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Monday, March 26, 2012

Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

I posted about these fun Easter Eggs last year and thought I would give you a recap as they are so easy to make! These amazing colors and patterns come from old silk ties. Aren't they gorgeous? Here's how to make them yourself:

 First, raid your husbands old ties or make a trip to the thrift store. The ties must be 100% silk and bright colors work best. The louder the better!

Now cut the ties into pieces, about 5" square, large enough to wrap around an egg.

Secure the fabric with a rubber band, then cook as if you are making regular hard boiled eggs (bring to a simmer, then cover and steep for about 15 minutes). I also add a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar to the water.

Plunge the eggs into a cold water bath to cool off,
 then unwrap.

This is a great way to color eggs with kids because there is no mess and it's so fun to unwrap each egg and see what design transferred.

Of course, keep these refrigerated until you have your Easter Egg Hunt!
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Majolica Pitcher

My favorite thrifty find of the week is this charming majolica style pitcher. Majolica is pottery made with an opaque glaze in bright colors and depicts nature in the form of flowers, leaves, basketry and animals. Majolica originated in the Mediterranean regions such as Spain and Italy and then became wildly popular with the Victorian English. This little pitcher is just a reproduction, but so colorful and Springy! It was only $5 so how could I resist?

I filled it with petunias and chamomile from my garden and added a few other turquoise treasures all on a vintage ironstone platter. Welcome Spring!
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Shiny Stuff

While hitting the thrift shops recently I came across this lovely scalloped pewter bowl. It's the perfect size for serving salad or fruit.

But for now it's cradling a little nest.

 Next I found a set of 8 silver napkin rings 
all bright and shiny.

 There was a second scalloped pewter bowl, much smaller. I think it would make a great soap dish.

And what is this? It took me a couple of tries to get it open. 

 The sides simply fold down,

 to make a charming silver pastry server.
All of these vintage silver and pewter pieces will be arriving at Merchant Square Antiques in time for our 
Spring sale this weekend! Hope you can come!
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Orange Season

It's orange picking season here in Arizona. 

The trees are heavy laden with a bumper crop of ripe citrus.

 New blossoms are bursting too. The smell of orange blossoms is intoxicating. Orange branches are used as a symbol of fertility because they both blossom 
and bear fruit simultaneously.

 And the honeybees are busy at work.

We have about 20 orange trees in our yard. The neighborhood was a commercial orange grove until developers got their hands on it! We're so lucky that we were left with so many trees to give us both fruit 
and much needed shade.

 Now for the juicing. I save empty juice bottles during the year to refill with fresh squeezed OJ which I then freeze.

 As the saying goes, "A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine!"

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thrifty Tablescape

I had a great time thrift shopping this past weekend. I went in search of more large jars for my nests. No luck there, but I found a set of 4 Pimpernel placemats with lovely fruit 
still- life artwork. 
If you want to learn more about these 
fabulous mats read my post here.

 Next I found a great set of dishes made by Oneida. Historically (since the 1880's) the Oneida company was known for it's silverware but in the 1990's acquired a company to start manufacturing dishes and glassware to make them a complete tabletop company. 

With a little digging I found a full 16 piece set with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 large soup bowls and 4 mugs. 

The pattern is called basketweave. Can you see why?

And isn't this a charming English ironstone gravy boat. Only $2.39, who could resist? It has embossed fruit but no other markings to help me figure out the pattern other than Made in England. Guesses anyone?

To go along with my fruit theme just a simple basket of fruit as a centerpiece.

 I also found 4 silver napkin rings with mini flatware on them. Adorable! I already had some Country French napkins in the same color scheme as the placemats.The entire tablescape cost less than $20. Not bad!
Of course, most of these goodies will wind up at my antique store soon. I found a few other treasures but I'll share them next time. Have a great week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nests in Jars

My good friend Lora offered to host a bridal shower for my newly engaged daughter Megan.  I told her we were using bird's nests as a theme for the wedding reception so she took the idea and used it for the shower too. Lora and her sister-in-law designed the invitations, so cute!

I've been gathering nests and putting them in apothecary jars. These made for a great centerpiece at the brunch.

 Most of these jars I've gotten while out thrift shopping. They have so many uses!

Each jar has a tag I made to coordinate with the invitation.

It was such a fun party! Everything looked so fresh and Springy!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Happy Announcement

I've been neglecting my blog a bit lately because I've been swamped with projects! Most importantly because my daughter, Megan, got engaged just after the holidays. If you read my blog back a year ago she was on her way to a new job in Atlanta. Well, wouldn't you know, less than a week there and she met the man of her dreams and they are getting married in June! 

They chose an unusual engagement ring, a blue diamond. Gorgeous!

 Weddings are fun and exciting, but can of course be very expensive! I've got several family members in the wedding/catering business and I've helped with several weddings myself, so this will be a bit of  DIY affair with lots of help from family and friends. I thought I'd share our ideas along the way.

 One of the first projects I started on was the centerpieces. I found 10 of these lovely pots a couple of years ago at a garage sale for $2 apiece. They still had the $20 price tag on the bottom. I knew they would come in handy someday! Meg has chosen sage green, cream and chocolate brown as her color palette and she loves hydrangeas. We've decided to use bird's nests as a theme so there is a little nest tucked into each arrangement. Can you see it? 

 I chose to go with silk flowers instead of fresh for the centerpieces. That way I can do them way ahead of time and it is much cheaper. We'll use fresh flowers for the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.

 Into each centerpiece I've inserted a card with the table number on it. A seating chart will be placed at the entrance to the reception center. I've used vintage silver forks to hold the cards and merely inserted it into the floral foam. These cost about a quarter each. 
 I downloaded the bird's nest graphic from the internet and will use the same motif on the invitations.

More ideas to follow!
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