Where The Lone Star State Meets The Puget Sound
A Fine Mesh Of Two Great Styles

Monday, August 29, 2011

Card Tricks

While browsing past posts I came across a few photos of place cards and I decided
it would be fun to share some of my ideas and a few tips and techniques.
Place cards are such a nice added touch to a table setting. 

They can be simple or involved, depending on the mood you are setting and how much
time you have to spend making them.

Remember this one? A classy little touch, wouldn't you say? Well~ I made this
and all that I am going to show you using my computer along with these~

It's so simple! 
All of my cards were done with Microsoft Word using the business card format.
I type one name per business card. Make sure to choose a pretty font. I like
Vivaldi but there are so many to choose from!

Here is a screen shot for you. I think I had to use 95 for font size! I also centered my text.
After I print them out I simply break them apart at the 'perfs'.

Alternately, you can print them on colored card stock and cut them out with a paper cutter.
But it is still a good idea to use the Microsoft Word Business Card as your template.

Here are some of my best ideas~
These first two are super-quick.
You could even do these last minute!

For a summery look I embellished the card with a delicate ribbon.
I like using the starfish to showcase the name.

A fun idea~ Angle the corners 
on one end of the card
to create the shape of a tag.
Then punch a hole for the ribbon.
I always keep a variety of ribbon on hand
but ribbon is entirely optional.

Here I went for a little drama. I printed the names on 
card stock and then cut the cards to fit the tag.

This was a little over the top, but it certainly adds flair!

These are really fun but they are involved!
I bought little flower pots; the tiny ones.
I used a very little amount of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint {Ochre}
When they were dry I planted each pot with 1/2 of a small Corsican Mint.
Two small plants will fill 4 little pots.
The card was embellished with
dried berries and tied onto a wooden skewer.
The mint smells wonderful!
And best of all, you can give each guest
their own little personalized plant to take home.

Even when we just invite one couple for dinner,
I almost always make place cards of one style
or another.
To me it is a special way to personalize
your guests' experience in your home. 
With the computer and a pretty font your cards
will look almost as if they were done by a calligrapher.

I hope I've given you a few good ideas for your next dinner party or luncheon!
The possibilities are limited only to the
depth of your imagination.

I'm linking to Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life. If you enjoy beautiful table settings
then you will love reading Marty's blog today.

Thanks for stopping by Northwest Texas!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anglo Files

Pursuant to my love of all things British
I am pleased to introduce
a new blog on the block!
Please hasten across The Pond
and have a look at
Bluebells and Bunting

Ally is a newly qualified nurse with, as she puts it,
"A passion for interior design".
Her passion is evident in this picture of her bedroom~

How pretty!

So hurry on over to Ally's and leave her a comment or two!

See you when you get back!


Thursday, August 25, 2011


How blessed I was to have one of the most sweet and kindest men in the world as my father in law. I am going to share with you our keeping room table and in so doing I will be sharing a little bit
of the great man we called, "Pop".

Earle R. Bishop was born onto an East Texas farm in 1904. When I met him in 1979 he was already 75. I wondered, the year I married {1981} how long we could expect to have Pop around. I wondered again in 1992 when we celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary of his marriage to Ruth Bishop; and again in 2002 when 70 years was the occasion.

In 2007, barely a month after turning 102, Pop was called home to forever live with his beloved Ruth.

Look at one of the many things Pop gave us~

A wide planked table that has been in the Bishop family since before the civil war
The table is mostly pegged together, as I hope you can see in this picture~

There are also square nails (without heads)~

I have set the table in a festive way  because I am preparing a nice dinner for Larry tonight.

To honor Pop, I used a table runner with our family initial. Pop would not have felt at home
at the table adorned with 'fuss'. He was a man of simple and utilitarian taste.

Pop once told me that his mother always kept a piece of oilcloth on the table; tacked securely
underneath the table top. That way she was able to simply wipe the table with a damp cloth
after each meal.

When Pop was 15 his family's farmhouse was wired for electricity for the first time. When I say
'wired' I mean one electric light bulb that hung over our old table.  Pop would do his homework
there, by the wood stove, on cold winter nights.

Popped loved me very much so he put up with my frills. Can you see the chair? 
We have a set of four that also came from the farm. 

This pressed-back pattern was very popular in the late 1800's. These chairs really say "Texas" to me.

Another part of the table's history that I love to tell is that husband Larry rescued the table
from the old abandon barn in the 1970's. No one else was interested in it! You know how it goes,
'out with the old' and all of that.I am so grateful that Larry had the good sense to take it home.

The barn had flooded at some point and there are tell tale marks on the table. Yet I still worry
about Pop's table and I fuss about coasters and such. After all, it's in my care now!
Larry reminded me a few days ago that our table is more than 150 years old. It is not ever
going to be perfect; it doesn't have to be.  Larry has asked me to stop fretting. And I've decided
he's right. Pop would have agreed.

Earle R. Bishop was such a talented and bright man.  He grew up in a rural farming family yet Pop
highly valued education. He not only had a Bachelor's Degree and teaching credential but a
Master's Degree from Texas A&M as well. He taught industrial arts at the high school level
for many years.

Pop was highly skilled and so much of what he knew he passed along to his boys. I am sure that is
why Larry is able to make all of my house plans and dreams come true.

My table has intrinsic primitive appeal. It would be a head-turner in an antique store and would
command a respectable price. But its value to us as a piece of family history is immeasurable.

I dearly love my table because I dearly loved Pop. I feel like a little part of him is with us
all the time. And that feels good.

Please visit Debra's blog! Today is Vintage Inspiration Friday and you'll have a wonderful
time browsing all the wonderful links.

Blessings on your day~


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

British Retro

I love all things British. {Did you know that you can call me an Anglophile and still be politically correct?}.

I wouldn't say I'm a Royal Watcher. I just love the highly decorous English culture and style. My favorite downtime activity is to watch British Mysteries on Netflix. Anyway, after pondering how to appropriately describe our personal style, I decided to identify it as English farmhouse. English farmhouse and Texas farmhouse antiques are comfortably side-by-side in our little cottage.

Not long ago I grabbed a set of 1950's TV Tables at an estate sale. Dang it all! I forgot to take a photo. But I found an almost identical match on the internet~

Please excuse that mess... remember, this is an internet photo. 
This is not my house.

I grabbed a set of 4 for $4. I was super excited until I got them to the car and realized that only the top tray was in good shape. I was robbed! The others were pretty worn out. I'm not sure why that bothered me because I only paid $4 and I was intending to paint them anyway. Sometimes I just fall into a thrift mindset.

Well~ my idea of painting them was to get Larry to do it.  What a nice guy. We used flat black Rustoleum spray, and here is a sample of how they looked after 2 coats~

Much better. I like the sleek black surface. 
But it's lacking character.

I really wanted to give my tables some interest. It occurred to me that British decals might look sharp. 

I did a search and it wasn't too hard to find some great ideas on Cafe Press. What a great place for
a person with a sense of humor.

I was really excited when my choices arrived in the mail. I applied one to each table.

Union Jack~ A Must Have

Great Britain

Love the Colors!

And To Complete the Set~

My Motto 

I can just imagine using my tables at a little dinner party. Some English ale and some pub foods are in order.

Retro glasses are an imperative!

Maybe Some Mixed Nuts In My Little 60's Bowl?

And finally I'd  like to showcase the little rubber feet on my set of tables. All are present and in great condition.

The last step in the process was to spray the tables with a light coat of matte urethane to protect the stickers.

I probably was eating my dinner on a TV table when I watched The Beatles for the first time on
The Ed Sullivan Show. I was in elementary school. {Most of you won't even know who Ed Sullivan is.} But the point is, I love having a little nostalgia in the decor mix.

I can't wait to have a little get together and showcase my makeover efforts. Tray bien! {Get it?}

I noticed on a vintage online store that a seller was asking $20 for one table! In my opinion that is clearly overpriced. Even if my tables are of no value on a resale market, I am thrilled with my little 'trash to treasure' endeavor.

Partying today with Kim at Savvy Southern Style. Remember, today is Wow Us Wednesday. Head on over for some really inspiring decor ideas!

