Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Please excuse our appearance for the next few weeks.  We're getting a fresh coat of paint here at the Little Red House.  We want to look nice for the holidays.   Care to guess what color?  ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thrifted Silver, Yet Again

I just wanted to show you some silverplate I picked up at  the thrift store last week.  I can't help it, certain things just call out to me.  Dishes, tole trays, silverplate.

Can you see the pattern?  I love the flowers.  I got a set of ten forks, knives, teaspoons and soup spoons.

I don't really need them, but in some strange way they seemed to need me.  I just could not leave them in the store.  

Have you finished laughing yet?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tea in the Library

We're enjoying a cup of tea this morning in the library here at our Little Red House.  Try to ignore the messy coats hanging up near the door, and the piles of books under the table.  The morning sun streams in through the window, and it's the perfect place to waste a little time with a good book.   

Well, not waste, exactly.  More like use up time that might be more profitably spent doing the laundry or making the beds.

But the sunlight beckons, and the laundry will wait.  And everybody needs a cup of tea in the morning, right?

I knew all these tole trays would come in handy one day!  ;)

Wishing you all a wonderful morning!  Give yourself a treat, and head over to Jeannie's place to join the Home Library Party.  :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kitchen Antiques

When I was growing up, we occasionally went to a local restaurant where the walls were filled with kitchen antiques --  pie tins and wooden spoons, and trays with old advertising slogans on them.  

That may have been where my interest in kitchen antiques was kindled.  My favorites run more toward tole trays, silverplate and, of course, dishes.  

I seem to have quite a few green tole trays, to match the wallpaper that I will soon be removing.  (Doh!)  But I do love the black ones, too.  

What do you think of this butcher block cabinet?  It's from Ikea.  We used it as a kitchen island when we still had our old cabinets.  We moved it from the center of the kitchen and switched out the drawer pulls to match our new cabinets.  It holds a terrific amount of large serving dishes.  One of my kitchen designers took one look at it, and said that I obviously was not afraid of open storage.   Actually, it would be closer to the truth to say that it was cheap, the right size, and not too horrible to look at.  It is certainly extremely functional. 

There was a time when I had a LOT of roosters in the kitchen.  I think I have successfully pared them down to a manageable group, but they still tend to populate the countertops.  But I'm searching for creamware now, so I'll have to find someplace to store all the rest for a while...

And of course, all of this will have to come down when I start stripping the wallpaper.  Yikes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Well, hell...

KitchenAid range, three years old, oven door handle comes unscrewed. Cannot be fixed without taking apart the entire door.   Ten- minute service call, $86.  When it rains, it pours.

Much prettier pictures at my other blog, here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Loving Purple

Just a few purple flowers for you today:   1.  bee balm

2.  autumn crocus

3. physostegia (obedient plant)

4. passionflower

5. thistle

I'm loving purple flowers lately!  Happy autumn.  :)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Yes, I know this is rich coming from the queen of transferware, but I'm really feeling the need to be plain  lately.  

Don't you love this little Wedgwood basketweave plate?  It was a thrift store find.  I think that lack of color or pattern really allows the shape to stand out.

Here are my kitchen cabinets, displaying some creamware and one of my favorite tole trays.  Actually, I'm thinking that a beautiful cream platter would look better there.  Now I know what to look for in my next shopping expedition.  :)

I also collect a lot of milk glass.  I love how the lack of color allows the shapes to be the star.

I have great plans to strip the wallpaper in the kitchen (as well as the bedroom) and paint, maybe a shade or two darker than the cabinets.  I'd love to have a collection of creamware to display here, or maybe my milk glass.  

I guess I'm craving a little respite from color and pattern.  A little simplicity.  That's a good thing, right?

And, just for the record, that doesn't mean that I'm looking to get rid of all my other dishes.  Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Starting the Transformation

These are the cabinets we had installed in our master bedroom.  When you live in a small house, you never seem to have enough storage space.  Finally, we do not have a laundry basket full of bath towels sitting on the floor outside the bathroom!  Instead, they are folded neatly inside the cabinets on the right.  Yay!

And we have a window seat!  (I guess great minds think alike, Mental Mama.)  As you can see, we have some painting to do.  Actually, our wonderful painter, Freddy, is going to be doing the painting some time in October.  

But first, I have to strip the wallpaper.  The last time I had to strip wallpaper, my sister-in-law gave me a great tip.  Instead of  stripper, use fabric softener.  Just add some to a bucket of very hot water -- as hot as you can stand it.  You sponge it on the paper that has been scored, and just wait for it to do it's work.  It softens the glue, and smells nice, too.  :)

So wish me luck.  I'll be up to my elbows in fabric softener for the next few days.  

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Change is Good

Change is good, right?  This is our master bedroom, which has looked like this for a long, long time.  

We do love it, and have not really wanted to change it.  But change has been thrust upon us.

We had a leaky roof this past winter, and some water damage.  And we also decided to have some cabinets installed around the window.  So some redecorating is in order.  

So, any ideas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doing It Too Brown

We're having a little fun with some brown transferware today.

I guess it is really beginning to seem like fall here.

Or at least I am craving fall.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sweet Autumn

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face."
                                                                                    John Donne

It was 90 degrees here yesterday.  I am SO looking forward to autumn.  How about you?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Days

Happy days are here again -- my refrigerator is working!  It only took a week (give or take a day) and $450.  That is for a three-year-old refrigerator, on which we have already spent $125. (on a new icemaker).  

