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Saturday, March 9, 2024

Thrift Store Score

 I used to go thrift shopping regularly when I had my antique business. However, since moving to Utah I just go on occasion when the mood strikes me. It's been several months since I popped into my local thrift shop and I was rewarded with several great finds. 

First I found these two Williraye Studio Easter/Spring figurines. I have a couple of Williraye Santas and I've had one Easter figure so it 's nice to add a couple to my collection. The Williraye pieces are very "folk artsy". They aren't super pricey and you can find them on auction sites for around $20-40 depending on the size. These two were $12 each which I thought seemed reasonable. I love the bunny weathervane on top of the birdhouse!

Next I scored some Pimpernel placemats and coasters. The mats feature old London scenes while the coasters are called "Tally Ho" and depict a fox hunt. I've collected Pimpernel placemats for years. These are in like new condition and will go nicely with my blue and white dishes. You can read more about them HERE.

My mother had a wonderful collection of silver baby cups and I started saving them too. Whenever I see one at a good price I snap it up. This sweet little cup was $3. Here is how I put my little collection to work. Silver Baby Cups 

I've been trying to get a bit of organization done in my closet recently. This cute French themed box looks like it's intended for photo storage but I may use it to store some sewing supplies. It was brand new, still shrink wrapped and cost $1.

I saved the best for last. Here is an Irish Waterford crystal bowl. That's right. You never know what you'll find out thrifting!  This will be lovely filled with anything from flowers to salad. Several years ago I found another piece of Waterford crystal which you can read about HERE.

For now I filled my new bowl with my Ukrainian egg collection. 

And I added the bunny figurines to my bakers rack filled with spring decor.

What a fun day of thrifting! Did you score anything great this week!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Thanksgiving Tablescapes


My brother Mark is a caterer. Not only does he know how to cook a fabulous dinner for 200 people he also knows how to set a gorgeous table. Our mother taught us well the art of beautiful tablescapes and Mark always sets a lovely Thanksgiving table. Here are a few photos of his tables over the years.

He started collecting glass balls a few years ago. They look so elegant mixed with crystal candleholders all on a polished wood plank.

                                            I love the turkey napkin rings!

I believe Mark got the turkey plates from my mom. It's so fun to see them once a year!

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

 Scottish shortbread cookies are among my favorite treats. They are buttery, melt in your mouth bites of goodness! I have been making these cookies for over 40 years and they are a treat that my neighbors have come to expect at Christmastime. They are very simple to make and I bake between 12-30 large cookies each year. 

You only need a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry: flour, real butter, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I add some good vanilla but that is not required.

Cream the room temperature butter with the sugar then add in flour and salt. It will make a crumbly dough. If it's TOO crumbly add a teaspoon of vanilla or water. Mix until a dough ball forms.

Divide dough in half and gently pat into two metal pie pans. I find that metal pie pans work best for this - sometimes it's hard to release from a glass pan.

Score into 8 wedges with a bench scraper or knife, then dock with fork tines. You can also use the fork to make a decorative edge. If you have cookie stamps now is the time to pull them out and use them! I like to sprinkle with sanding sugar but regular sugar works too.

Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. It should barely be golden, not browned. After the large cookie has cooled tip the pie pan over to release and place on a pretty plate or tray.

 I bought some cardboard cake rounds last year to make gift giving easy.

 I then wrap it up in cellophane with a pretty bow and add a tag. 

I've also added an ornament to the package.

These make wonderful neighbor gifts during the holidays - or any time of year!

Scottish Shortbread

1 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 cups flour

pinch of salt 

sugar for sprinkling

Cream butter and confectioners sugar. Add flour and salt and mix until dough ball forms. Divide in half and pat into 2 pie pans. Score into 8 wedges. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. Makes 8 generous cookies. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Colorful Kugels

 I'm finally putting away the last of my Christmas ornaments. I had a big dinner party 2 weeks ago and had left out a few kugel ornaments in blues and silvers to create a wintery tablescape.

So what is a "kugel"? 

 Martha Stewart shares the history on her website, " In the early 19th century, glassmakers began to silver the balls, coating their hollow interiors with tin, lead, or bismuth-and eventually silver nitrate-to create a metallic finishEmbossed brass caps with rings were added to globes of various sizes in the 1840s, giving birth to the first Christmas tree ornaments, known as kugels (the word means "balls" in German). Most of these were made in Lauscha, Germany, where shapes were expanded to include clusters of grapes, pears, ribbed balls, eggs, and teardrops. Silver, gold, and green, which brilliantly reflected candlelight, were the most  popular colors."

I've collected  quite a few over the years mostly in red, silver and gold with a few green and blue. Kugel ornaments are quite heavy so be sure to secure them safely when hanging on the tree. I also like to fill large bowls or hang small ones from a chandelier.

My mom used to make lovely holiday tablescapes with her kugels in silver compotes.

And I nestle them in among my large Santas.

There so many fun ways to use these vintage ornaments in your holiday decor. Find kugels at specialty Christmas shops, antiquing or online.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Traditional Christmas Tablescape


Were you able to visit with friends and family this Christmas season?  One of my sons and his wife drove to Utah from California, and one of my brothers and his wife were able to join us for Christmas Eve dinner. Although it was a small group I pulled out all the stops in my table decor. 

We use my Spode Christmas Tree plates every December. My mother-in-law's tradition was to use her Spode every day the whole month of December, so I started doing the same thing. I have had these plates for over 40 years and they still look like new!


Several years ago I made a tartan tablecloth and then I  layered it under a quilted runner I also made over 20 years ago.


I've got a set of bright red chargers that are perfect for several holidays.

Here is a vintage spooner showing off some of my Danish Christmas spoons.

And running down the center of the table are a few of my Duncan Royale and Jim Shore Santas.

In spite of the continued challenges this season I hope you were able to celebrate and feel the Christmas spirit!

Happy New Year!