Blog Parties

Friday, July 31, 2009

Heirloom Party-Grandma's rocker

I've decided at the last minute that I want to join in on the Heirloom Party hosted by Marie at Emma Calls Me Mama. If you love heirlooms (like me), then be sure to check out the party. Lots of people are at the party, I'm sure you'll know someone. If not, you can hang out with me. We can be wall flowers together.

Since I decided to participate last minute, that means I didn't plan my post (no surprise here since I am the queen of procrastination). So no new photos.

I have lots of family heirlooms at my house. I'm the one person in our family who says "Oh, are you getting rid of that? I'll take it." Plus I'm the only one in my immediate family who likes old things. But since I didn't plan ahead & didn't take any photos of anything else, I am only going to blog about one piece of furniture. Plus it is my favorite. And I'm cheating some as I already posted about this piece of furniture back in April on my family blog Manning Family Tree.

For years my Mom had this rocking chair in her house. It had originally been in my Grandma's house and when she died, my Mom took it home to her house. All these years I've loved this chair & have told my Mom that I wanted the chair. I figured that someday when my mom was gone that it would be my turn to love & take care of this rocker.

But luckily for me, I didn't have to wait. A couple of years ago my Mom gave me the chair for Mother's Day. It was the best Mother's Day gift I ever received.

The chair sits in our living room (with our ugly teal carpet). This isn't your typical rocking chair. This one has springs that it rocks on. The one thing about this rocker is that you have to be real careful how you sit in it. If you sit back too far, you almost get dumped out of it backwards. So you have to balance yourself just so to sit in it. But I have learned how to sit in it without tipping it back too far. Isn't the back of this chair beautiful? I just love this wood.
When my Grandson comes over (which is not very often), I love to rock him in this rocking chair. And even when I'm not playing Grammy, I love to sit & rock in this chair. There is something so soothing & comforting about a rocking chair. Especially one that has memories attached to it & is as old as this one. I'm sure the upholstery is not original. My Grandma had most everything in her house upholstered with velvet.
I wish I knew more about my rocking chair. I called my Mom this morning to see if she knew anything about it. She said no. All she knew is that it belonged to her Mom, my Grandma. She wasn't sure if it had belonged to anyone else in the family or not.

I was hoping that when I originally posted this on my family blog that someone in my family might know more about the history of this rocking chair. But no one did.

All I know is that I feel loved while rocking in this chair. I love it and will treasure it always.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tablescape Thursday-Girls Night In

It's time again to play with our dishes!!! I've not played as much as I would like lately. For some reason I have been in a blogging funk. I haven't really felt like participating much & I don't know why. Maybe it's the weather. It's been over a hundred degrees for the past few weeks. So I guess I've felt like relaxing in the pool, more than blogging. Can you really blame me?

The truth is I am basically lazy. If given the choice, I'd rather relax than do something that takes energy. So when the weather turns hot, it zaps what little energy or motivation that I do have to the point that I get nothing accomplished. Just ask my hubby. He has a long list of things he wants me to help him with & I always say "It's too hot!!!!".

But I decided that I couldn't let another week go by without playing with my dishes. If you want to see other tablescapes by those who really know what they are doing, be sure to visit Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch. She always puts together a beautiful tablescape. And you will also find all the other fabulous participants for this week.

I'm calling this tablescpae: "Girls Night In". As you know, or may not know, I live in a household full of men. They really don't like girly stuff. But I can't pass up buying girly stuff. So this tablescape I put together for my sister in law, my 2 nieces & I to have a fabulous girls night in. We will send all the men (or boys) out and we will enjoy a leisurely night at home enjoying a good dinner, good conversation, a chick flick & maybe a dip in the pool.

Since it will be an "all chick" affair, I'm using pink & white in my tablescape. I guess I should have put up a sign that says "No boys allowed". That brings back memories of being a kid and having a girls club. Did you have a girls club when you were a child?

I'm using my pink damask plates again. But this time, only the salad plates. I bought the plates from Target a few months back. There were a spring item (but pink is always in fashion if you are a girl) and I purchased dinner plates, salad plates & bowls on 50% off clearance at the end of spring, beginning of summer. . I love these plates (but the men in my family hate them as they are pink & girly). So I love them more.
My dinner plates came from Dollar Tree a few weeks back. I thought they would go great with my damask plates. And they do.
The white chargers were my "freeby" purchase from Amazon (I used a gift certificate I earned, so technically they weren't free).
The pink & white striped placemats & the rose napkins came from Marshall's in the spring as a set. I also purchased a tablecloth that matches the napkins, but I was too lazy to iron it, so I didn't use it for this tablescape. Plus the tablecloth is too long for either of my tables, so I need to cut it down. But I'm lazy & a procrastinator, so needless to say, it hasn't been done. I'm just using the not wanting to iron it excuse as it seems better than the truth. The silverware also came from Marshall's on clearance at the end of winter. I don't remember who the maker is or the pattern name.
I've used my Libby goblets from Walmart. I use them for everything. I'm more into dishes than glasses. So you'll see these in almost all of my tablescapes.
I gathered up 6 crystal candlestick holders from around my house & placed 3 on either side of the centerpiece. Most of these came from thrift stores.
For my centerpiece I placed a white plate on top of a crystal candlestick to make a cake plate. Then I placed a white pitcher filled with pink daisies. I placed a starfish & a large sand dollar shell on the plate to give it a beachy summery feel. And we can't forget Harold & Maude my Target birdie S+P shakers. They want to be at every dinner party I have. We'll let it slide that Harold is a boy.

