Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Garden Friends Fix, July, 2018

Things have been hopping in the month of July.  Dinner with friends over the 4th, meant no tablescape at our house. With the exception of a few weekend trips, we've held pretty close to home. I've been blessed to welcome guests to gather around our table on several occasions. Today I'm eager to share a luncheon that I hosted for my Garden Friends Bible study group. With some of us away for a fair chunk of the summer, I set a table for seven. After I finished taking my pictures, we had a late addition, so the luncheon was actually for eight. Ahhh, about the pictures. I've been doggedly trying to wrap my head around shooting in manual with my trusty Nikon. I fear that the quality of the photos to follow will reveal that for me, it's going to be a very steep learning curve. I hope that you will bear with me. Right now my results seem to yield aces and spaces. Okay, that's my disclaimer, now on to the luncheon.  I find that since we redecorated the kitchen, I enjoy entertaining in the space more and more. Today we gathered for lunch in the breakfast room. Come on in and join us... 


For my dear Garden Friends, I wanted to sculpt a softly feminine, creatively colorful tablescape. 

It's hard to go wrong when your art work is framed by the Mottahedeh Cornflower Blue Lace charger. 

The Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf is easily one of my favorite patterns in China Town. The colors are truly magnificent. 

The Williams Sonoma banded linen napkin was the perfect amendment with its aqua accent border. 

Making an appearance after the luncheon began, the Tiffin Minton luncheon plate was used for dessert. The coupe soup and underplate held an avocado cucumber soup as a first course.

The taller Pier One wine was purchased many years ago, and I've used it often over the years. The larger goblet was a recent purchase at Hobby Lobby on the clearance aisle. I found a full dozen, and they are a perfect color match. I think I will now use them even more.

This canvas was complete, and my guests loved the place setting. 

Two different pair of petite bouquets from Whole Foods Market were snipped and placed... a quartet of green vases found at a local florist some years ago.

The vases surrounded a Mottahedeh tureen. The celadon background and the pink trim worked well with the colors in the Tobacco Leaf plates.

It was a blazing hot summer day out here on the plains. It was one of those days when no one wanted to eat anything heavy or hot. Following the chilled avocado cucumber soup, we dined on chicken salad, egg salad, and a fruit salad featuring a variety of summer berries and fresh peaches.

Dessert consisted of birthday cake and brandy ice.

When we finally stood to leave the table, everyone realized that they would need to rush right home. It was almost time for them to have supper on the table. 

Sweet Mister called with plans to take me out for supper, a wonderful ending to a fabulous day. Remember, if you're coming my way, give me a call, and I'd love to set a table for you.

This week I'm joining:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Dress Gordon and a Give Away Winner Announcement, July, 2018

We had a delightful 4th of July with friends. They own a home on a lovely private lake, and the residents put on a lovely fireworks show each Independence Day. We dined al fresco with a perfect view of the lake. We strolled down to water's edge where comfy chairs had been situated for our use during the fireworks. It was a beautiful evening.  I didn't have an occasion to design a 4th tablescape, so this week I am pleased to share a table set for family last weekend. Our son Haze called last minute to let us know that he was bringing our two precious boys on Friday, to spend the weekend with us. I set a table for the five of us in the breakfast room. The menu was takeout from kind of meal. Come on in and join us. There's an extra chair in the corner that I can pull up for you.

A no frills table was perfect for our family this evening. Two men and two teenage boys don't require all the details...just good steaks.

A great frame can make its subject matter come to life. Framing the place setting this evening was the Spode Vermicelli yellow charger plate. Our every day Wallace Antique Bead flatware was paired with the Williams Sonoma Laguiole by Jean Dubost stainless steel steak knife. 

 Making an encore performance from the dinner party we hosted in early June, the Coalport Athlone Cobalt dinner plate was an eBay find. I like that it can perform just as beautifully in casual as in  formal settings.

 There is a neat story that goes with the Ralph Lauren Dress Gordon luncheon plate. A blog friend, Jo Anne Buckner, contacted me to see if I might be interested in buying several of her patterns. They were downsizing, and the time had arrived for her to to downsize her china collections. She and I came to an agreed upon price, and I purchased her Dress Gordon luncheon plates. I told her that if her children changed their minds and wanted anything I acquired from her, I would sell them back for exactly the amount I paid her. I prefer to think of them as an opportunity for me to steward them until her children realize that they really want them. I have another set of plates that I shall share with you another time. They arrived the day that I set this table, and I thought that they would be perfect for a "guy's table".

A woven dark green napkin that I've had for many years served us well this evening. I cozied up quite nicely to the plaid Dress Gordon. The Mikasa French Countryside goblet is always perfect for men. It has such a nice balance to it. I believe it is still in production, and can probably be bought through Dillards and eBay.

The Dress Gordon stacks up quite nicely with the regal Athlone Blue and the Vermicelli Yellow.

The Spode Vermicelli Tureen in blue sufficed nicely for our centerpiece. The salt and pepper are Coalport Countryware. 

It was about now that I needed to put down my camera for a moment because Sweet Mister called to let me know that he was on his way home with our meal from Out Back. It was time to turn on the broiler in the oven. Here's a tip: We like our meat medium rare. We always order it rare, and then cook it the last few minutes in our oven to take it to our desired stage. Doing this means that I can always serve the meal piping hot.

As we prepared to take our seats, the last of the sun's rays kissed the table. I have no idea what  caused the green reflection under the mobile butcher block piece sitting in the corner. So strange. Chlorophyll gone mad? Maybe there is a little photosynthesis going on over there in the corner.

It was time to put down the camera. I caught one last angle to include the Welsh Dresser. It has served us well for decades. Right now the Furnival Blue Quail is sharing display space with a selection of Hartley Greens Leeds Creamware serving pieces. The cheeky blue hens are happily nesting on the upper shelves. Tuggles, tucked in the lower left corner was my childhood cookie jar. I keep cookies in him for the grandkids. He's a feisty little tugboat! Remember, you are always welcome at my table. Just give me that call when you're getting close to our little piece of the prairie. Come summer we usually keep it cool enough to hang meat, so come rest and get away from the heat for a while!

As of today, I've been blogging for 8 years. It doesn't seem that long. I've climbed some mountains in the last few years, and I'm thrilled to be up and posting again. I relish the long distance friendships that we've made, and I hope to get to know many more of you as we all move forward. I'm pleased to announce that the winner of the Entertaining Women 8th Blogiversary Give Away is .... trumpets, please!...ROBIN OF NORTH/SOUTH BIRDY! Congratulations, Robin. If you will please, email me your contact information, I'll be excited to get the sets of 12 Williams Sonoma Sophia dinner plates and luncheon/salad plates on their way to you! I hope that you will enjoy them for many years to come.

Tonight I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fourth Quarter Dinner Party, June 1, 2018

Sweet Mister has been at it again, so the end of May turned out to be quite a busy period of time. Sweet Mister's birthday was Wednesday, May 30, and to celebrate we hosted about 100 guests in our backyard for a bluegrass concert. Thursday was a whirlwind as I cleared away things from the Wednesday party and maintained a dead run as I prepared for a Friday, June 1, dinner party for 24. Our guests were members of Sweet Mister's Fourth Quarter group. Fourth Quarter is a group of men who seek to invest their resources in significant projects to help others, as they approach the fourth quarter of their lives. I set three tables for our guests. We'll start in the breakfast room; come on in...

 We were still close enough to the Memorial Day holiday that I chose to set my table with red, white, and blue. I wanted to keep a masculine to neutral tone to my table designs. Sweet Mister actually chose the china for tonight's dinner. I was thrilled that he was interested in participating.
 Mottahedeh Blue Canton candle sticks were featured in the centerpiece on each table.

The Coalport decanters held fresh water for our guests. Originally the decanters held a limited edition liqeur. I've purchased a good number of them through eBay for less than $15.00, some for $7.50 or less.

  Each of the table centerpieces included a larger Mottahedeh Blue Canton piece.  For the breakfast room, it was the large oval tureen.

You'll find the Mottahedeh Blue Canton Bell candlesticks on several of the tables. I am fascinated by these bottom heavy pieces. I keep them out in our home much of the time. The small tin containers of yellow roses could be found on all three of the tables. At the end of the dinner, we asked each of the ladies to take a container home as a party favor.

The Mottahedeh Blue Lace Charger anchored the settings on the three tables.  I find myself using this charger quite often. The Anton Wingen carved stag horn flatware came out of Germany shortly after the war. I've been collecting them for Sweet Mister's party. So far I have almost enough 3 piece place settings. I need a few more forks, and boy are those teaspoons hard to come by. I fill in with a brown spoon from one of the  flatware designs offered by Horchow.  Because this was a gentlemen focused dinner, I went with a more casual Williams Sonoma hemstitched linen placemat for the evening.

 The dinner plate was Coalport Athlone Blue, again chosen for the men, by my man. I gave him an A+. The Athlone Blue dessert plate made a later appearance for Texas Sheet Cake.

To complete the place setting, I chose the St. Louis Tommy goblet for iced tea or water and the Hungarian AJKA Arabella wine. Both of these goblets have an excellent hand, perfect for men and women.

The place setting was completed with a red bordered hemstitched linen napkin, laid across the plate to preserve space on the 60" table. Nice for the gentlemen, with just enough elegant touches to please the ladies. I just noticed that a few of the wines are AOL. Sweet Mister grabbed them for guests who wished to have wine prior to dinner. Most of the time I serve pre meal wine in a different goblet than those on the tables. Tonight, I anticipated that it might lead to some confusion for some of my guests, so I suggested using the table wine goblets for both. It worked just fine, other than for this pic. Let's head on into the games table in the living room. Comments will be kept to a minimum (for me) from here on down the road.

The details are basically the same with three exceptions. The Mottahedeh Blue Canton candlesticks are a different style, and the centerpiece here is a Mottahedeh Blue Canton centerpiece bowl. This table has the addition of a Williams Sonoma white linen hemstitched tablecloth to cover the flip-top table top that I use so often to turn the games table into a 60" table.

Now we'll proceed to the dining room...

Again, just the same, only'll note the addition of a Williams Sonoma navy bordered linen hemstitched table runner. I don't use runners often; don't know why. I have them, I just don't use them regularly. 

On the dining table, I used the larger Mottahedeh Blue Canton Dragon tureen. This piece normally spends quite a bit of time on my mantle.

 You've come to expect at least a few touches from our Nana. Tonight it's the silver serving piece filled with salt and pepper at the right end.

At the opposite end, Nana's sterling master salt is paired with one of her sterling and cobalt open salts. Thank you once again, Nana.

It was a lovely evening with good food, good friends, and good fellowship. Remember, each comment will be entered to win my 8th Blogiversary give away! You can also take a trip back in my archives and comment there to earn another entrywith each comment, to win the give away. Bon Voyage. 

Speaking of Bon Voyage, Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch has been spending this last week in Maui, Hawaii. I can hardly wait to see her pics and learn about her trip. You'll want to check up on her this coming week.

This week I'm joining:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Antique Glass Club Spring Luncheon, Part 2, May, 2018

This week I'm continuing to share a few more of the lovely tables from the Antique Glass Club Spring Luncheon. I had to move quickly to capture as many of the tables as possible before the approximately 350 guests began to be seated. Also, I enjoyed playing with my new Sigma 35 mm Art Series lens made for Nikon. I still have a lot to learn about this lens, as some of my pics will testify. I hope that you will enjoy them, even in the hands of this amateur. Text will still be fairly minimal. Here we go...

This centerpiece was luscious. I loved the arch crafted of grapes and florals. The colored crystal posey vases were delightful.

Schuman Empress Dresden Flowers needs no introduction.

The reticulated charger and the layered napkins added texture to the design.

Tissue paper was cleverly used to craft the centerpiece for this tablescape.

I want to say this is a Herend pattern, but I shall willingly stand corrected if one of  you knows more about this dainty pattern than I.

Okay all you napkin ring collectors. This rose napkin ring was so impressive. I wish I had been able to inquire about current availability. The soft green goblet was the perfect color.

A second table laid with the Schuman Empress Dresden Flowers appeared a bit more regal because of the gold glass charger plate. Placed around the floral favors became part of the design.

My picture of the floral design shows the colors more accurately here. Photography involves a steep learning curve for me.

The designer of this table mixed and matched with two classic china patterns. Another beautiful floral centerpiece graced the middle of table.  I wonder what this table would become with colored crystal goblets?

Mottahedeh Blue Canton is one of my favorite patterns. I really liked the cobalt tumblers. I wondered if the B&O Railroad mugs were party favors for the guests?

The train centerpiece might be a delightful centerpiece for a Father's Day table.

I hope that you are able to discern how beautiful this table is...

...despite my photography shortcomings. The exotic bird dinner plates were magnificent. The hostess for this table made the tablecloth and all of the placemats and napkins. They were meticulously constructed. I was agog!

This was definitely one of my favorited tables.

The Fitz and Floyd turkey tureen was the perfect centerpiece. Notice how the aqua accents in the turkey...

are perfect with the turkey plates and the handpainted cups and saucers. The terra cotta under plate was the spot on contrasting color for this table.  The wooden acorns of assorted sizes were hand made by the hostess' son. The cups had belonged to her grandmother. I'm not normally a huge fan of turkey plates, but if God looked kindly on coveting, I would be first in line. They are magnificent!

That's enough for this week. I'll share some additional tables next week.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in my 8th Blogiversary Give Away of a set of 12 Pottery Barn Sophia dinner plates and salad plates! The winner will be announced the week of July 7!

This week I'm joining:

Inspire Me Tuesday with Marty @ A Stroll Through Life

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch.

Dishing It and Digging It with Vanessa @ DIY Designs