Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Girls' Nite Out with Mozart @ The Magic Hutch

When Kathleen from www.cuisinekathleen.com issued one of her challenges, I knew I wanted to participate, but was perplexed by the theme of the challenge, "Girls' Night Out" because  I really wanted to use components that I already had in my tablescaping "stash", and couldn't come up with anything that would be very interesting. My nights out with my friends usually consist of a night of movies or dinner out; nothing very exciting. Then I realized that what I've been doing for the past couple of months was preparing for 3 concerts with my different singing groups and if I were to plan a "Girls' Night Out", it would be one with some my fellow altos from one of my groups to go over our music.  The programs we've been rehearsing are quite difficult, and any extra practice would do much to insure successful concerts.  So, I decided to plan what would start as an Italian Dinner, full of carbs and flavor to spark our energy; and, then some practicing! The piece I have highlighted is Mozart's "Requiem".  It  is a wonderfully complex and challenging piece that is terrific to sing.  Here's how the table turned out for a planned "Girls' Night Out with Mozart"!

Here's How It Was Created:

Just for fun I decided to make copies of our music and use the copies as placemats.

I then added a black dinner plate since I wanted my color scheme to be black, white and red. I love the pebbled texture on the rim of these plates.

We'll be starting with salad, so I decided to use some plates I found at Williams-Sonoma, and have not used yet. They are labeled, "Italian Recipes" and each plate has a different recipe scripted in Italian and highlighted by the place where the recipe is well known. I love the designs and colors of these plates, and I feel that will become interesting topics of discussion before we start dinner!

My place setting is completed with my Treble Clef  flatware from World Market (well befitting a dinner centered around music!);  my black-stemmed wine glasses from the Dollar Tree store; and, my red and white patterned napkins from HomeGoods.

My centerpiece is highlighted with my CD player that during our meal will be playing our practice CD of our music.  It is flanked by red goblets from Michael's that will hold pencils and highlighters to be used during our choral practice after dinner.  I found some wrought iron music notes (50% off!) to dress up my CD player a little, and then added a red berry wreath to add a pop of color. The centerpiece is completed with a copy of the score we'll be practicing after dinner!

The table is completed with my white ironstone pasta dish and my Italian ceramic bread basket for the garlic bread.

It should be a wonderful evening: we get to enjoy a yummy meal,  each other's company and then spend a couple of hours running through our music for tomorrow night's rehearsal.  Our concert is on May 31st, so it's getting close!

On a personal note:

I have been singing in choirs since first grade, and my years of experience have made it possible for me to now be a part of Master Chorale groups whose signature pieces include those works composed by the masters, such as Mozart, Brahms, and Handel, to name a few. It is always exhilarating and tremendously challenging to participate in the production of these concerts. I have even had the honor to sing on the stage of Carnegie Hall where participants from all over the country got together to have the thrill of performing Brahms' Requiem on a world-renowned stage under the direction of John Rutter.  I'll never forget that experience.  Yes, definitely, my Girls' Night Out would consist of wine, pasta and singing!  Thank you, Kathleen, for encouraging me to plan such a fun experience!

I'll be linking up for Kathleen's "Girls' Night Out" Challenge on Wednesday at www.cuisinekathleen.com as well as Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net., and                                                                                          Christine's Table It! Link Party at www.rustic-refined.com .Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties!  Be sure and take a look at what everyone has come up with for these fun tablescaping events!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Spring Dinner

Easter was a week late in our house.  We like to have the entire family celebrate holiday dinners, so when my daughter and son-in-law took their family to Disney World for spring break, and didn't get home until after Easter, we knew we would be celebrating on April 12th.  Other than the date being different, the celebration looked just like it was still Easter: the menu was the same, the Easter baskets were still filled with goodies, the Easter eggs were hidden, the bunny ears were still required headgear,  and the table for 12 adults and a "kids' table" for 8 grandchildren were still festooned in china and crystal.

Here's how the table turned out:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my Lenox tablecloth in the Butterfly Meadow pattern.  I love this formal cloth with its sateen finish and brightly colored flowers.

I started my dish stack with the Mikasa chargers I had recently purchased.

Then I added my Lenox Butterfly Meadow plates.  You can read about these plates in this post.  There are four differently patterned dishes, all representing bright flowers , colorful butterflies and precious bees and ladybugs!  So perfect for a Spring Dinner!!

My place setting was completed with my late mother-in-law's silverplate (the Heritage pattern), my Mikasa water glasses and the napkins and napkin rings from the Butterfly Meadow's accent collection.
I thought the napkins standing up in the glasses made it look more like a flower garden.  I also didn't want to place the napkin across the plate and hide the pretty Spring scenes that each dish displays.  I had seen this napkin placement idea in another blog, and I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember which one it was (oh, the tiresome aging process!), so I can't give credit where credit is due!  So, it is not my original idea.  If you're the tablescaping blogger who recently used this idea, please identify yourself in the "Comments" section and take credit!! Please also note that my cousin graciously offered to make placecards for me. Aren't they cute? She has different designs that can be added for other holidays, too, so stay tuned!! Thank you, Karen!

I kept my centerpiece simple because I knew we had many serving pieces to use. So, I chose the Lenox vase my daughter and son-in-law got my for Christmas and filled it with faux daffodils and my Easter picks.  I added two sets of crystal candlesticks and my Fitz and Floyd salt and pepper shakers.

One of the many things I love about this Lenox set is that they have many accent pieces to coordinate with the design.  These are the two platters I used for serving the ham.

I also have the mugs, creamer and sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and dessert and salad plates in the pattern, but did not get photos this time!

I wanted to share the "Grandkids' Table" with you as well.  I found the Bunny plates at HomeGoods (of course!) and complemented them with my April Cornell tablecloth. My centerpiece bunny came from Michael's!

I hope everyone is now relishing in the happy hours of spring and its luscious weather.  It's almost time for Mother's Day, then Memorial Day, then July 4th..............and so it goes!! Take care, everyone!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net,
 and Debi's Favorite Things Blog Hop at http://surroundingsbydebi.com, and Cindy for Amaze Me Monday at www.dwellings-theheartofyourhome.com   Thank you, ladies, for hosting these fun parties!

I love to read your comments. They really do put a smile on my face. Your words are appreciated!