Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thank You, Grantchester !

Dear Grantchester,
Thank you for the lovely wool, plaid blanket. I absolutely love it! I've been wanting one for several years--
Grantchester.  Have you watched it? It's a British mystery show (PBS) that takes place in the 1950's.  The vicar at the local church helps a police detective solve murders in their small town. 

In one episode, the vicar goes on a picnic in the English countryside with a dear friend--and the picnic blanket is a lovely plaid blanket.  Before I realize it, I say out loud, "I want a plaid picnic blanket."  My husband says, "Mom has one at the house."   
         Hummmmmmmmmmm.  Wow!  How neat is that????

Then, in less than a week, we find ourselves (unfortunately) at a family funeral and at my in-law's home afterwards.  After awhile, I hear my husband asking my sweet MIL about the blanket---not a planned conversation---he did it all on his own.  She slips out of the room and about a minute later, she reappears with a lovely wool, plaid blanket. She shows it to my husband and as I join them he says that I wanted to see it. She turns to me and says, "What did you want to do with the blanket?"  I answered honestly, "Covet it." She passes me the blanket a tells me I can have it!!!! Well, of course I said "No." And then she encouraged me, telling me that the blanket was just folded and in a closet. So the blanket became ours that day.  I did my best to not get too excited (funeral). Inside, I was jumping up and down!!!   
A bit later, I decide to discretely take the blanket out to the car.  My SIL sees me with the blanket and I'm sure that it's a treasure that she sees walking out the door in my arms.  She comments that she sees me with the blanket so I stop and ask her if she wants it.  And she quickly says, "No!  That blanket is so scratchy!!!" ....Guess she's not a fan of woolen goods.

My dear sweet father-in-law purchased
 the blanket in Scotland 58 years ago.

I can imagine my husband and his siblings
 as children snuggling under the blanket
 and watching cartoons on
 Saturday mornings.....well, 
except for the sister-in-law who declared the blanket

I think the blanket is lovely. 
 I got to use it the very next night while
 I watched the latest episode of Grantchester. 
 I felt so snugly and warm as I watched
 the show and wondered 
about all the other times the blanket made 
someone else feel cozy and warm.


Grantchester is on PBS 
Photo: PBS

Monday, January 18, 2016

Russel Wright Woodland Tablescape

In 1959, my mom chose Russel Wright's Iroquois pattern in ripe apricot.  It was January and we had suffered a house fire.  A complete loss.  Mom told me that the loving people in that little Tennessee community had a shower for our family so we could start over.  Friends told her to go to the local store where she could select needed items and that's where she made her Russel Wright selection of Iroquois in ripe apricot.  

 So, I grew up eating off of what is now 
considered a "mid-century modern" set of dishes. 
At the time my Mom selected this dinnerware, it was already considered modern-- because it had no designs.
  Some of the serving pieces are very interesting-the salt
 stacks on top of the pepper shaker and the
 creamer stacks on top of the sugar bowl.  
And, the large covered casserole dish, I just love it....so pretty and it always, always was used to serve homemade potato salad.  

Several years ago, my Mom decided she liked the white dishes I had--she noticed how versatile they were and liked the idea of getting a set of her own.  When she got those white dishes, she said she didn't know what to do with her old dinnerware, so I told her that I would love to have them (she has stored the serving pieces, so I wasn't able to include any of them in my post).
Today, I'm sharing these lovely, simple
 plates in a Woodland tablescape.  

I've paired the dishes with dark wooden chargers (Better Homes and Garden collection at Wal-Mart-years ago-wish I had bought more), burlap place mats that I made, green napkins with snowflake napkin rings, and green goblets to complete the place setting.  The flatware is Nouveau by Gorham.

Do you like designing centerpieces for your dining table? 
I do. This one was so easy.  A branch of faux greenery (or your could use fresh), a mercury glass tree, a candle, a few pinecones and an interesting container.  You can always use a  second, taller candle in place of the mercury glass tree.  How easy is that???
        So fresh and pretty to start the new year.

It's been chilly here in the south,
 and this little design makes me feel like
 I'm taking a walk in the
 woods behind my home.

Do you remember your childhood dinnerware?
I'd love for you to comment!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vintage French Herb Pots

Yesterday, I shared with you some pictures of a lovely shop in Fairhope, Alabama.  It's a store that specializes in European culinary antiques.  You can see the pictures from Aubergine here.
(link to store is in previous post).   
I love to visit this store every time we are in Fairhope, but I don't have a French country home/kitchen, so many of the beautiful items there might look a bit out of place in my home.  Sigh.
So on our visit last month, I was delighted to see this crate full of little vintage herb pots.  Yes, these little beauties could certainly find a spot or two in my home and look perfectly at home!

All the little pots were unique.  They each had their own personality.  The shopkeeper told me that only one pot had a stamp or mark on the bottom (an elephant).
It was fun to sort through the little pots and pick out the ones that were to come home with me.
I know I will use these little vintage gems in so many fun ways...mostly in vignettes in my kitchen and great room. 

So, here's the first use of my vintage French herb pots. I gathered some pine cones, some small candles, a few mercury glass ornaments and a few snips of fresh greenery.  It's so easy to make a simple design with just a few items.  

I got this drift wood angel last year and couldn't wait for January so I could bring it out again.  I also had an old column base I had gotten at a salvage store for a dollar.  I topped the salvage piece with a dictionary page and added a couple glass ornaments  here, too.