Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fond Farewells

Let me start by saying that I am one of the most " technology-challenged" people I know. I learn the basic way to complete programs on my computer and don't venture any further down the rabbit holes of technology to do anything else. I am completely happy just learning what I have to learn, and not venturing into any other application that lurks in my computer memory.  For over ten years, my MacBook Pro saw me through hours of emailing, googling, word processing and most importantly the beginning of blogging. I never asked it to do anything else. However, I knew it was finally time to say good-bye to my beloved Mac when simple functions could not be completed. For instance, it would not connect to my server because a "secure connection could not be found" and other applications were rebelling as well. It was just time. Things needed updating, and even the Apple Store employee was surprised my old laptop had continued to function so successfully to its ripe old age! So, for my birthday a new MacBook came home with me. It's been a challenge to switch over. Mainly because I DON'T LIKE CHANGE!!!!  The main difference in creating my blog is that iPhoto has been changed to Photos, and it's very different in terms of finding and using photos when it comes to uploading them onto my blog page, and editing them as well. So, I decided to experiment and create a new blog entry to see if I can actually figure out how to make things work!


My second fond farewell is to the sweet season of summer. Once the school supplies hit the shelves at the store, I know that summer is about to disappear. It's not just the Daylight Savings I'll miss, but summer ending means that obligations that have been on hold will be beginning, and the frenzy of the Holidays is just around the corner!  So, I decided to create a table to celebrate a summer that will soon be just another memory. I'm celebrating the beach in this tablescape: my absolute favorite place to be in the summertime!

Here's The Table I Created:


Here's How I Created It:

I started with a turquoise tablecloth that I have had for over 30 years! I had purchased it originally to match my wedding china set. It matched the turquoise of the pattern around the edge of my plates perfectly. I'm sorry the color didn't turn out better. It really is a pretty shade of turquoise.




I then added a woven placemat that I found at HomeGoods. I wanted to give the place setting some texture and to bring out the color of sand.


I start my dish stack with some square-shaped glass plates that I found at a design center in town called Shinoda. This place is a huge warehouse of dishes, glassware, flatware, paintings, accessories: EVERYTHING you could want for decoration. It's a wonderful shopping adventure!! These plates have a hint of turquoise and reminded me of sea glass.




I then added turquoise enamel plates from Target that are labeled "zazen". They have just a hint of a pattern that perfectly mirrors the different colors of the ocean surf.



The dish stack is topped with a cute set of plates that I found at Marshall's. They are labeled "222 Fifth" and the pattern is called Marine Life: perfect for this table! There are four different patterns.






I completed the table setting with Ralph Lauren paisley-patterned napkins found at HomeGoods (the turquoise and tan paisley mirror the colors from the beach); napkin rings from a shop Hubby and I went to on our trip to Maine(there are four different examples of marine life); and, flatware from Tuesday Morning (I thought the enameled handles looked like shells). The turquoise goblets were passed on to me when a good friend moved on and wanted to buy all new decor!








My centerpiece is sitting on some  "fish netting" to add texture to the table and reflect the sea.
For height,  I placed a lantern filled with sea-colored scatter and turquoise tea lights wrapped in sea shell rings on top of a tray that is decorated with fish and shells.




I added an accent piece for the table of a plate found at Tuesday Morning from Mudpie.  I LOVE the shell pattern on this plate! I topped it with a whimsical "mermaid" that is actually a salt and pepper set given to me by my stepdaughter for my tablescaping stash.




Another accent piece started with one of my shell plates, but then I topped it with an sea urchin light that was a present from a dear friend. A "dusting" of sea shells completed my accent pieces.





Most of the components for this table were things I had not used before, and it was fun to go through my closet and find these things that were just waiting to be shared. So, for my fond farewells to my MacBook Pro and sweet season of Summer,  I had some Fabulous Finds in my tablescaping storage! I also had a chance to use my new Photos program. There were some hiccups (thank you, Hubby, for helping me out!), but I'm happy I can still get a post published!



I'll be joining Susan for her Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net. Be sure and stop by for a look at some wonderful tablescaping! Thanks, Susan, for hosting.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thinkin' About Country Chickin'

The idea for this post started when my family went out to breakfast to celebrate the promotion of my granddaughter, Sophia, as she transitioned from 5th to 6th grade (a jump to Middle School!).  We went to a restaurant that was known for yummy breakfast fare. During the meal I fell in love with the syrup servers that were on the table. Here's a picture:




I meant to purchase a pair before leaving the restaurant, but left without doing so. Lo and behold, as we got to the car, my daughter came over and gave me a package. She had purchased a set for me as a surprise! I was absolutely delighted. I guess I must have praised these little ceramic figures all during the meal! I was so touched that my daughter would recognize how much I liked them and take the time to surprise me with a gift! I knew I wanted to create a table to honor this new treasure and was really amazed when I discovered how many "chicken-themed" items I possessed!

Here Is How The Table Came Out:




This Is How the Table Was Created:

I started with my straw placemats (I wanted a rustic look for the table).



Then, I used my yellow Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods as chargers.



I found these next plates in my storage closet. I had totally forgotten I had bought them while antiquing! The name on them says,  My Place, My Space. I felt they looked like a plate that might be found on a country table (almost a metal look to them!).






The top plates on the stack are labeled,  Fitz and Floyd "Ricamo".    I've used them in previous posts before.  I love the pattern and colors! And, they seemed perfect for my "Country Chickin'" table!



I completed the place setting with napkins found on sale at World Market (they looked to me like they could be a scarf around a cowboy's neck at a country meal!); napkin rings from a sale at Pottery Barn; my flatware from World Market ("Treble Clef": reminiscent of a country branding iron!); and, red and white checkered glasses from HomeGoods, sure to be found on a country picnic! I added cute watermelon clips that I thought could be used for placecards (and then removed once places were found!)






I wanted my centerpiece to reflect the theme of a "Country Chicken Dinner", so I filled my wooden box with components reflecting that theme: a fun, colorful wooden rooster I found at HomeGoods, some ceramic watermelon side dishes, antique bottles from a collection I received from my big brother , and some straw ornaments. I placed this arrangement on a yellow table runner from HomeGoods and added a burlap streamer to reflect a country feel.





 I completed the table with a daisy ceramic plate marked "Italy"  that I had found at a swapmeet when I was first gathering items to start tablescaping.  I then added a decorative ceramic plate I keep in a plate hangar in my kitchen (note the rooster in the center!). My accent pieces also included a salt and pepper set we purchased on our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas (30 years ago!); and, finally my newly gifted syrup servers!






So, this is the table I came up with to highlight an unexpected, but very appreciated gift!






I'll be joining Susan at www.betweennapsontheporch.net for her Tablescape Thursday.  Please stop by and look at the wonderful contributions for this Thursday!

























Friday, April 27, 2018

Remembering......

In 2013,  I ventured into the hobby of Tablescaping and Blogging. My inspiration came from being a follower of the very popular blog, Between Naps on the Porch (www.betweennapsontheporch.net) and its wonderful creative author, Susan. Little did I know that from that first blog post, I would enter a whole new world of collecting lovely ceramics, dinnerware, centerpieces, glassware, linens, and flatware! But also a world that would lead me to creating a blog, taking my laptop to a whole unknown level of posting,  photography and creative writing. Today we celebrate Susan's 500th Tablescape Thursday and at her request to her followers, I'm taking a look back at a few of my blog posts that stand out in my memory for one reason or another.


The first table I'd like to share was my very first entry to Tablescape Thursday:  http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-first-tablescape_12.html.  I remember the efforts to put this post together. Setting the table was not difficult, but steering myself through the production of taking photos, uploading them onto my photoshop program, choosing the photos I wanted and learning how to click and post onto the blog template; then doing the actual linking up were processes that took me HOURS to complete. But, when I became a contributor to my first Tablescape Thursday, I was so proud and happy I kept sharing it with family and friends!




