Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soft colors of Fall

I've been admiring all the fall decor on blog land, so I wanted to join in with my some of my fall decor.  I always seem to write about the beauty of simplicity, but the reason is that is my style. I don't do a lot of decorating, just a few vignettes are all I need.  I just want to get the feeling of the season and by creating little displays around my living and dining area I am able to accomplish that. 

I found this little Burpee's metal tray at my local thrift store for a few dollars.This is a reproduction of an 1898 metal tray and it reminded me of fall with all the warm gold and brown tones. I love jars of buttons and I keep them out year round, so I added some fall colored buttons to my jar. I already had my vintage green ribbed bowl and I found the little ceramic pear and apple/pumpkin at Michaels on sale. 

I found a small bushel basket that I bought last year, adding a pumpkin and a faux bittersweet bow for an accent. It's fun to see what you can put together using what you already have. Since we've had a lot of overcast skies lately, I added my decor to my kitchen counter by the window to bring in a bit more light. 

I really like the farmhouse theme reflected in this tray. 

Another simple look adding plates with a soft floral design and gold edging to my canning rack, they always remind me of farmhouse style. 

Vintage aprons have always been a favorite of mine, so I found another one that I added to my spool rack. I found this floral one with all the deep blues, golds and plum colors while thrifting of course,  and I liked the fact that it was reversible too. Also, the apron shares some of the same colors that are in my cottage garden picture.  I'll post  more about this apron another time when I have a sunny day to take some pics. 

My mantel can be very frustrating to decorate since it is an open shadow box and the mantel has a very small ledge. Since I have to decorate inside of it, there are always shadows when I take my photos. It's located on the west side of our living room and gets little light. My camera has some limitations, even doing photo editing, so I do the best I can with this space.

 Our living area is small and I think you have to consider the scale of how things look in your photos, compared to how they look in person. I like somewhat minimalist decor and an understated look is best for this space.  I decided to do soft fall colors to reflect off the white space of the open area. 

I don't like spending a lot for seasonal decor, since it's used such a short time and I am thrifty by nature, so I used my gray candlesticks and moved my little ceramic apple and pear over to help decorate my mantel. I added faux leaves to my wreath and since my bird statue reminds me of fall I added it to my pedestal. 

I didn't have any mini pumpkins that I liked to add to my candleholders, so the ceramic pear worked well with its golden color. I thought the ridged design really makes it stand out. I wanted to do something with my little gold picture frame and I added a mini wreath to it. I try and use what I already have and then shop for a few extra things if needed. 

The shaft of wheat made a nice addition with its golden color and texture. 

 The pics came out a little darker than I wanted, but I was able to create a  display of soft fall colors and white accents that really reflects my preference for a simpler style of decorating. 

The beautiful colors of Fall appeal to me more than any other season. I'll be sharing more in upcoming posts. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Small town antiquing

We have some lovely small towns near our home in SW Washington and it's always a nice relaxing getaway to visit them. We love to go antiquing, so we went to one of our nearby favorites, Camas Antiques just 20 minutes away from us in Camas, WA. 

Downtown is small, population is around 20,000 here, but it is a very pretty place. I've always loved the Liberty theatre, we've seen movies here a few times, usually second run features.  I don't have any photos of the interior which is quite pretty as well, especially with the plush purple seating.This theatre has been well maintained and was built in 1927. The antique store is located next door. 

Love the neon signs on these old theatres. Lots of pretty greenery still in late September. 

This lovely fountain is in the downtown square with a memorial plaque dedicated to 9/11 victims. I like the simple brick wall behind it and the statue of the young girl too. You can get a glimpse of how narrow the streets are here. Pretty shops nearby. 

Onward to the antiques. I've been loving hutches lately, since I need one for our dining area, so I was focusing on those during our visit, among other things. None of the booths were too cluttered, which makes it easier to find what you're looking for. 

Love the lace lampshade and picture frames. 

 One of my favorite things in the shop was this lovely barn wood style door with french writing. Love the grape motif on the urn too. Lots of pretty things in here. 

This black cupboard with the unique tins inside caught my eye. I've never really liked black for home decor, but I do like this cupboard, also the vintage movie poster on top. 

Local vintage type signs for Lacamas Lake, a small lake in the area. I really like the welcome signs of the vintage speedboat, deer and the suitably spooky Lacamas Lake monster sign. Hubby liked the metal animal sculptures with the fans inside. Well, they are different. 

I also liked the faux brick Mt Hood sign and the fishing basket. A pretty bird chandy is on the upper left. 

I love vintage trays, this one is rather small of the coca cola lady, would love a larger version of this one. Pretty hair accessories for your vanity. 

I can see this old cabinet in a farmhouse kitchen, very primitive look 

I really like the warmth of wood in this hutch. I would need something smaller, but very similar in style. Nice large area to display all your dishes.

Pretty gardening booth. The fence with birds and hooks is really cute. Especially like the open suitcases with displays inside.

I wanted to add a pic of this booth because I love the alphabet letters with the birds. I might go back another time and get a couple of those. I held back since hubby was with me and I wasn't sure where I would put them.  It can be a good thing to have your guy with you since it cuts down on impulse buys!

Here's another booth that tempted me because I love vintage suitcases and shutters. It's interesting how some things appeal to us more than others. Some times it just triggers a pleasant memory and other times we just love it for whatever reason. 

 I know that cotton bolls have been popular in blogland for awhile now. I've really liked the displays I've seen by fellow bloggers. These were all intertwined together.  I'm not sure if they are a trendy thing or here to stay. Cute fall things on the shelves. 

Some of these fall  ribbons are so pretty they could be an accent on your wall, maybe. Really like the pheasant ribbon and wall tapestry. 

A lot of fun things in this booth. Love the croquet balls and Artic boy water cooler. Vintage typewriters are always fun and love the clocks. Notice the rather creepy vintage eye poster reflected in the mirror above the typewriter. 

I'll end my little antique tour with this rather quirky owl plaque. I thought it was so cute and such pretty detail. I didn't buy anything this trip, but I was certainly tempted.  Love antiquing in the fall. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Red Vignette

Even though fall is my favorite season for decorating, I tend to keep it simple and just add a few vignettes around the house to get that fall feeling. I love all the pumpkins, deep rusts and golds of the season, but I'm not ready to add those things yet to my decor. I knew I wanted to add red for early fall, so I found some small fall dishes and added them to my basket. A simple white bowl and some faux apples completed my display.

I love the pop of color that red adds and the addition of the apples for early fall creates a sweet vignette. I also like the high profile of this white bowl and the simple ribbed design. 

These are all thrifted finds that I've collected over time, so I just spent a few minutes creating a few looks for this little corner. 

I couldn't find the small plates I wanted for fall, so I added these bowls with a small saucer. I love the leaf border and design on these small  dishes.   

I found some vintage napkins edged with embroidery awhile back and wasn't sure what to do with them, but I found that they worked just fine with my display. The lace hankie added to the basket lid  makes a pretty addition as well.  I enjoy tweaking and making subtle changes to my vignettes. 

I also added a vintage apron to my spool rack. I'm always looking for old style aprons, which can be hard to find in my price range, but this one looked just right for fall or anytime of the year. It also continues the apple theme with the apples, pears and grapes. I really like the contrast of red and gold this time of year too. 

I'll be adding some fall flowers to my wall basket, but for now I like the look of combining late summer and early fall decor and creating a simple uncluttered look. 

I also think lavender looks pretty anytime of year, so I'm keeping it out for now until I put together a display with some dried wheat and fall flowers. I don't need elaborate displays to remind me of fall. I'm quite content with these little changes. 

Continuing with my little red vignette theme for those of us who remember the 80's song by Prince, I have a Little Red Corvette for you, driver included. 

Now that's my kind of car! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teatime with Chai tea latte

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor day weekend. I wanted to share my petite rose dishes again before I put them away for the summer. I also wanted to try some chai tea, I'm basically a coffee drinker, but with fall approaching I'm always looking for other hot beverages to try. 

 If you're not familiar with chai tea, here's a little background on it.

Chai tea is a flavored tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. It is traditionally simmered with green cardamom pods, (aromatic seeds of a plant  in the ginger family) cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger and black peppercorn mixed with black tea. 

Milk and sweetener are also added. Retail versions include tea bags for infusion,  instant powdered mixtures and concentrates.    

I've never cared for traditional  hot tea with sweetener, I love it iced, but with the addition of milk and other spices I wanted to make my own version of chai. I bought a milk frother recently for my cafe lattes, so I decided to use it to make a chai tea latte as well. 

Here is a basic recipe I found for two to four servings. 

Chai Tea Latte Ingredients
2 cups water
2 black tea bags
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamon
1 clove
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups low-fat milk
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Boil water and put in both tea bags. Let steep for one minute and toss bags.
2. Add ginger, cardamom, and clove and stir in.
3. Heat sugar and milk together separately until sugar has dissolved, and pour half a cup into each mug.
4. Remove clove from tea, stir in cinnamon, and pour half a cup into each mug of milk mixture.
If you have an espresso machine you can add steamed or foamy milk on top instead of mixing it with the sugar in step 3. Just add the sugar into the tea mixture after step two instead. Add a light dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg on top and enjoy!

I changed the recipe a bit because I didn't have any cloves or cardamom. I added cinnamon and ginger to my simmered tea. I didn't take any pictures of the steps, but I wanted to share the frothing process. Since I am experimenting with the flavors, I only used 1 cup of milk with the sugar and added a little vanilla flavoring. I heated it for about 90 seconds in the microwave and frothed the milk with my aerolatte. 

This isn't a recommendation for the aerolatte, it just happens to be the one I bought recently at Bed Bath & Beyond. It does froth the milk really well, I had foamy milk in less than 30 seconds, but the switch that turns it on is rather hard to move at times. It is also battery operated and sometimes it doesn't seem that powerful, but so far it froths great as you can see. 

It also has a nice holder for storage. The frother adds a pretty foamy top and I sprinkled on some cinnamon.  

I made some blueberry muffins from a mix, I added fresh blueberries though, and created a simple teatime tablescape. 

A closer look at my sugar bowl. I love the soft rose pattern on this china. The thrift store where I bought my dishes had the entire set, but I bought them at different times since I didn't know how I was going to use them. I also have other china in storage so I decided not to purchase the dinner plates or bowls. 

 I didn't buy the sugar bowl on my first visit so I went back and fortunately it was still there. I also found this pretty white ceramic holder that I used for my extra napkins. To see an earlier post of this china with my canning jar rack visit here. 

A simple white table setting always brightens up a room. 

My version of chai tea came out fairly well. It needed more spices, but it was a decent cup of tea. I did love all the milk and frothy foam, so I will try again with other flavorings. There are many ways to prepare chai, so experiment and find the kind you like best. I thought I might try some with a hint of orange and cloves, also pumpkin spiced tea and  cafe lattes with spices sound really good for fall.  Thanks for stopping by!