Thursday, July 22, 2010

Antiquing with Cheri

Uncle Tom's cabin happens to be just a hop, skip, and a jump from where Cheri lives, so one afternoon while the guys recuperated from their mountain hiking, Edmund and I drove down to meet up with her! Cheri kindly gave me a tour of her sewing room so now I can envision where she sews all of her beautiful projects, including the aprons she sells through her Etsy store, Peasant Cottage. Then she introduced me to a few of her favorite antique stores. (The antique shopping near where I live isn't much to write home about, so this was a lot of fun for me.)

St. Elmo

I found an inexpensive copy of "St. Elmo" by Augusta J. Evans -- not a book I know much about, but I remembered that Lanier had given it a nod on her lovely website, Lanier's Books. Since I tend to share her tastes, I figured I'd enjoy reading it. And the cover cracks me up -- rather tame compared to today's romance covers, eh? ;)

I also found two silver candlestick holders so it was a fruitful shopping excursion for me. It was delightful to spend a few hours in the company of a kindred spirit -- thanks again, Cheri! (I forgot to bring my camera along, but Cheri posted a few photos from our visit.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Uncle Tom's cabin

Our little family spent a long weekend in the mountains at Uncle Tom's cabin. Edmund and I had small pursuits: I did a great deal of reading, while Edmund spent time playing with toys and learning to crawl. Douglas and his friend, Josh, hiked to the summit of Long's Peak (seen on the right in the photo, which was taken on the cabin balcony).

Mountain View

Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

[Psalm 113:5-6]

Edmund was fascinated by the aspen trees. Whenever the wind stirred their leaves, they became a vision of shimmering greenery. Any form of playful lighting is totally riveting to this almost eight-month-old baby. :)

Aspen leaf

It's a beautiful spot and very special to Douglas and his family. I'm glad to have had the chance to see it all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Un beau jour

Over the weekend, while our menfolk were out conquering Mount Bierstadt, the ladies enjoyed a day of gentle feminine indulgences. My two Moms, Louisa, and I had a leisurely morning (as opposed to the guys' 4:00 AM wake-up time), then went for a walk in the park.

A walk in the park

We followed this up with afternoon tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. Tea is served in the lobby area to the dulcet strains of piano or harp. Our friendly pianist was quite accommodating and indulged Louisa's requests for songs from "Gigi" and "My Fair Lady."

The Brown Palace Hotel

We were served scones with jam and Devonshire cream, savory sandwiches, and small sweet treats. My "no sweets" rule went on hiatus for the afternoon. ;) Edmund got his first taste of scone crumbs and jam, then napped in my arms for the rest of the tea.

Tea service

Our next stop was Denver Fabrics. Mom D. and Mom S. both made some purchases, but I exercised restraint as I still have fabrics from my last visit that haven't been sewn up. It was fun to look at all the gorgeous fabrics, though.

Flowers, tea, fabric. Sounds like a beautiful day to me!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vintage style

I've been enjoying the book Decorating Vintage Style from the library. It's by Christina Strutt (owner of the wonderful Cabbages and Roses) and is filled with lovely photographs of inspiring interiors. She eloquently captures why I love to have old things about me:
"When we look at vintage, we're aware of the generations that have gone before, of lives loved and lost, of possessions treasured. We feel at ease in vintage-style interiors, partly because of their coziness and comfort, and partly because the objects evoke a nostalgia for what we perceive as more carefree, innocent days."
Since we've been married, we haven't had much money to budget toward decorating -- but part of the charm of vintage style is not the monetary value of the items in your home, but finding second-hand treasures, repurposing or repainting, or collecting slowly over the years. You can't be in a hurry, which suits me just fine.

Decorating Vintage Style

But right now I'm obsessing about finding (or making) a vintage-style quilt to act as slipcover to our couch -- an inheritance from Douglas' Gran'Molly, and very good quality, but the upholstery screams "EARLY 1990s!!!" ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gran'Molly's clock

Gran'Molly's clock

We've moved on from my parents' house to my in-law's house to visit with Douglas' side of the family for a while. One thing I like about my mother-in-law's home is the way she decorates with family artwork and family heirlooms. Most of the d├ęcor here has some kind of a family connection. This clock stands sentinel in the front hall. It was inherited from my husband's grandmother, who died five years ago. We don't know much about it, but I've heard rumors that it was made in the 1860s. I love the dark wood contrasted with the pretty flowers on the clock face.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Keturah's Lime-Spearmint Iced Tea

This is one of my favorite summer drinks, courtesy of my good friend, Keturah. The club soda makes it a great substitute for pop when one is feeling slightly icky (such as might be useful to ladies in the early stages of pregnancy). Enjoy!
  • 4 or 5 Bigelow Plantation Mint teabags
  • 1 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 c. sugar syrup (directions follow) or honey
For the sugar syrup: Combine 1 cup raw or white sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to boil, swirling pan occasionally. Boil until all sugar crystals are dissolved, about a minute. Take off heat and let cool.

For the tea: Pour one quart of boiling water over teabags and lime zest; cover and steep 7-10 minutes. Remove teabags and zest. Stir in sugar syrup or honey. Let cool. When cool, add lime juice and one quart cold water. Refrigerate until well chilled.

To serve: Pour tea in glass over ice and add club soda (or more chilled water) until tea is desired strength – 1 part tea to 1 part club soda. You can play with the strengths and balances to find what you like best!