Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Warm Perfect Setting

If you look at my sidebar, you will notice a brand new blog button!  I must confess that I am not technically savvy enough to create this myself, so I commissioned my friend, Vicki, from Curly Willow DIY to create one for me!  I am very pleased and excited, as I think she did a great job on this as well as my header.  Please visit her wonderful blog and, if you need help as I did, she will be happy to talk to you about it!  Thanks again, Vicki!!

As another birthday approaches, (man, they come so quick these days), my husband suggested we have a get-together to celebrate.  Normally my birthday occurs during spring break, and we are usually away, but this year Easter and spring break are late, and, since I've never had an adult birthday party, I agreed--on two conditions:  one, that no one bring a gift; two, that we DO NOT talk about my age.  My mother and grandmother used to say, when asked how old they were--"I will excuse you for asking, if you will excuse me for not answering".  I love this, and have used it on many occasions, with a twinkle in my eye, of course.  So, I left the party preparations up to him.  WHAT was I thinking????  My hubby is good at a lot of things, party planning not being one.  Our social life has been my baby, and I have had a hard time being patient and not bugging him about this or that.  So, we are meeting here briefly and then going out to dinner.  If you are reading this and didn't hear from him, don't despair.  This is not a big party, just a small get-together for dinner.  I will plan a bigger occasion when the weather gets warmer.  Expect to hear from me then!!

So this week I prepared a table as IF I were having a dinner party for my birthday lol!  Since it's been rather cool here, I dressed the table in warm colors that coordinated with my dining room colors.  Come on in, and we'll look around!
I used a Ralph Lauren damask tablecloth in a deep burgundy color.

I used these candlecups, which can be used on candlesticks of any style, from a small wooden candleholder to a five-arm silver candelabra.  They are great for short-stemmed flowers that you may not be able to use in a vase, and also for flowers with lots of blooms on one stem, keeping costs low.  I loaded the cup with oasis, cutting it out in the middle for the candle.  Flowers should be kept fairly low, to avoid coming in contact with the flame (I didn't really heed my own advice, in this case).
Ready for the flowers!  Since Spring is taking its good, sweet time getting here, I purchased some grocery store flowers, and used a few things from outside to fill in.

A silver champagne bucket holds the centerpiece.  It was not quite tall enough, so I used a silver bowl turned upside down for height, which did the trick.

I used magnolia leaves in the arrangement as well as around the base.
I found this china Greatly reduced the last day of an estate sale.  I thought it went well with the colors of my dining room, so I brought it home.  It is Ancestral by Minton.  I found these silver-plate trays--8 of them-- at a thrift store for $3 a piece, and they are perfect for chargers. 
I purchased these vintage linen napkins at the same estate sale.  I'm using my sterling, which is Modern Victorian by Lunt.  The little turquoise blue plates were purchased at Dillard's last summer, and I think they work well bringing out the accent color of the china.

Crystal sherbets and wines are Navarre by Fostoria.  I am always on the lookout for more pieces of this lovely etched crystal pattern.

Water glasses are Crystolite by Heisey, and I inherited them from my Mom. 

Thanks for stopping by!!  I always enjoy your visits!  Next week, I'm going for something fun and less formal!  As for now, I'm striving for A Perfect Setting!! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Perfect Setting's Remix

This has been a long winter, and, even though I don't want to wish my life away, I long for warm weather and sunshine.  We are teased by Mother Nature, and then she retreats while we prepare for another somewhat cold and rainy weekend.  I'm also thinking about the two graduations that loom in our future--a very bittersweet time for me, and I'm sure I will be blogging my heart out as that time approaches.  Our son will be leaving for college in August, but our daughter will be moving back in (she says it's temporary).  In the meantime, we are scheduling family vacations, and spring break vacations for us, as well as the kids.

Blue and white make another appearance this week, only with a bit of sunshine added in for good measure.  The tulips I used in last week's post still looked good, so I decided to use them again.  Hope you like it!
I've had this tablecloth for years--I love the blue flowers and it has a tiny bit of yellow as well.  I think I purchased it in Nassau, but I'm not sure.

I used two footed vintage bowls and added lemons to bring out the yellow in the tablecloth.

Salt cellars, also footed, were purchased at a consignment antique store.

Sterling is Modern Victorian by Lunt.  I used chargers purchased at Ross (wish I could find more) and china is Mandarin by Lauren of Ralph Lauren.

Dinner plate...
These cute little crystal candle holders were a great price at Home Goods recently.
Vase is Hanbury by Royal Worcester.  Crocheted doily was made by my Mom.

Crystal iced beverages are Chelsea by Godinger and wines are Omega by Waterford Marquis.  Sherbets are Crown Point by Gorham.

I couldn't decide if I liked the napkins beside the plates or on top.  Napkin rings were purchased at Stein Mart, I think, years ago.
A few more shots...

Thanks for visiting with me!  I will be drinking lots of fresh lemonade this weekend, won't you join me??

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Perfect Setting for Brunch

Did you notice my new blog header?  I'd like to give a big shout of thanks to The Tablescaper and Vicki at Curly Willow for making it happen!  Vicki designed this lovely header and I won it through The Tablescaper.  Please visit their beautiful blogs and let them know what you think!!

When I was married in the 80's, I received a place settings for four of Johann Haviland's Blue Garland, plus many accessory pieces.  Later I found out this was "grocery store" china, so I packed it away, even though I thought the design was very pretty and delicate.  Last year, as I was beginning to blog, I was roaming around in a thrift store and came across a set of the Blue Garland.  There were 60 some pieces, and it was priced at $32.  I couldn't pass it up.  Recently I found another set at an antique mall and bought more, so now I have a collection, with placesettings for 18.  Now I know this is plentiful, I have seen it on numerous occasions while visiting Susan's "Tabletop Thursday", but I think it's a pretty pattern, better quality than you will find in most stores these days, and if I have a big dinner party, I can really dress it up or down.

I finally had a real occasion to set a pretty table--my mil was in town with her husband and sister, so I invited them to brunch.  It was also my son's 18th birthday, but in his usual style, he did not want a big fuss.  I decided to use my Blue Garland.  I even had my buffet ready in advance and I was all prepared to spend the extra few minutes snapping photos.  Of course, that was when my camera decided the batteries needed to be changed.  Not a big deal, except I knew my guests were coming any second.  I was able to get two food shots before it died.  Oh well!!  I re-created the table later after the dishes were washed, added candles, and added clean napkins. 
I added the candles and took a few shots later in the day.

I used a blue tablecloth, with battenburg placemats and runner.

Since this was a brunch, I did not use chargers.

A close-up shot of the Blue Garland china.

I used Mikasa's Park Lane crystal for the water and mimosas.

I used white tulips as the centerpiece, on a platter, and added pearls.

Silverplate is Repousse.

Sugar & creamer.

One of the two food shots I got before the camera died--this is 'Breakfast Before' casserole.  Yummy, but not exactly lowfat...

Monkey bread, delish!  Other menu items included vanilla yogurt with berries and granola, fresh fruit, bacon, mimosas and coffee! 

Funny thing, after my hubby's family arrived, his aunt was complimenting the table, and I told her a bit about the china.  She has been in the grocery store industry for years and has this china!  She said it was boxed up, she had given it to her daughter, who passed away recently, and as soon as she got it back, she wanted me to have it!  How nice!  I need to get busy building shelves for my china closet lol!  Have a great week-end, and thanks for visiting with me as I strive for A Perfect Setting!!