Monday, December 30, 2013

Retrospective of the Tables of 2013


This hasn't been my most prolific or creative year for tablescapes, but I've put together a trip down memory lane for us to review the posts I've done this year.

In January, when I spotted small pots of daffodils at the market, I wanted to set this cheerful blue, yellow and white table.  My mom was visiting, and she loves blue more than anything, so it was a beautiful breakfast table for us all.  See this post here.

Valentine's Day called for a pastel table this year.  You can see this table here.

On a gray day in March, I set a table for friends all in gray and white with just a shot of hot pink.  This table can be seen here.

I used this egg topiary as a centerpiece for our Easter meal and used green dupioni silk and burlap with it.  It was not my normal Easter colors and while it was a nice change, it was too neutral for me and I missed pink!  See it here.

In May, Robin from the blog "All Things Heart and Home" joined me for a delightful lunch.  We talked and talked and I have the most fond memories of that afternoon.  To see more, click here.

Our azaleas were the star of the show when my bridge buddies came for lunch.  They are always so appreciative of any small effort, so it is so much fun for me to have them here.  See the azaleas and more here.

After a trip to the North Georgia Mountains, I brought back this bouquet of dahlias in this tomato sauce can.  It it inspired me to do a tomato themed table using red and yellow.  It might be my favorite table of the year.  The rest of the post is here.

Our Labor Day was cold and rainy, so our "picnic" was in the breakfast room.  There's nothing like a classic red/white/blue table.  See it here.

Then I took the summer off to re-evaluate whether or not I wanted to continue blogging.  I was feeling a little tapped out and we had so much going on here.  I re-entered the blogging world with this post of an absolutely precious wedding:

I was honored to help this beautiful couple put together the day of their dreams.  It was the most delightful experience I could imagine.  I posted three blogs on this wedding that you can see here and here and here.

As fall came, I found these darling stag transferware plates and they worked perfectly with this Ralph Lauren wool plaid.  The flowers were a bit brighter, but the copper pot made it all work.  Here's the rest.

I always wanted to have a luncheon in the paddock area in front of our house.  Well, I got that out of my system with this post.  It was a lovely day, but I'll probably never drag all of this stuff out there again.  See it here.

We usually have a dinner party for Halloween, but this year, it was just Mr. Pressed Pants and me.  I set an unusual table with this stark black and white plate.  We never get any Trick or Treaters, so we lingered and lingered, but we never saw the Great Pumpkin.  Check it out here.

This guy hosted everyone at our Thanksgiving table.  I kept the rest of the table neutral and autumnal accordingly.  Isn't he great?  See more of him here.

Just after Thanksgiving, our Wine Club came to our house.  It's an easy night, as everyone brings an appetizer and the host provides the wine, dessert, and maybe a few extra appetizers.  Maybe it was the holiday season, but everyone seemed to step up their game that night.  See it here.

When Mom arrived the week before Christmas, the season was truly upon us and we greeted her with this easy, casual table.  I love these little salad plates from Walmart that inspired this.  More here.

The little elves were a cute addition to a very simple red and white table a few days later.  More here.

And, finally, our Christmas Day table was about as traditional as you can get.  I treasure these dishes and, of course, they are used so infrequently.  That's ok with me.  It makes me appreciate them even more.  See this post here.

Of course, the real stars of each one of these tables were the people who sat around them.  There is just something so special about putting your feet under someone's table, and we welcomed many many wonderful friends this year.  I can't capture that in a blog, but anyone who cares about setting the "perfect" table is really caring about presenting a gift to those who join them.

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Christmas Dinner '13


It's been a few days since Christmas, but here's our Christmas Day table setting.  It's about as traditional as you can get.  

With the sun shining in, you see the gold charger, and Lenox "Holiday" dishes on my favorite Campbell plaid tablecloth.  The white damask napkins have a simple gold napkin ring, and I've chosen my favorite mismatched antique silverplate flatware.

These Waterford crystal water stems are paired with red crystal stems from Homegoods that I found  this year.

My sweet daughter, Susie, gave me these beautiful old knives last year for Christmas and they look perfect with the off white of the dishes.  I love, love, love these. My girl knows me well!

The white poinsettia in a rustic faux bois pot and several old wooden candlesticks complete the table, but keep it from being too formal.  

This is not very creative, or inventive, but it suited us just right for Christmas day.  I felt like Bob Cratchett could have joined us.

On the sideboard in the dining room, Father Christmas reigned supreme.

I keep this large green platter here most of the year, and he cozys up to it nicely.

