Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pleasant Things For the Home

Lighthouse Walk at Biarritz 1908
by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863-1923)

This is the view outside, with a temperature to match, 

...and so, today I made a trip to the Dollar Tree, where I purchased some bright and interesting things.

This is a lovely foam rose-shape, (comes in pink and also red),  which I will use for a placemat, (and I would like to go back and get some more!)

and there was a new shipment of light scented perfumes from the United Kingdom. Since there were about 10 different kinds, I had a hard time deciding what I wanted. There was a lovely scent called "Pink Ice,"  but I finally settled on "Nice Lady," which is really quite a sophisticated scent for a dollar. They were all packaged so beautifully that no one would guess they were from the dollar store. 

Another one of the new perfumes: Pink Waves. Also try Pink Ice, Pink Thrills, Extreme Happiness and several others.

(Not everything here is made in China ;-)

Shown with a child's tea set is a chocolate scented candle from the Dollar Tree, and it smells better than the real thing.  The items on this table all came from used goods stores like Goodwill. I liked the porcelin candle holder because it had a handle and reminded me of days when people used to carry a light through the house at night.
Inside is a led-light candle, also purchased at Dollar Tree: a package of three for a dollar. I notice the led-lights are improved quite a bit, as they are much brighter and they flicker like candle light. I like to put several of them in gifts, like confetti sprinkled in the box.

This feather rose is for someone who has a birthday in February. She loves things like this and will probably lay it on her entry table or coffee table just as it is. If you want to put a "dew drop" on an artificial rose like this, just heat up your hot-glue and squirt a drop or two on the outer petals. When it dries it looks like drops of water.
The Dollar Tree purchases amounted to $5.00, a small price to pay for luxuries. If you are wanting to "come home" full time, but are concerned about "doing without" some luxuries, there is always the Dollar Tree. These little perks are an even greater thrill when they do not have a big price.

This afternoon we had tea at home, which included cucumber and Italian parsley (we call it cilantro) on potato bread.

Everyone agreed that the heart shapes seemed to make them taste better. 

Inside the cucumber-cilantro sandwiches on potato-bread.

This is what I did on a cold, foggy day.I would be interested to know what you do to take your mind off the cold weather or in stormy weather. I like to get the most urgent housework done as quickly as possible and then get in the car to go on errands and essential shopping; then have a brisk walk in this gloomy weather before afternoon tea. The reason I like to quickly get the house work done before going out, is because it is so pleasant to come home to a fairly (I say "fairly" because it is not always possible to do it that way) orderly house.

I am joining "Grey Days to Glimmering" Blog Party.


Housewife59 said...

I love your dollar tree 'finds'. The perfume bottle is pretty and you have brought some extra winter cheer into your home for little outlay. The dream-like photos are very effective. Can I come to tea please : )


Anonymous said...

My husband loves the dollar store.

I love winter and snowy days. It makes me want to cozy up and make a big pot of soup and homemade rolls or fresh bread. Plus it gives me a great excuse to sit and knit. I love to knit. The best though is to take a walk in the falling snow and thank God for its beauty.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. You have a real vision for beauty.


Becky said...

Now I'm going to have to make a trip to the Dollar Tree! I'm especially interested in the fragrances, as I love a light, feminine scent but cannot afford the pricey perfumes.

One of my favorite things to do on a cold, gray day is go to the library. It always seems more cozy if it's gray out or there is rain drumming on the roof. I'll choose some lovely home decorating books, maybe a cookbook or two, and something spiritually edifying, then come home and curl up with my "new" books and a cup of hot coffee or tea.

happy momma said...

The dollar tree is an excellent place to go for some nice items on a budget. The one in our town doen't carry the same items all the time, so you just have to keep a regular check to see if what you want is there.

Anonymous said...

We have had some Dollar Tree fun too. I went to Barnes & Noble the other night and looked through a beautiful new book by Tovah Martin, about houseplants. She contributed a lot to the older Victoria magazines. It was beautiful and inspiring.

I went to the dollar store and found a lot of simple glass containers near the candles. I bought a few and then went to the Home Depot where they had such a cute selection of tiny succulent plants. The kids all wanted one of their own. I think they were about 2.77 a piece.

We put rocks into the bottom of our clear glasses, a little sand to top them off, and put our various little plants in the top of them as a center piece down the middle of our long table. The natural textures in this mix has been really appealing, and so pleasant to see something growing.

I bought an aloe (a little more than 5.00) for a variation on height. We found a narcissus bulb (1.00) to force, so we put that in its own clear glass, it grew tall and is about to flower, which is really exciting for the kids to watch. You can see its roots winding around the rocks down below the water line, through the glass.

