Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Unexpected Formal Thanksgiving

I was getting ready for Thanksgiving by getting out my beloved Johnson Bros. Friendly Village plates when my girlfriend called and invited me to an estate sale. While at the sale, I spied an exquisite Lenox dinnerware set sitting on a table. I noted that the pattern was called Tudor.  Everything about this set was calling my name: its cream-colored bone china;  its brushed gold edging; an intricate Greek Key-like pattern in deep blue dancing across the border; and, the fact that it was six complete place settings!  I walked away, however, because the Christmas shopping season is rapidly approaching and with a family that has grown to 4 married couples and 9 grandchildren,  my shopping attention is very diverted! I talked about it to my Hubby, just in casual conversation.

The next day when I got home, my Hubby asked me to check inside the dishwasher for something, and when I opened it up, lo and behold, the  Lenox dishes were perched in the washer ! Apparently, he had conspired with my girlfriend to go back to the estate sale and surprise me with the dishes! What a Sweetie Pie!!! I immediately decided that the Johnson Bros. were just going to have to wait another year, because I absolutely had to create a table with my new acquisition!

So, that was how my informal Thanksgiving table changed from one covered in fall leaves and shades of brown and orange to a rather elegant and sophisticated table.  My family will be surprised when they walk in this year! But, I just couldn't resist!

Here is how the table turned out:

Here is how the table was created:

I started with the beautiful tablecloth given to me by my dear friend. It is from France and the pattern reflects the ceiling of Versailles. You can read more about this tablecloth here.

I started my dish stack with a gold-brushed charger from HomeGoods.

Next came the star attraction of my dish stack: my lovely dinner plate. Sigh........

Then I added the salad plate.

Topping off the dish stack was the bread-and-butter plate. I love that the style and pattern of this set is just as pretty as a bread-and-butter plate, as well as a dinner plate.

I completed the place setting with the matching napkins to the tablecloth nestled in a gold and pearl napkin ring from my tablescaping stash! I also added the beautifully styled cup and saucer from my new set; the gold-plated flatware is on loan from my cousin, Karen (thank you!); and my Rogeska Gallia crystal wine glasses finish the place setting.

I actually had to go hunting for my centerpiece. Off to Hobby Lobby I went and discovered that Thanksgiving is truly the lost holiday in the stores!! Everything was about Christmas decorating!! I stumbled upon one aisle that had what was left from fall decorating (Thanksgiving hasn't gotten here yet, right? Or did I miss it?!) Anyway, I found just what I was looking for way in the back of a shelf! The colors were JUST RIGHT, and it looked sophisticated enough for a formal table, yet the pumpkins still whispered, "Fall".  I also found some pretty candle holders that I probably will always use when I set the table with this particular dinnerware. I completed the look with my battery-operated candles, and "Voila!" :

I know my "guests" will be surprised when they see I created something quite different for my Thanksgiving meal, but I was thrilled to use my new dinnerware set for such a special day when family is gathered together.  I have always wanted a dinnerware set of this quality and pattern and I'm very grateful to my Hubby and my girlfriend, Mary Beth, who made this wonderful surprise happen.

I'll be joining Susan at for Tablescape Thursday. Thank you, Susan, for hosting this party especially during the Holiday season when so many beautiful spaces are created! Be sure and stop by for a visit and see what I mean.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"FALLing" Back In

I created a post in September, but have not done a tablescape since April ! I woke up today and decided that with temperatures in the 60's (a welcomed signal that fall has hit Southern CA) it was time to bite the bullet and FALL into tablescaping again!! Wow!! Am I rusty!! I must have stood in front of my dish storage closet for 30 minutes before an idea started to germinate. On our last RV trip we went antiquing and I found some plates that seemed just right for a fall table. So that was how this table began.  Much rummaging and many mutterings later, this is what I came up with to honor my new-to-me plates:

Here's the table:

Here's How It Was Created:

The table covering I chose was one I have used on previous Thanksgiving tables. I thought it would coordinate well with the rust-colored flowers so prevalent on the salad plate I was highlighting (sorry I didn't smooth out the wrinkles; I was busy re-orienting myself to my camera!)

The base of my plate stack was my faithful brown basketweave charger I have used for many Thanksgivings and other fall tablescapes. It's always nice to welcome back old "friends" when you haven't created something in a while!

The next layer is my yellow Metaceramica plate from HomeGoods. I wanted to pick up the yellow in my accent plate, so I felt this was just the right match!

