~Springtime Table for Two~



We are pleased, as punch, we talked ourselves into this little table and chairs, for the hearth room, recently. It’s just the right size for a table for two. 









  • Pear plates and egg cups, Maxwell Williams-Marshalls (recently)
  • Napkin rings and glasses-Nell Hill’s (a few years ago)
  • Flatware, Onieda Outlet clearance
  • Bordallo teapot and plates-Home Goods
  • Candleholder/hurricane-Mikasa
  • Flowers-Kroger
  • Napkins-Marshalls
  • Crochet Cloth-Flea Market


Visit Marty, each Tuesday, for table tops, vignettes and collections.



~Eggs ‘n Bunnies~


Pastel wooden eggs in a crock bowl.


It’s been a busy few days, here at our house.  Spring cleaning and planning a little getaway have been occupying my time.  It occurred to me I had not posted anything to the Back Porch since Wednesday.

I thought you might enjoy seeing Easterly things around our house for this Easter and a look back at the table from 2009.


The mosaic is made of photos of the Easter Table, 2009.  The other photos are current.



Bunnies and eggs and a mosaic for Monday.

Stop by Mary’s for Mosaic Monday.


~Mid Century Memories~

maplecrest5  As I put together the hearth room makeover, my thoughts are flooded with memories of the 1950’s, because this is the era from which I am drawing inspiration.

The photo was taken, during the very early 1930’s, around the time my grandparents built their home, on North Adams.  This is the home I remember best, from my childhood, in the 50’s.

My mother is on the right, in front.  She told me she was mad as an old wet hen, the day the picture was taken. 

Mother was always rough and tumble as a child.  She never grew as tall as 5 feet and for most of her adult life she weighed no more than 90 to 95 pounds, but she was a real scrapper and a fierce defender of her little brother, “Sonny” (seen in front) and others she loved.

The day this photo was taken, Granny and Mother had a real go ‘round about those pearls, Mother is wearing.  What a battle that must have been.  Mother did not want to wear those pearls.  As you can see, Granny won that battle.  Two strong women, who handed down that strength to me.

My Aunt Helen, I wrote about in January, is standing behind Granny and Granddad.

maplecrest6 Shirley, Billie & Patty~1945~Cousins

Do you remember Zuzu, from the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life?  To me, Shirley looks very much like the child who played Zuzu.  Every time I see that movie, a favorite of mine, I think of Shirley.

Granny didn’t have a lot of artwork, in her home.  She had family photos, on the walls and atop the upright piano, in the living room.  The photo above, was one of those above the old piano.

Shirley was around 5 years old, Billie was about a year old and I was 2, when this photo was taken.


This was J’s 1950 Chevy pickup.  He sold it when we moved from the farm, in 2003.  I drove this old pickup.  What an experience.  Vice grips were used as door handles.  More than once I had to crawl in and out of the windows!  I wonder if I can still drive a standard transmission.  Is it like riding a bike?  Never forgetting the how to’s? maplecrest4

 The photo has been posted here previously. I’m adding it again, because it was taken in 1952 or 1953 and fits the theme of this post. 

This is J’s First Communion photo.  He’s seen second from right in the second row.


The photo of my cousins, sister and me, was taken in 1953.  This is one of my favorites.  Tommy has a rope and suspenders holding up his jeans, for some reason.  The poor guy was out numbered, being the only boy.  No memory of why I’m glancing down at my youngest cousin, nor why Tommy is looking over. I wonder what distracted us. 

In the background is one of the homes in my cousins’ neighborhood.  I believe these homes were built, after WW2.  Many were purchased, by returning veterans, with a GI loan.  Fifteen years after the photo was taken, my first husband and I purchased a home, using this same sort of loan.   Are GI loans still available for veterans? 

The steps and front door of the small brick house, where our family lived in the early 50’s, are shown in the photo marked home.

  I went to school at Maplecrest School, seen in the collage.  The smaller windows replaced original large windows.  Other than that, this section of the building looks very much like I remember it. 

We lived next door to the school, in the little brick house.


I don’t think we lived there very long.  I believe I was around 7 years old, at the time, which would be around 1950-51.  I do know we were living there on Halloween. 

There are four identical homes, all in a row.  I remember Halloween, because of the unusual treat we received from our neighbor, who lived in the first house.  She ran out of sweet treats. All she had left was a bag of turnips.  She gave us each a turnip, which we ate raw with a little salt.  I still like raw turnips to this day.

I wonder what kids, today, would think if they got a turnip in their Trick ‘r Treat bag.

The photos of the school and house were taken in April 2009.

maplecrest11 A spirea bush grew beside my grandparents’ driveway, during the 1950’s.

The makeover is progressing.  Not entirely 1950’s, but with 1950’s style elements.  We are enjoying the process.


~Vignettes & Changes~




Stop by Marty’s, every Tuesday, for tabletops, collections, and vignettes.

rabbit8A1 blacktray4


 The breakfast room doesn’t look much like a room in a 1950’s rural Missouri farmhouse, mentioned in THIS post. It does look a tad bit country.

We moved a piece of furniture, into the hearth room, more in keeping with that 50’s rural home look I’m going for.  That necessitated moving this cabinet to the breakfast room.  It fits perfectly at the end of the farmhouse table, with plenty of room to spare.

The black table, formerly in this space, has been moved to one of the upstairs bedrooms, where it sits under a black framed mirror.





The breakfast room paint color is Laura Ashley Gold #3 (Lowe’s).  The swan decoy is hand carved (Canada).  It was purchased on South Main Street, Historic Saint Charles, Missouri, several years ago.  The rabbits were purchased at Hancock Fabric, last year.  The bunny platter is Spode Woodlands.  The black tray is from Nell Hill’s.  The cake stand is from Home Goods and the cloche, from Nell Hill’s or Evergreen Mfg; I don’t recall which.

The cabinet back is lined with foam core, I covered in toile.


~Spring Remembered~







A few sweet reminders of Spring 2009, as we await Spring like weather these first days of Spring 2010. 

Fickle Missouri March weather has us waiting with anticipation.

Visit Mary at the Dear Little Red House, for Mosaic Monday.





Change is good.

We are in the midst of furniture moving, this morning. 

The photos show hints of what is happening in the hearth room. 

For awhile now, we’ve mulled over the idea of getting back to the authentic us.

We love the era we grew up in.  The 1950’s were wonderful.  There were problems, as in every decade, but there was just something about that time that was special. At least, for us, it was a special time.

Of course, life was simpler when we were kids.  We naturally have fond memories of the time. 

I’ve always gravitated toward a relaxed style for our homes.  Yet, when we built our present home, I was drawn into a more formal sort of traditional style idea, we’ve both grown tired of.  It is different than what we were used to.  Even though pretty, It just isn’t the real Pat & J.

While the pieces we are collecting are not necessarily from the 1950’s, some being from earlier times, they are pieces we saw in homes of our childhood.

The kitchen/breakfast room/hearth room is our favorite area of our home.  I believe this is because these rooms reflect who we are.

You saw some of the changes taking place in a previous post about the living room.  With the recent purchase of a small table and chairs, from the 1940’s-50’s (perhaps earlier), we’ve begun the hearth room “update”. 

The look, I hope to capture, will have the country style that was often found during the mid 20th century; not the mid century modern style, we often see.  It’s the style of 40’s/50’s rural farm homes and small towns.  The kind of places where we were children.


I’ll take more photos and tell more about the table, when we’ve completed the project.


Have a wonderful weekend!


~Spring Mantel 2010~


   I began putting together a new vignette for the hearth room fireplace, Monday afternoon and completed it, this morning. 

