Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Birds of Toulouse

After three days of rain we had a short break in the weather. I had been enjoying the return of birdsong this morning and found it to be the perfect inspiration for a table setting!

To bring birds to the table, I selected these luncheon-sized plates, in a pattern named 'Toulouse'. They're a pretty pale aqua, with spring-green leaves. A butterfly in a soft coral and blue flits above a wood thrush still sitting on its eggs.

Placemats of faux leaves sit beneath the plates.

In the center I placed three cheerful birds with their birdhouse.

We purchased the birdhouse several years ago at a craft show in Piedmont Park. During the spring and summer, it usually sits on the deck where the copper roof has developed a nice patina.

I like that the rims of the plates resemble tree branches. The chargers provide a compatible woody texture.

Since this is a casual setting, I simply folded the napkins, but clasped the knives and forks in flowered wine glass charms for color.

I gathered hydrangeas from the garden in a cut glass vase. They are drooping a bit from the pounding they've taken the past few days.



I was having the usual problem photographing purplish-blue flower hues, discussed in a previous post.

The napkins and glassware were used just a few weeks ago for A Brunch for Mother's Day. Today they have a more casual feel.




My assistants. They are very much interested in helping with anything that involves plates. Surely treats can't be far behind!



Don't you find spring and soft pastels to be an irresistible combination?

Thank you for joining us today!

Resources
Plates | Fitz and Floyd 'Toulouse'
Glassware | Schott-Zwiesel 'Conte Sapphire'
Placemats, wine charms | Pier 1 Imports

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Spending Late Spring Afternoons in the Garden

Spring is my favorite time in the garden! Trees and shrubs leaf out with the softest of greens, and the profusion of flowers lifts the spirit. Come with me to the garden -- these photos were taken from mid-April to mid-May and bloomed in roughly the order shown.
Clematis 'American Beauty'



These Siberian irises graced the table for Mother's Day.
Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'


A few petunias and tulips managed to evade our Labrador retrievers, who determinedly remove flowers from the pots in the backyard.
Petunia × hybrida

Tulipa (Darwin hybrids)

Clematis patens 'Nelly Moser'



Iris x germanica

I couldn't resist using these for the centerpiece last year in Lunch with Violets and Irises.

As you can probably tell, I think irises are absolutely gorgeous. I have three varieties of bearded iris, whose cultivar names I have forgotten. These have been spreading for 10-20 years.
Iris x germanica


Iris x germanica

I only got to see one of my peonies bloom before we headed off for a much-needed vacation. There's always hope that one or more are simply lagging behind!


Paeonia 'Festiva Maxima'

Iris ensata 'Magic Man'


Thanks for spending the afternoon with me in the garden! I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Find lovely inspiration at:
Home and Gardening with Liz
Love of Home
Dishing It Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House
The Scoop
A Stroll thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
Let's Add Sprinkles
Savvy Southern Style
Style Showcase
21 Rosemary Lane
Gardens Galore




Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Brunch for Mother's Day

Today I thought I'd share a table I've set for a Mother's Day brunch. Although we are more than a week away from Mother's Day, we will be traveling that day so we're celebrating early.

I designed this table to honor my mother, who passed away when Miss J was small. I wish she could have known her. Grandmothers are so important in a child's life.

To begin, I selected this pretty table runner in white and... well I'm not sure what I'll call this shade of blue. (Google was no help, lol!)  I found it and the coordinating napkins last fall when I was looking for something completely different. Isn't that the way it works out for you?

In the center I placed Siberian irises I gathered this morning from my front garden. Their intense color was a nice contrast to the fabrics'.



The china was my mother's wedding china, and was used for every special occasion celebrated at my parents' house. My sister and I each received half of her set; since then I've added to mine through Replacements and eBay.

For chargers I used round silverplate trays. I have a dozen that can serve this purpose, as well as several larger round or rectangular ones. Why so many? Several were received as gifts but most were found inexpensively at antique/thrift stores. They add a bit of glam when we host large gatherings (and make the most mundane appetizers seem special).

Somehow the glassware bought 20 years ago has that same shade of blue in the stem.



I have recently become entranced with salt cellars. These have dainty feet and cobalt glass inserts to protect the silver. Another touch of elegance for Mom's table.

From the photos you can't really tell how delicate this china is. Called 'Nautilus Eggshell', its body is composed of a lighter-weight clay than bone china. It has the ungainly pattern name of N1829. Although lighter in weight, it handily survived a family of five plus innumerable guests.





I've always loved the design. The leaves are midway between blue and gray with a hint of green. The flowers are white and ivory with touches of coral.

For the casual brunch menu, I've used Mom's pedestal plate, small bowl with underplate and covered vegetable bowl. I added my English silverplate covered dish because it's a special day.

I bought this pitcher at the Vintage Glassware show we attended last summer.



I think Mom would be pleased!

The irises growing in the front garden. This photo is deceiving, suggesting they are a violet-blue. Their color is truer to the photos above. Purple (and blue) flowers are notoriously difficult to photograph accurately. Apparently digital sensors have a difficult time seeing, rendering and processing purple because the color is made up of red and blue, located on opposite ends of the color spectrum. So sometimes the sensors decree the flower is blue instead.
Iris sibirica "Caesar's Brother"



Resources
Dishes | Homer Laughlin 'Nautilus N1829'
Wine glasses used for juice | Schott-Zwiesel 'Conte Sapphire'
Flatware | Mikasa 'Italian Countryside'
Napkin rings | Crate & Barrel
Pedestal, bowl/underplate | New Martinsville 'Prelude"
Pitcher | Jeannette 'Floragold'

Sharing with: 
Style Showcase   
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Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
The Dedicated House
Let's Add Sprinkles
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21 Rosemary Lane
Share Your Cup