Change Everything

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



Just about the end of August but very much still summertime.  It's still very warm here, though the forecast is for a mild weekend. I'm stacking a lot of activities into this long weekend because it is getting towards the end of summer and because I really need a good break from work!

I put together a bright, cheery summer setting for two this week. I did 'cheat' a bit on the drinkware setting in some of the photos.  They should always be above the knife but for the pictures I preferred having them on opposite sides.

I've had the tiki candle holders for years and this is probably only the second time I've used them on a table.  Forgive me if I'm repeating myself here; I find that the more tables I do the more I'm able to shop around the house and find elements that I may have never thought of before.
A perfect example is the plant you see on the table. This plant was a housewarming gift and though I see it everyday, I had never used in on my table before but I really like the way it fills out this setting.  


The new faux bamboo flatware is making another appearance along with these great woven placemats.  Unfortunately I only have three but it worked out perfectly for this table because I only have two of these fun hibiscus plates and two of the parrot glasses.

The koa wood pineapple is a GW find.

 A close-up of one of the tiki candle holders.  I've also seen something similar as a tumbler, wouldn't they be fun for a luau themed party?

I just adore flamingos!  I'm always on the lookout for new pieces but as with many things they go in and out of style pretty frequently. Unfortunately, no new additions this year. 

I'll be joining the party at Cuisine Kathleen's Tablescape Challenge, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House, Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Flatware setting etiquette:
  • Forks on the left, knife on the right.  
  • The blade of the knife should always be turned toward the plate.  
  • Once you a piece of flatware is used, it should never again touch the table/tablecloth.  
  • If soup is served, often the soup spoon comes on the plate under the soup. It should taken away in the same way. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Purple Tea

I've been running errands all day, maybe it's time slow down and enjoy some tea.  While most of July & August have been too hot for anything but iced tea we did have a couple storms blow through that dropped the temps enough for long sleeves and a cup of warm, soothing tea.  

The beautiful tablecloth was my grandmother's, it works so perfectly with this tea set.

 I found this lovely tea set after I had read a tribute to someone's Mom who had Alzheimer's and as this disease has also impacted my family in a big way I had meant to wear something purple but got distracted and left the house without a single purple item on my person. When I walked into the store and saw this, I knew it was meant to be mine. 

Instead of getting everything matching, I bought two different plates and two different cups.  They didn't match exactly but they look wonderful together.

The other plate...

Sometimes everything just falls into place the way you want it even though you had no idea where you were headed when you started.  Since this was a setting for tea, I needed a cream & sugar set so I stared at the china cabinet for a while, walked away, did something else and went back and stared some more. Then suddenly I realized I had a cream & sugar that went with another set but seemed to work just perfectly with the new teapot.  

The flatware was a bit of a surprise, too.  I bought the set last year thinking it was blue and I wanted a blue set.  When I got it home, I decided I really didn't like it and actually found another blue set I liked better.  'Shopping' around the house for this table I took a closer look and decided they read more purple than blue, ta da!!

Finally, a bit of tea etiquette
  1. No pinkies in the air, there's really nothing proper about that hand position.
  2. I was reading a book last night and the author describes a fancy 'High Tea' at a local hotel.  What she was actually referring to was 'Afternoon Tea'. High Tea is really a hearty, hot meal more like dinner or supper.
  3. One only picks up the saucer with the cup if the table is more than 12" away from you. If you're seated a regular dining type table you probably don't need to pick up the saucer. If tea is being served from a low table, like a coffee table, then it is appropriate to pick up the saucer when sipping your tea.
  4. Once you're done quietly stirring your tea, the spoon goes behind the cup, not to the side (see photo above).
  5. The tea goes in the cup first, then sugar and milk if you choose.  Many, many, many years ago tea cups were made of inferior products and people would put the milk in their cups first so the hot tea wouldn't crack them.  That's not a problem today... unless of course your tea cup has been the freezer.
Lastly, not so much etiquette as a bit of information. Not all teas are meant to be steeped at the same temperature.  Most black teas can handle water straight out of the kettle, 195 - 205, but green and white teas need a bit less heat, approx 175 - 180 degrees. Using water at the right temperature makes all the difference in the flavor of your tea.  

Teapot, plates & cups - Grace's Teaware, Home Goods
Cream & Sugar - I. Godinger, gift
Flatware - Marshall's
Etched sherbet. tea strainer, ramiken - Le Stuff Antique store
pear candles - Vance Kittera candles, Kitchen Kaboodle  

Since we're already talking about SHOPPING...!!! The closest Hobby Lobby is about 2 hours from here so it's more of an event than just a quick trip.  For those of you who shop there regularly, when do you suggest I plan a pilgrimage for Christmas decor? September? October? Early, mid-month, end-of-the-month?

I'll be linking up with Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House, Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A little Lilly on the table

Happy August everyone - I hope the summer is treating you well. Things here are great and today we're fortunate to have a break from the extreme heat with some big puffy clouds running interference for the sun. 

Today's table was inspired by Miss Janice who unknowingly introduced me to all things pink & green and the joy of Lilly Pulitzer's bright colors & creative designs. 

This table setting features Lilly plates, napkins & pitcher, and some fun miniatures my Mom got me last Christmas.  I'm slowly putting together a faerie garden and someday (looking wistfully into the future) ... it may end up on my blog. 

Okay, so the stack may be a bit excessive with a charger and a plate basket, but I really liked the way it all worked together (and I just bought those baskets so I really wanted to use them).  The placemat helped break up the busyness of the plate from the busyness of the tablecloth. The green of the placemat and the green of the basket are actually must closer in color than they look here.

A bit of a landscape shot showing the adorable picnic table and the tiny wicker settee.  

I just love the little bucket with ice & soda, I didn't even realize I had it until I started pulling things out.  The 'palm tree' was a DIY project that started with a sand covered base but ended up with the burlap you see.  Turns out, spray adhesive would have been the way to go with the sand. Live & learn... or ask someone who's done it before. Not sure you can tell from any of these photos but there's a golf club leaning up against the 'tree' and a wee golf ball next to it.    

I'm so happy I finally found the faux bamboo flatware (at a reasonable price) it really is perfect for summer tablescapes.  Looking at this photo I realize that you're not seeing much of the fun napkins, also Lilly, that actually started out life as bandanas.  They're very large and I really struggled trying to figure out what to do with them.  This draped napkin is one of my favorite looks and it solved the issue of using something over-sized as a napkin. 


The all important aerial shot so we're sure not to miss anything important, ha-ha-ha....

Here's the exact same table setting but with the white eyelet tablecloth instead of the yellow & green barkcloth tablecloth.  It certainly makes all the colors and details pop much more than the other cloth.


Yes, that white really makes those pretty plates stand out so much more.  Again, another learning experience for this beginner tablescaper! 

Learning as I go is really part of the fun of putting together tables.  Even when I'm using a set up I may have done before I find ways to update it a bit and make somewhat new.  

 Unfortunately, the header is still missing from my page.  The gal who set everything up for me has experienced a string of very bad luck and I just don't think she's going to able to fix it.  If you know anyone who can help me out and is VERY reasonably priced, let me know.

I'll be linking up with Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and Cuisine Kathleen, too, if she's having a link party this week, How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Now go forth and decorate your table... or just sit still and sip some iced tea!

yellow & green tablecloth - GW last year
green woven placemats - Marshall's, last year
pink chargers - Hobby Lobby (online)
green plate baskets - Kitchen Kaboodle
pink Lilly plates & pitcher - Marshall's, last year
Lilly napkins/bandanas - Etsy
faux bamboo flatware - Home Goods
pink pineapple 'bowl' - Home Goods, Cynthia Rowley
"Palm tree" - supplies mostly from Michael's Crafts
palm goblets - Tuesday Morning, last year