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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lavender Blue, Dilly Dilly, 3.25.14

"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.  ************************************************************************************************************* - 
Today was a welcome and fairly laid back day at home.  My friends called to say that they were bringing takeout, so I set a table for four at the games table in the living room.  My thoughts were turning to Spring....



It's another beautiful day out here on the prairie...


 ...We're all beginning to think of lovely blooms in the softest of colors, ...

 ...one of my recent eBay finds set just the right mood.  The fabric is P.Kaufmann, and I was fortunate to acquire a pair of them...back porch here I come...soon.


I've been seeing some lovely examples of Hydrangeas here in blog world.  This will have to be my contribution for yet another month or two.

 This was one of my thirty minute tables, so no time to go buy fresh flowers.  I used this unmarked tureen. as my centerpiece.  The crest says, "The Court of Versailles."  I don't know if it's old, or if someone picked it up at a tourist souvenir shop in Paris.  I just know that I like it.  The background color is actually the palest of blues.


 I wanted to create my design using the yummy colors in the table cloth..

 The Bormioli deep purple glass charger plate was too good to leave in the cabinet...


 ...It was a lovely backdrop for the Castleton blue rim, pearl edged dinner plate, discovered on eBay.


 Picking up more amethyst and lilac/pink, I used the Waterford Simply Lilac goblet with the lilac/pink scrolled goblet from Home Goods.

 Spring has sprung!

 Thank you, Nana...yet again.  And thanks to my mother-in-love for the Reed & Barton Francis I flatware.

 Good to go.  Hey, I know that some of you see every detail in every room, so maybe you've wondered about the strange little object under the piano garage...

Sweet Mister brought this home from a benefit auction one night, saying "I just couldn't help it."  Beatrice Emaline is just now old enough to really begin to enjoy it, so here it will live until she has no further use for it.

Another blessed day spent with precious friends...good food, good fun, and priceless fellowship...hard to beat!

This week I'll be joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Seasonal Sundays with The Tablescaper

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Arita Imari Fan, 3.19.14

"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 pretty sure that my admiration for Asian design is in my blood.  My daddy, an architect, and my Aunt Ida, who lived in Tokyo for some years after World War II, both collected some lovely Japanese things. I've continued the love affair with many things oriental...especially dishes!  Tonight, I wanted to share Arita, Imari Fan with you.


 Spring is beginning to shine, just outside the back door.

 Come on in...I've set a casual table for four today...

 No tablecloth this time...I decided that the Persian carpet provided just the right "undercloth".

 Imari Fan is quite an exuberant pattern.  I don't think that it would take much effort to go straight over the "design cliff" with it.  I chose to emphasize the green in this delightful plate.



 A simple centerpiece....I elevated the Imari Fan bowl and chop plate on one of my antique oriental stands.  I pick up assorted sizes of these stands at estate sales.

A really important element in today's design, the MacKenzie-Childs soft green enamelware charger plate was a fortunate and reasonable eBay find.  I chose it to calm down the Imari Fan.

 The Arita Imari Fan is quite the attention getter...no shrinking violet here.

 Fire King Jadeite was originally restaurant ware.  You wouldn't know that today.  It's quite pricey on eBay and other on-line sites, but I've been able to score some great deals at several estate sales.  This is called the Lotus plate...


...and this is the Lotus bowl.  I thought that they were the perfect partners for the Imari Fan.  The scalloped edges pick up the scallop motif in several of the panels on the plate.

 Lately I've been interested in introducing some orange into my tablescapes.  I've started acquiring an assortment of orange wine goblets on eBay.  They don't show up often or in quantities, so I've decided to mix and match orange goblets by assorted makers.  Most of todays group are made by AJKA.  I've paired it with the Vietri Amber goblet.  The Vietri is still in production and comes in some great colors.  Reasonably priced, you'll probably find it in a nice shop near you.


 Finishing the place setting, the "antique" hemstitch napkin is caught by the Waverly beaded napkin ring, my often used gift from Cuisine Kathleen.  The dark bamboo flatware was found at Big Lots, and the D&Co. Limoges salt cellars belonged to Nana.


 Sunshine bright...this design looks like the Spring days that all of us are eagerly awaiting...


 I think that we'll leave the patio door wide open as we dine and visit long into the afternoon.  Have a seat; I'm so happy that you're here!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Seasonal Sundays with The Tablescaper







  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For Mary Kate Danaher, 3.11.14

