Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fete en Blanc

Fete en Blanc !

 I have always wanted to attend a Fete en Blanc.  Have you heard about this event that started in Paris ?
You can read about the history of the event here -

 I was so excited when Willow Valley announced that there would be a Fete en Blanc.  Tables of 8 were arranged and we got together to decide on our decorations.  Everyone brought their best white items to make the table beautiful.  The little Eiffel Tower that resides on our bookshelf came down to decorate the table. 
White linens, white napkins tied with white/silver ribbon.  Used our wedding china, silver, and we decided to use simple, inexpensive wine glasses so that if one broke it would not be a huge issue!
Some of the other tables at the event....
Such creative ideas!
Our table mates...good friends!
Everybody wears WHITE!
The event begins with everyone waving a white napkin !
Salmon and Chicken were provided and everyone at the table made a side dish or dessert.

 Watermelon Feta refreshing.

 My contribution was coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...they turned out great and were delicious.  I used my grandmother's cut glass pedestal cake plate and added a smaller pedestal to make another tier of treats.

 The gentlemen did a great job of cleaning up...then we brought everything home in a tote and ran it through the dishwasher.

 It was a wonderful, magical evening...dancing to oldies and even "La Vie en Rose"....perfect!  Looking forward to next year's event!

Have you ever attended a Fete en Blanc?   Please leave a comment...and thanks for stopping by Our New Vista !

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Patriotic Lunch

 Patriotic Lunch

Here at Our New Vista the patriotic decorations come out the week before Memorial Day and stay until after the 4th of July.  I love to use all my red, white, and blue items for entertaining and for everyday use.  We had the pleasure of hosting good friends for lunch last week and I enjoyed making some special treats...and buying some others to make it an easy day.
Table setting was all the red, white and blue I could find in my cupboards.   After downsizing and moving last year I still find myself looking for items I sold at our yard sale, donated, or gave away.  I used check placemats, red chargers from Christmas, our everyday white dishes, blue napkins, and filled in the blue with my Blue Willow.

The flatware I found at Ross several years was a deal, but I only have service for four so if I entertain a group I can't use it  - but use some pieces as serving pieces.   The centerpiece is our flag - no more front porch to hang it on - so I put it on a silver platter, wrapped it around a Dollar Tree patriotic balloon holder, and added the silver lighted stars that were in the Dollar Zone of Target.
I thought the mix of Blue Willow added a bit of interest to the the table.  This dish held wonderful chicken salad for an easy lunch.
Along with some Almond Joy cookies and Rolo Bites, I made a strawberry tart.   Easy with a packaged pie crust, strawberry preserves, and then topped with fresh berries that are SO good this time of the year.
A little take home treat for our guests...a snack bag of the Rolo Bites and Almond Joys to snack on at home.  It was a great visit with good friends.  We love entertaining in our new space.   Do you decorate for the patriotic season?   How long do you keep the decorations out?  Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!   Thank you for stopping by Our New Vista!

Monday, June 11, 2018

 New Baby...New Blanket

A new baby in the family  - and time to make a baby blanket.   This blanket was created for my new great-great niece.   Through the years my sister's children, and their children, and now their children have called their blankets "lola".   Back in the 1980's I started making blankets for gifts for family and friends...and here is the latest.   I love that so many of the blankets are still tucked away even though the babies are now young adults.   Here is the process of how the blankets come to be...

In years past I was able to find "quilt panels" that often featured a nursery theme.   Sadly, they are no longer being manufactured - or if they are, I cannot find them.   So, I chose a plain pink pre-quilted fabric.  I used a washable marker to write the name and birthday  - and then embroidered it with a simple chain stitch.   Each stitch is a little prayer and wish for the new baby!
Next is to find a backing fabric to "re-quilt " over the back of the blanket to hide any embroidery stitches that show through...and to provide a comfy fabric to add warmth.   While out shopping for fabric I sent my wonderful husband down another aisle in the fabric store to look for a backing fabric....and since he is still over the moon that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl he thought the fabric pictured above would be a good choice.
I was able to talk him out of the football theme and found this adorable flannel fabric for the backing.   I marked 4 inch lines down the length of the quilt and machine stitched through all layers to hold everything together.
This can be a little tricky to keep straight lines as the fabric bunches up as the work goes on.   Turning the quilt around and doing it from another direction frees up the fabric to move through the machine easier.
Then the raw edges are bound with satin blanket binding - while this is a little slippery to work with it seems the babies love the feel of the satin - and that's the whole point.  Making a blanket they will love to cuddle with for years to come.
Here are some photos of blankets from the past....

First one I made...I made a pillow, too!
Back then I used regular quilt binding....
I loved when I was able to find the panels with decorative ideas...
These babies are all grown up now....
But, as long as there are new babies in our family I know I will continue to make the blankets!

Do you have any traditions you create when a new baby is born?  Thanks for stopping by today...please leave a comment - and have a great day!

Friday, June 1, 2018

June...let the summer begin!

