Monday, December 19, 2016


Usually during the month of December I'm prolific with blog posts, but not this year.  I've been neglecting my blog ---- 
not because I haven't been doing our usual Christmas stuff
 ----  it just takes longer to accomplish everything the older I get.  
So here we are with one long post about Christmas 2016 in the Salmagundi household.
It took a whole week to put up the trees and over-decorate every available surface inside and out.

We decided to have an afternoon open house this year; so I made 26 dozen cookies plus assorted savories including dips, flavored pretzels, cheese, chips, crackers, fruit, hot and cold beverages, etc. etc.  More time than I like to spend in the kitchen; but it was worth it to be able to share with our friends.

However, I took the easy way out with the shopping.
The grandkids are getting so grown up, and are so opinionated in their choice of clothes (and rightly so!).  We are slowly trying to develop personal style.  I succumb to gift cards occasionally on other holidays, but for Christmas I like to have presents under the tree.
So, we took each kid individually to the city to shop for clothes.  They are not to tell anyone else what we bought; I bring every thing home and wrap it up.  On Christmas morning everyone gets to ACT surprised.  I've done this before with Caitlin, but this will be Wyatt's first year of no surprises. (Well, maybe one or two little things.)
Both kids look great in anything they wear, so it is fun shopping with them.  Surprisingly, they are very cost-conscious with my money.  They seem to have a great time, too; as I'm not always as practical as their parents can be!  And, of course, the shopping trips always involve lunch and/or dinner.  A great time spent with each grandchild individually.  

 December is the month of Jenni's adoption day and Bob's birthday. We have done our share of socializing also with friends this month, plus enjoying the Advent activities at church.
I've also been sewing on a couple of Christmas gifts.  I'll post those on my quilting blog,, after Christmas.

About all that is left now is Christmas dinner.  Our family is so set in their ideas about what we should have for Christmas brunch/dinner ---- the usual ham, cheesy potatoes, an egg dish, coffee cake, jello salad, broccoli salad, hot rolls, cheese ball, yogurt pie, cookies, and whatever else they think I should cook.  
Our son, Mike, and I decided at Thanksgiving time that we want something different this year.  So, I will fix all of the usual things for everyone else; plus make a vegetarian lasagna for Mike and I.  The other day my Wed. a.m. coffee group was discussing food; and they said that everyone else will probably want the lasagna, too.  Then, Bob and I will end up eating that huge ham and potatoes for the remainder of the year by ourselves.  Ugh, I'm not the ham or potato type!

We'll see how that plays out later -- family dynamics with food are interesting at our house!

That's about it for the preparations for the Christmas season this year.  Now to my favorite part -----
The week before Christmas is when we can slow down and reflect on just why we celebrate the season.  I love that Christmas is on Sunday this year -- not only do we have Christmas Eve services, but an opportunity to celebrate at church on Sunday morning, too.  Then, we'll have family time on Christmas afternoon.

May all of you have a joyous Christmas with those you love.

I'm joining the following:
Back Yard Neighbor for Blue Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, December 5, 2016


Seventy years ago this Christmas season my beloved grandfather passed away on December 18.  It was unexpected and a shock to our whole family and community.
He was raised with his brother by his widowed father and two uncles on the prairies of Colorado in the late 19th century. 
 He grew to be a well respected farmer, sheep and cattle rancher; as well as an active church and community member.  He served as president of the local school board, as a county commissioner, and on the board of directors of several national wool growers organizations.
During World War II, he was honored nationally for his contributions to the war effort as a farmer and rancher.
His youngest son was serving in the military in WWII when this photo was taken.
 But, most importantly, he was the father of three boys and the grandfather of two grandsons, and me --- the only girl in his line of this male-dominated family.
He always made me feel so special to be his granddaughter.  I remember him taking time out of his busy day to bring me ice cream after my tonsillectomy, then sitting there and hand feeding it to me.

