Friday, October 31, 2014

Harvest Tablescape With Meaningful Items

I love to fill my home with items that have a bit of personal history.  

This tablescape is a harvest...items gathered (harvested) throughout the years from many different sources.

The dinner plates and bowls are my every day dishes.  I first bought a service for 4 at a yard sale, then purchased more through e-bay to complete the set.  They are Johann Haviland Blue Garland from Germany. (They deserve a post of their own.)

The salad plates are from a set of dishes that my Mom gave me.  I love the different shades of blue on them.

The tea cups are from the original yard sale purchase.  I love the detail on these.  But to be honest, I like a larger mug to drink my coffee and tea from (wink).

The drinking glasses are from my parents, who got them from a family friend.  They are very delicate (we learned the hard way that they break easily).  Look at the intricate details.  I love the feel of these glasses...such depth.

Filling my home with meaningful things also means that we use them.  I am not a fancy person, saving these for special occasions only, nor do I fill these glasses with fancy drinks.  We drink out of them regularly 'just because'.

The utensils are a mix match...some I purchased, some were gifts, but most I inherited from my grandmother when she passed away.

This orange leaf candy dish is from my Mom.  She used it when I was a little girl.  So we'll call it vintage, not antique (smile).  Do you remember when orange was a popular decorating color?

The pitcher is from a family friend.  It has beautiful colors of autumn that dance perfectly with the blue, that then ties it all together with the blue dishes and place mats.  I used faux foliage in the pitcher.  It gives height to the tablescape.

The orange pumpkin, along with the yellow and green gourds are ceramic.  The small white pumpkins/gourds are from a friend's garden.

Last, but certainly not least, I must show you my two helpers (Ginger and Lily).  I am so used to them being with me and 'helping' me that I did not realize they were in some of the pictures until I uploaded them from my camera.

Sharing at
Thursday Favorite Things
The Scoop
Tweak It Tuesday
Vintage Inspiration Party
Tablescape Thursday
Show and Tell Friday

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Secret House

The Secret House is tucked away in the trees, hidden almost, like a secret.  It is perched on the high bank, overlooking the woods and the creek.

The Secret House is the first thing that we constructed on our land.  We didn't have electric yet, so Handy Hubby used a chain saw to cut the material (he is so handy).  It is made of plywood and wood strips (from my Dad's wood shop).  The outside is stained with deck stain.  The recycled door is from another project.

The inside is painted and has a linoleum floor.

There are two windows, one looking out into some trees and the other looking out over the creek (pictured above).  

  The Secret House started out as a playhouse for our girls.  (I had a playhouse growing up and have great memories of it and was hoping to pass the excitement on to our girls).  They would use their imagination in playing house.  They had play appliances and dishes to assist in making lovely mud pies, decorated with small rocks and grass.  They played board games, card games, read their favorite books, and of course, asked "are you done yet".  You see, we owned the land for a few years before we built our home.  We would spend weekends and spare time mowing and cleaning up junk around the place.  We even "camped" over night in the Secret House!  Fun, but oh my...not comfortable!

When we sold our previous home, we moved into a rental while we constructed our home on the land.  The Secret House became a storage shed.  We piled it high with stuff...things that would not fit into our rental.

As we have lived in our home, the girls have matured past wanting a playhouse.  The Secret House has evolved into a garden shed.  It houses garden tools, straw for the chickens, and things for cook-outs (like tiki torches and firepit grill racks).  The location is near the garden and chicken coop, so it works out great.

In the corner, you can see a small rocking chair.  A reminder of the Secret House's beginning... a play house, tucked away in the trees, overlooking the creek.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Decorating With Vintage Blue Mason Jars

I recently purchased a couple more vintage blue mason jars.  The vintage ones can have such character to them.  
Here are some ways that I like to use and decorate with them:

A utensil holder.  Very handy when serving buffet style meals.

A votive candle inside with a small grapevine wreath used as a candle ring. 
In this picture, you can see small bubble-like marks on the jar...character!  

This particular jar also has the vintage one piece lid.  Inside are seashells that were collected from a beach vacation.

Inside this lantern is a vintage blue mason jar and some faux berries. 
(Sorry...I tried taking this pictures at different angles, but kept getting a glare.)

I have a light kit made for mason jars.  I like to mix up the shades:

Using a punched tin shade gives a country look.

I made this lamp shade with a toile print.  It has a french country look to it.

Here is a vintage blue mason jar with a simple, cream colored, store bought lamp shade.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunshine in a glass

What has the weather been for you lately?  It has been gray and rainy in our neck of the woods for a few days now, not much sun.  So I decided to create a little a glass.  My husband says this looks like a "foo foo drink", but once he tasted it, he was hooked ;-)

Start with crushing some ice (about 1/2 cup for one drink) in a blender.  Pour in equal parts orange juice, pineapple juice, and milk.  (For one drink use 1/2 cup each).  Blend all together and enjoy the Sunshine (even if it is not shining outside your window).

Linking to
Thursday Favorite Things
  Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop
Metamorphosis Monday
Foodie Friday

Monday, October 20, 2014

Alpaca adopts kitten


Yes, you read that correctly...alpaca adopts kitten.

