Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here is Autumn...

It is officially the first day of Fall, so I am jumping on the bandwagon with a colorful, 
fall-inspired table! I wanted to keep the focus on natural elements and started with a centerpiece made of reclaimed wood. This is my fall take on a yule log! I had this piece of wood outside and really wanted to use it on the table. It sat here on a piece of dark brown burlap unadorned for a week before I figured out what to do. I had Luis drill some holes for taper candles with a drill bit, and voila, natural centerpiece! He also made some candle holders for each side out of a birch log.

Here is a peak after the holes were drilled...

I gathered different flowers and leaves to soften the hard edges.

For the place settings, I found these cute, leaf placemats at Walmart in different colors. I used my Hull "Brown Drip" dinner plates with some clearance salad plates from World Market that had been sitting in my cabinet for months. The napkins are also from World Market. The bamboo napkin rings are the ones I use with everything from BBB, along with the vintage Bakelite flatware, and Oneida "American Harmony" flatware. The iced tea glass is my everyday vintage Indiana Glass "Whitehall" in amber. 

Oops... the spoon is slightly askew!

Let's light those candles...

This is such an easy table to put together with things you already have around the house! I always love using whatever I can find outside, especially this time of year. It just takes leaving a big chunk of wood on your dining table for a week while your family wonders if you have totally lost your marbles:-) 

For this to last longer, you could use faux leaves as the real ones wilt rather fast. I love the real ones because I remember my mom using them for my grandparent's 50th anniversary way back in 1976. She placed branches in our dining room, and I loved the look so much, I always bring them in, usually placed in vases of water. 

I'll be joining "Tablescape Thursday" at "Between Naps on the Porch" so go by and visit Susan and the other lovely participants.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy each beautiful day! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's old is new again...

Hi everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful week! We are enjoying the beautiful weather as summer starts to slowly turn into fall. I wanted to share a couple of late summer vignettes before fall officially arrives.

My dad and I made this table from an old North Carolina wagon wheel, and a rim from one at my cousin's ranch in Montana. We had the glass cut at a local glass company. Because of the thickness of the glass, they will not try it again either! When we made it, I had a lot of American Indian art and had just started collecting pottery as I made trips to Bolivia, and Panama. As I traveled more and started getting more European accessories, the table still seemed to work just as well. It was a labor of love and something I'll always share with my dad:-)

My geraniums have done so well this summer, I brought this one inside. I'm hoping to keep them alive through the winter! I have accessorized with a 1970s glass ashtray containing candles, and a few of my favorite decorating books.

The brass table is probably from India and was inherited from a relative who lived in China and traveled extensively. No one wanted this, but I knew it would fit right in here! I have mixed a Mexican Talavera pot with a mother-of-pearl inlaid box from Egypt and a box from Big Lots. The children put small toys in there.

Pretty soon, all those leaves outside the windows will turn shades of yellow, orange and red, so I am enjoying the green as long as I can. Thanks so much for stopping by:-)

I'll be participating in "Vignette Fridays" over at "Color Outside the Lines." so please go by there and look at all the wonderful ideas!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Forever Spring...

You might wonder why I am titling a post "Forever Spring" when just about everyone has jumped on the fall bandwagon! Well, I kind of like to enjoy exactly where I am at the moment, and I'm just not ready for fall! We still have a few weeks before leaves start to change here in the mountains, then it will be over all too soon.

I wanted to share a beautiful pattern by Johann Haviland called, "Forever Spring." One of the vocalists in my worship team brought me her beautiful set to use. Is that the nicest thing? I wanted to do a simple and elegant lunch table. I'll be joining "Tablescape Thursday" at "Between Naps on the Porch" so be sure to stop by there.

I did not use a tablecloth as I love the rustic look of the wood against the china and silver.

I used vintage silver chargers and vintage napkins belonging to my great grandmother...

The butter knife is mother of pearl and sterling by Landers/Frary/Clark.

The sterling flatware is "Louvre" by Wallace and made in 1893...

The crystal stemware is "Longchamp" by Cristal D'Arques/Durand.

I went around the property and came up with this arrangement, which I put in a vintage Minton bone china pitcher.

This table is for Beth with my thanks:-) My maternal grandmother also had this pattern, so it is very special to me. I don't ever remember her using it, though. She was an incredible woman who loved God first, and shared that love with everyone she met. She did not entertain with fine china and silver, nor did she have very many nice things. She always thought of others first. Her kitchen was always open and there was always something wonderful to eat. She entertained senators, congressmen, staffers, neighbors, family and anyone was always welcome. She delivered "Meals on Wheels" in her 60s. Her hand was always extended in Christian love. She was the woman Solomon talks about in Proverbs 31. She is certainly now getting the reward she earned here on earth. 

I tell you that to encourage all of you to give back in your community. I think we all have such access here with blogging, that we have a responsibility to use it for something greater than ourselves. Last week I posted about a wonderful program called "Blessings in a Backpack" that feeds hungry children here in America. How I wish that post had received as many comments as the Mikasa giveaway. Take what you have and give back. You will be so glad that you did:-) One person can make a huge difference! 


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Last Days of Summer...

I am not ready for Fall yet, so I decided to go outside for a summery green and yellow table! I told you that you would be seeing the Mikasa "Brava Yellow" a few more times, and I meant it! It really is versatile, and I love showing you how to use fewer things in more ways.

My friend Maria at Calm Energy commented that it would be fun to set this table in January (inside) to remember the summer, so I had to show you what it will look like out here in January...

Exactly! Now you see why I would need to remember summer! And what a great idea from Maria. It's cold out here. let's go back! 

It was a beautiful, clear day here in the North Carolina mountains, and just perfect for being outside on the deck! I'm using a bamboo runner my husband bought several years ago at Pier One. Notice the same tall candlesticks I have used many times before inside.

I started out with the square rattan chargers from overstock.com, added the Mikasa dinner plate, then layered a green depression glass salad plate. I then used the "Brava Yellow" bowl. This is a big bowl that could be used for a variety of soups, salads, fruit, etc. 

The inspiration for this table was the "Vera" napkin with sunflowers and daisies. I added the April Cornell daisy napkin rings. 

The yellow Franciscan "Madeira cornsilk" glasses were birthday gifts from my mom. She actually had gotten me the green to go with the Franciscan "Ivy" then also found the yellow. I borrowed from her the  LE Smith "Daisy and Button" in green. Are they just perfect? I was so excited to find those while shopping at her house!  

Again, I used vintage Bakelite flatware and Mikasa "Italian Countryside" flatware. 

On to the centerpiece...I grew the sunflowers!! My mom has grown acres of vegetables, I grew three sunflowers, some herbs, and five jalapeƱo peppers:-) So I am very proud of this guy! I borrowed the vase from my mom. I did not know she had it, but I sure do LOVE it and would love to keep it:-)

I just love the sunlight through the trees, and this time of year, it is just gorgeous here. I wish I could capture that in a photo. 

I *finally* got a "Blue Hour" photo, although blurry, it was much better than my other attempts!

Back to the afternoon...I think this is a much different feel from last week's table with the same dinnerware. I say it a lot because it's true that a few little changes can make a huge difference, and give you so many options for beautiful tables. 

Enjoy what you have, and be thankful always:-) 

I'll be participating in Tablescape Thursday over at "Between Naps on the Porch" so be sure to go by and say hello to Susan!