Monday, April 18, 2016

The Greatest Guest Bloggers!

This remarkable table design is brought to you by my remarkable grandsons.  Owen, 9, and Teddy, 12, were visiting and they wanted to create their own table.  I thought that was a great idea, so in between golf and swimming one day, they came into the house to make their version of magic.  I did nothing other than find things for them when they asked for them.  They shopped the house, the garage, the basement and just about every cupboard and closet.

 
My only requirement was that they use something under the "centerpiece" and the dishes, whatever they determined that would be.  So, down a burlap runner, they piled up lumber pieces they found in the garage.  They deemed wood as close to flowers, "because it's from nature".  Good so far!  Then, in my craft room, they found sticks, which were added rather gracefully, I must say.  THEN, a helicopter.  OK.

Then the toy closet (which is really the panic room), yielded rescue rangers, and a toy fire fighter's hat.  They wanted to "feature Boys Through Their Ages".  Every table needs a theme. 

To go with the wood centerpiece, there were safety goggles, a tape measure, and a hammer.  Then, as you can see, there is a turkey call, as well!!!!!  I loved this so much! 


I thought this was particularly inspired:  They took a safari toy cage and used it to house the salt and pepper shakers!  Fabulous!

Tortoiseshell glasses were chosen after much discussion. (Fighting.)

These quilted French placemats were a good choice.  The pinecone charger "matched the wood", and the natural colored dishes were the "something not fancy".  The flatware "matched the wood" too.  (Well, it DID!)

Weren't these napkins a good choice?  I'm blown away by their sense of color.  

This was the first selection for a napkin ring.

BUT, this one won out.  Rabbits with stags.  Well, ok.

Here's the placesetting.  Pretty sophisticated, right?

This is the most beautiful table that has every been set in this room.  

And this was one of the most wonderful meals.  These guys were so proud and I can't wait to have them do this again.  I'm flattered that they wanted to be part of my blog and so very proud of the results.  James Farmer and Eddie Ross might have some competition!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Carrots and the Cutest Company


The boys are on their way!!!!!  Two of our three grandsons and our daughters are coming for their spring break.  These guys are NOT the pastel, fluffy little bunny type, so I've set a table that is clearly celebrating Easter, but is bright and cheerful and much more of interest to these young men.

Upon arriving at the door, they'll see this new wreath.

It's grapevine, silk forsythia, burlap carrots, and burlap bows.  I found it at Old Time Pottery.  I think it's as fun as the table inside.

Doesn't this look like a place where there will be lots of giggles and joking around?

The very first item that I decided to use it this wonderful decoupaged tin pitcher that my BFF brought me for my (early) birthday.  See the carrot on it?  Well, away I went with a carrot theme.  I know there are many who scoff at "theme table", but am not one of them.  I get a seed planted in my brain and it takes on a life of its own.  When you are the insomniac that I am, you obsess over most tables until you sometimes just get up and start pulling things together, and most times there is a common thread.  You can call it a theme table, or one with a common thread!!!! Ok by me!  At any rate, these great orange tulips were 3 bunches for $12 at Whole Foods this week.  Perfect!

Can you just see me doing my happy dance in the aisles of Pier One when I spied these napkins?  You should have been there!  The napkin knots are from Old Time Pottery and were $1 each.  Cha-ching.  I already had these orange rimmed salad plates that I bought for a wedding shower a couple of years ago.  I never could have guessed how much I have used them.

Under the salad plate, there is a white everyday dinner plate, a rattan charger, and a bright green straw placemat.  The green flatware is from World Market.  I sure wish I had bought service for 8 instead of just 4.  Dang!

I once had 8 of these bright green stems, though, but now I only have 5.  :-(  These orange glasses are from the same wedding shower.

These leaf embossed bread and butter plates are from the floral wholesaler, and I have a couple of different sized platters to go with them.  I felt these little twig spreaders went with the table, too.

Pier One had these tiny paper mache carrots that I used almost as confetti, and just scattered around.

These old oak and brass barley twist candlesticks seem to be on almost every table I do.  They are so versatile and they still make my heart stand still.  This runner is used to be a picnic sized tablecloth that I cut up for runners.  It made three and I can use them several different ways.

My daughter's mother-in-law gave me this sweet little bunny and chick salt and pepper set.  Aren't they darling?  

I love to take this shot, but I couldn't quite get it centered.  Oh, well.

We'll have some meals on paper plates, some in restaurants, some on picnics, and some at this fun table.

I can't wait to see those little guys with their devilish grins, smelling like chlorine from the pool.

