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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Exotic Birds on a Late Spring Evening, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to entertain a few dear friends for supper.  I wanted it to be really special because two of them had never sat at one of my tables.  I wanted both of them to feel like the guest of honor.  Actually that's pretty much my goal every time I set a table.  It's why I always go the "extra mile".  Tonight we are seated at the games table in the living room.  Come on in and join us...



The weather is rapidly becoming too hot to dine al fresco, none the less, I wanted my table to remind my guests of a wonderful, cool spring evening.

I made the light teal matelasse tablecloth.  It is one of my favorites when choosing linens.  The Vietri gold rimmed glass charger plate set the mood for a girly but still elegant tablescape.  This charger is still in production and probably available at one of your local shops, should you be interested.

My camera had been giving me fits for some time.  I finally figured out why so many of my shots seemed slightly out of focus.  Please, forgive me for some of the shots in this post.  I think that the problem is solved going forward.  Again, one of my favorite things...the Coalport Exotic Bird dinner plate.  I've been collecting these for about 15 years, and to date I have found 5 dinner plates on eBay.  Normally, I don't start a collection unless I know that I have the ability to complete it.  I like this design so much that I made an exception! 

I've had better fortune with the Exotic Bird luncheon plate.  

The Waterford Simply Pink and the Lost and Found crystal goblet lent plenty of sparkle and shine to our special evening.  Why Lost and Found?  Years ago, a friend  of my sister-in-love's stole half of all of the crystal that she had inherited when my mother-in-love passed away.  One day, I attended an estate sale for a pawn shop that was going out of business.  I turned the corner, and voilà, there they sat!  The friend had pawned them, probably years ago.  My sister-in-love decided that I should keep them, and she would use them whenever she wanted.  And now you have the story of the "Lost and Found Crystal".

Finishing touches were provided by the Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance sterling flatware, my whimsical tiny blown glass salt and peppers, and the linen napkin with teal trim.

  It sings of late spring to me.

When I'm designing a table for four, I often find that a full sized tureen is out of proportion with the rest of the small table.  It makes an already packed table way too crowded, so...

...I usually turn to a covered vegetable dish and elevate it on a stand.  Tonight I used the Minton Cockatrice.  It works beautifully with the Coalport plates.  The hydrangeas are from my garden, except for the blue ones which I bought at the grocery store.  I am not a talented gardener...more of a "seat of the pants" gardener.  I plant something in the ground, pray for a few years, and cheer when I happen to have any success.  I love hydrangeas, and I can't believe that they have actually survived my lack of skills.  Tonight they are placed in the small urns that used to hold Seda France candles.



Candlelight sparkles from my Dollar Tree cut glass votives.  I love Dollar Tree, don't you?

Tonight I served Chicken Tetrazzini, a simple salad, hot garlic bread, and cheese cake for dessert.


We visited long into the evening (Sweet Mister was on a fishing trip in Colorado).

If you're coming my way, I'd love to set a special table for you, too.  Just give me holler and let me know you're on the way.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday w/ Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch































Thursday, May 25, 2017

Garden Friends Luncheon, May 25, 2017

The Garden Friends Bible study group met for lunch to have a fellowship time before we begin our summer break.  I was blessed to gather these priceless friends around my table.  Today I set a table for 8 in the dining room.  Come on in and join us!


It's Spring, and the perfect time for a celebration of color...


 and what says Spring?...


...more deliciously than...


TULIPS!  Thank you Whole Foods Market.


Of course, there were other pretty blossoms to be shared!


Now sometimes we need to amend the soil first, so I started with the Vietri charger,...


...which added just the right finish to the Mottahedheh Light Blue Lace charger.


Today's blooms are brought to you courtesy of the Spode Chelsea Garden dinner plate blossoms...


Close enough to smell the flowers


All good gardens need pretty ground cover, right?  Today it was the Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance flatware.






So many pretty posies...


There's even a tiny blossom on the Madeira linen napkin.


