Saturday, March 3, 2012

Decorating Around My Transferware Collection + TWO Giveaways

I know many of you have seen this photo of one of Charles Faudree's dining rooms.  This is among my all time favorite dining room photos, and provided lots of inspiration for my own dining room.

(photo: Charles Faudree)

I miss the dining room I designed at the house I just moved from. Actually it is the wallpaper that I miss.  I spent several weeks finding just the right bucolic themed, toile wallpaper to showcase not only some of my red transferware collection as shown below....
...but that would also look beautiful with another transferware pattern many of you know I adore and collect, which is a brown polychrome; Rural Scenes.  I was on a mission to find the perfect paper for my transferware because I decorate so much around my collections.    I did finally find the perfect paper by Kenneth James.
The gold background was a perfect backdrop for both my red and brown polychrome collections, and the reddish brown toile looked perfect with either of my collections.  When I am able to, I would recreate a similar look, perhaps using the same paper again.  I just loved it!

Do you ever decorate around a collection? 

Well if you are a transferware collector or want to start a collection here are a couple of chances to do so, but you'll need to hurry.  Ending tonight at midnight is the giveaway I'm doing over at Common Ground.  The winner will receive $50 to my online shop stocked with over 1000 pieces of transferware.
Enter HERE  

Another giveaway, not to mention stunning blog I just discovered, is going on at The Enchanted Home where you can enter to win a beautiful, antique blue transferware pitcher.  Tina, the author at The Enchanted Home wrote a gorgeous post about decorating with transferware.  I was soooooo flattered that she shared four or five of my designs along with others from some of the best decorators out there; Charles Faudree and Jackye Lanham as well as wonderful images from House Beautiful, Country Living and Southern Accents.  What a compliment!  Thank you Tina! You'll love seeing these beautiful spaces she's shared...all with the resounding theme: transferware!
Enter Tina's giveaway HERE and let her know that I sent you over.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Homemade Irish Cream & A Vintage Thing A Ma Jing

Tis' the season of all things Irish and here at the Roberts' house we've already begun our St. Paddy's Day preparations.
A few days ago I shared with you all Irish Potato Rings.  
Today I'm sharing more Irish-ness:  Shawn's recipe for homemade Irish Cream and pretty ideas for serving it up.

I never knew how easy it is to make this from scratch, but it is very simple to do so and tastes as good as, and dare I say better than, the famous Bailey's brand.

To prepare this yummy concoction you will need one willing Irishman, preferably with attire to match the spirit:

and the following ingredients:

Shawn's Irish Cream

1 1/3 cup Jameson Irish Whiskey (Use this brand!, you can add more or less, to suit your taste)
1 teaspoon Instant Coffee granules
1 cup Whole Whipping Cream
2 tablespoons Chocolate Syrup (Hersheys is fine)
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract (it's best to use real extracts)
1 14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Simply mix the ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds until thoroughly combined.  Cover and then refrigerate until chilled. It is best to make this at least a day in advance as the flavors really meld. It will thicken some as it chills.  Shake before serving. 

 Told you it was

And it can be pretty too!

Shawn, Michael, Ethan and I had a pre-St. Paddy's Day sampling.  Yum!
I served the Irish Cream in vintage, Forest Green Boopie Sherbet Glasses.  

The decanter that holds the Irish Cream was inherited from my Great Aunt and Uncle.  It's such a pretty vessel to serve not only alcohol from, but salad dressings to.

I tied antique lace around the neck of the decanter to catch the drips and within the knot of the lace I fixed this antique shamrock 'thingy'.  Does anyone know what it is?  This is another piece I inherited from my Grandma Robinson but I have no idea what it is.  Look at this close up photo.  It shows the tiny, individual pieces that make up the design.  I think the minute detail of the work is quite amazing.

In a few days, I'm going to share a super fast, easy dessert using the Irish Cream that will please anyone you know with a sweet me!  I'm waiting for some pretty dishes to arrive to serve it in before I post it! 

Saint Patrick was a gentleman, he came of decent people
In Dublin town he built a church and on it put a steeple.
His father was a Gallagher, his mother was a Brady
His aunt was an O'Shaughnessy and his uncle was a Grady.
So success attend St. Patrick's first, and banished them for ever!
He gave the snakes and toads a twist, and banished them for ever!
~Zozimus (Michael Moran)~

Time's running out to enter the giveaway to my English Transferware shop that Debra is hosting.  Go on over to Common Ground and enter HERE.


Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for the St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday 
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (1st Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch 

Michael at Designs by Gollum  for Foodie Friday
Sweet Talkin Sunday
On The Menu Monday

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Irish Potato Rings

Okay, so this blog is mostly about English Transferware but if you've followed me from the beginning you know that
I reserve the right to be random.  I'm married to a fierce Scotch-Irishman so this time of year is always festive as you can imagine!  I have been preparing some posts for St. Patricks Day, including a pretty green transferware tablescape and some of our own versions of  Irish recipes, like Shawn's Irish Cream and my Shepherds Pie (I found there is some controversy as to whether it's English or Irish but since I'm part English and Shawn's part Irish... it's both at our house).  As I was doing a little research, I came across these extraordinary silver collectibles unique to Ireland and thought I'd share:
 The Potato Ring.

Source: DandDAntiques

So what the heck is a potato ring, you ask.  And, what was a potato ring used for? 
Potato rings are silver stands which were used with a wooden bowl placed on top of the ring, or fit inside, to hold hot, baked potatoes.  The ring served as protection against heat damage to the dining table.  Potato (or dish) rings are generally about 8" in diameter and about 4" high.

Most often, dish or potato rings were decorated with intricate farm scenes and made of sterling silver.

Highlighting the heritage of Ireland, these sterling silver potato rings were essential to the etiquette of fine Irish dining during the mid 18th century.

This one below is pierced and embossed with Stags and Hounds with scrolls and foliage.  It was made in Dublin, circa 1911, by Gibson and Company.  I think this is my favorite.  Isn't it fantastic?

Below is a potato ring made by another Dublin silversmith John Craig.  This dates to 1764.

This black and white image below shows how the wooden bowl would look atop the silver ring.

Source: SMPub

At the beginning of the 19th Century, potato rings came with fitted  glass liners which replaced the wooden bowls that were previously used.

Source: D and D Antiques

 This one with a green liner would be perfect for my St. Patricks Day tablescape...

 ...however, given the $1000+ price tags of these I think the only potato ring I'll be able to afford will be for my finger and not my dining table.
Source: Mezereem

Please don't forget to enter my giveaway for $50 to my English Transferware shop at Common Ground!  Ends soon, so hurry!

"I am not young enough to know everything"
~Oscar Wilde (had to fit something in from an Irish poet)~


Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll thru Life
Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
Knick of Time Tuesday at Knick of Time
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Primp Your Stuff at Primp
Share the Love Wednesday at Very Merry Vintage Style
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style