Saturday, May 31, 2014

Where Do I Keep It All?

Alma from The Tablescaper is celebrating her Fifth Blogiversary on June 1st and is hosting her annual "Where Do I Keep It All?" party.  She, as well as some of the other participants, have been collecting dishes and tablescaping for years.  They have become quite clever at storing and displaying these precious plates and things.  I've just recently started my collection but be sure you stop by the other partiers and see all the places they stash theirs.

Several years ago, I saw this storage/display concept in Martha Stewart's LIVING magazine and thought it was a great idea.  We had recently finished off part of our basement.  Both my mother and mother-in-law were downsizing and giving away some of their heirlooms and collectables.  We also enjoyed going to estate sales and I was starting to collect a few pieces myself.  I thought this would be a great place to display some of them.  As I placed them on each shelf, I thought about how fun it would be set some tables with these beautiful pieces!  I had no idea at the time that there were people who actually DID play with their dishes and shared their lovely setting with others in Blogland!! 

Wonderful Hubby is a great carpenter and had these cubbies built in no time.  I painted them the same color as the wall which has been great for display.  The cream color doesn't show dust much, either! 

I have the more precious items on the upper shelves.  As you can see in the boxes at the bottom, I keep toys in this area, too.  Our great nieces and nephews and cousins don't bother my dishes but, since they're just little ones and sometime temptation can be too much, it's just better to keep the easily replacables nearer their little hands!

This cream and sugar set was from my MIL's mother.  She was sweet enough to write a note of history.  It's tucked in the sugar bowl.  I have several 'historical' pieces so labeled from both sides of the family.  (Who can remember all that?!)

Here's the delicate pitcher and glasses from my grandmother.  Both the creamer/sugar bowl and pitcher and glasses were featured in one of my first tablescapes.  You can see it HERE.

There are fun heirlooms, like this little stove my MIL used to play with when she was a child.

I can't wait to set a July Fourth table with these glasses!!

Here's another shot of each cubby stack.

On the other side of the room, I have a beautiful pie safe from my aunt.  She refinished it ages ago and used it in her own home for many years.  When she passed away, my cousin gave it to me.  I keep a few more things in here.

These are the two areas I can show you this time.  I've taken over another section of the basement but that 'show and tell' will have to wait for another time.  I can't wait to see the other posts in this party.  Be sure you stop by the other sites in this party to see Where We Keep It All!
Linking to: 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A New Butterfly Garden

I'll admit it, when it came to gardening - up to about a year ago, I was a "Sticker."  Yep, if I'd see a plant I thought was pretty, I'd buy it, then "stick" it somewhere in my yard without much planning.  

I really wasn't very satisfied with my flower beds and knew this planting habit was to blame.  When I took the Core Training classes for our local Master Gardener program, one of the first presentations was on Planning Your Garden.  They made us draw out our property, including buildings and driveways.  They discussed shady and sunny areas, plant color and heights and soil types.  Oh my, so much to consider!!  

I stuck with it, though.  The two ladies in my group and I worked together to give each other suggestions or reminders and, at the end of the evening, we all had what looked like pretty good plans.  I realized that once I had a plan, all I had to do was purchase just those plants.  How easy is that?

I've since given this concept a chance in a couple of my new flower beds and have found it to really be helpful ... and successful!!  

Peonies love the sun.

My new project this year was a butterfly garden in our backyard.  Wonderful Hubby was given a small dogwood years ago from a man he worked with.  We planted it with hopes it would grow to about 12 - 15 feet.  Unfortunately, this particular tree ended up short with unruly limbs that requires a lot of trimming. I had planted several Knock-Out Roses under the tree and, after several years, you couldn't tell where the roses ended and the tree began. When I trimmed my other Knock-Outs this February, WH and I pulled these overgrown monsters out. I made plans to replace them with flowers that would attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Candytuft, Dianthus, Angelonia, Lantana, Alyssum


After we pulled up those Knock-outs, I found a tea rose and a mini rose that had gotten lost under those big brutes.  They're actually thriving now!

I can see this little flower bed out my kitchen window and the last two days I've seen several butterflies flitting about in it!!  YEA!!  I haven't gotten any pictures yet but hopefully I will soon. 

My vegetable garden is growing too!  Today, I harvested some radishes, kale and salad greens!

Don't you just love spring?   I can't wait to see what's growing in your gardens. Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to these great parties:

     Fishtale Cottage: Garden Party
     The Charm of Home:  Home Sweet Home
     Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson: Share Your Cup Thursday
     Our Home Away From Home: Tuesdays at Our House
     Creative Country Mom's Garden: Home Sweet Garden

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ste. Genevieve Garden Walk

Last weekend, several of my Master Gardener friends joined me for a garden tour in the lovely town of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.  This tour featured a wide variety of gardens - large and small, formal and casual, sunny and shady.  We enjoyed about a dozen different gardens on a beautiful sunny and mild day along the Mississippi River.

Here are some of the highlights.

Won't this Allium be gorgeous when it fully opens?

This lady is in the process of changing her "Yard" into a "Garden."  Each year she has less grass and more garden.  Only a 4' x 12' section of sod remains.  Her small front yard is sunny but the backyard is a shady retreat! 
The outdoor garage/shed had a surprise inside!
Yep, that's a double-seater outhouse!!
This historic home had a lovely backyard featuring this huge Linden tree.
 What a lovely place to dine!  This wisteria graces the outside eating area of this restaurant.

Here are a couple of pictures of my tour buddies.  What a great day!

I couldn't end this tour without a photo from my garden. 
Hope your own gardens are bringing you tons of beauty!! 
Linking to these great parties:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our Wedding Dishes

We were married 26 years ago next month.  Wedding registries were just becoming the "in thing" so Wonderful Hubby and I made our choices together.  Since we live in the country, we both felt fancy china wouldn't get much use.  (I already had a blue and white set of Haviland china that I'd purchased several years prior through our local grocery store.)  We decided on a set of Pfaltzgraff and have been so happy with it!  The style, Remembrance, has been discontinued now but before they stopped making it altogether, I was able to get more dinner plates and a few extra pieces.  I now have several other sets of dishes but I love the comforting feeling I get when we use the Pfaltzgraff.  It just feels like home! 

When Kathleen from Cuisine Kathleen made the challenge of posting about our wedding china, I thought I'd post about my mom's china that Precious Daughter inherited (and I'm storing!).  Then I thought about our wedding dishes and realized how much I love this set.  I guess I'll post about Mom's china another time! 

I wanted to keep the setting simple and include only the dishes, flatware and crystal goblets.  I even used the tablecloth we got all those years ago.  I may incorporate them in another table setting sometime but I've really enjoyed using them this way.  Thanks, Kathleen, for encouraging me to take a walk down Memory Lane!

Remembrance by Pfaltzgraff



Oneida Dover, Morning Blossom

Noritake, Hampton Hall

   Simply beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by!
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