Sunday, September 16, 2018

Backyard BBQ Tablescape...Mixing Bowls Cookbook Club July 2018

I hosted my cookbook club back in July. I chose backyard BBQ favorites, but since it was way too hot to be outside, I set my kitchen and dining room tables accordingly!

Here was what it looked like as I began to pull things for the tablescapes. No - the blues don't match perfectly, but I don't worry so much about that anymore. You know how the cool girl with great taste always looks like she just threw her outfit together? That's what I'm going for these days! 

A white tablecloth is the base for my red, white, and blue table scarf. I made these years ago for a cookout. I often place fabric like this on the diagonal so it looks a little more casual, and it covers more real estate.

I have two of these runners. I got them for a couple of bucks each on clearance at Hobby Lobby after July 4th on year. The flag print was very busy, so I wanted to tame it a little. Yes, you can use stripes and prints together. Just keep works!

I had to hit every Walmart in town one summer to get a dozen of the navy blue placemats. It's hard to tell, but the chargers are silver. 

I pulled out my everyday wedding dishes for this dinner. I have been using another pattern I got at a thrift store for everyday since I didn't want to put undue daily stress on these. I fall in love with them every time I use them! The pattern is "White Satin" by Nikko. 

I made the napkins years ago, as well. I have two dozen in varying patterns. I used contrasting napkins with the table scarves. The flatware is my wedding everday pattern - "Austen" by Yamazaki.

The flag is actually meant to hang, but it's slate and extremely heavy, so I've never risked it. I just propped it under the floral arrangement in the dining room since that table is larger in the middle. Mason jar candles came from Michael's this past Spring.

Here's an aerial view of the dining room table. The blue stems are "Gibraltar" by Libbey.

I picked up a $5 bouquet of sunflowers from Walmart. The rest came from my yard.

A complete view of the dining room table.

These blue tumblers are also "Gibraltar" by Libbey. Here you can see the mosaic glass rose bowls I used for the floral arrangements. One was cracked, so I set a smaller vase inside of it so the water wouldn't leak.

Placesetting view in the kitchen.

Full view of the kitchen table.

We had a wonderful meal that was made even more enjoyable because of the great company. We all enjoyed our cool and comfortable "indoor barbecue"!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Whale Pillow - Summer Sewing School July 2017


We had an unusually small class last July 2017 for our second Summer Sewing School session. I think a lot were away at camp. No matter! We made a PRECIOUS little whale pillow.

As usual, Nancy explained the project. This one was a little tougher. First - sewing on minky fabric can be a little difficult in the beginning. Second, the shape itself presented a challenge. Finally, they added a little bit of pom-pom trim. Never fear, though! These girls have been doing this for years! They picked up very quickly.

Small class or not, the girls had fun. And the mamas usually comment that they learn something as well!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Beach Towel Bag - Summer Sewing School June 2017

I'm behind - I mean WAY behind - on posting. We've already had sewing school for this year, and I still haven't posted about the classes from LAST summer!

I also have to apologize for lack of detailed pictures of this project. Sorry. When it's my turn to teach, I forget to ask for specific pics. Anyway - we made a cute beach bag out of beach towels. These are great for carrying all your summer stuff, they can be thrown in the wash, and we even used the leftover scrap we cut away to make a cute little bag for wet swimsuits.

We always take a minute to explain the project before we begin. That way - big questions can be answered to benefit everyone.

We also show a sample of the project. I found the towels at Walmart in several colors. I let them choose their color when they signed up.

These two ladies, y'all - my mom up top, and my friend and cohort, Nancy in orange - these two ladies taught me just about everything I know about sewing, crafting, cooking, and entertaining! I'm so glad they do all these projects with me.

We usually have five or six ladies from our congregation to serve as mentors. They bring their machines and help the girls learn all the basics.

I always enjoy the classes because it gives me a chance to get to know new ladies at church. Hobbies are a great way to meet new people!

We usually mix it up and keep mamas and daughters apart. It's nice to learn from different people.

That's my girl right there. She loves to sew. She's been known to stitch paper towels when I was too tired or busy to find her what she wanted for a project! I really should go back and check, but I think this summer is our FIFTH year of Summer Sewing School. I'm so glad we do this. It's such an important (and dying) skill. Even if these girls don't end up making their own clothes, they'll at least know how to replace a button or sew a hem!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Construction Party...Mr. Manners June 2018

June was a really busy month in our neck of the woods. We had both sets of grandparents for an early Father's Day luncheon, and I hosted two parties - one for Miss Manners, and something new - one for Mr. Manners!

