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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2nd Time Around Secretary

I knew a man that would frequent garage sales and auctions to find pieces of wood furniture and he would rebuild or refinish them as a hobby. He always had a houseful of furniture that was for sale at a good price. He had this small secretary and I couldn't resist. It's always been in my guest bedroom.
As you can see, I've never had it stocked like a secretary should be stocked for use (not too many people have ever used it - maybe even no one). I see so much of the painted furniture out there in black and white and I do like the looks of that but there is so much furniture out there made with such pretty wood, I hate to see it ever covered up. Plus, DH would absolutely throw a fit if a piece of gorgeous wood was covered with paint.
Be sure to visit Diane at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words for Second Time Around Tuesday for other precious (or bargain) pieces.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blue Monday is for the chickens!

It is Blue Monday and Smiling Sally is hosting so check out her blog to see all the blue. My "Blue" is a table square that my good friend, Dayle, made for me for Christmas. She is an excellent quilter and is always creating pieces of art with fabric.
This square sits on my antique oak pedestal kitchen table and since I have lots of chickens, my table centerpiece currently has a chicken on it to go with the chickens in the squares of the table square.
Have a happy BLUE MONDAY!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vintage Thursdays - It's a Picnic!

Once again I'm participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday sponsored by Colorado Lady. Today I'm sharing my collection of vintage metal picnic baskets. These were popular back in the 40s and 50s. I've gathered these from flea markets and garage sales.
There are many on the market that are in the shades of brown and tan so if I buy one now, I'm looking for other colors. These are perfect for storage but mine are all empty - which is not very bright on my part. So, I've decided that I need to store some of my excess dish towels, pot holders, etc. in them.

Be sure to visit Colorado Lady and see all the other "collectors of Vintage" out there in blogland.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Toile, Y'all!

There's a "Toile Party" at The Pretty Organized Palace today. Go over and investigate the different ways people use toile in decorating. I'm a fan!
I had a good friend of mine make valances for my kitchen/hearth room of red toile. She added the gingham check border to it. I really like red and have tried to use it in my home in different ways. I'm very happy with my toile!

Happy Toile, Y'all!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tea Time

This past Tuesday our church circle was treated to a "Serendipi-Tea" presented by this lady, Marlene Lorenz. She gave us lots of information on the history of tea as well as tea etiquette. We learned a lot. If you've never had a tea with your friends, you should. It is a lot of fun, particularly if you can "let yourself go" and get into the spirit of it by dressing the part and investing the time to have all of the "niceties" of the tea (scones, sandwiches, cookies, clotted creme, etc.)
As you can see, some enjoyed the "dressing the part". We saw some lovely outfits!

I have a "costume closet" at home and have different outfits, hats, and accessories - doesn't everyone? I have a couple of friends who have such a closet too. Enjoy life - let yourself go!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blue Willow for Blue Monday

Today I'm joining everyone over at Smiling Sally's for Blue Monday. Be sure to see all the blue that is out there. A lot of people are fond of that color.
I have Blue Willow dishes that I love. These are my "everyday GOOD dishes". I have them displayed in this plate display rack DH built for me in the dining room.

I also have a fairly large collection of hens on nests. This picture shows you a few of the blue ones that I have.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vintage Thursdays

Hop on over to Suzanne's blog at Colorado Lady to see what other vintage things people are holding onto.
My paternal grandmother was a random saver of things. She would save odds and ends of things mainly from her grandmother. She started "gifting" these things to me when I was 12 years old. I know I didn't appreciate them then, but I certainly do now. This particular compote is marked "Prussia" on the bottom with a "B". I know little else so if some of you out there have some knowledge - I'd welcome more information on it.

This cup is from the same person. It has my great-great grandmother's name etched on it along with "St. Louis World's Fair 1904". These are placed in a nice display cabinet for all to see. I'm hoping that one day one of my kids will treasure these things like I do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2nd Time Around Settee

Back in the late 80s I found this settee at a garage sale covered in burgundy corduroy upholstery with a little white paint smudge on the back of it for $50. I thought it was such an unusual piece due to its lines that I wanted it. I was sure it could be such a nice piece. It got shoved from one place to another - it was in my daughter's room, her apartment, my parents' home and then finally it came home to roost when we remodeled a new bedroom for ourselves. I had it recovered (which jacked the investment considerably). Every room it's used in will be decorated around this piece of furniture now. It is a sturdy piece and the upholsterer said it was very unusual (I agree - have never seen another one like it).

Be sure to check out Diane's 2nd Time Around over at A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words. You will see lots of refurbished treasures there.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wichita Garden Show

This week through the weekend is the Wichita, Ks. Garden Show. This garden show is one of the top ten in the nation. People come to this garden show from all surrounding states as well as from all over Kansas. This year there were 4 "center" gardens. These gardens are huge with thousands of dollars spent by local nurseries to present prize-winning gardens.
This garden I'm featuring today is by Scenic Landscapes of Wichita. Scenic has won "Best of Show" year after year. The owner is so creative. You think that surely he has exhausted his "best" but the next year he returns with a garden that is so creative. This year his theme was "upside down trees". They were just that - trees placed in upside-down. It was simply gorgeous with plantings in those bowls made by the roots at the top of each tree.

Scenic always has a water feature running through it. They are always "natural" looking like you would find them in the woods.
This opening in a stone wall looked into a small grotto with a small table and chairs. It was completed by a small chandelier and a lamp. Such a neat feature! The picture at the top of my post shows my favorite feature in this garden - it is made from old doors opening to a screened-in pigeon home. The structure was made from cedar logs. The doors could open and close. SO CUTE!
I enjoy attending and working as a Master Gardener for the local county Extension Service. I helped with children tours and seminars. I attended several seminars: Rain Gardens/Rain Barrells, 2009 Plants of the Year, Tropical Plants for Kansas. I really enjoy this week of the Garden Show!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ladies With Books

Ladies With Books met this week to discuss the book Thank You For All Things by Sandra Kring. Nancy was our hostess and here she is posed with the book as well as the pineapple upside-down cake she served us. As I've mentioned before, our refreshments usually come from some food(s) mentioned in the book and this was. This book was a really good read. This is a book about family dynamics, love, and forgiveness. It takes place in Wisconsin and told through the voice of an 11 year old little girl (who has some very adult understandings of human dynamics). You won't regret reading this. Without fail, every member of our book club enjoyed this book.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Texture on the Wall

I love old wood and I have several different things built from old fencing and old barn wood. This piece was one the first original art pieces I ever bought and I bought it from a local artist back in the 70s. It hangs in my family room which has antiques with a real country feel to it. This painting portrays the Kansas countryside really well. It's difficult to tell from the picture but the center of the windmill is a knot-hole in the wood. I love the "texture" this piece adds to my room.

Monday, March 2, 2009

African Faith Journey

I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Holly Heyroth (above). Holly is currently serving in the mission field in Tanzania. Holly is a hometown girl who grew-up in our local United Methodist church. She went to K-State and graduated with a degree in education and a specialist in ELL (English as a second language or ESL to some of you). She also has had a calling in her heart to serve as God's liason to those who are in need, particularly in Africa. She came back from college to serve our church as a youth director for several years and in the summers she would spend a few weeks in Africa doing some substituting for English teachers who were on leave in local adult education programs. She is convinced that this is what the Lord wants her to do. So, in January Holly departed the United States for Tanzania to serve in an orphanage there.

Holly maintains a blog about her service there entitled African Faith Journey. I would encourage you to take a look at her blog as she enlightens everyone about her adventures as she nurtures children who are very much in need in Tanzania. If you would like to know more or be in correspondence with Holly, comment on her blog. She does a wonderful job of enlightening and moving your spirit to one of servitude.

If you belong to a group who would like to take on a charitable activity, Holly can give you numerous ways for your group to have a part in her mission there. She will let you have a very personal relationship with these wonderful children she serves.

Please take a look at Holly's blog and enjoy her adventures.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Greenhouse - Metamorphosis Monday

We had your ordinary walk-out basement area which didn't get used as a patio area because it was too dark and there was no breeze. So, when we added a sunroom on the deck above, we enclosed the walk-out and converted it into usable greenhouse space. I have a greenhouse which was placed on one end of our storage shed when it was built but when I watered plants in there during the winter, it was so crowded I would have to move plants out to get to others to water - let alone have an area for working on plants. I really needed more greenhouse space. We put in a ceiling; painted the flooring; added lots of lighting and brought in some of the plants.

Below are the "after" pictures. We revamped my old door - another "door project" - by adding the shelf on top.

I had found wooden brackets for the shelf at Lowe's but they didn't look right so I went to a local antique store and they had reproduction metal ones just like I wanted CHEAPER than Lowe's wooden ones.

I plan on adding more plants. I'm waiting for the weather to warm-up to move them from the other greenhouse.

I now have seed planting space and room for a lighting system. I have some seeds going now and plan on adding more.

Be sure to visit Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for the other make-over projects for Metamorphosis Monday. You'll see some great ideas which may inspire you.