Friday, March 22, 2013

Bunnies on Parade

I finally sat down and worked on and finished a project that has been waiting for my attention for awhile.

Hand stringing 135 vintage white and ivory buttons onto crochet thread is time consuming. But the end result is worth it.

I just love the look of a vintage button garland. I started making these from the abundance of buttons that I have when I got a button garland as a Christmas gift one year. I have made multicolor garlands and red and white and green and white for the holidays but my favorite is the all white and ivory vintage button garlands. There is just something so nostalgic about a string of one fabulous vintage button after another. This one is available in my Etsy shop.

After I finished it I wanted to decorate with it and show it's versatility. My favorite things to do with these is drape them in unusual places, like the top of a cupboard, over a cafe curtain or on the mantel.

I am homebound today on a snowy New York Spring day, so I decided to play a little. I started to take all the pictures of my children and grandchildren off the mantel and replace them with all the bunnies I have out for Spring decorating. Tucking the garland in and out of the bunnies added just the right touch.

There are handmade chalkware bunnies, a faux birds nest and carved Easter eggs....

a vintage handmade wooden puzzle bunny and a large paper mache
egg with a bunny family on it....

and a large fuzzy Peter Rabbit complete with a basket backpack 

Now my project had an immediate purpose and my decorating is complete! I will have to fill in all the spots the bunnies originally were but I don't think I will have a problem with that!
I have a new, bright spot in my house to walk by on these dreary wintery, I mean Spring days!
AnnMarie :)
Linking up with:



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can I Just Brag A Little?

It's the simple things in our everyday lives that stir our hearts.

And so here are a few things in the past week of my life that made me feel so blessed that I wanted to brag about 'em......

My adorable granddaughters Cassidy, 7 and Chloe, 19 months

Good things to eat! I am blessed to have a wonderful grocery store in my area called Wegmans. They are making quite a name for themselves and now have locations all over the northeast. Their bakery is exceptionally good. This Chocolate Pudding Pie is beyond words. My son, husband and I ate two of them in little over a week......really!


I have the best girlfriends! They all came over my house with lots of goodies to eat and we spent most of the day Saturday eating and laughing. The pictures are not so great but you can see their personalities coming through. Someone said something about angels and well, there they are behind the couch!
What have you been blessed with this past week?
AnnMarie :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pretty Easter Sunday Table Decorating

I went around that thrift store three times looking for something to buy! I stop in there every so often when I get the feeling something is there just waiting for me. I usually find it right away.

On that third time around there it was. A plastic bag of doilies all squished inside. I grabbed it and started going through them, knowing full well I was going to buy it no matter what was in there!

I had been on the lookout for vintage doilies because I wanted to make more runners. I made some before Christmas and I have only one left. 

I love the whole process of it. Finding the doilies, especially a large assortment because there are so many choices and no two are alike. Then laying them all out down the center of the table to come up with just the perfect design....not too perfect and symmetrical but a nice flow for the eye.

Then there is the pinning each one to another in just the right angle and overlap. Then making sure they are pinned securely so the whole thing doesn't fall apart when you go to sit and sew!

I had all Sunday afternoon to sit with my feet up and just sew. With my son in the next chair and the basketball game on in the background, my husband off on a men's outreach, I just sewed for hours. Here is the end product!

This runner has a 6 point star design doily at it's center and then rounds and square doilies are stitched off of that. There are 13 different doilies in ecru and ivory, beige, and white. One is embroidered, another has an open weave. There are floral designs and star designs. Each doily is completely different from the next. Each doily is a nice size measuring from 8" to 12" in diameter. They are handstitched together on both sides with thread, which does not show!


I am off to layout another one.....maybe smaller, maybe all white, maybe another round....the possibilities are endless! I will be listing them all in my Etsy shop NaNa's Things in time for Easter decorating.
My table is ready.....
AnnMarie :)


Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Ahead!

Just heard that this Sunday we can Spring Ahead with our clocks by one hour!

That tells me to start REALLY decorating for Spring!

I have been slowly putting away the winter but I do still have the winter wreath on my front door and my fabulous shabby chic snowflakes in the windows. My bunnies have started to make an appearance so it is time to go full out with Spring.

My front entryway is very narrow and I painted it in a deep Indigo blue with cranberry accents. The wood is dark and original to my 1870's Victorian home. I just have this need to fill every space, however narrow or small and I find the best way to do it is with vignettes.

A vignette is a contained decorative area that has a theme.

I have my little vintage half table painted white and a white milk stool set up on this wall year round. That way I can change it out with each season.
The table has a large vintage blue and white crocheted doily folded and draped over. The Easter basket and bunny is from the late 1970's early 1980's when it was THE thing to take ceramics classes and paint your own home decor. I made a lot of these now sought after kitschy items (remember the Christmas trees?). A faux birds nest and eggs fills in the space.
On the stool is a crazy quilt piece in pinks and blues and pastels with my paper mache bunny perched on top. The pot was a gift from a friend who handpainted and decoupaged it for me, just because. Pale blue and yellow hydrangeas say Spring and Summer!

With two boys in the house (who may not be very mindful of delicate decorations!), this actually works out being walked by everyday to go in and out and up the stairs. Just adds enough seasonal decor without a lot of fuss. I actually put this all together this morning in the 15 minutes I wait by the door for my son's school bus!
Have you started decorating for Spring? Spring ahead!
AnnMarie :)
Linking up with Be Inspired Blog Hop Party at Common Ground. Visit this wonderful blog for gorgeous decorating ideas!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Morning Baked Oatmeal

I titled this recipe Saturday Morning Baked Oatmeal because most of us just don't have the time to whip up a delectable breakfast like this during the week.

I got up on this dreary, cold, Saturday morning and was inspired to try this recipe. My girlfriend, sweet Carolyn gave me a great cookbook for my birthday, super natural every day by Heidi Swanson. This is the third recipe I have tried from it and thumbs up so far! And that is thumbs up from my husband too, the king of junk food!

It is full of good things like bananas, blueberries, nuts, milk, eggs, maple syrup and of course, oatmeal. As I usually do, I put my own tweaks to a recipe according to what I have or what is available. For this I used old fashioned oats as opposed to quick oats....not sure what rolled oats are but I am sure I could have gone to a natural food store for them. I used frozen blueberries because fresh right now are ridiculously expensive, and I used slivered almonds instead of the walnuts. I chose the maple syrup instead of the sugar.
Here is the recipe:
Baked Oatmeal
Serves 6 generously
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups huckleberries, blueberries or mixed berries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8 inch square baking dish.
In a bowl mix together the oats, half of the nuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, the cinnamon, and the salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.
Arrange the banana pieces in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle 2/3 of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple whacks on the counter to be sure all the milk goes through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining nuts on top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely gold and the oat mixture has set. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Serve maple syrup to drizzle over for a sweeter taste.
I think this would be so good sprinkled with brown sugar over it or cold with ice cream. I am thrilled that my husband plans on taking it to work next week for eating a pop tart every morning!
Happy eating!
AnnMarie :)

Linked with Common Ground, Adorned from Above and Healthy Tuesdays bog hops.