I'm not sure why I haven't hosted a party for boys before - well, I did once. You can check out my "Let's Hear It for the Boys" Mother/son Valentine's luncheon I held for some of our friends a couple of years ago. But I've never done a Mr. Manners party. I should have. I have a son, after all! Anyway - now I can check it off the list. I hosted one the last Saturday in June, along with Brack's help. Check it out below.

I should have dug out my lighting, because I set my table about 10:30 the night before. Gerald took Brack to his black belt class, and Jewell had a fundraiser at Pieology for cheerleading. I had a stamping class, then scooted over to stay the last hour or so of the fundraiser. We got home about 10:00! The party was scheduled for 11:00 am, so I knew my tables needed to be done that night.

I began with my white linen tablecloth. I had planned on using a black gingham check runner, but the day before the party, I found the zig-zag print you see above. We are lucky to still have a fabric department at our local Walmart, and I always look at the clearance stack as I walk past. This cut little print was marked down to $1 a yard! There were two remnants on the bolt - 1.5 yards and 1.75 yards. Perfect! For less than $5 I had the perfect runners. I just folded them in half and trimmed the ends with pinking shears. I wanted to keep the pieces whole so I could use them again for something else one day.

The gray placemats came from Dollar Tree. I found them less than an hour before I set my table! I had stopped on the way home for balloons and look what I found! Again - I had intended to use just a woven natural placemat with black trim that I already had, but these were perfect! They're vinyl for easy clean up.

I used the gold chargers I already had to pick up the yellowy gold in the runner.

I had already bought the orange cones at Dollar Tree. (Two for $1!) I used caution tape to wrap a simple glass vase from Dollar Tree.

I bought a $5 bouquet of sunflowers at Walmart, and I split them between the two tables. Greenery came from my yard. I love the way the green pops against the other colors and how the yellow sunflowers pop against the green!

I keep black and orange napkins on hand for our big annual Halloween party. I used the black napkins with the orange plates I already had. They also came from Dollar Tree a few years ago.

Flatware is "Margate" by Pfaltzgraff.

The black straws were purchased at Walmart after Halloween one year when everything had gone 90% off. I literally paid .20 cents for a box of 18 straws.

I found the miniature construction vehicles and race cars on Amazon. The boys each got to take home a few after the party.  

The boys sat in the dining room.

Brack helped me blow up and hang balloons the night before. Balloons are always festive!

We moms ate in the kitchen. I used black plates with orange napkins and straws here.

I reserved one sunflower for a little bouquet on the buffet.

I served lemonade and ice water.

I try to use different levels when presenting food.

I bought a smoked Boston butt the day before and shredded it. I served the sliders on Hawaiian rolls.

Pineapple slaw was perfect on the pork sliders. It added sweetness and crunch.

Ranch-style pasta salad was a yummy side.

Chips and dip are always popular with boys!

Before we ate, we had a quick lesson on how to approach a buffet. They did great! They waited their turn and were very neat.

One little boy had to cancel the morning of the party, so including Brack, we had five. It was good to start small.

For dessert, we decorated cookies.

I used Pillsbury dough rolls to make the cookies. I cut them a little thick (I got 18 out of a roll and not 24) and baked them a little longer to make sure they were crisp and would hold up. I made cream cheese icing for both. We had mini chocolate chips, crushed Heath bars, and sprinkles on one tray.

Fresh strawberries and blueberries, along with crushed peanuts were on the other tray. Speaking of trays, I decided to serve them on two of my cookie sheets! I just added parchment paper and "Voila"! I thought it was cute.

The boys were so careful not to make a mess. In a lot of ways, they were more reserved than the girls of Miss Manners! Maybe it was just because it was their first party.

They were very meticulous. I used tiny spoons to help control portions.

Brack has grown so much lately! He's about 5'6" already. He did such a good job mentoring the young boys! He made me so proud!

Cutter enjoyed his cookie!

They chit-chatted and behaved like little men!

My cookie - sweet icing, tangy fruit and salty nuts. Yumm!

After we ate, they all went to play in Brack's playroom.

Creed playing a little golf. He looked like he was ready for the Country Club in his sports coat!

I enjoyed having these sweet boys and their mamas in my home. They can consider themselves charter members of Mr. Manners!

I have taught all of these boys in church. I love to teach the three year old class so I can get to know them when they're young. Creed and Cutter wanted a hug and picture with me before they left. They said they had fun. I know I did! I think the first Mr. Manners party was a huge success!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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I wouldn't want you to miss one crazy thing!