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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Children's Table, December, 2016



 Christmas Eve dawned, and I was, for once, really well organized.  I had the entire morning to finish wrapping gifts for the local kids tree on Christmas morning.  Our Christmas Eve tree and dinner was scheduled with our family toddlers in mind...tree at 2:p.m. and an early dinner at 5:00 p.m. to include a few extra friends.  The kids planned to take the little ones home for an 8:00 bedtime, in order to have plenty of time to prepare their tree for early Christmas morning.  I was thrilled to know that I would have plenty of time to clean up after our dinner and wrap the last of the gifts to travel to Dallas mid-Christmas Day, after the Santa Claus tree at the kids' house.  At about 9:00 a.m., Christmas Eve morning, the phone rang.  "Mom, David and I are really sick.  We both have 102-3Âș temperature.  We think that we should head to the Urgent Care doctor as soon as possible.  We think that the most efficient plan is for us to go together, but that means that we need daddy and you to come take care of the kids while we're gone.  Is it possible for you to be here by 10:30 a.m.?  We shouldn't be away from the house very long.  We are determined to rally for your tree tonight."  "Sure," I said, as I envisioned my lovely day beginning to unravel.  What's the saying?  "We make plans, and God laughs."  He must have been howling.  Cutting to the chase...we returned home after 4:30 p.m.  The extra guests had been cancelled because we didn't want to expose them to sickness.  I threw the King Ranch Chicken in the oven as we started our tree at 5:00 p.m.  Dinner for the 6 of us happened at 7:00 p.m.  The little ones were taken home to go to bed around 8:30 p.m., I proceeded to wash dishes and put food away, and I finished wrapping gifts for the Santa tree and the Dallas tree shortly before 4:00 a.m.  We were up early, dressed to drive across town, and at the kids house before 8:00 a.m.  The trip to Dallas was postponed until a 6:00 a.m departure the day after Christmas.  Can you say, "Keystone Cops"?  I can say that the babies had a great time at both trees and never knew that Chaos was making every effort to run rampant through our Christmas.  I was so grateful that I had finished setting my tablescape days earlier.  Turns out that it was about the only thing that was really ready to go for our Christmas Eve celebration.  Well, the lovely yeast rolls that I left rising that morning as we drove away were more than ready...way more than ready.  Let's just say that they were..."interesting". I originally set the dining room table for 8 diners.   Come on in and take a look at what was supposed to be...


The photos were snapped just before the food came out of the oven.  I hope I can give you an adequate view.  I called this year's tablescape "The Kids' Table".  I wanted it to be fun for our little ones.

The Bormioli red glass charger was an obvious choice for my tablescape...

The Castleton Sovereign dinner plate with its gold bead edge was the perfect mate for the Oneida gold tone flatware and...

the Williams Sonoma Night Before Christmas series salad plate.  The salad plate is a new addition to my collection.  I couldn't resist it.

Traditional Christmas colors were added with the Vietri optic green goblet and the AJKA Arabella red wine.

A place setting for the kids' table....kids from 2 to 92!

I knew immediately that this year's centerpiece would include my old Fitz and Floyd Santa's Car cookie jar.  I fell in love with the 6 red lighted mercury glass trees, found at New Leaf Florist.  They had to be included in our Christmas Eve tablescape.  The quartet of red Mercury Glass hurricanes happily added another healthy shot of Christmas red.  They each sat in a festive and glittery green candle ring from Hobby Lobby.  The heavy red and white runner is from a local store called North Pole City.  Really!
On a whim, I added 6 jars, each with a needlepointed Santa Claus lid.  I stitched them many years ago and had forgotten about them.  I just happened to open the drawer in which they had been stored.  So glad that I found them!




Voila!  We have a centerpiece for "The Kids' Table".

Beatrice Emaline (now age 4), seems to be pleased with my design.

We're ready to celebrate the most important birthday of every year!

Candlelight shots seem perfect for Christmas Eve...






As thrown together as the evening came to be, it was nonetheless a precious time to share with our beloved family.  I think that I may always want to be seated at the children's table!  I hope that you had a marvelous Christmas.  I love that our babies are becoming old enough to understand that we give gifts at Christmas to remember the amazing and priceless gift that God sent to us when He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord, the Lover of our ragged souls.  Have a safe and Happy New Year's celebration!

This week I'm joining:























Thursday, December 8, 2016

Garden Friends Christmas, 2016

I'm thrilled to begin entertaining for this year's Christmas season.  It's been a long time since I've been able to keep going through the preparation, the event, and the clean-up process that follows; it's such a blessing to have more energy again.  Today I am hosting the Christmas luncheon for my precious Bible study, the Garden Friends.  We're in the dining room, and I've prepared a table for 8.  Come on in...

 This table seemed to happen organically.

 I pulled the charger and dinner plate first.  After that everything seemed to say, "Here I am...pick me!"


This is the second time I've used the Vietri gold charger.  You also saw it here.  It's quickly becoming one of my favorites.  The Oneida Gold Beethoven flatware, an estate sale find, continues to get a good workout this season.  Although I've had it for quite a while, this is the first time that I've used the Waterford Anya Red tablecloth.


The keynote speaker for my design was the Royal Crown Derby Old Avesbury dinner plate.  Although definitely not an identifiable Christmas pattern, the Avesbury is absolutely a desirable choice for any celebration...such an exuberant and beautiful design.


The white hemstitched linen napkin with gold embroidery design was a recent eBay acquisition.  I think that these lovelies will be found on my table frequently!  The napkin ring is a Macarone ornament that I sent home with my guests as a party favor.


