Thursday, March 29, 2012

Red, White and Black Easter Tablescape

Each Thursday, Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch hosts a "Tablescape Thursday" which lets everyone post their table settings on her blog.  Also linking to Let's Dish.  It's really fun to see the kind of tables different people set.  I love to browse through them - there's so much creativity out there!  I'm joining her today.  Hop on over - you can find these at this link and this link.

I know it's a little strange to use red, black and white for an Easter table setting, but I was determined to use the new dishes I picked up a while back.  Even though they're not the traditional Spring colors, the buds and branches are a sure sign of Spring.  I recently found these at TJ Maxx.  I bought all they had - four plates and four mugs to set an intimate table.  The pattern is Coventry - Makayla.  I paid $7.99 for all four plates and $4.99 for all four mugs.  I was hoping to find the salad plates on Ebay, but they were much too expensive there, so as an afterthought, I decided later to add a little mix and match with some china I found at Goodwill.  I'll show those on down below.

 The flower arrangement is from my "Snowball bush" / Verburnum.  We've had such mild weather, it has bloomed a little all winter, but is now profusely blooming with hundreds of big fluffy blooms.  They're in a ruby red vintage ball vase which is sitting on an upside down bowl to give it some height.
 This big rabbit was a Michael's clearance find several years ago.

 I love my three little bunnies holding hands back-toback in a circle.  They could be used as a vase, but I use them as a serving utensil holder.

 The bottom placemats came from Ikea and are cork with black silhouette trees, then they're layered with my old standby red straw placemats that I used with Christmas and Valentines Day settings.
 The little white rabbit is a Snowbunny.
 And I used some of my Fenten birds and this little green birdbath I picked up at Pier 1.
The glasses are made in Italy and are a flea market find that I paid $1 each for.  Below is the china that I added.  This is where my browsing around Goodwill stores comes in handy.  I found four soup bowls, four salad plates and four cups and saucers in this pattern and paid 49 cents for each piece.  The pattern is Mikasa Cocoa Blossom and they were brand new with the stickers still on the bottom of each piece.  I was even more pleased with my find when I got home and saw that just one saucer recently sold on Ebay for $16.99.  I think they look nice even though they are mixed and matched.  What do you think?

 I recently found these white vintage napkins at the flea market for $3 for six.  They're very delicate.

 The photo above is my buffet which is more traditional Spring colors.  A vintage folding ruler is holding some vintage Easter Cards.  And some yummy chocolate is in the vintage bowl.

The bunny is bidding you Adieu and a Very Happy Easter season.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Week through Photos

This was the week I had planned to do some Spring Cleaning.  I had a schedule made out of what I would do each day and had all intentions of following it.  Schedules are not any fun and doing things with the Hubby are, so when he suggested I ride with him to the mountains to Franklin, North Carolina to pick up a new hunting dog, I just hopped in the truck and away we went.  We left at 7:30 a.m. and got back about twelve hours later.  It was a beautiful day and a pretty trip.  The dog owner had a beautiful place on the Little Tennessee River and they do summer rafting tours for a living.  I took lots of pictures as you'll see below.

I posted in one of my blogposts this week about Yellow Bell bushes.  This is one in all it's glory!

What a life!  Sitting in the porch rockers - watching the river flow by. 
 The photo's below are ones I took on the ride home.  Remember, I said a few weeks ago that people are always saying my hubby looks like the race car driver, Bobby Allison.  When he travels, he zooms in and out of towns as if he's doing the Daytona 500 in Bobby's old car.  He doesn't slow down much for pictures so I have to take them on the run.  They're not very clear, but you can see they're mountains.  These are especially for my friends across the Atlantic.

The only reason I captured this photo so well was because it happened to be at a stoplight that turned red on us.
 Yesterday I worked a little in the house, but today when Bobby Allison said "Let's go fishing", I hopped in the truck again.  The lake is over on my daughter's property and the weather was perfect.  A little too windy for fishing, but a beautiful Spring day to sit around a lake and relax.

Hey, I think the cork is bobbing a little bit!

Can you spot the fish?  This is like one of those puzzles you see on facebook that says "Can you spot the face in this picture".  Well, the fish is not very big, but a keeper nevertheless.

The catfish was a little bigger!
There weren't any photos of my  big catch.  Catching a tree limb and a bramble briar bush are not very newsworthy. 

Now what would you have done?  It's a no-brainer, isn't it?  The house can wait.  We're not guaranteed another day in life.  Time spent with those you love is much more important.  Savor every moment!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Secret Garden

I was trudging through an old file cabinet today with my shredding machine by my side.  I was keeping it busy and had grown quite accustomed to the annoying sound and having to clean it out from time to time when it was full or jammed with me pushing too many papers through.  I came across a folder of things I had written over the years, but this one particular story caught my eye.

