Monday, November 30, 2009

A Golden Glow at Heart and Home

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. We had a great time visiting with family and eating. And eating. And eating. It's time to step away from the turkey now.  I've never been that fond of it to start with. I'm not even going to try to come up with another way to use the leftovers!!

Anyway, for the big dinner celebration I did a "Do it Yourself" project. I'm joining in on the DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land, and Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented.  For less than $15 I created a gold and silver centerpiece for the table using Dollar Tree (kinda trashy!) plastic gourds and pumpkins.

I sprayed them with my favorite quick drying Krylon paint in Satin Silver,

and shiny metallic gold:

Obviously, this was a super easy project. Just perfect for this busy time of year! Even so, I think they added just the right touch to the table, and helped create an easy elegance which was just what I wanted for the holiday.

I collected acorns from our oak trees, and sprayed them, too!

I always try to keep the centerpiece low, so it doesn't interfere with our line of sight. That makes it much easier to have a conversation with everyone. I hate having to peer over, around or through overly elaborate arrangements - although they do look very dramatic!

I don't use tall candlesticks on the dining room table very often anymore, especially when I know I'll be lighting the overhead candelabra.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal, spirited conversation and warm family companionship under the light of the candles, with the golden glow of the gourds and pumpkins scattered across the table!

Thanks for visiting! Come back again soon.  In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing all of your Holiday DIY projects! Thanks for hosting DIY Day and Trash to Treasure Tues. Kimba and Kimm!
Until next time,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks at Heart and Home

Follow me down our mossy path into the back yard for a peek at the fall colors, as I join in on Outdoor Wednesday.

Hello Sweet Friends! It's a glorious Fall day. Hope you're all having a good one!  Those of you living on the east coast are used to the brilliant transformation when the weather changes. After growing up in Southern California and moving North, the change in the weather around here every year still thrills me. I love the snap in the air, the frost on the ground every morning, and the gorgeous colors that surround us from November until the first heavy rains.

The Japanese Maples turn gold, and then later in the season, bright red.

Their leaves create a brilliant, lacey canopy above the backyard gazebo.

Nature abounds. These mushrooms look interesting and dangerous!

The berries on the bamboo plants turn red with the first frost.

Every year, my Spring bulbs begin to bloom during the Fall season. The weather here fluctuates so radically  it really does feel like spring some days. But I'd like to enjoy these narcissus at Easter time, not only during Thanksgiving! This is the first one, starting to open up. I love their scent, and the deer won't eat them!

I am blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of nature, to have glorious views out my windows every day, for good health, wonderful daughters, a loving, handsome and successful husband, a warm and comfortable safe haven in our home, plenty to eat, and to have the love and friendship of my friends, and my newfound blogging sisters!  For all these blessings, I have gratitude and give thanks.

Wishing all my dear friends a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Posted for Outdoor Wednesday, at A Southern Daydreamer. Thank you, Susan!
Until next time,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday Favorites at Heart and Home

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend! I'm so grateful that you decided to stop by,  and want to thank you for the all the encouragement and kindness you've shared with me. During my forced technical down time I had doubts that I would continue this blog, but who am I kidding, I can't stay away!! I always look forward to hearing from you my friends, and I really love it when you share a little bit about yourself in your comments. I feel like I'm getting to know you!
Anyway, this morning  I'm joining in for Sunday Favorites at Happy to Design. This post was one of my first, before I made Heart and Home an open site.  Blogging was a mystery to me, but I was intrigued by the ability to express myself creatively, in a way new to me . I posted some of these pictures, just to keep a record of the sites around me daily.  Today I've added a few new pictures and captions.

The Farmer's market is still one of my favorite hangouts on Saturday mornings. Just one look at all this beautiful local produce and I know you'll understand why I love to head over there to pick out my weekly veggies.

The colors of the root vegetables are perfect for a fall still life!

 We live near the "Artichoke Capital of the World".  Aren't we lucky?

I brought one of these beauties home with me one day. It sure doesn't look like this anymore. Begonias don't seem to like me. But I just love the thought that one day I'll be successful with one and get to experience the profusion of blossoms hanging in a pot on my front deck. I looooove the color of this one (almost like the color of my kitchen - see it here)

A glorious bounty of fresh veggies, all from the fields very near our home.

Thanks Chari, for hosting Sunday Favorites. Go check out Chari's site and take a look at her lovely, lovely home.

Thanks for stopping by today! I have some fun things to share with you next week, hope you'll come by again soon! ( I want to show you my new AWARD! Lucky me.)