My wedding crystal Lalique Trèves wine was a fitting addition to the Waterford Simply Blue,


Amethyst,


Pink, 


and Lime garden art.

 And of course, one must have glorious potted plants.



Herend Queen Victoria...

So many incredible details

  A garden to be enjoyed any day of the year laid on a lawn provided by the Williams-Sonoma jacquard linen tablecloth.


Do you find inspiration for your garden while looking in magazines, or at a flower show perhaps?  Now you see where I found mine.


I'm always seated at this end of the table...a great view of my garden, but mainly closest to the kitchen.  Do you seat yourself in a place that allows you quickest access to the kitchen, too?


Every lovely bloom needs to be adequately watered...I like to place decanters at my table for my guests to be able to refill their water goblets without interrupting their conversations.

 Another delightful Garden Friends gathering.  Let me know if you're coming through our city on the prairie.  I'd love to set a lovely table just for you, and I know that my Garden Friends will join me to make you feel welcome.  There's always room for another blossom in my garden!

This week I'll be joining:

Inspire Me Tuesday with Marty @ A Stroll Through Life

The Style Sisters Centerpiece Wednesday linky party

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch











Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day

Mother's Day 2016, made me very happy.  I had been unable to sustain enough energy to entertain larger groups for what seemed like way too long.  This day I felt like my life might be returning to something that looked like normal.  I was so excited to gather our family around our table to celebrate such a sweet holiday...Mother's Day.  I set a table for ten in the dining room.  Come on in...

 Mother's Day...an opportunity to invite the men in the family to sit down at a completely feminine table.


I knew that I wanted to use the Williams-Sonoma matelasse tablecloth.  I like the texture, and it doesn't hurt that I rarely need to iron it!  I found it on eBay, and I use it often.  It's really not long enough for my new dining table, and I don't care!  That's how much I love it.  Some day I'll find one that's the 144" the table needs.


Mother's Day and Spring...a perfect match...new life and new beginnings...delicate blooms...pinks and greens...oh the possibilities!


Come a little closer and have a better look...


Always a regal base for any place setting...the Mottahedeh Blue Lace charger plate is flanked by Horchow's hot pink flatware.  Howchow called this a red.  I disagreed but kept it anyway.  I use it fairly often, and I'm still looking for a red flatware pattern.


I adore the Royal Doulton Lowestoft Bouquet dinner plate.  Did you happen to notice the wavy scalloped pink line just at the top edge of the verge?  That simple little detail adds so much interest to this very English design.  The whole design just makes me smile...so old fashioned, yet timeless.


  I alternated the Waterford Simply Lime and Pink goblets along side our Nana's antique French crystal goblets.  I wish that I knew more about her crystal.  It's so special.  Nana also provided the Limoges open salts.  It's always a treat to use her lovely things.  Seemed appropriate for her to be represented at our Mother's Day table.

                         
I probably was slightly carried away with the candlelight for our luncheon.  I just loved the way it made the crystal dance.  I've had the Val St. Lambert candlesticks for decades, and they remain one of my favorite decorative elements when creating a centerpiece...minimum effort for maximum effect.


As happens frequently, my centerpiece is really a no brainer...the crystal candlesticks...votives from Dollar Tree...


...Lenox china urns... and Hydrangeas from my garden...let me say that again...Hydrangeas from my garden.  I am not a talented gardener, and I have fought for years to finally have a number of precious Hydrangea plants that are actually flourishing  in our yucky red clay earth.  You would have thought that I had won the Westminster Flower Show.


Oh...and the Herend Rothschild Bird tureen, found during a great sale at a local jewelry/gift store.


A combination of pieces lovingly collected over time often make the best centerpieces, and we only have to shop our closets.



Delicate lady-like touches...


...to celebrate the important women in my life...the moms in our family.

I pray that each and every mother knows that she is truly appreciated and loved as we celebrate this year's Mother's Day.  I miss my mama every day, and I can't even measure what I would give to be able to share this day with her and honor her one more time.  HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

The Scoop #274 with Stone Gable

Centerpiece Wednesday with The Style Sisters