Monday, January 30, 2012

Are You Thinking About Valentine's Day?

1997 by Charpénte

Valentine's Day 

is just two weeks away.

1988 - Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Hong Kong

Do you have something 

special in mind for your valentine?

1986 - Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Hong Kong

Perhaps you plan to 

bake your valentine's favorite pie.

Not Dated - Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Hong Kong

Or spend some time 

together, just the two of you.

1988 - Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Hong Kong

I'd go to the end of the 

Earth for my special valentine.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sharing my small collection 

of Mary Engelbreit valentine tins.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Celebrating with the Dragons

2012 is the Year of Dragon

Dragon Years are the luckiest

years in the Chinese zodiac.

During my years in the classroom, I always looked forward to teaching a unit on this fascinating 15 day celebration that is filled with special ceremonies and traditions. When I received this 2012 Year of the Dragon calendar from Wells Fargo Bank, I decided to use it as a spring board for a thrifty Year of the Dragon tablescape.

For many cultures, the Lunar New Year is a

special time to celebrate

with family, friends, and good food.

In the spirit of a "thrifty tablescape" the centerpiece makes use of flowers that a friend sent me last week for my birthday and a silver bowl filled with mandarin oranges. Mandarin oranges are a favorite fruit to give as gifts during the Chinese New Year.

Full moons and round symbols are also lucky,

so I added a round fan to my centerpiece.

Each month of the Wells Fargo Calendar

features an incredible dragon.

I cut out each month's illustration

and selected a few to use as placemats.

I simply placed a page

over a woven red placemat.

Then topped the pages with clear

glass plates that I already had.

I placed the square plates on

an angle to highlight the images.

The plates were made in Italy and were a

purchase from World Market several years ago.

Chopsticks that were passed down from

my mother-in-law were added to each setting.

I like the words of wisdom

that are included for each month.

Cut crystal stems add a 

bit of sparkle and elegance.

Lacquered chops 

for the men at the table .

Inlaid mother of pearl 

chopsticks for the ladies.

Party favors 

add to the fun.

A Sheet of Commemorative

US Postage Stamps for Each Guest

A Fancy 

Paper Dragon

Gold covered 

chocolate coins . . .

Spill out of a special money envelope

that was also provided by Wells Fargo.

~ To end the meal ~

Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies

Many of you commented on this dragon

teapot that I featured in my post on Monday.

I happened to see it at an antique

store last weekend in Uvalde, Texas.

The shop owner kindly allowed me

to set up a little vignette and take a photo.

Just across the square from the antiques

shop is where I spied the flying dragon.

The Grand Opera House was built in 1891

and is the oldest functioning theater in Texas.

2012 is the

Year of the Water Dragon,

said to be lucky for anything new

~ babies to business ~

In the order of things, the elements ~ water, earth, fire, metal, wood ~ rotate every 5 years, and the animals rotate every 12 years. 1952 was the last time the dragon was aligned with water, and there was a boom in the world economy that year.
Thank you for joining me to celebrate

The Year of the Dragon

with a thrifty tablescape.

All the elements of this table were gathered

from around the house or from my Chinese New Year stash.

Year of the Rabbit ~ 2011 can be seen here.

Year of the Tiger ~ 2010 can be seen here.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Monday, January 23 begins 2012

Chinese New Year Celebration


The dragon is a symbol of
power, strength, and good luck.

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Congratulations and be prosperous

in the Year of the Dragon!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Silver Lining of Thrifting

It's no secret.

There is definitely a silver lining

to shopping the thrift stores.

This tall, slender beauty was a recent

thrifty find at a small local shop of vintage goods.

It inspired me to gather my group of silver teapots.

~ Each A Thrifty Find Gathered Over Time ~

With their hinged lids kicked back . . .

I added fresh greens and

red berries for the holidays.

A nice compliment to . . .

The details of each teapot.

For the New Year they each

hold winter white Baby's Breath.

The delicate bouquets don't distract from

the graceful lines and wonderful details.

But rather offer a contrast to

elements such as ebony handles . . .

Or those wrapped with rattan.

Rings of Petite Bead Work

Simple Bands

Long Elegant Spouts

Stouter Ones Layered With Detail

Simple Lines

Or Elaborate Detail

Each offers its own charm . . .

Sitting atop a tray with charm all its own.

~ Do Tell ~

Have you found any "silver lining" in your local thrifts?