January 30, 2012

Esso Station

There's an old Esso station in a small neighborhood in north Richmond that is filled with antique cars and always decorated for the appropriate holiday. How many of you remember Esso service stations?  I do!

There are great antique shops, consignment shops and restaurants in that area.  Saturday I had lunch with a friend near the station and took these pictures to share with you.


Considering I had to take the pictures through the storefront glass, I think they turned out pretty clear.  The station is never open.

January 29, 2012

Estate Sale Finds

I can't wait to show you what I found this weekend at an estate sale.  The sale was Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  My friend and I went yesterday and saw several things we liked but decided we'd take a chance and go back today (Sunday) when everything was reduced 50%.

My friend bought this gorgeous handmade quilt for his granddaughter for $32!  What a great find.

I got a pair of these lamps for my living room for $25.  I love hummingbirds and the colors of the flowers match the fabric on my sofa. 

I also purchased a box of vintage crochet items for $4.  I love these glass covers.  I'm going to put them in my Etsy shop soon.  Does anyone know what I should call them?

January 26, 2012

Trip to the Bay

Miss Arabelle and I spent  last night with my niece, Wendy, who lives on the Chesapeake Bay. I grew up in the small town where she lives and it's always fun to visit there.  Wendy is working on things for her Etsy Shop (Chesapeake Bay Bliss) and has made some beautiful nautical items and jewelry.  Several years ago she owned a florist and is very artistic.  Check out her shop when you have a minute.

While we were there, we visited with one of my friends who breeds Golden Retrievers.  This is the cutest picture of mom and all her little ones.

It's such a short drive (1 1/2 hours) to visit with my family in that area and I decided today I need to do it more often!

January 23, 2012

A Surprise in the Mail!

Today was one of those peaceful rainy days that I love!  I decided this morning to bake a pound cake for my dear neighbor who is always saving her delicious leftovers for me.

The highlight of my day was getting my mail.  Over the past several months I have gotten to be friends with Kathleen who writes Yesteryear Embroideries blog.  Kathleen does beautiful hand embroidered linens.  Today I received this embroidered dish towel from her.  Every embroidery stitch is perfect and I so appreciate her talent! 

Thank you, Kathleen, for this lovely gift! 

January 22, 2012

Peanut and Raisin Pie in Surry, VA

In spite of drizzling rain and near freezing temperatures, Saturday was a great day.  My friend and I had read about a few estate sales on EstateSales.Net that were about an hour south of Richmond.  The last sale was in Spring Grove, VA.  Spring Grove is a small town in Surry County, which is just across the James River from Jamestown.

I didn't find any treasures worth mentioning at the sales but I have to tell you about our lunch!  We ate at the Surry House Restaurant which was built in 1954.  The special for the day  was fried oysters, stewed tomatoes, green beans and hush puppies.  It was out of the world delicious!  The tomatoes were the best I've ever eaten! Of course, we had to try their "world famous" peanut and raisin pie and ditto on that.  (Surry County has numerous peanut farms).  I found this recipe online that sounds similar.

Peanut and Raisin Pie

1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. plumped raisins (divided)
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 9-inch deep dish unbaked  pie crust

 Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly beat together corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Set aside 2 Tbsps. of raisins for garnish. Stir remaining raisins and chopped peanuts into the mixture.

3. Spread mixture into pie shell.

4. Place pie on a baking pan into the preheated oven. When crust browns (about 15-20 mins.), cover it with foil to prevent burning. Continue baking until filling is a deep brown color and set. Total baking time should be approximately 1 hour.

5. Cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream and reserved raisins.

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe!


January 20, 2012

Joyful Noise

After school today I took my two granddaughters (ages 12 and 14) to see the movie, Joyful Noise.   I was so happy we could work this in their busy schedules.  This movie is like a breath of fresh air!  The music is beautiful and the combination of Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah is hilarious.

Hope everyone has a restful, fun weekend!  Be sure and see this movie if you have a chance.

January 19, 2012

Miniature Chicken Coop

 This is my miniature chicken coop made from a small wooden birdcage  I found at a flea market.   I had fun making the tiny nesting boxes and finding just the right chickens to fill them.  
A very handsome rooster thinks he's in charge.

January 16, 2012

Meet "Hoosier", the Mouse

A few years ago, my daughter bought a lovely antique Hoosier cabinet for her kitchen.  The cabinet had a hole (a little larger than a quarter) in one of the doors right where it meets the metal work space.  I decided we needed to add some interest to this hole and my feeble attempt to create a mouse looked like this.  After we shoved him in the hole, all that was showing was his cute little face.

"Hoosier", the mouse, experienced a grueling attack by this lobster handsome cat and he was missing for several months.  During the holidays he was found under the refrigerator with other cat toys.  I've reattached his ear and  he's ready to go back in the  hole in the cabinet.  It'll be interesting to see how long he stays there.

I didn't do it!

Garden Cloche

The graphic of a cloche is from The Graphics Fairy
 The French developed the cloche, or bell jar, formed of a solid piece of glass shaped like a dome. The purpose was to protect an early garden plant from cold weather.

I love to see how others have used cloches in their decorating.  Below are the three that I have:

I use this one in my bathroom where I have a garden theme.

This cloche is only about six inches tall and I love using a tiny cup and saucer under it.

My wire cloche sits on the mantle.  I found it at Home Goods and it was very inexpensive.

If you have a cloche, send me a picture of how you've decorated it and I'll do a post of the pictures I receive.

January 14, 2012

The Iron Lady

I've never seen a movie starring Meryl Streep that I didn't love and this one was no exception.  In fact, I think this was my all time favorite!  Meryl does a fabulous job of  playing the role of Margaret Thatcher who was the prime minister of England from 1979-1990. 

I highly recommend this film and would love to hear what you think when you see it!

January 12, 2012

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Just before Christmas, my friend and I bought an Internet coupon package for the beautiful Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton,VA. Included were a $145-room for $70 and $30 in food certificates. We stayed there Wednesday night and loved it!

The hotel lobby.
Located in historic downtown Staunton in the heart of the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, the 124-room hotel captures the spirit, history and charm of the old South. Originally built in 1924  the hotel underwent a complete top to bottom renovation in 2005 and has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur.  

On the way to  Staunton,  we stopped in several antique shops and thrift stores along the way.  We also stopped at a Hallmark store in Waynesboro owned by Joan of the Applejack Lane blog.  As usual, it was delightful to meet another blogging friend!

January 11, 2012

My Quilt of Many Colors

When I was in high school, my home economics class made shirtwaist dresses that were so popular in the 60's.   Several of my friends from the sewing class contributed scraps from their dresses for this quilt that my mother was making me.  Today I love looking at the quilt and remembering each classmate and their dresses.  I didn't realize at the time what sentimental value this piece would have!

Get well wishes to my beautiful friend who had triple bypass surgery last week.  Several of the fabric squares are from her dresses.  It's been a little over a month ago since we shared lunch at the Blue Willow Tea Room. I can't wait to see her again and give her a very gentle hug!

January 9, 2012

I love The Graphics Fairy and use her graphics often.  Today she featured this card made by  Betty who writes Bee Bee Stamps! blog.  It was posted on her blog on December 31 and I love what she writes about making it.

Isn't this fabulous?  You know how much I love old sewing notions. Betty has other beautiful cards on her blog so stop by if you have a minute.

January 7, 2012

Corgi Valentines!

I've been biten by the card making bug this week and have been working on corgi Valentines.  I plan to send some to friends and put some in my Etsy shop.

Hope you're having a great weekend!  The high here today was 70 degrees.  I went to the outside flea market this morning and it was as many vendors as in the summer.  I didn't find any treasures, just a few ties for my friend who makes purses.

January 4, 2012

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope

Today I finally got caught up enough with my projects to spend some time reading.   I haven't read a book for a few months and I've missed it.

Several weeks ago I saw an interview by Diane Sawyer with Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.  She is the most remarkable woman!  I decided I wanted to read Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope which was penned by her husband.  This book describes her months of intense therapy and her emotional up and downs.  So far, the book is great!  She is definitely an inspiration to all of us.

January 3, 2012

Some Much Needed Sunshine

My daughter went on a cruise the first of December and shared these beautiful pictures with me.  I've been saving them for just the right day and this is it!  The temperature has barely gotten above freezing here in my "neck of the woods" today.

I'd love to feel the warm sand under my feet right now!

January 1, 2012

Estate Sale Findings

Last Friday I went to a "once in a lifetime" estate sale for me!  The estate was selling three beautiful dollhouses and the contents of each were being sold separately.  I bought several electric lamps for $3 each which is a small fraction of what they would  cost new.  I also got this pretty girl.  I redressed her and gave her a doll I got in Vermont many years ago.  She's a lovely playmate for the little girl I already have.

These are pictures hanging in that room.

Both of the lights in this room I got from the sale.  The dollhouse is a Hallmark ornament. 
Raggedy Ann and Andy are about thirty years old and are made from dough.

Friday night I thought of all the things I wished I had bought at the sale and made a list.  Saturday morning I went back to pick up my items and some things  for a friend whose doing a miniature tea room.  About an hour before I got there someone bought the entire contents of the houses!  This was definitely a case of "you snooze, you loose!"  I should have been there when the sale started that morning.

I also got this little bag of groceries with the receipt sticking out the top.