Thursday, August 25, 2011

Olde English Countryside Brown Transferware Tablescape ~ Book Inspired

Do you ever view the pages of a book, admiring its perfect photos, and dream about living in one of the places you are reading about and seeing?  I have a book, The Most Beautiful Villages of England, that I love to look through and do just that.  Dream.  Imagine.  Wish.  Hope.  I have resolved to never outgrow dreaming.   I cannot imagine not imagining.    

I am crazy for English cottages and buildings.  I am enamored with thatched roofs.  I love the wood details mixed with stucco and rock.  I love the informality of English gardens; the way the flowers appear to grow naturally.  And, I loveee my English transferware!  My dream of dream homes would be an old English Tudor styled cottage with a genuine thatched roof.   I described this place in one of my poems, Writing Abode, which is also the name of my other blog...which I have not given as much time to as I would like to...which I am still imagining I will do.  I hope.

This book is filled with such places that I dream of and the photographs contained within remind me ever so much of the transfer ware pattern by Johnson Brothers entitled Olde English Countryside. 
Do you see the similarity?

This set of dishes used to be our everyday dishes.  I suppose I grew tired of them and switched to something else.  I used Ridgway Woodland for awhile.  Now I've got a mix of red transferware plates.   I think I'm really missing these though! ;-)   

I really enjoyed creating this tablescape, though in the back of my mind I'd been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to include my cottage ware (teapot, sugar, creamer and a few other pieces shaped like cottages), but alas, they are currently not to be found.  A few things have yet to be unpacked from our recent move!

I have a long strip of burlap that I chose to use as a tablecloth/runner.  Rather than place mats I used some woven wooden, handled chargers.  I purchased these from World Market.  I love the look of them but they are not well made, unfortunately, and several of mine have began falling apart just from handling a few times.

Two napkins were placed at each setting.  The dark brown is a paisley jacquard pattern.  Around each of these I wrapped a linen luncheon napkin made with hand crochet accents.  I think these paired well.
I like the mix of textures: burlap, cotton/poly blend and linen.

I believe the flatware is by Hampton and the pattern is San Remo or something similarly named.  It has an ornate silver detail and ivory colored handles.  It was a Tuesday Morning find.  Additionally, I've seen it online at Horchow and it comes in eight or nine colors. It seems like it averaged a dollar or two per piece, so very inexpensive so far as flatware goes.  It's nice for occasional use.

The plates feature hand painted, subtle touches of gold, pink, green and blue.  This is referred to as polychrome or sometimes enameling where paint is applied within the confines of the transfer and then glazed over, thus making it permanent.  The plates depict a Mother and daughter outside of their cottage.  The village water pump can be seen in the foreground.
 The opposite side of the plate details a row of thatched, countryside cottages guarded by a tattered fence overgrown with an abundance of flowers.  Pure charm!
I'm ready to move.  Again. 
The pillar candles are from Zest candles.  They have a woven, basket weave texture to them which I further enhanced by wrapping them with a little hemp. 
The centerpiece, I feel, is perfect for the theme of the table, and the book to for that matter.  My sister gave me this light up English village some years back as part of my Christmas gift.  I placed a few faux moss covered stones around the base of it because it has endured a couple of owies through our house moves.

 (Yes, I am experimenting with paint colors in the background, and no, I am not going with what you see there.)
I think the village looks especially pretty at night, when lit.
 ...casting warmth of fragile glow....
(I just quoted my own that wrong?)
I have been waiting for the chance to show you these onyx wine glasses.  They are some of my favorites in a mix of brown, rust and green colors.  Each one is unique.  I found these on Ebay and they were only about $10 for a set of six!  I don't think anyone who's seen them at my house hasn't commented on them.   

I'll be quiet now and let you finish looking around...

Good's time to for me to dream my dreams, for "if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  
 A Thoreau quote taught to Shawn by his parents when he was young, and since to me. 


Don't forget to enter mi giveaway for the Custom House Number Sign HERE


Kim at Savvy Southern Style

Susan at Tablescape Thursday
Sherry at No Minimalist Here

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chich Cottage

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Friday Inspiration At The Picket Fence

Stuff and Nonsense

Cindy at My Romantic Home
French Inspiration Thursday

Share the Love Wednesday
Southern Hospitality

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

DIY Showoff

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Storing All That Pocket Change ~ Creating A Faux Demijohn am pretty certain that we are not the only ones that have a big jar or vessel we throw our pocket change in.  Am I right?  
Admittedly, I will try to get rid of every penny I can.  Even when I send one of the kids into the store to pick something up, I always add four pennies so they'll have enough to make change with!  "Use the pennies", I say.  Ridiculous I know, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I try to get rid of a dime's worth of pennies in one stop. "Embarrassing" is what Shawn and the kids say.  I think it's part of my OCD.  I feel I HAVE to use the pennies up! It drives Shawn crazy because he never uses pennies.  He just pulls out a bill to pay and I stop him by saying, "wait, I've got the pennies!".  He pretends not to hear me and so it is, we have lots of loose change...much more than even I can get rid of in one trip.  

