Thursday, November 29, 2012


Today was a perfect day to enjoy the beginning of our Christmas story.  We put up some decorations and we had a rain storm.  It was very cold and windy outside and having the fires and candles lit, and the lamps on, added to the warmth and the anticipation of Christmas.

While we were nestled all snug in the Cottage not a creature was stirring, okay, maybe a mouse!

We had to have a jumping off place to start our decorating and we chose the kitchen.

Awhile back, after we had finished the kitchen remodel, one of my good friends, Barbara at 21 Rosemary Lane, commented that she was impressed and it helped make a decision for her to spruce (as she called it) up her kitchen.  Well, then it was my time to become impressed.  When she posted about her new buffalo check drapes and the black and white accents that she added, I thought that my carefully planned out scheme was definitely lacking.  Then when the Farmer's Daughter of The Country Farm Home posted about her new kitchen/keeping room with the incredibly beautiful checkerboard floor that she and her hubby so painstakingly planned out and painted, it just sealed the deal that I had to go over and above what I had already done with a little help from my friends.  Also, I remember reading in a decorating book by Alexandra Stoddard where she stated that every room in a house must have a bit of black in it.  So I got busy and this is what I came up with.  Nothing too drastic was done. I think I'm happier with the touches that were added, but I still can only hope to achieve the lovliness that those two talented ladies accomplished.

So here are the decorations for the first part of our Christmas story.

You will notice that I have used toys in an overall placement around the room.  You will see this a lot during the course of our Christmas story.  When Jake was born we fixed up a small sun porch as his room when he visited.  At the time I was working, and a lot of my paycheck was spent on Ebay.  Namely on toys for his little room.  As in most things, I got slightly carried away and now that he is grown, I am hanging on to them in hopes that one day (in the far distant future) his children may enjoy them.  Most are vintage, some are hand made, some have a permanent place on display in the Cottage, but most will be brought out at Christmas.

"Nursery magic is very strong and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise...understand."

"The Velveteen Rabbit"

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of our Christmas story.  I will bring more as the decorating progresses, and I'd like to thank again the lovely ladies who inspire me always.

Until then I hope you all have silver bells and silent nights....Judy

I'm sharing with...

Friday, November 23, 2012


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of left overs.

Today I am joining in the celebration of the almighty dollar.  It's not often that we celebrate money in this country, as, most of the time, we are just trying to hold on to some.  But whenever we can, we like to have a little in our pockets, to spend just as we wish.  Here, today, I'm going to show you that money is not the root of all things evil.  Sometimes it can be viewed in the happiest of circumstances.  Case in point:

Thank you to Debbie at Debbie-doos and Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage.  They are sponsoring this party in honor of the Dollar Stores of America.  This is a fun opportunity for all to showcase a craft, tablescape, recipe or anything that can be put together with objects from the Dollar Store pertaining to Christmas.

Without further ado, here is my rendition of a table set for Christmas Eve dinner for two...

Two china bowls, two china plates, two red chargers


Three tinsel trees, one dozen red ornaments


Two wine glasses, two candlesticks, 4 candles, silverware for four


Two twirley trees, two linen napkins, one bag red tinsel


One tablecloth


Recycled greens from a fallen tree

No Charge

Total:  $22.00

Fun and Enjoyment: Priceless!

I hope you enjoyed this fun little project and can see that it really doesn't have to take a lot of our hard earned cash to put an idea together.

Thank you, Debbie and Shannon, for hosting this fun party and if you don't already know these talented ladies, you should go visit their blogs and see what all the other participants have come up with.  You might get some really good ideas.

Put a couple of dollars in your pocket and go shopping....Judy

Monday, November 19, 2012


To all our good friends. I am so thankful for each and everyone of you:

Over the River 
Through the Woods...

Hurrah for the Fun
Pudding is Done...

for the
Pumpkin Pie.


No matter where you roam,
No matter where you stay,
We hope you enjoy
Happy Thanksgiving Day.

The Captain, Judy, Buddy and Maggie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


We've put witches to bed and ghosts to rest.  The Autumn Leaves song has mostly played out and we are into the last reaches of the fall season, and looking forward to another part of the year that brings with it the smell of chimney smoke and the warmth of familiar, and well worn, hats and gloves and of children's laughter as they look forward to the first snow fall.



I thought I would share with you the last of the fall decorations around the Cottage and the garden.  As I chart a course through the chaos that is the parlor, because of the guest room renovation, I am replacing the witches, on the mantle, with a family of Harvesters.

The entry hall has a little transformation with the basket of dried hydrangeas, which you have seen before on the dining room table, and a raffia wreath that I made a while ago.  Also shown is a small stack of children's school books along with some pumpkins.

Straw wreath tutorial courtesy of Yvonne at Stone Gable.



Some of my collection of blue and white dishes with a little touch of autumn.

I would like to re-introduce you to a quick change artist - my kitchen lamp.

Remember the original?

Second, there was a new shade covering made from a coffee sack.

Now the, last and final, change.

I added a ruffle of burlap ribbon to the top and bottom and now.... 

....I think I'm satisfied.



The buffet in the dining room is the place of honor for His Majesty.  He is shown with a large transferware platter and another old brown transferware plate.

Platter: "His Majesty" by Josiah Wedgewood, England
for Williams-Sonoma
The Asthetic transferware plate: No markings
Cloche with pumpkin: HomeGoods

But, before the turkey was put in place, there was a pretty bouquet of fresh cut flowers from the Farmer's Market in a pitcher resembling an ear of corn.

Flowers: Fall astors, statice, dahlias, sunflower and eucalyptus leaves
Pitcher: Made in Portugal, TJ Maxx

Now, comes the heart of the story.

The Thanksgiving Table

I decided that I liked the pitcher of flowers on the table better than the buffet.  That's how the turkey came to be.

The table of thanksgiving is set with the place mats and napkins from HomeGoods that I've shown before.  The dinner plates you have also seen before.  The salad plates I got on Ebay and the covered glass turkey soup bowls are from Joanne's. The carnival glass sherbet cups and saucers are antiques and belonged to my grandmother.  The stem ware, faux fruit and vegetables, have been picked up at numerous thrift stores and boutiques over the years.

Dinner plate: Royal Chippendale
Salad plate:  "His Majesty" by Johnson Bros., England
Chargers: Made of tin and purchased from a catalog



Now, I have a confession to make.  
All of the above is
Only Make Believe...

...Yes, that's right.  No Thanksgiving dinner will be served at this table.  No family or friends will sit and partake of a delicious meal or give thanks for all their blessings.  
It is all Only Make Believe.


Marilyn Monroe

That's right, Marilyn, and the reason is that I love to decorate and it makes me happy to set a pretty table.

We are actually going down to Santa Cruz to Tim, Tami and Jake's home for Thanksgiving.  I will probably make a couple of pies and some appetizers to take but they will supply the rest of the dinner.  Tim usually cooks a turkey on the Weber and Tami makes the most awesome roasted vegetables and, along with all the sides and fixins, there will be a delicious meal and very good company.  The Captain and I are treated like royalty while we are there and not allowed to do much but enjoy ourselves.

So you see, Marilyn, there is no need to worry, we will be very well taken care of and in the process, I get to have the prettiest table without any of the 'dirty' work.  When the "dinner" is over, it's just a matter of putting everything back on the shelf and then starting to plan for the next big occasion..More fun!

Dinner plates: Churchill, England
Crock with wheat: Made by moi
Chargers:  Target

In the mean time this is where the Captain and I sit down to a festive dinner for most nights this month.  Since we do go away from home for the holidays, I like to make our every day meals a bit of a celebration.  Here we sit down to dishes that I got on Ebay also.  The wine glasses are from an estate sale as well as the small turkeys, and the utensils are a replica of an Early American pattern that I've had for many years.



Well, I think I have got about as much out of Autumn as I'm ever going to get this year.  It was a brilliant season and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm now getting anxious to move on to the next phase which I hope finds me tying up loose ends so that I can embrace the most wonderful time of the year...Christmas.



Here is a sneak preview of a little project I'm working on now, and hope to be finishing up within the next week or two.
Wish me luck. You know how my weeks can turn into months....Judy

I'm sharing with these lovely parties: