Sunday, June 17, 2018

MUFASA


Our grade school is putting on Lion King Jr.  One of the characters, Mufasa, is being played by a brother of one of my daughter's friends.   It is easy to buy a bouquet of flowers for a girl in the play, but I had to think harder to figure out a treat for a male character.

I found this tiki-like glass jar with a straw from Walmart.  It sort of looks like a lion.  Since jelly beans were available at this time of the year, I filled the jar with them.


I pulled a picture of Mufasa off Pinterest.




I think this is a perfect treat for our Mufasa!

 I can't wait for the play!


Sunday, June 10, 2018

GRADUATION BRUNCH

As I mentioned in my last posting, graduation was upon us.  Our youngest daughter was graduating from high school.

We celebrated from the front door....







and throughout the house. 

 Instead of purchasing graduation decorations, I decorated with memorabilia from her accomplishments.  It's much cheaper that way too!






I started my prepping in early May.  Polishing silver, and collecting all of her memorabilia took some time. 

The buffet table was set with my silver plate and utensils.

The yogurt station was set next to the fruit display.  Two kinds of yogurt and granola completed the buffet.



Sliced ham and mini croissants(sliced ahead of time) were placed on the dining room table.


My little graduate took pictures.


A menu was printed off and set in a gilded frame. 


My sister, Merri made scrumptious mini-lemon bars and rich, gooey cranberry cake.


My sister, Sharon, helped create the dainty floral arrangement to accent the desserts.



I added a bowl of sliced strawberries for the yogurt parfaits.


Condiments were put in glass crystal cups.


Four cheese and spinach Florentine quiches were added along with an amazing kale, cranberry, pumpkin seed salad with poppy dressing.


I also had a coffee bar and mimosa bar filled with flavored creamers and a variety of juices.

All of the helpers joined in for a picture.  I don't know what I would have done without my sisters who kept the buffet filled during the brunch.


All in all, it was an amazing day and everyone had plenty to feast upon during the brunch.

Monday, June 4, 2018

FRUIT EXTRAVAGANZA

Graduation was upon us and I wanted to celebrate the accomplishment with a celebration.  And that meant food....

As I was contemplating the items I was going to place on my brunch buffet, I readily went with an old favorite-Fruit Extravaganza. The last time I created one of these displays was when the General was coming to town and I was in charge of having a brunch for his wife. Looking back, having two young daughters, the oldest being 4, they were my only helpers.  While my sister was the extra pair of hands this year, I guess the oldest daughter must have been my extra pair of hands back then. 

I originally found this idea in the Louisville Kentucky paper years ago around the time of the derby.  It is perfect for May because all of the wonderful fruits are readily available.  So, let's get started.

I purchased 3 round Styrofoam discs at Michael's.  The base is the larger of the two sizes.  Buy one, I think it is about 10 inches in diameter.  Then, buy 2 of the 8 inch disks.  Cut one of the 8 inch discs in half.

Using tacky found at Staples, make a one inch disc and flattened the tacky.  Use it as a glue to secure the base disc to your platter.  Then, using wooden skewers, both long and short ones, begin putting the discs together.  Place the largest disc down  first, and then the 8 inch on top.  Notice in the picture that it is off centered.  You want the back of the foam to be the same.  You will see later why this is important when it comes to the pineapples. Using your skewers, poke them into the Styrofoam until think they are secure.  I have 3 long ones in the very top half.  Can you see them?  I believe that you can't be too careful with making the base solid.  The fruit carries a lot of  weight and you don't want the base to collapse.


Make sure to rinse and drain all of the fruits prior to placing them on the foam.

Fruit amounts

2 pineapples
2 cantaloupes
1 large bunch of greengrapes
1 large bunch of red grapes
2 cups of fresh blueberries
3 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled.  Keep 5 or so strawberries with the stems on for garnish.
a bunch of heather-like foilage

Let's begin!
First, I cut the 2 pineapples in half.  Try to keep as much of the green foliage on each half as it covers the Styrofoam.  Using skewers, attach the 3 halves to the back of the foam.  It will be a bit side heavy.  This is where the extra pair of hands comes in-and don't forget the tacky!

Do you notice in this picture the half circle I cut out of the front bottom disc? This will come in handy in a second.
In prepping the cantaloupes, use the zig-zag method of cutting them in half.  Then using a melon baller, make clean balls with the inner flesh.  This can be done the day ahead.  Just remember to place saran wrap on the empty shell so it stays fresh. 

At this point, the 3 halved pineapples have been skewered to the back.  Now, using the smaller skewers, place the 3 halved cantaloupes onto the foam in a cascading fashion. Make sure that the cantaloupes are somewhat upright because when you place your fruits in them, the fruit will not roll out. The bottom melon will fit perfectly in the cut out section of the base.


In the next picture, I should have skewered the pineapples to the foam at the bottom of the tray.  That is what causes the side heaviness.  I didn't realize that they were not laying on the tray as I skewered them until I saw it in the pictures.  This is the part of the 2 woman process.


After rinsing the grapes, add bunches in the holes to cover the foam.  I use toothpicks to adhere them.
At this point, it is really just filling in the spots.



And here is our graduate!


At this point, it is wise to move your fruit tray into it's location or else you will have fruit spilling all over the floor.

Now, all the melons are filled except the top one.  Blueberries are placed in the 2nd one and hulled strawberries are in the third.  I want to thank my sister, Sharon, for assisting me in creating the display.  


 Just to add a punch of color, I insert a tooth pick and place a whole strawberry on it.


And finally, the melon balls are added.


On the next posting, I will show you the rest of the brunch display.

This is really one of the most dramatic food displays.  It certainly adds that wow into entertaining your special guests!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

EASY POLISHING SILVER TOOL

I know most people don't have a desire to polish silver.  I have scooped up so many pieces at estate sales and thrift shop for this very reason.  I like to polish silver.  I know it's quirky, but I do.  Whether I am setting up a display at home, or using the silver pieces to set a buffet table, I think it shows well.

As I was getting ready for a party, I pulled out the silver polish.  Most of the pieces that I needed to clean had intricate edges.  I always keep an old electric toothbrush, that still works, in my laundry room to use for stains. Applying Oxyclean to a spot that needs to be treated and then using the toothbrush before I put it in the washer loosens up the stain.














So back to the silver polishing.  I pulled the electric toothbrush out again and dipped it into the polishing cream.  Then, I turned it on and let it do the work on the engraved edging.  Why hadn't I thought of that before? I might add that it is gentle on the silver plate surface. I just wanted to share this tip with you.  It's a good thing!




 

















Friday, May 25, 2018

THE BLACK MADONNA


On another Saturday excursion, I drove a friend of mine to a town about 1 1/2 hours away.  I was on the search for a Madonna to place in my new/old shrine.  We spotted 3 shops that were right together.  In the last shop, I was looking at strange Presidential election memorabilia when my eye caught this enchanting black Madonna.  Black being that the entire statue was painted black.  She cost $12.00.  I really thought that the Holy Spirit had guided me to her and I swooped her up without hesitation.

I don't know if I'm going to try to strip the black paint off or not.  I want a white, shabby, chippy surface, so I will move forward to see what the end result will be.


Both of their faces look sweet, but I think stripping the paint will be a necessity.


The statue fits perfectly in the recesses of the shrine.



This is going to be an amazing project.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

MARY SHRINE FOR THE BEDROOM


Because I have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and pray the rosary often, I thought it was time to make a shrine in my bedroom. The month of May honors the Blessed Virgin every year.  As a child, Mom would always let us make a Marian shrine in the house.  We would pull out the yellow, laminate child's table and lay a linen cloth over the top.  Every day we would replenish the vase of flowers that adorned our shrine.  This is such a vivid memory of mine growing up.

From time to time, I try to have a vase of flowers near my statue of the Blessed Mother during May.
Over the years, I have acquired many holy cards, some vintage, and multiple rosaries from over the years.  I even have a holy water fountain that belonged to my grandmother.  I thought it would be a wonderful idea to incorporate all of my religious items into one place and make a permanent shrine to Mother Mary.

In the meantime, I was really looking for an old hollowed out mantle clock to redo to use for my shrine.  Because I am impatient, I took note of my lantern and thought that it could be used until I came upon this elusive wooden shrine.  Wouldn't you know, about the time I was envisioning this shrine, I found my wooden shrine.  However for the time being, I could use the lantern until I had enough time to refinish the wood mantle piece.  Of course, this will be yet another posting. 

Mom bought this statue of Mary of Lourdes while she was in France.  Every year, millions visit the Grotto of Massabielle (Grotto of the Apparitions) where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized, or made a saint in by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933.  In the Catholic Church this is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

I placed my two mosaic crosses close to the lantern holder.


Taking a look into the shrine, I smile thinking of how I acquired so many religious effects. Vintage Holy cards, my scapula, the antique holy water font are some of my favorites.  Such treasures remind me of my Catholic faith.




 I draped my rosaries over the top.


Our sweet Lady of Lourdes.




After i had set up the shrine, I was in Krogers and spied these gorgeous pale pink baby roses.  How could I possibly pass that deal up?


I came home and pulled the outer layer of each rose off.  You would be surprised how this little trick
makes roses fresh looking. 


See the difference?


I pulled out a silver low floral container that had a frog in the middle to hold in the blooms.  It took just a few minutes to trim and place them in the vessel.  Absolutely gorgeous!  And all for $2.99!






When I wake up and get out of bed, this view is my first site.  What a start to a new day.