Sunday, June 12, 2016

Heavenly Hydrangeas!


It certainly is time to break out these dishes!  Why???

Because this is what my hydrangea bushes look like.  This one is on the lower terrace, but the ones in the cutting garden look just this glorious.  

So I set a table just in front of this beauty for dinner with Mr. Pressed Pants.

It was a lovely evening and I kept the dinner and the table very simple.

Even with that beautiful hydrangea bush I still wanted to add some of these incredible blooms to the table.

The dinner plates are by Nature's Home and the pattern is Hailey Sky.

This blue handled flatware is so old, I can't remember where it came from.  The woven chargers and napkin rings are from World Market, but you can find them many places.  

These large blue stems are also old. 

I used these Emile Henry butter dishes from William-Sonoma as salt and pepper dishes.  These are the only serving pieces I added.

As the night deepened, we saw the season's first fire flies. 

Here's the view from the upper terrace.  The deer have had a buffet in that flower bed, but thankfully, they have left the hydrangeas alone! 

Here's the secret to droop-proof blooms:  Alum.  Yep, the stuff you use for canning and can find in the spice aisle of almost every grocery store.  Go to the garden in the morning, and take a bucket of water.  Then just as you cut the stem, dunk it about an inch in water and then into the jar of alum.  The alum will clump around the stem.  Wait just a couple of seconds and then put it into the water bucket.  If you re-cut to arrange the stems, do this again. 

Here's what to look for.

You'll have firm, beautiful blooms that will last and last and last.  I hope your hydrangea bushes are as prolific as mine are this year.  The last two years were very disappointing.  Now, I hope that they keep on blooming all summer.  I just can't get enough of them.


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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Coral and Grey Luncheon

It seems that our "spring clean-up" stretched from March all the way to June this year, so our most of our entertaining had been postponed.  But today, we welcomed some friends for lunch on the deck.  The chores around the house are not finished, but we are closing in on the end of the list.  This coral and grey combination seemed like a fresh, interesting choice for the afternoon table.  

Check out the newly painted deck  railing and freshly stained decking!

This fun, graphic cotton tablecloth is a new purchase from Boxwoods in Atlanta.  I really was there to buy a gift, I promise!  But since when have I EVER left there empty-handed?  I actually did leave empty-handed, walked to my car and directly came back for it!

Last night, I took these roses for the centerpiece at a table at an outdoor concert.  For that, they were packed into a white cache-pot with the stems cut short.  Aren't they great?

This morning, I put them into these old French seed pots, since they were already cut short.  They are more vibrant than the tablecloth, but I do like the blend.

This resin urn served as the centerpiece.  It was a gift from a lovely houseguest, and I just love it. It came from a showroom called Antiques as Art, at the Atlanta gift mart at Americasmart.

It totally looks like carved granite.  This detail is amazing.

Since we were outdoors, and the meal was very simple, I used this smoke-colored plastic twig flatware.  Trust me.....it is a big step-up from the generic plastic utensils.

I love the way it picked up the color of the tablecloth.  I used these faux-zinc chargers that I posted about here with our everyday white dinner plates.   

Here's the box from the flatware.  It is made by Michael Aram, who usually designs very sophisticated silver, gold, and pewter accessories.  This is from Boxwoods, as well.

The cream linen napkin is held by a chicken wire napkin ring, which I chose mainly for the color.

The glassware is sleek, but interesting.  The stem is from Tiffany's and the grey and white marbled goblet is from Boxwoods.  I bought four of them, but I'm headed back to see if they have more.  I just love them.  I don't know who makes them, there is just a "B" on the bottom and "made in Indonesia".  Believe it our not, I didn't plan on these working with this tablecloth, even though I bought them only a few days apart.  When I was finally unloading my car, I had the bright idea to look at them together.  Perfect! 

These individual salt and pepper shakers seemed to suit the table in color and size.  I've had them forever.

I used these orange salad plates for dessert. When I bought them for a wedding shower, I never guessed how often I would use them.

There was not a lot of room, but I plated in the kitchen.

It was so good to welcome friends to our home.  They loved the table.

It was a lovely day and pretty warm, but not too, too hot yet. 

And we appreciated taking the time out to enjoy this view and tell tales.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering our Heroes


This nation pauses today to honor our fallen heroes in the military.  Please join me as I thank the entire armed forces for their service and their sacrifice.  I must also express my thanks to the families of these brave men and women, as theY await the return of their loved ones.  And sometimes they do not return, or they return seemingly different than the person who left.  This is also a sacrifice, and I appreciate it greatly.  How fortunate we all are that we are protected by such selfless people.  

My grandsons make me so proud when they see a serviceman or woman.  They march right up to them and say thank you.  Be like them.......THANK EVERY SERVICEMAN YOU SEE!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Flowers From My Girl

When our older daughter, Amy, sent me these beautiful flowers for my birthday, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

I pulled the salmon color out of the arrangement with this tablecloth, and then featured the red and yellow with the rest of the table.  

There were beautiful fuchia flowers, too, but one more color on the table would have made it look like fruit salad.

Here's what our quick lunch table looked like. It was a simple lunch of salad, since a wonderful dinner out was planned. 

I'd been wanting to use these rooster salad plates from World Market for a while, so they were the perfect choice.  I layered them with a red dinner plate from Ballard's and a woven charger.

This vintage red stem was the only glassware, because it was lunch, ya know?  We had to DO things later. 

These French napkins are some of my favorites, and they are held in this orange knotted ring from Old Time Pottery.  I see one of my favorite high-end stores carry these as well.  I bought them for $1.69 vs. $8.00.  Score!   I might have bought them in several other colors as well.

This multi-colored flatware was already out because I was going to use it for Cinco de Mayo.

It was a gloomy, gloomy day, but man, those flowers sure did make me happy!

And look who came to celebrate my birthday with us.  Frenchie!  You can see my first post of Frenchie here. 

You can't tell by looking at him, but he's really excited about my birthday lunch.


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!

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