Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Time for Corned Beef and Cabbage!

It's hard to believe that March 17th is almost here, and it's time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day again!  I always look forward to cooking Corned Beef and Cabbage on this day (love that one pot meal!), but this year, I'm adding a festive tablescape to the plan.  Green is absolutely my favorite color, and I was surprised to realize when I started planning this tablescape that I really didn't have green dishware in my stockpile of dishes.  As a new tablescaper, I think I was concentrating on collecting neutral colors, along with the brightly patterned dishes I have always favored.  So, without breaking the "monthly tablescaping budget", I had to get creative for this post.

Here's How It Turned Out:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with a placemat I had gotten at Pier One on clearance.  It's reversible and I think I'll get lots of use from it as spring and summer approach.

Next came a shamrock placemat I found at Dollar Tree.

I used my Open Scrollwork chargers from Maryland China Company.
Thanks for Pat and Katie from and                         for an idea I saw on their website.  I intertwined St. Patrick's Day ribbon from Michael's through the charger border to make them a St. Patrick's Day accessory.

These tea towels are from Dollar Tree and I just love the shamrock pattern!  They make for a large dinner napkin, but at least everyone's laps will stay clean!

I did make one plate purchase at Home Goods for this table.  These green glass dishes are labeled, "Villa Collection, Made in Turkey", and were on clearance for $2.00.  I stopped my dish stack here.  I usually do a buffet on St. Patrick's Day, so we'll start with salad at the table.

The setting is completed with green glasses from Pier One and my scroll flatware from World Market. I thought this flatware would work with this setting because it reminded me of a shillelagh!! (I couldn't even look this word up in the dictionary; I had to google "Irish walking stick" to get the correct spelling!!)

The centerpiece starts with one of my white placemats from Macy's.  I had bought this white vase at Marshall's and felt it would be a good addition to my tablescaping larder.  It is marked "Farval, Made in Portugal", and is perfect for holding flowers.  The green carnations are from Dollar Tree and the "baby's breath" is from Michael's.  I added two necklaces of shamrocks from Dollar Tree, but still felt something else was missing. I looked at my hubby's "frog collection" and decided these Murano Glass frogs were the perfect color and looked like they were playing an Irish Jig! So---they became part of my St. Patrick's Day table!   The leprechaun hat was from the Dollar Tree store, too.  It was just too cute to pass up.  I wonder who will end up wearing it after dinner!?

After salad, everyone will pick up a Metaceramica dinner plate from the table and head to the kitchen to serve themselves corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes and carrots.

The serving pieces on the table are for applesauce, extra vegetables and Irish Soda Bread! Yum!!! I can almost smell dinner right now!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!! I really stayed in budget for this tablescape.  It's a good thing The Dollar Tree store is close by and Home Goods is not far, either!!

  I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at  and Kathleen's St. Patrick Day's Blog Crawl at  Be sure to join these parties to see what others have come up with.  Thank you, Susan and Kathleen, for hosting!!

If you'd like to become a follower of The Magic Hutch, just go to the top of my blog, fill in your email address where indicated, and hit "submit".

I always appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing from you!!  Rosie

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Precious Heirloom

There hasn't been a new baby in our family in almost four years.  But, at the end of April, our eighth grandchild will be arriving, and when she enters the world she'll be lovingly welcomed to our side of the family by her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a precious item that has been in the family since 1906:  the family bassinet.

As I look at this cherished family heirloom, I wonder about all the nurseries that is has been a part of; the babies it has held; and, the many miles that it has traveled before it ended up here on the west coast.
It started cradling babies when my second cousin, Francis, was born in New Bedford, MA in 1906.  When his sister, Mary, came along in 1910, she spent her first days in it.  Then, when my Mom, Beatrice, was born in 1913 it became a part of our side of the family.

There isn't anyone left in the family who can remember where it stayed for many years.  My brothers and I were never in it, but when I lived in Merrick, NY in 1952, I remember it in our basement.  I can still see it nestled in a corner, along with bits and pieces of other furniture. I never really paid much attention to it, and certainly never realized that it would become such an important part of my life as a grandmother!  There was one time when this bassinet made an appearance.  I vividly remember an old family movie showing my aunt and uncle trying desperately to fit it into the trunk of their late 1940's Mercury.  I imagine they wanted to get it up to Cape Cod for the birth of my cousin, Karen, their first grandchild, in 1952.  It was a hilarious film clip as they twisted and turned the bassinet to no avail;  no way would it fit, and back to the basement it went!!

I didn't have access to the bassinet until 1982.  My daughters, born in 1974 and 1977 never got to be in it because it was back in Georgia with my brother.  When he went through a contentious divorce, my Mom, who was in California with me, had only one request of my brother: " Be sure and get the bassinet!"  It took a Sheriff, but the bassinet made it out of his former house, and onto the moving truck when he AND the bassinet joined us out in California!!  It then stayed in my Mom's apartment until her death in 1988, when it became mine.  In 2005 when our first granddaughter was soon to be born, I took it to a wicker refurbisher who made it look like it must have looked in 1906!  He also explained that it was actually willow, not wicker.  Since that time five of my seven grandchildren have spent their first months in this bassinet.

I just finished getting it ready for the next grandbaby.  The ritual is always the same:  a good wipe down; a new mattress, bumper and sheets; and, woven ribbon in the nursery colors that the mommy-to-be has chosen.

 This precious heirloom will be at my daughter's baby shower in a couple of weeks and then it will lovingly hold another member of the family who will be a part of the list of family members who have cooed and dreamed in it during their first few months on earth.  I'm hoping that my grandchildren will continue the tradition.  I'd like to think that the next generations of our family will be linked together in such a special way, and that this bassinet will be around even longer than it has been already:  108 years and counting!!

I'll be sharing this story with Susan for Metamorphosis Monday at
and Dawn at for her History Home and Link Party.  Thank you, ladies, for hosting!

I love your comments and look forward to reading them.  If you'd like to become a follower, just place your email address at the top of my blog where indicated, and hit "submit"!  Thanks!   Rosie