February 15, 2012

2012 is a Leap Year


Hop on over
to my pad
for a
awesome time!


A larger-than-life statue
of the celebrated bullfrog
Dennis Hopper (no relation to the actor) sits in the center of Twain Pond.

It's early evening now, and fireflies flicker overhead.

Hopper held the title of Calaveras County Leaper King for seven consecutive years (1952 - 58),*
a staggering accomplishment for even the most athletic of frogs.
* Of course, that was before mandatory drug testing.

Twain Pond's cultural significance (It's Dennis Hopper's birthplace.) led to its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Environmental rules are strictly enforced. Rustic signs, in keeping with the natural surroundings, help direct visitors to specific areas of the pond. Photobucket
Regular harvesting of the rushes around the banks of Twain Pond increases both the quantity and quality of plant and animal life. Placemats, woven from the harvested rushes, are popular souvenirs among the tourists.


Shortly after Dennis Hopper retired from competition, there was a movement among the locals to rename the pond "Hopper's Place" in honor of their hometown hero. Dennis, humble frog that he was, would not hear of it.

Stretching the length of Twain Pond, pink votives and pebbles provide light and a natural resting spot for Hopper's decedents.


Lily pad salad plates float on the surface. Bright pink water lilies bloom in profusion. In 2003, the water lilies were registered with the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society under the name of Nymphaea 'Pink Leaper'.

The lilies, indigenous to the area, can be purchased through Friends of the PondReally? You really thought there might
be a Friends of the Pond site? Really?
, an organization that works tirelessly to preserve the beauty of the pond and its surroundings.


Chocolate covered crickets are kept under glass until dessert and coffee are served. Surprisingly, these little morsels closely resemble Raisinets.

Hope your stay was un-frog-gettable.

What's for dinner? . . . . . . . . . . . Anything but frog legs.

Tablecloth: Moda, Meadow Friends Pond, Blue Camouflage, Heart to Heart Fabrics, through Amazon
Placemats, Bed Bath and Beyond
Napkins: JoAnn's Fabrics
Dinner plates: Fiestaware, Periwinkle Blue, borrowed from my daughter
Salad plates: Bordallo Pinheiro, Cabbage Green, Sur la Table
Pink bowls: Lenox Floral Fusion, fuchsia, Macy's
Flatware, Pottery Barn, purchased years ago. PB now sells a hammered pattern much like it.
Green tumblers: Bed, Bath and Beyond
Ceramic Frog centerpiece: a gift from my friend, Sarah

I am linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesdays

Prior to creating this leap year tablescape, I did an internet search for "fog pond tablescapes" and found this pond tablescape at the fabulous site, Mid-Atlantic Martha. The pink napkin/lily idea belongs totally to Martha.

Dennis Hopper normally resides on the ledge of our garden fountain. He is NOT porous and has a high gloss finish. A light coat of thick water base paint was applied with a sponge.. Smudges were wiped away before they dried.
When he goes back outdoors, I'll use water and a scrubber to return him to his original look.

The cattails were made like so:
Glue-soaked paper towels were squished around wooden dowels and dried in front of the fireplace.

A second, single layer is added in an attempt to smooth out some of the bumps. Paint follows.


To make the napkin rosettes (aka Big Water Lilies)::
Fold the napkin into a triangle.
Starting from the bottom fold, roll into a long tube..
Roll rather loosely, as I did, for a big flower, more tightly if you want a truer looking rosebud.


Start at one end and roll the tube up on itself.


Tuck the end into the bottom, center hole.

February 11, 2012

February 14th Makes Me Think of . . .

oooFerris Wheels!

oooYou think of them too, I bet.

oooNo? Gee, that's odd.

oooWell, no matter.
oooI think of them.

oooAfter all, February 14 is
oooFerris Wheel Day!

The fourteenth of February is the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.
At the age of 33, Ferris conceived, designed, and oversaw the construction of
an "observation wheel" for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (aka the Chicago World's Fair).
It does seem like one ought to start out with a round table, doesn't it?


Floral picks sport photos of the original Wheel.

The Wheel had 36 cars (see the far right pick), with 40 chairs in each, but each car could actually hold 60 people. So, the first Ferris Wheel held 2,160 people at once! The Wheel averaged 38,000 riders a day.