Nothing precious or fragile.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Welcoming Committee Like No Other

The other day, I arrived at a committee meeting at my friend, Brenda's house and everyone was standing out on the driveway. What was going on?  What was the attraction?  It was Balthus van Tassel, the welcoming turkey!  He was named after the farmer with a long beard from Sleepy Hollow.  Isn't he magnificent?  No one wanted to go in.  I thought we might have to meet in the driveway.

Yes!  They hang out where ever they want.  Brenda said that the other day they were down at the mailbox helping the road crew!  

I sort of felt sorry for the hens.  They had some cute tricks, but were not nearly as pretty as Balthus.

See?

I guess they are not as social, either.  A little aloof compared to Balthus, right?

Then there are the "regular" chickens.  Nothing regular about these beauties.  If you are very lucky, Brenda will gift you with some eggs from her gang.  They are so good, and they make every egg I buy from the market taste like sawdust.

Well, as the cars were pulling out after the meeting, guess who got put behind bars?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Here's To The Birthday Chick!


When a dear friend is having a birthday and these plates come home with me from Pier One.....a party was born!  I took the "Birthday Chick" theme and ran with it.

This made a colorful and fun table where we had LOTS of laughter.

I've had these chicken chair covers for a couple of years, but I've never used them.  I'm gifting them to two of the women who came to this luncheon, since they have little, little grandchildren.  I think my guys have outgrown the magic of a chicken on their chair!

The centerpiece started like this.  I used the trick of a vase within a vase, filling the "wall" with Easter grass and marshmallow peeps.

Then I found these white lisianthis and beautiful yellow roses.  I just love the way those white buds gracefully bend and create shape to the arrangement.

This yellow napkin looks washed out here, but it was a little more vibrant in person.  I just love these knot napkin rings that I bought at Old Time Pottery for $1 each.  I have them in several colors.  I can't for the life of me remember where I bought this yellow polka dotted flatware.

My old, old wedding crystal got to come to the party.  I sat it on a yellow straw coaster.  You wouldn't believe the difference that makes in perking up the table.

I have had these in my stash of entertaining papers and thought they were cute for the day.  Instead of using names, I used something special about each guest.  We had "Birthday Chick", "Auburn Chick", "Short Chick", and for the sweet friend who raises chickens, "Chicken Chick"!

This pink and yellow salt and pepper set are vintage LuRay that I collect.  LuRay was made in the '40's and came in four beautiful pastel colors that I use a lot in the spring.

I brought this coffee tray in with dessert.  It sits here in the bar where I have a little daffodil vignette with a vintage book, a porcelain basket, and a very precious tray that my Daddy made and my Mom painted.  The dishes are also LuRay china. 

The napkin this sits on is from Target.

Here's some more LuRay in the French shelves.  I added these nutcracker bunnies that I love and a "Happy Easter" cut-out that I bought at a craft show years ago when my girls were tiny.

I love to give little favors, or parting gifts at luncheons.  There is never anything precious in them, but I promise you they will put a smile on your guest's face.  :-)

Today's goody bag held a packet of tissues with the chicken on them, a pack of daffodil post-it notes, and a painted glass egg, all nestled on a bed of pink Easter grass.  I popped it all in a cellophane florists' bag and tied with a green ribbon.

This was the sideboard that I leave up for the season.  It just makes spring seem like it sprouted in the dining room.  You can just see the top of the photographer's head in the mirror.  Ha!  

We made memories here.  I just love to honor a friend with a meal made with love.

There is a lot of whimsy here.  The birthday girl was a second grade teacher, so it was right up her alley.

How do you like the first course that we had in the dining room?  It's a cheese chick!  I found the basic idea on pintrest, of course.  I used a shortcut of starting with a cheese ball from the market and made a small ball of it.  Then I rolled it in some shredded cheddar that I pulsed very briefly in the food processor to make it a little finer.  The feet and wings are cut out of a slice of processed cheese with little tiny canape cutters, and the eyes and beak are from a Kalamata olive.  Then I sat them on a cracker and served a couple of extra crackers.  Aren't they cute?

Our mutual friend, Anne, brought the tossed salad with blueberries that was delicious.  The egg cup holds pimento cheese with Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers perched on the edge.  I know.....this menu turned out a little heavy on the cheese, but it was GOOD.

Here's the main plate.  What says spring more than asparagus?  This is a cold, marinated recipe.  Then, to give another wink to the chicken theme, there's a chick shaped deviled egg.  Anne made the chicken salad, too.  (She's such a great help!)  It was from James Farmer's newest cookbook, "A Time to Celebrate".  We have a mutual crush on him.  A big one.  A really big one.  I could go on!

Dessert was a lady-like serving of Hagan Daz pineapple/coconut ice cream, which is heavenly, with a non lady-like individual coconut cake with lemon curd inside.  A little mint, a few raspberries, and it's a birthday cake.  Did you notice there are no candles?  You're welcome, Beth.

Joining:

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