I Have a Seat at My Table Reserved Just For You!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cindy"s Birthday Party, June, 2014

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
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My dear friend Cindy celebrated her birthday in June.  Five of us gathered to celebrate her special day at the games table in the living room.  Come...join us!


Cindy likes high color, so....


 I decided to push the envelope with reds and oranges on black and white!  Red and orange are cousins, right?

 My centerpieces usually follow my design philosophy called "mini-max"...

Minimum effort...

 ...for maximum effect!


Yet again, I've turned to a piece in my collection of tureens.  This time I'm utilizing the Rosenthal San Soucci.  The grocery store flowers are set in black tole jardinieres found at Hobby Lobby.  I not only used them for my recent 50th high school reunion, but I plan to employ them again for another of my luncheons for my sorority sisters in mid-October.


 Ready for some details?

 The Caspari rattan charger has been languishing in the cabinet for quite awhile.  I decided to put it to work for my early summer occasion.  It lends a relaxed air to the table.

 Lunch will be served on the Wedgwood Countryware dinner plate.


The flatware is L'Argent Sophia, collected over time from Horchow and Tuesday Morning.

The Waverly beaded napkin ring, from Cuisine Kathleen, surrounds a Pottery Barn white linen hemstitched napkin.

Picking up on the colors of the floral arrangements, I chose the Waterford Simply Red goblet and the Bohemian orange wine.

Ready, set, done!

 Each of the floral arrangements is placed in a clear glass container inside of the tole jardiniere.  After we completed our party, I sent a bouquet of flowers home with each of my guests as a party favor.

I continue to relish entertaining my precious friends in our home.  I love that we can enjoy a relaxing environment with each other sans extraneous noises and interruptions that by necessity occur in a restaurant.  Chez Entertaining Women would love to set a place for you at the table some day.  Are you headed my way?  Just let me know in time to set a table!

This week I'm joining:



Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th, 2014

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


Things have been hit and miss around here this summer.  I'm glad to have a spot of time to share our 4th of July celebration, which was hosted by our friends in their home.  Most of the tabletop items are mine.  Kathy is one of the members of my "co-op"....a group of friends who share with each other, and who are welcome to choose things from my china room for their entertaining needs at any time.  Weather our here on the prairie can be fire breathing dragon hot in July, so Kathy wasn't sure whether we would be dining outside by the pool or in the dining room.  Answer?  She set tables for both locations.

First....the dining room...


My pair of porcelain head Uncle Sam Santas made the trip to welcome the guests as they entered the home.  They stood guard over the Wedgwood Countryware dessert plates to be used later in the evening.


 The Williams Sonoma linen hemstitched tablecloth and napkins added the perfect punch of American blue to the table.  The Wedgwood Countryware dinner and salad plates sat on Kathy's red charger plates.


A pair of simple glass containers held a mixture of flowers in red and white....

 The Buleigh Blue Calico tureen amply anchored the centerpiece.  I found it at an estate sale some years ago for $30.00.

 Kathy's lace runner pulled all the elements together.  Centerpiece done.

Finishing touches...
The goblet is Lenox Holiday Gem.  They used to be mine, but I sold them to Kathy when I decided to go with a different red goblet.

Kathy placed the cranberry bell that I gave her for Christmas at her place setting.  I think that she anticipated that we might be a rowdy group that she might need to "ring in" for dinner.  :-)

 We ultimately ended up dining al fresco by the pool.  Kathy sat two tables for their 10 guests.  I made the blue and white striped tablecloth a few years ago.  A ceramic lantern did centerpiece duty.

 A second table for four was set with Kathy's blue and white checked cloth and a smaller red lantern...

Both tables were set using my Williams Sonoma Outdoor Collection enamelware red charger plate and white enamelware dinner plate.

It was a wonderful evening.  We dined on chicken, pork, and beef shish kabobs, a green salad, and wild rice.  Dessert was Brandy Ice and an assortment of dessert bars.  I hope that your celebration of our beloved country's birthday was fun-packed and delightful.  Let freedom ring!

This week I'll be joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps of the Porch

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soft Summer Blues, 6.26.14

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


Several weeks ago, some friends called to say that they were on the way with....you've got it...takeout!  Time for a twenty minute table...

 Here we are...back in the living room at the games table.


A long time blue and white girl...


...today I was in a mood for soft shades of blue.


A quick trip to the china room yielded just what I needed for my tablescape...


...plus a short stop in one of the kitchen cabinets for the Furnival's Blue Quail cream soup...

Going in a rather traditional direction, at least for me, I pulled the Wedgwood Albion dinner plate and salad...minimal mixing and matching today.

 I don't fixate on matching my blues.  Somehow they just always seem to play well with each other when all is said and done.

 Yep.

Some of my favorites from the crystal cabinets...Waterford Simply Blue paired with the Tiffin Elyse goblet.

To prevent the creamy edge of the Albion from disappearing against the cream color of the matelasse tablecloth...

 ...I added the light blue placemat and napkin with the heavy passementerie.  If I had a light blue charger, I probably would have used it, but I think that the placemat did the job.  Of course, I'm now on the lookout for the chargers!

 No time for flowers...my centerpiece was a blue stretch glass presentation bowl.

 Finishing touches...my mother-in-love's Reed & Barton Francis First and the crystal salt cellars, a gift from my friend Debbi.

 A peaceful tone...perfect for a time to "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off."

 A successful equation for good friends, good food, and good fellowship....you're welcome to join us!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reunion Pre-Party Pool Side, 6.6.14

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


The day after the Wild Game Dinner, I dived head first into final preparations for my 50th High School Reunion.  Three of us from the steering committee decided to host a pre-party for a group of our old friends prior to the opening Friday night event.  We invited our guests for supper...pool side.  Our party was held in my friend Becky's lovely home.  What speaks to summer better than a pool side party?  This is my entry for Cuisine Kathleen's Summer Whimsy Challenge.


 Our friends are starting to arrive...so excited to reconnect!

 Our school colors were orange and black...I was never particularly excited about our colors, so I was thrilled with the way I was able to integrate our colors without becoming overwhelmed by them.
The black tole containers are available this season at Hobby Lobby.  Tip:  They needed liners; they do not hold water effectively.


 We set up a bar for beer, wine, and soft drinks.  You've seen my black and white toile tablecloths in the past.


 I found the black and white stripe tablecloths on eBay.  They were a great deal and perfect for our party.

 We used the pergola for our food.

 We had fun with the centerpiece...

 We used a small pump to make sure our fish had ample air.  After the party, they took up permanent residence in the Koi pond...



 The food was well received.  Because we were hosting a good number of men, we offered an assortment of meat items...fresh shrimp, honey glazed ham, barbecue beef, meat balls, and dollar buns.  A large salad, artichoke dips, a colorful veggie tray, and an abundance of desserts finished the menu.

 Supper for 60...

 Everyone was thrilled to have a spot of time to reconnect.  Some of us hadn't seen each other for the entire 50 years.  The hostesses had a great time, too.  We decided that when we gather again in 5 years, we'll do the party again.  It was a glorious, event packed weekend...a perfect way to start the summer!

This week I'm joining:

Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen