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27 October, 2010

Thinking About Thanksgiving...and...A Ruffled Burlap Table Runner Giveaway!

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IMG_3889Fall has arrived in my dining room…at last! And I have to admit, I am beginning to think about Thanksgiving, too! Sooo…I am trying out a really different look for me. Want to see? Now this is not a full tablescape. I’m just playing with my dishes!

IMG_3882 I have decided to go for creams and naturals with lots of texture this year! I am using a set of chunky, embossed ivory plates that I found at Goodwill (from Chris Madden for JC Penney) along with my Red Cliff ironstone tureen.

IMG_3888And on the hutch…what? Not my usual blue and yellow plates? No! I have replaced them with some wonderful cream plates…

IMG_3874 …and added some little baby pumpkins for a pop of fall color! The pattern is Wedgwood Queensware Plain and I love it! And best of all, I got them at Goodwill…52 pieces for $68! That’s about $1.30 for each piece! Woo hoo!

IMG_3871 And even better…this is my pattern! I already have a service for eight that I have had for years and, with our family increasing by leaps and bounds, I will need more! There will be fourteen of us next Thanksgiving, between my sister’s family and mine. For us, that’s huge, especially since my sister and I both have new grand-babies arriving in a few months! So you see…I need these plates! Really!

IMG_3910 I also like the look of my pewter flatware and my brown goblets with the cream. Hmmm…I think I’m beginning to love the way everything is coming together! And on the table…

IMG_3908 …remember this is just the bare bones of my tablescape..…a burlap table runner to add more texture…

IMG_3841 …created with the help of my lovely assistant Miss Isabella, pictured here playing in the scraps!

IMG_3879 Here is a better look at it. I have been seeing these ruffled runners and wanted to make one for myself. My friend Linda at Nina’s Nest and I have been discussing possible fabrics and measurements for a few weeks, so I thought I would try my hand at it! Head on over to Linda’s to have a peek at hers! Now…have I got you thinking about your Thanksgiving table, too? Well, here's something that might help you out...

IMG_3891 Just in case you haven’t heard, I would like to offer a ruffled burlap table runner like this one to one of my readers! And I will make it to fit your table! I am celebrating some big milestones on my blog and it’s my little way of saying thank you to my wonderful readers!  Click here to read all about the giveaway and to sign up if you are interested. I hope you will head on over!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my Thanksgiving inspiration!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Linda at A la Carte for Junkin' Finds
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
See you next time! A la prochaine! Pin It!

26 October, 2010

Ruffled Burlap Table Runner Giveaway

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IMG_3879 I am so excited! My little blog has hit some big milestones in the last few weeks and I have all of you to thank for it! I cannot believe it, but I now have over 500 followers plus over 100 subscribers on Feedburner! Amazing! And I am approaching my two year blogaversary as well! I am so appreciative of your kindness and bloggy love! Blogland really is a neighborhood filled with wonderful, supportive people, isn’t it? Sooo…

IMG_3891 …I would love to offer a handmade (by me!) ruffled burlap table runner to one of my readers! I am showing you the one that I made for my table, but I will make one to fit yours. I am not a professional and I am not selling these…it’s a one-time gift. It’s just a little token of my appreciation. So if you would like to be included in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post…that’s it. Just one comment. You don’t have to be a follower or subscriber,  but if you would like to become one, I would love it! If you don’t have a blog, be certain that I have a way to contact you if you win. That’s all there is to it. I will close the comments on Tuesday, November 2nd at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard time and announce the winner shortly thereafter. And thank you again for being so kind and supportive! Pin It!

20 October, 2010

My Pottery Barn Inspired Fall Mantel

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IMG_3751 I am sooo excited! I have decorated my mantel for fall...for the first time ever! I know…unbelievable, but true! I usually only change my mantel at Christmas and then leave it pretty much the same the rest of the year. Want to see?


straight fireplace Here is how it looked on January 1 and that’s how it looked until today…minus the fire! (It’s still waaay too hot for that!) I love my sheep and that print reminds me of a little village in France called Norroy-le-Sec.  But how do you do fall decor around such sunny Provençal colors?


pb mantelI decided to have a look at the Pottery Barn website to see if I could find some inspiration (Yes...I know...I'm a big fat copycat!) and here’s what I discovered…I need a mirror! lol Yes, of course! I can replace my little French village with a mirror and then add seasonal decor through the holidays and into the winter months! 


mantel And here it is…my take on the Pottery Barn fall mantel! Of course, it’s not identical because I had to adapt it to my space. I had to use a horizontal mirror because of the configuration of my corner fireplace. And I used old-fashioned orange pumpkins instead of the turban squash. I just like plain old pumpkins. They say fall to me!


