Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rancher's Table

Here is my table dedicated to our Bard Rocks & Americana Chickens- Beyonce, Natasha, and Pearl.

So, we (and I mean my City-Rancher husband) have 3 chickens that delight us (me included) by frolicking in our garden, and laying 3 eggs a day, two green and one brown.  When I saw these Bordallo Pinheiro Hen & Rooster salad plates at Ross, $3.99 each, I had to buy them. I know nothing about them except that they are adorable, and look like they had a majolica finish that I've always admired. Later, I find 6 salad plates on eBay for $60.  Score.

I found the rattan chargers at a thrift shop in Santa Barbara, never imagining that I would use them so often.  I love the rustic foundation for the Portuguese pottery.

The yellow flowers are from Trader Joes ($3.99), and clippings from the garden, held in jelly size mason jars, nesting in a vintage beverage caddy that I've had for years.  Last week, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, inspired me to not only purchase the mason jar caddy she used for her centerpiece, but to remember this wonderful piece that I haven't used in a while.

Basket of leftover eggs nesting in leftover centerpiece leaves.  The little egg cups are tiny flower pots set to grow herbs on the window ledge.  

 The brown plate framing the showcase salad plate is from the .99 Store, simple and durable.

Love the stalks of corn around the edge.  Next time I use them, I'll dig into my Thanksgiving decorations for some Indian corm, or serve fresh summer corn.
The large green goblet made of recycled glass, and found on, sits next to a new water glass picked up as a set of 8 from Ross, $6.99.  I love the dots, sort of vintage and whimsical.


By the way, meet Beyonce, Natasha, and Pearl, pecking under the Lemon Tree, making a delightful mess.
 And in the rose garden

Here's to another beautiful Spring Day, celebrating being In and Out My Nest.  Thanks for stopping by.

Join me at 

Tabletop Tuesday.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Orange Table/Ogden Burgers

Too hot to eat outside in Woodland Hills, California, but not too hot to BBQ my sister Sue's famous burgers (she finally leaked the recipe to me!)

The inspiration for this table was the burger recipe, new plates found this week at Home Goods, the years old bright orange plates used in a wedding shower, and the .99 napkin rings.  So here is Orange Table/Ogden Burgers.  Recipe to follow, just don't tell Sue!

Three orange plates used for my niece's citrus themed wedding shower years ago.  Wish I had purchased four plates from Pier 1 because they are rockin adorable (available on eBay for $15!)

The flowers are from my table last week after removing the aging hydrangea, and adding daisies from my yard.  Love that I had exactly three orange blooms in my garden, and that daisies are my sister's favorite flower.

Sunflower pitcher found at Ross this week for $7.  I don't shop Ross often enough; why is that?  Oh because Home Goods is across the street, and I've spend all my money there.

Sue's burgers always have delicious buns.  How cute are these plates? Kind of vintage looking.

Let's talk cheap napkin rings.  These came from the Dollar Store, four for one dollar!

Really.  On a card.  4 napkin rings for a dollar.  Serious great bargain.

I remembered I had Izze sodas, and added one to each place, but I remembered them after taking the pictures, so here is one.

 New plate from Home Goods, could be platter or charger ($6.99).
Napkin sheers made last week for another table. 

 Side of the napkin inexpensively made, but still decent, and the price, wow.

Sue's Ranch Burger Recipe
Good hamburger 1 pound
Ranch dressing mix
1 egg (from our hens1)
1/2 c. Italian Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper

Use your hands to mix together. Form burgers the size of your palm.  BBQ.  Yum!  Sister Sue is a home economics teacher, and a naturally good cook.  It doesn't come naturally to me at all, so hopefully I got the recipe right.  Sue is one of those no recipe "a little of this" kind of cooks.  

My office doll, now named Helen, sporting one of the napkin rings, watching over me.  Love her, and sister Sue.  

This week I'm linking to the these fun link parties.

Between Naps on the Porch TABLESCAPE THIURSDAY   


Cuisine Kathleen's meme, LETS DISH

I want to thank All the Pretty Dishes for awarding In and Out My Nest with the Liebster Blog Award.  Check out her blog for dishes, parrots, and more!

The Liebster Blog Award is an award in the blogging community given to "up and coming" blogs, described as having less than 200 followers. The German translation of Liebste is "My Beloved Friend."  How nice is that?  Who knew?

The Liebster rules:

1.  Nominate 5 up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.
2. Show your appreciation to the person who nominated you by linking back to their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog and include links to the blogs you nominated.

