Saturday, July 2, 2011

Watermelon Lemonade

If the world is having a lemon shortage it's because they've all been thrown my way lately.  Oh well, I just do as the old saying says and make lemonade, but I make it with puree'd, fresh watermelon for a sweet twist...and my crew + a few, loves it.  So, lemonade throwers....keep throwing.

I wanted to post this in between coats of paint in the kids bathroom, and while taking my chocolate break ;-)
No, I was not kidding about the chocolate.
I will never outgrow my sweet tooth.  So, as I munch on a box of chocolates, I'm going to share this yummy Watermelon Lemonade I made last week for Shawn's birthday.  It was so easy and really, really good.  It was a huge hit with all my kids and Shawn too, so much so that I had to make another batch a few days later, which Jonah mixed partially with ginger ale.  That turned out to be excellent so I added that as optional in the recipe.  

Watermelon Lemonade

2 12 oz frozen lemonade
4 cups water
about 8 cups seedless watermelon, cubed  (I used 1/2 of a medium sized watermelon...didn't measure)

Optional way to serve is mixed with some ginger ale (about 1/3 ginger ale, 2/3 watermelon lemonade).  The carbonation is nice.  We  did this a few days later and liked it just as much. 

Puree watermelon chunks in blender and add to lemonade and water.  Serve over ice with watermelon wedges.   Some people strain the watermelon.  We didn't strain crew liked the pulp, though it mainly all sank to the bottom of the glass....that's up to you.  

   This was the 'sample' glass I set aside to take pics of and it didn't make it long enough to get a decent photo.  Sorry!  It really looks better and the taste is fantastic.  This made nine iced tea sized glasses for us.  If you make this for a party, I'd definitely double it.
We (Kalyn did the messiest part, cutting and puree'ing the watermelon) used 1/2 of this watermelon.

2 cans of Walmart frozen lemonade (any brand will do)

This is how the watermelon looks after being blended.  You can skim the top off if you want, which is where a lot of the pulp is.

You'll want another glass, it's so good!

I'm joining Funky Junk Interiors, Pink Saturday and Foodie Friday

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere Tablescape

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

I'll post information on the Crown Ducal, blue transferware dishes later.

Happy Independence Day! 

Joining: Between Naps on the Porch,
 Savvy Southern StyleRomantic Homes504 Main,  Common GroundFeathered Nest Friday,Charm of HomeFunky Junk Interiors No Minimalist HereA Stroll Thru Life,
Blue Creek Home, Coloradolady,

Sources:  Floral arrangement:  by me, flowers from Hobby Lobby
Candles:  Zest Candles  Floating Candles (giveaway coming soon!!!)
Paul Revere Plates:  part of  the Crown Ducal Colonial Scenes series
Blue goblets:  Avon (these have Martha or George Washington cameos on them)
Clear glasses with beaded feet:  vintage, thrift store find
Embroidered napkins:  vintage, thrift store find
Flatware: my everyday, Stockholm by Towle

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vintage Lace Runner = King Sized Bed (border) Sheet

Although I don't know as much as I'd like to about vintage linens, I certainly admire the detail of crochet, lace, needlework, embroidery and fine handwork that went into so many of them.

My bedroom linens are dark, as are the walls, so I want to bring whites in where I can to help brighten the areas.  One such way to do this is by adding a white, flat sheet, with a beautiful border that can be folded down over the blankets, to my bed.  It not only lightens, but softens the area as well.

What I did to create the look was initially search online for a vintage sheet, but because King sized mattresses were not produced until 1958, by Simmons, it is virtually impossible to find an antique or even vintage, flat sheet that truly fits a king sized bed. I did find a beautiful, vintage linen sheet but it did not adequately cover the bed, and even worse, much worse, is that linen sheets, ironed sheets!, are NOT comfortable.  It didn't make it through the first night on our bed. 

(by the way, the above photo was taken at my old house...see that blob of paint on the wall, above the bed?...That was there for two years!  I never could make up my mind about painting this room, so the paint wound up on a wall at my shop!)

So, my quest for a pretty flat sheet for my bed continued.
While perusing online linen sources I saw something that really caught my eye.  It was called a sheet border, a decorative piece to lay across the bed to make it appear as an exquisite, bordered sheet and was used after a woman gave birth, to welcome visitors but still have a bed that looked beautifully made up.
I recently contacted a textile expert,  Cynthia, owner of Cynthia's Linen Room  to inquire about border sheets, if what I thought they were was true and if this is what they were used for.  She graciously replied and told me that because of the availability and affordability of bedding today that she refers to them as
"Faux Sheet Top, Sham (as in false) Sheet or False Sheet, or Churching Set".  Cynthia went on to explain that,
"We just can't imagine those days, even well into the 20th century, when people commonly received visitors from bed. We also can't imagine the lengths people would go to display their wealth and power, or, as the case of a new mother who'd be too wiped out to change the bedding on her bed, have something (relatively) easy to make it appear that her bed was not only "made up" but "made up really fancy" to show off her new child to visitors".

Cynthia shared these two photos of border sheets with me, which are part of her personal collection of antique linens.

The first photo, Cynthia says, "is an exquisite one with amazing embroidery, including a pair of birds. I can't even begin to stress how fine and rare this piece is! (for the work)."

The next photo, she continues,  "was a False sheet top, c. 1880, that belonged to Russian nobility. You could imagine that, in using a sheet with all that lace, it could easily be damaged during sleep, especially if someone tossed and turned or allowed dogs on the bed! The solution was to bring this item out and make it look as though a rare and even-more-costly item was on the bed. One, really fine fabric was expensive, even if you were royal and, two... making a bed all the way is hard work; the false sheets are actually easier and use yards less fabric."

 I decided that I'd try to create something similar to a border sheet for my bed (not that I plan on giving birth...ever again...six times was enough for me!).  I already had the sheet below, with a pretty border...but I wanted something with more detail, a much wider, showier lace edge to it.  

So my attention turned to finding a vintage piece of fabric...I have a few vintage/antique flounces (pieces from Victorian dresses), but mine again were not long enough for my bed.   I finally decided that  a vintage table runner may work.  And so it did.  I found a stunning, 100" long, needle lace table runner which turned out to be perfect.

It looks beautiful under the sheet as well.

It fits exactly over my existing king sized sheet, hanging over the bed just right, and is easy to put on in the morning and take off at night...

...along with all of the other pillows.

My Mother in law made the rose petal pillows seven or eight years ago...I LOVE these!

What do you think of using the table runner as a border sheet?  

Joining:  Freckled LaundryBetween Naps on the PorchFaded Charm,
 Savvy Southern StyleRomantic Homes504 MainFeathered Nest Friday,Charm of HomeFunky Junk Interiors No Minimalist HereHouse in the Roses,  Mod Vintage Life, Todays Creative Blog