Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heirloom Party

I came across a lovely blog, Emma Calls Me Mama, who is hosting an Heirloom Party. People are sharing their heirloom treasures, which I thought was such a fantastic idea. I adore heirlooms, and have a few to share.
This old tattered Portraits album has been in my family as long as anyone remembers. Most of the pictures were compiled by my grandmother, and contain charming old photos of family.
Most of the pictures are from the 20's, and 30's.
I love the fashions they are wearing!
And this gorgeous gold bracelet belonged to my great grandmother, who passed away in 1942.
It has her initials monogrammed on it RCF. We think the bracelet was made in the 20's.
And lastly, a collection of glassware, made by my great, great uncle who worked for a glass company in the 20's in Pittsburgh PA. They are all so beautiful!

Don't forget to visit Emma Calls Me Mama to see other Heirloom treasures. I'm looking forward to reading through all of them!

Thrifty Thursday Finds - Serving Pieces

I'm participating in Thrifty Thursday with Tales from Bloggeritaville - for the first time! I enjoy sharing the things I've found at estate sales and thrift stores and love seeing what everyone else found!

I stopped by a rare mid-week estate sale this week, and came away with a few things.
I found three beautiful serving pieces, all silverplate.
Here they are when I brought them home. It's hard to tell in this picture, but they were very tarnished (the flash gives them a false shine!)
And here they are after a polish. They are all different patterns and makers, but all have a similar pretty floral detail. They would look great all used together.
I love researching silver patterns. So far I have only identified the spreader - it is a Master Butter Knife, Arbutus Pattern by WM Rogers, 1908 (far right in above picture). Still searching for the serving fork and ladle!

Don't forget to stop by Tales From Bloggeritaville for other Thrifty Finds!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Solar Lights and Hydrangeas

The hydrangea are in full bloom, they have gone crazy!
In an antique Victorian flower basket.
And in an antique metal pitcher.

This is a night shot with a blue solar lantern. It doesn't give off much light, just a very delicate little blue light.
And a fairy holding a solar ball, also doesn't give off too much light, just a light fairy glow.

Visit A Southern Daydreamer for other "Outdoor Wednesday's"!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bottle Openers

One thing I look for at estate sales is unique bottle openers.
They are perfect to sit around at a casual party serving beer or soda. Most of them could also be hung to add a unique touch to a kitchen or outdoor grill area - and always within easy reach.
A little antique bell with the opener at the top.
A pretty lady playing drums from Korea.
A lobster - perfect at a fish fry or lobster bake dinner.
And Yosemite Sam - always good to have around!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pillowcase Metamorphosis into Child's Dress

This week I am showing a metamorphosis of a pillowcase. I decided to try to make a pillowcase dress for my niece. I did not have her around to measure her, so all of my measurements are guesses!

A pink checkered pillowcase.
I chopped off the closed end - I wanted my piece to measure approximately 18" long, which should (hopefully) fit a 18m-24m child.

Cut the armholes, by measuring about 3" in, and 3" down from the cut on the pillowcase.

Folded then pressed the front and back neckline to form a case for the elastic. Threaded the elastic by attaching a safety pin to pull it through.

Using bias tape that I made from excess pillowcase on the armholes, I sewed along the armhole openings.

And I used a bit of lace and elastic for the straps and on the pocket (I wasn't thrilled with how the straps turned out, I would probably stick to the traditional tie up straps next time).
Sorry these directions were not more thorough, but if you are interested there are many great tutorials online - google "pillowcase dress tutorial". I read through a few and combined the parts that I liked to make this. If I made it again, I would probably stick to bias tape tied shoulders rather than trying to make straps. And I would use a contrasting bias tape.

Don't forget to check out other metamorphosis projects on Between Naps on the Porch.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fancy Estate Sale

Lots of estate sales again this weekend!
In my area during the summer months, we have estate sales that run Thursday - Sunday, with the majority falling over the weekend. Most of my weekend mornings are spent attending various sales. I look in the local paper to map them out, concentrating on nearby sales. Most of them are run by companies that have websites, with pictures, so I can get an idea what is there. However, you never know what you might find. Maybe there is a box of tarnished silver under a table that wasn't photographed?? You never know... is a good source to find sales in your area.
This weekend I attended one of the largest and best estate sales I had ever been to. It was the house of a prominent doctor and his wife, they were very involved in the arts community. Their house was 5 levels, and packed with treasures. They had the largest silver collection I've ever seen. They had tons of sterling flatware full sets, serving pieces in every imaginable form and function, and almost everything was monogrammed. It was amazing.
Unfortunately, most of it was out of my budget. I did pick up a few onsie silverplated pieces.
All monogrammed pieces.
And a beautiful set of art nouveau spoons with a woman figure on them.
I overheard a worker mention one man had bought $10,000 worth of silver!
It was fun to look around at this sale - it was a pretty rare event.

