Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Look What I Found!

Over the past several weeks, my junkin friend Rebecka and I have hit some local spots, including the storage shed of another friend. My favorite part of junking with Rebecka is hearing her say "Look what I found" because I know it means she has landed something wonderful!

This time though, I also had a few LWIF moments myself and I wanted to share them with you!

First this great old print caught my eye and I had to have it...I have long needed an aristocrat in the house, and he fit the bill. I was so excited, as I had put away my pewter sconces until the right item came along to go with them. We still have not named him, but I am sure we will think of something!

Next, this fantastic chest of drawers was spotted on a junking day....great mirror on top, nice and tall, great colonial style pulls. I did not need it, but it was marked SO CHEAPLY that I knew I could not leave it! I will find a spot soon for it as I am moving things around to make room for it. It was truly a steal, how could we leave it behind?

I am a sucker for wooden bowls, especially priced right! This one was a deal and is the largest one I have ever found. Even with the crack, it is a beauty for sure! I will be hard pressed to find a larger one, but you know, we must continue the hunt! What about this darling measurer? The local thrift store provided it to me at a lovely price. It has already been used for so many things, I am not sure what it will be doing on a permanent basis! It has great patina and is a nice size.

Lastly, I have found that my youngest is growing up too fast. Always the bargain hunter, I found a fantastic red dress for homecoming for her. Last weekend was the big game and dance, and she looked radiant.

In all the things I have found, that is the one that is so bittersweet. It is a wonderful thing to see your child grow into such beautiful person, inside and out. However , it is a little sad to know that means they will soon leave the nest you have enjoyed sharing with them! She thought my find in the portrait was a little creepy, she was none too pleased to help me get that chest of drawers up the stairs. She asked me what in the world I was going to do with one more wooden bowl. She could not understand why we could not really use the measurer when we were cooking together. She has, however, said many times on those junking trips "Look what I found" I know a little bit of me will go with her! That's the best kind of homecoming anyway! What did you find lately that had to make your house it's home? ~Beth

Thanks to Kay Brown Photography for capturing Homecoming 2011 for Olivia!

Friday, October 14, 2011

All Treats/No Tricks!

Finally the time came to bring out the jack-o-lanterns and the black cats! I always love the addition of my two favorite icons of Halloween. There is something about the grins of those jack-o-lanterns and the arched backs of kitties that really gets me looking forward to the visits of ghouls and goblins. One of my most treasured decorations for Halloween is a superb old black and white photo of my mom, dressed as a witch at about 7 years of age. It sits proudly it my foyer each year. She has always enjoyed All Hallow's Eve it seems.

My mom loved to dress our home's front porch for the holiday. We lived in a house that had an alcove on the front of the house. Our home had a spanish flair to it's exterior, a popular design for it's time. With two arched windows with wrought iron inserts and an arched entry complete with big wooden doors, the alcove was a perfect spot for decorating. You had to step inside the alcove and walk to the front door. Short distance on a sunny day or regular evening, but on Halloween it seemed like an eternity to reach the doorbell. Some kids passed us by altogether.

Early in day, my mom would collect some spanish moss from the trees. Draping it all over those arched windows and doorway created the perfect spooky look. Adding some yellow or orange paper over the lights outside added quite the eerie glow. Carved pumpkins, creepy music and a hanging ghost completed the design. She dressed like a witch and painted her face green. We loved every minute of did she.

We have long since moved from that house. We kids are all grown up. Mom's front porch now does not quite lend itself to the same scarey entry, but she still decorates and has the best candy on the block.

My favorite part of Halloween is really the costumes. Once my girls came along, I could not wait for the costuming to begin. Never really big on the scarey costumes, we opted for odd, unusual ideas...or at least they seemed that way to me! A Leprechaun, the Monopoly Man with a Pair of Dice (love everyone dressing together to create a theme), Rudoplph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and a working Stop Light to name a few. We have always enjoyed coming up with an idea and dreaming up the costume. Quite the feat since I do not sew! Store bought costumes were not a part of their childhood. I hope they didn't mind too much!

Now that the black cats are out, and the jack-o-lanterns are afoot, I know that Halloween is right around the corner. Fall is well underway and soon the turkeys will chase off the cats and pumpkins til next year. Until then, we will enjoy the our frightening felines and candle lit faces and await the tricksters we can bribe with treats.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall in three phases

For me, fall decorating comes in three stages, much like the leaves changing. A little hint of color and then more color and then finally full blown fire at every treetop. When September rolls around, I finish out Labor Day with the final red, white and blue decorations, and this year, with September 11th being a 10 year mark, I wanted to keep my patriotic decor up a little longer than usual. Now the time has come to start sprinkling in the fall accessories and oh how I love it.

Being in Florida, the weather has not quite caught up to the calendar. Thanks to a little Tropical Storm, we have been given cooler morns and evenings, but the sun still warms up qute a bit through the day. As you can see by my photos, fall is creeping in with the addition of pumpkins and harvest type decor.

October 1st will bring all the Halloween decor to our prim home. I focus on the hocus pocus of black cats added to my pumpkin decor set out in September. Those ebony felines will take positions throughout the house to watch for ghouls and goblins. Our own Hairry Baker and Jackie will join them, though they would have to wear costumes to be in black attire!

November will signal Thanksgiving decor in my home. I have been collecting turkey platters for a number of years now. Great large platters adorn tabletops and mantels reminding us the big celebration is on the way. I have an enormous Tom Turkey salt shaker that I so enjoy putting out each year. He is so proud and wise looking! He's probably happy the black cats disappeared come All Saint's Day!

So it is, the three phases of fall at our home. Pumpkins bring cats that retire to turkeys. Acorns and bittersweet ( when I can get it! ) bring the out of doors in. The front porch gets a heaping helping of pumpkins and wreaths to welcome jack frost as he makes his way south. We enjoy the first glimpses of fall followed by the decor of All Hallow's Eve. Then, as winter draws closer, those majestic birds that were recommended to be our National Bird strut about the house. Yet, once that turkey hits the platter, I hear bells.....jingle bells that is!

Happy Fall, Y'all! ~ Beth

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Prim and Pretty

This year has been a year of weddings for me! I have assisted in hosting a few showers, and held a few on my own. It has been quite a treat. Many of the girls getting married have known my Loryn since kindergarten days. These young ladies have been to many a birthday party together, had many classes together, plenty of spend the night gatherings and so much more. The moms and I have been friends all these years as well. Loryn beat them all to the altar, finishing college in three years and marrying her sweet Marine Corps pilot Michael long before these girls met their young men! None the less, they have all been to each other's showers and some in each other's weddings. It is such a special time.

Each shower we have said our thank yous. The thank yous moms say when they know special women have helped raise their children. Thankfulness for prayers lifted, for kind words spoken, for encouragement and friendship, for blessings of hand me downs and carpools, of traded talents and traded photos through the years. Oh how these women have blessed me and oh how their sweet daughters have blessed Loryn as well.

I wanted to share the latest shower photos with you. Since my home is colonial prim in decor, all those fancy clothes and cut crystal look a little out of place. I simply choose to use our decor to set the backdrop for prim and pretty. I hope the brides don't mind a little warm southern charm for their showers. It is all me, all from the heart and all about the simplicity of love between friends and family. ~ Beth

Friday, August 26, 2011

Oh Amy!

Came home yesterday to my "Pumpkin Swap" hosted by Amy at Bumble Bee Lane Blog. It is only the second swap I have participated in and both have been delightful. There is something ever so sweet about receiving a package in the mail that is just prim! It is fun the gather some goodies together for someone you know only in the blog world and ship it out, knowing in return you will be receiving a box of goodies too! It's like having a birthday just any old time of the year and you don't have to count it!

As you can see, Amy spoiled me. I received a fantastic old book by Jules Verne with a gorgeous cover and spine. The cover has a sweet saying as well as the initial B on it. The spine is just as pretty and honestly it will be hard to put it in the secretary ( filling it with old books with lovely spines) and NOT display the cover! The box smelled wonderfully when I opened it...thanks to the scented wax corns with cheesecloth. The fragrance quickly filled my kitchen. A dual gift; both decorative AND fragrant. A pumpkin of some sort had to be included and Amy picked a darling votive holder. So prim and perfect for fall! Cats are a favorite for me and look at the PURRFECT make do prim kitty. What a sly face and bright eyes! Topping the package off was a cute ditty bag; love the reference to Salem and the plaid trim. So many treats in this box for me, definitely swapping is not a trick!

If you have a chance to sign up for a swap, do it! You won't be disappointed. Think of the fun you will have shopping for someone, knowing it will make their day when the package arrives. Certainly if you are out shopping, you'll also find a goodie or two for yourself! There is not a place near by here that I could have found those wax corns so you can see how great it is to get things in your swap that you just can't get locally. If you are lucky enough to receive something hand made by the swapper then you will really have a momento to cherish. What great smiles erupt from this swapping we do.

I have to say many thanks to Amy for a delightful swap. I will be sending her an email soon. I hope when my box arrives at her home, she will find the contents as special and pleasing as the ones I received.

Happy weekend everyone....and while you are out there, pick up a few items for swapping! ~Beth

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everyone has their favorite season of the year. Some people love summer; they love the sun and the surf and vacations and the fourth of July celebrations. Others really enjoy winter; the quiet of winter, the ice skating, the baking and nights of soup and sandwiches culminating with Christmas time! Some folk can't wait for spring; Easter and bunnies and new growth, pretty flowers and the songs the birds sing. This person loves all changes in our seasons, but is especially fond of FALL.

Not sure what made fall my favorite time of year, but there are so many things about fall that I love! As a southern gal, we have to talk about the food first. Caramel goodies and cobblers are two reasons to love fall. I always have certain foods that I typically only make during the days of cooler air and big moons. Spicy chili, vegetable soup, beer cheese potato soup to name a few. Can't forget to mention the baked apples and toasted pumpkin seeds. Fall is all about comfort food. Homemade macaroni and cheese is good all year but it really tastes the best in the fall. Chicken and Dumplins are perfect for fall fare. One of my favorite treats that only seems to come out when the pumpkins do is a toasted marshmallow: placed on a saltine cracker and tucked under the broiler for a few minutes, those brown skinned mallows mix with the salty cracker and yum, it takes me back!

