Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We are interrupting this blog

series featuring baby shower preparations to show you what happens when are not quite prepared . . ..
Announcing Baby "Seb" - Sebastian Scott was our surprise gift on Mother's Day!

His parents had the new carpet installed in the nursery on Wednesday. Mommy had a substitute teaching job on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Her mother-in-law (me) made her go to Mother's Day Tea Party on Saturday. After church on Sunday, mommy and daddy were headed two hours away to her mother's to pick up the changing table and dresser so that mommy could start washing clothes and putting the nursery together before she taught on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Also on the "to-do" list was packing her suitcase and deciding what was still needed.

UNTIL - 27 days before his due date  . . .

First Modeling Gig- outfit provided by our local hosptial's "Sweater Angels"
Mr. Merry was putting new brakes on Miss Merry's car so that they can attend a wedding in Tennessee at the end of the month. Mommy and daddy picked up Miss Merry for church, marched in, sat in the pew, mommy tapped daddy's shoulder and we all three stood up and marched out. A mere 4 1/2 hours later, Baby Seb made his appearance at 5 pounds 11 ounces.

Mommy and Baby are doing fine. Gramma and Grampa are recovering after a marathon of crib, pack n play, car seat, vibrating chair and swing construction, baby clothes washing, food preparation, house cleaning and shopping!

Mommy and baby are doing fine. Last night was the first night home and her mother was able to come and stay through the end of the week. I understand NO ONE got any sleep at all. This morning was the families first outing, back to the hospital for blood tests and a check up. Seb is a preemie (a very healthy preemie) but they are keeping an eye on his low blood sugar, weight loss and jaundice.

Fortunately we held the shower two weeks ago (it is just the preparation posts that are lagging). This Saturday is the "diaper party" so I am cleaning my kitchen in order to start preparing roasters full of brats and cheesy potatoes and bake about 6 batches of brownies.

It's a BOY!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Downton Abbey Tea Party

Let's take a break from the Baby Shower Preparations and attend a Downton Abbey Tea Party!
This party was actually scheduled for January, but I live in Ohio and we were inundated with so much snow this year, the Friends of the Library had to wait until May to reschedule it!  I invited three of my "tea" friends to accompany me.

We started with a delicious cup of Earl Grey Tea!
And then were served some "light refreshments". This was day three of my latest diet and I would not call this a "light refreshment!"
We were served by volunteers from the Friends of the Library, straight from Mrs. Patmore's kitchen!

Our first speaker was Laura Loew from Lost in the Past, Medina, Ohio. She was fabulous! Attired in a 1925 frock and accessories (DA - Season 5), she began with an outstanding presentation of the fashions featured in each season of Downton Abbey. 

The tea was held in our local Episcapal Church which was originally built in 1818. This hall showcases windows and the woodwork from the original structure, but was built around the 1860's. 
 Laura showed magazine pictures from the day and compared the fashions worn on the show.
Laura is very knowledgeable about the costuming on the program and pointed out ensembles that were period, rental costumes and newly constructed.
Laura shared information from interviews with the cast members. Did you know that all of the women's contracts require that they are using sunscreen at all times in order to maintain those gorgeous white complexions?  In Downton time, only field labors sported a tan!
Anna surprised me the most with her "real life" self! Laura also brought a special outfit that she had selected for each character from her own vintage clothing collection. Outfits included complete accessories and sometimes included shoes! I will post more of these photos at the end of the blog. 
We were then served our "sweets" course during an intermission.

 Our next speaker was the program director for our local PBS station. She shared film clips, cast information, behind the scenes stories and interviews and updates on Season Five as well as other programs that we all follow on PBS! 
The PBS presentation was followed by a costume judging. Here are just some of those who came costumed in a Downton Theme:
And here are some of the outfits that Laura brought from her personal collection:
I am sure you were able to match each outfit with the character!

The tea was just lovely. I am hoping for a repeat next year.

Linking to:

Linking to:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Shower Preparations #2 - Prizes!

