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  www.betweennapsontheporch.net. 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 www.betweennapsontheporch.net ,
Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It at www.rustic-refined.com , Chloe at www.celebrateanddecorate.com and Sandra at www.sweetsensations.com . These parties are always fun. Stop by and see how others are celebrating Spring!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Perfect Present from Provence

This past Christmas, my son-in-law's family came to visit from southern France.  They joined us for Christmas dinner and the happy chaos of our gift exchange with my cousin, all the daughters, sons-in-laws and eight grandchildren! They enjoyed the day, and very graciously gifted me with some special presents! One of these gifts was the basis for today's tablescape, and I'm thrilled to share it with you: a bright and colorful tablecloth that truly represents the vision of Provence. I "oooed and ahhed" when I opened the package. Here's the table I created, and I hope you you can see why I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw their thoughtful and lovely gift!

My Vision of a Provence Table:



Here's How I Created It:

Of course the star of the "show" was my gifted tablecloth. Note the bright yellow and deep blue of the design palette as well as the pattern of wheat shafts and black olives sprinkled across the cloth.



I started my dish stack with a woven placemat I found at Bed, Bath and Beyond.




Then I added my yellow Metaceramica plate from HomeGoods.




The next layer of plates was quite a conundrum! I had 4 dishes that would work with this tablecloth. These were  my choices, and I had a hard time deciding. Each one worked with my other elements on the table:





I then realized that the one I chose reflected the feeling I wanted to replicate: the rustic look of a farmhouse in Provence. It is a Fitz and Floyd plate called Ricamo:




Next came an appetizer plate from Pier 1, called Sul.  It brings out the warmth of the colors in the tablecloth:





I completed the stack with a blue glass sherbet dish. My idea for food for the meal on the table would start with a fresh fruit salad (I think I was envisioning a brunch for this table).



I completed my place setting with amber-colored glasses from Dollar Tree.  Inside the glasses, I placed my yellow and blue napkins from Old World Market. I used my borrowed flatware from my cousin. I chose this goldtone flatware to contribute to the warm feeling I wanted addressed for this tablescape.






My centerpiece is very special to me. My oldest granddaughter (she's 11 now, turning 12 in August!), was visiting. She was working with Kinetic Sand (this is a GREAT project if you have children or grandchildren visiting: absolutely NO mess; it can be molded like PlayDough, but clean-up is a breeze, and it doesn't dry out!). She created this flower display and as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a perfect centerpiece for my Provence table. Thanks, Allie, for your creativity and help with my tablescape!  I flanked this piece with candlesticks from HomeGoods. I love their "chunkiness" and Chinoiserie-inspired pattern.





For accent pieces, I used my blue and white porcelain teapot (one from my collection) and one of my favorite finds at HomeGoods: Chinoiserie-inspired porcelain birds.





I thoroughly enjoyed producing this table today.  Many thanks to my guests for their thoughtfulness and kindness in gifting me with such a lovely tablecloth.  I look forward to using this table for a country-inspired brunch! Some day I would love to visit Provence in person and revel in the bright patterns and colors of their fabrics!! Au revoir!!





I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net and
Christine at www.rustic-refined.com for Dishing It! and Digging It!  on Monday. Please take some time to visit these blogs and enjoy all the creativity that is shared.







Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Royal Albert Valentine Table for Two

This past Christmas my sweet Hubby gifted me with an exquisite tea set.  It is Royal Albert bone china in the Old Country Roses pattern. I have it displayed in my hutch, but I decided I wanted to honor such a special gift by making a tablescape which highlights my new tea set. I felt that the upcoming Valentine's Day would be a perfect time to share this special gift with you.

Here Is The Table I Came Up With:




Here's How It Was Created:

I started with a burgundy tablecloth that I have had for a long time.  I realized that the color of the roses on the Royal Albert china was actually more of a burgundy red than a "Valentine red rose" red, so I chose accordingly.  Unfortunately, the rich burgundy of the color didn't really come through when it was photographed.  But, it was actually a good color match to the color on the tea set.



Next, I added a bright white lace tablecloth for a romantic feel. Once again, the color was determined by the color of the tea set. The bone china is bright white, so my cream-colored lace tablecloths just would not work!



My dish stack was begun with my open scrollwork charger that I found online at Maryland China Company. This company is a great source for white ceramics.  Once you have ordered, you will start to receive their catalog with endless possibilities for creative tables and specialty ceramic pieces.



I brought out my "workhorse" white dinner plates. These Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods have graced many of my tables!



I continued my dish stack with my Madeleine salad plates from Pier One. I still love to use these because their delicate scalloped edge adds some interest.



To finish off the dish stack, I used the cup and saucer that is a part of the Royal Albert tea set.  I love the delicate roses that dance across the cup and saucer, as well as the bright gold trim along the edges. Absolutely stunning!



I completed my place setting with my white patterned Waterford napkins;  sparkly gold napkin rings (a birthday gift from my special friend); gold-finished flatware (on loan from my cousin); and, my favorite crystal: Rogaska's Gallia.  Photography doesn't really convey the delicate etching and cuttings in this spectacular crystal pattern. I decided I would use a water goblet, a wine glass and a cordial glass for a special Valentine's Dinner.  I also added one of my Waterford champagne flutes for a celebratory toast!







The focus of my centerpiece had to be the beautiful teapot from my new set! I filled it with faux white flowers and elevated it on a beaded trim glass cake stand.  Then I surrounded it with my lighted bead wreath and an additional red bead wreath for accent color.  The creamer and sugar bowl from my tea set, and gifted crystal candlesticks finished my centerpiece.




I had two accent pieces on my table:  one was a heart-shaped candlewick bowl filled with Valentine's candy, and the other was the cake topper from my original wedding cake (just for a romantic touch!)





I was so happy to share this new addition to my china collection.  I'm planning on a tea party with my daughters and grandchildren sometime this year,  and this new Royal Albert tea set will hold a special place of honor!



I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with love, a look back at memories, and maybe some flowers and chocolate!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net
and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at www.rustic-refined.com.  Please take some time to visit these wonderful blogs and enjoy all the creativity there is to be found there.