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Always in My Heart

My Sweet Twin Grandgirls

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About Me

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My passion is decorating with vintage and antique finds on a budget. There was a time when I wouldn't have dreamed of going into a goodwill. That day has passed. :) My second love is scrapbooking all those special family moments for posterity, and I recently set up my very own scrapbooking room. I have three beautiful children, two sons and a daughter as well as a sweet (albeit full blooded Yankee) daughter-in-law and two grandgirls. I also enjoy gardening, meeting new friends and relaxing on my patio in the evenings with a glass of fine wine. During the summer of 2001, I spent two glorious weeks at Kennedy Space Center. I've been somewhat of a space geek ever since....

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Before and After

I have this huge empty expanse of wall in my family room behind the sofa.  At one time, I had mirrors of all sorts of shapes and sizes covering it.  After a while, I grew tired of that look and took them all down when I changed the paint color on the walls.  I've looked at prints but just couldn't find anything that seemed large enough for that wall.  And since I like to position my sofa away from the wall, a really large picture would need a piece of furniture below to ground it.

Here's the before:

While shopping at Kirkland's for those bathroom mirrors, a very large iron piece caught my eye.  I had no idea if I could afford it so I asked an employee to take it down for me.  The $129.99 original price had been marked down twice, from $99.00 to $79.00!  That was all it took for me to snap it up.  It was too large to fit in my car so Johnny picked it up in his surburban and brought it out.  I want to find some type of buffet with an open shelf to put beneath it but for the time being, I'm improvising with an antique sewing machine cabinet while I continue to search craigslist for the perfect piece......  I'm thinking I'm going to take the plunge and try to paint and distress whatever I find.  All the painted furniture I've been seeing on the blogs has really made an impression.  Here's the after:

And all of a sudden, that huge piece seems quite small......  I love the way it brings the eye up to emphasize the ten foot ceiling............

Here's a little table that I brought home from my mom's house.  I'm not sure if it's an English or American antique or what its purpose was.  Is this what is called a spindle table?  It's a little high to use as an end table so I'll have to look around and decide where to use it.  There were some watermarks on the top so I used some Old English on it.  Other than that, it's in fairly pristine condition. 

Well, it's off to bed for me........

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Stroll Through the Past

Thank you for the sweet comments on my last post about dividing up my mom's things.  It has not been the best week for me.  I agree with all of y'all, things are just "things" and I brought home very little.  No one can ever take away all of the happy memories no matter how hard they try.   

My mom has been wandering out of her apartment and into the hallways after she has been put to bed and the manager at the assisted living facility is concerned about her safety.  The night before last, she decided that she needed to cook a gumbo and called my sister to come and get her so that she could go and buy some shrimp.  And it was 11:30 p.m.!!!  My sister told her to go back to bed but the night workers found her trying to enter the kitchen at 4:00 a.m. just determined to cook that gumbo!  My mom was always a night owl, staying up well past midnight and then sleeping in each morning once us kids were out of the house.  It used to drive my dad crazy.  We have explained repeatedly that she MUST get up and eat her meals in the dining room in order to remain there, and that means going to bed at a REASONABLE hour.  But it falls on deaf ears....  And when the sitter arrives at 9:00 a.m., she has a hard time getting her up and dressed.  Here's a picture of me, my mom, and my daughter on Christmas Day.  I sure hope I look that good if I live to be 89!

I want to share a neat item that I brought home on Sunday.  My mom, who was a fantastic cook, received this cast iron cake mold from my great aunt's estate and I recall her trying it out one Easter.  I googled cast iron lamb and discovered that the Griswold company produced lamb, bunny, and santa cast iron molds back in the 1940's.  I'm not sure if this is a Griswold because it doesn't have raised numbers across the front like the ones I saw online but it doesn't matter to me because I think it's pretty cool no matter what company manufactured it.

The two parts of the mold fit together and there are holes to wire them in place.  When I looked inside, there was a handwritten recipe for the cake in a yellowed envelope inside.  It appears to be my great aunt's handwriting.  Since there are no openings for pouring the batter inside, the first thing I wondered was how the cake can rise enough to fill the mold if batter is poured into only one half.  I think the answer is in the mix because it calls for 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 3 beaten egg whites.  I'm thinking that it will be somewhat of a sponge cake.  Here's a picture of the inside of the mold and the yellowed envelope containing the recipe.

Pretty awesome, isn't it?  Once I give the mold a good scrubbing, I think I'll try this recipe out.  Of course, I'll wait until my grandgirls are sleeping over so they can help decorate the cake.  The instructions call for icing it and then sprinkling coconut all over and adding raisins for the eyes and a ribbon or flowers around the neck.  I can envision a fantastic scrapbook layout featuring two adorable flour-coated little princesses, can't you?  :)

Do they still produce Calumet Baking Powder?  I hope you have enjoyed my little blast from the past..... 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dividing Up the Estate

Sunday was a very hard day.  My siblings and I met at my mom's house to divide up the household contents in order to prepare to put the house on the market.  After my dad passed away three years ago, my mom lived alone for a while.  She was really struggling without him and ended up at my sister's house, where she lived for the next year.  Dealing with her memory issues really wore my sister down.  We also worried about my mom being home alone all day alone, so we started to look at other options.  Last March we moved her into a nice assisted living facility and hired sitters for nine hours every day.  After the sitter leaves, the workers at the assisted living check on her periodically during the night.  The house has been sitting empty all this time and we knew if something happened to it, the insurance company would refuse to cover any claims.

There has been terrible animosity amongst some of the siblings and ladies, I can tell you that sibling rivalry is alive and well in my family.  But that's another story and believe me, you really don't want to hear it.

In the coming days, I will be posting about the things that I brought home with me.  I've been doing some internet research to learn more about each item and I'll share that with you as well.  Here's a little sneak preview.....

Hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Pick Me Up

Johnny and I went over to Lowe's last night to pick up some supplies and chanced across these beautiful Phalaenopsis orchids and I just couldn't resist buying one.  I'm not sure why but they were priced unbelievably low.... $14.99 for this gorgeous specimen of a plant...  Just what I needed for a little wintertime pick me up.
Don't ya just LOVE it?

I'm not sure how it'll do in this location so I'll need to watch it carefully.  My other one is in my kitchen window and that's been a great spot for it.  It rebloomed last spring and is all budded up and ready for another show of glory.  Before long,
it's going to look like this.....

Isn't that the most beautiful flower you ever saw?  But for the time being, it looks like this.....

When it shot up a stalk and rebloomed last spring, I was AMAZED. 
And there it is again, a new stalk with little buds springing forth. 

Here's a better view.....

Do you see how one bud looks darker?  Not sure what's going on there.  Once it starts budding, the stalk continues to grow and more buds will appear.   Or at least that's what it did last year.  I've read that these plants like to be rootbound, but when the roots started growing
 out of the hole at the bottom of the pot, I crossed my fingers and repotted it. 
Since then, the leaves have almost doubled in size.

Just looking at these blooms makes me smile......

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Throw Me Somethin' Mister!

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! 

Carnival season is about to kick in here in south Louisiana and this week's tablescape highlights the purple, gold, and green colors that signify that special time of the year..... People tend to let the good times roll and you never quite know what sort of sights you'll see along the parade route.  I used my new Lumix camera to shoot these pics.....  Still learning how to use it....  I ask you, why in the world would someone want face recognition on a camera????

What a shame that I can't locate any Mardi Gras dishes!  I looked, I really did!  Mardi Gras is a gaudy, bawdy kind of holiday so get prepared for some serious BLING.

I scooped up those adorable gold glittered crowns at the After-Christmas sale at Louisiana Nursery Outlet.  I used a couple of them on Mardi Gras wreaths and sure wish I'd bought more.

Don't you just love the netting? 

I originally had two sweet jeweled crowns in the apothecary jars on each end of the table but used them on a wreath for my mom's door..... Bless her heart, she loves the decorations I bring over to her assisted living apartment.   There's one thing about having a failing memory; you can enjoy the thrill of something new over and over again....

I couldn't pass up that sweet bee.  Had to tape him to the votive cup and
didn't do such a good job of it, did I?     :)
Linking up with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday..... Drop in and pay her a visit for some awesome eye candy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Miss Mustard Seed Vignette

I'm joining Miss Mustard Seed and Funky Junk's design challenge on this dreary cold day.  I sure hope that Punxsutawney Phil was correct in his prediction of an early spring cause this girl's rEaDy!

Copy Me Challenge

Imitating Miss Mustard Seed's style was a little more difficult for me.  She loves blue and I don't have lots of blue in my current decor.....  And she loves to slipcover pretty French chairs....  I do have lots and lots of tarnished silver..... LOL..... So that part was easy peasy....

Here's the little vignette I set up....

I pulled out the jelly dish and silver pie server.....  The jelly dish came from a yard sale and the extremely tarnished pie server was a Goodwill find.....  Since Miss Mustard Seed is big into sewing, I used my jar of wooden spools of thread that I inherited when my grandmother willed me her old black sewing machine.

And the post wouldn't be complete without some vintage books and a soft pillow "karate chopped" down the middle, Miss Mustard Seed style.  I have no white furniture so the Queen Anne chair will have to suffice....

The blue plate hung on my wall years ago when I had a blue kitchen.  The typesetter's tray holds some vintage typesetting blocks.  Miss Mustard LOVES old white pitchers and likes to fill them with slightly tarnished silverware.....  And I've added some vintage napkins adorned with two blue glass hat pins from my great aunt's hat collection. 

So how do you think I did?  Lots of improvising with this one.......

Y'all stay warm now,

Funky Junk Vignette

The weather is frightening down here in Louisiana so school was cancelled again today.... No soft white lovely snowflakes anywhere, just nasty, icy conditions.  So it was the perfect opportunity to accept the Miss Mustard Seed/Funky Junk challenge.....

Copy Me Challenge

While my taste doesn't run quite as rustic as Ms. Funky Junk's does, I do love old, battered vintage items.  They make me wonder about what life was like for their previous owners.  When my great aunt passed away, there were quite a few old items that I scooped up much to the amusement of my siblings.  One of them said, "Don't bother to call the Salvation Army to come and get the last of the stuff, just call TERRI!"  :)

Here's the little vignette I put together with some of that stuff.....  The old watering can is too rusty to hold water but I love the way it looks in its usual spot above my kitchen cabinets with some greenery and grouped with other vintage items.  My librarian gave me a bagful of old rulers that the students used to hold the place when they pulled a book off the shelf. 

The child's chair came from an estate sale.  It's very sturdy and my grandgirls both love to sit in it and draw pictures of kitty cats for me.  Sure wish there had been two of them.... 

Make that chairs, not kitty cats.....  The starched tablerunner and ball of twine add a bit of texture and interest.  The cheese box came from an antique shop.  It usually resides in my kitchen window near my sink filled with an embroidered fleur de lis hand towel and pink depression glass.

Do you see that sweet black and white photo?  That's my dear mom and my two older sisters on an Easter Sunday many years ago.  I love that photo.....  My mom looks so young and beautiful in it.  She's still beautiful but not so young any more, she turned 89 last September.  Aren't those pine cones the biggest ones you've ever seen?  The two rusty flour sifters came from garage sales.....  Do any of you sift your flour any more?  Not this girl..... 

Here's an up close look....

I've had that cobbler's shoe form for at least 30 years.....  It came from an antique shop in a nearby town.  The buttons were in the drawer of my grandmother's sewing machine when it was given to me.  I always enjoyed sewing and made most of my clothes when I was in high school and she left her machine to me in her will....  She was a frugal lady who never forgot the hard life during the depression.  And most of those old buttons still have the thread on them.  I guess when clothing wore out, she cut the buttons off and saved them for future use.... 

Thanks for visiting and be sure to check out my Miss Mustard Seed vignette!