Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gettysburg, PA and the Spangler Family

My husband is descended from the Spangler/Spengler's in Pennsylvania.  The Spangler Farm is where the 11th Corps set up a Field Hospital. It was here on July 3rd, 1863, after being wounded, Brig. General Lewis A. Armistead, C.S.A. was brought. This quote is from a letter home, of Private Justus Silliman of H. Company, 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, dated 7 July 1863: (spelling and capitalization are original):  "The rebel Gen Armstead who was wounded and a prisoner was taken to this hospital and has since died. he was rather past middle aged. he is from Va. and one of the reb wounded says he was one of the best disciplinarians in their army."  Countless others that had been wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg were also taken here.  It still stands today and is part of the Gettysburg Military National Park.

Attic of Main House

Summer Kitchen

Interior of Kitchen
The Summer Kitchen on the Spangler Farm. This building was used by the 11th Corps, and it is here where General Armistead died on July 5th, 1863 about 9:00 AM.

The barn is a traditional Pennsylvania Bank Barn, with an earthened embankment leading up to the second floor.  It is sad to think of all the injured soldiers who were housed here.  What's worse, over 100 Confederate prisoners were guarded in the wagon shed seen here on this side of the barn.  It's really small to hold that many people.

I have to give credit to the following blog.  They had some of this information plus a whole lot more.

One day, I hope to travel there and visit all the historical places.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Custom Plate Chargers

Don't you just love the look a charger can give a simple plate?  It can really spruce it up.  I purchased some inexpensive plastic chargers and decoupage them with a pretty wrapping paper.  The chargers shown were purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $9.99 for six.  They area also available at Hobby Lobby, Fred's Dollar Store, etc.

A simple, inexpensive way to have custom chargers.  The sky's the limit here.  Just imagine what you can do with different wrapping papers or tissue paper.  By using this technique, you can make a different charger for each holiday and/or occasion.

I wanted a pink charger to set an Easter table and thought "Why not just spray paint it?"  I lightly sanded it and then sprayed it with a couple coats of paint.  Now, it's possible that if submerged in water, it may peel. But since it is only used as a charger, it doesn't get that dirty and after use, I just wipe it down.

Last week I put together a tablescape for my son's birthday using old vinyl records as chargers.  Another idea is silver platters. I'm on the look out at garage sales for inexpensive ones to use as chargers. So be creative!  and share some of those ideas with us!

Please check out the other great post at Between Naps on the Porch!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese from the Past - For the Recipe Box

I really like to try older recipes because I figure people back then cooked more and if it’s been around this long, it must be good.  A while back I was searching for a really good basic macaroni and cheese.  The one I found that we really liked had originally been printed on a Creamette macaroni box in the

                                                            2 cups uncooked macaroni
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups of milk
1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni, set aside.  In a small saucepan, melt the margarine, stirring in the flour, mustard and salt.  Gradually add in the milk and cook until thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 ½ cups of cheese until melted.  Put in greased 9X13 dish or individual ramekins and top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.  I prefer to buy the medium cheddar block cheese and shred it myself.  It seems to make it more creamy than using the pre-shredded cheese.

Do you have a tried and true recipe you would like to share?  Please check out the other great posts at Foody Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum.

Sharing with:
Show Us Your Side Dishes @ Kelly's Korner

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dining by Vintage Music

We recently celebrated my son's 17th birthday using this tablescape.  He loves all things old including his collection of radios.  I selected one of his oldest radios to display.  It was a little to large to set in the middle of the table so I moved it to the end. I wanted to display more than one but the others were all too large.

 I used some old vinyl records as chargers accompanied by basic white plates and black flatware.  I had to restrain myself from making a table with a lot of sparkle.  I wanted to pick up on the shiny records BUT my son likes things old so I tried to stay that route.   

