Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Arrives at Heart and Home

Hi everyone! I'm so glad you're here for Transformation Thursday sponsored by the Shabby Chic Cottage. I'm also joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, for Tablescape Thursday, although this isn't a traditional tablescape (you can see some of those  here,    here, and here!) I'm also hooking up to Rhoda's Fall party at Southern Hospitality

I've been busy changing all the summer accessories for Fall.
Here's a view of the family room looking kind of  "beachy" before:

And here it is after,  looking ready for Fall:

The day I did this it was 100 degrees outside. It still felt like summer,


but I knew Fall was on it's way, and sure enough three days later the weather turned foggy all day and temperatures were in the 60's. My  favorite kind of weather: sweater and boot-wearing weather, no squinting, and foggy mornings which are great for the complexion and make my hair curl!

These suede cloth pillow covers and the leather and thick cotton feel cozy after spending a day outdoors.  BTW - have you guessed one of my favorite cities?  We haven't been back since our honeymoon 21 years ago, but someday..... (to view my truly favorite city go see this, and you can see it here, too!)

If you remember the coffee table transformation ( go see it here) I had a summer tablescape going, with sea shells and sea glass. It was time to put out a wool runner, and some scented pine cones and candles for warmth, along with a few of my favorite interior design books.

 I added a few soft, warm throws, and now it's even more cozy and comfortable in here!

I like how everything I have in my home works well in any room I choose. I've read this in design books over and over:  if you buy what you love, you'll always find a way to use it, and it will work with everything else you own. I've found that to be true, and every time I move my stuff around I appreciate that I love stuff that's not too heavy!!

I  have a big closet where I keep candles and candle holders, and little accessories and wreaths and things. It's fun to dig through there and see what I haven't used in awhile. It's like going shopping, without leaving home. These bee's wax candles burn slowly, and have a heavenly, natural honey scent. They smell good enough to eat!

The sunlight through this tortoise-shell patterned vase glows amber, and the dried wheat adds a lot of texture to the table top arrangement. I think it looks very "Fallish" in here now. With the temperature dropping I'm ready to build a fire in the fireplace, and cozy up with a good book and a nice hot cup of tea. That's my way of relaxing after spending the afternoon doing some serious antique browsing and junk shopping - one of my favorite Fall activities. I'm sure many of you would agree....

Remember, there are only a few days left to add a comment and be included in my Fabulous Giveaway. ( You can get more details here - and go here for a view of the prizes!)
Thank you for stopping by! I  truly appreciate it, and hope you'll come back often.
Until next time,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heart and Home and a Pet Parade

Hi Everyone! Welcome back for a special post - Today is the pet parade, sponsored by Kelee, over at the Katillac Shack. For every pet entered in the parade, $3.00 will be donated by Design Gives Back to help animals abandoned due to foreclosures...a worthy cause, and one little Miss Maggie was eager to participate in!

She even agreed to pose for these pictures, which is something she normally would not consider, because Maggie doesn't sit still in one place for very long.  She also would not  wear any clothing, or a scarf, or that cute little bow I had picked out for her hair....

But she did agree to a little beauty treatment at the doggie day spa, where she recieved her first haircut, because she wanted to look really good for all of you. I told her what special people all my blogging friends are, and how generous and kind, and clever and talented you are. She did not want to make an appearance until she was properly groomed......

She would not be happy if she knew I posted this picture of
her messy but loveable self, before...

But seeing as how it's for a good cause and all, I think she will forgive me....

If you haven't already, be sure to go over to the Katillac Shack and meet Kelee .  She's very talented and clever, and always working for a great cause because she has a very generous heart. I know you are going to love her. Have a nice visit,
 and let her know her I sent you!  BTW - there will be additional $1.00 donations given for every comment left at her site regarding the pet parade! When you're done here, head on over there right away!

Now for some more details about Heart and Home's fabulous giveaway
 scheduled for next Monday, Oct 5th.....

Here's what you'll get if you are the lucky winner:

 You'll receive this fun and creative book, which contains all kinds of outrageous and clever ideas for decorating with finds from flea markets, junk shops and garage sales.......

It's full of wonderful pictures to inspire you.....

and has lots of details on a variety of very creative projects ...

It's a fun read for a lazy afternoon.

And there's more! I'm also going to send you these cute little teapot napkin rings! So many of you admired them when I showed one of them to you here, that I just had to get you some of your very own!

You'll be the recipient of eight of these cuties...perfect for an afternoon luncheon or teaparty for you and seven of your favorite people....each one is differnt, and they're my favorite color combo, blue and white, what else?!
 (See a Blue and White tablescape, here)

 If you'd like to enter, just check out this post here, to view the official rules, and make sure you get in on the fun. I will draw the lucky winner on Sunday, and announce the winner in my post on Monday, October 5th. Good luck!

Thank you for participating in the Pet Parade fund raiser,  and thanks again for visiting me! I hope you'll come back soon.
Until next time,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Fall Mantle-scape at Heart and Home

The leaves are changing and it's finally time for some fall decorating! (Even though it's 100 degrees out today, a freaky heat wave!)  This is how the mantle looked for the last months of summer.   I kept it simple, and used my big blue vases and a few of the little bird's nests which I found in our yard. (BTW - did you know "mantle" is also correctly spelled "mantel"? - very confusing if you ask me...)

I always like to start with a clean slate! I carefully wrapped and put away the bird's nests, and all the summer items went back into the storage closet.   The wood mantle and surround was cleaned and polished. Doesn't it look sad and lonely when it's empty? I think so.

Where do I begin? I don't like to get too carried away with a theme, but I wanted the new arrangement to say Fall.  I decided to use these big green candle holders, and keep the rest simple, because there is a lot going on in this room.  I always place the largest elements first. Then I fill in with the smaller items, and then I mess around with it for awhile. And then I go back and do it all over again. And again! I am always tweaking, and rearranging.  It can get a little tricky balancing everything, because my natural inclination when I'm decorating is for an asymmetrical design. I don't know why - could it be because I'm unbalanced? Hmmm....


I love these two rustic twig pumpkins - I found them at the drug store today, on sale of course. They were calling my name! The gourds and white pumpkins add a nice splash of fall color. Using some of my treasured old books in places other than the book shelf gets them out where they can be seen and enjoyed.

The large candle holders are from Pier One, a major steal . They have a lot of texture, and I like having two different sizes. I especially like their color, they go well with the wall color (although in these pictures the walls look white - they are actually a nice soft, mossy green.)

The curves in this ceramic urn create interesting negative spaces.

I'm still working on this wall! We have high ceilings in here, so I'm searching for some really interesting architectural salvage pieces for above the mirror, and I'd love to add candle sconces on each side. But everything happens in it's own time! I found the mantle surround in a little antique store, on one of those afternoons when I wasn't really shopping for anything. I just went to browse around, and there it was, the exact size we needed, a decent price, and it even fit in the back of my car. How could I say no?!

This is how it looked in here when we had just moved in, before we remodeled:

The original mantle was about 2 inches deep, so frustrating because I couldn't put much on it. And the tile surround was, well, I'll  be kind and just say, um, outdated......
The texture and color of the replacement mantle adds a lot of interest to the space. Okay, I went back and tweaked and rearranged a bit more....


I think this new look is much better, don't you agree? Of course, once I finished bringing my mantle-scape into Fall, I had to redo the rest of the room. I  did a little rearranging and added Fall accessories. The trunk hasn't been in this room since that before picture was taken 8 years might remember seeing it here, when it was in the family room, before I replaced it with the new-to-us coffee table.

Before: (Summer)

After: (Fall!)


                             I love the textures in these pieces:

This is one of my oldest paper-mache' trays, which I borrowed from the wall in the kitchen. It was perfect for this spot:                                    

At last, I believe I am done with this project!! I'll leave it like this, for a few weeks anyway. Then I'll put up some Halloween decorations - because around here it doesn't feel like Halloween until there are some scary ghosts lurking...


Happy Fall,  and thank you very much for stopping by! I love to hear from you, leave a comment! Thanks Susan, at BNOTP, for Metamorphosis Monday!  And thanks also to Sherri, at  The Shades of Pink!

Okay kiddies, it's time for the big announcement

In honor of my two month blogging anniversary I 'm having a giveaway!

