Saturday, December 16, 2017

Miscellaneous Musings No. 11 - Holiday Edition

Welcome back to another miscellaneous musings. This one, no. 11, is my 2017 holiday edition. Let's get started with the recent collection of life's little observations. If you're so inclined, you can click here for a listing of my other accounts on the subject of thinking out loud.

Woohoo! This just in.....The South Charleston Antique Mall, South Charleston WV, was voted WV Living Magazine's 2017: Shopping category best antique/vintage store in all of West Virginia! Panoply has been proudly located in the South Charleston Antique Mall at 617 D Street, South Charleston, WV since 2008.  Our location is an easy on/off from I-64 at Exit 56. Come see us on your next trip through West Virginia - it's over 18,000 square feet of vintage and antique goodness!
Our Sam's Club was selling the doormat / rug below as part of their holiday decor (there were several other designs too). The one thing they all had in common? GLITTER! That, my friends, is real glitter on that doormat. You've read my loathing of all things glitter before (if not, you can read here). For the glitter phobe in me, this would be pure torture to see ANYone wipe their feet on this and then walk in ANYWHERE.
Glitter Rug!
The photo below was also posted on my Facebook account in early November, which is part of our getting holiday ready. We rake our leaves into piles along the street curb property, and our city comes along and vacuums them one day a week throughout November, early December. It's a municipal service along our 100 year old, tree-lined city streets. Does your city have this service, I'm curious?
Raking, Vacuuming Leaves
My niece in Texas just thought that was the strangest thing, about as strange as I thought the photo below was when she posted on December 7th in Austin - snow!
Snow in Texas!
Daughter #1 posted this highway sign as she and my son-in-law traveled to FL for Thanksgiving. She knows how I like quirky signs.
Turkeys in TN!
Meanwhile, daughter #2 had me panicking for her sake on the day before Thanksgiving. I thought her fireman/cook/husband assigned her one job - to thaw the turkey - and she screwed it up. Read the text messages from that morning, starting at 6:35 am (her texts are red, mine are blue).
The messaging continued.....
She got me good. 🀣

Getting ready for the holidays means, among other tasks, having my drink fridge at the top of the stairs ready to stockpile extra [cooked] dishes, drinks (besides my daily Diet Coke), and ice for company.
Hallway fridge
Well, we were noticing a screeching sound coming from it in late fall that would repeat every so often - too often. The back side of the fridge is housed in one of the extra closets of the renovated master bath (see below). I took steps to clean all the grills, front and back, thinking the renovation took its toll with dust & dirt clogging it, but that didn't help. We had disconnected the copper tubing that ran water into the icemaker during the reno (which had quit operating long before the reno). I had accidentally flipped the switch to "on" for it to make ice. The screech was the fridge trying to fill the icemaker with water that was disconnected. Turns out, the fridge was basically having dry heaves.
Backside of hallway fridge
Speaking of the bathroom, I am in LπŸ’“VE with my radiant heated floor. Whenever my feet are cold, or when I get up in the middle of the night, it's heavenly to walk on. I could sleep there.
Heated floor!
In order to sleep on the floor, though, I have to keep it clean from hair and shedding skin cells, literally daily, by both vacuuming and dry Swiffer dusting it (you can see both the Swiffer stick and the Dirt Devil in the photo of the closet earlier). I practice safe vacuuming though, lol. That Dirt Devil is so loud, I think I've already damaged a few nerve cells in my ears using it, but now I wear my husband's silencers.
Safe vacuuming
Yep, that's me, sportin' my winter tartans. Speaking of which, did you see my tablescape this month? I shared some tartanware I scored on eBay. Below is my holiday edition/addition of tartanware, McTarget clan tartan. I found those in the dollar bins at the front of the store, knowing I can always use another tartan somethin' somethin'.
McTarget clan tartan
The groceries below may or may not be my part of my holiday hoarding stockpile. For your information, I πŸ’–Oreo white fudge cookies like I do Girl Scout thin mints, and can never get enough. They're limited, so I go for broke when I spot them. Notice the fiber therapy and ibuprofen. That'll keep us in good stead for the holidays, too.
Holiday stockpile
When we went to Amish country last month, I picked up some treats there, too. They make the best comfort food, including their breads, fudge, cookies and especially their cinnamon rolls.
Amish Stockpile
The cinnamon rolls are close to what my mother used to make every year for so many holidays, from Easter to Christmas. They were heavy, set up like concrete in your belly, but oh, so good! By her mid-80's, let's just say my mother had lost all filters when she wanted to tell it like it is, whatever the subject. Her cinnamon rolls are affectionately now known as Grandma's F'n Rolls (her words, when she last made them, "Merry Christmas. Here's your f#*!n rolls").

