Monday, December 15, 2014

My Christmas Entryway & Transferware Pitcher Wreath

This is the first year ever that I had most of my Christmas decor up before Thanksgiving and guess what?  I'm still not ready for Christmas.  Are you?   I do have some shopping finished, but I haven't yet wrapped a single gift.  Lots to do, lots to do!
I am going to try to get a few Christmas posts in as I have snapped a lot of photos here and there around the house.  I thought I'd start at the front of the house.  This is our entryway.  Come on in!

As you likely can surmise, I decorate with transferware at Christmas time too!  Each year I put together a little wreath with some of my small, individual sized creamers.  

This wreath is so easy to assemble.  I put it together after I hung it up and it's all removable…nothing is permanently attached.  You could make something similar with tea cups or creamers if you wanted.   

The creamers are all attached by pulling a single stem through the handle and securely twisting it around itself.  If you look at the handles in the pictures you can see how easy it is.

  The birds all have clips and the bows and ribbon are garlanded throughout and also attached in areas by using the individual branches to twist them into place.  The berry sprigs I tied ribbon around and just randomly stuck them into place.  I like to do the wreath a little different each year.

My favorite chair…well let me clarify…my favorite chair to look at sits in the entryway.  It doesn't even have a real seat right now as I ripped out the springs (that poked your bum if you sat in it) about a year ago thinking it would motivate me to finally repair it.  That hasn't happened.  It just motivated me to put a temporary fix; a board in its place, in case someone actually sits in it!  But for now, here it is with a few pillows propped upon it.  One is a sweet needlepoint with a manger scene on the front.

  I have quite a bit of Christmas decorations which I never seem to use all of each year so I have fun mixing, matching and pulling things out that I haven't seen in a while.  I do use this little tree each year either in my entryway or next to the fireplace.  This year I decorated it with beaded garland, velvet burn out bows and old fashioned glass snowmen ornaments.  

And, each year the tree is accompanied by this Victorian Santa and  two little dolls that Grandma gave the girls when they were younger.

These golden reindeer usually greet our guests as well.

On the entry table I have a little collection of hand shaped objects that I have out all year and each is accented with some sprig of Winter Evergreen, ribbons and gold ornaments to make it feel like Christmas.

I bet most of you all are way ahead of me.  Do you have your Christmas shopping done and gifts all wrapped neatly under your tree?

 BNOTPInspire Me TuesdayCoastal Charm TuesdayThe ScoopTwirl and Take a BowKnick of Time TuesdayWow Us WednesdaysHome and Garden ThursdayFrom My Front Porch to YoursJan Olson Thursday,  Best of the Weekend PartyThoughts from Alice SundaysSilver Pennies Sundays. Cozy Little House

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nancy's Cream Cheese Pizza Dip

One of the pizza places we really like here in town is called Marley's.  They make an excellent deep dish, Chicago style, pizza and a super yummy Pizza dip which we always order when we eat there.  The first time I got it, I was a little skeptical of eating a mixture of cream cheese with pizza sauce, but I fell in food love with the first bite.  I mean, when you think about it, what isn't good with cream cheese?

 A couple of weeks ago I was craving the dip and decided I'd try making my own version at home.  It was a hit with all my kids and their friends too… and, if I do say so myself, it was as good as Marley's.  So good that I will probably be adding this to our Christmas get together where we have nothing but snacks and finger foods for dinner.  

OH, and it is fast and easy to make!

Nancy's Cream Cheese Pizza Dip

24 oz cream cheese ( 3 - 8 oz. blocks)
1 green pepper, diced 
1/4 red onion, diced 
5 oz sliced pepperoni
About 8 oz. (1/2 jar) Pasta / Pizza / Marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Pita Chips, Fritos or Tortilla Chips for dipping

Slice the cream cheese into slices and pat into appx 9 x 13 baking dish so that it covers the bottom.  

Sprinkle chopped green pepper and onion over cream cheese

Next, layer the pepperoni over the veggies to cover completely

Pour a thin layer of the saucer over the pepperoni and spread it out to cover
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until sauce begins to brown around edges of pan and looks a little dry.

Top with shredded mozzarella and return to over for about 10 minutes to brown or Broil for a few minutes.  I broiled it here to get the cheese super bubbly.  Just be sure to watch closely if you broil it because it can burn so fast!
Serve it up with Pita chips (our favorite choice) Fritos or tortilla chips…or whatever you like to crunch on! 

P/S some of the kids and their friends liked it cold, the next day!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and do!

Joining: Rattlebridge Farm
Weekend Retreat Party
Cozy Little House
From My Front Porch to YoursJan Olson Thursday,Feathered Nest FridayShow and Tell Friday

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Melange of Autumn & Thanksgiving Transferware Tablescapes

  I have been busy trying to get my shop stocked up for the holidays, so I'm sharing some of my favorite Fall and Thanksgiving tables from the past.  I've been seeing many blogs posting Christmas decor and I'm still trying to figure out Thanksgiving details!  How about you?

  As for the tables I'm sharing tonight,  I've provided link backs in case you see something you like and might want more details of how I put each table together.  One common thing among the settings is that I always shop my house for things I can use in the tables I set.  It forces, and allows, me to be creative….and keeps me from spending money that I don't have to spend in the first place. 

Most of us don't think of using black for Thanksgiving, but the plates in this first setting provided enough touches of  traditional Fall colors of oranges and browns to pull them in.   My favorite thing about this table (besides the transferware plates) was using a  long needlepoint rug runner in lieu of a traditional runner or tablecloth.  It provided such a nice texture and looked so rich in person.  Together, I think the black and amber tones really make a strikingly elegant and yet warm setting.  More of this table can be seen HERE

Loving the history around the plates used in this next tablescape and choosing another unusual color scheme for a Thanksgiving table was the idea behind this setting.  The purple transferware plates are circa 1930 and each features a different scene from Colonial American history.  The history of the plates used in, and the details of, along with more photos of this table can be found HERE .

This next table is one that I had originally put together with Tara Young of Etsy for the documentary short when they were filming at my house two years ago.  I am a 'more is more' person so I reworked the table and added the centerpiece and other elements.  Still a simple tablescape but with more texture than before. You can see how this scape evolved and find the tutorial for the centerpiece HERE

This was a more recent tablesetting, using one of the seasons all time favorite and collected transferware patterns, Harvest Fruit, by Johnson Brothers.  It features a hand painted face with a plethora of Autumn fruits and flowers with a rich chocolate brown border.    More of this table HERE

Pheasants are naturally a good choice for Fall or Thanksgiving table setting and decor.  I enjoyed using a lot of varied elements in this setting, from mixing transferware patterns to using the grapevine wreaths as chargers and other gifts from nature like pheasant feathers, pinecones and tree branches sliced into little discs.  Details of this table can be found HERE

This next table setting was created with guess who in mind?  If you read much of my blog you all know Trevor loves Boise State and their colors are blue and orange.   Besides,  blue and orange are complimentary colors so, well…HERE we have ourselves a  Thanksgiving table set in those colors!

Below is a table I'd set as a display when I had a brick and mortar store several years back.  These Royal Doulton plates are some of the most beautiful plates I've seen in shades of muted orange and sage.  I held onto them for the longest time but finally decided to let them go…four sold right away and there are two left in my shop!  I have never come across any of them since.  More of this table HERE

Similar to the colors above, this table featured simple sage colored transferware plates with hand painted roses, leopard print placemats, and a paisley sheet as a tablecloth.   I love the mix of roses, paisley and animal print!  These dishes are available HERE and the full tablesetting is HERE

Each setting was topped with a ceramic pumpkin

When it comes to setting a table, I usually begin by shopping my house for elements that will work.  In this purple, brown and amber colored scape I used my favorite bed blanket as a table covering and an antique chest box cover to create my centerpiece upon.  The details of this table setting are in this post, HERE

And these last two tables are set with my favorite patterns that you all probably get sick of me talking about, Spode Byron which you can view in detail HERE

and Rural Scenes which can be seen in detail HERE

This last photo is the table above when we ate at it.  My kids are oblivious to a photo being taken when it's chow time!

Hope you are further ahead in your holiday planning than I am!  
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Turkey Transferware Vignette, Plates & Platters and the History Behind Them

Every year I offer several turkey themed transferware pieces for sale in my shop, mostly plates and platters.  And, each year it seems I choose one or two to either use for serving our Thanksgiving turkey or to display around the house.  This year I've chosen one that I've not had in stock, or seen in person before.  It's called a Well & Tree platter because it's made for holding a roast, ham or of course a big ole Thanksgiving turkey and has indentations in the shape of a tree which allow for juices to drain to a well at the bottom end of the platter.  It was made by Royal Doulton and dates to the late 1800's to early 1900's.   I only recently found this piece and most of my kitchen has green accents so it was a perfect fit.  I've got it displayed in the kitchen alongside some of my advertising pieces, antique bread boards, a stack of cooking magazines (on the top is Taste of Home which one of my platters is on the cover of) and a big bark basket of pecans I gathered from our own yard.

I first saw this platter in a blue colorway in a room Kathryn Greeley designed and was immediately enamored with it.  It's the crowning, focal point of her blue transferware collection displayed in the dining room.    Pretty fabulous, isn't it?

Now, I know if you have been around for awhile, you've probably read this but I like to repeat it each year.  It's history after all and it gives another, interesting view of transferware, turkey transferware that is.

For some time after that first solemn feast in 1621, both the date and observance of Thanksgiving depended on national triumphs and local inclination until 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November the nation's official Thanksgiving Day. By the 1870s, America's rising middle class hungered to celebrate the occasion with dinnerware specifically made for this special holiday.  Who fulfilled the desire for such beautiful, elaborate pieces? Well, England's profit minded potters  of course.  The Staffordshire potters had already been producing wares for the American market and they again responded to the people of the United States wishes with a series of delectable transfer-printed china patterns depicting the holiday's bird of choice.  Transferware depicting turkeys has been in production for over 100 years and remains as popular today, if not more so, than it was when first it came into being.  Today you can find new pieces made by some of the famous potters of the past (though most have gone out of business or have closed down their English shops and moved production to China) by Williams Sonoma, etc.

Here are some beautiful examples of plates and platters depicting turkeys that are available in my online shop, Nancy's Daily Dish.
To view more turkey wares, see these past posts on the subject
HERE        HERE         HERE       HERE 

First, a red transferware turkey platter by Royal Staffordshire, Clarice Cliff with the matching Tonquin border.  Many patterns were reproduced with turkeys on them to coordinate with other dinnerware.

Another Royal Staffordshire platter with a turkey and autumn foliage around the border, in brown, red and purple.  I have two of these, and the other is on display in my kitchen too!

This purple turkey platter just went to someone I'm sure most of you know of in blogland, my friend Amy Chalmers of Maison Decor shop and blog.  I had a feeling when I got this in, she'd want it as I know she's been hunting for one for some time.

I adore this black polychrome turkey plate by Midwinter.  I did a tablescape with this a couple of years ago…you can see it HERE.  

Wood & Sons in the English Scenery border…blue looks great with orange at Thanksgiving! 

Ridgway, circa 1891 creamware turkey plates.  I love the delicate border and turkey depiction alike.

  Below, is another rare, unusual and antique plate by Copeland Spode with a flow blue transfer.  This series is produced with several borders and colorways, each having a different game bird on the face. 

Hope you've gotten your turkey transferware fix!

Joining some of these parties:
Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff 
Homemaking Linkup at Hope In Every Season 
Anything Goes Party at Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
The Party Bunch Weekend Linky at The Idea Room
Weekend Retreat Linky Party at AKA Design and Life