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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Positively 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. 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 heart has been hurting last night and again today for the many blogging friends whom I know have been impacted by the devastating onslaught known as Hurricane Sandy.  You have been in my prayers, and I shall continue to lift you up over the coming days, weeks, and even months for many of you.  Out here on the prairie, we are used to violent weather.  I can only imagine adding that extraordinary element of the ocean.  I would share with you one of my favorite teachings from a Bible study.  Sometimes God calms the hurricane, and sometimes He calms His child in the midst of the hurricane.  I pray that you will find God's peace at this time of difficulty.

Tonight, I'll keep it relatively short and sweet.  I've set the games table for yet another lunch of take out brought in by dear friends.  I am truly a blessed woman to have such precious friends.
Come on in...

...It's a good day to enjoy food, fun, & fellowship.

     The inspiration for today was the navy paisley tablecloth.  I bought it not long ago on eBay for $5.00...true story!  It caught my eye because I thought that I recognized the fabric.  Sure enough, it the same polished chintz that I used for my son's bedroom in 1985!  Always loved that fabric.  I let him take the whole kitten caboodle when he furnished his first college apartment.  I've always kind of missed it.  TIp:  Know what you like and don't worry about whether it's the current trend.  Trust your own eye, your likes, and dislikes; and you'll be content with your choice.


I'm still enjoying the faux mini pomegranates that I used last week.  Today they are the highlight of my centerpiece, an antique oak bowl that I scored at an estate sale.  With the simple addition of four "crystal" votives from Dollar Tree, the centerpiece for my small table is complete.


 Pulling from the colors in the tablecloth, I chose rich shades of red, blue, and bronze with a touch of ivory gold in the L'argent Gold Sophia flatware.  You can still find this pattern in a variety of colors through Howchow.  The Williams-Sonoma Navy Linen Hemstitch napkin is caught with the Waverly beaded tassle napkin ring...a give-away gift from our talented Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen.

The players in this small production...



 The bronze acrylic charger was $1.99 at Hobby Lobby...inexpensive, but effective.  The Royal Worcester Regency dinner plate is such a classic and always easy to integrate into a design.

I chose the Royal Worcester Regency luncheon plate to complete my stack because...well, because it was sitting there in the cabinet beside the dinner plates, and I was in a hurry.  Hey, it happens!

Completing the story line, I selected the AJKA Red Arabella wine goblet, and the Godinger Sutton Place lead crystal goblet.  I like that they beautifully reflected the glow of the candlelight.

                                                           
It's such a blessing to share a meal with precious friends seated at my table.  I'll set a place for you should you pass this way.  Just let me know.

Despite Hurricane Sandy's best efforts, tonight is the 33rd edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".  I'm excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable for TUTORIALS, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!  Yvonne lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Hurricane was headed inland straight for her.  Please, keep her in your prayers.
                                                                
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 October, I think about the crisp Autumn days and leaves that crunch under foot.  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!  Alma also lives on the coast, and has been without poser since Sunday.  Please, lift her in your prayers.

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 "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  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 23, 2012

Autumn Jewels

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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Fall is definitely in the air.  The winds are picking up out here on the prairie, and at any moment you might expect one of the 'flying nannies' from Mary Poppins to sweep by the door.  We've had enough rain that we're getting at least a modicum of changing color in the leaves that float to the ground and crunch under foot. The Garden Friends Bible study was coming this morning, so last night, I prepared a large pot of my chicken noodle soup for anyone who wanted to stay for lunch.  Sweet cornbread muffins and key lime pie completed our laid back lunch.

For today's luncheon, I've set a table for 8 in the dining room. I'm finally ready to begin playing with the jewel tones that saunter comfortably hand in hand with Autumn.

  The  lime green Bormoglio charger that I bought at Gordman's played nicely with...

The antique Luneville Louis XV faience in honey...

...and the Bordallo Pinheiro majolica leaf plate.  The leaf plate was later set to the side for a large cornbread muffin.  The chicken noodle soup was served from the kitchen in Haviland soup bowls.  I forgot to snap a picture of the soup bowl.  Flatware is the L'Argent Sophia "Gold," found at Tuesday Morning and through Horchow.  Horchow's still offers it through their website.  Tip:  Watch Horchows for a bit before deciding to make  a purchase.  They have some pretty good sales periodically.  Also, if you sign up for their email list, they'll occasionally send a notification for what they call their "Click Tock" Sale...usually at least 50% off and only available through the email link. 

Everything worked well on the Williams Sonoma yellow linen tablecloth, another get from eBay.  This is a four seasons cloth, good for use throughout the year.

Continuing with the jewel tone color story, I chose the Vietri Optical in Apple Green and the Lenox Red Holiday Gem...

...along with the Pier One cotton napkin and beaded napkin ring.  I've had the napkins for a number of years, but the versatile napkin rings may still be available in the stores.

The inspiration for my table was this selection of faux elements.  The pomegranate topiary is actually permanently affixed to a small wooden urn.  I regularly pop it into another container.  You've seen me  use my green hypericum berries topiary ball, so I was thrilled to find a variation of the same for the holiday seasons.  The ocher berries and the multi-colored berries are all miniature pomegranates.  Certainly a riot of Autumn colors...I had a ball playing with them.

