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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Garden Friends Brunch

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.  As the harvest season approaches 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 area that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger. 


It's time for the Garden Friends to convene again after our summer hiatus.  I am so blessed to have my treasured friends at my table again, and I am excited to begin another year of our Bible study.  We have been gathering for twenty-three years.  We have lifted each other in times of celebration, and we have held each other through seasons of sorrow for all these years.  I can't imagine my world without these precious women, these mighty prayer warriors.  Each September, our first meeting is strictly social; we enjoy catching up on each other's lives and sharing a meal.  Today we are going to have brunch.

   When I think of autumn, my mind travels to the deep rich colors of fall foliage.  Although it is still relatively warm here, through the dining room windows, you can observe that the leaves are gradually beginning to change colors.  I decided that the rich ruby tones of Copeland Spode, Tower Pink would add to the spectrum of fall colors still to come.  These are the dishes that my mother-in-love used to serve daily meals to my Sweet Mr. and his brother and sister.  We shared many a repast on these at her table, and I am blessed to shepherd them for a season.

The Tower Pink features a Gadroon Edge.  I like the texture of the plate rim against the intricate design in Nana's old crochet tablecloth.  Tip:  When I first examined this cloth, after it came to abide with us, it was horribly stained.  It was really unusable.  In the 20's, most laundry detergents were lye based, and they were too harsh to use on fine linens; so women would try to spot clean them as much as possible.  The results were often less than sparkling.  That all changed when I happened upon an amazing product called "Vintage Soak."  I buy it from The Antique House, www.antiquehouseokc.com.  After washing the cloth and following the instructions, which includes soaking it in a bathtub with the Vintage Soak for up to 48 hours, this old cloth has a brand new life.  It is now a pleasure to use it when entertaining family and friends.

The old King's Crown Ruby Flash goblets were also my mother-in-love's.  She always used them with the Tower Pink.  They are a great deal smaller than most current glassware, but they just seem so right for the Spode.  The antique Ruby Glass bowl belonged to my Aunt Ida.  I wanted to keep the flowers simple, and Sam's provided the mini white carnations and apple green daisy mums.  Did you notice the silver stand lifting the centerpiece?  When we were married, I think that just about every bride received a crystal coffee carafe positioned on a raised silver stand.  Do you have one, too?  Sweet Mr. and I have never drunk coffee, but I often use the silver stand for centerpieces.  My stand-by Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks add just the right degree of sparkle with a pair of Indiana Glass Ruby Glass footed compotes.  One of them belonged to my MIL, and I found the match on eBay.  Yippeeeeee!


Today there were sixteen of us for brunch.  I often set a second table in the foyer, in close proximity to the dining room.  I combined a square crochet table topper with crochet place mats to mimic the design for the dining table.  The center piece is a vintage Paden City lidded compote floated between a pair of Aunt Ida's antique ruby glass candlesticks that I repurposed as floral containers.  Tip:  This table is actually one of my round wrought iron patio tables.  I bring it in, add one of the 60" flip-top tabletops (byinvitationonly@cox.net...if you wish to inquire)and a 120" round, floor-length tablecloth, and voila...I have an extra dining table!

Today I used the breakfast room table to serve our brunch.  The antique Luneville trivet covered with cherries was a gift from my little sister after a trip to Paris.  The butter dish was my Mama's.  We used it everyday when I was a little girl.  Tip:  The three-tiered tray is actually just an inexpensive set by Anchor Hocking  .  I can insert a chop plate, a dinner plate, and a salad plate from any pattern of china, and it becomes the perfect serving piece.  I think that I bought it at Walmart for less than $20.00.  The old cut-glass pitcher was Nana's.  Today I filled it with orange juice.

The silver container with mini carnations is part of a group of Victorian Britannia Silver that belonged to my maternal grandmother.  In its former life, it was a biscuit box.  The plate rack holds Tower Pink breakfast plates.  Tip:  Choosing a luncheon or breakfast plate for food service will allow you to use most 10 1/2" - 11" dinner plates as charger plates...handy trick.

I think that I'm all ready for our brunch.  I hear the doorbell.  The Garden Friends are arriving, and they always contribute some delicious recipes for our feasts.  I wonder if I'll remember to light the candles.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't.  I don't think anyone really notices...I need to remember to not sweat the small stuff. 
And so another year begins for the Garden Friends.  We'd love to have you join us.  Let me know if you're going to be in my area.  I want you to sit next to me!


Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday.  Click on the button below to hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.










38 comments:

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

An elegant TS for today, I would say, that I can sit without worrying that I break your treasures §;-)
This is reality. Love it specially your clear crystal glasses.

Happy TST from Scandinavian simplicity
/chie

Sue said...

WOW, these tables are beautiful and I read every word about them! Your MIL's china is so pretty- I am fascinated with red in any shape or form. The glassware is very lovely, and you have set your tables to perfection. I love how you repurposed the carafe stand to hold your centerpiece. I am going to borrow that idea- thanks for your ingenuity! And thanks for stopping by to visit and comment. So often, these parties are "link and run," as I call it. LOL
~ Sue

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Just beautiful, I love all the different pieces!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Absolutely gorgeous settings!

Joan said...

Thank you for the information about cleaning the old tablecloth. I have one very similar from my mother's estate, and it just needs some brightening! We both are so lucky to have things from mothers and mother-in- laws that make a table so charming. I hope my children will cherish these things as well.

Sailing Simply said...

Very pretty! You have a wonderful collection of red transferware! I hope you have fantastic study this year too. I like the smaller table with the two floral arrangements. It's all so beautiful. Enjoy!

bj said...

What a lovely time you must have had. Your tables are both just stunning. And your sparkling clean hutch holding more sparkling items. It all looks just wonderful. So glad I stopped in...come by to see me when you can.
xo bj

Denise said...

What lovely tables you have set today. The red just pops on your vintage tablecloth. I'll have to check out the site for the Vintage Soak. I'd love to live close enough to join your group. Your friends are so lucky to have you as their hostess.

Thanks for sharing these tables and all your extra tips.

Jacqueline said...

My aunt had ruby goblets similar to these. I wonder if they were the same brand. They were always set at the head table for Christmas and everyone wanted to inherit them. Of course, the executor of the will, her oldest niece inherited them! I would love to find some. This is such a gorgeous table with all of your ruby pieces. I love everything. The tiered stand is wonderful, but because of fond memories, I love the goblets best, I am having goblet envy!!! I am off to ebay!

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

your table is beautiful. I like the reds and pinks you used on the first one and what a great idea you gave us with the three tier plates, how you used your own china.

I have a vintage table cloth that has stains in it, I'm going to try the vintage soak too, thanks for posting the link.

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

Cherry Kay, I always click on your posts with excited anticipation, because you always delight! Today I'm appreciating "blessed to shepherd them for a season" -- lovely! Your tables are gorgeous, and the colors perfect for the season and the occasion. Thanks for all the great tips you share!

Entertaining Women said...

Denise, Thanks for stopping for a visit. The website for the shop that sells Vintage Soak will be limited. You'll be able to get the phone number, and you probably need to call them. You will be amazed at the results. I'm a huge advocate for this product. Come back for a visit any time. Cherry Kay

Debbie said...

I love that you not only share your beautiful tables, but you give us the head's up on where we can buy things and great tips along the way.

I think the tables are both beautiful ( some favorite colors being used here to boot ) and they go together well. I love your dishes. My favorite part was the way you tiered them.

Another lovely luncheon table!

Jacqueline said...

Thanks for all of the advice. I had already gone to ebay and they had a lot of them. I was wondering how tall yours are? There seemed to be quite a bit of variance.

Southerncook said...

Your tables are gorgeous. Oh how I would love to be a guest at your brunch. Your friends must feel so very special.

Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

This is all just gorgeous! The goblets are perfect with the china! I don't know how you had time to post with hosting that big party! I'm usually pooped with preparations, etc!

Your daughter has a beautiful voice! We are very involved in our church food bank, thrift shop, etc.

Katherine

Mary said...

Another lovely luncheon table from you this week! I enjoyed listening to your daughter's recording & watching the video, she is incredibly talented... thanks for the reminder of how fortunate most of us are, with a table to set :-)

The Tablescaper said...

This is beautiful. Your serving pieces are amazing!!!

- The Tablescaper

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Your table is beautiful and of course seeing the glasses that my mother used when I was growing up, made me smile. What I love the most is that you have had the same friends for so many years. I envy that. We've had to move every time I felt that way. We would stay long enough to plant deep roots...12 years, 13 years and then we would have to start over. We've been here 7 years and the roots just aren't taking hold this time. You are very lucky.

Barbara said...

Oh, I always love looking at your tables. You can truly see the love that goes into each and every tablescape. I appreciate your reminder of the food bank. When deciding a few years ago about donations, we decided what was more basic that the need to eat. From then on, that is where our donation dollars have gone. Your daughter is amazing.

xinex said...

You really have the prettiest set of dishes and you set the prettiest and most elegant table, Cherry Kay. Thanks for stopping by. I still have a settings for 12 left on the dishes even after the settings for 6 get sold. I've had these for about 3 years and they are very sturdy, I have never broken nor chipped any of them so it's ok to let some go.....Christine

Kathleen Ellis said...

Beautiful, Cherry Kay! I love the red and white...everything is so lovely! Thank you for the info on the linen wash...I will definitely check that out! I frequently forget to light the candles, too...about half way through I remember!
Have a beautiful weekend~
;-D Kathleen

shannon i olson said...

well I have peeked at your blog before and it is always so lovely!I hope you enjoy making popovers! YOur Bible study ladies are very blessed to have you. Hospitality is a wonderful thing to model. I start BSF this week we are studying Isaiah, first year it is offered!
Perhaps if you have time and like to write you could check out a meme I have started on my other blog, next Wed will be week 3, it is storytellers and people are able to write stories of loved ones, tributes, heritage memories and child hood memories, I bet you could be a real encourager to many. Have a wonderful day.

Bill said...

Absolutely beautiful, Cherry Kay! Your tables are always inspiring, and it's fascinating to learn the history and stories of the pieces in your collection. You're generous to share so many clever ideas and helpful suggestions.

You have a great flair for writing as well as for decorating and entertaining. We're so fortunate that you've become and active and valued member of the Tablescape Thursday community!

Warmest regards,
Bill

Teri said...

WOW!! Now that is an elegant and gorgeous tablescape!
Blessings,
Teri

Mimi said...

Wow, those tables are stunning! Love the centerpiece on the large table.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Cherry Kay, these tables look stunning! I love the china pattern, and all of your beautiful accessories to go with it. I'd love to know how you did those sweet little floral arrangements in the cranberry candle holders. Yes, I received one of those coffee pots and stands as a wedding gift. It's never been used for coffee. I do use it to serve hot cider at Christmas sometimes. What a great idea to use it for flowers. That stemware is gorgeous too. You always have the "wow" factor. laurie

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I had to come back, because I forgot to tell you how impressed I am with your daughter's talent. What a beautiful and touching song she wrote, and what an honor that it is being used for such a wonderful purpose. laurie

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

What a special treat to be a guest at this lovley table! Everything is just perfectly lovely. I know that your guests were delighted as are we! Thanks for your sweet visit to my toile table.

Lori @ Projects Plenty said...

Those tables are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Ms Bingles Vintage Christmas said...

Oh, my goodness... This is just beautiful!
I am ready to come over for dinner! he he
Have a terrific weekend!
Leticia

NYCLQ said...

Just beautiful! I really like the buffet styled table. I liked the stacked clear glass cake plates, but utilizing & layering the printed plates on top. I also love the candelabras on the breakfront buffet, as well as the fresh flowers in front of the mirror...

Everything looks very elegant Cherry... Thanks for sharing (and for posting comments on my blogposts - I greatly appreciate it.)

Blessings to you...
:D Lynda

bj said...

By the looks of your pretty blog, no one would ever guess you hadn't been doing it forever!! :)

I, too, am actually NEW to the works of blogging..I have been doing it awhile but not really knowing what I was doing. I am not very good with computers, period. I've really learned a lot from a lot of really nice ladies, tho.
Thanks so much for your comment...hopefully we can all help each other along the way. :)
hugs, bj
(and....I'm MISSIN' MY MUSIC...bwaaaaaaa :(

Requi@Tablescaping Escapades said...

Cherry Kay, the Copeland Spode, Tower Pink is gorgeous. I know it is with great joy that you use the cherished inherited pieces. Your dear friends in your Bible study surely must realize your valuable friendship with them by the elegant tablescapes that you prepared for them and the care you've given as hostess of the brunch.

Thanks for sharing the great tips. I jotted down the website for the Vintage Soak. I might have to buy a trio of the Anchor Hocking stands; that is such a clever idea.

All the Best,

Requi

Marlis said...

OOH I love the idea of the anchor hocking covered with dishes!! Your tables are beautiful. The tablecloths are divine. The glasses are perfect with the spode. How wonderful for you to be able to use those wonderful treasures.

Been out of town and am catching up slowly.. thanks for dropping in and leaving your extremely nice comment.

lulumusing said...

Of course I love this table as I also have King's Crown thumbprint glassware and red/white transferware. We could combine all our dishes and have a heck of a party. Love hearing from you, Cherry Kay.

xinex said...

Thanks, Cherry Kay. I am using the Sevres pieces for my tablescape this coming Thursday...Christine

LDH said...

What a joy to stop by and visit with you, Cherry Kay! I wanted to comment on this post as my husband just got off the phone with several of our Bible Study friends. We always begin each new year with a dinner. We have been part of a group since we first began attending our church 26 years ago this October. We meet every Wednesday evening and my husband has been leading the group for the past 8 years.

Your tables are more than beautiful! How lovely to sit there and fellowship with precious friends!

Kindly, ldh