Change Everything

Thursday, October 31, 2013


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


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.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday, Sunday

I hope you're having a marvelous day.

I should be doing housework and laundry and maybe even some organizing but... I just feel like having a lazy Sunday.  This often happens when I end up putting my robe on instead of actual clothing to feed the cat first thing in the morning. My sweet kitty is very demanding so she gets fed before (almost) anything else happens in my day.  Have you heard that saying; 'Dogs have owners, cats have staff'.  Uh huh, that's me.
Here she is with her pink doggie. She pretends not to care about him when anyone is around, but I've seen her look for him on more than one occasion when she's settling down for a nap.

As I write this (rambling) post, I'm watching a sappy Hallmark movie. (Instead of doing something constructive like laundry or emptying the dishwasher) You're right, almost all Hallmark movies are sappy. This one is "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and I'm really enjoying it. I like the mix of romance and intellectual nerdy-ness. It was a great way to spend a relaxing Sunday morning.

I love weekend breakfasts, I can relax and be a bit more creative than a normal workday breakfast. Today I made oatmeal, and while that doesn't sound all that creative... read on.  I will spare you pictures of it my bowl of porridge because, let's face it, an extremely amateur photograph of oatmeal can be somewhat less than appealing.
I cooked said old fashioned rolled oats in a mixture of water, diced apples, dried cherries, dried cranberries, a small cinnamon stick and a splash of cream.... and some brown sugar.  Once the hot cereal had finished its required cooking time, I bowled it (is that right? you can't really 'plate' oatmeal) and garnished it with toasted pecans and slivered almonds with a final glorious drizzle of real maple syrup.

Oh yum! Perfect for a cloudy fall morning.

I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October Influence

I made you some cupcakes but they didn't turn out well, sorry.  I'll be remaking them into cake pops which will correct the problem, very dry.  I have to find the recipe I used a few months back, it made absolutely delicious cupcakes.

Moving on...

I was so excited to put together my first truly fall tablescape! The trees outside are cooperating, some more than others, and providing a lovely display of fall colors.

I've probably said this with other tables but I had a lot of fun with this setting.  Perhaps it was because it came together so easily, I had been thinking about it for a while and as I'm rather new to this level of table decor a lot of the pieces have been purchased within the last year. I remember finding the flatware when I was out shopping with a friend and saying "these will look great on my October table". 

I love these little critter candles and they certainly look right at home on my table. 

These pumpkin tureens are great but once I got them unwrapped (they'd been wrapped in paper, in storage since I bought them) I thought they seemed sort of large for a single serving of soup as part of a meal. However, if the soup was the main event then they'd probably be okay.  They're also a good size for a gravy boat since they'd hold a LOT of gravy, but there isn't a little notch in the lid for the ladle.

I guess this looks a little like potpourri but I thought it looked better than just an empty dish.  I'm also playing with camera settings again; this one is called 'toy camera' and puts that dark edge around the photo. During Thanksgiving this is usually the cranberry dish... or olives.  My family eats an inordinate amount of olives at Thanksgiving. There's more to that story and we'll cover that when we sit around the Thanksgiving table and tell stories.
We're going to do that, right?

The amber dish in the center looks very orange because of all the leaves and the string of lights shining through them. The lights are called "LED Garland" and they're smaller than rice lights.  More like a long wire with small bumps that are LED's.  It runs on three AA batteries and I've got the battery pack hidden among the leaves.  I wish it had a timer like the lantern because I have to take stuff out to turn them on, then pile everything back on top again.  Bottom line, it was on for pictures but hasn't been illuminated since.

You call it lazy, I call it preserving the delicate balance of mini-imitation gourds and leaves.

(I found the website of the company that makes the LED garland; but I bought these at local kitchen store)

There are tiny faux pumpkins under each of the brown glasses. I tried to get a better picture but it just didn't work because the glass is dark and reflective. At the end of the post you'll see what my fall tablescape looked like last year, the picture of the pumpkin under glass was a bit more successful.

I love the little faux pumpkin & gourds.  I'm going to look for some more once this kind of fall decor goes on sale.

The dramatic low light photo from above.

Up close and personal with the pumpkin tureen.

"An inviting and amusing place setting" says MissJane Thinks She Rocks.haha

'Toy Camera' setting

'Miniature' setting

And now the moment you've been waiting for... my fall tablescape from last year...

try to stay awake...

Isn't it thrilling!  We all have to start somewhere and it has a certain charmingly simplicity but as I've discovered over the past few months I really like the cluttered table look much more. 

In reading various blogs I know a lot of you were still dealing with temperatures in the 80's & 90's but I hope things have started to cool off for you. Even though the summer seemed very short here in the PNW, I'm happy to be able to (comfortably) wear my favorite sweatshirt and jeans again. 

Here's hoping you're having a great day!

I'll be linking up to Tablescape Thursday* at Between Naps on the Porch, Seasonal Sunday's at The Tablescaper and Cuisine Kathleen.

*(It looks like I'll have to try linking up to Tablescape Thursday next week, it's all full) 

Pumpkin tureens - Certified International
Brown leaf plates - Pottery Barn (probably from a few years ago)
Yellow plates - Dollar Tree
Brass Chargers, tablecloth & Amber candy dish - (Goodwill)
Plaid napkins - Home Goods
Oak leaf napkin rings - Bed Bath & Beyond
Champagne Flutes - Cost Pluss/World Market - from a few years ago
Brown water glasses - Tuesday Morning
Lantern - Marshall's