Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Comments Q & A and links

The above picture... my buffet this year.  I think it has a Victoria feel about it.  :)

I was admiring some of the decorating last night and thinking how it has changed over the years and then the thought came to me as to WHY... there are no small children or teenage boys around to break things. All but the little elf container on the lower right side of the picture (a vintage family heirloom of hubby's) came from thrifting, garage sales, or on clearance shelves.

Do you like the teacup?  It is the only Christmas teacup I own and I saw a tiny Christmas tree displayed this way in a magazine.  It took about two seconds to decide I would do the same thing this year.

I've skimmed through a few comments and I'll try to answer those I can.  

First ... a couple of links.  You know how I fell in love with Colonial Williamsburg?  A sweet blogger sent me a link to her Colonial Williamsburg pictures... here.  She is fortunate to live near enough to visit often.  By the way, her blog is great!

Also, I've decided I'm going to make these Christmas yo-yo's which Karen Andreola shared... here.  I have a lot of small pieces of Christmas fabric... perfect!  I also love Karen's blog but then again... she is one of my favorite authors so it's not surprising.

Yes... I did get that flu shot on Monday.  I thought it helped me a lot last year but we'll see how it goes this year.  My sister, Bonnie, avoids them like the proverbial plague after getting very sick from her shot a few years ago.

This picture is Family Circle by Lee Stroncek.  It was our Christmas card one year and I saved one to frame.  I've since tried to locate a print but all I could find (at the time) was the puzzle version.

I make tea with my fresh herbs (in this case, lemon balm) by unceremoniously slipping a large handful of leaves that I've torn apart into the tea pot and pouring water from the kettle (which has just sung to let me know it was ready) over them.  This teapot makes about three or four cups.  I let the fresh leaves brew about four or five minutes.

To prepare my fresh herbs for either drying or to use immediately in tea, I fill the sink with cold water and put a big splash of vinegar in it.  I then put all my stalks of herbs in it and let soak about five minutes.  It will also soak an hour without hurting them if one forgets but it takes longer to dry... ask me how I know.  ;)

(If I can't do this immediately after cutting them in the herb garden, I rinse them off really good and lay them on the dish drainer until they can have their vinegar-water bath.)

I then look over each one to make sure any rotten leaves are detached, as well as any dead bugs which may have clung to the leaves (the vinegar in the water is suppose to help clean the herbs, or so I have read).  I then shake off excess water and lay them out on a big, dry towel.  It gets rolled up to absorb all the excess water until I can get back to them (sometimes a few hours).

I then take a towel to the kitchen to dry everywhere the water went when I shook the stems.

If they are to get dried, I bundle them together and tie with a rubber band at the top.  I hang them from a hanger on my shower that is never used.  Right now I have the last of the apple mint still hanging and I cut off some for tea (but it is far better to put them in containers as they shed all over your floor).

This biscotti jar used to be filled with cookies all the time.  I figured it deserved cookie cutters in its' retirement.  This is a large jar but I've seen pictures of a smaller version filled with pretty cupcake liners of various prints.  This jar has a collection of new and vintage cutters.

Yes, that is an old (very long) drawer that holds the oils and other kitchen items.  I love the way it looks and it is very practical.  Sometimes I think my decorating style is "Early Fleamarket".

Last... but certainly not least... a little more brown transferware chatting.  In researching the china, I've seen a lot of discussions about the way the new patterns are different than the vintage dishes.  So many seem to regret they have to "settle" for the newer transferware.

Yes, for the most part they are not as delicate (that gorgeous "feel" of vintage bone china) but I do have to say there are good points in their favor.

Although I have to wash all my dishes by hand regardless... the new dishes can be put in the dishwasher.  I certainly would not do so with the vintage items.  My teapot and tray are new, as are one set of bowls and two mugs from Churchill.  I think they look just fine and are much more practical if you have a young family.

I read an interesting article about brown transferware in an old Victoria magazine recently.  It said the brown color was the least favored of any of the transferware before the earth tone colors became more popular in America.  That was from a 1990's issue and they seem to have become even more popular now.

I plan to... Lord willing and the creek don't rise (or get frozen)... be back soon with a couple book posts.

Don't forget to check out the two blog links I wrote about near the top of this (LONG) post.


Elizabeth said...

I love your Buffet and the jar of cookie cutters is very cute!

Bess said...

Pretty decorations! Thanks for all the useful information in this post!

Lena said...

Your buffet looks so pretty Brenda. I love that little tree in the teacup.

I enjoy this time of year visiting my blog friends so much. We all create in such different ways. It is always fun to see what everyone is up to.


debbie said...

love your yellow teapot!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Your Buffet is lovely, very Victoria like...

I like what you've done with your kitchen - the cookie cutters in the jar, the old drawer to hold necessities.

Thank you too for the link to the Williamsburg photos...I do love that place...


Vee said...

I left you to visit the first and decided I ought to get back and finish visiting with the one I intended to visit. They certainly were wonderful photos of Williamsburg.

I learned something new about cleaning herbs today. Must take note of it and put it in my gardening book. That way, I may hope to remember next season. I wound up freezing mine this year.

Your home is looking so cozy as always. Yes, one can do a lot of beautiful decorating when the children have grown. Love the little tree in the Christmas tea cup!

Anonymous said...

Your buffet decorations are so pretty. Actually the elf figurine looks like it might be a Hummel.

Annie said...


Thank you so very much for linking to my blog. What a doll you are! I think of you now whenever I go to Williamsburg. Sometimes it takes seeing the beauty that surrounds us from someone else's eyes to really appreciate it.

Blessings to you,


Anonymous said...

I like seeing your repurposed things!! Thanks for sharing!!
Elizabeth in NC

Anonymous said...

i love your post friend..its a wonderful blog full of ideas inspiration..Gods word..i love it..thanks for sharing..

Senkyoushi said...

I love your "early flea market" decorating! I have a Christmas tea cup exactly like yours. It was my grandmother's. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your home.

Morning's Minion said...

I enjoy your arrangements of pretty things. I have items dear to me--some are small family treasures, others were found in charity shops. Our household cats are very adventurous which puts a severe limit on what can safely be displayed.
Christmas music [not the Wal Mart kind!] and quiet times take priority for me. With less energy than in former years I no longer attempt to create as many handmade gifts. Family, friends, church, special baking make the season festive enough.