~Bridal Brunch & Plate Painting~

The Bridal Brunch, hosted by the Bridesmaid (Xanti) and her mother, was wonderful. The Bride and guests enjoyed a lovely morning, last Saturday. Favors are shown in the photo. The larger square is a tea bag envelope. At the upper right, a votive candle favor wrapped in tulle and tied with raffia, can be seen. The Wedding Bingo card, is also shown. I love the fall leaf confetti, used for covering "numbers". The Bride received many wonderful gifts.
During Saturday afternoon, the Bride and I were at The Wedding Shoppe for a final fitting and bustle lesson. The package is one of my brunch gifts. Mikasa 12 Days of Christmas, ornaments.

Sunday afternoon, we met at The Painted Zebra ceramic shop. The Maid of Honor hosted a plate painting party. The Bride chose the colors and plates.
Being an avid Seattle Seahawks fan, the Bride selected the team's colors. We chose the design we wished to use and painted the plate in the Seattle colors. I traced a fleur de lis stencil. Which, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the Seahawks, but is a symbol of St Louis.
Gabi painted an "abstract" pattern. Xanti chose swirls and dots for her design. I can hardly wait to see how all the plates look, after firing.
We enjoyed a fun afternoon, at this out of the ordinary Bridal Shower.
At the moment, we're working on a plan for table numbers. When it's finalized, I'll write about it here.


~Autumn Supper Table & Winner~


Among the pieces in this placesetting, you will find, a Mikasa French Countryside dinner plate, Mary Carol Garrity's Birds & Bees plates from Nell Hill's, Godinger bee hive plates, I found at Marshall's and my late Mother in Law's wine glasses, pictured at upper left, in the top photo. She received the glasses as a wedding gift in 1944.

I saw the covered pumpkins. when I was at Target recently. I could not resist purchasing four of them, to be used as covered soup bowls.

I made the floral arrangement several years ago. It's been moved around the house, several times. The leaves on the small plate are two of the preserved leaves we'll use on wedding reception tables.

I enjoy mixing and matching pieces, when putting together tablesettings.


My friend Maureen, Penchants, Ponderings and Posies, has done a lovely post about Fleur de Lis. I believe you will enjoy visiting.

****************THE WINNER!!!****************
The random number calculator chose #16. The 16th person commenting on my 100th post was, Melissa of The Inspired Room! Congratulations, Melissa! Please e-mail me with your info at:

Thanks to all for coming by the back porch these 100 posts. I hope you return often!
Have a wonderful weekend.


~Post #100 at the Back Porch~

I'm celebrating my 100th post, here at the back porch, with a drawing for the items shown in this photo, a fall leaf kitchen towel, note cards, a sachet with the delicious aroma of fresh pumpkin and a decorative rooster plate.
If you visit frequently or now and then or you are a first time visitor, whether you leave comments or just enjoy reading, please enter. I appreciate all visitors, at the back porch. Leave a comment on this post, between now and midnight (CDT), Friday October 26, 2007 and you will be eligible for the drawing, which will take place, Saturday October 27th.

The first post, March 6, 2007, was a welcome to my journal. I thought it would be at least a year, before I reached my 100th entry!

The photo, at right, was the first of many photos, here at the back porch

~Friday With the Bride and Bridesmaid~

The Bride having her hair tryout, last Friday. Her hair is very thick and curly. She made the decision to have her hair done in a style, with some hair up and some down. It's going to be beautiful!

When we were finished at the salon, we drove to Old House in Hog Hollow. Old House is a delightful shop on Olive Street Road, Chesterfield Missouri.

I purchased the note cards and sachet, for this giveaway, at Old House in Hog Hollow.


Lunch at Cheesecake Factory, Chesterfield. After lunch we enjoyed shopping at the mall.
Don't forget to leave a comment on this post, between now and Friday (26th) midnight (CDT).


Elements of Change

We've begun a little project, at the condo. Over the next few weeks, we'll be working on a redo of the master bedroom.

We sold several pieces from this room, at our garage sale, in September.

The bedding will be creamy white. I already have the pleated/broomstick bedskirt, in creamy white. I'm going to dig around in storage. I seem to remember a few things I can use, that are tucked away.

A few of the things I picked up at Marshall's, Osage Beach, yesterday, are shown in the first photo.

I popped in at Marshall's, because it had been awhile, since I'd been there and I wanted to see what I could see. While browsing, I saw the lamps. I bought 2 of them. One for each nightstand. One of them had some damage to the shade, so I asked for and got an additional discount. The shade color, is just what I was hoping to find, for accents. The other accent color, lime, can be found in the pillows on the floor beside the chair.

The chair is one of two, we've owned several years. I covered the seats with the palm frond print, about 4 years ago. I believe they will do well, with my plan, for this room. The frame is from Target. I hope to use it for a sepia photo of the grandkiddos.

Pictured in the photo, at right, is one of two nightstands. We've had these several years and they will stay. I bought these at a furniture store sidewalk sale, for a rediculously great price!

These photos were taken, shortly after we moved into the condo, four years ago. This room was done on a small budget, since we were building our home, at the same time.

The chest, in the photo below, was purchased at Big Lots. I found out about this great deal, through one of my decorating groups. I also purchased a matching nightstand, at the same time. It sits beside the antique iron bed, in one of our guest rooms, at the lake.

The mirror is from a garage sale. Other items were picked up here and there.

The walls will remain a creamy white. We did some spackling, today. Next time we'll either touch up or completely repaint this room. The central color will be cream, with just the few pieces of blue and lime. The artwork will be some of my photographs, done in sepia. I have a vase of seashells, collected by Xanti and her aunt and uncle, on a beach in Florida. I'm hoping to use this on the chest.

The large palm in the corner will stay. The other silk plants, etc, will be used elsewhere. There will be few accessories. I'm hoping for a clean and uncluttered look for this room.

The window treatment will be replaced with guazy sheers. We brought the headboard home. We're going to see what it looks like in creamy white and perhaps a little tea stain faux finish. We'll play that by ear. I'm going to see if my favorite rug seller, at e-bay, has a small rug for between the end of the bed and the chest. The trunk is no longer at the condo. It's in my upstairs studio, here.

We're looking forward to working on this project. It will be the first home project of J's retirement, which begins one week from next Friday.


~The Venue & Wedding Work~

Hark! The merry chimes are pealing,
Soft and glad the music swells,
Gaily in the night wind stealing,
Sweetly sound the wedding bells.
~Eliza Cook~

The wedding is now less than a month away. Last minute wedding work, is occupying my time, these days.

We are renting the arch, pictured at left. We will remove the ivy and white floral arrangement and replace them with fall leaf garlands. Yesterday, I completed the top piece, pictured above. We plan to decorate the arch, the Wednesday before the wedding, at my daughter's home.

Pedestals, holding live green plants, will be placed on either side of the arch.

I'm making many new lists, in hopes I don't forget a single detail!

I photographed the venue, in late November 2006. I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone by!

The park, where the venue is located, was once a farm. The owners bequeathed the property, to the county, to be used as a park. As you can see, it's a lovely place.

This interior photo of the lodge, is from the county parks and recreation website.
The late Autumn view in this shot is the view we'll have, the day of the wedding. It looks down toward the gazebo, shown in the photo collage above, and a lake.
The groom has a plan to attach clear lights along the rails, which extend across the front of the building.
Tomorrow, I'm accompanying the Bride and Bridesmaid, when they have wedding day make up and hairsyle "rehearsal". Of course, I'll have a camera.

Soon, I'll tell you about the Officiant and the Musician and other happy plans, for this special day!
Have a wonderful weekend!


Weekend Wandering in the Ozarks

~Sunrise on the 6 mile marker, Grand Glaize Arm, Lake of the Ozarks~ 10/14/07
This and the following photo, show the Sunday morning view from a marina, inside Lake of the Ozarks State Park.

One of the roads, that cut through the park.


We visited the Swinging Bridges, inside the park, Sunday morning. These bridges were built, in 1931, by Union Electric, when the construction of the lake caused existing bridges to be under water. The photos show the larger of the two bridges. Both are still in use.

A pathway leads to the area beneath the bridge.


Another type of colorful tree, just inside the entrance to our road, at the lake.

This tractor sits in a field along the route we drove, Sunday morning.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life exists.
~Rachel Carson~


Saturday at the Lake

~ Saturday sunrise, Grand Glaize Arm, Lake of the Ozarks~
Saturday was a perfect fall day. At last, the temperatures are more seasonal.
I spent the early morning, sitting on the deck, looking through magazines, for ideas to use in redoing our room, at the condo. The November 2007 issue of Architectural Digest is opened at a photo of one of Ralph Lauren's homes. A girl can dream, can't she?
J and Molly went for a walk and visited with neighbors, fishing from the dock, this beautiful Ozark morning.

For lunch, I made vegetarian vegetable soup and served it with crusty bread.

Dessert was fried apples, topped with Andy's frozen vanilla custard.

Sunday, we drove to a primitive camping area in Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
I took several photos. It's an adventure, I'll write about, later this week.
We hope to see more fall color, next weekend, when we return to the lake. Most of the trees are still green. Sumac, Dogwood and Poison Ivy are providing the most color, at the moment.
Logs, waiting for winter, stacked beside a tree, near our condo.
Vegetable Soup
2 quarts vegetable stock
2 tablespoons bouquet garni (sweet basil, marjoram, savory) tied in cheesecloth
1 bay leaf
garlic powder, to taste
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 packet splenda or a teaspoon of sugar
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 cup cabbage, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup lentils
1/4 cup barley
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, simmer all but spinach, 1.5 hours. Add spinach and simmer 1/2 hour more. Remove garni and bay leaf. Serve soup with crusty bread.
You can add any vegetable combination, you wish. I tend to throw in everything but the kitchen sink, when I make soup!
Fried Apples
6 apples, I used red delicious, this time. My favorite for fried apples, is jonathan. Slice apples, unpeeled
Spray non-stick skillet with pam, add apples. Sprinkle 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of apple), dash of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon flour over apples. Stir freguently. When apples are tender, add several pats of butter, continue cooking a few minutes more. This can be served as a side dish or as a dessert with ice cream or custard.


~Feather Your Nest~

~ It's All in the Details~
Mary Carol Garrity's new book, Feather Your Nest, arrived this week.

The Garrity home and homes of their friends were
by Bob Greenspan.
Mary Carol, as usual, has given us lots of great advice and inspiration, within the pages of Feather Your Nest.

I took the photos, in today's post, during two different occasions, when I toured Mary Carol's gorgeous home. The dining room is shown, at right and below.
The wall color is a deep blue, called Twilight. The paint is from Mary Carol's own line.
I would love to copy this wall in our dining room. It's absolutely beautiful.

In this view of the dining room, you see a Christmas tree, in the far corner. The tree sits in an urn on a pedestal. It's the inspiration for the tree in our dining room, last Christmas.

A view of the Garrity study, just off the foyer.

When I first visited Atchison Kansas, 2 years ago, I bought a lantern, like this one in the Garrity garden. I tied a ribbon around it and added greenery, then set it on our patio table, for our own house tour, in December 2006.
I'm recommending Feather Your Nest to anyone of you interested in feathering your nest. This book, as Mary Carol Garrity's earlier books, is packed with wonderful ideas and gorgeous photography.
If you are in the Kansas City area toward the end of November, a trip to the new Nell Hill's store, would be a treat. I hope to be there.

Another fan of Mary Carol Garrity, Carol at Raised in Cotton, has graciously given me the You Make Me Smile Award. Thank you Carol!
I am now to choose 10 blogs to receive the award. This is a difficult task, since all blogs I visit inspire me and make me smile.
After much thought, I narrowed my list to ten. Some of those listed are old friends, new to blogging. Others are new friends, I've met during my eight months in the Land of Blog.
We'll leave tomorrow afternoon, for a weekend at our lake place. It's been a few weeks since we spent anytime at all, relaxing there. Autumn temperatures are expected. That means lazing on the deck, enjoying the view. Perhaps I'll take Mary Carol's book along.
Have a wonderful weekend!


~October In Our Neighborhood~

On this fine Monday morning, I am participating in Fun Monday #36, hosted by Pamela, of The Dust Will Wait. The challenge is to photograph places, in my neighborhood, I might see during any given day of the week. The idea is to entice Pamela to our area for a little visit.

We are rural folk, as you can see in these photos of our "neighborhood".

We have a lovely B&B, in our town. A delightful place to spend a few days, should Pamela feel drawn to our part of the world.

The farm, pictured in the first photo, is just down the road. I love this beautiful farm and always feel a sense of calm, when we pass by.

This is the small lake in our subdivision. This photo was taken from our neighbor's back yard.

Our home is just on the other side of the trees to the left in this photo. The field is on a gravel road, in our neighborhood.

An old barn, along the road, mentioned above.
The lovely old courthouse in our town.
If you've visited the back porch, you've seen other photos from our "neighborhood". If you have not visited, please look at my archives. Missouri is a beautiful place to visit!
To see other neighborhoods, please visit Pamela at The Dust Will Wait, for a list of those participating in Fun Monday #36 .