Change Everything

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Color


I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the season.  I do enjoy all the preparations for Christmas regardless of how much time I do or don't have to complete them.  For me it's a balance of not starting too early and rushing the season but still having plenty of time to get everything ready AND enjoy the festivities.

I'm participating in Cuisine Kathleen's Challenge - though maybe not as literally as I had planned.
Setting the Perfect Holiday Table

I really had fun with this table even though I didn't quite get it all pulled together yet. I decided to take pictures anyway because when it comes to tablescaping, sometimes I never feel like they're finished.

I was thrilled  when I found these tartan edged plates a few weeks ago. Until then I had no idea what I was going to do for my Christmas tables. I found them at Home Goods, they're 222 Fifth. The tablecloth came from there, too.
These little red bubble glasses were a great find at an antiques booth at a holiday craft bazaar. I saw them, picked one up, set them down and walked away. After wandering around the rest of the bazaar, i went back and got them. I'm very glad I did! The holly glass came from The Dollar Store.
I was looking for something else on the Macy's website and stumbled on these bubble glass compotes! Hooray, they're so close they almost look like they're from the same maker.

Here's the breakdown of the place setting:
I found these great little Christmas themed bowls before I found the plates and I love how they look together. The bowls are Royal Stafford (not pattern name on them), also from Home Goods
Here's a picture of the plates, I love them! I tried my red chargers first but the gold looks much better. The gold chargers are from Pier 1.
These votive holders lose something with my photo skills.  The words are on the inside and shine through the green with the right light. I put one of my faux votive candles inside but I don't care for the yellow-ish cast. I'll find a nice bright led to use instead. No details on these votives, they're from a local kitchen store.
Another shot, different angle of the place setting.
The pine cone candelabra is from GW, what a great find, I don't care for the base so I tried to camouflage it (in a hurry) a bit for the picture. The red flatware is from GW and the green is from Cost Plus/World Market.

 
I'll be linking up to Between Naps on the Porch and The Tablescaper, too.


On a final note - today I made myself a delicious breakfast. A puff pancake and I topped it with my homemade boysenberry jam and a bit of maple syrup. It was amazing!
A perfect birthday breakfast :)

It's now a week later and I took a breath and a few more pictures of my table.  I added a few more pieces that I wanted to include earlier.  I'm changing the table tomorrow so you can expect a new tablescape very soon. For now, I hope you enjoy all this plaid as much as I do.


Just a few changes but I certainly can tell that someone didn't iron the cloth before putting it on the table.

I can't imagine who could have been so lazy.

Hahahaha - oh yes I can!
Yes, more shots of the red bubble glass - just love them!

This vintage Christmas postcards were the most important part of the table. I got them at a Christmas bazaar and wish I had picked up a few more to frame.  Very obviously old because the addresses are missing street numbers and in most cases any form of zip code.

So... what's the difference between antique and vintage? Maybe really old is antique and mid-century is vintage?

Now stop reading blogs and get those gifts wrapped!!

HOHOHO!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


and... I'm back...

Time has been doing weird things lately... I've been trying to explain it you for the last 30 minutes but just can't seem to express the randomness of time flying by, feeling normal or standing still.

I got the table done last weekend but didn't get the pictures done until a week later.

Instead of individual place settings, I just sort of gathered everything on the table mostly because I wanted to show off the new turkey plates.  Wondering now if I should have used a plain tablecloth... hmmm..

If you ever need anyone to second guess your decisions, I'm available. Although I'm usually pretty busy second guessing myself so often I may not have time to help you.

Here they are!!! The fabulous turkey plates by Spode.  I look forward to adding to this Woodland set but for now I'm happy to have these.

Now I just have to find a bit more room... somewhere... no problem. There are only four plates to store.
Well, actually I should say four more plates to store along with the four new yellow plates and the 4 new (to me) leaf plates. I think you get the picture.

I've had this turkey lantern for quite a while and I just love it. On Thanksgiving day he will probably have to move to another part of the house to make room for the all the yummy food!!

 I just love these napkin rings and how they look all stacked up together.

The leaf glasses and the critter candles make yet another appearance but I think they're ready to hibernate for the winter.

A turkey plate close-up.

Another shot of the turkey lantern and the plates. Wish I would have smoothed the table cloth before I took the picture. I really like this shot!




I hope you have a good Thanksgiving, whatever you end up doing. I saw this blessing on Pinterest recently;
"God bless the food before us, the friends besides us and the love between us".

I'll be linking up at Cuisine Kathleen, Between Naps on the Porch and The Tablescaper.

UPDATE!

I had to take the table apart a bit to wash everything for Thanksgiving day and I decided to also move the table cloth to the table at which we'd actually be eating.  While the antique table my friends are loading me is beautiful it's completely impractical for dining it's a drop leaf table and there's no room for anyone's legs.

I took a few more pictures after I washed all the pieces I'd need and rearranged things a bit.