At the time of his death, I was young and had trouble comprehending the situation.  With Christmas only a week away, my mother knew I was struggling and told Santa Claus that I needed something special!

On Christmas morning, I was surprised with not one, but two Effanbee baby dolls with instructions that I was to take care of my doll family like Grandpa had always taken good care of all of us.
I always remember Grandpa when I look at these dolls; so I decided that this Christmas I would include them in my holiday decorations.  I can't believe it has been 70 years!
I hope Grandpa would be proud of me as a parent and grandparent as he was very special to me!

I'm joining the following:
Backyard Neighbor for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Somebody had to have a piece of blackberry slab pie on Wednesday night ----- couldn't wait until Thanksgiving!

We're thankful for a bountiful blackberry harvest from our garden.

From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2016


I haven't done a workshop update for awhile.  With all of the yard work this past summer and our long fall, Bob still found time to turn out a couple of projects.

He made this sofa table from some old tepee poles, salvaged wood and pallet wood; plus some twigs. If we had a mountain cabin to go with it, I would keep it.  But, alas, it is off to the consignment shop.
 He also made this 7-foot table with two benches out of salvaged wood with lathe-turned legs.
People always ask for benches to go with farm tables; so hope this sells at the consignment shop.

Bob is always on the lookout for old wood, and has been known to do a little dumpster diving!  It's always nice to have a 14-year old grandson, to help!

I'm joining the following:
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, October 20, 2016


No, I'm not talking about those little confections with which our grandmothers treated us. 
  I'm talking about 'cookies' on brown transferware.  That is what they call the cartouches, little pictures encircled with borders, on transferware from the 19th century.

Recently, while antiquing in the northern part of Colorado, I spied a covered vegetable bowl.  I recognized right away from its 'calico' border that it was the Cairo pattern from Copeland Pottery dating from the early 1880s. 

 I also knew that this pattern usually has amazing 'cookies' in the design -- and I wasn't disappointed. 
And, then I removed the lid and this cartouche was on the inside of the bowl --- I would gladly eat all of the vegetables served in this bowl for a look at this artwork.
The pieces I have seen in this pattern usually have an incised mark on the back.
Several years ago, my friend, Jan, gave me this pedestal bowl in this pattern.
It has this amazing 'cookie'.
 I also have a soup bowl with this camel 'cookie'.  Every piece I have seen in this pattern has a different cartouche.
I'm fortunate to have just these three pieces in my brown transferware collection, as they can be a bit pricey.  I have  passed by some other pieces at high prices, but I'll keep hunting for more yummy 'cookies' to devour at a reasonable price.

I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Friday, October 14, 2016


I don't do a lot of Fall decorating, but try to change out the front porch to welcome in the season.
 One of my favorite places to shop is a farm surplus yard.  These elevator grain bins came from my favorite yard in Rocky Ford, CO.  Bob mounted them on pallet wood, so I could fill them with the season's bounty!
And indoors, a patchwork pumpkin for a touch of autumn.

I'm joining Jann Olson at Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday.  Be sure to check out her blog (here)  -- she REALLY knows how to decorate for Fall.  

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Clarice Cliff (1899-1972) was an English ceramic artist active from 1922 to 1963.  She is most famous for her art deco, hand-painted pottery from the early part of the 20th century.  These pieces are very collectible and expensive.
Image result for clarice cliff art deco pottery
As a collector of brown transferware, I have often run across transferware pieces with her stamped signature and the Royal Staffordshire Pottery or the Newport Pottery Co. logos on the back.  These pieces date to the mid-20th century.

I've never been able to find any info about how this change transpired after World War II from avantgarde hand-painted and designed pottery to traditional transferware.

I have purchased several pieces of her transferware over the years; and they have been very inexpensive.
I recently found this serving bowl in the Ophelia pattern for $5.00.

I have two of these bone dishes in the Tonquin pattern with the Royal Staffordshire back stamp.  I also have some plates in this pattern, but they do not have her signature on them.

This cup and saucer also has the Royal Staffordshire Ceramics back stamp.  The pattern is Davenport.

I have some other pieces attributed to her in several patterns with various stamps.

Even though my favorite brown transferware will always be from the 19th century, I'm not a transferware snob --- I love it all!
  It all blends together.

I'm joining the following:
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Sunday, October 2, 2016


 Our granddaughter has an October birthday, and has adopted Halloween as her own personal holiday!  She has always loved it, and looks forward to it all year long.
When she was little she always had lots of ideas of what I could make her as a costume.  As her doting grandmother what was I to do, but get out the sewing machine and comply?
First, before she even knew what was going on, I chose to make her a little lamb costume.  By the next year she was vocal and wanted to be a fairy with a wand.  She was so tiny and couldn't keep her tutu from falling down.  Next, she was the cutest witch riding a broom.  And, then she began her obsession with shoes -- oh, how she loved Dorothy's sparkly red shoes.
Then, there was the year of the Indian -- she said it had to have leggings, etc. with lots of rick-rack, fringe, and beads.  And then the Harry Potter year about did my sewing machine in -- a lined black velvet, hooded coat.  And Wyatt wanted a pirate costume made out of the lining fabric of Caitlin's coat (satin, ugh).  What opinionated little Halloweeners they were! Finally, I had an easy year as I only had to make a poodle skirt.
There were other years, but these are the photos I found. 
 But, I think my all-time favorite was the princess bride!!
She is now 20 years old with a Pinterest board on real Bridal Gowns!
   That time will come -----

 For her birthday and Halloween this year, I made her a table runner.

Some how, it just isn't the same as an adorable little kid in a costume.
Happy 20th Birthday, cute Cait!!

I'm joining the following:
Backyard Neighbor for Blue Monday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Taking a little break to enjoy the Autumn season.  That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to become an outdoor fanatic all of a sudden.  I'll probably just enjoy Colorado's beauty from the comfort of our car!!
More than likely it means a trip to Denver to check out an antique show, do some antique mall hopping, and maybe a stop at a quilt store.
I also plan to spend some quality time in my sewing room working on a couple of quilt projects.  If I accomplish anything worthwhile, I'll post about it on my quilting blog:

See you later --- enjoy the season!

Monday, September 5, 2016


It's time again for my annual post on our wedding anniversary.  I can't believe how fast this date just keeps rolling around --- celebrating 58 years this time!!
How fortunate we are to have had very few trials and tribulations along the way, and to be in fairly good health now that we are older.  We thank God every day.

There was a lot of preparation for our wedding day, but I don't remember that Bob was involved in the planning.  In those days, a wedding and reception was organized by the bride and her mother.   

Most weddings back in our small hometown in 1958 were simple.  The ceremony was short: a song by a soloist about true love in Christ,  an exchange of vows, and a few short words about commitment.  And, then we were off.
 Our wedding was fairly large with 300 guests,  but refreshments were kept to a minimum -- cake, punch, nuts, and mints. 
 We had the reception at my parent's home.  Even though the house was large,  I was still grateful that the sun was shining that day for the overflow into my parent's beautiful yard. 
In planning, I remember Mother and I having a small disagreement about the plates.  
I was adamant about not wanting paper plates.  So, Mother gave in and hired kitchen help to wash all of her many Fostoria plates to keep them available during the reception.  Not an easy job for 300 guests.  I'm sure that when my back was turned, some guests got a paper plate. Yes, I was a spoiled, only child; but Mother knew how to get around me!!

As we all know, a beautiful wedding does not necessarily make a great marriage.  But, those reminders about love in Christ and commitment to each other have worked for us. 
Happy 58th Anniversary to us!!

Since there are no color photos of our wedding, here is a 
little color added to this otherwise black and white post:
I just finished a Fall table runner to use this Autumn.  The colors were inspired by my great-grandmother's punch bowl.

I'm joining the following:
Coastal Charm for Show and Share
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday