Monday, September 20, 2021

Falling into Autumn

Falling into Autumn



Since Fall starts this week I thought it was time get the autumn items out and decorate for the season.  I love Fall... and the wreath above is one of my favorites.  I make all of my wreaths and am so happy that now we are in an apartment and the sun does not fade the wreaths.  I really like the way the fall colors of this wreath show  up against the blue door. So...come on into Our New Vista....

Since we downsized I have not purchased any new Fall items...I find I have more than enough to decorate and use the items I have in different ways.  Here in the foyer I added some silk mums and a pumpkin to the area  - the jug is an old whisky jug from my grandparents "saloon".

I added some sunflowers to the fall items...

As well as this wonderful print  - thanks to Ann 

                                      of On Sutton Place

A small candle on the server...

Dining room centerpiece is a placemat found at Pier One years ago, some small faux apples, silk leaves, sunflower and a candle.

Added some Fall to the kitchen...



And added little touches of Fall all over ...


The pillow is several years old from Kohl's...but the throw I just found while waiting in line at Marshalls.  It was there in the checkout area and I loved it....SO soft!

A small hammered bowl from Ross with some Dollar Tree items and a votive holder...

The mantel area is all decked out for Fall...and for our Philadelphia Eagles!


Pulled out my Susan Branch Autumn book...such fun to read and find good recipes and cozy ideas.

And I really like pulling the Fall items out onto the screen porch...I change the pillows to autumn colors...


Add a pumpkin...

And some pillows and a throw....the perfect place to enjoy a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and a good book!
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista - love hearing your comments and how you decorate for Fall!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Recycling Candle Jars

 


Recycling Candle Jars


I enjoy burning scented candles...it is my signal to relax.  Each evening after dinner we put the dishes in the dishwasher, wash and put away any thing that did not make it into the dishwasher, wipe down the counters with a granite spray, give a quick vacuum to the kitchen floor area and a once over to the living room....and then, I light the candle and it signals my brain to STOP - sit down and enjoy the evening.

Last night the Fresh Cut Roses candle burned down to the end...so it's time for some Fall scents.  I love a pumpkin or spiced apple scent for this time of year.  Most times I burn a Yankee Candle as I can usually get one at a good price with a coupon, or at the local Yankee outlet  - but I also purchase candles at Ross, Marshalls, etc. 

I sit the candle on a Susan Branch pan that I used for scones...it has seen better days and looking at this photo I can see that it needs some TLC!




  I  only burn one candle and I keep it on my stove so that any soot does not get on my walls or ceiling.  And I use one of those "soot collector" lids on the candle, too !  But, once the candle has burned away it seems a shame to get rid of those nice jars...so.....

I peel the label off of the front of the candle...

then carefully use a small, sharp knife to remove the wax at the bottom.  Once the wax is out I cut it into little pieces and put it into a wax warmer that I keep on the bookcase in the living room.
There is still a bit of scent left in the wax and I don't want to waste it.
I fill the jar with hot water and dish soap and let it sit for a bit...then give it a good scrub and let it dry thoroughly.


And then...reuse them!  Our tradition is to have one piece of dark chocolate each night as we watch the national news at 6:30 - so the first jar I recycled I used for our chocolate stash!

The jars are pretty air tight and so I use them for pasta or rice...

or any special sweetener I keep in my baking area.

I also keep one in the laundry room on the counter to hold all the recycled batteries.  We have a trash room in our building that has a bin for the used batteries, so when this jar gets full we just empty it into the bin and start again.  We were using a lot of batteries for our motorized shades...they lasted about a year but when we replace them we had a lot of used batteries.  Now waiting on new parts for the shades that are rechargeable!  Will do a post on that when the parts arrive and are installed.
And the clean jars that I have no use for yet sit waiting on the top of the freezer in our laundry room. SO...my question for you is - do you recycle your candle - or other "good" jars ?   What other uses do you have ?  Any tips ?  I am thinking I fill them with treats ( might be too small for Christmas cookies, but some kind of treat) then decorate and give as a gift.  I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know your ideas. Thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista - have a great day!

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Perfect Lamps

 


The Perfect Lamps


This is a story of finding...and not finding...then finding the perfect lamps for our bedroom.  


When we moved in here ( four years ago in last month...) we knew we needed new, more modern lamps for our nightstands.   While our bedroom furniture is very traditional we did not think of replacing it.   We saw this furniture  - back then we called it a bedroom suite - in the window of Ufberg's Furniture in Shenandoah, PA shortly after we were married.   We were renting a small house ( this is a story for another day) and there was some furniture included in the rental, a kitchen table and chairs , and a bedroom set.   We lived with that bedroom set for about a year and then we saw this furniture in the window.  Love at first sight!  It was a stretch for us financially at the time, but we figured we would have it forever.  And we have. So...when we moved here we found these lamps at Target.  I liked the shape, the color, and almost everything about them...except they were not tall enough.  I sort of solved the problem by putting a faux book under each lamp.  It was ok...but not perfect. We were then on the lookout for new lamps and planned to put these lamps in the guest room when we finally found something we really loved.
It took several years - we would see lamps we liked but they were the wrong style, color, or just were not tall enough.  Until we saw these...in a department store near here called Boscov's.  Sold as a pair...perfect.  But no price on the lamps, no help around to ask - and since Boscov's is known for big sales we decided to wait until there was a sale on lamps.   And...in April it is was time for Boscov's 
"Did you Boscov today" promotion.  If you live anywhere near a Boscov's you know this promotion.  In earlier years the idea was you would visit the store at least three times a week, get your Boscov's calendar stamped, and each week you could purchase an item at a very discounted price...and if you visited enough times by the end of the month you received a free gift.   I still use the set of stainless steel bowls from one Boscov season.  In more recent years the gifts and the promotions are not as good, but each day during the month - usually April - there is a day when some department in the store is an extra 20% off of the price.  SO...we checked the ad and on the day the "entire stock of lamps 20% off" we visited the store.   Still no price on the lamps.  Found a salesperson, asked, he jotted down the number and went to check the computer.   No luck.  Checked another register.  No luck.   Went into the stock room and after several minutes came out with a big box containing the lamps and said "I can't sell these to you...they are not in the system".   WHAT ?  Come back in a few weeks and they will be in the system.  So...we noticed the tag on the lamps said they were made by Ashley Furniture and we went to the Ashely store that just opened near us.  They did not have them, but could order them, for 199.00 plus tax and shipping. Yes, a good price, but we know Boscov's has sales...and let's face it - I am a bargain shopper!   We figured we would wait to see how much they would be at Boscov's.   In July we were in Boscov's again...there they were, WITH a price tag, 179.00 - so we decided to wait until we had a coupon - Boscov's often sends their credit card customers a coupon so what the heck, we'd wait.   Then I was reading 
Between Naps On The Porch - a blog I love - and Susan talked about buying lamps on Amazon.  So, last Monday I thought "what the heck" and typed in "tall metal Ashley table lamps"...and BAM!
There they were....at a FABULOUS price!  You can find them here - 
We ordered them on Monday morning....TUESDAY morning they arrived. 
Very well packed...I was worried the shades would be damaged, but everything was perfect.


Everything fit together and was easily removed from the box....

Putting the lamps together was easy...some comments on Amazon said harps were bent or lamps were damaged...no issues here.

I love them....

I used some of this furniture polish to give the nightstands a good cleaning...

The dark color of the new lamps ties in with this lamp from Bombay Company ( remember that store???) that has moved through our homes to many locations...

Love this furniture ...and it is now 44 years old!

Though the new lamps are very modern they blend well with the furniture...

and with the darker, metal bed!  And they are the perfect height at a FABULOUS price!
The old lamps moved to the guest room...the lamps in there were very old and needed to be replaced.

The headboard in the guest room is the original from our bedroom...we replaced it with a larger, metal framed bed about 20 years ago..

This nightstand is a sewing table that belonged to my mother...the top lifts up to hold spools of thread.  I love using it as a nightstand.
And so ends the tale of our looking for the perfect lamps...NEVER thought we would find them online and at such a great price.   We have been using them for a week and LOVE them!
Have you had to shop for new lamps ?  How was your experience?  I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment below.  
Thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista!  
Have a fabulous September!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Late Summer Tea with Friends!

 



Late Summer Tea with Friends!


Sunday afternoon seemed the perfect time to get together for afternoon tea with our friends.  We had hoped to enjoy our tea on our screen porch, but the weather has been so humid and rainy that we decided to stay indoors.  We see our neighbor friends often at the breakfast buffet that is held each day in our apartment building - and while that is a great time to see all of our neighbors, it is sometimes hard to really communicate with so many people and so many conversations taking place. So...we got together for tea !

I set up the tea cups and fixings on the kitchen counter...

This little tea bag holder was found in a gift shop in Newport, Rhode Island on one of our trips.  I love it!

While we use larger mugs for our tea each day, these cups and saucers are perfect for a tea party.  I think the pattern is called Hopscotch by Pfaltzgraff.  I have four dinner plates with different fruit on each plate that I purchased YEARS ago at the outlet that used to be near me here in York, PA.  I had the Yorktowne pattern years and had many ( ok, let's face it, I had just about everything they ever made in my pattern) but I bought these and had them hanging on my kitchen wall in a previous home.   When we downsized and moved I kept the plates and use them in the summer.  When we were downsizing and donating tons of stuff to Goodwill I happened to go into the retail Goodwill and found 5 cups and 4 saucers in the same pattern.  For just 4 dollars !   I scooped them up - which prompted my dear husband to say "hey, we are supposed to be donating items, not buying more!" - but I could not resist.  So glad I have them...they make a perfect set for a summer breakfast - and today, for afternoon tea.

There is one pear, one plum, one peach, and I have two cups with cherries, but only one saucer...

I used the sugar and creamer that I found years ago at Ross...when I got rid of my Yorktowne pattern and went to plain white dishes I needed a new set and I love these.  The little dish the lemons sit on was found at a rummage sale...I go on the last day when it is 1.00 for everything you can fit in a paper grocery bag - and this is something that made it into the bag one day.

My Pottery Barn tea/coffee pot sits on my "vintage" Yorktowne pewter warmer.  I have used this for 40 years !  I loved using it for my tea pots and also for casseroles.  It has a little tea light that keeps everything warm.

All the tea time goodies were set out in the living room so we could get comfy seating and chat, nibble and sip.

I made blueberry muffins the day before and had some leftover batter...just enough to make a small loaf of blueberry bread.  I found the blue dish at Marshalls earlier this year.   Silly me, I purchased one... got it home and thought " I need more of these as salad plates!"  Sadly, by the time I returned to Marshalls they were all gone.

I used one of the dinner plates for crackers and honeyed goat cheese...and a "spread some happy" knife that was a gift a few years back.  It makes everyone smile!

Some strawberries filled the odd tea cup...

Home made chocolate chip cookies were a hit...I use half whole wheat flour and vegan butter and nobody can tell...The little pedestal plate broke off and cracked a few months ago.  The base was ok, so I just bought a plain glass dish at Dollar Tree and used super glue to attach it to the dish.

And, last but not least, some chocolates to round out the tea time...I love putting chocolates in a martini glass...it just seems to make it special!


I am not quite ready for fall leaves and autumn decor yet...so yellow and sunflowers are the theme for late summer.   Once again Dollar Tree sunflower dishes and some silk flowers fill the bill for the dining room table...

with a larger version of the sunflower plate brightening up the china closet.

A sunflower wine bottle with sparkle lights looks great near the wine rack.

The coffee table ( or in this case, the TEA table) holds a wicker trap with some greenery, a candle, some flowers and wicker balls from Dollar Tree, and a Willow Tree flower girl.

And now that tea time is over and the guest have gone - it is time for me to curl up on my favorite chair ( with a sunflower pillow from Kohls - several years old ) and another cup of tea with a good book.
Do you decorate for the end of summer ?  Do you ever host friends for tea?  Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you and your comments make my day.
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista - enjoy these last days of summer !

Falling into Autumn

Falling into Autumn Since Fall starts this week I thought it was time get the autumn items out and decorate for the season.  I love Fall... ...