I didn't make name cards as we are family & I let them sit anywhere they like.
Can't you hear the ocean waves pounding on the sand? I can see Prince Charming riding through the waves on his white horse. Don't tell my hubby.
And can you smell the flowers? What do you mean you can't smell them.
The table is set. Now all we need is the servants to cook & bring us dinner.
Oh you thought I was going to cook? You obviously don't know me very well.
Well it looks like the servants took the night off. And they forgot to send out the invites. So no dinner & no company. What am I going to do? I guess I'll just have to take a dip in the pool & plan my next tablescape.
I think Prince Charming, I mean hubby, is already taking a dip. I think I'll join him.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July Blog Parties

I'm also adding this blog to Sunday Favorites hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Since both of these tablescapes are repeats from posts done last December.

I'm joining not one, but two blog parties today. Maggi over at Just Add Glitter and Stir is hosting a Christmas in July Blog Party. And we can't forget the Christmas in July Tablescape Party hosted by Felecia at Playing Dishes. Be sure to visit both of their blogs to see what they are showing off and to find out who else is participating. You will get lots of inspiration. And don't forget to leave everyone a comment. You know how we all love comments.

For my participation in today's parties, I'm going to share 2 Christmas tablescapes that I posted about last December on my other blog Manning Family Tree (which is now my family blog). I've edited it (just a little) for today.

#1: This tablescape was from my first time posting on Tablescape Tuesday, which is now Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. If you have never seen or participated in Tablescape Thursday, you must do so. Every Thursday a bunch of us all over blogland post our tablescapes. It is such a fun blog party. But I have to warn you, it can become quite addicting.

Now lets get this show on the road. Oh, and don't forget that you should be able to click on any photo to see it larger.

This is the table in my living room/dining room. I have it set for 4 as there are 4 people in my family. Go figure!!! The plates came from Ross a few years back. They came in green & a pinkish red. Now I wish I had also purchased the pinkish red set as well to mix & match.

Edited 7/25: Since I first shared this post I found out that I do own the pinkish red set. I have so many dishes that I didn't realize that I had both the green and the pinkish red set until I was rearranging stuff in my attic. I told you that tablescaping becomes quite addicting. I'm sure I will be using them in a tablescape this December. So you will all have to come back then to see.

My centerpiece is a glass cloche set on a Christmas plate cake stand that I made. I filled the cloche with medium & large jingle bells. I love jingle bells. I then put a Christmas candle ring at the base. Then I made a wreath out of sparkly greenery that I purchased last year from Brylane Home on clearance. It is actually a swag, but I made a circle out of it & used twisty ties to keep it all together. The crystal candlesticks came from my mother in law. The candle rings on the candlesticks I purchased at a dollar store a few years back.
The red table runner came from the Dollar Tree store last year or the year before. My memory is terrible.

The cream colored place mats have snowflakes on them & came from Walmart last year on clearance. The napkins are from the Dollar Tree. My silverware from Big Lots. The crystal glasses came from Amvets Thrift Store (my favorite thrift store when I lived in San Diego).
I got the Santa hats last year at Target on clearance. I thought they looked real cute on the edge of the chair. What do you think?

The red Santa pants at each setting came from my work party last year. They were filled with candy. I had planned on doing the same before taking the photos, but ran out of time.This is not part of my tablescape, but part of my nativity in my family room. I just like to remind everyone the true reason we celebrate Christmas and that Christ should always be the center of our home.
As you can see, I enjoy clearance sales, thrift stores & the dollar stores. I love getting a bargain & have a hard time passing up one. I hope you enjoyed my tablescape.

And now for tablescape #2:

This tablescape was the 2nd time I participated in Tablescape Tuesday (which is now Tablescape Thursday). This Tablescape would work not only for Christmas but for New Years as well.

My hubby gave me some new dishes for Christmas, so I thought I would do my tablescape in black, cream & silver. Let me know what you think.

I used my winter white snowflake place mats from Walmart (same ones as in tablescape #1). I really didn't have any tablecloths when I first posted this except for white & burgundy. So I opted to just use the place mats on the wood table. The big silver ornaments placed at each setting came from a boutique store last summer while we stayed in Cave Creek Arizona. I got them on clearance. They were 90% off. My kind of deal!!!

I used my thrift store crystal water goblets and champagne flutes. They don't all match, but that is OK with me. I love them all.

The flatware is by Oneida. The pattern is Michelangelo. I purchased the set from Montgomery Wards years ago. This is the silverware set that we use everyday. I need to find some more forks (reasonably priced). I used to have setting for twelve, but about 1/2 of my forks are missing. I'm pretty sure they ended up in the trash along with empty food boxes from our favorite Mexican take home restaurant. The kids hate using the plastic forks they give you. I guess I should have been doing a silverware check all these years.

These are my new plates that my hubby gave me for Christmas (I picked them out at Costco). They are by Spode (I love Spode). The pattern is Delamere, in black. I didn't need any new plates, but I am a plateaholic. There I admitted it. I have a problem. But obviously I am not alone, that is why all of you are here looking at my post isn't it? We are all plateaholics, or should it be dishaholic? Either way, it's an addiction. An addiction that I personally love.

For my centerpiece I used an old silver tray I purchased at the thrift store. I placed on the tray my silver mercury trees. The tallest one I bought at Walmart last in 2007 I believe. The shorter one in the back came from Marshall's in 2008. I got it on clearance before Christmas. The tree in the front my dear hubby bought for me at Lowe's on clearance right before Christmas for $2.50. That was the best deal on the trees. I can't remember where I got the Mercury glass candle holders. They have snowflakes etched on the side. I then sprinkled sparkly snow & then placed some fake Mercury glass ornaments that I bought on clearance at Target last Christmas. I love how most of the stores clearanced out their Christmas items before Christmas. Got to enjoy everything for current Christmas & didn't have to wait for next.
You can see the etched snowflake in the mercury glass candle holder in this photo.

This photo was taken with the flash off.

Close up of my crystal goblets & flutes.

Here is a closeup of my new plate. It came in brown, blue, black & red. Since I am a black & white toile fan, I chose the black. My hubby got me a place setting for 4. He also got me the accessory bowl, platter & gravy boat that matched as well. I then went back to Costco after Christmas & used some of the money my son gave me for Christmas & purchased another 4 place setting. So now I have enough plates for 8 people. I could actually have a party & invite other people. Want to come? You just need to bring the food. I don't like to cook much.

It has been fun decorating my table & sharing with you all. I love looking at the tablescapes & decor you all have created as well. I love all the sharing that goes on in blogland. I'm one of these people who when I take a walk, I hope that window shades are left open as I walk by so I can peek in other peoples homes to see how they are decorated. And that is why I love blogging. I get the thrill of peeking into peoples homes but I don't have to exercise in the process. Pushing buttons on the computer is my kind of exercise.

Well thanks for stopping by & viewing my two Christmas tablescapes. Now be sure to visit the 2 blog parties to see all the fabulousness (my new made up word) going on around blogland. But don't leave without leaving me a comment. You know I love to hear from you. Which tablescape do you like best?


Added at 1:30am Sunday 7/26: If you need more to get you in the Christmas mood, you can see my Christmas decor from last year by clicking here. And if you still crave more, head on over to my family blog Manning Family Tree to see my Christmas Past post as well as my close encounter with Santa story.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday-Skies of Arizona

Time to participate in Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Be sure to visit her blog to see her fabulous photos & see all the other participants for this week.

Last August my family went on vacation to Arizona. Arizona in August, are you crazy? Apparently so. Yes, it was hot. But totally worth it. We stayed a week in Cave Creek Arizona which is next to Scottsdale & not that far from Phoenix. While there we went to Sedona & the Grand Canyon.

The best part about Arizona in the summer is that it is monsoon season for them which makes for some beautiful skies. Now we live in southern California. We don't get much rain here. Therefore not much thunder & lightning. So my son was a happy camper to have this type of weather while in Arizona. You see, my 25 year old son Brandon is a weather nut. That is the only thing he hates about living in SoCal, not much weather.

All of these photos were taken by my son last August. You can imagine how happy he was to have such beautiful skies to take photos of. You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

Sunset in Cave Creek, AZ

Saguaro cactus are everywhere.
Clouds starting to build up to a thunderhead.
Sedona started out with a clear blue sky.
Afternoon brings a thunderstorm to Sedona.

The sun is playing peek a boo.
These are my favorite clouds.
I love the color on this cloud.
This photo makes me happy & relaxed for some reason.
Brandon loves trying to take photos of lightning. These 3 photos were taken in Cave Creek, Az
I love this photo as the top has some blue sky & the bottom of the photo is so dark & stormy with lightning.

And you can't go to Arizona without seeing the Grand Canyon. The skies over the canyon are beautiful in August. I love the shadow of the clouds over the canyon.
Thunderstorms roll in. It can be sunny where you are standing, but over a little ways it looks like this.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The sun is starting to set & casts an orange glow on the canyon. I love the contrast with the blue grey sky.
I hope that you have enjoyed looking at the skies of Arizona. If you have never been, you need to go. If you go during the summer, be sure to take sun screen & an umbrella. We loved it so much that we are going again next month. Mostly because my parents are letting us stay with them in their air conditioned time share, so it's a free vacation for us. But you can't beat the scenery. Who knows what we will see this time.