Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Land of the Free

When I think of America’s birthday, I usually think of flags waving, parades or family barbeques.This year, I came across some plates that I had never seen before and decided to use the salad plates in my tablescape. They are called, “An American for All Seasons”.  I love the idea of Americans going about the business of living all year – a free people choosing how to spend their lives.

As we celebrate this July 4th, I hope that we remember the sacrifices that were made to give us that freedom. The founding fathers put everything on the line – their land, their fortunate and their lives. I personally would like to remember the two ancestors of mine who fought in the American Revolution, Josiah Daniel and Arthur Jordan, both of Virginia.

For my table this holiday, I started with red, white, and blue placemats with silver stars from Kohl’s.

I added blue chargers from Horchow, then red “Louisa” Biltmore plates from Dillard’s. The “An American for All Season” salad plates by Nikko went on top.

Since there are only four seasons and I set a table for six, I had to use duplicates of a couple of the seasons.

Here are the four different designs:





I have not purchased the dinner plates, yet, but they are similar.  The do have one important addition to the border – two American flags.

I am sure that many of you will recognize the blue Libbey goblets.  I bought them at Dollar Tree and I think almost every tablescaper owns either the blue or the green ones.  Some of you may own both. What a bargain at a dollar apiece!!

I added a Schott-Zwiesel “Delilah” wine glasses.

Red and white flatware was mixed together – both colors came from Walmart.

White napkins from Dillard’s and red napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond completed the setting.

For the centerpiece, I used a cut-out metal lantern that spells U-S-A. I found it at Big lots. I filled it with sparkly stems that, if you really use your imagination, could look like fireworks! I covered everything with a glass cloche from T J Maxx.  I will add a battery powered candle to it in the evening, as well as the four red and blue “star” votive holders in the middle of the table.

I wish for you all a very safe and happy 4th of July.  I, also, wish that all of us reflect on what freedom really means – the risks and the rewards. Happy Birthday, America!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

At the Beach!

Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen has issued a challenge for June for a summer beach post.  I decided that I would take up the challenge and shoot this blog at our condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  Can you see the emerald colored water?  It is gorgeous!

I really do not keep much china at the beach.  We have had the condo for less than a year and it had never been furnished, when we bought it.  We have been trying to get that done and I have not been concentrating on the tableware that much!  Hard to believe, I know. The main pattern there is Fiesta chocolate. I understand that most of you are thinking – who wants to use brown at the beach? I do, remember it is my favorite color!  We do use blues with it.  Anyway, back to the story.

I really did not have anything cute to use, so my husband and I made a run to Destin, FL to the Old Time Pottery store there.  I had never been (!).  Wow, wow and wow!!  It was almost too overwhelming, but I was on a mission to find cute things for this post.

The first things that I found were these fish plates. I thought the colors would fit into our condo color scheme (I guess I should do a before-and-after of that in a blog).

The store had a matching lantern that we could use during the evenings on our balcony.  I bought a battery candle for it, because the breezes outside would blow out a regular candle.

I found the perfect Margarita glasses in just the right shade of blue.

I thought the green of the Margaritas would look nice with the emerald water!

The blue napkins were also purchased at Old Time Pottery, as well.  I bought some other items, too, but I will have to show you those in another post.  Let’s just say that I have a new obsession about that store!!

I still thought I needed a few things, so we made a run to World Market (I wish I had one of those near my real home!).  I found these cocktail forks and knives there.  I loved the handles – they reminded me of the sea, somehow.

The wicker chargers, which are more like a shallow bowls, were purchased at World Market, too. They will be handy for carrying plates outside.

For this post, I actually cooked!  This was our dinner that evening – boiled Gulf shrimp and cocktail sauce.  O.K., for you readers who know me and understand my condiment phobia, I did not really eat the cocktail sauce!  However, my plate looked empty without it!

The Margaritas were a perfect accompaniment – icy cold on a warm evening.

Later, we enjoyed a glass of wine, while we watched the sun set.  Oh, how relaxing is our view! O.K., for you readers who know me – you know that I did drink the wine – lol!!

Kathleen, I hope that this is what you had in mind, when you asked for beach settings!  Mine is not elaborate, but it is authentic!!



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Brown and Blue

I wrote in a previous blog that brown is my favorite color. The reason that I love brown so much is because of the way it looks with other colors.  I even like brown and black together! In this post, I am using brown and blue.

As usual, my post has a funny ending.  However, since the “ending” by definition should not be at the beginning, I will save that story for later.

I was shopping in another town at their Big lots, when I found four Oneida “Culinaria” sage blue square plates. I thought the color was interesting, so I purchased them.

Afterwards, I made my way across the street to TJ Maxx. It is hard to believe, but I found beautiful brown, gold and sage blue tablecloths by one of my favorite designers, Raymond Waites.  They had a round tablecloth with an ecru background and an oblong one with a blue background.  Luckily, there were eight remaining napkins that matched the round tablecloth. I loved the paisley designs!

Since I had found only four of the salad plates, I put back the oblong tablecloth and bought the round cloth and all of the napkins.

