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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Party Planning

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 holiday season progresses 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.




My grandsons, ages 5 and 6 !/2, came to see us today.  They went on their first quail hunt with their daddy and Sweet Mister.  They both got their first quail...I think that it was more exciting for their granddaddy than for anyone else.  Dinner was at my son's favorite burger joint.  The boys have had their baths, and they are already in bed, so they'll be ready to leave around 4:30 AM to go on their first duck hunt.  Exciting times for my hunter husband and son.  


Tonight I'm sharing a planning supper that we hosted.  We are going to host a wild game dinner with another couple.  I think that it's always more fun to plan a party at a nice table with a delicious meal.


The game dinner will be more of a masculine affair, and I wanted to keep the planning dinner relatively un-fussy, too.  

I picked up the black satin Fenton footed compote at a local antique mall for $12.00.  I don't think that they knew what they had.  The flowers are from my personal florist, Sam's.

Tonight we're using the Rosenthal, "Tulip" goblet and Nana's 1920's Lalique tumbler with palm fronds.  The white linen hem-stitched table topper is actually a bridge cloth from Nana's stash.  The dinner napkin is a large, heavy linen plain Damask with a simple geometric border...also from Nana.  We are grateful to be caretakers for so many of Nana's lovely treasures.


Staying with my un-fussy attitude, I anchored each place setting with a Caspari, Rattan Charger.  The middle layer is the Wedgewood, "Countryware" dinner plate, topped with a plain white Haviland  dinner plate.  Tip:  Remember that the French Haviland dinner plates are usually smaller than American or English china.  They'll give you more options when you want to 'stack' and mix and match.  The dark rattan flatware was a great get at Big Lots, $1.00 per piece.  I made the tablecloth from a bolt of marvelous tweed pattern drapery fabric that was a gift from a friend.  I've made several cloths from the bolt, and I'm going to have some new drapes made for our den...a very generous friend!

 We're ready for our friends to arrive for the evening.  I'd love to sit at the table with you some night and plan a dinner party or luncheon.  I can just imagine the amazing ideas that we could envision together!





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.
Click HERE for Tablescape Thursday.


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."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!  .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Dinner, 2010

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 holiday season progresses 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.




It's been a whirlwind day, but the Christmas table is set and ready for dinner on the 25th.  I've spent a great deal of the afternoon making Brandy Ice to deliver tomorrow to close friends.  We like for them to have it as dessert for their Christmas Eve dinners.  If you are interested in this delicious treat, check HERE for the recipe.  It was my mama's recipe, and it is soooooo gooooood!


We shall have a small group for Christmas dinner.  My daughter and her husband, my sister-in-love and her friend, and two friends who are unable to join their families this year will join Sweet Mister and me at the table.
The bones of my table are pretty much the same as my post for Snow Bird.  I've maintained the same greenery, and the white Poinsettias are making an encore performance.  

New to the tablescape is Nana's wonderful antique silver, oval presentation bowl...now home to the Poinsettias.  The center bowl is flanked by a pair of vintage Paden City Ruby Glass lidded compotes and Mercury Glass candlesticks.  

The vintage ruby glass pitcher has made the trip from the breakfast room, as seen HERE, to the dining table for our Christmas dinner.  I like to place pitchers or decanters of tea, water, or wine for my guests to refill their glasses during our meal.  This pitcher has been quite useful since I purchased it at an estate sale for a song.

Since we're celebrating the most important birthday party of each year, I've laid our table with one of our precious Nana's lovely antique table cloths and matching napkins.  This cloth is Italian Reticella. Nana loved beautiful linens, and this is one of my favorites.  The Ruby Flash Glass, covered butter dish was a great get from the same estate sale where I found the pitcher.  For our festivities, I'm using our gold flatware, Retroneau, "Holly."  I bought this flatware many years ago.  I periodically look for an additional 12 place settings, but so far no luck....some day.  The hunt is 90% of the fun!

You saw a set of the Lenox, "Original 13 Colonies Wreaths" plates displayed in the Welsh dresser HERE.
Today I've used the plates from the set that belonged to my mother-in-love...we're blessed to be caretakers for this unique set of china plates.  I'm thrilled that some day, each of my children will have a set.


I've layered the plates on a silver beaded charger, atop a red acrylic charger.  Each of the wreath designs is based on items indigenous to one of the original 13 colonies...

Virginia
Maryland
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania
Delaware
New York
New Jersey
Georgia


After everyone is seated... 
...we'll serve the salad course on one of my estate sale finds...$3.00 each...these Ruby Glass plates.  I really like them with the Waterford, "Simply Pink," goblet and the Lenox, "Holiday Gem," iced beverage goblet.

After dinner, served on a plain white Limoges dinner plate with a gold band, a dessert of Brandy Ice will be served in our Barker-Ellis Silver Mint Juleps.  The mint juleps were a wedding gift 42 years ago, December 21.  We use them for many things, but they've never been utilized for mint juleps.

