Change Everything

Monday, January 27, 2014

Back to Basics

Hello and welcome to the second table for January.  I sort stayed with a simple color scheme partly because I wanted to use these bowls again.  However, afrer seeing a number of different tables from snowmen to a table with cream, and other warm neutrals I'm thinking that next January, I might try something completely different... but that's months away so let's focus on this setting.

Clearly these table settings are not correct - the butter spreader doesn't go on the edge of the salad plate/pasta bowl and there's really no reason to have a sherbet bowl on the salad plate and above the plate.  I just like the way everything looked and I wanted it all on the table at once.  

Lots of new (to me) stuff on this table. I found the small white bowls and the etched sherbet/compotes at an antique store.  The white flatware was  a great find after Christmas, hmmm was that Ross or Tuesday Morning, I'm not sure. I think I found the flatware in one store and the spreaders at the other.

These black & white pieces are more bowl than plate but I'm pretty sure they're supposed to be plates.  Either way, the pattern is great. 

When I found the candle sticks at Pier 1, I knew they'd be perfect for this table.  I kept trying to get a good picture of them but it wasn't meant to be.

How will I ever redeem myself? 
Yeah, probably won't lose any sleep.

I found these beautiful little etched compotes at the antique store. They'll look wonderful with a scoop of my cherry pomegranate sorbet.
Another shot, this time with some glass 'rocks'.  

I loved china, crystal and silver before I started tablescaping.  I always said I wanted to live in a house that had enough storage for a set of dishes for every season; I had no idea at that time that 'every season' meant a lot more than Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.
I don't much about it but I don't think this is milk glass, it's got a sort of luster to it.  I think they're adorable and the sort of ruffled sides match the ruffle on the charger.
(Update: I got this info from a reader, thank you Karen "Your sherberts were made by Macbeth Evans in depression era and the pattern is Monax Petalware.")

The dessert spoon across the sherbet bowl might have been more correct. **wink**

This is a time when scratch & sniff would be quite useful. This is tuberose and if you've ever smelled it I don't need to go any further.  
If it's new to you then you don't know what you're missing. It's at the top of the list with gardenia and jasmine; it shares some of their floral notes as well. 
I found this bunch at my local Costco.  It starts to turn brown pretty quickly but the fragrance doesn't fade at all.  I usually keep it around well past its 'expiration date' just because it smells so amazing. 

Yes, I like it. A lot. A whole lot. A friend told me recently that she found the tubers at a local nursery. I'm happy for her.
Really I am.
But she lives in another state. 
I don't think it'll grow here.

I'll be linking to 'Seasonal Sundays' on The Tablescaper (next week) and to 'Tablescape Thursday' on Between Naps on the Porch.

I hope you're having a great week! 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pantry Project - Looking for suggestions

I hope that you're warm & cozy on this winter's day.  I just took a quick break to make some hot chocolate - with marshmallows of course!  

Like many of you I have some new goals for the new year and for this particular goal, I need some help.  I want to use up ingredients I have in the pantry and freezer.  I believe I've seen similar posts referred to as "Cook from your pantry" or "Eat from your Pantry" (or something like that). Winter seems like the perfect time for this effort since I'm very much in the mood for comfort food. 
I always think of great ideas for meals while I'm at the grocery store but by the time I get home, I have completely lost the enthusiasm for preparing them and all the supplies I've purchased just get put away until inspiration strikes again (or they hit their expiration date).

NOT my pantry... but similar
I want to downsize the quantity of food stored in my pantry and freezer and try out some new recipes.  
I'm looking for a website or Android app that will allow me to enter ALL of the my ingredients and come up with a variety of recipes.  I've tried the Kraft website but that only allows you to enter a few ingredients. For example if I enter, chicken, rice, noodles, corn, black beans - I won't get any results because there aren't any recipes that call for both rice AND noodles. In other words you have to know where you're going in order to get there.

I appreciate your input.  I did some brainstorming last night and came up with a short list of meal ideas. Tonight, I'll be preparing chicken with boursin sauce and baked brown rice. 

I'll be linking up with The Thrifty Groove for 'Thrifty Things Friday'.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's All Furr Love...

I was invited to link up to 'Happy Tuesday' at 'Holidays at the Harris Home' so I've created my first 'things that make me happy' post.
There are a lot of things in life that make me happy and today I'm sharing one of those things that's extremely special to me.
My cat - my kitten - my pitten - my bitty princess - the ball of fur that makes sure I know when she's ready for breakfast... or dinner.  She makes me very happy.

Okay, it's a bit odd looking but I was trying to capture her cleaning behind her ears... which, by the way, IS THE CUTEST THING IN THE WORLD! 
Sorry - but watching a cat wash his or her face is completely enthralling.

At least for me.

This sweet bundle of fur came to live with me a bit over two years ago.  She was my Dad's cat and lived with him on about half an acre in the country.  It was a very typical case of the cat adopting the person.  This cat just started hanging around and Dad started feeding her, then he decided she was his cat.  
At first she was strictly 'an outside cat and would sleep in the garage'. However, it wasn't very long before he decided that it was too cold outside and she was allowed in the house but only during the coldest part of the winter. Then.... it was really too hot during the summer so she needed to be inside where she could cool off.  

You can see where this is going.  It didn't take long to have Dad wrapped around her furry paw.  She had full run of the house and the yard whenever she wanted. Dad made her stay in at night and she woke him up early every morning for her breakfast (a habit she has hung on to now that she lives with me).
When we had to move Dad to an Assisted Living Facility, 'Miss Gooch' (Dad couldn't remember her real name anymore) came to live with me. 

She's been through a lot, especially in the last few years but she seems to be holding her own.  
I'm helping you sort the mail. Are there any free kitty treats today?

She's adjusted pretty well to be an indoor cat though I can tell she'd like to have a garden to dig around in now and then.  

Happy Sun-Cat
Here she is being extremely cute again; she's rolling around on the floor in the sun that's streaming in.  It's unfortunate that she chose to do this while I was crafting and there's a scrap of cheesecloth on the floor but it was still darn cute!

Supervisor in charge of EVERYTHING!
Often she lays on my desk and takes a nap while I'm working. I  certainly enjoy the company but there is a fair bit of fur floating around the desk. I recently made a pad for her to lay on (you can see the pink & white stripes over her shoulder on the right) first, because in winter the desk top is a bit chilly and secondly, to try to keep the fur a bit more contained... we'll see. 

I thought I was rescuing her and that she needed me, but as it turns out we needed each other. I can't imagine what the last two years would have been like without her company.  
Sometimes happiness arrives with pointy ears and a long tail.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year!

TA DA!!! 
I'm baaaaack!

I had no intention of letting so much time pass before I posted the New Year's table but it just sort of happened.

Here's what really happened...

I loaded Scrabble on to my tablet and spent a lot of my free time playing.  There I said it, now you know.   

However, I have also been busy with a few projects around the house, some of which you'll see in future posts and just general downsizing. I'm still very enthusiastic about downsizing and finding new homes for things I no longer need. 

I found these gorgeous wine goblets at Marshall's and knowing I'd be doing a silver & white table for my New Year's tablescape, they had to come home with me.  The crown glasses & platter are from Sur La Table a few years ago.

You saw right through that one, didn't you? It's true, I started out downsizing because of a move to a much smaller home but now it's about finding space to store all my fun tablescaping supplies! 

I love a white themed table for the New Year. It gives me something shiny to focus on rather than be sad about how bare everything looks once all the colorful Christmas stuff is put away.

I had been waiting for a brighter day (another reason for the delay) but it got to the point where I couldn't wait any longer. It's very challenging to photograph an all white table and have it be as stunning on the page as it looks in person.

Btw, I did also notice that the tablecloth needed to be ironed. 
That wasn't going to happen.  I was still working with vacation brain and the totally relaxed approach to everything.  

The London plates were a gift from a friend. I just love them and hope I can find a couple more.  

The flatware - oh hooray for the flatware!!I found this while out checking out the after-Christmas sales and the price was too good to pass up.  Having a variety of color options for my flatware makes me feel more like a 'real' tablescaper. 

Here's a great shot of the wrinkles in the table runner. Hahaha.  

A different angle and a different setting on the camera. 

I didn't cook a big New Year's dinner but I did make a delicious breakfast for New Year's day, the french toast casserole pictured in the previous post.  It was so good, I'm still talking about it! I'll probably make it again for Valentine's day but maybe throw in some berries next time.

The lovely roast I bought for New Year's Eve dinner eventually got (defrosted) and cooked along with twice baked potatoes.  It was a fabulous meal! (I tried to take pics, even though it was quite delicious, it wasn't very photogenic)

A closeup of the London salad plate, just love them.

 One last shot of the place setting.

I'm excited to see what the new year brings.  I'm looking forward to more tablescapes, inspiration, sharing ideas, recipes and making new friends. 

I'll be linking up to Seasonal Sunday's at The Tablescaper and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Cuisine Kathleen is taking a break right now but I'm looking forward to her next challenge.

Sending you all love!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Merry Christmas...

Okay... so for some I'm a little late yet others haven't even celebrated yet.

I hope you had (are having) a wonderful Christmas and were able to take some time* to really soak it all in as well as sit back and relax.
Really, I'm serious - I've heard of people having time to relax during the Christmas season.  Well, I guess it could be an urban legend since there's no way to prove it.

Just like everyone else December was a very busy month for me and just like many of you, I didn't quite get everything done that I had planned for the season.  (There's still one gift waiting to be delivered)

I had big plans for this table and while I'm happy with the way it turned out, it wasn't all exactly what I had in mind when I planned it.
Originally, I hadn't planned on using the plaid plates again but the plain white just didn't work for me. Darn, I guess I'll have to start looking for some simple ivory colored plates for these situations.

Can you guess what my inspiration was for the 'basket' of fruit theme?

give up?

The Ghost of Christmas Present from 'A Christmas Carol'.  I'm not sure which version I'm remembering but one that was in color where Christmas Present is seated on a throne surrounded by piles of food and general abundance.
That image always makes me smile. 

 You may recognize some other components on this table from the previous post. I just couldn't put away the cute vintage postcards or the green votive holders.  The red bubble glasses are making an encore as well.

This pattern is called "Merry Christmas" (from Johnson Bros) and I just love it. These are called "snack plates" according to Replacements.  Right now, I only have two but I have plans to find some more.
I found these little beauties at a garage sale this past summer. They really looked gorgeous on the table.
A friend sent me these napkins, already folded, for Christmas a couple of years ago but this is the first time I've used them on the table. I love the elf slipper napkin fold.

My photo doesn't do these lovely red roses justice.

Here are a few photos of other Christmas decorations around the house.

This lovely group was from Southern Living at Home many years ago.

Cute little sleigh is another GW find.

A good example of where I just didn't quite get everything finished... like adjusting the garland to hang straight and adding the faux trees to the Christmas village.

I particularly like this photo of the mirror. Initially I was just trying to capture the garland and the candles but I soon realized that I was also capturing the tree and the table as well.

Happy accidents just make my world go around!

* (My mantra for the entire season is "I have more than enough time to get everything done". It may sound like a lie but it keeps me from getting too worried and nervous.  It actually worked so well the first year I started it that I was able to get all my handmade gifts completed and still take time to sit down and read at least once a day.)

I'll be linking up at Between Naps on the Porch, Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper this week. My thanks to these gracious ladies for allowing me to share my love of tablescaping on their blogs.