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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Decor

Yesterday, I posted about our annual Halloween dinner party here.

The post got rather long, so I'm posting today about the Halloween decor for the party.

The front door welcomes our guests.  We set up a fog machine and when someone rings the gate, we crank up the fog, so that they approach the house in a spooky haze.  See this little grill in the door?

See this mechanical hand?  We open the little door and stick this hand out into the fog.  It always sets the tone for the giggles of the night.

The living room has a spooky, bat covered candelabra and a bright pot of mums.

And there's a glittery pile of bones.

The end table holds a pottery bowl filled with acorns and sparkly fall fruit.

In the powder room, there's a pile of Halloween hand towels.

And in the corner, there's another pot of mums.

This feathered vulture ponders the future of this little pumpkin.

The black cat checks out another one.

One more Halloween detail is new this year.

This vignette sits on the kitchen counter beside the sink.

This end table in the keeping room holds a sweet little bouquet from the cutting garden.

I put together this arrangement in the dining room with flowers from Whole Foods.  The flowers turned out so vibrant that they actually look fake.

They sit on three different sizes of faux bois pottery logs that I found at Homegoods.

The bar holds this arrangement on a bird topped metal tier.

And I used a small pumpkin on the console on the bar.

This little French peasant girl is a new piece.  I found these teeny little fall vegetables and filled her brass baskets with hay and vegetables.  It's her first Halloween with us and I think she's a bit nervous about all the scary stuff.  She shouldn't worry.  Our guests are harmless!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our favorite dinner party that we give each year is the one we do for Halloween.  It's always no more than 6-8 people and we never have repeats guests.

I start with this black linen tablecloth and top each place setting with an orange straw placemat.  The the chargers are black French wire.  Don't they look like a spider web?

The next layer is our everyday white dinner plates.  Nothing precious here!

The glassware is a Waterford wine stem in the Lismore pattern and the water stem is etched and painted with a black harelequin pattern.  Here's another example of how my tables are usually a mix of high and low, meaning that some items are high quality, but they will be mixed with low cost, often mass produced items.  Some occassions call for pulling out the best of everything, but not for this dinner.  Fun is the goal here!  You can see a Waterford wine coaster here, too.  I used this for the water, which you will see later in the post.

These napkins are vintage linens that I found years ago.  Some have black cats, some are pumpkins, and some say "boo".  Many years later, I found tea towels that match.

What's better than plastic fangs for a napkin ring?  Every single year that I've done this, someone has put these in their mouth.  Last year, it was a judge!

I bought these tiny little zinc signs to use as placecards.  I used chalk on these to make them look like a tombstone.

These mis-matched pieces of silverplate get used more than any other set of flatware I own.  I've collected it for years and the only thing the pieces have in common is the keystone shape of the handle.

The mother-of-pearl handled knives are pretty special, though, don't you think?

I'm not too sure what these little pumpkin-like things are, but I got them at Whole Foods.  I put them in a white footed urn which shows up well on the black tablecloth.

Then in these white chippendale squares, I put these wonderful roses in the most vibrant orange I could find.

There is no doubt what holiday we are celebrating here!

These kitchy salt and pepper shakers were the girls' favorite from the time they were little tykes.  Here's part of the high/low combination.  They're pretty low, but fun.

Check out the wine we found.

This is a French Syrah by Montperoux Estates.  The lable is done by designer and visionnaire Christian Audigier.  It might be just be too perfect to open!  One thing's for sure.....I won't be throwing this away when it is empty.  It's begging for a drippy candle, don't you think?  The wine coaster is sort of gothic, too.

I replaced labels from water bottles with some from the Martha Stewart line at Michael's.  Then I put these plastic bottles in that Waterford wine coaster!

This setting is nothing but fun.

I about broke my neck to get this shot! 

I wish I could be sure to get these every year.  Are they persimmons?  Anybody know?

Here are the bar glasses set out for drinks.

And these cocktail napkins are so cute.  They are actually orange cotton appliqued with this cute black cat.  I've had them a long, long time.

The coffee tray is set up early.  The pumpkin cream and sugar set is old, as well.  There's that tea towel I was talking about.

Mugs, not cups for this party.  We are so casual and this allows us to linger at the table until late.

