"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. 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.
Last week, Sweet Mister told me that he had invited a group of hunting buddies for dinner at our house on Thursday night. My task was to prepare a table, and he was going to take care of the food. I didn't know how many would actually come, so I designed a table for 8 that could easily be increased to 12. I was pretty excited about the results.
I wanted a to create a 'manly man' tablescape for Sweet Mister's evening...bold, masculine colors...strong textures and designs...not even any flowers. I knew in moments how I wanted to proceed!
Sweet Mister's carved decoys normally reside in the study. They occupy spots in the bookcases and on the floor. They were exactly what I had in mind for my centerpiece.
I adore Barley Twist candlesticks. I've collected my grouping through eBay and from a local antiques store, Notting Hill. eBay Tip: Take your time and compare a number of different auctions when searching for an item. The Barley Twist candleholders are a perfect example. Some of these antiques can be listed for a small fortune, but if you'll wait. wait. wait...you'll find just what you want for a reasonable price. Remember to read all the small print! Sometimes the word 'antique' refers to the 'antique' stain on the finish...or it might say 'antique style'. These are probably reproductions. And, depending on your need, sometimes a reproduction can serve you very well. If so, bid away! Read closely about the condition of all items that you consider buying on eBay. If one of your concerns is not addressed, send the seller a question. It is imperative that you ask all your questions before bidding. For one thing, if you buy an item, and it arrives 'not as described', you have a much better standing when requesting a return/refund. Also...if I am bidding on an item, I keep every 'scrap' of correspondence that I have to and from a seller. I save all notes in my email until I have received the article and find it acceptable. If I have a problem, I want to be able to document everything. That said, I've had only a couple of unsatisfactory transactions on eBay. I'm a huge fan!
The Williams Sonoma Hemstitched Linen "Navy" tablecloth was also an eBay purchase. I bought the Pottery Barn Hemstitched Linen "Flax" napkins 'at the mall'. Did you know that Williams Sonoma also owns Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams Sonoma Home, and West Elm? You can find some good buys on their wonderful table top linens through eBay.
The heft of the Mikasa, "French Countryside" goblets seemed like a perfect choice for a table full of men. The "Bamboo" handled flatware was a great get from Big Lots. I liked the organic nature of the bamboo design...I've actually seen duck blinds camouflaged with stalks of bamboo.
The place setting featured the Caspari rattan charger as a foundation. It was topped with Coalport, "Athlone-Brown" dinner and salad plates, another eBay find.
I even found a spot of time to practice my candlelight and blue hour photography...
I was feeling pretty cocky...organized and everything. Don't you think that I'm pretty much good to go? Well, I was wrong, and you would be, too. Sweet Mister loved the table, but he informed me that his supper now had 20 guests...and he had decided that he was going to serve...wait for it....ready?...that's right...PIZZA! Oh, brother.
The ducks, the table linens, and the flatware survived the transition. Everything else was removed from the table for another time. I decided to switch to the Pottery Barn, "Outdoor Collection" enamelware plates. The men were going to sit in the living room and visit while they munched on pizza.
Lovely serving pieces, don't you agree? I wrote the name of each pizza on the boxes. After all, presentation is everything...LOL.
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." Hop on over HERE 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.