Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Southern Lady Cake

Oh, I’m so glad you dropped by!  I’ve been baking and have a wonderful treat to share with you today.  I made a Southern Lady Cake and it’s one of my family’s favorite cakes.

006 (2) 

I’ve been making this cake for several years now after finding the recipe in an issue of Southern Lady magazine.  The recipe was created as a tribute to the magazine by a lady in Atlanta known as the “Cake Lady”.  It’s moist, has a wonderful texture and is so delicious with a delicate orange flavor.  Don’t be tempted to skip adding the glaze…it puts this cake right over the top!

Psst…if you don’t tell anyone it’s made from a mix, they’ll never know it! 


1 box orange supreme cake mix

1/3 c sugar

2 T all purpose flour

1 c sour cream

2/3 c oil

1/2 t orange extract

4 eggs

11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained

2 T orange juice

1 c confectioner’s sugar

Grease and flour a tube cake pan.  Combine the cake mix, sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Add the sour cream, the oil and orange extract.  Mix at low speed with a mixer.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  Add in the mandarin oranges and mix until all ingredients are well combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan.  Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Combine the orange juice and confectioners sugar well.  Drizzle over the cake.


The original recipe called for baking 45-50 minutes, but it always takes longer to bake when I make this.  I usually end up having to bake it for about 1 hour before it’s done.

Thanks for visiting with me today!  I’m joining these parties…

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday

Alison at Stuff and Nonsense for Fridays Unfolded

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

Sweet as Sugar Cookies for Sweets for a Saturday



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Piece of Victoriana

A few weeks ago, I shared with you my Victorian fern stand that I found at the flea market in Mobile.  The seller actually had two of the fern stands and I’m still kicking myself for not buying both of them!  He had traveled to the flea market from Mississippi and told me he had bought the stands from an estate sale in an old Victorian home there.


The stand had lots of issues…the legs were badly tarnished and the cast iron top and middle section was covered in rust.  One of the legs was a little bent, so it leaned to one side instead of standing straight.  My husband suggested forgetting about trying to restore it and simply paint the stand.  Oh, the horror!  What was he thinking???  Personally, I think he was having a senior moment about that time!


The marble was in pretty rough shape also.


Cleaning this baby was A LOT of work!  It involved multiple cleanings and sandings to remove all the rust from the cast iron. 

007 (2)

The brass was so badly tarnished in places and none of the several brass cleaners I tried would remove all of the tarnish.  Finally an antiques dealer suggested I use Bar Keepers Friend.  I’m not affiliated with this company in any way, but if you’ve never tried it, I recommend buying some of it.  This stuff works miracles!  (See how one of the legs was bent??)

003 (3)

So, here it is in all its restored glory.  All the rust is gone and the brass has a beautiful glow now.  The iron pieces were probably originally painted to match the brass legs, but I’m really liking the way it looks now. 


I placed it in my living room and I’ve been having so much fun playing around with different items sitting on it.  I started out with this…


and then this…

007 (2)

…and ended up with this for now.  I love it!  My husband was even impressed and said maybe he was wrong about painting it.  In the back of my mind a little voice is saying, “ya think so???”   


I haven’t decided what will go on the bottom yet…still playing around with that.  I’m linking up with these parties…

Marty at a Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday

Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday (my first time joining this party!)

Bee at Beez Rental Designs for her very first Frugal Treasures Tuesday

Patti at Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday

Doni at Faith, Grace, Crafts for Pearls and Lace Thursday

Sherry at No Minimalist Here for Open House Party

Alison at Stuff and Nonsense for Fridays Unfolded

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home

Redoux Friday Link Up Party #45

Thanks for dropping by and visiting with me today!  I hope to see you again soon!




Thursday, February 23, 2012

Death by Oreo Cupcakes

Just before Christmas, I came across a recipe here for Death by Oreo Cupcakes .  My family really wanted me to make them, but in all the Christmas rush, I simply didn’t have time then.  My daughter ever so sweetly reminded me last weekend that we STILL hadn’t tried the recipe, so off we went to the store to get the ingredients.


Oh my goodness, these cupcakes were so delicious…almost an Oreo overload!  An Oreo on the bottom, Oreos in the cake batter and the cream cheese frosting…then garnished with a mini Oreo. 

I did notice the mini Oreos were the tiniest bit soft where they sat in the frosting, so I would suggest not garnishing the cupcakes until right before serving them.


I’m joining Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.  I’m also joining Sweet as Sugar Cookies for Sweets For a Saturday.

Thanks for dropping by to visit!



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Better to Light a Candle…

than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb

I had the brilliant idea to stop by my favorite antique shop last week.  I only did it to kill time, you know, not really shopping or anything like that of course…but then, I walked in the door and I saw a glimmer of etched cranberry glass.  Well, of course I had to make a beeline for it.


Oh, it was love at first sight!  It’s heavy brass, which is in serious need of some polish, and there are four wonderful fish arcing down the base.


Hmmm…but what exactly is it?  It’s not a lamp and it didn’t look like any candleholder I had ever seen.  The central brass tube is made up of two pieces that lock together.


A spring slides down into the brass tube. 


A visit to an antiques board here on the web gave me an answer to the question of what exactly it was that I had found…it’s a spring loaded candle holder.  The candle goes down into the brass tube on top of the spring.  Then the top brass piece is put on and locked into place.  As the candle burns, the spring pushes the candle up to the top of the tube so it continues to burn.  Pretty cool, huh!


The most common ones made now are altar candle holders for churches.  I have no clue how old this one is…I just thought it was wonderful.  The best part???  I only paid $5.00 for it!  When I saw the price on it, I thought “Oh yeah baby! You are definitely going home with me!”

I’m hoping to have time to sit down this weekend and get it polished.  I can’t wait to see that brass glowing!


I’m joining Paula and Patti at Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday.


Thanks for visiting today!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Smoking in the Salon

Dahling…sashay on into my salon and pull up a chair.  Cigarette?  No?  Well, hold on a minute while I light mine and then we’ll talk.  (Ok…imagine the sultry voice of Mae West here.  LOL!)

Mae West

From the latter part of the 1800’s into the mid 1900’s, smoking was often considered to be glamorous and sophisticated.  Novels, and later, movies portraying the romantic and mysterious allure of smokers contributed to the huge demand for tobacciana items.   

One highly popular item around the turn of the century, especially in Europe, was the Parlor Smoking Set.  They were often made of majolica, porcelain or cast metal.  Smoking Sets can be found decorated with transfer scenes or handpainted florals.  The Set could consist of several pieces or one piece with various sections. 


This particular Smoking Set, made of porcelain and glazed a soft shade of green, was made sometime around 1900-1910 in Austria.  It’s decorated with handpainted pink flowers and gold trim .


There are three sections in the Smoking Set…one is used to hold matches…


The largest section is for the cigarettes…


And one section is for the spent matches.


On the back of the section for holding the matches are these handpainted letters – MOK.  Maybe the initials of the artist?  I have no idea.


Parlor Smoking Sets similar to mine can be difficult to find online…for the simple reason many people don’t realize exactly what they are. 


When I purchased this one, the seller had no idea what it was and had suggested perhaps it was made to use on the dining table to hold salt and pepper.  Hmmm, I suppose it could be used for that purpose if you really wanted to.


Thanks for dropping by my salon today!  I’m joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday and Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vienna Art Plates

Vienna art plates were tin plates decorated with colorful lithographs that were primarily used for advertising.  They were manufactured under six different company names in the early 1900’s.  The most commonly found plates today were made by the H. D. Beach Co. of Coshocton, Ohio.

001 (3)

002 (3)

H. D. Beach began manufacturing the art plates around 1904 and applied for a patent which was granted on February 21, 1905.  Beach continued to produce the plates until about 1913.

008 (2)

010 (2)

Many of the plates featured lithographs reproduced from hand painted artwork found on Royal Vienna porcelain plates.  One commonly used theme were ladies, but there were also scenic lithographs used.

009 (2)

011 (2)

My small collection features scenic plates made by Beach.  Two of them have the patent dates of February 21, 1905 stamped on the back, but the other two have a “Patent Applied For” stamp which dates them to about 1904.

015 (2)

016 (2)

You can see photos of all the beautiful Vienna Art Plates and learn more about them here.

Thanks for dropping by!  I’m joining Paula at Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday.  I’m also joining Sherry at No Minimalist Here for Open House Party, Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday.