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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Favorites on the First - Gifts

I have a quick post to join Allison at The Polohouse for her Favorites on the First.  
November's Linky Party 11/1,2,3
Her theme this month is "Your Favorite Gift To Give".  Here are my picks:

Gift Giving Tags Boating
I'm going with a brown craft paper look this year for all my gifts, and these tags make the packages look soooo cool.  It is always a challenge to find great pieces for men, but these from Seven Barks are a great choice.  They come in themes of dog, horse, boating, and fly fishing.  Aren't they great?

Drink Coasters Canine
Also from Seven Barks, these drink coasters have become my go-to host or hostess gifts.  They are heavy weight paper, almost like fine chipboard and come 30 to a package for only $20.  They also come in dogs, horses, fly fishing and boating.  Each theme comes 4 different images to a beautifully decorated package.  Stock up, people!  Everyone I have ever given them to loves them.
And, how cute are these?  These die cut correspondence cards are soooooo wonderful.  Same themes as above.  They come 10 for $24 and have bright orange envelopes.  Don't you LOVE them?
Wrapping Paper Fishing
And for those special gifts, I'll using this awesome, heavy weight wrapping paper.  Five large sheets to a pack, with the same themes.  This sure makes a present stand out.  I went to Orvis' wharehouse sale and picked up some fishing lures that I use to add that "sumthin, sumthin" to the top of the package.  I love to spoil my men!
You can find other stationery items from Seven Barks on the web under Rebecca Ray Designs.  She also has lots of other choices for really special presents, and has recently added to her men's line.  If you hurry, you can find Seven Barks selling on One King's Lane today.  Go!  Now! Hurry!

Bonus Question:
What would you give if you had all the money in the world?
College Scholarships!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I am wishing all of my friends, bloggers, and readers a safe and uneventful week.  The situation is frightening and could have disastrous results, but I'm praying that this storm is not much more than weather channel hysteria.  I know some schools are already canceled, so if your children are home, spend a nice, cozy day with your little ones, making a fond memory.  If you're fearing your power going out, maybe you should cut your losses and eat that ice cream in your freezer NOW!

Wine Club's Halloween Party

Our wine club met here Saturday night and we had a frightfully good time!  Since everyone brings an appetizer,  it was not a very labor intensive event.  As an example, the flowers here are very simply mounded into Oasis.  With a black tablecloth, I needed some contrast, so I used an antique doily under this felt trick-or-treat bucket from Target.  

Then these brilliant orange roses co-operated perfectly and were fully open just in time.  

Here's the table before any food.  I hadn't even taken the chairs away yet.

Love these napkins from Target!

This greeted the guests on the outside of the door.  This iron grill has a little "speak-easy" type door behind it.  When the doorbell rang, we cranked up the fog machine for a good puff of fog, slowly opened the little door, and stuck a mechanical skeleton hand out.  It was fun to hear the giggles on the other side.  Call me immature, but these things never get old!!!

These glittery pumpkins that I used as a fall centerpiece earlier in the week for my bridge luncheon (post to follow) were moved to the sideboard and I added black glittery pumpkins and a skull with orange votives.  I placed them on that gauzy "creepy cloth" from the Dollar Store. 

The other chest in the dining room had a few lovelies on it.  See that hand?  It's battery operated and that's what I stuck out the little door in the entry door.

In the living room, the coffee table got a few fun items.  The other candelabra and a black urn with the rest of the white mums gave it some height.

And this plate held some glittery bones and skull.

My little French shepherd girl moved over to this side table.

On the kitchen counter, I put this wire witch stuffed with moss.  See her broom?  I added a black cat and a small pumpkin in the straw.

The wine glasses are lined up in the bar.

And for later, the coffee cups.....

and the set up for coffee are ready.

Here's the dessert table.  I put my salted carmel cupcakes in this white wire basket and served a terrific pumpkin praline cheesecake with them.

She's ready to count the calories for us.

I always make sure the powder rooms are ready for a party.

Just a few touches make guests feel welcome.

This is the one room in our house where these colors work well!

I still love this glass log and the way it can be used so many different ways.

Each couple got a little booklet with information about each of the six tastings.  I chose all wines with a Halloween theme.  It took a long time, and reds were easy with lots to choose from, but the whites made me work!  I chose "Twisted" Pinot Grigio , "Ghost Pines" Chardonnay, "Black Cat" Reisling, "Vampire" Pinot Noir, "Cult" Cabernet, and "Poizin" zinfandel.  All but one were a hit.  Not too bad!!!

I planned on taking more photos after dark, but as soon as the candles were lit and I was ready to shoot, the doorbell rang, and our first couple was there.  They were 15 minutes early.  Whooooo does that?????

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Open House Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Fridays Unfold

Seasonal Sundays

Let's Dish

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brown and Yellow Sunflowers

We've got a very busy week, with a luncheon on Tuesday (post to come) and our wine club here on Saturday.  Even so, when I saw these wonderful sunflowers, I decided I had to do a quick outdoor table for Mr. Pressed Pants for dinner last night.  We had to eat a bit early before it got too dark, but we sure did enjoy this last warm weather.

I picked up the yellow and the brown colors for the table and set it over a simple white caterer's cloth.

This placemat is probably supposed to be a daisy, but today, when I put the charger over it, I pretended it was a sunflower!

Here's the way the place setting looked.

I loved these faux bois salad plates at Pottery Barn the minute I saw them a couple of years ago.  Then, as I was checking out, I noticed these matching dark brown pottery saucers that were greatly reduced.  I decided to grab them for chargers.  They look good, but they are soooo heavy, I can't believe I ever was able to carry eight of these home.  I used our every day white dinner plates in between.  The often-used dark wooden handled flatware worked fine.

Dark brown cotton napkins were used with these napkin rings made from real wood that I found at Homegoods.

I use these stems so much in the fall.  They have leaves and acorns etched into them in brown.  The store I bought them from is now closed.  I remember they carried them all the time and once a year they had a buy one/get one free and I stocked up!  (This white tablecloth is starting to photograph blue in this light.)

Just to have a little more color, I grabbed these yellow straw coasters.

Simple, but the high contrast of the brown/white/yellow works for fall or summer.

Faux bois salt and pepper shakers.

I set the table with these oak barley twist candlesticks.  As we sat there, I ran into the house twice to get more candles.

And look!  This bottle of wine was in the cooler and I thought it was perfect.  And it was!

This was very little work, but made a very nice evening.

Last fall, I used these same dishes with this as the centerpiece.  Which do you like better....the brown and yellow sunflowers in three faux bois vases, or these classic sunflowers in one faux bois chachepot? 

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Open House Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Fridays Unfold

Seasonal Sundays

Let's Dish

Sunday, October 21, 2012

That's What Friends Are For

It's been quite a weekend here for us.  We have held our breath through a scary breast biopsy, celebrated a birth, attended a funeral, and danced at a wedding.  These events all concerned us because we have been blessed with special friendships with these people.  It occurs to me that not only do these signify the circle of life, but they illustrate how you have the opportunity to share the hopes, dreams, and burdens of those you care for so much.  Birth......death.......understandably opposite.  The funeral was about as simple and beautiful as could be in a tiny country church on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  No casket, just the work boots and guitar of  a fifty-three year old who left this earth way too early decorating the altar.  Four hours later, we were dressed in black tie, sitting in a most elegant Episcopal cathedral in midtown Atlanta, celebrating the stunning wedding of two very sophisticated young people.  When you open yourself up to friends, you sign on to BE THERE.  It's an amazing life, isn't it?  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

French Shelves for Halloween

I always rush to decorate for fall, but delay the Halloween decor, because frankly, I love it, but tire of it.  So, here's my first Halloween display.  These French shelves in our bar are always fun for me to decorate.  In my previous home, they were hung much lower, so I decorated the top of them, too.  

One reason I was looking forward to this year's Halloween shelves is because one of my dear Bridge Buddies gave me these darling plaid plates last year.  I was so surprised and thrilled.  I thought of a million ways I wanted to use them, but this display won out.  (At least for now!)  

There are six plates with four different designs on them.  The top row allows a taller plate, so I backed the dessert sized ones with our everyday white dinner plates.  I love the way they show up against the wood here.  Then on the bottom shelf, I needed a smaller plate, so I found these black rimmed salad sized plates in my stash.  They don't show up as well, but they looked too small without them.  Then I  used real pumpkins and black glittery ones and filled in with black glittered garlands that I cut up.  The black stuff came from Michael's, but they are all out at my store now.  I was looking for more yesterday.

Since I needed eight plates to balance the display, I used two of the salad plates by themselves.  They looked too stark, so I added a black raven in front of each one.  Better!

I have a special watercolor that usually hangs under this shelf, but it detracted from the black and white and orange.  I removed it temporarily, and hung a bit of felt garland flags. The rest of the garland went on the front of the table.  My daughter bought me this last year.  Thanks, Susie......I love it!

On the table below, I used a white caterer's linen tablecloth covered with black netting from the Dollar Store.    Then I raised two big pumpkins on small glass pedestals and used the rest of the black garland around them. This table will be used next weekend for desserts when my wine club meets here, so I made sure that I can put up the drop leaf and have lots of room.  The front of the table has the remainder of the felt garland.

Several years ago, my favorite store, Boxwoods, in Atlanta sold this pair of glittery Halloween crowns.  They have sharp picks on the bottom which keeps them on the pumpkin.  I chose this one for the girl pumpkin.  Then I added lipstick and press on eyelashes tipped in gold from the drug store.  She's something, isn't she?

Her prince is apparently the strong, silent type.

Oh yes........there's a little uninvited friend checking out the whole thing.  Hope he's here stag!

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Open House Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Fridays Unfold

Seasonal Sundays

Let's Dish

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