Monday, May 15, 2017

Using Pretty Saucers

Finding pretty saucers at the thrift store
 for 10¢ to 25¢ is easy. 
There are so many ways to use them. 

1. A Catch-all plate for jewelry.
2. A small plate for snacks or cocktail party much better than paper.
3. A coaster for drinks.
4. Use them with mismatched cups.
5. A row of them down the center of a table
    topped with jars filled with flowers or
    votive candles.
6. A base for a fat candle.
7. A base for a chandelier's lights (you'll need
    to drill a hole in the center for this project).
8. A soap dish
9. A saucer for a small potted plant.
10. Add a little seasonal color to a candle
     stand, as I've done here.
The red Spode saucers from my dish set
look pretty for Valentine's Day or Christmas. 
 The Longaberger wrought iron candle stand
 without the colorful saucers.
Three mix-match saucers trio in red, white, 
and blue for summer.  
You may already have a random collection 
of saucers. Enjoy using them.  


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Between Naps On The Porch

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Coconut Grove House and Garden Visit

This past weekend we attended a book 
signing in a Coconut Grove bookstore 
and cafe. It's the kind of charming 
neighborhood bookstore we would all 
 want to spend hours in every week. .
My friend David Bethel from waaay back
 in high school had written another
page-turner, Blood Moon,  a crime story
 based on a famous South Florida case.
 He was speaking, along with Ed DuBois, the
investigator that handled the case. Ed also
attended our high school, different class.
Small world indeed. 
Side note: The actor Ed Harris played 
        Ed DuBois in the movie. All-in-all
there were 8 "Red Raiders" at the event.
That's a 50-60 year friendship for some!
After the book signing we were invited back
 to David and Carol's beautiful home in 
the Grove for a celebration lunch.
I wasn't planning on posting about this
day so my pictures are not blog-worthy.
But I will share what I took with my phone. 
Their house is open, rustic-tropical, and filled 
with collected art and treasures from their
 many travels. Wood vaulted ceilings 
and wood floors are a feature. 
Driftwood mirror leans against hall wall.
Hall light fixture
Hallway leading front to back of house.
Family room/Florida room have wood floors,  
white pained wood vaulted ceilings, and
are surrounded by large windows. 
Their house is very energy efficient with
the installation of enough solar panels that 
have reduced their electric bill to $25 even
in the summer with the AC on all the time. 
The back patio is beautiful, but I too busy
enjoying it to take pics. 
This is the front entry of the house.
Living room on left, dining space on right.
There is another patio in the front of the
house and that's where we're headed for
the party.
David with one of the pups. Yes, that's an
armoire on their patio. It's teak wood.
David treats it with teak oil twice a year
for protection. It's been there through years
 of Florida heat, humidity, and storms. 
Carol and David. 
Carol is a sommelier and gourmet chef
for special wine and food pairing events.
She owns Swirl Wine Consulting
Books and wine, a great combination! 
Here I am with 2 of my high school girlfriends.
It's amazing to all of us that we have so many 
friends that keep in touch. Either through 
Facebook or local get-togethers for those 
that still live or have returned like I have.  
After lunch we were led through winding 
 secret neighbor's paths by Carol to 
explore the gardens. 
This opened to an impressive garden space
that accommodates many of Carol's
wine and dine events for large groups.
 A Monet inspired garden.
An evening under the palms.
The beautiful garden at night. 
A canopy of flowers.
Onward to the next garden. 
This is their huge neighborhood communal 
vegetable garden.
Carol does all her grocery
 produce shopping here.
Large raised concrete and brick beds filled 
and maintained by a group of friends, and
occasionally hungry peacocks. Beautiful birds,
but a nuisance to local Grove gardeners. 
The pleasure of living in the tropics.
Walking back through their picturesque 
Coconut Grove neighborhood on a
beautiful South Florida day. 


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Between Naps On The Porch

Monday, April 10, 2017

Make A Scrap Wood Cross

I wanted a rustic, shabby, simple,  wood
cross for my Easter season decor. 
I've seen these around the  blogs and 
thought "I could make one of these!"
This project couldn't be easier.
 I just grabbed leftover pieces of wood from
 my garage. I found mall pieces of molding 
and a piece of picket fence. 
I did nothing to the wood. No cutting, and 
no painting. Just used a nail
and attached the pieces together. 
 I attaches a salvaged pull ring to the back
 in case I ever wanted to hang them. 
 I found 6 pieces of wood so I was able 
to make 3 crosses in 5 minutes. 
 This one is on the patio. 
You could decorate it more. There are lots of 
good, simple ideas on Pinterest. This is just
to get you started. Make one part 
of a front door wreath. Take one to your 
Easter Day hostess. See what a nail and 2
pieces of wood can do! 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

3-Tier Galvanized Tray w Blue Cups

This 3-tier galvanized tray has become
a harbinger of the coming seasons. 
It needed a quick change after I removed the 
Valentine mugs last month. A new vignette 
before I decorated for the Spring holidays; 
St. Patrick's Day and Easter.
 I gathered lots of my blue and white tea 
cups in assorted patterns and piled them on.
 My thrifted set of espresso cups fit on top.
Quick change!


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Between Naps On The Porch

Monday, February 20, 2017

Single-Serve Coffee

Brewing a perfect mug of single serve coffee
couldn't be easier. 
You don't need a big expensive machine
 and those costly coffee pods. 
Those pod machines are like a microwave, 
big space hogs that may be quick and 
convenient but ultimately not giving you
the best coffee. 
The ritual of slowly brewing fresh coffee
is a great way to start your morning. 
No hitting a button on a machine. 
In just a few minutes you can brew
a mug of rich, flavorful coffee. 
The "pour-over" method is incredibly easy
giving you one great cup of coffee. 
Anytime you want. 
You'll need:
a cone coffee dripper 
(less than $4)
#2 filters
your favorite coffee 
(Of course grinding your own is best)
boiling water 
All you need to do is grab your favorite mug. 
I rotate my mugs seasonally. It's a cheery, 
fun welcome to the day.  

Bring water to a boil. I love my electric
water kettle, but you could also micro
2 C of water. 
Place the coffee filter in
 the cone and put on top of your mug. Pour
 a little of the hot water into the empty 
filter to saturate the paper. This also 
warms the mug which is nice. Swirl the 
hot water in the mug and pour it out.
  Don't forget that. 
Add 2 level scoops of coffee to the filter. 
Another plus with this method is you can 
adjust the coffee to your liking. 
Slowly pour a little
water over the grounds to moisten. 
Then slowly pour the water into
 the center. 
Let drip through and add more water
if needed. Slowly pouring into the center 
until your mug is filled to your liking. 
I fill mine about ¾ full 
so there's room to add  frothed milk. 
It's environmentally friendly too, 
just toss the used filter and 
rinse the cone or put it in the DW.
This is great for travel. 
I bring the plastic cone, filters, and
coffee on road trips. It's also good when 
I'm visiting non coffee drinkers. I can easily 
make a cup of single serve coffee myself. 

The clear Melitta cone at the top pictures 
is one I've had for probably over 30 years.
I just bought the new brown one for travel.  
You can find them at BB&B or in the 
grocery store. 


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