Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine Tea Party

This week's table features my original everyday dishes, Royal Doulton's Fireglow.  I fell in love with the shape of the teacup almost 40 years ago, and I still love it.
To carry out the valentine theme, I'm using a red and white tablecloth topped with a drawn-thread bridge cloth made by my grandmother.  She also tatted the lace edging.  I like this closeup, because you can see the tiny stitches linking the tatting to the hemstitched edge.  Grandma Rachel loved all kinds of needlework -- sewing, embroidery, quilting, and knitting.  She taught me to knit, and she sewed my wedding gown. 
There are luncheon-sized napkins to match the tablecloth.  That represents a LOT of tatting!  The photo below also shows the red cake stand from Pier 1 that is actually Christmas-themed , but with a lacy paper doily covering the design, it works perfectly for Valentine's Day, too! 
Here's a closeup of the pattern on the plate and some of the drawn-thread work.  That napkin doesn't look very well ironed, but I really did try!
Like the dishes, this silverplate footed candy dish was a wedding gift.  I really like its lacy pattern and have enjoyed using it all these years.
Here's a view of the table.  You can see the silver coffeepot from my in-laws' silver service behind the cake plate.  This shot also includes the Fireglow sugar bowl and creamer.  Aren't you impressed that they are still intact after almost 40 years? My children knew Mama would be VERY unhappy if they broke the sugar bowl lid!  This view really shows off the pretty bridge cloth.
Here's the hostess' view:
Family treasures, beloved dishes, and touches of silver -- what could be better for a valentine tea?  How about a chocolate cake?
And a piece or two of candy?  I'll just make the tea, and we can all sit down.
Thank you for visiting my table today!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch this week.  Be sure to check out all the great tablescapes!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Something Copied, Something Blue

This week's tablescape was inspired by Babs at Upstairs Downstairs, who posted last week about using coffee beans in candleholders.  I immediately thought of two hurricane-style candleholders that would be perfect.  I added coffee beans to the grocery list, then managed to find a bag for $3.99 at HEB.  I settled some short cream pillar candles into the holders, then poured the beans around them.
The dark brown of the coffee beans reminded me of some chocolate brown napkins I'd bought while visiting my sister in Nashville, at a wonderful shop called Color.  I'd bought them to go with some pale blue dishes -- Sophie Conran for Portmeirion in forget-me-not blue.  But I needed placemats!  At Dillards, I found some white mats trimmed in dark brown at 50% off, so they came home with me.  Here's the placesetting.
I remembered I had some small glass votive holders that I could also fill with coffee beans.  I've used them before filled with colored sugar or sprinkles, but coffee beans worked, too!
Here's what the plates look like by themselves.  I like the handmade look.
I added some creamy white alstroemeria, also from the grocery store, with stems cut to fit into a silverplate julep cup.
I was pleased with the simple and clean look of the table.
Another view. . .
One more. . .
Thanks again to Babs for the inspirational idea, and thank you for visiting this week.  I appreciate my faithful followers!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch this week, so be sure to check out all the other tablescapes posted there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pink Tulips

My inspiration for this table was a bouquet of pink tulips my husband brought home from HEB this week.  As I began to think about how I might set a table featuring the tulips, I realized that I don't have any dishes that include pink, nor do I have any pink table linens or much of anything ELSE pink.  So, I decided to let the tulips be the only color on the table, keeping the rest of the elements very neutral.
I wanted a modern feel, so I used a gray herringbone runner and gray napkins, plain white plates, clear ribbed glassware, and my silver flatware.
Here's a closeup of my silver.  I think I managed to capture a blurry image of myself, taking the photo!
At first, I'd planned to arrange the tulips in a pretty crystal vase, but then I had an (all-too-rare!) brainstorm.  I remembered the plain cylindrical bud vases we'd used on tables for my son's rehearsal dinner and wondered if they'd work with the same black iron candleholder I used with lemons for last week's table.  They fit perfectly! 
Each bud vase held two long-stemmed tulips, and I really like the look.  Here's a look at the table, set for four.  With the tall flowers, votive candles seemed to be the way to go.
Here's a shot of the flowers in the late afternoon light. 
I couldn't resist this closeup!
Here are the details:
Table runner - last year from The Great Indoors in Colorado (on clearance for under $5)
Napkins - Crate and Barrel
Plates - Pier 1
Glasses - Bloomingdale's (on clearance for $1.99 each!)
Silver - wedding gifts in 1972
Candleholder - Christmas gift from my mother a few years ago -- love it!

Thanks for visiting my table this week -- and thanks to those of you who choose to leave comments.  They are greatly appreciated!  I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Don't miss all the pretty tables you'll see there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresh Citrus

January brings the desire for a fresh, clean look after all the sparkle and color of the holidays, and I've enjoyed seeing other bloggers' tables reflecting this approach.  The inspiration for this table was a set of salad plates I found on clearance at Williams-Sonoma.  Those of you who visit Marty's Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life saw these plates featured on my baker's rack this week.  Here is one, set atop a gold dinner plate from Pier 1.  The design is hand-painted, and each one is a bit different.
For the placesetting I chose green placemats and napkins, and our everyday stainless flatware and glasses.
Here's a closer look at one of the napkin rings I often use, as I just love them -- a gift from my daughter.  There is a small slot to hold fresh flowers -- yellow daisy mums today.
For a centerpiece, I first thought of a bowl of lemons, but then remembered another idea I'd had for using lemons. My son gave me this device -- a candle carver, according to the package -- a couple of years ago.  I decided to try it on some lemons.

