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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Owls About Lunch?


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. 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 community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.





October is such a blessed time of our year here on the prairie.  Temperatures are just perfect, and the winds are minimal.  Friday was just such a perfect day for dining al fresco.  Three of my sorority sisters came together to join me in hosting a luncheon for a group of ladies who all lived in the sorority house during the time we were in college.  We were thrilled to welcome several who traveled from out of state to join us...one of my pledge sisters traveled half way across the country from San Diego.  Some of our guests had not seen each other for more than forty years; it was a precious time for reconnecting.  There were about twenty of us who gathered for a reunion lunch.

Three tables are set and ready for our guests when they arrive.  I periodically check eBay for 120” round tablecloths.  These were in an auction where the seller was an event planner who was going out of business.  I picked up these cloths for $12.00 each.
Two of the tables are our patio tables, topped with my ‘flip-top table tops’ which turn them into 60” tables.  The other table is a dining table height, 60” folding table, available from Sam’s.


Fall mums perched on the capped columns around the back porch.  The colors are Cardinal and Straw, our sorority colors...otherwise known as red and  yellow.  I wanted to feature Autumn colors, and I was pleased to find these lovely blooms that gave a nod to Fall and to our sorority.

 I like to offer my guests a special treat when they arrive for a party.  Today we prepared Mimosas and served them from the dispenser that you see on the table.  I painted the champagne flutes.  The flutes can be purchased inexpensively from Bed Bath and BeyondTip:  I used glass paint that calls for the glassware to be baked in the oven to permanently set the paint.  The instructions say that items can be place in the dishwasher, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Over time I’ve painted about 75 of these flutes.  They live in their original boxes on a shelf in the garage, and I pull them out as needed.  I like to think that this small extra touch makes my guests feel special as soon as they walk through the door.


 I found the reproduction Victorian wire baskets at Hobby Lobby.  I bought inexpensive ready made mixed Fall bouquets from Sam’s, deconstructed the bouquets, and arranged the blooms in Oasis.  I had always thought of these ivy patterned tablecloths as ‘summer cloths,‘ but they seemed to work well today.  I like that the cloths repeated the motif in the Majolica dessert leaf plates as well as the colors in the goblets and the napkins.

One of our hostesses owns a booth in an antique mall.  She ordered the darling faux pumpkins to add to our Autumn theme.  She also provided the small framed owl charms and tied them to the pumpkins with orange and black striped ribbons.  At the end of our luncheon, each guest took a pumpkin home as a party favor.

Tip:  Especially when I’m preparing a party with multiple tables, I like to place decanters on  each table filled with water, tea, and/or wine.  Today I I liked the texture provided by the rattan wrapped decanter from Nell Hill, in Kansas City.   Guests appreciate the ability to easily refill their drinks, and I don’t have to worry that their needs are unmet.  The heavy cotton green napkins were bought on after-Christmas clearance at Pier One.  The forest green goblet is either Colony or Viking; I can never remember.  I’ve had them for many years.  The olive goblet is by Libby, and I found them at The Dollar Tree.  I was pleased that the mix of greens could be found repeated in the goblets, the napkins, the Majolica leaf plate, and the tablecloth.  It provided an element of cohesiveness in my design.  The bamboo flatware is from The Jennifer Farrell Collection.  I found it at Big Lots for $1.00 per piece.  Great get!

 I so like to stack plates!  The dark rattan charger is from WalMart, and I chose it because of the texture that it provided.  The black and white checked service plate is MacKenzie - Childs, “Courtly Check.”  I  like the point-counterpoint of the graphic design against the other design elements that I have used.  The dinner plate is Luneville, “Louis XV.”  I bought these plates for bargain basement prices through eBay auctions.  The Bordallo Pinheiro, “Leaf Plate,” ties everything back to the tablecloth and completes the Autumn motif.  The leaf plates were also eBay finds that I have collected over several years.


 Because we were dining al fresco, I used the dining room table to serve lunch.  The invitation asked each guest to bring a salad or dessert, and everything was so delicious!  I don’t know about where you live, but here it is common for friends to call and ask if they can bring something for the party.  I’ve learned to say ‘yes.’  It makes my guests feel like they are more a part of the party, and it certainly makes preparations much easier for me, especially when serving large groups.


For the centerpiece, I used the Fitz & Floyd, “Pumpkin Tureen.”  I flanked it with a pair of the same reproduction Victorian Baskets that I used on the luncheon tables.  The fabric is simply a remnant of fabric from a window treatment in my small office in the back of the house.  I turned under the selvedge and scrunched to my hearts content.  More of the wonderful faux pumpkins are scattered around the cloth.  I know that you recognize the Val St. Lambert candlesticks from past posts.  See the candle rings?  I think that you could easily use some of The Style Sisters napkin rings in this way.  http://www.thestylesisters.blogspot.com


 I’m so excited about this luncheon.  I know that we all have groups of friends that have been special parts of our lives, but we’ve lost touch with them over time.  I am convicted that God put these dear people in our lives, all those years ago, for a purpose, and it’s important that we reconnect with them.  We need to be good stewards of these gifts that our sweet Lord has poured over us.  I know in my heart that He would have us be there to lift each other up in the good times and the hard times that will inevitably come our way as we grow older.  I encourage you to also reach out to your special groups from years past.  The tenderness of these moments will cause your heart to gently swell.  I know from this experience that ‘if you invite them, they will come.’ 











You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."

    

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. 










I'm also linking my post to Centerpiece Wednesday with The Style Sisters.  I appreciate that they sponsor this fun meme for our participation.  Be sure to check out all the wonderful posts!
Centerpiece Wednesdays Button

45 comments:

xinex said...

You set beautiful tables for this special day. I know your sorority sisters must have been so impressed and felt so special...Christine

Style Sisters said...

Gorgeous! Love the chargers, the gold salad plates, the leaf plates..the goblets...and the centerpiece! Beautiful. Come link up to Centerpiece Wed.

Karin

kayellen said...

So pretty!!
Love the outside setting...always my fav place to be:))

Happy Tablescape Thursday~~~

Blessings,
Kay Ellen

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello...

What a fun time this must have been! To be able to reconnect with all of your sorority sisters! Well my friend, you certainly set three lovely al fresco tables! By the way, what a beautiful view...I would have loved it! Your table is simply gorgeous! I love the mix of the different shades of green. Ohhh...and your floral centerpieces are sooo pretty! You did a fabulous job creating those! Loved the many wonderful layers in your place settings. Ohh my goodness, I think your handpainted flutes are exquisite...what a talented lady you are! Thank you so much for sharing this special day with us...and all of your gorgeous tables!!!

Warmest autumn wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Johanna said...

Hi,
you have outdone yourself with those pretty champagner flutes. Such a good idea, I will do that also, thank you!
Your tablescape is wonderfull. I love all those bright greens at the table. The shapes of the reliefed plates are gorgeous and the deep green of the goblets is amazing. I think, your guests have enjoyed that party. Thank you for sharing it.
I start a new blog event, baking christmas cookies, at 3. Nov. 2010. Would love if you (and everybody else) would partcipate.
Greetings, Johanna

Mary said...

Love all your usual attention to detail~ I'm sure your sorority sisters did too! Love the stacked plates and the green for dining al fresco! What a steal on that flatware :-)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your tables are beautiful, I love the green glasses! I agree that it's great to allow guests to bring something, people do enjoy it:@)

Martha said...

A very pretty luncheon setting -- love all your elements and those are very pretty tablecloths -- perfect for outdoor entertaining. I love to entertain in fall -- it is so easy to decorate with pumpkins and mums!

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

Cherry Kay, you are certainly the hostess with the mostest! This event looked like such fun for all involved. You clearly had fun preparing for it, and I know your sisters were delighted with the beautiful tables, as well as the fellowship. Thanks for sharing yet another example of your extraordinary talents!

Miss Char said...

Your tables look fantastic and I'm sure all your "sisters" loved every minute of your gathering. As with so many tablescapes you once again prove that you don't have to have expensive things to set a beautiful table. Thanks for all the resources you provided. I'll be hunting on ebay for tablecloths for sure, I never thought about someone going out of business having multiples of one style for sale. What a great bargain you got.

