Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Paper or Cloth on Father's Day

Sunday's Father's Day turned out to be a wonderful day of family and good eats!  My husband and I had gotten home from a conference late on Saturday night, so I wasn't sure we could carry the holiday off successfully, but with some pre-planning and early morning grocery shopping on Sunday,  we actually were ready when everyone arrived at 1 P.M.

Before we left, I had set the table, so at least that was done:

I started the table with my red tablecloth.

I wanted to keep my dish stack simple and "non-fussy" since the day was celebrating the Dads in the family. I didn't want to use paper plates ( I know today's paper products are nothing like they used to be, but I'm still a stickler on special days-----except for dessert!) so, out came my "workhorse" white Portuguese Metaceramica dinner plates from HomeGoods.

I then added my watermelon salad plates from Michael's. I love the bright finish on these plates.  They say "summer" to me.

I finished my place setting with my Mikasa Regent Bead flatware and my Mikasa glassware: just to make the table a bit celebratory.  Notice there are no napkins in this place setting.  I'll explain THAT when I share my centerpiece.

My centerpiece started with the wooden shoeshine box I purchased this past year while antiquing with my cousin.  I love the finish on it with its dings and marks, showing lots of use. I was getting ready to fill it with assorted "manly-related" items when my Hubby first saw my original place setting with its linen napkins and he laughingly noted, "You can't do linen napkins with barbeque!" Since he was the chef and the DAD of the Day, I deferred to him and took up the linen napkins and added a stack of paper ones!  Just for fun, as I was picking up the linen napkins, I thought: I know what I'll do to spruce things up a bit (once a tablescaper; always a tablescaper!).  So, I gathered up the napkins into a "linen bouquet" and filled my wooden shoeshine box with them. I added a burlap bow to coordinate with the burlap runner, my wooden thread spools as candle holders and my centerpiece was completed. I told everyone they could chose what they wanted to use, "Paper or cloth"!

We had a wonderful barbeque of tri-tip roast, hamburger sliders for the grandkids and lots of sidedishes.
Apple pie and brownie bites with ice cream was our dessert. There were gifts and even a raffle for a bottle of Sriracha Sauce after  the dads had taken all the kids to the park.  All in all, a wonderful day of laughter, good conversation and lots of yummy food.  Since we had been away, I relied heavily on Costco for the dinner components!  Next year, I'll cook!!!!   I hope everyone's celebrations were filled with fun and family.

I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at  www.betweennapsontheporch.net  and
Christine for her Table It! link party at www.rustic-refined.com. Thank you, ladies, for your continued efforts to give us a place to share and enjoy our tables!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Celebrating Quebec and Quimper

This past May was unrelentless: commitments galore, medical issues, numerous stresses: just many miles to cover before I could rest.  Things have finally settled down, but I feel like it's been a L-O-N-G time since I've been able to compose a post.  I wanted to set a table that reflects one of the happy moments of the past month. My hubby and I went back to Maine for a niece's wedding (a wonderful affair on the shores of Lake Sebago).  Since we had our passports and were so close to the Canadian border, we went up to Quebec to explore a new area, and had a wonderful time, staying at the exquisite Hotel Frontenac along the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway and exploring the new and old Quebec City.

Here's the table I created:

Here's How It All Came Together:

I started with a Cynthia Rowley tablecloth I purchased at HomeGoods recently.  I wanted to reflect the many flower fields that welcomed us as we traveled to Quebec City, as well as the flower pots and flower boxes that lined the homefronts and windows of this picturesque area.

I then added a woven grass placemat to give the table a rustic, country feel.  As we traveled towards Quebec City we were impressed with the many farms that lined the route. These farms were pristine and looked like components of a patchwork quilt. I said to my hubby along the way that Walt Disney must have come here and said to the farm animals,  "You, cow, stand there and don't move; and you sheep, look content!" The pastoral scenes along the way looked so perfect! So, I wanted to bring some country to this table.

I used my porcelain scrollwork chargers from the Maryland Company to reflect the porcelain that is so prevalent in the shops and hotels in Quebec City.

I continued my dish stack with my yellow Portuguese Metaceramica dinner plates.

I then added these cobalt blue glass salad plates I found while antiquing in Ventura, CA.  a few months ago.

I topped my dish stack with yellow linen napkins that were purchased with some matching placemats from HomeGoods. I felt the embroidery looked like the scrollwork on my chargers, and also added to the floral theme I was going for.  The napkin rings were found in a kitchen shop on our trip. They called to me from a bin in the store as we were walking through. I do believe you will see these rings in many future tablescapes!

The place setting was completed with blue goblets given to me by a dear friend who was downsizing; and, my Treble Clef flatware from World Market.  I felt both these elements continue the country table feel I was looking for.

I'm very happy with my centerpiece because it showcases the treasures I found while antiquing on our recent trip.  I started my centerpiece with a new addition to my tablescaping stash: my hubby and neighbor created three stacking boxes for me to use. I gave them the sizes that I wanted and they created them in my neighbor's garage! They then stained them to match my dining room set. Many thanks to you, sweetie,  and Gary! I love my new additions.  For this table, I turned the small box upside down and used it as a platform.

The component I am really thrilled with is a Quimper piece found in an antique store in Quebec City.  I will probably use it as a vase, but if anyone can explain the "two spouted" design, I'd really appreciate what the use for this piece actually might be. I love the "Lady" pattern and the delicate handpainting.  I have long admired Quimper pieces and was thrilled when I saw this hidden away in a cabinet. I thought it would be a perfect souvenir for my trip and it now holds a special place in my china hutch!!

The silver teapot was another find at the same antique store. Apparently, when the Hotel Frontenac changed their silverplate, they auctioned off their teapots and other items. The store we were in scored big time at this auction and claimed numerous teapots.  Since I've had to give up caffeine and now rely on herbal tea as my warm drink of choice, my hubby surprised me by buying one of the Frontenac's former teapots! What a wonderful surprise, and another souvenir of our trip!

While looking through this same antique store I found this Delft accent plate also hidden away on a shelf. I can rarely resist a blue and white anything! And it was small enough to fit in my suitcase!

After our trip to Quebec City, we headed towards Portland, Maine and the airport to head home.  We stopped at Biddeford, Maine and found another interesting-looking antique mall. Years ago, I collected salt and pepper shakers, and my eyes still can't resist looking through collections of them.  I saw this salt cellar and it was so unique I had to have it! I have salt dips, but have never seen one with a lid. Isn't it interesting?

My centerpiece is completed with a Quebec refrigerator magnet, a fleur-de-lis dish towel and two blue glass vases and faux carnations .

I'm happy with this table because it brings back memories from a very special trip. The people of Quebec City couldn't have been nicer; the city is a place of cobblestone streets; rows of bright, multi-colored houses;  stunning stone churches; the expansive St. Lawrence Seaway; and, a region full of history. All in all, a recommended spot for a vacation.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net
                              and Christine's Table It! Link Party at www.rustic-refined.com.

Please visit these parties and see what others have to share. Thank you, ladies for hosting!!