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Monday, July 29, 2013

Lunch in a Tudor Garden

"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 guessing that the grand majority of us spent at least a modicum of time last week paying attention to all things British, in particular William, Cate, and Baby George.  With that in mind, I was contemplating Jolly Olde England as I set about to design my contribution to Cuisine Kathleen's White Challenge for this week's Let's Dish.  The image that kept invading my brain was of the formal gardens found in some of the great castles through Great Britain...Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court.  They were known as Tudor Gardens, and they were the inspiration for my tablescape this week.

Bringing the outside inside...white with touches of green.  I made the green tablecloth.  Tip:  I think that it's much easier and quicker to sew a fabric cording around the hem of the cloth than to hem a round cloth.  Give it a try!

The creamy white matelasse cloth was an inexpensive eBay get.  I often like to create a white-on-white color story.  It adds movement to an all white table...and interest.

The centerpiece is highlighted by elements that reminded me of shapes that we might find in a formal English garden...

The Rosenthal Sansoucci tureen was reminiscent of lovely marble sculptures.  To elevate the tureen, I used the Fenton Silver Crest cake pedestal...I was thinking fountain...or maybe birdbath.  Both were eBay acquisitions.

My "go-to" Lenox white urns each held a topiary ball made of dried and lacquered Hypericum berries...both are classic forms suitable for a Tudor garden.

 The whitewashed carved finials reminded me of the sculpted evergreen trees found in a formal garden. Of course, come autumn, I'll probably tell you that they look like pinecones.  I bought them from a local antiques store.  I like the texture and organic feel that they add to the design.

 The green glass Bormioli charger plate was bought on clearance at Gordman's.  I'm still thanking Alycia of Tablescapes @ Table Twenty-One for telling us about these.  Tidbit:  Remember to keep Alycia in your heart and prayers as she recovers from a major shoulder surgery.  She had her surgery last Friday.

 Next...the Maryland China Company Bernadotte charger plate.

 To add another small touch of green, I chose the Bernardaud Limoges Artois Green dinner plate...

 ...topped with the Haviland Ranson, Schleiger #1, luncheon plate.  Tip:  I adore the Ranson pattern, but I if you happen to contemplate collecting it, I want to warn you that those delicate double-ruffled scallops take a bit of special care when washing.  I chipped a few before I figured out a system for cleaning them...and I always make sure that I'm the one to wash them.  If they are going to be chipped, I need to be the one who chips them.  
 White with an accent.

 And a crown jewel...the Mottahedeh Musee Decoratif Strawberry pot de creme.  I set it on a small unmarked reticulated plate that I picked up at an estate sale...$10.00 for a dozen.


A pair of lovely blossoms for my garden... the Vietri optical acid green goblet was paired with the Rosenthal Iris goblet, one of the patterns from my wedding crystal.  

Finishing touches...the green hemstitch napkin was caught in the Coalport Countryware napkin ring.  The gold bamboo flatware was a garage sale find....maker and pattern unknown.  The butterpat is also Haviland Ranson.

Spot on, I say.  Just right for a proper English tea.

I wish that you could be here to join me.  We could discuss all things royal!  Cheerio!

This week I'll be joining:
Cuisine Kathleen for "Let's Dish."
Yvonne @ Stone Gable for Tutorials, Tips, & Tidbits
Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday





Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birthday Luncheon for Cindy, 6.13

"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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It was a gorgeous late spring day, and we were gathering to celebrate my friend Cindy's birthday.  Somedays Mr. Sunshine just seems to enjoy cooperating with my camera.

 You know the M.O.S....

...Small group of five.....games table in the living room.

 The centerpiece revolved around this Hutschenreuther tureen, an eBay find.  Tip:  I often elevate certain pieces in my centerpiece.  The vertical movement brings an extra element of interest to the eye.  Flanking the tureen are a pair of Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks and a pair of crystal decanters found at Tuesday Morning.  The decanters will be used for iced water for my guests.


Green hydrangeas were placed in the Fenton pink ruffled coin dot bowls.  

                          
A single cluster of rhododendrons was slipped into an assortment of Waterford crystal posy vases next to each place setting.  I occasionally find the vases at estate sales and antique stores, and if I can pick one up for a great deal, it comes home with me.

 The Bormioli hot pink glass charger takes on the texture and pattern of the white mattelasse tablecloth.


