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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spode Christmas Tree x 2

"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.
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Ours turned out to be a quiet Christmas celebration.  Christmas Eve we were happy to be invited to share dinner with KC and my son-in-love at their bungalow...after attending the Christmas Eve service at their church, where they led the worship music.  It was delightful and focused us on the reason for the season.  Christmas day found us celebrating the most important birthday of the year with a late breakfast at our house, after we returned from our church service.  Sweet Mister and I were thrilled to host KC, David, and a friend of theirs.  Without consultation, KC and I both set our tables with our Spode, "Christmas Tree."  Did you know that Spode, "Christmas Tree" is the number one seller of all patterns?  I just recently learned that little tidbit.

The bungalow was all decked out for the holidays, and  KC set a lovely table for us.

Gold lacquer chargers made a good foundation for the Spode, "Christmas Tree."  The vintage silverplate flatware belonged to my maternal grandmother.  KC is such a good steward of many of her great-grandmothers' treasures.  It brought a smile to my face when she used this lovely old pattern.  I don't know the name or maker.

The bullet wines are their casual crystal from Williams-Sonoma.  The tumblers were from Dollar Tree. 
A pair of sterling candle holders flanked a simple silver mint julep filled with fresh flowers to create the centerpiece.  We had such a wonderful evening.  After dinner, more of KC and David's friends dropped by for dessert and good conversation.  


Late the next morning, KC, David, and one of their friends joined us for a hearty breakfast prepared by the master of breakfast cuisine...Sweet Mister.  The only thing that I did was push down the lever on the toaster.  It was a laid back occasion...the easiest Christmas feast that I can remember.  Keeping with the casual tone, I prepared our birthday table in the breakfast room.

  The Spode, "Christmas Tree" tureen worked well as my centerpiece.  I flanked it with two small white Poinsettias.  I simply wrapped the nursery pots in a wide red ribbon tied in a bow...easy peasy.

A pair of Spode, "Christmas Tree" hurricanes completed the centerpiece.  The coordinating place mats were a gift from a friend many years ago.

The Holly Basket Napkin Rings belonged to my mama, a gift from someone in her weekly bridge group.  I smile each year when I unwrap them.  The red napkins were an eBay purchase. eBay Tip:  These are great hemstitch napkins at an amazing price.  They come in a large variety of colors.  Check out the seller HERE.  We've been using the Retreneau, "Holly Days" gold tone flatware for more than thirty years. Juice and milk were served in the red Fenton, "Empress" goblets and the Spode, "Christmas Tree" goblets.

The Good Lord blessed us with a beautiful sunny Christmas Day to celebrate the birthday of His only begotten Son Jesus.  

I pray that you, too, had a peace-filled Christmas surrounded by family and friends...

...and as the Simpich, "Christmas Carol" dolls remind us...in the words of Tiny Tim..."God bless us everyone!"


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.


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, December 20, 2011

Cranberry Christmas

"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.
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This Saturday, we were thrilled to entertain Sweet Mister's brother and sister-in-love, who came from out of state, his sister, and our precious daughter and son-in-love.  My inspiration for the tablescape was the Copeland Spode, "Tower Pink", which was my mother-in-love's everyday dinnerware for many years.  I thought that the dishes would evoke sweet memories for them as they gathered around our table for an early Christmas celebration.



I was eager to use the Williams-Sonoma Toile Tablecloth, a recent eBay purchase.  I like the monochromatic blend with the Tower Pink.

To give the Tower dinner plate a bit of definition, I disregarded the rules that say don't use place mats on tablecloths, and I layered the plate over our sweet Nana's antique Italian Lace place mats.  Another family memory for Sweet Mister and his siblings...I used my mother-in-love's Reed & Barton, "Francis I."

Antique napkins that match the place mats were nestled in berry and holly napkin rings...actually, they are mini-candle rings.

 The goblets...Waterford, "Simply Pink", AJKA, "Arabella", and Kings Crown, "Ruby Flash Thumbprint".  The Kings Crown also belonged to my mother-in-love, and her children grew up using these on a daily basis.  Like so many vintage/antique goblets, they are quite small when compared to newer designs.  I used them for water goblets this day.

At the last moment, I decided to add the Kings Crown, "Ruby Flash Thumbprint" accent plate...just because it was pleasing to my eye.  They were removed before the first course was served, and they returned to the table for dessert.

For my centerpiece, the pair of AJKA, "Arabella" presentation bowls, filled with candles and glass raspberries, made an encore appearance from the Carolyne Roehm Candy Stripe Christmas tablescape.

Anchoring the centerpiece is the antique Copeland Spode, "Camilla" tureen, picked up via eBay for a pittance.  It plays very well with the Tower Pink.

