It has been a wild few weeks with the weather, I mean just look at Texas. The snow has been mind boggling. Maryland received its fair share of Arctic temperatures and ice showers, with a little snow thrown in for good measure. It was cozy in the house…and then it was too cozy in the house. We all needed to go back to work/school. It also made me really really anxious to start some planned renovations that were put on the back burner because of Covid delays. I love this 100 year old house. It has great bones. It’s just time to put those great bones to work.
This week left me wondering if spring could be just around the corner. The balmy 40 degree weather, birds attempting to build a nest in the door wreath, daffodils poking out of the earth seem to speak of this change and I must admit I’m ready for it. I always miss the beauty of a snow day mid week, but I think I’m done for the year…at least until next December! Enjoy some decor touches that seem to bridge winter into spring for me. No bunnies or heavy floral touches yet.
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I love collections in my home. Things displayed in multiples seems to speak to my decorating soul in a powerful way. I have made some mistakes along the way….think 1990 Longenberger basket obsession…when I realized I was collecting what I thought I should be collecting rather than what I really wanted to collect. Expensive lesson for me. I am a wiser collector now. Let me share some life lessons I have learned on my collection journey…and show off a few of my most favorites at the same time
1. Display collected items together…they lose their impact if they are separated . Think of Grandma’s home with her ceramic cats scattered throughout the house on every surface….don’t do that! I like how my vintage rolling pins look in this giant egg basket…suddenly simple objects are seen as an elevated art display!
2. Collect what you love and what resounds with your soul…Be honest when you no longer feel the love and gift or donate. Also, don’t serve as a storage facility for family member’s “treasures” out of guilt or obligation . If you don’t love Aunt Lulu’s souvenir thimble collection , find someone who will delight in them…Aunt Lulu would approve! Many of the chickens on display on my dining room hutch come from a friend who inherited them from a relative. After 20 years of storage I was excited to give them an honored spot in my home.
3. Don’t collect with your child’s college fund in mind…unless you collect early Picasso abstracts. We all know someone with tubs of Beanie Babies in their basement just waiting for the magical buyer to show up and pave the way to Harvard. The price of my beloved Lusticru omelet pans (French flea market finds) on eBay tempts me to enlist my friends to send me every piece they can find…but then the memory of finding these beauties would be forgotten in the crush of enamelware.
4.Master the art of rotation. Seasonal collections are a great way to freshen decor with little effort. For example, I display seasonal vintage postcards on a 24 pane window in my kitchen. They make me smile. In May and June I display vintage French seed labels.
5. The best collections are aquired over time and experience. It is so tempting to see a beautiful collection on a blog and jump on the EBay express to immediately duplicate it. Most likely that blogger has been collecting for years and that collection represents her/his life and experiences. Let your collections represent you! This collection of antique kokeshi dolls is unique to me and my life experiences in Japan. I have never seen a collection like it and love the unique and unexpected element it adds to my home.
Someday I hope the Princess will share my love of collecting…beyond collecting compliments…and how was she ever this tiny!
The icy weather has trapped us in the house this Valentine’s Day. This might be a bit exaggerated. It is really cold outside and I want to stay in and bake and read. I read a magazine, saw a recipe and baked, so I can check that off my list. Spinach and feta quick bread, I know, sounds a little different. I also had some reservations. I’m now a believer. I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and lovely Valentine’s weekend.
The Usual Cast Of Characters
all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1 1/2 cups
baking powder 2 tsp
kosher salt 3/4 tsp
freshly ground black pepper 1/4 tsp
crumbled feta (about 1 cup) 6 oz.
frozen cut spinach (2 cups) 6 Oz.
canola oil 1/2 cup
buttermilk 1/2 cup buttermilk
Eggs 2 large
The Steps To The Glory
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add feta and spinach; toss to coat. Whisk together oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a second bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then use overhangs to remove from pan and transfer to rack; cool completely.
Our sweet Princess braved the icy cold to deliver Valentine’s to our neighbors. She wanted to make sure everyone felt loved.