Monday, July 29, 2013

White and Aqua

I was excited, when Kathleen challenged us to do an all white table with an accent color.  I have had this table in my mind ever since I made a trip to the Old Time Pottery store in Destin, Florida.

While I was shopping there, I bought these wonderful beaded napkin rings and these fabulous aqua wine glasses.  Both were great bargains and every time that I looked at them, I thought how pretty they would look with white.

I had purchased these Fino Lino "Florentine" placemats, runner and napkins on One Kings Lane a few months ago and thought they would be a nice foundation for the white table.

I had several choices for white plates, but I always seem to reach first for my Lenox "Opal Innocence Carved" dinner plates, since they always add texture to any setting.  Next, I used J. C. Penney white "Coventry" salad plates, which are more the size of luncheon plates.  On top, I placed a Clay Art "Sunflower" salad plate for even more texture.

I do own white flatware, which I used in my July 4th post, but it seemed too casual for this table.  Kathleen said that we could use silver flatware, so I chose Wallace "Sir Christopher".  Again, it added a lot of texture and shine to the place setting.

I thought that my Cambridge "Diane" stemware would work with this table, since the etching shows white on the goblets.

I love the way that the aqua pops of color look with all of the white.

For the centerpiece, I started with simple white vase that is actually a pitcher from Tuesday Morning with white mums inside.  I, also, placed on the runner tall silverplate Towle salt and pepper shakers and white birds from Michael's.

I will have to admit that this challenge was a challenge!  When I was trying to shoot it, we were having monsoon weather and my dining room really does not get a great deal of light, during the day.  I tried every setting on my camera and still could not achieve the look I wanted.  Oh, well!  I still enjoyed seeing the way it came together. Do you ever have tables that look so much better in person, but you just cannot get the photos to look like what you are seeing? Anyway, I will be looking forward to Kathleen's next challenge and much sunnier days!!


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

She Sells Seashells!

I have had this tablescape in my mind for quite a while.  I think that I found these fabulous stems first:

I found them some time ago at Tuesday Morning.  They are Mo-Mo Panche and make quite a statement!!

Next, I found the Karen Lee Ballard placemats on One King's Lane.  They are indoor/outdoor mats with a vinyl coating.  I usually do not buy anything like this, but I thought that I could eventually use them at our condo in Florida and they would be perfect for the table on our balcony. You can see our view HERE.

Since brown is my favorite color, I decided to use brown Oneida "Asiatic" dinner plates with the addition of white and aqua plates on top:

I used napkins from Florida Linen in Panama City, Florida and shell napkin rings that I have owned for years. On the back of these napkin rings, the price is still written with permanent ink - it reads $ .79!!  I think seventy-nine cents each was a bargain!

I always think of my Towle "Diane" sterling, when I am planning a tablescape that involves water.  This silver was made in 1889 and is covered with wavy lines, which reference the ocean. I used forks and spoons of this pattern and completed the flatware by using old mother-of-pearl knives with sterling ferrules and silverplate blades.

All of these pieces were in my head for a long time, but when my lovely daughter and her family gave me some wonderful apothecary jars for Mother's Day, I finally had the whole table set in my mind.  I had to wait to bring back shells from the beach, which I used to fill the jars. Finally, the table was set! Well, not really.  When I added the shells, they jars looked pretty dull.  There was so much blue on the table and none in the jars.  Eureka!  I had an idea.  I headed straight for Dollar Tree to see if they had any aqua vase fillers.  This never happens to me, but they did!!!  The first store had them - yeah!!

I came home and added them to the jars and was so please with the results:

I think that I can transfer this idea to the beach - I have brown Fiesta and aqua Margarita glasses there. Many thanks to my daughter's family for helping me finally get this table done! Now, maybe, I can move on to some of my obsessions - I have not written one of those posts in a while! Speaking of my daughter, I have fantastic news!  She has reactivated Tablescape Times Three! You can read all about it HERE. While I probably will not be posting there, we will be sharing links to each others posts.  I am so excited, because she has some fantastic creative ideas and she and her new husband (also, brilliant and creative) will be sharing lots of interesting and useful information.  Don't miss it!! Best of luck, Andrea and Steve!!


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Catching Up!

Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen has given us the challenge of setting an all white table for the July 31st Let's Dish. I have been working on my table, but I started thinking about one that I did for Tablescape Times Three a number of years ago. You can view the post HERE. I remember how much fun that I had setting this table.  However, I am having a more difficult time finding something that I like and photographs well for Kathleen's challenge! We have had so much rain that photographing in my dining room has been a nightmare! I will have a table ready, though, but I cannot guarantee the success of it - lol!!

I want to thank everyone who asked about and prayed for my friend, Marge.  I am so thrilled to report that she went home from the rehab center yesterday on her birthday.  It was a glorious birthday present!! After being away from home in three different hospitals, since May 23rd, she was able to sleep in her own bed last night.  What a miracle!!

Some of you might remember my post Dreaming of Peaches.  Well, I am happy to report that delicious, ripe Georgia peaches are finally here.  This was terrific, when I was trying out the Facebook recipe for cake in a mug.  If you remember, in my last post Cake in a Mug!, I gave you my favorite cake in a mug recipe and added a new one at the end of the post that I had not tried previously.

I have had a terrible time with this recipe and wished that I had made it, before I gave it to the rest of you.  I bought the required angel food cake mix and a white cake mix.  I first tried the regular recipe and realized that for my microwave, the recipe called for too much liquid.  I made it again with better results, but it tasted like cake mix and I did not like that. I tried, again, by adding some white chocolate and regular chocolate chips, but they all sank to the bottom (this does not happen with the first one I shared).  Finally, I doubled the recipe (still cutting the amount of liquid) and...I still did not love it.  Wait just a minute here - didn't I just write that the peaches were in season??? Oh, my goodness!  I took the recipe that I doubled, cut the cake in half.  Then, I added fresh peaches and a couple of dollops of fat free Cool Whip.  Whoohoo!!  Who cares how the cake tasted, the peaches and Cool Whip did the trick.  This is how it looked on my Villeroy and Boch "Intarsia" dessert/salad plate:

Don't those peaches look fantastic - actually they were (not that I ate it all or anything)!! However, in all seriousness, I have not been impressed with the Facebook recipe.  My sister tried it with angel food cake and carrot cake and said that she was pleased with the results. Please let me know, if you tried it and what your favorite flavor was.  For now, I am sticking with the made from scratch one. 

I guess that catches us up on a few loose ends, so I guess I had better sign off and continue working on my white table for Kathleen.  However, just because I cannot resist, I am leaving you with a picture of my daughter and her family, while they were on a trip out west.  Can you imagine two weeks in a car with three children??? Everyone survived and had fun (I think!) -18 states in 12 days!!!!  I hope you and your families found something fun to do this summer.  August will be the month that I really get to enjoy my grandchildren!!


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cake in a Mug

Do you ever get the urge for something sweet, but you do not want to wait for a  cake or cookies to bake? I feel that way often occasionally and I really do not want to have an entire cake sitting around for just my husband and myself to eat. When I cannot stand it any longer, I usually bake a "cake in a mug".  Since most of you have been blogging for a while, you might already know about this wonderful idea, but in case you do not, I wanted to share.  My daughter gave me the recipe a couple of years ago and I am hooked!

The other day, I started working on this table, because I had some flowers that still looked good and did not want to waste them.  I decided on a green and pink theme, because the flowers were pink and I had some plates that I had never used.

These salad plates are "Charmed Rose" by Lynn's China and were very inexpensive.  However, I bought them, because I liked the green and pink colors, which decorate them.  You can barely see it in the photo, but the rim is the palest shade of green, which blends into the white center.

I looked through my vintage glassware and found pink "Rosaline" wine glasses by Cris D'Arques/Durand and green water glasses by Hazel Atlas. I had planned to explain to you all about the water glasses being part of the Hazel Atlas "El Dorado" line, but after I had already started this table, I found an old advertisement for that line on the internet and these glasses were not shown.  Replacements lists these as being "El Dorado", but I have always thought they just did not look like they were. "El Dorado" pieces have round dots on them.  So now, my tutorial is on "hold"!!  Apparently, no one has ever written the definitive book on Hazel Atlas, so it is difficult to identify some of the pieces. I will have to get back to you on this one!!!

The other piece of vintage glass is the pink "Teardrop" Indiana Glass compote that holds the flowers.

I had pink and green reversible placemats, along with green "Samarra" and pink "Coventry" plates, so I used those with the Lynn's china.

Reed and Barton "French Renaissance" sterling was added to the place settings.

Now, back to the "good stuff"! While, I was putting this table together, I decided that I was really hungry and thought of a cake in a mug.  It would not take long and I would not have lots of leftovers to tempt me later. Oh, my goodness!!!! I could make a couple and use them in this post.  Then, I could eat part of one later - win/win!!!!

So, that is exactly what I did!!! One cake is really too much for one person (taking the 5th on whether or not I have ever eaten a whole one myself!!), so two make a total of four servings.  They are not the prettiest cakes, so I added a huge strawberry to each and sprinkled some powered sugar over the cake.  I am leaving you with the recipe that my daughter shared with me, but I have realized lately that there are many variations that you can find online.  Hope you like it!!

Cake in a Mug

4 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (really any flavor will do)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to large coffee mug, mix well.  Add egg and mix thoroughly.  Pour in the milk and oil.  Mix again. Add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Mix everything, one more time.  Put the mug with cake mixture into a microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (ovens may vary).  The cake will rise above the rim of the mug - this is normal. After the 3 minutes, take out mug and let cake cool a bit. Tip the cake out of the mug onto a plate, cut in half and enjoy!  You do know that recipes that you find while blogging have no calories, right????


P. S.  I just saw another recipe for a cake in a mug on Facebook.  I have not tried it, yet, but I thought I would add it, anyway. Buy two kinds of cake mixes.  One can be any flavor, but the other must be an angel food cake.  Mix the two together and put into an airtight container.  When ready to make the cake, mix 3 Tablespoons of the mixture and 2 Tablespoons of water in a mug. Cook for one minute in the microwave.  You may add ice cream, fruit, etc.  Good luck - I cannot wait to try this one, too!

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Crazy June and Bargains!

I finally am back at my computer blogging, after the insane month of June! After three June birthdays, Father's Day, a baby shower, a week's vacation, a day trip to Pine Mountain with my sister, and a visit from my oldest granddaughter, I had no time for posting a blog! Oh, I forgot to mention that I went to the hospital almost every day that I was in town to visit my friend, Marge. Also, I had to get a new driver's license and my car had to go to the car hospital for half a day and I waited at the dealership, while the work was being done!

Here are just a few random photos of some of the events.  It was a wonderful month of family celebrations, but I was exhausted by the time they were all over!!

Do you ever have months like that? I admire all of you who can continue posting, while doing all of the other things that need to be done.  It seems that every summer, I have to take a hiatus!

I would like to report that my friend, Marge, who has been in two different hospitals, since she fell ill in May, is doing so well that she is being moved to an acute rehab center this week.  They will try to get her strong enough to go home. Such good news!!

I did find the time to do a little shopping on vacation, so I thought that I would leave you with some bargains that I found...

Aqua wine glasses from Old Time Pottery - $ .99 each!

Red square dinner plates from Beall's Outlet - $1.99 each!

The green napkins in this photo from Kroger - $1.99 each!

Red and Aqua napkin rings from Old Time Pottery - $1.69 each!

I found several more items like more dishes and placemats, but I will show them in some later posts.  Have you found any bargains this summer?  I know my friend, Mona, at Hidden Art of Homemaking found the best bargains ever on some gorgeous stemware.  I hope she will feature those pieces in a blog soon!

I am so glad to be back - I have missed all of you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us!

It is time to wish our country, "Happy Birthday", again - time to get out the red, white and blue!

Uncle Sam watches over the celebrations and gives us a peek at his The Spirit of America book.

Stars and stripes are here on placemats and plates.

"And the rockets' red glare" - well, firecracker candles, anyway!

Red and blue stemware from Horchow. White flatware from Walmart. Blue napkins from Kohl's and red napkin rings from Old Time Pottery.

As we celebrate this year, I hope we all remember the sacrifices that our forefathers made in creating this great country. Think about all of the freedoms and rights that our wonderful Constitution grants us. Some time during the celebrations, actually read the Bill of Rights and remember what is supposed to make this country different from all others. Our America - the land of freedom and opportunity!! May it always remain this way.


P. S. Hope your day is filled with flags and fireworks!!

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