Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Part Two of Tablescape Program

It pleased me to read your comments on my post last week about the tables my sister in law and I decorated for a meeting we hosted.  It was very fun to read your favorites.  I didn’t count but I think the seaside table was most popular followed by the black and white polka dots.  You can scroll down a couple of posts back if you missed those tables.


This week I would like to show you a few more of the eight tables we created.






It seems I use these brown transferware dishes time and time again.


This is the first time I’ve paired them with yellow.

Love the updated look with the Bee

and Yellow tulips! 




Don’t you agree the yellow seems to breath  fresh air into a timeless dish pattern?

It has a classic richness and depth about it.





Next up on stage is tried and true blue. 

It was so interesting when people would actually tell us their favorite table.

Of course there are always going to be lovers of blue who chose this as their favorite.






My new favorite element to add is doubling up on napkins.

Here we start with blue and layer with white.






And finally we have another yellow table but this one has a more country feel with the addition of black and white.

The roosters fit in well adding to the French country design and it’s all tied together resting on black and white toile.




This was just a fabric piece I had.  We layered the toile on top of a vintage yellow/white linen tablecloth found in my stash.

I found the set of twelve yellow and black dishes at the thrift shop.  Nothing else to go with them, but that is actually better.

Much more fun to mix and match!




I adore these little square napkins with the hand stitched basket.

I crisped them right up with a good, heavy dose of starch.




~~ Lemons, sunflowers and roosters  ~~

Why not?







There is actually one more table to share (well two, but somehow I didn’t get pictures of one of them!)  I will save that table for another day.

I do hope you’ve had fun seeing the bistro tables we put together for our meeting.

Perhaps it will give you ideas on a upcoming program idea.


I am joining Susan for Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch.


Thanks so much for stopping by 47th Street today.  Let me know you were here!



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flowers for my Father

This week marks the twentieth anniversary of my father’s passing.  It seems unreal it has been that long.  Often I think about the things we have missed having him here for.  Of course like in most of our lives there have been high school and college graduations for his grandchildren, weddings, great grandbabies and the many ups and downs that come with living.


We miss him so much.  My dad actually passed away on Memorial Day.  This year I wanted the vase on his grave to be a bit more special so I arranged with love some brightly colored silk flowers.




My Dad taught my sister and me so many good things to remember.  He taught us to have good manners.  Nothing less was ever acceptable.  One thing I remember to this day is to never walk across someone’s lawn to take a short cut.  He thought it best to walk down the sidewalk.  Not sure why he felt that was necessary but to this day I think of him if I start to walk across a yard.  We knew to think of others and respect them.


Dad taught us to button up our coats and to never look sloppy.  He was a firm believer in looking nice and presentable.  We could never come to the table in our swimming suits as teenagers.  Speaking of the table, Dad would go hungry before he would eat the last helping of something.  It was always left by him in case another might want it.  He was always thinking of others.  Our home was always opened for friends and family.  He was happiest when people were around.  I can still see that big smile on his face when lots were gathered.


He made sure we always respected our mother.  We knew how much he loved Mama and that love for her shone through during all their married years.  He was not only a good Dad but he was a good husband.  Together they were strict but loving parents.



Dad, we really feel like your sixty seven years on earth was not enough.  God had other plans and we know that you are looking down on us and I sense you are smiling.  Thank you for being the best Dad ever.  You and Mom set a very fine example of how we should lead our lives. In turn we have passed those qualities on to our children knowing you would approve.





And oh yes, Barb and I still remember you taught us how the crow lands while sitting by you in the car!  We also still remember how strong your toes were, right Barb? Winking smile


We miss you Dad.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When Grown Women play with their Dishes

In earlier posts I have mentioned how fortunate I am to have a sister in law who I have so much in common with.  Connie and I certainly share our love for dishes.  It makes for fun family dinners when we both appreciate putting a table together with love and fun.

We are members of a neighborhood group that gets together every month with a program and dessert.  Traditionally in May our meeting is a Salad Supper with no program.  This week the meeting is in my home.  We are having a program of sorts ~~~ A Tablescape Program! Connie and got together a couple of times to gather our thoughts AND our dishes!  We knew our group would love seeing tablescape ideas.


Here is our starting point



Connie has four little Bistro tables which we hauled over to my house so we could set up little vignettes.

So as not to make this post too long, I will just show you three tables this week.



A Seaside Table


Pooling our dishes and accessories, we had so much fun putting together ideas people could use to set up a full size table. 




On the chair next to the table we continued on.                         Isn’t this white fish something else?  He came from Z Gallerie.  If we had a full size table the fish would be the center of attention.









Next up was a black and white table that truly evolved by pulling a little of this and a little of that together.

We didn’t intend for it to have a bridal flair but that’s how it ended up.

The beginning point was the black, white and silver dish that I found while thrifting.







DSCN3798 At the last minute I remembered my vintage bride and groom which I used for my daughter’s wedding reception last fall. Cute!

The napkins are a clearance item from Pier 1. Dishes are all from thrift stores.  The damask fabric remnant sure added to this formal look.DSCN3801


Next up is our Black and White and Red Casual Table

It’s funny how the tables began.  Connie was over at Easter and saw my cherry salt and pepper shakers.  She mentioned her black and white polka dot dishes. Oh!  Then I mentioned I also had cherry juice glasses.





Pulling from my stash I ran across the little crisp white placemats with cherries (thrifted).  We also thought since this table had a country charm about it we would use my old ice cream glasses.  Filled with cotton balls to represent ice cream, we added a cherry and a tall vintage silver spoon.


Do you remember awhile back I did a post on my black and white kitty with the mysterious hole in the bottom?  She fit right in with this table.






Next week I will show you more of our tables.

It’s fun to actually use all these dishes we accumulate and have such excitement pulling everything together.


I am joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday

Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Sherry at No Minimalist Here Open House Party


Stay tuned for more of our Tablescape Meeting!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hypertufa Planters

Last week I visited a quaint little shop near my home.  After my spring silk plant show I had taken in about four of my Easter looking plants to sell there on consignment.  I had sold two of the four and I took time to look around her little shop to see if there was something I couldn’t live without ~~ therefore handing her back the money she had just given me. Smile  She has a few antique dishes, linens, old suitcases, tables and other vintage pieces many of us just love.  She also has a pretty good supply of temptations for gardeners..such as wind chimes made out of old silverware and garden totems such as this:


Garden totem 


   Garden totem cup and saucer  (sorry, not sure where these pictures were from)


As I was leaving the store empty handed, I turned to look around the front porch area and there it was!  A darling planter already filled with flowers.  The container was adorned with pieces of a plate containing a rooster.  I went back in and told her I had to have it!  She told me she had made it out of concrete and peat moss.





Ironically over the weekend my daughter was looking through a Martha Stewart magazine with directions on making these planters!  She and I were very excited.  I couldn’t wait to get home so I could show her the one I had just traded for purchased. Here is a link to Martha’s magazine article.  It is from spring of last year.




and another link with more info


A little history of Hypertufa

Hypertufa is a man made substitute for Tufa rock. Tufa is a spongy cellular rock found in limestone country and especially where water has been involved in the wearing and leaching out of the original materials to effect a porous spongy consistency. In many countries throughout the world this natural stone has for centuries been hollowed out and carved for tubs and planters and decorative stepping stones.

Hyper is a prefix meaning, over or beyond. Hypertufa is a mixture of cement, sand and peat moss. For hundreds of years tufa rock was used in Ireland and England to carve animal watering troughs. Then gardeners started using it to make stunning antique looking pots and urns for their back yard gardens. After the supply of tufa started to diminish folks looked for a way to make it. Since tufa was created with limestone deposits and plant matter, the formula of cement and peat moss and sand became a viable alternative.











I like the thickness of the planter and just the overall look of it.


Back side showing more of the bits of a broken plate




I would love to hear if you have ever heard of hypertufa or better yet if you’ve ever made a planter.  The instructions say it’s easy…really?  I would love to make some.  Today we are in for record breaking weather ….97 degrees in the midwest in May!  Unheard of.  And to think…I have chosen today to go to the nursery and buy more flowers to plant!


Joining Marty for Tabletop A Stroll Through Life


Enjoy whatever it is you have set out to do today,


Monday, May 9, 2011

We Three Mothers

Mothers Day was not a traditional one this year, but it turned out to be quite lovely.  The date turned out to be the same one that our men had something planned.  They did ask in their most convincing way permission to go ahead with their plans and took Christian, my oldest grandson along with them.


Angie (my oldest daughter) and her two youngest sons and I traveled to see my Mom and spent a very quiet Mother’s Day with her.  It turned out to be picture perfect.  I spoke to my other two daughters on the phone.  We all wished we were together.


It was a year ago today that Mom fell and broke her hip.  She is one determined woman and although she has slowed down she is still very active and has a great attitude.  She still loves her flowers.  We decided our favorite thing to do would be to help her get her flower beds ready for summer flowers.


First we went to the greenhouse and upon entering I immediately thought of my friend Char over at Grace and Favor ~ A Life Worth Living.

Char, your pink bike is much cuter than this one!





We spent a long time (actually until they kicked us out upon closing!) looking for just the right flowers.




Some of us daydreamed about water fountains and with the curiosity of a three year old wondered why in the world people threw money into the water.

Even more curious to him was why in the world wouldn’t we let him climb in to retrieve some of these discarded coins!



We got home and went straight to work….


We edged and weeded



Some watered while others contemplated where flowers should go….




We watered some more




We talked to neighbors and met new dogs



And then we watered some more










We picked several bouquets of lilacs from a neighbor’s alley



More than anything we enjoyed each other’s company and were very thankful we three mothers and four generations could be together.

I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day.