Sometimes we put a thin, clear sheet of vinyl over the table. Under this can be anything, like just a pretty tablecloth, or a big beautiful poster to look at or study as we sit at the table. This time, I used a world map in old-world colors, so our specimens look really pretty against that back-drop.

In quart jars that we already had, I let each the children make their own floating candle. They put water in the jar, then rocks or shells. Kitchen oil gets added to the top, cranberries float in the oil, and the floating wick. I already had these too, but I think they are pretty cheap. Very simple and cheap, but really appealing to the kids. Mixed with the green of the houseplants, it has been cheery and pretty after the loss of all the Christmas decorations.

Thanks for sharing and letting me share!

Lydia said...

Mary, the staff at Dollar Tree did not seem to mind me sampling the fragrances. It looked like there were several opened deliberately (the boxes were minus their cellophane wrap) for that purpose, so I was able to smell all of them. I was careful to tuck the bottles back in the opened boxes. There is also a survey you can do when you get home, by calling the toll free number on your receipt. The survey just asks you if the floors at Dollar Tree were clean and if the merchandise was orderly and if the staff was respectful and helpful. Then when you get finished with the survey it enters you in a cash prize contest. That makes it fun to go often and check out what merchandise has come in. By the way I left out an item I bought: a pair of rubberized gloves for gardenning. The seeds were there too: 5 packages for a dollar, both vegetables and flowers!

Anonymous said...

I like to feed the birds in the winter. I bought a large, inexpensive bag of mixed food and a small tube feeder, which I fill and hang on a tree branch. I sprinkle a lot of seed on the ground around the tree which is several feet away from my home, near edge of the woods. I can watch from my window as I do the dishes and see the little chicadees and woodpeckers stop to visit, along with gray, black and red squirrels and the occasional cardinal. Yesterday, a flock of turkeys even stopped by to eat some of the seed! It is a lot of amusement for a small price and the little creatures certainly seem to appreciate the food on bitterly cold days.

Unknown said...

I love it when I check in and there is a new post from you! You always inspire me. I am not working again after 7 years and enjoying getting my home in order! We don't have a Dollar Tree close by.. but will be out tomorrow and think I'll have to drop by! We only have a Dollar General,things aren't all a dollar there, but I can find some nice things. I just redid my kitchen.. it's pink again and so light and pretty. I am enjoying being in there. God bless and thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely post! I was at The Dollar Tree this morning with my husband and we had a great time! It is my birthday and we took our time going thru the store slowly. Such fun as I usually just pop in and there are many items I miss that way. I am always amazed at what you find when you really look and "think outside the box." Did you know they also have gift cards?
I, too, like to hurry thru my work and then sit in the clean house and knit while I listen to old time radio shows on the internet or read a Grace Livingston Hill book while sipping tea.
Have a lovely day - you make the world more beautiful, Dee

Julian said...

I enjoyed liking at your sweet table,and all the things you bought for a dollar to make something nice. I live in Texas so its usually hot. However,a few weeks past,it was rainy and cold everyday. I enjoy going to the library,lighting candles,baking something yummy for the kids, trying new recipes, and dollar tree shopping. Sometimes I go to Goodwill. I'm planning a Valentines tea,and the dollartree will be my main place to shop! Thank-you for sharing a peek into your life.

Lydia said...

There are some very Victorian style cards there, too, and all cards at Dollar Tree are only 50 cents each. There are Dollar Tree sites where people share the crafts and creative things they did with Dollar Store items, making them look like the expensive ones.

Anonymous said...

It is so pleasant to come to your home to see your tea arrangments. I will definitely make those heart cucumber sandwiches next time I 'take tea'. Also the young lady whose blog you are going on is a real special in a tent and making wonderful clothes...I bought her bow headband just now!

Susan said...

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. The photos are beautiful and really help me with recreating it in my own home. Yesterday I discovered the website which has a home decor section and some very inexpensive ideas. It's hard to choose what to work on first! On the coldest days I enjoy bundling up for a walk to the library and then curling up with hot chocolate and my new book. Thank you and many blessings.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your posts and have been following on and off since 2007. It is really inspiring seeing your lovely tea settings. We are experiencing hot weather here (being over the other side of the world on a cattle station Queensland, Australia) with recorded maximum temperature these past few weeks being 51 degrees celsius in the shade. So I am dreaming of how nice it must be to cosy up in cold weather and have a heart warming hot meal together... Caroline

Lydia said...

It gets hot here, too, in summer. I find it is best to get my mind off the heat (or cold) by thinking about something else. Planning a small event at home helps.

Jackie, NYC said...

It's been freezing here in NYC lately. Rather than going outside, I've been enjoying curling up on the couch in cozy pajamas and a blanket and reading whenever I can. My 5 year old had the great idea to have hot cocoa on Friday when it was snowing so we did just that!