Thursday, December 14, 2017

Angels-Reindeer-Candlelight: A Little Thrifty Christmas Inspiration



Do you tire of the same old Christmas decorations you've used over and over, year after year? . .I admit that I have. . .which has led me to be a bit unconventional this year with my Christmas colors. . .If you haven't noticed in previous posts, LIME GREEN and WHITE have set the THEME. . .It all came about when I visited our local Goodwill with Christmas in mind. . .I was tired of the traditional. . .tired of most of the decorations I've seen year after year. . .I wanted NATURAL elements. . .something SIMPLE but STRIKING. . .and most of all. . .things that I wouldn't have to pack up the first of the year. . .


Our white kitchen with it's wall of cast iron skillets, along with the black and white checkerboard floor in the keeping room are pretty easy to add any pops of COLOR. . .like icing on the cake. . .I had no idea what color I wanted, but quickly I found my INSPIRATION PIECE. . .Of all things. . .it was a LIME GREEN POLKA DOT dust ruffle. . .perfect for table runners. . .All I had to do was detach the outer fabric and hem one edge. . .


Once I saw the dust ruffle, I knew the direction I was going. . .LIME GREEN and WHITE. . .Down another aisle I found Hallmark All Occasion WRAPPING PAPER in the same colors. . .At Lowes I found EVERGREENS on clearance for $2-$3. . .I bought five. . .At a dollar store I picked up WHITE GLITTER TREE ORNAMENTS, SNOWFLAKES and several boxes of emergency CANDLES. . .



at Aldi's I bought an extra bag of Granny Smith APPLES. . .



At Dirt Cheap I found a beautiful smocked white VELVET PILLOW. . .

What FUN. . .






Back at home, I headed for our own EVERGREENS where I cut branches for the old ICE CREAM BUCKET, which I had spray white earlier in the year. . .Some HONEYSUCKLE VINE to surround the bucket. . .




My favorite brass REINDEER came out of storage. . .as did the ANGELS. . .White IRONSTONE and CHINA from my collection. . .mix and match. . .



It all came together quickly. . .from a Goodwill dust ruffle inspiration. 
It's SIMPLE. . .it's CHEERY. . .it's PLAYFUL. . .We LOVE it. . .




And. . .when Christmas is over. . .the EVERGREENS will be planted outdoors. . .the APPLES will be eaten (if not before). . .the WHITE IRONSTONE and CHINA will go back in the cupboard. . .the ICE CREAM BUCKET will go by the fireplace. . .the white PILLOW will remain for the winter. . .The ANGEL, REINDEER and ORNAMENTS will be the only items to store. . .LOVE IT. . .


Not bad on the pocketbook either. . . 

Dust Ruffle--$2
Hallmark Wrapping Paper--$.50
White Glitter Tree Ornaments--$2
Snowflake Ornaments--$1
Emergency Candles (2 boxes )--$2
Ribbon--$1
Evergreens (5)--$10
Granny Smith Apples--$1.99
Smocked White Velvet Pillow--$5

From around the house:
Brass Reindeer Candlesticks
Single Candlesticks
Angels
Ice Cream Bucket
String for Packages
Honeysuckle Vine
Evergreen Cuttings

Total Expense: $25.49

 

I hope I've inspired you just a little. . .I do greatly admire the homes that are all tinsel and lights. . .There are some absolutely gorgeous examples on the blogs and Pinterest. . .I enjoy and admire them all. . .I've had many years of decorating in the same way. . .But for the last couple of years, we've come to enjoy a more NATURAL, SIMPLE CHRISTMAS. . .and have realized that we have extra time--with less stress--for enjoying the HOLIDAYS and EACH OTHER. . .and that's a VERY GOOD THING. . .




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Another Corner of the Christmas Farmhouse Kitchen



Black Friday is over and my FARMHOUSE KITCHEN is getting back to the lighter side of Plain and Simple. . .The days are so gray now that I enjoy being inspired by choices that reflect as much light as possible. . .but then. . .I do like the candlelight, too. . .


Christmas is coming way too fast, isn't it? . .I realized this morning that there is only nineteen more days left. . .All my planning and 'doing' ahead and I'm still behind in wrapping packages and mailing gifts. . .not to mention sending Christmas cards. . .And, John's fruit cake hasn't been baked. . .It will need time to soak up the bourbon from the cheesecloth wrapping. . .He refuses to celebrate Christmas without a fruit cake. . .


His Mom was a great cook. . .In fact, she baked for the private school that John attended as a child. . .He still misses her every year when Christmas rolls around. . .and her fruit cake. . .He says I've perfected it over the years, but I think he's just being nice. . .I do my best without her recipe. . .Each year he does get a little misty-eyed when I unveil my latest attempt for the perfect concoction of fruit, pecans, cinnamon and spices. . .

 
For me, I think I enjoy carrying on the tradition of baking for others and surprising them with the goodies. . .I'm totally happy puttering around the kitchen with Red Velvet Cake all over me. . .listening to Christmas songs on the radio. . .remembering all the women in my family spending a lot of time in their kitchens of the past. . .I remember Mom trying to make one special dessert for each of us. . .our favorites. . .For  me, it was Jam Cake. . .for my brother it was Pound Cake with Orange Sauce. . .For Daddy it was anything sweet but Aunt Mamie did please him each year with Lemon Ice Box pies. . .He loved those pies. . .


The women in my family didn't bake just for the family. . .They would send sweet homemade treats to neighbors and friends. . .and to those who worked on the farms. . .I remember Mom telling the story of  Ole Blucher, my Grandmother's gardener, who lived in a little shack out back of her house. . .He never wanted a gift of money. . .or of clothes. . .or of Russell Stover Candy. . .He only wanted Grandmother's Sweet Potato Pies (She would make him two). . .and maybe a bottle of her Muscadine Wine. . .purely medicinal, you know. . .


So many family traditions. . .so many years of gathering them. . .but, that's what memories are for. . .to relive in one's mind the traditions that time and life have changed. . .but to keep the ones that work for us and our families now. . .Can't keep them all. . .Yet, there are some that we never consider not including. . .like John's fruit cake. . .



Hmmm. . .Now that I'm thinking about it. . .where DID I put that bourbon last year?



CHECK OUT SOME OF THE FAMILY RECIPES 
UNDER 'SEASONED SOUTHERN STYLE'
IN THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN. . .





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In the Quiet of Our First Winter Fire



Oh, happy hearthstone! Oh, hour thrice blest
Where peace is the handmaid, and
love is the guest. - Rose Eliot Smith
The first fire of winter is special. . .symbolic of this season of lights. . .against the darkness of winter. . .The days have gotten shorter, the skies have become gray, and it seems as though the sun has abandoned us all. . .


To ward off the darkness of winter days, there is nothing like a good, warm-your-body-and-your-soul  fire, crackling and popping, inviting me to come stay a while and warm myself. . .until the cheeks redden. . .to be mesmerized by the playful dance of the yellow, orange and white flames. . .the pop of the wood. . .the glowing embers on the log. . .the otherwise quiet of the room. . .  . . .


I really should get back to my work. . .maybe in a few minutes. . .For now I want to sit still in the quiet and alone to stare into the flames and to remember that even the smallest amount of light can make a difference. . .in this room. . .in this life. . .in this world. . .


Our first fire heralds the beginning of Christmas celebrations. . .but it also beckons me to stop. . .in the warmth of its glow. . .to gather my thoughts. . .and to remember the real reason for the season. . .The coming days will be filled with 'busy-ness'. . .but for these few moments, I need to feel The Light and The Love that was so freely given. . .by a tiny baby so long ago. . .
 May 'PEACE be your handmaid. . .
and LOVE be your guest' this Holiday Season. . .


AT:

 





Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Holiday Issue Is Out and We're Featured Twice. . .


 CHRISTMAS PACKAGES-COTTON BRANCHES-WHITE, SILVER, GOLD

DELTA CROSSROADS HOLIDAY ISSUE is now on the stands. . .and online. . .FREE. . .
You'll find us in it twice. . .INSPIRATION taken from THE COUNTRY FARM HOME blog. . .
The Editor, Nancy Kemp, contacted us a few months ago, so it wasn't a BIG surprise.
But her layouts of those posts look so great in the magazine!!!
In fact, the entire issue is fantastic.

 
You know. . .we have a lot of wonderful people here in the Delta. . .
and so talented. . .
I am HUMBLED and BLESSED to be a part of it.


To view the entire issue Free:

DELTA CROSSROADS HOLIDAY ISSUE 

or Check out our ORIGINAL POSTS at:

CHRISTMAS PACKAGES-COTTON BRANCHES-WHITE, SILVER, GOLD




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Christmas Farmhouse Kitchen With a Mission



Did you hear the rumor going around? 
Christmas is almost here. . .

