Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fresh Apple Black Walnut Cake

It’s that time of year again. Fall is in the air and it is apple season. I had a call from my daughter who was coming home this weekend requesting an apple cake, if I had time to bake it. Of course, I obliged. Fresh apple with black walnut pound cake is a family favorite. We even eat it for breakfast! This is a heavy batter and you will need a heavy duty mixer. (My personal preference is my Kitchen Aid. I consider it a must-have for anyone who bakes.)


The recipe is :

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups oil

3 eggs

Beat the first 3 ingredients well, then add:

3 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Next stir in

3 cups diced apples

1 cup black walnuts

1 cup coconut

2 tsp vanilla

Stir well and pour into a greased tube or bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.


I hope that you try this recipe and love it as much as my family does.


I’ll be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and to On the Menu Monday at StoneGable.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Update with a Lampshade Slipcover

You may remember my slipcovered lampshade on my entry table from this post. It sits on the table that I made from parts of my grandmother’s piano. If you missed that post, you can read about it here.

table from piano parts

After living with that for a few months, I decided that I needed a little color so I made another slipcover for the lampshade using leftover silk from the window treatments.

slipcovered entry table lamp 1A

As you can see, this table sits in a little niche right next to the refrigerator. The new shade slipcover is close to the color of the walls.

slipcovered entry table lamp 1B

The niche is at the end of our narrow entry hall. In addition to switching out the shade, I also moved the antique cigar box. I love the wooden box, but opening and closing the lid was not working. I switched to a decoupage plate for dropping keys.

decopage plate 1

Here’s a better shot of the plate.

decopage plate 3

The new arrangement works better for us as a quick place to drop our keys and charge our phones. As a side note, the flowers are from a $4.99 grocery store bouquet and are 3 weeks old! That’s a lot of bang for $4.99!

Also, I’ll be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.

Also, if you missed my last post,  I want to remind you that there is a GREAT sale going on at on Bethlehem Christmas dinnerware because I just learned that we will have to move our warehouse by the end of the month!!! Click on this link to go directly to the products page.


Please help me get the word out. The prices are our lowest ever because I would rather sell at a deep discount than move the inventory. Also, please pray that we will be able to find affordable warehouse space!

Have a great week!


I’m joining the Metamorphosis Monday party at Between Naps on the Porch. Drop by and visit for tons of inspiration.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Annie Sloan Dining Table

In the early Spring of 2009 I just happened to see a television show on PBS with a wonderful furniture painter by the name of Annie Sloan! She was doing a demonstration of one of the projects from her latest book at the time. At the same time, we were in the process of building our summer cottage which you can read about here. My mother had given me her dining room furniture to use since it was in storage as she no longer used it. I decided that the Annie Sloan treatment would be the perfect match for it. All of this was before I even knew what a blog was, so I don’t have any before pictures!

painted dining table 1

The Queen Anne style dining set was purchased in the early 1970s, was made in the USA, and is solid cherry and in excellent condition.

painted dining table 2

After seeing the TV show, I immediately ordered the book from Amazon.

Annie SLoan book 1

The copyright date is 2008.

Annie Sloan book 2

The dining table project is on page 82.

Annie Sloan book 3

The book is loaded with great pictures and instructions.

Annie Sloan book 5

I was amazed that Annie said there was no need to sand or prep the wood first. I then started to look for the paint, only to find that it was not available in the US! When I went to order it from the UK, shipping for a small “pot” of paint was more than $85 bringing the total cost of one small can of paint to more than $100!!! Needless to say, I decided not to order it as I thought the risk was too great. So, I did it the hard way. I sanded the table and all 6 chairs! It really went rather quickly using my electric palm sander. Then I painted the base coat. I followed the instructions in the book. Annie suggested freehand drawing to give a more painterly look, so that’s what I did.

painted dining table 7

In addition to the band of silver leaf, I added a band of the wall color on either side of the silver.

painted dining table 16

painted dining table 17

The lines are not perfectly straight and I’m good with that.

painted dining chair 1

I added a little motif to the chair backs for interest. The inside of the motif has silver leaf too.

painted dining chair 2

painted dining chair 3

I used a weak wood stain instead of dark wax to give an aged look. I also added the stain to the silver leaf to tone it down a little. The unevenness of the stain is intentional to give a look of age over time.

painted dining table 19

I was pleased with the aged look.

painted dining table 12

painted dining table 13

I used the same technique on the wood and iron chandelier that I purchased on Ebay.

painted chandelier

While I had to put a lot of effort in to my “knock off” project, I am very pleased with the results! In case you live under a rock, Annie Sloan products are now readily available in the US and bloggers every where are singing the praises of her wonderful products. In this case, I guess you could say I was a few days early and a few dollars short!!

painted dining table 3

I’ll be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch; to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style; to Tips,Tidbits, and Tutorials at Stone Gable; and to the Open House Party at No Minimalist Here.Stop by each of the party links for loads of inspiration!

On a side note, some of you are aware that I have a small business, Lydia's House . com where I sell the Christmas dinnerware, Bethlehem Christmas, that I designed and had produced.


You can see more of it in this post. I have just received word that our warehouse has been sold and we will need to relocate by the end of the month!!! So, I have reduced many items to 50% off in an effort to sell before having to move. These are the lowest prices ever and will only be for 2 weeks! So, now is a great time to make a purchase if you are interested. Click on the link above to go directly to the website.