November 24, 2014

Thrifty Finds at the Red Barn (Pewter and Armetale)

This past weekend I spent some time with two of my college gal pals, and guess what we did...we went antiquing! One of the places we shopped was that a little spot called the Red Barn in Blandon Pa.

Here I found a set of pewter salt and pepper shakers in addition to two decorative armetale Christmas plates. Armetale looks like pewter however it is actually an aluminum alloy made of 10 different metals.

The first plate is by Wilton Armetale and it is fpart of a Christmas series running from 1978 to 1999. This plate has the Wilton stamp RWP on the back which means it was created by Wilton and not an imitator.

The Currier & Ives image depicts a Victorian scene with a horse sleigh crossing a bridge in front of a river mill. The rim is decorated with poinsettia leaves. This plate I picked up for $10.

The next Angel plate did come in a Wilton box and there is a label on the back saying Wilton Armetale, but there is not a RWP stamp. But what the heck...I liked the image and it was only $8.

My final purchase was this set of pewter salt and pepper shakers. For just $6 they will be the perfect accent on my holiday table this year.

What fun and festive little items have you found recently?
Wishing you a great week as you get ready for this Thursday's day of thanks, followed by the kickoff to the Christmas season!

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November 22, 2014

A Trip To Sleepy Hollow and an Acorn Cap Wreath Tutorial

A couple weeks ago when we took our trip up to the Hudson Valley in New York, one of our stops included the legendary town of Sleepy Hollow. We didn't stay long, we just wanted to visit the cemetery where American author Washington Irving was buried and where his story of The Headless Horseman begins.

While we were standing outside the gate of the Irving family plot, I looked down and noticed thousands upon thousands of acorn caps.

 I remembered seeing a few ideas floating around the Internet in which decorations were made using these little caps. So the four of us began scooping up the acorn caps and stuffing them into our coat and jean pockets.

When we got back to the car we dumped our haul into a plastic grocery bag. Once home I rinsed them all off and then to make sure there were no little critters still living on or in them, I spread them out on a large baking sheet and put them into the oven which was heated to 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Next I purchased a foam ring and spray painted it brown to match the color of the acorns. This was so that any of the space between the acorns would blend in to the wreath. The back was spray painted as well because I knew it was going to hung on a mirror. Then using a hot glue gun, a dab of glue was put on the topside of the acorn cap and then cap was glued to the wreath. I tried to stagger the pattern so it didn't look too uniform or too haphazard.

You may notice that there is a little bit of inconsistency in the size of the caps. This is because I fell a tad short on the caps we picked up in Sleepy Hollow, so I had to go on a scavenger hunt to find a few more caps to finish my wreath. I honestly can say I never knew how many types of oak trees there are and how the acorns themselves vary in size and shape from tree to tree.

After the acorns were all securely attached and the wreath was covered, a little adhesive spray was applied in sections and then some little iridescent glitter was sprinkled onto the wet glue.

All I did after the glue dried was to use a piece of satin ribbon to hang the wreath over the guest bedroom mirror. I also add a little color with a couple sprigs of faux berries.

It was a little bit of a time consuming project, but totally worth it in the end. This technique can be applied to any number of foam forms. I think creating an acorn cap forest using conical foams would be pretty cool looking. Mmm...I guess I will just have to save that idea for next year.

Have a great weekend!!


November 19, 2014

Easy Cranberry-Oatmeal Cheesecake Bars

It is totally cranberry season!!! I love cranberries, whether it is cranberry sauce, cranberry stuffing or cranberries paired with oatmeal and cream cheese in these little buttery bites...I love cranberries! Making only a few changes, I decided to give this dessert recipe from Borden a whirl.


2 cups  flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks, but I used 3 sticks) butter, softened 
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice ( I substituted orange juice)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13X9 inch baking pan with cooking spray, Next combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of your baking pan. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Next beat the cream cheese until fluffy and then add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth, then mix in the orange juice. Spread the mixture over the partially baked crust. In a small bowl blend together the cranberry sauce, the 1 T of brown sugar, the cornstarch. Then spread the cranberry mixture evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes depending on your oven, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool complete. Chill and then cut into bars.

This is a great recipe for a Thanksgiving dessert. You can even bake an extra batch and freeze them to have on hand for the Christmas season


November 15, 2014

Thanksgiving Vignette ~ The Thankful Table

Let me begin this post by saying how excited I am to be part of this Thanksgiving blog hop which is being hosted by the owner and creator of the popular blog No Minimalist Here. Thank you so very much Sherry for including 21 Rosemary Lane in your amazing lineup of inspirational is truly an honor.

Almost every year since Mr. Rosemary Lane and myself got hitched we have spent Thanksgiving with his family. It was my mother-in-law's  request that all her children and their families be in attendance for dinner this one day of the year. So we gather together, almost 50 of us in total, to celebrate this special day of giving thanks.

Thanksgiving at my in-laws has always been a fun packed day that typically goes like this...
The day starts mid-morning when the men folk, dressed in their sweatpants and sweatshirts, head outside to play a rousing game of touch football. In the kitchen the women talk and drink wine as we put the finishing touches on our collective Thanksgiving Feast. And the children, well they are scattered about like fallen leaves caught up in a sudden gust of autumn wind.

At about 2 in the afternoon the brood of what would appear to be absolutely famished children, get called to the table to eat first. They are then quickly followed by the equally hungry adults. After everyone enjoys their fill of the most fabulous bird with all the trimmings, the entire family gathers in one room to begin the Curran Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks. Each person is allotted as much time as they need to express what he or she is thankful for that year. The giving of thanks speeches start with either the youngest child or oldest Aunt or Uncle, and then goes around the room in chronological order. This includes 9 sibling plus spouses and a total of 26 grandchildren, ranging from beautiful young adults all the way down to adorable "gotta eat 'em up" toddlers...everyone has their chance to speak.

Some of the speeches make us chuckle and  laugh, while others may bring to our eyes a tear or two.

But we always realize how thankful we are for all that we have and the family around us, no matter what bumps in the road we encountered during the past year.

The speeches conclude with my in-laws saying what they are thankful for...and without fail it is always family for which they are most grateful

This year however, will be a little bit different as the number of speeches given will be one less. Sadly my husband's father passed away last month.

I am sure our Thanksgiving Gathering will still be filled with the laughter and the good times we always have while we are together, only there won't be the presence of my father-in-law and his booming voice flowing through the room and rising above all others.

We are all grateful for the many Thanksgivings we were able to spend with my husband's father, and for the future Thanksgivings we have yet to enjoy as a family. 

Two of the most important gifts of love God ever bestowed on us is that of family and dear friendsThis year when Sherry asked if I'd like to join her vignette blog hop, I decided to create a Thanksgiving Table which would convey the profound love I feel in my heart for my family, and the great gratitude I have for those of which have become incredibly close friends in my life

This Thanksgiving will be much different for our family as we will miss our beloved patriarch. But it will also serve a tremendous reminder of how intertwined our lives have become and how incredibly important we are to one another. The love we share is something we will undoubtedly always have, because we've been so very blessed with the most beautiful and precious
 gift of family.

Wishing you all a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!


Be sure not to miss out on any of the gorgeous Holiday vignettes created by these fabulous bloggers

November 13, 2014

Around the Yard ~ Bringing the Colors of Autumn Inside

Today I decided to take a walk around the yard just to see if there was anything I could use to place in my new pitcher and basin I picked up last month out in Lancaster Pa.

So I cut some ornimental grasses we have in our backyard and then I found these pretty oranges berries in the side yard.

I popped them into the pitcher. Nice but it still needs something.

I headed back out to the yard and suddenly realized I had a ton of pretty yellow maple leaves that have not yet been raked up.

So those were popped in to the pitcher as well.

In the words of Authur Fonzerelli...

If you want to see more Autumn and Thanksgiving inspiration make sure you join the blog hop  hosted by Sherry from No Minimalist Here which is going on right now!

Tomorrow I will be sharing with you my "Thankful Table"!




All About Vignettes

Have a great day!