Oh. . .You heard, huh?
I'm sure you also heard that Black Friday is this week. . .Who hasn't? . .Well, I'm not sure John has. . .He hasn't mentioned it. . .Not that he would do any shopping. . .but he might suggest I go and pick out my own gift. . .as he has in the past. . .But. . .no. . .I haven't heard a word. . . 


I decided to take action and bring out some black and white for the kitchen. . .set up a little Christmas cheer. . .and reminder. . .before Thanksgiving. . .When he asks, "Why are you decorating for Christmas when it's Thanksgiving? And why all the black?' then I can reply, "Because Friday is BLACK FRIDAY!". . .You get my drift, don't you Ladies?


And what if he still doesn't take the bait? . .Then I might need to do something drastic. . .Like. . ."Let's go shopping Friday". . .without telling him he's about to enter a day of traffic jams and frantic shoppers. . .or. . .I could negotiate with. . ."If you'll take me shopping on Black Friday, then you'll have the weekend free for duck hunting". . .You know. . .Give a little. . .Take a little. . .


Yes. . .This is all in fun. . .tongue in cheek, so to speak. . .The end result is a plus, though. . .I've begun to bring in the evergreens and the candles and the vintage whites. . .It will be a 'natural' Christmas this year. . .but I'll tell you more about it next week. . .In the meantime. . .enjoy the photos. . .and eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie so you'll have plenty of energy for all that shopping. . .
You can bet I will. . .
























Thursday, November 9, 2017

From My Cookbook to Yours: Seasoned Southern Style



"After years of trying new recipes with a long list of ingredients, seeking healthy alternatives to gluten and dairy, trying to eliminate preservatives and pesticides, I have decided to return to the food of my childhood. . .simple foods made from scratch (mostly) and of the freshest ingredients I can find. . .I think today's term for this way of thinking is 'eating clean'. . .I call it common sense. . ."
Come join me in my journey of revisiting tried but true recipes and methods of cooking from the local Delta community. . .Simply Good Food. . .SEASONED SOUTHERN STYLE. . .READ MORE. . .


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Simple Harvest Table Several Ways


"EAT YOUR HEART OUT, P. ALLEN SMITH"
Those were John's words when he walked through the breezeway porch and saw our Harvest Table. . .While I'm not even in the league of *Allen Smith. . .(John was just kidding around). . .I have to admit I have gotten more than a few tips from his website. . .His style mixes parts of the past with an eye for the present. . .I often do the same. . .

 

 
As I've stated again and again, Fall is my favorite time of the year. . .From the first frost on the pumpkins to the promise of a New Year, excitement stirs over and over as each holiday arrives. . .The days go by so quickly. . .the level of "busy" increases. . .and the hustle and bustle is in full force. . .


But it is also a time of feeling warm and cuddly by the fire. . .of gathering with family and friends. . .of remembering those who made our lives so special in past holidays.
For our Harvest Table, I decided to make it simple and all natural. . .just as the first Thanksgiving might have been. . .We have several occasions coming up in which we will utilize the table in different ways. . .

For a simple luncheon. . .


 For a magazine photo shoot. . .





For a candlelight dinner. . .









Some old jugs and redware, a vintage quilt, harvested gourds, dried grapevine, burlap, craft paper, a few candles and some dried berries. . .and I was done. . .making the table look welcoming and warm. . .Another plus is that it keeps holiday storage at a minimum. . .

 

I have pretty much decided to decorate for the holidays from this day on with natural and found materials. . .It just seems to set our home apart from the norm, while adding a spark of one's own personality and making it special for our family. . .I might add that it brings forth compliments from the Honey, too. . .He actually noticed this table. . .WOW. . .
Time now to move on to Christmas decor. . .Let's see. . .Maybe some wooden buckets and crates. . .more old crocks. . .pantry boxes. . .firkins. . .old barrels and kegs. . .limbs of cotton. . .evergreens. . .vines. . .small, potted trees. . .lots of candles. . .For sparkle, I'll bring the collection into this era with glass balls. . .strands of lights. . .modern fabrics. . .and. . .
Well. . .You'll just have to watch and see. . .
I will say this, though. . .it's Christmas decor that I'm totally excited about. . .
PLAIN AND SIMPLE. . .

 
  
PLEASE NOTE: There's a new tab above for SELECTED FALL POSTS.
Check it out. . .
I'll be adding tabs for WINTER, SPRING, AND SUMMER, too.
Whatever the Season, you will find INSPIRATION AT
THE COUNTRY FARM HOME

 
 
 *P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm is in Arkansas, 
where most of his TV shows are taped. 
Visit his website at: 


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