Easter Decorations in Red!

I've always admired the beautiful red Easter Eggs that are part of Greek traditions. The red represents the blood of Christ and while that may be a theme that is complicated for a youngster ... learning about Easter traditions from all around the world is not. This year I decided it was appropriate to start teaching Phoebe about some of those traditions. So we started that process by decorating for Easter in RED! 

I was a little limited on time this year, so instead of putting my Cricut to work, I designed my banner using some cute graphics of Easter Eggs. Red checked ribbon ... and red and white polka dog ribbon connected all the elements of the decorating!

The stuffed bunnies on the fireplace mantel are actually MeMutt's ... but only because he stole them from a coffee table vignette a couple years ago! I got up one morning and found them on the floor right beside the bed. He had snatched them and brought them to his favorite sleeping spot. I have to hide them from him and he doesn't know that they are currently on the mantel or he would find a way to get them down! Most of my decor has a real 'country' feel to it ... that is just who I am!

I've left a Christmas tree up in the corner of the dining room.  I know lots of folks do that, but I haven't done it in a few years!  I think we'll enjoy decorating it for each holiday!  For Easter, I added ribbons and small baskets.

Miss Galvanized Pig greeted folks at the front door!  I'll be sharing this post with a few of the parties listed in my sidebar ... so make sure you browse those sites! If you'd like to see other Easter 2016 posts, just click through ...

Easter Red Tablescape!

I presented Easter 2016 with an "Around the World" theme, so Miss Phoebe could learn about traditions from other countries.  I love the bright red eggs that are a part of Greek traditions ... so I chose to use red as the focus for Easter. In keeping with my red decorations, which you can find here ... I created a red tablescape. The big focus was the linen ... and the red Waterford crystal stemware. Is crystal 'country'?  Yes ... when you use it with red checked flatware from Aldi's! Eclectic is always my favorite approach! 

I love the big bold pattern of the table runner, napkins and place mats ... which I used to top the checked tablecloth! I usually use my Wilton Armatale pieces ... no matter what the tablescape looks like!  Silver bunnies go with everything!

I love big family style meals and since we were going to put all the yummy food on the table, I created my 'centerpiece' on the end of the table! It is just a cluster of some of my favorite things ... lots of red checked ribbon!

While researching the Greek Easter traditions, I learned that folks in Greece decorate candles to burn during Easter Week ... so I decorated our candles.

Take a look at my treat jars! My daughter and I love the Pioneer Woman's products, and these jars are from her set. They are intended to be glasses with a lid and a straw ... but I filled them with Easter grass, all kinds of eggs ... foil wrapped chocolate carrots ... and everybody's favorite Reese's Eggs!

You'll notice that the printed dinner menu matches the fireplace banner!  I added checked ribbon bows to the menus ... If you want to see the foods from our dinner ... click right here!

If you haven't seen the other decorations ... click right here!

Easter Food!

Our Easter menu had a little bit of an "Around the World" theme, because I wanted to share some traditions of folks from other countries. Phoebe is old enough, now ... to appreciate that.  If you follow my blog, though, you know that I have promised my SIL that I will fix pineapple desserts this year! So we had an "all American" Pineapple Upside Down Cake!  Upside down cakes have a very old history dating to very early European times ... but Dole introduced canned pineapple at about the same time that America was introduced to cake mixes ... so this cake is "all American"!

Here's the Menu!

I serve lots of fresh vegetable crudites ... because Phoebe always eats them! Our meal started with crunchy carrots, as she calls them!

We also had the very popular Strawberry Pretzel Salad ... that is so good ... and also an "all American" recipe!

Our Black Forest ham had a delicious glaze made with a combination of whole grain German mustard, brown sugar and one of my favorite homemade bbq sauces.

Italy was represented by Beef Braciole set on top of Italian sausage stuffed fresh raviolis with our favorite creamy Alfredo sauce.

Mexico made an appearance through Fiesta Corn Casserole and Ireland came to the table with Roasties ... roasted potatoes!

Russia and Scotland shared space on the bread tray! Russian Challah and Scottish Sorghum Soda Bread!

Dessert ... Pineapple Upside Down cake and a big Chocolate Brownie Bunny ... were joined with mugs of coffee!  Delicious!

The Bunny was baked in this year's version of the Wilton Bunny pan! 

If you'd like to see the Easter red tablescape, click here!

To see the other red Easter decorations, click here!

I'll be sharing this post with some of the blog parties listed in my sidebar, so make sure you click through to visit!

Saying Goodbye Mini Scrapbook

My sister and her husband have rescued several dogs in recent years and Brother-in-law was especially fond of two Pit Bulls a few years ago.  He rescued one and one of their good friends rescued the second one.  Mercedes, the second dog, died recently and my sister asked me to make a mini scrapbook that she could give Mercedes' people mom.  I fell in love with the dog during the process and could see why she was so deeply loved.  I used my Cricut Elegant Edges to cut the pages ... and used a variety of other dies to make the content.  We grabbed most of the photographs from Facebook posts ... and I included a set of Nanny Pit pictures that I found online.

I purchased a set of paw prints to use throughout the book ... and purchased the Ruff You bone.

Meet Mercedes. What a beautiful brindle Pit. I use all kinds of elements in my scrapbook design ... the flower cuts match the real flowers in the background of the picture.

The black and white photos were some taken when she first arrived at the shelter. BIL made promotional business cards to hand out ... in an attempt to find a new home for her.

In her new forever home, she had a sister dog! "You are my Sunshine" seemed to be a perfect page theme, since Sister Dog was holding a sunshine toy in her mouth!  Sometimes you have to 'read the minds' of the subjects of pictures while scrapbooking! I guessed that Mercedes was watching birds in the pictures on the right hand page!

"Knick Knack Paddy Whack ... give the dog a bone" ... My BIL is a musician so I assume everybody who knows him must enjoy music! The music page on the left and the banner page on the right ... seemed perfect!

BIL spends lots of time training dogs at the shelter where he volunteers ... and Mercedes had learned to love him.  Mercedes' people mom referred to my BIL as Mercedes' "Daddy Dave" ... The picture of her wearing the headset in front of a computer ... made me think of a customer service rep ... and I'm sure Mercedes' was "Calling Daddy Dave"! One of the pictures on the right shows Mercedes meeting Daddy Dave after not seeing him for a few years. Of course, she remembered and loved him!

"Wags and Kisses" is a great theme ... and a similar tag was used to tie on a jar filled with candy kisses!  I enjoy using fabric and lace in my books ... so adding the lace butterflies was a natural.  You'll notice in the next picture ... that I added pearl eyes to the lady bugs!

Not sure what Mercedes was digging for in these pictures ... maybe her ball!  Dogs don't really need a reason to dig, but she is intent ... like she is looking for something.  Perhaps a critter!

We love our dogs ... and they love us back!  Mercedes had a couple surgeries and you can see 'in her eyes' that she just wants to get well and go outside and play!

The picture on the above right ... is Mercedes on her back ... sunning! The page on the left is actually a pocket, where I stuck several pictures of the Nanny Pits. At the turn of the last century, Pit Bulls were family dogs and they were highly protective of children.  They were used as "nannies" ... and that is a forgotten part of the history of this breed.  Look at these adorable pictures of Pit Bull family members!

In the following picture, you'll see Mercedes in her Halloween costumes ... and the picture on the right shows her happy face .... after she pulled the stuffing out of a toy!  Maybe she was looking for turkey and stuffing!

Here she is in a variety of Christmas costumes! Her facial expression makes me think she didn't really like getting all dressed up ... but she posed dutifully!

In the last two pages of the book ... I added another pocket ... and the final page suggests that the "Rainbow Bridge" is a happy place.  I believe that dogs go to Heaven ... and that I'll be reunited with every animal I've ever had someday!  They ... just like Mercedes ... are having happy times in their Heavenly Home.

The final step in making my mini scrapbooks ... is to add tassels of ribbon at each end of the binding spiral.  I do that for three reasons ... they are pretty ... they hold the spiral in place ... and they cover the raw edge of the spiral wire.

I'll be sharing this post with a few of the blog parties listed in my sidebar. 
Hope you are inspired!

Scottish St. Patrick's Day Table!

I'm reposting a St. Pat's tablescape from a few years ago.  Enjoy!

My daddy’s birthday is March 18th. He turned 6 on the day that one of the deadliest tornados in history hit his little town of Murphysboro, Illinois (1925). His family and most of their property were safe, but his memories of the event were horrible. As a child, he drove a team and wagon around town taking his mother to house after house to tend to folks who were not as fortunate.

By the time my dad reached about 70, he was plagued with two things on his birthday. People always wanted to talk to him about the big tornado … and I always wanted to have a St. Patrick’s Day themed birthday party for him! Both were equally bad! He’d tell people that he didn’t want to talk about the tornado … and he’d tell me that he wasn't Irish … that … if he was anything other than being an American … he was Scottish! He was big on being American!

Well Daddy, I’ve got news for you! St. Patrick wasn’t Irish either … he was Scottish! … and even though you aren’t with me anymore, I’m celebrating your birthday this year … Scottish - St. Patrick’s Day style!

Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick, was born in Scotland, near Dumbarton in (around) 385. His parents were Romans living in Britain and were in charge of the colonies. Patrick was captured by a raiding party when he was 14 and taken to Ireland as a slave. Druids and pagans inhabited and ruled Ireland at that time.

Patrick grew close to God, but remained a slave for 6 years.

After having a dream in which God told him how to escape, he went to the coast and located some sailors who took him back to Scotland where he reunited with his family. He had another dream, though … and in it, the people of Ireland begged him to come back to them. He studied for the priesthood; was ordained; was further ordained as a Bishop and returned to Ireland in 433. He made friends with the chieftons, taught the lesson of the Holy Trinity by using the shamrock clover … converted the people to Christianity … and remained in Ireland until his death 40 years later.

We are celebrating with our Scottish Tartan plaids.  The blue/beige on the upper left of this collage is pretty close to the modern Douglas Clan Tartan.  I bought several spools of Douglas tartan ribbon (from Scotland) for my daughter's wedding decor ... and since then, we've bought every ribbon, fabric, plate ... etc.  that even closely resembled the various Douglas plaids!  The salad plate is also Douglas!  I've set the table this way ... to mimic the tartans ... and the flower of Scotland, the thistle ... This thistle pattern is Stengl pottery.  the green plaid dinner plate is Royal China (c1950s) and the salad plates and mugs are Jeffrey Banks (new).  I've used salt dips with spoons, because I'm serving a cod salad that will be better with some chunky Celtic salt.  Notice the winking eye on the glasses?
My centerpiece runs the length of the table and is composed of vintage St. Pat's cards, a silk flower garland studded with a few roses ... and some glittery shamrocks!    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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