Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fourth of July

It's time once again for Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch.  People across the USA will be enjoying outdoor activities and picnics to celebrate the Fourth, but here in central Texas, we will be celebrating INDOORS where it's not 100+ degrees.  My table is very simple -- just some stars, some stripes, and a wee bit of tinsel to add some festivity.

Here's a 360-degree tour of my dining room, starting with the view from the entryway:

Moving counter-clockwise around the table, here's the view toward the sideboard:

Moving around to the hostess' end of the table, you can see the entryway and the old green cabinet we bought as newlyweds to hold wedding gifts.

One last turn brings us to this view.  Why, yes, we DO have a piano in the dining room.  Doesn't everyone?  We moved it into the dining room when we needed more room for seating in the living room, and it has worked out pretty well.  Things get a little crowded when we add the table leaf for large gatherings, but we make it work.

For the Fourth, though, we'll just have four around the table.  Here's a view down the table from the host's seat.

You'll no doubt recognize my new favorite lantern seen in recent tablescapes, this time with a little red and blue tinsel inside.  You've also seen the Georgian-Ruby glassware recently. Here's a closer look at both:

The placesetting includes a navy and white plaid placemat (Kohl's), a white dinner plate, red salad plate, and a cobalt blue Fiesta fruit bowl.  White napkins from my mother-in-law are tied with striped ribbon to add a festive touch.  The flatware is our everyday stainless, Towle Beaded Antique.

Happy Fourth of July, y'all!  Thanks for visiting, and check out all the other tablescapes at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another Rush Job

I'm not sure why Tablescape Thursdays at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch always sneak up on me, but lately I've been realizing at work on Wednesday that it's Now or Never time.  I was out of town over the weekend, the ideal time to play with my dishes. This week's table was based on some new napkins I found at Kohl's for half-price a few weeks ago.  The bright yellow with orange crocheted trim napkins work well with my everyday dishes, Mikasa's Windsor Park.  This placesetting also incorporates a dark blue placemat and napkin ring, yellow dinner plate from Pier 1, blue covered ramekin from the Le Creuset outlet, an everyday glass, and our silver, Lunt Belvedere. 

Here's a view of the table in the dining room.

The late afternoon sun made for a challenging photo shoot!  Here's a view from the other end of the table.

For a quick centerpiece, I grabbed the yellow alstroemeria from the coffee table and stuck them in a cobalt blue glass pitcher.

Here's a closer look at a ramekin, which I use for individual casseroles or desserts.  Blueberry cobbler, anyone?

I will leave you with a bird's eye view.

Thanks for visiting!  I love your comments, and please also stop by Susan's Between Naps on the Porch to see some beautiful tablescapes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Tablescape That Almost Wasn't

It's Tablescape Thursday again, thanks to Susan of Between Naps on the Porch.  My many adoring fans -- all right, my mother and my sisters -- have asked if I were going to do a tablescape again this week.  I didn't think I could pull it off, due to a busy week at work and preparations for an out-of-town trip.  But, as I drove home from work today, I decided to give it a try.  For the record, it was 99 degrees at 5:15 when I began setting the outdoor table.  I had the placemats and napkins, the plates, and the glassware on the table and was heading back inside for the silverware when I heard... the lawn crew.  Yes, I had forgotten that they usually show up about that time on Wednesday evenings.  I scurried around, gathering up the dishes and other items, making several trips back into the house with them.  I waited until they had finished, then started over.  Here's a photo approaching the table from the backdoor.  I love the gnarled live oaks!

We usually enjoy some Pool Time after work this time of year, so I thought an outdoor setting would be appropriate.  Here's a closer look.  On the extreme left, you can see some of our Topsy-Turvy tomato plants.  My husband and the neighborhood squirrels are in a war over possession of the ripening tomatoes.  The score is currently Charlie 2:  Squirrels 2. 

And here's the table itself.

Still closer....  Astute viewers will note that I'm using the same lantern that was in last week's tablescape, and you're likely to see it again for the Fourth of July.

 The placemats and glasses are vintage -- from my in-laws' collection that has been passed down to me.  The glasses are Hocking for Fire King's Burple in forest green.  Love the name Burple!  Here's a closer view of one glass.

Here's a placesetting.  The white dinner plates and red salad plates are from Pier 1, and the chili pepper napkins are really bandanas.  I've had them for years, but have only used them a few times.  The new-to-me vintage glasses and placemats prompted me to pull them out again.