Happy Tablescaping and please check out more at Between Naps on the Porch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Destrehan Plantation - Bernoudy Family Connection

I have always enjoyed history.  I even tend to gravitate towards movies that have historical background.  I mean, I even like the current trend of the vampire shows because the vampires are usually 100's of years old and tend to have flashbacks.  A couple of years ago, I discovered GENEALOGY!  Oh yes, I like digging through files and records and get a thrill when I can make a crack in any brick walls that I am currently researching.  My husband's family, on his mother's side, is the one I like to really work on.  Her family mostly originated in New Orleans via France, Santo Domonigo, Ireland, etc. 
There is a tremendous amount of records in New Orleans, a lot of them via the internet.  Several of my husband's ancestors were plantation owners.  The most famous being the Destrehan Plantation.  My husbands gggggggrandfather, Pierre Robin de Logny, built the plantation. He died a couple of years later and it was purchased by his daughter and her husband, Jean Noel Destrehan. My husband's lineage is through Pierre's other daughter, Jeanne. She married Bernard Bernoudy, son of Francois Bernoudy. It took me a good while to figure this lineage out and am still working on it. The Destrehan family has been researched quite a bit but the Bernoudy has not.
Destrehan Plantation is open to the public and is located in Destrehan, LA, approximately 20 miles from New Orleans.

But really, can you imagine living in this home?  Yeah, I know, I know, in 1790 there was no electricity or running water but if you had to live in that era, wouldn't this be a nice place to live?

Please check out the great posts at Wow Us Wednesday hosted by Savvy Southern Style.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Curtain / Drapery Rods and Hardware

Who said you have to pay a lot for window hardware?  Not me, as a matter of fact the majority of my curtains rods are actually unfinished dowel rods that I have purchased at Home Depot.  I have found dowel rods up to 12 foot long at a locally owned hardware store.  With a handy can of spray, be it white or brown, you can achieve a decorative rod for a whole lot less. 

The brackets and finials can be purchased at Hobby Lobby.  When catching them on sale or using their 40% off coupon, you can recieve additional savings. 

The hardware in my kitchen window came from Goodwill for $2.  It was way too long but just removing the finial cut off the access length and I had a really nice rod.  If you're a garage saler like me, you can also find them there.  Even if I don't need them right then, if the price is right, I get them.  Just use that spray paint to match up the decor! 

Dowel rod w/brackets and finials from Hobby Lobby
Stained with varnish, not spray painted

Don't go too skimpy on the diameter of the pole.  Your window treatment will look better if you have the right hardware especially if you have draperies to the floor.  A good size pole and finials will make any curtain or drapery look better. 

So what have we learned today?  Hang those curtains a little higher and use rods with a little substance to them.  What tips do you have for window treatments?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Curtains or Draperies? and How to Hang Them

What's the difference between curtains and drapes?  Traditionally, windows were treated to three types of curtains: a sash curtain to filter light, a draw curtain to block light out and an over-drapery which was purely decorative. Today we think of curtains as sash curtains (often unlined and in a variety of lengths and draperies (never drapes) as those that draw, completely closing off the window.  But does it even matter?  Not to me, I kind of tend to interchange the terms without even realizing it.

Oops, yes that's a rod peeking out there!

After I posted the before and after kitchen back splash, I noticed something in the before picture that I wanted to address.  Since that picture was taken (2008) I have learned a valuable tip in home decorating.  Hang your curtains below the ceiling moulding, not at the window trim.  Now in this particular case, I raised them a little but had to stay below the trim on the cabinets.  Just lifting them up that small amount made a big difference.

Attaching rods this way and hanging long, to the floor curtains make the window look longer and therefore make the ceilings seem taller.  If the window is narrow, extend the curtain rods beyond the window and hang the curtains so they barely cover the frame,leaving as much of the window exposed as possible.  Now if the window is really wide and overpowers your room, break up the space by hanging several panels across the window.  This will create the illusion of more than one window and the panel will soften the look and can add color to your room.

Do you have any tips on hanging curtains/drapery that you would like to share?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Almond Tea Cakes - For the Recipe Box

Do you remember eating a slice of your grandmother's pie or a couple of her fresh homemade cookies?  Most of us, especially as we get older, have experienced this.  Unfortunately, there are some who also wish they had grandmother's recipes.  A lot of these recipes were never written down, or if they were, thrown away or passed along to someone who didn't realize the importance of preserving our family heritage.  Both of my grandmothers passed away years ago and those dishes that were fondly remembered by family members were never written down. Over the past year, I have been compiling recipes that are used by myself and my mother so my children will have them.  Now I'm not talking about all those recipes
we clip out and say we are going to try but never do.  We all have a big stash of these.  I only want those tried and true recipes, that real down home cooking.  I fondly remember the teacakes that my grandmother use to make. They were huge and I can still taste the nutmeg. 
Before the holidays, I purchased a bottle of Adam's butter extract and on the side of the box there was a tea cake recipe. I've tried other recipes and they were no where near my grandmother's but this recipe had promise.  The only thing lacking was the nutmeg but that was easily remedied.  After making them, I realized they were not the same as my grandmothers, but they were still great!  This recipe is a keeper....maybe one day I'll come across grandma's recipe....

Adam's Almond Tea Cakes

1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ tbsp almond extract
2 tsp butter extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine margarine, oil, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.  Add extracts, mix well.  Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl slowly.  Blend.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms start to brown.

Thank you for stopping by and please check out the other great posts at Foody Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Tablescape with a Little Touch of Spring

This is my first time participating in Tablescaping Thursday even though I have enjoyed browsing through the posts for quit some time.  Many thanks to Between Naps on the Porch for hosting this weekly event.  I enjoy setting a pretty table but this time of year is my most uninspiring, is that a word?  The holidays are over and everything is a little blah.  I really love the black damask placemats with the pop of green. 

Cream dishes with bamboo flatware!  This is my favorite flatware that I usually only use during the summer but I think the bamboogives the table a little different texture.  Iced tea glasses are by Gorham.  Notice the other pop of green by using the avocadoes on top of the candlesticks.

Thank you for stopping by......and check out the other tablescapes on Between Naps on the Porch

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Drape and Swag

A window treatment that is trendly today, is to drape and swag fabric loosely over a decorative pole or rod as seen in this picture of my master bathroom. 

Instead of using a pole or rod, I purchased a set of tiebacks on clearance for a couple of dollars a piece. (TIP:  If you want to achieve this look, Hobby Lobby currently sales cast iron tie backs that are on sale frequently.  They can be painted any color to match the decor.) 

I purchased a long ivory scarf and drape it on the tiebacks letting it pool on the tub surround.  The shorter scarf is actually a gold sheer panel that I had from another project.  I let the hems out and ironed them down.  I purchased the eyelash trim at Hobby Lobby and stitched it on by hand.  And there you go, an easy elegant window dressing.  (Tip: If you have 3 extra sheer panels that are the same color, take out the hems, iron down and sew panels together, top to bottom.  This will be used as your scarf.  Just make sure that the seams where they were sewn together are draping on the tiebacks.  This way the seams will not be visible.  You will probably have to make adjustments to the middle panel, depending on the size of your window.) 

An expensive window treatment that packs quite a punch!

Linking to:

Savvy Southern Style: Wow Us Wednesday

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fireplace Mantel

A couple of years ago, Tim installed a fireplace insert in our home.  Of course, he wanted a real fireplace but the cost of $10000-$15000 was not on option.  He had never built a fireplace and I was concerned that if it wasn't properly built our home would be filled with smoke.  So, for about $2000 we purchased an insert.  The firebox itself is on the outside of the house with the chimney extending up the two stories.  Of course, one of my favorite things is decorating it.  It seems a little bare to me now because during the holidays there is not an inch of the top visible.  But I'm going off course here, I really wanted to show the mantel and discuss how it is made.  After getting the insert installed and running the chimney up two stories, Tim installed tile around it and on the floor as a hearth.  At the time, I couldn't make up my mind and Tim choose this ceramic tile.  I now wish I had went with a brown/cream marble that Home Depot carries.  I ask him from time to time to change it for me but to no avail.  Anyway back to the mantel,  it is composed of  medium density fiberboard (mdf), 1 by pine board for the mantel and trim moulding.  That's it!  The most expensive thing on this mantel is the emblem in the middle and it costs about $35.  This was actually our first time doing this so we went to the local Home Depot and played around with the moulding.  You can go as fancy as you want or as simple as you want and save yourself a lot of money!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Before and After Dining Room

Before my dining room seemed a little bare.  Sometimes you don't realize how things appear until you take a picture.  Once you see it in a photo, certain things stand out and they are not always good.  The room was a little blah, there was no sparkle and I knew the light fixture was off center from the table.  You can see more pics of the before dining room here:   http://www.roomzaar.com/rate-my-space/Dining-Rooms/Spangler-Dining-Room/detail.esi?oid=499831

But now, there is sparkle and shine!  I exchanged the lamp for a set of lamps I purchased from Home Depot years ago for about $30.  Adding the little tassels spruced them up a little.  The large mirror over the sideboard was a garage sale find for $10.  The pretty beverage dispenser was a recent Christmas gift from my sister.  The mirrored tray is actually a mirror someone gave me and I didn't need it so I removed the metal hanging tabs from the back and put on some felt tabs underneath.  Now I have a new tray that reflects all the pretty crystal pieces that were all garage sale finds.  Don't you just love getting a good deal?

The light fixture was a good find from a local antique store and it is finally centered over my table.  I have changed out the red curtains for the ivory taffeta curtains with the damask balloon shades.

I just love my dining room and enjoy having family meals here!

Sharing with:

Show Us Your Dining Rooms @ Thrifty Decor Chick 


Friday, January 13, 2012

Subway Tile Backsplash

This is my mom's kitchen.  She was tired of the oak cabinets but changing them out wasn't an option.  We looked for an option that would update the room and take away from the oak.  So, my dad repainted the kitchen a pretty blue, my husband installed the new blackish gray laminate countertop and my son installed the subway back splash.  I think it looks great.  The white subway tile came from Home Depot and the laminate countertops are from Lowes and is from the open stock on the floor.  Laminate countertops have really come a long way.  It is a very cost effective way to update a kitchen.  The subway tile also very inexpensive but packs quite a punch.  So for probably less than $300, she has a totally updated kitchen. Impressive!!!  I know, I know, some of you are saying I can't do that, but yes you can!!!  The countertops basically set on top and are screwed in underneath.  The backsplash is a little time consuming but not hard.  This was my son's third tile job and he is only 16. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Before and After Kitchen Backsplash

oLast year, for my birthday, I got a travertine backsplash for my kitchen.  Previously, the backsplash was beadboard.  It was pretty but hard to clean, especially since it was old beadboard from the 1930's.  Once again, it was a family affair.  My husband, son and myself removed and installed the new backsplash.  We purchased the tile from Home Deport.  What sold it for me was the fleur-de-lis over the stove.  It was only $10!  The travertine matched it perfectly.  For about $300, I got a whole new look.

and after...I think it looks better with the black/brown granite.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recycled Window Coat/Towel Rack

When we were building our home, I purchased this half circle window from a local person who sold used building materials.  I had no idea what I was going to do it, I just liked the way it looked.  A couple of years ago, I saw a similar rack and borrowed the idea for my window.  First I cleaned it up but no sanding or repainting, I left it just like it was.  I then went to Hobby Lobby and purchased the cast iron coat hooks.  My handy son installed them and, Viola!, I have a one of a kind rack in my master bath.  I love it!
If you would like to see additional pictures of my master bath, here's the link http://www.roomzaar.com/rate-my-space/Bathrooms/My-New-Master-Bath-with-an-Exotic-Touch/detail.esi?oid=511577

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Before and After Mudroom

This is the mudroom coming from my driveway.  This past year, for my birthday, we repainted and added new overhead cabinets for additional storage.  Before there was a shelf with baskets but it still stayed a  little messy.  Now the mess can be hidden behind cabinet doors.  The cabinets were unfinished open stock from Home Depot.  They were painted white and cabinets knobs were installed that were ordered from ebay.  (Just a little tip, I changed out all my cabinet knobs and pulls last year and saved a bundle by ordering them from ebay.  Before ordering make sure you look at the dimensions of the knobs and check different vendors.)  We had to change out the light to a flush mount since the first light was in the way when you needed to get in the cabinets.  The seat was switched out so it could be stained and match the banquette seats in my breakfast area which can be seen from here. 

This is the before pic....

and now the after.  Brighter with more storage!

Sharing with:

Show Us Your Life @ Kellys Korner Blog
Show Us Your Foyers @ Mudrooms @ Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Walk in the Countryside

Please join me for "a walk in the countryside."  I am new to blogging and my site is still in the construction phase.  I enjoy just about everything home and garden.  My husband is a carpenter by trade and we do a lot of projects around our home that I would like to share with you.  I look forward to meeting new friends and exchanging ideas and recipes. 

Walk with the Lord...

Walk with the Lord when your heart needs company. Take His hand when you feel all alone. Turn to Him when you need someone to lean on. He's the only one you can always rely on

Time to Freshen up for the New Year

The holidays are over and we now have the winter months ahead of us. After taking down the Christmas decorations, I am in the process of re-decorating with accent pieces I already have on hand. I interchange these pieces ever so often depending on the season. Right now, I'm not too inspired. The trees outside are mostly bare and look a little sad to me. I thought I would start this page to help motivate myself and others.