Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Fluffing- Warming up the Sun porch

So practically moments after I wrote in my last post that I was going to hold onto summer as long as I could, I went ahead and started changing things up out on the sun porch.
The weather's been getting chilly around here, so it needed to be warmed up if I was going to keep spending time out there! So I went and changed out the curtains, swapped out some throw pillows and accessories, and added a whole bunch of throw blankets!
Without further ado...


Don't you think that little bit of fur on the chair makes it so much cozier? (Thanks Toby! :)








I brought out some velvet and micro-fiber floor pillows in warm colors. A slice of apple wood that I'm waiting to dry out so I can make something with it adds nice texture to the foot stool. A large copper bowl from India hold a candle that makes the bowl glow when it is lit.

Extra candles, of course! And I imagine Hubby and myself sitting down to an impromptu game of backgammon after work, drink in hand... I suppose that would be much more likely to happen if I actually looked up how to play it! (I knew how to play when I was, like, 10- why can't I remember?!)

And while it's very difficult to see in the photograph, I brought in some more of the dried Queen Anne's Lace that I used on the mantle to use out here as well.

So that's my Fall Fluff of the Sun porch!

Now if only Toby would stay in place!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Citizen Hubby- a Table Setting

Hey All!
Earlier this week Hubby became a US citizen! He was one of the 5000+ that were at Fenway the other day. He said it was horribly disorganized- everyone filed down through ONE exit, divided into just TWO groups for check-in- insane! But that's not my point today, today I want to show you the little party I threw for him.

It was just the two of us (it was a Tuesday night!), and I broke out some of the pieces I'd used for the Hoedown Party we had for our birthdays. (look, I remembered to take pictures of them this time!)

The tablecloth is just a length of fabric that I never got around to actually turning into curtains (for an apartment we lived in almost 7 years ago!). I turned bandannas into placemats, and layered on top my HomeGoods plates, Christmas Tree Shop monogrammed napkins, crystal dessert plates (also HomeGoods), and glasses from Pier One with champagne flutes from... either Filene's Basement or TjMaxx!

A mish-mash of sparkly and patriotic things serve as a centerpiece. Or maybe I should say a backdrop...

Because really, the pie was the centerpiece! Because of COURSE we had to have apple pie!

This is a GREAT recipe. Super easy, nice thick, syrupy center... I do a few things different:
1) I bake the bottom crust for about 10 minutes before adding the apples.
2) I add a teaspoon of cinnamon.
3) I pour the sauce over the apples, then brush a little onto the top crust.

And for dinner?

Hot dogs and baked beans! I know, not the most gourmet, but pretty American! (with little Ode to Boston thrown in!)
Add a little champagne, and VOILA!

A cute, patriotic table to celebrate the NEW Citizen Hubby!

Now head on over to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch to check out all the other tablescapes going on!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mantle Decor- Channeling "Out of Africa"

After watching Out of Africa (for about the 12th time) the other day, I got to feeling that it was time for a change in mantle decor. So I took down all the blue glass and sea shells I've had up for the last month or so, and began hunting the house.

I started by polishing up Nana's old silver tea tray (a bit of a chore since the thing is rather pitted!) and scraping the wax off the crystal candle sticks.

(Oh my god, I just noticed there's a hand print way up on the mirror! How it got there I have no idea, that's about 7 feet off the ground!)
Then I pulled out some animal print votive holders a friend gave me for Christmas last year, and a snake print candle I've had kicking around since college! I'm not quite sure how that thing made it through the 5 or 6 moves I've made since then when I'd never used it, but I'm glad now that it did!

I filled in the lower level with some wooden elephants from my collection, and a stamp a friend brought us back from a trip to China:

It's some sort of carved stone, not sure what kind, but light shines through it, which is really pretty. The bottom is carved with the characters that spell our last name, or so I'm told! I think it's a very cool thing, but I need to find someone who can read it to verify that it isn't actually some profanity!

To add a little height to the display I headed out to my field thinking I'd find some seeded out grass and tie a bunch together with a pretty ribbon. Somehow, though, I couldn't find any! I was a little disappointed, but figured since I was out there I may as well go for a walk and see if I could find a substitution. (Ok, so really it was the dog that insisted on the walk!) And look what I found!

The moment I stopped looking for the grass and just started looking at the field, I noticed all this absolutely gorgeous dried Queen Anne's Lace! I love how sculptural it is- it looks almost like an Acacia tree out on the Serengeti!

I love when things just work out like that, don't you?

So there's my Out of Africa inspired mantle! Happily it coincides (and coordinates!) with the beginning of feeling like I need to change things over for fall. I'm trying to resist that feeling since it's going to be a long time before I can pull out the summer things again! I should probably refocus that energy into refinishing the kitchen table, since we're going to be needing it again soon!
I'm linking up to Artie's Vingette Friday over at Color Outside the Lines, so head on over there to see other pretty things people are putting together!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Birthday Hoedown

Since Hubby's birthday falls the day after mine (and now Tembo's is two days before!), we (I) usually take it as an excuse for a nice big party! This year I decided to have a hoedown- give everyone a chance to get dressed up in funny clothes and maybe do a little square dancing.
Unfortunately, Hubby was in charge of photos while I ran around hostessing, so there's not a single shot of the decor! I'll check around with everyone else to see if they have one, but in the meantime here are a few great shots of the friends and family all dressed up and having fun!

Hubby, his mummy, and Tembo- who really looks in photos like he should have been named Gromit (as in Wallace and Gromit!)

Me and Hubby. (I'm trying to convince him he needs to dress like this all the time- hot dang!)

My sister-in-law and her daughter, Lana.

Hubby's brother and my nephew, Dylan, who totally knows what to do with that cowboy hat!

He also had fun with the bandanna stash he found!

Mummy teaching Lana her first sentence, "I want a puppy!"

The too-cool guys (by brother and my sister's boyfriend.)

My BFF and her husband (she looked super cute, but somehow I only have this rather unflattering photo- sorry girl!!)

The Lone Ranger, err, Mom's husband. Not sure how he ended up over there by himself, maybe he felt bad that we'd lugged all that furniture out there and no one was sitting in it!

Happy family on the swing.

The babies having fun.

My and my (other) sister breaking in on the baby fun.

Even Toby got in on the theme! Doesn't he look pleased with his outfit?...

Tembo had so much dirty fun that he got banished outside until I got a chance to clean him off! I don't think he minded, though, more dirt!!