And now for the main attraction! I found these salad plates hidden away in a bookcase of an antique store and immediately fell in love with the colorful pattern. It is labeled "Spode; Great Britain, Gainsborough" with a marking stating Copeland, which I believe is the pattern name. I feel very fortunate to have found them!

I completed my place setting with yellow linen napkins from HomeGoods, napkin rings from Pier One (which I thought mirrored the flower on the plate!) , amber-colored glasses from the Dollar Tree store, and my ever-faithful Treble Clef stemware from World Market.

For my centerpiece , I started with a strip of burlap to add texture to the table and break up the solid color of the tablecloth. I wanted to use a colorful flower arrangement I got last fall so I lined with napkins that match my tablecloth, one of the wooden boxes my neighbor, Gary, had made and stained for me . Next, I added the flower arrangement.  I completed the look with a couple of fall ceramic plates, and some pumpkins (one of which I got at the pumpkin patch I visited with my grandkids). Then I finished the look with a couple of fall-festooned votive candleholders.

And there you have it! I enjoyed my day of putting the table together, but it certainly took longer than in the past.  I want to keep up my momentum now that I'm back to tablescaping, so I'm looking forward to posting my upcoming Thanksgiving table in a couple of weeks.  How did the holidays get here so incredibly fast?!  I hope all of you are enjoying the change of seasons and gearing up for all the wonderful activities that make those memories we like to cherish.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at   Please be sure to stop by and see all the creative entries that are shared! Thank you, Susan, for keeping the tradition of Tablescape Thursday!!

P.S. On a side-note, I want to let you know that sweet Alyssa Grace, our newest granddaughter is now home with her Mama, Dada and sister Gianna, and she is thriving! She's now up to 8 pounds, still having some feeding issues, but busy growing and making all around her smile!! Thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Happy Ending and Beginning

I've been gone for a while. The family has been on quite a journey. On the 18th week of our daughter's pregnancy, it was discovered that our unborn granddaughter had a heart defect : an aortic arch that was too small,  as well as a hole in her heart. We knew the baby would be tiny, but we hoped she could wait until her due date to be born. But, our sweet Alyssa Grace decided to be born on July 29th instead of September 13th.  She entered the world at 2 lbs. 14 oz. and came out crying (VERY unusual for a preemie of her size, but reflective of her personality that she was a fighter and ready to take on her new world!).  And, indeed, she has. Her nurses hung a sign on her isolette that read, "Alyssa Grace, Heart Warrior!"  When she was a week old, she was airlifted to San Francisco where an outstanding cardiac team took 6 hours to totally repair her heart! A truly miraculous feat. She was flown back home 3 weeks ago, is still in the hospital, but she is thriving. A hearty 5 lbs. 5 oz, she needs to gain some weight, and get over some eating issues,  but will be home soon! My heart is full of gratitude for the hospital staffs of both hospitals that have been Alyssa's home since she arrived. The surgeon, attending doctors, support personnel and NICU nurses are truly angels on earth. I have tears in my eyes as I write this, just thinking about all the expertise and loving care that has been demonstrated by the talented and caring people we have met during this extraordinary time. My heart truly "runeth" over with gratitude.

In anticipation of her triumphant and very anticipated return to home,  I have readied the family bassinet. If you go to this post, you can see the history of this Precious Heirloom, now 111 years old!

Here is the place where Alyssa Grace will sleep when she comes home to live with her Mama, Dada, and big sister, Gianna (who at 3 years of age is very excited to have a new baby sister!)

Here is a side view:

As I mentioned in my previous post, prior to each new baby sleeping in the bassinet, the moms got to choose the colors they wanted for the decoration. I gave Alyssa's big sister, Gianna, the choice for the primary color, and she said , "PINK". (I have to explain that no matter what choice of anything you give her, she always answers, "PINK").  My daughter said she wanted the second color to be "Strong" to reflect Alyssa's fighting spirit, so we agreed on magenta.  The pictures make it seem like red, but the color really is a bright, pretty deep pink of magenta!

My cousin, Karen, came by and graciously agreed to help me with the star attraction of the project, which is the bow that graces the end of the bassinet. I love the way it turned out! Many thanks, Karen!!

I  then added some extras for the new baby.

First, some flannel receiving blankets:

Then, a soft toy with a sweet ladybug to keep Alyssa company:

Then  I added something a little bit extra special.  A fellow blogger has started a shop on Etsy.  It is called "PalmettoDawn".  While checking out her shop, I noticed her "Pacifier Pouches with Matching Wristlet".  I contacted her and she was kind enough to custom make one for my new grandbaby using the colors of pink and magenta. Isn't it sweet?  I know my daughter will love this, especially when she's out walking with the baby. There will always be a "binky" in reserve if one should drop!  Thank you, Dawn, for your craftsmanship and creativity.  I know your shop will be a success!

