Appetizer Tray Using Grandma’s Silver

I’ve been thinking about rebranding my blog. A lot of thinking and rethinking. Then Kim at Curtain Queen Creates commented on the name of one of my former blogs and I went back to look at my posts there. It was like going through a closet full of old but beloved clothing. I really don’t want to throw out the old posts, so I decided to repost them here for the time being. Don’t be surprised by the various names on the photos — those are some of my older blog names.

And if there’s a name you really like, let me know. Maybe I’ll rebrand by using an old name — isn’t that the prerogative of a woman of a certain age?

Reblogged from February 20, 2013

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.IMG_7218B

Slap some baby carrots and whatever veggies you have in the house in some bowls or ramekins and add some purchased guacamole. Put them on Grandma’s silver platter (or your thrift shop treasure) and Voila! You have a healthy appetizer for the family as they wait for dinner to be ready. Or a snack if a friend drops by. There is no end to what you can do to make a party with a piece of silver.

There’s no reason not to use your silver. Every day.

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6 Days of Christmas 2011: More Easy Decorating

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that darling husband and I are struggling with a plethora of “things” in our house, and that includes Christmas things. We also have lots of extra furniture that has been handed down over the years or furniture that we have replaced with something better or more appropriately sized for our small empty nester house. It was surprising, therefore, when we both agreed that we needed something exactly right for our vestibule where we set up our bar for parties.

At my local Korean resale shop, I found the perfect piece that we could both agree on. It’s not very old, but it has an antique slash Asian feel that both blends with our oak trim and contrasts with our French antiques. It’s the right size for our tiny foyer and holds a lot of bar stuff behind its doors.

When I look at this photo, it reminds me why it’s hard to get rid of “things” in my house. Starting from the bottom:

  • The Chinese silk runner was brought back from China by my niece, Vanderbilt Wife. How could I possibly get rid of that?
  • The silver tray is part of the silver tea service that I inherited from my grandmother. No question there.
  • The crystal ice bucket belonged to my beloved mother-in-law. Nope.
  • The Ralph Lauren champagne glasses were also given to us by my husband’s mother. We broke one the first time they were used, and I only pull them out for very special and small parties. They don’t take up very much room, so… no again.
  • The silver creamer came from the estate sale of my next door neighbor. No one wanted her silver, so I scooped it up. I’m not giving that up.

  • The wine charms were hand-made by my friend and me. We went to the bead store and picked up symbols for all of our friends and made personalized charms. You can see my saxophone and my husband’s bass guitar are among the mementos appearing on our wine charms. I’m not giving up those either.

  • The wine candelabra was a gift from my nephew’s girlfriend last year. I decided that it was scary to have open candles on the bar, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought ruby shades for them. I’m not giving the candelabra up either.

  •  I saved the Rock Star Red bottle just because it was funny; the wine was a gift from my sister-in-law in Seattle and was fabulous.

My goal for 2012 is to learn how to style and photograph better for my blog. I tried to use some fancier settings with this post, but generally don’t see much difference than what I usually do. What I DO see, however, is that my rug is bunched up and my runner is still wrinkled even though I ironed it. And what’s with the bush on my mirror? It looked better in my head.

The point of today’s post is that it’s not difficult to create a beautiful Christmas tradition (and all-year round) with the stuff you already have. In my case, the memories that go with this stuff are more important than my need to simplify my life. Actually, once I got this all together, it was easy to set up the tableau and I’m pretty excited to start hosting some parties!

Where were we last year at this time? Remodeling. My living and dining room are packed with Christmas boxes right now, but come tomorrow, my rooms will be decorated and ready to use. Unlike last year, when we set off for Seattle with nothing decorated and everything a remodeling mess, we will have a lovely Christmas right here in our home.

The Dish Room: Using Grandma’s Silver

Silver. In my opinion, there’s no place in your house that you can’t use it. I am officially the “silver garbage collector” among my friends. When we go to a garage sale, they know that I will pick up that black piece of silver and take it home. I will rescue it from its descent into tarnish hell and use it. It will be on my next buffet setup and it will be on the patio table.

If you’ve got a surface wide enough to hold a tray, you can corral your vanity items on it. I wanted to make it easier to quickly clean my vanity countertop since it’s white Corian and it really should be wiped down every day. I grabbed one of my silver trays — you can see that it’s just as beautiful without being perfectly polished — and put all the little items on it that I had to move around when I cleaned. All I do now is move it from one side to the other and if I use my hairdryer on it every couple of days, it’s dusted, too.

It is my goal in life to never buy something when I can reuse or remix something I already have. One day, I wanted to take off my rings while I cleaned, so I went to the bar closet and found the crystal shot glass. It’s perfect, and can be an interesting conversation-starter when people want to know why I have a shot glass in the bathroom. 🙂

I’ve been looking for someone who shares my love of silver and ran across Silver Magpies. Spend some time with her posts; she’s got wonderful ideas about using silver every day.

Image via

And get out your own silver and use some of it for Thanksgiving. If you start now, you’ll easily get it polished before the turkey arrives, and then you won’t have to polish it again for at least six months!

P.S. That’s a real orchid that we took home from a benefit dinner we went to. It’s lasted three weeks, but it’s starting to fade. I’m tempted to buy another one at the grocery store because it makes me feel special every time I walk into the room.

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