Monday, July 30, 2012

The pink typewriter

Don't you just love it? I do. In my search for 1950s pink and blue, I remembered my dad had this tucked away in the attic. From 1956, this Royal typewriter is actually what I typed several college term papers on in the late 1980s. My kids went crazy over this, and my dad had to bring another one for them to type on. They loved the instant gratification of seeing something they typed right in front of them. Imagine that.

I placed it in my china cabinet that still has no doors, and has not yet housed any china. I am still enjoying the country store feel it has and love displaying vintage things I find around here.

Since the cabinet is a combination of very dark walnut and wormy chestnut, I *almost* painted the back inside of the shelves, then I came across some pink, floral paper in my parents' basement, which I knew would give the cabinet the perfect vintage touch. Oh how I love it:-)  

Some of my vintage items include Hazel Atlas Pink Crinoline cups and saucers, my grandfather's books, his folding measuring stick, and the large bell he rang as a school teacher to call the children in. My great grandmother's cruet set is flanked by aluminum trays my dad made in the 1950s, and a lamp that belonged to my grandmother. The vintage needlepoint below was done by a family friend. 

I have been lucky to find a lot of vintage treasures right here, well... next door actually, and knowing they are all connected to my family in some way makes them more special to me. 

I'm happy the typewriter has found a new home for now. Lots more vintage things have found their way into my new blue kitchen and living area. Can't wait to show those rooms!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for leaving comments:-) I would love it if you join me on my Far Above Rubies facebook page, link at right.


I'll be joining:

Tabletop Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Pink Saturday

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stargazer lilies and vintage china

Hi everyone! I wanted to share a super simple and sweet tablescape I created using some very old and rare china.

These plates came with sacks of flour to my grandfather's store and although they have no marking on the back, we have been told they are "Cone Premium." I featured the lilac version of these on one of my first tablescapes HERE. 

My mother gave me these beautiful stargazer lilies from her garden, which I placed with a few strands of fern in Mason jars inside the box.

The pink "Moonstone" glassware is by Fostoria and is part of a collection my mother started for my 10-year-old.

I have used sterling flatware from 1893, "Louvre" by R.S. Wallace and Sons, and Pfaltzgraff "Heritage" dinner plates. The napkins are part of a large collection my parents inherited from a relative. 

I have layered two ruffled runners that I made. The top one is from a fabric by Portfolio Textiles, and the bottom one is made from vintage feedsacks also from my grandfather's store. It actually is turned on the wrong side because I wanted solid cream color and this is the only one I had with ruffles.

This is such a simple table and so easy to put together for a casual ladies lunch. I love to layer old with new, rustic wood with sterling silver then top it off with flowers from the garden. 

I am loving using shades of pink as an accent for the first time ever. Not sure how this is going to work at Christmas! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 


I'll be joining:

Tablescape Thursday
 Feathered Nest Friday

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whispering Pines

I wanted to share a few photos of our summer porches here in the Smoky Mountains. We have had lots of rain. Did I mention we have had lots of rain? 

This sign was on my great grandfather's house just across the creek.

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There haven't been many changes here...

For the full porch tour from last summer, click HERE.

This has been my spot for morning coffee this summer. I just love when the fog rolls in through the trees here...

Looking toward the old home place and the 100-year-old garage...

Now for a few sunny will notice I painted the red stripes grey. I could not handle the red on the posts, although I love it on the doors. 

Every day I go out to have my morning cup of coffee and thank God that I am here and for all the  blessings in my life. 

I am also very thankful for two wonderful people, Mary and Dave over at Front Porch Ideas who have featured our porches on their site. You can check out the feature HERE.

They will also be featuring my Pumpkin Cheesecake this fall in an ideabook, so I will let you know when it is out. 

Thanks for stopping by!! I honestly am so excited to show you my kitchen makeover, but I need some pink tea towels to finish it off:-)


I'll be linking up with Kim at Wow Us Wednesdays

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gardening and Roasted Green Tomatoes

Gardening. My mother is the gardner, and oh boy does she grow a garden. Then she cans and freezes, and makes jams, and yummy soups and sauces for the winter. She is passionate about it.  I just play at it. But I do enjoy having organic fresh herbs and veggies to pick and eat through the summer.  

My mom has probably thousands of tomatoes growing and gave some green ones to me yesterday to fry up. Although I LOVE fried green tomatoes, Luis and I are really sticking to healthy eating and somehow fried green tomatoes don't fit. So I decided to roast them, and they were yum, yum, yummy! What a great, healthy alternative to fried green tomatoes. 

All I did was wash them and slice them up with a purple onion my mom also grew then toss them with olive oil and sea salt. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet then bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. I do most veggies this way from sweet potatoes, to cauliflower. Tonight, I'll be roasting organic zucchini from my garden to go with baked salmon.

I try to cook things that are fresh, easy, simple and healthy. I cannot wait until our hens start laying so we can have fresh eggs.

In the meantime, I have been busy finishing up a project in the kitchen which literally involved taking this kitchen way back in time. You will see the difference in this sneak peek if you have seen the kitchen before. I can't wait to share that.

I hope you are having a great weekend! Thanks so very much for stopping by, and I hope I inspire you to roast some locally or homegrown veggies for your dinner!!

