Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A Look At Christmas 2021~ Table Settings and Highlights

Christmas 2021 is but a memory now, but before the year's end
I want to look back to document a bit of our Christmas this year.

Our tree, as in years past, is decorated with special
ornaments collected through the years.  

Our Sadie girl likes to nap under the tree, and she
loves her new Christmas bowl and Santa lamb.

She likes to nudge her way among
 the gifts, sniffing out any food items.

The adorable Santa lamb, a gift from Joelle,
 her very thoughtful and loving groomer.

My Mother-in-law traditionally gifted us a small Christmas cactus
each December, so I like to continue the tradition in her honor.
A blooming plant provides the perfect floral centerpiece all season. 

Just the two of us for a simple Christmas Eve Dinner, 
but I made certain the plate stacks were festive.

A generous friend sent me an early Christmas package.
Included were a pair of gorgeous Kim Seybert tartan linen napkins
beautifully woven in a traditional blue and green. A delicate
embroidered gold star motif adds sparkle on the borders.
They set the stage for my choice of plates for dinner.

I've long been a fan of lighthearted checks and the complexities and historical significance of tartans from the Scottish Highlands. 
I knew immediately I would use the napkins with my 
MacKenzie-Childs Limited Edition Royal Check Star Plates.

My newly acquired Crown Linen Design black velvet ruffled placemats were a perfect base for green Zrike chargers, 
Juliska's Stewart Tartan dinner plates, vintage Spode luncheon plates,
Arte Italica Finezza salad plates, and the Royal Check stars.
The antique Mother of Pearl silverware added a touch of elegance.

Did you notice the darling Tuxedo Stewart Tartan napkin rings?
I've admired these Juliska charmers for a year, 
so Merry Christmas to moi!

We happen to have 
the perfect blue stemware.

The theme of the evening: 
~ Imagine Magic ~

A simple tabletop tree on the buffet will
take us through the coming winter season.

The branches of this Bethany Lowe green feather tree 
offer the perfect perch for the glitter birds and acorns.
Each bird carries a message.

 Wish ~ Hope ~ Dream ~

A trio of reindeer wait below.

Petite fours from a friend 
were the perfect sweet ending.

Christmas Morning started with ruby red grapefruit.
Same Stewart Tartan Tuxedo napkin rings, same Zrike chargers, and 
same velvet placemats, but I switched out the napkins for favorite 
Crown Linens with a crown design, Robert Stanley Home Collection winter plates, and cabbage leaf Bordallo Pinheiro bowls.

My guy requested waffles with .   .   .  

Maple syrup and melted butter.

Velvet and needlepoint stockings were hung,
but this year we opted to forgo any gifts to each other.
We did make deliveries to family and friends.

Vintage Santa figures were tucked here and there.

Including one from my childhood 
and one from my guy's.

The Santa figures like to mix and mingle
among the French faience.

Darling Byers Choice reindeer and a sleigh full of gifts
arrived as a surprise from a friend.

Vignettes feature Christmas 
needlepoint stitched long ago.

I've not had a needlepoint finish in a few years, 
so my goal this year is to finish a work in progress,
a Woodland Santa by Melissa Shirley.

A favorite counted cross-stitch pillow 
sits in the kitchen sitting area.

It's fun to pull out Christmas pillows.  
The needlepoint button tree was stitched decades ago and
embellished with vintage buttons from my Mother and Grandmother.  Are you a button collector?

I created a new tabletop tree this Christmas
that sits on a chest at the side entrance.

Some years ago, I discovered the unique ornaments offered 
at Coral and Tusk, and began to add one or two each year.
It was fun to pull them together along with a few other 
woodland theme ornaments to create a Woodland Tree.
Coral and Tusk offers unique designs embroidered on linen in
table linens, towels, pillows, and ornaments.
If you sign up and make a purchase,
you can use my code for $10 off.
Just copy and paste:


Still savoring the season here, but the elves and I will 
soon pack it all away and welcome a new year.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A Place at the Table ~ A Harvest of Ideas

Do you take joy in setting a beautiful table whether
or not it's for one, two, or a group?

Welcome to the 
Thanksgiving Tablescape Blog Hop 2021
Thank you to Rita, our amazingly organized and 
talented leader and author of the beautiful Panoply
Each account in this hop offers abundant inspiration for creating
your own holiday table and ambiance.
Links are at the end of this post.

~ Autumn ~ 
My  Favorite Season
It's rich tapestry of colors and textures 
warm both my heart and soul.
Choose gratitude!
Set each place with a joyful heart and 
savor the special times around your table.

Traditionally, we have enjoyed gathering guests to
share a meal around our Thanksgiving table,
some years hosting as many as twelve or more.

This year, as in the previous two years, we'll be a party of two.
With that in mind, I've pulled from past settings to offer you a harvest of ideas of how to make even the simplest of settings special.

It doesn't take much effort to create a welcoming place
setting for yourself, your spouse, or a table filled with guests.

Natural elements are an inexpensive way 
to add autumn texture and interest.