Years ago the kids and I had filled a gallon sized jar with coins that they would deposit into their savings accounts.  I used to take Michael and Ethan to a bank at 21st and Utica  that had a train built under the floor which was covered by a shatter-proof glass top so you could watch it go around the track.  The boys loved it.  One such trip to the bank, I put the jar full of change into the back seat, laying it on its side.  Boy, was it heavy!  I made a stop before going to the bank and opened the back door to have the entire jar roll out and shatter all over the pavement.  There must have been thousands of coins in there.  Now, that was embarrassing, just not embarrassing enough for me to leave it there!  I picked up every single penny, nickel, dime and quarter plus the broken glass.  If I remember correctly it totaled over $200 in change!

Shawn sometimes uses this red wine to cook with.  It's available in a large, gallon sized jar.

He washed an empty bottle out and began accumulating change in it.  This was fine with me, except that I thought it was a little ugly having a big wine jar of loose change sitting in our kitchen.

 I decided to make a look alike demijohn.  No way I'm paying $150 for the real deal.  Then there would be no pocket change!

First I began by weaving some hemp around the spout of the bottle.

 I bought this dual handled, French-ey looking basket with a 'Fleurs' tag attached on clearance at Tuesday Morning for a few dollars.  I found a couple of baskets at thrift stores for a quarter that would work to but I liked the metal tag on this one best.  Some of you crafty people could easily make a similar tag and further cut the cost of this project.

I simply placed the bottle full of change inside the basket.
What a quick fix!

I wound up wrapping a little more of the hemp around the bottle and handle and topped it with my little climbing bunny.  The bunny is made to rest on the edge of a potted plant.  I've used these on lamps, vases, etc.  So cute!

This project cost about $6 and the majority of the expense was the basket, which I mentioned you could get one at a thrift shop for next to nothing.  Oh, guess I forgot the cost of the wine...but hey, that's consumable so it doesn't count!

If you've not entered my giveaway for the custom porcelain enamel house sign, you can do so HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ramsign Custom Porcelain Enamel Sign Giveaway!

Time for a Giveaway!  

I was contacted recently by Ramsign, a Danish company that makes porcelain enamel signs.   Their signs are old fashioned in design and are hand stenciled onto thick, glossy enamel.  Each sign comes with a 30 year warranty.  Ramsign makes all sorts of custom and personalized porcelain enamel signs.  
Generously, they have offered one of my readers a choice of any of the house number signs they offer.  

This is my favorite numeral European!  It's called Engelhardt and retails for $69.
I just love this sign posted on the fence exterior.  How cute is this!?!
I also like this personalized sign which includes a name and address.  This is from the Highlander collection.
Here are some other examples of the porcelain enamel signs by Ramsign.
This one is from the Lighthouse series.
 Serious cottage charm!

 This sign is from the Metropolitan collection.

Ramsign ships free to any location in the world! 
There are five ways to enter for this giveaway which ends on August 31st.  The winner will be selected via based upon the number of entries.

1st entry) Visit Ramsign and let me know which house number sign you'd select by leaving a comment.

2nd entry) Follow my blog and leave a comment letting me know you're a follower

3rd entry) Tweet or FB about the giveaway and leave a link to your tweet or post as a comment

4th entry) Like me on FB.  I am English Transferware and you can find me HERE  Please leave another comment to let me know you're a FB fan.

5th entry) Purchase any item in my English Transferware shop or from Ramsign before the giveaway ends and you can have an additional entry.  Please leave the order # as a comment so that I can verify.

Please make sure that I am able to contact you if you are the winner.  

Blog Giveaway Directory

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adding Crystal Garland to Existing Light Fixtures

My kids started back to school today.  I had not bought even a pencil until late yesterday afternoon, and by the looks of all the crowds at the stores and mall, I don't think I was the only one!  Now that my kids are all in junior and high school they don't have the big lists with all the crayons and what not so I have to say it is much easier than when they were in elementary school.  I remember spending hours in one or two aisles at Walmart each year just gathering most of their school supplies.  Of course there were always those few things that required trips to special stores for a particular brand or style that was a 'requirement' by the teacher.   Those days I do not miss. Yesterday, Trevor, Ashton and I stood in one line for about 30 minutes and as we finally made it to the 'yippee,we're next' status a lady stepped right beside us and went to one of the registers to return something.  I had one item with me to return and only realized after all that waiting in line that returns were a separate line (though there was no sign).  Trevor was about to lose it!  Poor guy.

As you may know, we recently moved into a rental house.  We have been able to pretty much do as we please here so far as decorating and painting goes.  One thing I recently did in the powder bath was make the existing light fixtures a little more my style by simply adding a temporary fix.

There are two of these fixtures on either side of the mirror (which I changed out for one of mine), over the sink.  They aren't bad but not my choice and since this isn't my house I wouldn't want to invest in another light fixture.  I really wanted them to better co-exist with what I have in this powder bath.

  I also wanted them to appear longer/taller than they are.
I looked around the house for things I could use to try to achieve the look I wanted, or close to that look, without spending any money. These small mirrors (actually Christmas ornaments) were hung directly beneath the fixtures.

The fixtures still needed something, in my opinion.  I really would love to have small chandeliers on either side of the mirror but since that isn't happening,  I pulled out some more Christmas decor.  Ah- ha!  These glass beaded garlands may be perfect for what I have in mind.  They are about 6' long each.  I separated them at the connecting rings in about 10-12" lengths leaving one of the pointed crystals at each end.

Next I pulled out some pretty ornament hangers with adorned with glass beads.
I hung the garland strands on each of the ornament hangers and then simply hung them over the light fixture in staggered heights.
Blah to you agree?