Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

I'm wishing you all a
Happy and Safe Halloween!

iron gate
(pintrest)
Linda at A Toile Tale



Saturday, October 25, 2014

"The Kids' Table" at Pheasant Dinner Party

We had a dinner party last week and the guest list exceeded the space at the dining room table.  This little table for four in the breakfast room held the extra four guests.  We called it the "kids' table" and frankly, these four were a bit rowdy.

The dining room table was set very similarly to this table that I did a few years ago, so I won't do another post on it.  I even served just about the same menu.  I wanted this table to have the same unfussy feel that the main table had. 

I started with a tablecloth that I bought at Target.  They have some really good colors now, and I loved this shade of green.  Then I used off white plates also from Target and the salad plate is Kashmir Leopard. There was no room for chargers.  


This flatware worked well on the dark cloth.  It is from Martha Stewart's line at K-mart that I bought many years ago.


I really felt that the table needed some pattern to bring this all together.  I got this linen fabric from a decorating line and just hemmed it for napkins.  The napkin ring is sort of a tortoise shell pattern that came from Boxwoods.  Each one is a bit different and I loved the way it brought the colors and patterns together.


I've shown these glasses many times.  The green stem is from Swoozie's and the tortoise is such an old pattern that I forget where I got them.


A couple of years ago, I picked up lots of miscellaneous pieces of this pattern at the floral wholesaler.  I used these little dishes as bread and butter plates here, but I often put them out as appetizer plates as well.  The platters in this design are great sizes and I've used them a lot, too.


Here's a close-up of the colors in the napkins.


This is an overhead of the table.  As you can see, it was pretty crowded, but doesn't that make the group a bit more intimate?

I really like the way the the centerpiece came together.  I used a very creamy rose, spider mums that are almost tan, green kermit mums, green hypericum berries, a few faux acorns, and real lady apples.  Aren't they cute?  Then I decided that I needed to put a bit of brown in it and added pheasant feathers.  The centerpiece for the big table was a pheasant, so this also helped to tie the tables together.

This simple pot is from Smith and Hawkin.  Don't you miss that store?  The line that Target carries just isn't the same.

I'm still looking for some more of these little acorn salt and pepper shakers from Michael's.  Their size is perfect for this little table.


Yep, this just wouldn't be the same without the pattern from the napkins.  I'm glad I bought enough fabric for eight napkins and a runner.

Here's just a little vignette from the bar.  This platter was too perfect to even use for food!  


I really don't think that Mr. Pressed Pants and the three guests minded sitting at this table.  We did all get together for dessert.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Zinnias in Ten


These are some of the gorgeous zinnias that I bought at Whole Foods in Alpharetta yesterday.  As I was ooing and awing over them, the floral manager told me they were locally grown in Armuchee, Georgia at Stolen Flowers  Farm. 

Photo: At your service!
I went to their website to get some more information, but it was down for re-design.  So, I then found their Facebook page and took this image from their postings.  It seems that they only sell to wholesalers, but that wasn't completely clear.  I'd love to have a tour someday and see the farm.

So, while Mr. Pressed Pants grilled the fish, I set a very quick ten minute table with these as the star, and I put them in this faux bois cement vase. 

Here's the table I came up with.  Simple, cheery, and easy.

I started with a cream linen tablecloth, a twig placemat, and a Zgallerie scalloped plate.  Then I added these Cynthia Crowley napkins and a striped mini-pumpkin.  These orange glasses and cream wooden handled flatware reinforced the narrow orange/cream palate .   

The center of the table held some antlers, a cement faux bois candle holder, and some faux bois salt and pepper shakers.  

Then I added a rattan wine holder and the table was set in less than ten minutes. 

Then the fish was done and we dined.  

We are lucky that the weather has been so beautiful this weekend.  These orange pillows made things oh, so comfy.  We sat and sat and sat so we could enjoy the weather and each other.

This is the other side of this round deck......

and this is what it overlooks.  Can you see the beginning of fall in the trees?  We're tiptoeing into my favorite season.  We're probably done kayaking, but we'll enjoy the lake all year around.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Too Soon

I HAVE TO VENT
I snapped this in the floral department at my local Publix yesterday.  Yes!  Poinsettias!  In the middle of October!  Say it isn't so!!!!  Noooooooo!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

James Farmer at ADAC


James T. Farmer III
CUTENESS ALERT:
I have seen James T. Farmer III several times and each time I am charmed and inspired.  And greatly awed by him.  James is the quintessential Southern gentleman with a smile that will melt you and a wit that will keep you laughing the next day.  He is an Auburn University grad, majoring in horticulture and art history.  He's also an interior decorator, landscape designer, writer, cook, and event planner.  And currently an editor at large for Southern Living.

Here's an image from his blog, "All Things Farmer".  This post gives us behind the scenes looks at his latest Southern Living article.  Isn't this beautiful?

All Things Farmer: What Does the Fox Say?
Here's another photo from his blog.  I love this tablescape featuring a stuffed fox on a Thanksgiving table.  I'm ok with taxidermy on a dining table, how about you?

James Farmer | Landscape Florals Interiors
This image of his landscaping ability makes my mouth water.  I just love this!!!!

Last week, he presented at Janus et Cie at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Company, and I took a dear friend who promptly fell under his spell, as well.  

He began with a quick demonstration of a wonderful fall floral arrangement. 

He started with sweet gum in a long, ceramic pot,

added Free Spirit roses and hydrangeas,

and highlighted  it all with some bright blue and purple. 

Beautiful!

The second part of his presentation was several recipes from his several cookbooks.

Dinner on the Grounds
His newest is this really great one, published by Smith, Gibbs.  The photography is lovely and you will be so taken with his stories describing the recipes and the events.  It is dedicated to his grandmother, whom he speaks about lovingly and often.  She was clearly a huge influence in his love of entertaining.

Here's the platter of autumn chicken salad he prepared for us.  Note how the addition of the apple and sweet gum leaf makes the platter look so appealing.  

And here's my favorite souvenir of the day!  A hug from the sweet guy himself! 



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Swan Party for a Rare Bird


My sweet friend, Anne, deserved an epic birthday party, but while I would have loved to have taken these six women to Bali for an extended vacation, I had to settle for a girly luncheon on a weekday in Georgia.  Never the less, it was a wonderful day and we all showered her with love and hugs.  My  partner in crime and co-hostess was our dear, mutual friend, Judy, who is an amazing hostess and cook.  

The Swan Coach House at the Atlanta History Center is an Atlanta tradition and many, many special times have been celebrated there.  We couldn't get everyone there for the afternoon, so we settled for our version of a Swan House luncheon.  Our menu was chicken salad in a pastry cup, frozen fruit salad,  and cheese straws, just like the iconic lunch at the Swan Coach House.

The table was refined and lovely, just like Anne.

 
I used a charger made of white feathers, and a Juliska-like white plate with heirloom silver.

These embroidered organdy napkins in a simple fold were topped with a simple feather, tied with a tag for a placecard.  

These fine, etched glasses were my choice to add more understated glamour.  (Someday I'm going to learn to photograph glassware.)

Chocolate swans in these paper swan boxes were the favors.

The powder room had a smaller swan with the same flowers.  These plastic swans came three to a set and I ordered them from Wayfair.  They are really planters. 

I used white hydrangeas for the body of the swan, and lisianthis  to represent the tail feathers.  

Then I stuck some real feathers in to re-enforce the idea.

For the pre-lunch drinks, I made these swan straws that I found on Pinterest.

I started with these styrofoam balls from Michael's,

and these cute paper straws from Target.

The straw easily goes through the ball, and then a pipe cleaner and feathers finish it off.

The feather chargers started out as a couple of cardboard circles,

and a bag of feathers.

I glued the feathers to the circle with tacky glue and then backed it with another circle, white sides out.

It took me a very short time to make eight of these.

Here's the way I wrapped her present.  I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut a swan and a crown out of cardstock and added tulle and feathers and some vintage tinsel wire.  

I would love to show you a  photo of these ladies at lunch, but I have a policy of protecting our guests' privacy.  Just imagine six beautiful women with even more beautiful hearts.  We couldn't possibly express to Anne how much we all love her, and how much she inspires us to be better women.  She's one of God's very best.

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