Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grocery Store Invite


Do you ever do this?  Run into a friend in the grocery store and share the fact that you're both stumped over choosing something for dinner?  Then invite them to your house?  In TWO hours?????  I settled on steak shiska bobs and a spinach salad.  She'd bring dessert.  Fine.  Then, as she went down the aisle to find a pie, she said over her shoulder, "Can't wait to see what pretty table you come up with."  Okaaaaaaaay.  Wouldn't be a problem, but I won't lie......the kitchen floor MUST be vacuumed and mopped before company comes. 

These flowers were already in this blue and white pot in the bar, so, even though they weren't the very freshest, they had opened a bit and seemed lush and pretty to me.  That meant I would be going with blue and white dishes and I knew just which ones I wanted.  Scalamandre's Toile Tale (!!!!!!). 

So many evenings in Georgia are too hot to enjoy outdoor dinner, but we have seen a bit of a break in the temps, and so I chose the table on the lower terrace for our table for four.  Doesn't it look cool and welcoming?

Here's the flowers.  They didn't leave much room for accessories, but I didn't have time for fussing with them anyway. 

I picked up the coral color from the roses in the geometric patterned napkins.  I thought they made this china pattern seem a little more contemporary.  The blue handled flatware reinforced the blue, and the wicker charger made it seem a bit more casual.

I love this pattern.  Here's the salad plate over the dinner plate.  Don't you love the way the bridge carries over from one plate to the other?   You can see another table I did this spring with a lot of these same items, here.

And here's the dinner plate alone.  It's like a fragment of a Blue Willow pattern.

These stems are huge, so I use them as water glasses. 

This white butter dish is so cute, and it lends itself to almost any style.  Fortunately, I had some really yummy bread from Theo's in Alpharetta in the freezer.

Salt and pepper sit in this little French dish.  I keep it beside the stove top and easily dip into it as I cook.

The wine was served off of this stone wall.

Isn't this wine label great?  The wine's good too!

It was a beautiful night, but I had misjudged the fact that the sun is going down a lot earlier these days. 

The evening started out like this....... 

and ended up like this.  Disclaimer:  Mr. Pressed Pants went into the house and brought these out.  Green candles and all!!!  Don't judge.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Once In A Blue Moon Dinner


Tonight, to celebrate the "Blue Moon", we ate a late dinner out in the cutting garden.  A blue moon is a rare phenomenon when there are two full moons in one calendar month.  Mr. Pressed Pants and I were married on a blue moon evening, so we always celebrate whenever this occurs.  After tonight, there won't be another blue moon until 2018!

 
Come on into the garden with me.

Of course, the table must be blue tonight!

This is pretty simple, but it is just the two of us and it's a very casual meal.

I put a white burlap tablecloth from Ballards over the collapsible table that I keep in the potting shed.  Then I layered this blue and white cloth from Crate and Barrel over that.  The rattan chargers are from World Market, and the blue handled flatware is too old to have a provenance.  These hand painted plates are made by Mesa in Porgugal and I love the way they echo the checks in the tablecloth.

These clear goblets came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond years ago, and I used these footed blue goblets as wine glasses.  They are not at all precious, and pretty sturdy, so I don't hesitate to take them to the garden.

These blue and white barley twist candlesticks are also from Portugal.

Here's what the white roses from Whole Foods looked like when I took them out to the potting shed.

I cut some hosta and some ferns and tucked them in and it made a world of difference.

Here's the arrangement on the table.

This French pot is the perfect size.  I use it a lot.

The "matching" bowl will hold salad tonight to go with pasta primavera.  The stripes are a counterpoint to the checks.

A simple white napkin from the Palm restaurant line of linens separates the charger from the plate.

Here's the tray that brought the dishes out from the house.  Isn't it pretty?  I gave it to my mom years ago, but when we sold her house and she went to an assisted living facility in June, I took it back.  I knew I would love using it.  

It was a beautiful evening.

The effort to get the stuff back and forth is worth it.  Every meal in the garden seems to make a memory.

The light wasn't the best to photograph, but you get the idea.

Here's a different angle, over the paddock area and down the driveway to the road.

I keep several sets of pillows in the potting shed and these blue and white ikat ones were perfect for this dinner.

The potting shed is one of the reasons I fell in love with this house.  You can take a tour of it here.

I can't pass up an opprtunity to style a surface!

The Limelight hydrangeas are white this year.  They have been more green in past years.

Can you see that we need to paint the board that was replaced early this spring?

The fence could use a date with a paint brush, too.

We're now awaiting the appearance of the moon tonight.  I naively thought that it would be blue, but our meteorologist says not necessarily.  We'll see!

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Blue Moon Thoughts


The Atlanta Gift Show is a sight to behold!  Located in the Americasmart buildings in downtown Atlanta, it is an unmatched array of top gift lines in many categories and many price points.  They offer over seven million square feet of vendor displays and exhibits.  I saw more incredible merchandise than I could believe, and as I reflect on the offerings, the color blue stood out over and over.  In a salute to the blue moon we will have tomorrow night, I'm going to show you some of the blue items that caught my eye as I traipsed through the show.  These incredible salad plates are part of the Flowering Quince porcelain collection from Artisanal Home.  This company offered several bold, graphically interesting designs that were not your gramma's dishes.

The Emdee International company has some of the most beautiful drapery panels I have ever seen.  This blue applique panel is just stunning.

Here's a close-up of the edge.  Oh, Mamma!  It's gorgeous.

Now, here's a brand new item from Mitchell Black.  It's a grass cloth with Chinoiserie AND stags AND toile!!! What's not to love?   This pattern is called Pagoda Forest Toile.  There's also an incredible wallpaper called Lodge that comes in a great blue and white. It has stag heads in mirrored stripes.  Really stunning. 
  
Another charming Chinese design shows up on this collection of glass ornaments made by Thomas Glenn Holiday. 

Here's another design from their Asian line of these handcrafted ornaments.  Could you stand an entire tree of these?

 
You might not know what you're looking at here, because it is so unusual.  It's a rack of hair-on-hide rugs!  I can't decide if I love the Greek key design or the chevron more. Madisons makes these sophisticated pieces and they are so fabulous.  I could just imagine  a room with one of these.  Focal point for sure!  I hope one of my clients can be talked into one of these.

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Callisto Home  offered these and many more wonderful pillows.  Man!  A simple linen chair is suddenly "done" with the addition of one of these pillows.

Blue Coral 11" Dinner

Blue Coral 9" Salad
If you're looking for a really nice quality melamine with a ceramic like appearance, this blue coral collection of Galleyware Company fits the bill.  It's from their yacht and home collecion.  I also loved pieces from their Lake and Lodge and their Reef and Sailin' collections.


Have you seen these wine glass lamp shades?  Made by diPotter, they are flat sheets of parchment like paper.  They come six ready-to-assemble pieces to a set and fit red wine glasses 20 oz and smaller.  Each set has three designs.  I was given a set of them as a hostess gift and I thought they were so clever.  Please use them with flameless tea lights dropped into a wine glass.  So cute!

I'm setting a Once In a Blue Moon Table for tomorrow night.  After all, we won't have that to celebrate again until 2018!



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