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Friday, October 28, 2011

Foggy Morning

"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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


I've been enchanted by fog for many years.  Perhaps it's my degree in English and the role that fog played in many a volume of English literature.  Can you just picture Heathcliff roaming the moors in search of Cathy?  Fog also takes me back to the year that I summered in Nantucket as a college student.  I loved to sit on the beach as the fog rolled in across the magnificent, rugged beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. As that marvelous gray soup closed around me, I felt as if I knew what it must be like to sit in the middle of a cloud.  So, on the rare occasions that we experience fog here on the prairie, I love to stand outside and feel the droplets of moisture kiss my face.  We had a lovely fog just the other morning, and I was blessed to capture a few pictures of my front and back yard clothed in a gentle gray mist.

 

Ephesians 5:20  "...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

When I think of Fall, I think of the changing weather as the earth prepares for winter sleep as it waits for another Spring.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAY.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Asian Autumn

"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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


Sweet Mister gave me my birthday present early this year.  He gifted me with a wonderful new Nikon 7000D SLR camera and two lenses.  I'm so excited to learn how to use this amazing piece of equipment...it's going to be a loooonnnnggg learning curve, but I'm game for the challenge.  I shot my tablescape pics for today's post with my new toy...all natural light...not one flash!  Hold on...it's going to be a bumpy ride.

I've used my collection of white pumpkins again this week, but I've stretched my design equation by introducing a few Asian elements into the formula.  I noticed that this is one of very few tablescapes that I have created that doesn't utilize any family treasures.  Almost everything on this table was obtained through thrifting, eBay, or estate sales.

 I've been to some really good estate sales in the last few weeks.  The inspiration for this table was the Amber Capiz Shell Charger Plates...

...bought for $20.00 for a set of 6 at an estate sale.  They are quite large; they work more like a place mat than a charger plate.  Placing the dessert spoon on the plate, at the top, was a design descision.

Resting on the capiz charger is a Royal Worcester, "Regency" dinner plate.  I bought a set of these from a dealer in London, through eBay.  They were a good enough price to make it worth the cost of shipping overseas.  

Lending a nod to my Asian motif, the Korean made luncheon plates, with their red and white "chop" design, were also a really good get on eBay.  I decided that the dark bamboo handled flatware, a great deal at Big Lots would fit right into my oriental look.

Returning yet again to the Vietri Amber goblet...this time I have paired it with a Bohemian Ruby goblet, another eBay  acquisition.  The Pier One napkins were chosen because they offered a repetition of several colors used in today's design.

In addition to the now familiar white pumpkins, I was excited to use our pair of antique oriental lidded rose bowls...

...I didn't want to pay the full asking price for these at a recent estate sale, so I left a bid for just a few dollars more than half price.  Rolling the dice paid off this time, and I received a phone call letting me know that I had the winning bid.  I've been looking for a pair of these, in this color, for a long time....Woot...Woot!!!  I've used them with my eBay collection of Barley Twist candlesticks to complete the centerpiece.

I think that I'm ready for my guests to come to the table.  Can you join us?  I'd love it!


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 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.

When I think of Fall, I think of sunlit mornings and close friends gathered at my table.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAY.  Hope to see you there!



I'm joining the Blog Hop, hosted this week by Growing Old with Grace.  Sounds like 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.  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!  


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hope Unlimited for Children

Check out the story of Hope Unlimited at My Place to Yours.  One by one, we can make a difference!  For example, think of how many people can be reached if we share this via Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter in addition to linking the story of Hope Unlimited to our own posts.  In my mind, this is how social media should really be used!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haviland...Boxed 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. 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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, 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 while since our Haviland group has gathered to share lunch at a table that features the Haviland china, which we all admire and enjoy using.  Our luncheon was today, at my friend Marsha's gorgeous new home.  She has been out of town, so she asked if I would prepare the table while she put together the menu for our meal....i.e., a boxed lunch.  I packed a selection of my china and crystal, etc. in boxes, loaded everything in the back of my SUV, and headed for Marsha's.

Before Marsha left for the weekend, I retrieved her gorgeous old linen and lace tablecloth and took it home with me.  I wanted to have it available when I picked out the items that I would use to design the tablescape for our luncheon.

Anything would look marvelous against the padded golden yellow fabric walls and the elegant Persian carpet in her lovely dining room.  I had so much fun creating our table in this magnificent room.  Do you see the large wooden birdcage sitting on the games table in the living room?  If you look closely, you'll also see an assortment of Haviland china sitting in, on, and around it.  Stay tuned!  The Haviland group is making an encore appearance at this year's Theta Flaming Festival, during the first week of November.  Do you remember that last year we built the White House out of Haviland china as the centerpiece for the festival's tea table?  You may revisit that post HERE.  I'll share our creation for this year's centerpiece in November.

My silver beaded edge charger plate added a nice contrast under the Stouffer, Gold Encrusted Medallion charger plate.  This is but one of a number of our Nana's opulent patterns that we were blessed to receive.  Theodore Haviland manufactured the same design.  I have a small group of them, but not enough to set a table...yet.  I once again decided to use the antique carved ivory handle flatware.  The sterling teaspoon belongs to Marsha.

 The focal point for today's design is the Theodore Haviland, "Rani" luncheon plate.  I'm crazy about 'exotic birds', and of course, I adore the blue rim.

 I liked the idea of repeating the gold element with the Limoges gold encrusted dessert plate, a great get on eBay.  I topped off the quartet of plates with a beautiful crown jewel...

...the champagne/sherbet from Marsha's incredible set of family gold encrusted crystal.  It eventually held our dessert.  She doesn't know the maker.  Do any of your recognize it?  Bill, how about you?  She would love to increase the size of her service.

I picked up a dozen of these vintage linen and lace napkins at an estate sale.  I paid a mere pittance for them.  If I were a really noble person, I would give them to Marsha because they work perfectly with her lovely tablecloth.  Pretty sure that I'm not that noble...at least today.  She knows that she is free to use them any time.

I'm pretty happy with the way that my design is coming together.

I've really enjoyed using a combination of colored crystal goblets lately.  Today I selected the Waterford, "Simply Blue", and the AJKA, "Arabella".  My original set of Arabella came from Tuesday Morning.  The Simply Blue and additional stems of the Arabella were found on eBay.

For our centerpiece, I found the blue and white Hydrangeas at my local Homeland Grocery.

The gold encrusted bowl belonged to Nana, as did the stand.  When I brought in the bowl, Marsha rushed to a cabinet and magically produced...

...A gorgeous pair of gold encrusted hurricanes in the exact same pattern as my bowl!  Talk about kismet.  I placed small Nell Hill's candles in glass sleeves inside the hurricanes.  I wanted candlelight, but I didn't want to mess up the containers with melted wax and sticky black smoke residue.  Ick.

I'm ready to roll...

I anticipate that this will be a table that encourages our group to linger and enjoy precious fellowship after lunch and dessert are long gone.  We always love to have new Haviland enthusiasts join us.  How about you?  Let me know if you're coming our way!


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 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.

When I think of Fall, I think of sunlit mornings and close friends gathered at my table.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAY.  Hope to see you there!



I'm joining the Blog Hop, hosted this week by Growing Old with Grace.  Sounds like 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.  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!  














Friday, October 14, 2011

Word of Encouragement

If this is your child, thank you for preparing your child to be a valuable, contributing adult.  In this day and age, I find this quite encouraging.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fi-Fye-Faux Fall Fare

"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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.



I've been blogging for sixteen months now, and tonight is my first pretend tablescape.  Once I set it up, Sweet Mister and I decided that perhaps we'd invite friends to watch our alma mater's game on Saturday evening and have a casual supper at half time.  You know me, I hate to see a good table go to waste!  I'm warming up to Fall a week at a time, and tonight I added a bit more traditional Autumn color to my design.



I wanted it to keep things more casual this week.  The bare wood of our old Duncan Phyfe mahogany table set the tone.

 For my centerpiece, the faux Michael's pumpkins are making an encore appearance...

...They are joined by a pair of Luneville, "Louis XV" tureens, and my collection of antique Barley Twist candlesticks.  All of them were purchased through eBay.

I adore the apple finials and the handles on these on French faience pieces.  The candlesticks bring wonderful warmth and movement to the table.  Yes, I know that the candle is crooked...it's a faux table...I'll fix it before the guests arrive.  LOL.

I don't often use placemats, but I really like these hard shell, cork back Pimpernell Placemats, a thank you gift from friends many years ago.  The flatware is our everyday Towle, "Antique Bead" stainless steel.

The Luneville, "Louis XV" dinner plate is a nice frame for the Bordallo Pinheiro, "Leaf Plate."

I adore plaids, stripes, polka dots...all kinds of patterns.  The soft and thick plaid napkins were a great find at an estate sale...12 napkins for $1.00!  Heck yes I bought them.

As a finishing touch, I used the chunky green goblet, by Colony or Viking.  I've had them so long that I can't remember.  They were originally purchased to compliment the Spode "Christmas Tree."  

I liked the punch of color that the black amethyst goblet added.  They were another eBay acquisition, and I don't have a clue who made them.  Some day I hope to find more of them...it could happen, yes it could.

Because so many of you inquire and comment about the crystal cabinets...


...I shot a few close-ups, which I hope will please you.

Well, that's the 25-cent tour.  Wonder what I'll serve...I think that vegetable beef stew and corn bread might just hit the spot!  If you're up for an evening of football and fellowship, you're welcome to join us.

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 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.

When I think of Fall, I think sunlit mornings and close friends gathered at my table.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAY.  Hope to see you there!



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!  






Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gently Falling

"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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


My dear friend Marsha recently moved into a beautiful new home, and she wanted the Garden Friends to share their Bible Study at her house this year.  Although I would love to have this precious group of women at my house every week of every year, I am thrilled for Marsha to receive the blessing of hosting this wonderful group in her home.  Today, I invited anyone who was available to come back to my house after our study for a bowl of my homemade chicken noodle soup...that always says Autumn to me.

I've decided that I need to embrace the colors of Fall slowly this year.  By the end of November when Thanksgiving rolls around, I'm often totally over the color orange.  This year I'm going to use a variety of color themes over the next two months.  Last week I had the pleasure of spending some time over at Boogie Board Cottage, and I found just the color inspiration that I wanted for my first Autumn tablescape.  Check out Mary's lovely blog!

The 'tablecloth' for today normally lies folded at the end of the bed in one of our guest rooms.  The kingsize quilt was a long ago purchase from Tuesday Morning. The soft teal color tells the color story for my design...soft...welcoming...comforting...gentle.

The set of patina copper chargers were found at an estate sale just this last week...$20.00 for a set of 8.  I grabbed them the moment that I laid eyes on them!  They are quite heavy, and they have kind of a hammered design.  Of course, I wish that they'd had more...maybe some day.

Perched on the copper charger is a Wedgwood, "Countryware" dinner plate.  Once we were gathered around the table, I asked each guest to take a Wedgwood, Majolica Leaf Plate to the kitchen for their spinach salad with smoked chicken, strawberries, pecans, fresh Parmesan cheese, and vinagrette.  The Haviland, "Ranson" coupe soup bowls were waiting to be filled next to the soup tureen on the kitchen counter.  All of the mentioned dishes were collected over time through my 'personal shopper', eBay.  eBay Tip:  Before you place a bid, be sure to factor in the shipping charges.  Depending on the item/s, shipping can be fairly expensive.  If shipping is not specified, be sure to request a shipping quote to your zip code from the seller prior to bidding.  You'll be happier if you avoid unpleasant surprises!

The antique carved ivory flatware added a soft golden tone that was a nice addition to my gentle Fall table.  I found the service for 12 at a wonderful local antique store.  It was not a bargain, and it had nothing to do with 'need.'  I drove straight through 'Need' many miles ago.  The silver soup spoon, on the other hand, was another eBay bargain.

I've used the Pottery Barn Hemstitched Linen "Flax" napkin numerous time since this summer.  It's a wonderful, calm sophisticated hue that mixes beautifully with so many different colors.

Making an encore appearance after playing a primary role in last week's Orleans Toile and Spode Mayflower post, the Vietri Amber goblet added another kiss of soft gold to my Autumn tablescape.  I paired it with the Mikasa, "French Countryside", our everyday goblet.


Have you ever noticed that you're willing to spend money on certain things, and you would never dream of spending much money on other things?  Do you remember when everyone used to wear pantyhose regularly?  I put a run in my pantyhose practically every time that I wore them.  Therefore, I could never bring myself to shell out the dollars for the nicer brands.  I bought L'Eggs (remember those?) for $2.99 a pair, by the dozen.  Well, I pretty much feel the same way about spending much money on a pumpkin that is going to rot...So I got myself to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and WalMart, where I found this lovely "almost natural' grouping of pumpkins, gourds, and neutral berry branches...and I'll be able to use them for years.


The pheasant feathers were courtesy of my mighty hunter, Sweet Mister.  He brings them to me after hunting trips.  I have this idea that some day I'll be able to make a set of feather chargers out of them.  Just dreamin'?...We'll see.  

Are you seeing lanterns everywhere this year?  I found these at Hobby Lobby, just this week.  They are about 12" high, which makes them the right height for the dining table.

I had extra berry branches, so I plopped them in a pair of neutral containers on the buffet.  I like the height that they added.  Hmmm...I need to put in some new candles. Hope that I remember to do that before the Garden Friends arrive.  Hey!  It could happen...or not.  Do you recognize those silver tassels from last week's post.  They live here most of the time.







Some candlelight shots for your pleasure...I even managed to snag...



...a few blue hour frames...and right before I left to join my Garden Friends for Bible study...










...the sweet Lord took His paint brush and stroked a few drops of sunshine across my table.  I'm off to Garden Friends.  We're currently working our way through a wonderful book called, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat" by John Ortberg.  I think that you would enjoy it.  You will always be welcome to join our circle of sisters!


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 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.

When I think of Fall, I think sunlit mornings and close friends gathered at my table.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there!



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!