IMG_3744 The mirror is from an antique dresser or vanity,  I think. I found it at a flea/antique market for only  $37…not bad! Even the ones at Kmart were $30…and plastic! This one is very heavy and nice. It’s pretty simple and that works well for my little home.


IMG_3750 The garland came from Hobby Lobby…half-price. I love the little gourds! It's a nice, plump garland so it didn’t need anything added. I just plopped it on the mantel!


IMG_3755 The urns were also half-price at Hobby Lobby. I love the lion with a ring in his mouth…so frenchy!


IMG_3754 The wreath was the best deal…only $1.75 at Goodwill! I think no one had noticed it because it was all scrunched and ugly. I simply fluffed it and hung it on the mirror…which helps to make it look even bigger. I think I even like it better than PB’s faux bittersweet wreath…and theirs costs $59!  That’s my kitchen and breakfast nook that you can see around the corner! I think I am going to enjoy my new mantel! I’m excited!


IMG_3770However, our usually inquisitive co-host Baby Kitty was not impressed. He was too busy taking his afternoon nap to pay it too much attention. Maybe tomorrow…


IMG_3751 And there you have it…my new fall mantel!  I think the mirror is my new favorite thing! I am really enjoying watching the reflections change as I walk around the room and seeing the light play as the afternoon sun shines into the house! Can you tell I’ve never had a mirror on the mantel before? lol What can I say…I am easily entertained!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my project!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
See you next time! A la prochaine! Pin It!

13 October, 2010

Lanterns and Pumpkins...My Fall Porch!

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IMG_3700 We are sweltering here in Georgia, so last weekend I decorated my porch so I could at least pretend that fall has come! This year, I decided to use lanterns and pumpkins as my theme. I have fallen in love with lanterns because you can use them as accents in any season and they will fit right in!


my lanterns Here is my fall porch last year when I used a Pottery Barn inspired theme with them. (Click here to see more.) I found out a few important things…candles do not do well in the full sun on my little porch and candy corn does not make a good filler! lol Blowing rain turns it into a gooey mess that is almost impossible to remove!


page2 So this year I decided to use only things that will not melt in my lanterns and pumpkins seemed like the obvious choice! A trip to Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in the north Georgia mountains gave me lots of wonderful varieties to choose from!


IMG_3695 I filled this lantern with some gorgeous little tiger striped pumpkins along with a white one. I really like the  way they look! Now if they will just hold up…I’ll keep you posted!


IMG_3680 Another lantern was filled with miniature Indian corn tied with some jute twine…love it! But something’s missing!


IMG_3696 It’s leaves! Now it’s starting to look like fall! Don’t laugh, but the ones I added are faux since we don’t have any…yet!


IMG_3697 Here’s how things look on the other side of my small porch…more of the same in different sizes. I seem to have bought mostly traditional orange pumpkins in spite of the selection at the pumpkin farm. It just contrasts better with my porch surface.


IMG_3692 Here’s my one little nod to Halloween!  I will pull it up on November first and leave the rest of the decorations. It’s just so much easier for me to decorate for fall and leave it up until Thanksgiving!


IMG_3691 Now for the wreath! I wanted a new one with more punch this year, so I decided to make it. I started with a $1.00 grapevine wreath from Goodwill and added a garland of leaves leftover from several years ago. Finally, I added two little swags that were half price at Michael’s and…voilà!


porch And finally…here it is! Do you think that Artie and Marty will count this as a vignette? I hope so! lol All I need is some nice, cool temperatures and I’ll believe fall has arrived!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my porch!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for the Fall Outdoor Spaces Party
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
See you next time! A la prochaine! Pin It!

07 October, 2010

Easy Pottery Barn Inspired Fall Candle

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IMG_3625 Yaaay! Fall has finally come to Georgia! The cool nights and sunny days that make it my favorite season are here at last! And a trip to a pumpkin farm in the north Georgia mountains (more about that later) has finally put me in the mood to decorate! And, as usual…


img24m …thumbing through the Pottery Barn catalog has given me some great ideas. However, being the thrifting addict that I am, I cannot see paying the $19 plus shipping for the miniature Indian corn…not to mention the cylinder! Yikes! Sooo… I set out to find what I needed to recreate this wonderful fall candle!


IMG_3596The cylindrical candle holder came from Dollar Tree for…you guessed it…$1.00! I found the miniature Indian corn at Kroger for only $2.99 for three ears and I needed nine…about $9.00. The rest of the items were already on hand…free! So the total cost of the project was about $10not bad!


IMG_3600 First, I put a rubber band around the cylinder and started adding the corn. I turned the husks up toward the ears of corn as I added them. I tried using some corn left over from last year, but the husks were just too dry. The corn bought this year was much more pliable. Of course, our co-host Baby Kitty had to inspect my progress!


IMG_3607 Finally, I managed to get all of the corn securely tucked in behind the rubber band. Now I am ready for the next step!


IMG_3608I tied the ears to the cylinder, winding it around tightly several times to help hide the rubber band. I used jute twine rather than cotton twine as they did. I like its chunky texture and feel.


IMG_3609 I also trimmed some of the husks to give it a more even appearance and to get rid of some of the blackened areas. I  wanted to be sure that none of the husks were too close to the candle. You will want to use caution when lighting it, too. Just a note…be sure to pick it up from the bottom when moving it since the corn is not really attached.


IMG_3626And here it is!  I added it to the fall vignette on my entry table. I love it! And the best thing is that I can keep it on display until Thanksgiving! In case you are wondering, the pumpkin basket in the background came from Hobby Lobby on sale for an unbelievable $5.00! Cute, huh? And the candy corn is for my grandson who just has to have it…even in his Easter basket! lol


IMG_3625 Here’s a final look at my…er…Pottery Barn’s…creation! It was so easy and so much fun to make! And did you know that Indian corn can be kept for years? Just wrap it in a plastic bag and store it in a cool, dry place. Now I have a fall decoration that I can use again and again! Hmmm…maybe I’ll make another one!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my project!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Fridays
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Roeshel at The DIY Show Off for the Fall Festival
Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
See you next time! A la prochaine! Pin It!

02 October, 2010

More New Orleans Favorites...or...Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

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IMG_3377Need a little virtual vacation in the French Quarter of New Orleans? I’m back to tell you more about my recent visit to the Big Easy! I was there for a special occasion…my 60th birthday! Once again, I must tell you that I am no expert, but this is my third visit, so I’d like to share my favorites with you! (If you missed the first post and would like to read it, click here.)


page3 You cannot come to New Orleans without having breakfast at Brennan’s! Be prepared to eat until you nearly pop and skip lunch and maybe dinner that day! I ordered my favorites, which also happen to be the traditional breakfast/brunch favorites on the menu! Why? Most of these dishes were invented by their chef who has been there more than 40 years! Start with milk punch, followed by their thick and creamy Creole onion soup, and then as a main dish, Eggs Hussarde, a Brennan's original…eggs Benedict with marchand de vin sauce added. Yummy!


page4 And you absolutely must order dessert…yes, dessert with breakfast! It’s a Brennan’s tradition. And a must-have…a dish that was invented here…is Bananas Foster! It’s breakfast with a show...your waiter will make it for you at the table! The bananas are sautéed in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and banana liqueur and then flamed in rum! Dish it over vanilla ice cream and you have a heavenly treat! Yummy! (Find a link to Bananas Foster, Eggs Hussarde and many of their famous recipes here.)


