Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Vignettes

At last I think we're ready for Christmas, counting down the hours until the celebration begins. The house has been decorated, the presents wrapped, the grocery shopping done. And best of all we've picked up Daughter J from the airport! I can't imagine a better Christmas present!

Enjoying a quiet evening, I thought I'd share a few of the decorating themes and vignettes around our house.

I have been having fun decorating our new kitchen and especially the island. (I owe you a post or two about the kitchen renovation. I haven't forgotten, I promise!)  We purchased a small tree with multi-colored lights and hung sweets and desserts-themed ornaments. Next to it is an irresistible gingerbread house cookie jar and gingerbread tea towels serve as a tree skirt.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas Grenadiers

With Christmas less than a week away, I've decided on a table setting for the dinner we will have Christmas Eve. Celebrating Christmas Eve with a formal dinner is a tradition that my parents started when I was child, and which Greg and I have happily continued. Christmas Eve dinners are merry and cozy, bright with glitter and glam!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Christmas Table That's Casually Festive

One of the fun things about the holiday season is the opportunity to host or attend a variety of events. This week I decided to set a table that's both casual and festive, and just right for a lunch with friends!

The dishes I chose have a fun octagonal shape outlined in green.

The four salad plates tell the story of St. Nick.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Do you find yourself humming Christmas songs at moments throughout the day? Have you tuned out most of the shopping music in the stores only to find that you're actually listening to that song? Is there a special song that immediately transports you to Christmases past?

For me that song is 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', one of the three or four songs that takes me back to the girl sitting on the floor of the living room wrapping presents, trying to be creative, and realizing that making bows was not her forte!

𝆕 On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me 𝅘𝅥𝅯

Twelve drummers drumming

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Grateful Harvest

Autumn is a season of harvests and of celebrations. And at the end of November here in the States we gather with family and friends for a holiday centered on gratitude. Thanksgiving is a special holiday, my favorite holiday! I focus on setting a table that is both welcoming and festive, comfortable tinged with sophistication.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Autumn Arrives with Color

Many of you welcomed fall weeks ago. But here in North Georgia it has only just arrived, bringing with it brilliant colors that have transformed trees everywhere. The last hardy flowers in the gardens bloom in deep,vibrant shades.

I wanted to capture that exuberance inside, and what better way than by bringing the colors of autumn to the table!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Halloween in Black and White

Are you ready for Halloween? We've always enjoyed decorating for Halloween, but are getting a bit of a late start.

I was inspired by all the black and white themed Halloween tables I've seen this year and thought I'd try my hand at one. I'd love to hear what you think of mine.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

First Tablescape of the Fall

I have decided that if I decorate for fall, it will come. . .

So disregarding the weather outside (95 degrees!!!), I've set my first table for fall. Since it's the first, I'm going to ease into the season with soft colors.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Early Fall Vignettes

I've been inspired by all the fall decor I've seen in the stores and on blogs this week. I decided it was about time to add some fall items to my house, even though we're still sweltering in 90 degree heat (and drought conditions, but that's a different story).

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Elegance in Blue and White

This September we are celebrating our 27th anniversary. Not a milestone number on its own, but I particularly liked the traditional gift to be given for it — music! So while I show you the table I set, feel free to play your favorite romantic songs!

I started with a beautiful Irish damask linen tablecloth and napkins with a chrysanthemum pattern.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Collectible Glass Show Part 2

Attending glass shows is a wonderful way to experience the huge variety of designs and patterns! There are so many more than the few examples you may find in antique stores or vintage booths. You may discover glass that captures your imagination or makes your heart sing. Come with me and enjoy Part 2 of this year's show!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

On the Table: Tropical Birds!

I really enjoy setting tables. It lets me bring a fleeting bit of beauty or joy, sometimes of whimsy or laughter to family and friends. 

For this table I started with cheerful placemats and napkins I found last summer at $1.50 each. How could I have passed that up?!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Table for Sunflowers

Sunflowers are blooming everywhere! In the fields, in the gardens, in the flower shops. And on my table!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Visiting the Annual Collectible Glass Show

I couldn't resist going to the 43rd Annual Collectible Glass Show held in Marietta, GA last weekend! It's a tablescaper's dream weekend — to see, touch and buy beautiful glassware in myriad colors and styles. You can find pieces from the early 1900's through the 1970's, some unique, some fairly common. Let's begin!

Art glass and elegant glass

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hot Summer Colors for Brunch

Summer is in full swing and it's HOT outside — and probably will be getting hotter right through August! In the garden, flowers are blooming in deep, vivid colors, the ones we would call hot. Reds, oranges, purples, fuchsias and bright gold/yellows. Green leaves have deepened, saturated with color.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Garden Table

Inspiration for a table setting can come from just about anywhere. I had been sitting on the deck in the shade of the trees, enjoying the flowers in the containers (seen here) and watching the wrens busily bringing morsels of food to their chicks.

It was obvious — I should bring the garden to the table! 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Planters and Art in the Garden

I don't think I told you, but at the end of April I broke a couple of bones in my hand and in my elbow. My husband is suggesting -- only half in jest! -- that I be wrapped in bubble wrap for awhile. Actually I just need to pay more attention when carrying things around two large and very enthusiastic labs, who want to be in on the action -- whatever it is!

Of course that was prime gardening season, which I missed out on. So for Mother's Day Miss J took me to the nursery to select flowers and annuals which she then planted in containers for me. We bought small-sized plants, knowing half the fun is watching them fill out and grow.

Come along on a short tour of container gardening!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A New Look for the Master Bath

I want to invite you in to have a look at our new master bath! You may recall that we renovated our kitchen last fall/winter. What I didn't mention is that we gutted the master bath at the same time. I know! How crazy is that? We did it to save on labor costs by bringing the various trades to the house fewer times. (At least in theory... with renovations that lasted from the end of October through the beginning of April, it's hard to tell.)

To start at the beginning, we built our house 22 years ago. We loved our bath from the start. It was spacious and boasted two vanities and a closet for each of us. Our house was semi-custom, in that we were able to modify some aspects of the house including placement of walls and expansion of the back of the house with changes in the roofline. We also specified the flooring and cabinet choices.

Nonetheless, 22 years can take quite a toll on rooms as heavily used as bathrooms and kitchens. The bath had reached the point where it was no longer functioning, and we were using the guest bath instead. So a complete renovation was in order, and we thought long and hard about the features we wanted.

Now onto the photos! We chose large porcelain tiles that mimic marble for the floor. What you can't see is that the floor is heated! The bath is above the garage and was unbearably cold in the winter, even with the portable heaters we dragged in each year. We replaced the wall-to-wall mirrors with smaller, prettier ones, and flanked them with sconces. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Graduation Party!

We are so proud of our daughter! Miss J graduated from the University of North Georgia on May 3 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

We had been planning to host a celebration with her friends and family. She wanted her guests to feel at ease and decided that a party at our house would be perfect. Of course we agreed, but we wanted it to be an evening to remember! 

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Relaxed Memorial Day Table

Lots of folks have weekend-long Memorial Day celebrations, but that hasn't been our style. We have occasionally been invited to a large party at friends' houses, and we've even hosted a small intimate party at the lake. But generally speaking we have a pretty low-key Memorial Day.

This weekend I think I'll re-create the relaxed table I set last May but never got around to posting on the blog.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Flowering Shrubs in the Garden

I think Northern Georgia is at its prettiest when the flowering shrubs explode in bloom in spring. It's sudden and spectacular, and transitions the garden from the early spring bulbs to full-blown summer perennial beds.

My spring garden relies on azaleas, Pieris japonica, native azaleas and Fothergilla gardenii for lovely color and graceful silhouettes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Charcuterie Boards Fit for Westeros

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? I hadn't paid attention to it for the first few years, then got caught up in it when I was laid up with a broken ankle and went into general TV binge watching! I think the story and characters are engrossing, with multiple twists and turns in the plot lines. I have not read the books, so each episode is new and surprising. And I love, love the music! 

As we waited for the season premiere, Greg and I decided to set up charcuterie boards fit for any Westeros table! For the theme, we looked no further than dragons.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Springing towards Easter Meadows

I don't know about you, but we seem to be bounding, leaping, hopping, gamboling and springing towards Easter! With it coming later this year, you wouldn't think that would be the case!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Spring Tablescape with Azaleas and Birds

With sunlight streaming into the house I wanted to set a spring tablescape that would mirror the view outside our windows — azaleas bursting in bloom...

...and birds building nests.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

A Simple Vignette -- My First on the New Island

Well, I couldn't contain my excitement any longer! After 18 long weeks of renovation chaos, we have a finished kitchen! Well, almost...there's still a relatively small punch list of things for the contractors to do. But it's a working kitchen that I can't wait to share with you!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Tablescape in Celebration of Cranes

I'm often asked where I get ideas for tablescapes and vignettes. Of course sometimes I start with a plan. There's a holiday coming up or perhaps a change of seasons. Or I've just found something fabulous that I want to showcase. This week I hadn't thought of anything particular.

But then I was looking through my 'bucket list' and came across the Sandhill Crane migration. Every year in late winter/early spring over 600,000 sandhill cranes converge in the Platte River valley flyway to refuel for the journey to their subarctic nesting grounds. This is something I've got to experience!

While musing about a trip to the Platte River, I realized I hadn't done a tablescape featuring Kutani Crane dishes. I had found inspiration! And better yet, I had plates!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring in the Atlanta Botanical Garden

I know many of you are still knee deep in winter. For us March has been blustery, chilly and sodden. Luckily a few days of sunshine coincided with my daughter's spring break, so off we went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Camellia japonica are still covered in blossoms here and in my garden. They are late this year.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Celtic Patterns for the Table

I was very excited planning this table! It is the first St. Patrick's Day table I've set since we traveled through Ireland last May. So I've included a few shots from our trip to set the stage.

Ireland is incredibly green, in shades from yellow-green through dark spruce. Miss J is admiring the view from Newgrange — even in the rain, the greens are vibrant!

I bought this beautiful scarf at Trinity College in Dublin. The emerald cloth is woven with repeating Celtic patterns in a yellow green. Since it is very wide, I thought it would work perfectly as a table runner.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tea and Chocolate on a Winter's Day

Sleet, high winds and — thunder. What a day! Glad there was nowhere I had to go!

I decided the thing to do was indulge in hot tea and chocolate on a winter's day.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chinese New Year, Vintage Style

February 5 begins a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Lunar New Year celebrations start on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and last for about 23 days. As a result, it comes on a different date each year. I particularly enjoy celebrations during the long winter months. They provide something to look forward to and moments of bright color to brighten what can be quite dreary days.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Silver and White for Embracing January

Every season has its beauty. On this cold, blustery day, I decided to embrace January's by setting a glittery table of silver and white.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Setting a Warm Winter Table...Just Because!

We are in Week 11 of our kitchen and master bath renovation. It has turned the whole house upside down and inside out. We've retreated to the lower level that we finished a little over six years ago. The game room/garden room where I've been designing tablescapes is the only room in the house which has escaped the chaos.

I've always found setting tables to be both creative and relaxing. Needed all the more as power tools echo above my head! I hadn't yet come up with a design for this week's table when Greg walked in the door with a dozen roses — just because!