I found the cutest idea on Pinterest for prizes at our baby shower. I found all the pieces at my favorite place to shop - The Dollar Store!  I was looking for items that came in Baby Blue. The two pack of Dial soap was packaged in blue, but the individual boxes were white when I removed the wrapper. I grabbed a blue ink pad and my owl stamp (the theme of the nursery and began stamping.
I did find a large bottle of body wash, a baby blue razor and a fluffy blue bath scrubbie.
I found these adorable miniature Baby Blue rubber tubs which worked perfectly to hold the prize items.
OH THAT PINTEREST. These were the sayings on tags that inspired this contest. The clipart was available on Microsoft Word. I printed them on leftover business card cardstock.
I had purchased some cellophane to use in a Pinterest project that DIDN'T work out, so I cut that into sheets to wrap the tub.
Ta-Da!!!! A quick, inexpensive, adorable prize for any shower game!
I will be linking with Masterpiece Monday at Boogie Board Cottage
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Tweak It Tuesday at the Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baby Shower Preparations #1 - Favors

We're expecting! Another grandson will be here soon and we are so excited. My daughters and I are planning the shower and I thought I would share all the preparation with you.

Our first post will show the favors. To start I painted 40 clothespins baby boy blue with Apple Barrel paint
Next I created some labels, printed them and attached them to brown paper lunch bags.
We are holding the shower in an adorable coffee house in a nearby community, so I thought the labels were very appropriate! 
Next, I gathered the "filling". I found individually packaged cappuccino mixes at the Dollar Store, along with these little baby blue bags to package some tea. I love the saying I found for the label on the tea bag.  I colored the "HE" part of the candy so you would remember that we are expecting a "HE"!
The clothespins were dry, so I decorated them with white polka dots by dipping the end of my paint brush in white Apple Barrel paint and dotting the clothespins.
Okay, I thought those came out pretty darn cute!  I inherited boxes of miscellaneous from my mother, including lots of vintage paper doilies. I just happened to find this unopened package of 40. I folded down the bags, folded the doily in half and attached it to the top of the bag with a clothespin.
I hope the guests enjoy them!
Stay tuned for more Baby Shower preparations and the Big Event!
I am linking to Masterpiece Monday at Boogie Board Cottage!!

  and with the Tablescaper at
with Wow us Wednesday's at Savy Southern Style
with the Most Popular Tablesetter at Between Naps on the Porch

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My March Table

Look familiar? I am still in love with my new table! And since everyone seemed to like the February table so much, I thought I would do something similar for March.
We were all in love with the beautiful wood of the table top, but I finally allowed my family to come over for dinner and use the table. As a group we are entirely too sloppy and uncouth to allow this to continue. The table top is now protected with the table pads I saved from my grandmother's dining room table. The pads are covered with a dark green table cloth and then topped with a white lace table top. Don't worry about the tablecloths - both came from Dollar General and I can spray them liberally with Shout and run them through the washer.

I am economizing after this major purchase, and I am mixing and matching to come up with eight place settings! Four of the guests will have this white Pfaltzgraff dinner plate with green border, topped with a green Pfaltzgraff salad plate and shamrock napkin. This place settings have a secret!
The bottom plate is from my Christmas dishes! (Don't tell)
The other four guests have the dinner plates that match the salad plates. Instead of a salad plate, they get a Leprechaun's hat!

