Friday, February 3, 2017

Kathy's Birthday, January, 2017

It seems like it's only been moments that I've been back blogging and communicating with all of you.  I think that's why it seems so unreal that I must tell you all that I find myself preparing for another surgery next week.  I have a mass in my left lung that needs to be removed.  All of the tests show that it is not cancer, but it has continued to slowly grow; and my pulmonologist says that it must come out.  Drats!  I was just getting back into the swing of things with my entertaining.  Depending on what must be done to remove the mass, I'll be in the hospital any time from 3 days to 2 weeks.  I'm praying for God's perfect will, whatever that is.  As soon as possible, I'll return to share my tablescapes with you.  I just didn't want you to think that I had dropped off the face of the Earth.  Your prayers are coveted, and I thank you in advance.  It does not go unnoticed by me that I am surrounded by some mighty prayer warriors, and I thank God for you.  In the meantime, I want to share the birthday luncheon that I hosted last week for my dear friend, Kathy.  Her favorite color combination is blue, white, and yellow....mine, too!  We're in the living room at the games table.  Come on in and join us...

I've always been fond of Jacobean floral prints.  I found this polished chintz tablecloth on eBay.  I think it was made for celebrating, don't you?!

 Mixing and matching this tablescape was so much fun.  Let's take a look at the elements...For starters, the AJKA King Louis cobalt goblet and the Tiffin Elyse wine added that extra little jewel-like sparkle to the landscape.

A feature player in so many of my productions, the Mottadeheh Blue Lace charger never fails to please.  Today it is flanked by the L'Argent Sophia Gold flatware.  I found mine at Tuesday Morning and on Horchow.  Tip:  This is a pretty inexpensive flatware, and I always wash it by hand and never allow it to soak in the dish water.  The rule of thumb is: if flatware is two piece construction, never allow it to soak because eventually the soaking will undermine the adhesive that holds your pieces together.  You'll end up with a drawer full of parts.  Now who would want that?  Not I.   
The leading role was carried by the Mottahedeh Blue Canton dinner plate.  This one was on my "someday" list.  I absolutely don't "need" it...I drove through Need about 175 miles ago.  This one is a definite self indulgence. Side note:  Marlis of Creative Journeys told me that there really is a Need, Texas not too very far from where she lives in Lubbock, Texas.  Who knew?!

The first course was a tomato basil soup.  I bought this unmarked bowl and under plate at an estate sale.  It had belonged to a precious couple, two of Sweet Mister's mom's closest friends.   When we were first engaged to be married, they made me feel like I belonged.  They were always so kind and loving to me.  I adore having something of theirs in my collection.  I think of them every time I use it.

So...have a seat, grab your Williams-Sonoma navy linen hem-stitched napkin, and remove the Coalport Countryware napkin ring.   

One of the reasons I like to use tureens in my centerpieces is they never break the 12-inches high rule.  I always try to make sure that my guests can see each other across the table.  After all, it's not just about the food.  Fellowship, relationship, and lots of visiting and laughter are the name of the game at my tables!
The quartet of petite bouquets are placed in small white footed jardinieres.  The jardinieres originally held Seda France candles.  I burn the candles as fast and as often as possible to build my collection of these wonderful little vases.

Ooooh, the curtain is about to rise.  Three acts today...the soup, followed by chicken tetrazzini, green salad, and hot garlic bread, and the final act...Italian Cream Cake.  Now you may ask, "Does she serve the same things all the time?"  Pretty much.  I just change my audience all the time, not my menu.

Well, this one may have to hold my passion for tablescaping for a while.  I'm going to miss entertaining, and I'm going to miss you all, too.  I'll be back as soon as possible. When I do return, I still hope that one of you will come my way one day and allow me to set a table just for you!  I'll invite some of my dear friends to join us.  You all are going to love each other!  In the meantime...Until we meet again...To Be Continued.

This week I'm joining:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Guyanne's Birthday Luncheon, January, 2016

 January is a month full of birthdays for beloved family and friends.  This week I was pleased to host a birthday luncheon for my friend, Guyanne, whom I have known and loved since we were in the first grade.  We're seated once again at the games table in the living room  Thanks to my old stand-by, the flip-top-tabletop, I have prepared a table for six.  Please, join me...

Guyanne is a gorgeous blond with sparkling bright blue eyes and peaches and cream complexion.  I wanted to created a tablescape that spoke to her gentle personality and beauty.

A combination of soft yellows, blues, lavender pinks, and creamy white-on-white, all fit my desires perfectly.  Let's take a look at the playbill for this production...

The Mottahedeh Cornflower Blue Lace charger takes my breath away each time I get to use it.  Pictures don't do it justice.  It has an amazing jewel like appearance.  The creamy yellow matelassé tablecloth was an eBay acquisition.  It's reversible to a lovely blue field with yellow motifs.     

 It's been quite a while since I've used the Copeland Spode Jewel dinner plate.  The lace rim and the scalloped verge have such an incredibly wonderful texture.  I can't remember the maker for the carved flatware.  I do remember that it is antique and was made in Boston.  Because I only have the knife and fork, I amended the place setting with the L'Argent Sophia Gold.