My soon to be fifteen year old granddaughter has been much on my mind lately.  She's grown leaps and bounds and is a good two inches taller than me.  She is a poised and self assured young lady now and I'm very proud of her.  Chloe was a preemie born 7 1/2 weeks early and when she came home from the hospital sixteen days later, she weighed a mere 4 pounds, 9 ounces.  She was a difficult baby who had sensory issues - it took us quite a while to figure out how to hold and comfort her since she was not like other newborns who love being cuddled and held close.  My daughter would get so worn out from all the crying and I offered to help out with her as much as I could.  I loved this little baby with all my heart, just as I had loved my first born grandchild, Jake before her - and loved sweet Genevieve after her.

Right before Chloe's first birthday, they bought the house that we owned right next door to us and quickly started a well worn path between our homes.  Sweet memories flooded back as I read what I wrote just a few days before Chloe's third birthday.  I titled it "The Secret Garden":

We have a secret garden, Chloe and I.  Jake is invited there too, sometimes, but it doesn't have the same magical qualities for him.  It is a place of wild shamrock, cool moss, wispy ferns growing between holes in the bricks, and out-of-control shrubs that have grown into a natural arbor.

It is a place where Cardinals and Brown Thrush lovingly build their nests, lay their eggs, and feed their young in the protection of the underbrush that's too thick for our feline friends to find them.  Chloe can get through it unobstructed, but I have to bend low to fit under the arbor.  The soft little tufts of moss feel ever so cool under our feet - like we're on a magic carpet.

We sit there on our magic carpet in our secret garden and imagine ourselves flying like the birds and prowling like the cats and lighting up like the fireflies.  We sit there and tell stories until mosquitoes start having us for dinner or until Mommy or Grandpa come to find us.  We're in our own little world, bonded since birth - grandmother and granddaughter - finding no flaws in our secret garden or in each other.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Treasure Hunting

To all my followers who don't follow me on my other blogs, I had a terrific treasure hunting week last week.  If you like yard sellin', flea marketin', and thrift shop junkin', run on over to my Flea Market Junky blog and take a look-see. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring in the South - My backyard

Our neighborhood is alive with birds, squirrels, and flowering trees!  I love Spring, don't you?  This post writes itself with the photos I made this afternoon of our yard.  Our yard is all natural with only one flowering tree that we planted.  The rest pretty much grows wild.  But wild is beautiful!

The next 3 photos are of our flowering crab apple tree. We planted this one about 12 years ago and have enjoyed the fragrance and beauty this time every Spring.

Now take a look at that huge purple tree in the background.  Big tree's aren't supposed to be purple, are they?

Those magnificent lavender blooms are Wisteria vines that have taken over this huge tree.  Wisteria is a Southern native plant that vines out and grows over everything it finds to attach itself too.  Sort of like Kudzu, except pretty and not quite as invasive.
You'll see Wisteria in all shades of lavender - from very pale like this to very purple like the photo at the beginning of this post.

This is a bush we planted also.  I've always called it a Snowball Bush, but I think the correct name is Viburnum Microcephalum.  There are many different species of Viburnum.  I love this one as it blooms off and on all year.  We've had such mild weather this year that it bloomed all winter. 

I love how the blooms are green first and then turn the magnificent white.

I can't remember what this is - it's in the lily family and blooms in the summer.  I moved some bulbs this year and was happy that this little guy came up.  Below is a photo of my large ones that bloom every year.  This was from 2 years ago.

Here's another straggler of the Snowball bush..

A native dogwood tree in the front of my house.  These are native plants also.

Two little tulips.  I separated them this year, but think I did it too late because these are the only two that came up.  There's a few more bulb plants in this rock garden, but they'll bloom in the summer.

A close up of the dogwood.

Spirea - I have one little bush under the dogwood tree.

 There is as legend of the dogwood tree.  According to legend the dogwood was the size of the oak and other forest trees. Being firm and strong, it was chosen as the timber for the cross, during the Crucifixtion of Christ. According to stories, the tree was distressed for being used for a cruel purpose, and Jesus being nailed to it sensed this and told the tree, "Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross, two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the middle of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember ..."

Closeup of the dogwood bloom. 

My neighbor's CrapeMyrtle tree.  My friend Linda's mother lived in the very same house many years ago and her name was Myrtle Lee. 

Our side yard.  A branch of this forked tree fell down and is pinned in the fork.  I think it looks cool (which is one way of saying we're too lazy to get it down).

Closeup of a redbird.  The yellow flowers in the forefront are from a Yellow Bell bush which is another native bush.  They're all over the woods and beautiful right now.
I captured this cute little guy before he scampered up the tree.

My Hostas are trying to force their way into the wide open spaces after hibernating all winter.  That's an Ivy bush in the background and a few weeds mixed in for fun.

The hitching post attached to the Walnut tree.

And finally, our dog Fox trying to stay out of the way of the camera.  He doesn't like to have his picture taken.

I hope you enjoyed the backyard tour today.  Are you having lots of blooms in your backyards?