The year is flying by so fast...hard to believe it is already June.  
Decorating patriotic style sets our home up for Memorial Day, Flag Day in June, and continues right up until 4th of July.  The red, white, and blue decorations always liven up the house and to me, they scream SUMMER!
The wreath on the door is one I have had for a few years. As I mentioned in some other posts, a lot of my wreaths really faded because in our last house the sun was constant on our front door.   Now in an apartment home I won't have that problem.   The ribbon was replaced last year, so it still looks fresh.   I had to switch out some of the blue flowers as they faded to a funny looking purple blue.   The red hat is a replacement for a patriotic bird house that used to grace the wreath.  It faded beyond repair so I picked up this hat ( 6 to a packet at Dollar Tree...I think they are favors) and it works perfectly.  
This is our foyer - I love the red/white/blue rattan stars - picked those up at Pier One.   A shout out to Ann at On Sutton Place for sharing such great printables for each season.   I purchased a frame ( once again, Dollar Tree) and am enjoying replacing the print for each season.

The other side of the foyer gets some patriotic pride with the LAST Boyd's Bear I own.   Wow...I had a whole slew of them and enjoyed decorating with them through the years.  But, times change - and people downsize and have to get rid of even things they love.  I was so surprised at our yard sale last year that the Boyd's Bears did not sell.  I had them marked 5 dollars apiece ( 3 for 10 !) and still they did not sell.   I ended up giving them away to children who visited the yard I know they have a good home.  This little guy was stored away in the "Summer" box and I was happy to see him.
Dining table gets a simple decoration - that is the flag that used to fly on our front porch...just wrapped around another Dollar Tree decoration.   When I worked in the school library I loved using the faded flags from our home for decoration in displays about Memorial Day, the Civil War, and other patriotic themes.   I just borrowed the idea for our dining table.
The kitchen gets some sass with bowls and plates that I put in with my plain white dishes.   The little star cookie cutters with the red/white/blue ribbons were napkin ring favors for a 4th of July party one year.    They look cute tucked into various spots around the house.

The kitchen sink gets a flag and some star cookie cutters...and an old toothpick flag decorates the stove.

Was not quite sure about these red/white/blue pillows - I used to change out the pillows on our screen porch and used these for June and July.  Now our screen patio is a different color scheme and I thought I would try them in the living room.  What do you think ?
Another one of the cookie cutter stars...and patriotically wrapped Dove chocolates.  This was NOT a good idea as I tend to pick one up WAY to often!
I had a bunch of little flags so I try to tuck them in wherever I can...
On the porch I kept the one flag pillow on the chaise...and then added flags to the pots of flowers and herbs.
I was used to my old screen porch with steps down to a patio that got LOTS of sun.   That is where my herb and flower garden used to thrive.  Here we have the screen patio which we adore...but get only late afternoon sun. I thought I would try from herbs and flowers and see how they do - so far, surprisingly well.  The zinnias are getting buds, the herbs seem to be doing ok, the begonia was a gift from a friend...
And I am thrilled that the basil is taking well as the mint!   I had to clip some of both today before they got too "leggy".   Hopefully the plants will continue to thrive as the summer goes on. And, that sign made it from the old house to Our New Vista.  It was the truth there and it is even more so now.  We love our new apartment, being retired, and enjoying life together.
Thanks for stopping by - please leave a comment and let me know how you decorate for summer ?   Do you go with a patriotic theme?  Or a beach motif?   When out in the stores ( ooh...a new At Home opened here and I am obsessed with it) there seems to be so many items for out door living.   Do you enjoy a porch, a patio, or a yard.   Love to hear about your world. 
Thanks - have a fabulous summe !

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Happy May

Happy May !

May is so beautiful as everything begins to bloom - and this month always reminds me of lilacs in bloom.   As a young girl in a Catholic Elementary school May was the "month of Mary" and each classroom had a "May Altar".   It was the custom to bring flowers to decorate the altar as mentioned in the lyrics to this hymn "Bring Flowers of the Rarest"
I can still close my eyes and smell the lilacs on the May Altar, the long window shades flapping in the breeze, and the anticipation of May Crowning - when the statue of Mary would be crowned with flowers.  They are happy when creating a wreath for the month of May it had to be a lilac theme.

Of course...May is also the time for Cinco de Mayo - and since we were having guests close to the date I decided to do a Mexican themed table and make Chicken Santa Fe for dinner.
For my centerpiece I used a rattan tray I had from Target, a colorful plate from my collection, flowers placed in a pot that a friend made back in 1975 when we were in college, my repurposed/spray painted candlesticks ( one on a custard cup as a riser), a maraca that I had since high school - LOL - and the little figurine that was a gift from the guests we were having for dinner.
 I used natural color place mats topped with colorful flower and butterfly mats.  Plain white dishes, red salad plates, and mixed up the colors of the napkins.   The small glasses were for margaritas and the blue stemmed glasses held water.  All glasses were in my collection and purchase at Dollar Tree.
I thought it looked good for a fun dinner with friends.  I did not remember to take a photo of the Chicken Santa Fe....but it looked great in a blue and tan baking dish.  I am still new to this blogging world and have to remember to take more photos of the preparation...and the recipes!   We topped the chicken/corn/black beans/salsa and rice with avocado chunks, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.   A simple salad of mixed greens with strawberries and mandarin oranges and crusty bread filled out the menu.  For dessert...banana layer cake with cream cheese frosting, walnuts, and banana chips - yum!  But the best part was sharing a great visit with old friends!
So - do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo ?   What do you do to make the occasion special?  Any memories of Parochial School and May ?  
Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!
Enjoy the "merry month of MAY"!!! 

Fete en Blanc

Fete en Blanc !   I have always wanted to attend a Fete en Blanc.  Have you heard about this event that started in Paris ? Y...