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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Copeland Spode, "Red Aster"...Waiting for Spring.

"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. As you consider your own philanthropic opportunities, 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 thought that I was going to share another reprise of one of my former tablescapes this week, but last night I received a call from my friend.  She said that she would stop by one of our favorite restaurants today and bring take-out for lunch at my house.  There was a chance that several others might join us, so this morning I went to work setting a table for four.  Although it's still winter, the Jonquils are blooming in the garden, and the Pansies are perking up for the second time for their Spring showing.  I realized that as I pulled things for my table, I was obviously already thinking about Spring.  I just couldn't help myself!

 You know my MOS well enough by now, so you are not surprised that I've created my small group design at the games table in the living room.  Come on in!

I think it was my longing for touches of Spring that led me to pull the white matelasse tablecloth, an eBay find, from one of the linen closets.

The blue Damask "Geometric Stripe" napkins were a gift from a friend.  I used my mother-in-love's Reed & Barton, "Francis I", mainly because it was handy...and I adore the cream soups...and I had a bowl of the best Tomato Bisque in town being delivered by my dear friend!




I haven't used any of the MacKenzie-Childs miniature salt and peppers for quite a while.  I want to collect a few more sets this Spring...the time is right. They are so precious; they make me happy, and my guests enjoy them each time.

I've been blessed with an abundance of lovely dinnerware patterns.  Most of the time, if I'm going to add a new pattern, I won't buy a complete service.  I usually start with dinner plates, and I may or may not eventually add other sizes.  That said, there is "a list"...a list of certain patterns that I long ago decided would be mine if I ever came across a great deal on them.

High on my list for a very long time...

...is the Copeland Spode Red Aster.  I've seen this wonderful pattern a number of times...always priced way beyond what I was willing to pay.  Finally, about a month ago, I discovered a set of 12 on eBay for a great deal...and now they're mine!  Yippeeeee!!

The Bordallo Pinheiro "Cabbage Leaf" charger framed the "Aster" just perfectly.


Soft and simple, today I chose to use the Pier One, Pearlized wine goblet, and the Mikasa, "French Countryside" goblet for water.  

The Vietri candlesticks and the Fitz & Floyd, "Cabbage" Bowl provided the finishing touch as the centerpiece for the table.  Because the table was spur of the moment, I grabbed my faux Hydrangeas.  They are actually "kissing balls" with ribbon hangers.  I perched them in   the bowl with the ribbons tucked underneath.  I recently found them at a local gift shop, and I think that I'll get a lot of use from them.


We're having a large salad with grilled Salmon as our main course...

...and I have a batch of Mama's Brandy Ice recipe in the freezer.  We'll have dessert in front of the fireplace and visit and dream of Spring until the cows come home.


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 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

When I think of February, I think of Mardis Gras and the anticipation of our Easter celebration.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SASONAL 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!     

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Masquerade...A Reprise

"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 busy week, and I am not entertaining here at the house.  I posted this entry last October, and several of you commented that you thought that it might be well suited for Mardis Gras...so here's a reprise of my table.  I created 'Masquerade' for all of those who like to disappear for a few hours by donning a costume, a mask, and a new personality.

The game table in the living room has been turned into a 60" table with the assistance of one of our flip-top table tops.  In the foreground, the Lalique Eagle and Nana's old sterling presentation bowl give a hint of eye candy to come.

I made the black tablecloth out of....felt!  Entertaining Tip: If you need a large under cloth or just an inexpensive solid color cloth, take yourself to your local fabric shop and be amazed at the multitude of colors available in felt. It's about $5.00 per yard, and it is VERY wide.  It's a quick sew, and you don't even have to hem it!  How much easier could it be?

Do you love to get a package in the mail, waiting on your doorstep?  About a week ago, I opened a package to discover these glorious black and white quilted place mats and napkins from Southern Style Home Decor.  They sponsored a give away with Yvonne @ Stone Gable, and I was the winner of this lovely, generous gift.  Southern Style Home Decor has a wonderful online shopping site...check it out!  Thank you, Yvonne and Southern Style Home Decor!  I'm going to enjoy these fine linens for many years to come.

My inspiration for tonight's table was a collection of jeweled and feathered masks...reminiscent of Venice Carnival...

Of all the amazing things that we've received from our blessed Nana, this has to be one of my very favorites.  It's a Black Starr & Frost, sterling reticulated bowl,  from the 1920's.  If you peak under the black mask, you can see a small portion of the decorative brass 'frog' that fits the bowl.  The intricate art deco design work seemed fitting for my 'high drama' table.

