Sunday, August 12, 2012

Montana Prairie Gold

Prairie Gold table, thanks to Montana.

This summer we visited family in the treasure state of Montana, land of big skies, rivers, glacier parks, Rimrocks, rainbows, geysers, hailstorms, prairie lands and wheat fields.  You feel arrested by beauty at every turn, so much so that you have to stop, be still, and breathe it into your soul. And of course, amongst the blazing beauty, I fell in love with dishes aptly named, Prairie Gold, treasure indeed.

We visited cousins on the Hoagland Ranch, still worked by family, cattle ranchers and farmers. Riding on the back of their flatbed pick-up, we toured the wheat fields during harvest, watching our cousins drive the combines harvesting the wheat.  Such beauty in those fields. Hard work, but gloriously beautiful.

Back at the ranch (always wanted to say that), it was love at first sight. There in her china cabinet were the most glorious plates and glasses (why didn't I take a picture?) She told me she found them in the basement, nobody else wanted them, and she loved them.  Her mom said they were given away in detergent boxes, and if you bought a tractor, you got a whole set. I was hooked. When I returned home I found out more about them, as well as purchasing plates and glasses on eBay. Got to love eBay.

There are lots of glasses available, but I'm starting with these petite wine/juice glasses.  Love the wheat stalks on each side.

I didn't know what I wanted for the centerpiece, but something wheaty, earthy, wildflowerishy, so found various dried stalks at Michael's that reminded me of Montana, golds, sage greens, and purples.  The short stemmed glasses called for something low, unobstructed, like the prairie itself (I may be over thinking this...)  Nixed the vase, arranging them along the table in a free flowing manner.

Needs movement, like wind blowing through the golden prairie filds.  Gold mesh ribbon seemed to flow/blow across the table. Candles for golden the sun going down on the fields, time to dust off the road and go to supper...(definitely over thinking this but this is my thinking.)

Found out that Lifetime China Co. did produce china as promotions for many companies, but I never found an ad for a tractor!  I'm so on it looking. If you have stories or leads, please send to me!
Silverplate, Oneida Community Baronet circa 1923, because of the simple design and detail at the bottom of each piece reminding me of a wheat stalk.

Wrapped the napkins in silver rings then covered with ribbon.

It may be because school starts this week, but I'm so in the mood for Fall, harvest golds, warm colors,  and the season of thanksgiving. We are blessed to live in this country, to feel God's greatness in the mountains, prairies, oceans, rivers, and around our tables.  Blessings and treasures indeed.
Sharing this post with Tabletop Thursday

Plates - Lifetime China Co. Prairie Gold, eBay
Chargers - Garage Sale, Malibu, CA
Glasses - Homer Laughlin Prairie Gold wine glasses, eBay
Flatware - Community Silver Plate Baronet, Goodwill ($15)
Napkins - Starched damisk, Estate sale, Woodland Hills, CA (6 for $8)
Napkin rings, Goodwill (8 for $5)
Flowers - dried and artificial stalks from Michael's
Candle holders - Home Goods, last year ($5)
Ribbon - Michael's
Tablecloth - Ventura Flea Market, last Fall ($3)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daisy Maisy Sister Sue

My sister retired, and moved to La Quinta, California, resolved to start this phase of her life with the freshest of outlooks, including all NEW dishes!  I can't imagine such a thing, so of course I took her 1974 Noritake Daisy china (officially called Donegal),  Can't you picture her digging these groovy dishes with daisies encircling each piece, much as she loved her equally groovy high school boyfriend, and now husband of 36 years.  Our beloved Grannie Annie called my sister, "Daisy Maisy" so when she used daisies in her wedding, and choose this china, it also paid homage to our past.  And what's not to love about another ridiculous set of china? 

So here is my ode to sisterhood, daisies, and "Summer Loving" (effort to include vintage songs....)

The white daisies, gray shadows, and platinum trim encircle each piece, so sweet, so seventies.  Thinking John Denver, "Sunshine on my Shoulder."

Vintage damask napkins, stiffly starched with a butterfly napkin ring, and my wedding Reed & Barton Renaissance silver. Is it "Just My Imagination" or does that butterfly look like it belongs in this garden?  I know, ridiculous, but groovy.
Vintage champagne bucket with daisies, tall white candles for additional height and sparkle. Knowing that I was going to do this table soon, I purchased faux daisies at Jo-Ann's, then added real greenery from the yard.  Daisies are so hard to keep fresh.  Very not cool to have anything fake in the seventies, but as Bob Dylan said, "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

 Love these champagne flutes from Amazon. They look vintage, but they are not.  See link to purchase Crystal Cut Luster, 4 flutes for $25.

 Love that Sue had the vegetable dish, and chop plate.
So, now dear Donegal #2179 "I Gotcha" and we will always be "Evergreen."
I'm joining Susan at her wonderful porch party, Tablescape Thursday.  Join me there!

Leave me a comment, and have a Daisy Mazy sunny week!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 4th Red, White, & Blue Thai

City of Calabasas hosts a spectacular fireworks show, utilizing my high school's upper baseball fields, so they graciously invite me and even provide VIP parking.  We invited a couple of great friends to join us for the show, with dinner beforehand on our deck.  Our garden, previously blogged about here, was bursting with lettuce that needed picking, and our quails are laying 20+ eggs per day, so I was delighted to come across a Thai recipe, "Quail egg salad with steamed shrimp."  The inspiration grew from there.

Always love an opportunity to use my Johnson Bros Asiatic Pheasant plates and bowls, shown here in a Ode to my mom, great schoolteacher in Fun with Dick and Jane

 July 4th needed a red, white, and blue theme, of course, so added set of red plates, and picked up celebratory flowers from market.  Tablecloth, a Tahitian wrap around skirt called a pareo, purchased in numerous colors five years ago on a glorious vacation to Tahiti. 

 Found a Johnson Brothers, Liberty Blue, ironstone plate at local Goodwill, that I used for serving appetizers Rob made, deviled quail eggs.  We have too many!
Plates for croissants, red Signature and Queens floral blue found at Marshalls for $2 each. Love a bargain.

 Heavy damask napkin found at a local estate sale. Love the weight and vintage finish of these.

Garden bursting with lettuce needing to be harvested provided the base for this Thai salad.

 Healthy Thai recipe book featured Golden baskets, simple appetizer made with spring roll sheets that are made into little baskets that can be made the day before, then filled with variety of fillings. These used ground chicken, corn, carrots, peas, red peppers, cilantro and ginger.  Yum!  Little bursts like fireworks.

 Shells before filled.
 Golden Baskets on Willow platter, gift from mom.
Hope your 4th of July celebration was filled with fireworks, fun, and friends. We are blessed to live in the United States, free to celebrate any way we choose!  So I can Thai if I want to!

Plates and bowls: Johnson Bros Asiatic Pheasant, Rose Bowl Flea Market
Bread plates: Queens from Marshalls and Signature red, Home Goods
Goblets: Cobalt blue, Dollar Store
Pitcher: Willow, made in England, gift from mom
Flatware: Home Goods
Tablecloth: Tahitian wrap around pareo, Bora Bora purchase

This week I'm linking to these parties!  Join in the fun!

Tablescape Thursday

I love to read your comments, and then visit your blog for more inspiration.  Can't wait to see what you're doing this summer because I'm finally on my first day of vacation.  Yippee!  Happy blogging, friends!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Garden Metamorphosis

What do you get when you combine hard work, plants, water, and lots of sunshine?  A garden that would make Michelle Obama proud!

The Foss Farm/Garden metamorphosis has been an ongoing project, but really ramped up Memorial weekend, when we transformed a spa deck into raised bed planters.  We couldn't be more thrilled with our decision.  The spa had been well-used, but we really wanted raised bed planters, so our son offered to take the spa off our hands so we were off!

Break up the hard dirt

 Recycled the deck wood to make three planters
 Lined with plastic, filled with magical planting mix (recipe below)

Added drip system, then plants

Add water, sunshine, weeding as needed

Blueberry picking in the rose garden

I'm linking up with these wonderful parties
Serenity Saturday
Metamorphosis Monday
Seasonal Sundays

Please leave me a comment.  I love to hear from you, and read about what you are up to as well.

Happy Summer!