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Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Luncheon Table

I'm about two weeks late posting this...but I guess, better late than never!
I hosted Easter lunch for Erik's family at Le Beau Paon on Palm Sunday, a week early, because my in-laws had travel plans and were going to be in Australia and New Zealand over Easter! 
It was a relatively simple meal and many things I was able to have ready in advance, which was nice, because Erik's band had a show on the 16th, so we didn't get home until 3 a.m. and I had his family coming over at 1 p.m. the next day!

I kept the table setting relatively simple and uncluttered, since we planned on serving the food buffet-style in the kitchen, so I didn't need many plates and serving pieces on the table itself. The only glassware on the table is the water goblets; the wine glasses I put on the sideboard with the wine and other drinks.

A view of the cover; I used my Old Country Roses place mats, and my formal Noritake china. The pattern is called Knottinghill and you've probably seen it in some of my other tablescapes before. This china was my wedding china from my first marriage, way back in 1995. I still love it! The place settings have five pieces, and I have place settings for twelve.

A simple napkin fold, appropriately called "the luncheon" is threaded through a bunny napkin ring. I've used my vintage linen napkins that have a hemstitched edge with embroidery

A bunny napkin ring needs to have a Lindt chocolate carrot favor to go with it, right?

These "Peep" salt and pepper shakers are made by Lenox and were a gift last year from my mother-in-law.

.....And I also put out the bunny and lettuce head salt and pepper shakers I bought recently at Goodwill. Originally I thought I was going to have two Easter tables to decorate because we were expecting ten people, but as it turned out, we only numbered seven, so we were all able to fit at the dining room table.

I had some wine chilling in an ice bucket on the sideboard, with the wine glasses.

A pitcher stands ready to be filled with ice water for the water goblets on the table.

I even made sure to have the lamb-shaped butter for the occasion!  I don't have a butter dish that goes with my china ( it was one of the serving pieces I never got around to buying!) but I found that the base for the gravy boat worked just as well.

I had made sure that all my silver serving pieces were polished and washed up the day before. We used this covered silver server for the vegetables. I also had a basket for the rolls with a vintage linen embroidered bread cover, but I must have forgotten to take a picture of it.

For dessert, I had this Cherries Jubilee cheesecake that I had actually bought awhile ago and it was in the freezer. I usually like to make my own desserts, but this was on hand and only needed to be defrosted and saved me some time.

But I did also whip up some cupcakes the day before and placed yellow Peep chicks on a nest of frosting, just in case someone didn't want cheesecake.

The Menu:
Honeybaked Ham
Potatoes Romanoff
Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole
Buttercrust Rolls
Deviled Eggs
Ribbon Jello Salad
Cherries Jubilee cheesecake

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 4th Wedding Anniversary! Hooray for us!

This one is everyone's favorite....

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Tabletop

Despite the fact that Easter is late this year, it doesn't look like we'll be having any nice weather for Easter....or anytime soon! I certainly hope that all the places that are planning outdoor Easter Egg hunts are prepared that they might not be able to have one.......it's been very cold here, very windy and we've been having snow mixed with rain for days. Today it snowed, hailed and sleeted....and it's supposed to continue for awhile.

I'm super envious of the folks who are having a real spring!
Anyway, Erik and I hosted our Easter dinner early this year (on Palm Sunday) and it went off very well. I changed up the vignette on top of the piano in the hall just for the occasion.

The faux peony arrangement was moved to another room and I took one of the candleabra from the dining room and put some pink candles in it.

The bunny I bought at Goodwill about a month ago. Next to him I put a bouquet of white faux roses with faux pink hydrangea that I've used in a centerpiece in several of my tablescapes.

I took the two white birds from my dining room table to complete the vignette. It was an easy way to add a little Easter cheer to the hallway, and brightens up an otherwise dreary day!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be joining Tabletop Tuesday with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life!


Vintage Voice: My Favorite Vintage Kitchens and More...Part 1

My interest in the Victorian Era actually started with an interest in the Civil War period, when I was in my teens. It evolved into an interest for the whole 19th century,with a special love for the Victorian period; the furniture, the styles, the clothes! I was fascinated and enamored. Later in life, I also developed a fondness for vintage dishes, linens and aprons from the 1930s,1940s and 1950s. If you're a follower of my blog, you have probably already seen some of my collections of dishes, glasses and linens from different time periods.

My interest in the Victorian period probably started when I was about nineteen and it was right about that time in my life when I saw the movie Driving Miss Daisy, a movie based on Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The movie starred Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, Esther Rolle, Dan Akroyd and Patti LuPone; a great ensemble cast. The music was done by Hans Zimmer, who has done many beautiful movie scores over the years, and it was directed by Bruce Beresford. It won an Academy Award for Best Picture, and two Oscars.

I loved the house used in the movie; the set designers did an excellent job as well; every detail is correct. I haven't been able to find out much about the actual house where the movie was filmed. Apparently it's a private residence, the address is 822 Lullwater Road, in an Atlanta neighborhood called Druid Hills. I don't know what year the house was built or how much of the interior was changed or not changed for the movie, or whether any of the furniture and decor inside belonged to the owners or was brought in for the movie.

In any case, the kitchen in this movie is one of my favorites; I always call it 'Idella's kitchen' in my mind, because it was Idella, the housemaid's, domain for all the years she was with Miss Daisy.

822 Lullwater Road, Druid Hills.

Apparently, the movie story begins in 1947 or 1948, which surprised me. I had always thought it started in the early or mid-1940s.

Idella in her kitchen. This is early in the movie, when Hoke (Morgan Freeman) first arrives.

. I love the white subway tile on the walls, with a black tile border. The tin pitcher has an array of cooking utensils in it; I can pick out a muffin/cookie scoop and a potato masher. I've been trying to figure out what that metal thing mounted on the window frame is, but I can't tell what it is. Maybe a can opener?

Here you can glimpse the kitchen's glass fronted cabinets. I LOVE these cabinets. Some day when I re-do my kitchen I'm going to have some like these! (Note: sorry for the slightly weird quality of these pictures; I could not find hardly any pictures from the movie, so I did my own screenshots using my own DVD copy of the movie.)

In this photo, again early in the movie, Boolie (Dan Akroyd) is having lunch at his mother's house. He sits at the kitchen table and behind him is a large built-in against the wall. I suppose that this might have been sort of like a butler's pantry originally, but here it's used to store what appears to be dry goods, jams and other kitchen goods, including some dishes. Before Erik and I married and bought our house, I lived in a duplex (c.1920s) that had one of these in a small room off the kitchen. It sure came in handy, considering there were few cabinets! In the movie, there is an adjoining room that Miss Daisy calls her "pantry", which has an old fashioned washing machine/wringer and an icebox in it, as well as more shelves for canned goods.

In this scene, you can glimpse the stove. I love this stove!! And apparently, it's quite large. Here you can also see the white subway tile and the black tile trim. I've tried to read the name brand of the stove, but I haven't been able to read it. In most of the scenes, you only catch a glimpse of the stove.

In this scene, it's later in the movie; May, 1962 to be exact. You can see that for the most part the kitchen looks the same, except for the radio on the counter has been replaced by a small TV. The wood table with pressed back wood chairs (which I couldn't get a good shot of because they are seen so briefly) has been replaced with a Formica topped table and chairs with white vinyl pads. This scene reminds me so much of the kitchens in my grandmother's homes.....I suppose that's why I love this kitchen. Do you see the metal cake carrier on the table? My mother-in-law has one just like it! I think it's awesome that even the curtains are the same ones. That's how it was in both of my grandmother's kitchens; nothing changed!

Towards the end of the movie, Idella is now passed away, so Hoke has his dinner alone in the kitchen. In this scene you can get a pretty good view of that awesome stove, and the refrigerator! I had noticed that Hoke's dinner was served on a Blue Willow plate, probably either Johnson Brothers or Wedgewood. Like I said; every detail was perfect!

That fantastic stove again!

The sink; I love the sink!  I guess it's good that I love this kind of look, considering what my kitchen currently looks like. Most people might be horrified to have an old sink like this, or circa 1940 steel cabinets, like my kitchen does. (Yes, we have totally vintage 1940 steel cabinets in the kitchen). I think most people with their modern tastes would have been horrified to have a kitchen like mine. I certainly don't mind it, actually, but I do wish I had more cabinet space, more counter space, and more electrical outlets! When we re-do our kitchen (when we can afford it) I want to keep as much of the vintage charm as I can, whilst making it functional for modern life.

Some other shots of other rooms:

Miss Daisy's bedroom. I love the rug and her feminine chairs.

Miss Daisy's sun room; full of white wicker and soft florals. To the far right you can glimpse her white wicker covered Philco radio! (It's more visible in another scene as she sits sewing and listening to opera, specifically, "Song to the Moon" from  Dvorak's Rusalka, a fave of mine as well!)

The dining room is only glimpsed in a few scenes, but it appears to have a heavy gold brocade wallpaper. I love this beautiful mirror and bureau below it. I think I can see two beautiful glass sconces with crystal bobeche, and some jadeite figurines on top.

The sideboard with a mirror above it in the dining room.

In this scene, there's a good shot through a door into what Miss Daisy called her "pantry" and there's a good view of the ice box. I'm not sure if this was a second refirgerator (there is one in the kitchen) or if this was actually a freezer. I love to come across these at antique stores, and wish I had one, though in good working condition they are usually too expensive for me to buy!

Most of the scenes that show the formal parlour don't really show the whole room, but I did get this shot where you can see the firescreen, fireplace mantel and the lovely chandeliers that I adore.
I notice that in many of the scenes, there are blue brocade slipcovers over the chairs and the sofa in this room and sometimes they have the slipcovers off in other scenes.  In this picture you can see the chair has a slipcover on. Miss Daisy has some men come to "do her floors" in one scene and they are also taking off the slipcovers and folding them up, as if to put them away. I had heard that in some parts of the South people "summerized" their homes for the hot weather; they put away heavy dusty rugs and changed them out for woven mats on the floors, put slipcovers on furniture with lighter fabric and lighter colors and in the days before windows had screens, covered their light fixtures and chandeliers with gauzy, net "bags" that slipped over the light fixture and tied at the top, to protect them from flies and other bugs making them dirty.

Most of the downstairs hallway and upstairs hallway is wallpapered in this green and cream colored wallpaper that looks similar to toile. Here's a great picture of the front door and entry hall. There is also a gorgeous, huge Palladian window on the stair landing, but I was never able to get a good view of it to take a screen shot.

Towards the very end of the movie, the house is being sold and Hoke and Boolie meet to take a drive up to the nursing home to visit Miss Daisy. All the furniture is gone, but this a nice picture that shows the lovely floral wallpaper in the formal parlour and all the beautiful wood work. I love the arched doorways with their wood frames!
Gene Shalit had said of this movie; "Close to perfection. To see it once is to remember it forever." I think that is exactly the sentiment I always had for this movie, even though I was nineteen at the time of it's release in 1989 and probably not considered it's "target audience."

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be doing another post, Part 2, sharing some more vintage kitchen scenes from another beloved movie of mine, Fried Green Tomatoes.


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Surprising Visitor

The other day I looked out my window one morning and saw we had a surprise visitor at the squirrel feeder in the yard:

(sorry the picture is so grainy; I took it from a 2nd story window, through a screen)

I admit that when I decided to put up a squirrel feeder in our yard, part of the reason I did was because I was hoping that we might lure this guy/gal into our yard. I was reminded of that Kevin Costner movie "Field of Dreams" where the voice he keeps hearing says ' If you build it, he will come'!
Ha....that was me! I kept thinking, 'if we put a feeder up, he will come!'.....
Sure enough.......
I don't know if this one is a male or female, but I do know there are at least two, maybe three, albino squirrels in our neighborhood. For the past couple of years I have seen two of them in a large park just down the street from our house and someone else told us they have seen three. They mostly stay in the park, which is about a block away, but I know they have ventured down this way before. Several times I saw one of them in a neighbor's yard and once, last year, I saw one on the roof of my garage one morning.  

Thanks for stopping by!