Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Family Traditions

Family traditions are passed down from generation to generation.  They create in us a sense of closeness, a tie that binds us together through the years, the glue that holds us together.  When I was a child, we had many traditions on which I look back now with fond memories.   

Christmas breakfast was a big to-do for us.  All of my mother's sisters and their families would gather at my aunt's house next door, and we would eat eggs, homemade biscuits, fried oysters, bacon, and country sausage.  After breakfast, we would exchange presents and visit, oohing and aahing over all the goodies that Santa had brought.  That evening, we would again gather around a table for Christmas dinner.  After dinner, my mother would play Christmas carols on the piano and we would all sing.  We laughed a lot when we didn't know all the words (we never knew all the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas), or when someone sang a bit off key. 

As a new mother years ago, I wanted to carry on some of the old Christmas traditions and make new ones for my little family.  Every Christmas Eve my children would open 2 gifts.  The first gift would be new pajamas, so they could wear them on Christmas morning for all the pictures.  The second gift was a movie or a book, so they could settle down and get to sleep, while I was making last minute preparations.  When morning came, the gifts were all wrapped--red paper for my daughter's gifts, and green paper for my son's--and under the tree.  Every year my son asks what color his gifts are, and we laugh!  We again eat a big breakfast together, and our menu always includes fried oysters.  Christmas afternoon, we gather with our extended family for a party.  Our family has gotten too big for a formal dinner, so we have finger food, and no gifts are exchanged now, but we still sing.  My mom is no longer here to play for us, but one of my cousins has stepped in and we still laugh when we don't know the words or someone sings off key!  Except when Jesus Loves Me is played, and we all get emotional remembering the many, many times my mother played it for us so that we could sing.  I cannot hear the song without crying.  Heck, I'm crying now. :)

We also try to get together for Thanksgiving every year, but different families have branched off to do their own thing.  This year there were 12 of us at my house.

Our table was set for 10, as we had two come at the last minute.

I used pumpkins and fall-colored flowers in the centerpiece.
I sometimes buy a plant, such as a mum, and cut off the blooms to use in arrangements.  It's much cheaper than buying cut flowers.

You have seen these salad plates many times.  I paired them with my mom's china, which I also used last Thanksgiving.
I used these frosted leaf glasses, which were also my mom's, and Park Lane wine stems.

I found these candle cups at Goodwill.  They have a hole in the center, to use with candlesticks, or in this case, with decorative candles directly on the table.

Oops, I missed a candle!!

With all the chaos, I'm surprised I remembered to take photos!

I know I'm a week behind with my tables, but I wanted to spend time with my children and family while they were here.  I will be back visiting with you this week!  Thanks for taking the time to look!  I would love to hear sometime about your family Christmas traditions.  I always appreciate your kind comments!!  On to the Christmas holidays!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Navy Blue and Gold Setting

Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner?  I have done a bit of online shopping this week, but I have to admit, I get tired just thinking about it.  On a more positive note, my son will be home from college a week for Thanksgiving and a month for Christmas, so it will be good to spend some time with him.  I love spending time with my family and cousins, so I will do what I can do to make the holidays memorable for all!!

Now on to today's tablescape.  I won the plates I am using today at an auction, so I am using the colors navy blue and gold for a somewhat formal (staged) table.  I started with 8 place settings, but I decided after looking at the pictures that it would be less cluttered with 6.  So you may see pictures of both!!  If this were a real dinner party, I would put another leaf in the table, and use a much lower arrangement, or move this as we were seated.  Anyway, here goes!!
Welcome!!  The navy color of the tablecloth really picks up the blue in my dining room.  I've made a mental note to use this color more often!
I used gold baroque chargers and gold napkins.
The china is Pickard.  There was no pattern name, only a number.  The rims are gold and navy, even though they look black in this picture.
The sherbet is Heisey Crystalite and was my Mom's.  The salad plate is Courtyard by Lenox and is my go-to china when I need gold. 

This shot shows the sublte pattern in the Lenox salad plate.
For place cards, I used card stock and old earrings.  Some were my Mom's and some were mine from the eighties!
I know what you're thinking, these flowers really don't match this table, but I thought color would be good, and the real other reason is-- it's what's left outside in the yard lol!!
I was so excited to find this vase in an antique mall.  It's from Chelsea House, and I fell in love with it!  It has a drainage hole, so that's why you see a plate underneath.
Wine stems are handmade from Italy and the iced beverages are, hmm maybe Lenox?? Not sure exactly, but they have a gold rim at the top and, I think, are very elegant.
Here's the table with place settings for 8.  A bit on the cluttered side, but no dead space, that's for sure.

Ah, more room, so I placed the napkins on the table instead of the plates.

Trying to bring in a little fall with the glitzy ribbon!

A few special effects for drama lol...
Salt cellars were also won at an auction.

I am using battery-operated votives more and more, I am so afraid I will leave something burning and the house will catch on fire!

Goodnight!  Thanks for visiting with me!  I always appreciate your kind comments!  Come back soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home Show Tablescapes, Part 2

November is here!  Wow, I think I'm in denial.  I've been lazy busy this week; so, as promised, I am showcasing tablescapes from the Richmond Home Show.  To see Part 1 of these beautiful tablescapes, click here.  The first table is by Lowden Design Consulting.
A traditional table with elegant crystal and china are showcased here.

The beautiful fish bowl and napkin add a touch of whimsy.

A gorgeous centerpiece is elevated on a mirrored stand.

Beautiful china on burlap placemats give the setting a modern feel.

The vignette behind the table showcases beautiful porcelain with similar patterns and colors.

This shot shows the entire tablescape, including the beautiful rug and chairs. 

Now, on to the next table.  This table was appropriately called Family Ties, and was designed by Specialty Drapery.
Although simple in design, it was also very creative.

I love the use of the men's ties, and the candlelabra in the center is quite beautiful.

The place setting consists of a glass plate on a gold charger, complete with napkin and pear.

The vignette behind the table continues the theme of Family Ties with a landscape picture and photographs.

As I was admiring all of the beautiful tablescapes, I came upon the next one, and I did a double-take.  Here is what I saw:

Did someone take my blog name on purpose?  Did they know I had a tablescaping blog with that name?  Well, after conversing with the designer, I found out that he has recently started a business and he chose the name, not necessarily for tablescaping, but for design work in general.  He will come to your home, re-arrange, help set-up decorations for parties, or whatever design work his clients request.  He said he saw my blog when choosing his name, but didn't think much of it because he wasn't doing tablescapes.  Pretty cool, actually!!  I loved his design, because I do love glitz, and glitz he had!!

Perfect for a New Year's Eve or Christmas gathering, this table had it all!!

Elegant china, silver chargers, and beautiful linen napkins, along with gorgeous crystal (looked like Waterford, not sure) adorned this table.

A silver ball sitting on top of a candleholder and a glitzy reindeer ground the magnificent centerpiece.

White feathers, silver leaves, sticks, berries, ooh this was awesome.

This was the vignette behind the table, love the art!  The sponsor of this tablescape is Chasen Galleries, which explains the gorgeous artwork!!

Names on placecards were of  Hollywood legends.

I loved these chairs!

A butler welcomed the guests (again, great art from Chasen Galleries).

Very elegant!

I hoped you enjoyed the show!!  Thank you for your visit, and come back soon!  I soooo appreciate your kind comments!