"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 new dining table is finally in place.  As I thought about setting my new/old table to share with you for the first time, I began remembering one of my lifetime favorite movies, first seen in a theatre when I was six years old.  Since then I've watched John Ford's "The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, many many times when it shows up on one of the classic movie channels.  Do you remember the movie?  In the story, a rather mysterious American, Sean "Trooper" Thornton buys his family ancestral farm in Inisfree Ireland.  As the story progresses, Sean falls in love with the beautiful Mary Kate Danaher, younger sister of Sean's nemesis, Squire "Red" Will Danaher, her guardian and the village bully.  Will finally allows Sean to wed Mary Kate, but after the marriage, Will refuses to give his sister her dowery.  Chaos erupts between Sean and Mary Kate because Sean won't demand that Mary Kate be given what is legally hers.  He just doesn't understand how important it is for her to have her family treasures around her.  She can't "feather her nest" without them.  I'll never forget when she finally receives her share of the family furniture, china, crystal, and other treasures.  She lovingly arranges her belongings in the old Thornton cottage, and she proudly sets a supper table for Sean.  There's much more to this wonderful old movie, but it's this scene that I was remembering as I chose the items for my St. Patrick's day table.  I hope that you'll enjoy my table; I created it with Mary Kate Danaher in mind...   

 I found the Karges dining chairs in a local consignment shop.  They are 30 years old, and I got a fantastic deal on them.  I brought one home for Sweet Mister to try for comfort.  He liked the chair, so....just in case...I checked for a Karges table on eBay...


Sure enough...I found the Karges dining table for 12 through Stenella Antiques, located in Perkasie, Illinois.  It was also an amazing deal.

 It was well worth the wait.  We are thrilled with our new addition, and I am excited to share it with you tonight.

 Because I wanted to share the table with you, I decided to go with one of Nana's lovely old sets of placemats and napkins, done in organdy with linen appliqu√©s.  I wonder if Mary Kate had some fine old Irish linens in her hope chest.  I'll bet that she did!


 I've always enjoyed utilizing a variety of greens in my designs.  It was a welcome day when I was told to look in the garden...all those shades of green abide very well together, and they'll work well together on the table, too!

 Yep....



 ...Works every time.

 Now, for some of the details...

 Nana's lovely old white organdy placemat and my mother-in-love's Francis I flatware.

 Bernardaud Limoges Artois Green, bought from a friend who was a Haviland dealer for many years.
 The Coalport Z3137 Exotic Bird luncheon plate, acquired over a long, long time through eBay.  This is one of my favorite patterns, and I continue to search for more dinner plates.  I find one every 2-3 years.

 When we think of Ireland, beautiful crystal and the color green inevitably come to mind...The Waterford Simply Green goblet works nicely with the AJKA Arabella emerald green wine stem. Both were collected slowly via eBay
 Also an AJKA piece, I bought a pair of these green crystal presentation bowls at the tail end of an estate sale...for $30.00 for the pair.  I couldn't grab them quickly enough!  The runner matches the place mats.


Good ole eBay yielded the pair of Minton lidded tureens.  The border design is similar to the Minton Cockatrice, and I love the way that it works with the Coalport Z3137 Exotic Bird.  The adjustable silver stands belonged to dear Nana....just the right elevation.

 I think that Mary Kate would have set the table just the same way!

 So what do you see?  I see a fairly traditional setting to celebrate St. Patrick's Day...

 A punch of greens that sing of shamrocks...

 ...Lovely antique linens...

...Family silver and beloved vintage china...Treasured elements that I love to use as I feather my nest.  I understand Mary Kate Delaher's determination to gather her family things around her.  I'm waging a pint at the pub that you do, too!  Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Old Irish Blessing:  "I pray that when one of you sheds tears, the other one tastes salt."

This week I'll be joining:
Cuisine Kathleen for her St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl
Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Seasonal Sundays with The Tablescaper

Friday, March 7, 2014

Takeout for Lunch, 3.7.14

"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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Slowly, slowly, I'm finding moments to resume entertaining.  Today, I set a table for four in the living room, and a friend brought take out for lunch.  It's been too long.  I had a wonderful time creating one of my 30 minute tablescapes.  Inspiration for the day...


 ...the Williams-Sonoma toile tablecloth.  The mailman delivered it just this morning, and I thought, why not!

 I really like the wide solid red border on the cloth.

 When I use a square cloth on a round table, I try to assure that the points of the square fall between the chairs.  That way my guests don't have to hassle with them when seated.

 Keeping it simple....I decided to play with just the colors in the cloth.

 The details...Pottery Barn Flax hemstitched linen napkins and the L'Argent Sophia flatware in white, found at Tuesday Morning and Horchow.


 Come on in...

 Where would you like to sit?

 More details...

 The Bormioli red glass charger framed...

 ...the Wedgwood Queensware Plain dinner plate, from Replacements....


 ...topped by the Wedgwood majolica grape leaf plate...


 ...and an unknown maker's red glass compote, found at an estate sale.


 Everyone enjoyed a glass of wine today in the Waterford Simply Red (Glendora) goblet, acquired through eBay and Replacements.


 My centerpiece was simply the Hartley & Leeds Creamware Chestnut Bowl/tureen, found on eBay.  I surrounded it with simple red mercury glass votives and tiny ruby glass vases.

I'm so glad to have the time to set a table for dear friends again.  We dined on a delicious salad and visited into the afternoon...my idea of a perfect day!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch