Since it's almost spring (and friends tell me it already is meteorological spring -- I wish they'd tell that to the weather here -- we bounce from high to low) I figured it was time to spring up the house.
This will hold till I bring up Easter things -- probably around the first of April, since Easter is so late this year.
A couple of bunnies are making an early appearance.
And my Vintage by Crystal girls for spring are out and ready to make me smile.
Two bunches of tulips and a vintage Hall Crocus bean pot make for a cheery arrangement.
The Crocus pattern is one of my favorites and I've been collecting it for years. Soon I'll bring up the dinnerware -- always fun for spring. Over the years I've gathered quite a collection of serving pieces and teapots as well, which always make me happy to use.
I'm not ready to decorate for Easter-proper but I really needed to take charge of those cookbooks that no longer have a shelf. So I decided on a French-themed mantel to take me to Easter. Wally Parshall's wonderful pair of Paris photos made for a lovely backdrop.
As I struggle to find places for those displaced cookbooks, I decided to put some of the French ones here. I really should add Julia's but I was running out of space on the mantel!
Those wonderful Quimper plates beside them are courtesy of the wonderful Sarah and I thank her in my heart every time I see them!
Adding to the French theme are several framed images from my chromolithography collection. All of these have come from my friend in Paris, Jerry, who is marvelous at finding wonderful things!
One day I will do a post on them.
The detail work on these advertising cards used in France to sell chocolate or soaps, among other things, is so beautiful!
And what is a Paris theme without an Eiffel Tower, anyway?
I used two. Because -- well, I couldn't help myself!
I haven't done much in the living room yet, but the cotton balls, a map of my up-north lake and a springy photo of my favorite guys serves us well for now!
And, I finally found sunflowers.
In these still cold days, they remind me of the struggles of the Ukrainian people -- and of beautiful late summer days, which will come again.
Finally, here's a link to one of my favorite go-to recipes -- my riff on Ina Garten's No-Stir Pea Risotto. I amp it up by adding in sauteed shrimp at the end, when adding the butter, parmesan cheese, remaining stock, wine and peas. It's the simplest thing ever -- just put four cups of chicken stock in a Dutch oven with a cup and a half of arborio rice and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. When done, add the remaining ingredients, stir for several minutes till creamy and serve. You can amp this up with shrimp, as I did, or asparagus or mushrooms and who knows what else. Easiest go-to recipe ever for company because you don't have to tend to it -- you can prep your last-minute ingredients beforehand and enjoy time with friends until the last few minutes when it's time to stir them in.
I served it with a salad and roasted tomatoes. It would look prettier on my Fiesta plates -- this is just too white! But you get the idea.