Two months blogging might not seem like a long time to those of you who have been at this for years, but as you've been getting to know me (tech challenged, to say the least), I've been very dedicated to learning new blogging skills, and I've been excited 
to have met so many kind, talented, funny, clever new friends. I wanted to mark the day with something special.

So,  if you're interested in getting in on the fun and fabulous drawing for free goodies, please leave me a comment. If you leave a comment and become a member you get extra credit (you'll be entered twice!) - if you're already a member( yay, thank you!) mention it in your comment, and you'll be entered twice! This week each day you leave me a comment you'll be entered in the drawing, and I'll announce the winner next week, on Monday, October 5th. I'll show you the prizes in my next post (you'll like them!). Thanks again for stopping by, and come back soon!
Until next time,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Plum Tartlets at Heart and Home

Good Morning! Here at Heart and Home we love to bake.
It's the perfect time of year to make fabulous Plum Tartlets!

Wash, pit and cut Italian plums into sixths

gather your other ingredients

mix and stir, cut and press,

chop, grate and assemble

bake, wait, ahhh - the aroma is wonderful....

Finally, it's time to enjoy!

These tarts are delicious for breakfast, tea-time, or dessert with vanilla ice cream.

Italian plums (sometimes called prune plums) stay firm during baking
 and are tart and juicy. They maintain their rich deep plum color (no, these aren't burnt - the skin just photographed very dark!)

The recipe follows, I hope you'll bake some and save me one for later!

Italian Plum Tartlets:
Kuchen Pie Shell:
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter or reg. margarine, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
dash salt

Sift flour and baking powder into medium bowl. With mixer or back of spoon (I use pastry blender) blend in butter until smooth. In medium bowl, beat egg until frothy, Gradually beat in sugar and salt, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Add to flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Press dough evenly over bottom and sides of tartlet pans (or use one 9" tart pan). (dough is sticky, I spray my hands with Pam first) Refrigerate until ready to fill.

1 1/2 lbs Italian plums
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash plums, cut into quarters for large tart pan, sixths for small tartlet pans.  Remove pits. Arrange plums on unbaked kuchen shell, sprinkle with granulated sugar and orange peel.
Bake 15 minutes, reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees F, bake 45 minutes longer.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm, with light cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Or eat one right away, all by itself, while standing over kitchen sink!! Yum.

I hope you enjoy my contribution to this week's Foodie Friday, hosted by Designs by Gollum. If you try the recipe I'd love to hear how they turned out for you.

Remember:  Come back on Monday for details on my fabulous blogger giveaway!!
Until next time,

Italian Plum Tartlets on Foodista

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heart and Home Is White and Creamy

Hello everyone, welcome back to another Tablescape Thursday, sponsored by our friend Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch! It's so much fun to see everyone's beautiful tables every week. Thanks for coming by so see what I have to show you this time!

I've imagined a nice, quiet dinner for just Mr.H&H and myself - our  girls are off somewhere and it's just the two of us for the evening. I've set up a pretty table inside in the dining room. Outside the evenings are much cooler now, and it's cozy in here with all the candles lit. I couldn't resist using my all-white everlasting love bouquet (see the post on that here), and created a white and cream setting.

For a table cover I'm using one of my favorite fabric remnants, which for years had lined the inside of my kitchen hutch. (check it out)

I enjoyed pulling together casual, rustic pieces in a creative way to make a peaceful backdrop for our meal. 

The little birds made an appearance earlier (look here),  I love catching a glimpse of  them from behind the tall candlesticks.

As always, it's mix and match crystal at this house. I only have two of the Mikasa gold-banded wine glasses left - remnants of an earlier time -

The candlight reflects and glows against the crystal .

Salt and pepper acorns set the mood for fall,

as do rust, gold and green plaid cotton napkins with gold threads. Copper napkin rings add a bit of shine and texture.

The three tall candle holders create a dramatic backdrop for the pitcher of flowers.

These woven straw placemats add additional texture, and contrast nicely against the subltle colors of the table cloth.

The table is all set and ready for an intimate dinner for two.  I  think I'll cook a delicious meal, and after we're done eating, it will be Mr.H&H's turn to do the dishes!

Thanks again, Susan, and thank you everyone for stopping by.  Leave me a comment to let me know you were here! And remember, details of my giveaway are coming soon!
Until next time,