Friday, September 15, 2017

MAKING A LETTUCE BAG


I came up with this wonderful idea after visiting my friend Mary.  While we visited her house for a Sunday meal, I noticed a linen towel bag that held her previously cleaned lettuce leaves.  After inquiring about the sack, she explained that the lettuce stayed fresher that way.

So the next day at home, I decided to sew up a few of the bags myself.  I bought a package of three linen towels and washed and dried them.

The first thing I did was to cut the towel in half lengthwise.  Then I folded it as you see in the picture, turned it inside up and sewed the two sides.  Notice the flap on the right size.  This will fold after inserting my cleaned lettuce leaves.








This was a quick 10 minute easy sewing project.  In the long run, it will save me money keeping my lettuce fresher.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

WEDDING CARDS 2017







This spring, I have made numerous engagement, shower and wedding cards.  I made each of the cards in line with the brides' tastes.



 








I take it as a challenge to make a card personally for a bride and her bridegroom. 
I hope they enjoy these mementos of their happy day.






Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ORIENTAL PORCELAIN MANTLE 2017


I love to use my Oriental porcelain anytime I can in my decorating.  This year, the mantle is full of treasures that I have acquired.

The first piece I placed on the mantle was my vintage birdcage that I received from a dear friend. I gathered some of the smaller pieces to insert into the cavity of the birdcage.


A ginger jar, a planter and a vase anchored the left side of the mantle.



A large jar holding dried tiger lily stems sits on the floor to give some balance.  You will notice that I added our West Point plate(which isn't Oriental) and another vase by the mantle clock.





The plant is placed in the perfect spot to get the morning sun.



I would be happy to leave this mantle up until Christmas.  You might just see some pumpkins pop up in the fall.  The oranges and deep blue marry so well together.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

CABBAGES IN THE DINING ROOM



































These days, the faux(fake) florals at the store are incredibly real looking.  On one of my visits to Hobby Lobby, knowing that they had 50% off all florals, I took advantage of the sale.

I found these amazing cabbages in two  sizes.  Because I love the color purple with the new grey in the dining room, I bought 3 large and 2 small cabbages.


The price of the small cabbages.....



So life-like and great to have around for arrangements.














I took two of the large cabbages and placed them in my chalk painted urns.










The remaining 3 cabbages were placed on a silver-plated tray on the buffet.










This display will be left there into the fall.  Can't you envision pumpkins too?
















































Friday, August 25, 2017

FIRST TIME MAKING FRESH FLORAL CENTERPIECES

Well, there is a first time for everything!  Back in May, I had a wonderful lesson on floral arranging from our floral lady who makes the weekly floral arrangements for church.  She is an amazing and talented gift to our church community.  When I asked her if she would help me make the one hydrangea centerpiece for the Cap and Gown Reception, she took me under her wing and let me go with her to purchase the flowers at the warehouse and then she assisted me in making the arrangement.


Now, here it is July and some of our ladies from our Auxiliary group at church were asked to do the reception for the annual installation of the K of C officers.  When we were making the menu, I brought up the fact that I would like to do some floral arrangements for the table.  At the time I thought this would be a manageable task but when I realized that there were 9 centerpieces, I wasn't put off.  I just hoped that the people attending would not see huge flaws in these novice centerpieces.  I worked about 4 hours and finally accomplished the task.

I was going to use my Hydrangea centerpiece from the Cap and Gown reception to lower the costs of our budget.  This arrangement was placed on the food table.





 
Before I get started on the floral centerpieces, I want to tell you a little bit about the food that we served.  We started out making crudité shots with Ranch dressing.  That followed with skewered large shrimp with kielbasa sausage, puff pastry ham and Swiss cheese squares, peppered flat iron steaks sliced on top of crostini with horseradish cream sauce, artichoke, cheese and spinach puff pastry cups and chocolate and white chocolate mousse served with blackberries and raspberries with a thin Oreo on top.  All of the food was amazing and so delicious!  Have I made anyone hungry yet?



