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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Masquerade...A Reprise

"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. During this beautiful season when we celebrate harvest and Thanksgiving, 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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This post was originally published in October, 2011.  A busy week finds me without the needed time to create a new tablescape design for you.  If you weren't reading my blog in 2011, I hope that you'll enjoy this for the first time.  If you are one of my dear regular readers, I pray that you will enjoy seeing this one again.  Next week is the annual Theta Flaming Festival, so it will be an activity packed week, too.  I'm doing two tables this year, and I look forward to sharing both of them with you, in addition to the many other delightful tables at the festival.  Now, stepping back in time....

It's all ready been a busy week.  My Haviland group has been busy preparing for this year's Theta Flaming Festival, Wednesday, November 2.  We spent a great part of today staging the centerpiece for the Festival's Tea Table.  I also designed an additional table with my Theta friend, Barb.  Remember that I'm a Chi Omega, and Barb and I have been creating tablescapes for this event for many years...a Panhellenic endeavor, if you will.  That said, I wanted to at least give a nod to Halloween.  I created 'Masquerade' for all of those who like to disappear for a few hours by donning a costume, a mask, and a new personality.

The game table in the living room has been turned into a 60" table with the assistance of one of our flip-top table tops.  In the foreground, the Lalique Eagle and Nana's old sterling presentation bowl give a hint of eye candy to come.

I made the black tablecloth out of....felt!  Entertaining Tip: If you need a large under cloth or just an inexpensive solid color cloth, take yourself to your local fabric shop and be amazed at the multitude of colors available in felt. It's about $5.00 per yard, and it is VERY wide.  It's a quick sew, and you don't even have to hem it!  How much easier could it be?

Do you love to get a package in the mail, waiting on your doorstep?  About a week ago, I opened a package to discover these glorious black and white quilted place mats and napkins from Southern Style Home Decor.  They sponsored a give away with Yvonne @ Stone Gable, and I was the winner of this lovely, generous gift.  Southern Style Home Decor has a wonderful online shopping site...check it out!  Thank you, Yvonne and Southern Style Home Decor!  I'm going to enjoy these fine linens for many years to come.

My inspiration for tonight's table was a collection of jeweled and feathered masks...reminiscent of Venice Carnival...

Of all the amazing things that we've received from our blessed Nana, this has to be one of my very favorites.  It's a Black Starr & Frost, sterling reticulated bowl,  from the 1920's.  If you peak under the black mask, you can see a small portion of the decorative brass 'frog' that fits the bowl.  The intricate art deco design work seemed fitting for my 'high drama' table.

On top of the quilted place mat, I set a black Hobby Lobby charger plate beneath our silver Baroque charger plate.  My mother-in- love's Reed & Barton, "Francis I" flatware continued the opulent tone of my table.  To crown the entire place setting...



...I chose some of our Lalique "Plate of the Year" crystal plates.  When Sweet Mister and I were married, almost 43 years ago, my mama, my mother-in-love, and I each started collecting the series of these beautiful plates.  We now have all three sets, ours to shepherd until it's time for the next generation to enjoy.  I wanted the incredible designs to glow, so I set them directly on the silver chargers.

The Lalique, "Treves" goblet and the Corbel silver goblet  were both part of my wedding trousseau.  If I had to choose all over again, I would still choose both of these stems.  I've used them often through the years. 




The decanter is St. Louis crystal.

The sterling master salt and pepper came from....you've got it...dear Nana.





A few Blue Hour shots.  I'm in love with my new camera, the Nikon 7000D SLR...so much smarter than I.  They were all shot sans flash...























...as were my candlelight shots.  Thank you, thank you Sweet Mister!  I'm reading about ways to use my camera more effectively every day.  Have you checked out The Pioneer Woman's blog site?  She has a really nice segment on photography with complete archives.  She loves Photo Shop.  I encourage you to check her out, if you've never visited her.  Her whole blog is pure pleasure.  Can you tell by the blue light emanating from the den that Sweet Mister was watching television?  If you had rung the bell at this moment, he'd have rounded the corner and offered you some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  We had so many trick or treaters that I wondered if we'd have enough goodies.  We did...and I took the excess to the beauty shop this morning when I went to get back to my 'natural blonde.'    Hope that you had a happy and safe Halloween!



