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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Transitional Holiday Tablescape

Oh my! Look what I found at the thrift store this week! Six dinner plates made by English potter Wood and Sons. The pottery Wood and Sons dates back to 1865 and ceased production in 1995. They were considered one of the largest and  best potteries of their day.

This pattern is called Ascot Village. I love the scalloped shape of the plate and the gilt edge. It features a charming country village scene in warm tones encircled by a deep green border. The villages vary from plate to plate.

 We are going out of town for Thanksgiving so I never felt the need to get out all of my pilgrims and turkeys. But it is bit early for a Christmas tablescape. I though these plates provided a nice transition, you could use them for either Thanksgiving OR Christmas!

I've laid them out on tartan fabric adding to the British flavor. I made this tablecloth from some Stewart plaid fabric that I've been hoarding for years. I simply took some extra wide printed burlap ribbon and stitched it around the edge to make a border.

 I love to pull out my monogrammed napkins for special occasions.

 And remember those giant sugar pine pinecones I found last summer? Here they are in a very casual, woodsy centerpiece.

 I've got several fox hunter figurines (they are actually napkin rings!). They seemed to fit the theme.

 Added to the mix are the Fostoria goblets I found at the Goodwill last spring.  
EVERYTHING on this tablescape (dishes, flatware, linens, goblets, basket) came from thrift stores. Except the pinecones - they were free!
I hope you all get to be with the ones you love this Thanksgiving!

I'll be joining

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Please Pass the Gravy!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it comes all our traditional food favorites, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, turkey, mashed potatoes and GRAVY!

Last week I shared with you how I found a gravy boat to match my china at the local flea market. It's a rare pattern so I was thrilled! I do have other gravy boats so I decided to pull them all out.

Hmm, this is not something I intended to collect, 
how did I get so many?

 I found this lovely silver sauce boat a couple of years ago for only a few dollars. I love that it is monogrammed with "C" for Cannon. 

 I think silver gravy boats are classic and go with every china pattern. I love the symmetrical shape of this and it's connected underplate. That makes passing it very easy.

I have a couple of Blue Willow gravy boats as well as creamers that can also be used for serving salad dressings.

I recently bought a couple of ironstone gravy boats while antiquing in Pennsylvania.

This one seems especially old and well used.

 This charming little sauce boat belonged to my grandmother. Look at it's cute little feet!

 English ironstone is always a classic!

So how to make the perfect gravy? I made a pork roast roast on Sunday so let me show you my method.

After removing the roast from the pan you can see the fat and juices the roast has rendered. I add a cup of water and stir to loosen those flavorful brown bits.

Then I strain the broth to remove any meaty bits. Pour stock back into pan and turn up the heat.

I put about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch along with a gravy flavor packet into a jar and add another cup of water. Shake well to remove any lumps, then slowly add to the simmering stock.

Simmer until the gravy has thickened. You may need to use a whisk to keep it smooth.

Perfectly smooth rich gravy! 
I really don"t need so many gravy boats so some of these will be making their way to my antique store this week. If you need one for Thanksgiving drop on by!

I like to join these parties

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tiny House Collection

I've collected many different things over the years and my tiny houses has been one of my favorites. I started collecting them as a newlywed in the 1970's and I think they were a popular theme because several companies started putting out miniature house collectibles.

 My collection is very eclectic - some houses are very simple and rustic,

while some are historically accurate. This is the John Benbow Farmhouse in England. It has great detail.

I have houses made of wood, ceramic, paper, glass and tin.

A few are functional - I have a butter dish, mugs, cookie jar and cruets.
But I find that my tastes have changed over the years and I rarely notice my little house collection any more. I'm thinking of taking my houses into my antique store and selling them.What do you think? Does one keep a collection forever or clean out the old to make room for something else?

I like to join these parties

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wedgwood Old Chelsea

Look what I found at the flea market last week. A gravy boat you say? This is not just any gravy boat. It is the Old Chelsea pattern by Wedgwood and it matches the china I received when I got married. I knew it immediately when I spied it on a table of random bric a brac. There was no price on it. Oh no, this could be expensive. How much? Only 5 dollars? Sold! 

 The Old Chelsea pattern never achieved great popularity and was only produced from 1969-1982 so pieces are very difficult to find.

I love the colors of warm browns, greens and rusts and find it perfect for fall tablescapes.

Here my new gravy boat fits in nicely with my collection of brown tranferware pieces. 

Finding a treasure at the flea market is a little like winning the lottery. You won't find anything if you don't go! 
I like to join these parties

Friends Sharing Tea@Bernideens