Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tile From 1929

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I have many words to share with you today.  Actually, I am not going to share many words at all, but instead some pictures of the original tile in my old house.

If you're new here, this is why my blog is called
The Lavender Tub.

The hexagonal tile in the Master Bathroom.

I've had a piece come loose before.  This tile is literally 1/2" thick.  It is amazing.

The ceramic towel bars are so pretty.

Modern toothbrushes do not fit these slots very well, but it's a great place to display a bottle of perfume.

Beautiful built in soap dish.

No one minds changing the toilet paper when it is this easy.

Such detail!

This is the tile on the floor in the kids' bathroom.

I love this look!  My neighbor has the exact floor, with a moderate blue instead of black.

I can't believe I just showed you my bathroom floors!  Oh well.  I hope you didn't mind.

Thanks for stopping by,


Tabouleh Made With Quinoa

Tabouleh is a salad type dish from the Middle East that is usually made with bulgar wheat and a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs.  Here in the South it is quite popular, and you frequently see it offered on restaurant salad bars. You can even find pre-spiced packages of bulgar wheat for making Tabouleh in the produce section of most grocery stores.  In my opinion, however, Tabouleh is a dish that should be made from scratch and with only the freshest ingredients.  

While I really enjoy the Tabouleh made from bulgar wheat, I rarely use that ingredient anymore.  Instead, I've started making Tabouleh using quinoa.  To learn more about quinoa and how to cook it, read my post here.  I like adding something to my diet that is not another wheat product, and since I usually have quinoa already prepared, it makes this a quick dish to put together.

Ingredients for 1 Full Plate:
This is how much I make for me alone, but I would probably call this 2 servings.

1      Cup Prepared Quinoa, room temperature
1/3   Cup Chopped Parsley, curley or flat
1      Cucumber, chopped
2      Roma Tomatoes, chopped
3      Green Onions, sliced - include the tops
1      Small Garlic Clove, pressed (optional)
2      tsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed only
1      tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - or to taste
1/4   tsp. Salt
For Variety, try adding Pepper (black or bell), Mint or Cilantro

This is pretty simple.  Just wash your vegetables and chop them to the size you prefer.  Mix all the ingredients together, and that is it!  Serve immediately, or let the flavors mingle for 1/2-1 hour.

Honestly, you have to make this.  It is so fresh and absolutely delicious.  It also sticks with you much better than a salad because of the protein in the quinoa.  Yum-O!!!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, August 29, 2011

Bathroom Sign

Bathroom signs are so fun, especially when you can personalize them for your family.  Our downstairs bathroom is decorated with old pictures of London, so I thought a sign with Dapper young gents on it would be ideal.

Here is one version that can be printed in parchment color.  I printed mine in black and white on parchment paper.

Once again, I found a perfect graphic on the Graphic Fairy's blog, found here.  Her stuff is so appropriate for the age of my home; it is always the first place I search.

I actually blocked out what is written on our family's sign as it is kind of personal.  Hope you don't mind.

Since I wanted the sign to look like an old advertisement, I tea stained a sheet of parchment colored paper.  When it was dry, I printed the graphic on it.

Using an Exacto knife, I carefully cut out the men on the top of the design and then glued it to a piece of scrapbook paper that already had old advertisements printed on it.

The frame is actually a shadow box with a cushioned back to pin into.  Perhaps I will look for some old tie-tacks and tie bars to embellish the sign.

Now, I want a great big sign for my bathroom that says, The Lavender Tub!  Hmmm.......Graphics Fairy, got any great old tub pictures up your sleeve?

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, August 28, 2011

My First "Feature"

I'm so excited!!!  A website called The Kitchn featured my spice rack.  If you would like to see their article, go here.

Wow!  Who knew?!

Thanks for stopping by,
Love y'all

That's Oklahoman for "You guys are special to me."


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Henna in North Africa

Last year I had the privilege of traveling to a village in North Africa with some friends.  It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I hope I can return soon.

 While I loved the beautiful scenery

And the incredible architecture

My favorite part, as always, was the people.

One night we went to a henna party with some of the local ladies.
Although there was a huge verbal language barrier,
we were still women enjoying one another.

We all ate chocolate (I brought the Dove)
And had our henna done.

Henna goes on very thick like mud.  You leave it to dry on your skin, preferably overnight, and it leaves a stain.

I loved the party and the ladies were all so precious!

The girl who did the henna was amazingly fast, and aren't the designs gorgeous?

This is how the stain looks after the thick mud is washed off.

Yep, I am so ready to go back.

If you ever get a chance to have henna, it is very beautiful and a fun experience.  If you get to have henna in another culture, even better.

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Great Finds - Old Mirror

This has been the greatest yard sale summer for finding interesting "old" treasures.  Some of them I plan to remake; others look amazing just as they are.  

