Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ava's Guest Blog


This February has been a special month for a special little girl.  My youngest granddaughter, Ava, turned 10 years old. Last summer, when I had stopped blogging for a while, Ava visited me and wanted to do a tablescape.  She has done guest blogs before - you can see one of them Here. I had never published this blog, so I thought that in honor of her birthday, I should do it now.


I, basically, stayed out of her way on that occasion.  I showed her my tablecloths and she selected this one by Elrene. After that selection was made, I pulled everything that I thought would work with the tablecloth. She chose these ruffled green place mats and brown Oneida plates.


She had a lot of fun looking at all of the glasses and picking out the ones that she wanted.  She chose green balloon goblets, Colony amber "Whitehall" sherbets, and Fostoria red "Westchester" clarets. I absolutely love the way she brought out all of the colors in the tablecloth!


Ava used a gold napkin and combined two napkin rings to create the effect that she wanted.  One napkin is a cluster of dark pink grapes and the other is an antique gold leaf. I would not have thought of that and I love that she taught me a couple of things!


Oneida "Cantata" stainless forks and dessert spoons were used, but Ava thought the wooden handled Laguiole steak knives added a little more interest and carried out the brown theme.


I think Ava did a stellar job in creating this beautiful table.  When my husband arrived home from work the evening that she created it, he was so impressed and thought that I had done the tablescape.  Maybe, I should let Ava do a guest blog more often - lol!

The most important thing about the table, though, is the little girl who planned it. I cannot believe that she is 10 years old - it seems like yesterday that she was born.  Happy Birthday, Ava - I love you!!

Nana (Diane)



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Monday, January 28, 2013

Fat Tuesday!



Did you ever have so much trouble setting a table that it almost did not make it into your blog?  That is what happened to me with this Mardi Gras one.  Originally, I had not planned to do a Mardi Gras tablescape this year, since Mardi Gras falls so close to Valentine's Day.  However, I do love New Orleans and the festive look of the Mardi Gras colors, so I gave in and started to think about what I already had to use.  I did not want to buy new things this year.

I started with the same place mats and napkins that I used last year. I added a Royal Doulton "Richelieu" white and gold plate and placed a purple Pyrex "Festiva" luncheon plate on top.  Even though I had recently used my Reed and Barton "French Renaissance" sterling flatware in a Christmas post, I decided that I would use it, again.  The "Richelieu" and the "French Renaissance" sounded perfect to use in a blog honoring Mardi Gras in New Orleans.


I had a terrible time deciding how to display the masks and choosing a centerpiece.  Nothing look quite good enough.  I finally decided how I would completely set the table and began taking the photographs. Wow, that is when the magic happened!!! 


I opened one of my shutters and this is what I saw.  Oh, the sunlight steaming into the room made the table look mysterious and so pretty.  The Mardi Gras beads that I used as napkin rings (I thought the guests could just remove them from the napkins and wear them the rest of the meal!) and the gold organza napkins sparkled in the light.


The Fostoria "Andover " water goblets with the gold encrusted rims and the green balloon goblets (I do not know the maker), also, sparkled. 



I decided to add some curly ribbon streamers to my chandelier.  This was so easy!  I already had shiny ribbon in all three Mardi Gras colors. I cut long pieces and curled them with scissors.  Then, I hung them to the chandelier by wrapping the first and second "curl" of the ribbon around the arms of the chandelier. Simple, but it did add another festive touch.

All I need to do now is buy a King Cake and enjoy the meaning of "Fat" Tuesday - lol!!! Hope you have a fun celebration!

Diane





Sharing at:

A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday

Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays








Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Have been Doing!


I have been promising to write about why I stopped blogging last year. I finally have time to revisit my insane year and explain why I have not posted a blog recently.

Last year proved to be quite a stressful year, but I managed to blog, until July.  After that, I could not find the time.  The following are just a few of the events that took over my life.

Early last year, we had a divorce in our family.  It involved children, which is always stressful.  However, this one has a happy ending with a new wedding in December.  Here are the happy bride and groom:



Early in the year, I was also still working on the Florida condo project.  Here are a couple of photos of the main room.  Almost everything is finished, except for the master bedroom.  It is still a work-in-progress, after more than a year!



 

Both children moved to other towns.  They both purchased homes - one needed some work and the other one needed building.  Our single son bought a house that looked like this:


He did not want to pick out anything, so he asked me to do it.  I have always enjoyed the building process, but since the house had already been started, the builder wanted everything chosen "yesterday".  Since I had to travel around 45 minutes each way to handle each little decision, I was on the road a great deal.  This, too, has a happy ending.  The house now looks like this"



My husband and I both made many trips picking out furniture for both houses, but it was well worth the effort.  My daughter's house looked like this, when it was purchased and still looks like this on the outside:


However, the inside is quite different.  The first thing that we did was to replace the carpet in the master bathroom with tile.  Since her marriage, our daughter and our new brilliant son-in-law have made many changes to the inside.  It is amazing how much they have done in such a short time!

Our oldest granddaughter was accepted to the same boarding school from which her mother graduated and it was partly my job to get her ready to go in August.  We shopped, until we dropped (literally!).  Here is a photo of her in her uniform that she sent me from school:



Having the other two grandchildren an hour away has kept me busy with babysitting and trying to be there for their performances and sports activities.  Here are some of those:


I, also kept them at my house, too.  We did some fun things together, during the summer, but here is my favorite photo of them taken, while they were staying with us.  They were "helping" rake the yard!



Thanksgiving was particularly busy last year.  My boarding school granddaughter and her friend from  Cologne, Germany spent quite a bit a time with us.  We shopped a bit then, too.  Here is a photo of them in front of the huge Christmas tree at our wonderful shopping center:



The week-end after Thanksgiving was crazy!  My daughter drove the girls back to school in Maryland and I went along for the ride.  We left on a Saturday and had them back at school Sunday morning:




That part of the trip went well, but trying to get home on Sunday was a nightmare.  We could not get out of Virginia!  Here is all we saw:



We finally made it home Monday afternoon, thank heavens.  Of course being so busy, during Thanksgiving made it very difficult for me to get ready for Christmas - oh, that and my husband had surgery on his knee the next week!  We went to Florida for his recuperation, since there are no stairs there. I did about half of what I usually do for the big holiday, but we survived.

Well, that covers most of 2012, before I returned to blogging. What I have been doing recently was fulfilling a New Year's resolution. I have had most of my tablescaping items in a Word file for a couple of years. Last year, I accidentally deleted Word from my computer (ALAS!).  The computer genius at my husband's company managed to retrieve the data for me and installed a more recent Word software program.  Since, I had realized that my old file was not organized the way that would be more useful, I began the arduous task of copying and reorganizing my file into the new format.  I worked on it a little at a time, but at that rate, I would never have finished. After New Year's, I began an all-out assault on the project and yesterday, I finished!!! Hopefully, I am now back in the tablescaping business and will be much more efficient. My smart daughter taught me how to make one of these files and she posted the method on Tablescape Times Three, when we were blogging together.  I am going to give you the link, in case you would like to make one.  It is a little difficult at first, but it is soooo (!) worth it in the end.  You can see her her post Here

Thanks for your patience in reading this very long blog! I hope that we all can have a peaceful and fun year in 2013 - I am certainly glad that 2012 is gone!!

Diane


P. S.  This is where I plan to spend most of 2013!!




                                                                              



















Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wishing for Winter




As I am writing this blog it is fifty-one degrees in my city and the children of my next door neighbors are playing basketball outside.  I have lived in Georgia my whole life and I hate hot weather.  If it is fifty-one degrees on January 5th, can you imagine how warm it gets in July???


Every year, I long for cold weather and, perhaps, snow.  We do get snow occasionally, but the last big snow that I can remember was almost 20 years ago. Here is a picture of the snow we had in 2009.  Isn’t this the most beautiful sight?  I love looking out of my window and seeing this covering of white. I know that those of you who live in cold weather states or countries probably think that I am crazy.  However, I love winter clothes and definitely do not love summer ones.  I have never been a flip-flop type of girl!  Wool sweaters and boots are more my style. I have a closet full of those, which I almost never wear and I cannot even remember the last time I wore my warmest winter coat. I have always longed to live in a place where it is necessary to wear at least a sweater all of the time. However, since my husband loves hot weather, I guess I will never know what cold weather living is like.


I started thinking that I might feel better, if I created my own icy tablescape and put myself in the wintery tableau.





I ordered a silver crinkle tablecloth from Efavormart (only 11.99!!) and placed it on my table.

 


Faux silver leaf chargers with Lenox “Federal Platinum” dinner plates went on the tablecloth.



I used Tiffin “Argenta” ice (!) beverage glasses and Schott-Zwiesal “Delilah” wine goblets. I set the “Argenta” glasses on silverplate coasters for a little extra sparkle.



Wallace “Sir Christopher” sterling flatware had the icy look that I wanted.




I put two colors of organza napkins together – silver and white and added a Raz napkin ring with pearls and silver glitter leaves. All of the napkins were purchased at Florida Linens in Panama City, Florida.



I created my own snow by placing large rhinestone snowflakes around the table.



For the centerpiece, I started by placing a rectangle mirror from Michael's in the middle of the table.  I placed a mercury glass vase with a handle on the mirror.



I put a branch from my yard in the vase and decorated it with crystal stands – oh now, it is beginning to look like an icy wonderland!



Two snowy votives were added to the mirror, along with more rhinestone snowflakes.




Mercury glass urns from One King’s Lane were added to the table to hold pillar candles.


I am very pleased with the end result of this tablescape.  I plan to save these photos and dream about cold, cold weather, when the temperature is 100 degrees or above this summer! I hope that the rest of you are living in the climate that suits you best and Happy New Year to all!

Diane