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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Garden Friends Christmas, 2016

I'm thrilled to begin entertaining for this year's Christmas season.  It's been a long time since I've been able to keep going through the preparation, the event, and the clean-up process that follows; it's such a blessing to have more energy again.  Today I am hosting the Christmas luncheon for my precious Bible study, the Garden Friends.  We're in the dining room, and I've prepared a table for 8.  Come on in...

 This table seemed to happen organically.

 I pulled the charger and dinner plate first.  After that everything seemed to say, "Here I am...pick me!"


This is the second time I've used the Vietri gold charger.  You also saw it here.  It's quickly becoming one of my favorites.  The Oneida Gold Beethoven flatware, an estate sale find, continues to get a good workout this season.  Although I've had it for quite a while, this is the first time that I've used the Waterford Anya Red tablecloth.


The keynote speaker for my design was the Royal Crown Derby Old Avesbury dinner plate.  Although definitely not an identifiable Christmas pattern, the Avesbury is absolutely a desirable choice for any celebration...such an exuberant and beautiful design.


The white hemstitched linen napkin with gold embroidery design was a recent eBay acquisition.  I think that these lovelies will be found on my table frequently!  The napkin ring is a Macarone ornament that I sent home with my guests as a party favor.


I love the deep amethyst tail feather on the exotic bird in the Avesbury dinner plate.  It was the reason that I chose the Waterford Simply Lilac goblet.  The wine is Glastonbury-Lotus Goldenrod.         



Voila!   Ready to party.


I took an old Glastonbury-Lotus gold bowl filled with floating orchids...


 ...a glittery gold garland that loops like a ribbon...


...a pair of Williams-Sonoma Brass Arlington  Hurricane lanterns...


...an assortment of sparkling gold Christmas trees from Hobby Lobby...


...a pair of hand blown amber glass balls...


...and bam!...we had a festive centerpiece for our Christmas luncheon.

 We dined on Chicken Tetrazzini, green salad, hot bread, cherry pie, and Texas chocolate sheet cake.  I was still full when dinner time rolled around.


Although it was a bitter cold day outside...


 ...it was welcoming and warm around our table today.  We lingered at the table a long time after lunch, laughing and sharing funny stories and sweet Christmas memories.  That's my definition of a successful Christmas party!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch





































Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Blessings, 2016





It's Thanksgiving at our house, and there's been a lot going on for weeks...


Even Beatrice Emaline was working on her own tablescape.  She told me that she had gathered berries for her centerpiece.  I had to get busy if I was going to keep pace!  I set a table for 12 in the dining room.  This may be photo intensive, so enter at your own risk.  Come on in...

 There were a number of inspirations for this year's tablescape.


My main inspiration was Sweet Mister.  I wanted to honor him with my design as much as possible...


I give thanks to God for giving me such a strong anchor in my life with Sweet Mister, so I wanted to anchor my design with the tablecloth and napkins that my love bought for me in a beautiful linen shop in Sorrento, Italy...part of our 48 years of memories.


 Sweet Mister is an avid and accomplished bird hunter, so...

 ...in his honor, this year's Thanksgiving design featured...


...the Anton Wingen, Jr. carved stag horn handled flatware which flanked the very affordable and manly Pier I hammered copper charger.  I began collecting the flatware for him last Christmas.  A year later, the collection is almost complete.  Tip:  This delightful charger demanded a crocheted doily to act as an anchor underneath the dinner plate.  Minus the doily, the plate could be rotated on the charger much like a lazy susan....not an experience that I wanted for my guests.  This sometimes happens when we mix and match plates for our tablescapes.  When I shop an estate sale or antique shop, I always take a minute to check for the grandma's old crochet doilies in about a 9" round.  They are a great solution for this problem and frankly they are kind of fun.


I chose the masculine Spode Delamere brown and white dinner plate for him, too.  You probably already know that the Delamere is the same pattern as the Woodland Spode, minus the wild game scene in the center of the plate.  I like that the plate is more versatile without the  wildlife design.  I managed to capture the beautiful charm of the Woodland pattern with...


...the Woodland Spode accent/salad plate.  There are number of different bird designs.




  To complete the place setting, I chose the Vietri optic acid green goblet and the Tiffin Elyse wine goblet.  Did you know that the lovely old Tiffin patterns were made by the Franciscan company?  I didn't.


I hope that it's not boastful to say that when Sweet Mister took his place at the head of the table, he had a great big smile on his face!


I have to admit that I'm a major fan of a full table...you know, "more is more".  I find that I really like a bountiful look for my centerpiece, and what better moment for a bountiful centerpiece than the Thanksgiving table?


There's nothing prissy and feminine about the Copeland Spode Gadroon white tureen, plus I really like it.  It was the perfect selection for today's design.


The copper mercury glass trees will make at least one more appearance when I decorate my tables for holiday entertaining.  I found them just last week at one my favorite local florist shops.  I've had the quartet of red mercury glass hurricanes for almost two years, but this is the first time I've used them.  I found them in a small florist shop that was next door to the physical therapy clinic where I spent many months rehabilitating after my two knee replacement surgeries.  As I remember, it had been a particularly rough day of rehab, and I decided that I deserved a treat as I was slowly making my way to my car and saw one of the hurricanes in the shop window.  I knew immediately that if the florist had enough, they were coming home with me.  She actually had to dismantle the finished piece in the window to complete the sale.  She was happy to do it.  The lovely fall leaves are Hobby Lobby garlands...but you already knew that!


The pumpkins are left over party favors from one of my earlier Chi Omega reunion luncheons.


Ready to party.  We served our Thanksgiving feast about 2:00, which allowed KC and David to sit and enjoy their meal while Hollis Harper took his nap in the nursery.


Our Thanksgiving menu featured traditional selections...well, traditional for us.  Isn't it interesting how many different Thanksgiving menus are thought of as traditions?!


We served the expected turkey and dressing, whipped potatoes and gravy, creamed peas, green beans...


sweet potato casserole, Cranapple Crunch, Christmas Pretzel Salad, lots of hot bread,...

...and pecan pie, apple pie, and vanilla bean ice cream for a dessert.

Yesterday, the little white owl was delivered to my door, a gift from a dear friend.  I thought that Beatrice Emaline and Hollis Harper would enjoy him, so I set him on top of the tureen.  He ended up spending most of the dinner perched by the edge of Beatrice's plate.  He was a last minute hit.  
We lingered long at the table after the meal was complete sharing memories and personal observances of reasons to give thanks.

From our house to yours,  I pray that your own Thanksgiving Day was filled with loving family and friends.  We have been blessed to live in an amazing country, and I know that we have more in common than we have differences.  I pray that we will remember that we serve a higher purpose because:

Psalm 33:12-22

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. 

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch












































































Sunday, November 20, 2016

Celebrating in Gold and White, 11.18.16


My friends Sheila and Sandy have November birthdays, and I looked forward to preparing a small luncheon for their closest friends.  Both of these friends are lovely ladies, and I wanted to fete them with an elegant and feminine tablescape that also gave a very gentle nod to the colors of Fall.  I set a table for 5 at the games table in the living room.  Please, join us!

 Tiffany blue, white, and lots of gold were the name of the game today.


  A vintage white appliqué organza floated gently over a turquoise satin undercloth.

 Isn't it fun when you picture a design in your mind, and it ultimately turns out the way you envisioned it? This was one of those moments.


 I've been slowly collecting gold and white pieces for a long time.  I had a blast pulling all the goodies out of my cabinets and closets to create this confection for Sheila and Sandy's party!

 New to my cache of charger plates, the Vietri glass with a ruffled gold rim charger is probably currently available at a shop near you.  They are mid-priced, and I am collecting them slowly.  Tip:  Pier One currently has a similar charger for $15.00 each.  Take a look before they are all gone!

 The Coalport Lady Anne white and gold dinner plate is absolutely elegant.  It definitely demanded the gold toned flatware as an accompaniment for today's design.


 The antique English Crescent & Sons, salad plate came from our wonderful Susan Nowell @  My Place to Yours.  She was choosing to downsize, and I was the grateful recipient of these lovelies.  They were probably the beginning of my adventure into collecting white and gold.




 One of my best ever finds and fantastic "gets", I acquired these vintage Glastonbury-Lotus chillers at a local antiques mall for $70.00 for 12.  They had never been used and still had the original Glastonbury tag on them. I grabbed them as quickly as I could.  Yippeee for me!

 The Coalport gold and white Cairo was a sweet addition for bread and butter.

 The taller Glastonbury-Lotus Golden Rod served as our wine goblet.  Also by Glastonbury, the gold scrolled goblet held water for my guests. I don't know the name of the scrolled goblet.  Do you?  I'd love to know.

 No pumpkins today, but the coral and gold tulips were a gentle reminder of the season.  The petite jardiniere originally held a Seda France candle.  I've been burning Japanese Quince and French Tulip candles like mad.  I would love to be able to use 4 per table for a large seated luncheon or dinner...my idea of recycling.


 A quartette of tulip bouquets surrounded the Mottahedeh white and gold tureen...so little effort for a centerpiece with great impact.


 Our Nana's beautiful linen and organdy embroidered napkins worked perfectly with the other elements in my design.  Thank you, Nana, again and again!

 This is one of my "barely eats anything" group of friends.  This day the menu included a cold avocado and cucumber soup for an opening course.  The entree was a spinach salad tossed with chicken and bowtie pasta, and Caesar dressing,  served with hot bread.  Dessert was a birthday ribbon cake with whipped cream frosting.  
 My friends were at the front door...time for the party to begin!

As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, I am already thankful for precious friends with whom I can share food, fun, and fellowship.  They arrived at noon for our luncheon.  We lingered long into the afternoon visiting with each other...altogether a perfect day.  Let me know if you're coming my way.  I'd love to set a table for you, too.

This week I am joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Dishing It & Digging It Link Party @ Life & Linda