Acting as bookends for the centerpiece were a pair of Paden City, Cranberry Compotes, flanked by my sweet Lalique, "Love Birds".  I always like to have at least a pair of design elements.  One of the compotes came from our Nana.  The matching one was found through eBay.  I use them quite often.

The greenery in the centerpiece is simply a Michael's garland laid down the table in a serpentine fashion and amended with coordinating greenery picks.


The buffet still hosts the shimmering green mesh trees placed in silver champagne buckets (yep... Nana).  They've been joined by the candles from last week's "Candy Stripe" tablescape centerpiece.  Recycling, right?

Some candlelight shots...
 

 





The candlelight shots were taken the night prior to our family luncheon...hadn't decided to add the cranberry accent plates, yet.

We had such a wonderful time at our family gathering, as we all wait with anticipation the most important birthday party of the year.  I pray that you, too, will be blessed with family and friends this Christmas Season.  I've already started planning for our version of Jesus's birthday party.  I'll be excited to see your amazing designs the next time that we all join together again for Tablescape Thursday.

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.

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, December 15, 2011

Carolyne Roehm - Candy Stripe Christmas

"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


Sooooo...Cuisine Kathleen is responsible for this tablescape.  She asked us to create a copy cat table based on a design that we admired.  I knew immediately that I would  use a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party featured in Carolyne Roehm's A PASSION FOR PARTIES as my inspiration.  The Garden Friends were coming this morning for our Christmas luncheon, and I knew that Roehm's confection of a table would be a great springboard.  I had a great time taking her delightful design and running with it.





If you don't have her books, run...don't walk...to your nearest book nook and pick them up.  They are all wonderful!  The first thing that I decided to do...of course, was....


...to make my own red felt table cloth with white felt Christmas tree appliqués.  Did your grandmother/mother have a red felt tablecloth!  Mine did, and her appliqués usually featured sequins.  I've told you before...felt is really inexpensive.  It's about $6.00 per yard, but a yard is 72" wide.  This did not require one single stitch.  It was all done with a pair of scissors and less than two hours of time to cut the scallops and the white felt trees...oh, and the white felt mats.  I don't have a large white charger, and I wanted my place setting to create a candy stripe effect.

Topping the white felt mat...my red resin/acrylic charger, the Wedgwood, "Countryware" dinner plate and the King's Crown Ruby Glass accent plate.  The chargers were a gift from a friend many years ago.  The Countryware was bought through eBay, and the King's Crown was found at an estate sale.

AJKA, "Arabella" goblets in red and green added to the Christmas theme and were paired with the Mikasa, "French Countryside."

The L'Argent, "Sohpia" flatware, from Horchow and Tuesday Morning, contributed to the candy  cane stripe motif when placed on the red felt.  An additional touch of peppermint goodness was added by using some delicious striped ribbon as a napkin ring with the Williams-Sonoma white linen hemstitched napkins.  I bought a large bolt of this lovely stuff last year at Sam's for $7.00.  I knew that I would find a good use for it at some point....today was the day.

Carolyne Roehm used a variety of candy cane stripe candles for her centerpiece with some touches of apple green.  I didn't find any striped candles, but I knew that I could wrap white pillars with my ribbon and achieve much the same look.  

The pair of Indiana Glass Ruby Flash Striped compotes continued the candy stripe theme.  But Carolyne and I kind of parted ways when I started adding touches of glorious apple green...I just couldn't contain myself.

A pair of AJKA, Green Crystal Bowls....

...were filled with pillar candles surrounded by my red glass raspberries, bought at Target, Tarjé, several years ago.

Michael's was my source for the shimmering green 'picks' spread the length of the centerpiece.  I've never thought of myself as a glittery kind of girl, but I sure have found myself drawn to all things shiny the past few holidays.  Of course, my hair, hands, and face have been covered with glitter for days.  

I'm a bit encouraged by the candlelight shots that I was able to capture this time...











 




I'm finally organized for Christmas!  
If you look closely, you'll see that the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...the garlands are festooned with ribbon and lights...

...Yummy food is ready for our feast...

The Garden Friends are waiting with eager anticipation to celebrate the most important birthday of each year.  We are blessed each week to be able to sit at the knee of our sweet Master, Jesus, lover of our ragged souls, and soak in the encouragement and peace that comes from studying His amazing Word.  We would welcome you to join us for prayer, study, and blessed fellowship any time that you happen to pass our way.  Just let me know, and I'll set a place for you at the table.  And so, this wonderful season has begun. Merry Christmas, my dear blogging friends!

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.

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!  
...and the Garden Friends are all "fit to be tied" as we wait with anticipation for the celebration of the most important birthday of the year. I pray that your holiday season is filled with many blessings.  Merry Christmas!