Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Collection Grows. . .

Last month many of my family members gathered in Little Rock to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday.  We had a wonderful, four-generation weekend together, with lots of love and laughter shared.  Here's a photo of Mama, ready to go teach Sunday School.  (She teaches a group of women ages 85 and up -- the "Heaven Bound" class.)  I hope I am as active and healthy as she is when I'm her age!

Shortly after I arrived at my parents' house, Mama said she had a surprise for me.  "But it's YOUR birthday!" I protested.  She led me into her living room, and there on her table was a set of china!  That very morning while reading the want ads, Mama had seen a set of Castleton Gloria for sale -- eight place settings for a very good price.  She called the seller, told him she wanted it, and he delivered it -- all before I arrived that afternoon.  Mama knows I love china, so she decided I "needed" this set.  Who was I to argue with my mama?? 

Now, the tricky part was -- how was I going to get home with the china, since I'd flown?  Mama had already thought of that.  My daughter and granddaughter were driving up from Houston, and they could take it back to Texas, then bring it to me the next time they came to my house.  Problem solved!

And if new china weren't enough, my sister from Nashville had brought me a gift from my favorite store there, Color -- a set of placemats and napkins that went perfectly with the Gloria, as well as some wonderful hydrangea napkin rings!  Do I have a great family, or what??

I know you're ready for some pictures now, if you're still with me after that long backstory.  This past weekend my daughter and her family visited us and brought the china, so at last I've been able to play with my new dishes and set a table using the placemats, napkins, and napkin rings from my sister.  Here's a look at the dinner plate -- taupe roses on cream, trimmed with robin's egg blue near the rim and a gold-trimmed pearl edge.
Castleton Gloria pattern
Here's a look at the placesetting.
  This closeup shows the perfect color match between the plates' trim and the table linens my sister chose.
Here's an even better look, and you can also see the wonderful pattern of the placemats.
Of course, to go with those adorable napkin rings, I needed some hydrangeas for the centerpiece!  I was in luck -- HEB, our local grocery store, had them in just the right color. 
Here's a view of the table, set for four.
One little detail I love about Castleton patterns is that the inside of the teacups is usually decorated. 
Here are some other examples, from my mother's and sister's patterns.  I've enjoyed posting tablescapes with their china before.  Click on the captions if you'd like to see more.
Castleton Empire
Castleton Ma Lin
Castleton Mayfair
Here's another view of the table.
And one more look at this pretty pattern. . . .
Now the only challenge will be finding a place to store all these new dishes!  I will be linking to Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen this week, so be sure to visit to see other dish-related posts!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pink Geraniums and Polka Dots

My pink geraniums have been enjoying the early summer weather, and one pot of them had so many blooms that I thought it deserved its very own tablescape.  They almost look neon pink in this photo.
I don't have much pink in tableware, but I did pick up four melamine salad plates in Macy's when we were in Chicago recently, and they feature some pink.
Here's a look at a placesetting, with light turquoise placemats and darker napkins, both gifts from one of my sisters. 
Here's a little closer view of this fun melamine pattern. 
And here's a view of the full pattern.  I'd spotted these earlier in the year, but when they were 50% off, I had to get a few!
The turquoise stemware is acrylic, found at Target earlier this spring.
I've had red geraniums the past several years, but this year decided to go for the hot pink ones, and I really like the pop of color they add to our patio.
Another view of the tabletop. . . .
And a view back toward the house.  You can see the solar rings floating in our way-too-shady pool, attempting to warm up the water to a comfortable temperature. 
Another view. . .
One more close-up . . . .

Thanks for visiting my backyard table this week! 
I will be linking to Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish party on Wednesday night, so be sure to stop by and see lots of fun dish-related links!