Ok, now on to the flowers.  I found these aqua foam cages at the floral warehouse.  The first step is soaking them for 30 minutes.  Then all you do is insert your flowers working from the bottom up.  I used greenery on the bottom, placed a fuchsia rose in the center of the top and placed mini rose carnations to fill in the rest adding a bit of purple status.


Here are the cages with the circumference of 3 1/4 inches. 

 
Don't you just love this antique ruler from Peoria?  It belonged to my Grandparents.




Once the arrangements were made, I kept them in the fridge prior to the event.  When they were ready to be placed on the tables, I took 7 inch glass pillars, filled them with battery powered fairy lights and laid the flower  arrangement on top.  Please excuse the wire.  It was supposed to be intertwined into the flowers.


 
When the event was over, I asked the ladies to take the toppers home.  I had 3 extra ones, so I shared 2 with my neighbors and kept the other for myself.

I came home and fooled around placing it in different places. Here are some of the arrangements.



I really like the flowers on top of the 3 foot tall  mercury candlestick.  This opens up a lot of ideas for Christmas decorating.

I can also envision 3 or 5 of these in the silver goblets across the mantle.




Here is another variation of the display.  I ran out of the large roses so I used both light and fuchsia pinks in the center. 




The unique thing about these petite flower arrangements is that you can use them in numerous ways in your decorating and they aren't that pricey. 



 In the end, I would have felt more comfortable making these for myself rather than an outside group of people.  I have learned a few things about styling the arrangements.  I think it will take practice to hone this skill, but I have to admit, it was pretty fun to try something brand new.  I will be doing this again.




Sunday, August 20, 2017

A NEW FOOD PRODUCT-HATCH CHILI CHEESE




This article is only my opinion and I am not being compensated for this review.





I found a new food product, new at least to me, during one of my trips to Costco.  It is called Hatch cheese.  See label.


The cute sombrero coaster set and table runner  came from my Mom's first cousin many years ago.  I love to use these items in my Mexican tablescapes when I can.







On the label, the word that jumped out at me was Artisan.  I picked up a chunk and placed it in my cart.


Now don't get me wrong, I love pepper jack cheese for my homemade quesadillas.  Once I was home, I opened the cheese and cut off a slice.  It has the heat from the pepper jack cheese, but this cheese seemed creamier to me.  This would be delicious on enchiladas and quesadillas.





The cheese was grated and the other ingredients were prepped for quesadillas.  While I was making the quesadillas, I scrambled some eggs for breakfast and threw on some of the cheese.  I loved the melting consistency.

Once I bake these gooey marvels, I know they will be a hit with the family.







Thursday, August 17, 2017

EASY GRILLED AUGUST DINNER



After buying fresh peaches from the Farmer's Market, I decided to keep the house cool and cook my entire meal outside.  This was an easy summer meal.


I found a quick dessert online using Bobby Flay's grilled peaches.  After making a mixture of 1 stick of butter, 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, I set this aside.



 Meanwhile, I took my shucked corn and sprayed the ears with Pam.  I then took skinless, boneless chicken thighs, salt and peppered them and baked them in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Now, I was ready to grill the meal. I placed the thighs on the grill on medium heat, lathered a light layer of bbq sauce and let them cook.

I then took the corn and laid them on the back of the other  side of the grill.

I then sprayed the peaches with Pam and after cutting them in two and cleaning out the pits, laid them open side down on the grill.  I gave them about 10 minutes and turned them 180 degrees to make the cross grilled marks.

Once I took the peaches off the grill, I took a spoonful of the butter mixture and loaded up the center.  Vanilla ice cream would be a great addition to the peaches.


Previously I had taken a Costco kale salad mix and mixed all the ingredients together and placed it back in the fridge.


Here is the full meal.  All of it was delicious and quite colorful.  There is going to be good eating tonight.


One more note... the peaches and cream bars were fabulous!