Here's a closer look at the lantern and one of my beloved red geraniums.  Is there anything more cheerful than a red geranium?

Thanks for visiting!  I love to get your comments, and please also stop by Susan's Between Naps on the Porch to see some beautiful tablescapes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Something Old, Something New

For this week's Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch I am featuring my original everyday china, selected as a bride in 1972, and some new table linens that were an incredible deal at Bloomingdale's Home store in Chicago.  The china is Royal Doulton's Fireglow, and I still  like it, even though I moved on to a different everyday pattern after my 25th anniversary. Fireglow was one of the early freezer-to-oven-to-table patterns, and I like its cheery floral border.  I even had kitchen wallpaper to match in one house we owned in Tallahassee back in the 80s!

Here's a close-up of the pattern.  I've tended to use red placemats and napkins with it, but green also works well.  Today I've layered a red salad plate from Bed, Bath & Beyond with the Fireglow dinner and bread & butter plates, atop the new placemats.

The linens were an amazing deal.  When I was in Chicago recently for a conference (with a few days of shopping tacked on), I visited the always-wonderful Bloomingdale's Home store. (I think Heaven will be somewhat similar!)  I enjoyed browsing the china and table linen departments, and at the checkout desk, I spotted a stack of these placemats and napkins with a sign reading "$1.99."  I had seen the same linens back in late December when we were there to celebrate our 37th anniversary, but the prices were still way too high for the likes of me.  In true Dull & Dutiful fashion, I waited patiently by the stack of linens until the salesman finished a complicated transaction with the woman ahead of me, then asked, "Are these REALLY $1.99 each??"  He assured me that was correct, whereupon I gleefully grabbed eight placemats and eight napkins, then gave him my 20%-off-the-sale-price coupon!  Here are the original and marked-down prices for the placemat...

and for the napkin:

I can't even conceive of anyone being able (or willing) to pay the original prices for these placemats and napkins, but for $1.99, I was there! 

Here's a view of the table, which includes Georgian-Ruby (by Viking, now discontinued) water glasses, a red lantern purchased recently at Pottery Barn in Austin, and some preserved boxwood topiaries from the Williamsburg catalog.

The little ramekins are favorites of mine -- so versatile!

Here's another view of the table that gives a better view of the lantern and topiaries. You'll probably see the lantern again soon in a Flag Day or Fourth of July tablescape!

Here's the guest of honor's view, distinguished by a rose from one of our Knockout rose bushes.

Here's a closeup of the rose:

Here's the best bird's eye view of the table I could manage.  I don't know how the rest of you do it, but I'd have to hang by my knees from the ceiling fan to get high enough to snap the whole tabletop unless I used a ladder, and my recent foot surgery precludes that option for now.

I like this bird's eye view, which includes the centerpiece elements and parts of the placesettings:

And here's one last view of the table from another angle:

Thanks for visiting!  I love to get your comments, and please also stop by Susan's Between Naps on the Porch to see some beautiful tablescapes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Almost Eight Weeks Post-Op

I am doing well at nearly eight weeks after my bunion surgery.  My doctor gave the go-ahead to bear weight on the foot after five (LONG) weeks of using a knee scooter to get around.  He told me to keep the bandage on until week 6 and to walk using the clunky post-op shoe, then transition to a larger athletic shoe. 

Since I had a trip to Chicago planned that would involve a lot of walking, I went to Academy and tried on various shoes, finally settling on a  pair of men's black New Balance walking shoes in size 8.5 EEEE  (so dainty!), as well as some thick black ankle socks.  Those worked very well for lots of walking in Chicago, and I also discovered that I could wear my Teva sandals (with Velcro closure) for short periods.  None of my regular shoes, even though they accommodated my pre-surgery bunion, would work. 

On the stroke of week 6, I cut off the bandage and enjoyed a LONG, LONG shower -- my first since the surgery.  Bliss! 

Now it has been almost eight weeks since the surgery, and I'm still alternating between the men's walking shoes and the Tevas, wearing the walking shoes to work.  Thankfully, I haven't been called upon for a public presentation, as it's hard to look professional wearing men's walking shoes!  It may be a while until the swelling in my healing foot subsides and I can resume wearing my regular shoes.  If you can suggest any shoes that might accommodate a somewhat swollen right foot, suggest away!  I finally resumed driving yesterday, after relying on my husband to chauffeur me around for nearly two months.  Guess where I went?  Yep, shopping!