Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ricks Ranch: A Family Gathering

If I were this horse,
 I'd be givin' my girls the eye too.
 "Don't be braidin' my hair!"
Then there is my nephew, Luke...He has waited days to ride a horse.  He's talked about it everyday.  Dug out his favorite boots and long sleeved plaid shirt to pack just for the occasion.
 He got just a little anxious at first.
And now...well now, he's just a regular cowboy, ("Towboy").
He's five.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Details in Even the Door Knob

Do you ever just wonder at the little details in things?  I love the Salt Lake Temple.  I went to a special ceremony last Friday involving my unofficially adopted sister.  As I walked into one of the rooms of that beautiful building,  I couldn't help myself but touch the antique, handcrafted doorknob before entering.  It was so exquisite.  The solid brass material.  The intricate design.  The beehive relief.  Even the dates were set in the mold.  That little knob was so full of beauty and craftsmanship that I just wanted to gaze at it for a time.  Study it.  Who designed the mold?  Who cast the knob?  The whole building is a labor of love.  A forty year project.  If only for that one, little door knob, it would be a labor of love.  I gazed all around me after sitting down.  The fine gold leaf stenciled on the ceiling.  The chairs and the upholstery.  The finish carpentry and window details. Everything felt pure and perfect.  It's what I believe heaven will be like.  Heaven will have many details.  Many exquisite, perfect details. I just know it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

From Me to You : A Back to School Celebration

These are the 3 boxes we want to fill with Back to School items for children in Utah that don't have the resources to gather their own supplies. I had to promise I would not involve glitter in this project as these boxes will be on display in the Primary rooms.  (It was terribly hard.  I try to glitterize everything everywhere.  You can usually find it on my cheeks and nose, and trails of it throughout my home.)  This activity will involve the primary children (ages 18 months-11 years old) in our area to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welfare program.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baby Boy Coming for Cousin Kelsey

So we had reason to celebrate last night with a baby shower at my Aunt Karen's.  I got out of having a food assignment by doing the tables and flowers.  Love that.  Sometimes I surprise myself with what I can pull out of my basement in 30 minutes with just a little warning.  

Actually I'm never surprised.  

I have a lot of stuff people.
I was going to use this striped orange fabric for beach bags next year, but look how fun it is as the tablecloth.

Whitney's limeade "brew"
Kelsey's mother's family traveled to Utah every year to see relatives and would make an annual trip to Dunford Donuts during their visit.  So naturally Kelsey had the same tradition with her parents, and they love them as an official family comfort food.  My auntie was so thoughtful to include chocolate Dunford Donuts on the dessert table for Kelsey.

Old glass baby bottles from the 1950's purchased at an estate sale years ago.

Yellow spider mums

Lemon teacakes with vintage baby bottles in the background.

Gotta have candy and bubble gum for the kids, right?

We had a nice buffet dinner too, and I could have sworn I got a couple pictures, but I guess I just got only one of the platter with caprise on baguette slices.  So below is my one and only image of the lovely buffet.  It is beautiful, isn't it?  I guess the meatballs and jasmine rice didn't want to smile. And darnit, the salad was so pretty with sliced strawberries, beautiful greens and chopped walnuts.

Congratulations Kelsey!  We'll miss you when you move, but look forward to meeting new baby boy at Thanksgiving.

A 'Round the Clock Bridal Shower Invite

One of 4 poems available on the link posted below.
I hand-lettered it for the invitation.

All lined up for envelopes

Machine zig zag sewn, back of invite detail shown.
The sewing machine saves so much time for me, here I got 5 layers attached with one zip on the machine.

an insert for gift ideas and contact information for those throwing the shower,
background is watercolored
My darling friend, Megan, is getting married in a couple weeks.  When my little Junebug saw her invitation to her wedding, she turned to me and matter-of-factly stated, "That's the right guy for her Mom."  I don't know how June knows that, but she said it with an undoubtable confidence in her voice.  I actually think she's right.

Some mutual friends in the neighborhood are throwing her a shower and asked if I could help out.  The theme is "A 'Round the Clock" in which guests bring a gift that coordinates with the hour of the day that the hostess has assigned them on the invitation.  So in the invite pictured above, the clock is set for 6 p.m..  Whoever receives this invite could possibly bring something that is to be used in the kitchen at dinnertime.  My friend sent me a link HERE for ideas to help me create these invitations.  I thought there were darling poems and ideas available and wanted to share them with you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Confessions of a Thrifting Shopoholic: Strip, Refinish, Reupholster, Repeat

Red Poetic License rose sandals:  $3
Cream Ann Taylor mule sandals:  $4
Both brand new and showed absolutely no signs of wear, (until I wore the red ones this past weekend at our explosive dinner party).
Remember the other vase I found at D. I. similar to this one?  I think I'll use them together at some point.