I'll be linking up to: 
On the Menu Monday 
Inspiration Friday


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ugly Lamp -- Pretty Lamp

I have this thing with getting the lamps right in my rooms. But, it seems that it is not actually possible for me. Not only do I need lamps for accent lighting, but also for task lighting, and I want them to look right all at the same time.

I have been trying to remove the box store generic lamps and replace with whatever I can find in my parents' attic, etc.

One trip to a local antique mall, and I found an ugly lamp to transform, but I loved the shade, or the potential the shade had. It was all of $7.50. But I thought I might just work with the lamp too. 

So I took it apart and cleaned it out, then spray painted the base and other non-glass parts with brown, textured paint. I love rewiring lamps for some weird reason, so I rewired it then put it back together and now I love it. I covered the old, ugly, stained shade with burlap and added the trim.

That, of course, led me to cover more shades with burlap. This shade actually came on a $14 lamp. 

 I thought it would be great on this copper lamp floor my dad made in high school. 

This is one of my favorite lamps. Love the detail in the base...

Then I "had" to cover the shade on the piano lamp. 

I love the way they look at night, but I cannot for the life of me capture that with my camera. 

I think it gives a more cohesive look, although they are not all the same. I'm trying to get away from the beaded shades I had and add a hint of mid-century, vintage style. 

...and I cannot wait for this mid century beauty to arrive!! Do any of you have one of these double lamp shades?? I have fallen in love with them. I have the perfect mid-century floor lamp of my grandmother's to put it on. 

Now I think I'm happy with the lamp situation as they are all vintage except the one on the piano, and none were made in China. Gotta love the "green" aspect of that.  

Thanks SO much for stopping by! I appreciate and love your comments:-)


I'll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays
 Inspiration Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Home Sweet Home
Feathered Nest Friday

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making fresh butter and homemade whole-wheat pancakes

Hi everyone!

We were fortunate enough to get fresh cream and milk from my cousin so I wanted to make butter from the cream. I have never done this before, but my 10-year-old had made some at school, so we decided to try. 

First, we put some of the cream in a large Mason jar, then we took turns shaking it for about 30 minutes until it started to turn into small clots of butter. ***It will be a *much* faster process if you at least let the cream get to room temp.

I poured off the buttermilk, then I put it in a sieve and squished the milk out, then rinsed it. We worked it around the sides of the bowl to make sure there was no milk left. If there is buttermilk left in, the butter will go bad sooner. 

I then salted it, and we had yummy, fresh, butter! 

This butter has a very light taste, and after looking up directions for making butter, I found that I should have let the cream sit out for about 12 hours before making. In any case, this still tastes great, but I will let it sit out next time. There are some great directions HERE from Mother Earth News. We do not eat margarine here as we try to eat whole foods, so making my own butter is something I have wanted to do for a while. 

So what does fresh butter go with?? Homemade whole-wheat pancakes of course!

I love this old Watkins cookbook my great aunt Frances gave me, and I have been making these pancakes for the kids for a few years now. 

I do use brown sugar instead of white sugar and cook them on a griddle, but everything else is the same. 

The children love these with my mom's homemade jams and can choose between grape, peach, strawberry or blackberry.

Did I mention how yummy these are? The sad thing is I can only have a bite since I'm sticking to my low-carb lifestyle, but one bite is enough:-)

So, I hope you are inspired to try making butter. I am convinced that whole and truly organic is better than processed and full of chemicals. I'm actually working on a page with healthy low-carb recipes that we like, which I hope to have up soon to share.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


I'll be linking up to:

 Foodie Friday
Inspiration Friday
On the Menu Monday 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet the Chicks!

 The notion of having chickens running around seems to have been romanticized lately. Actually, the idea of having fresh, organic eggs was what motivated me to mention the "idea" to some friends at church.  When they showed up with seven baby chicks, I was honestly petrified because I had no idea what taking care of chickens entailed. My mother is still laughing. 

So we wholeheartedly embraced the chicks and moved them into the laundry room. Tiger the cat was not amused.

Fast forward a few months and the two that survived have happily moved into their new home that Luis built out of mostly scrap wood. (No, Tiger did not eat them, they just didn't make it. I am told that's how it is with baby chicks. ) They enjoy roaming the woods all day and somehow know that when dark comes, they head home. Very smart these chicks are.

When they start laying, which should happen in October, I will gather eggs in the same basket my grandfather gathered eggs here on this property. Apparently the colored wire holding his basket together is dynamite wire. When my dad told me that, I did not ask any more questions.

I thought the chicken house needed a sign, so I looked online for vintage "Egg" signs...

(notice they have roosters)

...then ended up painting my own. I like Mr. Rooster getting the word out. 

My great grandmother's little guesthouse overlooks the new chicken house.

Our beautiful Rhode Island Reds have grown up...

...and will soon be giving us big, brown, organic eggs. on the farm:-)

(tractor courtesy of my dad:-)

The friends who gave us the chicks are cattle farmers. I did also happen to mention to them that I would love fresh, organic beef, lol. 

The kids are really enjoying the chickens, and now my parents have added a new elkhound puppy. We are looking for a rooster and two more hens. They can all join the coyotes, bears and other animals that live around here. There is nothing like living in the country:-) 


Thanks SO much for stopping by for a visit! I would love for you to follow my facebook page, if you like,  as I can stay in touch so much easier and post more updates. There is a link on the sidebar. 

I'll be joining:

Outdoor Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Inspiration Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Home Sweet Home