Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Al Fresco

"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. 

Sheeee's baaaack!  Sweet Mister has been a poster child for successful rehabilitation after his knee replacement surgery earlier this month.  He's even driving now.  Life is slowly returning to normal...or as close to normal as we come.  I've missed you tremendously the last three weeks.   This past Saturday, I was blessed to host a baby shower and brunch for the daughter-in-love of one of my closest friends.  Since it's February, I planned to serve our meal buffet style.  Everyone would dine inside the house.  When I arose early Saturday morning, I caught the weather report for the day and learned that we were expecting a 70ยบ day with no more than a gentle breeze.  This was too good an opportunity to squander; it's the middle of a brutally cold winter out here on the prairie!  I immediately grabbed my flip-top tabletops and headed to the back porch.  My precious friend and co-host, Cindy, arrived early to help with last minute preparations, and the two of us proceeded to set three tables for twenty-four guests.

Come on's a great day for a party!  The central foyer table was dressed in a toile tablecloth with an antique lace topper that belonged to our sweet Nana.  Guests were offered orange and cranberry juice, with or without champagne, in my hand painted flutes.  The cocktail napkins were printed with the name of the eagerly awaited baby boy, Asher.

The tablescape featured a monochromatic design in shades of blue.  The Dorothy Thorpe crystal bowl and under plate held mixed berries and fruit.  They were served with sides of Greek yogurt and a delicious granola.  If you haven't tried the combination, I highly recommend it.  It was a hit!

Quiche Lorraine was served in Nana's silver chafing dish.  I adore this piece.  I use it quite often, and I regularly repurpose it.  The Williams Sonoma linen tablecloth features a Blue Willow motif...such a lovely eBay acquisition.

This coordinating piece to the chafing dish was originally intended to serve fish.  Today, I used it for mini-cupcakes topped with tiny bottles, baby buggies, and booties monogrammed with the letter "A" for Asher.

 I know that you've already spied the Bing & Grondahl figurines in my centerpiece.

 They belong to another of the co-hotesses, Ann.  She received them as gifts from her husband over a number of years.

 Along with arrangements filled with blue Hydrangeas...

 ...these lovely pieces were just perfect...

 to celebrate the love that exists between a mother and her son.

The Coalport Willow centerpiece bowl was the perfect anchor to the gentle, quiet centerpiece design.

Meanwhile, out on the back porch, there was not a single plant blooming, and the grass had a decidedly brown cast, but not one person cared a whit...

 The tables provided our burst of color and continued the monochromatic tones...

 ...Blue and white toile is always one of my favorites...

 The Dollar Tree Libby cobalt goblets shone like jewels this day.  The cornflower blue napkins featured another of the blue hues found in the toile tablecloths.  They are caught with the Coalport Countryware napkin rings.

 The Steelite cobalt charger plates provided just the right amount of separation for...

 ...the Booth's Real Old Willow dinner plates.  This is one of my long time favorite patterns.

Simple centerpieces featured posies with a wild flower tone...placed in square  blue and white export jardinieres from Nell Hill's in Kansas City.

As of today we are headed for single digit temperatures again.  Just about every guest commented that our day was a blessed gift from our loving God.  We relished every minute visiting and dining al fresco as we celebrated the quickly approaching birth of a precious baby boy.  Asher and his mommy have been covered in prayer since his conception.  We can hardly wait to greet him when he arrives in April.

This week I'll be joining:

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