Once I'd carved out space for a tealight for each lemon, I set them on this black iron holder my mother gave me one year for Christmas.  I've really enjoyed using it to hold candles, fruit, and flowers in the past!
Here's a closeup of some of the lemons. I removed the metal cups of the tealights -- a few minutes in the freezer make it easy to pop the candles out. 
Here's a look at the table, set for four.  Sorry about that glare on the left!
Here's another angle:
And here's the spot I've saved for you!
Thank you for your visit!  I will be linking to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch this week.  You won't want to miss all the fabulous tables posted there each Thursday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baker's Rack for January

After putting away all the Christmas decor, it was time for a new look for the baker's rack in our breakfast area.  The inspiration for January was a set of salad plates I found on clearance at Williams-Sonoma in San Antonio, when we were in town for the Alamo Bowl.  I had admired these plates when they first appeared in the stores, but I resisted paying full price.  They are hand-painted, so each design is a bit different.
After shopping the house, I found a few other green and gold items to coordinate with the plates.  On the shelf with the plates, I added a gold bottle and a leaf-shaped bowl (that still holds Christmas candy!)  On the bottom shelf, I arranged an old urn holding a small pot of ivy, a green pitcher, and a vintage covered casserole dish that was my in-laws' on a galvanized tray.  The tray was found on the San Antonio trip at the Williams-Sonoma/Pottery Barn outlet in San Marcos. 
On the top shelf, I placed my favorite preserved boxwood topiaries and a gold planter.
Here's the new look for the baker's rack for January.
Thanks for visiting!  I'll be linking up to Marty's Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life this week, so be sure to check out all the great posts featured there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Found While Cleaning

This is the time of year many of us seem to get the urge to purge -- belongings, that is!  This morning I went through drawers and found things to donate to Goodwill,  as well as a few oddities and memorabilia that I thought post-worthy.

First up -- a pair of ecru cotton gloves, last worn in August of 1971 for the president's reception for incoming freshmen at Baylor.  Those were the days when dressing up meant a long dress, and my mother made mine -- ecru cotton trimmed with cotton lace.  Wish I had a photo of the dress!  I'm keeping the gloves, just in case they ever come back into style!  They still fit -- unlike the dress. . . .
In the same vein, I found a pair of cotton performance gloves worn to ring with the handbell choir at a former church.  The handbell choir I'm in now is much more relaxed, with a random collection of gloves we wear when we play in worship and that we take turns laundering.
In the same drawer, I found what's left of a childhood tea set -- two cups, two plates, and the creamer.  I found a place for these pieces in the china cabinet.
Here's a t-shirt that I really should wear more often, given to me by one of my sisters.
The same drawer also holds a small jewelry box for keepsakes, and I especially enjoyed finding the next two items.  The first is a teething ring engraved with my date of birth, and the clock's engraved hands are set to the time of my birth (1:45 a.m.).  My initials are engraved on the back. I must really have teethed on this, because it looks pretty worn!
And, finally, my charm bracelet with charms mostly from my junior high years.  Those of you around my age who grew up Southern Baptist may recognize the green and white GA charms, earned by achieving Queen, Queen with a Scepter, and Queen Regent status in the Girls' Auxiliary.  Any other Queen Regents out there?  I still have my green satin cape and scepter, saved by my mother but now in my possession, as well as the cross-stitched map of the world completed for one of the requirements. 
Thanks for walking down Memory Lane with me! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Changing Things Up

Now that the last of the Christmas decor is stored away, I've been having fun decorating various surfaces around the house.  One I'll share today for Marty's Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life is my entryway table.  This area needs color, and I decided to use blue for January.
The afternoon sun made it hard to take photos!  Here's another try.
One end of the table includes a salad plate in the Bordallo Basketweave Blue pattern, a blue and white rabbit that was my mother-in-law's, and a demitasse cup featuring bluebonnets.  For height, I set the pieces on a stack of decorating books.  (By the way, the DISH book was a Christmas gift, and it's wonderful!)
The other end of the table holds blue tapers in brass candlesticks and potted ivy in a pretty cachepot that belonged to my in-laws.
Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to check out Tabletop Tuesday for lots of great decorating ideas!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve

Our holidays were busy, with family visiting over Christmas, then a couple of days in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl and to celebrate our 39th anniversary.  We were glad to get home yesterday and have a quiet dinner, just the two of us, on New Year's Eve.

I decided to set the coffee table, in front of the fireplace, even though it was way too warm for a fire last night! The pretty flowers were an anniversary gift from our son and daughter-in-law, who celebrated their first anniversary the same day.


Since it was New Year's Eve, I decided to use "the good stuff," our wedding china and silver, plus some crystal champagne flutes.  I also wanted to use the new napkin rings my daughter gave me for Christmas.  Aren't they pretty?  The creamy color is perfect with my Lenox Windsong china.
Here's a closeup of the coral Gerbera daisies and peach roses.  I like the contrast with the light turquoise of the placemats and napkins.
Here are a couple of overhead views.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner (prepared by my husband) and an early bedtime.  Staying up till midnight is not for us!
I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch later this week. Thank you for visiting me this week!