Monday, September 5, 2016

Tropical Salute to the End of Summer


Last weekend, I decided to give summer it's due!  I've wanted to do a completely tropical table all season.  Then.....drumroll please......I found these bamboo edged dishes on sale and I jumped for joy.  There was no delay!  I couldn't wait to invite friends and get going.

It was a bit warm, but this HAD to be set up outside.  

I found this grass table skirt at Hobby Lobby, and I pinned it on over a simple white caterer's cloth.  Without this, it wouldn't feel quite as festive.

What could be more tropical than a pineapple centerpiece?  I've seen so many pintrest posts where the pineapple is used as a vase, but to be frank, I like the top of the pineapple as much as the fruity part.  AND, you can then use the pineapple afterward.

I usually avoid the cheap grocery store bouquets, because they sort of look like a fruit salad, but in this case, that's exactly the look I was going for.  I just used blocks of oasis around the pineapple and placed them on a pink plastic plate.

These tropical leaves are from the floral wholesaler.  I used them under each dinner plate and under the centerpiece.  By the way, they lasted forever!  These orange placemats grounded the plates on the white cloth.

These plates were on sale at the Pottery Barn outlet.  I bought 8 dinner plates and 8 salad plates for less than $70!!!  That was a sale to get excited about.

Classic Bamboo 5pc Setting:
And here's why I was so excited!!! This is the dinnerware I have been coveting for a long time.  It's Juliska's bamboo pattern and it is fabulous.  This dinner plate runs $42 each and each salad plate is $22.  Not extremely expensive, but I haven't jumped on them just yet at that price.  Now, I'll just be very happy with the Pottery Barn plates.  They are melamine, not pottery, but that is actually great for this style.

Of course, my bamboo handled flatware was just the ticket for this table.

To introduce even more color, I used green cotton napkins and a silk hibiscus ring.

I don't remember where I got these, maybe  Party City.  That green strip is lined with wire, so you can just roll it into a ring.  It came in several colors.  That T-pin in the background is what I used to pin on the "hula skirt".

These hot pink plastic glasses came from Homegoods, I think.

Didn't it come together fun?



And everyone got a lei to take home.  Believe me, I didn't expect anyone to wear one, and it was much too hot, anyhow, but I love to have a simple little gift for our guests.  You never know when you might be invited to a Jimmy Buffett concert, right?

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sunset Dinner in the Garden

Last night was one of those evenings when everything was so pleasant that we didn't want it to end.  So we sat with our guest at the garden table until dusk fell and the owls were hooting.

I just love these limelight hydrangeas that we have in the garden, so I decided to let them be the star of the table.

With the addition of a small fern frond, the plate got a little extra personality.

 
Don't you love these plates?  

Since everything was sort of soft hued and natural, I chose this light colored wooden handled flatware, and a medium green charger.

The two green stems are different enough to be interesting.

All of this sat on this tablecloth that I layered over a plain white round caterer's cloth.  It features ferns with white flowers, so I thought it was a good choice for this combination.

An off-centered vase of limelight hydrangeas also held some ferns, and I added some asparagus fronds for softness.

And this little bird also held a flower.

Look who came to visit as I was photographing!

We burned through these little votive candles in no time and then grabbed additional candles from the potting shed.

It was a good thing I added these pillows.  It made these chairs much more comfortable as we drifted into late evening.


Here's the view from the garden down the driveway.  

I think this is the last season for this cute little zinc table.  It isn't holding up too well.

You can see the bush the hydrangeas came from here. It's getting huge.

This has not been the best summer for our garden.  We had irrigation problems and we continue to have deer that love to dine within the fence, even though we have SIX ACRES of woods for them to eat in.  Go figure! I sincerely have a love/hate relationship with them.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Zinnias in the Meadow


I love to go the the farmer's market and let my imagination run wild.  The produce inspires me to make dishes that I've never tried, the cheeses inspire me to give a cocktail party, and the flowers inspire me to dig out dishes I've not used in a long while.  That's what I've done here.  

I brought home a large bunch of multi-hued pink zinnias and added them to some hydrangeas I had in the garden.  Then I threw in a few miscellaneous blooms and called it a day.  



This cachepot is made by Spode and was a birthday gift from a girlfriend.  I won't say which birthday!!!!

I love, love, love this old table.  I use it in my studio to hold my sewing machine most of the time.  Here, I've placed it in the meadow just on the edge of the woods.

I don't know what it was originally used for, but it is made of ONE board!  It certainly has seen some kind of heavy use.

I noticed how beautifully the sun was hitting the meadow, so I brought everything outdoors to enjoy this beautiful, lazy day.

No neutrals here!  I went for vibrant pink and green to compliment the hot pink zinnias.

I bought these plates on One King's Lane.  I've loved them ever since the postman delivered them.  I wish I had more than four.  

Here's the mark on the back.  I don't know anything about them other than this.  I guess "Pescador" means "Fisherman".

I bought the bow-back chairs from our breakfast room out to the meadow.  Then I added some pillows for comfort.  They are covered with a green french grain sack material.  They usually reside on the sofa in our keeping room. 

These napkins are from the Palm line of linens and these knots are from Old Time Pottery.  I've seen them in lots of high end shops.  The flatware is old and I can't remember just where I got it.  Everything went on these bright leaf green placemats, which added a real punch to the table.

The glassware is a mix of high/low for sure.  The green stems are from the Dollar Store, and the other are very old etched cranberry glass.  I have no hesitation to use them together.  I'm just glad that they all made it back into the house without incident. 

The salt and pepper shakers are as old as our marriage.  They are made by Imperial Glass. 

I swear it was a few degrees cooler here in the grasses. 



This wasn't terribly far from the house, but it felt like sort of a break with reality!


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