As it turns out I really prefer the plain wood table to the busy tablecloth for this fall setting. I didn't want to put the turkey plates back in the basket since they were all washed and sticking them back in the foam and excelsior didn't seem like a good idea. I piled the napkins in their rings onto the basket to make it a bit more interesting.

One of the pumpkin tureens held the gravy and while I washed the leaf plates we ended up just serving ourselves buffet style from the kitchen so didn't need as many serving pieces.

Here's where we ate our yummy dinner.  To make more room we removed the chargers from the table and it all worked out perfectly. The cranberry and gravy were on the big table next to us but easily within reach.

Thanksgiving was a huge success and as usual we had a great time making it. For the second year, the stuffing didn't make it into the oven until the turkey was out and resting but we really enjoyed everything. Dinner was totally delicious and dessert even more so. I made pumpkin cheesecake bars but my friends peanut butter chocolate pie was truly the grande finale!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remember November


It's been an interesting fall for me this year. The weather has been perfect, I've felt more love and support from my friends than  I have in years... and I've been really distracted with other life stuff.  The last point being the excuse for a very brief post.

This table is just a bit more fall but I'm not quite ready for a Thanksgiving table yet.

The little woodland critters are making another appearance next to another fun napkin fold.

I really like these soup tureens so I had to use them at least one more time.

Without any planning it turns out these glasses match the table cloth I've had for years.
 
I only wish my table was a bit bigger, I had a few more things I wanted to add but they just wouldn't fit. Hmmm... maybe that's for the best. 

More leaf plates - these are a bit smaller and in a variety of colors, rather than all brown.

I found this piece at the GW and I thought for sure I found a second piece, a small plate or something but if I did buy I have no idea what I did with it.

Soup tureen, up close & personal

Yellow leaf on yellow plate, it photographed better than I thought it would.
Still working on my photography, I think the lighting may be the challenge. 

I hope you're having an amazing autumn and have a chance to enjoy all the fun and excitement of the coming holidays.

I'll be linking up with Cuisine Kathleen, The Tablescaper & Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boo!


Happy Halloween my pretties!

I put this table together about two weeks ago but life got busy and I just got around to taking pictures today.

Years ago I bought a few of these witches boots, then for a long time I couldn't find anymore to add to the collection. Then... two years ago I found the one below... then this year I found the black & white striped one and another at Pier1... then I found the little sparkly one at JoAnn's... then the tall sparkly one at the local grocery store.  It took a long time but I was finally able to add to my witches boot collection - oh Thank You Great Pumpkin! 

This is the boot I found two years ago, it was at a pumpkin patch gift store.

This guy waited on the clearance rack quite a while before I decided I had to bring him home!  I don't know if there were picks that coordinated but they were long gone by the time I bought the tray.


As near as I can recollect (does that make me sound old?) this is the very first time I've made cheesecloth ghosts.  I'm not sure why I waited so long, it was super easy.

My friend said my table was creepy but cute.

Is that still a compliment?

I found this 'cute' couple at GW but the original price tag was from Yankee Candle.  Not a witches boot but too fun to pass up.
 I had wanted to get several battery operated candles for the table but this is the only one that was somewhat reasonably priced.  Maybe there will be some left at the post-Halloween sales. He's so cheerful!

Skeleton ghost - not so cheerful.


I got four of these at GW for a ridiculously low price. I went out to eBay looking for those Halloween plates I posted previously and while I was out there I looked up these mugs. WOW - I got an incredibly good deal on these beauties!

 The witches boots holding the orange tapers were from the original set several years ago. I got the salt & pepper shakers at the time, too.

Here is another one of those mugs. The napkins are halloween bandanas and the little brooms in the mugs are actually pens.

The tall sparkly boot in the center is from the grocery store and the little sparkly book at the right is from JoAnn's.

Another fun table but as usual I'm already thinking about the next one.

I should probably be thinking about packing all this up and considering where I'm going to store it.  I think the ghosties aren't going to look the same by next year... but there's always more starch.

I showed a friend a picture of the silver table and she said something like "I'd like to be invited to one of your parties". Hahaha, these tables aren't for parties, they're just for fun and they make me happy.

I'll be joining the party, a bit late, at The Tablescaper, Kathleen Cuisine and Between Naps on the Porch, in the next several days.

Tablecloth - just a piece of fabric from JoAnn's
Black chargers - Tuesday Morning
Yellow plates - Dollar Tree
Halloween Bandanas - JoAnn's
Orange flatware -local discount store
Glossy witches boots - Pier1
Black candle holders, Halloween mugs, skeleton couple - Goodwill
Mummy tray- Grasslands Road
Pumpkin Tureens - Certified Int'l
Other witches boots - uhhhh???

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shopping


I recently went to Goodwill, not the one I usually go to but a new location which is the only reason I went. I was surprised by how expensive things were there compared to other Goodwill stores I've been to in the area. It was as if they had taken the time to look this stuff up on eBay before they priced it. (I'm not begrudging them the opportunity to make as much money as they can, it was just a bit shocking) Regardless, I did come home with some goodies.

These are two plates I found at Goodwill.

The top one looks to be part of a snowman, so I'm thinking it's part of a set and each plate has a different section of the snowman.  Unfortunately there are no markings on the bottom so I don't even know where to start looking.

(Okay as soon as I typed that I went out to ebay and looked at the snowman plates not all 257 pages of them but a few pages but I didn't see anything on the first four pages).

I'm hoping someone out in blogland will recognize and give me the details.
Pretty PLEASE!

The Halloween plate does have markings so I have a chance to find more.  It's called Enchanted Halloween and it has been discontinued.  I found some bowls on Replacements but no plates.

I broke the rule and bought one lone plate of each because I really liked them.  I really need to stop doing that and only buy in sets of four... unless I'm adding on to a set I already have. Oh well.

I may never learn. I'm incorrigible.

Now that I've made shared this character flaw... I have more to show you.
Yep - just one of each. I like the small size of these and though they're not part of the same set, I think because the size is similar they'd be great to mix & match on a Christmas table.  The Santa has no markings, the snowman has a 'Made in China' mark but not much more. 

Here's a shot of the other great find from GW; the silver coffee set.  It came with a silver tray but I couldn't fit it on this table. It was a bit more than I would normally spend at GW but I just couldn't leave it behind. It appears to be brand new, never used and I just love it.

There's one more find to share with you but you'll see that next month and I'll get excited about it all over again.

Happy almost weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Orange, the color is orange... or is it?


I created a one color table for Cuisine Kathleen's white plate + one color challenge at Let's Dish and spotlighting a couple fun napkin folds.

The table is very simple because I didn't have a lot of orange stuff... so you're wondering why I chose orange. Because I had orange tapers, orange flatware and orange chargers.  It just sort of made sense.

This napkin fold (and the one below) are two of my favorite. Impressive and fun, you can use different color bow ties for a colorful, festive table.
You can just barely see the orange beads inside the evening jacket.  Even though this fold looks simpler, it gave me the most trouble. Probably because I wanted to add that splash of orange ribbon and the beads.


Once I had completed this table I thought I was done, even though I wasn't thrilled with it.

There I go thinking again.

After my recent trip to Goodwill, I was inspired to try again using my original color theme...

Silver & White

 I found this gorgeous silver coffee set at Goodwill and it's brand new, never been used.  There is also a silver tray but I couldn't fit it on this tiny table.  It's by International Silver, a lower end silver plate but it's shiny and beautiful and I love it!



To paraphrase one of my favorite authors "I'm crow-like in my affinity for anything that goes sparkle".  This love of the sparkly has become more pronounced as the years pass.  


I used the same napkin fold but with different accessories.  How I happened to have silver/gray ribbon I don't know but there it was in the ribbon box (tub, I like ribbon), I just lucked out.

I love sterling, it just makes me happy. I don't even mind polishing it to bring out the sparkle and/or luster. While that shiny new coffee set is beautiful (even if it is just silver-plate) the patina of the older pieces is really my favorite. The spoons are like that and the silver bowl, polished many times over the years but still just as beautiful. 

I also got this at Goodwill and polished it up. I'm not sure if it's for toast or letters or napkins (though putting paper napkins in a silver holder seems a bit incongruous) but it's pretty all the same.

A better shot of the coffee set and lovely brooch on the napkin.  I have several sparkling brooches that I've gathered from clearance sales and garage sales. This one just seemed like the perfect fit for this table setting and napkin.
I want to give equal time to the dinner jacket napkin. I think my faux bow (tie) looks pretty good. I'm really liking this camera setting as well. 

If you have sterling or silver-plate that was a wedding present or inherited from family, I encourage you to use it. It won't break and if you use it on a regular basis you don't have to polish it. Leaving it in a box in a cupboard is a crime. 
Life is a celebration and even if you're serving corned beef hash, get out the good dishes, silver & crystal and enjoy them. No, the good china won't break if you leave it in storage but it's very lonely and feeling left out.  You deserve the very best you have. Really, what are you saving it for? If you're not special enough, I don't think the Queen herself would convince you to get all the wonderful stuff out on the table.

If you have questions about  how to set a table, please send me a message. I'm happy to provide some etiquette guidelines for you. From a casual brunch setting to the most elegant, formal dinner setting; just ask :)

The glasses on the 'orange' table are Reidel
The crown glasses on this table are from Sur La Table - I'm looking for more but Replacements hasn't found any yet
The sterling flatware is from eBay mostly - the spoon pattern is called 'Lily'
Chargers are from Michael's
Stainless Flatware - 'Concannon' by Reed & Barton
Coffee Set - International Silver (Goodwill)

I'll also be linking up at Between Naps on the Porch and Seasonal Sunday's at the Tablescaper.