 On any given day, the Coalport Exotic Bird, Z3137, is my favorite of all my patterns.  I've been searching for it for ten years, and in that time, I've located 6 dinner plates.  Just about the time that I give up on finding any more, one will pop up on eBay...so far for a very reasonable price.

 I usually don't like to cover the Exotic Bird plate, but today I happily made an exception.  I picked up 12 of this Copeland Spode unnamed luncheon plate on eBay.  I just couldn't resist them.

Topping the stack, a Tiffin gold rimmed plate hosted...

 ...a gold rimmed Glaston-Lotus footed chiller...

Be still my heart...I came across 12 of these...never used...still with the original tags...at a local antique mall...for $70.00 for the entire set.  The tag said "price firm"...I grabbed them immediately.

The Oneida Modern Baroque flatware seemed an obvious choice for today.  The Limoges open salt belonged to our Nana.  I chose the apple green hemstitched napkin and the Coalport Countryware napkin ring just for fun and whimsy.  Cindy loves pink and green.

For our wine...our sweet Nana's antique French cut crystal goblet.  I've never been able to identify it, but antique dealers always tell me that it's French.  For water or tea, the Waterford Simply Lilac goblet.  I like the way that they add additional texture and reflective value to my design.

 In the foyer, Mimosas would be awaiting my guests when they arrived...

 ...Served in the LaStelle lilac goblets, found at Home Goods during a visit to Dallas...

The antique Heisey cut crystal pitcher, found at a local antique store, was my birthday present for Cindy.

  More gifts for the birthday girl...

 On your mark...

 ...get set....

Ready to go!  It's going to be a wonderful day filled with blessed food, laughter, conversation, and fellowship.  Passing my way?  I'd love to set a table and share a meal with you!

Parties I'll be joining this week:
Let's Dish @ Cuisine Kathleen
Tutorials, Tips, & Tidbits with Yvonne @ Stone Gable
Centerpiece Wednesday @ The Style Sisters
Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

"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 was delighted to host a small group of women who met to initiate plans for our 50th high school reunion...there...I said it.  It truly doesn't seem possible that we'll celebrate that milestone in just another year.  We'd had a spat of rainy/cloudy days, so I wanted to bring a touch of summer color to my table for five.  You already know that we gathered in the living room at the games table.

Today's design all started...

 ... with the tablecloth...

 ...a charming ...chinoiserie style...

 ...incredibly inexpensive...

...eBay find!  My mind started spinning with ideas the moment that I unwrapped it!  I immediately knew that the Sophia L'Argent, found through Horchow and Tuesday Morning, would make the playbill  for my table design.

I found myself intrigued by lots of colored glass and crystal...

 The Vietri Amber Optic goblet...the pink pearlized Pier I goblet...


and the aqua green recycled glass decanters from Tuesday Morning played well with all the assorted colors in the tablecloth.

 The amber capiz charger plate provided a lovely golden glow...

 ...beneath the MacKenzie-Childs spring green enamelware charger plate.


 The Spode Blue Room Collection Byron Groups Floral plate...  eBay Tip:  Often I'll collect plates one at a time.  Many times I'll be the only bidder.  I picked these lovelies up for a low of $3.00 and a high of $9.00 each.  You can collect some really nice patterns for $10.00 per purchase if you're patient and willing to wait and watch for the good deals.  Just be cautious if you decide to buy a hand painted pattern.  If some little lady painted it for her daughter or granddaughter, you probably aren't going to find any more to match it.  Do your homework!

 ... the perfect, fluffy blue to bring out the colors...

...in the tail feathers of the various birds on the cloth.  The cornflower blue hemstitched napkin with the Pier I multi-colored beaded napkin ring added another pop of blue.

This is a pretty busy design, but I'm happy with the balance...yep...happy.

My centerpiece was the Jadeite pedestal bowl filled with my old friends, grocery store hydrangeas.  The bowl was flanked by a pair of jadeite footed tumblers hosting green hydrangeas and apricot alstroemeria.

 Ready to roll...

 Everyone is bringing a salad or dessert...


Looks like a great recipe for a productive planning session...and so it begins!

I'll be joining the following parties:
Let's Dish @ Cuisine Kathleen
Tutorials, Tips, & Tidbits with Yvonne @ Stone Gable
Between Naps on the Porch with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper
Show & Tell Friday

Come join the fun!