The parade down the center of the table was completed by the addition of two pair of my Barley Twist Candlesticks.  The quintet of red tole jardinieres were an inexpensive purchase on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby.  Tip:  My friends laughingly say that I always buy decorative items in pairs or multiples.  I agree; at any given time, I may only want one of something, but it inevitably comes in handy when I have extras on hand.  The use of repetitive elements is one of my favorite design strategies.

It's been a while, but I even caught some candlelight shots the night before my luncheon...







And I'm good to go...
 The soups hot and ready to eat...Let the food, fun, & fellowship begin!

Wednesday evening is the 32nd edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".   Excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable for TUTORIAL, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!
                                                                
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 October, I think about the crisp Autumn days and leaves that crunch under foot.  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 "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  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, October 17, 2012

Tower and Toile, 10.17.12

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.
*****************************************************************************************

Keeping it short and sweet tonight.  Friends dropped by with take-out for lunch...one of my favorite menu items...I can do take-out with the best of them!  I had about twenty minutes to assemble a small tablescape on the games table in the living room.

 I've been wanting to use this Zina Vasi Toile tablecloth, an eBay purchase.  I bought it because I knew that I would like it with the Copeland Spode Tower Pink, which belonged to my mother-in-love.  It was her everyday dinnerware, and we also use it often.

 The Williams Sonoma Flax Hemstitch Linen Napkins are becoming a "go to" napkin for me.  They work in so many different color stories.

 No time for flowers today, so I grabbed one of the Pink Tower Presentation Bowls and filled them with fresh eggs from the refrigerator and some of my glass raspberries, bought several years ago at Target.

 The only other component in my centerpiece was a quartet of Coalport Countryware candlesticks...easy peasy!


The Gordman"s Red Glass Charger Plate was the base for my stack of plates.


I added a pop of cream with the Wedgwood Queens Plain Dinner Plate, a Replacements Ltd. purchase.

 Copeland Spode Tower Pink is such a great classic pattern.  It always brings a smile to my face.

 The AJKA Red Arabella goblet and the Mikasa French Countryside were an easy choice.

The flatware is L'Argent Sophia.  I found it at Tuesday Morning and through Horchow.  Tip:  I make it a point to never leave the L'Argent soaking in water.  When flatware features an attached handle, I have discovered that the adhesive eventually fails if I have consistently left the pieces soaking in sudsy water.

 Good to go...

 ...Bring on the take-out!  It's going to be a great day to share good food and fellowship.

Wednesday evening is the 31th edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".   Excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable for TUTORIALS, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!
                                                                
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 October, I think about the crisp Autumn days and leaves that crunch under foot.  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 "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  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 9, 2012

A Woman Without Her Sisters is Like a Bird Without Wings

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.


I was once again blessed to welcome a group of 65 of my sorority sisters for an al fresco luncheon this past Friday.  They came from all over our great nation, from Mexico and from France.  Many of us hadn't seen each other for more than 45 years.  It was a special, precious time, and I am still on cloud nine.  Our luncheon started at 11:30 AM, and the last guests left between 4:30 and 5:00 PM.

Fall has finally come to our house...

Come on in...

Find your name tag...It's been a long time, and some of us might not recognize each other...

May we offer you a Mimosa?...

Everyone is bringing a salad or dessert to share.  Put your salad on the dining table.  The desserts go on the buffet.

I kept the centerpieces pretty simple....there is a boatload of great food.  Blue and white toile tablecloths set the mood for the day.  The tureen is antique Luneville, French faience.  Tip:  There are currently a couple of really good looking Luneville tureens up for auction on eBay.   Best of luck if you decide to bid!  The jardinieres are from Hobby Lobby.

Some of my sweet sisters arrived very early to help with final preparations.  Because we served al fresco, the tables were all set up the "morning of."  Come on out and join us on the back porch.

 Originally, I thought that I would use fall mums in the blue jardinieres, also from Hobby Lobby, but all the pots that I found were either too large or too small.  I ultimately settled on Kalanchoe in a variety of colors.  I was happy with my choice.

The back porch is an easy fit for four 60 inch tables.

Each placesetting featured a dark rattan charger, a blue dinner plate, a simple white cotton napkin, and party favors...a plaque and a cookie with our sorority name or letters on it.

Several tables featured Spode Warwick Vase, part of the Spode Blue Room Collection.


The party favors were a huge hit.  My co-conspirator, BJ, found these wonderful stitcheries.

I love the blue in this Castleton Blue Empire plate.

Each place setting held only a fork, Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance.  The Godinger Crystal, Sutton Place Goblet was placed upside down to avoid leaves falling from the trees...it is Autumn, after all. 
The blue in the Furnivals Blue Quail was just right for the toile cloths.  The Quail is one of our everyday patterns.




My Yorkshire Terrorist, Little Charlie Dickens was doing his last minute patrol of the yard before everyone arrived.


I grabbed one last look at the tables...It's time for my sisters to be walking up to the front door.  I wanted to be on the front porch to greet each one of them with a great big hug!


Wednesday evening is the 30th edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".   Excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable for TUTORIALS, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!
                                                                
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 October, I think about glorious days, prefect for dining al fresco.  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 "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  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!