On top of the quilted place mat, I set a black Hobby Lobby charger plate beneath our silver Baroque charger plate.  My mother-in- love's Reed & Barton, "Francis I" flatware continued the opulent tone of my table.  To crown the entire place setting...



...I chose some of our Lalique "Plate of the Year" crystal plates.  When Sweet Mister and I were married, almost 43 years ago, my mama, my mother-in-love, and I each started collecting the series of these beautiful plates.  We now have all three sets, ours to shepherd until it's time for the next generation to enjoy.  I wanted the incredible designs to glow, so I set them directly on the silver chargers.

The Lalique, "Treves" goblet and the Corbel silver goblet  were both part of my wedding trousseau.  If I had to choose all over again, I would still choose both of these stems.  I've used them often through the years. 




The decanter is St. Louis crystal.

The sterling master salt and pepper came from....you've got it...dear Nana.





A few Blue Hour shots.  I'm in love with my new camera, the Nikon 7000D SLR...so much smarter than I.  They were all shot sans flash...























...as were my candlelight shots.  Thank you, thank you Sweet Mister!  I'm reading about ways to use my camera more effectively every day.  Have you checked out The Pioneer Woman's blog site?  She has a really nice segment on photography with complete archives.  She loves Photo Shop.  I encourage you to check her out, if you've never visited her.  Her whole blog is pure pleasure.  Can you tell by the blue light emanating from the den that Sweet Mister was watching television?  If you had rung the bell at this moment, he'd have rounded the corner and offered you some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  We had so many trick or treaters that I wondered if we'd have enough goodies.  We did...and I took the excess to the beauty shop this morning when I went to get back to my 'natural blonde.'    Hope that you had a happy and safe Halloween!


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 February, I think of Mardis Gras and the anticipation of our Easter celebration.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SASONAL 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!  


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rose Famille Valentine

"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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My friend Marsha has been hosting the Garden Friends Bible Study in her home this year.  This week, there was a death in her family, and I was blessed to have the group in our home.  Last night I decided to make a large pot of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and invite those who could stay after our study to join me for lunch.  It was a good opportunity to play with the colors of Valentines Day, yet again. 

 I had heard on the news that Iran declared that Valentines cards and other heart shaped items are now illegal.  I had never really given any thought to whether or not other countries celebrated Valentines.  I'd pretty much always thought of it as a Hallmark holiday, fairly exclusive to the USA...I know, I know...hardly a global mindset.  The whole topic sent my mind on a stroll.  Do other countries celebrate Valentines Day?  What would a Valentines table look like in Sweden...in Portugal...in China?  That thought sent me to the china closets (pun intended) to pull out some of our Rose Famille, and I was off to the proverbial races.

Today was likely to be a dine and dash moment for some of my guests.  They didn't even know that I had prepared lunch until they arrived for Bible study.  For that reason, I decided to stick with placemats, and keep it fairly low-key.

The scalloped Capiz placemats were picked up inexpensively at an estate sale.  In case you're interested, just this week, I saw them advertised on Horchow's website in several shapes and colors.  The Royal Worcester, "Regency" dinner plate served as the liner for the soup bowl.  Although not pictured, I later added a bread plate to the setting.  The gold-toned bamboo flatware was another estate sale purchase...$65.00 for a service for 16.

 Today the lead role went to the Rose Famille Rimmed Soup Bowl, another estate sale score.  I only have six of them, so they are only used when I'm entertaining small groups.  They make me smile...sigh.

I chose the "Lipstick Red" linen/cotton blend napkins to coordinate with the crystal elements and the Alstromeria's...left over from last week's table.  

The pair of Republic Period, Rose Famille rose bowls were picked up for a pittance at the tail end of an estate sale last year. The pair of Cranberry Glass hurricane sleeves were found in a local antique store.

I recently happened upon the coordinating Rose Famille Tureen on eBay.  It was the floral pattern on these pieces that sent me to the crystal cabinet to retrieve the Waterford, "Simply Pink" goblet and the Bohemian Maroon Crystal wine stem.

The tablescape came together very quickly.  I had time to catch some candlelight shots once evening came...











 I think that I'm going to want to reprise this design for a dinner at some point.  I love the way the candlelight gleams off the Rose Famille.

I can smell the aroma of the Chicken Noodle Soup wafting from the kitchen.  Hmm...chicken...noodles...almost sounds like Chinese food...almost.  If you are one of our bloggy friends across the world, do you celebrate Valentines Day in your little spot on the globe?  Is it a holiday observed throughout your country, or it is just you?  Whatever the circumstance, Happy Valentines, my bloggy 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 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  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!