Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Tablescape

One good thing about being a packrat: I don't have to leave my house to shop for an Easter centerpiece. Sometimes, though, it's like an archaeological dig or looking for treasure without a map, or hints.
I just start excavating and hope Dr. Big doesn't come home in the middle of it.

First, I set up a table for two on the little yellow table.

The brown eggs are fake, but the little white eggs were laid by our guineas.

Etched glassware and eggs go together like

cotton and organdy

The kitchen phone rang, and while I was talking (Big), I rooted around in the cabinets above the phone. I found these vintage glasses.
The four glasses depict illustrations from different parts of the U.S.: North, South, East, West.

In the same cabinet, I found my bee juice glasses.

Last year, I found the hinged egg cups at Big Lots ($2 each).

I made a centerpiece in a small wire basket--just a few pansies with moss tucked around them .

Let's look closer at the pansies ... actually, let's get really close.

It's a small, but wild world in this centerpiece.
I set the larger kitchen table with two more stoneware plates:

I can make the biggest messes, but I do find interesting things. Sometimes.

Dishes, wire basket, and retro "North, South, East, West" glasses (in the green wire caddy) are available at my Etsy Bitsy China Closet.
For more Easter tablescapes, visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. See you there.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dr. Big Gets a Country Bedroom

Not too long ago, Dr. Big saw a rooster plate at the antique mall and asked if there was any way to incorporate his love of poultry farming into our design scheme.
Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes.
It goes without saying that a home should reflect the heart and spirit of its inhabitants, and I'd tried: figural roosters are scattered all over the house.
I've loved red buffalo plaid ever since I discovered Charles Faudree and his books. When I found a comforter set with red toile, plaid, and needlepoint chicken pillows, I showed it to Dr. Big. Is this life imitating art or what?
He advised me to carry on.

Well, I wasn't sure how the cream-and-red buffalo plaid would work with the beige walls or the upholstery--and I couldn't repaint or reupholster anything. Too, the loveseat (which Mister needs to hop onto the bed) and the chairs were decidedly terracotta. I don't like things to match too perfectly, but I didn't want a mismash. And I am famous for putting together epic mismashes.

I ordered a few pillows. Better to be safe than sorry, right? When they arrived, I saw at once that the toile/check fabrics didn't have a touch of gold. And I had those huge pieces. Oh, where is Mr. Faudree at a time like this! His rooms look so polished and cozy, a place to curl up with a book. To make my room Faudreeish, wouldn't I have to reupholster the sofa or slipcover it? And the headboard...we love how comfortable it is...but wouldn't a wooden bed work better?

"No!" said Dr. Big. "I just wanted you to add some chickens!"

I was determinded to make this beloved buffalo plaid work--and work with what I had.

When I put everything into place, the rugs (which have plenty of gold) seemed to anchor the fabrics, providing a calming backdrop for the striped draperies, plaid, and toile.

Next, I glued red/gold trim to the headboard and ottoman. (Actually, it's pinned, too, but just till the glue dries.) I didn't use a glue gun; I used Singer's Fabric Glue. It worked, too, but if you try this, just make sure you have pins to hold everything in place for about 24 hours).

For MM last week, I trimmed the ottoman and several pillows.

Dr. Big's side of the bed is normally heaped with books and paperwork. He just walked into the bathroom and said, "What happened HERE?"

Bandwidth said, "It's Met Monday."

Last week's pillow with trim and costume jewelry.

One end of the sitting room opens to the terrace, where we have a view of real roosters.

It's a rainy night tonight, but we can watch The Pacific and turn on the fireplace, can't we, Dr. Big?
"Yep," he said.

"Well?" I asked. "Do you like it, honey?"

He grinned and looked around. "Yep."

I'm linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.
To win a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card, visit Gollum's Houzz Interview. The deadline is Sunday, April 4, at 5pm EST.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Lavender Tea Party

Just when the forsythias started to bud, cold, damp weather returned. I hope it was prettier, and warmer, in your neck of the woods.
"It's the coldest winter on record," said Dr. Big, who keeps up with that sort of thing. While he went out hunting and gathering,
I stayed indoors and played with food.

I "made" a blackberry lavender cake.

"What do you think?" I asked Dr. Big.

"It's different," he said. When he saw my face fall, he quickly added, "I'm sure it's real stylish to have flowers growing out the top of a cake. Awww, it's pretty."
I asked if he wanted to be my FF tester. He thought a minute and said. "Well, what I really want is soup, babe. Then cake."
It's a deal, Big Guy.
While the Campbell's heated, I garnished deli muffins with culinary lavender and (prolly not edible) flowers from yesterday's tablescape. Martha Stewart, I ain't, but we do get fed.

A sunflower symbolizes that it will eventually be warm (maybe the Endless Summer is coming?).

Are these muffins or Easter bonnets?

Lemon poppy seed muffins or a meadow after a spring rain?

No doubt about this one--dried lavender sprinkled on praline-pecan muffins.

Lavender butter adds a subtle layer of flavor for tea breads, and it's simple to prepare.

A light touch is recommended with dried lavender, as it can be bitter. In fact, you might want to start with 1/2 teaspoon of lavender, work it into the butter, and see if you need more. 1 T is for a large tub of butter.
It goes without saying that if you are buying lavender make sure it has never been treated with pesticides and can be used for culinary purposes.
I have a small lavender garden in the backyard, and I'm looking forward to making shortbread and other goodies.