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Monday, February 25, 2013

A Blue Retrospective

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 think that Marlis @ CREATIVE JOURNEYS has started something with her post last week on tablescaping with blue and white.  I've read comments all this week that lead me to think that we're going to see a boat load of tables in shades of blue.  I've decided that I'll join the fun, too.  Tonight I want to share a retrospective of my tablescapes in shades and hues of blue, my favorite color.  If you wish to visit any of the posts, just click on the title below the picture.  Warning:  You may feel like you've read a text book if you make it all the way to the end.  You may want to scroll quickly.  Here we go...

                                                                      










Blue Squared


Queen Sparkle's Tea Party


Tables for Two


Haviland Boxed Lunch



Simpich Pilgrims


Family Style


Lynton Al Fresco


Round the Clock Shower/Luncheon


Garden Friends Fix

I read recently that blue is the new trend color for this year.  For me, blue never goes out of favor or style.  Blue is my lifetime trend color.  Do you delve into adventures in blue?  I'm always happy when I run across a one of your lovely blue tables...consistently makes me smile!

Come join me at Marty's TABLETOP TUESDAY...always a great place to visit!

I'm joining Jamiann @ The Blackberry Vine for TUESDAY TO DO AND LIST MAKERS.  So many inspirational ideas here...you won't want to miss it!

Wednesday is the 50th 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!

I'm joining The Style Sisters for CENTERPIECE WEDNESDAYS.  Don't miss it!  

                                                                
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.

March, a month of so many transitions...I find myself still enjoying a Winter eve's fire in the fireplace while looking with sweet anticipation toward Spring.  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, February 19, 2013

Blue, Come Back, Blue!

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 got a dog, and his name is "Blue".  Betcha five dollars he's a good dog, too."
--as sung  by Peter Paul & Mary

When Sweet Mister and I were first married, I gave him a German Short Hair hunting dog for Christmas.  Sweet Mister named him "Blue".  Now Sweet Mister has 'working dogs' for hunting, so it became an issue when we realized that this marvelous dog that I had given him was gun shy.  Sweet Mister would fire his shot gun, Blue would take off at a dead run, and Sweet Mister would yell, "Blue, come back, Blue...you *&#@**%&!!!"  Blue ended up living out the rest of his very passive life with my dear Aunt Ida.  Sweet Mister and Blue were both much happier with this solution, and Aunt Ida enjoyed Blue's company.  So....that experience with Blue didn't work out so well...But when it comes to the color blue, Sweet Mister and I have always agreed that blue is a color with which we both live well.  Now you know the source of my love affair with blue dishes...outdone only by my 44 year love affair with Sweet Mister.  With the holidays all the way up through Valentine's Day, I've created an abundance of tablescapes in reds, pinks, and greens.  Marlis @ CREATIVE JOURNEYS did a neat post on blue and white today.  She started my wheels turning. I've been yearning to play with some of my blue dishes, and this turned out to be the perfect day.  I set a table for four today, and my friend Kathy brought...my favorite...take-out for lunch.

 We're in the living room at the games table.  The crystal decanters are catching the bright sun on this winter day.  The decanters were gifts many years ago.  In addition to Nana's tall antique decanter, one of them is St. Louis, one is Waterford, and two are Baccarat.  I can't remember which is which.  I've never had liquor in them, but I have always loved the look of them...regal sun catchers.

This was one of my 30 minute tables.  We're pretty spontaneous around here...First I grabbed the Williams-Sonoma white linen hemstitched tablecloth.

 I selected the restaurant grade Steelite by Royal Doulton cobalt charger plate to anchor the stack...

...and topped it with the Spode Warwick Vase. Both plates were eBay finds.  The Warwick Vase is part of the Spode Blue Room Collection, but I decided just to collect this one pattern from the group.  Tip:  That's one of the neat aspects of eBay.  It's possible to acquire only what you want out of a collection because sellers often auction them one at a time.  The flatware is L'Argent Sophia, found through Tuesday Morning and Horchow.  Horchow still has it on their website.

  I thought that my design was complete, but Kathy came through the door with a beautiful potato soup to go with our salads.  I hot footed it to the kitchen cabinet and pulled the Furnivals Blue Quail Cream Soup and Underplate.  The Blue Quail has been one of our everyday patterns for many years.  Tip:  The Quail comes in the blue and in a brown.  The Furnivals can be a bit tricky to locate, but when the Furnival Factory closed its doors, Mason's bought the molds and continued to make this dear transferware pattern. They are exactly the same, so if you have an interest or need to replace some pieces of your own collection, be sure to check out the Mason's Quail. They are usually available and less expensive than the Furnivals.

  Continuing with the blue and white commentary, I selected the AJKA Arabella wine with the Dollar Tree Cobalt goblet.  The blue and white checked napkins are used nearly every day.  We've  had them for many years.                                                                

   No time for fresh flowers today, but I had previously picked up a pair of the Blue and White Lidded Jardinieres at one of the regular half price sales at Hobby Lobby.  Today one of them was perfect for our needs.  The small blue and white votive holders continue the theme.
                                                             
   Table's set...pictures are taken...Done!  Time was now at hand to stop, take a deep breath, give praise to the Lord, and enjoy a delicious meal and time for dear friends.  Let me know if you're passing my way, and I'll set a place for you, too!

                                                                  
Wednesday is the 49th 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!

I'm joining The Style Sisters for CENTERPIECE WEDNESDAYS.  Don't miss it!  
                                                                
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 February as we begin to pass from winter and anticipate Spring.  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, February 13, 2013

Good Stuff & Tables for Two with Marlis @ Creative Journeys

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

Marlis @ CREATIVE JOURNEYS and I have long wanted to design a "Tables for Two" using the Schumann china that we both enjoy so much.  It just seemed perfect for a Valentine's celebration, and I was also hosting a birthday luncheon for my dear friend today.

  Early in my marriage, I always saved my good china, "the good stuff" for important occasions and usually for dinners only...not luncheons. With that in mind, Question:  What can we do to make the "good stuff" suitable for use any time of the day?  

 Tidbit:  This time I decided to pair a whimsical ticking striped tablecloth with my fou fou  china.  An extremely inexpensive eBay find, I love the tone that this cloth set.  Do you have other ideas to make your "good stuff" more versatile?

  Anchoring my place setting is the MARYLAND CHINA CO. Bernadotte Charger Plate.  I have searched for affordable, good looking white chargers for a long time, and I happened across this company on line.  They primarily manufacture a variety of white patterned blanks to market to china painters.  Their prices are reasonable, and the quality of the plate is good.  Click on the link and check them out for yourself.


Cast in the starring role as leading lading is the Schumann Empress Dresden Flower Dinner Plate.  Several years ago, I scored a "deal of the century" on a service for 10 in this gorgeous vintage pattern, and I've added additional pieces here and there.  I always imagine that Marie Antoinette might have enjoyed dining on this pattern...or not...Marie and I were never really that close.


Acting as an "extra" in the ensemble, I used the Haviland Ranson Schleiger #1 Luncheon Plate just to add an extra spark of white to the stack...to frame the...

  ...Empress Dresden Flower Accent Plate, a.k.a. salad plate.  The accent plate would eventually...

 ...host our Nana's antique French crystal compote and under plate...


 ...the perfect prop for our first course...Strawberry Soup.  Are you reading "whimsy", yet?

I had fun with a number of small details today...a supporting cast, if you will...

She she china screams for she she silver...Reed & Barton's Francis I.  The individual salt cellar is also Dresden Flower.  I found them in an antiques store.

Our Nana's given name was Minnie Adeline.  I adore this antique linen napkin with its monogrammed organdy insert from her collection.  Today they are held with the Coalport Countryware Napkin Ring.

The Empress Reticulated Ramekin was placed on the table to hold butter for each guest.

As long as I was playing with some of the "good stuff", I chose to use two of my wedding crystal goblets...

...The Lalique Treves Goblet was used for wine,...

...The Lalique Angel Flute held Mimosas, served as we took our seats.

The angel face carved at the base of the bowl is such a special touch for this goblet.  If I had to choose all over again, I'd still choose this piece.


...And as always, the Waterford Simply Pink Goblet gives another strong performance in this ensemble cast.

 Holding court in the centerpiece is the Rosenthal Sansoucci Tureen, an estate sale find, surrounded by a quartet of...

 ...classic Lenox Urns filled with a variety of blooms from my concierge florist...Sam's Warehouse, of course!

A single pink heart in each arrangement is the lone reference to Valentine's Day.  Instead, I told my seasonal story with color.  The lacy mercury glass votives added a spot of shine when lighted.

After our Strawberry Soup, I served  Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto.  It was accompanied by a Spinach Salad and Hot Bread.  Dessert was my mama's Brandy Ice.

As snow flakes steadily fell outside, we dined and visited long into the afternoon.  It was a marvelous winter day for fellowship with dear friends.  I would dearly love to create a table for you if you happen to pass my way!  Happy Valentine's Day!
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Wednesday is the 48th 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 February as we begin to pass from winter and anticipate Spring.  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!