Saturday, November 22, 2014

Alabaster and Acorns


We have some friends who are undergoing a massive remodel of their home, and they are in need of a homecooked meal.  We'll have them over tomorrow for a casual dinner.  I haven't decided on the menu yet, but I did decide on the important part....the table setting!

There will be just four of us, but I did decide to eat in the dining room, rather than the breakfast room.  I don't know if it's because all of my mums have frozen by now, and they are all sort of beige, but I seem to be turning to light neutrals for the last few tables.  Just this week, I set a similar toned table for some other friends.  See it here.

I really wanted to use these new oval alabaster plates.  Aren't they sweet?

I haven't used this fall cotton damask tablecloth yet this year, and it was a good complement to the plates.

And these napkins were a good match for the cloth.  I bought a tablecloth and 12 napkins at a resale shop last spring, and none of them had ever been used.  I love old linens, so they were in my hands the moment I saw them.

And, oh baby!!!!!  Look at these napkin rings. I know you want to swoon.  My very dear friend, Barb, gave me eight of these.  Barb is the person who, years ago, talked me into starting a blog.  She knows me so well, and I know any gift from her is  the perfect choice, and these gorgeous rings are maybe the best ever!!!

This white French flatware looks good on these twig place mats, and I like to use these wooden bowls in place of bread and butter plates.

I use this combination of glassware often.

This picture is a little fuzzy, but I wanted you to see this sweet squirrel placecard holder.

You've probably seen this brown water bottle that we brought home from France before.  I haven't decided on the wine yet, but there will be a wicker wine coaster, too.

Here's another accessory I use a lot. 

Since the place mats are twig, I added a couple of small twig votives.

Sugar anyone?

Butter?

These old wooden candlesticks sport twig candles.  I wish the candles were beefier, though.

I thought this faux bois candle holder would be a good choice for the centerpiece. 

I used a piece of oasis on the top and added these brown and cream flowers.  Do you see the little white pumpkin and white wheat?  Then I scattered a few acorns around.

Bird's eye view.

Man, those napkin rings sure are the star of the show, aren't they?  Those alabaster plates were fun to work with, too.  I only found four of them, so this was the perfect chance to use them.

No matter what menu I decide on, I know our guests will appreciate putting their feet under a table tomorrow night.  I've remodeled kitchens several times, so I can commiserate with them.  Any suggestions as to what to fix? 



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stripes and Plaids for Fall



My last little dinner party was sooooo bright that I thought I'd switch it up to this more subdued palate.  Sorta looks like "fall-light".  

I bought this stripped tablecloth at Homegoods a couple of months ago, but I forgot about it.

When these plaid napkins appeared at Pottery Barn, I held my breath that they would work with this cloth, and I loved the combination.  Then, I remembered these twig, corn husk and raffia turkey napkin rings, and voila!  I had a plan for this casual dinner party.

I chose these tan opalescent  chargers, pumpkin colored plates from Portugal, a chocolate brown salad plate, and then these leaf-shaped plates for bread and butter.  Then the big decision was whether to use this light colored wooden handled flatware or dark wooden ones.  The light ones won out.

Glassware was easy.....a gold, grape etched stem for water and these short wicker-covered glasses for wine.

The centerpiece was an unfussy wicker-covered bowl of gourds, and astromeria.

This color of astromeria is called "pumpkin" and they look so good in these birch covered vases.

Here's a close-up.

I love these colors with the tablecloth.

This also seemed a good place to use these cement faux bois candleholders.

Simple.  No extra details.  

Just the basics, ma'am.

I've always loved stripes and plaids together.

I wanted to show you how it complemented the Soumak rug in the dining room.

This made a pleasant weeknight table.

We are enjoying picking up the entertaining pace toward the holidays.

In order to set this table, I moved the paper mache vegetables over to the sideboard.

And this arrangement was from my table I set in the woods that you can see in this post.

From the other angle, you can see the entryway.  I wish you could all walk through it and join us.


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Seven Barks Thanksgiving Crackers

 
Check this out!  If you follow this blog, you know that I'm crazy about the paper products from Seven Barks.  They usually create items that reflect the sporting life....dogs, horses, boating, fishing, etc.  They add a few table top items each year, and their new offerings this year include these awesome party crackers.  They have a gun powder strip (for the pop!) and small toys inside, just as the traditional English crackers do.  You can see their entire line here.

The poppers and these mums inspired this table.  These are about the only mums left in the stores or nurseries around here.  That's ok because I love them.  I've got them in the living room, the dining room, and some are still flourishing outdoors, but I think their days are surely numbered. 

Here's the way I worked things together in the breakfast room.

I set this outdoor table using a lot of these same items early last fall. 
You can see the rest of it here. 

Doesn't this look like it will be a fun, casual get together? Our bachelor neighbor will be joining us tonight, and he's about the most casual guy you ever met, so I never let things get too over the top for him.

I pulled two pumpkins in from outdoors around the pool.  I think they were glad to come inside.  Then I stuck some of those mums into a brown crockery mug.  I think it is old, but I'm not totally sure.

I added some yellow ornamental peppers.

Then I stuck one bloom into the napkin ring.  They are from World Market, and the orange napkins are from the Palm line of linens.  I love the quality of them.

This rattan charger is from World Market, too, and the white plates are our everyday, no-name dishes.  The orange/white plate is from a bridal shower I did  several years ago.  I think I went to every Homegoods store in the Atlanta area getting enough of them!

Because I wanted this to be very informal, I used this yellow polka dotted flatware.  I think it came from Homegoods, as well.

Don't you love this guy?  

I just had to buy a box of their Christmas crackers, too.  I love this Victorian goose badge on them. 

We'll have dessert and coffee tonight, so we'll use these.



This is a bit of a departure from most fall tables, in that it is so screamingly bright, instead of fall's usual earthier tones.  I'll save those colors for another table.

After all, it's a bright and beautiful day outside.  It will be dark by the time we eat, but for now, I'm sure enjoying the sunshine.  I know so many of you are experiencing unusually early, cold weather, and I know the feeling of dread that I always had with the first snow.  Delightful and beautiful, but the winter can be so loooooooong. 

Cheerful and bright as this is, tonight might be our first fire of the season.

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