Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

We have had such a gorgeous Spring this year; it's just a wonder to behold.  I am so thankful for my many blessings -- among them, the gift of sight to be able to see and enjoy the beauty around us.  Sadly, North Carolina was hit with some devastating tornadoes last weekend -- a reported 62 of them according to our local news channel Monday night.  And as of last night, they counted 24 tornado-related deaths.  I imagine many families will have a very sad Easter this year.

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week.  I did a fairly simple table this time.  I re-used my place mats from last week because I think they look so Springy, and white goes with practically everything.  I also used the same dinner and salad plates.  Even used the same napkins, but I substituted sheer pink ribbon for the napkin rings from last week.  I also used pink goblets for this table, but the photographer was in such a hurry to start taking pictures, I hadn't put the glasses on the table yet.  Oh well, they're in some pictures and not in others.  Now you see them...now you don't. :-)


It's nice to be able to re-use some basic things from one week to the next, and still finish with two completely different looks.

Instead of using flowers this week, I just put together an Easter-themed centerpiece with various colored eggs, fuzzy yellow chicks, and Lindt foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies nestled in shredded paper grass.


I bought the cake stand this year and the reticulated white bunny on top around two years ago.  I bought the small Victorian looking boxes last year at Michael's.


Most of the other stuff has been collected over the years.  The little train and the wind-up Peter Rabbit belong to our son.  When he was a toddler, we lived in a Craftsmen bungalow in Greensboro.  It had a huge dining room.  Because of that, we were able to put the extra leaves in this table, so it was a bit bigger.  I can still see that little toddler "cruising" around that big table holding on to the edges because he had just learned to walk.  One day I hope he'll pass these two things on to his children.  It's true that they're tiny treasures, but they hold lots of big memories, and they were given to him by his grandmothers.


The yellow basket sitting on top of the chest is the one and only thing I ever made in ceramics class.  I couldn't remember for sure, but I turned it over, and sure enough, there were my initials carved on the bottom.  My Mom and sister made such pretty things, but I just didn't have the patience for it.



The yellow, purple, and blue chicks on the egg plates were made by my Mother-in-Law.  When she visited France some years ago, they used these to cover the boiled eggs at breakfast in the morning.  I guess they were partly to keep your boiled egg warm and partly for decoration.


She thought they were so cute that she found a pattern and knitted some herself!


And again, they're special because she made them.  The colorful eggs in the rabbit container and also nestled into the grass on the cake stand were made for me by the mother of one of my dearest friends.


They're are real eggs, which have been wrapped with men's silk ties and boiled.  They're so pretty and colorful -- thank you Kate and Amy!!

Finally, I wanted to be sure to include a reminder of why we celebrate Easter Sunday.


The praying hands were made for my husband when he was 12 years old by his grandmother.  She turned 95 this February!

Here are some more pics, and I look forward to seeing everyone's tables.










Have a blessed Easter!

Denise




"Christ the Lord is risen today,
Alleluia!"



On The Table:
Dinner Plates -- Lenox "Classic White"
Salad Plates -- Lenox "Butterfly Meadow"
Pink Goblets -- Belonged to my husband's grandmother (I don't know the maker)
Flatware -- Oneida Community "Tennyson"
Cake Stand and White Bunny in Centerpiece -- Home Goods
Green Bunny Platter -- Home Goods, Bordallo Pinheiro, Made in Portugal
Easter Egg Plates -- Gifts from my Mom and Mom-In-Law
Place Mats -- Home Goods last year


Monday, April 11, 2011

Tablescape -- Celebrating Spring

Have you ever noticed that as we get older, the change of seasons tends to make us more introspective?  Of course there is a practical side to each season of the year, such as lots of mowing and yard work in the spring and summer; homework, PTA meetings, school concerts, plays,etc., in fall; and then winter brings Christmas preparations, heating bills, and shoveling snow off sidewalks and driveways.  I think about these things too (only shoveling the snow -- not so much, here in the South).  But maybe it's because our son is away at college and no longer living at home with us (sniff) and I'll be turning 51 this fall, but I do look at things a bit differently now.  When fall comes, we no longer get those lists of school supplies and head out to do school shopping.  No PTA meetings, Band Parents, Scout meetings, or homework to check up on.  And I also think about the age-old cycle of life; all the things I've experienced up to this point, and what may or may not be in store for the future.  There are some things which we know are inevitable for us all, while others, we will have to wait for the passage of time and the changing of seasons to find out. So I guess the change of season is the theme of my table this week.  Spring has fully arrived, and it makes me feel light as a feather, or maybe, a butterfly. Today has been the most glorious day, and I feel like Winnie the Pooh in my "thoughtful spot".  We have had a continuous breeze today and I can hear the wind chimes outside our kitchen door, and right now that sound is as beautiful as any music I've heard.

I haven't done a tablescape in about six weeks.  That wasn't my original plan, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.  I was planning a St. Patty's Day table, but then I caught a cold, our son came home for Spring Break, and after that, my husband and I were out of town two weekends in a row.  And I just want to say right now, that I am amazed at all of you who manage to do a tablescape every week or almost every week!  How do you do it!?  Maybe I'll get faster with practice, but right now, it takes me FOREVER to get one planned, set up, photographed (courtesy of Mr. Forest Manor), and then a post written to go with it.  Those of you who do this all the time -- you're good!  I have lots of ideas that I think are good for tables, but so far I've only managed to do three.  And speaking of tables... I'm using my new dishes this week.  The pattern is by Lenox, and it's called "Butterfly Meadow". It has butterflies and bumblebees, flitting and buzzing through colorful spring flowers. And, as the sweet sales clerk at our department store said, "It's just infested with lady bugs":)  I don't know about you, but I love lady bugs. So enough talk, let's move on to the pictures.  I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  She does such a great job of hosting this event week after week!

My sweet Mom bought me these napkin rings for my birthday last year when we spotted them at Home Goods.  Thanks Mom!  I just love them!  I love the look of porcelain napkin rings, and this is the only set I have.  In this picture, you can see the little bumblebee, and the other side of the ring has a ladybug.   


My bread and butter plates have a different flower and butterfly on each plate.  


I didn't have any particular flowers in mind for this table, but I was so surprised and excited to find these freesias at our Fresh Market.  They were being sold in individual bunches, not as part of a mixed bouquet.  Since my napkins are yellow, I bought one bunch of yellow and one bunch of white.  As soon as I saw them I was reminded of my trip to England and Ireland eleven years ago.  We stayed in a country house in England, and our hostess had a pot of freesias at the breakfast table one morning.  Hers were yellow, white, purple, and pink, and they looked so lovely on her table.  It was just about this time of the year that we were there, and I will never forget how beautiful everything was.  I've never seen such gardens, but of course the price they pay for them is lots and lots of rain.




The green goblets were made in Mexico of recycled glass.  I think this kind of glass is interesting because it's not exactly "perfect" like other types of glassware.  The taper candle you see at the right edge of the picture is a honeycomb taper that I ordered online.  I bought them last year with these dishes in mind; they just seem to go with the bees and the whole spring theme.  I replaced them later for the candlelight pictures because they didn't fit quite securely in the candlesticks -- I didn't want them to fall over and burn the table or the linens.


The hemstitched linen table runner has white embroidered shamrocks on each end.  My sweet Mom-in-Law brought it to me from Ireland about five years ago.  It is one of my very favorites!



This is the other side of the napkin ring showing the lady bug.  The salad plates are solid white, but they have the raised butterfly pattern on them.  The sticker on the back said they were accent plates, and they're called "Butterfly Meadow Cloud".  The coffee mugs are the same design.  The dinner plates are not part of this pattern.  They are Lenox "Classic White".






The plates with the pink band are another variation of this set.  The sticker on the back read "Orange Sulphur Butterfly Dessert Plate".  The dessert forks are silver plate, "Old Company".


We didn't register for Sterling flatware when we got married because it was so expensive, we were afraid we wouldn't get much of it. I wish now we had, but that's okay. I do still like our "formal" stainless. I like the fiddle shape of the handles and the delicate pattern.  We have some sterling flatware that was given to us recently by my husband's grandmother, but it is for our son when he gets married.  It will probably make an appearance now and then in some of my tablescapes.


The vase in the center of the table is Fostoria American.  It was a wedding gift from my father's aunt, who used to own an antique shop in Virginia.


A bright, afternoon-sunlight shot.  We have a large tulip or "saucer" magnolia tree right outside our dining room.  It is not fully leafed out yet, but once it is, there will be no afternoon sun in this room.  It gets a few hours of sunlight in the morning, but that's all in the summertime.  My husband found taking indoor pics in this light a bit of a challenge, but I just really wanted some daytime shots.  I've had my fill of gray, winter skies.












The edging around the place mats is so dainty.  





Guess what?  We finally got to photograph the blue hour!  It went by really fast. You definitely need to have everything set up and ready to go.  The tree in front of the window blocks a lot of the sky, but you can still see it. It's just beginning now.




And here's our best shot of it.  I'm so glad Susan told us about this magical time of day.



We did a lot of pictures this time because I haven't done a table in so long.  We definitely got carried away;)





Here's a neat shot of the goblet.




I hope you all have a great week, and I hope you're celebrating Spring in your part of the world.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

Denise

Lenox "Butterfly Meadow" dishes, coffee mugs, salt and pepper, napkin rings -- Home Goods and TJ Maxx last year
Lenox "Classic White" Dinner Plates -- Home Goods last year
Place Mats -- Home Goods
Stainless Flatware -- Oneida "Tennyson"
Goblets -- Home Goods
Lettuce Edge Napkins -- Bed, Bath and Beyond
Linen Table Runner -- Ireland
Honeycomb Candle Tapers -- Online last year at this site http://www.capecandle.com/index.aspx
Bird Votive Holders -- Michael's last year
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