Friday, December 31, 2010

Giveaway at Shabby Texas Cowgirl

Happy New Year, All!  Teresa over at The Shabby Texas Cowgirl is hosting a final giveaway for 2010. She's hoping to meet up with some wonderful fellow bloggers and gain a few more followers. Check out her site for a chance to win and to meet a sweet gal.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Water Mess and Itchiness

What a mess! A couple days before Christmas my husband stepped in a spot of damp by our patio door, which is on one wall of our dining area.  We patted and felt around and did some sniffing (have the kitties been naughty?) then laid down towels and dried as best we could. We had had a LOT of rain the previous days, and seeing as how there was a lot of water in the tracks of the patio slider door, we figured it was rain water that had been too much at one time coming at the door. Not much to do for it at the time, we reckoned, and hoped it would dry out when the weather did.

It was a laying down of dry towels every several hours at that point up till Christmas, but by a day or two later, the smell of musky wetness coming from the carpet there worried me, so I persuaded my hubby to pull up the carpet and see what was going on there. Our do-it-yourself abilities are pretty amateur, so this wasn't something that came naturally to us, ripping our carpet out. But once the carpet was pulled away, it was obvious how much water had been sucked up by the padding and into the carpet.  The carpet seemed to be able to be dryed out okay, we've just put it in 4-5 years ago, but we needed to remove a 4 feet x 6 feet section of padding. Easy enough, we also removed the carpet tacking which had gotten soaked.  We set a fan to dry out the concrete, spraying it with Lysol to ensure against any mold growth. This was done during a few days between rainstorms, so we figured we'd keep it pulled back when the rain came last night, see if any more water came in. Guess what?  It did. 

Now, we're not talking major flooding here, but again, my hubby and I are amateurs when it comes to home repairs, so we're kind of at a loss of what to do about fixing this. From what we've been reading online, it could be as easy as caulking and weatherstripping the tracking (I don't see where this would go, frankly), or as complex as replacing flashing or some 'water pan?' on the outside. Since we live in a condo, I've suggested calling the homeowners' association, see if they can tell us if this is an exterior issue. We are really hesitant to do this, however, as they'd probably say it's the fault of the wood deck we've had outside for the past 25 years, or in the case of it being a problem with the door casing, it would be our responsiblity. Then they'd probably charge us to tell us this. (Don't care for our homeowner's association.)

Any suggestions, anyone?

I don't deal well with disrepair. I tend to be a bit controlling anyway, when it comes to clutter and stuff being left lying around when it should be put away, a constant point of contention between me and my teenagers.  I hate walking around furniture displaced, which is why we don't do a lot of big home improvements, I'm not comfortable with anything which can't be done in a relatively quick timeline and the least amount of disruption possible. I admit to this. So this makes me rather crazy, to have my small condo crippled like this. Yes, it's just one corner, but because half my diningroom is in pieces, my chairs are in the kitchen, being moved from one area to the other, as we need to access the stove, the laundry, the bathroom. We can't all eat sitting at the table, so we've been eating in the livingroom.....there's reasons I don't encourage this.

So now I'm seriously itchy to get my house in order. Christmas was wonderful, and I usually enjoy having the decorations up till January 2nd, which is traditionally when my mom took hers down, and my goal for cleansing the holiday decor as well. I've been known to take things down on New Year's Day, if I need to go to work the following day, so I don't have to wait till the weekend to remove the decorations. Since I've been climbing over pulled up carpet and rearranging chairs for the past few days, I'm starting to eyeball the holiday items. Let's face it, I usually get rather itchy right after presents are unwrapped, and my livingroom, even with the wrapping paper tossed and boxes stacked, still looks like assorted heaps of clutter, with presents left carelessly on couches and floor.

