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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family Style

"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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Today the Garden Friends Bible Study gathered to study and then celebrate our January birthday girls with a luncheon.  I had a wonderful time with my tablescape; I decided that I wanted to create a design that highlighted a number of our precious Nana's treasures, used so beautifully by her from the 1920's until the 1970's.  First, allow me to introduce the cast of characters...











Bloggy friends occasionally ask me what I would pick as my favorite pattern.  I can never choose just one, but this one ranks in my top three.  The cobalt and gold encrusted plates are marked Epiag, I think.  There is a laurel wreath surrounding some letters that I cannot read, and they were made in Czechoslovakia.  I've been eager to share them with you.  Be warned, this is a photo intensive post.

 To prepare a table for 12, I needed a pretty honkin' big tablecloth.  I think that Nana might have chosen this wonderful old linen, with lace inserts and cutwork, as a foundation for her cobalt and gold plates.

The wonderful antique napkin came from my stash of Nana's linens.  It's always fun to dive into the drawers and pick one of her patterns...it's even pleasant to sit and iron them...such exquisite fabric.

The silver Baroque Charger plates were a gift from my sister.  I think that Nana would have liked them.  I also added my Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks and the Pasabache Turkish crystal lidded compotes.  The compotes were an inexpensive purchase at Tuesday Morning.

I used my wedding sterling flatware, Reed & Barton, "Grande Renaissance" once again.  Nana gave us some of our silver when we were married.  I relish the opportunity to use it with some of her beautiful things.

To introduce a strong dose of hot pink to the table, I paired my Waterford, "Simply Pink" goblet (eBay), with Nana's antique French cut crystal wine goblet.  I'm confident that Nana would have liked all the beautiful options that we now have with cased crystal.  Yep, I think that she would like this a lot.

As soon as I decided to use the cobalt and gold portrait plates, I knew that I wanted to use Nana's beautiful old silver oval presentation bowl.  I don't know much about this piece.  It is marked, but I don't know how to read the impressed symbols.  I think that it is English and old...and I know that I love to use it...

...It was wonderful to use fresh flowers again.  I found myself using faux decorations all the way through Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Yesterday I hightailed it to my personal florist, Sam's Wholesale Club, and picked up the flowers for the centerpiece...

...and for the buffet.  The Barker-Ellis candelabra , the Reed & Barton champagne buckets, the Towle, "Lafayette" sterling tea service, and the Lalique, "Coq" pair all belonged to Nana.  They resided in her dining room for many years.  It was an amazing room; I wish that I could have shared it with you.


Lunch was presented on my mother-in-love's Castleton, "Laurel."  I hesitate to serve food on the cobalt plates.


Dessert was served on these glorious plates from Crescent & Sons, England for Ovington Brothers.  Do you think that you've seen these plates someplace else?  Well, you have.  I was fortunate to acquire these from our talented SUSAN @ MY PLACE TO YOURS.  They are going to work with so many of my patterns!

That covers most of the details.  I was pretty excited about the candlelight shots that I was able to capture last night...















I just had a call...one of my guests is not going to be able to join us today.  I'd love to have you take the extra seat...just how flexible and spur of the moment can you be?  Creamy Baked Spaghetti, Green Salad, Shrimp Étouffée, Hawaiian Sandwich Rolls, Chili Relleno Squares, Fresh Fruit Salad, Hot Bread, Red Velvet Cake, Lace Cookies, & Brandy Ice...we won't be able to walk away from the table...Someone get a crane!

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.


Thank you to the talented Tablescaper for hosting "SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Come on over and join the party!



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, January 18, 2012

Winter Paisley

"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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I can't believe that January is half gone.  It's been a rather lackadaisical few weeks.  Tonight I've prepared a luncheon table for eight.  I'm going to invite the Garden Friends to join me for lunch after we finish our Bible study...or we might just hit one of our favorite local restaurants. We'll see.  After all the high color of the Christmas holidays, I wanted to create a design that was soft and calming...

...and I've been eager to use the Waverly, "Paisley" tablecloth, a Tuesday Morning find, for quite a long time.  Shades of teal and aqua always rank right at the top of my list, and I adore paisley patterns.


 My centerpiece is anchored by an antique wash basin and pitcher by Kirkland & Pidduck, England.  It belonged to my beloved Aunt Ida, my mama's sister.

I used our collection of antique Barley Twist candlesticks to flank the basin and pitcher.  The dried hydrangeas are still hanging on, after I cut them from my garden this summer.

 The hammered copper chargers make yet another appearance as a base for the Royal Doulton, "The Beaufort" dinner plate.  I liked the chocolate furls featured on the plate's rim, punctuated by just a touch of blue and pink.  I collected this pattern over a stretch of time from eBay.  The soft golden ivory tones of the antique carved ivory flatware  seemed a natural choice with the cream and taupe paisleys in the tablecloth.

Each placesetting is crowned with the Wedgwood, "Majolica Grape Leaf" plate, an eBay acquisition.

You won't be surprised to find our Nana's antique linen napkins gracing the table.  The lacy edge seemed made to go with the intricate furls in the cloth.  Did you know that in the 20's, paisley was often called the  "Persian Pickle" design?  It was evidently considered quite a treasure, especially among quilters. 

I haven't used the Godinger, "Sutton Park" goblet in quite a while.  Today I've paired it with one of my favorite new tabletop items.  Throughout the Autumn, I enjoyed using the Vietri, "Amber Optic" goblets.  I liked them so much that I decided to add the "Smoke" goblet to my collection.  This is really a pretty amazing piece of stemware.  It's a lovely gray tone, but when you place it against other colors, it becomes a crystal chameleon.  Depending on your line of sight, this stem will appear to be aqua or taupe.  It makes me smile.  I can picture using this pattern in any number of designs.

I'm good to go for tomorrow's luncheon.  I captured some candlelight shots...








I am so grateful for the new camera that Sweet Mister gave me.  I've enrolled in some photography classes at our Museum of Art.  I can hardly wait!  Do you read the Pioneer Woman's blog?  She has a section devoted to photography.  Her archives go back about four years...tons to read and learn!  Give it a try; I think that you'll really like it...

The sun was dancing through the dining room windows this morning, and I couldn't resist the opportunity...













 I'm off to my Garden Friends Bible study, my favorite day of each week.  If you're passing our way, you will be more than welcome to join us as we sit and study the Word at the knee of sweet Jesus, lover of our ragged souls...and of course, I'd love to have you here to share a meal at my table. So many many blessings!

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!