Friday with Friends: A Textural Tablescape

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It all started when I spied these adorable little cafe chair napkin rings at Pier One. I knew I had to have them in my collection. The pink and cream loosely woven napkins seemed right for the textural tablescape, so I started with those as a color theme.

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Then, knowing the IRONY in buying a burlap-wrapped vase with French script writing on it, I decided to build a Frenchy centerpiece for my table that would look pretty while my house-sitter was living at my house, but which would not require any maintenance.

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I popped fake flowers into the vase, got out my flameless pillar candles and some woven decorative ornaments, and put it all on a wooden platter. I had a centerpiece.

When we got home from France, I replaced the fake flowers with some pink roses from the grocery store. They didn’t hold up very well, and quickly began to droop. I liked the blowsy, fading glory look of the centerpiece better that way.

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We were eager to see our neighbors across the street after our trip, so I invited them over for dinner and a little music-making. We are all working on Godspell at my church and wanted to play through some arrangements Music Man has done for the pit band. Thank goodness, my friends don’t get excited when I get out my “stuff” and the men are quite self-actualized and don’t get offended by a pink-themed table. 🙂

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We began with a little champagne. I have a large collection of wine charms, some of which are store-bought and some my friend and I made by choosing very specific charms relevant to our lives. Needless to say, I usually take the saxophone charm. I like the juxtaposition of the two stages of polish on the silver against the shiny brass of the wine charm and the sparkling champagne flute.

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I started with the round woven “straw” placements I got at Tuesday Morning. I kept shopping until I found three packages of four placemats. I almost always buy twelve linens just in case.

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I have eight of these majolica-style Italian plates that I bought many years ago at a home store. I picked the strawberries, cherries, and apples for this table as the fruit has pink coloring. There are also plums, grapes, and pears in the set.

IMG_9249 BCombined with my trusty Pfalzgraff Filigree plates, the Fostoria salt and peppers, the Gorham Chantilly silver, Anchor Hocking tumblers, and Crystal d’Arques Longchamp wine glasses, I had a tablescape.

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We finished our meal with fruit, cookies, and candies brought by our friends and served on Fostoria plates and my favorite fruit compotes (really shrimp cocktail bases!). It was a wonderful way to spend an evening winding down after the stresses of the week — and recovering from jet lag.

For the recipes for this meal, check out my other blog, Got My Reservations. The Slow-Cooker Lasagna is definitely a keeper!

I’m linked up today at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Check out the creative and beautiful tablescape designs!

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St. Patrick’s Day and Spring Bonanza

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like a touch of green, right?

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So nothing says St. Patrick’s Day better than 32 touches of green. That’s what I’m telling myself.

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We were having about 20 people over for book club and I wanted to table to just “whisper” St. Pat’s and not scream it. We’re not Irish and don’t really get into the celebrations here in Chicago, but there’s something to be said for a city that takes its melting pot of heritages seriously.

When I found these beautiful napkins at Tuesday Morning, I was thrilled — but there were only two packages of eight. Not enough for my party. I didn’t buy them, but the next day I found myself still wanting them. I buzzed out to the other Tuesday Morning a little farther from my house and they had two sets also. They also had some other wonderful beauties, but that’s a story for another day. I grabbed the two sets, scurried back to the original TM, praying that the other sets were still there, and found my holy grail of napkins. Thirty-two gorgeous green napkins for book club and parties beyond.

Of course there’s always a little fly in the ointment. After laundering, they needed to be pressed, but there’s something soothing about the rhythm of spraying and pressing linens.

P. S. If you were wondering why I’ve been slow to post over the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken on the responsibility of producing a musical at my church. It’s gonna be pretty time-consuming if the last weeks are any indicator. On the other hand, doing my tablescaping and taking the photos is a welcome escape.

P.P.S. For a view of some amazing St. Patrick’s Day decorating, click here to visit Cuisine Kathleen’s St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl.

Reblog from Quintessence: NY Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner

Yes, it’s getting old. Snow and more snow.

I encourage you to click into these two posts about the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner. The place settings are awesome and just what we need if you are someplace where winter is still out in full force.

Click on the photo to go to Quintessence for more beautiful table settings!

Click on the photos to go to Quintessence for more beautiful table settings!

NYBG-Orchid-dinner-James-Rixner-for-Saint-Louis-PuiforcatHave a lovely day and enjoy whatever weather (or orchids) your day brings you.

Jennie

Spring Shopping Sortie

The French word sortie means to dispatch a fighting unit on a mission and I was on a mission — one to find out what my favorite home decor stores had waiting for me for spring! I started with Pier One.

I was immediately drawn to this Frosted Swirl Stemware. Not really practical for drinking wine, but oh-so-pretty.

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Also at Pier One, I loved these Color Dots Stemware.

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The cupcake tree reminded me of all the beautiful centerpieces I’ve seen using  stacked cake plates. I pinned this one from Note Songs.

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These settings were also very springy — the Happy Floral stemware isn’t really me, but makes for a striking tablescape, and I loved the layered texture of the two napkins with the burlap bunny ears napkin ring.

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Sometimes, a creative thought can go a little awry. I’m trying to figure out how one would explain to one’s grandchild about the bunny having an Easter egg in his tummy. Hmmm…

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The cute little chick makes a lot more sense and accomplishes the same thing. And I love the polka-dotted napkin — but I saw a similar one yesterday at Tuesday Morning that was MUCH cheaper. 🙂

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Bottom line, my trip to Pier One did not “force” me to buy any new Easter decor items, but unfortunately, in setting up the links to this post, I discovered that the red plaid napkins I got on sale (and love, love, love) are still in stock and on sale online. I may have to buy some more…

I’m linked up today to Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home and Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage. Be sure to stop by and spread the love.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jennie

Courting Couples Need a Good Home

Recently I went to a local antiques store to pick up a couple of butter knives and ran into THIS.

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A drop dead gorgeous set of Frenchy china with 22 carat gold trim. Marked down to $250.00. If this isn’t a perfect example of the crime of throwing out Grandma’s china, then I’m giving up my membership in China Addicts Anonymous.

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Can’t you just see this gracing your table? It’s stunning!

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I started to look into the provenance of the set and what it might actually be worth. The antique store calls it French Colonial by Taylor Smith & Taylor. Apparently the decals were used by more than one china manufacturer and the series is called Courting Couple.

It turns out that the pattern is TST444  and was probably manufactured in the mid-1900s in the United States.

Can’t you just see this beautiful china sitting on your table? It needs a loving home — just not mine. Obviously, Music Man would not take kindly to me dragging home another set of somebody’s Grandma’s china; I’ve already inherited and appropriated five sets of my own beautiful dishes from relatives and estate sales.

I have absolutely nothing to do with the antique store, but I just think someone should adopt these courting couples. Is Collage Antiques of Arlington Heights calling your name?

I’m linked up today to Let’s Dish at Cuisine Kathleen and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to stop by and visit the talented ladies sharing their creative genius.

Shabby Chic Stoneware Pitcher

Yesterday, I featured a white stoneware pitcher as the centerpiece in my Elegant White and Gold Tablescape.

IMG_7241BBThe pitcher was a salvaged item that my hairdresser was throwing out years ago. Obviously, I grabbed it and it has been patiently waiting its turn for its closeup.

This was the inspiration for my shabby chic pitcher centerpiece.

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I saw this embellished pitcher sitting on the sale rack at Home Goods. Please forgive the poor photography — I took the photo with my cell phone, but I knew the concept had promise. It was lonely there on the shelf, looking as though it belonged in Great Expectations with Miss Havisham…

… and I thought I could do something similar but not quite so sad for my Elegant White and Gold tablescape.

I looked at cotton lace remnants and other options at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, but finally settled on the gold filigree wired ribbon which complemented the embroidery in my placemats nicely. Then, while standing in the checkout line, I saw the cute glittered rose pins in the $1 bin and I knew I had my look. Not quite as shabby, but much more chic. 🙂

IMG_7231BInspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and go with it.

show and tell fridaysToday I’m linked up with Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home. I loved Cindy’s post about roses — be sure to stop by and see her beautiful photos!

Have a lovely weekend — I have to go run my snowblower now!