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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flaming Festival, 2012

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


Each year during the first week of November, the Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae host The Theta Flaming Festival.  It is a delightful tabletop event that raises money for the groups chosen philanthropy, which is currently CASA, a child advocacy volunteer group that operates within the court system.  It is held at one of our city's country club's. This year the entrance is replete with a gorgeous Autumn display.

Couldn't resist looking back once more.  Okay, let's go on in, and I'll share some of the delicious eye candy from this year's festival.  Comments will be minimal.

Christmas at the Governor's Mansion...our governor is a Theta.  I LOVE the design of this tablecloth.  The band is pinned to the tablecloth.  It is edged with puffy cording; the bow is a separate piece.  This was probably my favorite element this year. 


Completely yummy!

Looking for some Christmas confections?  


The boxwood topiaries are easy and effective, and I'll bet that most of us have a Santa or three around the house.   The goblets are Juliska.

The linens are delectable!...
  
 ...and I adore this napkin ring!

This table was titled "50th Anniversary"...

Gorgeous, unusual elements for the centerpiece.  The candlesticks are magnificent.  I think that the goblets are probably Tiffin.
  
I'm not familiar with the china pattern...it is sophisticated and elegant!  Note the bling in the fabric for the tablecloth.

"Theta's Forever" featured...

Lots of black, white, and yellow...and pansies, of course!  There is always at least one MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check table each year.  I think that it's a very popular design with lots of Theta's.

 I'll bet that some of you are already thinking about your St. Patrick's Day tables.  This one was called "Luck of the Irish".

 I know that this is a Herend pattern; I think that it's called Chinese Bouquet.

The centerpiece was beautiful!

I'll have a few more tables to share in a few weeks.  I'm busy putting out all of our Christmas goodies, and I'm guessing that you are, too.  Happy Decking the Halls!

I'm pleased to join Marty (A Stroll Through Life) for TABLETOP TUESDAY.  Won't you come along?  

Wednesday is the 37th 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! 
                                                                
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 November, I think about the bounty of the harvest, 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, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessings, 2012

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


Where do you find inspiration when you design a tablescape?  Sometimes I find my design catalyst in a particular china pattern, or perhaps a tablecloth.  Seasonal flowers can also set the creative juices flowing, but for my Thanksgiving table this year, I didn't start with any of the usual suspects...

When we moved into our home about twenty years ago, I decided that I wanted a matching pair of tall antique celadon and blue jars to flank the fireplace in our living room.  I looked high and low, but the few times that I came across just what I wanted, they were always either the wrong size or incredibly expensive...certainly never even close to my desired price range.  Even so, I never gave up the search.  At long last...several weeks ago, I struck pay dirt at the tail end of a very good estate sale, and these bad boys came home to live at our house.  If you peak at the reflection in the mirror, you can see that our mantle currently features Autumn leaves and an assortment of copper pumpkins.  Come Friday, the Fall decorations will be replaced with a lighted evergreen garland, and the needlepoint Christmas stockings.  The mantle won't be open to receive my new treasures until about the first of next year.  I couldn't bear the thought of these lovelies languishing in their boxes all that time...and then I had a thought!  I could build my Thanksgiving tablescape design around the jars!  And so it began...


 Come on in!  The Simpich Pilgrims are waiting for you on the center table in the foyer.  They want to give you a clue about what waits just around the corner.  This old table used to belong to our dear Nana.  Taking inspiration from all of you who create such wonderful cloche designs, I filled the lanterns with glittering pumpkins.  The fallen bed of leaves is really just a garland that I picked up several years ago on clearance at Michaels.  Tip:  I keep an assortment of seasonal garlands hanging in the garage.  They always prove to be a quick and easy way to create an effective holiday decoration in a matter of minutes.  I pick up a few after the holidays, and I use them year after year.  Lots of bang for the buck!  Okay, let's take a left and head for the dining room...

The table is set for ten guests.  Only eight are coming so far, but my family has the blessed knack of calling at the last minute and saying, "Mom, our friend doesn't have any place to celebrate Thanksgiving.  He can't afford to go home this year, so is it okay if we bring him/her/them to share our dinner?"  My answer is always the same, "Sure!"  If we happen to be blessed with even more guests, I have already placed extra leaves in the table, so it will only take moments to add even more place settings.  Enough food?...Have you ever had a Thanksgiving dinner without a plethora of left overs? 

The centerpiece is really pretty simple.  Assorted sizes of the Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Pumpkins meander down the length of the table.  I've interspersed three pair of antique Barley Twist candlesticks between the pumpkins and scattered loose leaves that work like a runner for the table.  Tip:  Did you notice that the pumpkins are elevated on old wooden stands of varying heights?  When I walk through estate sales and antique or junk stores, I always keep an eye out for these wooden stands. They usually sell for just a couple of dollars, and they have an abundance of uses.  Using stands of different heights creates movement and interest in the centerpiece.  Just remember, try to keep your centerpieces at about 12 inches or less in height.  That will allow your guests to have an unimpeded view of the guests on the other side of the table.

That's another Michael's garland resting across the arms of the chandelier.  The Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Hemstitched Linen tablecloth was an appropriate choice...We all remember from our childhood art classes that orange is the complimentary color for blue on the color chart...one of those random things that we learned in school that is still useful all these years later.  Who knew!

The place settings were kept a bit subtle; I had plenty of high color elsewhere...  The stack included...

The Myott Turkey Accent Plate will be removed at the beginning of the dinner and appear later filled with German Chocolate pie for our dessert.

Our traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be served on the Coalport Athlone Brown dinner plate, an eBay find. 

The Maryland China Company Bernadotte Charger anchors the place setting.  

Tip:  Fact:  Not all dinner plates fit properly in all charger plates.  Solution:  Do you have a pile of those quaint old lace and tatted doilies that your grandmothers used to lovingly place on lamp tables, vanity tables, on the arms of upholstered chairs,...really any and everywhere.  I always kept them because they belonged to her, but I never had a purpose for them.  Then one day, I realized that they made the perfect buffer between my charger and dinner plates.  It prevents the dinner plate from sliding around as my guests are cutting their meat, etc.  Now I look for piles of them at estate sales and in antique stores.  A 9" doily is just about perfect, and they are always very inexpensive.  I think that they're kind of cool.  Give them a try.

The light blue hemstitched napkin pulled the celadon color of the jars onto the table.  My Waverly Beaded Tassel napkin rings were a give away gift from Cuisine Kathleen.  The Argent Sophia Gold flatware picks up the soft golds found in the leaves and mini pomegranate berries strewn down the table.

To complete my place setting...

I chose the Vietri Amber Optical goblet and the Waterford Simply Blue wine.  I like the point-counterpoint effect of the contemporary paired with the traditional.

I enjoyed having the time to capture some candlelight shots...










A few final thoughts...As we gather around our Thanksgiving table, I shall remember 1Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  If you have a desire to read about a life spent giving thanks in the direst of circumstances, may I encourage you to read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.  I remember a moment in a long ago Bible study when the question was asked, "If everything in your life is a complete disappointment, a total failure...will God's grace still be sufficient for you?"  I have to say, "Yes!"  I pray that you will have a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends.  I pray that you will have and take an opportunity to reach out to others and be a blessing to them.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  This year I am thoughtful of those who have lost so much because of Hurricane Sandy.  They will be on my heart and in my prayers as we gather around our table.  May you know the peace and abundant blessings of God's love for you.  Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm pleased to join Marty (A Stroll Through Life) for TABLETOP TUESDAY.  Won't you come along?  

Wednesday is the 36th 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 TIDBITS, TIPS, & TUTORIALS.  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 November, I think about the bounty of the harvest, the crisp Autumn days, and leaves that crunch under foot.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts (even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy), 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, November 14, 2012

Christening Day Luncheon

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

Our precious Beatrice Emaline was christened on Sunday, November 4th...another soul harvested for the fellowship of saints.

She wore the same christening dress that her mom wore...

Beatrice Emaline was a perfect angel throughout the entire service, held in their small Anglican church.  Did you notice her tiny wrist corsage, made of rosebuds and pearls?  It was a gift from my dear friend.  After the service was completed, a group adjourned to our back porch for a luncheon to honor this special day and the special little lady. The afternoon was glorious...just the right temperatures and not a breath of wind...a rarity out here on the prairie.

Today, not a spot of Fall color was to be found on our five tables for 35 guests.  Shades of pink...all things feminine...were gathered to fete our newest family member.

Four of the table centerpieces featured an ivy topiary placed in a baby blue jardiniere from Hobby Lobby.  The topiaries were flanked by a small pair of bottles in green or in pink, filled with soft pink Sweetheart Roses, and a pair of aqua glass decanters filled with water for our guests.

 I had originally made plans for four tables.  Some last minute replies meant that I needed to add another table.  Since it was too late to run back to the grocery store for an additional topiary (yes, I found them at the grocery store), I decided to make Beatrice Emaline's table a bit different. Tip:  When you're looking for fresh flowers at a good price, remember to check the grocery store and the wholesale stores like Sam's.  I'm always amazed at the large selection of beautiful blossoms!  I used the Mottahedeh Musee Decoratif tureen  as my centerpiece, and I flanked it with a pair of Lenox urns filled with the Sweetheart roses and Hypericum Berries.

 Three of the tables were set with Copeland Spode Red Aster, bought on eBay over a period of time.  They were perched on the hot pink glass chargers from Gordman's.

I only needed a Reed & Barton Francis I fork at each place setting for the Chicken Tetrazzini, Green Salad, and hot Garlic Bread.  The silver belonged to my my mother-in-love.  I like that a small touch of her was represented at our luncheon today.  Dessert was homemade chocolate chip cookies.  All the tables were set with light pink napkins caught in a white napkin ring and the Mikasa French Countryside goblets.  Wine was offered during the meal and served in pink wine goblets.  Each table was covered with one of an assortment of white tablecloths.

One of the tables was laid with the Royal Doulton Old Chelsea on the Gordman's apple green glass charger...


Beatrice Emaline's table featured the Royal Doulton Lowestoft, one of my favorite patterns.  Some day maybe she'll set one of her tables with this pattern.  I like the thought of that.  I wonder if she'll like pink as much as her mama does?

It was such a special day for our family.  I'm thinking that this shot will be a sure fire pick for Sweet Mister's Christmas letter for 2012.


I'm pleased to join Marty (A Stroll Through Life) for TABLE TOP TUESDAY.  Won't you come along?  

Wednesday is the 35th 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!  
                                                                
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 THURSDAYS."   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 November, I think about the bounty of the harvest, the crisp Autumn days, and leaves that crunch under foot.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts (even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy), 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!