Three thousand of Edison's new incandescent light bulbs were mounted on the Wheel.

Placemats are replicas of souvenir maps from the 1893 fair.
You can see the Ferris Wheel at the center top of the map. It stood at the far end of the fair's mile-long Midway.

Napkins have been folded in such a way as to continue the circle theme.
(Yes, I know they're really only half circles.)
Copies of an old fair ticket serve as place cards.


In addition to the Ferris Wheel, an impressive
list of now-famous foods were first introduced
during the fair's run.

Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, Shredded Wheat,
Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum, and
Cracker Jack Snacks head the list.

The toy Ferris Wheel dictates the table's
colors. (I only mention this in
case you happen to have overlooked
the subtle color scheme.)


The very first set of U.S. commerative stamps was issued in honor of the World's Columbian Exposition. There were sixteen stamps in the set.

One of the stamps was orange. An image of the stamp was enlarged, printed in color, and wrapped around the vase.


Vienna Beef Franks & Sausages was another food brand first introduced at The World's Columbian Exposition. Consequently, we'll be enjoying hot dogs on February 14 - and we're going to "drag 'em through the garden," Chicago style. Photobucket

Don't you just love Ferris Wheel Day!Photobucket
Orange and white dessert plates, Crate and Barrel
Red dinner plates: Waechtersbach, Crate and Barrel
Cracker Jack pot: Dansk enamel casserole, wedding gift
Red pitcher and water glasses: no information, inherited
Placemats: Internet picture printed at Kinko's on 11 X 17 paper.
oooMap was glued to a sheet of orange construction paper
Ferris Wheel: K'Nex Ferris Wheel Kit, on loan from my grandchildren
I'm linking to The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays,
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesdays,
and off my tangent for Alphabe-Thursday (M is for a Midway Ride).

Ferris Wheel Builders

February 2, 2012

National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

PhotobucketAccording to unreliable sources, a mother in up-state
New York, hoping to help snap her children out of the winter doldrums, lit upon the idea of declaring the first Saturday in February as Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Her two children are all grown up now, but the word has spread, and EICFB Day has been celebrated in households all over the United States and other countries around the globe.

Here's how you go about celebrating
this most honored and sacred day.


Begin by setting a
Wake Me Up Table.

No monotones.
No subtle arrangements.

Remember, you are appealing
to the hyperactive crowd.
The table should say,
"Come sit here and
prepare yourself
for a sugar overload!"

Include some goofy decorations.
Although pink string lights are optional, they are highly encouraged.


Rolled napkins, topped with name place flags, guide the dairy-lovers to their places.


Ceramic ice cream bowls hold whipped cream and syrup.
Add some oh-so-nutritious berries to the table
in order to prevent Child Protective Services from revoking your Grandma License.


Healthy? No.
Fun? Absolutely!

Waffles, topped with ice cream fried eggs and a side of bacon,
tie the whole breakfast/ice cream thing together.


One more look before the How-To Section:

Ice Cream Bacon and Eggs
1. Allow the ice cream to soften just enough to remove it as a solid cylinder. Cut slices with an electric knife.
Place the slices on a lined cookie sheet and allow to freeze again.
2. Color a small amount of vanilla ice cream yellow. Place back in the freezer to harden.
3. Take the yellow ice cream out of the freezer and form yolks. Place them on top of the white vanilla slices. Cover the ice cream eggs with plastic wrap and return to freezer.Photobucket4. Although any chocolate ice cream will do, I found that Dreyer's Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Sundae has nice variations in color and simulates the striations in bacon fairly well. PhotobucketPress the chocolate ice cream between two sheets of plastic wrap. I would suggest NOT using a rolling pin. Use your hands. Keep it thick or it won't pop off the wrap very well. After refreezing, cut into strips.
5. Use chocolate sprinklers for pepper. Print flags on yellow card stock.

Tablecloth: fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics
Placemats: fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics
Dinner plates: HOME stamped on back, found at the local Mennonite Thrift Store
Red stemmed glasses: no information, inherited
Red flatware: Splendente Italian Flatware, NapaStyle
Ceramic ice cream cup bowls: Longaberger Hostess gift, eBay
Pink flower salad plates: Villeroy & Boch, Wonderful World Pink

I am linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Hope Studios fro Tutorial Tuesday.

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