Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tablescape - Fred Roberts Western China

Howdy! I am so excited this is my first tablescape! I still haven't found my nice camera's charger yet so I am still using my iphone. I know, tisk, tisk on me!
Tablescapes - What a fun way for everyone to get out our treasures and USE them! I am a big believer in using the silver everyday! It creates memories!

During college (about 2000) I fell in love with collecting dishes! I started trying to fill out a set of crystal dinnerware that I was given when my grand mother Meme passed away. THEN I discovered that there were several western patterns of china made in the 1940's through 1960's.
So I started collecting antique western china! Whoo - hoo! It has been loads of fun! I have several patterns to share with you in the future!

This pattern was made by Fred Roberts China Co. in the 1950's. I was told that they were rewards for buying clothes soap. Yes, you bought a box of soap and inside was a western plate! Can you believe it? It is like cereal toys for moms!
The glassware is by Bamco. It is not antique. But they are great because you can throw them in the dishwasher! There is a bucking horse on the tea glass if you can't quite tell.

The sterling is Francis the First by Reed and Barton. It was my great-Granmother's. I cherish it!

Oh, and the linens are from Pottery Barn too. I think this color was available in 2008.

The bread and butter plates are vintage fiesta. 
This is the condiment set in the Fred Roberts Western pattern. There are tops and spoons for the little containers which are to be used for ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. The tray is wooden. Although, this condiment tray was designed for a western BarBQ I though some Don Juan roses from the garden would look nice for a center piece! Lots of fun!
Love the aqua wagons and campfire scenes.
A steer head.
The water pitcher is from Pottery Barn (circa 2008). The sugar and creamer set is a treasure I found somewhere. These cuties were made sometime in the 1950's in Japan.
The cowboy and cowgirl are waiting at the stagecoach stop.

Although there are not a ton of pieces in this pattern, there is a salad bowl that is a wonderful size (10 inch diameter).
This cutting board I found at Round Top. It is very rare.

The tray is probably the most amazing piece. Although the photo doesn't do it justice (I will improve!) it is lovely!

I have few more pieces somewhere that I will show another time.
You can see how big the tray is in this photo! I thought some of the mothers out there might appreciate this photo. I was trying to take photos and Klacey was helping! Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Progress and Patience!

Yea! It is spring (in most places) and we have survived the L-O-N-G C-O-L-D winter and now it is time to get out in the garden! Warm sunshine here we come! Oh, wait, um, there is this wind to deal with!

Sooooo, yesterday while I was pouting sitting in the house waiting for the wind to die down so that I could take the baby out and we could play in the garden, I picked up the April Southern Living Magazine.

In the front of the magazine, the letter from the editor had a wonderful message. I know some people may be like me and skip this sometimes so I thought I would share what M. Lindsay Bierman (the editor) had to say.

Here it is word for word:
"As much as I (Bierman, the editor) want a yard that's worthy of these pages (Southern Living Magazine) by the end of this month, I learned from my first garden to cultivate patience and restraint before really digging in. Let's get real: You can't create Giverny in a weekend. The dirty secret is that most show house borders and "instant garden makeovers" you see in magazines and on TV quickly fade like fresh flower arrangements. If you focus first on the bones, using bulletproof plants like boxwood and holly to define and enclose spaces, you'll achieve long-lasting beauty without a single bloom. After that, you can blow your budget on annuals and perennials and pour on all the cottage charm you want."

This made me stop and think of our progress on the landscaping so far. When we moved into our house there was nothing but sandburrs which were so bad that my daughter's fourth word was "stick-a". I decided that my goal was for my daughter to have what I had growing up - a beautiful green yard that will be a cool retreat from the harsh West Texas heat.

So although, I may become a bit frustrated at the pace of our progress I am very pleased with it. So since the summer of 2008 we have gone from this:

To this
Yes, the pergola makes a BIG difference! Thanks Dad!
This is the area before the pergola:

The front WITH the pergola - much better!

This was the view from the front steps

And now we have this:
This was the west side of the house from the front entrance:

Now we have this:
This was the west side from the front:

And now this:
And these stepping stones lead to a swing that hides under the biggest tree we have!
Here is the swing which is a great spot for reading or enjoying the day with my girls!

As for the east side of the front yard. There are laveder crepe myrtles, pittosporum, dwarf pampas grass and several salvias.

Stepping stones lead you back to the front entrance where the pergola that my dad built stands.
The west front yard:
Again the front steps then:

Front steps now. I love glazed pots and I chose red to draw attention to the front entrance.

Tune in next time for photos of our progress on the backyard, kitchen garden, and courtyard. Have a wonderful weekend!
(Here are some teaser photos)

We are joining in at Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday
and The Girl Creative

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recipe Idea - Diane's Texas Garden Pasta

Happy Friday evening everyone! Just a quick post to show you what we had for dinner tonight.

If you haven't visited Diane's Texas Garden Blog then you are missing out. The recipe for this pasta dish with shrimp, pasta, tomatos, arugula, cream, etc. is waiting for you! See her post here for the recipe with all of the directions and pictures. The only thing that was missing was a name for this dish so here in my cookbook binder I am calling it Diane's Texas Garden Pasta!
Thank you Diane for such a wonderful recipe! I added some Parmesan and spinach because I only had one arugula plant. But it was lovely! My hubby said it was a repeater recipe! So as Diane says Buon Appetito!  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kitchen Garden Progress Report #2

Well, to quote my husband's reaction to my progress on the new kitchen garden, "Not bad for using only FREE mulch, manure and bricks!"

To begin with, I live in West Texas and we had a scarry weekend of wildfires all around! There was an evacuation of our neighborhood here in Alpine on Saturday afternoon. Also, there were fires on my husband's family ranch where land and fences were lost but PRAISE GOD we were all okay. However, many families here in West Texas lost homes and animals. It truly is tragic to hear of many of the stories of loss. To read more about the details of the fire visit

However, this is a happy place here in blogland so back to the kitchen garden. I was spending time outside anyway watching the smoke and watering the lawn.
To read my first post on the kitchen garden click here. But basically, we added a cedar post fence around the property and then started installing raised vegetable beds. So we went from this:

To this where I had the raised beds installed and newspaper and mulch laid on half of the kitchen garden.

However, I still had all of this to deal with!

So this weekend I had Zach (my hubby) to help babysit and I started working. I had a tall stack of old brick that I salvaged. I had some left over composted manure from the thrity-foot trailer that I unloaded last week. So first I made the berry patches. I put the wooden barrels in the middle of the beds and planted the blueberry bushes ("Star"). Then I planted strawberry (Everbearing ones) plants and marigolds in the oval berry patches.

Next, a curve of brick to be an edge to the strip of grass.
Then I had to come in and take a shower so I could evacuate the house with my 8 month old baby due to wildfires in the area. Ugh yeah, we live in the wild west. So after some fun pizza with my friend in town and her baby we came home! Thank you Lord! So the next morning up and at them again. I added the curved bed in the bottom left of this photo below.
Then I added a thick layer of red granite to under the faucet area. This area will be where my potting bench will go.

Then I did the far curved bed next to the cedar post fence. But I still need to prepare the soil for the roses.

Then I STILL had more brick so I decided on a patio. It isn't perfect but interplanted with thyme it will look great.
The strip to the left in the above photo is going to be grass. And don't forget this is the plan for the beds along the house:
Except that instead of walking to the french door seen in the inspiration I have a cedar post gate.

And of course here is the plan I drew for the kitchen garden. Hopefully this week I can get most everything planted. We will see!

So we are getting closer to completion. Forgive the iphone photos but I still looking for my charger to my big camera. Oops!
We are part of the Metamorphosis Monday at Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch