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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Waiting for Edie Elizabeth to Blossom

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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As promised, I'm sharing the baby shower that I hosted with my friend Marsha a little over a week ago.

I am blessed with a friend who runs an invitation/stationery business from her home.  I designed this invitation, and she produced it for me.  We called our baby shower, "Waiting for Edie Elizabeth to Blossom."  The liner paper that I chose to insert in the enclosure set the tone for our party.  It was all about flowers....many. pink. flowers.




 As guests entered, they were offered an "Edie Elizabeth Special", otherwise known as a Cranberry/Pomegranate & Pear Nectar Bellini.  Over time, I've painted six dozen of the gold flutes.  They've really come in handy, and I often loan them to friends for their parties, too.  Today I've presented them on one of the Barker-Ellis Silver Galley Trays, a wedding gift from many years ago.  Come on into the dining room...on your left...

We created a buffet table in the dining room....lots of pink...lots of flowers.  Tip:  My favorite time to host a shower is Sunday afternoon from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., for ladies.  I find that the response is always good, and it ends up as an economical time to entertain.  Everyone has already had lunch, and they're not ready for dinner.  Fill the table with savories and sweets, and you'll be good to go.




With our floral design emphasis, the Coalport Sevres Group Luncheon Plates were a no-brainer choice.  I really like this set of plates.  They are all on the same white embossed blank, but there are numerous designs using similar flowers.  I set the table with a combination of the Reed & Barton Francis I and Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance forks.  They always seem to play well with each other.  
  

Over time, I've kind of developed a formula for these events.  Cheese and fruit...One of my favorites to prepare is Brie en Croute.  Today I created a teddy bear to top the Brie's crust.

 Up to my old tricks today...The flowers in the chandelier are merely a pair of pink Wisteria garlands found at Hobby Lobby.

The Williams-Sonoma White Matelasse Tablecloth, an eBay find, added a nice spot of texture to the design.

I perched the pair of Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Globes atop the Juliska-like candlesticks.  The Cookie Princess mini-cupcakes were crowned with mini cookies decorated with E monograms, flowers, and baby buggies.  These mini-cupcakes are always a hit.  Because they are tiny, ladies tend to eat them without hesitation.  I rarely have left-overs.  I served them in our Nana's antique silver serving piece with ivory handles.  I actually think that it was originally a fish server...not today!
  
Chocolate Cream Sherry Bars and Coconut Cake.  Tip:  True confession...the cake is from Sam's and cost about $16.00.  At one party I served a homemade Coconut Cake that was really good at one end of the table....and the Sam's at the other end of the table.  The Sam's cake was demolished, and we had left overs from the homemade cake.  Now I was born at night, but not last night.  I've bought the Sam's cake ever since, and it's always a hit!


I like to serve a variety of tea sandwiches...just in case someone didn't have an opportunity to grab lunch before they came to the party. For years, I had a wonderful little lady who made them for me.  She finally retired when she was 100 years old...really!  I made these myself, but they don't compare to the beautiful little jewels that Mrs. Beavers made.  Mine tasted good, but hers were tiny works of art.  I miss her!  The antique Dorothy Thorpe Crystal trays holding the tea sandwiches and the Brie also belonged to our Nana.

I had such fun using the looping ribbon over the Christmas holidays that I decided to try it again with a shimmering pink mesh ribbon layered with a pink and white argyle ribbon.  I interspersed the ribbon with sparkling candleholders from Hobby Lobby.  Some of them were used with candles and some of them were used for my floral arrangements.  In both instances, I lined them with hot pink glass containers.

The Hobby Lobby French Wired Bird Cage was filled with more flowers and featured our hostess gift for Edie Elizabeth...a silver duck bank.  The flowers came from my usual floral boutiques...Sam's and Homeland Grocery Store. 

The table is ready to roll.  Come on in the living room for a minute...

More flowers graced different spots in the living room.  This is an antique pink and white vase that belonged to Nana.  Today it shared the table with the silver tidbit tray that eventually held a delicious hot artichoke dip.  Did you notice the flowers on the right side of the coffee table?...


 I always enjoy the opportunity to create an arrangement in our precious Nana's antique Black Starr & Frost silver presentation bowl.  It's probably my favorite of all the lovely things that belonged to Nana. We are blessed to steward it until it goes to the next generation.

Sans food, of course, I even had a spot of time to capture some candlelight shots the evening before the shower...






 It was a delightful day and a wonderful baby shower.  All this pink has me thinking about Valentine's Day.  Hmmm....I think that you might see more of these frilly girly elements next week!  Stay tuned!

I'm joining Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for  TABLE TOP TUESDAY.  Won't you come along , too?

Wednesday is the 46th 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 forTUTORIALS, 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.

I always enjoy January for the expectations that it doesn't bring each year.  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 memeSEASONAL 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, January 22, 2013

A Cold Winter Day, 1.13

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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Out here on the prairie, cold winter days have been few and far between this winter, and snow has been only a memory of years past.  This past week we've flirted with 60º temperatures, but several weeks ago, winter did make a brief appearance.  That day, while thinking of times spent in Aspen and Vail, I decided that the laid back style of Colorado mountain living would direct my contribution to Cuisine Kathleen's Snow-Ice-Winter Challenge.  My friend Kathy was bringing take-out for lunch...a selection of hearty soups and a bottle of wine...my kind of party!

You already knew that we'd be dining at the games table in the living room. 

 The Williams-Sonoma Stewart Plaid Tablecloth, an eBay purchase set just the right tone.

 This was one of my 30 minute tables...I grabbed what was close and easy to get on the table.  The green napkins had been recently laundered and ironed, and I hadn't even put them away after storing all the Christmas decorations.

 I seated Kathy on the left, with a view of the crackling fireplace...perfect for a cold winter day.

I was tempted to figure out how to build a small fire in the humongus antique copper chaffing dish.  Probably better suited for the back porch, so I chose to be conservative...and safe.


Flanking the copper chaffing dish are a terra cotta wine brick... 
and my tried and true Antique Barley Twist candlesticks.  Today, I inserted the pegged, quilted votive cups that belonged to our dear Nana.
  
The Wedgwood Queens Plain Dinner Plate is 11 1/8", and it works well as a charger with many smaller dinner plates.  I bought these through Replacements, and they are actually quite reasonable at $9.99 each. Tip:  Always check Replacements before you buy dishes on eBay.  Sometimes the reasonable shipping prices at Replacements make them very competitive with eBay sellers, especially if you are ordering multiples of an item.

To continue the color story of the Stewart Plaid, I chose the small ruby flash dinner plate, picked up at few at a time at estate sales over the past few years. 

Topping the stack is the Churchill Pink Willow Soup Mug, found at Tuesday Morning.  The Towle Antique Bead stainless flatware is our everyday pattern.  I've had the Green Colony goblets for many years, and the unmarked Black Amethyst Goblets were an eBay find.

No time to make hot bread, but I've always said that there's nothing better than a crisp fresh Premium Saltine Cracker with soft, creamy butter.  I adore this little  Copeland Spode Tower Pink split dish.  It originally belonged to my mother-in-love.

The Williams-Sonoma Green Pitcher was a hostess gift for a wedding shower that I hosted a number of years ago.  It's a great piece. 

 I'm all set and ready for Kathy to walk through the front door.

Let me know if you're traveling my way.  I'd love to spend an afternoon at the table getting to know you better.  This will be your seat!

Wednesday is the 44th edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".  I look forward to seeing all the interpretations of her Snow-Ice-Winter Challenge!  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 forTUTORIALS, 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 "BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH."   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.

I always enjoy January for the expectations that it doesn't bring each year.  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 memeSEASONAL 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, January 16, 2013

Flaming Festival, Part 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. 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'm in the midst of preparing to host a large baby shower this coming Sunday.  Tonight I thought that we'd return to the THETA FLAMING FESTIVAL, 2012.  I want to share the table that my friend Barb and I designed for this enjoyable event.  This will be a comparatively short and sweet post.

Barb loves a pink and green color combination, so we said, "Let's go for it!"  We had fun poking through my china cabinets.

We perched my AJKA Arabella presentation bowl atop Barb's silver mirrored plateau.  My Lalique Love Birds rested underneath the bowl.  A pair of white reticulated hurricanes and a pair of Juliska style candlesticks completed the centerpiece.  I made the tablecloth.

The glass charger added a valuable pop of hot pink to our color story, and it was an effective frame for my Royal Doulton Lowestoft Dinner Plate.  The lovely silver flatware belonged to Barb's sweet mom.  We added my MacKenzie Childs' Individual Salts for a touch of feminine whimsy.

 We completed the stack with my Bernardaud Limoges Artois Accent Plate.  This beautiful delicate pattern is actually kind of difficult to use in a tablescape.  It takes a great deal of care to prevent it from "disappearing" on the table.  The placecard holders are Coalport.  The gorgeous linen napkin is another treasure from Barb's mom.

I always enjoy using my wedding crystal.  This goblet is Lalique Treves.

Today I paired it with the Waterford Simply Pink.  I get a lot of mileage out of this collection of colorful crystal...every bit of it found on eBay. Tip: After you have purchased something fragile via eBay, don't hesitate to communicate with the seller concerning safe packing procedures.  If you know a good way to ship something this delicate, share it with the seller.  They will appreciate your concern and suggestions.

We added the crystal decanters that I found several years ago at Tuesday Morning.  They effectively reflected the candlelight and added a nice finishing touch of sparkle to our table.  It was a great day to renew old acquaintances.  I look forward to next year's festival.


Wednesday is the 43rd 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 forTUTORIALS, 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 "BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH."   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 January, I think of how nice it is to have all the Christmas decorations stored away until next year.  I love our Christmas house, but I always appreciate the pared down version each January.  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 memeSEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there! 


This week I'm inking to Jamiann at The Blackberry Vine for Tuesday's To Do and List Makers.  Come along to find some inspiration and fun!  

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, January 8, 2013

Same Song, Second Verse

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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Several weeks ago, I shared a Christmas luncheon that I hosted for friends, A Cup of Christmas Tea, Variation I.  This week, I wanted to continue the story with A Cup of Christmas Tea, Variation II.  I used the same concept to create a Christmas luncheon for a second group of dear friends.  I made a few changes...just because I wanted to mix it up a little.

We're back at the games table and tree-side...





Music will be provided by the Simpich Carolers, holding their seasonal concert on the refectory table. 

Look familiar?  There are really only three tweaks to this table...

...A new group of the wonderful teapots painted by the fabulous PATTI @ PANDORA'S BOX.  Once again, they were perfect as my centerpieces and a delightful surprise for my friends, who took them home as their Christmas gifts from me.

 ...The tea strainers are new, just because I couldn't find them for the first luncheon.  I served a delicious Creme Brûlée tea with dessert.

...The final change for today's luncheon was the antique Rose Famille Dinner Plate.  I decided to use them just because I thought that I might like them in the mix.  I did.

It was a wonderful day for food and fellowship with precious friends...

...a time to create cherished memories that made Christmas, 2012, special.  If you happen to pass my way, I'd love to set a table full of memories for you, too! 


Wednesday is the 42nd 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 forTUTORIALS, 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 "BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH."   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 January, I think of how nice it is to have all the Christmas decorations stored away until next year.  I love our Christmas house, but I always appreciate the pared down version each January.  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 memeSEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there! 


This week I'm inking to Jamiann at The Blackberry Vine for Tuesday's To Do and List Makers.  Come along to find some inspiration and fun!  

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!