Sunday, November 24, 2013

A New Look for Old China, Part II

After my daughter saw the table linens I made to set a modern table with my (now vintage!) wedding china, she wanted a set for the Haviland Rosalinde china she inherited from her grandmother.  Here's a closeup of this pretty pattern from an earlier post.  (Click the link below the photo to see that post.)
Rosalinde for a New Generation
Taking a plate along, we headed to the home decor fabric section of JoAnn's.  We first looked for a geometric pattern in green, to complement the soft greens in the leaves of the china pattern.  But my daughter spotted  this pretty fabric that really highlights the lavender flowers in the design.
I made two runners and five napkins before running out of fabric.  I probably should have made the runners a bit narrower, but I wanted to be sure to have room for the silverware.  The fabric is Waverly Lovely Lattice in Violet, and it's a cotton sateen.  It comes in several other colors, and I'm tempted to buy more!  Here's a placesetting, with Gorham Chantilly, my mother-in-law's pattern that my children now have.
Haviland Rosalinde
I set a quick table on a recent overnight visit, just to see how the new linens would look, so there's no centerpiece.  But imagine purple mums and white pumpkins for a fall table or daffodils for a spring table!
Here's another look. 
A guest's view. . .
Haviland Rosalinde
Another closeup.  Here you can see that some of my mitered corners are better than others!  But focus on the pretty scalloped edge of the plate and the graceful lines of the silver pattern! 
My daughter was pleased with the linens as a way to set a modern-looking table with this treasured gift from her grandmother, and I know her grandmother would love seeing her beloved china enjoyed by another generation.

Linking to Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Big Birthday at the Beach

I had a BIG birthday the last weekend in October, and my family gathered at Sandestin to help me celebrate. My husband and I arrived on Wednesday morning and headed straight to the outlets, as we couldn't get into the condo until 3:00 p.m.  I had fun using my birthday bonus at Talbots, on top of their great sales!  We had a lavish late lunch at Cuvee Bistro before heading to the condo.  We usually rent the same one-bedroom condo when it's just the two of us, but for the family weekend, my husband rented a three-bedroom, 3.5 bath one with a huge wraparound balcony that seated 20!  Here's one view of the balcony, where my older granddaughter and I were enjoying the view.
The condo was beautifully decorated, but after we all moved in, it tended to look more like this.  (Baby Emily brought a lot of her favorite toys!)
It was Emily's first trip to the beach.  Here we are hanging out under the umbrella with her mama.
Emily gets her toes wet.  The water was still warm, and the older grandchildren were in the water almost non-stop.
Except when they were playing in the sand.

Emily preferred the heated pool!
It was wonderful just spending time together.  Here my two granddaughters are enjoying one another!
On the morning of my birthday, we scheduled a dawn photo shoot at the beach.  Yes, my family members are all good sports!  It was 55 degrees, so our photographer worked quickly!

Here are some photos that we took ourselves.
Here we were all trying to get Emily to smile.  No doubt she was thinking, "Why am I freezing in this strange chair at this hour of the mornings??"
Here I am, helping to keep her warm! 
We did get some great photos, and I highly recommend Amanda at Jubilee Photography.  Here is one of the whole group.
It was definitely a memorable birthday! 

Gifted Gift Givers

Are you blessed with family and friends who are good at giving perfect gifts?  I wish I had that talent! My friend Michele, who blogs at Adventures in Thrifting, definitely has a gift for gifting!  For my birthday this year, she created a special, one-of-a-kind gift that was both charming and practical.  Michele knows that the children's books by Russell Hoban featuring Frances (a badger) are among my favorites.  A Baby Sister for Frances is what I usually give to the older sibling when a baby joins a family.  But another favorite Frances book is Bread and Jam for Frances.

In case you aren't familiar with the story, Frances is a picky eater who turns up her nose at the meals her mother serves.  Her very wise mother begins serving her bread and jam and ONLY bread and jam, three meals a day.  At first, Frances is thrilled!  She sings,
Jam on biscuits, jam on toast,
Jam is the thing that I like most!
By the next day, after a couple of meals of bread and jam, her enthusiasm is dwindling: 
Jam in the morning, jam at noon,
Bread and jam by the light of the moon.
Jam . . . is . . . very . . . nice.
By dinner that evening, when everyone else is served spaghetti with meatballs, but she faces only bread and jam, Frances starts crying at the table and softly sings,
What I am
Is tired of jam.
Of course, at that point her mother quickly brings her a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  The next day at school, Frances lays out an elaborate lunch, complete with a tiny vase of violets and a miniature salt shaker.  She and her friend Albert agree that it's nice there are all different kinds of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
Okay, that was a long introduction to Michele's very cool gift!  First, I opened a lovely insulated lunch bag.  Inside were several individually wrapped items, each with a clever rhyme to explain it.  I've grouped most of the items below.  (Not pictured are finger wipes and Shout wipes -- does Michele know me, or what?)  She included a tiny bud vase, to which I've added a rose, two Rubbermaid containers, a Vera napkin and napkin ring, and a tiny salt shaker.  It wasn't until I got to the salt shaker that the Frances connection occurred to me!  The little rose compact in the front right of the tray is Barbie-themed, as Michele knows I also like Barbie.  The attached verse read, "To powder your nose, Barbie offers this rose."
And there you have it -- I'm perfectly equipped for taking my own elaborate lunch to work.  Thank you for such a clever gift, Michele!