IMG_3457 After breakfast, walk down Royal Street and pop into some of the wonderful antique shops! But be prepared…the prices are on the high side! All I was able to bring home was this photo of my favorite style of frenchy lamp…a bouillotte lamp! lol It was about $800…actually not too bad! That’s me reflected in the shade! (Cick here to see my post about the history of bouillotte lamps.)


page3 If you are still digesting and want a little tour without the walk, try a buggy ride through the French Quarter with narration by your driver. If you don’t mind riding with other folks, it’s only $15 and lasts 30 minutes. Not only will you see the fabulous wrought iron balconies, but interesting spots such as Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, which served as a cover for the pirate’s illegal activities and is now a piano bar, and the Cornstalk Hotel with a fabulous wrought iron fence shaped like…yes…cornstalks to pacify a homesick wife from Iowa!


IMG_3353 Head on back to Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter, and check out the famous wrought iron balconies of the Pontalba Buildings dating from the late 1840s. They are publicly owned and the upper floors are actually apartments that may be rented. In the middle of the Lower Pontalba Building is the 1850 House…part of the Louisiana State Museum.


page4 Here you will find a townhouse filled with period furnishings, including a fabulous half tester bed and a sweet baby’s room with an adorable tea set and a little half tester crib! And what a fabulous set of china!


IMG_3311 But perhaps the most interesting room was the bath…complete with this innovative tub that warms its own water and then empties easily! And check out those fabulous legs on the drop leaf table...I want it!


page3Also on Jackson Square is Saint Louis Cathedral…whose silhouette has come to represent New Orleans! However, it has not always looked like this. In the inset is the cathedral in 1838, prior to a major makeover in 1850. Is that an amazing metamorphosis? How different Jackson Square would look if the changes had not been made!


IMG_3375 Next door to the cathedral is The Cabildo, another part of the Louisiana State Museum. Inside, you will find three floors of exhibits retelling the history of Louisiana. My favorite displays were the death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, pictured above…a real look at his face!…and the room where the Louisiana Purchase was signed! (You can take the virtual tour by clicking here. Click at the bottom of each page to continue.)


page Have you walked off that big breakfast? Then let’s go down Decatur Street to the Central Grocery, a real Italian-American grocery store, for their world famous muffuletta! It’s a huge sandwich filled with piles of Italian cold cuts and cheeses and topped off with their signature marinated olive salad. You can easily split one with a friend! Are you getting the picture that food plays a big part in a visit to this wonderful city? lol We sat at the counter and enjoyed a conversation with some charming locals.  Don't expect a Southern drawl here! The New Orleans accent is a port city accent..almost like New York!


page5 Music is also an important part of the atmosphere in the French Quarter! Street musicians set up everywhere  to entertain you, hoping for a nice tip, of course. We found a terrific jazz band performing outside the Café du Monde! A grandmother and her little granddaughter began to dance and the customers clapped along with the music. What fun! And of course, they played When the Saints Go Marching In!


734 Or you can walk along the Moon Walk……the wooden promenade in front of Jackson Square...named after New Orleans mayor Moon Landrieu. The riverboat Natchez is anchored here and you can hear the jazz band playing in the evenings before they depart on their dinner cruise! Have a seat on a bench overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and drink in the atmosphere! It's free!


IMG_3524 The crying shame is that there is only so much room in your tummy! lol You cannot leave New Orleans without a trip to the Gumbo Shop to have their famous gumbo…what else? I had the chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. I might also add that the French bread in the French Quarter is almost as fantastic as in France! Can you say that three times fast? lol


731I followed the gumbo with the Creole sampler, which included (left to right) shrimp Creole, jambalaya and red beans and rice! We actually had this meal on the last night of our trip…an appropriate and delicious ending!  (You will find a link to their recipes here.)


IMG_3303 I have to add here that one of the most important aspects of my trip was the people of New Orleans! They were so welcoming and friendly! They are so proud of their city and were always eager to help us find our way or suggest places to eat or great jazz clubs where we could enjoy their music! They have had a rough time in the last few years, between Katrina and the Gulf oil spill, but that didn’t stop them from opening their arms to us and making us feel at home. The food was fabulous and the accommodations were amazing. If you are planning a vacation in the near future, you may want to give New Orleans a try. The people will appreciate your being there and you will not be sorry that you went! As the Cajuns say...Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll! (Click here if you missed part one of the tour!)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
See you next time! A la prochaine! Pin It!
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