I was on the phone with friends planning a fall trip to Nell Hill's while I was reading your blog. Small world we have here in blogland.

Pat said...

Gorgeous tables! I love the use of three tables and what a beautiful setting!

I've wanted a 120 round cloth for awhile. I'll have to check around online.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I don't even know where to start, but let me start by saying, WOW! Just an outstanding party! Loved your tall centerpiece outside with the champagne glasses, and I loved your indoor centerpiece, too. And the tables! How cute they are... those skirts are perfect and the layered dishes with the leaves... adorable! Great job! I wish I could have been there. I love parties like this.

Happy Tablescape Thursday...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

I do think those champagne glasses are very extra special with your handpainted details on them! And the flowers were the perfect touch in your sorority colors. I've been so tempted by the Courtly Check lately, and seeing the pieces around your house has made me want some even more. Have a great day. Linda

Debbie said...

I think I will crown you the queen of the beautiful large luncheon party! You ALWAYS do it well, and I'm always taking notes in my head as I see the tables. Of course, I was trying to pick up cues as to which sorority it might be.

GREAT work. Always...

Debbie said...

Oh goodness... as soon as I posted, I realized that the title was OWLS about Lunch. Duh.
I know which one now.

Debbie said...

I can tell your heart and soul was into that party! I spotted your Mackenzie-Childs courtly check right away :o) I used the courtly check in my Halloween table this year.

Miss Merry said...

What a wonderful party for your "sisters"! Your patio is such a lovely location for an outdoor lunch and your tables are wonderful. I love the tableclothes and your layering is so artistic. Every little touch, from the flowers in baskets, to the carafes, to the pumpkin table favors just make the occasion more and more special. I am sure all your guests felt honored to attend.

Dining Delight said...

It was such fun reading this post as you pointed out each detail of the fantastic luncheon. The tables were amazing, how wonderful to be able to coordinate them all with amazing pieces! I really love the leaf dessert plates and the green goblets! I wish I could have been at this luncheon, every detail is thought out and so inviting!

DD

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Oh my...I almost feel as if I was there. The pre-party planning that went into this event must have taken so much time and effort and yet, so worth it. You reminded me of all those people I knew in college that I don't know now. I have however, thanks to Facebook, connected with over 100 of my high school class. It has been so wonderful and they are all so supportive when one of us needs an extra prayer or kind word. There are no friends quite like old friends.

Everything looks beautiful and like so much fun!

Laura said...

I saw so many things I need to add to my entertaining collection.
My favorite parties to give are for ladies/friends.
I need to stockpile round tablecloths and I need about 3 round tables for my patio.
Sigh...
It looks amazing.

Laura
White Spray Paint

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Your tablescapes are always so beautiful! Looks like perfect weather for eating outside!

You must entertain at least once a week! I usually only have "invisible people" at my tablescapes! LOL!

Katherine

Anita said...

Cherry Kay what an incredible event that must have been! You are amazing at putting these together. I love everything you did, and I cannot believe that the tablecloths were $12!! I need to start looking for those kinds of things on ebay instead of pink pyrex! The place settings are beautiful also, love all those plates. You did a fabulous job on the champagne glasses too. You are a gracious hostess!!

Bill said...

Hi Cherry Kay,

Everything looks so beautiful! What I admire most about your tablescape posts (other than that you do them so well, and that you love Haviland as do I!) is that, while so many of us only play with dishes for our posts, you actually USE then as you entertain treasured family and friends! Thank you for always being so generous about sharing tips and tecniques for gracious living. It's always a gratifying experience to stop by for a visit.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Warmest regards,
Bill

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

Wow, everything looks so beautiful. The linens were a steal on ebay, and I am in awe of your hand-painted flutes. So beautiful and sophisticated.
Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by
I'll be back soon
Jenny
www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

Christie said...

