with how it turned out!  


I used white dinner plates, red damask patterned salad plates, and solid black appetizer plates - all things I had in my china storage cabinet.  I tied grain sack stripe napkins with a piece of burlap and then clipped these super cute hearts on them as a napkin ring.  I did pick up the clips at World Market last week - $3.99 for six.  All told, my entire centerpiece cost me less than ten dollars.


My spice cabinet's blue willow got "clipped" with two of the hearts as well.  Just for fun!


A close up of the jars also shows the Monogrammed Chair Backs I made last year.  An easy do project done with cotton dish towels and a sharpie! I don't use them all of the time, but they were perfect for my Valentine's dinner table.


A close up of my trough.  I cut the wood for this during a -10 below zero cold snap we had in late December.  I was determined to get this thing made! After I assembled it, I painted it with blue chalk paint, then some yellow, dry brushed on some white latex wall paint and lastly, I gel stained over it all.  The finish turned out amazing! I also beat the heck out of it with a hammer, screw driver and meat tenderizer to give it that aged look.  (Mr. Bluebird thought I was crazy, but - as I have asked many times before - is this your first day, Mr. Bluebird?  I have been doing stuff like this since 1980!) I used a mix of finishing nails and roofing nails (those are ones with round, flat heads). The roofing nails are my favorite.


This cheap, little "snow bear," holding a velvet rose, was a WalMart impulse purchase, but at $4.97 he really looks cute on top of my french drying rack.  His fur is designed to look like little rosebuds. I think I kinda love him.  He might reappear on my New Year's Eve tabletop setting.


I think every one had a great time at our dinner party.  We had lobster, tenderloin, Caribbean rice, broccoli, tomato & cucumber salad and warm, crusty bread.



 For dessert, red velvet cake and chocolate covered strawberries.  And wine.  Lots of wine. Aren't the little cloches adorable? They really made the strawberries extra special. I bought them from a friend's Southern Living at Home party several years ago.

The Valentine decor is coming down tomorrow and  I am taking a breather from seasonal decor until Easter gets a bit closer.  It is ridiculously cold here right now and bunny rabbits & spring flowers just don't seem quite right - yet!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Changeup

Hi Everyone!

I switched things up on the little server in the kitchen recently. This area hadn't received much attention since Christmas.  I will be honest, the scale of the vignette is a mess and it won't be staying this way for long. I am just glad to have changed things up for now.




Speaking of scale, the mason jar lamp was a Christmas gift and replaces a larger green lamp. I like the airy feeling of the see through glass and the smaller size will work much better with future vignettes. . I am still looking for a home for the wooden spice cabinet, but for now it's here on the server with some vintage bike licenses and children's Blue Willow plates. It will be moving soon!



I found this small birdseed sack awhile ago and I really like the graphics on it. I was happy this little pot of pothos fit perfectly inside it. 






Have you been changing things up at your place?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter - A Perfect Pair

Hi Everyone!

With Valentine's approaching, I felt the urge to whip up a little somethin' from my oven for Mr. Bluebird's coworkers.  I try to bake something every few weeks or so for them.  I really like baking and making desserts.  Mr. Bluebird doesn't eat sweets very often and I try to stay away from them, so his coworkers benefit from my sweet tooth.

I was looking for a quick treat that still had some pizazz, and quickly decided on cupcakes.  One of my tricks to make a box mix taste more like homemade is to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  I have used expensive real vanilla and inexpensive "imitation" vanilla - I think taste-wise, it is a tie.  So, I chose to use the imitation for this and save my pricier vanilla for when it makes a difference.



After letting the cupcakes cool, I added about one half cup smooth peanut butter to canned vanilla frosting, along with another teaspoon of vanilla.  Once it is mixed, you have a delicious and not too sweet peanut butter frosting.  Love this trick! And.....you can't go wrong with a peanut butter & chocolate pairing.  They were truly meant to be together!


I used a piping tool to add a generous circle of frosting to each cupcake.  Candy heart sprinkles were shaken on top, and then, the piece de resistance, I nestled a yummy Reese's chocolate heart in the center.



Thank goodness I am dropping these off at his office tomorrow morning, because they are definitely calling my name!

Have a "sweet" week!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

Monday Funday
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Love in the Master


Hi Everyone!

Don't raise your eyebrows at my post title - I am talking about a little Valentine decor in our master bedroom today, lol.

I don't do much Valentine decor. It is a pretty fast passing holiday and I do a little bit on the main level of our house (see my kitchen chandelier here).  That's about it.  But this year, I thought the red color scheme I have going for the winter would be a perfect backdrop for a touch of February love.


The curtain panels are made from Pottery Barn tablecloths which I told you about in this post.  Love them.  I am still going back and forth on what fabric to cover my burgandy wing chair with, so a white sherpa throw is a current stand in.


The old bench made from a vintage sign was something I scored last summer at one my favorite antique malls.  It still makes me smile, and I love how my little fireplace looks on it.


The rocking chair is one my mom refinished years ago when I was just a kid. It always sat in our kitchen.


The "You Are My Sunshine" word art is also a winner for us and is a daily reminder of our honeymoon in Nashville back in 1982.





Such a cozy spot to read by "the fire."


I picked up this "love" pillow a month or so ago at Kohl's.  I had some "Kohl's Cash" and was able to pick it up for next to nothing.  Whenever I get the "cash" I usually spend it on something fun.  This pillow is a fun, crewel-look pillow and looks far more expensive than the asking price.


 I found some old book boxes that had the word "love" on them and set them on the bench, along with a pretty tile my daughter made when she was in school.


And speaking of love....I think today is a perfect day to cozy up to the fire with one of my favorite books, "To Kill A Mockingbird"  by Harper Lee.  My daughter gave me a leather bound copy a few years ago, and it is definitely one my treasures.  


So that's my love story for today!  Now it's time to settle in with my book and brace myself for the blizzard (yes, we are experiencing a blizzard today). Plus there is a little football game on tonight!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Farm Fresh Eggs (A Cover-Up)

Hi Everyone!

Way back in October of last year, Mr. Bluebird raised the curtain rod on our kitchen patio door.  I also had him remove the gold vertical blinds (yuck!) at the same time.  The blinds were our attempt to block out the lightning during summer storms. We had hoped this would help our dog with his storm anxiety, but it was not to be.  After eight years, we threw in the towel and happily took down the verticals.  Just doing that brought in so much more light into our north facing kitchen.  

The Pottery Barn curtain panels also look so much better raised up about 4 inches. Of course, like any home improvement project - even the itty bitty ones, like this, there is a price to pay.  Our "bill" was an unsightly patch of white left behind because our lazy painter (yep, me!) did not remove the rod the last time I painted the room.  And of course, I no longer have the paint - nor do I know the color. Ugh!!! Will I ever learn?

Anyway.....this is what the middle area above  our patio door has looked like since October! I apologize to all of the guests who have come and gone during this time period.  It looks pretty shabby.  But, you know, you kind of get used to it and it just becomes part of the background.  


Fast forward to yesterday.  When I left the house to go grocery shopping, the ugly white patch was still there.  On my way home from the store, I  have to pass by this cute little shop. This shop is huge and has two floors of unique home decor and antiques.  One of my favorites!  Like many other shopping days, I found myself pulling up to Finders Keepers to see what was new.



I was on the hunt for a small accent lamp, but ended up buying this "Fresh Eggs" sign.  I knew it would be perfect for the space between the patio curtain rod and the patio door.  (It would also cover up the ugly white patch!)


I really like it and it is a great addition to the farmhouse decor - big and bold, yet simple.


The "eggs" sign really compliments the little rooster table vignette I have going on.





A glimpse from the other side of the room.  I think the graphics go well with my auction bill to the left.  You can read about that here.


I didn't find the little lamp I was looking for, but I definitely scored a gem yesterday.  The sign was made by local artist, Dan DiPaolo.  He has designed many things for Lang over the years and is one talented fellow.  You can read more about him on his website Dan DiPaolo Studios.  I like that this particular sign is not mass produced, it is all handmade and even signed by the artist.
On a completely unrelated topic, today I am cleaning our home office - it has really exploded into a disaster area.  I will be very glad when peace is restored to this room for many reasons.  One, we use it all of the time and two, it is one of the first rooms guests see when they come to the front door. So, a-cleaning I will go!

Thanks for stopping by,



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blue? Who Knew?

Hi everyone!

Here we are - the 20th of January already. These early weeks are just flying by.  I have a quote on my chalkboard right now, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" At the rate this year is going, spring will be knocking at my door before I know it. (Never mind the snow in tomorrow's forecast!)

Let's talk about blue.

These days, I don't use a lot of blue in my home decor. I do have a blue ceilinged powder room, but that's about it. Years ago, I had tons of what was called "country blue" - I even had blue plaid counter tops in our kitchen. Don't judge - it was "all that" in 1989 when we built that house!

Perhaps that is the reason I haven't used much blue these past years. Who knows? Actually, I am just a warm color girl and blue is on the cooler spectrum.

But, wait! I've let some blue slip in recently. And....I am really liking it in this small dosage.


I've been sharing recently about the cabinet and blue willow pieces I received from my mom after her move. I have been playing around with styling the cabinet and since my mom always, always had blue willow in said cabinet, I decided to try incorporating a few pieces into my vignettes.


I put some ivy in an old cream pot, next to a black metal chamber stick. I opened one of the drawers and used it as display space.


I also put one of her blue platters inside the cabinet, and layered in a depression glass cake stand and Jadite pitcher. I like the pop of blue with the warm colors...adds some spice to every thing.

In small doses, I am really enjoying the blue. Who knew?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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