 An ingenue in my chinatown population, the Royal Ducal unnamed luncheon plate was the inspiration for my design.  I love the delicate blue edged scallops, and the intricate embossed rim offered an interesting contrast to the Jewel's lace.  I recently picked up a set of 12 of the luncheon plates on ebay for $29.95.  I think I received way more than my money's worth!

Go to work, my detail enthusiasts.

 To add even more to the color story and the softness, I used the Waterford Simply Blue goblet and the Italian Stelle Pink Scroll goblet.  I bought the Stelle goblets at Home Goods.  Come to think of it, I haven't been there in quite a while.  I need to make a visit!

 I love to use the Glass Act handblown mini salt and peppers whenever possible.  The tiny silver trays were found at On A Whim, an amazing store that also offers the complete line of

How would I complete a tablescape without at least a small contribution from our dear Nana?  I don't know.  The white napkin with light blue embroidered touches was used many years ago in her amazing and gorgeous dining room.  I'm blessed to have her things for my tables.

And my place setting is complete.

Today's centerpiece continued my soft and fluffy concept.  Soft and fluffy...a concept...right?  Sure!

The Copeland Spode Jewel tureen...

...was surrounded by a quartet of hydrangeas in a mixture of colors...

...seated in the small Lenox creamy white urns.  The tiny blue and white Asian compotes, maybe rice bowls, were found at an estate sales for minimal cost.  I've used them as candleholders several times.

For Guyanne's birthday celebration we dined on King Ranch Chicken, a green salad with vinagrette dressing, hot yeast rolls, and once more, Italian Cream Cake from La Baguette.

 We laughed until we cried, and we shared cherished good times and fellowship late into the afternoon.

 If  passing my way, please, touch base!  I'd adore setting a table just for you.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Monday, January 16, 2017

Becky"s Birthday Party, January 2016

 In 1952, Becky, Guyanne, and I met each other when we were in the first grade.  Over the years, we married and had families, and life took us to different spots across the country and the world.  Now years later, we all find ourselves back here on the prairie.  It is precious to me that the three of us have reconnected, and we are closer than ever.  I've always believed that when God gives me a gift, I need to be a good steward of that gift, and both Guyanne and Becky are precious gifts in my life.  Today was Becky's birthday, and I was thrilled to gather the three of us, Becky's daughter, and two more of Becky's friends around my table for her birthday luncheon.  We were seated at the games table in the living room.  Come on in and join us...
All the Christmas is put away for another year, and I could hardly wait to pull out some of my...

Blue and white, of course!  I made the striped tablecloth.  The fabric is Sunbrella.  It works equally well indoors or out and launders beautifully.

I know that I have used the luncheon plate in the past, but the dinner plate has been hiding in China Town for some time waiting to entertain my friends.

For the opening act, I chose the Mottahedeh Blue Lace charger.

Making a premier appearance at my table, the Copeland Spode Peacock dinner plate was a hit with my friends.

Another variation of the Spode Peacock plate, the luncheon plate is a pleasing variation of the dinner plate.  Hint:  If this pattern appeals to you, be prepared to engage in a search and to spend some time.  It took me a number of years to collect the luncheon plates, and even more years to even find the dinner plates.  Also, you will find that there are many variations of the Spode peacock plates.  They are all lovely.  The blue patterned center seems to make an appearance less often than others.

The topper was a gold rimmed Tiffin bowl.  It could have been a finger bowl during the Victorian era, but today it held Tomato Basil Soup.  The flatware is my wedding silver, Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance.  The cream soup spoon is from my mother-in-love's service of Reed & Barton Francis I.  I am blessed to be the caretaker of her lovely silver until it's time for the next generation to take care of it.

Keeping the color story consistent, I chose to use the AJKA Louis XIV wine and the AJKA Tommy water goblet.  I believe that AJKA originally made the Tommy goblet for St. Louis.  Hint:  Once a company discontinues a pattern, AJKA can begin to release it under their own name and for a reduced price.  Keep your eyes open!  AJKA is the premier maker of cased (colored) crystal.

This place setting made me very happy.

La stack, for all you detail lovers.

For today's centerpiece, I decided to use a strong shot of white to balance all the cobalt in my design.

The quartet of white bouquets from Whole Foods are sitting in petite jardinieres that once held some of my favorite candles, Seda France "Japanese Quince" and "French Tulip".  I've been collecting these lovely little vases for a while now, burning the candles as often as possible.  Eventually I hope to have enough to use for some of my larger parties.  I normally hold on to them for myself, but today, I knew that I wanted to share one with Becky for her birthday.  She can remember her luncheon each time she lights her candle.

The Mottahedeh "Musee Decoratif" tureen always elicits an appreciative response from my guests.

The details are amazing!

Let the festivities commence!  Today I'm serving Tomato Basil Soup, Chicken Tetrazzini, a green salad, hot bread, and Italian Cream Cake for dessert.

We visited long into the afternoon.  I can't imagine a nicer way to spend my day.  Do you have old friends that have come back into your life after years apart.  I hope that you'll invite them to your home and celebrate the bonds that can grow stronger now than when your first became friends.  It's one of the sweetest gifts in life, and I pray that you it will be your gift, too.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch