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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Best Laid Plans

"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.
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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.

..."The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." (from the poem by Robert Burns, "To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With the Plough", 1785).  All told, it was a successful evening.  Sweet Mister was happy, clean-up was a breeze, and there were only four slices of pizza left at the end of the evening.  Sometimes, we just have to roll with the punches.

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.

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!  
   



32 comments:

Martha said...

It was a pretty table -- love the idea of the decoys. And, I, too, adore barley twist candlesticks although the ones I have have been made into lamps!

I'm sure the guys had fun andyou did transition well!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

OMG! Isn't that so the way it is at times. LOL! I do think you had such a pretty (I mean handsome) table setting though. You really did capture a manly feel with the duck centerpieces. I love your barley twist candlesticks and the silverware with your black china and rattan was genius!

soniakirk@aol.com said...

Well at least you got 2 tablescapes completed...oh course I loved the first one, but the enamelware is a great choice along with the best pizza ever-- Hideaway!! Now I'm craving some Paradise Pie! Thanks for sharing!

Miss Bloomers

Marigene said...

Cherry Kay, I love this table from the dishes down to the flatware...the decoys make the perfect centerpiece for an all male dinner...even if it ended up being pizza from the local pizzaria!

Marlis said...

Cherry Kay, I am rolling. First off we have to be sisters separated by birth.. I have that tablecloth, although I purchased mine at WS after the Christmas holiday at a very deeply discounted price! Did not know that tidbit about WS and PB and WE... did not know..thanks for sharing. I loved your men's table. The duck decoys, the Mikasa, the plates, the flatware.. and your barley twist candleholders just like mine ;-)!!! So cool. But you survived the change of plans so well. And even the pizza boxes looked right at home on that lovely linen. Great fun Cherry Kay, thanks for sharing with us.. xo marlis

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

That is just too cute. I am sure the men totally got it! The table with the actually plates and decoys is fabulous! LOVE the colors!

Jacqueline said...

Very manly indeed! I love the ducks and the dark blue colors. The pizza boxes are so fun too. I love that fun casual idea.

Pondside said...

The first table was beautiful and I was ready to ask you what your Sweet Mister cooked - then came the 'reveal' and I laughed out loud. Thank you for the two views - this was wonderful fun!

Kathleen said...

Oh man, I would have flipped! You are a good soul.
The table looked very manly indeed! Great!
You are a wonderful ebay shopper. I haven't fared as well, and the shipping kills me!

Karin Şen Cankan said...

Cherry Kay,

The table looks just perfect for the menly group, loved the duck decoys, always enjoyed them especially in the libarary but never colleceted I think its time.

Your twist candles are to dies for.

But lady you killed me with the pizza boxes, I was waiting for a great course and here comes the pizza but you still make a great table even with the pizza boxes.

Thank you for sharing.

Hugs

Karin Şen Cankan
karinsfairytale.blogspot.com

xinex said...

Bold and Handsome, Cherry Kay! My hubby would love this cause he loves ducks, another thing that we collect and I was thinking of creating a duck table for him too someday, lol. It is manly indeed!..Christine

carolinajewel said...

What a great post - you had me oohing and ahhing with the woodsy,lovely table and then you had me laughing out loud about the Pizza! Sounds just like something that would happen at my house!!!!! You did a great job with BOTH tables and extra points for being a good sport!

Dining Delight said...

What a "cruel" twist! Those men don't know what they missed! I love how "manly" yet inviting you made the table look! Those ducks made the perfect centerpiece and you did a good job coordinating everything from the chargers to the flatware. I guess 20 men for pizza would definitely be pushing the limits at that terrific tablescape. Now, you'll have one in mind to reassemble next time the Mister springs an occasion such as this on you, hopefully inviting a lot less guests!

DD

Jo's This and That said...

Love it and the ducks are great.

Scribbler said...

Funny! At least the guys had a good time, and you got some great photos!

Lizabeth said...

LOL...good thing you are a good sport! Well the first table was awesome..love the barley twist candlesticks! It was very masculine and not too fancy- I'm sure he would have loved it too! You re-grouped and did a great job on the "pizza table" The bamboo flatware and your choice of dishes were tops! I love that Mikasa stemware- I have it in the ruby color..it feels good in the hand.

Alycia Nichols said...

Cherry Kay, this is an exceptionally well-planned table! It says "MAN" all the way. Not scratchin'-myself-in-bad-places-in-public man, but "gentleman" or "man's man." This is a table that with all it's virile attributes can still be appreciated by the ladies. Excellent touch with the bamboo flatware. Most photos I've seen of ducks have them hiding between the reeds! While I understand that they wanted to sit in front of the TV and eat pizza (what man doesn't?), the table is glorious! Your husband had no choice but to love it. It's great!!!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

What a wonderful tablescape, Cherry Kay! I especially love the decoys as a centerpiece! And manly...yes, but I like it, too! lol Happy week!...hugs..Debbie

High Heeled Life said...

My Mr. is also a hunter (and loves his fishing too!) Your table setting has inspired me to come with something to surprise him that relates to his outdoor passions. Loved how you quickly modified to accomodate the gourmet pizza dinner.... Happy Tablescape Thursday..xo HHL

Visiting via my other blog today..

Falling Off a High Heeled Life
attitudeivlife.blogspot.com

ATTEATUDEandChocolate.blogspot.com

Jacqueline said...

You were right! I googled the Movie Savannah Smiles and they said the restaurant was La Caille! I also found out that the little girl died young at 21, presumably of an overdose, how sad.

Taunnie said...

Too bad your husband's guests didn't get to dine at that lovely table. It was perfectly masculine. A bit rugged, a bit refined.

Bonnie said...

I read somewhere that 20% of each day should involve some form of creativity. You exceeded that with your beautiful table and blog presentation. And....you are such a good sport!
Thanks for the ebay tips. I love your china and bamboo flatware.

Bonnie said...

Oh, I forgot. I am your newest follower.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

What a surprise at the end! Well -- at least you have guite an appreciative audience...us! Wonderful manly table that any woman would love to enjoy as well.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a wonderful evening! I adore the duck decoys as a centerpiece with the barley candlesticks. What a wonderful surprise at the end to have pizza. I know the guys had a great time... love how you rolled with the flow.
hugs ~lynne~

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh my what a beautiful table you set. All to be passed up for ........ pizza!!! Oh well, It was a great thought. I love how you used the decoys as a centerpiece. We've got a few around here, and I might have to try my hand for a tablescape. Very creative ideas.

Jocelyn @
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Meredith said...

So ruggedly handsome your setting is...too bad about having to change it, but I'm sure you still enjoyed setting it up! Love all your pieces.

Tess said...

Well, your original table was gorgeous!! Love the ducks as a centerpiece. But the pizza buffet was a fun look too! And now you have a "spare" tablescape all ready!!!

The Tablescaper said...

What a glorious table. I love the rich and elegant color - pizza aside.

- The Tablescaper

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Thanks for giving me so much information about my china last week! So sweet of you.

william said...

Dear Cherry Kay,
I have been following your beautiful blog for months and have just now joined as a follower under my husband's google account name. I enjoy your gorgeous tables very much! You have such a flair-- thank you for sharing your creativity!

Francie

Entertaining Women said...

Francie, welcome to Entertaining Women. Thank you for following my blog. Come visit any time! Cherry Kay