Nothing says “Birthday” like candles

Can you remember your favorite birthday memory?  I have the VERY unfortunate birthday of Christmas Eve. Seriously- it was only my birthday for breakfast then we were on to Christmas. And to top that off, I shared my birthday cake with Jesus. Happy Birthday AG and Jesus. Everyone thought it was cute….except me (I hate to share…even with Jesus)

But I must say, my mom always did her part to plan a special party…even if it was actually a week before the day. There was my 7th birthday that was held at an indoor pool…who says you can’t have a pool party in December?  By far the best was my 13th birthday in which I had a formal dinner party!  Very fun. Very chic. My neighbor wore his military blues and escorted each “couple” in as they arrived and my mom and her friend dressed in maid’s uniforms to serve us. Oh and Dad wore a tux and acted as a butler. Very sophisticated. 

Birthdays are special and should be celebrated. A celebration of the past, the present and the future. This weekend I had the special honor of hosting a dinner party in honor of my huband’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. 

From the moment I began to plan, I knew that we need to have fun candles. Nothing says birthday like candles!  I had a little project brewing in my mind and just had to act on it. Off to Goodwill! 

I bought 9 brass candlesticks ($4.50) (and had a couple that I had once painted black…time for a facelift).  I then painted them a variety of colors. Oh they look so fun and festive – just like the crayons in a crayola box! 

I always keep interesting jars (from pickles, olives, herbes-whatever). You should do this as well…they make great little vases and look so “collected” when paired together.  Luckily the azaleas in front of my house look like bright pink fireworks right now so I gathered up some blooms and dispersed them between the candles. What a fun expression of celebration and gratitude to life!

May we all live to be 90! Cheers!

Fire-side perfection!

A perfectly cozy fire! I think I'll nestle in for an afternoon on the sofa!

Now that winter is over, I finally found the perfect fireside set. I have looked high and low. The pottery barn models look too fabricated…too fresh, the big box home improvement store models-way too cheap looking…the antique store sets- too brassy, too shiny….too formal. All winter poor C has had to stoke the fire with a stick. And sometimes I got confused and used the wrong end of the stick so when he would go to stoke the fire, he’d end up with a soot covered hand..explicitive..explicitive.

WOW! Don't you love the round accent on the top?

But yesterday, thanks to my new found hobby of thrifting, I found the PERFECT tool set. Not too “new”, not too “brassy”, not too “cheap” looking. The lines are soft and comfortable with an interesting circular top. I’m not sure I have ever seen a set that has this look. Most have a sharp pointy top. Love.Love.Love. (Cost-$5…love that too)

And it’s a cool, rainy day. Perfect for a fire and a test run of the new-old tools!

PS- Our mantle is a pine mantel from a 1700’s South Carolina farm-house. The paint is original and the distressing is real! I love its chunky lines and stately presence. And the bricks are hand-formed, probably from the 1800s. They came from a building that was torn down in our downtown area.

You know how the saying goes, one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure!

everything old can be new again!

I have always been a bit obsessed with things that are old, things that have served another purpose…things that have a story to tell. And I am a firm believer that everything in my home should be beautiful and should reflect our lifestyle. If I don’t love it and it doesn’t work for us…it’s outta here! If you have journeyed through our home renovation, you know what I mean…from rusted bird-cage lighting in the kitchen to an 1800’s pine mantel in my living room, I love old things.

It seems like a natural progression to move from the antique stores to Goodwill. Yep. That’s right. Goodwill. There I said it. I have become a Goodwill shopper (Inspired by my historical preservationist friend RCR!). I’d like to say that this new hobby came out of necessity. But it didn’t. It’s more about the quest, the history, the thrill of the hunt! I could go to pottery barn to buy a lamp (and I have and probably will again), but how fun to find a lamp or a painting or other accessory at Goodwill. There’s a story for sure!

Yesterday, I didn’t set out to find these amazing  pottery bowls, because Lord knows…I don’t need another bowl (I probably have a hundred!) But I just couldn’t resist. They look so fab with my Vietri brown and black pottery. AND they were perfect for the Gumbo I served for last night’s cold rainy get together with friends.

So here they are!   I purchased all four for $6.50. They are handmade and include the potter’s stamp. I’ll have to ask my friend E.F.  if they are “fine” pottery! Why in the world would someone part with these?

Regardless, their loss is certainly my gain. These little darlings are fabulous. Won’t you join me for a bowl of soup?

And if you think I was clever enough to dream up shopping at Goodwill and Craig’s list for home decor…I am flattered but you are mistaken. I have become a blog junkie for several design inspiring blogs including Apartment Therapy http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ and Mr. Goodwill Hunting  http://mrgoodwillhunting.blogspot.com/