Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve


I cannot believe that Christmas has come and gone and that the New Year is just around the corner!



Do you have some years that you cannot wait to see end or years that you hate to see go???



This year, I think that I hate to see 2013 end.  It has been a pretty good year with not much drama for my family.  I know things are very different for some of my blogging friends and I do understand!  I could not wait for 2012 to end!!!



I guess that it is time to pull out the sparkles and celebrate endings and beginnings.  It is a time to remember old friends and wish to make new ones.



It is time to think about our New Year's resolutions - like eating more healthy food and exercising. Perhaps, we might wonder where we would like to be this time next year.  Old habits are very difficult to break, but I think that old dogs can learn new tricks.  Well, maybe, except for the exercising!!!



So light the candles and put on funny hats.  Drink some champagne and blow tiny horns. Watch the fireworks and celebrate new beginnings!



As for me, I am looking forward to a wonderful year in 2014 (always, the eternal optimist!!) and I wish the very same for each and every one of you!!!!


Diane




Chargers - Michaels
Lenox "Federal Platinum" dinner plates
Black napkins - Dillards
Silver napkin rings - Steinmart
Rhinestone pillar candle holders - Save on Crafts
Mercury Glass hurricane - One Kings Lane
Celebrity "Ebony" Water goblets
Artland "Pebble" champagne flutes
Wallace "Sir Christopher" sterling flatware


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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!


I have been so busy enjoying a long visit with my oldest granddaughter and I will
not will linking up with any blogs this week.



However, I wanted to wish each and every one of you a very, Merry Christmas!!


Diane

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Obsession Number Seven - Scotland: A Scottish Christmas


"Heap on more wood - the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still."
 - Sir Walter Scott



Christmas at our house this year will be full of reminders of my Scottish heritage.  I have written about my Cameron ancestors previously, when I was writing for Tablescape Times Three.  If you would like to see some pieces of my Scottish collection and read about my "Fiercer than Fierceness Itself" ancestors who were members of Clan Cameron, you can see the post HERE.



I love everything about Scotland, especially the Tartans.  Maybe, that is why Ralph Lauren has always been my favorite designer.  This Highlander Santa from Horchow is a perfect example.  He is outfitted in a Royal Stewart tartan kilt, with black and silver accents.  The placemats on the table are also the Royal Stewart plaid from Dillard's.



Draped over one of the dining room chairs is a woolen blanket that I purchased in Scotland.  It is the tartan pattern of the Queen's Own Highlanders military regiment  - Cameron of Erracht . This regiment was active in Scotland from 1793 until 1804 and in Great Britain from 1804 until 1961. Here is a picture of an early member of the regiment:



This tartan pattern was chosen by the Camerons and not designed by the government, which I believe was unusual for a military unit.



Another of my obsessions is Mauchline Ware, which was made in South West Scotland in the town of Mauchline, until the last factory burned down in 1933. Besides this transferware, tartanware and fernware were also made in the factories.  I will serve mints from my little boxes, after our Christmas feast. My favorite of the boxes in the larger one in the back, which shows Edinburgh from the castle hill. 




Another Scottish treasure is this Edinburgh Crystal bowl, which was a gift from my husband.  The workmanship on this bowl is truly exquisite and I love it!



The place setting started with silver chargers with black dinner plates and red glass Maxwell and Williams salad plates.  On top is my favorite (another obsession!!) Christmas pattern, "Spode Christmas Tree".  Although, not Scottish, I think that you could find this English pattern on a few Scottish tables at Christmas! I decided to use Towle "Diane" silver, The sea references (shell, waves, etc.) on the flatware remind me of the wild Scottish coastline.



I used mother-of-pearl dinner knives, since so many of these pieces were made in Great Britain. Mine were made by Shreve & Company in America, however.



Other pieces that are strictly American made are the stemware pieces that I used.  I could not resist the platinum rims on the Tiffin "Argenta" iced beverage glasses, nor the beautiful green color of the Fostoria "Spartan" water goblets.



The tartan votive holders and the mercury glass pillar candle holders came from Walmart this year.



I found this cute little Nikko dish at Dillard's.  I think it is meant to coordinate with several Nikko Christmas patterns.  Of course, I loved the plaid decoration on the edge.  I tried to find a real tartan pattern (I own several research books on tartans) that was similar and I do think that this one is a modified (for Christmas) "Dress Stewart".



I am pretty happy with my Scottish Christmas table.  It will be a great starting point to share my heritage with the grandchildren.  From our house to yours, Merry Christmas and I hope Santa is very good to you, whether he is Scottish or not!!!

Diane







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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Legend of the Poinsettia



A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.  "I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.



Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet.  Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering.  She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.



As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.



Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.



From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.



What will be your gift this Christmas season?  Will you give with all your heart, like Pepita? Even the most humble gift given in love is acceptable - remember that, when you see a Poinsettia this season...


Diane



 Thanks to annien.com for the story of the Legend of the Poinsettia


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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Candy Santa Fairy has Landed!


Oh, memories of Christmas! Some of my favorite memories revolve around what I found in my Christmas stocking - the small toys, the fruit and the CANDY!!

When I saw this wonderful Candy Santa Fairy on sale last year at One Kings Lane, I knew that I had to have him and this table was born.

I started searching for other candy tableware and linens...



A peppermint salad plate from Bon-Ton


A smaller peppermint plate from Cracker Barrel


A peppermint cupcake tree from a local store, Creter's (my very favorite place to shop!)


Some floral sprays, also, from Creter's and the wonderful peppermint tablecloth from Boscov's


The fabulous runner from Creter's and the red swirl glasses from Pier I

I definitely let my "inner child" run with this table. I love it so much that I do not want to take it down.  However, it is not my final table of the season - "sigh"... I will leave you with some more photos and no more words, but I hope your inner child enjoys the Christmas season!!











Well, maybe two more words - Happy Holidays!!!!

Diane





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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let the Games Begin!!


Time to get serious, about Christmas!! I thought I would do a small table this week and expand to my special Christmas table later in the month.



"Bountiful Holiday" by Fitz and Floyd seemed like the perfect pattern to use.  The name sounds like a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always think of Thanksgiving, as a "bountiful" holiday, but Santa seems to have another day on his mind!



I started with the Fitz and Floyd canape plates, which are huge.  They are almost as large, as the red Biltmore "Louisa" dinner plates. 



 The plates have a significant amount of light green on them, so I used green placemats and napkins.




Vintage silverplate pieces, which belonged to my grandmother, are shown here with the napkin.




I finally succumbed to the green Dollar Tree glasses, like most other tablescapers already own.  I bought the blue ones some time ago, but I really did not think I needed the green ones.  Of course, I figured out that I absolutely had to have them - lol!! I think they are a perfect accompaniment to the Fostoria cut glass "Holly" water goblets.



Of course, I had to use the "Bountiful Holiday" musical Santa, as the main attraction in the centerpiece. I love the details on this piece:





So perfect for this time of the year!






The pretty fall leaves on the Santa looked like what I was viewing from my breakfast room window, while shooting this post!



Yes, I think that I am ready to begin the Christmas season - are you? Let the games begin...


Diane