I Have a Seat at My Table Reserved Just For You!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving, 2014

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that during this harvest season, it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
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This year there are so many things for which to give thanks to our loving God.  I am grateful that I continue to progress in my knee replacement rehabilitation, and Sweet Mister continues to be my knight in shining armor.  Our sweet KC and David were so generous to host our Thanksgiving dinner in their home.  Tonight I want to share the tablescape that she designed for our evening of good food, good fun, and blessed fellowship.

 The table was set for nine guests...KC invited several guests who didn't have family with whom to share this day of thanks.  This has been our family's habit for many years.

 This old dining room holds so many memories.  Many of you will remember that KC and David bought Sweet Mister's childhood home.

 You might recognize the old Duncan Phyfe table and chairs that lived in my dining room for many years.  It actually began its life in this house, and now it has returned home once more.  It belongs here.  Do you see the back of the pair of teal chairs in the living room?  At one time they were pink, and they began their lives in that very spot in 1946.  They too, have come home to provide a restful spot for those who live and visit here.  The 1920's, apple green camelback sofa under the window originally belonged to KC's great-grandmother, Nana.  KC is the family historian, and she cherishes these family treasures...

 The old French watercolors belonged to my Aunt Ida...

 ...and the Duncan Phyfe buffet, that matches the dining table, was sent home again by KC's Aunt Carolyn...such a generous gift.  Oh...in 1971, I was sitting in the far right seat on the far side of the table to celebrate Sweet Mister's birthday...and I went into labor with our first child, our beloved son. Talk about memories!

 Oh, yes...the table...you probably want to know a bit about the tablescape! KC designed her table around her centerpiece of Pottery Barn mercury glass pumpkins and a grouping of mercury class candlesticks.

 She chose a pared down color story of navy, silver, and white to balance the opulence of the abundance of mercury glass...very effective!

 The Williams Sonoma navy linen hemstitched tablecloth was a perfect choice.  I love it against the robins egg blue of the dining room walls.

 The Hobby Lobby bronze charger was put to use...

 to provide just a small contrasting rim for the silver charger...nice touch.

 When you're a hostess with a two-year old toddler, you're always looking for ways to make the event just a little bit easier on yourself.  The Mikasa French Countryside dinner plate is dishwasher safe.  Ideal choice!

 The napkin is Pottery Barn hemstitch linen in Flax.  KC used her wedding silver for our dinner, the Reed & Barton Francis I.


 For our wine and water, KC chose the Godinger Crystal, Sutton Place goblet and the AJKA Xenia wine...crown jewels.

 The antique tilt-top table once belonged to a friend of mine.  I bought it from her for KC when my friend and her husband decided to downsize their home.  Today it was the perfect resting spot for Mr. Turkey.

 I could hardly wait for KC and David's guests to come to this lovely table.

 KC even treated us to beautiful candlelight...


  We lingered long at the table that evening.  By the time that we left the table, the candles were much shorter!  I pray that you spent your Thanksgiving surrounded by dear family and friends.  Let the Christmas holidays commence!  See you next week with a little bit of holiday cheer!

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop with Katherine's Corner

Friday, November 28, 2014

Well Done, Grasshopper

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that during this harvest season, it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
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Do you remember the old television show called "Kung Fu", starring David Carradine?  His teacher, "Master Po" would tell him when he had achieved a task, "Well done, Grasshopper."  Last week I had the delightful pleasure of photographing the Thanksgiving tablescape designed by Cindy, the dear lady who stayed with me the first two weeks after I returned home from my knee replacement surgery.  I enjoyed sharing a number of the archives from my blog with her during our time together.  Once I discovered that she has a true interest in tablescaping and dinnerware, I was thrilled to send her home with a few of the items in my "china room"...items that I had decided to edit from my collection.  Cindy was excited, and I was even more thrilled when I was invited to visit Cindy's home and see the tablescape that she had created for her family's Thanksgiving feast. I wanted to share it with you this week.



 Cindy is a woman to be admired.  She not only works every day as an in-home caregiver, she also is raising her precious five year old grand son.  When I arrived, I found a spotless and organized home...and this gorgeous table...all set and waiting for her family to arrive on Thanksgiving Day.

 Cindy enjoys Asian design, and her lovely MacGuire dining table provided the perfect base for her design.

 I was thrilled to discover a beautiful sophisticated color story for her table...She cleverly captured the essence of Autumn and Thanksgiving with her combination of elements.

 She anchored her placesetting with the lavender (no it doesn't photograph correctly) acrylic charger plate from Michael's.  It was a lovely contrast to...

 ...the gorgeous  orange dinner plate, hand painted for Arthur Elrod.  It once belonged to her daddy.  He had bought the set at an auction as a display for his china cabinet.  They are truly spectacular!

 The ruby glass accent plate was a perfect finishing touch for her Thanksgiving table.

 Each placesetting was crowned...

 ...with an assortment...

 ...of napkins... caught with Cindy's silver napkin rings.

 Dollar Tree Libby green goblets continued the Autumn story.

 A pair of mesh pumpkins from Dollar General flanked the Hobby Lobby Amethyst pedestal bowl (formerly from my stash).

 For overflow seatting, Cindy cleverly covered a small table with a maroon velvet cloth.  She created the centerpiece herself....isn't it beautiful!!

 As I was photographing the table, Cindy brought out a few more pieces from her cabinets.

 I was thrilled when she added the Rose Famille rice bowls...to be used as bread plates during the dinner!  Great idea, don't you agree?  Remember, I'm always encouraging you to think outside the box!
 She also added a lovely Asian rose bowl...


 ...and tea pot.   A beautiful setting for a lovely family Thanksgiving dinner!  Well done, Grasshopper!

My family shared our Thanksgiving dinner at my precious KC and David's home.  I'll share that
tablescape with you next week.  I pray that your holiday was truly blessed.  I continue to make progress with my new knee replacement.  It's a fairly extended process, so I'll be entertaining as I am able.  I hope to share a number of Christmas tables with you, dear blog friends.  Your prayers have lifted and encouraged me.  I am grateful for you!

This week I'll be joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch 





Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Merry Thanksmas

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that during this harvest season, it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.


I am almost three weeks out from my first knee replacement surgery, and I'm excited to be able to share a tablescape with you from a family Thanksmas dinner that we hosted last weekend.  Our son's family will be with his in-laws for Thanksgiving this year, and also not here for Christmas.  We wanted an opportunity for our sweet ones to be together for a holiday meal...We call it Happy Merry Thanksmas.  Because my ability to move around was still quite limited by a walker, Sweet Mister arranged for most of the menu.  Can you say, "Honey Glazed Ham and fixin's"?  I was delighted to be able to assemble the table for our evening, and I'm very grateful to Cindy, the dear lady who stayed with me for the first two weeks, which allowed Sweet Mister to actually go back to the office. Cindy and I worked together to create the table design, and we had a great time.  We set a table for 9 in the dining room...Come on in...

 We had lots of males at our table on this evening, so I wanted to keep the design somewhat masculine.

 I've been eager to use the Williams Sonoma toile tablecloth, and tonight was the perfect opportunity.

 I'm a longtime fan of a blue and brown color scheme...

 ...To create a better contrast between the dinner plate and the toile cloth, I used the Maryland China Company "Minuet" charger plate.  Your can find them on line, and they have an abundance of very reasonable white blanks, mostly marketed to china painters.  Check them out!  Tip:  As much as I love using charger plates in my designs, sometimes the dinner plate won't "sit" properly on the charger.  You could place a folded napkin underneath to give the dinner plate stability.  I prefer to place one of grandmama's old doilies on the plate as a stabilizer.  I'll bet many of you have a stack of them, stuffed somewhere in a drawer...wondering what to do with them.  Here's your answer.  I always look for them at estate sales, too.  I'm usually searching for about a 9" doily, and they can normally be found for just a few dollars.

 Now the Spode Delamere dinner plate, from Replacements, is sitting steady as a rock!  Tip:  When shopping on eBay, I always double check price and availability on Replacements.  Because they offer free shipping on any purchase over $99.00, sometimes Replacements ultimately offers you the better price.  Do your homework!


I flanked the plates with an inexpensive brown handled flatware from Horchow.  My favorite napkin, the Pottery Barn flax hemstitched linen, seemed an obvious choice.

 Continuing with my simple color scheme, I chose the Gorham Octette Brown goblet.  Neat brown goblets are hard to find, in my opinion.  If you come across some and like them...grab them!



 My centerpiece needed to be put together by shopping my closets and cabinets, and my frozen garden.  A shopping trip was not yet on my agenda...or at least on my new knee's agenda.

 You may remember the pair of wooden finials.  I'm still pretty charmed by them...

 ...The Hartley Leeds Creamware "Chestnut Bowl" was a great get on eBay.  A set of dinner plates by the same company is still on my "list"...someday.  I flanked the tureen with a quartet of Autumn berries that I've used in years past.

 The Hartley-Leeds Strawberry bowls each held a dead dried hydrangea, which dear Cindy harvested from my frozen garden.  The color was just what I needed!

 Looks like Thanksmas to me....yep, it does.

 It was a delightful evening with our beloved children and grandchildren.  I'm looking forward to sharing more holiday tables with you in the coming weeks.  I'll be in physical therapy for the next five weeks, so you may need to color me invisible at different times until after the New Year.  Just know that I miss you, and I can hardly wait to be able to resume my normal routine of entertaining frequently.

This week I'm joining:

Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hope with Katherine's Corner