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The Nest Eclectic

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Spring and McCarty Pottery

 I am finally doing a little Spring decorating and I wanted to share one of my favorite pottery pieces with you. My bowl with the bashful bunny lid.

 I few years ago I traveled with my husband on business to Mississippi.  A couple we know there took us to a wonderful little pottery shop in the tiny town of Marigold, Mississippi. It is owned by  Lee and Pup McCarty, a couple that started the shop back in 1954, unfortunately Pup passed away in 2009. It is a small shop that is housed in an unglamorous barn like building, but they have some amazing pottery. Their work has won many awards and been displayed in galleries around the world. It is like a hidden jewel!  When we were there I fell in love with the bunny bowl and he came home with me.

Most pieces of McCarty pottery have a black wavy line somewhere on the piece that represents the Mississippi river.

Many of their pieces depict animals, bunnies, birds, and frogs are favorites.

I think he is just the sweetest little guy!

I also thought I would share a couple of  recent GW finds.

I found a box of beautiful eggs.


I love the combination of colors with the soft turquoise.

I also found this bird candle holder that makes the perfect perch for one of my nests.

Looks like the birds are guarding their eggs.

It feels good to finally welcome Spring!


I am joining in at
Show and Tell Friday at Cindy's My Romantic Home
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>Chic on a Shoestring Decoratinglink up every friday!French Country Cottage

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Giant Cupcake Love

I'm not sure why I love cupcakes so much, I really don't like cake, but there is something about a cupcake that is so cute and charming. So what could be better than a really big cupcake!

I confess that I bought my giant cupcake pan almost a year ago and had never used it! I got one after seeing the beautiful cupcake that Cindy, at My Romantic Home made. Her cupcake was really amazing, she even made little chocolate sea shells to decorate the cupcake with. Recently Kim, at Cheap Chic Home made a giant cupcake and gave her review of the pan so I decided it was time to break mine out and give it a try, and since my daughter was having a birthday it was time.

The pan doesn't really come with great instructions and after looking on the Internet for advice it was clear that lots of people had experimented to see what worked for them.  I decided to use a strawberry cake mix and make butter cream frosting from scratch. The giant cupcake took 2 cake mixes but I had enough batter left to make 5 regular size cupcakes.

One critical detail is that each compartment of the pan is a different size so one side takes longer to bake than the other. After greasing and flouring the pan, I  filled the bottom half  3/4 full of batter and baked for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. After 10 minutes I filled the top part of the pan 3/4 full and baked the entire cupcake for about 45 minutes longer. I kept a close eye on the cake towards the end and tested for doneness with a wooden kabob skewer. Using those tips the cake turned out perfect for me.

After the cupcake had cooled I cut the top off the bottom and the bottom off the top so they would fit together nicely. I also put a thin layer of frosting between the top and bottom to hold the cake together.

I don't like cake but I do love butter cream frosting and ended up eating quite a bit, actually, quite alot of it while frosting the cake! Do you ever eat too much frosting or cookie dough and start to feel a little sick?

Cake decorating is definitely not my strong suit but I had fun making it. I think it turned out cute and more importantly, the birthday girl liked it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hail Storm and a Nice Surprise!

Thank you Alison!

Last week I received a sweet message from Alison over at The Polohouse saying she was passing the Stylish Blogger Award  along to several blogs and mine was one of the blogs she chose. I feel very honored because I think she is truly stylish! If you haven't visited Alison's blog I highly recommend it. She lives in a beautiful home that has been converted from an equestrian barn.

 To accept this award the recipients are asked to do a few things:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

Seven things you may not know about me:

 Family means everything to me and my favorite thing is to spend time with them.

I met my husband when we were in the fourth grade, but we didn't date each other until we were Seniors in High School.

I love the outdoors and would rather be outside anytime the weather is nice. I like to camp, hike and ski. And can usually start a fire with one match.

I once auditioned for the show Survivor.

I go turkey hunting with my husband,and you have to dress in camo to do that!

I'm not a total tomboy, I definitely have a girly side.  I took ballet for 13 years.

I love to cook and have catered  several weddings and parties with my sister-in-law Tina.

I am sharing several wonderful blogs I follow and like to visit for inspiration.