I am trying to hold out till at least Saturday before I start putting stuff away, but frankly, with as much stuff being jumbled on what was put out so lovingly for the holiday, I don't think anyone will miss it if I start cleaning off a few surfaces now.  And it might scatch a few itches, at least for now.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Joy to the World!
Wishing everyone joy and peace and good times surrounded by loved ones. May we all have a peaceful and glorious Christmas, keeping the reason for the season in our hearts and homes.  Hoping you find Blessings for the new year, with good health and prosperity for all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Very Merry Vignettes

I am enjoying having the house decorated for Christmas. I reached a point about a week ago where I stopped rearranging displays, fretting over vignettes, and made peace with the fact that my Christmas ceramic house will remain in the curio cabinet this year. I would like to share the arrangements I have settled on.  In this first arrangement on one of the corner tables in the livingroom, I have a favorite Santa Claus presiding over a candle display. I put some ornaments in my Depression glass compote to add sparkle. I really like the way the warm gold colors blend with the antique brass finish on my lamp.

I picked up this silver deer at Rite Aid a week or two ago and have enjoyed coupling him with other silver pieces I have. The poinsettias in the silver basket make a perfect background for the deer and Santa snowglobe on my other livingroom coffee table.  Isn't it just too bad I didn't realize my Santa in the globe was not facing forward?  How did I not see that?  I am going to have my glasses/contacts renewed right after the first of the year, I swear, I am missing a lot of details lately.

This corner setup makes that area on my kitchen counter look wonderfully classy. It overlooks the dining area as well, so we get to see it from both sides. I love that little angel plate I have displayed there, the Christmas mini tree started off as a topiary-type piece I bought on clearance one year and have filled out with additional picks, flowers and embellishments. The candle was a last minute replacement which works well for this grouping.

Okay, this Santa and Nutcracker is not a tabletop display, but I wanted to share how sharp they are, keeping guard in front of my curio cabinet.

Hoping everyone is enjoying all their holiday pretties.  I'm linking up with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tannenbaum Treasures

My Christmas tree is covered in ornaments, the most of which I associate with a certain person or memory.  I used to have a collection of glass balls and bells and such, but they've been replaced with a wonderful mosiac of pieces, each with a certain image of a person or event. Many of them are collected for my daughters, I started a number of years ago putting an ornament into each girl's stocking, marked with their name and the year given. Then when they have their own homes they can display it on their tree. I reminded my oldest of this last year (she was 18 then) and her response was 'Why? I don't know if I want those.' Hmmm. Hopefully she'll rethink that when she actually has her own tree. There are also many ornaments they made at school or church, plus plastic toys and little stuffed animals we began using on the tree when the 2nd daughter discovered how fun it was to pluck the glass ornaments like fruit and smash them together to see them shatter.

See the little wooden sled in the top left of this photo?  My mother sent that to me in a Christmas box probably 27 years ago. I believe she may have sent a few others, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't know what has since become of them, but this one is treasured. The white dress was one of 3 I picked up for maybe a quarter on clearance when my girls were very small and into Barbie dolls. I was going to make them into dresses for the Barbies. Instead I put one each in their stockings, one in mine, and the tradition of the ornament a year was started.
Precious pictures of the girl's visit to Santa (Liz's is elsewhere.)  This is the year Jen threw a tantrum on Santa's lap, she did not appreciate being handed over to a red robed stranger.

Jen made the adorable manger scene at Church while at a happy birthday to Jesus sleepover event. She was maybe 7 at the time and did a wonderful job. The drummer was a special ornament my hubby bought for a gift, and Lucy is one of two Lucille Ball ornaments I received at a gift exchange from my work.

I had won $150 this year to a local museum's gift shop and purchased this hand-blown glass ornament.

This Cracker Barrel ornament was sent by my sister from Tennessee.  We don't have Cracker Barrels in California. I look forward to eventually eating at one, and visiting their famous gift shop.

More precious picture ornaments, the bottom one made with macaroni, cardboard and a school photo, circa 2nd grade.

There are 4-5 of these which the girls made from a kit at home. Glitter and glue on felt at the kitchen table, and it gets more valuable with every year that passes.

I know this picture is overexposed, so you can't see it very well, but the white box is the 2nd daughter's 1st Christmas baby ornament. Every year she fawns over it, and every year I have to explain to my firstborn why she doesn't have a 1st Christmas baby ornament. 'We just didn't think about it at the time, I'm so sorry.'  The cigar box was given to my husband by one of the girls in reference to a cigar-smoking stage he went through and has since dropped, the Lucy from Charlie Brown ornament is from a local amusement park, and the Santa is one of several I fell in love with and passed out to my friends at work.

This train is a Hallmark production, the date is of the maybe 2nd year my husband and I were together as a couple, before we married in 1989.

So many pictures of so many ornaments, everyone a story connected. So many pieces of little moments of my life during the holidays past. Is it any wonder we all are so nostalgic during Christmas?

Hope everyone is having warm and wonderful memories of thier own holidays past and present.  I'm linking up with Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.
I am also linking up with Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show off your Christmas Tree Monday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Day Enjoyed

This was the second to last weekend before Christmas. Things I did NOT do:
1. Go to the mall and shop for items for my daughters, as intended.
2. Start addressing Christmas cards.
3. Even purchase those Christmas cards.
4. Get a head start on the cranberry sauce for Tuesday's luncheon.
5. Make up the cookies for Wednesday's cookie exchange.
6. Do any cleaning of house or organizing of decorations.
7. Catch up on those blogging parties I was hoping to participate in.

Things I DID do this weekend.
1. Spent several hours Saturday pulling out a sewing machine I haven't used in many years to help my daughter with a sewing project for her fasion design class.
2. Went out Saturday evening for a hot dog outside Costco with the family and some window shopping with them later (research).
3. Spent most of the day Sunday out with my husband, beginning with a local museum gift shop I had a certificate for.
4. The intended trip to the mall turned into a hike at a local bird sanctuary in honor of the warmer than usual weather.
5. Lunch with husband and running errands with him.
6. Bought one silver reindeer at a local pharmacy while picking up meds.
7. Counting my blessings on this blog.

Hope everyone is enjoying every minute of the Holiday Season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Angel on High

I have discovered that one of the few surface areas I have readily available to be decorated and left undisturbed is my curio cabinet. Fair enough, it does call for something be there, it's one of my favorite, possible my very favorite, piece of furniture. I can put whole displays up there without worrying that they'll be shoved aside so the space can be used for something more practical. It sits just out of the cats' reach, so there is no danger my pretties will be dumped off by furry beauties attending to their bathing rituals. And because it's out of the general traffic pattern, my husband won't bother it. (Can you believe that man removed my Christmas tablecloth and placemats? He said it was to wash them, but he replaced it with the fall linens I had just removed this past weekend, and the Christmas ones were clean and folded.)

I got a little carried away with decorating there this year.  The focal point is the angel, which was a Christmas present from my younger daughter a couple years ago. I love her white robes and wispy feathery touches. She presides next to a favorite gold gilden star-shaped box. I've filled in white poinsettias and snowmen and candles. The cake plate has been transformed into a cloche with doves nestled on my grandmother's ruffled doily and beaded garland.

If I'm going to show off the top of my curio cabinet, you may as well see how I finshed off the front. This gold stocking gets added impact from another white poinsettia and a glass Santa ornament. A lovely Christmas card peeks out of the stocking top, my aunt carried through the angel theme on her card to me.

As I posted this, it occured to me that someone may want to see what the entire curio cabinet looks like. This picture is from last Christmas, so you can see I have some of the same elements, just less in the space. Hopefully I've not gone over-the-top in my toppers this year.

I'm joining up with Marty for Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life. She has a lovely curio cabinet to top as well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HomeGoods Giveaway at My Romantic Home

Cindy at My Romantic Home is hosting a $50 HomeGoods Giveaway at her blog.  I absolutely adore HomeGoods, only recently discovered a larger store close to me.  Before I only knew it as the back section in a local TJ Maxx store. I had no idea of the selection of goodies until I saw it in its own store, which is where I bought this charming snowglobe. Isn't it sweet? Very Victorian, I think, and it was all of $12.99. That's what makes HomeGoods one of my favorite places, not only are there tons of unique dishware and home decor, but it's all priced so reasonable. Dreaming of a tiered snack holder but not seeing it at the big box places? HomeGoods has it, about a dozen of them, pick the one you like, they're probably no more than $15-$20.   And look, that's where the other ladies found their cloches and beverage dispensers and so many other delightful things. You'll want to check out the lovely items Cindy and her daughter bought for $50 at HomeGoods, they came home with some nice pieces.

So Santa Baby, throw a little HomeGoods love my way.  And since it is the Christmas season, I'll wish it for all the rest of blogland as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Reflections

Some Thanksgiving celebrations go smoothly. You have your shopping done the weekend before, the house is clean, and most of the dishes are prepared the day before. All you have to do that actual morning is stuff the bird and put it in the oven to bake while the family starts the day off with a special breakfast. This Thanksgiving was not one of those.  We definitely put the effort into it. But the groceries got bought late, my hubby, who does the most of the cooking, wanted to try a couple new dishes. Errands kept getting in the way, his mom needed his help with shopping and other errands earlier in the week, I worked up through Wednesday, and one thing after another meant that we didn't get anything done early.  We are used to the occasional bumps in planning, so we remained calm and carried on. My hubby left me to make breakfast while he picked up his mom, who does less and less driving on her own. Okay, I can handle french toast and scrambled eggs, my youngest daughter jumped in and breakfast went fairly smoothly.

After we ate, hubby put the bird in the oven and started cleanup. Wouldn't you know it, the sink backed up.  I don't know about other sink configurations, but when ours gets backed up, there's nothing to do but crawl under there and remove the pipes until you have that pesky area just before it goes into the wall cleaned out, that's where the clog usually is.  So that took over an hour, and in the meantime our bird got a bit browner in the skin than we intended. Oops. It was still fine, not quite at the burnt stage yet, we tented it and pulled it out 3 hours later.

With the late start and the plumbing emergency, I didn't get as much done for table decorations as I had originally intended. I did pull down the good china and silverware, but forgot to put out the crystal water glasses I intended, and everyone grabbed a glass from the cabinet, just like it was any other day. Nothing wrong with that. I put up a few decorations as a centerpiece before my family instructed me to remove them, as they were getting in the way of the food. Really, is it just because I haven't done a centerpiece on the table for past dinners that it seems 'in the way' when I attempt it now? We have got to get used to working around it. I suspose that will happen about the same time I get everything together and don't find that I forgot to allow for a butter dish and am passing around a plastic tub of margarine next to the good china. Eventually. We as a family shared a wonderful meal and followed up with a game played with 5 mismatched dice borrowed from 3 different board games. It was a really good day.

As a final note, I found this lovely compote the other day at Goodwill.  It has a light irridescense to it, is an amber color, and I'm wondering if it is Carnival glass. This picture is dark because the lighter pictures didn't show the slight irridescent gleam to it. Anyone know anything about it?  It's probably one of the cheaper productions, I did some research on it, and the patterns on true Carnival glass are very intricate, this one is not nearly as detailed. I still think it falls into the category, although it might be a more recent take on it. Really hard to know for sure, so good thing I like it for itself, and at $15 it didn't break the bank.

I know I'm posting this very late in the game, but considering Thanksgiving was yesterday, and that's when I set the table, for the minor amount I actually set it, this is it. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, no matter how many bumps you encountered along the way.

Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Displaying Gratitude part 2

In assembling Thanksgiving tablescapes, I played quite a bit with my elements.  I used my fabric pumpkin, and pulled out a cornucopia I had. I filled it with sunflowers from another arrangement and really liked the look of it.  A smaller birdhouse filled in an empty spot, and a lime green candle provided a pop of complementary cool color. I really like this grouping.

Really digging that green with the bright orange colors and the dark yellow of the sunflowers. It was somewhat of a whim to include it, too.

I changed out the sunflower cornucopia for a fabric turkey I've owned for years. It was purchased for about $5 at Big Lots several years ago, and I've just always liked him. He's a primitive rag stuffed gobbler, who always warms my heart when he gets pulled out. I had a close-up of him, but I guess I didn't load it.

Hopefully everyone is right on schedule with their Thanksgiving Day preparations.  I'm linking up with Marty for Tablescape Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life.  I am also joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Displaying Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~E.P. Powell

I spent a frustrating hour the other morning in search of a fall tablecloth I recently rememberd owning. It is a distinctly fall tablecloth, leaves all over in browns and golds, it doesn't really work for any other season. I never found that tablecloth, but my linen closet is now a lot more organized.  In search of that cloth, I came across several more elements which would contribute to the Thanksgiving vignette I wanted to arrange. 

 I spent some time putting together a variation of looks for the perfect Thanksgiving grouping using different elements. I really like this one, but have another I'll share for next post.  This grouping includes a new fabric pumpkin, plus the ceramic pumpkins I've picked up earlier.  To acknowledge the dinner table feel of the centerpiece, I added my new gravy boat set I found on clearance at JCPenneys recently.  The final touch was the wooden church birdhouse, which I wanted to represent the spiritual message of the holiday. I like this final touch a lot.

My new turkey  salt and pepper shakers are taking proud front row here. I've been meaning to get a pair of turkey shakers for years, and can't even tell you why it hasn't happened before now. This year I was looking at fall linens at Ross in August, on one of the hottest days of the year, and in the midst of rows of pumpkin s&p shakers, found these jolly gobblers. I'm sure they'll be featured on our November table for a long while to come.

I am linking up with Marty at A Stroll thru Life for Table Top Tuesday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dressing Upwards

It has been a busy past week, and I am very behind getting stuff together for November.  In fact, I just put away the Halloween decorations over the past few days.  Busy working mom, sick with a cold, if you need the excuses, I got them. But it's finally down with the gleeful ghoulies and up with the somber thankfulness of the new season.

I picked up this fall wreath several weeks ago at Goodwill, and really like the collection of berries and leaves. I figured I'd add more to it, since it didn't look as lush as I wanted.  So far I've only added this sparkly ribbon from Joann's Fabrics.  I was originally thinking I'd find a grapevine wreath or maybe another leafy wreath to incorporate it into, but looking at it, I'm thinking maybe more a leaf garland, an ivy leaf, like a grape ivy maybe.  It still needs some reshaping as well, I'm not loving the current angular look of it.  Nonetheless, I put it on my door, right next to the final skeleton which still needs returning to the storage area. Yeah, yeah, I'll do that later, I have a teenager nagging me to help her dye her hair a ruby red/auburn.

Before I go to figure out how to mix the six components needed to achieve the exact shade of red hair my daughter desires, I want to share this latest find.  I happened upon it at the Goodwill, and while I don't consider it a big bargain, it was still in its original packaging, and at $10 was probably retail price, I do love it.  The phrase at the bottom is 'A family is a little world created by love.'  That really speaks to me, and I did like the design of the plaque, so it came home with me.  It was a little large for the area I first envisioned it in, so it's now hanging by a closet we use often. Hopefully it won't be in the way there, it's amazing how people can bump into stuff hanging off my walls, but we live in a small condo, so sometimes I have to move things around before they find a practical place for keeps. This one is a keeper, no matter where it lands.
I'm linking to Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Horroray for Halloween!

When ghosts giggle and witches squeal,
All come together for a spell
To conjure up some frightful gruel
And visit folks and stories tell.
It's the one time of the year they rule.

So grab your jack-o-lantern bright
Mount your broom by bold moonlight
Hurry off into the mist
We've got plans to have a wond'rous fright
More's the merrier, bring a guest!

Now dance and laugh and raise a toast
Be beast or beauty, ghoul or ghost,
Halloween's one night, when darkness lifts.
The magic of the evening's lost
The fire burns low, the music drifts.

Creep off, sleep deep, each frightful being.
Till we gather again next Halloween!

I'm linking in with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. I'm looking forward to seeing all the tantilizingly terrifying tabletops.

I'm also linking with Cindy at My Romantic Home for her always eagerly anticipated Show and Tell Friday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Using What I Have

Now, don't be jealous.  I get so envious of all you ladies putting out those fantastic spreads featuring amazing dinnerware and gorgeous linens. Or the gorgeous displays topping mantels, tables and shelves.  I have limited horizontal area in my cozy condo, and lots of items vying for any available space. But as I'm arranging my freshly bought foilage and trying to figure where to put it, it occurs to me.  This is visual poetry itself, my home life as is.  I know, it might not seem much now, the attempt at decorating outplayed by the homework left on the table, all of which is dominated by a kitty who didn't think I was serious when I reminded her that she was not supposed to be on the table. It's raining outside, and she's upset we won't let her back out. Knowing full well that she will be back up there the minute I go upstairs, I let her stay.

She repaid the favor by checking my arrangement for me.  Seriously, is this sweetness itself?  Now, if I could just keep her from shedding on my placemat, I plan on eating breakfast there in the morning.

I'm linking up with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Giveaway at Cottage Hill

Lindy over at Cottage Hill paints the most beautiful bird pillows. Isn't this exquisite?

She is celebrating her 500th follower with a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a hand-painted pillow from her. Check out her lovely blogsite, Cottage Hill, and enter to win. You have till Sunday, the 24th, so hurry along, and best wishes. (Tho I'm keeping my fingers crossed for myself, teehee!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holder of Good Things

Browsing through my favorite Goodwill a week or so ago, I had an Ah Hah! finding. This Old World style wine holder has the most beautiful crackle glazing to it. I love the dark brown, almost black on top of a golden base, the finished look is so rustic.

It has a good heft to it, very solid and substantial. If you saw my previous post from my Fall centerpiece, you would have seen just part of it peeking out from under the gay foilage I had put in it.

In the spirit of refurbishing for your needs, I knew it would make an excellent utensil holder. I've been looking for a jar or pitcher, something to put on my kitchen counter and hold spoons, etc. When I saw this, I knew I had found the perfect match.

Doesn't that look good?  Okay, my hubby and I are discussing the merits of having utensils out on the counter instead of tucked in a drawer, and he's pulling the 'King of the Kitchen' rank on me. Just because he cooks......and cleans....and grocery shops. Well, anyway, he won this time.  But this lovely vino holder has proven its place as a flower foilage holder, I just need to find the more perfect place to showcase it. I'm thinking a nice selection of cattails and assorted autumn flowers, maybe a bit of trailing ivy. Now I'm excited all over again.

I'm joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mini Surprises

A few days ago, as I was clearing dishes off the dinner table, my daughter looked up and said with a laugh, "Mom, who are all these little people joining us for dinner?"

It took me a minute to pick up what she was referring to, when it occurred to me she had finally noticed the collection of miniatures I had put on the kitchen counter, for lack of another place. "I don't know," I answered, "I was as surprised to see them as you were."

I was indeed surprised and somewhat baffled by the discovery of these. I had been hunting for some autumnal pieces, and in pulling out boxes of Halloween decor, finally found a bag I believed to have a few Thanksgiving pieces.  It was a plastic freezer bag with a bunch of wadded paper towels inside, my usual packing method for smaller items, and I proceeded to unwrap. The first pieces were my Thanksgiving mice, which I was expecting to find.

Okay, they're rather silly and somewhat ugly cheap little resin pieces I had procured many years ago when my kids were very small and my budget was miniscule. I remembered them with fondness tho. I have put them out several Thanksgivings years past, but they remained hidden more recent years, when my enthusiasm for decorating for any holidays not involving a large tree dominating my livingroom was at an all-time low. These other items were......unexpected, to say the least.

In fact, my thoughts as I unwrapped them was.... WHAT...... THE........ HECK!   progressing to DID.......I.......... ACTUALLY......... BUY.............. THESE?  and culminating in WHAT......... WAS.......... I........THINKING?  

These things are crows. Not penquins, which you could imagine the one being, but a pair of crows, notice the handle on Mama Crow?  She is meant to be either a tea pot or creamer, I don't know. And she is holding what looks to be a pie with baby crows in it! Cannibal crows!

I believe these are miniature tea sets.  Very ugly and cheap miniscule tea sets. On the order of 'Was I that desperate for fall decorations, or did I imagine tacky character tea sets to be 'cute' once upon a time?  Did I perhaps buy them with my small girls in mind, something I wouldn't mind them picking up and playing with? Yes! That must be it! Good mom!  In fact, maybe the girls got these for me as a Christmas gift! Even better, I can't be held accountable for such extreme lack of taste, bwahaha!'  Okay, not according to my daughter. These must have been my own acquisition, tho I'm still holding with the girls playthings theory.

Obviously my taste has changed, and my girls have outgrown the tiny toys stage so long ago no one relates to doll-sized anything.  In fact, I considered throwing them away.  But they've sat on my counter top for a week now, and somehow look very comfortable in their surroundings. I do have a window sill they can occupy for the rest of the season. And if the cats knock them down or carry them off Thumbelina-style, so much the better. Otherwise I know I'll eventually wrap them up again and put them away, to be rediscovered some other autumn day.