The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Hues on Tabletops. . .

Autumn Hues on Tabletops . .

One of the unique features of our ranch style home On Crooked Creek is a built in china hutch. Built in 1978, the upper cabinets came with thick amber circular patterned glass. Didn't like it back when it was popular ~ don't like it now. So . . . when we updated the home shortly after purchasing in 2002 . . . that amber glass was one of the first things to go ! Those upper cabinet doors are now flanked with clear glass and you can see all the lovely things "Mr. Ed" and I have collected through the years combined with treasured heirlooms.

This tabletop vignette changes approximately six times during the year. I recently changed out the display to play tribute to the Sunflowers grown by "Mr. Ed" On Crooked Creek.
(For a look at the Sunflower Patch scroll to the bottom of my blog page.)

The bottom half of our built in china hutch On Crooked Creek.

                                                   A tabletop view with hues of Autumn.

My sage green olive jar filled with faux Sunflowers. The Root jar candle becomes a lamp when lit with a vintage home interiors stained glass shade in amber, brown, burgundy and rust. A berry, leaf and acorn candle wreath at the base accentuates the glass shade.

My favorite Sunflower print (a T.J. Maxx find) tucked behind on two wooden black easels for better balance and support. Have I mentioned that I love Sunflowers? ? ?

A green leaf tray holds one of my favorite faux fruits . . . pears! My mother's antique coffee server and my mother ~ in ~ law's English bone china Sunflower tea cup and saucer.

I am totally smitten with how the silver rimmed tea cup and saucer play off the silver of the coffee server. Did you notice the three little feet on the tea cup?
(Just a note: my mother, Carmen and my mother ~ in ~ law, Mary became such sweet friends over the years. They shared many cups of coffee, although Mary much rather preferred "a bit of tea"!)

Beneath the tabletop vignette is a table runner. Soft scallop edges in shades of sage green, golds, reds and bisque.                             

Thank you for visiting On Crooked Creek. For more wonderfully inspiring tabletop ideas stop by Marty's @ A Stroll Thru Life as she host Tabletop Tuesday.

Pardon me, dear. . .
I didn't show photos of the upper cabinets?
Oh, yes, you're right, I didn't.
We'll save that for another post.

Until next time. . .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall On Crooked Creek!

Fall On Crooked Creek!
"Mr. Ed's" labor of love On Crooked Creek!

It's official. . .Autumnal Equinox has arrived On Crooked Creek!
Ours began with extremely high humidity followed around Noonish with cool refreshing rain!

No longer a "lurker", I officially began blogging August 21, 2010. Combining creative writing and designing artistry with my love of family, friends and home have made my first month an enjoyable experience.

Most of my early posts were of family, food and updating our home decor. Usually by this time of year my home is completely decorated for Thanksgiving. (The older I get ~ the earlier I start.) But since we're celebrating at our son and daughter-in-law's home this year for that blessed holiday. . .I'm decorating for Fall!

The entry hall On Crooked Creek is ever changing! ! !
The console table is the first piece of new furniture we purchased after moving into our home nearly eight years ago.

Sunflowers make their arrival early On Crooked Creek and stay until Fall arrives!
The table is a beautiful solid wood walnut with two drawers. It measures 54" long, 18" deep and is 29" high.

Traditional styling with fluted legs. Stunning!

The front entry hallway is 12 feet long and 4 feet wide making it extremely difficult to photograph. Also, having five doorways: entry, kitchen, basement, living room and East Wing adds to the degree of challenge. My photos do not credit the interior with due justice.

The first view you see when you enter the front door On Crooked Creek.

Standing in the kitchen doorway leading to the entry hall.

View from the basement doorway (Maurice's favorite view!).

This view can be seen from the living room and entering from the East Wing.

The tall pillar candlesticks are a soft sage green over a bronze finish holding Mulled Cider candles and sprigs of rustic berry and acorn rings.

An antique counter check holder, now used for holding outgoing mail, serves as a backdrop to bisque and brown glass pumpkins. Notice the notepad has a willow basket and bittersweet spray? Just seems to say, "Fall has arrived On Crooked Creek."

