Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Copper & Gold Thanksgiving Table

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The table is set & most of the preparations are

complete for our Thanksgiving dinner, tomorrow.

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I've combined my Lenox Eternal placesettings,

with some autumnal salad plates &

my Arte Vetre compotes.

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I seldom use these beautiful stemmed Italian Arte Vetro gold goblets.

The lacy border is first intricately etched on clear glass then hand

painted with 18 karat gold.

They are hand made in Italy &

hand wash only...

probably why I don't use them much!

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Tall twin cinnamon candles surrounded

by faux bittersweet berries & crystals

allow everyone to easily see each other at the table.

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The pinecone napkins & matching placemats

were a purchase for Christmas last year.


I think they work well for both holidays.

The wood-like, embossed napkin rings

have matching chargers but

I thought it was a bit too much to use

them with placemats.

Besides, I didn't want to hide any of

those pretty pinecones!

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I'm using little metal glittered copper pears

as name card holders...

I still have to add the names!

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Chocolate covered pecans & cashews are on the table,

to enjoy with coffee or tea & a piece of pie.

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At the far end of the table, where there is an empty seat...

aren't we all missing someone over the holidays?...

I've placed a basket of fresh gourds &

a faux pumpkin that says it all:




The foundations of our world.

May you be blessed with an abundance of gratitude for all the good

things that life has to offer & the ability to share it with others.

I'll be joining lots of other tablescapers at

Susan's Between Naps On The Porch

Tablescape Thursday

as well as

The Tablescaper for

Seasonal Sundays

Please be sure to visit them & wish each

a "Happy Thanksgiving!"



Monday, November 21, 2011

Marinated Green Beans with Olives & Feta Cheese

The following Southern Living recipe

is one I made for a recent family gathering.

(photo courtesy of Southern Living)

I intend to repeat it again for Thanksgiving, it was so good!

If I add chopped yellow & orange peppers, it will

look very appropriate for the season, too.

In order to make it work for my Vegan sister,

I kept the feta cheese off to the side

so anyone could add as much or as little as they wanted.

It is a delicious recipe & one that travels well &

holds nicely at room temperature.

A *Keeper*, for sure & I KNOW you'll

absolutely love it if you try it.

I've had to use the photo from the Southern Living site,

since I was too frazzled to remember to take pictures.

Marinated Green Beans with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (4-ounce) packages crumbled feta cheese
  • Garnish: fresh oregano sprigs

Place beans in boiling water seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt;

cook 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.


Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Place in a shallow serving dish.

Cook garlic in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat 30 seconds

or just until fragrant; remove from heat.

Stir in olives, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Pour mixture over beans, tossing to coat.

Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle with feta cheese, unless you're feeding Vegans

Garnish with fresh oregano, if desired.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Printable Recipe

I'm joining Yvonne at StoneGable's
On The Menu Monday
as well as
Michael Lee, noted author,
on her beautiful blog
Designs by Gollum
for her Foodie Friday meme
The Tablescaper for her
Seasonal Sundays.

Please be sure to go see all the other wonderful contributions.
Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties every week.

Thanks for visiting me, too!

My arm & wrist are feeling better &
I'm honored that you would take the time
to stop by The Gazebo House.

Wishing you a Blessed & Grateful
"Happy Thanksgiving"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Smocked Nightgown for Ms. C.

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My "Smock & Talk" friend & mentor, Nicole, shared her leftovers of this wonderfully soft knit with me after she had made pajamas out of it for her girls. It is extremely luscious feeling fabric & it has little Chinese girls with flowers & fans scattered all over it. Very cute...Thanks, Nicole!

I started off by using a pattern for a knit t-shirt & then both widened & lengthened it into a nightgown for Ms. C.

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Here is my Amanda Jane pleater with 9 needles in place, ready for threading. Note there are empty spaces between the needles where I could have added more for needles "half-spaces" if the smocking plate I was going to follow required them.

Pleating this fabric for smocking was a bit of a challenge due to the stretchy nature of it.

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A few tips...I always place a white card behind my pleating needles so that I can see better while threading them & I've learned from Nicole to leave a shorter tail of thread on the top of the needle, where you can SEE it as you pull the fabric off the needles. That way, you know when you've gone far enough.

Instead of me trying to explain pleating or smocking, go see what my friend, Laurie Anderson, aka "SewNso" & owner of Southern Stitches, has posted some WONDERFULLY helpful pleating & smocking videos on YouTube. Below is her "Pleating 101" tutorial.

Basically, you roll your fabric onto a dowel, making sure it is as straight as possible. Then the edge is inserted into the back of the pleater & you S-L-O-W-L-Y turn the crank handle which makes the teeth grab the fabric & send it through the grooves & out onto the threaded needle.

I ALWAYS run a small piece of waxed paper through my pleater prior to placing the needles & thread into position. That really helps the fabric go through smoothly. You do NOT want to break needles...last time I bought some, they were $1.50 EACH!!

Here is the front of the nightgown, just coming off the pleater.

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This was the first time I'd ever tried to pleat a knit & on the whole, it turned out nice. I had just one or two places where the pleats weren't exactly crisp or lined up, as they had *scooched* a bit. That's a very technical sewing term, ya' know. *scooched*

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Because every single child sized hanger I own is now residing at Ms. C's house, I had to hang this on an adult size hanger for photographs. You can see that I didn't balance it correctly & that the right side isn't completely on the hanger. This is making the shoulder hang down & thus it looks like the smocking & piping are off. Trust me, they are straight! I used water soluble double sided tape to attach my piping prior to stitching it down. This is a great trick to keep it in place instead of pinning, which would distort the fabric.

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I used both cranberry & pink floss in my smocking, to pick up the colors in the fabric.

Thanks for letting me share my sewing projects with you. I love to smock & would work on it every day if my wrist & arm would allow it. I fear I am developing some carpal tunnel issues along with a pinched nerve in my neck.

Typing on the computer keyboard doesn't help it either, so please forgive me if I am a long time in responding to your sweet comments? I can only be online so much & then my right hand, (my sewing hand!) goes to sleep.

I am linking to The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday meme.

Thanks for visiting The Gazebo House & I'll be around to visit you as soon as I can.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Delicious Cucumber & Sour Cream Salad! ♫♫


With an over abundance of cucumbers this summer,

and LOTS of fresh dill, still growing in the garden,


I tried Mary's recipe

(from One Perfect Bite)


Cucumber & Sour Cream Salad.


Mary didn't peel her cucumbers but

I was anxious to try out my new Titan peelers,

which I absolutely ♥♥♥!

I found them at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

These things are soooo wickedly sharp,

DH says he could perform surgery with them!

They make quick work of any peeling chore.


You can even do julienne strips & decorative scoring with one of them.

I didn't take off ALL the green,

just strips of it all around.


I have made cucumbers in vinegar before &

I have made cucumbers in sour cream, too

but this is the best of both worlds.

If you follow this link,

you can find Mary's easy

method for making this tasty side dish.

Be sure to prepare it in the morning

so the flavors can play awhile together

before supper time.

Oh & don't leave out the celery seed...

It makes a world of difference in the taste!

I'm joining Michael Lee at

Designs by Gollum

for Foodie Friday

The Tablescaper for

Seasonal Sundays


Yvonne at StoneGable for

On The Menu Monday.

Thank you to all these ladies for

helping to improve the foods we eat

here at The Gazebo House.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Marty is at it again!


Its time for Marty's

Cloche Party!


She has encouraged us to artistically

fill our glass containers for display.

Thanks Marty,

for all the wonderful inspiration you provide.


Even dome covered cake stands &

candy dishes qualify for this party!

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Apothecary jars do, too!

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This little tray has one of the few photos

I have of my older brother & I, as children.

It was taken in a photo booth at

Idora Park in Youngstown, OH.

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When my sedum was in bloom,

I had
this arrangement, below,

on my kitchen counter.


Then I found this wonderful example of subway art!

It is available for free download from

Betty Crocker Wannabe.

Thank you, Kristin!

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I immediately knew my glass pumpkin,

full of caramels,

would match the colors perfectly!

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It is sort of a cloche, right?

Be sure to visit Marty & all the other

cloche decorations at her fabulous blog,

A Stroll Thru Life.

I've also decided to share this on

The Tablescaper's

Seasonal Sunday.