Friday, October 31, 2014

Autumn Tablescape

Setting a pretty table is what I do while my guy is watching football on a Sunday afternoon.  I've been collecting things for weeks, intending to make an autumn tablescape.  The first order of business, clean off the table.  That is sometimes the most daunting task.  Our kitchen table, rarely used for it's intended purpose, seems to collect the most clutter.

 I found the pretty leaf glasses at the Goodwill for a quarter a piece.
 The napkins and napkin rings were also a thrift find, as were the striped place mats.
 The pumpkin jar was a gift from Elizabeth last Thanksgiving. The pedestal is a Shabby Chic cast iron urn from Target years ago.  I have a pair and they are used in every season here at home.

 The quilted leaves I purchased years ago in a small town near Galena, Illinois. The leaf vine from Hannah's, a store in Antioch. bought just last year.
 The small bowls, another thrift store find.
 The tea light cups were an Ikea find a while back.
 Candlelight, looks and smells so good.
 I just love the colors, so warm and inviting.
My hubby and kids bought me this table and chairs when a local tea house went out of business.  A sweet Mother's Day gift I use every day.

This is how this old girl has fun!  Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

P.S. I am not much for Halloween, but have a happy and safe trick or treat!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Garbage Picked Chandelier

 Finding this chandelier on a Sunday morning walk, I knew just what I wanted to do with it.  I have hit the bottom of my Annie Sloan quart that I used to paint my kitchen cabinets, so when I saw this paint at he hob lob, I thought I'd give it a try.
 Sorry for the wonky photo.  The squirrel that runs my computer is finicky.;-)
 The coverage is comparable to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...
...and this was the second coat.  Eight ounces was around $5 with the coupon.  Annie Sloan sample size is half the size for $10! I think this paint performed well, coating a shiny surface, and the color was just what I was looking for.  Those bases on the arms are my next challenge.  Show you more as I progress.
Last evening, standing at the sink, the sky was amazing.  I had to run outside and capture the magic.
Sometimes the sun shines at an angle that looks brand new, and the crisp blue sky and fluffy autumn clouds
made these photos special.
 All from my deck.
I cleaned out my fountain that runs all year for the birds.  Sometimes in winter, the water stops completely and the surface freezes, but then a trickle starts as the sun shines or the temperatures start to rise.  A whole neighborhood of  birds and critters depend on this little fountain.  It looked so pretty with the leaves, so before I skimmed the surface, took this photo.  Oh Autumn, your beauty touches my heart.

Hope all is well with you my friends.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baking Therapy

 Whenever we have a service night or other club event, or if company is coming, I love to bake.  We all have the old standbys, but everyday new recipes get pinned, printed or otherwise saved.  Few ever see the light of day, but this little number will be repeated.  It is very easy and so delicious.  The base is an oatmeal cookie mix.
 The filling, 16oz Philly cream cheese, sugar and a egg...
 Spread on the par baked cookie,
 smothered in apple pie filling with added cinnamon......
covered in the remaining cookie mix...

 An important ingredient, Christmas music.  She sings like an angel!
In 35 minutes you have something different, really delicious and cut in small pieces, so easy to serve in cupcake liners. All the girls loved them, the family too.

Baking really is therapy for me.  Making something good for others to share makes me happy.  Tis the season of baking and cooking.  The nesting and preparation for the holidays is something I so look forward too.  Having the family close, the house warm and filled with laughter.  Nothing is really better than that.

Just a little recipe I thought to photograph, hope that you and your family enjoy it too.
The recipe is available at Betty Crocker, Apple Streusel Cheescake Bars.

No baking today, just a crafty project I hope to share soon.  Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Chair and Other Household Musings

Well, I chickened out and bought a slipcover for my pink chair and ottoman. When I thought of all the things I would rather do than sew a slipcover for this chair, I threw in the towel.  I loved this Waverly fabric, and have even made a few things with it in the past.  When I saw a slipcover for my wing back chair and ottoman on clearance at Surefit in this great fabric, I ordered it. It looks a little like an unmade bed...and I love it!
Thought I'd throw in a photo of some Autumn decor.  That's bittersweet from my own vine! I painted and stamped this clearance mirror many years ago.  It's a perennial favorite of mine.
I don't have the tucking quite right and the ruffle is askew in the photo, but I am so happy with it. Babygrand Penny thinks it looks so cozy.  She can't wait to sit in it!  That's what I call a seal of approval!  Another step closer to having the house ready for the holidays.

My SIL Elizabeth found this beautiful embroidered tablecloth for me. It is so pretty with the cornucopias, fruits and veggies on all sides and in the center.  She is an excellent thrifter and is so generous.  So many of the cool things I have are from Elizabeth's thrifty shopping.
Just look at this little lovely.  So sweet and colorful.   Two perfect additions to my large vintage table linens collection. Elizabeth is also an enabler, and I love her for supporting my bad habits. Thanks Betty!

That's what's happening today in English Valley...How are things in your neck of the woods?  Thanks for stopping by...

Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oh, What a Beautiful Weekend!

 The temperature was near perfect, the sky that Autumn crisp blue.  Everything sparkled.
 The colors that are still on the trees are awesome.
 We went for a little ride and found a place called Tom's in Algonquin.  Yes, Spiderman was there too!
 We just stopped for a snack...a donut or taffy apple...
  We got the donuts.  It was very hard to eat just one apple cider donut, just out of the fryer.

I was giddy with Autumn goodness.  We listened to music as we drove and I got all weepy from the beauty of it all. It was all just so perfect.
We found a thrift shop that we have visited before, but I was sure it was in one place and my driver;-) thought it was somewhere else.  You just can't get good drivers anymore :-)  Well, if I had a hat, I would have had to eat it.  My driver was correct, (my smarty pants hubby), and was as surprised as I was that he found the store again.  Never doubt your hubby's sense of direction, even if he's called "Wrong Way Willoughby" for a reason!
It used to be a schoolhouse and still has the German charts on the walls.  The woman working there was actually a pupil at the school back in the day.  I found a few little things, but the journey was the important part, and boy did we have a great time.

Sunday we headed for our nearest Super Target to help out our pals The Beekman Boys by buying their Mortgage Lifter Pasta Sauce...except we found the shelf empty!  With the proceeds from last years sales, Beekman 1802 was able to help a farmer by buying him a tractor.  Helping  farmers, even one at a time is something we want to support.   Two weeks ago when we saw Josh and Brent, they asked if everyone would buy even one jar...  I guess folks took it to heart since all we found was the empty shelf.

I spent the rest of my Sunday cleaning off the deck and removing all the dead plants.  So many of my pots are still beautiful, so I watered them and let them go until we lose them to a hard frost.

We had company for dinner Jon and Charlotte.  The guys watched a couple of movies while Charlotte and I
choose sleep and watching a PBS Series, Death Comes to Pemberley...a Jane Austen sequel written by P.D. James.  If you love Pride and Prejudice, this story takes place in Elizabeth's and Darcy's sixth year as husband and wife. It's also available on demand.  Check it out!

Later this week I have a tablescape, a recipe, some thrift scores and a craft project to share.  Thanks so much for dropping by and for all your kind comments.   Enjoy this beautiful day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Grove in Glenview Illinois

 The Grove is located right off Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview Illinois.  I used to take our kids there on days off, or when the cousins were visiting.  Now we've taken our babygrand.   We love to stop by for a walk in the woods. So we stopped on a beautiful crisp fall day.

 It was already late in the day, but the woods called.  It's a strange feeling, being in the woods, but still being able to hear the traffic in the distance on Milwaukee Ave.
 The sky was so crisp and blue...
 So many pretty spots...
 Beautiful, tranquil...
 In the woods, a Gingerbread House...
Hansel going in for bite! ;-)  A thirty minute vacation.  Good for the heart and soul.

Have a great weekend dear ones.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Granny's Revenge

I started this shawl a couple of years ago.  Our Guild calls them Prayer Shawls.  We make them for family, friends and strangers who are ill and need support and the comfort of knowing that they are remembered in prayer and surrounded with love.  It is really a lovely thing.  The Granny's Revenge part is this particular granny shawl pattern has caused me much trouble. I start things and put them down all the time. It is a great pattern.  I love the granny rectangle.  Since I started making it so long ago, I have lost the pattern of the starting or foundation chain... and now that this one is going, I want to make another.
I have been looking for the pattern for months.  Even Google is annoyed with me.  As soon as I google granny scarf or granny rectangle the search goes, VISITED...and the dates...It doesn't say, You Again?...but it wants to!  I've just about torn my house apart looking for the slip of paper or notebook I surely wrote it down in.  Now, there are other techniques to make the rectangle, but I cannot find this caterpillar type foundation that makes a really sturdy and beautiful center. It is driving me crazy! (As Dad would say, "It's not a drive, it's a short putt.)
Since it is in the middle of a seven foot shawl, I cannot reverse engineer it.  I have not been able to replicate the stitch with my pea sized problem solving brain.  I hate when that happens. I even posted this picture on a crochet site asking for help....No one seems to know.
So my revenge, make another kind of granny shawl. One that's in my head and a good way to use small scraps. I'll show you! ( no one in particular!) ;-) It feels so good to stop looking, she says half heartedly.
Let's change the subject...
Loving the smell of these pine cones and cinnamon sticks.  I added some pumpkin spice scented oil and it fills the house.  I got the oil at Edwards Apple Orchard.
...And then there were 5 beautiful orchids on my tiny plant.  What a unexpected pleasure watching this little plant bloom.

Recently, we took a lovely Autumn walk at The Grove in Glenview, Illinois.  I have some photos I'll share tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.