The Brandy Ice will be presented on one of Nana's antique French crystal dessert plates, so the design of the wreath will still be visible.

On the buffet, I replaced the white poinsettias in Nana's silver champagne buckets with a pair of green mesh sparkling trees.  I exchanged the white porcelain angels for a pair of Indiana Glass, "Ruby Flash," compotes to add a punch of red.



I think that our guests will enjoy our candlelight supper.  I'll end my post with some candlelight shots.  I even came close to capturing a few blue hour pics.  This is still an apprehensive endeavor for me.  Hope that you enjoy them! 

Everything is in place and ready for our feast of thanksgiving and celebration for the birthday of our Sweet Jesus Christ.  I pray that your Christmas holiday is filled with His peace and the joy of fellowship with dear family and friends.  Can you believe that another year has flown by so quickly?  I have been blessed to have met so many wonderful bloggers who share my passion for gracious entertaining.  I look forward to visiting with you in 2011. Merry Christmas!

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.
Click Here for Tablescape Thursday


I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.  Click HERE to enjoy the talented participants from all over bogland as they share their favorite visions of the season.  Thanks to The Tablescaper for sponsoring this wonderful meme each week!

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."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  KC is currently the featured artist of the week at http://jivepk.jivewired.com/kcclifford.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!  .




  




Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cheer


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 holiday season progresses 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.


Every year I am thrilled to open boxes and closets and bring out the precious Christmas decorations that have graced our home all these years.  Some of them are wonderful...some of them are dated...some of them are just a bit tired.  All of them are special in my eyes.  They hold so many memories, sweet, sad, and bittersweet, of the journeys that are the lives of my family.  I am just as excited to hang the macaroni and glitter ornament that my son made in pre-school at age 3 as I am to create the vignettes for our marvelous Simpich dolls and to design a tablescape with our beautiful Christmas china.  I've never had a cohesive design theme for our Christmas house.  It's always been kind of an 'anything goes' moment.  And somehow that always seems to work for us.  I wanted to share our Christmas home with you tonight.  I hope that it brings  you a measure of joy.  I pray that something in my tour will help you to turn your heart to the 'reason for the season.'


On any given day, this sits on the corner of the kitchen counter, next to the back/garage door...

But come the Christmas holidays, the metamorphosis usually begins right here.  The Santa pitcher and mugs see lots of hot chocolate and spiced cider throughout the season.  They anchor....

...the rest of the counter, which stands at the ready for guests when they drop by for a visit.

You learned about the breakfast room HERE.

...and the 'Reason for the Season' HERE.  But wait!  There's more...


The tree is readied, and 'the stockings are hung by the chimney with care.'  I love to needlepoint, although I no longer stitch with the passion that I used to have when I made many of the items in the living room.  Take a look, please...


The lovely background pattern, the wise men and the angels were designed by Alexa.  I designed the shepherds and the holy family.  I'll stitch another angel for my daughter-in-love and another shepherd for my son-in-love.  My grandchildren will have stockings with the same pattern plus lambs.  I need to bring out the needle and thread and get busy again.

 
My daughter-in-love created the framed 'noel' for us.  It's so pretty!  The Santa Doll was stitched on a Melissa Shirley canvas. 

And then there are the rest of the Simpich Dolls, my favorites...


Hansel & Gretel appear at Halloween and remain as a part of the landscape throughout the Christmas holiday...


"The Gift Bringer," "Melinda and Chris"...

"Santa Takes a Break"...

...and "The Carolers," my original Simpich collection.  Oh my goodness, I just realized that I've forgotten to take out the "Elves" collection.  They may or may not make an appearance this year.  We'll see.


"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Joshua 24:15.  For our house, Jesus is the reason for the season.  I love that my children were taught that the reason that we give gifts at Christmas is to symbolize the greatest gift of all...the gift that God gave us when he sent His Son.  I would love to think that some day you might walk through our door at Christmas time, and I would have the blessing of sharing our treasured Nativity with you.  As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we pause to give thanks to God for all we received, all He provided for us to give, and for the moments we were in His will and felt closest to Him.  Merry Christmas!




That's enough for now. There's more to see, but I know that you are eager to check out all the other wonderful bloggers who are participating in Susan at Between Naps on the Porch's wonderful meme, Metamorphosis Monday.  Many thanks to Susan for continuing to provide such a wonderful vehicle for us to share our passions and our creative outlets.  Also, congratulations on your 100th Metamorphosis Monday...quite an accomplishment!

Click Here for Metamorphosis Monday




Holiday Decor Party
I'm joining Sherry at her 'Share the Decor' Party.  Click HERE to join the fun!




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."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  KC is currently the featured artist of the week at http://jivepk.jivewired.com/kcclifford.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!