I love the deep amethyst tail feather on the exotic bird in the Avesbury dinner plate.  It was the reason that I chose the Waterford Simply Lilac goblet.  The wine is Glastonbury-Lotus Goldenrod.         



Voila!   Ready to party.


I took an old Glastonbury-Lotus gold bowl filled with floating orchids...


 ...a glittery gold garland that loops like a ribbon...


...a pair of Williams-Sonoma Brass Arlington  Hurricane lanterns...


...an assortment of sparkling gold Christmas trees from Hobby Lobby...


...a pair of hand blown amber glass balls...


...and bam!...we had a festive centerpiece for our Christmas luncheon.

 We dined on Chicken Tetrazzini, green salad, hot bread, cherry pie, and Texas chocolate sheet cake.  I was still full when dinner time rolled around.


Although it was a bitter cold day outside...


 ...it was welcoming and warm around our table today.  We lingered at the table a long time after lunch, laughing and sharing funny stories and sweet Christmas memories.  That's my definition of a successful Christmas party!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch





































Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Blessings, 2016





It's Thanksgiving at our house, and there's been a lot going on for weeks...


Even Beatrice Emaline was working on her own tablescape.  She told me that she had gathered berries for her centerpiece.  I had to get busy if I was going to keep pace!  I set a table for 12 in the dining room.  This may be photo intensive, so enter at your own risk.  Come on in...

 There were a number of inspirations for this year's tablescape.


My main inspiration was Sweet Mister.  I wanted to honor him with my design as much as possible...


I give thanks to God for giving me such a strong anchor in my life with Sweet Mister, so I wanted to anchor my design with the tablecloth and napkins that my love bought for me in a beautiful linen shop in Sorrento, Italy...part of our 48 years of memories.


 Sweet Mister is an avid and accomplished bird hunter, so...

 ...in his honor, this year's Thanksgiving design featured...


...the Anton Wingen, Jr. carved stag horn handled flatware which flanked the very affordable and manly Pier I hammered copper charger.  I began collecting the flatware for him last Christmas.  A year later, the collection is almost complete.  Tip:  This delightful charger demanded a crocheted doily to act as an anchor underneath the dinner plate.  Minus the doily, the plate could be rotated on the charger much like a lazy susan....not an experience that I wanted for my guests.  This sometimes happens when we mix and match plates for our tablescapes.  When I shop an estate sale or antique shop, I always take a minute to check for the grandma's old crochet doilies in about a 9" round.  They are a great solution for this problem and frankly they are kind of fun.


I chose the masculine Spode Delamere brown and white dinner plate for him, too.  You probably already know that the Delamere is the same pattern as the Woodland Spode, minus the wild game scene in the center of the plate.  I like that the plate is more versatile without the  wildlife design.  I managed to capture the beautiful charm of the Woodland pattern with...


...the Woodland Spode accent/salad plate.  There are number of different bird designs.




  To complete the place setting, I chose the Vietri optic acid green goblet and the Tiffin Elyse wine goblet.  Did you know that the lovely old Tiffin patterns were made by the Franciscan company?  I didn't.


I hope that it's not boastful to say that when Sweet Mister took his place at the head of the table, he had a great big smile on his face!


I have to admit that I'm a major fan of a full table...you know, "more is more".  I find that I really like a bountiful look for my centerpiece, and what better moment for a bountiful centerpiece than the Thanksgiving table?


There's nothing prissy and feminine about the Copeland Spode Gadroon white tureen, plus I really like it.  It was the perfect selection for today's design.


The copper mercury glass trees will make at least one more appearance when I decorate my tables for holiday entertaining.  I found them just last week at one my favorite local florist shops.  I've had the quartet of red mercury glass hurricanes for almost two years, but this is the first time I've used them.  I found them in a small florist shop that was next door to the physical therapy clinic where I spent many months rehabilitating after my two knee replacement surgeries.  As I remember, it had been a particularly rough day of rehab, and I decided that I deserved a treat as I was slowly making my way to my car and saw one of the hurricanes in the shop window.  I knew immediately that if the florist had enough, they were coming home with me.  She actually had to dismantle the finished piece in the window to complete the sale.  She was happy to do it.  The lovely fall leaves are Hobby Lobby garlands...but you already knew that!


The pumpkins are left over party favors from one of my earlier Chi Omega reunion luncheons.


Ready to party.  We served our Thanksgiving feast about 2:00, which allowed KC and David to sit and enjoy their meal while Hollis Harper took his nap in the nursery.


Our Thanksgiving menu featured traditional selections...well, traditional for us.  Isn't it interesting how many different Thanksgiving menus are thought of as traditions?!


We served the expected turkey and dressing, whipped potatoes and gravy, creamed peas, green beans...


sweet potato casserole, Cranapple Crunch, Christmas Pretzel Salad, lots of hot bread,...

...and pecan pie, apple pie, and vanilla bean ice cream for a dessert.

Yesterday, the little white owl was delivered to my door, a gift from a dear friend.  I thought that Beatrice Emaline and Hollis Harper would enjoy him, so I set him on top of the tureen.  He ended up spending most of the dinner perched by the edge of Beatrice's plate.  He was a last minute hit.  
We lingered long at the table after the meal was complete sharing memories and personal observances of reasons to give thanks.

From our house to yours,  I pray that your own Thanksgiving Day was filled with loving family and friends.  We have been blessed to live in an amazing country, and I know that we have more in common than we have differences.  I pray that we will remember that we serve a higher purpose because:

Psalm 33:12-22

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. 

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch