Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Thyme Style Blog Hop Week 2

Welcome to week two of the Spring Thyme Style blog hop. If you are visiting from one of my blog friends, I am so glad you’re here. I hope that you will click the links at the bottom of the post to visit everyone on the “hop.” Special thanks to Tamyra at Positively Southern for organizing the tour.

Speaking of hop, I am sharing a “Hoppy Spring Table” today. I have quite a collection of rabbits and they hop all over our house in the spring!

spring table hop 1

I set the table in the sunroom where all of my orchids are blooming.

spring table hop 2

spring table hop 3

I kept it simple using a single orchid for the centerpiece. The plates are inexpensive metal picnic plates that I purchased in Paris. I’ve had the cranberry glasses for several years and love using them and the flatware is part of my ever growing collection of vintage silver plate.

spring table hop 4

The little green tea cups that are holding eggs are special treasures. My grandfather sent them to my grandmother when he was serving in the Pacific in World War II.

spring table hop 5

The pink flower in the corner of the picture above is a geranium that my mother gave me for Mother’s Day in 2015. I just deadheaded it before taking this picture. It blooms like crazy in this warm, sunny spot and it is still in the same pot that it came in.

spring table hop 6

spring table plate 1

collectible egg 2

spring table plate 2

pewter rabbits

I received this pewter salt and pepper set as a Christmas gift this past year. They are so cute!

spring table plate 3

collectibe egg 1

spring table plate 4

tea cart of orchids

The big orchid in the floor on the left is just getting ready to bloom. I have had that one for at least 18 years. I bought it on a trip to Hawaii but I can’t remember which trip I bought in on! All of my other orchids are blooming except for one.

mantel orchids

Other rabbits are hopping around the room.

mini rabbit

The small rabbit above sits at the base of a lamp and yes, that’s a rabbit tray too.

terra cotta rabbit

This terra cotta rabbit is about two feet tall and he sits at the base of my giant Norfolk Island Pine tree.

carved rabbit 1carved rabbit 2

The two carved wooden rabbits above sit on the bookcases in the den.

foyer reflections

The rabbit on the chest in the foyer is one of my favorites.

rabbit tureen

This rabbit tureen is another of my favorites. I’m telling you, rabbits do multiply quickly!

rabbit painting

The last one is painted on a wood tray and it was also a gift several years ago. I know that’s a lot of rabbits but they are spread out so as not to be overwhelming.

I hope that you are having some nice spring weather this week. Now hop on over to the other blogs for more spring inspiration.

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Clutter Cafe

Viva La Vintage for Your Home

Swirls of Flavor

Confetti Style

Positively Southern

Totally Tailgates

M Jones Style

Linda G Loving Home

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Thyme Style Blog Hop

Today I am excited to be participating in a spring blog hop with 9 of my blogging friends. You will find links to their posts at the bottom of this one. If you are here from Totally Tailgates, welcome, and please take time to look around.

I’m sharing a couple of spring vignettes in my home. I have quite a collection of rabbits that stay out most of the year except for Christmas but I add a few more for spring.

rabbit topiary

One of my favorites is this rabbit topiary. I’ve had it for years and love bringing it out for spring. I usually put it in this urn on the den coffee table and add some live pansies.

spring vignette 4

Seeing it on the coffee table puts a smile on my face.

spring vignette 7

Another favorite spring thing is this little basket of Belgian chocolate egg molds that I purchased at Scott’s. I’m heading back to Belgium in a few weeks and hope to find more to add to my collection.

spring vignette 9

The spring looking floral fabric on my sofas helps remind me that spring is coming during the cold days of winter.

Foyer Easter Basket

I like to use a seasonal plant or floral arrangement in the foyer but for now I have a silver bride’s basket of Easter eggs that I have collected over the years.

Easter Egg collection in foyer basket

The egg collection includes some big dyed goose eggs that I’ve had for years. It also contains some other handpainted eggs and some ceramic eggs that I made when I was in college many years ago.

1-Share Your (4)Spring blog hop

Lisa is up next at Clutter Cafe with a recipe for Cheese Babka, a Polish Easter bread. Be sure to click the links to see what all the girls are sharing and come back next week for part 2!

Have a great first week of spring!

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Viva La Vintage For Your Home

Swirls of Flavor

Confetti Style

M Jones Style

Positively Southern

Linda G Loving Home

Plum Doodles

Totally Tailgates

Life At Lydias House

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Planning for Christmas 2017

I am sure that my age has something to do with it but it seems to me that Christmas gets here faster and faster every year! Many bloggers start publishing Christmas posts around the beginning of November. By Thanksgiving, all of their decorations have been complete for a few weeks and they can’t wait for Christmas to get here so that they can take them down. I would not be numbered among those bloggers, not that anything is wrong with that. I am probably the very last one to the Christmas party in blogland every year. Because I have some paid commercial decorating jobs I complete those first before I do anything in my home. Then I make a special effort to savor the season regardless of how long it takes me to get the decortions up. Because I am expecting to pick up another one of those decorating jobs for 2017 I am doing some preliminary planning to get as much done early as possible!

foyer tree and garland

A major task that I just finished was going through all of my Christmas decoration bins! I purged and donated some things that haven’t been used in more than 15 years! I also discarded some items that were broken, faded, or just out of date.

labeled Christmas storage boxes

While I keep just a very few items in their original cardboard boxes, almost everything is kept in a plastic bin. All of the bins are labeled and I try to stack together as they are used together. For example, both of the bins above are for the “nutcracker tree” so they would be stacked together. Note to self: identical boxes stack together better than a variety of shapes and sizes.

Dorothy nutcracker w broken arm

Obviously, before packing up, I gave everything a quick wipe down and made any needed repairs. Dorothy has had her arm reattached!

foyer tree and garland

I made a few notes of changes and additions to make before next year. I had already made new bows for the foyer garland but I decided to add one more color to them so I have already ordered additional ribbon and made changes to the bows so that they are ready to go up. Putting up the garland along the stairs is somewhat time consuming because every year I have to figure out the spacing! This year I put a very small piece of ribbon at each spot where the garland is attached to the rail and counted the stair spindles and marked the ribbons. I also put a few notes in the bin with the garland to remind me of the plan. For example, on the second bow in the photo above, there is a tiny ribbon stapled to the garland with “5” written on it. That means that I count 5 spindles up and attach it to the rail there using a zip tie.

tree storage 1

I have to share one of my biggest time savers for Christmas. At home and for the commercial jobs I use a rolling tree stand with an attached storage bag. It keeps the tree upright and helps protect the lights.

tree storage 2

The zippers go all the way to the bottom and there are handles on the outside that can be used to pull the bag. At home I pull the bags to the garage and put them in a storage area there.

plastic wrapped tree

The photo above is not of good quality because I snapped it quickly with my phone but I think you can get the idea. Last year before zipping up the storage bag I wrapped the tree, decorations and all in plastic wrap. This was a two person job! The plastic wrap held all of the decorations in place and not a single one was broken. I did not do this at home with my collection of costly and sentimental ornaments because the doorways are very tight when taking the trees through the house.

firepit filled with gifts

My daughter has a knack for coming up with thoughtful gifts. She got this fire pit and filled it with fun things like Smores ingredients, hot chocolate mix, marshmallow roasting forks, firestarters and blankets for her brother and his wife to enjoy at their new home. Since that is not my knack, I have taken a different approach.

gift box 1

I try to keep a list of gift ideas in my phone but most of my gifts to extended family are either gift cards or cash since everyone I know has so many “things.” A few years ago I started using these Chinese takeout boxes for the gift cards and cash. I use my Cricut to cut a simple tree from pretty paper and glue it to the plain white boxes.

small chocolate bar

So that the box doesn’t get mistaken as “empty” like one of the gift bags did once, I use ribbon to tie the gift card or cash to a chocolate Santa and put it in the box with the crinkled paper filler. That creates a little weight so that you know something is in it!

gift box 2

The feedback from those gifts has been nothing but positive! My plan is to go ahead and get the boxes ready for next Christmas!

mass cake baking

Another project that I do every year is baking a small chocolate pound cake for my husband’s coworkers. I can’t find a picture of the finished product but I put them on a Christmas theme paper plate, wrap them in plastic wrap and tie a pretty bow. This past Christmas I baked 50 cakes. I am asked over and over how I have time to bake so many. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. I use a tried and true recipe. I use 6 cup bundt pans so that one recipe makes 2 cakes. I double the recipe when I mix them so in effect I am mixing 4 mini cakes at one time.

baking 12 cakes at one time

Because my oven has 3 racks, I can bake a dozen small cakes at one time. It does take me all day to mix, bake, and wrap but I can do it in one day with concentrated effort.

Amazon bundt pan 6 cup

I use this bundt pan and will be replacing some that have lost their nonstick coating after many years of use! I also use the pans throughtout the year because unless we have company it’s hard for us to eat an entire full recipe cake while it is still fresh. If I use the small pans, we can eat one cake and I can give one away.

Have a great week!

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I’m linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace. Click the link for lots of inspiration.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Projects Review

It always helps me see what I have accomplished when I go back and review the projects that I got completed in the past year. There are many gaps in my blogging story each year because I do so many projects that I don’t consider “blog worthy.” I rarely publish any of my Christmas decor because I have some paid decorating jobs which I do first and by the time I get my own home decorated the blogosphere has been overdone with Christmas photos out the wazoo! One project that has not yet made an apearance on the blog was a fixer upper home that my son and daughter in law purchased this past fall that our family and my daughter in law’s family spent many hours making cosmetic improvements on. You can click on any of the green highlighted text to go directly to the post about the photos.

My biggest project this year was updating my dining room for the One Room Challenge last spring.

complete dining room 2 You can read about that project by clicking here. That post also has links to previous posts with all of the details.

updated porch 2

I gave the screened porch at our summer cottage a much needed update. You can read about that by clicking here.

My son got married in May and I completed a couple of projects for the wedding.

mason jar chandelier-2

I made this mason jar chandelier for the reception tent. You can get the details here.

lazy susan on table 1

I also made these lazy Susans for the rehearsal dinner tables. You can see those here.

pagoda chair

I refurbished this chair for my mother.

beverage stand close up

Even though it has a plant in it in this photo, I completed this beverage stand as a Home Depot DIH workshop project. Unfortunately it was not a positive experience. My hope is that my local Home Depot will work to improve these workshops.

a painted teapot

This copycat tea kettle was a quick and easy project.

Of course my year also included plenty of travel, most undocumented on the blog. I did blog about our trip to Arkansas to visit Allen Smith’s Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm.

garden home exterior 1

I can’t tell you how many homes I have toured but this is one of the few that I could move into today and not change a thing! There is so much to see in that post!

driveway border garden planter

The gardens were the icing on the cake. I did 4 posts on them so you can start with this one and follow them through here, here, and here.

Wow! That was a busy year! I’m linking to the Top Projects Link at Southern Hospitality. Click over to see lots of inspiration!

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