Here are the blogs that I have chosen for the Liebster Blog Award:

1.  Simply Vintageous, vintage, British, whimsical
2.  Jos This and That, outdoor adventures, crystal collector, and tablescaper

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fun with Dick and Jane

As I stated in an earlier post, my Mom, a longtime, now retired first grade school teacher, stayed up late nights grading papers because "The children needed to know what they needed to learn."  She drank coffee out of an old Blue Willow mug. Whenever I see this pattern, I think of her dedication, passion, and commitment to teaching, and especially to teaching her students to read, and to love reading.  Recently Mom gave me a few pieces of that Blue Willow set prompting me to imagine a table, and Ode to Mom and Reading Teachers everywhere.  Hence, "Fun with Dick and Jane" Remember those readers from the 1950-1960s?
Tablecloth, napkin rings and liners made from fabric remnants (tutorial here).
Johnson Bros Asiatic Pheasant plates and soup bowls sit on top of a simple white with raised dot plate. Repeating the dots intended to offset the formality of the china.
When Mom retired years ago, I found these two old primers in a school trash bin and knew they needed to be retrieved as a part of history. This series is now considered controversial because they didn't teach phonics (Mom did anyway), relying on children recognizing common words like "look" and "up" (a reading philosophy now back in vogue), and because "Father" wore a suit everyday and went to work, while "Mother" wore dresses, hats, and gloves and stayed home cooking, taking care of Dick, Jane, and Spot.  It was a "Father's Knows Best" world, but it never bothered me even if it was my mother who worked everyday to support our single-parent family. As far as I was concerned any book was worth reading, and delightful.  To this day, book, cereal box, comic book, or eReader - bring it for the best entertainment ever.
Mom's mug filled with brand new #2 pencils, and her special dishes written on a slate chalk board (cheese board) - Soup, Chicken (fried), Mashed Potatoes (with homemade gravy), Cole Slaw, Rolls, Apple Pie (with Vanilla ice cream, of course).  I didn't have room to add Deviled Eggs, but they would be there too.
Found the flowers at Ralphs for a bargain price.  TIP: After a big holiday, check for leftover bouquets ($3.49).  Score!

Marks on the dishes.  Love to investigate the history of all my pieces.

Table Credits
Plates and bowls - Johnson Bros Asiatic Pheasant, Rose Bowl Flea Market, two years ago
Charger plate - Solis, Pier One, two years ago
Platter - Blue Willow, England," gifts from Mom
Mug, pitcher, juice glasses, "Japan," gifts from Mom
Water goblets, Dollar Store, two years ago
Flatware, Home Goods
Linens, homemade
Flower pitcher, Goodwill $4.99, two years ago
Books, Fun with Dick and Jane, Paularino Elementary School rubbish

Apples, Michael's 
Flowers, Ralphs Easter leftovers $3.49

I'm linking with these parties!  Join me!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

Do you remember a special teacher?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blue Willow Linens Tutorial

Every night my mom drank one cup of coffee out of a Blue Willow transferware mug as she corrected papers from her day as a first grade teacher. 'The children need them back the next day so they can learn," she said.  Whenever I saw that mug, it reminded me of my mom's dedication and professionalism as a teacher.  How did she stay up so late? I wondered.  Now I know.  Coffee.
Flash forward fifty years....
Knowing I am now a dishaholic, Mom gives me a bag containing the Blue Willow coffee mug, and a few other pieces that she still had from that old set. My imagination was off, planning a table to highlight the pieces, Mom, and all teachers (grandiose visions indeed).  At the Rose Bowl Flea Market, I found some Johnson Brothers Asiatic Pheasant plates and soup bowls.  The Dollar Store afforded me cobalt blue water goblets.  But I still didn't have the tablecloth foundation for the table I was planning in my head.  Everything seemed too old-fashioned, too stuffy, too unlike the innovative classroom projects Mom had invented and graded all those years ago.

Then I found two remnants of denim that would pair perfectly for a square overskirt, adding texture, whimsey, and innovation to the table I envisioned.

Here is the tutorial for making the square overskirt, denim napkin rings, and polka dot napkins.

Trim main fabric so that the length equals the width.  My fabric was 48 X 48 inches.  Set aside.  
 I use roller cutter and mat when I'm cutting straight lines.  More precise. TIP:  Always close blade when not using.
 Cut four strips of border fabric 9 X 51 inches.  Press 1/2 inch of long edges to wrong side.  At the end of each strip mark 1/2 inch from the midpoint. At each folded edge make a mark 4 inches from the end.  Draw two lines connecting the marks to form a 9- degree angle.

Pin the end of one strip to the end of a second strip (right sides together).  Seam ends together following marked lines.   Repeat to sew all four strips together and create one piece.  Clip pointed edges. Press seams open.  Turn right side out.
Fold border in half aligning edges, and press to crease outer edge.  Lay pressed border on a flat surface. Sandwich main fabric between folds of border, and pin in place.  

 Topstitch through all layers close to the border edge.
Table cloth design and directions inspired by Southern Living Quick Fabric Decorating, 2002.

Napkin rings are my own design to use up extra fabric, and add some dots of white to the table.
Cut fabric 9 X  6 inches. Fold in half.  Sew right sides together on short and long side.  Turn right side out.  Turn open edge inside 1/2 inch, topsttich closed.  Make a button hold on one end. Sew a button on the other end.  Button close.  Napkin ring!
Needed fun wraps for my white napkins so found lightweight fabric with polka dots.  Fun! Another project.  Cut napkin fabric 17 x 17 inches. Edge using blanket stitch on your machine.  Trim edges carefully.  Use as wrap for outside of heavier napkin. 

More on the table, "Fun with Dick and Jane" later this week.  Hope your weekend is filled with crafts, dreams, and creations.  It is rest for the soul.