Sunday, August 29, 2010

Going Back to the Land…


family homestead

I just received this photograph of the family homestead in Ireland. It is being allowed to “go back to the land.” The brush  and the trees are over-claiming it, and soon it will be completely devoured by nature.



My sister-in-law took pictures of the homestead on her last trip to Ireland.  What a difference two decades have made to the image that is in my blog header.

The property has been abandoned for many years; I’m not even sure who now owns it. All I was told is that this is the Irish way of doing things- to let the buildings go back to the land.

When people are no longer around to be caretakers, man-made things crumble and deteriorate. As the trees and brush surrounding this house continue to grow, they will erode the wood and plaster that once made up the roof, the beams, the walls, and the floors of this humble abode. The house will return to its previous life-  as a part of nature.

The process reminds me of the burial prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that is said as the earth is ceremoniously cast upon the coffin. The celebrant prays, “… and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes; dust to dust.“   Basically, man came from dust and he will return to dust when he dies.  And so it will be with this homestead…. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It’s feeling like fall…


~In my kitchen, anyway… 




I knew the time was coming and sure enough….. the kitchen hutch is now reflecting fall!  It all started with this purchase~


tureen 2

I found this tureen over the weekend at a yard sale and once I placed it in the hutch, I knew it was time to change out the white dishes.



The green and rust stoneware dishes were layered with leaf shaped plates. There are matching bowls to finish out the look.





Salt and pepper shakers in the shape of a miniature pumpkin and gourd.




I added a basket of yellow silk flowers for some more color.  Most of you know I’m hardly a gardener, given my brown thumb, so someone will have to tell me what they are. I just thought that they were pretty.









Looking into the little cubby in the middle of the hutch, you can see  a cheese tray covered in sunflowers. The old scale topped is now topped with a little honey pot in the shape of a bee skep.



honey bee jar



I may be rushing things- but today  just felt like a crisp autumn day, which, in turn, prompted the little kitchen makeover.

I even opened up several windows after searching in the garage to find some screens. We rarely have the screens on the windows; they go on for a short time in the spring before the weather gets too hot and humid, then they’re taken off  once the air conditioner gets turned on. I just don’t like the look of screens on the windows- the glass always looks so much cleaner without them.  Just another of my little idiosyncrasies…. 

I’m so ready for the fall. There’s something about autumn that always takes me back to my childhood in New Mexico.

I miss the warmth of the sun from brilliant turquoise colored skies. I want to hike in the mountains and gaze at a vast ocean of yellow  leaves twinkling from the branches of tall, white-barked aspen trees.  And I long for the smell of burning pinon wood wafting through the air from fireplaces and cook stoves.

Don’t you love how memories are triggered by certain sight, smells, and feelings?



I’m linking to Allison’s party on Thursday, Arties’s on Friday, and Laurie’s on Saturday. Why not pay them a visit and share some comment love with them and their participants. 








     fav thngs cmbnd

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baskets and Colorful Pottery


After a discouraging Thursday  shopping excursion of nothing but what I called “dud” sales,  I ventured out on Saturday morning for one last try.   I knew the neighborhood looked familiar- the homeowner had held a sale back in the spring. This sale did not disappoint and my purchases came to only $10.00.


tureen 2

I grabbed this Italian tureen just as a sudden downpour started and the tarps came out.  The colors in the pottery are so vibrant and happy.




It got placed  in the kitchen hutch, where I’ll soon be switching out all the existing white dinnerware to the rust and green fall dishes. I know the season hasn’t changed yet, but I’m anxious to have a new look.






I love the pattern and the color of this covered jar made in Spain. I haven’t used any blues in my kitchen decor for a few years. I guess I’ll have to unearth the few pieces I have put away because I’m really liking this hue right now.  Isn’t it funny how our tastes change so easily?

I’ve finally learned NOT to get rid of things when I get tired of them. I could still kick myself for hauling three car loads to the Goodwill last year after my yard sale!





A basket duo completed my shopping finds. They are lightweight and highlighted with a patina of green along the edges. Perfect for stashing away odds and ends.


Hope everyone has a great week ahead!


I’m linking to the following parties.


thriftthursday      SouthernHospThriftyTreasures-copy_thumb      linky party

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tweaking Progression…


I’m far from done with this wall, but here’s a look at my progress, so far.


When I re-positioned the baker’s rack directly opposite the entertainment unit wall, I knew I’d have to fill the vast area around it. So I flanked it on either side with my recent yard sale mirror purchase. They are currently a gold tone with some red highlights, but I’d like to change them out to a darker color- perhaps something to coordinate with the metal finish on the baker’s rack.  edited to add that everyone KNOWS I’m gonna use ORB!!!

My intentions are to fill the area above the rack with an architectural piece or some framed prints. Yesterday morning I made a trip up to Troy, OH to see what I could find at a favorite store, Expressions of the Home. The piece I liked wasn’t for sale, but Marge, AKA Diana, has a similar one that she’ll be bringing in to the store for me to see. I’d like to center it above the baker’s rack, then fill in the remaining space between it and the mirrors with something else because I’m one of those people who has a thing for symmetry. If you’d like a glimpse of Marge, see this post. I love her store- it’s filled with vintage finds, architectural treasures, and tons of goodies.


edited 8-16 

I found the photo of the architectural piece I wanted to buy. Marge  says she has a similar piece to show me except that it is not as wide.



 Hopefully, I’ll be able to make another trip back to Troy to see the piece this week. If I love it enough to bring it home, I’ll hang it, then decide on what to fill the rest of the area with. Until then, here are a few pictures of the tweaking I’ve done to the shelves on the baker’s rack.





I covered a couple of books with Kraft paper to make them more neutral, then topped them with a candle holder filled with a collection of small shells.  The glass compote is filled with clock parts from a recent purchase at Kathy’s Vintage Market Day. Dried hydrangeas fill a silver bowl placed in front of a wire basket.







My fascination with playing around with books led me to fold in some pages from this book to give it some visual interest.  





Behind the book, I centered the “8 ball” inside an elevated metal cloche. Although there is no significance to it, whatsoever, I just thought it was whimsical and unexpected.




I placed one of my give-away gifts from Dawn @ Cottage State of Mind  in the center of the middle shelf. Dawn recently had a give-away and everyone came away as a winner- she sent every entrant a gift!

I love this pretty floral plate and was happy to give it center stage in this location. Thank you for your kindness, Dawn!






 A trio of metal bowls holds large speckled eggs.





A tall metal box and a bowl full of buckeye nuts fill in the space on this end of the shelf.









Feathered balls fill the two apothecary jars that were moved here from the fireplace mantel.












bakers rack collage 


Most of the accessories shown on the baker’s rack were thrifted or found in antique shops at very reasonable prices. It’s the thrill of the hunt that holds such fascination for me- whether I’m shopping specialty retail stores, flea markets, antique/re-sale shops, or in showrooms at the High Point Furniture Market.

And on that note, let me show you what I discovered at recent church  sale.



A portfolio of over 30 botanicals in two different sizes. All for the price of only $6.00.  It pays to rummage in boxes, let me tell you!




There is such a varied assortment of plants and flowers here. They’ll make a such a fun grouping when done en masse.

I’m linking once again with some favorite parties. Please take the time to visit these blogs on the appropriate party days.


                                                                             Mosaic Monday

 lrh multiple header copy red 2


                 SouthernHospThriftyTreasures-copy_thumb                 Table Top Tuesday






                  linky party           thriftthursday

                                                                     A Little Knick Knack

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tweaking Time


Ever since I finished re-arranging the  entertainment center vignette in the great room two weeks ago, I’ve felt that the rest of the room needed a little more tweaking.  I did some furniture moving first off , then tackled the arrangement on the fireplace mantel and on some of the tabletops. Additional artwork in the foyer got hung, as well. I’ll show you that and the rest of the great room in another post soon.




The great room  has 18 foot ceilings and the fireplace wall is natural stone topped with a stained wood mantel. There is a lot of light streaming in from the adjacent windows, so the shot’s exposure is a bit off here. But you can tell that I have a lot of expanse to work with.






fireplace mantel

The leather bound clock stayed from the previous vignette, but I added the two moss mounded urns that were previously  on the sofa table.  The clock was salvaged from the junk pile at Mr. S’s store. It was originally a cocktail table, but the glass covering the clock face broke while in transit, so the manufacturer just sent out a completely new table. It was actually cheaper for the company to replace the entire piece rather than to send out a new piece of glass! Can I say, “Score one free gigantic clock for me?”

The thrifted china dogs made their way onto the mantel from a bookshelf in the study and a cut glass candy dish and a silver plated oval box from a re-sale shop were brought in to fill space. 














 I like the ribbing on this box and I’m not even planning on polishing it up.  





great room fireplace







Since I no longer had the two urns to work with on the sofa table, I had to come up with something else. I took a square woven basket and filled it with an assortment of things found throughout the house. 






 A bundle of twigs is nestled on top on a pair of resin antlers that are tucked underneath an elevated cloche. The cloche is filled with a concrete bird in a woven metal nest filled with meadow grass and speckled bird eggs.





I topped a stack of books with an old bell ringer and laid a bouquet of dried roses against them.  I like to imagine that the bell once sat atop an old hotel desk and was used by clerks to summon a bellboy for his services. 

To fill the remaining space, a metal finial leans it weight against the side of the basket and a decorative ball nestles between the antler horns.





To add some additional color to the side of the basket, I filled a crystal vase with three banana plant leaves.

Enjoy your start of the new week!


great room collage 


I’m linking to the following parties listed below. Please pay their host/hostesses a visit on the appropriate party days. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of inspiration from them and their participants.

~Click on buttons to visit~