As fall cools down, the fireplace heats up. Even in the south, we can appreciate a warm fire....we just turn the air conditioner to a cooler setting if the nip in the air is not enough! Cotton is harvested and little patches of it litter the roads and look like melting snow. Even the school buses look like a fall announcement; the golden yellow and licorice black mimic the colors of the fall sunflowers. The cats become a little friskier as the afternoons cool off. Baskets are filled with apples and pears and pumpkins galore. Even brown potatoes become part of the color scheme. Acorns and bittersweet can transform a summer white bowl or pitcher into a autumnal pronouncement. Extra linens like quilts and comforters are added to beds while peg racks boast leather jackets and thick sweaters in harvest hues. Even the candle glow seems prouder when the calendar marks fall.

The Friday night lights of football games brighten the horizon. Carnivals abound. Craft shows are everywhere. Our town hosts a state fair where cotton candy and candy apples are staples. And then there is Halloween. The combination of black cats and orange pumpkins fill my home for the month of October. Up until a few years ago, we had our own resident black cat. He must have loved fall too. BC ( short for black cat) knew his job well; relax on the porch right by the pumpkins. His bright yellow eyes were the color of the harvest moon and just as big. On Halloween night we brought him inside where he sat in an upstairs dormer window overseeing the children as they dashed from door to door.

As fall comes to a close in November, our family gathers together for Thanksgiving. Traditionally at my grandparents home, it was the culmination of the wonderful seasons sights and sounds. It was the time all my aunts and uncles and cousins could come together. It was a trip I looked forward to all year. Christmas at home was great, but Thanksgiving was spectacular. I'm pretty sure that is why fall is my favorite time of year. My sweet grandparents have been gone now for several years but my immediate family still enjoys a special Thanksgiving time together.

There is no better time of year to me than fall. Sleeping with open windows and pulling up that extra blanket or curled up reading a favorite book while enjoying a cup of caramel cocoa are "fall onlys" that I love. It's a time of year I long for all year through. Just a few more weeks and the pumpkins can come out to play. ~~ Beth

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Working all the time....

I must say I do love to tweak in my house and there always seems to be a project or two (or three!) going all the time. One of my projects is completing the decor in our guest bedroom, formally our oldest daugthers room. It is still in progress, with some things to do, but here is a glimpse of where I am at this stage. I guess Jackie thinks it is pretty great....still working on things all the time!

Working on swap items for a swap that needs to be mailed shortly, still painting rooms in the house, just finished a wedding shower for a friend and have another one coming, and so many other little projects....always fun. ~ Beth

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chances are you have a jar...or two.

Assorted snacks in a cheese jar.

Flour, Sugar, Splenda...

Rice, Grits, Meal

prim fixins....

I do believe that jars are an essential part of prim decor. In fact, the more jars the merrier is my thought. Jars have long been a staple item in my home; holding all sorts of things to nothing at all, depending on the jar. They appear all over our home...on counters, on shelves, in baskets, on desks, in cubbies. I have quite a varied collection of jars with no particular favorite, save one. That jar is a Lance Jar with a red metal lid. Like many items in my home, this Lance Jar has a personal history of my own. That jar always makes me smile and I see it daily in my kitchen.

Years ago, let's not say how many, that jar sat atop a counter with its twin. The counter was a long work counter in my granddad's car dealership where we kids could pull up a stool and have a seat next to him. He would be busily handling customers there for car repair or ordering parts or preparing a car for purchase. He was never too busy to offer us a coca cola, which he would get from the drink machine. You know the kind; put your money in, open the top of the cooler and slide your drink down the track where sodas hung like bats in a cave. He'd pop the lid off and hold it up to the light to be sure the bottle contained only beverage.....he found an unmentionable "thing" in one previously, so he took no chances! Then he would say the magic words: " Go ahead and get something out of that jar there." Oh the delight that was! Filled to the brim with Lance goodies of all sorts, we could reach into the jar and pull out whatever we wanted! At the bottom of the jar lay coins of all denominations like the bottom of a fountain. You see, if you selected something from the jar, you just dropped your coins in the jar to pay for it. For us grandkids, it was all FREE! Granddaddy would just put his change in later, after all, he had to anty up when the Lance man came to refill the jar anyway. I will always remember sharing a coke and eating a Nekot cracker with my granddad and the magic that Lance jar had back then.

For a while, that Lance jar sat on my kitchen counter filled with snack items for my girls. Of course, I kept change in the bottom just as a sweet reminder of the act of kindness my granddad had for us by allowing us to just reach in and make a selection without having to give up any of our allowance.

The rest of our jars hold all kinds of things and are all sorts of jars from masons, to Planters, to Tom's and the like. Some hold soaps, some contain staples in the kitchen, some even have a few rocks, shark's teeth and shells. None, however, hold a special place in my heart like that Lance jar does.

The Lance Jar....Proudly on Display.

soaps in the master bath....

threads and buttons......

soaps, sponges in Olivia's bath....and a candle!

Nature from special trips.....