I tried a couple of different ideas, before deciding on this one, inspired by the iron gates of Charleston, South Carolina.gatescharleston6A

During April 2005, we took a little road trip south and east.  Our journey began in Saint Louis and took us to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, for a few days of exploring. 

Our destination was Charleston, South Carolina.  As we all know, it isn’t always about the destination, but rather the journey.

After our stay in Williamsburg we drove down through North Carolina, via the Outer Banks.  Absolutely wonderful drive.

We spent several days in Charleston, where we walked all around the historic streets, took tours, had wonderful meals and visited the Market, where we purchased several prints of iron gates, seen around town.

The prints are from the work of artist Mayfield Williams.  Williams’ mother, an absolutely delightful southern lady, was selling the work from a booth at the Market. We enjoyed talking with her; spending quite a bit of time with her, that morning. 


I added two iron pieces, from the basement storage.  What I really want, above the mantel, is a gate, instead of the “scrollie”.  I think I know where I can find one.  I’ll be looking on our way to the lake tomorrow.

The piece on the hearth is made of three separate iron pieces, strapped together.  I bought the pieces at Welcome Home, a store that is now closed.

Bear with me on the faux ferns.  As soon as Lowe’s has living ferns, in stock, I’ll be buying one to replace the silk, which is fine for now.

Besides the Williams prints of gates and Rainbow Row (Charleston), I used white ironstone and chicken wire cloches.



I used felt adhesive dots to secure the frames. The mantel is fairly high from floor level, so the dots aren’t visible.


As I mentioned, above, we are driving down to the lake.  A short trip, this time, to pick up something we purchased, last week, for one corner of the hearth room.  When we have it in place, I’ll post photos.

Linking to The Inspired Room Inspired by Mantels.


~Saint Pat’s Table and a Memory~


stpatsbutton &

Kathleen is having a Saint Patrick’s Day Party, Tuesday March 16th.  Stop by for all things Irish.


Visit Marty’s each Tuesday for Tabletops, Vignettes & Accessories 


 I named the fellow, under the cloche, Padraic O’Shamrock, in honor of St Patrick’s Day.

He is actually from my Santa Claus collection.


stpats29  Golden Alstroemeria from Kroger and a potted Shamrock from Missouri Botanical Garden join the now famous Target bird salt and pepper shakers to complete the center vignette. 

The lace cloth is from a long ago trip to Branson, Missouri. 



stpats25  stpats33

The shamrock plates and ramekins  are a recent purchase from Home Goods. Goblets are from Target, last year.  Flatware is from Marshall’s.  The green dinner plate from Wal-mart, about 5 years ago.  Napkin is vintage. 



A Green Decanter Story

From 1966-1968, J and his younger brother Ben were stationed in Germany.  During that time, they enjoyed seeing the beautiful country; birthplace of their ancestors, who immigrated to the US during the 19th century.

That time in Germany and the memories are very special for J. 

Not long after their return to Missouri, Ben lost his life in an auto accident, at the age of 23 (1969).

One of the gifts Ben sent their Mother, from Germany, was a green decanter and liqeur/shot glasses.  Those glasses are seen on the St Patrick’s Day table, holding tea lights. 

When J’s mother passed away, in the mid 1990’s, her belongings were divided between her 3 surviving sons.  J requested the tiny green glasses.  The decanter was broken several years before.  J  hoped that one day he would find a decanter to replace the original.


While shopping at a favorite antique shop, at the lake, last week.  J spotted a flash of green in a window.  He called me over to have a look.  The decanter and glasses, in the photo, were taken from the window for a closer look.  The tag was marked Venetian Glass. The glasses appeared to have the same or similar pattern as the original glasses.

  In the end, the decanter and 5 glasses came home with us.  Even though the decanter isn’t the original, it reminds J of his brother Ben and their time in Germany over 40 years ago. 


We purchased something for the hearth room, the next day, at the same shop.  More about that in upcoming posts.

Until then…


Greeting~Courtesy Vintage Holiday Crafts