Roses and Rust
Verde Farm
Burlap Luxe
Molly Susan Strong
Brambly Home and Garden
Maple and Magnolia
Antique Chase
Deborah Jean's Dandelion House
Southern Home Sweet Home
Lovely Beasts

 We had our first really beautiful weekend of Spring on Saturday, so we spent the entire day outside cleaning out the gardens and  mowing. It felt so good to be outside again and the weather was pretty enough that we were able to eat out on the deck. Sunday evening we were struck by a scary, pelting Kansas hailstorm.  The winds were so strong it blew the quarter size hail sideways! Fortunately the way our house sits we didn't get any serious damage that we could see last night. Our umbrella cover was shredded, one of our screens tore and there are millions of little branches in the yard but I think other than that we were very lucky!
Enjoy the blog list!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something Old

This post didn't start out being about weddings but it seems that as I went along taking pictures it became just that. I  visited GW yesterday and found something old that I fell in love with. The something old I found was this beautiful brooch and the inspiration for what follows.

This is the third pretty one I've found there recently. I guess I am starting a little collection.Vintage brooches are really beautiful and there are so many things you can do with them.

This little brooch inspired me today. It's sparkle made me think wedding, so I pulled together some things I thought would make a beautiful setting for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. I took some black grosgrain ribbon and made a napkin ring topped with the brooch.

Black, white and silver is one of my favorite color combinations for table settings. It makes for a timeless, classic look and is beautiful with other colors added to the mix as well. I used a round silver tray as a charger layered with a square embossed plate and topped with black and white transfer ware.

The etched water goblet belonged to my husband's grandmother.

The cut work table square and linen napkin belonged to mine.

I love glass bubble balls, each one is different and they add a beautiful sparkle to the table.

This is one of my favorite pictures from our daughter's wedding two years ago. She looked so incredibly beautiful that day!
 Photography was by Chris Walter.

When I do a table setting I like to incorporate different heights to add interest. Sometimes I use things in unconventional ways. This is one of a pair of vintage candlesticks I found at an antique store.

 As I was moving things around I set a bubble ball on top of a mercury glass votive that had a battery lit candle inside.

This would be a beautiful effect at night with the lights dimmed.

Try wrapping a gift in something unexpected, like burlap or fabric, and add a grosgrain ribbon topped with a brooch for a special gift for a wedding or shower.

                                                         All because of one little brooch.

I am joining in on Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Show and Tell Friday at Cindy's My Romantic Home
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
   <br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>             link up every friday!       PhotobucketChic on a Shoestring Decorating

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pottery Barn Look Alike Tutorial

I fell in love with this Pottery Barn horse when I saw it at Nydia's blog, Evolution of Home. You should take a visit to her blog if you haven't been there and see her knock off version and instructions. She does some great projects. Thanks to her inspiration I tried making one of my own.

Pottery Barn's horse wall art

Here is my version and this is how I did it.
I found some inexpensive lightweight plank paneling at Lowe's. It fits together kind of like wood flooring but is very light.

 I  used 9 boards and cut them 25 inches long, so my background ended up being 22.5 inches wide and 25 inches tall. I then fit the boards together.

I cut 2 1x2 boards and used Liquid Nails to glue on the back across the planks about 2 inches from each side securing the boards together. Be safe, use your protective gear!

 I added some weight to make sure the boards had good contact, and waited until the next day to move on to the next step.

Now to the fun part! I used Minwax Pre-Stain wood conditioner first, it helps soft wood absorb stain more uniformly.

Then I applied Minwax stain in English Chestnut. Be sure to allow recommended dry time before beginning the next step.

I had drawn a horse and taken it to Kinko's where they enlarged it for me. I think horses are one of the most difficult animals to draw and get the proportions right. The drawing I took to Kinko's was cut in several places where I decided I needed adjustment, and all taped together. The lady looked at me like I was kind of kooky. I transferred my pattern to contact paper which I then secured to my stained board.

Make sure the contact paper is securely pressed down to avoid paint seeping under. 
Brush from the top of the contact paper out toward the edges to reduce the chances
of seeping.

I used some latex enamel paint I had on hand and lightly brushed over the entire piece. It is better to do several thin coats with dry time in between. You can  leave as much wood grain showing as you like. After it dried I sanded the edges and did some distressing. A coat of paste wax and that's it!

   Here he is, my version.

Have a great weekend

I am joining in on these parties
Show and Tell Friday at Cindy's My Romantic Home
Fridays Unfoldedat Stuff and Nonsense
Flaunt it Fridays at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence
Newbie Party at Debbie Doo's Blogging and Blabbing
<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>link up every friday!Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingDebbiedoo's blogging and blabbing