Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Stroll through Christmas Villages, Part 2

Thank you for joining me for the second part of a stroll through our Christmas villages.  If you haven't been to Mistletoe Park, visitors are welcome to Part 1.

In contrast to our other village, this one has a small town/Americana feel. Each house and building has a distinct style and color palette.

Together, the buildings and houses create a cozy feeling in the snowy town.

G hand-painted each building over several years, with Daughter J assisting on a number of houses.

The snow seems to sparkle in the moonlight!

The town sits on a small inlet (perhaps on Lake Erie) and boasts a lighthouse.

Everyone seems to be having a good time!

I hope you've enjoyed our holiday stroll!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Stroll through Christmas Villages, Part 1

There's something calm and peaceful, and a bit romantic, about the villages that many of us build at Christmastime. I thought perhaps you would enjoy a stroll through ours.

This one is comprised of pieces from the"Mistletoe Park" series by Lenox.

I'm entranced by the level of detail in each of the buildings. They're all a soft shade of cream, with gold, ruby and emerald accents.

The puppy and the kitten are so cute!

Several of the buildings made a lovely village green in On the Fifth Day of Christmas.

The glow at night is particularly pretty!

I hope you've enjoyed this evening's stroll!

Come with us for a tour through a second Christmas village in part 2.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Merry Plaid Christmas

Christmas is only days away! I wanted to design the table we will use for dinner on Christmas Eve today. Ideally I do so several days in advance, but there have been years when I finished as guests began to arrive (!!!!).

But not this year! This year I embraced plaid, using a table runner and matching napkins that I purchased last year.

They're a bold plaid, really more of a tartan. They need to be bold, to play off the graphic china that I've used for Christmas Eve for a number of years.

Since the china is rimmed in gold, I placed a gold charger under the plates. I like that the charger's traditional scalloped edge and rough texture are counterpoints to the contemporary graphic plates and plaid linens.

I've used silver flatware and napkin rings, the modern way to mix metals - the warmth of gold and the coolness of silver.

The sparkle of crystal is always welcome at celebrations. Cranberry colored wine glasses that I recently found at an antique mall join clear crystal water goblets rimmed in gold.

For the center of the table I filled two cachepots with Cryptomeria japonica and Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii) cuttings from my yard and topped them with faux amaryllis flowers in vibrant red. I think amaryllis are breathtaking, but I can't count on them blooming in time for Christmas. One year they finally exploded in color in mid-February!

I didn't want the obvious choice of poinsettias for the centerpiece, but I did want to incorporate traditional evergreens. More Leyland Cypress is layered with pinecones and pretty red glass tea lights.

On the buffet are two of the reindeer that had a starring role in last year's Christmas Eve Dinner.

We like the tradition of having an elegant dinner before the excitement of opening presents. The menu varies each year, depending on the number of guests we will have -- and whether G wants to try something new!

It's always delicious!

May you have a very Merry Christmas!


Plates | Mikasa 'Christmas Eve'
Flatware | Reed and Barton '18th Century'
Cranberry stems | Steuben 'Rose Swirl'
Clear stems | Marquis by Waterford 'Hanover Gold'
Table linens | Sur la Table

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

For my first Christmas tablescape, I imagined a quiet celebration taking place in a small village.  In the center is the village green surrounded by shops and houses.

The table is set with placemats of abstract evergreen branches and berries. Two plates are stacked, one a trellis design calling to mind gorgeous summer gardens, the other a well-loved song of Christmas.

Last year, my first holiday table featured the first four days of Christmas (A Partridge in a Pear Tree), so I began this year with the fifth day.
On the fifth day ... five golden rings

On the sixth day ... six geese a laying

The dinner plates amplify the blues found in the lovely salad plates.
On the seventh day ... seven swans a swimming

On the eighth day ... eight maids a milking

The village green hosts several types of buildings done in various styles, but all in cream.

Each is bedecked with gold, red and green accents.

I find them charming from every angle.

The coffee service awaits on the buffet.

It's a bit ironic that my first holiday tablescape features the Twelve Days of Christmas, since they don't actually begin until December 26 and continue until Twelfth Night, the evening of January 6.

May you enjoy all the days of Christmas -- and sing this song for me! 

Village | Lenox 'Mistletoe Park'
Salad plates, coffee service | Royal Gallery 'All the Days of Christmas'
Dinner plates | Block 'Blue Skies'
Flatware | Mikasa 'Italian Countryside'
Placemats | Crate and Barrel

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