Funny story:  I went to buy these cherry salad servers at my favorite kitchen store while visiting in NYC several years back.  I had purchased a set for my father-in-law the year before and he loved them so much, I wanted to buy me a set.  I walked several miles to get to the location only to find they were closed and moving to a new location that week.  I never got to buy them.  I've never seen a set quite like them since.  Until today.  I found them for $1.  Love that.

Okay, these little books are seriously treasures.  The pages are as sweet as they come, wish I could show them all to you.  These might be new additions to my Valentines candy jars.

No idea what I'll use this trim for, it's white and gold and most likely from the 70's by looking at the typeset on the side label.

These are shallow bowls that match some of the teacups I've been collecting.

The nightstand above compliments my bedroom furniture set that was once my grandparents (and extremely sentimental).  I'm deciding how to refinish it all and I fluctuate between stripping off the shiny coat of lacquer to re-stain and varnish or rather just paint it.  The wood is veneered, so not much left to sand down.  I'm thinking about all the options.  But bottom line, I love the era and I hate to just slap on a coat of paint to hide the chips and scratches.  It very well could be my next summer's tedious project, remember this?

And the chair?  Well, I love the rattan back and how lightweight it is.  I'm loving the style as well.  I'll reupholster the seat cushion and use it as my sewing chair.

There were a few more items I purchased, but won't be sharing until I unveil them at a very special birthday party for my main guy around here.  I've been collecting these for a few months now.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Explosive Evening of Friends and Food: Eye Popping, Colorful & Flaming

beautiful colors.

let the fireworks begin!

firework food:  garden fresh beets, cheese and herb appetizer by Jennie Lloyd

tiny watermelon vessels filled with basalmic vinegar garnished with basil or mint leaves by Jennie Lloyd.  don't they look like japanese sake cups?

herbed shortbread

homemade foccaccia by John and Natalie Banks
sundried tomato hummus and pita chips (don't know who contributed???)

Nanette was just too picturesque to not capture her fine server skills and colorful attire.  notice her enameled flower necklace by Kristy Braby designs.

Cambry Morely, the super fine hostess, dressed in the signature color of their home.  I should have photographed their front door.  yep, it's orange.

husband wife coordinated orange shoes, I mean really, how darling is that?

love this platter courtesy of Nanette Amis

we all assumed we must wear bright colorful shoes to this eye-popping evening.

loved the cloths

herbed butter for the corn

grilled corn

garden fresh squash by Nanette and Jeff Amis
another fresh beet salad with special ricotta and right-from-the-garden, spicy arugula by Nanette Amis

homemade tabouli by Julie Roberts (Don's mother's recipe....mmmmm)

killer mushrooms, some kind of white wine I'm guessing, whole shrimp with an herb cream sauce to be poured over salmon medallions by Brent Morely.  amazing.

tied salmon medallions with mushrooms poaching in pan

the fine hostess couple, Brent isn't posing at all.

I love their living room

and their light fixtures,

and all their little nooks.

The shrimp cream sauce in it's final cooked state

a bowl of fresh lettuce for the tabouli, so pretty that I needed a picture.

The seafood all served up.

as beautiful as this is, it tasted even better, thanks Brent, it was definitely worth the wait.

the food plated up.

we won't discuss this part of the evening, the details still seem pretty vague as far as who was inolved and what was used.  but be assured that nothing was harmed in the making of these images, well except for a box of all-bran, and I guess a lemon was shred pretty badly, but hey, the watermelon was saved by a faulty fuse, and the 2 pound bag of powdered sugar smelled of cooked caramel in the end.  don't ever use potato chips, I mean seriously, ever. 

a pile of dust bran and cardboard shrapnel.

the evening's interactive food fireworks finale.

the girls all helped create these beauties in the kitchen.  

I brought homemade fillings: lemon curd, marscarpone cheese sweetened whipped cream, chocolate ganache, dulce de leche, vanilla pastry cream.  it pained me that I left the freshly whipped sweetened cream in my fridge, so sad.
Then came the homemade cupcakes (no Nanette, not a single box cake or canned frosting was used in the styling of these photos):  lemon vanilla, moist devil's food cake, vanilla, and pavlova meringue.
Then the garnishes: dried pineapple flowers (took a ridiculous amount of time- 4 1/2 hours as opposed to the 1 hour suggested time frame given), golden raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, dark swiss chocolate squares, semi-sweet chocolate shavings and sliced lemons.
did I mention I was in the kitchen from 8 saturday morning until we left at 6 pm?  but worth it.