After 10 years since her death, my daughter #1 has been trying to replicate my mother's (her Grandma's) cinnamon roll recipe, aka those F'n Rolls. Last year, she documented the process in 3 separate and very brief (30 sec) instagram videos (no spoken profanity, mostly family-rated, I promise). I saved the videos to share with you, and I hope you'll watch these, in order. My daughter nailed not only the process, but also the recipe, which was the best ever last year. Enjoy!
Day 1 of those F'n Rolls
Day 2 of those F'n Rolls
Toward the end of those F'n Rolls
Speaking of my mother, whatever it is about the holidays, I don't know, but thoughts of her are many. It's been 10 years, as I said, since she passed. The first Saturday of December, we drove into our garage and a cardinal flew into the branches of our maple on the edge of our property. I've written before about this symbolism, here.
Visit from a cardinal
Each year, and on that same evening of the cardinal visit this year, the cemetery where my mom is buried has a candlelight ceremony, wherein each and every grave is lit with a real candle luminary in a paper bag with sand. It's done completely by volunteers and it's breathtaking. This year the moon was in its super moon phase, and it was my first time seeing it live. Below is just a very small portion of the cemetery, with rolling hillsides all aglow.
Annual cemetery candlelighting ceremony
I like to think she sent her signal to 'visit' me, knowing I was going to visit her grave that evening. I choose to believe.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!
Rita C. at Panoply

Monday, December 11, 2017

Junkin' Series Guest at Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Bubbling over with joy, I'm guest posting today over at Follow the Yellow Brick Home, in Amber's "Let's Go Junkin" series.
I'm sharing Panoply Christmas booth displays over the past several years on Amber's blog, and if you'd like to see more of how we style our spaces, you can start by clicking right here. While at Amber's blog, I hope you'll stay a while to also see her fantastic home all decked out with vintage decor through all the seasons, but especially now, at Christmastime.

If you're traveling through West Virginia, I hope to see y'all at the South Charleston Antique Mall! Panoply is located in the South Charleston Antique Mall at 617 D Street, South Charleston, WV.  It is an easy on/off from I-64 at Exit 56.

Amber, thanks again for inviting me! Happy junkin', y'all!

Rita C. at Panoply

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Oh Deer! Christmas Tablescape 2017

Hi there, and welcome back to another holiday post here at Panoply, this time featuring a Christmas tablescape. I am a lover of Christmas, using all things red, green, and more. Whether it be solids, checks, and/or plaids, the more, the better.  Add a dash of vintage, and you have my kind of Christmas! This time it's all of the above, in a tablescape theme I'm calling "Oh Deer!"
This tablescape started with a plate I found that seemed to say,  "hey, pick me, pick me!" with color, pattern and festive fun printed all over it. 
I've had a set of white deer ornaments for a few years, intending to use them as place cards, but (see photo collage below, starting clockwise, top L)....the first year I only used one, gluing it to a mason jar to hold marshmallows. This year I used two more white ones in my red truck in my sunroom. Then my friend, Patti, at Pandora's Box, was up for the challenge of painting four more of the white deer ornaments in the classic, MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check pattern for me. Patti also made the toss pillow you see as the backdrop for the four deer in the MacKenzie-Childs inspired CC pattern. Patti not only accepts commissioned projects, she also sells MacKenzie-Childs inspired items she creates, too.
Oh dear deer, I was in heaven! You can see a tiny wire ring on the center of each deer head, originally for hanging. I left it on, to allow the option of using again as an ornament, but it also anchors the place card.

Sometime this past summer I bought the flatware I'm using on this table and I really like its weight and faceted pattern. I am tempted to replace my current flatware with this. The tartan napkins with grosgrain trim add a tailored touch.
The vintage tartanware napkin rings are from Scotland. The patterns are still legible on each one, starting clockwise, top L: McPherson, MacGregor, Leslie, McDuff.
I wanted to make some clove-studded oranges for fragrant holiday decor this year, so my first one was used for a classic Williamsburg apple centerpiece. It starts with a tree-shaped block form, with nails strategically placed for piercing the fruit. Elements used and design styling of the centerpiece can be as varied as the individual creating it. The most typical Williamsburg apple centerpiece is with red apples, topped with a pineapple, the classic symbol of Southern hospitality. Since my table is set for four, I chose to make a smaller profile. With classic red and green, I used small red apples and limes, and my orange with cloves in a star pattern as the topper. I filled the space voids with greens from the garden - pine, magnolia and holly branches with berries.
The finished Williamsburg apple centerpiece was raised on the table by placing it on an ironstone cake stand, a trick I use often, which allows more space on the table beneath it.

Other table textiles used (besides the tartan napkins) are a drop cloth as tablecloth base, topped with my spiral runner, hand-made by my daughter. Courtly Check mini stockings are on the table behind the place cards, to be used as pouches for the checked deer, intended as guest favors. The place cards themselves are simply 3 x 5 index cards, folded, and held closed with Washi tape.
The chargers, originally tartan plaid and used here, were chalkboard painted in black (seen again here and here).
The ruby red water goblets (12 oz) were a [lucky] vintage, estate find, and match smaller juice glasses (6 oz) I have.
Filling out the table for warmth and candle glow, I added two antique, ironstone cafe au lait bowls. I filled each with fresh cranberries, a votive candle and a garnish of pine.
The table was finally complete, and came together very organically, over the course of a few days. With dusk comes little lights in the sunroom, adding to the warm and cozy, festive spirit of the season. 
As you can see, I have used a mix of many patterns on this table (and in the sunroom, in general), with a good measure of solids to ground it all. It was fun, and I hope you take away a bit of inspiration for yourself from the various things I mixed. The complete source list is provided at the very end of this post.
Your visit is welcome and appreciated. As a vintage and antique dealer, playing with dishes is one of my hobbies. You can see more of my tablescapes by going to the 'Tablescapes' menu item at the top of my homepage (if on a mobile device, scroll to bottom and click on 'View Web Version' first. It's also found in the list of labels, or by typing 'tablescape' in the search block, both on my sidebar.
For even more inspiration, have a look at the many other bloggers' listed below, with direct links to their Christmas tablescape posts, as part of a blog hop I am participating in this week. As with last week's home decor hop, this is once again hosted and organized by Chloe Crabtree of the blog, Celebrate and Decorate (thank you, Chloe!). I will be updating the list as the week continues, so you can come back here anytime as a central reference for all the table inspiration. 
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Our Crafty Mom | Panoply (you are here!)
Friday
Oh Deer! Christmas Tablescape Source List
Chargers - Michaels, chalkpainted
Dinner, Salad Plates - Big Lots
Deer ornaments - Lowes, handpainted by Patti at Pandora's Box
Drop Cloth tablecloth - Lowes
Spiral holiday table runner - handmade gift from daughter
Tartan Napkins - Mark and Graham
Tartan Napkin Rings, Williamsburg apple centerpiece form - eBay
Flatware - Lucca (Fortessa) - Sur La Table
Glassware - Georgian (Anchor Hocking), Cafe au lait bowls, cake stand - vintage and antique finds
Checked mini stockings, Washi tape - MacKenzie-Childs

Merry Christmas!
Rita C. at Panoply

Friday, December 1, 2017

Traveling Totes #13: Fall Frolics, A Giveaway

Season's greetings, readers! Welcome back to this, the 13th Traveling Totes adventures recap! Miss Luna C and I are deep in the throes of holiday prep now, but before it all completely escapes us, we want to recap our fall frolics. And please, even if you don't read the entire post, be sure to check our tribe's giveaway at the end. It's an item that'll be just in time for your holiday enjoyment.
Miss Luna C and I have been quite busy this fall and, even though we didn't get to trek to NYC for the first gathering of all the other gals and their totes, the tribe made us feel part of the experience with emails, photos and token exchanges during and after their trip. I'm not sure how that inaugural gathering can be topped, but ideas are floating for 2018. πŸ™‚

Here's a recap of some of the ways Miss Luna C and I spent our fall months, with some links to more detailed prior posts on the topics:

September: Farmers' Market Pumpkin Pickin' - Front Porch Decor.  Miss Luna C is a workhorse! She is perfect for hauling even some of the large pumpkins I selected for fall, but in the photo below, she was stuffed with all my baby boos.
Capitol Market - Charleston, WV
Panoply Buying Trip in September. Miss Luna C is really great for hauling just about anything, and in mid-September, she was basically a picnic basket for snacks and hostess gifts taken to my Panoply sister's home in Cincinnati in prep for an antiquing adventure.
Antiquing in OH
The week after returning home from OH, I had a dinner date with my girls, and a delivery to make to my oldest daughter from sister J. My oldest is saving bottle tops from various brews so her hubby can eventually make some sort of bar top. The tote handily did the job. Hmmm...beginning to see a pattern here of the tote carrying beverages.....
Dinner with my girls
October: Fall Color in West Virginia.
Mr. P and I took advantage of fall color in our home state of WV in October, and Miss Luna C was actually my overnight bag. Mr. P offered to carry Miss Luna C numerous times. She's so heavy when she's loaded, one must be really careful not to blow a tire.
She ain't heavy, she's my Luna C!
We drove to the Potomac Highlands region in the northeastern part of the state to tour (starting clockwise, top L of photo below) Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley State Park and Smoke Hole Caverns.
WV fall getaway
A little trivia: did you know West Virginia is the only state entirely within the Appalachian Region? It's true! And not to typecast us or anything, but.....
Appalachia at its best
November:  Thanksgiving Getaway
Mr. P & I skipped town for a few days leading up to and including Thanksgiving. Our status quo get together with his family was interrupted this year, daughter #1 and her husband planned a trip to visit friends out of town, and daughter #2 and her husband were scheduled to work. So, what do empty nesters do? Road trip!
Thanksgiving Getaway Route
Day 1: Monday, November 20 - we headed to Morgantown to see the WVU Mountaineers play Long Beach (CA) State in a pre-conference basketball game. Bags carried into the coliseum can be no larger than the one pictured below, a 4.5" x 6.5" clutch, so Miss Luna C was a little put out. However, she had a plan.
Vera Bradley Collegiate Crossbody
The next day, before leaving town, she got her due. Are you familiar with the NBA logo? Well, that guy is Jerry West, and he hails from West Virginia. His statue is just outside the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Miss Luna C was happy to have her photo taken with him, and now that I'm looking at the photo, I guess I should've smiled too. It appears I was on camera as well. 😲
Jerry West bronze outside WVU Coliseum - Morgantown, WV
Day 2: Tuesday, November 21- traveling a little further north and west to Wheeling, WV,  for its famous seasonal Festival of Lights tour, our early arrival kept us from being to able to check in, so what to do, what to do? Shopping, of course, and I chose Sibs Antique Store, where I found a most unusual 'car snack' tartan carrier, among other great finds. Below, one of the sibling owners (hence, Sibs), is showing how versatile the over-the-seat carrier can be repurposed as a backpack. 🀣
Sibs Antiques - Wheeling, WV
We then checked in to our resort, the Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.
Oglebay Park - Wheeling, WV
Our package included a guided night tour of this acclaimed, seasonal show of winter lights. It was truly spectacular, including the historic and original, early 20th century Oglebay Mansion, greenhouse. The displays of lights cover more than 300 acres of rolling hills of an area completely owned and managed by the citizens of Wheeling, a gift from the Oglebay estate.
Oglebay Park Festival of Lights - Wheeling, WV
Day 3: Wednesday, November 22 - our next stop on our Thanksgiving getaway was Amish country in Ohio, just a couple more hours driving west and north. We stopped at the famous Lehman's Hardware, a family owned and operated store making life simpler since 1955. 
Lehman's Hardware - Kidron, OH
Amish buggies pulled by horses are a common sighting in this area, and handmade foods and goods are plenty available. I have a couple hand-wrought baskets I've bought on a prior trip, and I added a sweet egg basket as my token remembrance on this trip.

From Kidron, we drove about 40 minutes south to Sugarcreek, OH and checked in to the Carlisle Inn. This is part of what's known as Dutchman Hospitality, home to various inns, bakery/restaurants, theater, gift shops, and meat/grocery stores. This was where we had our Thanksgiving dinner, and our stay was so nice! Amish food is awesomely good, home-style cooking, and we loved it!
Carlisle Inn - Sugarcreek, OH
Amish country is a special place, indeed. So special, Miss Luna C shopped a bit of real estate*. There was a church, a barn, a couple cottages and a grand manse. She had a hard time deciding, but thought they were all quite nice.  I would be sad if Miss Luna C decided to leave me and buy her own house.πŸ˜‰
* Amish-made playhouses at Sugarcreek, OH
We had a great Thanksgiving getaway, and certainly a fun way to kick off the holiday season! 

NOW, ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!
The Traveling Tribe is offering another giveaway. Patti @ Pandora's Box is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Patti's December 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win the following:
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been lately? Check them out at the links conveniently located below to see. We have a new member joining us! Please welcome Jackie with Miss Madi K at Purple Chocolat Home, and show her some love!

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda G with Miss Poppy @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ "Pandora's Box"
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul

Until our next adventure (coming March 1, 2018), thank you for traveling along. It's a pleasure to have your company and visit! If you're curious, read all about the beginning of this tribe here

Happy Holidays!
Rita C. with Miss Luna C at Panoply
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