Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

We live in a 108 yr old house that we bought 20 yrs ago. The first room we renovated was the only full size bathroom in the house. (we now have two) The tile wainscot was falling apart, the shower was small with sheets of vinyl on the shower walls, and there was a modern pedestal sink. I wish I could find the pictures of it before we made a few changes.

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Sorry for the dark picture, could’t get this view any lighter no matter how hard I tried. It’s an easy snap and shoot kind of camera. We used bead  board instead of tile for the wainscot and put in a new tile floor.

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We have a beautiful old porcelain tub, extra long that was perfect for the boys bath time. I found the mirror on the curb for free, it not having sold at the end of a yard sale day.


The plumbing is very old and every plumber who did work in here always commented that they had never seen the plumbing outside of the tub.


There is not a traditional faucet. Just the flat round piece you see in this picture. The water comes out from the bottom of the plate. Nice when you had two boys playing all over the tub, nothing to hurt them.


We found an old porcelain pedestal sink under the basement stairs and used it for years until it was looking so bad we had to replace it. Friends of ours had this sink they weren’t using and gave it to us. I love it.


I found these antique wall sconces in Philadelphia and had custom shades made. They were a little expensive so when I called Paul and mentioned the price, he was in a meeting and wasn’t really listening, he was fine with it. Ha!


We enlarged the shower’s width by taking space from a closet in the room next door. Initially Paul wanted a one piece vinyl shower stall.  (ugh!) We even had it on the front porch ready to be installed and he called me on the installation day and said NO…let’s use tile. Yay! But then I had to find tile quickly.


So I used standard 4″ x 4″ white tile and added a decorative band of tile. It wasn’t my first choice but it was in stock, though I had to get ONE final piece off a sample board from North Jersey. I was pleasantly surprised how nice it turned out.


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This chair was my grandmothers, with a cane seat, and a Martha Stewart pillow! This is one of the ferns I brought in for the winter. It was so beautiful. I just hate indoor plants and couldn’t get rid of it. I put four more down in the basement.

So this is the boys bathroom now. I didn’t change anything when it became just theirs, so that’s why you see the toile lamp shades and pictures with flowers and cottages. And believe it or not, this is how it looks most of the time, clean! NOT like their bedrooms. Oh, and they usually don’t have a vase of tulips on the sink.

…………I do have a stupid story that goes along with the antique cast iron radiator you see under the window. You can skip this if you want. I was taking it in our little Toyata truck to get sandblasted and painted. Remember Andrew Cunanan? He killed Gianni Versace.  Well he was on the loose in New Jersey, close by I think, and there was a big hunt for him. Well I’m driving along and there is a road stop ahead, cars being checked. I thought, I wonder if they are looking for Andrew Cunanan? How stupid of me. When it was my turn, I was asked to pull over to the side, my inspection sticker was out of date AND I hadn’t put the new registration OR insurance card in the truck. I knew exactly where they were in my kitchen. The officer was kind enough to just give me a ticket for the lack of insurance card. So I was lucky, I could produce it in court. ….and that’s my stupid little story.

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So another post about a dinner…sorry. NOT much going on here.

Every summer there are about ten families that travel to Cape Cod for a week in Provincetown. We stay right on the beach in the harbor. Every family makes one dinner so the burden isn’t on just a few.

We’ve missed a few summers and for the past two summers I haven’t made a main meal. So I had a dinner at my house to say thank you to all my Cape Cod friends for their delicious dinners.

This past Sunday was the evening and there were fourteen of us. At first I was going to have a large table for ten then a smaller table for four. Well, that didn’t feel right so I went for three tables. It looked like a little restaurant. We have a large dining room with an alcove with windows where we keep a daybed…for the dogs to lay on all day so they can view the world go by and bark, bark, bark!


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I brought two tables inside that are usually under the pergola. One I trash picked, an iron table that still had the glass top and four chairs. (what a find) I had to scrape off all the flaking paint and clean it up.

Then I brought in seating I bought in France last April that is soooo way cool and I LOVE! They are all cane, backs and seats. I had to vacuum the pieces, spray with alcohol and clean with Murphy’s oil. Much work. So now we’re into day two, 5:30pm. Sigh…I still had to make the food.

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You can see the cane settee, arm and side chairs…Fab aren’t they? I bought them to sell but I’m not sure I am or can!!

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All the tables are covered with French linen sheets and I use French monogrammed napkins I found at flea markets in France. Some have white embroidery and others have red. They all have a beautiful red border.

After dinner a few of us were in the kitchen when the smoke detector went off. I thought it was from all the candles…it was a napkin on FIRE!! Karen had put it down on the table right over a tea light. Yikes!!

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Luckily someone noticed! When I got in there my friend Joan had covered it with another napkin and then I grabbed them and threw them in the sink… This is what was left of that napkin. I only had five of this style, so now I have an even four!

I have more up close pictures I’ll post later.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Recently we celebrated my husband Paul’s birthday and had a great dinner. I love to set the table with some of my favorite things.

