Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lunar New Year

I love the variety of holidays and special occasions there are during the winter months. Each comes with its own symbols and traditions celebrated around the table. For the Lunar New Year I've gathered some things for an Americanized version of a Chinese dinner. So come with me to dinner at eight.



January 28 is New Year's Day, the first day of the Chinese lunar year. Celebrations have begun and may continue for two weeks. And each celebration will be drenched with color. Deep, vibrant jewel tones!



A dragon from G's collection has alighted on the sapphire cloth in the center. I love the saturated hue and the sheen of the fabric. It has a wonderful drape that holds its own against the dragon.



Mythological creatures and flowers are often found in Chinese art -- and on these salad plates and soup bowls.







Underneath are dinner plates in a complementary blue and white, with gold flowers on the rims. They are part of a full service for twelve that I had eyed for several months at the antique mall. I bought the set when the total price hovered around the current cost elsewhere of only two place settings.

I have kept the table bare, enjoying the deep tones of the wood beneath the explosion of colors.



Each place is set with wooden chopsticks and ceramic soup spoons with various flowers. I have had the soup spoons since college -- and we still use them frequently!

The sheer napkins shimmer in the light and are ringed by vaguely Asian holders. These were given to me several years ago by a friend who doesn't usually go for such pretty table elements.



I added the deep red balloon wine glasses to honor the Year of the Fire Rooster. Red is also the symbol for energy, happiness and good luck, which is welcome in any year! Wishes for a safe and peaceful new year are bestowed in red envelopes.



I have a small collection of horses in print, metal and ceramics. Four Tang-style horses that I found 20 years ago in Highlands, NC, lend their charms to the place settings.

 




Tea cups are set on the buffet, on either side of the cranes which are considered auspicious and a symbol of longevity. The cranes can also be seen here.



Thanks for sharing the celebration with us!



Resources

Salad plates, bowls | Williams-Sonoma 'New Moon'
Dinner plates, tea cups | Noritake 'Lamarre' (1967-1975)
Wine goblets | Marquis by Waterford 'Vintage'
Satin fabric | Jo-Ann Fabrics

 Tablescape parties

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Botanic Bleu
Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
Celebrate Your Story
Love of Home



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snowman Dreams

I moved to North Georgia from Ohio many years ago and I miss terribly watching snow fall. I miss the sensation of snowflakes on your face, making the first tracks across the field, the feel of a well-packed snowball in your hand. I even miss the first shovelful thrown off the sidewalk. (Though not all the ones that followed it!)

So snowfall forecasts here are greeted with great anticipation. Two to four inches were promised! Instead we got a 1-inch coating of ice. We were not amused.

To counter my disappointment, I decided to design a table covered with snow. If I design it, it will come.....




My sister gave me these cute hand-painted plates and mugs one year when I was pining for snow. There's also a platter with a similar design that I'm not using today.



They're perfect for sharing dessert with friends after a movie or shopping trip.







Some hot chocolate or flavored coffee will fill up these mugs.




The photo above shows that the snowman is figural, not simply painted on. A view of one of the plates provides a better perspective. The dishes were handpainted, but there is no identifying backstamp.


 
Dessert will be placed on this cake plate when guests arrive. Icy pine cones, snowflakes and crystal dusted ornaments lie on the cake plate and in the surrounding snow. Silver snowballs hint at the fun we will have. I elevated the cake plate so it wouldn't appear to be buried in snow!



 


The vintage cake plate is one that matches glassware my mother received as a wedding gift. The etching reminds me of the designs that ice crystals trace on windows.


 
Crystal holders encircle white-as-snow napkins.




The icy landscape continues on the buffet where snowflakes and snowballs lie at the foot of silver trees.









Thank you for coming to dinner at eight!



Resources

Placemats | Crate & Barrel
Flatware | Oneida 'Julliard'
Cake plate | New Martinsville 'Prelude' (1930's-1950's)
Sherbet glass | Cambridge 'Caprice' (1940's-1957)
Napkin holders | Gorham 'King Edward'

Visiting

Share Your Style
Between Naps on the Porch
Feathered Nest Friday
Rattlebridge Farm
Love of Home
Silver Pennies Sundays
Dishing It and Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
Celebrate and Decorate
A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Botanic Bleu

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

Growing up, one of our annual holiday traditions was nightly drives throughout the neighborhoods to view their holiday lights. Ever since, imaginative displays of lights draw me irresistibly, and we've continued the tradition with our daughter. With an extended break before heading back to college, J suggested we see the light display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. So on the last night before the rains arrived -- and with shirt-sleeve weather -- we headed to Midtown Atlanta.

I'll let the photos mostly speak for themselves...

Daughter J



With our tickets we received 3-D glasses. When you looked at the lighted tree below, you saw butterflies dancing around each light!


Unfortunately, my phone doesn't record in 3-D!


The 'trees' above are artificial, but most of the trees in these photos are permanent garden plantings.


A pretty garden gate...




A visiting frog in a newly formed pond!


Then through a tunnel --


This photo hints at the scale of the installation. Although this is obviously constructed, many of the trees in the ABG are this tall.


Except for under-story trees such as these.



My iPhone didn't do justice to the light displays (or could it have been the photographer? lol)



The lights weren't typical holiday-themed displays. Instead you walked through, under and above multicolor lights, more than 1 million of them!


In some areas, you seemed totally immersed in lights.



There was the occasional dragonfly...


And snowflakes to remind you that it is winter!


The canopy walk is in the background, below.


It was very crowded that night with people of all ages.




Presiding over the gardens was Mother Nature.


Thank you for visiting the garden with me! For a different view of the garden, see Through the Glass, Darkly.


Linking to:

Inspire Me Tuesday
Celebrate Your Story
Amaze Me Monday
Dishing It and Digging It
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Feathered Nest Friday
The Charm of Home
Share Your Style
Wow Us Wednesdays
Between Naps on the Porch