When I arrived home, I searched the internet and found that Onieda had the same plates on sale on their website.  Hooray! I ordered four more salad plates and, also, ordered four round brown “Culinaria” dinner plates.

But then, I realized that I had a problem.  I had eight napkins and I would have eight salad plates, when they arrived - oh, no!!  I had left the long tablecloth behind at TJ Maxx! The next time I visited the same TJ Maxx, I went in with a heavy heart thinking there would be no way that they tablecloth would still be there.  My lucky day!!!  Not only was it there, but it had been marked down five more dollars!!!

I am on a roll now, I thought.  I remembered some glasses that I had seen with dark brown wicker  sleeves on them.  I found six large ones at TJ Maxx, but they had natural color wicker sleeves.  Being inspired by the other, more creative bloggers, I decided that I could stain the wicker a darker color.  Yipee!  I bought all six.

When I arrived home, I realized that my definition of “large” was a little off - these glasses were enormous!  Each one was almost like a vase and I did not realize it in the store, because they were not sitting next to any other tableware.  Back they went to the store.

Fortunately, a few days later, One Kings Lane was selling the very glasses that I had seen originally!  I ordered them quickly and I was almost set.

None of my napkin rings looked exactly right, so I ordered the wooden beaded ones from Kohl’s.  They were on sale, of course. This is my lucky blog, right?

By the way, at this point I had decided that I loved my JC Penny “Pearl” dinner plates with the setting.  They are dark yellow and really help to bring out the gold color in the tablecloth. Also, at this point, my Oneida plates had not arrived - wonder why? Everything else that I had ordered was already here!

A few days later, my daughter called and asked me to look at Marshall’s for some china she was buying, so I went there and they did have a  few pieces.  Never missing an opportunity to look around, I found this great jar that exactly matched my Global Amici glasses.  In fact, it was a Global Amici jar! Ah, I must be living right - trying to help out someone else and finding something perfect for me (lol!)! For the tablescape, I decided to use gardenias and greenery in jar for my centerpiece.

I was so excited about the table setting that I went ahead and put everything on my dining room table that I had bought.  I love to layer my linens, so I added ecru placemats that I have had forever and brown bamboo flatware that I had bought previously at Steinmart. Rattan chargers were added for even more texture.

For days and days, the table stayed that way without the last two Onieda plates that I needed for a six person table. I could not do a table for eight, because I had only six glasses. Suddenly, I received an e-mail from Paypal (not Oneida, if you can believe it!) stating that Oneida had refunded some money to my account, but not the full amount of my purchase.

Panic took over - which set of plates didn’t they have in stock???  What could I do, if the last four salad plates did not arrive?

About a week later, the package from Oneida finally made it to my door.  A sinking feeling came over me, as I  brought it inside.  I almost did not want to cut open the tape, but I did.  I peered into the box and still could not tell what color the plates were inside, because of all of the wrapping materials.  As I dug into the wrapping, I finally spied a corner of BLUE, not brown.  The salad plates were inside and not the brown dinner plates.  I am living right, I cried out! Aha, fortunate readers, you stuck with me, until the happy ending!

Well, that is my story about this tablescape.  I do love it and might not take it down for a while.  After all, it does match my brown and yellow dining room with the Modern Masters metallic paint on the walls, but that, my friends, is a story for another blog!


Sharing at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday

Sharing at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday

Sharing Wednesday at Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Sharing at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Where Do You Keep it All?

O.K. - The Tablescaper has given us a challenge where we have to bear our souls show our hiding places for all of our tableware.

Where to start?  I guess I will start with china.  I cannot quite show all of it, because some pieces are in  boxes in the basement, because of a recent redo.  However, I can show some of the rest.

Many china pieces are displayed in plain sight - in china cabinets and a special server/china cabinet that I had built into my kitchen two years ago.

Many of the pieces are hidden in cabinets.

I have a lot of cabinets - some in the kitchen and some in the laundry room.

All right, here is where it starts to be a little embarrassing! Many of my china pieces are stored in plastic or cardboard boxes under beds.

It is not always pretty!

Some pieces are stored in drawers around the house. This is a drawer in the bedroom that used to be my son's.

I had better move on or this will be the longest post, ever! My crystal, flatware and table linens are basically stored in all of those places, too.

There was a little space left in one of my desk cabinets! I am not above stashing anywhere I can find a spot - how about you?

I store crystal in conventional places, too.

Flatware, except for my sterling silver, is stored nicely in drawers.

Table linens are stored anywhere I can find a space - hanging in the laundry room and in every drawer I can find.  The bottom photo is of a drawer in the cabinet that holds the printer in my study!!

The same applies to napkin rings.  They are stored under beds and in drawers all over the house!

Well, that is about everything that I am willing to show, except for the table decorations, so I guess I will leave you with a few pictures of those.  Check out the insulation in the first picture - that is in a storage room behind one of my bedrooms.  Great place for stashing!  Cannot wait to see where you keep it all!!


Sharing at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays