Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Big Courtyard Sale

If you are anywhere near Chicagoland this weekend,

The Courtyard Sale starts tomorrow!

Here are some of the amazing things that are being offered 
starting tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.  
If you're going, be sure to get there early for the best selection.

Here's a link to even more of the items for sale in the warehouse- check it out.  

There are lots of gorgeous pieces of furniture, artwork and accessories 
and things will be going very fast....

Remember these paintings from my post about the Courtyard Shop last week?

They have already sold, for $10,000.00!  
That's a lot of money for the Wellness House!  

Congratulations, Courtyard!

See you at the sale!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Come to the Courtyard!

Come to the Courtyard!

"You'll treasure the experience".

The Courtyard is a fabulous upscale donation/consignment shop in Hinsdale, Illinois.
A team of dedicated volunteers staffs this ever-changing shop 
and the proceeds benefit the Wellness House in Hinsdale, 
an oasis of warmth, comfort and education for cancer patients and their families.

Their programs are offered at no cost to the participants and cover the entire range of wellness needs, 
from medical updates, nutrition, excercise, and arts, to bereavement and support groups.

The Courtyard shop is a treasure trove of decorative delights
with new items arriving constantly.
The challenge for the staff is to make the most diverse donation and consignment items 
work together to please the eye.

One recent morning, this was the "canvas" that awaited the volunteer designers.

Lots of items were sold in the past week 
and loads of new pieces had arrived, all needing a home.

The designers work quickly, moving things in and out 
and up and down until they were satisfied.

Here's what they came up with for this wall- Beautiful!

Here's another vignette:

And several more:

Love this hutch!

Fabulous ottoman...

Great pillows and one sweet watercolor terrier!

Look at all of this gleaming silver and gorgeous flow blue china.  

Check out these candlesticks...

For one very special table...

Great pair of nightstands.

Charming collectibles...

And museum quality artwork, too-
like this pair of original paintings by Antoine Blanchard...

And it gets even better!
The Courtyard has a warehouse full of items in storage.... 
New estate collections have been received 
and there is not enough room in the shop to display them.

So, the Courtyard is having a Special Sale Event
on Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2, 
from 10:00am to 4:30pm each day.

The designers will be working hard this week to set up the warehouse for this big event.
Stop by to see what new items are available.
There is so much quality merchandise- it will be worth the trip!

The Courtyard even has a Facebook page where you can explore the latest treasures 
and a blog with even more news and features.

So, come to the Courtyard!
You'll treasure the experience.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

I hosted my Book Club the other night and I wanted to make something Fall themed for dessert.
I browsed through my Fall Ideas and Just*Desserts boards on Pinterest 

They looked very easy and very "Fall".

I had all of the ingredients in my pantry and I decided to give them a try.  
I'm soooo glad I did.  

Here's the recipe clipped from Pinterest:

        Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

     1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
     1/2 cup sugar
     1/4 cup brown sugar
     2 large eggs
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     3/4 cup evaporated milk
     2/3 cup all purpose flour
     2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     1/4 teaspoon baking powder
     1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin tin with silicone liners, foil liners sprayed with cooking    spray or just spray the cups with cooking spray.  (I just sprayed the tins with Pam)  Either of these three methods will make it easy to take the cupcake out after it’s cooked. Paper liners make it difficult to remove the cupcakes.
 Mix the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk.  Add the flour, pumpkin spice,   salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture. Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 cup of the mixture.      Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes.  Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the   fridge for 30 minutes. 
Top with whipped cream (or icing) and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top and serve. 
Makes 12+ cupcakes.
See notes below.

Here's what mine looked like.

I topped them with some Mascarpone Icing from my previous posts 

 and added half a ginger thin for garnish.
These are Triple Ginger Thins from Trader Joe's but any ginger snap would do...

In a medium bowl, mix together:
1 8 oz container of Mascarpone cheese
1 cup of whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until stiff peaks form, about three to four minutes.

I piped the icing on using a pastry bag and star tip.  
Very easy and delicious....

They have the consistancy of Pumpkin Pie, but without the crust!  
And they came out of the muffin tins very easily.  

The recipe made 12 cupcakes and I had enough batter left over to also fill an 8" round cake pan.  
I baked that a little longer than the cupcakes and it turned out really well, too.
It's amazing how tender these are and yet they still easily hold their shape.

I think this recipe would lend itself to a lot of different forms...
You could make a layered trifle using several cake pans 
or bake it all in a 9" x 13" pan and cut into bars 

or in a jelly roll pan and cut into different shapes using cookie cutters.

You could also use whipped cream on top to save time.


Linking to:
 The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Be Inspired at Common Ground
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grand Demi-John/Carboy Lamp

Boy, have we been busy over here at Just Grand...
We've been working on a new lamp project that I hope you will enjoy.
You may remember that in June, I posted this picture from a shop in the Hudson River Valley

when I travelled there with Kim from County Line Road. You can read all about that adventure here.
It's a demijohn with a simple string of white lights
sparkling in the corner of a stylish shop.
These are also sometimes called Carboys.
about a lamp she and Mr. Savvy made from a vintage demijohn.
I loved the lamp, but alas, I had no demijohn....

Then I went to my friend Nina's Estate Sale and I spotted a demijohn/Carboy for $5.00--- SOLD!
I was just going to fill it with white lights and set it in a corner on or porch, like the one in the shop above.

Then Mr. Grand actually suggested, completely unprompted, and without having read Kim's post on Savvy Southern Style, that he could make a lamp out of it, with a switch for the little lights too.
Just wow. What more could a girl ask for?
And off he went to the hardware store...

But- He didn't just go to the hardware store.
He actually went all McGyver on me and came up with this awesome lamp that has a switch on the cord for the twinkly little lights and a switch on the lamp base for the big three way bulb!
He has mad skills, I tell ya!
I already had the shade, and it turned out to be a good fit.

Here it is at dusk, with just the twinkly little lights turned on.

And here it is with both lights switched on. Nothing like having options!

I absolutely love it.
It looks great on the porch and really enchanting from outside on the sidewalk.
I'm pretty sure everyone in town will be wanting one of these babies.
I know I wanted another one for our lake cottage. I think I may have said that out loud.
And, as if Mr. Grand was not already drowning in my good graces, he mentioned that he actually had an old Carboy of his own, down in the basement. And he thought it might actually bit a little bit bluer than this one, and would I possibly like that? Are you kidding me?

Check it out! For the lake cottage, bluer is always better...
Back to the hardware store for Mr. McGyver!
I'll keep you posted on the blue one!
It's all Just Grand!

Linking to:
Inspire Me Tuesdays at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Tuesdays Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspiration Exchange Link Party at Ella Claire
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable
Be Inspired at Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fabulously Creative Friday Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life

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Monday, October 7, 2013

A Blissful Beach House Tour

You're in for a treat today! 
Our friends Joan and Bruce have graciously allowed us all
to visit their absolutely fabulous, serenely beautiful beach house.
This is a Before and After Miracle.  
I'm not kidding.  Wait til you see what they have done with this house!
It's pure Bliss.

Come on in!

The entryway.  
Love the mirror, love the bench, love the pillow.
Color, Scale, Texture, Pattern.
Joan is a master of the mix, as you will see in the rest of the house.
This is just the beginning....

The entry leads you to 
the living room.

Everywhere you look, there are wonderful pieces,
a feast for the eyes.

Clean, crisp, warm, comfortable and so stylish.

This living room space has been completely transformed.

Joan and Bruce were able to see the potential in this room...
Here's a before shot-
hard to believe it's the same room.

Nice space, with a great ceiling and gorgeous views, 
but the windows didn't open.  At a beach house.

They found a way to rebuild the wall and add those gorgeous new windows.
Love the blinds, too.

I'll show you the outside transformation in another post. 
It's amazing, too.

The fireplace was redone and built-ins were added.
Even the built-ins have perfect new windows. 

Another fabulous mix of fabrics, colors and patterns.

Four different pillow fabrics, perfectly combined.
I am absolutely stealing this idea...

Love these blue chairs.

  A little modern, yet still comfortable.

And these bird pillows- beautiful!

More charming things...

everywhere you turn...

It's just sublime.

There's lots more to see of this beautiful home.  
Stay tuned for future posts.

Thank you, Joan and Bruce!

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Treasure Hunt Thursdays at From My Front Porch to Yours
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