Sunday, November 22, 2015

Let The Holidays Begin!

We had a flurry of entertaining late summer and early fall, then a flurry of vacationing, so it seems like quite a while since we've had folks here to dine.  I feel like this meal will be Holiday '15 liftoff!  We are expecting some dear friends that we have not been with for a long time.  They will be on their way from their summer home to their winter home and they are putting Atlanta on the route so we can re-connect!  Oh, joy!!!!

This arrangement of real and faux gourds has been on our dining room table most of the fall.  While I am usually all about fresh, it is such a treat to take this bin out of storage and decorate the table..Slam bam, done!  I don't worry about rotting or drooping or fading. (I might have to re-think the fresh bias.)

This turned out to be an abundantly beautiful table.

Since I already had the centerpiece sitting on a green linen runner, I didn't want to take it all off and add a tablecloth, so I used cream colored straw placemats to make a contrast on the dark wood table.  Then a cream charger from Z Gallerie, and a dinner plate with the image of a cross cut of a log.

Then, (drum roll please), this salad plate that makes the whole darn table work!  I love it so much.  These were a gift from one of my bridge buddies and the are just about one of the most perfect gifts.

This light wood handled flatware is an old Martha Stewart pattern that, again, shows up well on the table.

I "auditioned" several different napkins before I decided on this dark brown one and then I tied it with a wood slice as a placecard.  I was wishing I had a woodburning tool to write the names, but settled for a brown magic marker.

The glasses are some I use often.  The green stem is from Swoosie's and the amber tumbler is from Bobby Flay's line at Kohl's.

These little plates from the floral wholesaler make a good bread and butter dish.

I regret not buying enough of these little salt and peppers to use them as individuals.  They were from the dollar bin at Michael's a few years ago.

Somehow, water served from this French bottle seems so much better than any of my many pitchers.

This rattan coaster is waiting the perfect bottle of wine.  Hmmm.  What should it be?  Something crisp and white.

Buried in the midst of the gourds, grapes, and nuts, are these wonderful old twisty candlesticks.

As you can see, one reason I like this table so much is that it suits the colors already in this room.

We can't wait to share a meal with these friends.  When you put your feet under the same table, magic often happens.

This year, may the abundance of the harvest season......

translate into an abundance of riches from the presence of your friends.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Two Fall Luncheons in the Garden


We were only home a couple of days between an incredibly lovely wedding in Napa and a week at the beach.  But during those few days, I squeezed in lunch in the garden two days in a row.  There is nothing left to look at in the garden, but it was special to have the opportunity to the enjoy the weather and friends.  The first day we were back, I had an absolute screaming fit at the way the deer had decimated the hosta in the driveway circle, so I featured these stag plates as an apology to our deer friends.

These colors were not the fall colors you might expect. 

Here's the placesetting!

I started with a cream burlap tablecloth over our unfinished table that we keep stored in the garden shed.  Then I added these chargers from Hobby Lobby.  I love the distressed look that they have.

Then scalloped cream plates from Z Gallerie and these salad plates from The Victorian English Pottery.  You KNOW I had to have them with the acorns AND stags!  Two of my very favorite subjects. 

This dark wooden handled flatware is such a workhorse.  I use it so much and it is so versatile.

These turquoise glasses came from Target this spring, and they complemented the wicker covered ones that make good wine glasses, although we both decided to forgo the alcohol in order to have a little more productive afternoon.

These Pottery Barn plaid napkins tied everything together and gave the table a bit of pizzazz.

And look who joined the table.....more stags!

As you can tell by the background of these photos, I had NO fresh flowers, but a Limelight Hydrangea bush did have some dried blossoms.  I plopped them into a faux wood vase and added some bleached wheat. A few little white pumpkins later, and I was done!

It was fun and gave us one more afternoon in the fall fresh air.   

This little vignette was the only thing I left for the following day.    

Target's gold decorated pumpkins with some real tiny ghost ones inspired this next table.

Over the burlap tablecloth, I added these gold printed placemats.  I've had them for ages.  I feel that they are sort of retro, as I bought them when Martha Stewart first made gold accents "the" entertaining detail. 

This is what greeted my college friend.  

I used my Silhouette to cut gold glitter details for the bottom of the glass salad plate. 

They sat on the cream scalloped plates that I used the day before, and a gold charger.  The cream  flatware is a French reproduction.  

Gold glassware worked for this table.  I was a little nervous that I should have chosen something a  bit more heavy duty, but it all came back into the house with no breakage. The alcohol was NOT passed up this day!

The napkin was a cotton shot with gold and I used a simple gold matte ring.

This is definitely the last meal in the garden for this year.  That always makes me a little sad, but when the garden rests, I have a few more hours to myself each week until spring, and then I start again.  I'm not too sure that the rewards are as great as the work, but I'll probably never give it up!

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