Background

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soft Summer Blues, 6.26.14

"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.


Several weeks ago, some friends called to say that they were on the way with....you've got it...takeout!  Time for a twenty minute table...

 Here we are...back in the living room at the games table.


A long time blue and white girl...


...today I was in a mood for soft shades of blue.


A quick trip to the china room yielded just what I needed for my tablescape...


...plus a short stop in one of the kitchen cabinets for the Furnival's Blue Quail cream soup...

Going in a rather traditional direction, at least for me, I pulled the Wedgwood Albion dinner plate and salad...minimal mixing and matching today.

 I don't fixate on matching my blues.  Somehow they just always seem to play well with each other when all is said and done.

 Yep.

Some of my favorites from the crystal cabinets...Waterford Simply Blue paired with the Tiffin Elyse goblet.

To prevent the creamy edge of the Albion from disappearing against the cream color of the matelasse tablecloth...

 ...I added the light blue placemat and napkin with the heavy passementerie.  If I had a light blue charger, I probably would have used it, but I think that the placemat did the job.  Of course, I'm now on the lookout for the chargers!

 No time for flowers...my centerpiece was a blue stretch glass presentation bowl.

 Finishing touches...my mother-in-love's Reed & Barton Francis First and the crystal salt cellars, a gift from my friend Debbi.

 A peaceful tone...perfect for a time to "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off."

 A successful equation for good friends, good food, and good fellowship....you're welcome to join us!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reunion Pre-Party Pool Side, 6.6.14

"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.


The day after the Wild Game Dinner, I dived head first into final preparations for my 50th High School Reunion.  Three of us from the steering committee decided to host a pre-party for a group of our old friends prior to the opening Friday night event.  We invited our guests for supper...pool side.  Our party was held in my friend Becky's lovely home.  What speaks to summer better than a pool side party?  This is my entry for Cuisine Kathleen's Summer Whimsy Challenge.


 Our friends are starting to arrive...so excited to reconnect!

 Our school colors were orange and black...I was never particularly excited about our colors, so I was thrilled with the way I was able to integrate our colors without becoming overwhelmed by them.
The black tole containers are available this season at Hobby Lobby.  Tip:  They needed liners; they do not hold water effectively.


 We set up a bar for beer, wine, and soft drinks.  You've seen my black and white toile tablecloths in the past.


 I found the black and white stripe tablecloths on eBay.  They were a great deal and perfect for our party.

 We used the pergola for our food.

 We had fun with the centerpiece...

 We used a small pump to make sure our fish had ample air.  After the party, they took up permanent residence in the Koi pond...



 The food was well received.  Because we were hosting a good number of men, we offered an assortment of meat items...fresh shrimp, honey glazed ham, barbecue beef, meat balls, and dollar buns.  A large salad, artichoke dips, a colorful veggie tray, and an abundance of desserts finished the menu.

 Supper for 60...

 Everyone was thrilled to have a spot of time to reconnect.  Some of us hadn't seen each other for the entire 50 years.  The hostesses had a great time, too.  We decided that when we gather again in 5 years, we'll do the party again.  It was a glorious, event packed weekend...a perfect way to start the summer!

This week I'm joining:

Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen








Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wild Game Dinner, 5.31.14

"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.


It's been really busy around here the past few weeks.  On May 31st, we hosted the Fourth Annual Wild Game Dinner.  An abundance of incredible wild game recipes and 150 guests left me far short in the photography arena.  I did manage to capture some shots or some of the centerpieces, created by one of the hostesses.  I think that you'll really enjoy them...




 Deer sheds provided the perfect base for the centerpieces for our wild game dinner.  Notice the moss at the bottom of the florals.  It's a floral water tube covered with moss and glued to the horns.  The flowers are inserted shortly before the party begins.  Add a scattering of shotgun cartridges, and we're ready to roll.

 A new feature for this year's dinner...a band that played favorite oldies for dancing after dinner.  The tables on the porch were moved out after dinner was completed.




Each arrangement was  different.  I adored them.  By the time the dinner items were ready to serve, our guests were standing at the ready, so there was no opportunity to photograph the food. I'll try again next year.  If you'd like to peruse a more extensive coverage of last year's party, click here.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where Do You Keep It All? 2013 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. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


The last few weeks have been spent with preparations for our 4th annual Wild Game Dinner.  Pictures will follow in a few weeks.  The party was Saturday night, and around 150 guests visited, dined, and danced until midnight.  It was a wonderful evening, and I'll share a few pictures in a couple of weeks.  Today I launched into last minute preparations for my (I can't believe I'm saying this) 50th High School Reunion.  I'm on the steering committee, and we have an events packed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday just ahead of us.  I'll also post some photos of that before too long.  In the meantime, I'm going to reprise my post from last year (2013) for The Tablescaper's "Where Do You Keep It All?".

Each year, The Tablescaper poses the question "Where Do You Keep It All?  This time I have something new to add to the mix.  Last Fall, Sweet Mister announced that he needed another closet for his out of season clothing. He observed that I had every extra closet in the house filled with dishes, crystal, and accessories.  He was correct.  He thought that he would have a carpenter come build a cedar closet for him in the third garage/storage room.  I suggested that he could indeed do that....orrrrr....I could make a clothing rod available for him in one of the guest rooms, and he could have his carpenter turn the third garage/storage room into a china room for me.  Oh my gosh....he did it!!!  It took several months to complete; Sweet Mister designed the whole thing with the carpenter.  I'm still deciding which of our patterns I want to keep in the china room, and I am thrilled with his generous gift.  This week, I want to share the China Room with you...Come on in...


An assortment of tureens and bowls sit atop the cabinets on the right side of the room.  Some day I plan to replace those ugly light strips with a couple of chandeliers.

Cake pedestals plus some additional tureens live on top of the cabinets that run down the left side of the room.  
This oddly shaped table is really my slab roller that I use when I work in clay.  It's always been in this room, and I really didn't have any place else to locate it....and I didn't want to get rid of it.  I covered it with a large canvas tablecloth/drop cloth, and I placed sliders under each leg.  If I ever want to pull it out for clay work...easy peasy.  It's become a staging area when I move things in and out of the china room to the house.

A humble Rubber Maid cart has quickly become my new best friend.  Once loaded, it takes but a few moments to transport my china for luncheons and parties to the kitchen door.  Now let's take a look inside the cabinets...Yes, it's all color coded...

The whites and creams...

Each section of cabinets has three upper and three lower shelves...

 Middle shelf, left to right:  Ovington Brothers accent plate; Wedgwood Queens Plain; Royal Crown Sutherland, unknown pattern name; and Castleton Regal.  Lower Shelf:  Wedgwood Countryware; Cherry motif glass accent plate; Reticulated B&B plate; Haviland plain white luncheon plate; and Wedgwood Majolica Cream Leaf plate. (I displayed as many of the patterns as I could.)

Upper shelf:  Royal Doulton RD199 Luncheon plate.  Middle shelf:  Copeland Spode Jewel; Pottery Barn Enamelware plate; Coalport Kingsware Lady Diana.  Lower shelf:  Maryland China Company Minuet charger plate.


The pinks and reds are next...


Upper shelf:  Coalport Exotic Bird Z3137 luncheon plate; and Royal Doulton Lowestoft.  Middle shelf: Schumann Dresden Empress Flowers; Copeland Spode Irene; and Royal Crown Derby Olde Avesbury.  Lower shelf:  Royal Doulton Old Chelsea; Coalport Old Coalport; and Copeland Spode Red Aster.
Upper shelf:  Royal Worchester Regency.  Middle shelf:  Copeland Spode Mayflower; and Haviland luncheon plate.  Lower shelf:  Copeland Spode Luneville; and Coalport Sevres Group.

My wonderful blues...


 Upper shelf:  Minton Cobalt and Gold; Castleton Old Empire Blue; Coalport Spearpoint; and Minton Consort.  Middle shelf:  Copeland Spode Peacock luncheon plate; Ridgways Lynton; Wedgwood Albion; and Copeland Spode Ermine.  Lower Shelf:  Coalport Kingsware Blue Calico luncheon plate; Meissen Blue Onion; Haviland Meadow Visitors; Wedgwood English Countryside; and Copeland Spode Wildflowers.
Upper shelf:  Spode Blue Room Warwick Vase; and Aynsley Delphine.  Second shelf:  Haviland Rani; Haviland Saxon Flowers; and Haviland unnamed luncheon plate.  Third shelf:  Royal Staffordshire Louis XV!; and Spode Blue Room Byron Group.  Lower shelf:  Spode Blue Room Portland Vase.

The greens and orientals...


Upper shelf:  Wedgwood Napoleon Ivy; Antique Rose Famille; and Jadeite Alice.  Middle shelf:  Bernardaud Artois; and Wedgwood Majolica Green Ivy plate.  Lower shelf:  Bordallo Pinheiro Leaf plates; Arita Imari Fan; Coalport Cathay; and Coalport Exotic Bird Green Z3137.

Upper shelf:  Royal Crown Derby Old Imari; Mottahedeh Sacred Butterfly; and Coalport Corean Temple.  Middle shelf:  Coalport Chinese Willow; and MacKenzie Childs Courtly Check Charger plates.

And the browns, golds, and charger plates

Upper shelf:  Luneville Louis XV Honey; and Copeland Spode Delamere.  Middle shelf:  Alfred Meakin Fair Winds; and Staffordshire Heritage Hall.  Lower shelf:  Coalport Athlone Brown; and Royal Doulton The Beaufort.  The charger plates were too large to display vertically.

The lower bank of cabinets hold open drawers which house...
Assorted bowls...

...placemats...

...and napkins...And finally...

I ended up with the cedar closets.  These are the tablecloths for the formal dining table.  They were moved to give Sweet Mister the closet that he wanted in the house for his out of season clothes.  Thank you, Sweet Mister!  I can hardly wait to see where you 'Keep It All"!  I'm always looking for new and better storage and organizational inspirations.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch