Monday, December 28, 2015

A Last Hurrah for 2015!

The end of the Holiday season is rapidly approaching. I'm sorry I've been absent as of late, but I discovered my normal Holiday crazies were a tad difficult because of my open heart surgery four months ago. But, everything worked out well. We had a quiet Christmas Eve (just Chinese dinner out with our cousin, and then completing the finishing touches for Christmas). Then, Christmas Day was filled to the rafters with the family. It was so much fun with daughters, sons-in-law, cousin and grandchildren all full of Christmas spirit and happiness. I had the Christmas Dinner catered ( a yummy Italian menu) and had lots of help with the clean-up.  I can't tell you the gratitude I felt that I could experience the fun and joy of this Holiday with a loving, joyous family surrounding me and know that my health is getting better each day!! The house was "rockin'" !!

I took a few pictures before the festivities started, and I want to share them with you. I hope you all can look back at these last few days and know the happiness that I did as the year 2015 comes to a close.

Pictures of the Holiday:

As the family entered through the front door, this table greeted them in the living room.  All these figures move in some way when their buttons are pushed. They all have a different Christmas song. They're "child friendly" and the grandchildren know they can play with them while they're visiting. Giggles start as soon as the the snowmen, penguins and Mr. and Mrs. Claus start singing and dancing!

This is the Christmas table that everyone saw as they came into the dining room:

This year I didn't use my gold chargers, but hopped onto the "tartan wagon" and purchased these tartan-patterned chargers at Michael's.  I used my normal Christmas dishes that I have had for around 33 years. I still love them. I also used my Mikasa Christmas glasses that were purchased not long after my Christmas dishes.

This was my centerpiece. My niece and nephew from Pennsylvania once again surprised me with a gorgeous floral arrangement that included a Lenox Santa. Isn't this exquisite? I love the sweet expression on his face. Thank you so much, Patty and Chris.

Here is my husband's train that circles around the tree every year. The grandkids look forward to seeing and playing with it every year.

I'll leave you with a picture of our tree and with warm wishes that this Holiday Season was all that you had hoped it would be. Thank you, dear friends, for all your good wishes and support during 2015. Your thoughts and kind words mean more to me than I could ever express.

I'll be linking up to Christine's Table It! party at and
Susan's Tablescape Thursday at  Thank you, ladies, for your continuing efforts to keep these fun parties going.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Revisited

Not a long post today. I just wanted to share my Thanksgiving table with you to especially highlight a centerpiece that was sent to me by my very special niece and nephew.

We had a small gathering this year. Most of the family was at their respective in-laws' homes (we alternate every year).  So that just left Hubby and me, my cousin, and my daughter, son-in-law, and 17-month old granddaughter.

I decided to bring in dinner from Marie Callendar's. I've got to tell you, it was delicious. The only problem was that re-heating all the components (microwaving was recommended) took up those precious minutes before serving and it was rather confusing getting everything on the table at the same time!

Here are a couple of pictures to show you the table and the beautiful flowers I received:

I hope your Thanksgiving was joyous and delicious! Now, it's onward and upward as we enter the fray of the Christmas holidays!!

I'll be linking up to Christine's Table It! at  and Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Be sure and check out these blogs that have some wonderful things going on, especially during this season!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Special Dinner

On December 4th, my Hubby and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. We always take a trip to celebrate. We don't necessarily go very far; just a change of scenery. One advantage to having a near-to-Christmas anniversary is that no matter where we go, there are decorations and lights: almost as if everyone is celebrating our special day! Hotels have large festooned trees in their lobbies, garlands of greenery welcome us at the check-in desk, twinkling lights greet us everywhere, and seasonal music surrounds us no matter where we go.  We also make sure we are near an Outlet Center so we can start our Christmas shopping. We buy everyone in the family new pj's and that means we buy 18 sets!! They are passed out before the holiday with the instructions: "Do not open until Christmas Eve!" Since our four girls all have husbands and children, we don't see them on Christmas Eve: they want to be home for Christmas morning and Santa's reveal. So, we see them for Christmas Day.

I decided to have a romantic anniversary dinner this year before we "hit the road'.  The menu will be Cesar Salad, filet mignon, baked potatoes and steamed asparagus. There will be chocolate cake for dessert. We'll have champagne for a toast, wine for dinner and an after dinner cognac.

Here is the table I have planned:

Here's How It Was Created:

I start with a white lace tablecloth. It seems appropriate for a romantic dinner, especially one commemorating a wedding!

My place setting starts with a silver placemat. I want a white and silver tablescape, so this placemat anchors that color combination.

I then add my openwork white ceramic charger from Maryland China Co.  Be sure and check out their clearance section on their website: these chargers are seconds (although you could never tell) and were 50% off when I bought them!

The dinner plate is from HomeGoods and is labeled Metaceramica (you've seen it many times on my blog!)

The salad plate is from Pier One and is part of their Madeleine collection. I love the scalloped nature of the rim and the delicate swirls.

To dress things up a bit I used a silver napkin sheath on top of a white and silver patterned napkin found at HomeGoods.  I had found the silver napkin ring at a yard sale and found it had just enough sparkle to complete the look I wanted!

The place setting was completed with my late mother-in-laws silverplate in the Heritage pattern from the International Silver company. It is such a romantic pattern and perfect for this dinner! I also added my Waterford toasting flutes (part of their Celebration series) and the wine and cordial stemware from the Rogaska collection in their Gallia pattern.  The silver glass votive holders are just to add some lighting ambiance to the table.

My centerpiece requires explanation.  I found out that the traditional gift for the 27th Wedding Anniversary is sculpture.  I immediately thought of the sculpture that my sister-in-law, Marie, had gotten us. It seemed a perfect anchor piece for my centerpiece: so romantic and precious with its intended anniversary blessing. I also added the cake topper from our wedding day: a tiny sculpture, but huge in its sentimental meaning.  I have been waiting to use the lighted wreath for just the right table, and I do believe I found it! It actually looks very much like the headpiece I wore for our wedding! (minus the lights, of course!) The candle holders were wedding presents from a beloved friend who left us far too soon.  I think of Eddie whenever I take these out of my hutch.

Accent pieces on the table include my crystal bowl which I will be using as a salad bowl,  (another wedding gift from a dear friend, Frankie) , and an etched glass carafe which holds our gifted cognac.

I'm still recovering from surgery, but every day brings more strength and energy.  I look forward to our anniversary dinner and the short trip that follows it.  We seem to use this anniversary trip every year as a starting point for our Christmas holiday time.  When we get back, the decorating will start as well as the frantic race to Christmas Day when our beloved family fills our home. Of course, things will be somewhat calmed down this year. However,  this year more than ever before I greet this time with gratitude and appreciation.  Happy Anniversary, dear Hubby..........

I'll be linking up to Christine's Link It! Party at ,
Susan's Tablescape Thursday at and Kathy's Home and Garden Thursdays at  Please stop by these wonderful blogs to see what others have to share.  Thank you, ladies, for hosting these parties!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Back for Bundt!

Hello, Dear Friends........twelve weeks past open heart surgery and a much harder recovery than I anticipated, I have re-entered the blogging world again. I can't tell you how excited I was to start digging through my tablescaping storage closet, and retrieve the things I would need for my first tablescape in many months. It was so wonderful to feel in control of my life once again and have the stamina to do what makes me so happy!  Thanks to Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen I had a starting point to aim for.  November 15th is National Bundt Day and Kathleen issued a challenge to complete a table that showcased the Bundt cake!  I participated last year and it was so much fun that I jumped to the challenge (well, I wouldn't say "jumped"; I sort of got up on my feet and walked!).  Here is the final result:

Here's How It Was Created:

I decided to create a fall table since I had not done one yet this year. So, I started with a fall tablecloth I had used for previous Thanksgiving tables.

I then added a woven grass placemat. I just wanted some texture on the table, and to tie in the burlap "runner" I wanted to use.

I wanted to create a dish stack, eventhough I'd really only be serving Bundt Cake with liquid refreshments. I  was just looking for a more formal look for the table since it's been the first one I've completed in so long! So I placed a brown charger with a woven design as my first layer.

I then added some new plates I bought in the clearance aisle in HomeGoods. They are made in Portugal and are called Value Ceramic SV . I loved their cream color and brown edging:  perfect for this time of year.

I added the matching napkin to the tablecloth as a buffer between plates on the dish stack. I just wanted some separation between the layers.

For my top layer, I used the cake plates from my Johnson Bros. Friendly Village set.  This is my go-to dinnerware for Thanksgiving and the fall.  I love the village patterns on the plates (especially the covered bridges!)

My place setting is completed with flatware from late mother-in-law, Johnson Bros. mugs, and amber-colored drinking glasses.

The centerpiece is , of course, the celebrated Bundt cake!  Since the table celebrates fall, I made a Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake (yummy!)  I overturned a ceramic bread basket (from the Italian Pottery shop in Santa Barbara)  to use as a cake stand.  Glass turkey taper holders and tapers (from Williams-Sonoma) complete the centerpiece. I should mention that this cake will be doing "double duty".  It's for the Challenge, but I'll also be sharing it with my special niece and nephew who are visiting from Pennsylvania to check in on me and celebrate their 10th Wedding Anniversary! Congratulations, Patty and Chris!!

Accent pieces on the table include the Johnson Bros.' sugar and creamer set, and an amber-colored glass pitcher with the face on an owl!

It felt so good to complete this table and blog post.  First, I had to find the right recipe and do some baking!  Then I started the whole process of planning a tablescape: scrounging around amid my supplies deciding what plates, etc. to use;  setting the table after ironing the linens; re-arranging things until the "picture" looks right; photographing the final result; then, writing my post and adding the photos before publishing.  It's been so long since I had the energy or mental capacity (cardiac drugs are DIFFICULT to live with!). But, with the help of my family (especially my Honey who saw to my every need; even styling my hair when I couldn't lift my arms above my head!) and loyal friends and blogging family whose prayers and moral support made such a difficult time bearable. Recovery became possible.  Many thanks to all of you. It feels wonderful to be back!

I'll be linking up to  Kathleen at for her Bundt Pan Challenge,
Susan at for Tablescape Thursday and Christine at her Link It! party at Please take some time to visit these terrific blogs and enjoy what other bloggers are sharing.  Many thanks to these busy ladies for hosting these parties!

Your comments really do make my day! Thank you, in advance...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Update and Memories

Hi, Everyone! I am now 12 days post open heart surgery and am doing as well as can be expected.  This extraordinary journey has me experiencing the best that life has to offer and the worse that life has to offer.  I ran into some complications, so instead of going home by the 16th, I never got home until the 21st. Once this is all over, I will give an account of what has taken place ( I think I need to do that just for my own semblance of order and appreciation of all my family and I have been through).  I want to do a post today because I want to stay in touch with my blogging friends, as I mentioned I would.  Your good wishes and prayers have meant more to me than I can say. From the bottom of my heart I thank those of you who have taken the time to bring some comfort and sunshine to this very challenging time.  Today I'll be sharing one of my favorite past tables.  I think it's special to me because it was an idea that came without planning. Items around the house just seemed to come together very easily. I also like the idea that I set the table in the living room, as opposed to my normal dining room. It gave me a chance to use a different table (my first antique purchase MANY years ago) and also a chance to take advantage of the sunlight that floods my living room in the afternoon: in other words, I saw a different view of my usual tablescaping world: much like what I'm going through now with my physical health.  Enjoy! Here's

I'll be linking up with Christine at her Sunday Table It! link party and Susan's Tablescape Thursday party at  Thank you, ladies, for hosting.
Be sure and stop by to see all the talent there is in the blogging world!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Hobby In Review

Hello, Dear Readers,

Next week I'll be facing a big challenge.
It is time to clear up some cardiac issues that have been affecting the quality of my life, so on August 11th, I'll be having open heart surgery. I'm petrified, but it was time to face the music so that I can continue on with my life without the anxiety of worrying each time I'd feel a flip or flop in my chest or get dizzy when I stand up!  I wanted to create a new tablescape before surgery, but time has gotten away from me (lots to do with pre-op visits, etc.) and my "get-up-and go", "got -up-and went"! I don't know what to expect as far as recovery, so I thought I'd just re-visit some of my old posts for a couple of weeks.  I don't want to get too far removed from the blog world, so I thought I could continue my hobby by sharing some of my favorite past tablescapes with you until I am able to produce some new ones!  I'll keep you up-to-date on my progress. I don't want to lose contact with my blogging friends who put a smile on my face, especially when they take the time to say such sweet words after I've posted a table.  I really do feel (and I know other bloggers have felt this way, too) that I have a whole network of friends throughout the country with whom I have a friendship, eventhough we've never set eyes on each other! goes.  I thought I'd start with the first tablescape I ever posted.  I'm glad I've changed my layout style since then. The pictures are so small!!

