Saturday, April 13, 2013

No Evil Spirits Here - Fu Dogs On Guard

Hello again!

I really never knew anything about Fu Dogs (Chinese guardian lions, known as Shishi; literally "stone lion") or Imperial guardian lion, and often called "Foo Dogs" in the West. They have traditionally stood in front of China Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).  They were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits.  Fu Dogs will keep evil spirits from entering your home.  They are also believed to bring prosperity.  Here are two of our fierce looking Fu Dogs...very frightening, aren't they?

Female on the left and Male on the right.

The story behind our Fu Dogs - 

Mr. Piggy and I were at an estate sale close by in our neighborhood, when we came upon two sets of these fearsome looking creatures.  They were sooo fierce looking, and so beautiful.  Both Mr. Piggy and I were irresistibly drawn to them separately, as we walked around the house.  Finally, we both ended up side by side admiring them.  Neither of us had ever seen anything like them!  We didn't consider buying them as they were just not something that goes with our decor.  We like traditional/colonial things....but since our whole house is decorated with estate sale/thrift items, you never know what you'll find.  The price was more than we could spend anyway, living on a fixed income. How could something like these work in our house?

They are created in pairs.  The Male has a ball (indicating the world) under his paw.

The Female usually has a playful cub under her paw.

We went home and the next morning...Mr. Piggy said he "Had a dream"...about the Fu Dogs.  He pictured the large ones on the shelves next to our fireplace in his dream.  So I picked up my lap top, and as we drank our morning coffee, I read about all the benefits Fu Dogs can bring to you.  Just keeping evil out of our house seemed like enough, LOL.  We got dressed and went back to the sale, and even though there had been a lot of interest in them....the Fu Dogs were still there.  It was the second day of the sale and everything was half price.  Actually, there were 3 sets, and I wish now we had gotten the third set too.  They were green jade.  After a little bargaining with the estate sale owners, two sets of Fu Dogs were being carefully wrapped and taken to our van.  This was our second experience with CDO (Creating Divine Order) Estate Sales, and again, they took such good care of us.

Here's the second set...much smaller than the large blue ones, although it's hard to tell in pictures.  The proper placement is to have the female on the left and the male on the right as you are facing them.  

The male of this pair.

This Female seems to symbolize prosperity, with a pot of gold. we look for Fu Dogs at every estate sale we attend.  Not quite an obsession yet, but we are definitely interested in them.  There are so many different ones...bronze, porcelain, jade, and all price ranges.

At a recent sale, we found just a single Fu Dog.  I think this one is a male, as he has the ball under his foot and we couldn't resist that this one seems whimsical...covered with flowers and reclining.  I love the fact that he is a reclining Fu Dog, and love his coloring.

We went back on the second day of the sale to purchase him, and were so happy that he was still half price.  I guess not everyone knows about their "Mystical Powers".

I wonder what happened to his mate?

I put him on one of my latest finds.  An antique Ethan Allen Queen Anne Low Boy that sits in front of the dining room window...(for now).

This Ethan Allen Low Boy was found at a different CDO estate sale, and is very old.  The top needs refinishing, so if I was ever going to try out Annie Sloan decorative chalk paint,  (all the rage in blogging land), and paint a piece of furniture, it might be this piece.  It was half price day, so it was a bargain.  I wanted it for a night stand in the guest room, but Mr. Piggy thought it would look nice in front of the dining room window.  Since he does the moving, this was where it ended up.  I would only paint it if we later decide it belongs in the guest room, where I'm contemplating painting a Hooker Four Poster bed.

The antique Imperial Bonn Germany covered Cheese/Butter dish in the background, belonged to Mr. Piggy's great grandmother.

With his pretty flowers, he doesn't seem very fierce...but we won't underestimate his powers.

I just love him.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my Fu Dogs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Army Navy Lenox and Gold Tablescape

Hello Friends!

Well, my blogging journey continues.  I am so new to this and want to share but I'm afraid this old brain isn't able to assimilate as well as it used to.  This post should go under the tablescape tab, but somehow I can't figure out how to get it there, LOL.

This table setting is done with a LOT of estate sale finds, but also with my Lenox Mansfield china.  The centerpiece for this table is a Humming Bird Cake.  I have seen the recipe all over blogging land and wanted to try one.  It was really very good!

The cake server and matching flatware is from an estate sale.  It is "Ballad" by Community.  I loved the roses on it!

A close up of the pattern.

I'm so new to tablescaping, and forgot to get a candle light shot.  In this picture, I tried adding some crystal eggs from my collection.  The gold candle holders are from an estate sale, as are the little gold votive candles.

The gold rimmed vintage glass bowls are part of a set that belonged to my Mother in Law Lily.  She had so many pretty things.  The gold chargers were found at Tuesday Morning.  Cheap!  I think they were only $1.99 on clearance.  I've had the Army Navy tablecloth for years and years.  When we lived in Brandon, Florida, my neighbor Joy Maurer was a beautiful person who entertained often.  She gave me this Army Navy cloth and influenced me so very much in my early years in Florida.  Her southern home was decorated in Colonial Style.  She exposed me to things I had never known existed.  She's gone now, but I'll never forget her, her beautiful home, and her friendship.  I had no car, (we were a one car family then and hubby took it to work each day) and three little ones...she would drag me out of bed (and my depression), and we would go hunting for things for a dinner party she was having.  My youngest then was Kristin and the two boys, Ronnie and David, were in school.  Joy had a little boy the same age as Kris named Michael.  Michael had Cerebral Palsy and tiny Joy carried him everywhere.  I never realized that she was teaching me things every day about decorating and entertaining, but about life's challenges too.  She gave me a baby shower when I was pregnant with my youngest, Melissa.  Missy was born in 1970, so that was so many years ago.  How I missed Joy when we moved to the Orlando area.

 The gold rimmed stemware came from an estate sale.  I don't know what the pattern is...if anyone knows, please tell me!  The cake stand I've had so long, I don't remember where it came from.

I'm constantly looking for pretty napkins now.  These were a mess when I found them at an estate sale on the south side of Orlando.  The house was HOARDED big time...and the estate sale company owner told me that they filled 2 huge dumpsters before they could even get to the things to sell.  I soaked these napkins in Oxiclean and then ironed them.  They came out so nice!

I thought about some napkin rings that I have that would have looked great, and wish a little bit that I had used them...

I'm new at this, but have noted that most tablescape posts have the obligatory "rim shot".  So...not as good at picture taking as I would aspire to be, and my little Canon A620 Powershot camera is stretched to her limits...but here's my "rim shot", LOL

Another view of the cutout design on these vintage napkins.

Would you like a piece of Hummingbird Cake?  With Vanilla Ice Cream?

3 - cup flour 

2 - cup sugar

1 - teaspoon baking soda

1 - teaspoon salt

2 - cup bananas, chopped

1 - cup chopped nuts

1 - teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/2 - cup vegetable oil

3 - eggs, beaten

8 oz - can crushed pineapple


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour bundt pan.

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add remaining ingredients, including the juice in the crushed pineapples. Stir until mixed. (Hand mix only.) Pour mixture into the bundt pan.

Bake 70 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on cake rack 25-30 minutes. 

This is so sweet, you do not need icing.

I haven't a clue how to link up with anyone.  I love Marty's blog "A Stroll Thru Life" and she has a wonderful Tuesday link party.  Maybe I can figure out how to link up there?

So many things I wish I had done with the tablescape.  Wish I had taken a night time candlelit view.  Next time!
Love and hugs,