28 June 2012

URBAN FARM MARKETS

Baby cukes, flawless okra,  fragrant peaches,  ripe to bursting tomatoes...






I'll betcha there is one in your neighborhood:  An Urban Farm Market.  We have visited a number of them over the years, plus a street-side peddler who has not come back to our neighborhood this year.  I miss Chuckles.  That's what we called him -- his name was Chuck but he always had a smile and a joke.  I also suspected he might be having one of the affluent tennis matrons in the 'hood but that's another story.






Today it was 111 degrees when we left the market at The Summit, a nearby outdoor mall on top of a mountain.  It felt like my skin was literally frying!  I had a vat of sunscreen smeared on my body and face, but it felt like dropping the hushpuppy into the grease!  Sizzle sizzle!!







I have come to recognize these intrepid  farmers:  The handsome young man with his little boy who so proudly makes change and counts it back out loud.  The young latter-day hippie couple who told me how to cook the Swiss Chard.  The sandy-haired red-faced Alabama Good Ole Boy with the flawless okra and red onions with their tops still on.  The 50-something retiree couple with the sweetest cantaloupes and seedless watermelons.  The young chicks from a couple of the hip eateries nearby peddling some sort of fruity drink and chips.  Two young guys who didn't know the diff between Silver Queen and Field Corn.  A 60-ish lady with handmade jewelry.  The guy with the boutique coffee beans.  The girl with the handmade fancy pasta.  The list goes on.  


All this right in front of The Pottery Barn and The Urban Cookhouse.  


How times have changed.  We should call it the Yuppie Farm Market.




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And after the Market, indoors, escaping the unbearable heat ---


Mint from the garden and not so sweet simple syrup made by me.

Sweet Husband loving his Retirement!

Your Mojito awaits, my dear ...


I am linking this post to the following parties:




Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday 
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday



27 June 2012

LADYBUGS AND LUNCHEON



 The Graphics Fairy




A ladybug has moved into my house.  She appears and disappears, then reappears on the crown moulding every so often.  I don't know where she has made her home, but I just leave her alone, figuring that she is harmless.  Anyway, I always heard that ladybugs will eat mosquitos.  That is a good thing -- a ladybug could grow very fat and sassy around here if that is true!






I have always kind of liked the looks of a ladybug -- bright red with some tasteful little black polka dots covering her dress.  I guess you could say that she is the fashionista of the insect kingdom.  The only time I was ever distressed about seeing one was in a restaurant on my salad plate hiding under some curly kale.   The restaurant manager comped the meal (the part we had eaten) and gave us gift cards to come back.  We never did, and now they have shut their doors.  Oh well. 





A ceramic ladybug holds my kitchen sponge, and they decorate some black and white napkins which you have probably seen before, if you have followed my tablescapes over the years.  Those napkins were the inspiration for today's table, a Ladybug Luncheon for the Ladies.






The Chinese blanc de chine lotus ladies and the matching flower bowl make up the centerpiece inside a flower cage.  There are no lotus blossoms because I don't know where to get any around here and it is a long way to China.  








I used the Ladybug herself as the color scheme -- black and red -- but I added in the white myself because I thought it looked better that way.  







After I put this together, it seemed that there should be some more ladybugs on the table.  One day I was poking around Pier 1, looking through the sale merchandise, and lo and behold, there were these cute little place card holders.  As I have said before, my dinner parties are really not complicated enough to need a road map, and I encourage people to sit wherever they like since the table is round.  Sometimes, though, a really cute ladybug can make you change your own rules.  







Of course, a place card holder means you need a place card, and not having any, I just made some.  I am not terribly crafty, but I have seen lots of clever things other bloggers have done courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.  I went over to the site, and sho 'nuff, there was a ladybug.  After fiddling with the page settings in my word processing program, I figured out how to put them in a grid pattern and printed up a whole page of the little darlings.  When I printed them out, they didn't seem quite as red as I thought they ought to be, so I colored them in with a red paint marker before cutting them out.  I didn't write on them yet because I am actually planning to use them.








black goblets made by Artland glass




I have looked a long time for some black goblets, and finally found these by accident when I was ordering the yellow bubble glass ones a few weeks ago.  I have to brag about Amazon a little bit right here:  I ordered eight of the goblets which come in sets of four, but one was smashed in spite of having been properly packed.  Amazon made it right by sending me another set of four, and one of those was smashed, too.  I now have ten goblets for the price of eight which I thought was very nice of them.  We have had a discussion (at their request) about improving the way the things were packed, although they were bubble wrapped and double boxed.  


You have seen the red flutes -- they came from a neighbor's estate sale.  Everything else, I have had a long time, and it is probably not available any more except for the red Waechtersbach.







I am linking up to Kathleen for Let's Dish and to Susan for Tablescape Thursday.  


