Sunday, January 14, 2018

Before, After the Holidays

I guess I'm a bit of an enigma. As per google dictionary:
  1. a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

You see, I love Christmas and all its decor detail - red, green, plaids, checks. However, I can't wait to get it all packed away within one month of having it out, and bring out the calm cream, white, and green decor.
Before and After Holidays: Dish displays in sunroom, kitchen bar area
After holidays: kitchen bar area
After holidays: sunroom hutch
I love the family frenzy of hosting as many as I did this year - 32 - but I love the peace and quiet that January promises (barring any major snowstorms and illness which, so far, so good).
Sunroom  before (with Christmas decor) and after holidays (winter calm)
Winter sunroom, looking north
Winter sunroom, looking south
Before and After Holidays: where I relax
Before & After holidays: details
I love the sleeping garden in winter, a time where I sit inside and devour magazines and books and binge-watch a program or two. Yet, I couldn't wait to get outside with the two mild weather days we enjoyed last week. I raked leaves leftover from the late fall we experienced. It felt good to be out in the garden. A huge bunny jumped and scampered off as soon as I opened the wooden gate to the garden. We're both ready for spring. 

Are you any less of an enigma this time of year?

Rita C. at Panoply

Monday, January 8, 2018

Too Late to Classify Vintage Finds

I found some more vintage finds in late November-December that I never got around to showing you. I was already in the throes of holiday decorating, and didn't get this stuff listed, stocked or stored until now. Predating Craigslist and Facebook yard sales, we used to have a weekly Ad Bulletin that published on Tuesdays, and if you placed your [free] ad on Monday, it went into the section called "too late to classify". That's what all this stuff is with regard to 2017 - too late to classify.
From estate sales:
Two Fire King "Tulips" mixing bowls

Brownfield Roseville transferware platter

Two Longchamps wine stems, Two hand-painted Napoleon bee chargers

Sugar skuttle, scoop in original box

Mikasa Poinsettia candy dish

Five porcelain dipped feathers in basket

1/4 oz. Joy Parfum, in original box

1950s Kiddie Santa

Miniature wooden bowling set

Cast iron replica of 1930 Coca Cola delivery truck 

1933 engraved women's tennis trophy/ashtray

Binolux 7 x 50 binoculars in case

1912-1959 48-star USA flag
From our trip to Wheeling, WV:
Car-Snac tartan car carrier (designed for over the seat)

Wood/leather hiking/skiing poles

Handmade airplane from crate
Columbia kitchen scale

Another sugar skuttle, scoop

Stained glass window
From an estate sale we passed (but stopped for), on a walk in the neighborhood, mid-December:
Hand-chased ceramic lamb
Wooden Asian cabinet dolls

Hand-carved leprechaun, brass owl trio, cowbell
Brass deer, glass trees (2 of 3, one not pictured)

So, that's my loot that was too late to classify. I don't think I left anything else behind. ;)
My flock has grown this past the point where they look cute and cozy as winter decor.
Stay warm, my friends!

(A special thanks to Linda at Coastal Charm Show and Share No.389  and Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home with TFT for featuring this post!) 

Rita C. at Panoply

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Panoply 2017: It's a Wrap!

In 2014 I started this collage photo summary format as a way to capture my year in one fell swoop, a sort of journal summary. Putting these collages together by subject matters that matter to me (and how I spend the majority of my time) is my way of remembering the best of 2017. It's been a good year.

There are no lengthy descriptions, but there are links back (in the captions) under each photo collage subject header: Home, Garden, Tablescaping, Tales of the Traveling Totes, Vintage Finds, Panoply Booth Displays, and Miscellaneous Musings. If you're so inclined to read, you can click on the captions, each semicolon separating different posts on that header. The one marked in bold under each header was my personal favorite, and often the most viewed of that subject. You can also select a label, main menu header, or type the subject into the search block just above my photo on the right sidebar (e.g., garden, tablescape, etc), and related posts will come up. Feel free to dig in. Enjoy!  

Home....where the heart and soul rests and rejuvenates...that is, after renovation projects are complete!
Kitchen Pt 1: It Started with the FridgeThe Master Bath Pt 1: It Started with the VanityKitchen Update is Complete - For NowFrom Blah to Spa: Master Bath RevealPlaying House, PiddlingLessons Learned in RenovatingAll for Fall!Holiday Home Style 2017!

Garden....growing the spirit through toiling the soil while becoming in tune with nature.

Tablescaping....creating themed displays with table elements, both old and new. I can't choose a favorite - what's yours?
Winter Cardinal Table for TwoBreakfast at Tiffany's Themed Bridal ShowerNature's Way Spring TablescapeTablescaping is Fun! An Homage to Dorothy Drape StyleAnything Goes: Broadway TablescapeA Summer Place SettingAm I Blue Plate SpecialRichly Rustic, Romantic Autumn TablescapePale Palette Fall TablescapeOh Deer! Christmas Tablescape 2017

Tales of the Traveling Totes...oh, the places you'll go and the friends you'll meet!
The Man Behind the Traveling ToteTraveling Tote Adventures: Winter HibernationTales of the Traveling Totes #11: Spring FlingsTraveling Tote Garden PartyTales of the Traveling Totes #12 - Summer FunTales of the Traveling Totes #13: Fall Frolics

Vintage Finds....the thrill of the hunt, and the quest for ever-evolving collections with unusual stories in things found.
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go ShoppingMore Vintage Shopping, ShopkeepingPanoply Travels, July FindsTrippin', Pickin': September Vintage Finds; Panoply Late Fall 2017 Vintage FindsMore Late Fall 2017 Vintage Finds

Panoply Booth Displays in the South Charleston Antique Mall....turning vintage finds into fun vignettes and themes since 2008. Our location was voted best antique/vintage shopping location in all of West Virginia for 2017!
Jan 2017 Booth RefreshPanoply Summer 2017 Booth Space UpdatesMore Vintage Shopping, ShopkeepingAntique Mall Anniversary, Booth Sales, MovesBooth Transitions Early Fall 2017; Panoply Holiday Booths 2017

Miscellaneous Musings....all thoughts and things random, quirky, and/or unusual.
Misc Musings No. 7; Misc. Musings No. 8Misc. Musings No. 9Misc. Musings No. 10Misc. Musings No. 11
Thank you to each and all of my readers throughout the year. Your comments, emails and other social media interactions are part of what makes my life a happy life. I love all the friendships, even if they are virtual. They still feel very real. 
Cheers to the New Year!
Rita C. at Panoply
NOTE: I created this post, as I said, to organize my year of blogging. It's also the last step I take before ordering my annual "yearbook" from Blog2Print (no sponsorship or affiliation). They typically have a coupon code aroung this time each year for 30% off a book format* of your blog posts, so I'll be watching for that. If interested, I wrote about the process in 2016 (here), with some tips on how to compile your own book.  It's pretty easy to do, so I wanted to pass it along to my readers. If you sign up for Blog2Print's email, you will receive subsequent coupon offers throughout the year. 
UPDATE: This year's deal is 39% off with coupon code NEWYEARNINE, ending on January 9, 2018.

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 L💓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 💖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