Wander your own garden or take a walk in nature
to gather acorns, seed pods, and leaves.  
I often add in sprigs of bittersweet that I buy at the flower market.

I readily admit I am a dishaholic, but I rarely add holiday specific 
dishes to our cupboard.  I'd rather bring a holiday look to the
table through a mix of dishes, linens, and accessories.  

In the spring of 2012, I was the lucky recipient of a set of 12 dinner plates in Sacred Bird and Butterfly.  Thank you, Cherry Kay!
Originally a Chinese export pattern from the 1800s, 
it is now available through Mottahedeh.  
As you may notice from my photos, it's a pattern I reach for often.
It's a favorite during the autumn season, though Cherry Kay frequently styles this pattern for a Chinoiserie theme.  

Sacred Bird and Butterfly
This is a Chinese export pattern of about 1800.  The Chinese word for Butterfly, tieh, is a word which expresses the wish that the owner might live to a ripe old age.  The pattern was evident in colonial Charleston, SC, a prosperous seaport and cultural center. Licensed by Historic Charleston Foundation. (Mottahedeh)

Some years ago, enchanted by the whimsical artwork of convivial foxhounds, playful pumpkins, and the festive autumn harvest, I added several sets of party plates in Juliska's Autumn Country Estate.  

Sold in sets of four, each plate depicts a different charming scene of the English landscape.  The delicious shades of pumpkin spice reinforce the cozy autumn feel of gratitude of the season and make these favorites I pull out year after year.  Juliska's Country Estate collection was designed in collaboration with renowned UK designer and painter, Deborah Sears of Isis Ceramics.  The Autumn series is long retired, but Juliska still offers a Country Estate collection.

Color, texture, and a touch of whimsy is my mind 
set as I pull together a place setting.

A dish stack imbued with the 
rich colors of fall offers a cozy ambiance, 
  especially one that sits on a ring of autumn leaves.  

With just the two of us, I don't hesitate to buy a pair of plates
 from time to time when I spot something like these 
Pleasant Run dinner plates from MacKenzie-Childs.

Add a seasonal theme topper on the plate stack as a fun
way to add a holiday touch to solid colors void of pattern.

Seasonally embroidered linens are 
another easy touch to acknowledge a holiday.

A dish stack of different patterns, a cloth napkin, and a 
fun napkin ring are perfect details to spice up a table setting.
I mix in lots of plaids and tartans using both textiles and dishes.

Use a variety of plates for a stack, 
much like you would frame a painting.
Think about color, pattern, and shape 
to give your stack interest.

Or layer textiles under the plate at each setting.
I often use these natural linen ruffled hand towels 
to add in another layer of texture and interest.

Layering different size placemats is another way to 
add a fun new dimension to your plate stack.

Here is a different look with a ruffled 
burlap placemat as the base.

Using a tray at the table offers 
a simple, unexpected look.

If we are entertaining guests, 
I like to include place cards at each setting. 
Even with a small group, the guests feel special
knowing that there is a spot specifically for them.

I also like to send guests home with a party favor.
It's a way of saying, "I thought of you!"
Above a mini grapevine wreath from the Dollar Store 
embellished with raffia and bittersweet did double duty 
as a place card and a fun inexpensive party favor.

With Christmas just weeks after Thanksgiving,
a fun autumn theme ornament makes a great favor.
Just tie on a card with the guests name, 
and it serves as a place card as well.  
I look for ornaments with an autumn feel 
in the After Christmas Sales to 
pack away for the following Thanksgiving.

Package tags make great little place cards, easy
to tie onto an ornament, a box of candy, 
or even the napkin.

Even if it's just the two of us, a little gift for my husband
is part of his place setting.  A chocolate turkey never disappoints!

Candles at an evening setting add a special glow and say to 
those at the table, this is a special time with you.

Candles add a touch of
romance for a table for two.

Flowers as a centerpiece can be simple or elaborate. 
Just remember to keep them low!  
Dinner conversation is as important as the food on the plate.

Use the buffet or dessert table to showcase more flowers
and special details that reflect the theme.

Holiday meals are a fun time to share bits and pieces
of holiday themed collectables from through the years.

I leave you with this paper plate stack.
I spied these cute paper products at the grocery store.
These would be adorable at a child's table or 
to send leftovers home with guests.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Hop on over to these accounts where more inspiration awaits.
Everyday Living - We Gather Together
Home is Where the Boat Is - The Softer Side of Thanksgiving
Panoply - Thankful
Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Home for the Thanksgiving Holiday 2021
Pandora's Box - Leopards and Checks
My Thrift Store Addiction - Vintage Thanksgiving Breakfast Table
The Little Yellow Corner Store - Celebrating Thanksgiving a Little Differently
Me and My Captain - Football AND Thanksgiving
Life and Linda - Thanksgiving with Elegance
The Painted Apron - Pumpkins and Pickups
Corner of Plaid and Paisley - Thanksgiving 2021 - A Bit Boho
Living With Thanksgiving - Blessings at Thanksgiving
Belle Bleu Interiors - A Heart Full of Thanksgiving
The Bookish Dilettante - We Gather Together