Holidays, Home Decor

Add Style with Thrift Shop Finds to Your Patriotic Mantel + Good 4th of July Movies to Discover!

Happy weekend to y’all, dear friends! All of the patriotic decorating posts I am seeing out on your sites has inspired me to redo my mantel!! A trip last week with my mother-in-law to her appointment with the Texas DPS in Gainesville to get her driver’s license (about 30 minutes north of us) had me out thrifting and antique browsing… And guess what I found?

While she waited for her turn, I went out to look around town’s shops and found a consignment antiques/thrift store just catty corner across the main street from where the Department of Public Services’ building is.

We had just stopped for lunch at Braum’s for burgers (they have great ice cream, too!), after touring the historical Medal of Honor outdoor park sites over the course of an hour-plus, and this little store was nice and cool on a hot 95 degree day…

Henry Hunt is a novel which was given to my husband by his mother who met the author at somewhere (B&N?). The book is signed. The blue textbook is one from my Political Science class in college. Really enjoyed that class!

The shop owners were very nice and I met a lady adding items to her section of the consignment shop. There were three floors inside and I was good and didn’t buy any more dishware (though I could have; always!).

What I found is this patriotic couple which are stamped Occupied Japan ( from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s is my guess) along their bases. Gini was excited about this little couple’s beginnings!! Of course she would be, she lived through that time right after World War II when Japan was occupied by the United States military and later as the Japanese military and people began rebuilding their country.

This man and lady in their 1776 costumes are a welcome addition to my small but growing collection of figurines! They go quite well with the French Sweethearts which I found in Denton a couple of years ago.

“L’homme et la femme parlent.” I have been busy studying French in both Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Moving along and my pronunciation is getting better! I played with the chroma here. Our walls really look more this tan color, but it’s hard to catch it without “browning” everything else, lol!
Here is another look. I like this photograph better as the French couple’s colors are more true to life.

They also go equally well with the pair which Mr. Ethereal has had since forever…

Bluish-grey book on left: Of Plymouth Plantation ~ 1620-1647 by William Bradford, edited by S.E. Morison and found at Half Price Books, Austin, TX. That location has a massive older book section with a nice variety of used and signed books.

Hubby says that this couple (pictured above left, and another pair that are over at my MIL’s house) have always been in the Chapman family. It wasn’t something that they picked up when they toured Independence Hall in Pennsylvania during one of the summers when they traveled cross-country. Every summer for years they would drive to visit family and visiting historical sites over a two week period. I’ll have to ask Gini where they came from.

Sorry this is kinda blurry! I had to really lighten it up and pull out the blacks since the sun comes in through this westerly window late in the afternoon. Summer is really dark inside this house; winter photographs much better as the sun moves around more North-West in the late afternoon with the Earth’s rotation.

Our 4th of July mantel

  • Books ~ History and poli-sci books from school, that one Plymouth Plantation/Colonial history book, and a children’s book I picked up at our Scholastic Book Fair this spring are what I used as our mantel books this year.
  • Patriotic transferware plate ~ bringing in one blue dinner plate with Independence Hall on it as a central focal point was all that was needed. *
  • Colonial French and American figurines added the final touches with their red, white and blue.

*This set is Liberty Blue – Independence Hall made in England, Staffordshire Ironstone and says that it is “detergent and dishwasher safe.” I found some on Replacements Ltd. but there seems to be quite a few sites which carry them from anywhere from $10.80/plate to $23.00 (Replacements, Ltd.)

Back in 2019 I went with this on our mantel ~ sharing American Civil War and anything military since Hubby was a Marine. We have several sections of our big bookcases in the living room which hold a bunch of great tomes covering United States military campaigns and our country’s history, in general.

This second patriotic post was part of a Pinterest Challenge back in 2020, I believe. I need to redecorate our coffee table again but I’m in the middle of carpet cleaning and moving furniture around. I’ll share the new look as I get things finished!

More books up on the right side of our fireplace mantel. Really interesting reads!

Favorite Movies

Oh!!! If you haven’t seen the HBO mini-series John Adams, you should! It’s good!!

John Adams

I really liked Paul Giamatti’s portrayal as Adams. Laura Linney does a nice job of showing us Abigail Adams in much of their early married lives as the “harried housewife.” Mrs. Adams was busy raising kids in the late 1700’s, running a farm, and dealing with being a single mom much of the time while John Adams was away running the country.

At least that’s part of my take on the movie and the Adams’ lives! I recommend watching it over the 4th of July long weekend since it’s going to be super hot anyway… šŸ˜‰

1776: 50th Anniversary 4K UHD

My inlaws introduced me to the musical 1776 back when Mr. Ethereal and I were first married and I instantly fell in-love with this film! It is based on the play of the same title by Peter Stone. Released in 1972 (I was 10 years old then.), I’m sure we saw it on reruns once a year on television, since my parents loved musicals, but I was probably too busy playing outside then and might not have been interested back then. šŸ™‚

And that’s a wrap on our Patriotic Mantel (and a bit more) for this summer! I hope you have enjoyed this post and learned about some new books to check out at the library. I added the movies since you might be looking for copies of them, too. We actually don’t have 1776 so I think I will order. We’ve always just sat down and watched Gramma’s grainy video copy, though I think she has since updated to DVD or Blu-Ray. The old video is kinda nostalgic, I have to say. šŸ˜‰

Happy 4th of July hugs,

Barb šŸ™‚


Chicken Dinner, a Recipe and a Movie…

Summer stormsĀ  have been the norm every afternoonĀ for over a week now and cooler temperatures came with them.

So… while we were having a lovely high 80’s evening

a couple of days ago {instead of high 90’s and low 100’s}
I baked up a chicken dinner that is delicious and
easy to prepare…

Please excuse the chicken scum!Ā  Yoda enjoyed having a bit with his dinner, though. šŸ™‚
After flipping through some easy recipes inĀ my old Tupperware cookbookĀ and not finding what I really
wanted to eat ~ I went back to a recipe I learned
from my high school days.

Super Easy Chicken Recipe

So easy you just practically won’t believe it:
Italian dressing.
Just grab a bottle of your favorite Italian dressingĀ and pour over your washed chicken pieces. Bake for roughly 20 minutes
checking for doneness by making sure the insides are
thoroughly cooked and not pink and you’ve got a yummy
healthy main dish!

Another Easy Chicken Recipe

Pour on Thousand Island dressing and bake your chicken.

{I learned the latter from a guy I went out with at the end
of high school and he made this for me one evening.}

Stack Cooked Meals

Now I didĀ use the stack cooker bowls and one of the
recipes in this Tupperwave Stack-Cooked Meals cookbook
to make an:

Apple, carrots and onion sweet vegetable

almost-a-dessert-it’s-so-good!Ā Ā šŸ˜‰
Just cut up two carrots, an apple*,Ā add some chopped onion#
and a tablespoon of brown sugar then mix together coating
all the vegetable pieces.

When you have your chicken ready in the middle bowlĀ and the veggie mixture ready in the bottom bowl,Ā stack all three bowls
with the top shallow bowl/dish used asĀ a cover and
bake onĀ highĀ as recommended previously.
About 20 – 25 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

*I substituted two peaches since I didn’t have any apples.
# I used some dried chopped onion since I didn’t have any
of that either.
The parsley red potatoes I had cooked earlier in
the week and the peas were cooked then, too.

If you want to cook all this in the Stack Cooker
all you have to do is this:

1) large bottom bowl – normally holds rice, water and/or veggies
2) middle bowl – holds the main dish and sauces if using
3) top shallow dish – holds a dessert or fruit recipe

Do look for this or the other Stackwave cookbook(s) online or
when you are out thriftshopping or are at a second-hand
The recipes are simple to make and you can add to or alter
them as you see fit.
These cookbooks come with three spiral-bound sections
so you can mix and match your recipes!

Tonight’s movie

Drizzly weather makes me think of my trip to England and it always puts me in the mood to watch a period British film.
This day’s overcast weather made me think I ought to watch a favoriteĀ movie about Beatrix Potter...

Miss Potter

I loveĀ this opening scene where RenĆ©e Zellweger as
Beatrix is beginning a color wash of a watercolor paper ~
hereĀ she is choosing what colors she wants to use.

Ewan McGregor stars in this movie as well as a first-time
publisher at his older brother’s book printing firm.
Miss Potter gets “fobbed off” on him as the older brothers
think her “bunny book” won’t sell at all but together
Norman Warne and Beatrix PotterĀ create a book and
eventually a series of 23 books for children that is by far
F. Warne and Company’sĀ best selling books to date.

Sadly, I am NOT an Amazon Affiliate at the moment having been tossed out for no sales
however, I still feel that sharing beautiful books and DVD’s with you is worth sharing.

These photographs were shot off our television.Ā  šŸ™‚Ā  Love this scene of the Lake District, near Scotland I guess, in England
where the Potter family summered most years.Ā  Miss Potter bought a house and working farm there and continued buying
properties to preserve the landscape for future generations.Ā  The power of land trusts…
Miss Potter is a beautiful film and many of Beatrix’ original
furnishings are shared as well as one of the properties she saved
is usedĀ as the set for her “home” ~ Hilltop Farm, Near Sawrey.
This other property looks very similar to Hilltop and was refashioned to look like it from the outsideĀ for the shoot.
In total, Miss Potter bought 14 farms includingĀ Hilltop and
through a series of land trustsĀ helped preserveĀ over 4000 acres ~
and helping to save the Herdwick sheep from extinction ~
a gift to the peopleĀ of England and to the world really through the
British National Trust.

Here is a better part of the British National Trust site
to see more about the filming and locations used in
Miss Potter.

Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Katherine’s Corner
Share Your Style ~ The Red Painted Cottage
To Grandma’s House We Go! ~ Chaz’ Crazy Creations

What’s your favorite period film?

I’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling… Dressing Up a Chandelier Project

You know when you’ve lost
that lovin’ feeling?

Just like Maverick
Tom Cruise’s character in the movie
Top Gun…

Well, I have NOT been feeling the love
for our kitchen chandelier…
There’s nothing really wrong with it.
It has a nice cylinder shade.
{Been thinking about recovering it
but not sure about that yet.}
It just needs SOMETHING.

At Christmas time last year
I added a big crystal with fauxĀ 
mistletoe and red berries
which was replacedĀ 
with thisĀ 
white version
in January.
The generic brass chandy at our last house all gussied~up!
I began addingĀ crystal pieces
to our dining roomĀ 
chandeliers some twenty years ago.
I used to pick up little antique/vintage teardrop~
shaped crystals when I went with friends toĀ 
flea markets and antique stores.
Then I found some sold through
a company selling reproductions through
decorating/shelter magazines.
That’s where I got the crystal swags and
many of the teardrops
shown on our last home’s chandy.

So today we’ll be looking at
dressing up
a generic chandelier…

~ Mini Chandy Decorating Project ~

Supplies you’ll need:
*Crystals you’d like to add onto your
generic chandelier

*Repurposed old white coat hangers or new craft wire
(if you prefer a cleaner look)

*3/8″ wide decorative ribbon ~ the same as you’d use
to tie on packages or use as an ornament hanger.
I choseĀ iridescentĀ whiteĀ as I just
how pretty this ribbon is
it sparkles!!!

* wire cutters and/or needlenose and regular pliers

* measuring tape and/or metal retractable tape measure
to get the hanging circle’s circumference.

Here are the inner workingsĀ 
of our mini chandelier which is directly over
our kitchen table in ourĀ 
“Tiny House”Ā 
our Coleman 27’4″ trailer.
We switched out the burned~out
incandescent bulbs
and replaced them with LEDs.
We decided upon soft~white as I like
that type of lighting better
especially during the evenings;
turned out to be the
perfect choice!
Soooo much less heat
with these babies!!!

Here’s the lower end showing how
I took a gold coat hanger and cut off a piece
repurposing it into an S~hook
to hang the repurposed
Christmas ornament.
These are the crystals I found over atĀ 
Second Impression Palace
antique store inĀ 
Marshall, South Dakota.
If you’d like to read more about my visit to
this wonderful antique mallĀ 
just click on theĀ 
store name above.Ā 

How to make it:
* Measure the inside diameter of your fixture, divide by 2.
That gives you the radius. Ā From there, divide this again by half
This will be roughly where you’ll want this new
you are creating to
once it’s hanging.

* Use a string or cloth measuring tape to roughly “eyeball measure” the
outside circumference of this “ring.” Ā Cut some wire to fit this circumference
length with extra to bend around to secure the ring.

* Unwind hangers andĀ cut the hangers into lengths needed
to hang your various crystal ornaments.

* First, bend pieces into an “S” shapes as these will become the
hangers by which you’ll hang the “inner ring.” Wire these onto the ring frame.
{for this chandelier I needed three to hang off the three inner arms}.
See the photograph below~right.

* Hang the rest of your drops either using more homemade “S” hangers
~ or with ~
purchased decorative S~shaped Christmas ornament hangers
Here as Christmas ornaments arrive in hobby stores is
the perfect timeĀ to buy these!
I’ve had good luck
buying beautiful decorative ornament hangers at:
Target andĀ Walmart.

* I’ve strung ribbon through the holes in the tops of the remaining crystal drops
to hang as I’d like more sparkle!

Eventually, I’ll probably replace myĀ 
homemade hangers
with prettier machine~made
Christmas ornament hangers
but for now
this will
put the flame outĀ 
thatĀ lost lovin’ feeling
get this chandelier back
flying high!!!!!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Sharing with:
Create Link Inspire ~ The Crafty Blogstalker

Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Savvy Southern Style

Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage