Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Silver at your Service

I love collecting vintage silver serving pieces. I found all of these lovely old pieces within the last couple of months at various thrift stores. They are great to use on a daily basis or when you want to add a special flair to your tabletop.

 Serving spoons come in such a wide variety of shapes. These spoons are all generously sized for dishing out steaming mashed potatoes, stuffing or casseroles. 

I love the scalloped shaped bowl of this spoon. The pattern is Wakefield by International.

This is an English berry spoon. It's a bit large for jam but would be perfect for serving fruit compote or trifle.

This size is generally  referred to as a tablespoon.  It's larger than a soup spoon and a good all purpose server.

There are thousands of silver plate patterns ranging from exquisitely ornate to clean and contemporary. I'm not fussy, I mix and match them for an eclectic look.
I haven't figured out these  two patterns yet but love the  attention to detail.

Pie and pastry severs are always nice to have on hand for a dessert buffet.

 Just to be clear, these pieces are NOT sterling silver, but silver plate. That is, they are not solid silver but have a thin coat of silver that has been electroplated onto nickel or copper. Used serving pieces like these can be found usually for just a few dollars each.

I keep my silver handy in a couple of vintage spooners, ready to be called into service! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Easy Apricot Oat Bars

Company was coming for dinner and while I had planned an entree and salad, I hadn't figured out what to do for dessert. I had some chocolate ice  cream in the freezer and thought some homemade cookies would complement that nicely. But when it's 112 degrees outside I knew I didn't want to be baking all day so I needed something simple. 

I happened to have a package of sugar cookie mix in the cupboard, leftover from the holidays. I had no desire to roll and cut shapes and plain sugar cookies seemed too, well, plain. So I adapted the mix into a version of Apricot Oat Bars that I had made before from scratch. So here is my "semi-homemade" version. It was so easy!

Make the mix according to directions on the package but add 2/3 cup of quick rolled oats. Stir well. 
It should be a bit crumbly.

Pat into a  13 x 9 baking sheet reserving 1 cup of the dough.  I used my silpat liner to insure no sticking.

 Spread 1 jar of apricot preserves on top (about a 10 ounce jar). Other flavors of jam would work just as well - raspberry, cherry, peach...

Crumble the remaining dough on top and 
lightly press down. 

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until just barely browned. 

Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

I cut mine into 16 generous sized cookies, but you could easily cut to get 24. 

Aren't they pretty? They tasted just as good and from start to finish took less than 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Painted Lazy Susan

I've had a lot of fun sprucing up old lazy susans. I painted these to look like French grain sacks. Pretty easy, a coat of creamy paint followed by a little distressing . Next I taped off lines and filled in between with red craft paint. Then I add a graphic that I print in reverse onto wax paper, place face side down and rub onto the surface. I finished it off with a couple of coats of acrylic spray.

Here is the before picture, 

that I painted to look like an old wine cask.

Often I'm able to find these at thrift stores for only $5 or so.

I think this looks great with my vintage grainsack towel that I use as runner layered with a topper I made out of some French fabric. It actually makes a nice centerpiece that's functional too!
 Have you painted anything fun this week?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Quilts

In Arizona when the temps hit the triple digits that's the time for indoor projects. I love to quilt and try to make one each summer. This year I decided to get a head start and make a lap quilt for Megan and Brian to celebrate their first anniversary on June 1st. (I actually wanted to make this for their wedding, but was kind of busy with other projects!) 
Meg's favorite color combination is green and brown and she used these as her wedding colors. I thought they would look great in a quilt too. This design is a strip or jelly roll  quilt called Garden Trellis and it's very easy to do. You can find the instructions in the book 
Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

Here it is in their new home!

My self imposed rule when making a new quilt is to only use fabric from my stash. Here is my sewing closet - not perfect, but at least the material is sorted into colors! 

I make my own "jelly rolls" by cutting strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches by 45 inches. You can see I have a lot to choose from! 
Since I finished that quilt so early in the summer I decided I had time to make a second one. I started this tulip quilt a couple of years ago and then it got set aside and forgotten. I'm sure the rest of you have never done that. It's a bit more complicated than a jelly roll quilt, but such a charming old fashioned design.
Gee, it's only August. 
Hmm, maybe enough time to make one more?