Sunday, March 23, 2008

little birdy

There are many things that warm my heart. But one is a cute little teapot and teacup. The other are birds. So imagine my delight when I found a cute little white teapot with a bird figurine on top of the lid at Anthropologie! I just had to have it! And it arrived. With the bird figurine busted in dozens of pieces. I was so very sad.

But I called Anthropologie and told them my sad story and they told me they would ship another one!

But this original teapot was still good.... excepting the bird was busted off.... so my husband and I put our creative heads together and thought maybe a knob that you would typically put on a cupboard door would work.... So off to Fred Meyers we went and bought some glue and a white knob!
The top of the lid was still a little rough where the bird sat, so he filed it down as best he could and then glued the new knob on top.

Not bad.... Not so great, but not bad....

It needs something around the base of the knob to hide the fact that it's not the original knob; that it's been glued on.... I thought I could bejewel it so headed to Joann's to see what I could find. Well, I didn't have much luck as beads typically have holes in them and I didn't want my jewels to look so rigid and in a straight line (which it would have to be to hide the holes).

I bought some small river rocks thinking they may work around the base of it. But I'm hesitant to glue them on before I feel totally good about it. Which I don't....

So I'm asking for any ideas. What do you think would work around the base of the knob to hide the fact that it's rough and ragged from the break and to hide the glue?

Meanwhile, I'm patiently waiting for my new teapot to arrive and am keeping my fingers crossed that it makes it in one piece. Then..... when my sister arrives next week for my daughter's baby shower, we can sit in the study, sipping tea from my adorable teapot and these darling teacups that also arrived from Anthropologie. (It's hard to see them, but they, too, have a little bird on them!)

Happy Easter! It's snowing like there's no tomorrow! Nancy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

baby shower

Once upon a time, I went to the grocery store looking for The Country Almanac.... and came home with Tea Time... The reason I bought Tea Time was because of The Perfect Party article on page 30. Risa is a party planner; my secret dream job. Okay, so it's no longer a secret.... But I love to make every holiday, every family gathering, and every reason to celebrate, an event. It's all about the details. And I'll drive myself crazy, and I'm sure all those around me.... until I figure out the most perfect arrangement, the most perfect detail, the most perfect decorations, or the most perfect food! I'm not saying everything has to be perfect, but right.... It has to feel good.... It's like hanging a picture in the wrong spot. You can't just pound a nail in the wall and fling a picture on it; it has to be in the right spot. If it isn't, you pull the nail out, and re-pound it in half an inch to the left... until it's perfect, or right, pleasing to the eye. To do otherwise would bug the living daylights out of me. Imagine my delight when I found this magazine with colored pictures and ideas galore!

Here's my dilemma..... I'm planning my daughter's baby shower.... Originally it was going to be a couple's party so I went with an invitation and paper products that were pink and brown polka dots. I figured it was girly enough with the pink, yet masculine enough with the chocolate. I felt good about the invitation.

Then my daughter changed it from a couple's party to a girl's only party, and I'm not certain this is the theme I would have gone with had I known. It's not right in my mind.... I still love the cuteness of it, but it's not the pretty I had always envisioned my daughter's baby shower would be. You see, I've had it in my mind since May 10, 1999; I saw it in a Mary Englebreit's Home Companion magazine. A beautiful party, that just melts my heart... So I'm trying to change my direction midstream, and am having some difficulty doing so.

Here's a few of the details so far. It'll be an inside party since we're still in the middle of winter.... We expect between 15-25 girls. The shower will take place at 2:00 in the afternoon and the menu will consist of cocktail size croissants filled with chicken salad, a pasta salad with fresh garden vegetables, a fruit salad with poppy seed dressing, and miscellaneous items (subject to change, of course). Because most of my serving dishes have ravens, fish, whales, or some other theme on them, I've moved towards all white dishes. I'm hoping they will give some unity to the overall theme and that I can still squeeze in a pretty floral pink dish here and there. My colors will be pink, white, with a spot of chocolate here and there. Lots of flowers. I think it's important to have seating for all ladies, with a place to put their food plate, so the small bistro tables will come inside and adorned with a pretty tablecloth and a baby food jar overflowing with flowers. I have looked far and wide for some beautiful tablecloths (just like the pictures in my head....), but just didn't have any luck.... It has frustrated and disappointed me more than I care to admit. I feel that I'm letting my daughter down, when in reality I know she will be pleased with whatever I do. So I guess I'm letting myself down.... This is the most important party I've ever thrown, and I just can't get the details "right" in my mind.

But the time has come to "let go." It's too late to do any more on-line shopping as items wouldn't get here in time. Now I'm looking for ways to "frill" the shower up a little so if you have any ideas, please let me know! I also know that in the end, this party will turn out just fine, regardless of how much I fret and worry over it. It's all just part of what I do and who I am!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a visit to the store

I found this cute little primrose at the grocery store the other day. It's called Obconica Primula. I've never seen one quite like it before with its frilly little leaves and candelabra stems. Cute. Cute.
Another "first," is this Tea Time magazine. Ohhhh, if you've not picked it up before, do! It has some lovely tea party ideas, yummy recipes, and beautiful decorating. I'll definitely search this magazine out again.... maybe even subscribe to it.
I often dream of having tea parties, or garden parties, with dreamy tables covered with lovely tablecloths flowing freely from the top of the table. And vases everywhere overflowing with peonies and lilacs. And no tea party would be complete without the perfect pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. I just know my little granddaughter and I will have lots of tea parties in our life time. Until then.... I can always dream.... and start planning!

Have a great day! Nancy

Monday, March 10, 2008

apple pandowdy

One of my addictions is books. I love books. Gardening books. Bird books. Romances. Mysteries. But especially cookbooks. If they have colored pictures, all the better! Bookstores are a dangerous place for us to go because we can never get away without buying several, each. When we go South, we always hit a Barnes and Noble at least a couple times, walking out with bag fulls. My hubby and I went into our local bookstore last week looking for an Easter book for my grandbaby and walked out with this Big Sky Cooking. I'm not certain if I bought it for the recipes or for the pictures. It's a lovely picture book of a lifestyle we constantly long for. Home on the Range! The Western lifestyle. Lovely, lovely.

The kids came over for dinner last night and I hate to say it, but it was THE WORST dinner I've ever made! We've been eating a lot of pot roasts lately because they've been so good and are so versatile, but last night's was so tough you couldn't even chew it. The only thing it was good for, besides tossing to the three dogs waiting in the wings.... was to grind it up for hash. Horrible horrible meal.

But dessert was good! One of the recipes that attracted me about the Big Sky Cookbook was for apple pandowdy. It's similar to an apple pie but without the bottom crust. The recipe is so simple to make, although it does take at least two hours to prepare and cook. You make the top crust dough, then let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then you roll it out and cut the dough into 3" squares and then put it back in the fridge for at least another 30 minutes to overnight. The dough is then laid on top of the apple mixture in a haphazard manner. Once you start baking, you bake for 30 minutes and then baste it with the juices and then bake for another 30 minutes. It's a much different process than anything I've made but so simple and very good. The recipe is too long to put here, but if you're interested in it, just send me an email and I'll forward it to you.

Have a great Monday! Nancy

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Many, many years ago I bought an antique china hutch from Mr. Mitch. Mr. Mitch was a local character. Imagine, if you will, a community of fishermen, miners, hunters, lumberjacks, and others who aren't so concerned about what they wear. An every day "outfit" could include XtraTuffs (boots) and Halibut coats! Really, we're not so much into fashion here regardless of who we are. Now, take Mr. Mitch. He's British. Has longish hair. And an accent. And always, always, wore a purpleish velvet blazer! Not bad looking and ladies swooned over him. But he was a scoundrel. And the only place in town with antiques.... I found an old china cabinet for $190 which was overpriced to begin with but then take into consideration that the shelves were horribly buckled and it was questionable whether they would even hold my little bits and pieces.... Still.... it's not like we have choices here.... and it was the prefect size (small)..... So I took it home and lined the shelves with this Merlot shade of velvety material thinking it made the cabinet look Victorian.... Over the years it's gotten terribly overcrowded and it came time to do something about it.

So the other day I took everything out and rearranged it; trying to find new homes for some of my treasures.

Like this cute little set. I bought this beautiful teapot with some birthday money I received one year. I fell in love with it but it was $48 and just not affordable at the time. I didn't notice until cleaning out the cabinet the other day that this cup and saucer almost match the teapot! Totally not on purpose and I had no clue!

I'm thinking it's time to re-line the shelves with some new material.... something not so Victorian looking!

Thank you, ShabbyInTheCity for sharing that my little mini plates are called Butter Pats. What a cute name!

Friday, March 7, 2008

little plates

One of my favorite collections is these small little plates. They're just over 3" across. I wish I could remember when I even got them, but I don't. Mostly I'd like to know what they were used for.... I thought maybe tea bags or for mints.... Do you know? The one with blue forget-me-nots is from a demi-size cup and saucer set because it has the indentation in the middle where the cup would set. But the others don't have that indentation and are fairly flat. The only writing on the back is Japan. The rim is raised a tad and gold trimmed.

The cute little pink plate with the rings laying inside is a Limoges; Chefield Haviland Limoges. It's more of a bowl shape so could be for nuts. What do you think?
Have a happy Friday! Nancy

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Yes, spring is on its way. No skunk cabbage showing its bright, yellow head yet, but the Canadian Geese have made their appearance on the Wetlands and I saw one lone Pussy Willow tree in bloom. We've also had a lot of bird activity, including these Redpolls that descended upon Juneau this past week on their way north. Thousands of them! Redpolls aren't native to this area which makes it even more amazing. According to our local paper, it's a bird phenomenon known as an irruption. Thousands of these tiny finches have been cleaning out bird feeders as fast as we can fill them and then they'll move on to the next food source further up north. Way cute!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Isn't this a precious vase with the little flower bouquet wrapped in a ribbon? I have two of them. On the bottom it reads Abingdon USA 520. I spent the last couple days looking up some of my vintage heirlooms on the internet to find out more about them, and found this vase selling on eBay. I haven't always cared much for it because of the bright gold trim; it just isn't "me." But it's one of the few heirlooms that I have of my grandma, my dad's mother, so will forever hang on to it. It's about 8" tall.

It's one day closer to spring! Have a great day! Nancy

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

just waiting

I'm still here.

Just sitting...

and waiting.

For spring.