Sunday, July 5, 2015

Four Friends for the Fourth

How many of you had rain-outs for the Fourth?  The weather teased us all weekend, and as you can see by this photo of our front door, it was gloomy, gloomy, and rainy as I planned for our small dinner party.

But, inside, it was cheerful and fun, especially after our guests arrived.  I had fiddled with dishes, planning the table, but when it came time to set the table indoors, rather than out, I settled on an entirely different look.

I started with this placesetting, and took some of these photos......

then I remembered the star bread and butter plates and added them.  Some of these pictures have them and some do not.  

Here's the table and the fun chandelier decorations. 

I've had these for years and never used them.  I planned on hanging them from the dogwood tree as we dined outdoors, but this was a really easy and fun plan B.

This is a flower arrangement I have used many times.  I wish it had photographed better.  All you need is a container, a piece of oasis, and lots of flowers.  Just trim and poke them in, starting with the rim of the container.  And these carnations will last and last.

I chose this glassware, but I only had four of these vintage red ones, so I used two more blue glasses.

These old blue and white pottery candlesticks are so versatile.  

I love these little individual salt and pepper shakers that have the iconic blue willow pattern.

Our dessert was served on these Old Glory plates.  It was a red, white, and blue ice cream torte, and for some reason, a lot of it ended up on that white tablecloth!  

What's fresher than a crisp red, white, and blue?

Add four good friends and great conversation and you've got an evening of wonderful memories.

I always carry the flowers or decorations into the powder rooms.  Here, I just added a zinc vase of more carnations and some fun hand towels.

Here, I picked a few additional flowers from our cutting garden to bring in all three colors of the holiday.

Well, in this photo, it's dinner time, and the sun is out again.  It was too wet and too late to make a move outside, but the sun was good news, since Mr. Pressed Pants had to grill our shrimp skewers.  I hope every one of you had a good celebration on this very precious holiday.  Happy Birthday, America!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Red, White and Blue Tables


We have a wonderful couple coming over for the Fourth, and I want to change up my go to Red/White/Blue table for the patriotic holidays.  I took several things down to the lower terrace today to fiddle around.  I only set two place settings today, just so I wouldn't have so much to carry in and out.


I kept the red and white checked tablecloth in all three versions.

And these carnations and daisies in this salt glaze pitcher.

First, I did this.

This was all red and white, except for the flag plate.

This Nicole Miller red and white plate is rather contemporary looking, and I used it with this red handled flatware.

I added this salad, or dessert plate that I've had a long time.  I had a little accident the last time I used them, so I'm down to five now.

Red Glassware, some new and some vintage.

White serving accessories. 

White linen napkin with a napkin ring made from a satin ribbon and Martha Stewart grosgrain embellishment.

Then, I changed it up a bit.

I left the red pieces behind and added blue and white.  Can you ever go wrong with blue and white?

This is not Royal Copanhagen!  It's pottery with a very similar pattern.

I used a white Portuguese charger under it to give it some relief from the checks.

I changed out the red handled flatware to this blue, gathered the napkin differently, and used a white wicker napkin ring with a couple of tiny flags on picks.

I like the mixture of glassware here.

Blue willow mixes with almost anything.

I've got some beautiful serving pieces that would work.

Next, I mixed the reds and the blues for one more version.

Here, I used a natural wicker napkin ring and I tied the ribbon one on top of it.

A blue glass and a red one. 

I haven't decided.

If only we could have an evening as beautiful as this one!

This table is a little farther to carry our food than the other two outdoor tables, but it's such a serene space. 

Those terrace gardens are not filling in as quickly as I had hoped, but I guess they look ok.

What's your favorite version?

On the small side table down there, I like to use this metal sand bucket for ice.  Here it is with the red cut glass stems.

Here it is with the blue stems. 

I might just decide to go with my favorite red/white/blue table. It seems so much more festive to me.


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Friday, June 26, 2015

Hydrangeas Just Make Me Happy!


Mother Nature decided that my hydrangeas would not be providing very many blooms this year, but fortunately, they are easy to find in grocery stores and farmer's markets.  There's nothing like cutting your own, but with a little planning, I'll still be having hydrangeas.

This table celebrates the hydrangea and is full of color.

These plates are made by Nature's Home, and the pattern is called Hailey Sky.

The glassware is an large, old blue stem for water and an inexpensive swirled glass for wine.

I sort of promised myself that I would not buy another straw placemat, since I have so many, but this color was so perfect for this plate, right?  The flatware is very old and I've no idea where it came from.

These little Emile Henry pots make fun salt and pepper servers. 

This French urn was an easy decision to hold the flowers.  The French blue color is lovely, isn't it?

I would have loved darker blue hydrangeas, but these are the darkest that Trader Joe had today.  I added lime green hosta leaves to pull out the green in the plates.

Then, for a little extra comfort for lingering conversations, I brought out some French grain sack pillows.

Can you tell that this table sits in the round part of the deck?  It is off of the living room and overlooks the lake.  It's our favorite place to dine outdoors. 

See where the round part meets the straight railings?

We sometimes put extra tables out here if we have more than a dozen people dining outside.  

Pretty as they are, I just know that those hydrangeas will be put on the railing during dinner so we can see each other.  I'm never insulted by rearranging the centerpiece because, after all, we're there to enjoy each other, not the flowers.  Well.....mostly!!!

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