I'll be in touch as soon as I can.  Your prayers would be gratefully appreciated as I take this new adventure into the unknown......Take care, everyone.        Rosie

My first tablescape

I'll be linking up to Christine's Table It! Link Party at and
                                Susan's Tablescape Thursday at

Thank you, Ladies, for your continued sponsorship of these parties!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anchors Aweigh!

I've been wanting to do a nautical tablescape for a while now.  So, I decided today was the day. My family room has always been decorated with a nautical theme. I guess because I have always loved the "call of the sea". It could be because I've always lived near an ocean (born on the east coast and now living on the west coast.) Or, maybe it's because I had a grandfather who who sailed on the Charles W. Morgan (a well-known whaling ship from New Bedford, MA). Whatever the reason, I wanted to share some of my nautical treasures with you, so I went around the house gathering my lighthouse collection, my collection of "salties" (these are caricatures of old sailors in their seagoing clothes), rusty blocks and tackles, and my ship's wheel and clock.   It was a fun table to do.

Here's how the table turned out:

Here's how it was created:

I started with my navy blue tablecloth that I bought at our county fair. It was an obvious choice for depicting the sea!  I love this cloth: it is essentially wrinkle-proof and spills actually bead on the material!

My woven seagrass placemats reminded me of the coiled ropes you might see along the dockside; perfect for a nautical theme.

I then added my square ceramic dinner plate purchased at a design center (there is no identifying marks on them).

I know it may look odd, but I chose to place my glass cobalt blue charger on top of the dinner plate.  Why? When I stacked the dishes this way, the triangles that are formed by the dinner plate peeking out reminded me of the signal flags that are found on boats; thus enhancing my nautical theme!

To top the stack, I placed my salad plates found at Tuesday Morning.  These were an obvious choice for this setting because of the anchor design and red, white and blue color scheme. These plates are labeled CMG, Handpainted in Portugal.

I completed the place setting with my red and white napkins from HomeGoods, (wanted a print for accent against the solid tablecloth) some new napkin rings from HomeGoods' clearance section (I thought the leather look and studs somehow looked like they'd be a part of a ship's galley!); my blue Mexican glass glasses and my Treble Clef flatware from World Market because I felt it looked like the rope on an anchor.

I placed my "centerpiece" at the end of the table instead of in the center, because I wanted everyone to be able to see its components while they were seated.  I started with the box my Hubby and neighbor made for me, and filled it with lots of goodies. I laid out a faux fishing net first. Then,  my ship's wheel came off the wall, along with my ship's clock (my Hubby kept asking me what time it was while I was creating my table because the spot on the wall where the clock normally resides was empty!)  Then I added other objects: a pelican (my absolutely favorite member of the bird family: I LOVE watching their travels as the flock soars in a solid line over the ocean!); my wooden "salties" (love the detail and expressions on these sailors' faces!) and a lobster dish towel. The photograph is a picture of a ship model my late brother created. He was a master model maker who would never use a kit to produce his ships. He would research the ship, find the plans and build them to scale. Using magnifying goggles, tweezers and phenomenal patience, he would create astounding works of art. I actually watched him remove pin heads to use as the nails on the planking of the "ship's" deck; or wind up thread to look like the pile of rope neatly wound into a stack on the deck. I always marveled at his incredible talent and commitment to his hobby.

My accent pieces on the table include a white plate with shell design found at Tuesday Morning. It is labeled Mudpie and is a favorite for my summer tables. I've also included a red and white Mikasa stoneware plate labeled Gourmet Basics, Hunter and added some cheese spreaders from Tuesday Morning which reflect a nautical theme as well: aren't they cute? And, of course, I've scattered my lighthouse collection throughout the table.

I'm so happy to be sharing my nautical decor with you.  Now I can hang the clock back up so we know what time it is!!

I'll be joining Christine at her Table It! Link Party at,
                       Susan for her Tablescape Thursday at
                       Kathy for her Home and Garden Thursday at
                       and Chloe for her Celebrate It Sunday! at
Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties.  Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs and see what other tablescapers are up to!

I thank you in advance for your comments. They really do put a smile on my face.