Vintage Modern Hostessing: a Last Hurrah

Before the leaves entirely blanket the lawn and the water in the bird feeder freezes is perfect timing for a seasonal last hurrah.

As do all my gatherings, this party begins with a DIY invitation.

From a cache of black and white snapshots, this indelible image, which I’ve been saving for just the right occasion.

Man balancing Woman www


Scanned and uploaded to picmonkey for labelingParty Invite acrobatic couple cover words www


plus the addition of party particulars





 vintage-woman-on-phone-psd-graphic PARTY RSVP :


and the invitation is ready for delivery to guests. Mailing of the sort that requires an envelope and a stamp is my preferred method because it’s fun to receive an invitation for an event a few weeks out.

Yes, I’m that hostess – the one who plans and prepares in advance, so she can enjoy the party, too. PARTY_recipes vintage setup 0114 ea desserts


Inquiries from well-mannered invitees as to what they might bring are always lovely but never accepted. Your status is guest and that’s that, because I love creating the ambience and menu too much to share.


This party for 15 was an extended cocktail hour with a food buffet to encourage eating while imbibing.

PARTY_Recipes Vintage Setup 0113_ea table www


Homemade Dips: Pimento Cheese and White Bean & Artichoke served with cut up celery and healthy, handcrafted pita chips. (Tip: Make dips, slice celery  2-3 days ahead & refrigerate; chips stay crisp in a plastic bag)

Salad: Beets, Mandarin Slices, Feta and baby lettuce, scantily drizzled with dressing and served in punchbowl cups (TIP: Wear disposable vinyl gloves to toss salad and fill the cups; a silver sugar bowl holds cocktail forks)

PARTY Recipes setup 0122 lazy susan cups www

Creamy Tomato Soup prepared a day earlier and refrigerated. Gently reheat and serve in pitchers for pouring into a hodgepodge of cups. On the side, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish to sprinkle over the soup. (TIP: No spoons necessary)

PARTY Recipes setup 0118 soup serving www

Roasted Potatoes prepared 2 days ahead. Serve warmed. (TIP: Fondue forks make for easy spearing; available at restaurant supply stores)

Angel Biscuits by HamBob, virtually foolproof, made a week earlier and frozen.

PARTY Recipes setup Biscuits one pan good pic 0108 www


Two sizes – bite and heartier – split and slathered with a mustard horseradish sauce and filled with thinly sliced tenderloin or roasted turkey breast. (TIP: Bake meats and freeze, defrosting a day before the party)

PARTY Recipes setup Biscuits one buttered 0112 www

Desserts:  Pineapple Upside Down and Pear Cakes (TIP: Bake a day in advance for tastier flavors)PARTY Recipes setup 0124 pineapple upsidedown closer www


Setting up ahead of time, as much as a day even, is the best buffer to hostess stress-out. Plus, this is my favorite part – preparing the party landscape.

Sifting through my vintage collections of domestica, I really enjoy selecting and fluffing cloths, smoothing wrinkles, stacking mismatched napkins and plates, counting utensils, and checking glasses for spots. Early preparation lets me look things over, reconsider, rearrange, and finally, let it go as the best I can do.

With the holiday season fast approaching, this posting and photos are meant to encourage and inspire the Vintage Modern hostess within all of us. Yes, she’s there…deeper for some, but available to be resurrected and don that cute party dress.

xx EllynAnne

Tie One On…Give from the heart…Then give thanks.


The Happiness of Crafting

Fifteen some years ago, I purchased this side table for $5.00 because I loved the lines and the bronzed metal drawer pull. And that was that. Whatever grand idea I had never went anywhere, and the table collected dust in the basement.
Cowboy Table_Before www

Last spring, I was quite taken with a block of vintage cowboy fabric, but without an idea of what to do with it, until I remembered the battered $5.00 table in the basement. Hauled up the steps, a quick trip to the hardware store, and…

Table Redo supplies www

ta dah! 
Table Redo After www
A year later and I’m still excited over this table’s transformation. The last project to so affect me were these egg warmers, which I adored to the point of carrying them in my purse for ages, should the 

Egg Warmers www)
conversation turned to the quandary of keeping soft boiled eggs warm.

Oh, had the table fit into that purse.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

DIY and Save a Bundle!

The June 2012 issue of Country Living magazine showcases a home with “cinematic décor,” that includes this dress form clad in a lush print
mannequin in CL_urban outfitters (Medium)

Such gorgeousness comes with  a hefty price tag – $300.00! 

For a fraction of the cost, you can do as I did and create your own stylishly clad dress form using fabric scraps and glue.

Here’s my rainy day project from October 2011.
hallway mannequin in apron

This past week-end, Miss Scarlett greeted cocktail hour guests in a swirl of taffeta Domesti-Chic. On another day, a different apron. The dress form as art and display.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

a Taxing Spring Cleaning

The idea starts out with the best of intention: to toss mail and receipts and articles of interest and notes-to-self into a box, which I will go through and organize at a later date. But the box multiples into boxes, which become a part of the architectural landscape of my creative space, and thusly, become invisible.

This Landscape Filing System is ridiculous, and I know it, and yearly I strive to do better, especially at tax time, when the boxes need to be sorted through.

box of go throughs

I always get the job done, but in the “getting there,” I need a creative diversion to balance the intensity of left-brain focus.

This year’s diversionary project began with this table. Purchased about ten+ years ago for $5.00, I’d envisioned its transformation many times, but never followed through. Until……………………………

Cowboy Table_Before [640x480]

I paired a vintage block of cowboy material with a serape-stripe remnant, which led to a quick trip to the paint store to match the turquoise saddle and the red blanket, with a stop at the glass store for a quarter-inch topper. Three days later……………………………………

Cowboy Table_fabric_paints [640x480]


Cowboy Table_After [640x480]

Happiness is this table. Were you to see it up close, it’s not perfect, but it’s steps above my usual bar of “Good Enough!” If only my taxes and the computations required could answer to the same conclusion.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!