Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're Off . . .

Round Top here we come. Be back this weekend and I hope I have lots of goodies to tell you about. Keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't rain (every day)!

Saturday, September 26, 2009



Don’t you just love this time of year?   Maybe it’s just because it is such a welcomed change from summer, but the air even seems to smell differently – even in Texas where I know it is not as special as some parts of the country in fall.   Anyway, where ever you are, enjoy the new season and be thankful for it!

(This platter is Johnson Bros. Windsor Ware, Harvest Fruit pattern.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Laundry Room

I had a few questions about the wall hanging above my washer and dryer when I posted about making laundry soap. Well, the wall hanging has multiplied because it was so easy! I bought fabric at the quilt shop that came in panels of various cherry designs, cut it and stapled it around artist canvases. I bought another cherry print and lined the rag basket on top of the freezer. On one wall are some little cherry plates and at the ceiling, yes, that's a huge wasp nest (no longer inhabited, of course). I added some cherries to the vintage pantry in the other corner. The long painting near the ceiling is what got this all started several years ago -- bought at a flea market in McKinney, Texas. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Every Day Dishes from the '50's

These dogwood pattern dishes were made by Homer Laughlin in the early 50's. I have a service for ten and they are dated on the back either 1950 and 1951. These are the dishes we ate on every day when I was growing up. My mother must have gotten them new. Well, not these exactly. When my mother passed away and I was going through her things, I found this covered casserole and several large platters. She had given away, broken, or somehow didn't have the plates any more. I was able to get the dinner plates, cups and saucers, berry bowls and bread & butter plates on ebay. We don't use them every day at my home now, but, when we do, I can still see them on my mother's table. She would be amazed to see them again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Heavenly Happy Birthday to my Mom

Today my mother would have been 91 -- she has been in heaven for 6 years. I still miss her, and so many things on a regular basis make me think of her. The only good part is that I know that she is now in a better place.

I have always loved this picture of my Mom taken when she was about 4 years old (that would have been 1922). As you can see in the second picture, it was in a real state of disrepair so I decided to have it restored. While it was not an inexpensive fix, I gladly paid the price as it brings me great joy and I have it displayed on a wall with real wedding pictures of members of my family. She told me that she had no idea why she and this little boy who was just a neighbor dressed up like a bride and groom. They sure didn't look very happy about it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Different Brownie Recipe

Coffee and Cookie Brownies

The bottom layer is sugar cookie dough . . .

then you prepare brownies (from mix), add coffee instead of water, and put that on top of the sugar cookie layer.

Bake and enjoy. . .

1 16.6 to 18 oz. pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie dough

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 19.5 oz. pkg. milk chocolate brownie mix

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/3 cup coffee liquer or cooled strong coffee

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press sugar cookie dough into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan; set aside. In a large bowl combine the eggs, brownie mix, cooking oil and coffee. Mix just until combined. Spread batter over sugar cookie dough. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Bake for 40 minutes or until edges are set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut in bars to serve. Makes 24 brownies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

White Wednesday -- Moon Flowers

This the beautiful moon flower shrub in my yard. If you are not familiar with it, it is aptly named because the flower opens at night. In the morning you are able to see the blooms, but they quickly fade especially when the sun warms up the yard. I have discovered that if I pick them early and put them in a vase they will last most of the day. I have had as many as 20 of them open at a time and it is a sight. The petals feel almost like paper. After the bloom falls off, a seed pod is formed and, when it dries, it scatters many seeds. The plant does die back in this climate (north Texas), but the seeds come up everywhere which is okay with me. The flower is about 4 inches across and about 8 inches tall. If anyone is interested in some seeds, let me know and I'll be glad to mail them to you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Silhouette Collection

I just love silhouettes. I couldn't decide where to put them when I started collecting and made an arrangement going upstairs. As I have added to it, the look is too random. I have an idea to group them within large frames, so now that's what I'm looking for. I already have one and will be looking in Round Top and surrounding areas when I go in a few weeks. It's always nice to have something to be on the lookout for -- but even nicer to run into something you didn't even know you wanted!

Some of the silhouettes are of me and members of my family and others are just relatives I "adopted". The large one in the center is me in the second grade. My teacher did these for the whole class. The one on my immediate left is of my husband and me. We had it done for Valentine's Day a year ago. It has been a fun thing to collect.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Nice Day to Bake . . .

It is a lovely rainy day here and a perfect day to bake. My husband requested his new favorite cake -- banana cake from Cherry Hill Cottage . If you haven't tried it, you must. It is yummy! I put it on my favorite cake stand -- milk glass and very large.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

White Wednesday

Okay, here I am at my first White Wednesday. Many years ago, at an estate sale, I found these white shutters in their frame and I knew instantly what I'd do with it. I hung it and then hung plates inside. Over the years, I have changed out the display, but it has always been on this entry wall into our bedroom. Now it has white Alfred Meakin Audubon Birds of America plates. I just love this little wall.

From Life In My Nest

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

The "unofficial" last day of summer. Please don't tell the plants on my deck. They are finally very happy with the weather! Of course, in Texas we know we have a long way to go. All of my plants on the deck go into a little greenhouse my husband gave me for my birthday two years ago. Since then I have not had to buy any plants, so I think the little greenhouse has paid for itself.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Frilly Dilly Bag

This is a Frilly Dilly Bag pattern by the Janelle Wind Collection. I ordered it from an Etsy shop.

Ta Da. . . . . . . this is my Frilly Dilly Bag which I finally finished today.
The instructions were very easy to understand and it really didn't take very long to make. I just got sidetracked by other things that came up. I thought I'd share some things I learned that I would do differently if (when) I make another one. First of all, the interfacing I used was too stiff. My fabric for the base of the bag had enough body that I could have used a light interfacing or maybe none at all. I wound up having to remove it from the section of the handle that ties because it was just too much. I think even if I used a light interfacing for the bag, I wouldn't put it on the handle section. I really hate to make ruffles (so why did I order a pattern full of ruffles?). The pattern said to stitch two rows of basting stitches, gather and then sew it on. That just doesn't work for my machine. After trying another method, I finally ran a basting stitch by hand, pinned it on and adjusted it as I sewed. The fact that my fabric was already so stiff made sewing through that and the ruffles a little difficult. I thought it was a brilliant idea on my part to use transparent thread to sew the ruffles on so I wouldn't have to try to match all of the different fabrics, but I wouldn't do that again -- not so sure it is durable enough, but we'll see. The pattern called for one side pocket on the lining, but I made another one for my cell phone and that worked out great. So now, all I have to do is fill 'er up and go shopping!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Recently I made laundry detergent with the recipe I found on The Beehive Cottage blog. I wasn't sure what I was going to put it in. As luck would have it, I went to Hobby Lobby the next day and found this cute enamel container which went great with my laundry room and was the perfect size -- like it was made for it. It even had a little scoop. It was the only one so I don't know what other things they might have had in this pattern. Don't you just love those happy discoveries?! P.S.: The laundry soap is great!!!


I like to frame things on the wall -- like the lid on the left and platter on the right. I collect lids and will post more of them some other time. I have only met one lady who has way more than me and she is usually at Round Top selling them. I'm sure there are more out there who find the fascination of loving something that has lost its other half!

Saturday I went to Jo's Imagine at the Hunt County Trade Center and found this pretty frame. Now I just need to "shine" it up a bit and go through my stash -- or maybe go shopping -- and hang it in my dining room too!