Sunday, February 28, 2016

BFF and Berries

My BFF was in town from Charleston, and I knew we'd be shopping all day and trying new restaurants all evening, so that left only breakfast to eat at home.  I kept things simple but cheerful with a few items quickly pulled out of the cupboards.

Whole Foods had these lovely red and white tulips and I grabbed a few packages.  This made me begin the search for red and white.  Since I (and the whole world) had just done red and white for Valentine's Day, I looked in my vault (dish closet) for something else.

Aha!  Strawberry salad plates!  They would allow me to use the red and white flowers and bring in several shades of green, as well.  I used them over these white textured dinner plates from Kroger.  Yes, folks, Kroger.  Don't they look like Juliska??????

Starting with a white linen caterer's cloth.......

I added these strawberry embroidered napkins that a lovely guest gave me.  Then, this grass green placemat and red handled flatware brought the colors further together.

Our cereal bowls held Rice Chex with fresh strawberries.  These bowls are from Ballard.

The red coffee cups are also from Ballard, and these green glass juice glasses are from Ikea.

I thought the strawberry plates could go with these faux bois sugar and creamer.  

Mr. Pressed Pants was out of town, so it was breakfast for two, then lots and lots of shopping.  I hope you all have a best friend as awesome as mine!  I heart her.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentine's a Deux

After a small dinner party for friends on Saturday, we had just the two of us for dinner on Valentine's Day itself.  

It's been unusually cold here, so I set the table in the living room in front of the fire place.  I've thought of doing this many times, but the reality is that it is just too hot most evenings.

These dishes by Cynthia Rowley were an easy choice.  I bought them before Christmas, thinking they would be a great Christmas selection, but never used them.  I love that they are gold rimmed and  sort of formal, but I find them fresh and a bit whimsical as well.

Especially when you add the salad plate.

You can just see the small appetizer plate that I added and used for our shrimp cocktail.  Here's the napkins that a guest sent us after a dinner party several years ago.  I thought they were perfect for this table.

The glasses were a red vintage stem for wine......

and these white speckled water glasses.  

This mis-matched silverplate flatware showed up again.  Here's a disclosure:  I substituted a steak knife for these beautiful knives before we sat down to eat.  Mr. Pressed Pants cooked fillets on the grill and that would have been too much for these fragile old knives. 

A red bread and butter plate and some glass confetti hearts added some spunk to the table.

These flowers made another appearance from the night before.  Actually, many of these items were "re-runs".  The dishes and linens were about the only things different, but they change the look of the table greatly.

A simple Waterford crystal wine coaster was used the night before, too.

This touch of silver was lovely in the firelight.   

I used a plain white linen caterer's cloth with this special cloth over it.  My mother made it for me years ago, and I've used it for many special events through the years, even engagement parties and bridesmaids luncheons for our daughters.  

Here's a  picture of the table in front of our fireplace.  It's only a card table, but I brought in chairs from the dining room.

This one is taken from the upstairs hallway through the gate in the wall.

See it here?

This is taken from the same place, but a bit closer.  Doesn't it look inviting?

We might do this more often.

Dinner with friends last night was great, but you can't beat an evening with just the one you love. 

I meant to put this on the last post.  It's our front door. 

And this is the fountain in the front driveway circle.

There's something very romantic about this, and, of course, it gets even sweeter with a bit of tulle and a peony, right? 


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine's Dinner with Friends

 
Mr. Pressed Pants took to me to dinner and the ballet last weekend in order to avoid the Valentine crowds (and sub-par service).  That left us with a Valentine weekend with no plans, so we invited some friends for a casual Saturday night dinner. I've set the table early, in order to keep Friday open for a couple of design projects I've committed to.

This color combo is quite a departure for Valentine's Day.

It was inspired by these chargers I found at Michael's about a month ago.

Then I added these dinner plates from a set I bought at Target years ago.

I took this close-up of the salad plate so you could see the texture of the glass.  The texture is on the back, but the face of the plate is smooth.

I chose this mis-matched silverplate that I use often.

The black napkin is just tied with a length of ribbon that also came from Michael's. 

The glasses are some cut and etched stems with black diamonds that I used for water.  The red wine glasses are vintage.

Since I only had four of the black rimmed plates, I added these damask plates at either end.
And in place of the red vintage glasses, I used these at the ends, too.  But, it turns out that I won't need them, as we've had a cancelation.  Our dinner party of eight is now four.  No worries.  I totally understand and we'll see these folks soon.

Another shade of red glass is the bread and butter plate.

A couple of Waterford wine coasters will give everyone a choice of red or white.

I rarely use these silver candlesticks, but the glass ones I started out with didn't do it for me.  Neither do these puny little red candles.  I hope to have time to grab some taller candles before Saturday.

These cheery plates will hold dessert of raspberry pavlova.  Is your mouth watering?

Oh yes.....the flowers.  Red roses would have been a predictable choice, but I just love red carnations en masse for the color this table needs.  The choice of carnations also allows me to arrange the flowers days in advance, where roses do not have that kind of staying power.

Forgive the shadows on this picture, but I wanted to show you this beautiful vase that
 we brought back from France.  It has these 3-D porcelain flowers that are just fabulous.

On the sideboard, I put together this little vignette.  Later, I added a red runner. 

I love this old "Book of Sweethearts" that belonged to my mother.

A Teddy and a small vase of flowers and it's done.


 I hope that your Valentine's Day plans are exactly what you wish for, with exactly whom you wish to spend it with. 

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