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 23, 2013

Coalport Lady Diana for Takeout

"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....pre-pumpkin onslaught...I set one of my 20 minute tables for friends and take-out.  You know the drill: The games table in the living room is my favorite spot for small, intimate gatherings with friends.


Pink, white, and green...a color scheme for all seasons, right?

 Some of you will remember that my friend Cindy gifted us with the Royal Albert tea set when she hosted Birthday Loveliness for three of our friends.  She also gave me the Mackenzie-Childs Flower Market rattan tray.

 I thought that it would make a charming, easy centerpiece.

I added an underlay of old lace to enhance the tray.

 The green wood charger, an estate sale get...

 framed the Coalport Lady Diana dinner plate.  Tidbit:  I rarely buy a china pattern if I am not certain that I have the option to collect enough to set at least a table of 12.  Occasionally though, I run across a pattern that captures my attention, and I break my own rule.  I found a set of 6 of the Lady Diana, and I don't know if I'll ever see another one.  I don't care; it was just so danged pretty that I couldn't resist.

 An estate sale napkin in ecru and lace cozied up to the L'Argent Sophia gold flatware.


My stemware was chosen to add another pop of green...

The Vietri Optic green goblet was a match made in heaven for the Tiffin optic swirl wine.

We're going to have a delicious salad that features fresh spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, candied pecans, red onions, crusted chicken breast, and a delicious Balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  For dessert, I served my mama's Brandy Ice.

 I could hardly wait for my friends to arrive.  Good food, fun, and fellowship always brightens my day. I'm still waiting for you to give me a call and tell me that you'll be passing my way.  I'll have the table ready when you arrive!

This week I'll be joining:
Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dining in the Snowy Woods, 10.16.13

"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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This week Cuisine Kathleen has challenged us to design an all white Fall tablescape.  I found myself still thinking about the woods in Fall, and since we were shooting for all white, I decided to add elements to represent snow and ice.  Think Vail and Aspen.

Even the pumpkin patch and the pine trees are covered with a dusting of snow.

We're in the dining room today, and I've set a table for eight.

To stay within the guidelines of Kathleen's challenge, I've used a white on white palette with the addition of one color, shades of brown.

I shopped my accessory closets for the centerpiece.  A bumper crop of Pottery Barn mercury glass pumpkins were paired with a selection of mercury glass candlesticks.  The serpentine grouping of snow covered pinecones is simply a pair of garlands from Michael's.

 Chosen to prevent the white dinnerware from fading into the white matelasse tablecloth, the hammered bronze charger plate was a great get at an estate sale...

 ......quickly becoming my go-to charger plate, the Maryland China Company Minuet charger plate seemed to be an obvious choice...
 ...to collaborate with the Wedgwood Countryware dinner plate...


 ...and the Royal Doulton RD199 luncheon plate.  Tip:  I am an advocate for luncheon plates.  They are so versatile!  Not only can they be put to work as a luncheon plate, they also work beautifully for salads and desserts...especially a big honkin' piece of delicious cake!

 Today the antique white shades of the antique carved flatware and the L'Argent Sophia flatware added a touch of needed contrast to my design.

Repeating the taupe shades of brown in the garland, I chose the Pottery Barn Flax hemstitched napkins.

Just for you, Kathleen, I left my colored "cased" crystal in the crystal closets today.  I paired the Mikasa French Countryside goblet with the Tiffin Chrysanthemum (My name for it...I have no idea what it's really called) wine goblet, an estate sale find.  I like the silver reflecting through the crystal stemware.

My guests might need to wear their coats to the table for dinner in the snowy woods...I kind of like the thought of that!  Bundle up, and come on over.  We'll linger after our meal for fellowship...even if we need to put on our mittens!

This week I'll be joining the following parties: