Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Table

The inspiration for this year's table was the set of darling Santa placecard holders my sister sent me as an early Christmas gift. There are four different poses.  Just love these!
The glittery red and green of the Santas reminded me I had some glittery green candles and a red linen table runner.
Instead of my "good" china, I used my Christmas china, Dansk Winterfest.
 Here's another view, showing the emerald green glasses that first belonged to my husband'a grandparents.  I love the shape and color, and the pattern name -- Burple.
The monochrome centerpiece is simply evergreen clippings with the glittery green candles and some ornaments.
Anchoring each end of the centerpiece are poinsettia "blooms" and more evergreens in silver julep cups.  I'd been wanting to try clipping the poinsettias after seeing the technique in Southern Living.
Here's a closeup!
A view down the table. . .
Time to light some candles!
The candlelight view.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cozy Christmas Breakfast

Our daughter's family will be arriving later Christmas Day, so we'll have just four around the breakfast table that morning -- my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and me. The simple centerpiece includes two miniature live evergreens in pots topped with "snow" and two Father Christmases handed down to me from my mother-in-law's collection.
 These cute salad plates were the inspiration for this table.  I bought them after Christmas last year at Crate and Barrel Outlet.
I added my red glasses and green placemats, and we're using the silver flatware at breakfast since it's Christmas! 
I've had the napkins, also from Crate and Barrel, for several years, but they seem made for these plates.  I like the lime green mixed with the more traditional green and red in the Joy design.
Here's another view that shows my silver pattern, Lunt Belvedere.
Here's a closer look at one of the Father Christmases.

In the background of this view is our 30+ year old Advent calendar, made by my mother when our daughter was little. The chair back blocks the little candy-filled pockets for each day.  You can also glimpse our living room Christmas tree on the left.
 Here's one more view of the table, looking toward the baker's rack.
Thank you for visiting, and I hope you will leave a comment before you leave.  I will be linking to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Such Sweet Sisters!

I am blessed with two wonderful sisters, both of whom are EXCELLENT at gift-giving.  Last night, the UPS man delivered a box that held a beautifully wrapped gift from my sister in Dallas, with a tag reading, "Open NOW!"  I was happy to oblige and found these adorable Santa place card holders inside!  I can't wait to use them in a tablescape, and they'll also be cute holding cards to identify dishes for a buffet. 

Earlier this month my other sister in Nashville sent me a box with six different types of Jeni's ice cream, including such amazing flavors as frankincense and almond cake and smoked tea and plum pudding.  They are AMAZING, and it's been lots of fun to sample the different flavors.

I am thankful to have such fabulous sisters!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Know It's December

When your husband brings home the long-awaited Haagen-Dazs peppermint bark ice cream!  Our Sam's had it this year.  If you haven't tried it, you are really missing something!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On the Day Before December

Just in time for December, the Advent calendar is ready for the countdown to Christmas. 
This calendar is a beloved tradition in our family.  My mother made it from felt, decorating the tree and holly with miniature red glass ornaments at least 30 years ago.  Here's an old photo I found of our daughter with it on Christmas Eve in 1982.

Each pocket holds candy -- traditionally miniature candy canes or Reese's cups. Our daughter, and later our son, were delighted to learn that they were allowed to remove candy each morning and eat it, even before breakfast! The year my son was almost three, I remember explaining how the tradition worked, concluding, "And when all the candy is gone, Christmas will be here!"  He looked at me excitedly and said, "Let's eat it all NOW!"  Another year, we left the children with a babysitter one evening, and when we returned, I noticed that a few extra candies were missing.  When questioned the next morning, our son replied sheepishly, "Well, in the night...I got hungry."

Here's a closer look.
I continued the tradition by making an Advent calendar exactly like this one for our grandchildren.  I wonder if theirs is ready to go for tomorrow?

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Gentle Beginning to the Holidays

Now that the holidays are upon us, I hope to blog a bit more frequently. This fall semester has just been a whirlwind of travel, campus activity, and family. Our Thanksgiving, though, was lovely and relaxed. Our daughter and her family drove up from Houston, and my husband's father joined us for Thanksgiving dinner and another meal.  We were blessed to have four generations around the table, and using my grandmother's wedding china represented a fifth generation.  Her pattern is Heinrich H&C Admiral. It includes a lot of colors, making it versatile for various seasons, but for Thanksgiving, I highlighted the gold with a gold tablecloth and napkins. Here's an overview of the table, set for seven.

For the centerpiece, I used a tureen that was a gift from one of my sisters years ago, brass candlesticks from my in-laws' collection, and two small arrangements of mums, berries, and greenery from the yard.

Here are my grandmother's dishes, which I inherited, including 24 plates, cups, and saucers, and many, many serving pieces, including two gravy boats!  Our first course was a wonderful cream of broccoli soup my husband made, served in the teacups.

Here's another view of the placesetting, which includes my sterling, Lunt Belvedere, silverplate soup spoons from my in-laws, and some plain water glasses.
Here's a closer look at the pattern, and you can also see the mums and rosemary in the napkin rings, which were a gift from my daughter last Christmas.
We have a wonderful collection of brass candlesticks from my in-laws.  Three pairs of them worked wonderfully with this warm color scheme.

I love the colors of the mums -- two types of bronze and one of burgundy, along with hypericum berries and clippings from a bush in the backyard. 

We enjoyed having our grandchildren -- ages eight and five.  The weather was glorious -- sunny and cool -- so they spent a lot of time outside in our yard and at a nearby park.  We will see them again Christmas Day.

I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings, filled with family, friends, and good food! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thanks and an Update

Thanks so much to all the faithful bloggers who've commented or e-mailed to check on me during my LONG break in posting!  I really appreciate your letting me know I've been missed -- bloggers are Good Folks!  I don't have any exciting or tragic reason for the hiatus -- just a Dull and Dutiful one.  It was a HOT summer with 90 days of triple-digit temperatures -- the last on September 29th.  And then the semester started with a bang in August, and now I've just finished grading midterm exams!  My tablescaping motivation got lost in the shuffle, I guess.  I am starting to feel like playing with dishes again, though, with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching.

In other news, last weekend our grandchildren came to visit without their parents. It was a win-win-win situation, as all three parties thought they got the best deal!  Our daughter and son--in-law enjoyed some kid-free time, the grandchildren always love to come to our house, and we, of course, are always thrilled to see them!  It was a busy weekend, with a trip to the zoo and the park, now that the weather has finally cooled off.  We also made the adorable Halloween brownie pops that are everywhere this season.  I followed the wonderful tutorial provided by Kim at Sand and Sisal, and the children had a great time mixing up the brownies, shaping the baked brownies into pumpkins and ghosts, and then dipping them in orange and white candy melts.  Here's a photo of the children showing off their handiwork!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trying a New Color Scheme

Last week's tablescape by Rett at The Gazebo House inspired me to try a tablescape using a new-for-me color scheme -- purple and green.  I don't have much purple, but in shopping the house, I found a few items to include, and the grocery store contributed a few more.

The placesetting includes the leaf green placemats and napkins I've used in several tablescapes, some wicker chargers, plain white plates, square lavender melamine plates, green stemware, and our everyday stainless flatware.  

The clear napkin rings were a gift from my daughter, and they have an opening to hold flowers and water.  I have really enjoyed using these! 
Here's an across the table view, in which you can see another purple item I found, a glass carafe that was a gift from my in-laws years ago.  It's perfect for keeping iced water or tea handy. 
At the other end of the table, a bowl of plums brings in another shade of purple.
For the centerpiece, I found some lavender daisy mums at Sam's -- ten stems for $4.88!
Here's a view of the whole table.
One more look at a daisy mum!
The details:
Green placemats and napkins, Crate & Barrel outlet
Wicker chargers and white plates, Pier 1
Lavender melamine, Target a few years ago, I think
Green glasses, The Great Indoors
Flatware, Towle Beaded Antique
Napkin rings, gift from daughter via Color, Inc. in Nashville