Like this old mirror I found at a country estate sale.  It was propped up against the side of an old shed and covered in dirt and mud dobbers' nests.  I really debated about whether to get it, because it is seriously heavy.  In fact I had decided to pass on it, but the people were wheelin' and dealin' with such great prices that I threw out "$3", and they said "sold".  I know.  I stole it, and I should probably feel bad.  But it was one of those sales where they just want everything gone, and they still had about 3 buildings and a yard full of stuff to get rid of.

After cleaning up the mirror, I decided I really loved her character and patina, just as is.  I mean how many tutorials have you read that show you how to get a new mirror to look just like this?  As I sat her in my garden room, I knew she was home, and she was already perfect.

Can you see the patina in the mirroring?

I wonder why the frame has green on one side

and aqua on the other?
  Sure wish I knew her whole life's story.

Here she is in place.  
I love how the blue ceiling looks in the reflection.  
I'll bet she's older than my house.

I can't wait to show you some of my other great finds, 
so hurry back.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Sparrows

I believe the most beautiful decorations of a home are not necessarily those things that cost a lot of money.  Sure you can get some very handsome pieces from Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, or Crate & Barrel, and I think if you have your eye on a special piece - you should go for it.  I'm just a huge believer, however, that our homes should be a place of respite and comfort, where mistakes can be made, and if they don't look like the latest magazines - it's OK.  

Your home should look and feel like you.  

And when you're at peace with that, you will be much more open to having people over and blessing them with yourself and your home.

One of my very favorite decorations is this little framed Bible verse and coin.  The coin was given to me by a friend who lived in South Africa for awhile.  She told me that the poor people there found this Bible verse to be especially touching to them.  They understand that this one cent coin with the two little sparrows on it has virtually no value.  There is almost nothing you can buy with it alone.  It really makes the point to them that if God truly does care about something as worthless as the two little sparrows on this coin, then how much more does God care about them.

While we went through our two years of unemployment, this coin and verse became so important to me, in ways it could never have before.  I truly had to meditate on these words and then make a choice:  Am I going to believe this, or not.

Thankfully, the days of no income are over, at least for now.  We are still recovering in many ways and certainly not living as we did before, but we made it.  As I look back, I am overwhelmed with God's goodness for my family.  

Needless to say, you do not have enough money in the world to afford my worthless little framed coin.  Isn't that ironic?  It is that precious of a reminder to me.

How about you?  What are the decorations in your home that really matter?  The ones that say, "This is who I am, and I want to share a part of that with you."

Perhaps you need to hear today that you are worth so much more than this priceless coin and two little sparrows.  You are precious to me, and you are precious to God.

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wire Basket Rack Remake

Once upon a time there was a woman (you remember her from the tale about the mirror found here) who was out yard saleing with her friend, D, when they happened upon a sale in a slightly scary area of town.  As they approached the sale, their typical conversation began:

     "Should we stop?  Does anything look good?"

     "Well, it looks like they have lots of tools, I think we 
     should stop."

     "Is it too scary?"

     "Nah, everything is in the yard and there are lots of 
     other lookers.  I think we'll be fine."

So, the two parked the pick-up and headed into the yard. The woman, who wasn't very interested in the tools, because she has decided to let Edward buy his own tools at yard sales since she never seems to get the right ones went to see if there might be any tables with some cute home dec items.  As she turned to enter the yard through the chain link gate....... something caught her eye.

Now when you yard sale, there is usually an I hope list in the back of your mind.  Things you're always hoping you might find, but know you're not likely to.

For the woman, however, this was her lucky day -  for right in front of her was one of those "I hope" things.  A three tiered basket rack!  Oh, how she had admired them in pictures and secretly wished for one, but had never really thought she would be fortunate enough to find one at a yard sale.

With excitement tingling in her fingers, she tipped the rack this way and that, all the while looking for a price.

     "Oh, please don't be too much," said the woman under 
     her breath.  "I would really love to take you home."

Shoot!  There was no price on it.  The woman now saw she would have to leave the rack exposed and go ask the owner on the front porch for a price.

Glancing from side to side, the woman happily realized no one else seemed to be interested in her treasure.   Not wanting to risk losing it, however, she decided she had better act fast.  With incredible speed, then, she hurdled the gate, a table full of tools, and appeared almost magically before the owner.

     "Umm, Sir, you have a rack over there with a missing leg 
     that does not have a price.  Do you know how much 
     you'd like for it?"

I certainly hope he can't smell how excited I am about this rack.  (You know, like how dogs can smell fear.)

     "You mean that brown thing against the fence?"

      "Yes, sir."

     "Well, I don't even know why that is out here."

Oh, no!  They didn't plan on selling it!

     "I thought we were throwin' that thing away.  You can 
     just have it."

Get Out!  Did that man seriously just say free?  Yep, sistas - fuh-ree!

It was all the woman could do not to break out into her own little flash mob!  

Instead, however, she calmly whispered the word "free" to her friend, who advised her to quickly grab the rack and throw it in the back of the pick-up before someone else nabbed it, or before the woman volunteered to go out with the guy on Saturday night!

  This is why you should always go yard saleing with a friend.    


Well.......this really is my crazy, but true, story on how I acquired this amazing rack.  Want to see what I did with it?

First, I cut two lengths of rod that fit perfectly into the hollow tubes of the rack to create new legs for the back of the rack.  They had a nice fit, but I glued them for extra stability.  They do not look the same as the front legs, but they don't look out of place.  A plus is that they allow the rack to fit closer to the wall, so I like them better.

Next, I washed it thoroughly and completely spray painted it with a cheap white paint.  I, then, lightly sprayed a satin ivory over the white.  I like how the white brightens up the ivory some, but also gives it an aged look as if the ivory has oxidized here and there.  When it was dry, I took a chain and hit the rack in several places to knock off some of the paint.  Oh, Edward is going to love this, not.

Isn't it pretty?  Dear, sweet Mr. Yard Sale man, you sure made a little Lavender Tub lady extremely happy!  And if you're not busy Saturday night.......

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great Minds Think Alike!

Do you remember my post on how comparing steals your joy?  I posted this printable

with several variations to choose from.  If you would like to see the other options, you can view that post by clicking here.

Anyway, when I was in Des Moines, IA, a couple of weeks ago, I happened to see this

Isn't that fun!  My sister and I were shopping in a Michael's Crafts, and this poster was there on an easel.

I can guarantee the artist never saw my picture.  And since I took this picture about five years ago in Ecuador, I did not see the poster before I snapped it.

Crafters often copy one another, which is an awesome thing as long as credit is given.  Sometimes, though, we just think alike.  I love that!

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

Remember when we cooked 4 chickens at once and then made broth from the bones, here and here?  How would you like to turn some of that chicken and broth into homemade Chicken and Dumplings?  It is really quite easy!  Want to try?


First, sit out to thaw
1 Cup Frozen Peas

For the Soup

6 Cups of Your Homemade Delicious Chicken Broth, 
2 Cups of Cooked Chicken, thawed
     Tear into bite sized pieces
1 tsp. Salt, or to taste
2 Bay Leaves 
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp. Rubbed Sage

Pour the chicken broth into a Dutch oven.  Add all of the other ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Cover and allow to gently cook for 20 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves and add more salt, if necessary.  Also, you could add a drop or two of yellow food coloring, if you like that look.

Fifteen minutes into the cooking time of the soup, mix together the dumpling batter.  Do not mix it ahead of time, but just right before you need it.


3 Tbs. Chicken Fat or unsalted Butter
1 Cup Whole Milk

Melt the fat and milk together in a cup and set aside.  This is easily done in a microwave, but do not heat more than 1 minute.  You want warm milk, not hot.

2 Cups Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

Mix the dry ingredients together in a 4-8 cup bowl.  Add the melted fat and milk, and mix well.

VERY IMPORTANT!  There is a right way and a wrong way to make dumplings.  The right way is to GENTLY spoon heaping tablespoons of batter on top of the ingredients in the soup. You do not want the batter to go under the surface of the liquid, because that is what makes little doughy balls instead of fluffy dumplings. 

Once all of your batter is spooned, allow the dumplings to gently cook for 10 minutes, without a lid.  After the 10 minutes, cover the pot and allow them to cook gently for an additional 10 minutes.

When the second 10 minutes has passed, your dumplings are ready!

I like to add peas to my Chicken and Dumplings, but I don't like the peas to be cooked too long.  I also like a little thicker broth.  Thus once the dumplings are ready, I remove about 5 from the center and carefully mix in the peas with a fork.  DO NOT STIR THE DUMPLINGS DOWN INTO THE SOUP.  Just use the fork to gently stir in the peas below the dumplings.  I also stir in 2 Tbs. of Corn Starch that has been thoroughly mixed with 1/2 cup cold water.  Continue to stir under the dumplings until the broth thickens.  This should take 3-5 minutes.  Keep your heat so the liquid is just bubbling.

Return the 5 dumplings to the center of the pot and serve. 

You think the Cracker Barrel can make dumplings?  Wait until you taste your own!  Even your grandmother will be impressed.  Wasn't that easy?

Thanks for stopping by.  On second thought, what time will dinner be ready?  I think I'll just stop over to your place this time!

Love ya,


Friday, August 19, 2011

Beautiful Arches

One of the things I love about my old home is its beautiful arches.  I thought you might enjoy seeing what someone long ago designed to make their home very special.  I'm so glad they did. 

The arch to the Garden Room

With the doors closed

The Arch to the Living Room

Looking back to the Front Door

Arch to the Upstairs

Niche in Upstairs Hallway

Closet Doors 

Broom Closet

Sssshhh!  I store fabric in it

Arched window above French Doors

Have you ever seen such a Pretty Potty?

Hope you had as much fun viewing my little scrapbook as I had sharing it.
Thanks for stopping by,