Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm doing my part!

Well, no one can say I'm not doing my part to stimulate the economy. I've made a few purchases and I thought I would share them with you. As most of you know I recently bought a condo and so of course, I needed some new "stuff".

I decided to invest in a new TV stand. My old monstrocity of an entertainment center went to a friend's basement. I was looking for something smaller. My friends Don and Mary went shopping with me. Don suggested that I could save money and get the look I wanted by going with a smallish bookcase. We found this one at the Mill Store. It is made of wood and the stain is called Carribean Rum. The moulding on the top looks like the moulding around the windows in my living room.

The Expo Center is closing in my area. I got this clock for 30% off. It reminds me of a railway station clock. I can't wait to see it hanging in my hallway.


Another find at the Expo Center. This bookshelf is metal and it fits my little corner perfectly.


While looking for another bookcase, I found this table. It's great because it's a drop leaf table and it expands to become a round table. It was quite the find at the Mill Store. It didn't come in Carribean Rum like the other bookcase but it's close enough. The stain is called Espresso.

I got some trivets at the Expo Center. I will use this as a trivet or as a candle holder or I can hang it too! I even use them to elevate the lamps in my home such as the one in the prior photo.


The last item is going to hold my soaps or maybe a sponge. I loved the scrollwork on it.
Now you've had a sneak peek at the condo. When the rooms are finished I'll post some photos.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Tea Party

I promised some photos from my Valentine's tea. Everything turned out really well!
I took this shot of the table before the guests arrived. Then I pretty much turned the photographic duties over to my friend Don.

I used one of my favorite pitchers. In the beginning I dressed it up with pearls. Later on it was filled with strawberry jam for the scones.

Don took this shot of the tablescape. It was later in the afternoon and the lighting
made the room look warm and inviting.



Harrod's No. 42 flowed freely. My friend Jan brought it back from London. No. 42 is
Harrod's brand of Earl Grey and it is fabulous. It's best in the loose leaf form, hence the strainer in the photo. Again, Don shot this one.

Another shot of the tablescape. The plates were a gift from Lisa.

No one was reading tea leaves on Saturday. This was my cup after I drank most of the Harney and Sons Valentine's Blend. It's a chocolate tea with rosebuds. Very pretty and a delightful fragrance!

Of course, Molly attended the tea! She posed for Don.

And her little brother Oscar was there too! He was interested in Don's camera.

Mary made a lemon cheesecake. We added blueberries to the top for color.



We had heart shaped petit fours for dessert. Now which one do I want?


Yet another shot of the petit fours. Don took this one from his side of the table.

My sister made chocolate panecotta. We thought it would look pretty in crystal glasses with a dollop of whipped cream. Decadent!


The tea tray held even more desserts. I made lemon squares and I also served Valentine
heart shortbread cookies.

Clara made an apple coffee cake. We added blackberries for a little color.
I should mention that we also had tea sandwiches, spinach puffs, and scones with
strawberry jam, lemon curd, and mock devonshire cream. Debbi brought a broccoli quiche and Ellie brought fruit salad with strawberry whipped topping.
It was a billion calorie day but no one seemed to mind too much. We can diet next week after all the leftovers are gone.













Saturday, February 14, 2009

Steeped in Love*

Steeped in Love*



I hear him whistle

not a command, a come on

an invitation



Led by the scent of

forbidden fruit

infused by expectation



I breathe him in

caressed by steam

one taste an exultation




*an ode to Earl Grey


author- Sheila Foley (my sister)
To read other postings for the Romancing the Blog Valentine's Day Party click on the blog party button on the sidebar.

Valentine's Tea-Pink Saturday

I am having a Valentine's Day tea for a few close friends today. There will be 7 in all, a nice cozy size. This is not an official tea group event. This is my core group, my extended family if you will. Those closest to my heart. My dad didn't want to come- probably too dainty for him.

I'm not ready to host my entire tea group yet. My new condo still needs some tweaking to be tea group perfect. Although my friend Kim says people come to visit you not your house.



Anyway, I made favors and I used the idea I saw at Heather Bullard's Blog. I have to warn you hers came out much nicer. She used velvet millinery flowers. I got mine at Michael's.



I must apologize for the poor quality of the photos. Most of them were taken in natural light and it was kind of dark inside even with the lights on. So let's pretend they were shot in soft focus so they would look dreamy for Valentine's Day.



Here's a shot with the flash. I got the same jars Heather used. Ball jars from Target @ $4.59

for a set of 4. What a bargain!. I filled them with Hershey's caramel kisses and milk chocolate hearts.


I am using sheer burgundy wire edged ribbon.


Old skeleton keys will be attached to the ribbon to symbolize that these people

are the keys to my happiness.




Here's another "soft focus" photo of the flowers. I will attach the flowers to the top of the jar.

Silly me, I should have put the finished product photo here! Please scroll up to the top to see a completed favor.


I bought a second bouquet of flowers and put them in this teapot I got from Home Goods.

It's perfect for the proper English tea. The shelf it's on I just purchased yesterday. Expo, the HomeDepot design store is going out of business and everything is on sale. I got this shelf/bookcase for 25% off, yipee!

Well, I'm off to clean, rearrange the furniture, bake lemon squares, assemble my tea sandwiches

( chicken cranberry walnut salad, egg salad, cucumber, and carrot raisin) , put the petit fours on the platter, etc. Lots involved in putting on a good tea. Oh, by the way, I bought some of Harney and Sons Valentine's Blend tea, it's a chocolate tea with rosebuds. And my friend Jan went to London and she brought me back my absolute favorite tea, Harrod's No. 42 (Earl Gray). So I'll be serving both today along with a decaf tea.


Hopefully I can get some good shots from the tea for a later post.


Happy Valentine's to all and enjoy your Pink Saturday! To view other Pink Saturday postings click on the Pink Saturday button on the side bar.





Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sweet Pink Memories

It's Pink Saturday again! I had a tough time finding Pink. It's February and it's New England. Pink is hard to come by when you are surrounded by frozen tundra. I had to go back to my summer trip to Martha's Vineyard to find some suitable Pinks.

So here we go. Home base was the lovely pink Oak Bluffs Inn. Isn't it cool?

We spent quite a bit of time sitting in those chairs and sipping lemonade on the porch. It was great for relaxing and people watching.

Here's a closeup of the entrance. I just love all the colors, so cheerful.


Side view of the inn.




This was a shop down the street from the Inn. The shop was called Good Dog Goods. I love the black wicker chair against the pink building.




Back to the Inn, this was my room. Green with pink accents, so pretty!




This is one of the gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs.


Another cottage in closeup.


The pink pops against the white of this cottage.



One day and night during the year, all the cottages in the old Methodist Campground are decorated with lanterns and parasols. They are illuminated at night. It's called Illumination Night and it's always held in August.

It's a good idea to go to the campground early and get some pictures in the daytime.

It's hard to get good nightime shots and photos never do Illumination Night justice.
It is so spectacular!



Some of the lanterns are made of silk and some are made of paper.

This cottage is called the Sweetheart Cottage. It's totally pink and all decked out in lanterns.
That's the end of the tour. It was fun to reminisce about my vacation and the warm, sunny days of August. I think I heard it's about 10 degrees outside right now. Looking forward to the warm days of August!





Monday, February 2, 2009

Kennebunk Tea and Shopping

I was invited to a tea to celebrate the 250th birthday of the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns. The event took place at my friend Janelle's house in Kennebunk, Maine.

Every time I travel to Maine I HAVE to stop at Stonewall Kitchens in York. It just happens to be on the way to Janelle's. So my friend Kim and I stopped at Stonewall for some coffee, a snack and shopping!


Here's the shop at Stonewall Kitchens. I absolutely wanted to go home with this snowshoe sconce! But I wanted two and that would put me over the budget for the day. I snapped a photo instead.


I also loved the towels on display. I collect tea towels from my travels. Should I buy one? No, I have plenty at home.

So much snow, more than back home. This is Stonewall's entrance.

We arrived at Janelle's and entered the living room. Just look at the table setting. A hint of good things to come. Attention paid to every detail. See the rose plant? Those were the favors!


Can you believe it? A bagpiper (is that the correct term?) was hired for the event.
His name is Rob.

After he played some lovely songs, he gave us a little history on the instrument and his attire.
Did you know the "man purse" they wear can be made from Clydesdale fur? Not to worry, the fur is obtained during the shaving of the hooves.
Roberta and Lori Lee looked on.
These popcorn stitch socks or stockings are part of the traditional dress. They have no seams!
The tartan of the kilt is from the Royal Stewart clan. The uniform is the dress uniform.
Two lucky ladies got to sit here and enjoyed tea for two!


The piper posed with our two hostesses, Janelle and her niece Deborah. Deborah is also in
the tea group. The ladies dressed in keeping with the theme.



The view from Janelle's living room. BRR! Cold outside, warm and cozy inside.


Off to the dining room table of delights! These are meringues with whipped cream and strawberries. Fabulous!

Wow, the little seafood tarts went fast. Love this plate!


A spoonful of chocolate pudding and whipped cream artfully displayed.


I confess this is my plate. Meringue, lemon tart, button cookie, and pudding spoon and yes, I ate every bite! We also had mini Shepherd's Pies prior to dessert.


Here's Renee, another member of the group. I think that's Scottish tea in her cup.
She dressed to match the room. Kidding!

Lori Lee, a member of our group, got into the spirit of the tea. The hat, the plaids, she looked stunning as usual!


View from the upstairs guest room. The color of the room was airy and soft like Summer but then there was that giant icicle outside the window to remind us it's still Winter.


After our tea, Kim and I went to the Old House Parts Company in Kennebunk. We were met at the door by a sleeping cat named Napoleon. Don't you love his markings?



The Old House Parts Company is in a warehouse. It's an architectural salvage type of place.
I would love one of these old stained glass windows. They sold old doors, fireplaces, you name it.
I bought some old skeleton keys and some lamp finials.
Late in the afternoon, we headed back to Massachusetts with wonderful memories of a day
filled with food, friends, music and history.



















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