Here are some of my other favorite tables:

http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2017/01/happy-new-year-2017.html

This was a special occasion because my roommate from college who lives in NY came for the holidays! Our sunny days in CA had more meaning when we brought in the New Year with a dear friend who has been in my life for 50 years!!




http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-view-of-versailles.html

Another memorable table was one I created that had as its foundation an unexpected gift from a dear friend. My step-daughter's mother-in-law who hails from France had come for a visit and surprised me with an exquisite tablecloth she had purchased at Versailles! I was humbled by her gift that showed she understood my love of this hobby of tablescaping!


http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2017/03/perfect-present-from-provence.html


Another table that stuck out in my mind began with another gift I received at Christmas a few years ago. I LOVE the colors of Provence and I soon as I saw this tablecloth I knew it would become one of my favorites!  I hope you can see why:



http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2016/08/a-table-for-joe.html

One table that brought back sweet memories was the one I did for my dear Dad who passed away when I was just 20 years old.  I have many memories of our short time together, especially the times we spent fishing! On his birthday I dedicated a table to him to honor those special trips. It was a heartfelt experience to put this table together.



http://magichutch.blogspot.com/2013/10/50-shades-of-brown-fall-decorations-are.html


Another favorite table of mine was one that I put together for a challenge from Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen. She asked her followers to create a table that used white with only ONE other contrasting color. I chose to use white with shades of brown. I enjoyed the challenge, and also enjoyed setting up my table in my living room------just for fun, and in case we wanted to enjoy dinner by firelight!




It was fun to go back and see the tablescapes that have brought me so much happiness creating. Thank you, Susan, for your mentorship and enthusiasm that have brought so many of us together to share our love for all the elements that take an empty table and turn it into our own work of art. Congratulations on your 500th Tablescape Thursday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Spring!

As Southern CA awaits the "Pineapple Express" of a spring rainstorm, I thought I'd brighten up the gray day of clouds by creating a spring tablescape.



I started my table with a vintage tablecloth that I found in an antique store in Pennsylvania. Thanks, Patty, for the fun day!! This tablecloth is absolutely beautiful, and a perfect base for a spring table. I love its cream color, but what is so stunning is the embroidery work that dances across the cloth. I have always admired the skill that is required to complete an embroidered piece of art like this tablecloth. When I see these table covers hanging in antique stores, I marvel at the effort it has taken, and wonder about the history of the artist who created it. I wish there were a way I could let the artist know that I will honor their stitchery and proudly display their work as part of my tablescapes.






To start off my dish stack, I placed a yellow straw placemat at its base.


Then I added my yellow Metaceramica dinner plate.



Next, I placed my Mikasa Antique Countryside "Fig"  plate. I love the edges on this plate and the colorful combination of bird, butterfly and fig!





For extra color and texture, I completed the plate stack with the Mikasa Antique Countryside "Pear" plate that is part of the same series. The pretty edging is scalloped, but I love the green of the pear and the sweet bird and butterfly. So fitting for a spring table!




I completed the place setting with my green-handled flatware I bought at the grocery store(!), my favorite beaded butterfly napkin rings from Pier 1, some green goblets also found at Pier 1, and a happy surprise I found in my linen storage: some lovely patterned April Cornell napkins whose colors perfectly coordinated with my tablecloth!







For my centerpiece I chose some favorite pieces of mine: a burton +BURTON teapot and cup and saucer my Hubby surprised me with on a Mother's Day. The pattern is called "Morning Meadow" and it depicts precious flowers, butterflies and bees! I filled the teapot with flowers that I recently received from my cousin. Thank you, Karen! I placed them on a placemat which reflects the colors of the table and sets the centerpiece apart from the candlesticks and votive candles that flank it.







To add some whimsy to the table, I also placed my favorite "peas in a pod" salt and pepper shakers. Thanks, Leah, for the gift. They always bring a smile to my face when this set is on the table.



I think I'll leave this table up for a couple of days. As this heavy rainstorm begins, it will cheer up the atmosphere in the house and bring bright spring days to mind!










I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net. Thank you, Susan, for hosting this fun day where we get to see fellow tablescapers share their visions! Be sure and take a peek, and see what I mean!