Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Countdown to Easter

Redbuds are in full bloom around town
and our days are warming up with
bright sunshine and blue skies.
Spring has definitely arrived!

I recently found this chippy rabbit 
at an antique show.
 Antique cast iron Hubley garden rabbit 
circa late1800 to early 1900.

I cut some redbud branches and brought them in
to fill a large vintage ironstone pitcher.

A nest of hand-painted eggs painted
in the 80s and 90s by my friend, Nancy R.

An early Easter present!
Porcelain Plates and Mugs
BIA Cordon Bleu
From the aisles of Home Goods

Packaged in these
adorable storage boxes.

All became my creative muse 
as inspiration for
Easter Brunch ~ 2015.

I thought the bunny plates would pair perfectly with
 MacKenzie-Childs Taylor ceramics and
chargers in Ambiance Vintage Garden.

I'm not a matchy-matchy kind of girl.
When I first started buying these plates in the 1990s, 
I'd buy a single plate in a different pattern.
The whimsy of it all fits the MacKenzie-Childs esthetic.  
Click here to see another spring table 
with Taylor ceramics and
to read about the different patterns.

One thing I liked about the box of plates
was that each plate is a different spring color.
Don't they play well with the Taylor patterns?

Cute matching mugs
are perfect for tea or coffee
or soup or dessert.

Several years ago, MacKenzie-Childs
sold mini compotes in the various Taylor designs.
I'm certainly happy I added some to my cupboard
because now they've been discontinued.
They are perfect for ice cream and individual desserts.

Or as a nest for special 
Easter cookies.

 With all the colors going on at each place setting,
I decided my soft pink linen placemats
were a good choice along with our Sir Christopher Silver.

The ceramic bunny napkin rings were
from Sur La Table years ago,
but these cute gingham napkins can be
found at Pier I this season.

Nice quality woven gingham in pastels and
edged with a sweet little crocheted detail.

Springtime calls for 
bees and bunnies, don't you think?

Here you are ~
A springtime table ready for
Easter brunch right after the egg hunt.

Easter will be here in
eleven days!
Are you ready?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's All About the Shamrocks

"Céad mile failte"

A hundred thousand welcomes!

It's time for Kathleen's 

Annual St. Patrick's Day 

Blog Crawl

May good luck be with you 
wherever you go and your blessings 
outnumber the shamrocks that grow.

I was the lucky one to receive the traveling Irish topper!

If you don't know the history of this vintage cloth full of 
shamrocks and Celtic knots, Marigene @ In the Middle of Nowhere 
first sent it to Kathleen @ Cuisine Kathleen with the stipulation 
that it be passed on to another blogger for the following year.  
Kathleen passed it along to Rett@ The Gazebo House , 
who then sent it on to Mary @ Home is Where The Boat Is.  

Only the leprechauns know 

where it goes next year!

To continue my good luck I bought a shamrock

plant to fill a favorite vintage ironstone sugar bowl.

I had a bit of good luck when I found this piece while

shopping the fields at the Round Top Antique Shows.

It was missing its lid, but I didn't mind.

Just look at the details on this beauty!

I fixed a special 

tray to help us celebrate.

Used a favorite Lucky Four Leaf Clover napkin

with vintage mother of pearl and silver flatware and . . .

Shamrock linens to join the

traveling vintage Irish topper.

A stack of green!

says, "Stack, stack, stack!"

A stack of beautiful plates makes 

for an interesting placesetting.

Clockwise above, 

~ Ambiance Vintage Garden Charger ~

~ Bordallo Pinheiro Cabbage Leaf Charger ~

~ Bordallo Pinheiro Dinner ~

~ Wedgwood Napoleon Ivy Salad ~

How about a mug of Irish coffee 

made with Bushmills' Irish Whiskey?

I topped it with sweet whipped cream

and green sugar crystals.

What have we here?

I think the leprechauns 

have made us a special treat.

A cake of rich, dark chocolate 

with a cherry on top!

Our Sadie girl wants to tell you 

about our new Courtly Check tote.

We call her Miss CC.  We will join 

Pattie @ Pandora's Box along with a group of others

who have their own Courtly Check tote.

You can read about The Traveling Totes here.

Unlike the Traveling Irish Topper, Miss CC won't be traveling 

to other blogs, but you can follow along as 

Sadie and I take Miss CC on adventures.

