Change Everything

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Purple Posies for Early Fall

While violets and pansies might not be the first flowers you think of for early fall, I have recently received my Grandmother's violet tea cup and was eager to match it with her tablecloth. 

The saucer here doesn't actually match the tea cup it goes with the cup on the tray. I've contacted Replacements hoping they can help me find a matching saucer. 

I've been picking up violet pieces when I see them at antique stores. Apparently this type of pattern was very popular because none of the pieces I've found are from the same manufacturer.

Most of the major pieces are from Home Goods, Grace's Tea Ware I think. 

The teacup above is new but the teapot for one, the individual sized cream & sugar, the plate under the cup, and the egg cup are antiques. 

This cute shoe is also from the antique store. 

This setting is a bit confusing. It might be appropriate for breakfast or a brunch tea, but since there's only one fork (yet a salad plate is included) it probably wouldn't work for lunch. Also, the tray holding the teapot for one indicates that someone is taking their tea and toast in their bedroom.

In reality this setting is more about me trying to use everything that matches and balance the place settings visually. 

Just playing with a setting on the camera here.

Do you have one of those 'tea for one' sets with the tiny teapot that fits into the cup? My favorite one was broken in the last move but a coworker gave me one for our Secret Santa exchange last year. As fun as those are I find this one so much more elegant, and the bonus is it holds more tea!

I was also thrilled to find the personal sized cream and sugar set at my favorite antique store. 

It's difficult to tell in this photo but these are probably no more than three inches tall.  

The 'aerial' view of the table. Hmmm, from this angle the fancy glass chargers definitely look superfluous.  Oh well, live and learn.

Menu suggestions for a brunch tea;
  • Chilled Cantalope Bisque or Chilled Blueberry Soup
  • Quiche w/Black Forest Ham and Swiss cheese
  • Herbed Cream Cheese & Cucumber Tea Sandwich 
  • Smoked Salmon Mousse canapes
  • Blackberry Oatmeal Scones
  • Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
  • Individual Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

The items on my table are from:
Purple Chargers - I spray painted some from Michael's
Glass Chargers and glasses - Pier 1
Flatware - Marshall's
White fruit/soup bowls - Le Stuff Antique Mall
Teapot, violet tea cup & saucer, purple & blue teacup and saucer, cream pitcher, butter dish and violet & pansy salad plates - Grace's Tea Ware, Home Goods
Teapot for one, individual cream & sugar, boot vase, small plate w/handle, egg cup, tea strainer & bowl, and silver tray - Le Stuff Antique Mall
cake stand - GW
Dinner Plates, cup & saucer, small platter - hand me downs from a friend's grandmother
violet tea cup, tablecloth and napkins - my Grandmother

I'll be joining the party over at A Stroll Through Life and Ginger Snap Crafts and DIY by Design and Between Naps on the Porch and The Dedicated House - Make it Pretty Monday

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Gorgeous Flowers Everywhere I Look

Hello and Happy (almost) Fall!!

After a few years of not going I decided I really wanted to see the acres of flowers at the Swan Island Dahlia Festival and since my flower loving friend was out of town I worked up the courage and drove myself out to face the crowds. 

In hindsight going on Labor Day might not have been my best choice because there were about 530,678 other people (or it felt like that many) who decided they wanted to be there, too. Not too surprising since this event has grown in popularity and the owners of the farm have continued to increase the number of food trucks to keep up, I guess, with demand. 

I'm not great with huge crowds. I just want to enjoy the event, have enough personal space, not have to wait in long lines and not have to scream to make myself heard. 

I also have a hard time (read: panic, frustration, fear, anger, repeat) with the craziness of getting out of a parking lot when basically everyone is trying to exit at the same time. Fortunately, that wasn't a problem with this festival since everyone was leaving at different times. 

Enough of my whining. Seeing all those gorgeous flowers was definitely a wonderful way to sort of wrap up the summer. Even though there were plenty more sunny days through September the farmers' markets are coming to the end of their season and events in general are sparse as the focus is on 'back to school'. 
The flower above is one of my all time favorites, though it is as hard to choose a favorite as it is to come up with enough adjectives to describe each new flower you see, and 'Pooh' never fails to make me smile. 

Though I continually had to jockey for position to get photos and get frustrated when people refuse to obey the rules (Stay on the path, don't walk in the rows of flowers) taking photos of all these beauties couldn't help but make me smile. 

It was just too warm for me so once I finished taking pictures I was quite happy to get out of the sun, and the dust, and back into the car to turn on the AC to cool off and start the drive home. 

Once I downloaded the photos from the sim cards to the computer I forgot all about the sweat that was running down my back and my shoes caked with dust (just a vision of loveliness, eh?) and soaked in all the gorgeousness of these amazing flowers. 

I do truly love flowers, in the garden, in a vase, or at a huge farm - flowers just make me happy. The variety of shapes and colors and sizes never fail to impress. I love flowers that smell amazing and I like flowers that I'd rather not smell. I love tiny, delicate flowers and big, loud flowers. 

Yes, there are probably flowers that I don't particularly like but they are probably someone else's favorites. 

There is a picture of me and my brother picking dandelions in a field, I was probably 4 and he was probably 6. Even though I have no idea where that picture is today, it remains on of my all time favorites. In my child's mind I was surrounded by flowers and no one was telling me to 'just look but don't touch'. 

I often buy flowers for myself. Just whatever appeals to me at the grocery store and I'm happy to be able to find something in the rack of marked down flowers because that means I can buy twice as many! 

When I go for a walk and I see some gorgeous flowers in a neighbors yard and wonder why that person hasn't cut some of those long stem red roses to take into the house. I don't understand why that amazing white panicle hydrangea doesn't have a single stock missing, day after day after day. 

Just look at all those gorgeous daisies I wonder if they'll take any inside before they have to be cut back. 

I'll admit that my big yellow dahlias faded before I could get around to cutting them to bring a couple inside. I was going to grab the two that are currently in bloom but torrential downpours have completely spoiled them.  Fortunately, it looks like there are at least a couple more buds to open in the next few weeks. 

Perhaps they are like me, they really enjoy walking up to their front doors and enjoying all the blooms. Or like me, they just want to share the beauty with everyone who walks by... and maybe show-off a bit, too. 

Before my first trip to the festival I had no idea that dahlias came in so many shapes and sizes and colors and variety of blooms.

I also didn't know that once they get started they will continue to bloom until the first frost providing weeks and weeks of wonderful blooms. 

Dahlia foliage is quite interesting as well, it shows up in multiple shades of green from light to nearly black and many variations along the way. 

For flower lovers I think there is something for just about everyone in the dahlia family. 

Yes, they are a wonderful cut flower as well. 

In many climates and with soil that doesn't stay muddy they will over-winter. Though the pros at the festival will tell you it's best to dig them up. I never do and they keep coming back. 

This daisy-like dahlia is another one of my favorites and will probably be the next one I purchase for the little piece of dirt I call my garden. It makes me smile. 

I'm done rambling on about these dahlias and flowers in general. For now.😉

I hope you've enjoyed these photos and will come back to visit them in the grey days of winter. 

On another topic... 
Here are a couple menu ideas for your September tea. Mix, match and adjust to suit your time, taste buds and guests. 

The first is for a Back to School tea for children;

  • Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Star shaped grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Three layer peanut butter and banana sandwiches on toast circles
  • Egg Salad triangles
  • Individual sized ramekins of Mac & Cheese
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Snicker Doodle Scones
  • Apple Hand Pies

Now a little something for the adults; perhaps a post summer reunion of your friends or a little something for a group of teachers.

  • Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup
  • Sweet Potato chips w/herbed ricotta dip
  • Waldorf Chicken Salad tea sandwiches
  • Veggie Tartlets
  • Pulled Pork sliders w/slaw
  • Apple Cheddar Scones
  • Fall Raspberry Scones
  • Caramel Apple Cookies
  • Eclairs w/caramel drizzle

I'll be joining a few parties when I can find the right links!
First link - Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday, next Embracing Change Wow Us Wednesdays, and A Stroll Through Life.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

It's Just Been Too Long

Happy (?) January -

Has your January been sort of weird? I saw a post on Facebook that said something like, "Feels like it's January 74th" and that feels so true. 
Then the next day I locked myself out of the house... January 75th. 

Today being the last day of long month calls for a bit of celebration and a bunch of random pictures that I have just been waiting around.  

I went to the coast in July for a bit of a get-away. It was glorious!

These hydrangea were on the hotel grounds. It's hard to tell here how massive these flower heads were, probably 12" across or larger. Just gorgeous!

