Monday, May 31, 2010

A Patriotic Party

As Gunn's our Scottish family loves to share its plaid!

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When Mr Decor retired we were ready to celebrate. I was blessed that my airman came home from every single one of his missions. We decided to go against the average ho hum series of speeches and put a Scottish twist on things as a nod to his heritage.

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His clan motto is “Either Peace or War”~ very befitting the military don’t you think? The actual ceremony was held in a hanger large enough to hold everyone in attendance. Our guests knew they were in for something special when the bagpipes started. The piper was our distant cousin, Scott Gunn, who is a member of the US Air Force Drum, Bugle Core and Pipe Band. Scott has played for the president on numerous occasions. (It should be noted that a piped procession is an honor reserved for very few.)

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All of Mr. Decor’s family attended. His father, a former Navy man, was presented with an American flag that had been flown over our nations capital.

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Each of his sister’s and mother received a corsage that included Scottish thistle.

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It was fun that so many of the attendee’s came wearing their plaid. The Fashionista wore her Black Watch kilt, while Sweet Boy and I sported the Gunn dress tartan.

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Afterwards we traveled to the Warner Robins, AFB Officers Club for a formal sit down dinner.

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Here is a close up of the image I used for the place cards / menu (printed on the back) found in a 1951 cookbook entitled “A World of Good Eating”.

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Of course there was entertainment. Everyone was invited to play the pipes. I now know what Scots wear under their kilts. :)

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The family that pipes together, stays out of breath together.

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A good time was had by all.

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Sweet tokens of appreciation included Scottish shortbread and butterscotch candies. They were of course tied up with plaid ribbon.

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Happy National Tartan Day!
Laura
Linking to:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

He Wore a Blue Raspberry Beret

DTA Productions presents a classic piece of French film noir~
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Our hero, forced to the streets at a young age, always relied on the kindness of strangers.
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His good looks and charm provided him with many glorious encounters. Ooh la la it was so sweet.

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But would he ever find lasting amour?

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He grew weary of waiting…

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His heart was becoming as empty as his plate.

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Until the day he spied her across the cafe…his heart leapt.

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He noticed that the chair opposite hers was filled only by a beautiful basket. Was there a place for him? It was almost to much to hope for.

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She lifted her cup to salute him.

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Before long they were enjoying a tête-à-tête.

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He fit in her beautiful basket, but wondered if he would fit in her heart~ her life?

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The thought of losing her made him hang his head and whimper.

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But alas she said she could not live without her sweet chien and they lived happily ever after.

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Now available in glorious technicolor! Starring Rudi, a loveable orphan adopted from the Tucson dachshund rescue shelter 5 years ago.

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His scarf is a simple construction of two triangles sewed back to back and enhanced with a bit of machine embroidery. His blue raspberry beret was created with a simple circle of felt. 

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We hope you have enjoyed our show and will perhaps consider adopting a shelter dog as a beloved pet.


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Merci Beaucoup!
Laura

Friday, May 28, 2010

French Macarons

School is out. Every summer my children and I make a list of things we would like to accomplish over the long holiday. On the top of the Fashionista’s list was “Master the French Macaron”. Emily of Inside A Black Apple also went on a similar quest and recommended this recipe. You might read through the recipe first to fully appreciate our attempts.

teddy bear tea 015 It might be better apt to say that on our first attempt we massacred the French Macaron. Let’s get started with a fun blooper.

Are you laughing? That was my response to the Fashionista not wanting to talk on camera. Aprons on? Good~let’s begin.

Who knew you’d get a cooking lesson and a wild ride? Sorry for the shaky camera skills.

Whipping eggs whites into submission.

Ya gotta know when to fold ‘em.

Flowing like magma.

Setting up a piping bag, otherwise known as “Baking 101”.

Using a piping bag for the first time and other hilarious disasters.

At this point the instructions said “Let dry at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours to allow skins to form” . So we did, during which time a friend called with a medical emergency (she’s fine) which thus ended our video making. Truthfully, you are probably tired by now  so we’ll save the Italian Buttercream Frosting tutorial for a future post. But the Fashionista continued on in her attempts. While her macarons didn’t turn out quite as perfect as these: cookies They tasted SO yummy. I tip my hat to you sweetie! Let’s have a party to celebrate~ you set the table.

teddy bear tea 012 I’ll invite a few wee guests.