Until next time,
Bye for now

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heart and Home's a Winner!

Greetings everyone!   Today I'm joining in on the Tablescape party over at Between Naps on the Porch (thanks, Susan!) But firstLookie what I got. My first award, sent to me by Judy aka "Kifus" at Inspiring Interiors. When you're done here head on over there for a look at some pics of the most lovely and (as her title suggests - ) inspiring homes. She has a terrific collection of interiors to drool over, at least that's what I did when I checked them out! Thank you Judy, for the vote of confidence in my blog. I appreciate it! Now it's my turn to pass on the honor, and to award seven worthy bloggers, from me to you! Go to the end of this post to see the blogs I've chosen, and also to read seven things about me that you didn't know. Riveting and fascinating material, for sure!! You don't want to miss that.

And now, on to serious Tablescaping! (sorry these pictures are all over the place, can't seem to get my computer to follow centering orders. This  tech trouble is getting to be a pain....)

Working the Fall theme, trying to come up with new and pretty ways to use the same old stuff....wishing I had a great big dining room hutch so I could unpack all the boxes stored away under the house which contain several sets of fine china, glassware, Annie Glass dishes and all sorts of wonderful odds and ends that make for a lovely table. But alas, it's not to be. There is no hutch in my future. I keep hoping Santa will bring me one, but I guess he hasn't received my note....

So here's the table set for a nice pork chop dinner for the family, eating in the dining room for a change. Usually during the week we sit in our pop-out bay window area in the kitchen (see it here). But I think I'll light a fire in the living room tonight and cozy up the place for a warm and relaxing family meal.


I love the wrought iron chandelier, which I found in a second hand store and got for a song. It was covered with speckled green paint. We scraped it and repainted it and hung it (it weighs a ton!) in a place of honor over the dining room table. It creates such a warm ambiance and golden glow at night when all the candles are lit. I go through boxes and boxes of white candlesticks in the fall and winter. It's important that I always remember to buy drip-less ones! Trust me, we had a few "wax incidents" that were not pretty before I figured that out!!



There's the quilted leaf runner I made a few years ago. I took a class at the local quilting/fabric store. I had such a good time. I've made a few quilts for display, but I especially like the way this runner turned out.


I put a vase inside the brass pot to hold the mums, then filled in the gap around the edges with dried mini-corn husks. Very fall-ish and pilgrim-my, don't you think?!


The silk leaf place mats and brown silk napkins are so pretty, they have a sheen and shimmer and add a lot of texture and warmth to the table. You never know what you're going to find at Ross!  I'm hungry all of a sudden - I'm ready for a nice dinner with the family!

It's been a challenge to come up with a list of just seven worthy winners of the "From me to You" blog award. If it were up to me I would award you all, because each and every one of you is fabulous in your own unique way!  But, since the requirements are for me to stick with only seven, these are my choices.  I hope you'll take some time and visit these blogs, I know you'll find something wonderful to love about every one!

"There is No Place Like Home" = say hi to Kelli at her country home
Nic Nac Maniac - have a visit with Nerina and enjoy the variety and different things she shares with us
Mockingbird Hill Cottage - Claudia has the most charming country cottage
French Larkspur - Tracey shares her French shabby chic style
Blooming on Bainbridge - have a visit with Teresa  for fun and great recipes from her Bainbridge Island home
Lavender House - for a taste of British life by the sea
Isabella and Max Rooms - Janell creates some seriously elegant and beautiful interiors

Each site delivers something unique and lovely. I know you will enjoy your visit at each one! Let the ladies know I sent you!

Finally, as promised, and I know you've been at the edges of your seats with anticipation - here's a list of seven things you didn't know about me. Until now. Oh Boy!!

1.  I'm left-handed, but I throw, play tennis, bowl, and much more right-handed. I'm ambidextrous, sort-of!
2.  I'm nearly 3/4 German, spent my early, formative years growing up in Germany, and German was my first language as a toddler.
3.  I'm an Air Force Brat, patriotic, but a realist when it comes to politics and the often misused power of our Government. And having said that, I've been known to shed a few tears at the singing of the National Anthem at ball games. Embarrassing but true.
4.  I wanted to follow in my mom's footprints and become a stage actress . Didn't happen. I've passed the theatrical gene on to my two daughters, esp. #2.  But I still wonder what if....
5. If pressed I would have to say spaghetti is my favorite all time food. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For many days in a row!! Additional favorites include goulash, home-made mac and cheese and then just about any dessert. Can you tell that I love food? : )
6. As an adult I discovered I'm allergic to shell fish. But I love shrimp and crab and lobster and scallops - just can't eat them anymore. Sad but true.
7. My favorite author is Jane Austin, I've read and re-read all of her books (many times!), I love costume dramas and Merchant-Ivory films.  I'm a hopeless romantic,very sentimental, with a strong practical streak which can lead to serious confusion of my psyche. Often. If you know what I mean.

So there you have it: the seven things you always wanted to know about me! I can't wait to hear what you have to say about all this......And what about you? Do you obsess about your favorite food, or have a hidden talent, or some secret passion?  Share some things about yourselves,you'll feel good ! Besides, I really want to get to know you better!

Until next time

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heart and Home In Stitches!

Hello everyone!!! Did you miss me? Did anyone notice I was gone, I wonder?! Well, let me tell you, I had a long two weeks without my blogging friends!  Here's hoping that our computer's technical difficulties have been fixed for good - but I don't have a good feeling about it! It's been a real headache getting this post together, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. How strange that I, the formerly anti-computer and technology challenged rebel realize how much I was itching to get back to blogging! It's  just not any fun being away from you guys for such a long time,  I have really missed all of you! It's good to be back!

 I want to show you what I found when I was digging around in my sewing/craft room. I was looking for cheesecloth to use for the wings I was making for daughter #2's Tinkerbell costume. I know I have some in there somewhere....still haven't found it. But I did rediscover this little crewel embroidery project that I started awhile ago. (I get the prize for longest procrastinator - when I say "awhile ago" I actually mean 20 years ago. I started working on these two lovebirds way back when Mr. HandH and I got married!)

Do any of you embroider? My mom was a wonderful seamstress, and she liked to keep her hands busy. She was always working on one project after another, and she especially enjoyed doing crewel work and embroidery. She made so many beautiful pillows, bellpulls, holiday linens, and large embroidered pictures throughout the years, and taught me how to do simple stitches when I was very young. We would work on projects together in the evenings. I remember back in high school embroidering my favorite pair of jeans with little designs all over the back pockets. At one point I had stitched my jeans right to the knee of the ones I was wearing!  While I had been working I rested the fabric on my leg, and I hadn't noticed that I had stitched right through my pants!  I had to cut away all the work I had done, boy was I angry, and I felt so stupid! I never did that again. ( I wish I still had those jeans, my girls would love them!) Lately it seems that the art of crewel work and embroidery has become less popular, you don't see too many kits at the craft stores anymore. But I always thought it was a nice way to spend some time, and to create something pretty by hand.

Anyway, I took advantage of my down time away from all of you and thought I'd to try to finish these two llittle birds.  And I did! It only took me a few hours. Twenty years and a few hours!! What had I been waiting for, I wonder?

At long last it's done, and now I'm looking for a nice frame to put it in. So there's still that part to do. But I wanted to show you the before, anyway, and I'm inspired and detetermined to finish it completely for next week's DIY day. Or for the one 20 years from now.....

Also, I want to say a big thank you to all of you for your kind thoughts before Mr. HandH's surgery. It went well  and he is healing nicely. He's back to work, but still using crutches. He really hates it and wants to break out of his brace and go running and biking. But doctor's orders are to stay off his leg for a while longer- to be patient and let nature do it's work for a bit, before he goes out and tempts fate again. Not easy for him at all. At this point I am ready to take the sawzall to his  mountain bike....but that is another story!!

I'm linking to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Thanks Kimba!
Until next time

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Technical Difficulties at Heart and Home

Hello my friends!  I hope you all had a fun Halloween! If you are wondering why you haven't heard from me -  We have been experiencing technical difficulties, which unfortunately will require a bit more work to correct. That will have to wait for awhile, however, because tomorrow Mr. H and H goes in for surgery to repair his ACL ( for the third time, I hope this one is the charm!!).

Since obviously I am not the one who can fix the computer problem (my hubby is the only technical wizard around Heart and Home)  I hope you will stick with me and be patient while I wait this out, and I promise to return with new posts as soon as possible.

I  am missing all my blogland friends! I'm really looking forward to getting back on track soon. In the meantime, I will be concentrating on my wifely "nursing" duties, as I help my better half with his recovery.

(If he's not good I will look more like this:)

Before I go I want to say a big thank you to all my followers! Your support and encouragement and your kind comments mean so much to me! I'm really looking forward to having free access to my computer again. I never realized how much I would miss going online and visiting with all of you! (My youngest daughter, in response to the lack of internet, said to me "this must be what it was like to be a pioneer" !!)

Stay well and happy everyone! I hope to be back soon!
Until then,