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The past 10 yrs or so I have been collecting blue and white transfer ware, I collect the 10″ plates with many different patterns. I don’t usually cover the whole table with a table cloth. This time I used two French linen sheets that I found in Brimfield. I laid two crosswise with a smaller colorful one on top. As you can see by the napkins I don’t iron unless I absolutely have to! This was Paul’s seat at the head of the table of course.

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Years ago I found this April Cornell tablecloth from a store at the beach. There were two of them left and I stupidly bought just ONE! It’s a square and has a fab fish pattern. (Paul’s a big time fisherman)

I am fortunate that I have many things from my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. The candlesticks (which I LOVE!) and stemware were my grandmothers. The silverware was my mothers. She had twelve place settings but gave three to one of my sisters to complete HER set of twelve (she had the same pattern obviously). So I have nine. Which I am very lucky to have!


My newest obsession is these white confit pots from France. I LOVE them. So when I’m flea marketing over there I snatch them up.

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I found this glass and pewter carafe at the Porte de Vanves flea market this past August. It looks beautiful filled with red wine. I didn’t take any pictures of the food.  I served short beef ribs with mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and salad. Very simple.


I wanted to include this photo of the nook we have at one end of the dining room. We have a daybed in front of the windows where two of the dogs (German Shepards)  spend most of the day. You can see them laying there. They love looking out the windows.


We ended the evening with a few cigars……That’s a Cupid and Venus pitcher.

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My brother Robert was 15 months older than I am. He was my best friend, full of fun and laughter. He could brighten any room he walked into, such energy. I’ve had a chaise lounge of his in my back basement for about 11 years. It was his favortie piece, and it’s completely caned…seat, sides, back, back of back. I wanted to keep it safe from two little boys and their friends. You know what it means to get even one break…

My kids are teenagers now and I think it’s safe to bring it out. I made room next to the fireplace in our living room. It’s a little stiff, a little straight, but I love it and the memories it has for me. I can sit in it and read my books or magazines, warmed by the fire. He would keep a sheepskin over the seat. I don’t have a sheepskin, but I do have pillows and his Winnie-the-Pooh throw. Just perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

I really miss him.


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I guess by now you know I love the French yellow confit pots I find on my travels through France. Most of these I found in the Savoie region of France, near the French Alps. Others, at the flea markets in the South of France.

Just a quick share with the yellow pots and roses…



And that little transferware piece…I ADORE it, chips and all.

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I LOVE setting tables…the dishes, linens, stemware…I used to use table clothes that covered the whole table, but now I like a little of the table to show. This night for a family dinner,  I really didn’t feel like ironing the rustic, nubby French linen piece I was going to use. It lays over most of the middle of the table, with the ends showing. I left it in the dryer too long…so lots of wrinkles, merde!!

The table runner I used was made by my sister Amy. The fabric side showing has angels and there is a beautiful blue velvet on the back with dots of sequins and beads, and tassels on the ends. I just love it.

We have a really nice size dining room. I have a daybed in front of windows in a nook, which put together from two foot boards taken from twin beds. (The headboards are in my bedroom for our headboard and kingsize bed) You can see our German Sheppard laying on it in the background. (in the picture above)

I ran out of time to get flowers for the table, so I moved these two Christmas favorites of mine to the table. I LOVE them! The green glass candlesticks we received for a wedding gift 20 years ago…WOW! 

Another view of the dining room. You can sort of see the double buffet over to the left, it’s a French Louis XVI period piece, c1780 that we found in Paris. It’s the only large furniture piece I’ve brought home from the shop. It’s almost 9′ tall, and it holds lots of things!

I love all different kinds of dishes. I decided to use my blue and white transferware, along with very large French napkins that have a beautiful red monogram. I found the linens at my favorite flea market in the South of France. The silver flatware was my mothers.

We enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve ever made. Paula Deen’s recipe for Brisket…with mashed red potatos and roasted asparagus. I did change the timing up a bit on the brisket. I turned the temp to 285 and cooked for about another 6-1/2 hrs after the first hour at 300.

Paula Deen’s Brisket Recipe

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Growing up we always had a live Christmas tree with the solid colored lights and glass beads. I have a few of my mothers ornaments and beads, some worn, but close to my heart.

We get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Paul is from Hershey, Pa. and on the way home from spending Thanksgiving in Hershey, we would pass a family friend tree farm. So we’d get our tree and put it on the top of the car and head home. We spend our Thanksgiving in Halifax, Pa. now. But the tradition of getting the tree that weekend hasn’t changed. It just takes me a little longer to get it decorated these days. I didn’t get it done until last Thursday. Here are a few pictures of the tree and our home.

I didn’t get everything on the tree this year. It still looks beautiful, and the ones from my mother are there. Paul’s father gave us the tree topper, one of my FAVORITES!

I wasn’t going to show this next photo…see if you can guess why…Merry Christmas!!


Feathered Nest Fridays



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