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Grandma Jingles recently sent Herr Theodore Bear to me as a graduation gift. He looks good for recently turning 100 doesn’t he?

teddy bear tea 021 Also in the package was Miss Wendy Ann dressed in her original 1930’s finery.

teddy bear tea 026 Mademoiselle Colette proclaimed the macarons “Délicieux”.

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Delicious indeed. 

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Bon appétit!

Laura

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Accessorizing a Bookcase

Thank you all so very much for all your kind comments regarding the bookcase transformation. I am trying to return a visit to each and every one of you.
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In this post I thought it might be helpful if I offered a few tips on how to accessorize shelves and bookcases.
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Let me start out by saying that I adore the old English look of an entire wall of books.
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Color coded bookcases can truly be works of art just in and of themselves. color-bookcase
If you want to mix your books with accessories, a good rule of thumb is to keep a ratio of 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories and 1/3 empty space so that the eye has a place to rest. You also may want to stagger your heights, group similar collections, and balance each grouping with another, either symmetrically or asymmetrically. wall-cubbies-de
In my own bookcase there weren’t enough books for the English look so I decided to add in some accessories. The room is being redone in shades of French blue, cream and navy, so I sought out accessories that I had on hand that fit this color palette. The selections were then narrowed down even further by selecting a theme. In this case an aviary motif was decided upon.
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In terms of balance, a symmetrical arrangement was used on the top shelf. A balanced pop of yellow pairs well with blue. The left side of the cabinet features a birdcage that was a Goodwill find. On the right side a vignette containing a birds nest resting on a votive holder is covered with a cloche I made from inexpensive materials. The books on either side are favorites that  are easily accessible. bookcase 029
The second shelf contains a blue, silver and crème palette. Remember that your accessories only need to make sense to you. I stacked vintage jello molds on top of a wee pedestal. An antique child’s egg gathering basket, purchased years ago at a French flea market, rounds out the grouping of three. Also easily accessible~ a well loved dictionary and book of etiquette. I am a firm believer that good vocabulary and manners still matter.  bookcase 034
On the left hand side also sits a grouping of three. It  includes a pedestal that was once black, a vintage strainer used in canning and a sweet tweet picked up at Target during their after Christmas sale. I considered using chicken wire on the bookcase doors, but the Arizona dust would not be kind to old treasures such as a first edition of Dorothy Draper’s “Decorating Is Fun”.
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Also included are treasures I truly adore such as this covered dish given to me by a friend and my mother's book on Michelangelo. The tureen was filled with paper shred from the dollar store and eggs purchased from the Homegoods after Easter clearance section.bookcase 007-1
Books that didn’t fit the color scheme, but that are referred to quite regularly, are hidden behind other palette pleasing pieces of literature.  bookcase 036
Gaps were filled in with simple frames that contain images found at the Vintage Moth.
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Asymmetrical arrangements were also used such as the pyramid created by the positioning of the three white frames.
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Now onto the questions.
 
 
What is the wall color behind the bookcase?
It is Biscuit by Sherwin Williams. A wonderfully warm white.
Why do you wish you had used an oil based primer?
Since I open and shut the doors of the bookcase on a regular basis, there is already a bit of wear showing on the surface. I am ok with this as it gives it a more “rustic” appearance, but an oil based primer is a better choice for a piece that will receive quite a bit of handling if you want the paint to wear well. Once an oil based primer is completely dry, you can still use a water based paint.
Who carries Ralph Lauren glaze now that Home Depot has discontinued it?
Here is a link so that you can select your state and find a store.
Did you paint it with a paint brush?
I actually used a roller for the large areas and a paintbrush for the nooks and crannies. For glazing I like to use a lint free cloth which can be purchased at any home improvement store.
What are the plans for the bottom?                           The answer of which also answers the question        How do you keep the bookcase looking spare?”
The bottom half is completely full with the less pretty necessities I need to run my interior design business. I do wish that the center section also had a door as I find that I hate pulling out the files to access the books in the center. Lesson learned.
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Come back on Friday for a bit of French baking.
Au revior,
Laura