I can still hear the pounding of the surf, it drowns out any attempt at conversation. All the better to just enjoy it. 

The hotel I stayed at was across the street from the beach and only a few rooms had a view to the ocean. That's okay it was a short walk but I missed hearing the ocean during the night. 

I don't have a picture of the room though it was roomy and comfortable, and as many hotels on the coast do, it had a gas fireplace. 

I was quite impressed with the amenities in the bathroom. I don't think I've ever stayed at a hotel that provides cotton swabs and cotton balls, not to mention the make-up removing towelette.

They also did a decent job with the free breakfast, my only complaint the juice wasn't cold. I know - picky much? 
I look forward to going back to spend a few days and enjoying more of the social events the hotel hosts. 

My next trip was to check out another coastal hotel; first just to check it out, and second another brief vacation. 

This place was an older resort with great reviews and ratings. When I checked in they upgraded me to a suite. WHAT?!?! Oh, sure, yeah no problem, if it'll help you out I'll take the suite. 

Gorgeous, yes? The fireplace is two sided, unfortunately the bedroom side didn't work. 

 Yes, I did soak in this amazing tub!

It was AMAZING. This is the view from the back deck...

And this is the back deck, very cozy with two rocking chairs and a little table. 

A walk out to the beach, again across the street and down a long path...

I didn't find the beach going this way but I did enjoy the walk.

The hotel gave me directions and I was able to find the ocean though not the kind of beach one relaxes on to watch the waves. Very steep, and very rough sand. On the other side of the little peninsula I found some gorgeous driftwood.

I did enjoy the resort but it's a long drive for just a short weekend and the grounds were in need of a lot of attention. It was August and the hiking trails still hadn't been cleaned up from the winter. It was built in 1965 and seems like a place people would have taken the whole family for a couple weeks during the summer. I love the vintage feel of the place and wish they'd play that up a bit more. 

From here, I went up to the mountains to try and catch a glimpse of the meteor shower.

This koi pond was right inside the front door of the lodge I stayed at to catch the meteor shower. It was a lovely place run by a retired couple. In his spare time the husband was a big game hunter so everywhere you looked there was a trophy of some kind, fortunately NOT in the guest rooms. Like most B&Bs they cater to couples and the husband seemed to be very uncomfortable with a single woman staying there. His problem, not mine.

The mantel on the massive fireplace is gorgeous. I don't recall now what it is but some type of tree that grew around some other tree. The owners were very happy to brag on endlessly about choosing the logs, the stones for the fireplace, etc, etc.  They very conveniently used 'designed' and 'built' the lodge interchangeably. There's pride and then there's ego. Anyhow... 

When I saw this silver coffee set tucked under the stairs I couldn't get enough of it. I guess it was a gift from an old friend or perhaps their daughter.  Absolutely beautiful, I wonder if it ever gets used. 

They're in the 70's, he might be closer to 80's. She seems to do all the work around the place, all that laundry, making breakfast, making sure the lawn gets watered evenly, but I think she said they have people to come in and clean at least once a week. 

The bed was pretty comfy and the room and adjacent bathroom were clean. I would have preferred crisp, white sheets on the bed but she had everything color coordinated - so my sheets and towels were navy blue. ??

Before I finish, here's one of my favorite irises from my trip to the Iris Farm and one of the ones I bought for myself. I look forward to posting a photo when it blooms in my garden. 

Your etiquette tip this time is about airline travel - we all want to get there in a hurry but oh my, it can be a trial. When there are three seats across the person stuck in he middle gets both arm rests. I was fortunate that the two people sitting on either side of me were either conscious of this or just not interested in hogging the arm rest.

For smaller planes where there are only two seats on either side, the person next to the window gets the arm rest between the two seats unless you're the guy who I sat next two and insisted on taking both for himself. Not a big deal since they were at an uncomfortable height for me.

I was VERY happy to see that this airline was strictly enforcing the 'only two carry on rule' and saw more than one person stopped as they got to the gate. It's frustrating for those of us who abide by the rules to see people carrying on multiple bags and/or ginormous bags that will take up two over-head compartments. Then all the flight attendants do is help them find a place for all their stuff.

Take 10 seconds and dream big dreams, in your mind's eye see whatever it is you want to see in your life. 

Thanks for stopping by. Back to table settings for my next post!