As my life slowly returns to normal, I hope to get back into a regular schedule of blogging and tablescaping again.

Many thanks to all the extended family and friends who have prayed, started prayer chains, and morally, spirtually and physically supported our family through this challenging time. Special "shout outs" go to Cousins Steve and Ana (and you both know why).

I can't wait to see dear baby Alyssa in her new bed when she gets home!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at Please stop by and enjoy all the participants' entries.  It's always a fun to what people have shared.  Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to host the party!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Greetings, 2017

The last Lenox Butterfly Meadow plate is stored away until next Easter, and it's time to reminisce about how wonderful this year's Easter turned out.  The family all got together and we celebrated, not only Easter Sunday, but four family birthdays as well. As I've mentioned before, when the family arrives, we end up with 11 people at the "adult" table, and 8 grandchildren at the "children's" table (6 girls and 2 boys). Next year, there will be one more girl at the "child's" table, as well (although, she'll be in a high chair!)

There was so much to do before the throng arrived, that I didn't have much time for taking pictures. I wanted to share the tables with you, however, so I photographed them, but I apologize for the quality of the pictures!  Here goes.......

Our Easter Table:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my Butterfly Meadow tablecloth this year.  I love the pattern and sheen on the material because it adds a bit of elegance to the holiday table!

While visiting a new Goodwill store that opened up nearby lately, I made a significant "find".  Some blue and white charger plates were bundled up and labeled "$12.00".  I couldn't believe my eyes! They were from IKEA and there were 10 of them in the stack. There was not a mark on any of them.  My reaction was pure delight because I knew they would be perfect with my Lenox Butterfly Meadow plates. And. they. were.  What do you think?

I placed my dinner plates on top of the chargers, and was so happy to see that each pattern on the plates blended perfectly with the blue on the charger!

I opted for a simple setting because my salad plates were going to be used for dessert plates this year. So, I completed my setting with my Mikasa Regent Bead dinnerware and my Mikasa water glasses, purchased many years ago before the local Mikasa Outlet was closed. (Certainly do miss that store!!)
The napkins I used matched my tablecloth.  This year my cousin gifted me with napkin rings that she had created!! They were made from card stock in various colors that complemented my dinner plates and looked like delicate lace. They were embellished with flowers in matching colors and beautifully topped with sweet pearl accents.  Aren't they lovely?  Thank you so much, cuz!

My centerpiece honored the Easter Bunny tradition.  I found the center bunny at CVS. I couldn't resist the sweet smile on his face. He looks very happy to be the center of attention at my Easter table!  He is flanked by my crystal candlesticks (a wedding gift from many years ago), and two additional bunnies. On the right is a bunny I found at the Dollar Tree store years ago, and on the left is a bunny couple I found at an art fair. It's meant to be a ring holder, but I love it as an addition to my corner cabinet filled with china and crystal treasures. It's just so darn cute!

Accent pieces I used included matching bowls from my collection as well as a Mikasa serving piece set I found on their website (On Sale!).  I thought it matched my dinnerware perfectly!

The "children's" table is set up with a seafoam green tablecloth (remember the peach and seafoam green combination from the 80's?) with a lace overlay.  I found the bunny plates at HomeGoods.  I don't think any of the little ones used the napkins next to their plate, but I'm trying to introduce them to tablescaping, so I placed them next to their plates anyway and used the bunny ear napkin rings I got from Pier One!  The centerpiece is also celebrating the Easter Bunny with a straw bunny I found at CVS pharmacy and an assortment of other bunnies in my Easter bin!

The day started with an egg hunt at a nearby park;  then Easter Dinner; then dessert including cupcakes for the Birthday Girls: they got to pick their own flavor, so we had one dozen carrot cake cupcakes with cinnamon frosting,  one dozen lemon cupcakes with blueberry frosting,  one dozen chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting and one dozen chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting! Thank you, Liz, for producing such delightful, delicious treats. They made quite a hit!! Once the strains of "Happy Birthday" were concluded, baskets and presents were opened and the day ended.  A fun time was had by all!

I hope your Easter celebrations were special as well. Now Spring is officially here. Enjoy the flowers and happy, warm breezes that it brings!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at ,
Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It at , Chloe at and Sandra at . These parties are always fun. Stop by and see how others are celebrating Spring!!