Take this as a warning:  think long and hard before you consider buying a KitchenAid refrigerator.

As far as the car is concerned, Honda was unable to find anything wrong with the transmission.  We have gotten that assessment in writing, and will hold onto that until we decide what to do.  I'm sure it will be helpful if we want to go back to Honda and trade the car in.  (My husband's idea -- that's why he gets the big bucks, and I just blog!)  :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

Seven years -- short for some, a lifetime for others.  Please remember them in your prayers today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Photo Notecards

Many of you have been kind enough to say that you enjoy my photographs, and some of you have even asked me to make up some notecards.  

Well, be careful what you wish for!  LOL  Here are my first batch, all spring flowers.   I hope to sell them in local gift and florist shops.  However, I thought I would offer them first here to you -- my favorite blogging buddies.  After all, you have given me such wonderful words of  encouragement over the past year, and really pushed me to explore photography.

My Little Red House notecards are made from 4" X 6" professional quality glossy prints, attached to heavy Strathmore photo mount acid-free cardstock, white with an embossed frame, envelope included.  Blank inside for your own message.  Each card comes individually wrapped in a clear protective sleeve.

Set of 4 assorted notecards:  $12.99, including shipping

As of this moment, I have four sets available for immediate shipping.  I will take additional orders if you do not mind waiting a while longer.  If you wish to purchase a set, please leave me a note in the comments.  Please include your email address so I may contact you to set up shipment.

I'm hoping to do a set with dishes and place settings soon, and perhaps a set of autumn scenes.  Thanks again for all your sweet words of encouragement -- they mean the world to me!   


Monday, September 8, 2008

Going to the Dogs

Meet Sancho (above) and Carlos (below).   They are proof that I am going to the dogs.  

Now, I am not really a dog person, although I like them well enough.  I am much more of a cat person.  But I seem to have unconsciously gathered a lot of dog prints to hang on the walls at our Little Red House.

Sancho and Carlos came home with  me from a favorite antiques shop a few years ago on my birthday.  They usually hang out with me in our tiny den.

This little puppy with his young master came from a thrift store.  I'm pretty sure that it is a print of a larger oil portrait, but I don't know the original.  Anybody recognize it?

This much larger print is titled "Deja Passe,"  and shows a rather romantic scene of a young maid staring wistfully at the handsome man who is "already passed."  It belonged to my parents, but I have no idea where they got it.

This is actually a photocopy of a book illustration.  I just could not bring myself to tear the pictures out of that old book, so I copied some of them.  Can you spy the dog at the horse's feet?

Anyway, I guess these are all proof of something I have suspected for a long time --  I'm just going to the dogs.  :)


And speaking of going to the dogs, here's the latest scoop on my ongoing refrigerator saga:  The part did come in late Friday, and the repairman came on Saturday to install  it.  The refrigerator is now working.  YAY!!! 

 Unfortunately (you didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you?) the control board for the fan which cools the compressor is burned out.  They will order it this morning.  It comes from Florida, so hopefully will arrive by the middle of the week.  However, in order to keep the compressor from overheating, we must run a small fan at the back of the unit constantly.  The noise is driving me crazy, and the fridge is sticking halfway out into my small kitchen.  Aaarrrgh!

On the other hand, at least the fridge is working, and I am thankful for that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Till the Cows Come Home

Till the cows come home...

That is apparently how long we have to wait for the part that will make our three-year-old KitchenAid refrigerator frosty again.  Cost to expedite shipment of the part?  $40.  Guarantee that it will arrive here by Friday?  None.

I have a huge headache from dealing with the inaptly named "Customer Service" department at KitchenAid.  But on the other hand, I have found that Lindt White Chocolate Truffles are really, REALLY good.


What is your chocolate of choice?


Oh, and no more whining.  I promise.  :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Still Chasing Serenity

Yesterday was one of those wasted days.  I spent most of the morning trying to reach the refrigerator repairman.  I also ferried my daughter around to various places, and ferried all the food from my now-not-functioning fridge to the backup fridge in the basement.  When I finally reached the repairman, he told me that the earliest he could come was this morning, between 8:00 and 12:00.   So today will probably one of those wasted days, too.

I also spent a little time researching my refrigerator online.  And let me tell you, when you google "KitchenAid refrigerator and problems"  you find an awful lot of trouble.  (Hmmm, probably something I should have done before we bought it, huh?)  I actually did do some research then, but I don't remember seeing anything like the stories that are up now.

This refrigerator is barely three years old, and we have already had to replace the icemaker.  And I  suspect that the needed repair is going to be major, as the fridge is not working at all right now.  Aaaarrrgh!

As far as the car is concerned, the mechanics at Honda called yesterday afternoon to say that they could not find anything wrong.  I referred them to our neighborhood mechanic, who told them that they needed to run the car for at least an hour to replicate the transmission symptoms.

They are going to try again today.  So, as I said, this will be another wasted day for me.  What fun!  But thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your cheers and support.  And yes, the chocolate helped!

Oh, by the way, the dishes have nothing whatever to do with my post today, but I just thought you might enjoy seeing them.  Happy Wednesday!