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Sunday, July 17, 2016

July Antique Sale ONLINE!!!!

Find all my items on sale at Hanna Antiques, and now many items in my Ebay store! Find the items below, plus many more, on sale on Ebay in my Laurl Designs Store (click here). Everything listed below is 15% off!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Home Accessories with Staying Power- a How To

There is nothing worse than finding a trend you love only to see it panned the following year. The key to staying on trend without constantly changing your world is to catch the flavor of the trend, without a full out embrace- you need to "side hug" the trend!

Brass is a great hot trend right now. It gives a space warmth by reflecting warm light better than any other metal, even mirrors. However, going Brass-tastic on the family room will be disappointing when the next trend comes around.

The solution in three options:
Choose one brass piece, perhaps a table with brass legs or a brass top and place it prominently.

Find it here!
Image of Casa Bique Brass Tortoise Back Light Floor Lamp
Find it here!
Find it here!

TIP: Hit local estate and tag sales for vintage brass items.

Vintage Brass Pineapple centerpiece candle holders. great Hollywood Regency style.
Fine it here!
Articulated candle holder. Danish Modern. Mid Century. MCM candelabra. brass
Find it here!

You can truly give brass a side hug and use a gold leaf or mixed metal accessories.

Find it here!

Lastly, you can second guess the trend. Go one step beyond it. Say to yourself, if brass is hot now, what might be next, bronze, which is like brass. Or, is it time for the trend to swing in the opposite direction? If a trend just took a turn- from stainless steel to brass for example, then it will probably continue along the path for a bit. If we have already progressed down a trend path- red in the new black, pink is the new red, orange is the new pink, then we might be swinging to the opposite direction where green is the new orange. Opposite on the color wheel- green and orange. Try your hand at trend spotting! Even better, be an early adopter and the envy of your friends. Soon, you will be the trendsetter!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Shop inspiration: Silk pillows piled luxuriously in vintage suitcases

This display of my lavender sachets was visually intriguing for buyers back in the day when I was doing the farmer's market and craft shows in my area. The suitcases were great way to transport the sachets, too. They made it easy to pack and go to the shows, as well as break down the show quickly. 

 The old suitcases were a great talking point for customers. People are more likely to enter a booth when it looks like other people are interested. Plus, the bright colors of the silks are show to their advantage with the neutral palette of the woven rattan and linen suitcases.

This shop display inspiration for your Monday is not limited to just stores. How cute would it be to display towels, or other thoughtfuls, in your guest room.  Like the one below from Country Living Magazine.

Guest Amenities Put together a welcome kit for guests in a vintage travel case, including such necessities as towels, soap, and shampoo!:
Country Living Magazine

A fantastic vessel for larger floral displays. A suitcase with some yard greenery, make fall tablescapes easy and inexpensive! Find the inspiration below!

Wooden trunks filled with Pine Cones and Greenery
Find it here!

A few nice pinecones, some tree branches and a little shrubbery trimming and you have a display! You can sit small vases inside the suitcase to hold the branches or simply use some chicken wire. Remember to keep your display in a triangular form to keep it looking neat!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Papads and the Microwave, your next food obsession

I recently purchased a lot of cherries... I mean they were about $1.00 per pound, how could I not! So I am off to the races on making cherry based dishes- mostardas, chutneys, scones, etc. However, I was out of  black and yellow mustard seeds. So, on the to-do's this weekend was a visit to the always intriguing, Indian Spices store in Hoover. At Indian Spices, I am bound to find what I need and a few things to try. Today's "try" was a doozie of deliciousness!!! 

I had no idea exactly what I was buying, not uncommon in a store where about half the products have English names. I bought what I thought was called Khichiya. After all, it is the first word at the top. But according to the internet, they are called papad- the rice version of papadums. 

 I could read rice crackers and chili garlic. So, I thought that they were, you know, crackers, chili garlic crackers. I didn't read the light green box, with the instructions to see that you have to cook them, until I got home

So, off to the internet to see which method works best for me. My options were deep frying, open flame, microwave and oven. I found a video of a couple microwaving them and I riffed on this idea. He spread oil on one side with a ladle. I used my trusty silicone sauce brush and a little oil on both sidesThey are outstanding. Really outstanding. They are crunchy, airy, and strong enough to use with a dip. You know that feeling you get from eating pork rinds, where they start feel a bit sticky, but dry on your lips, especially after a few. This has that same feeling. In other words, lip-licking good. So, you want some? Read on!

Pour a little oil, I use organic canola, in a bowl and with your brush, paint both sides with the oil (you can be stingy with the oil). Then, place two or three on a paper towel in the microwave and set for 30 seconds. You will see them start to puff from the edges to the center. Carefully remove from microwave, they will be hot to the touch as will the oil on the outside and add them to your snack bowl. I tried a couple of waves of this and got up to 5 "crackers" in the microwave at the time. You have to watch them because the will burn like microwave popcorn, if you are not careful.

What do you do with these airy puffs of delish? I ate them like chips. But, I think they are to be eaten with a meal. And are they hot, you ask, well after a few, you notice the heat! 


1. Since you will probably not cook all of them at one time, you can put the rest in a resealable bag and cut the label off of the original bag to go inside. This is especially important if you buy more than one flavor... and now that you know how to cook them, you will want all the flavors.

2. You could probably even use an aerosol oil, but I don't normally have any. The plain ones would probably be good with a brushing of coconut oil- for you sweet and salty-ers!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

July Color Inspiration: Dragon Fruit, an intense pink for the home

My latest obsession is the color dragon fruit. I bought a couple of dragon fruit at the grocery store this week for a tropical fruit salad. The exterior is lovely in bright pink with green tipped fleshy scales, the inside can be white flesh with black seeds to this electric, intense dark pink. Mine were the intense pink kind, I am smitten! And, though it has been one of my fave Jacquard brand textile dye colors for a while, seeing the real thing made it even better!

1. Vintage Christian Lacroix pin from 2. White armchair from 3. Velvet Ottoman from 4. Moroccan PomPom wool blanket from 5. Silk Velvet pillow for  6. Pencil Rattan Chest of Drawers from 7. Overdyed Turkish rug from

Though this color is intense, when used sparingly, it can empower the viewer and the space. It is best combined with other crisp colors like white, navy, gold, orange or malachite. Avoid using casually with muddy or pastel colors like taupe, mauve, or jade. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July at Hanna Antiques- The BIG sale month

January and July are always the big sale months at Hanna Antiques. Why is it so big? Because, literally everything is on sale. Every space has a percentage off with some items marked even lower. Now is the time to stop in... Frankly, more than once. And, bring your gift giving list, secret santa, "stock the gift closet" and all your other buying lists. Stop by now and then in a week and then again before the month is out, the merchandise changes that rapidly!

So, here we are... on the cusp of back to college shopping or maybe your first Thanksgiving dinner and need a few well priced furniture or accessory items. Or perhaps, just a Summer pick-me-up!

Here are my picks from this week as great items at Hanna Antiques. You can find them at 2500 7th Ave. South in Birmingham, AL!

Fantastic accessories for your wall!

Mid-century Delights!

Cute chairs, like the one above for $99!?!!?

Character pieces like this fab red chest of drawers

Scandinavian Modern Designs, like this chrome nesting table set. 

And, just plain ol' GROOVY things like this red metal cabinet for $150!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

French Butter Crocks- a Southern girl's best friend!

French butter crocks are one of the best gifts from France, next to the Statue of Liberty. Also known as butter bells, French butter keeper, and burrier, this two part ceramic container keeps butter fresh at room temperature. That's right, this stays on the counter or on the table! 

How does it stay fresh, you ask? Easy and very low tech, the water touching the butter creates a seal against air. When butter comes in contact with air, it starts to oxidize causing off-flavors. Limit the air contact and you limit the oxidation.

The outer container holds water and the lid with the bell holds butter- keeping the butter fresh and cool. And as any Southern girl knows, cold butter can break our light and delicate biscuits. 

When shopping for butter bells, look for one that is glazed on the inside can and hold at least a stick of butter. My favorite one allows the lid to fit upside down in the base for easy table use. (see below)

You can find butter crocks at outdoor art shows and galleries. They are a mark of a good ceramic craftsman's skills! Handles on the lid makes it much easier to use, if you have small hands.

From Ceramic Arts Daily

In case this seems like you might always have wet butter, I have another option for you! This French Butter Keeper (below) has a water well that the lid sits in and the butter is raised above the water. This does not keep the butter as long as the water sealed butter keeper, but you never have water droplets on the butter!

Find it here!

To keep your butter the freshest, wash your keeper in the dishwasher between every couple of butter changes and change your water every few days.

Fine it here!
Large Handmade Stoneware Butter Keeper
This big butter keeper holds 3/4 of a pound of butter. Fine it here!
The "never gets wet" butter keeper. Find it here!