Have a groovy day!



My Very First Blog Award!

A blog award for me {a new blogger} !  What an honor that Mandy at A's37's42 gifted me in this way. I am pleased beyond words. And I'm never beyond words! Please visit Mandy's most-quality, fun and instructional blog and read her entire list of blog favorites.

Honor comes with responsibility, and here are mine~

-Thank the person that gave me the award {Mandy} and link to her post. {Complete}
-Tell 7 things about myself.
-Pass this award along to 10 recently discovered blogs.

So here we go~

1. I am a Christian woman and have experienced immeasurable grace in my life.
2. One of hardest things I've ever done is to let my hair go gray. It took two years to grow it out.
3. In my former life I owned and operated a Bed and Breakfast.
4. I flip-out over every new person who becomes a follower of Northwest Texas.
5. I have the most amazing husband in every way.
6. I still have both of my parents and I love them dearly.
7. The best career I ever had was raising our only child, John.

And now for a great blog list, in no particular order.  Please visit each of them {and leave a comment}. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I love so many blogs it would be impossible to mention them all. So my list is comprised of bloggers who are making a grand effort at a great start.

2. Three Dogs at Home

4. A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

5. Beauty for Ashes

6. Upstairs Downstairs

7. White Whimsy

8. Blue Clear Sky

9.Unfussy Fussiness

10. Savvy Southern Style ~ Kim has been blogging less than two years and she has an amazing following as well as style. She is on this list because she has not only inspired me but she has taken the time to comment on so many of my posts. To a new blogger this is a major compliment and and an incentive to keep blogging.

Thank you for letting me brag today. And another huge thank you to Mandy for my first-ever blog honor!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Desk Re-Do

Do you happen to remember this desk?
I bought it from a local flea market for $25.

Of course I made sure that price included the drawers.

I didn't spend much to make it over other than time.

See? I didn't even spring for spendy paint.
I choose an Ace color from our local store~

Less than a quart of paint and this little roller was all I used.
I don't have step by step photos, but I will tell you how I did it.
I lightly sanded the whole thing first.
Then I rolled on a watered down first coat.
I sanded again with a fine grit and rolled on another coat~
this time, full strength.
I repeated this process a total of 4 times.

And here's what I created {Drum Roll Please}
Ta Da!

This little cutie is now a very soft, retro green.

I only did a small amount of distressing.

And Larry spray painted the pulls for me.
What a transformation!

Next I added some desk essentials~

A little bit of nostalgia.

Jars of supplies {all the pens have to be green}

A post card sent from a friend because it reminded her of me.

Now for a confession!
I waxed my little desk but I didn't use Annie Sloan.
Honestly, what a mistake.
There may be waxes on the market that work as well.
But the one I selected was a nightmare.
So this little darlin' is getting a re-wax.

While I was in the painting mode, I did this too.

An IKEA file cabinet that functions well 
but looked out of place.

In Process

Sportin' a new attitude with hardware painted black.

Mr. File Cabinet now thinks he's a pretty big 'wheel'.

If you enjoyed this makeover then you will love the link party, Metamorphosis Monday
happening each week at Between Naps on the Porch . Thanks for following along with me.
Have a great week and visit again soon.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Harbingers of Fall

Oh my. The sun is once again on a northern trek and the days are markedly shorter now. I think we notice this more way up here at North Latitude 48. Our 10 PM sunset time has given way to an 8:30 departure and the morning sun is making its debut later each day.

Autumn is clearly waiting anxiously in the wings. But here for our viewing pleasure are a few lovelies that make a strategic late-summer appearance~
softening the harsh blow of summer's decline.

Take a tour with me~
A Profusion Of Vivid Yellow Yarrow

Croscosmia Bulbs

Volunteer Sunflowers  {To The Bird's Delight}

A Late Blooming Hydrangea Variety

And Sumptuous Fruits~


Wild Blackberries {Not Quite Ready}
And Last But Not Least~

 Renown Washington State Apples
{Ripening Each Day}

Yes fall is lurking around the corner but summer is still offering up her gifts. How thankful we are for God's abundance!

Thanks for taking a stroll with me!