Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Perfect Setting for Mantel Decorating

The big rush is now in full swing.  Shopping, decorating, cooking, and um, did I say shopping?  The problem I have is that I go with every good intention of buying wonderful Christmas gifts and end up buying stuff for myself.  It's not that I don't want to buy the gifts, it's just that it's so darn hard trying to figure out what everyone wants.  Don't you think men are harder?  With the women, you can find cute little gifts for the home, or jewelry, sweaters, gloves, I could go on and on.  Men?????  It should be personable, but what my guys want doesn't fit in a box.  Well, I guess I'll think of something....

I want to share my mantel with you today.  I have two trees up and decorated, and my mantel.  That's it for now.  But those are the biggies, I'll try to get to the outside later this week, if it doesn't rain.  Our fireplace and main tree is in our family room.

Family Room before mantel decoration.  Notice the vases, they will be used again!

My wreath, arrangements in vases, and mantel decorations all use gilded fruit.

I used a garland with lights as the base, but after I layered all the other materials on, you can barely see the lights, just a twinkle here and there.

A pheasant is the perched in the center with two of his friends on either side.

Everything is artificial.  I have used fresh greens before, but I found that I would have to re-do everything after a week or two.  It would be great to use fresh if you were having a big party.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy decorating!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Perfect Setting for Thanksgiving

The word epergne is taken from the French word epargne, which means economy.  An epergne usually has a large bowl in the center, with branches or arms that extend out holding smaller baskets, bowls, candle holders, or dishes of some sort.  Today it is used as a centerpiece, and I have been searching for an epergne since I saw one on the pages of a Southern Living Christmas book in 2004.  I found one this week at an auction, just in time for Thanksgiving.  Woohoo!!  It's a bit on the flashy side, but it's unusual, and I think it was a pretty good buy.  I used it as my centerpiece for one of my tables today.  I had 17 for dinner, and I am exhausted to say the least, but we had such a wonderful time being together, and everyone pitched in with the cooking.

My Victorian style epergne holds a bowl of roses at the top.  The three arms or branches, as they are sometimes called, hold oranges filled with flowers and rosehips.  Small bowls would normally be placed on the branches, but the oranges seemed to fit better without the bowls.

The epergne was used to save space when all the food was placed on the table.  It was also used to serve rare nuts, fruits, condiments, and other luxuries from the East.  Guests would serve themselves from the epergne.

For this Thanksgiving table, I used my Mother's china, Signature Collection, Queen Anne (Japan).  The green and gold colors remind me of autumn.  By using some of her china and other items, such as the crystal napkin rings, I feel that she is with us in spirit!

I also found a new mirror at the auction, I love the way it reflects the table in this picture.

Now on to table No. 2!  Neither one of my tables will fit 17 people, so I have set two, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room!

A bit more casual, I am using brown chargers from Target and Thanksgiving plates by Queens.
An orange harvest cloth, a brown runner, and lots of pumpkin and artichoke candles, which unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of once lit.  Things got crazy about that time...
I have been so blessed this year and on this Thanksgiving I am giving thanks for my health, my wonderful family--especially my hard-working husband who allows me to play with my dishes, my extended family, my friends, and those who have gone before me.  Thanks be to God!!  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!  Now on to Christmas!!  Thanks for visiting, as I strive for A Perfect Setting!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Perfect Setting for Turkeys

With fall winding down, high school football season is now over.  Last Friday night was Senior night, and we had the honor of being escorted on to the field with our son, his last football game.  One of our friends sent us all an email and I'd like to share some of it with you.  It was very touching, and it definitely brought a tear to my eye.  For those of you who have sons who play or have played sports, I think you will be as moved as I was:

Countless hours have been invested by your sons and each of you into a sport which is so unlike other team sports. It has allowed them to appreciate elements of teamwork, leadership, and the reward of personal effort. Learning to rest an injury and to play through a hurt. Respecting their coaches. Most players grow from such experiences and I trust this is the case for your sons. 

Some of our players may continue their experience into college, but for many, tonight will be bittersweet.  They celebrate their experience of football at MHS and, at the same time, begin to realize it may be their last time in pads.

For most, their love of this sport will never end. As a fan, they will always view the game from a different perspective. They’ll see the blocks that opened the hole, not just the running back who scores. The defender who turns the sweep inside where his linebacker wraps-up and gets the glory.  They’ll be an insider, appreciate the term “any given Sunday”, and will never forget their victory over (their rival).

As they grow they may give back by investing their time and knowledge into the development of young players and hopefully their own sons. They’ll form bonds with these players and follow their progress from association ball, to high school, and maybe beyond.  Through this they will discover that their football career didn’t end on Senior Night, but just took another form as they continue to be rewarded by the greatest sport on earth.

Thank you, Bill!

Association football days...seems like yesterday!

And on to tablescaping, it's almost turkey day!!

The majestic bird sits atop a mound of autumn leaves.

The table runner consists of garlands of fall leaves and berries.

Turkey was purchased at Home Goods last year.

Turkey square plates were purchased at TJ Maxx recently.  Placemats and napkins are from Tuesday Morning, a few years ago.  Flatware is Italian Countryside!!

Sugar and creamer are Heisey, and were my mother's.

Amber-colored stems were purchased at Tuesday Morning, and iced beverages are Lenox (I think).  I purchased them from an individual seller, who wasn't sure...

Pillar candle holders were purchased at TJ Maxx several years ago.

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon and as always, I'm striving for A Perfect Setting!

Also, please visit Yvonne at Stonegable for a fabulous giveaway!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Perfect Setting's Christmas Cover

If you live in the Richmond, Virginia area or the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina area, be on the lookout for RSVP Publication's postcard deck this week.  A Perfect Setting's Christmas table appears on the front cover.  Yes, it's a little early for a Christmas table just yet, but the holiday issue of RSVP goes out in November and it was a great opportunity for a little extra publicity.  For anyone coming over from RSVP, welcome!!  Come in and get in the holiday spirit!

The table began with an ivory cut tablecloth, embroidered with holly.

The centerpiece consisted of a cherub holding a bowl of Leland cypress, assorted fruits, and berries.  The base of the centerpiece was filled with cypress and berries.  Gold glittery sticks were added to both the top and bottom for depth and sparkle.  The centerpiece was placed on mirrors.  Small crystal vases of red roses were placed on each side of the centerpiece, and table gems were placed on the mirrors.

On each side of the mirrors, antique crystal candlelabras were placed with gold glitter candles.  The candlelabras were my grandmother's and mother's.

The place setting began with gold chargers, and Lenox Courtyard china.

At each place setting, a Heisey sherbet glass holds three types of Christmas greens--pine, cypress and holly, glitter sticks and an ornament placecard holder.

The iced beverage stem has a gold rim--I think it's Lenox (not quite sure), and the white wine glass is Gorham Crown Point.  The red wine balloons were purchased at Kohl's, a few years back, but I think you can buy them now at Tuesday Morning.

Can you see the holly leaves on the red napkins?  The napkin rings are Lenox and were purchased at Tuesday Morning.

Various red and gold votives were placed on the table and crystal salt cellars were used at each place setting.

A glass of cranberry champagne awaits you on the sideboard.

Sterling is Lunt.

Front cover of RSVP
Back of front cover

Enlarged copy of front cover.

Thanks for visiting today!  Hope this will get you in the "mood" for a little Christmas decorating!  Come back and see me, and for now I'm striving for A Perfect Setting!!