Monday, December 30, 2013

Here We Go Again!

It's hard to believe, but 2013's Holiday Season is about to end.  Tomorrow night at midnight we'll be toasting in a New Year and the chaos of Christmas shopping, decorating and entertaining will be a fading memory.  What won't be so easily forgotten are the good times that were shared during this holiday and the joy that spending time with family and friends can bring.  As a New Year begins, it also becomes a time when we look at the empty slate of the next year, and relish in the thought of new beginnings.  In our family, there will be a new granddaughter in April, a new "niece-in-law" in June, a planned trip to Europe, an exciting political race in a local election for my husband and all the ups and downs in a family's life when there are four daughters, four sons-in-law, five granddaughters and two grandsons!  There will be the ever-present resolutions (more exercise, less calories, more home organization, less "sweating the small stuff"!).  There is something that is comforting about the constancy of this time of year; even in the face of so many unknowns yet to come.  So, this table celebrates our final holiday of 2013.  Out come the silver and crystal to say, "HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!"

Here's the finished product:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with a silver placemat found at Ross on the clearance table!

I added one of my daughter's new plates she got at Home Goods. It is labeled Gibson Home.

This was topped with salad plates I gave her for Christmas (also from Home Goods) and labeled Grace's Teaware.

To remind us this celebration is about TIME, I borrowed an idea from the website, "Creatively Sam's", posted on 12/17/13.  I copied a clock face from Google and placed it atop the salad dish.  I opted to leave off the hands because I wanted everyone to pick their own special hour about which to reminisce.

I finished the stack with crystal sherbet dishes that were given to us at our wedding.

This is the place setting, accented with my Mikasa flatware and Waterford champagne flutes that my husband has bought me over the years as Christmas gifts.  I wanted some height to the table, so I placed inside the flutes, the white linen napkins that are embroidered in silver and wrapped in a silver napkin sheath (from Pier One).

The centerpiece was inspired by my recent viewing of Walt Disney's "Frozen".  What a GREAT MOVIE; highly recommended for the grandkids, although the Snow Monster was kind of scary for little ones.  But the storyline, music and ending message were terrific.  Anyway, I wanted a look of snow, ice crystals and sparkle.  I started with a silver table runner, Christmas gifted from one of my daughters.  Then added a silver garland of leaves picked up at the clearance table at Ross.  I draped the garland in tulle for an ethereal, cold mist effect.  The trio of crystal candleholders is a long ago gift from a dear friend, and I placed silver-embossed votive candle holders also found on that great Ross clearance table!  I raided my Christmas tree for the snowflakes!

The crystal accents (the tree and nutcracker) were past Christmas gifts from special friends who know how much I appreciate holiday decorations!

Here's the table again with a few additional photos:

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year full of good health and the making of happy memories!

I'll be linking up to Kathleen at Let's Dish at and
    Susan's Tablescape Thursday at

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

A New Holiday, A New Mantle

Living in Southern California, we don't see too many changes in the seasons. The first days of fall usually mean high temperatures, sometimes accompanied by howling Santa Ana Winds which can wreak havoc in the mountains and passes and threaten neighborhoods no matter where they are located.  There are some cool days (sometimes children have to wear layers under Halloween costumes!), and November is a mixture of warm days that start out with cool mornings.  December is characterized by downright cold mornings (it was 39 degrees last week!),  brightening to comfortable afternoons. I understand Christmas Day this week will reach 80 degrees by afternoon!  I hope Santa has headed home by then, or that red suit could get mighty uncomfortable!!  I mention all this, because I use my mantle in my living room as the focal point that lets everyone know which season we are in, since the weather is not a predictor of what point we're at on the calendar!!

Here's how we knew it was almost Thanksgiving time, because the mantle looked like this:

Now I've changed the mantle to reflect the Christmas season:

These stocking hangars are from the Jefferson Brass Co. in Virginia and they hold the stockings we need for our growing family which includes my hubby and myself, our 4 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, and 8 grandchildren. (We're gonna need a bigger mantle!)

This Waterford tree topper was a wedding present from a dear friend 25 years ago.  It was a perfect wedding gift because we were married in December!

We used this tree topper for many years until we changed to a large star that now sits atop our tree. However, this topper holds many special memories for myself and my daughters, so I give it a "place of honor" during the Christmas holidays.

This crystal tree and nutcracker were gifted to me by dear friends over the years who
understand how important holiday decorating is to me.

So, there may not be fall leaves turning color and falling to the ground.  There may not be a brisk breeze heralding the change of season from summer to fall.  There may not be swirling snowflakes and icicles hanging on for dear life to the edges of roofs signaling winter and Christmas are approaching, but my mantle lets everyone know what season we are in!

Enjoy your Christmas week, everyone!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.  It really does make my day!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Wishes and Dishes

With this season being what it is in terms of hectic days and endless "To Do" lists, I never thought I'd be motivated to complete a Christmas post this year.  However, I absolutely had to take a deep breath and take the time to share a table with you.  But, more importantly, I felt I had to send a huge "THANK YOU",  to my newfound friends in the blogging world who have taken the time to send healing wishes and words of encouragement since my last post when I explained the heart procedure I had to go through, coupled with its slow recovery during a most inopportune season!  I have treasured everyone's messages and cannot express my gratitude deeply enough to each of you.  I am stronger every day and you are partly responsible for my improvement!  The "Christmas Wishes" part of this post is to wish you and your families a wonderful blessed Christmas with a New Year full of happiness and good health.

The "Christmas Dishes" part of this post is as follows:

                            A Christmas table for four.

How It Was Created:

I started with a new plaid tablecloth from Home Goods.  I usually use a dark green Damask tablecloth, but I have been wanting to "change up" my Christmas look and a new tablecloth seemed like the easiest way to do this.  I then added my gold chargers from Big Lots.

Next came the dinner plate from my Christmas dish set I bought at the Best Product store 23 years ago! It is labeled Royal Magestic Fine China, Holiday Cheer.  I liked the pattern and thought that since there were acorns on it, I could use it for the holiday season when Thanksgiving started, but have yet to do that since buying my Johnson Bros. Friendly Village plates!

I added the salad plate from the set.  There are also cups and saucers, a platter, one serving bowl, and a tea set that consists of a teapot and a sugar bowl and creamer.

This is the table setting. I used my "Treble Clef" flatware from World Market because I didn't want to use my silver flatware since the dishes are banded in gold.  I have a request in for gold flatware, but I'm not sure it made Santa's list!  My stemware and water glasses are both by Mikasa.  I wish their outlet store were still open!  It used to be such a treat to go through that store and drool along the way! My red napkins are from World Market and my plaid napkin rings came from the May Co. many years ago.  The placecard holders were bought at Williams-Sonoma, I believe.

I kept my centerpiece simple.  My hurricane lamp is surrounded by one of the Christmas candle wreaths that actually adorned our reception tables at our wedding 25 years ago.  Getting married in December made decorating for the event easy!   It also means that whenever we go away for an anniversary weekend, hotels and towns are festooned in their finest!  There are lit trees and garlands everywhere and we feel like everyone is celebrating with us!

Some additional pictures of the table:

I wanted to share this take on "wine charms" for the holidays.  I got these little "wine scarves" from a fundraiser offered at a local elementary school.  There are 6 different pattern of "scarves" and they add some whimsy to the table!

                                                     Merry Christmas, everyone!

I'll be joining Susan at and Kathleen at

I love reading your comments! Thank you for taking the time to stop by!    Rosie