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Monday, October 30, 2017

Plenty of Pumpkins!

A few weeks ago I shared with you my mom's 
glass pumpkin collection. That was just the tip of the iceberg! Here are the rest of her fabulous pumpkins. She has tureens, 

 stained glass, alabaster, 

 a little candle nestled in a bird's nest, 

 copper, brass, pewter, 

carved cinnabar, 


 wooden pumpkins  and dried gourds, 


 and lots of ceramic!

 My favorite is her hutch full of french Quimper and assorted small pumpkins.

 And of course she has some "real" pumpkins and gourds peeking out the front window. 

What are your favorite pumpkins to collect?

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Monday, October 23, 2017

High Tea at the Grand America

Have you ever treated yourself to High Tea? This month was my mother's 85th birthday and my sister-in-law suggested we treat her to afternoon tea at the Grand America hotel in Salt Lake City. What fun! 

The lobby of the hotel was warm and inviting with a fire blazing and comfy chairs arranged in small groups around beautifully set tables. A harpist was playing soft music.

Strawberries with Chantilly cream was at each place setting with a menu of beverage selections. They offer several varieties of green, black and herbal teas plus four different flavors of hot chocolate. The almond coconut hot chocolate was to die for! 

Have you ever seen a hot water flower bloom?  Our server placed one of these brown pod looking things into a wine glass and then poured hot water over it. In a few minutes it bloomed into...

this! It's a green jasmine tea.

Then came the scones and finger sandwiches served with raspberry jam,  lemon curd and clotted cream.

Each sandwich was a little savory morsel of roasted meats, vegetables and cheeses.

Before the dessert course everyone who was celebrating a birthday was brought a special plate with chocolates and the largest rose bud I have ever seen.

Now for the sweet treats!

There was an assortment of  tarts, madeleines, macarons, and shortbread cookies and a
 little cup of chocolate ganache.

The staff was top notch and brought out a special plate for my sister who is gluten intolerant.

It was such a delightful way to spend an afternoon and as wonderful as all of the treats were the best part was relaxing and spending time with family!

I highly recommend tea at the Grand America or find which hotels or tea shops in your area offer High Tea. It's a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Gorgeous Glass Pumpkins

I've said it before, my parents are great collectors! My mom has an eye for beautiful objects and they love to fill their home with unique pieces of art. Fall is in the air and last week I helped mom get out her pumpkin collection. Mind you, this is only ONE part of her collection, the glass pumpkins. 

We swapped out her chunks of crystals on the the silver pedestals and replaced them with hand blown glass pumpkins and gourds in rich autumnal colors. 

These are truly works of art, look at the stem and how it curls gracefully down the side.

 The side board is filled and the colors are amazing.

If you look carefully you can see two tiny pumpkins sitting in a sterling pin dish. 

 Here the pumpkins are nestled among cut crystal candle holders for an elegant centerpiece.

There is one small Lalique owl hiding behind a pumpkin.

Well, this is  ceramic not glass, but I love the soft colors it's glazed with.

Gorgeous, yes?

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DIY Bookcase and Bench

Last summer while my daughter and I awaited the coming of baby boy #2 we got busy with a project for big brother Jeffrey's room. Megan had seen this cute bookcase/bench on Pinterest and used it as her inspiration. It was pretty easy and I'll show you a couple of tricks.

She started with wooden storage cubes that you can find at Home Depot, Lowe's or Walmart. She spray painted them blue to match Jeffrey's room.
It takes 5 sets of cubes - 2 are vertical and one horizontal. In the original photo they are stacked higher but we felt that was too tall. This way Jeffrey can reach everything. The 5 units were screwed together.

Meg found some darling fabric to cover the cushion with.

 She bought a large piece of foam that had to be cut to the right size. How did I do it? With a hand held electric jig saw. The foam was really thick so I had to make one cut, flip it over and cut it again to go all the way through.

 Now, I could have been professional and sewn a cushion cover with piping and a zipper but I was simple too lazy, I mean busy. So I wrapped the foam just like it was a Christmas present! 

I folded under the raw edge and secured it all with glass head pins.

I mitered the corners. 
 I made sure I pulled the fabric nice and tight and stuck the pins deep into the foam.

 I then whip stitched all the seams closed and slid the cushion into place.

Many years ago I cross stitched this ABC chart for my little boy's room but it has been in a closet now for about 20 years. Time to dig it out!

Ta da! It' s a great bookcase, toy shelf and reading nook all in one!

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