Friday, April 20, 2012

Lacy Fan Napkin Fold Tutorial

I like thinking up new ways to fold napkins and this is what I came up with for the tablescape I shared yesterday.  It's very easy to do!

I began with these vintage lace doilies which roughly measure 12" x 9" .  You could cut strips of lace or use a wide lace ribbon to get the same effect.

Fold a portion up so that it's about 6.5"-7" 
Fold a contrasting colored, 16"-18", dinner napkin in half twice to make a square and lay at an angle over the lace.  

Fold in each side about an inch or two.

Fold in half
Turn it over
 And use your thumbs to hold each side and create one fold at the center, so that there are three even folds.
Then slip a ribbon underneath

And tie it tightly and you're almost done!

Now set a pretty table with your newly folded napkins!

These posts have some pretty napkin folds that I have been asked about doing as well, so you might want to take a look.  Only a couple have the tutorials but I put the links anyway in case you want to see the whole table.  The rosebud fold I found on YouTube but Yvonne at Stone Gable has a tutorial for these also.  They are really pretty!

Rosebud HERE

Pocket Book HERE

Knotted HERE

 Cocktail Napkin Wrapped around dinner napkin HERE

Sharing at Pink Saturday

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sage and Pink Tablescape & Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I was going to post this yesterday but I had a problem.  Sleep deprivation.  I did not sleep one wink the night before and all day yesterday I had the worst time trying to stay awake.  I think I might have fallen asleep sitting at my computer a couple of times.  I have this habit of keeping about 10 or more internet pages opened at once.  Seriously.  It drives everyone in my house bonkers, especially Shawn,  when they want to get on the computer and they have to close a bunch of stuff out.  I tell them I am multitasking.  I was so tired all day yesterday that I couldn't remember what I was doing half the time or I'd realize I was typing something meant for a post into an email.  I couldn't even single task, so I decided to call it quits for the day.

Now that I've had a good night's sleep I am ready to share my scape.
I pulled these plates out the other day to set the table with.  I love the sage green color.  It works with so many colors.   Originally I was going to pair them with blue, and most likely will do that at some point but with the lovely weather and it being Spring and all I suddenly decided on pink.

Sometimes, if not most times, when I put a table together I just start with the plates and then build around them.  I have always liked this pattern, Avondale.  I usually have pieces in blue, red/pink and green in my shop.   It is by J & G Meakin.

  I've been wanting to use the burlap again since I used it last Fall.  I pulled it out, spread it over the table and then added a dressier curtain in an sage/olive jacquard that I scrunched up in the center, in place of a runner.  I hardly ever use a 'real' tablecloth but choose instead blankets, throws, drapes, fabric, clothing...yes clothing, etc. 
Over that I laid out a pink lace vest that had been Kalyn's and then set a floral arrangement in the center.

The pink lace shows just enough.

We love candlelight so I added some sage green taper candles to the arrangement and filled used some pink thumbprint cordials for tealights.   They look very peach colored in every picture I took though.  I really need to learn to be a better picture taker!

I got this little lamb for $3 on clearance at Steinmart and wish now that I'd bought the two that were left.  Isn't it cute? I could start a collection of sheep.  I shouldn't have said that.  I'm thinking about how cute several would look grouped together beneath my sheep painting.  Stop it Nancy.

Some of my favorite glasses are thumbprint...we have some that we use as every day and I use my Cranberry flash occasion.  These work  so well with pink and red alike.  The cut glass goblets came from Tuesday Morning.  They were on clearance for about $3 a piece.

I love to mix things that are formal with the informal, casual with the I chose these handled willow chargers to add a little bit of an earthy, casual look.

I think the napkins turned out nice.  I have a set of six of these vintage, rectangular shaped placemats/doilies that I wrapped around pink damask napkins and then sort of fan folded to really show off the lace.  I tied them with a pretty sage ribbon.  If you all like this, I can do a little post on how I folded was very easy.

Ultimately they wound up placed at an angle above each setting.

 I played around with the centerpiece at one point and swapped out the flowers for the grapevine balls.  This is more casual but I liked it also.  What do you think?

For dinner, we made one of our favorite meals.  It is a heart healthy dish called Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Vinaigrette.   I serve it with Spinach salad (the same vinaigrette that goes over the pork makes a delicious salad dressing), rice pilaf and croissants with a honey butter glaze.  This time I used the thin cut, boneless pork chops and it was every bit as good as the tenderloin I've always used in the past.  I'm sure it would be good on chicken as well.  Ashton requests this quite often;  it's one of her all time favorites.   

And she helped prepare it as well.  It's sort of a non official rule here with the kids that "we'll make what you want but you help prepare it".  They never complain and it's a good way for them to learn how to cook and a good way to for me to spend time with them individually.  

If you want the recipe for this you can find it HERE.  It is the first recipe and first tablescape I'd ever posted.
Each time we have it we are all left asking one another why we don't have it more often.  I really don't know why.  It's easy to make, it's super good, and it's good for you! 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Topiary Time ~

I just finished making some more topiaries with various transferware   items for my online store and thought I'd show some of them to you all.  I think I'm going to post a tutorial on making these but I am going to need someone to help take the photos.  I took pictures while I was making these but some or most of them didn't turn out very good.  Holding a hot glue in one hand while attempting to glue moss in place and holding a camera in the other hand while trying to take a photo of me trying to glue moss in place proved not to be the best idea I've ever had...and I am left with burn marks to prove it.  So, the tutorial will have to wait until I have someone at home to take pictures of the process.   

This Mason's Vista teapot has a chip on the spout so I've camoflauged it by adding a birds nest and a cardinal.  I think this is one of my favorite topiaries that I've made thus far.  Kalyn and Ashton told me I should keep it.  I have to admit that I'm tempted and I kept envisioning it on my hutch that I posted about yesterday.

I have sold quite a few of these and had several custom orders since the last time I showed a group of them in this tablescape.  I had one order for a bunch of tea cup topiaries that were used in an Alice In Wonderland themed wedding.  I hope she sends me pictures. 

 When I posted this table below I mentioned that the plates were already sold and would be shipping out to my client soon after I'd shot the table.   
She just purchased a couple of pieces and had me convert the pitcher she bought into a topiary.  It matches the bowl beside it.

I think these two make a cute couple

I've also added some new shapes to my topiaries.  I chose a square shape for this coffee pot to compliment the shape of the pot and the base, which are both slightly square with rounded corners.  

For this cache' pot I used a lighter green moss and a fun wreath shape.  I really liked this one to.  This took a lot of moss to cover though.
So, what do you think?  Like, dislike?  What's your favorite shape? 
I was thinking that I haven't done a giveaway in a while so I might need to do one for one of these.  

Well, I was going to post a few more pics but I got a message from Google saying I've used all my space with a link to buy more space. I did.  I'm still not able to put any more photos on.  Has this happened to anyone else?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nesting Instincts ~ Dressing My Hutch of Red Transferware for Spring

Being a female I sometimes experience that primal instinct to clean and prepare my 'nest' for things to come.   It reminds me of the six times I was a pregnant Mother to be experiencing the 'nesting' instinct.  I'm sure you Momma's out there know that feeling.   I remember having that uncontrollable urge to clean, and then clean and then clean some more.  Everything must be clean and in its place.  I still get that urge, quite often actually, but thank goodness it isn't accompanied by a baby in my belly.   
As Winter dissipates and I revel in the newness that Spring symbolizes I find myself ready to take on a deep, thorough house cleaning. 

Whoa horsey! On second thought, what I mean to say is that I am ready to take on a deep, thorough hutch cleaning.  I also realize that I'm a little late to my own party seeing as Spring officially sprang on March 20.
Oh well.  You get the idea.  I cleaned my hutch real nice like and added some Springy decor and now I'm going to show it to you.

Since red isn't exactly the Springiest color out there and I am so OCD that things absolutely must match or be unified in some way I had to  find a way to Spring-i-tize my hutch with the inclusion of my red transferware.

I first took everything down and cleaned it so that it was nice and sparkly again before putting it back in place.  I am going to do a post about cleaning transferware soon, so you will definitely want to watch for that. 

I decided to take down all the antique/vintage linens I'd placed on the hutch.  The only one I did use was what I believe is a pillow cover.  These were laid over pillows back in the day, just for looks.  I still do some stuff for looks.   I bought this on Etsy ( I think...) and it came from either Germany or Belgium.  Anyway,  it's lovely so I scrunched it up to one side allowing it hang over the front of the drawers.

A few weeks back I received in the mail the sweetest gift of four birds nests.  A reader had seen a comment I posted on another blog about my wanting a collection of nests.   I had only one nest which I've saved for a couple of years, all the time keeping it displayed under a cloche.   Liz was so very kind, and generous, to send these sweet nests to me.  Thank you Liz,  I am enjoying them thoroughly! 

These new nest additions were the inspiration for my Spring hutch. 

 I usually have my cloches on a tea cart but wanted to display  the nests here on the hutch, so I've moved many of them over here along with a bag of faux bird eggs that have been placed randomly in or around the nests, alongside other pieces, and on the upper shelves.

Looking down at the display of egg filled nests amongst some of my red transferware collection.

I love the nature inspired look here.  I think the nests, eggs, moss and branches would look amazing with brown transferware to....hmmm maybe that will be next.  Then maybe will probably be Fall before I gussy up one of my collections again.  You never know.  I never know.  Maybe it will be when the mood or  pressure to put out a killer blog post  I know you other bloggers do that to, so don't even try saying you don't do stuff just to blog it!

 I've been making so many topiaries for my shop with preserved reindeer moss.  I mixed in some moss covered balls, that Shawn and I made, along with English ivy here and there.  One of the moss balls fit perfectly over the opening of this Aesthetic Movement vase.

Over to the left is an old Copeland (Spode, ca. 1880) toothbrush holder.  I used to keep pens hidden in a floral bouquet in this on my desk (had to protect my pen stash from my family).  Here I added a little moss and a handful of branches.  I use these branches for the topiaries I make but I like this very natural, earthy look so much that I think I'll have to go on another branch seeking walk to gather some more of them.

I couldn't resist tucking some moss into a couple of the hanging cups...

...or fitting this tiny toy creamer with moss and another egg.

Below is a stack of Mason's Vista dishes with one of the nests Liz sent me.  In the nest is what's left of a real bird egg along with a glass bird that broke off the top of one of my cloche's.   =(

  I decided to mix some moss in and around the hutch so this jumbo or joke cup, as they are called,  was fixed with the nest over a pile of light green moss and a trio of speckled faux eggs.  

Don't you think the moss and nests look great together?

Over on the far right of the hutch is my little red transferware bunny sitting atop a pile of moss balls in a Vista bowl.  I think he's so coot! (cute)

Behind little bunny boy is my cloche with a figural bird on top.  This is like the one that broke and I can't find them now...well not for the $10 I paid anyway.  Under the cloche is an egg cup stuffed with moss and one of the faux eggs.  I've got a few of the egg cups displayed on my hutch this way.

A miniature trophy cup shaped vase holds twigs, more moss, a single egg and a piece of baby blue lace that I couldn't resist tucking around the moss.  

Absolutely a must for this arrangment was my sparrow ashtray could I leave this cute birdie out?

On top of the hutch are a couple of large, anchor pieces:  an Aesthetic Movement water pitcher (I have the wash basin on my kitchen table) and a piece that's new-ish to my collection; a water cooler / beverage dispenser in the Tonquin pattern.  To tie in and carry the theme I've placed some larger moss balls on one end and...

..added another cloche on the opposite end.  The antique champagne basket may be another post in itself.  I've collected a couple of these and they have the wooden labels on them...really neat pieces.  Originally they held and were used to transport a bottle or two of champagne.  The rooster painting is one my Mom did for me.   That's my old house in the background and the little chicks represent each of our six children.   You can read about it HERE.

A few more closeups for your viewing pleasure...haha

Here's my gigantic teapot that requires both hands to hold this thing...and that's when it's empty.  I wonder if anyone ever brewed a pot of tea this big!?!

If you want to see the hutch at Christmas time, click HERE.

Ok I realize you're probably sick of seeing this hutch now so I'm going to end with pictures of Kalyn and Jonah on prom night.
Here's KK with her beau / date, Steven,

and Ashton who loves her big sis. 
It's true, my kids seldom wear matching socks.

Here is Jonah aka JoJo on his way to pick up his date.  Ethan and Michael stopped by as I was finishing this post and Ethan commented on Jonah's pic saying,  "he's looking fly".  I didn't ask what it meant but by the inflection in his voice I could tell that it was a compliment.

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