Two newly purchased quail for Fall are tucked in under the candlesticks and elevated on books. Larger bronze and wood acorns scattered among the quail portray a natural element. Rust mums accentuate the season!

A larger bisque pumpkin paired with another brown pumpkin and a sprig of bittersweet complete the decor.  The table runner is actually a chair tie. I love how the sheerness of the fabric and the beading on each end bring an elegance to this outdoorsy setting.

One final glance as you leave us On Crooked Creek today! I hope you're enjoying Fall wherever you may be. Stop in again soon!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Enter As Strangers. . .

This sign hangs above the coat closet of the entry hall On Crooked Creek.

This Fall the most frequently used advertising term in our area has been "gather". Even our Church has captivated the phrase recently for a congregational care function. . .
Neighborhood Care Gathering.

Interestingly enough, our newly appointed Associate Pastor recently gave his sermon on the topic of Are You a Mary or a Martha? "Mr. Ed" and I both chuckled from the pew. On Crooked Creek . . . I am absolutely, positively, unmistakably . . . a Martha! A nickname I've carried for more than two decades.

So . . .
let's just say when we received a friendly call from a member of "the committee" that our name had been suggested by our Senior Pastor to host our Neighborhood Care Gathering On Crooked Creek, we were not at all surprised.
. . . And being a Martha (after consulting with the host), we graciously agreed.

You've heard it said of athletes, artist and composers that when they are striving for the goal, creating a masterpiece , or amidst composing the musical score that they are "in the zone". As soon as Ed agreed we could be host and hostess ~ my Martha Mode kicked into overdrive!

Our responsibilities as the hosting household were to put out cups and provide a drink. On Crooked Creek's interpretation of that requirement . . .

Homemade Oatmeal Cookies and chilled Louisburg Apple Cider!

Party~Lite candlesticks, brown dollar tree pumpkins, dried berry garland and an oversized gourd atop my sage green $5.00  Flea Market  find tablecloth.

The addition of "Giving Thanks" hand painted porcelain figurine.

My dad's brown ironstone pitcher and the addition of a newly purchased Mulled Cider sign complete the table setting. . . ready for guests!

I had the opportunity to drop ~ in to the Church office prior to the event and visited with our Congregational Care Pastor. He mentioned the upcoming event and I told him Ed and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our guests. I ask him to share with our Associate Pastor  if he prefer I be a Mary or a Martha when they spoke during the week. Pastor was quick to respond . . . We would prefer our ladies who serve our congregation to have Martha qualities when preparing any events for the Church families . . .
I smiled and softly replied, "Oh, Pastor, I might let you know that through the years I've developed a 'split personality'. You see, once the guest arrive, I take on a Mary disposition."

The smile on his face . . . priceless.

What a wonderful evening of fellowship and new and rekindled friendships!

. . . Leave as friends.

Until next time. . .

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday.
Be sure to take a moment to see all the inspiring Fall Tablescapes for ideas in your own home!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Fall Cloche Party!

My very first "party"!
I'm so honored to be invited to participate in. . .
A Fall Cloche Party ! ! !

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our hostess,
Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life, for all of her planning with
such inspiring ideas for Fall Cloches on her recent posts.

My Fall Cloche is a tribute to my in~laws, Edwin & Mary.
I purchased this hand painted fine porcelain figurine to
commemorate the family tradition of sharing Thanksgiving
at their home since "Mr. Ed" and I announced our engagement
( Thanksgiving 1968) until the time when their health no longer
allowed for them to host. Being retired from Ed's Army career,
and being close once again, the torch was passed to us!
A tradition that continues On Crooked Creek.

The piece from the Jessie Wilcox Smith Collection,
a 1986 Holiday Figurine Series titled "Giving Thanks"
was purchased from Avon. Its design comes from an
original figurine that premiered in 1930's Good Housekeeping
Magazine by the Hearst Corporation.

Mary always spoke fondly of Good Housekeeping Magazine . . .
renaming it. . .My Magazine.

"Giving Thanks" receives a place of honor On Crooked Creek
each year during Thanksgiving. It only seemed appropriate that it would be the premiere item to be displayed in my first cloche!

Purchased the Summer of 2009, the cloche came with the green
cast iron base. The base was really what attracted my eye. . .
the actual cloche (bell ) makes me very nervous! ! !

Early in the Fall,
I placed the cloche in our entry hall On Crooked Creek.

The vintage print above is a watercolor depicting a farm couple
"Giving Thanks" over their bountiful harvest. A gift to my husband from his Grandmother Ida, Mary's mother.

Our family tradition On Crooked Creek is to alternate holidays
with our grown son and daughter~in~law. This year we will be
joining them at their home (in the country) for Thanksgiving.
The tablescape photoset is from Thanksgiving 2009.

Again, a place of honor on our Thanksgiving table to celebrate the numerous blessings On Crooked Creek. . .

Marty, many thanks for asking me to participate in your
Fall Cloche Party. As an honored guest, I wanted to express how much I admire the quote from your Mom at the top of your blog.

"Giving Thanks" for Ed's parents, Edwin and Mary.
The family tradition continues. . .handed from one generation to another. Blest be the tie that binds.

Until next time. . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Crunchy, Munchy Chili Time!

Every year when September rolls along. . .
it's Crunchy, Munchy Chili time!

"Mr. Ed" and I look forward to cooler temperatures, time together before his busy season, and the beginning of our Annual Trout Fishing Trip to Bennett Spring State Park.
So. . .when the calendar turns over, the first thing Ed looks at when he comes home is the dining room table and then the Menu board to see what "gourmet treat" is in store.

Although our dining room table can easily seat four, most times I set an intimate table for"just the two of us". Spring and Fall we like to set together instead of across from one another. We both have a great view of the deck and the back yard.

Tonight we're going very casual. Instead of place mats, I simply used an extra napkin folded in half and draped over the edge of the table about five inches.

Casual dining? ? ? . . . the addition of the salad fork will be used for dessert tonight. Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake from Martha White!

Ed and I found this while out grocery shopping this past weekend. I love the ease of Martha White Muffin  Mixes. . .so thought we'd give this a try.

Easy enough ~ 2/3 cups water, 1 egg, 1 Tbsp. oil . . .

oops. . . there's the egg!
Cake mix and streusel mix in the box. Stir by hand.

Bake for 30 ~ 33 minutes in a 375 degree oven. M~m~m the whole upstairs smells yummy!

Add salt and pepper shakers to the table, bowl of Fritos and shredded cheese, iced tea for him, water for me.

AND. . .
there you have it. . .Crunchy, Munchy Chili served up piping hot!

Embellished with shredded cheese and Fritos!

Dear Lord,
We accept this meal as your gift,
May we partake of it's bountiful blessing
and nourishment to our bodies;
Open our senses to it's goodness;
May it give us strength to go forward to serve you.

Crunchy, Munchy Chili Recipe:
2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 46 oz. can of Tomato Juice
1 10 oz. can of (Mild) Rotel
1 15.5 oz. can of Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 14.5 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. butter
Sea Salt (to taste)
Coarse Ground Pepper (to taste)
Small bag Fritos Corn Chips
1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded

In a large skillet brown and drain hamburger; set aside.
In the meantime; melt butter in a dutch oven . (6 to 8 quart size)
Add onion, garlic, celery and saute 2 - 3 minutes on med. high to high heat. Add browned hamburger, chili powder, sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Pour in tomato juice, diced tomatoes, rotel and kidney beans. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over med. high heat. Simmer on low to med. high heat 20 - 30 minutes.

Spoon into bowls.
Garnish with cheese and Fritos corn chips.
Serve piping hot!
Makes 6 - 8 servings.

As my nephew, in the days of his youth, would say. . .
"All this and dessert, too!"
. . . and it was good!

Until next time. . .