My friends give me the best gifts.  Knowing how I love Halloween, Ann knew how much I would love this handmade apron.  You can just barely see the petticoat like ruffle on the bottom.  Isn't it the cutest?

Bows, appliques, and sparkly fabric!  All I'll need is a pair of black pants and a t-shirt.  And killer heels, right?

We'll be dining at the witching hour!

This is getting pretty long, so I'll be posting on the decor and the menu in another post. 

See lots and lots of fall ideas at:

The Versatile Blogger Award!!!!!!!

                                                          Holy moley, go get a cannoli!!!!!! 
                                                    I just got my first blogging award!!!!!!!

         My friend, Carolyn from Sweet Chaos Home tagged me with the Versatile Blogger award, here.

If you haven't found Carolyn's blog yet, do yourself a favor and check it out immediately.  She blogs about her beautiful home which she is lovingly caring for in the midst of raising four boys!  Her banner, alone, is worth the visit when you see those sweet little bare toes among the beauty of flowers and design.  You'll love it!  I'm so shocked that it has taken me several days to accept and respond.  I found it really hard to find seven interesting things about myself and THEN narrow my favorite blogs to fifteen. 

Here's the criteria to accept:
1.  Thank the awarder.  (check)
2.  Provide a link to her blog.  (check)
3.  List seven interesting things about yourself.  (coming)
4.  List fifteen blogs that you follow and wish to bestow this award to.  (I guess I can.)

Here goes:
1.  You'll probably never know this from following my blog, because I'm pretty sure I'll never post a photo of myself, but I am very short.  Under five feet!  Legally, I could probably qualify for "special needs", since I can never reach above the first shelf of dishes!

2.  We have had 11 moves, many of them corporate transfers and while I've resisted every one of them, I have loved everywhere we've ever been.  I firmly believe that each move is not all good and not all bad, but it IS what you make it!

3.  I really believe that the only award that I deserve is the Great Mother award, if there is such a thing.  I have raised the two most beautiful daughters who have grown into lovely young women and fantastic moms.  I clearly consider this my greatest and most important achievement.  When I see them parent with such love and  joy, I feel a reward that I can never explain.

4.  I was a physical therapist, but I discovered early in my training that I could not work with geriatric patients, as they made me cry constantly.  I chose working with children exclusively for this reason.

5.  I'd choose a bowl of popcorn over a steak anytime.  Not that one ever gets this choice, since they are not both really meals, but if I ever have to choose that "last meal", it won't be a dinner, it will be a big bowl of popcorn.

6.  I've finally taken sky diving off of my bucket list.

7.  (Do I really have to find one more interesting fact?)  Mr. Pressed Pants says that taking me to play tennis is like taking no one........the ball never comes back!  Not my sport.  So I've tried to be a golfer and I have played for over thirty years.  For the last fifteen, though, my handicap has never gone down.  I really must get acquainted with the driving range!

Ok!  Enough about me!
Here's the fifteen bloggers who deserve the Versatile Blogger award in my estimation.  Some of you are tag-free, but I'm like Carolyn.  I'm going rogue and giving this to you anyhow!  In no particular order:

Vignette Design

Velvet and Linen

Tablescapes at Table Twenty One

Home is Where the Boat Is



Three Pixie Lane

Willow Decor


French Country Cottage

For The Love of a House

Styling by Coty Farquhar

Between Naps on the Porch

Color Me Happy

My Shabby Streamside Studio

Please visit these bloggers.  I thank them for the hours of enjoynment they have provided me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Perfect Pink Party

My dear friend, Bibbie, chaired a very special party this week.  The women's golf league at our country club held a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen organization, benefiting the fight against breast cancer.  I joined her committee, and while I didn't play a very big role, I was happy to be a part of such a great event.

Every hole was sponsored by either a corporation or by individuals, with many honoring those who have fought this fight.  I love this sign.

The tables for lunch following the golf were set up in our prettiest dining room.

The place settings were simple but beautiful.

The room was lovely and welcoming to the golfers as they came in from a cold and blustery eighteen holes.

The floral centerpieces were made of several different designs,  They were either pink.....

or really pink!!!!

This says it all.  I love the idea of women becoming warriors for the health of other women.  We raised $10,000 for our sisters and made a beautiful memory working together.
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