Friday, December 31, 2010

A year gone by…..




The name of this rose is Friendship and I thought it quite appropriate for the New Year. We have had a busy holiday season with friends and family and I am grateful for a little lull in the festivities. I have decorated and cooked and wrapped (glitter is a four letter word) and fussed. I am going to put my feet up and relax.

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But first I will share a few photos.

When my parents died a few years back, my sister and her husband bought their condominium in Florida. They have recently sold it and the cupboards needed to be cleaned out. Jack and I made the trip and I came back with some treasures that belonged to my grandmother. I am trying to identify the patterns and label everything! Big job!


I have also been cooking!







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So today is New Year’s Eve and we are staying home. We will cook ground sirloin fancy burgers on the grill with some mushrooms. Steamed asparagus with lemon will complete the meal. We will review the past year and make plans for the new. Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Sampler

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Below is a little slideshow/sampler. Next week a New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Memories of Christmas Dinner




I am joining Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. This is an event where grownups play with dishes and take pictures of what they have done. There are some very pretty dishes and tables out there.

When I moved from my house in Maine into a condominium, I had to downsize. Some of the decisions were painful. However, I found wonderful homes for most of the items and because I have wonderful family and friends I am able to reset the table almost the way my mother did with a few of my own touches.

I started with a beige linen tablecloth which was topped with a sheer cotolene cloth from Spain. This was one of my mother’s favorite looks for the table. I am using her Spode. The silver is mine and the pattern is Homewood by Stieff. Homewood was the name of the estate of Charles Carroll who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

My mother’s silverplate was by Community and the name of the pattern was Forever. I never knew the name of the pattern before but I  found it on google. I only have one piece of it now.


Her stemware was American by Fostoria. I have thought of collecting that but I have found it to be quite pricey here in Florida. I have taken a liking to Caprice by Cambridge and I have started to collect that. I find the pattern soothing. It is meant to show the effect of rippling water when a pebble is tossed in (that is what the dealer told me anyway).


The glass plates are Caprice as are the water goblets.


The glasses I am using as wine glasses are Fostoria and the pattern is Ballet. The Caprice and the Ballet are recent acquisitions from a trip to Arcadia, Florida. There are lots of dealers on a street that reminds me of the Wild West.


I found the bowl all dusty in a shop and I believe it is Hobnail by Westmoreland. The candlesticks with the glass hurricanes were my mother’s and used for all holidays. The stockings were made on my embroidery machine and will be stuffed with treats and hung on the back of the chairs like this. They are designs from Anita Goodesign. I find these designs very well digitized and fun to stitch out!






A little candle light makes the crystal sparkle. The silver plate trivet was my grandmother’s.




The napkins and napkin rings are new and the salt and pepper which need to be polished were a wedding gift.




The snowflakes were made from a Martha Stewart kit a few years back. They were fun to make. I will have to see if they are still available!



Wishing all my blogging friends a blessed holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Music for Pink Saturday




I am joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday. During this holiday season pink has been replaced if desired with different themes. Today is favorite Christmas music.

So, I made myself a latte and got out the music.




Now I need to crank up iTunes and make a playlist for Christmas dinner.

Be sure to visit the other Pinks and see what their favorites are.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Then and Now….



For some reason this year I am quite nostalgic. I am remembering Christmases from my childhood and those more recent. In my last post I talked about my mother trimming the tree. You can read about it here. My sister is the one with Madame Alexander bride doll. To this day I covet that doll. I could never bond with the one I am holding and I think the expression on my face clearly reflects that feeling!


Christmas cards were important and a record of who cards were sent to and received from filled a little red Christmas Card Record Book. As the cards came in they were recorded and then placed in the brass bowl. I use the brass bowl for the same purpose. I do not keep records though.


Traditions were important to my mother. Christmas Eve was a set meal. Shrimp cocktails were served in special dishes (I have those and will use them this year), oyster stew (as a child I gagged over the oysters – now of course I love them) and meringues topped with strawberries (frozen from the summer garden) and real whipped cream. The cocktail sauce was my father’s job. A combination of Heinz’s chili sauce, fresh lemon juice, and horseradish was carefully adjusted and sampled he ate lots of the shrimp.

My mother made the meringues and carefully packed them in a metal box. We shifted from oyster stew to clam chowder and many discussions took place about Manhattan style vs. New England style. New England won!

Christmas dinner was always turkey when we were growing up. We eventually decided that turkey at Thanksgiving was too close to Christmas turkey. I think eventually we settled on steak cooked on the grill. We always used the good dishes. The pattern is Reynolds by Spode.


I will be using them this year as well. I gifted the set to my niece. My sister is keeping them for her but generously agreed 4 place settings could come and live with me for a while. Thank you, Jean!

I hope to get the table done this weekend.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time of Year for Memories

I have so many memories of Christmases gone by. I am sure we all do. Mine are particularly strong this year.
I grew up in a small town in New Jersey. We moved from Brooklyn to our apartment when I was three years old. I think that first Christmas there is really my first memory of the tree. My sister and I shared a room. I knew there was much activity going on in the living room. My father let me have a peek at the tree but cautioned that I would have to get to sleep so that Santa could come. We put out cookies and milk of course. The lighting was magical to me.
The tree was my mother’s job because it had to be done a certain way. My Dad would put the lights on. My mother would do the ornaments and then the rain….one strand at a time wrapped carefully around each branch. As the evening wore on the strands would get clumped together and if my father ended up helping, handfuls would be tossed from afar. The front of the tree was always perfect.
We moved when I was 6 and my grandmother became a part of our Christmas for many years.SCAN0002
Notice the single strands of “rain” on the tree.
One of my favorite trees was the one with my village around the base.

A little vignette for the coffee table. Lace snowflakes and ornaments to be tied to packages.
I am not linking this post to any particular memes today. However, there are lots out there to go and visit. Thanks for stopping by and if you have a moment, I love comments!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mosaics with yarn


I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful workshop. Sharon MacMahon, owner of Three Irish Girls, spoke about her company and the processes of creating her beautiful yarns. The colors are beautiful – lush, rich, scrumptious, vibrant….I would love one of each.  Mind you – I still have not completed a whole pair of socks!

I am joining Mary at Little Red House for this fun and creative event. Be sure to stop by and see what other blogs have put together!





Have a great week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dishes and Quilts


I love this time of year. Even though we are Florida and it is sunny and warm (conditions not readily associated with Christmas) I am decorating just about the whole house. I think it is a blog thing…..


We have forgone the live tree and the big tree and have a cute little tabletop tree that we adorn. As we get older it is harder to heave the big boxes up those pull down stairs into the storage area. More on the tree next week.

I have set the table for Christmas Eve.


I know I need to trim that wick….


The cookies are from the refrigerator section of Publix – gross not very good but I just wanted to show the aluminum piece.


I made the quilt a few years back. It usually is under the tree. I used a different quilt for the tree this year. I like quilts for tabletops.



The ornaments have been gathered over the years. The ones on the table are too big and too heavy for my tree. I like them with the mercury type chalices that are filled with silk poinsettias.





The chippy white bird is a Pottery Barn acquisition as are the crystal stars.


Faux leaf chargers are covered by white Aplico dinner plates. The decoupage Christmas bird plates are PB and the little sherbet dishes are antiques.








The goblets are Westmoreland English Hobnail but I have been unable to determine who made the etched glassware.



I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Please stop by and see all the pretty dishes and holiday settings.


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