Your tables look so lovely! I love the majolica plates, the Bamboo flatware (I am going to have to start making regular visits to Big Lots now!) and all the wonderful colors! All of your treasures are lovely! Thank you for stopping by Three Pixie Lane and for your sweet words! I signed up to follow you! Wonderful tablescapes! Christie

Denise said...

As usual, everything is just lovely both inside and out. The mix of pattern and texture is wonderful. I can't believe you have so many leaf plates! I'm sure the sisters had a wonderful time.

P.S. Thanks for sharing your great entertaining tips.

Debbie Moore at Slice of Pie Entertaining and Cookbooks said...

These tables are just beautiful ... and I'm with you about keeping all those old friends in place. How wonderful that they came from long distance ...and you certainly treated them with a fantastic event! Thanks for sharing ... and thanks for reminding us that we are indeed blessed.

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady. Your Tablescapes are so Beautiful with the white and green tablecloths, and the generous china you use for family and friends ! You have a Great Day.
Diane

Marlis said...

You pulled together a very beautiful luncheon. I do so love the longer length of the tablecloths. The majolica really ties the whole package together. The little pumpkins and charms are wonderful gifts to remember such a lovely time. We are truly blessed and thank you for the reminder. I am headed to Tuesday morning at lunch!! Decanters, here I come!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Having friends, or in your case sisters, over for a time of fellowship and food is a real treat and blessing.

I love your setting and the perfect day you were given to eat al fresco.

What a wonderful idea to have those larger tables to use for gatherings such as your. And all your decors was beautiful. I love the use of the black and white plates with the tablecloths and the rest of your dishes.

Wonderful in every way! I'm sure everyone had a wonderful time!
Yvonne

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Cherry Kay, your blog is appropriately named. I cannot believe how often you entertain in your home, and I cannot believe how entertaining dining in your home always looks. How wonderful the 3 matching floor length tablecloths look, and your mixture of china is beautiful. I enjoy coming to see what you've put together for your friends. I know a get-together in your home is so memorable. laurie

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Touching post, truly beautiful. Love the glass paint and all your tips too. Lots of interest in the plate settings, how wonderful to be a guest of yours!

Fifi Flowers said...

FABuLOUS place for an event!!!

pozypeacock said...

Such a sweet post! You are so blessed to have all these wonderful friends around you. I really love the settings you have outdoors! My favorite place to sit and eat would have to be outdoors for sure.
Great bargains you got too.

Pondside said...

What a wonderful way to reconnect to your old friends. I'm sure everyone must have felt that the occasion was going to a treat from the moment they saw the setting. I'm learning quite a bit from your tables!

Sandy said...

Beautiful tables, what a wonderful treat for old friends. Loved the tables, the faux pumpkins and the rattan decanter was wonderful. Thanks for sharing and for visiting.
Sandy

Sherry said...

This is just gorgeous! You put such wonderful work into your tables. I really love the flutes you decorated they are so special for your guests. Very nice.
Sherry

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

What a lovely gathering! You certainly have a warm and welcoming style!

Deanna said...

Dear Cherry Kay,
Awesome table! Absolutely love the large flower arrangement. It is gorgeous.

All your details work together and I would be honored to dine at this lovely table.

Sooooo pretty. I'm going to walk back through this post and enjoy it once again!

God bless,
d

Destri {The Mother Huddle} said...

What an awesome post, the tables are beautiful too, but what a great message to go along with them. I need to make more time to get together with friends!

hip-chick said...

Oh it must have been so nice for your guests to bet together at such a nice spread. Everything looks beautiful.

Green Door Girl said...

beautiful, i seriously would love to be a guest in your home - you are such a wonderful hostess - you never leave a single detail untouched!

Christine said...

I'm so glad you showed the painted glasses! I have already purchased some glass paint and plan to decorate some wine glasses as gifts.

Christine Jargick said...

thanks for the glass painting tips! I would never, ever have thought of leaving the top inch.

Rita May said...

OH! I see a peek of your Henredons. You mentioned mine on MAY DAYS were the same. I've never thought of painting them. That's good to know.
Thanks for stopping by. I love the MacKenzie-Childs. And the Walmart.
You've got the high and low working beautifully.
Rita