Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wearin' o' the Green

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and I've got my table all set for an Irish feast (that I won't be making or eating, I just like to keep my table set so I don't pile it with junk).

I started with the clover green linen tablecloth I purchased on a recent thrift shopping trip as my base. I didn't want to go full-on Leprechaun here so I decided to keep it more of a simple reflection of Ireland with its green, mossy, rock-strewn landscape. On top of the lush green backdrop I layered my favorite (and only) table runner, which reminded me of the thatched roof on a white-washed Irish cottage.

Next I added gold leaf chargers, my one nod to the little Leprechauns and their search for gold at the end of the rainbow. On top of those I placed white ironstone plates and bowls.

At this point I was still not where I wanted to be with my tablescape, and really considered a quick trip to the craft store for just a bit more bling, but I was really determined to use what I had (and it was raining and I didn't want to go out) so I dug around some more and came up with some fern printed green napkins from Martha Stewart's K-Mart collection that I'd stored away and never even removed the tags from, so I placed these under the bowls - don't they just look like they're ready and waiting for some yummy Irish stew? My Pottery Barn flatware also has curled handles like a fiddlehead fern so I particularly liked the napkins with it.

My centerpiece consists of milkglass flower pots (I collect these everywhere I find them for cheap - they come in two sizes and two patterns and are very useful for organizing, dressing up cheapy potted flowers, etc.) piled up with fakola moss covered rocks from Dollar Tree.

To jazz up the centerpiece a bit I pulled out a few books on Ireland and stacked them up underneath the moss filled flower pots and grabbed a few river rocks to scatter along the runner along with silver candlesticks and the only taper candles I have.

I looked for some little toy sheep at the craft store, but they were like $4/each so the fields of my Irish tablescape will remain livestockless until I find something on the cheap to graze there. I also would have loved a potted Shamrock

but they're on the list of plants that are poisonous to the Furries. I always consult this and this (and probably 6 other ones just to be sure) before purchasing plants - for indoor plants and flowers they need to be on the "safe" list, not just absent from the "unsafe" one; for outdoor plants, since they only go out with supervision, I'm OK with them just being absent from the "unsafe" list (but again, I consult a bunch of lists and if they're on any of them as toxic they don't come home). I wish growers and big box stores would put this information right on the plant tags - I'd make a lot more impulse buys that way. But that is another topic.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fun with Photos

I've finally gotten to trying to figure out how to use the manual settings on my camera - and while I'm starting to understand a bit more about how to make the adjustments, I'm still not great with knowing what to set them at. I used to know all of this a million years ago with a film camera and am determined to keep practicing, but I do hope with even a bit of day light to be able to get some better shots.

Here is an updated version of my Smurfalicious candlestick which lives in a windowless bathroom:

And the color is definitely looking much more accurate than before. Mastering this should come in handy with my eBay photos too.

Simple Stylish Solutions: Breakfast Tray

I’ve had these giant glass jars forever. They were left sitting outside the recycling dumpster at my old apartment complex and were just too cute not to bring home. They’ve been used for various things over the years, including a display of Christmas ornaments, a collection of river rocks, and a failed terrarium. And they’ve been stored, unused, taking up precious cabinet space. I even moved with them, which felt somewhat ridiculous, packing up someone else’s trash and all, but I just love their size and proportions and you know what they say about one man’s trash. When the cat destroyed my laundry area/pantry and I did some rearranging along with the cleaning up of his mess I decided to pull these babies out and use them for cereal and granola bars. Rather than put them back on my shelves, I arranged them on an old wicker tray and had them sitting in the middle of my table, along with some ironstone bowls and spoons so morning cereal or midnight snacks are super easy and convenient to grab and I have just a bit more space in my cabinets and pantry - and who doesn’t need that. Plus it looks darn cute too.

This picture was taken after I had set up my table for St. Patty' s Day (coming soon) so I've moved the tray into the kitchen temporarily.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Smurfalicious!

I did a quick makeover of the thrifty candlestick I told you about here using Rustoleum spray paint in Lagoon. I love the ease of spray paint, but sometimes the selection of colors isn't that great. This came out just a tad brighter than I was really looking for - I think I needed something with a bit more gray in it to tone it down just a bit, but it isn't a bad match with a small blue glass bottle I have in there too so I'll most likely leave it for now - it is certainly way better than what I started with, which  you may remember was a bad, streaky brown.

I'm still wanting to wallpaper the ceiling because the room is kind of blah without much color, so I'll try to tie it in that way, and if not, well, it is easy and cheap enough to repaint.

I could not get accurate color in my photos and the swatch from the Rustoleum site wouldn't copy over, so here is a close approximation of the color.

I also lucked into a brand new, still in the wrapper pillar candle at one of my favoirte thrifts for $1.40. Originally I was thinking of a shorter one, but I'd just spent a crazy amount on fake, battery operated candles for the fireplace and the dollar store didn't have anything, so I was happy to get such a deal on this and now that I see it put together, I do like the taller size. 
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