The tea cup and saucer come from a set purchased piece by piece by piece with stamps at a local grocery store in 1995. My oldest daughter had just graduated from high school in June and with four still at home, I bought a lot of groceries. There was some sort of a deal with place settings and then I started on the serving pieces. She used these in her first and several more apartments and then began passing it down the line. When her youngest brother got married last summer - it arrived back at my house. The dinner plates joined about 200 other mis-matched china plates that were used for the reception. I kept the tea cups, saucers and a small platter and the rest went to Goodwill.
And I made another banner! Actually my Valentine's banner was so popular that both of my daughter-in-laws and one of my daughters requested one for March, too. - Here is the dining room table (with pads) doing double duty as a work table.
As you can tell from the back of the table, this is not my only project for the month. I am in the midst of organizing my 4-H activities for the year, planning a baby shower for about 40 guests and working on some projects for my church. And . . .
No, I didn't move. But my oldest son purchased his first home. We were busy moving everything out of his apartment at the last minute when the closing was delayed twice by the owners. Now I am scouring my closets, porches, storage and garage for any items he owns or I want to dump on him! He has purchased an adorable little ranch and was already painting the ceilings the first night he moved in. My favorite feature of the home is this adorable range located in his basement. The former owner used it for canning.
LOVE!!!! Doesn't it remind you of this one I painted while my husband was remodeling our own kitchen? 
There has already been some discussion about moving it from the basement (by me) and some discussion on how heavy it is and how it is going to stay put (by the rest of the family). If he had only bought this house about four years ago - I would have designed my kitchen around it!

I will be linking with Susan and all those much more creative tablescapes at :

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Table for A Tablescape

 One of the main reasons I haven't been around to show a tablescape? NO TABLE! 
Around and about 1989, we purchased a new table and chairs. A scant few weeks after they arrived, I had a pot that caught on fire on my stove. Thinking quickly - I grabbed the pot off the stove and placed it on my brand new table - thereby marking it forever with a nice round hole. Not  a deep hole; it only burned about half way through the table top before I grabbed it again and placed it in the sink. We had five children aged 5-12 at the time and the chairs held up remarkably well with the climbing, tipping, and foot resting . But eventually they had to be replaced and I managed to purchase some lovely vintage ones at an auction.
Meanwhile my grandmother's mahogany table and chairs rotated into my possession. Unfortunately they had traveled a hard route and needed numerous repairs. The veneer needed replaced, the leaves were warped, the joints need glued and on and on. As much as restoring the table was my dream, I do not have the talent to do the work and the estimates I was getting exceeded the price of a new table and chairs. I had already given my original table away and sold the chairs at a yard sale, so a decision needed to be made.   
My dear sweet husband is a Union Man and refuses to make a large purchase unless the goods are Made In America. Preferably Union Made in America.  After several weeks of searching, we found this very difficult. The lovely furniture that was originally made in the Carolinas is now imported from overseas and sold from there. We found one furniture company that imports the wood from Russia, the furniture is made in China and the furniture is sold from North Carolina.  And the quality does suffer. After many road trips to many furniture stores, we eventually decided to have the set we wanted made by the Amish.  We were told it would take four to eight weeks; we actually received the furniture in ten weeks and it is everything we ever dreamed of! Gorgeous and sturdy enough, not only for our children, but for our grandchildren, too! The pedestal design allows for three leaves when the occasion warrants. I was pleased to find that the table with two leaves fits nicely in the dining room and allows all eight chairs to fit easily around the table. The Weaver family did a remarkable job!
The table and chairs arrived just in time for a February tablescape! Since I just spent all that money on the table set, I was glad to find all eight placemats at the Dollar Tree! The green matches the walls in my adjoining living room and ties the rooms together. The bottom red plate is Pfaltzgraff, purchased when the outlet stores were still open. The adorable scallop edged pink granite -look plates were a Pfaltzgraff find, too - along with the cupcake custard cups. The mittens were from Hallmark years ago and the adorable bowls from former co-workers. The clear glass heart shaped candy bowls were my grandmothers.

By the way, do you like the color of the dining room? Since we had All That Time to wait for the dining room table and chairs to be crafted, I managed to talk my dear sweet husband into a new paint job! Sparkling white ceiling and trim, and I am calling this shade Geranium Pink. I am totally in love with it!
To fancy up the room, I stayed up late one night and hand stitched up this felt Valentine Banner.

My daughter-in-law was so taken by it she asked me to make one for her, too.  (The darker splotch on the wall is a test for a new dining room color - I think it will look terrific).

Thanks for stopping by! I am going to try to visit all the other tablescapes at   It has been a very long time since I have been around to see you all and I am really looking forward to seeing you all again.

Miss Merry