Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank You, Vicki of Curly Willow DIY!

My beautiful new header was designed by the very talented Vicki who blogs at Curly Willow DIY with her best friend Barb.   Didn't Vicki do a great job?  I really love the new look!

A couple of weeks ago, The Tablescaper showed off her new header by Vicki and announced that Vicki had kindly agreed to design headers for some of The Tablescaper's followers.  I was lucky enough to be chosen! 

Do check out Curly Willow DIY to see Vicki's and Barb's inspiring posts!  Thanks again, Vicki!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday Lunch

Today's tablescape was inspired by these yellow spray roses. My flower source is generally HEB, the famed Texas grocery store chain, where flowers are $4 a bunch, and my husband is usually the one who brings them home.  He does all the grocery shopping (and cooking -- yes, I'm completely spoiled), so when he asks me what I want to add to the list, I often ask for flowers.  I asked for yellow tulips this week, but they didn't have any, so he improvised.  The little blue pitcher used to be in my mother-in-law's kitchen, and it was the perfect size for this mini-bouquet.

The bright yellow of the roses seemed to dictate using similarly bright placemats. The placesetting also includes some cute little heart-shaped covered ramekins, our everyday dishes and glasses and flatware, and blue-checked napkins.

Here's a view of the table, looking toward the living room.  Very simple -- set for Sunday lunch.  Since the pitcher was so small, I elevated it with a wooden candlestand and added some yellow votive holders.

Here's a closer look at the very bright, colorful pattern of the dishes.  I chose this Mikasa pattern after using our first set of everyday dishes for 25 years.  These dishes are still going strong after 13 years!
 When I chose this pattern, I was looking for one featuring blue, but I also love the bright fruit pattern.

Here's a view from the opposite side of the table, showing the baker's rack newly decorated with blue and white. 

The details:
Dishes:  Mikasa Windsor Park (discontinued)
Glassware:  Villeroy & Boch My Garden
Flatware:  Towle Beaded Antique
Covered ramekins:  Le Creuset outlet
Votive holders:  Sur la Table
Wooden candleholder:  Pottery Barn outlet

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!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Table for Presidents' Day

Before I began visiting Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch, it would NEVER have occurred to me to set a special table for Presidents' Day.  For one thing, we don't get that day off, so it's just a regular work day, albeit it one without mail service.  But when I unpacked some blue and white souvenir plates from my mother-in-law's collection, I realized I had the basics for a Presidents' Day table.  (Since they are souvenirs, we'll remove them and use the white dinner plates for the meal!).

All four plates have a different design.  The first one features Martha and George Washington, the Capitol, and several other scenes from Washington, D.C.  When I Googled the markings on the back of the plate, I was surprised to find one just like it listed for $135!  It's described as a flow blue souvenir plate made in Staffordshire, England, "imported exclusively for the Capitol Souvenir Company."

The second plate features Abraham Lincoln, and Googling the marks on the back yielded the information, "This is a fine Dutch flow blue souvenir plate commemorating President Abraham Lincoln’s death. The words under the Lincoln portrait read: “Abraham Lincoln/Born February 18, 1809, Died April 15, 1865”. The back of the plate says Lincoln’s House, Springfield, Illinois over the Sphinx mark of Petrus Regout and Co. Maastricht." The plate is listed for $78.  

The third plate has a very similar, though not identical, border design, but features George Washington and Mount Vernon.  I was unable to find any information online about it, although the markings indicate the same maker as the Lincoln plate.
The fourth plate features Independence Hall in Philadelphia and is by Liberty Blue.  It is in plentiful supply online, but I really like the border design.

So, there's plenty of blue and white for a Presidents' Day table, but we need some RED!  My in-laws gave me this pretty blue and white cachepot from the Williamsburg catalog one Christmas, and a few carnations supply the red.

And we need a little MORE red, so I added the napkin rings my daughter gave me this past Christmas, each holding one red carnation. 

Here's a look at the whole table.  The tablecloth is from Williams-Sonoma, and it's designed to fit my patio table.  If you look closely, you can see the buttoned seam that allows it to fit around an umbrella. 

Once again, I'm using the new-ish blue Villeroy and Boch water glasses, as well as some blue glass candlesticks that my mother gave me years ago.  I think they work well together! 
 Here's a closer look at the darling clear acrylic napkin rings, holding a napkin from Williams-Sonoma. 
 Another view. . .
 I like this shot of all the different patterns the table includes.  You just can't go wrong with blue and white!
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!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cheery Cherries

This week's tablescape was inspired by a gift from my dear friend Michele.  A few years ago, she gave me this darling sandwich tray, knowing that I love all things cherry.  
Then last year, Michele sent me two cute vintage cherry-patterned coffee cups with saucers.  I found a photo of a dinner plate in this pattern on -- what a great resource! -- but they didn't have any in stock. 
 A few years ago Target had these cute melamine plates, and with three cherry-themed elements, I had enough to set a breakfast table.
 Using the same red and white tablecloth from last week's table, I layered the cherry salad plates with plain white dinner plates and added some blue stemware.
The placesetting also included our everyday stainless and some blue-checked napkins rolled into blue napkins rings.

A vase of white tulips and a small beribboned cakestand completed the table.
All the elements came together to create a cheery breakfast table.

Melamine salad plates:  Target a few years ago
Coffee cups:  Le Comptoir LCX4 (vintage, gift from Michele)
Blue goblets:  Villeroy and Boch
Stainless:  Towle Beaded Antique
Tablecloth:  Home Goods
Napkins:  Ancient!

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!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My "New" Kitchen

I finally have something to link to Metamorphosis Monday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch -- my "new" kitchen.

We have lived with the original (1985) Formica counters since we moved in almost ten years ago, and in that period, the cost of granite has gone down quite a bit.  We worked with a local granite company, Goldstone, and it took us a while to find slabs we liked.  We had to take a little break for Christmas and our son's wedding, but one cold, rainy Saturday last month we drove to Austin and browsed through a giant warehouse of granite.  We wanted something (A) rather dramatic and (B) that would go well with our existing cabinets.  We took the small cabinet door over the fridge along.. Here's one of the two slabs we selected, called Vesuvio. 
Here's the "Before" of the kitchen, just before the old countertops were removed.  We had removed the drawers and emptied all the lower cabinets in preparation -- quite a job!  I should have thought to take a photo of the dining room, chock full of kitchen stuff!
My husband stayed home while the installers were there, and he took photos throughout the process.  Here's the granite arriving in our driveway.
The demolition begins!
The counters go in. .
Notice the seam where the two pieces meet in the photo below.
After they worked their magic -- what seam??
Here's the island, where the installers had to cut out a section for the cooktop.
The next day, the tile backsplash was installed.  They started with the area over the sink.
We decided to keep the backsplash very plain everywhere else, so as not to compete with the granite.
We had to live without a kitchen sink from Monday through Wednesday morning, because the plumber wanted to be sure the undermounted sink's seal was dry.  We were very happy to finally see this!
Here are the "After" views.

We really love the new look!  Thanks for visiting!

Snow Day!

Some of you may remember this photo of our backyard from an outdoor tablescape last June.
Well, here's the same view at 7:15 this morning.
Here's a wider view of that part of the backyard.

Now, this doesn't look like much snow to those of you who've had tons of it already this winter, but here in central Texas, this counts!  We were delighted to get the news that our university is closed today -- also very rare! 

Here are a few more pics, taken from the front dining room window.
 In this one you can see we're on a steep hill (for this area, anyway), so I expect we'll soon have neighborhood kids sliding down our front yard on sheets of cardboard.  Who needs a sled? 
 I love the graceful trees in this one.
Meanwhile, Mr. D&D was busy building a fire, baking a quiche, and opening our emergency bottle of champagne for cranberry mimosas.  I think I'll keep him. . . .
Stay warm, y'all!