Thursday, November 26, 2020

Let's Talk Turkey ~ Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020
Good Morning!
Let's Talk Turkey

Are you ready to celebrate?

November is coming to a close, 
but before we make the leap into the Christmas
season, lets give the turkey its day in the limelight.

While I'm one to enthusiastically embrace and celebrate all holidays, Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my heart. 
The season of gratitude, the warm, rich colors of autumn,
pumpkins, and of course turkeys, native birds of the Americas ~
all reasons to embrace this American holiday.

Traditionally we have Thanksgiving with 
good friends, including those we know who would
 otherwise be alone for Thanksgiving.

This year it will just be a table for two.

I purchased a pair of these beautiful plates in July 
while shopping MacKenzie-Childs' Online Barn Sale.
Called Pheasant Run, the rich colors, autumn motifs,
and touch of Court Check called out to me.

I chose placemats made of silk autumn leaves and layered the plate
stack with Williams Sonoma's autumn plaid charger, a fall plaid napkin, the Pheasant Run dinner plate, and a simple black salad plate.
Faux bamboo flatware added another layer of texture. 

I topped the stack with a vibrant rusty orange napkin 
and a Kay Siebert feathered turkey napkin ring 
which offered the perfect touch of whimsey.

Our wedding registry crystal still pleases after 45 years.
The Denby amber cased glass was made in Sweden.

I picked up a pair of these unusual glass hurricanes 
last winter when a local shop was going out of business.

There are real bird feathers within the glass, and I knew
these would add an interesting touch to our fall and winter tables.

I was greeted with happy mail early in the week.
Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is recently hosted a giveaway.
I was one of three lucky winners of a beautiful turkey plate.
Queen's Made in England produces this charming piece. 
Named Majestic Beauty, the pattern is adapted from an original
copper engraving that appears to be a scene 
straight off the English countryside.

It joins one other turkey plate I found thrifting years ago.
This plate in brown transfer ware is unmarked, but
also a handsome Tom Turkey.

I used the Tom Turkey plates to set a
morning brunch tray for each of us.
We'll save the dining room table 
for our evening meal.

I'm taking my morning cup of tea in this beauty.
Maruta  Ware made in Japan, c1940-1950,
also a thrifty find years ago.

If you have followed our Thanksgiving meals through the years,
you might recall that we Pardon the Turkey here.
Our evening menu will be 
ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, and spinach salad.

Normally I make a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie at Thanksgiving,
but I recently acquired a beautiful vintage MacKenzie-Childs
Wittika Peanuts cake stand, so I decided to make a cake.
Glazed pound cake, made from a family recipe 
passed down from my grandmother.  

My previous post here features a table set with Wittika Peanuts,
a retired pattern produced in the late 1990s using techniques of traditional German Slipware.  The cake stand has tiny charms of brass carousel animals hung from lamp-worked glass baubles.

I have a few other pieces of 
red ware pottery collected over the years, 
All was made by potters in the US.

The beautiful pitcher, also part of the Wittika Peanuts
series is a perfect container for autumn blooms.

 I wish each of you a wonderful 
Thanksgiving Day 2020.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Savoring the Colors of Autumn

MacKenzie-Childs Wittika Peanuts 
offers a perfect compliment to autumn. 
This simple but charming pattern named for 
Wittika MacKenzie-Chaplet, granddaughter of Victoria and
Richard MacKenzie-Childs was introduced in 1999.

I've long admired American red ware pottery,
so this older MKC version enchants my 
MacKenzie-Childs sensibilities..

The Wittika series was offered in three color ways.
~ Peanuts ~ Pickles ~ Picts  ~

I think the Peanuts is a perfect partner for my 
Nicole Miller beaded sunflower placemats
atop folded plaid napkins to introduce a touch of gray.

Then I could easily bring in these 
simple striped Crown Linen Design napkins.

The final touch to the plate stack, 
classically elegant pumpkins!

A natural gourd with beribboned stem among
fall leaves served as an easy, no fuss centerpiece.

The colorful leaves may be faux, but with natural leaves,
burr oak acorns, and seedpods added to the mix, 
it all yields an organic feel.

I'm savoring these last days of autumn and
not yet ready to Fa La La just yet.
What about you?  
Have you begun your winter holiday decorating?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

~ Grackles ~ Ravens ~ Crows ~ An Autumn Table

November has arrived, and I for one am 
savoring the colors and textures of autumn.
Blackbirds have always fascinated me, and this
fall tabletop post is a nod to those intriging creatures.

There are so many grackles in Austin, that some
consider them the unofficial mascot of the city.

Known for their iridescent feathers and long tail, these noisy birds
often roost in large numbers in trees, creating a cacophony of squawks.
Not what one wants outside their bedroom window!

Perched on outdoor fountains or walking about tables, if one
is dining outdoors here in Austin, grackles are likely there with you.
These aggressive birds are so brazen they may hop right
up onto the table and help themselves to something off your plate.

With fall and the hordes of pumpkins that arrive at local stores 
and garden centers, you are sure to see grackles perched about,
their piercing golden eyes daring you to help yourself to a pumpkin.

They walk about squawking, 
"Caw, Caw!  Caw, Caw!"

Crows are twice as large as grackles, but not often seen in the city.
Their feathers are a true black, as are their beaks and feet.
As one might expect, the resident crow here at Hyacinths for the Soul
proudly wears Courtly Check breast feathers 
and a crown upon his head.

Beautiful crisp air and sunny skies called to me and 
inspired a November table on the terrace.
Fortunately no grackles joined us.

One of our local flower farms sells these beautiful plum sunflowers.
I'm drawn to the gorgeous depth of color and 
how they reflect the feel of autumn .

These Creative Co Op plates were spied while on a 
hill country day trip with girlfriends summer 2019.
They are the perfect fall touch for lunch on the terrace.

I paired them with MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check chargers atop ruffled burlap placemats, all to set them apart from the wonderful block-print details of the MacKenzie-Childs Vendage table linen.
Gray and yellow plaid napkins, rattan napkin rings with yellow beads,
 our Christofle Talisman silver flatware ~ each offer texture and continue the compliment to the rich colors of Ventage.

Real grackle feathers gathered from our garden
with a few fallen leaves add organic touches of nature.

One of our favorite refreshing drinks is 
Fentimans Mandarian and Seville Orange Jigger.
Have you tried it?

Fly on over and join me on the terrace.
The sun is shining, but there is a nip in the air.

We are enjoying perfect autumn days in Austin.

If you are so inclined, an older post here shares some crow 
inspired vignettes and an interesting Native American Legend about crows that I shared each year when I was teaching.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Let's Make Halloween 2020 Beary Special

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Here we are leaping into a new month again!
Welcome November!

October was truly a delightful month here in Austin.
A dear, long time friend sent me the beautifully calligraphed rendering 
of a favorite poem, October Gave a Party, by George Cooper.
It pretty much sums up our beautiful October.

October definitely gave reason for a party in the garden.
A Beary Special party!

A very talented and generous friend, 
Bobbie of Rollinghill Cottage and Studio
mailed me a package for a Halloween gathering 
she knew I was planning for my little great nieces.  
Making memories with these two precious girls
 in my life is a priority for me.

Definitely treats in these bags!
No tricks in sight!

Our cooler sweater weather was perfect for 
hot chocolate among the profusion orange zinnias.

I added lots of pumpkins to give the feel 
as if we were in a pumpkin patch.

Caramel corn, chocolate Jack-o-lanterns, and 
Halloween Oreos were tasty treats.

I used a special Halloween kit from Bobbie 
to add hats and masks to baby pumpkins.
Bobbie packages up  and sells wonderful themed 
kits for making holiday decorating a snap!

Marshmallow ghosts were an added fun touch.

This charming duet look as if they 
are off to a masquerade ball!

With all these whimsical touches, I couldn't 
resist setting up a little tablescape.

I simply used my placesettings and flowers from my previous
table hereand added a black plate to hold the baby pumpkins.

Take home treats for the girls were cute ceramic kitty bowls 
filled with chocolates, a stack of the Oreos, a cute face mask for school, and their special bears from Bobbie.

I packaged it all up in a gift bag 
along with the baby pumpkins.
And that, my friends, made 
Halloween 2020 Beary Special!

Our lone Trick or Treater!
Sadie is always ready for a treat!