Friday, April 29, 2011

Perspective

It's been a cool, well more like cold, and rainy spring so far.  The plants are slow to wake up and the seeds have been slow to sprout.


But really, our lack of spring like weather is nothing compared to what some have suffered and are suffering through in other parts of the US.


Cady had her stitches out today and a new blue bandage adorns her tail.


While we waited at the vet's office, a distraught family brought in their one year old yellow lab that had been hit by a car.  He looked just like our Cady.  He was in critical condition, I can only hope he made it.


Perspective.

It's my word to remember today.


linking up
to


and

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A baby shower, with a vintage twist

So, finally... the baby shower I hosted a month ago.  You may have read about the making of the invitations (here or here).  I love planning and giving showers, baby or bridal.  When I heard my niece was pregnant last fall, I knew I wanted to give her a shower... and I wanted it to have a vintage theme.  They knew early on that they were having a boy.  These Martha Stewart hanging paper rounds were perfect in color and hung above the desert buffet. (Actually since I liked them so much, they're still there).





















Last fall, I started collecting any vintage baby items I came across at thrift stores, antique stores or yard sales.  There are quite a few baby vases out there, usually very inexpensive.  I found many for $.29 to $.49.  I also went through my cupboards and pulled out items from my own children's baby days... their silver baby cups, diaper pins and a few little clothing items.  Dusted off the two little, child sized chairs I own, which also happened to be the perfect colors of white and aqua blue.  I picked up a crib sized chenille baby blanket for $5.00.


I had a vintage baby book... I took a picture of the cover and had photos printed in 5 x 7 size.  These became the covers for the game books.  A number of years ago, I attended a shower where the host put all the games to be played in a little book.  I loved this idea and have used it at every shower I've had since then.  I tied the booklets together in the corner.


















One of my favorite shower games is "present bingo".  You play it as the gifts are opened.  It really keeps the guests involved in the gift opening... no getting distracted. Of course you do have to make each card different, not too difficult with a computer.  Some items are specific, some very generic.  If it's a large shower you could have more specific items.  The guests get to mark off one square per opened gift.

Then another personal favorite is the "tray game".  I filled a vintage metal tray with a large assortment of new and vintage baby items.  You allow the guest time to view the tray and then you remove it from the room.  The guest that can list, on paper, the most items wins.  And a little hint, if you ever play this game, COUNT the items first.  It will help you remember them!  At the end of the game, all the new baby items went to my niece to take home.

Another spin on this game is to have the mother or bride to be carry the tray around.  Have them leave the room with the tray... then you ask the guest questions about the mother or the bride!  What color is their shirt... do they have earrings... is their hair up or down... etc.  It really throws people off that have played the actual tray game...
















One of the vintage items for the tray game, diaper pins.  I've had these pins for over 23 years.  They still come in handy!  And I love the little bear, duck and piggy.

No shower is complete without a desert buffet. 





















I used my cake stands and my little white chair to add height.  Of course we had the incomparable Martha Stewart sugar cookies, cute little green and polka dotted Cath Kidston paper plates, pastel Hersey kisses...


and a variety of mini cupcakes... frosted in icing flavored as raspberry, blueberry and lemon.








The beverage tray included iced tea and bottles of sparkling lemonade.  Three flavors of regular, pink and french berry required little tags to identify them.  I used vintage baby cards that I picked up in a package at a local antique store for $.99.  The argyle print plastic (new) flower pot served as an ice bucket.

















And no vintage themed party would be complete without these cute paper straws I purchased on Etsy.  You can get them in every color imaginable... what fun to use and to display in a milk glass vase.

Another view of the food table, of course I forgot to take any pictures with the actual food in place.  Keep in mind that this shower was at 6:30 on a Tuesday evening, and I do work full-time... so a few things slipped my mind!  Following the mini everything theme, we had mini quiches (frozen from the store), pasta salad served in mini paper cups with mini spoons from IKEA, sandwiches of ham and cheese in puff pastry (thank you Barefoot Contessa), and fresh tomato pizzas.  Everything was cut and served as bite size, or tea sized on cute rectangular blue paper plates.















Here you can see said cute paper cups used for the pasta salad... I think they're meant for cupcakes... and the cute blue paper plates.





















Planning where all the serving plates will go.  I tried to add height to this table as well.

An adorable pair of baby shoes I picked up for $.50 at our local antique store.  They looked very cute on the table.





















A vintage flower vase, filled with blue napkins from IKEA.  Best place around for paper napkin selection!

An adorable little blue rocking horse.  I actually paid $2.99 at the antique store for this one, but it is very cute and couldn't be passed by.  I picked some plastic cake decorating items at Michael's when I was in Toronto.  Since i decided against using them on the actual mini cupcakes, I sprinkles them around the table.  Under the horse, and covering the table is my grandmother's white linen damask tablecloth.





















A couple of years ago I purchased a HUGE lot of vintage cake toppers and decorations on eBay for under $20.00 with shipping.  Just about every imaginable cake decoration was in this lot from Christmas, to Father's Day, to wedding toppers.  These two vintage, still in the package, baby rattles were in that lot.  They too looked cute hanging out on the table.

 For take home favors I had little blue paper bags for cookies and cupcakes.  I also planted sweet peas, in streamer blue, in little brown paper pots.  I punched a couple of holes at the rim and added a little aqua ribbon.  Speaking of sweet peas, another vintage baby vase.  Since real sweet peas weren't in season yet, it's filled with faux flowers from IKEA.






















And of course, I couldn't end the post with a picture of the real star of the evening...
my great nephew, Lincoln.




Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Porch dreams

I've been thinking of redoing my front porch.  Tonight, Maura over at Lilac Lane Cottage, really inspired me with many, many pictures of gorgeous porches.  Some like mine, are enclosed, some are true porches open to the weather.  This photo has the feeling that I'm looking for... at least the colors... with a little bit of vintage, shabby, salvaged feel.
source unknown

Our porch here at Red Gate Farm started out as an open porch.  Sometime over the years it was enclosed.  Here in Washington, that makes for a more practical space.  When we moved in it looked like this...




















Please notice the salvaged screen door we installed, on the inside, not the outside.  It opens IN and the front door actually opens OUT.  Since this was an outside porch, the floor was built with a slant for water run off...of course, now a door cannot open IN.  Kind of strange and the front door does need to be replaced but will need to be a custom build because of the odd size.

After a few months of living here, I scrubbed, sanded, primed and painted...

but kept the colors pretty much the same.  I do love this jadeite green color...




















but I'm thinking it's time for a change.  I'm thinking of keeping the floors the same color, painting the "walls" white and the original beaded board ceiling the same aquaish color I used over at the Peach Palace.  It's a pale aqua that seems to have a lot of grey in it, so it's a very soft color.  I've heard that ceilings in porches were traditionally painted a soft blue.  It would be calm and relaxing.

I've collected some vintage pottery... some Bauer, some McCoy.  In pretty shades of green, aqua, pink and white.  Those colors are what has inspired my plans for the porch.  I'll be hunting for a vintage or salvaged cabinet piece to hold my bits and pieces.

I'm also thinking of doing something different than the wicker chairs from Pier One.  They are not very comfortable, the cushions are kind of hard.  I always pictured this sunny, south facing space as a wonderful reading area since we don't have a den or family room.  With those hard chairs, it hasn't been used much except by the dogs!

So.... I've been thinking about one of these...






















doesn't this just make you want to snuggle up and read a book?  However, since my dogs love the porch too...
perhaps the chaise will require a little custom cushion cover for the doggie dirt! 

Here's to looking forward to warm, breezy days on the porch,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter morn....

          Happy Easter...
































from all of us at Red Gate Farm.

Hope the holiday, for you, means spending time with family and friends.

And thanks to Lucy, Ethel, Thelma, Louise and Daisy for making the egg dying unnecessary.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning Day

A little spring clean up is under way at Red Gate Farm.  It's been busy and hectic, between work and home this week... but the sun was shining today.  The days are getting longer and just a touch bit warmer.

The lawns mowed with the new mower...















the veggie garden getting ready for planting.  The farm fields being prepped for potato planting.
The walnut...






















cherry...

and plum trees are budding or flowering.






















Bleeding Hearts are making their comeback....

the last of the pink tulips glow in the evening sun.






















Spring has definitely

and finally, sprung,


Linking up to


AND


AND