F I'm So Vintage: July 2011 09 10
Saturday, July 30, 2011

the shaker influence in america

I am off visiting the family in Atlanta, so you may have noticed my postings have been sporadic. But, as they have taken a little trip to Target for school supplies, I thought I would try to get in a Saturday post.  I have always loved the Shaker influence in decorating. There is nothing better than their simple pure lines, and as we have a Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill in Kentucky, I like to visit and and enjoy lunch at the Shaker Inn as often as possible.

So here is a quick look at some Shaker decor.

A lovely Shaker bench from ShakerStyle

a typical Shaker bedroom via Apartment Therapy

shaker pantry boxes via country living

some sweet Shaker baskets via basketsnprims

a shaker dining room via apartment therapy

I'm thinking that most of us would not want to live quite as austerely as the Shakers did, but their timeless furniture and accessories are beautiful additions to most any decor.

Have a great Saturday. I am getting ready to ooh and aah over some new backpacks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

grits for breakfast

As a southerner who has lived all over the country and in Ontario, I am always asked by non southerners about grits. You know: "Do you really eat those things?" "What are they, actually?" "YUCK!!!"

Well I am here to tell you that grits are really yummy. 

Just what the heck are grits? Well Wikepedia says they are:

Grits are a food of Native American origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. They consist of coarsely ground corn, or sometimes hominy, in which case they are referred to as hominy grits. They are also sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Muskogee (Creek) language word.[1][2] Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta, or the thinner farina.
Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to two-to-three parts boiling water, sometimes seasoned with salt. They are usually cooked for 15 – 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grits become a porridge-like consistency. As grits expand when they are cooked, they need to be stirred periodically to prevent sticking and forming lumps. They may be served with grated cheese, butter, sausage or country ham red-eye gravy.
Grits can also be fried in a pan or molded to create a firm block; the resulting block can be cut with a knife or wire, and the slices fried in a fat such as vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease.
The word "grits" is most likely to have derived from the German term "Gr├╝tze," which in turn derived from the Italian term "gruzzi," meaning crushed (or coarsely ground) corn. The word "grits" is one of the few rare words that may properly be used as either singular or plural in writing or speech and can be used with a singular or plural verb.

Now seriously, does that description make you want to eat grits? I think not. However, maybe I can tempt you with some yummy sounding recipes.

how about  this delicious recipe for a weekend brunch

Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole
from myrecipes.com

  • YIELD: Makes 6 servings
  • COURSE: Breakfast/Brunch, Casseroles
  • Ingredients
    • 4 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Garnish: parsley sprigs
  • Bring milk just to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in butter and grits. Reduce heat, and simmer, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until grits are done. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in egg and next 3 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, covered, at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until mixture is set. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired

yes, grits can even be a part of a lovely dinner

Shrimp and Grits 
by Paula Deen

  • 1 cup stone-ground grits

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into tiny pieces

  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

    1. To make the shrimp and grits recipe, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.
    2. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the skillet and saute over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Immediately add the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, and garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat. 
      3. Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits. Garnish with the bacon bits.
    Note: If you are serving this as an appetizer, spoon 1/4 cup grits onto a bread or salad plate. Top with 1/4 cup of the shrimp mixture. Garnish with a sprinkling of crisp bacon bits and serve immediately.

    After trying these, you too may be a true southerner.




    Monday, July 25, 2011

    upcycled vintage ladder decor

    A couple of weeks ago at the auction, there was an old vintage ladder that I wanted to bid on. Unfortunately, I left the room for a couple of minutes to get a bottled water and missed it when it came up for bid. It sold for *** $5.00 *** and I have been kicking myself ever since. (note to self, take bottled water with you) 

    So I am on the lookout for another one as I think they are fabulous as home decor items. Here are a few ideas.

    repurposed as a bedside table from care2

    as a focal point decor piece from nibsblog

    I've always wanted one for a pot rack in the kitchen from merrimentevents

    or to hold some baskets from pinterest

    to display some vintage textiles from glitterandpearls

    perfect for the bathroom from pinterest

    Now I'm really wanting one, or two, or....