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24 June 2012

BARGAIN MIRROR



Apropos of nothing, I just thought I would share the pretty flowers I bought yesterday.




Some time ago, I ran across this mirror in TJXX when I was looking for something else altogether.  Isn't that always the way it goes?  You can't find what you want to save your life, but you stumble upon something else?




It had a seriously funky paint job, but it was reduced to $20 from $50.  After ascertaining that it had no visible damage, I plopped it into my cart.  Look at the lines not the finish.


I had plans for that old box, too.  


Seriously, who would paint something this color?


I was thinking "Beach House" but we all know that could be a little while.  After I found that little vanity which I showed you last week, which for the moment is a small desk, I thought it might sit atop that.  However, those walls are coming up for a paint job very soon, so no.  Today, in an effort to keep myself occupied to divert panic over some medical tests tomorrow, I decided to just start painting with no clear direction.  


White is always a safe bet, at least for a start.  This was Pure White ASCP.

A smart woman would have just spray painted this blasted thing.  It took two artist brushes plus the paint brush, just for starters.  

The insides of the curvy cutouts are insane!

That useless ASCP wax brush dipped in watery paint got down in there pretty well...

...but the blooming thing sheds like a dog.  You have to pick out the hairs so that they don't become a permanent part of the paint job.  


This old box (probably at least 50 or 60 years old, maybe more) was made by my father out of scraps for his old manual drill and its bits.  I rescued it from the basement when I closed out their house.  I guess my brother took the drill -- at any rate it and the bits were gone.

I was going to whitewash it, but Daddy had evidently put varnish or something on it because the whitewash thing didn't work -- it just beaded up.  I put it away for another day.

Finished and cleaned up ...

Propped in the front hall for now



I will find it a place soon -- right now I have other things on my mind.


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I am linking to Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday




Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday


and to


Nita at Mod Vintage Life on Mod Mix Monday -- my little aqua vanity from last week was featured!



Mod Vintage Life



~~~~~~~~~~


 Thrifty Treasures on Monday at Southern Hospitality






20 June 2012

WHITE ON WHITE, third time

Last week I jumped the gun on doing the beach thing for a table -- it was supposed to be this week.  (Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen's had issued a challenge:  create your best for the beach this week at her Let's Dish! party.)  I got a post in my email showing another blogger's post indicating that it was last week.  So I ran around madly and threw a table together on the back porch.  After everyone subsequently had a chuckle at my stupidity, I actually planned to just kind of fade into the woodwork this week.  


I figured, That will teach me not to take someone else's word for something but to verify for myself!  You would actually think I might have learned this at this stage of my life, wouldn't you??   But, then I said the heck with it, and I reached very deep into the archives and finally found these photos from my old Typepad blog, which were actually reposted from my very first blog, Glorious Rooms.  Next, I had to do an end run around the technology roadblock which was thrown up when I tried to copy them over into iPhoto, save them to the desktop or to Pictures.  (I use a Mac.)    Let's see if this works!











Looks like it worked.  At the end of the post, I'll tell you how I extracted them, just in case you have old photos from years ago saved and you also use a Mac.  The above photos are unedited, because I had not yet learned how to turn off the flash while snapping and then edit them to make them look a bit better.  In fact, I had just begun using my husband's point and shoot digital camera.  I actually like the dreamy quality of them because that wall color was horrible, but it doesn't look too bad here.


Now let's see if they get better when  edited.





This actually looks more like the wall color did.

My old Pottery Barn  dishes, my Granny Jones's flatware, my mother's Fostoria American.

So, let's throw in a little bit of the real beach -- two places we like:


Perdido Key, Florida, Gulf side to the left, the inland waterway to the right.

Tybee Island, Georgia

From the balcony at Eden Condominiums, Perdido Key, Florida

On my wish list, two of these from Lily Pulitzer


I will be linking to Kathleen for Let's Dish tonight and to Susan for Tablescape Thursday tomorrow.
Also I will link onto Faded Charm for White Wednesday.


On Sunday, I am linking to Alma at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.


Scribbler


You can skip this next bit if you are not interested.


The Technical bit

So here is what happened:  before I shut down my previous blogs, I copied some of the posts I wanted to keep into word processing documents, which happened to be Pages on my Mac, this computer and the one I had before.  These I back up on flash drives.


The problem is that most of the blogs (except the old iWeb) are set up for Windows programs, and occasionally you run into a bit of a problem when you try to move things from one format to the other.  I was unable to extract my photos from the old stored Pages documents into either iPhoto or Pictures, the two places one generally saves photos on a Mac.  When I couldn't find any Help topics which answered the question, I started trying various things.  


Eventually, holding down Command and then clicking on an image did the trick.  I was still not able to drag it to iPhoto, but I was able to save it to the Pictures section and also to the Desktop.  This enabled me to use an independent photo-editing program (in this case Pic Monkey) to see if it made a difference in the photos.  



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