Friday, December 26, 2014

As Traditional As You Get


I think Lenox's Holiday pattern is just about as pretty as you can get and as traditional.  I have used these dishes with plaid, with stripes and with vibrant colors, but tonight, for our Christmas dinner, I decided to go with the most formal use of them, and here's why:

I was gifted this gorgeous tulle Christmas topper, handmade by my grandmother many, many years ago.  She made it for my mom, who never used it!!!!  Can you imagine?  It was a pretty good fit over my standard white Williams Sonoma linen cloth, too.

Look at this detail!  All of the applique and beading!  That line you see is sequins, and the edges are scalloped felt.  Over time, the felt and the tulle have yellowed a bit, but that is fine, as these dishes are a cream, and I have never liked the way they look on a stark white cloth.

See the edging?

The designs are fabulous.

Look at this handwork!  No Stitch-Witchery!  No hot glue!  These are all hand sewn with a million TINY stitches.  Thank you, Grandma!

Early this fall, I found these napkins at Homegoods.  They go perfectly with this china pattern.  I only found seven at the first store I saw them, none at the next one, none at the next next one, and then.....Eureka!.....one more in Cleveland when I visited our girls.  The flatware is mis-matched silverplate that I find much more interesting than my sterling.  That stays in the safety deposit box and I use this all the time.

I loved the color this glassware gave the table.

My daughter gave me these incredible French knives with china handles and brass blades.  I think they are really fruit knives, but I use them as bread and butter knives here.

I already had these place cards.

Since I REALLY didn't want any spills or messes on this precious cloth, I pulled out these crystal knife rests.  No....that is not tarnish on the blade.....it is the reflection of a red goblet. 

Every once in a while, I clip these little candle holders onto the chargers and it makes the meal really special.

I totally overbought these red carnations.  It always takes so many more to pave the flowers, so I didn't want to run short.  But I chose a smaller cachepot than I planned on, so I have a ton left.  Fortunately, carnations last so long that I'll find a use for them. 

Since I had so much gold going on, I substituted these gold angel candlesticks for the crystal ones I started with.  I always use them for Valentine's Day, but I never before thought to use them for Christmas.  Duh! 

I think the table looked pretty in the afternoon as I photographed it.

But it looked truly beautiful with this precious lady sitting there by candlelight. 


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Joyeux Noel

This is my wish for you ALL!!!!!

My 90 year old mother came for her winter visit last week and this is the table I set to welcome her to Atlanta.  I haven't posted until today, because she has kept me BUSY!  She had shopping to do and that took days.  Nothing like pushing a wheelchair through every Atlanta mall the week before Christmas. I say that with a wink, because the truth is, I am very honored to have her here and we both adore her.

This greeted her.  

You might guess from the name of my blog that I love toile and this plate made me think of a simple red toile.  It is even called Holiday Toile.  I used this with a red charger over a red and white stripped ticking runner.

And between the two, I used these simple French dinner plates made by Circa.

Red handled flatware, a red napkin, and a white wicker napkin ring are no-brainers to go with this table.

Simple white salt and peppers, and a white French butter dish let the plates remain the star.  These red glass bread and butter plates are from Walmart, I think.

Vintage red stems and a Reidel stemless wineglass finish off the placesetting.

This faux bois chachepot filled with greens and red poinsettias do the trick for a centerpiece.  I had just used this for a luncheon for my bridge buddies.  You can see this luncheon here.  

Welcome, Mom!!!  We are so blessed to have you here.


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Burlap and Gold Christmas Dinner

When I was asked to do the center of a buffet table for an event, I knew just what I would do.  I had found this tablecloth at Homegoods.  It was 124" long, and I cut it into a runner for the buffet.  It's a Ralph Lauren cloth and you can't tell by this photo, but it is touched by a bit of gold paint.  It's  a high/low look, right off the bat.

Then I used this wonderful old wooden sled as a base for the flower arrangement.  It's a little large for just this dinner table, but was a great scale for the four banquet tables we used for the buffet.

This is what I used.  The gold on the Santa's coat picked up the gold in the cloth.

I used a piece of styrofoam as a base for the greenery and the Santa.

This sled top was made from one piece of wood.  I think it's a special piece.

He could be used in a very fancy, elegant display, but I wanted to bring him down to a more rustic look.

Strangely, the poinsettias in water tubes still look great, but the white roses have already faded and been removed.  The kryptomeria was cut fresh from our yard. 

I love the height this faux birch tree gives the arrangement.

If I were doing a dinner with this centerpiece, I would have chosen this table setting.  

You can barely tell here, but the napkin is a burlap-like material with gold threads woven in.  The napkin ring is one my mom gave me years ago.

The gold charger and gold rimmed china was an easy choice, and then I used this cream handled flatware.

The Waterford stem looks good, but I'm afraid that this stemless gold wine glass might look a bit strong for the table.  I guess it looked better in person than in this photo.

Mr. Pressed Pants thought that this Santa looked a little hung over.  What do you think?






Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bar Area for the Plaid Luncheon

Yesterday, I posted about a luncheon I had for my bridge group.  You can see that post here.  Those ladies are a delight to entertain, and I always try to give them something a little different.  Since that post became a little long, I thought I'd save the bar/cabana area that held our drinks and appetizers.  This is the "behind the bar" area.  I repeated the themes of Christmas plaid and stags.

These wonderful napkins were a gift from my daughter's mother-in-law and my dear friend.  Not only are they beautiful and sophisticated, but they are a wonderful quality. I think she brought them to me from England.  Thanks, Ann!

I rimmed these high-ball glasses with green sugar.  Love this etching!  They held our Christmas Kiss cocktail.

The ice maker is always busy and this stag handled scoop is another gift from a friend who knows me well.  You can see the ultrasuede and velvet runner that matches the bridge tablecloth in the breakfast room.

This room never photographs very well, due to the black granite backsplash and the reflection from the undercounter lights.  

I bought a pair of Santa-themed watercolors many years ago.  I just googled the artist, Harriet Elson, and found that she is now deceased.  I know that when we lived in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, that she was a local artist who showed in many of the top juried art shows.

Here's the other one of the pair.  

Another gift to us is this book on mixology.  Since our last name is Peterson, it always has a place of honor this time of year.

Bar towels are always a fun way to add interest to the area.  We use these all year around.

Old canvas Santas and Nikko Christmas tree plates fill the antique wood shelves in this room. 

You'll often find this resin pheasant as part of our decor and this is the season when he especially shines.  

Don't know why this looks like the floor is tilting, but you'll see one of the most precious parts of our Christmas decor.  They are painted Santas that my  Daddy cut out and my Mom painted. This room has doors to the pool, so those are rolled up beach towels and chair cushions in this cabinet.    

A  few deer join the tableau.

And this cloche full of real and glass pine cones also joins the party.  I used it for the centerpiece of a lovely luncheon for this same group.  You can see it here, and there is a tutorial I did on how to make it here. 

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