Long live the Irish, 

Long live our cheer, 

Long live our friendship year after year.

It's all about the shamrocks, 

so put on some green and join in the fun.

Cuisine Kathleen's 

St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl

Also joining

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheep, Goat , Ram ~ Lion or Lamb

Country French Ceramic Sheep

The  New Lunar Year  began

February 19, 2015 and goes through  February 7, 2016.


Is it the Year of 

 the Sheep or Goat or Ram?

Chalkware Sheep ~ Desvres Goat ~ Wisteria Vintage Urn

The Chinese character Yang can be translated

to mean goat, sheep, or ram in English.

Antique Toy ~ Boerne Antique Show

Sheep are considered auspicious animals.

Those born in the Year of the Sheep

are kind, trusting, helpful, and peace loving.

Detail of Trenton Road Farmyard, Gail Packer

The Legend of the Chinese Horoscope
Reprinted from with permission

"The origins of the Chinese Zodiac go back a few thousand years.  According to the myths, a long time ago, Buddha decided to call all the animals on earth.  Only twelve came: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat or Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig.  

Quimper Spill Vase with Breton Crest

In recompense, Buddha assigned each of animals a year on the cycle affirming that children born in that year would acquire the personality traits of the animal assigned to that year.  

Antique Sheep ~ Boerne Antique Show

In order to decide their order in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the animals held a very exciting race.  The first one to cross the river would be granted the first year, the second to come in would be the second animal in the cycle, and so on.

Detail of Transfer War ~ Nancy's Daily Dish

The strong, hardworking Ox was in the lead.  Suddenly, the clever Rat, jumped on the Ox's back, he did not even feel the little thing getting a free ride.  At the last second before reaching shore, the Rat jumped on land, winning the race!  The Ox came in second, the Tiger third, and so it went . . . the happy-go-lucky Pig took his time and came in last . . . and the Chinese Zodiac and its twelve signs were born.

Detail of Wood Wall Art Print,  JB Brunley

Born in the Year of the Sheep

Those born in the Year of the Sheep are kind, tender, and sympathetic.  Sheep are creative and elegant, and because of their softer side, they are symbolic of peace and harmony.  Empathy comes naturally to sheep; their happiness is derived from other people's happiness.  They avoid confrontation, are good-hearted, and will always look after everyone else first.  

Concrete Lamb in Burlap Wreath ~ Boerne Antique Show

A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year's mantra."

The primrose, one of the few things 

blooming in my winter garden

is a lucky flower for those born in the

Year of the Sheep or Goat.

Lucky numbers are 3, 4, 9.

Lucky colors are green, red, and purple.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

When I spotted these adorable plates on the

West Elm website, I dashed off to our local store.

Based on paintings of real animals by artist Rachel Kozlowski, 

then dressed to impress with gilded adornments, 

these plates are the perfect touch

of whimsy for a celebration.

Glided Dapper Animal Plates,

As luck would have it, 

I was too late for a complete set, 

but I did come home with the 

gentlemen owl and ram.

The dapper Ram was my inspiration to celebrate 

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.

Just a simple tray waiting for

Chinese take-out for tonight's dinner.

Chopsticks at the ready.

I've ordered a very auspicious goat dish.

 San Yang Kai Tai  ~  Three Goats Bring Wealth

Everyone knows Chinese food

comes with a fortune cookie,

but I'll have a white chocolate lamb for dessert.

I'll leave the fortunes to these sticks ~

Chien Tung, Chinese Fortune Sticks.

It's still a damp, cold day here.

I thought this special winter candle 

would add warmth to our meal.

It's made to look as if it were

woven of fine wool.

Johanna @ Silber and Rosen 

sent it to me as a gift.

Isn't it charming?

I placed a golden sheep on my desk.

I'm hopeful the peaceful critter will bring 

good luck to my Mah Jongg game.

Punkin's Patch, photos used with permission

"Sheep are wonderful reminders to us to slow down 
and enjoy the warm sun on our faces, 
meadow flowers in bloom, 
and soft cushions of green under our feet."

If you want to visit a real sheep farm, stop by 

Punkin's Patch where you'll find a variety of

these darling creatures at Equinox Farm in Kentucky.

Punkin's Patch, photo used with permission

Meet Mira. 

You can read more about her here.

March comes in like a lion,

and goes out as a lamb.