Thanks for visiting today!  I'll be linking up with Tablescape Thursdays at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch, so please visit her blog to see lots more tablescapes!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Weeknight Supper

Last weekend I co-hosted a bridal shower for a friend's daughter, whose wedding is in September.  Her favorite flowers are sunflowers, so we used two dozen to decorate the buffet and gift tables.  I supplied the flowers, so brought them home with me -- spilling water in my car and breaking a vase, but that's another story.  I have enjoyed having a large vase of them on my coffee table and a smaller one on the breakfast table and realized I should use them in a tablescape.  I posted a sunflower tablescape last year featuring green and gold elements, and at first I couldn't think how to set a different one.  Then, I had an idea.

A few months ago, I bought four placesettings of these dishes, which I had admired for a long time, especially in this beautiful color, called forget-me-not.  They also come in sage green and a creamy white. Here are the dinner plate and salad plate.
Here's the dinner plate alone. I really like the elegant simplicity of this design.
And here's the pasta bowl, which is a wonderful wonky shape!
The placesetting also includes the sunflower napkins I used in last year's tablescape, our everyday stainless, and the blue stemware that sweet Marigene of In the Middle of Nowhere sent me last year.
I thought their ribbed design worked well with the ribbed spiral of the plates.
Here's another view of the table.  I like the look of the pale blue dishes against the dark wood of the bare table.
The sunflowers are still looking good after five days!
The details:
Dishes:  Sophie Conran for Portmeiron in Forget-Me-Not blue, Bloomingdale's Home
Glasses:  Sirrus Blue by Libbey, courtesy of Marigene!
Stainless flatware:  Beaded Antique by Towle
Napkins:  Williams-Sonoma (end of season sale last year)

And there you have it -- a simple, weeknight table that lets the sunflowers shine.  Thank you for visiting my table this week!  I hope you will leave a comment before you leave to visit all the wonderful tablescapes at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool Blue and Green

Once again, I must apologize to my faithful followers for falling off the tablescape wagon for a few weeks. BUT!  While in Chicago recently, I bought some new everyday dishes.  This makes my third set of everyday dishes in 38 years of marriage, which isn't TOO indulgent, is it?

The wonderful Bloomingdale's Home store in downtown Chicago had these dishes on sale, so we decided to get them and had them shipped home.  I've admired this Dansk pattern since first seeing it a few years ago.  The salad plate (and mug, not shown) have a slightly different design than the dinner plate and rim soup.  The salesman talked us out of buying bread and butter plates, saying that most customers don't use them, but we've decided we DO need them, mostly for serving appetizers and small desserts.

I have a lot of blue table linens, since my second everyday pattern included a lot of blue, but this time I went with this bright leaf green.  The placesetting also includes our everyday blue glasses, but I chose to use our silver instead of the everyday stainless, because the pattern includes a flower similar to the one on the dinner plate.

Here's a view of the table.  For a simple centerpiece, I pulled the preserved boxwood topiaries from the mantel and added some white mums in a pansy ring, a gift from my in-laws that I have enjoyed over the years. (Can you spot Mr. Champagne, our enormous cat, resting on the cool floor just outside the dining room?)

You can see the pansy ring a little better here.  It is perfect for short-stemmed flowers like pansies, but works with lots of other flowers, too.
Here's an overhead view.
Another angle...
And a last view of the whole table.
The details:
Dishes: Dansk Kristina and Florencia
Glasses:  Villeroy & Boch My Garden
Silver:  Lunt Belvedere
Placemats and napkins:  Crate & Barrel Outlet
Preserved boxwood topiaries:  Williamsburg catalog

Thank you for visiting my table this week!  I hope you will leave a comment before you leave to visit all the wonderful tablescapes at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch!