Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Friday, October 30, 2009

Introducing the Characters of Mystery Dinner Party

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Recently I shared a tablescape I created at my daughter and son in law’s home for their Mystery Dinner Party.  The story line was based on the Titanic.  The Dinner had a real life twist that I will tell you about at the end of the post!! 



They had so much fun with this and many of you asked to see the costumes.  The party wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if the guests didn’t dress their parts so well.  These guests had great fun coming up with attire for this time period.  They even looked on line to get a general idea of the way men and women dressed during this era.  The common denominator must have been smoking because most came with cigarettes or cigars.


Introducing the host couple

Captain Smith

                         Margaret Petree

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Henry Harrison

        and his lovely wife

                       Irene Harrison

Mr. Harrison sported an eye glass (can’t think what they are called) but didn’t have it on for this picture.

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Bruce Dismal

                        Molly Brown

Molly had a darling black hat perched on the side of her head that doesn’t really show up in the picture.

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And Finally we have  ~~~~~~~

               Aidan Brogan with

                                     Tessie Anderson

Keep your eye on them!

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This game was found on ebay and even came with wine labels to print off.  The seller was wonderful to work with.

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I’ve been waiting for one of the guests to send me a better group picture as mine is rather fuzzy.

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Two of my three daughters ~~~~

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Remember I told you the evening had a real life twist??

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Any ideas?  Any guesses??

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This tall man named Dan in real life proposed to my daughter during the dinner!!  At first Jamie thought it was part of the skit but looked at her sister and realized it was for real!  She said YES!

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No doubt!! This will always be an evening to remember!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Table Setting fit for a Birthday Girl


Thanks to Susan, we dish people can get our fill of Tablescapes once again as we begin the countdown for Tablescape Thursday.  Join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch each Thursday for this delightful event.

Tablescape Thursday


Are there any rules that say we can’t repeat a tablescape we have done?  I haven’t heard of any.  My blog was brand new about this time last year when I shared this one.


Say hello to the Birthday Girl, my Mother.


I just returned from a trip to my hometown where we once again celebrated this sweet lady and her birthday.  It reminded me of this tablescape I did a couple of years ago.  The idea occurred to me to have a little brunch in my home and to invite Mom and three of her friends to come.


We ladies enjoy our day trips with food and a little shopping afterwards, right?

Mom's BD


Let’s begin by pulling out some dishes that seem fall like.  Brown transferware fits the bill, don’t you think?  At the time I didn’t have enough brown cups so I introduced my red to intermingle with the brown.  No one complained that I heard, anyway!


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My centerpiece was simple but elegant with an oversized faux pear placed upon a luncheon plate to match the dishes.  I liked the idea of a burlap ribbon to drape down and around the cloche.


The pears went home with the ladies along with a couple recipes I wrote out of entrees served.

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The faux pears added color and a feel for the season.  This was the first time I had used the deep red tablecloth with these dishes, but it seemed right.

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The napkin rings were pieces of grapevine with some faux berries tied around.


Can you see the silver pheasant salt and pepper shakers?  I use these a lot this time of year.  They are favorites of mine!

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Here she is again, pleasing me to stop eating for a picture.  She says I take more pictures than anyone she knows.

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It was a fun celebration and I do think everyone enjoyed themselves.

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Thank you so much for all the nice comments about last week’s tablescape with a Titanic Theme.  Within the next couple of days I promise I will post pictures of the costumes and tell you a huge secret from the evening! 


Do come again, won’t you??

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dining on the Titanic

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Well, sort of!        Last weekend my daughter and son in law hosted their fifth or sixth Mystery Dinner Party. The story line was based on Titanic this year.  This has become an ongoing tradition that their guests truly look forward to and some have actually been known to call early to make sure there is going to be a MDP.  It’s always very close to Halloween and often times the table is decorated with more of a pumpkin/ghostly theme.



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With the theme of this mystery being on the Titanic, Angie wanted a more romantic old age theme for the table.  She gave me her thoughts and I loaded up my car with all my fun stuff and headed over to help her with this exciting plan.  Oh!  I do get excited thinking about decorating a table with a theme.



Angie has beautiful gold rimmed china, beautiful silver with gold and the gold chargers, so I added my brown transferware bread plates for the look of a bygone era.

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Now don’t look too closely or you will surely notice the bronze tablecloth doesn’t quite fit her table.  I had an old finely crocheted one that fit better, but Angie LOVED the bronze and said, “Let’s make it work!”  It was pretty.  The lighting gives it a silvery glow, but it’s actually a shimmery bronze.  I threw the velvet, beaded runner on top and just started layering.


