Friday, February 26, 2010

Working with Transferware...a glimpse at my desk.

By now, you may have figured out that I like transferware. I like it a lot.  I’m OCD, so...collecting...for me, is…well…an obsession. I am a 'more is never enough' type of decorator and there’s never enough when it comes to transferware, especially if you're a little (lot) obsessed with it!  Of course I love to decorate with transferware, but I also love to use it in practical ways (plus it gives me some good reasons to keep buying it ;-). I use it in every room of the house, with exception to my kids’ rooms (their day is coming).  I've been asked how I use my transferware so I’m going to do a few posts showing the different ways I use various pieces in  everyday applications. 

I do the majority of my work at home so I thought I'd show you all my desk.  My Father in law gave the desk to Shawn and me some years back.

On the right I’ve got several pieces:

A toothpick holder serves as a perfect fit for my business cards:

I love this Jack in the Pulpit Vase which holds my pretty 1928 scissors and another pair of old scissors that were my Mothers. I remember her cutting my hair with them!
You can BUY one like mine HERE

I use this old scuttle mug (shaving mug) to hold rubberbands and the top is sort of a catch all for loose change, etc.

A miniature mustard pot holds my paper clips:

Here’s a stack of Staffordshire and Transferware books I frequently reference.  A sugar bowl sits atop, holding peppermints.

This is another piece I'm fond's a toothbrush holder by Spode dating to the late 1800's.  It has holes in the bottom for drainage and sits on a dish that catches the water.  I have some silk rose buds in it and hide my favorite pens behind the flowers ('s a secret....don't tell my kids or hubby because my pens will then suddenly vanish).

And on the left side of my desk... egg cup holds stamps

A childs (miniature) coffee pot serves as a pen holder

I use this little covered butter dish to conceal the fragile stickers I put on all my outgoing packages.

A toast rack holds and sorts bills and letters

You can BUY a Mason's Vista toast rack just like mine HERE:

And I just love this ball vase which I display a small collection of antique letter openers and magnifying glass in.

Ok, this isn't transferware but I do like my extra large mouse pad!  It's not really a mouse's a small needlepoint rug or pillow cover.  It works every bit as well as a mouse pad and I love the design of the girl I  like to stretch my arm out alot (due to a compound fracture a few years back) while I'm using the mouse so this gives me plenty of room to move around.

And, drum roll please, the best is last..... peeking out of this gravy bowl is my precious baby Ashton, when she was really a baby.  She is 12 now.

I hope you enjoyed this and will get some good ideas for ways you can use things for purposes they weren't really intended for!  It's fun to mix it up!

A Poem For Your Thoughts:

I love, I love it, and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old transferware?
Eliza Cook
 (ok, I'm busted...the last word really says arm-chair but I couldn't resist replacing it with transferware)

Centsational Girl for the Where Do You Blog Party?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breakfast with the Butler

Living in a house with 7 other people rarely leaves time for one to spend alone. Sometimes I yearn for a little aloneness, time to myself, peace and quiet. This morning my house just happens to be empty, but instead of planning my peace filled day, I’m finding that I really don’t want to be alone at all, and I’m feeling a little blue, sooooo…….I’ve decided to ask my butler to spend some time with me.

Isn’t he the cutest little guy?

I call him Bumbles. He always has a grin on his face and serves up the most scrumptious treats. This morning was no exception. Knowing I was feeling a bit down, he made me the most delicious Sour Cream Coffee Cake for breakfast.

 Oh, it was heavenly alright…just the aroma this cake permeates throughout the house is as wonderful to the nose as is a bite of this to your tongue! Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm.  It’s one of those cakes whose scent lingers on for hours and you think to yourself, “Grandma must be baking”. Bumbles doesn’t always like to share his recipes but I’ve convinced him to allow me to pass this one along to my blogging buddies. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Bumbles had set a table just for me with some of my favorite Spode Copeland two-color transferware pieces…

...and he used my gorgeous kettle to serve the coffee in. It’s really an old tea kettle, but Bumbles knows how much I love playing with my dishes and that I've been dying to use this piece.  Now, he's not only the cutest little fella, but he's awfully thoughtful too!

And oh my, isn’t he the clever little fellow? He opted to use a gigantic platter in place of a placemat for the place setting and, underneath, he loosely scrunched up one of my scarves as a tablecloth. Isn’t the scarf lovely, with its embroidered roses and beaded trim?

 Knowing that I just love things to coordinate and didn’t have quite the right napkins for the Spode pieces, Bumbles used this pretty fingertip towel with golden lace and a black gingham bow tied about it, in place of a napkin. I just love this little color scheme of subdued rusty-reds and black with the greenery.

I was already beginning to cheer up when Bumbles served the cake…..layers of moist pound–like cake with a crumbly cinnamon, brown sugar & pecan mixture in between. It looked delicious and it was.
 Every bite.

Thank you Bumbles for brightening up my day with your delicious coffee cake. I hope all of you in Bloggerville will give this recipe a try…it won’t disappoint….Bumbles guarantees it!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

2 sticks margarine or butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
3/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

Nut mixture:
3/4 c. chopped nuts (I usually use pecans, sometimes walnuts)
3/4 c brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Cream margarine, eggs & sugar.  Fold in dry ingredients.  Spoon 1/3 of batter into well greased & floured 10" tube pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 topping.  Repeat process.  Use remainder on top.  Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.  Cool completely.  Sprinkle w/ powdered sugar if desired.  The is best the day after baking...but still scrumptious, according to Bumbles (and me), right after its cooled.  I have made this in small loaf pans as well, and given as gifts at Christmas time.  Ashton even asked for this one year for her birthday cake!

You can PURCHASE this vintage, two color transferware plate by Spode HERE!

A Poem for your thoughts:

Creative ideas reside in people's minds but are trapped by fear or rejection. - Alex Osborne

Be sure to click on over to Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on The Porch for lots of lovely tablescapes!

And be sure to go to Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum for wonderful recipes and ideas.

Friday Food @ Momtrends

Friday Favorites at Whistle Stop Cooking