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    just sitting on the porch

    I don't know about you, but the extreme heat we have been enduring recently has left me a bit lethargic. I have all these ideas for things I want to do, but my get up and go seems to have gotten up and gone. I love sitting on the porch, but only the early mornings seem to be a good time for that right now, and since I don't have a big porch where I am living now, I thought I would look at how other people are decorating theirs. That way, when I do get a big front porch, and the weather is cooperating I'll be prepared.

    I love this vintage country decor porch from Barn Owl Primitives. The sweet pillows can be purchased from Little Miss Momma on Etsy.

    This looks like a simple place to relax. I love rocking on the front porch while watching the traffic go by. Photo from Serving Him At Home

    Even if the traffic is just a few chickens. Photo from redstickranch

    I've always wanted a sleeping porch, and this one is a combination of fancy and primitive. Just my style. Photo from redstickranch

    Love this wonderful Adirondack porch swing. I could while away a few hours here. Photo from visualphotos

    Adding a simple farm table seems like a good idea. A place to share a meal with family and friends. Photo from 
    Cabin Creek Farm

    or this one. Photo from junkgardengirl

    Enjoy your Saturday and stay cool.

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    proud etsy mom

    blue blossoms orchid from Winsome Hollow

    Like the majority of moms, I am proud of everything my daughters do. Both of my daughters are very talented textile artists and have businesses on Etsy, where they sell their beautiful handmade creations. My youngest daughter, Katy, has a shop called winsomehollow, where she sells her stunning creations inspired by nature. 

    textile rose stems from Winsome Hollow

    Katy is currently featured as the Best of Etsy artist in the fall issue of Better Homes and Gardens DIY magazine. We are sooo excited and she has been visiting this week, so we have been able to be excited together.

    Katy thrifts for vintage finds, which she combines with her beautifully made textile pieces to create stunning floral creations. ( the kind that even those without a green thumb can maintain)

    So congratulations, Katy and now the proud mama has to find the perfect vintage frame to show it off.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    a vintage white wedding

    White is the traditional color for a wedding and nothing is lovelier and cooler than a summer white wedding. Vintage weddings are very much in vogue now so I thought I would share some images of vintage inspired weddings.

    vintage inspired dress via weddingbellsblog

    vintage veil via pegasus vintage

    vintage white wedding car

    vintage white wedding boots via weddings by color

    vintage inspired wedding table via aileen tran

    a traditional wedding cake via you and your wedding

    Have a lovely white Wednesday!

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    honey blueberry muffin recipes

    photo via maggiefoard

      It's blueberry season.

    I love fresh blueberries and homemade blueberry muffins are the best, but I don't like refined sugar, so I thought I would search out some recipes made with honey. 

    I found these recipes on cooks.com 

    This first one seems fairly basic and would be great for an early morning summer breakfast.
    2 c. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    3 tsp. baking powder
    1 c. milk
    4 tbsp. honey
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 c. blueberries
    1/4 c. melted shortening
    Sift flour with salt and baking powder. Combine milk, honey, egg, blueberries and shortening. Add to dry ingredients, stirring quickly just long enough to moisten dry ingredients. Fill greased muffin pans half full. Bake in 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until browned. Yield: 12 muffins.

    If you're like me and prefer whole wheat flour, you might want to try this one. 

    1 egg
    1/2 c. milk
    1/4 c. vegetable oil
    1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
    1/2 c. honey
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 c. blueberries
    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin and muffin cups. Beat egg; stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients except blueberries just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

    I think I might try them both.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    junk decor

    How many of you recycle junk into your decor. I am so impressed by the creativity of people and how they  make wonderful decor pieces from  "stuff" " that may have ended up in the dump. What a great way to help save the earth and to use great old finds. 

    Here are a few photos I found while browsing the web.

    a great hanging light fixture.

    photo via Nate Berkus

    Okay, this has to be the ultimate in recycling. RV's turned into apartments.

    photo via diggerslist

    old metal bins make great planters for the garden.

    photo via the gardenerseden

    love this paper towel holder

    photo via atticmag

    drawers made from old suitcases.

    photo via homes@8

    Have a great evening.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    tips for buying antique furniture

    I recently had the pleasure of discovering West Egg Interiors. West Egg Interiors is a small company located in the United Kingdom and run by a lovely lady named Louisa Blackmore. West Egg has an online shop selling restored vintage furniture and accessories.

    Their tagline is:
    "selling an inspiring collection of unique furniture and decorative home accessories that are simple, charming and good quality. Every piece sold by West Egg has been carefully sourced and diligently restored. "

    Louisa recently wrote an article on her blog on her top 10 tips for buying antique furniture and has been very kind to let me share it with you.

    Top 10 Tips For Buying antique Furniture

    • Be Prepared! If you're visiting antique fairs or auctions and have a piece of furniture in mind, say a chest of drawers, make sure you measure the area it is supposed to fit before you go. Useful things to take with you are a tape measure, camera, notebook and pen. For early morning antiques fairs you should definitely take a waterproof jacket/coat (if you don't it will rain, every time). Also a good tip is a hot flask for tea or coffee - it is very cold at 5am even in the summer months. 
    •  Unless a piece of furniture has been hidden away under a shroud of blankets in a country mansion for donkeys years, you should expect to see certain signs of everyday wear and tear that the hustle and bustle of life inflicts on furniture over time. Always look to see if the wear and tear on a piece of furniture is convincing and consistent - you would see normal wear on arms, legs and handles. Also, any screws, nails, handles and corners should have small patches of discolouration around them. 
    • The patina and colour of a piece of furniture is acquired by a hundred years of exposure to light, daily use and regular polishing/waxing. You would expect to see marks and scratches over a long period of time, if not it may mean the surface has been stripped back and re-polished thereby losing the wonderful patina of 100+ years of use. 
    • Never pick a chair up by its arms, always hold it underneath. Chairs are most liable to loose joints or broken legs so always check the joints carefully. You don't want to be left holding the leg and the rest of the chair crumbles around you
    • Always check the proportions of a piece of furniture and ensure that each of the drawers were made in the same way and of the same wood. 
    • Painted furniture was popular from the mid 18th century to the early 20th century and often pieces were repainted to reflect the fashion of the day. Fake antique painted furniture is often convincingly replicated because it incorporates a realistic distressed effect. Always closely examine the paintwork - there should be obvious layers of paint with dirt in between each layer. Dark wax is used to copy this effect and you may be able to smell it if recently applied. 
    • Unhappy marriages in furniture can usually be spotted straightaway by looking at any variations in construction, proportion and colour-matching. 
    • From unhappy marriage to divorce! Many pieces of early antique furniture were cut down to fit a smaller room size. These pieces are more difficult to spot but always look for unusual fading or other inconsistent marks. 
    • With tables always check the table top and base are made from the same wood or veneering and check there aren't any unusual marks underneath. 
    • Finally, watch out for the 19th century revivals of certain styles - you can spot a reproduction piece if it has exaggerated details, is made of exotic timber or the decoration is a mixture of styles. 
    If you are an old hand at buying antique furniture, I hope this will give you a few new tips. If you are a beginner, I would suggest printing this list and taking it with you as a reference.

    Thanks again to Louisa and be sure to check out her blog and online shop HERE 

    photos via West Egg Interiors

    Have a wonderful Thursday. I am heading off to an auction and hope to find some great goodies for the shop.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    beach cottage white

    this hot sultry weather has made me nostalgic for the beach. so thought i would share some lovely white beach photos today. i think white evokes a feeling of coolness and serenity. 

    a cottage living room.

    photo via home design decorating

    this sweet beach cottage brings back lazy day memories of summer vacations by the sea.

    photo via vintage pretties

    some simple white touches on a table.

    photo via andrea nay creative

    love this idea of painting some old worn luggage pieces white to place by your cottage bed.

    photo via re-nest

    add a touch of whimsy to your cottage table with some white washed beach finds.

    photo via sally lee by the sea

    rustic charm  combined with simple elegance makes for a perfect meal on an ocean front porch.

    photo via bella casa

    i guess since i can't be at the beach right now, it's nice to dream of those days. i think i am going to search through my shells for some perfect finds.

    for more beautiful Wednesday Whites check out Faded Charm