I love all of my santas and snowman, but this woodland santa is my favorite.

These lamps sport a bit of greenery along with the ivory tassels that they have every day.

This chest has another woodland scene.

These paper mache deer are the star of this chest.  I think they like this little bit of glittery "snow".

Another corner has a small vignette with one more white poinsettia.  My many poinsettias are still in very good shape and are hardly even loosing leaves, so they could still be around a while.  I find it so hard to throw these out, but by the time I get all of my decorations put away, I'm over the plants, too.  Years ago, I tried my hand in trying to keep them and have them rebloom the next year, but after many months of watering and babying and fussing about their temperature, I ended up throwing them out anyhow.  Lesson learned!

This guy is not exactly the Elf on the Shelf, or the Mensch on the Bench, but more like the Elf on the Bench.  Doesn't have the same panache, does it?

As you can see, we had a beautiful, sunny day, and the atmosphere inside was sunny as well.  We're so grateful for all of our blessings, and the best blessing of all is our wonderful, wonderful family.  I hope each and every one of you had a great Christmas and made precious memories.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Wishes

one horse open sleigh
My warmest thoughts and best wishes to everyone who has ever taken the time to kindly read this blog.  My you feel the warmth and love that only Christmas can bring.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Elves Come To Dinner



I picked up these two silly little Christmas snowmen/elves at the floral wholesaler last winter.  I just loved them but I never used them last year.  Today I decided that Mom, Mr. Pressed Pants, and I would enjoy a very simple table with these guys as guests.


               
One is skinny and tall and one is short and wide.  (Sort of like Mr. Pressed Pants and me!)  And both of them are trimmed with tiny pinecones.

I decided to use this old wooden treen bowl filled with pinecones, excelsior, and a bit of Leland cypress as a centerpiece.

This made for a simple but cheerful table.

I picked up the stripes in the elves' hats with these napkins.  These are really tea towels that I bought for $.50 each at Ikea.  I used this cream handled flatware to keep it pale and serene.  The tablecloth is a cream burlap one from Ballards.

The stack looked like this:  World Market chargers, Kroger dinner plate and salad plate, and Ballard's bowl for salad.  You can see the post I did about these Kroger dishes here.  Don't they look like the much, much more expensive Juliska?

The water glass is a very simple red goblet that I've had so long that I don't even remember where I got it.   


Here's the place setting. 

The salt and pepper shakers also came  from Kroger.

And this wonderful black forest bear served the sugar for Mom's tea. 

We're back down to three after an early Christmas celebration with our younger daughter and her wonderful family.  Boy, they weren't here long, but it is waaaaaay too quiet since they've gone.  Maybe that's why this table is reflective of quiet and restraint.  

I'm not complaining that there's just the three of us left, because I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and to have my mom able to be here with us.  We are all safe and healthy and prosperous and there's no better feeling as we go into the most holy days of the year.  But, boy!  Was it ever fun with two sweet, Santa believing little guys splashing in our pool and hugging our necks!

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mom Has Arrived for Christmas!

My Mom arrived today for her annual two month visit.  It's lots easier for her to tolerate the winter weather in Georgia than in Pennsylvania.  Since airport travel is such a crap-shoot these days, I set the table before I left in the to go pick her up, and fixed a casserole that could be thrown in the oven whenever we got home.  Here's the table.  I had all of these dishes already out, waiting to be put away from some weekend entertaining.

I really wanted to use this sweet little salad plate that I found at Walmart, of all places.  (Sorry for the glare, it was morning and the overhead lights had to be on to get any shots at all.)

Here's the place setting.  I thought the salads mixed nicely with the plaid dinner plates from Target and the rattan chargers from World Market.

I used these unremarkable red napkins with these great rings from Boxwoods.  They continued the deer theme.  The tablecloth is just a square that is often on our breakfast table and it's from Crate and Barrel.


More deer on the glassware.  The tumblers were from World Market and the wine glasses were from a darling little shop in Cashiers, N. C.  You can get a peek of the old barley twist candlesticks, too.

This flatware is a hard worker around here.  I probably use it more than any other flatware except our every day stuff.  It just always looks good with a casual table.

I could say the same about these faux bois salt and pepper shakers.  They ARE on the table everyday.

I already had this cachepot of poinsettias and ferns on the table and they worked fine for this dinner.

Another piece of faux bois that I love.

It was a fast, simple table, but it helped us make the arrival of our honored guest just a little more special.  My Mom, after all, was the one who passed on this "dish sickness" to me.  Her weakness is flow blue and Fiesta and you should see her collections!

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