Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tea and Cookies . . . and Olympics

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I am totally entranced by the Olympics, particularly those held in the winter. I am astounded by the athletes' skill and touch of dare-devil. I love to watch the lesser-known sports that they feature. And the mountain scenery is just awesome! So for these two weeks, you can find me in front of the TV.
My husband does not share my enthusiasm, although he graciously attended the Summer Olympics with me that were held in Atlanta in 1996. I'll have to work on persuading him to attend a Winter Olympics, since it's invariably held where it's cold!

So I was touched when G bought me cookies to enjoy while watching them (and he was happily out of town on business, lol!) The small silver tray was given to us as a house-warming gift many years ago and adds a special touch.

Hot tea and yummy -- and very blue! -- cookies called out for a proper setting. Damask napkins serve as the base, with a starched cutwork napkin for catching crumbs.

A Christmas cactus that has been steadily blooming for two months brings a shot of red to the tea table, picking up on one of the colors in the plates.

G gave me this wonderful cast iron tea pot several years ago. Its dragonfly and leaves design is echoed in the trivet underneath.

The crane and flowers pattern on the china is a nod towards the Asian location of this year's Olympics.

The ceramic horse is a lamp from the 1950's-60's, described more in this previous post.

I'm all set for week 2!




Resources
Plate, cup, saucer | Wedgwood 'Kutani Crane'
Trivet | Michael Aram 'Vine'

Sharing with
Katherine's Corner TFT
Between Naps on the Porch
Friends Sharing Tea
French Country Cottage
Anything Blue Friday
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sundays at Home
Dishing It and Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll thru Life
The Dedicated House
Celebrate Your Story
Let's Add Sprinkles
Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Style



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Year of the Dog


The Lunar New Year begins on Friday, February 16, with celebrations that can last for two weeks. Last year it began in January. Each year it falls on a different date because the calendar is based on the cycles of the moon.

Jake was so excited to find out that 2018 will be the Year of the Dog!

According to the calendar, the dog represents fidelity -- and both of ours demonstrate it!

In honor of our furry ones, a lunar new year table was created in their favorite room. The plate stack is topped by a bowl with a foo dog design. "Foo dogs" are actually Imperial guardian lions, believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. But I think that describes dogs perfectly!

Burgundy red placemats and napkins belonged to G's mother.

Green tea will be served from this cast iron pot, which G gave me one year for my birthday.

One of the porcelain dragons from G's collection reigns over the center of the table. Another of his dragons claimed that spot in last year's table.



A close-up of the side of the bowl and the plate stack. I love how the bowl's pattern resembles fish scales in rich colors. Matching its opulence is the design of the plates - vibrant blue bands with intricate gold edging.
Red envelopes on the table are gifts presented at social and family gatherings or holidays. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck.

Two porcelain figures and tall brass candlesticks join the dragon in the center.





The place settings are completed by porcelain spoons I've had since college, chop sticks and uncomplicated goblets for wine or water.

Joey approves! (He's convinced every year is the year of the dog!)




Resources
Plates, cups | Noritake 'Lamarre'
Bowls | William Sonoma 'New Moon'
Stemware | Marquis by Waterford

Sharing with:
Katherine's Corner
Between Naps on the Porch
French Country Cottage
Bernideen's Tea Time
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sundays at Home
Dishing It and Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Coastal Charm
Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
The Dedicated House
Over the Moon
Let's Add Sprinkles
Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Cup
Share Your Style

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hearts and Flowers

I don't always decorate for Valentine's Day -- in fact I haven't done so on a regular basis since Miss J was small. But I remember how much fun she and I had putting together her tea parties with hearts and flowers. So in the past few years I have once again begun decorating for Valentine's, although usually only in the dining room.

This year I wanted a soft approach to Valentine's, choosing delicate shades of pink and white as the basis for the design.

I've used simple white dinner plates with gold trim beneath salad plates covered with rose-toned and lilac blooms. The flowers' loose forms contribute, I think, to their romantic feel, as does the intricate damask of the tablecloth and our wedding silverware.

Cups and saucers in the same pattern will be used for dessert coffees that will go well with the red velvet cake G made for us. I love that he used a rose-shaped bundt pan and dusted it simply with powdered sugar. So perfect for Valentine's!

The cake plate belonged to G's grandmother, who often made cakes for family and friends. The pedestal plate also features pink and lavender flowers, and a lovely scrolling gold border.

I stored the pillar candles with inlaid hearts after J's last tea party -- when she was about 8 or so -- which is why the wicks have never been burned.

Pink tapers (the only pink ones found on a trek through 4 stores -- I had no idea I was buying the last two in north Georgia!) in crystal holders are joined by faceted crystal votives that I often use for winter tables.

Not wishing to go out in the pouring rain, I placed faux flowers down the center of the table. The pots are covered by leaves and tied with pale pink ribbons.

I also gathered the napkins in pink ribbons, one of my favorite ways to clasp them. You can find such beautiful ribbons in so many colors and textures that one is sure to fit your design.

Antique cranberry wine goblets with a swirl design will shimmer in the candlelight. They were used here with a decidedly different feel.

Foil-covered chocolates in a pretty silver Victorian bowl anchor one corner of the table.

In the opposite corner sits the red velvet cake.



The faux roses were bought at least a dozen years ago. Quality silk flowers can be enjoyed for a long time.
The buffet was feeling a bit bare, so I added tulips in similar shades to a charming depression glass basket/vase.

The tulips are faux as well. They were the perfect complement to the potted flowers on the table (and did I mention the torrential rain we're having today? I had no desire to drive in notorious Atlanta traffic to find cut flowers!)



By removing the heart candles and candies, this is a tablescape design I could use throughout the spring whenever a little romance is in the air.

The sun peeked through the clouds a bit this morning so I was able to take another pic with better lighting. The dining room faces east, which is great for evening dinners and candlelight ambiance, but not so much for photos!


Resources

Dinner plates | Royal Doulton 'Alice'
Salad plates | Wedgwood 'Charnwood'
Stemware | Steuben 'Rose Swirl'
Flatware | Reed & Barton 'Eighteenth Century'
Bundt pan | Williams Sonoma
Cake pedestal plate | possibly made by Schumann-Bavaria for Rich's

Valentine inspiration can be found at:
Katherine's Corner TFT
Between Naps on the Porch
French Country Cottage
Share The Love Valentine Link Party
Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sundays at Home
Dishing It and Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Coastal Charm
Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
The Dedicated House
Let's Add Sprinkles
Savvy Southern Style
21 Rosemary Lane
Share Your Cup