There were also the normal variety estate sales. I picked up a few more things.
A pair of vintage 1940's cat eye glasses. They are very strong prescription bifocals, so I may change the lenses out, but they are adorable. They have the owners name monogrammed on the inside of the silver frame.
A set of 3 Italian framed pictures.
And 3 of these. I wasn't sure what these were at first, but figured out that they hold individual lemon slices! You squeeze the lemon and it keeps the seeds out.
Here they are cleaned up and ready for tea.
Very clever. Perfect for dinner parties.
I also found a few miscellaneous books, a cookbook, a sewing book, a French guide, all from the 40's.
I also saw something I loved, but had to leave behind.
This old 1920's gas stove was in the basement of one of the sales (sorry about the terrible cell phone picture). It was marked $75, but since it was the last day of sale, it was 1/2 off that! It looked like it was in great shape, I think it could easily have been restored, but I just don't have anywhere to put it! I was so sad, but I couldn't take it home.
Oh well, there's always next week....

I'm participating in Thrifty Treasures, hosted by Southern Hospitality. Check out all the other great finds!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

K Monograms....Everywhere

A while back I picked up a bunch of K monogrammed flatware for my sister at a thrift store. While visiting some more thrift stores this past week, I came across more, of the same exact pattern!
Last time, it was spoons and forks, this time knives and butter spreaders. It was the same pattern, and the exact same K monogram!
I spend a lot of time digging through thrift store flatware bins, and I am always on the lookout for anything with a monogram. They are rare finds. To find this many K's is unbelievable! And, by the way, these were different thrift stores, in different parts of town.
I also came across 4 pink depression glass square plates. I've never seen anything like them, they are very beautiful, with a pretty little floral pattern in the center.
They were a little hard to photograph, they are so delicate and a light pink.
They would make perfect salad or dessert plates.
Anyone that frequents thrift stores knows how hit or miss they can be, this was a good hit!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Great Summer Dinner - Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Cashews (or Peanuts), very easy, perfect for summertime dinners or entertaining.
This recipe was featured in the August issue of Martha Stewart Magazine - though I changed it a bit to work with what I had.
I used the zest of a few small Key limes, and their juice.
Whisked in some fish sauce, sugar and a little olive oil.
Chopped cilantro, chives, and cashews (the original recipe called for green onions and peanuts, but I only had chives and cashews on hand). I love cilantro so used a lot!
Grilled the shrimp, then tossed with lime sauce, most of the chives, cilantro and cashews (leaving some of each for garish).
Served in a vintage ironstone platter with lime halves, and an antique shell serving spoon.

You can find the actual recipe on Martha Stewart's website.
And Martha herself was on the Today Show on Thursday morning, making this recipe.
It's very good!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Check out my Before & After on Design Sponge Online

One of my before and after project's is featured on! This is one of my favorite websites, be sure to check it out, if you haven't already!
Before shot:
And after shot:
You can read more from the original post here.

Mismatched Monogrammed Tablescape

I'm taking place, for the first time, in Tablescape Thursday! I read through all of last week's and was very impressed with all of them...

I am very fond of vintage monogrammed pieces. Linens, flatware, serving pieces, etc. I pick up onsie pieces here and there, mostly at estate sales. I created a table scape based on mismatched monogrammed flatware.Antique cut glass vase with silverplate base filled with hydrangea. Pewter candle sticks. Pressed glass amber butter pats. Crystal salt cellars with salt spoons. Pressed glass amber drinking glasses. Vintage lace placemats. Vintage linen napkins.
Amber pressed glass plates, with smaller German floral plate sitting on top.
And for the flatware (some of these monograms are hard to read - click on image for larger view)...

Salad fork "S" monogram. Fork "M" monogram.
Salad fork, no monogram. Fork "E" monogram.
Salad fork, no monogram. Fork "P" or "E" monogram.
Salad Fork, no monogram. Fork "E" monogram.
Knife "B" monogram (on blade). Spoon "S". Soup spoon "H".

Knife "B". Spoon "Rachel". Soup spoon, no monogram.
Knife "B". Spoon "K". Soup spoon "The Andrews".
Knife "B". Spoon "K". Spoon "Aurelie".
"B" monogram napkin ring.
"Lizzie" napkin ring.
Unreadable monogram napkin ring.
"M W L" monogram napkin ring.
And in case you were wondering, I don't know any Rachels, Andrews, Lizzies or Aurelies. I just think monogrammed pieces are charming and a bit of history.
Everything found at various estate sales, flea markets, ebay, garage sales and thrift stores.

Don't forget to head over to Between Naps on the Porch for other Tablescape's!