We noticed that our barn cat, Ocean, was getting chubby.  We thought she was too young to be pregnant, but when she began to 'waddle', we knew.  I made up a cozy spot in the barn for her.  One morning, as I was doing the feedings, I heard her.  She obviously was a nervous first time mom, because right there on the 4-wheeler seat (not the cozy spot I made) she was delivering her newborn kitten.  My daughter named the kitten Marina.  Ocean was a good Momma to Marina, taking very good care of her newborn.  As Marina grew, they even started to play together.

Then things changed.  Ocean started growling and hissing at Marina.  Yep, you guessed it - pregnant again!  (As cute as kittens are, Ocean will be having surgery.)  Marina was confused, sad, heartbroken.  It was at that time when another budding relationship started.

Imagine, if you will, a tall creature, with long legs and a very long neck.  Her name is Cashmere (a cream colored alpaca).  One day, Marina stopped to talk to her outside the barn.  "Excuse me" Marina said, "can I talk to you for a minute?  I am really confused right now.  I have been watching you from afar and you seem really nice.  Can you please help me?"  Marina went on to tell Cashmere her story...

Cashmere, being the gentle giant that she is, bent down to comfort Marina with a hug.  Cashmere said to the little kitten "I will take care of you and protect you.  I WILL adopt you!"  The bond between these two since that first talk has been amazing.  It has been a blessing to watch.

Cashmere seems to be 'teaching' Marina something here.

They take walks together.  Sometimes they pause at the water bucket and observe the world around them.  These are life lessons that Cashmere is teaching Marina.

They share secrets.  We hear Marina purring contentment and Cashmere replying "hhmm" (that is how alpacas talk).

Sometimes Cashmere even shares her alpaca food with Marina, even though her cat food is inside the barn.

Kissing each other, they say "good night, sleep tight, I love you".   

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why is it called a hay mow?

Winter is right around the corner, so we need to get some hay stored for the alpacas.  Handy Hubby is building a hay mow in the barn.  It is made of 2 x 4's and plywood above the stall in the barn.  As you see in this picture it is not completed...needs more plywood and he wants to build a wooden ladder that will be permanently attached.  It will then have a nostalgic appearance. (smile)

The storage concept is simple enough.  My questions is why is it called a 'mow'?  (Pronounced like 'cow' and spelled like mow, which is what you do to your lawn)  I've also heard it called a hay loft, which makes sense to me because I know what a 'loft' is. defines hay mow as hay stored in a barn, or a hay loft.  So, my question is where did the term hay mow come from?  If you know, please leave a comment.

The girls have had their own feed troughs for a few days now and it is working out better.  Before these, Bogo (middle one in picture) would eat some of hers then hurry to the other piles and eat some of theirs, then back to hers, then back to theirs....  With the feed troughs she still checks them all out first, but then settles on one, giving the others a chance to eat the correct amounts, and her not to be such a hog ;-)      Of course she stopped eating long enough to pose for a picture...she is very photogenic!

Sharing at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bandanna Pumpkins

Do you have some bandannas stuffed in a drawer somewhere?  If not, don't worry...I picked some up at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each.  I was surprised at all the different styles and colors available in bandannas.  I decided to stick to the traditional bandanna pattern and chose two shades of blue for my pumpkins.  I did my fall fireplace mantel this year in blue and cream (you can see that post here), and wanted to stick to that color scheme.

Bandanna pumpkins with a cinnamon stick stem.

This project is easy, only a few items are needed (most you may already have on hand if you craft).

Here is what you will need:
  • foam pumpkin (I used a 9 inch tall, 24 inch round)
  • bandanna
  • glue gun
  • jute twine
  • burlap 
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • cinnamon stick

Start by cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin.  This will be where you tuck the extra bandanna in.

Tuck each corner into the hole, adding dots of hot glue between (for extra hold).

When you have only one corner left, fold the sides in before you tuck it into the hole.  It's like wrapping a package.  Thank goodness a pumpkin doesn't need to look perfect, because I can't even wrap a square package perfectly ;-)

Cut 5 - 6 pieces of jute twine slightly larger than the pumpkin.  Starting at the bottom center wrap the twine up and tie a knot on the top.  

Cut off the extra twine (above each knot).

Cut 2 - 3 leaves from burlap.  Put mod podge around all the edges to prevent more fraying.  Let dry.

Hot glue the tips of the leaves on top of the twine.  Put a dab of hot glue in the middle and press down a cinnamon stick, trying to push everything down into the hole one last time.


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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Mantel Done In Blue And Cream

My favorite color to use in decorating my home is blue.  Shades of blue are scattered throughout my home's decor.  For my fall mantel this year I am going blue and cream.

On my mantel are two blue lanterns that I ADORE!  I adore them so much that I am leaving them on the mantel and creating different looks with them and around them.  For my fall mantel, I put cream colored candles in them and I knotted some twine (that I got from a bale of straw) around the candles.  It has that rustic glam look.

I am also still loving the look of the antique rug beater and the picture that my oldest daughter made for me years ago, so I have left them.

I added a blue pumpkin (that matches the lanterns).  I put a cream colored votive candle inside the holder.  There are such intricate details on this...the scrolling, the edging, the beauty.

I added three small cream colored pumpkins to finish the look.


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