This is the first time I used my silver candelabra recently purchased at a local Junk Jaunt for around $4 or $5.  I had white candles in at first, but then dug around and found 2 gold ones she had.  The gold took on a much richer look and I was off to find more gold candles to fill the base.

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I added the two crystal candle holders from a church sale because of the size of the table.  The candelabra wasn’t quite large enough.


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The bronze and gold faux fine leaves were added using the colors alternately at each place setting.  Gold card holders from a Hobby Lobby clearance sat on top of individual small mirrors to reflect the candlelight.  Oh! The feel was divine!!


Lots of votive holders were scattered here and there on the table.  I had these little individual salt and pepper shakers that were placed around the table for every two people to share as I had four sets.

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A mix of two sets of old butter knives sat across the bread plates.  Don’t you think Leonardo would have been pleased to sit here??  :) :) :)

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You’ve seen the amber glasses before, also from the Junk Jaunt.

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It was QUITE AN EVENING!  I’ll share more in the days to come.  The costumes the guests came in were fantastic!  They always love getting into character and truly have a very fun evening.

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Thank you SO MUCH Susan for continuing with Tablescape Thursday.  I have really learned to play with my dishes and thrifting finds in a whole new way.  It’s really fun to be creative with what we love and to see and get ideas from so many talented bloggers.  Go over and visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for a healthy dose of inspiration!

Tablescape Thursday


Thank you so much for your visit.  I do hope you’ll stay awhile and then let me know you were here!  If you become a follower, then it’s easier for me to find you too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still Time to Plant Bulbs


By this time, I thought my bulbs for spring would be in the ground.  We had cold weather arrive so early this year that gardening has not been a priority.  We’ve even had snow, you might remember!


Yesterday was very nice so I got all my ducks in a row and began digging.


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Tulips should be planted about 6” deep.  After I dug, I worked in some peat moss and some bone meal as a fertilizer.

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I planted daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths and moved some crocus to another location.


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Several years ago when my oldest daughter got married we placed purple (her wedding color) tulip bulbs in a little box and wrapped a purple ribbon around the box to give to each guests as a thank you for coming to the wedding.  Mine didn’t live when I dug them for the move to our new house.  My Mom’s have really taken off  and she was more than happy to have me take some home with me in the late summer so she could thin hers.




It’s such a nice memory of Angie’s wedding.  Aren’t they pretty?



My afternoon was going so well and I was right pleased with myself to be getting this yard work done before the next blast of cold air blows  ~~~~~~~~~~~



I went inside to answer a phone call.  See this box of Bone Meal??????



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Somehow when I left my little cart filled with peat moss, the box of bone meal and my unplanted iris bulbs a strange thing happened!!!

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Yep, Mr. Chester the troublemaker our 110 lb. German Shorthair decided to have an afternoon snack!!  Who would ever think a dog would eat bone meal?  I guess he read the word “bone”!!

Chester in woods


Even the vet was surprised when I told him what had happened.  He suggested we give him two tubes (one at a time) of Cat lax to keep everything moving through his system.  He is also on Pepsid.  Today we repeat the two tubes of cat lax.  He thinks because of his size and the amount he ate, we should be okay.

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My planted went by the wayside as I was off to Target to purchase medicine and Hair Ball remedy for good ole Chester Dog.  Life is full of surprises, isn’t it???   :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Easy Appetizer with a Flair


Good Morning!  I thought it was time I join in with Designs by Gollum to share a recipe today. 



While preparing for my Seasonal faux floral shows and creating over 100 arrangements I also enjoy coming up with some delicious appetizers and of course some sweets to welcome my guests/customers.  It’s quite a task because I have so much going on to prepare for these shows.  Lucky for me friends and family often times volunteer to prepare some of the food too.


It’s great when I can find something that has eye appeal And is delicious AND easy all at the same time.  The recipe I’m sharing today fits that description. 


 Don’t you think this has great presentation?  I love that it’s so colorful.

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Pesto Dip

1 (8 oz. ) pkg cream cheese, at room temp

Tub of Buitoni prepared pesto

(or your own that might be in the freezer now)

oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly

Pine nuts, lightly toasted and salted

1.  Beat cream cheese until light and smooth.  Spread on a small platter or dinner plate.

2.  Spoon pesto over cream cheese, leaving a bit of the cream cheese showing around the edge.

3.  Arrange the sun dried tomatoes evenly over the pesto layer. 

4.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and refrigerate for an hour or so to blend the flavors.

5.  Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

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I always know it’s a hit when several ask for the recipe! 


Take time to stop over at Michael’s and see what others are sharing today!



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dinner for Eight

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Last weekend, Mr. Brown Socks and I hosted a small little Supper Club we belong to.  This is an extremely casual group, as are the “rules” of the Club.


This is quite easy entertaining as the host couple provide the meat and drinks and perhaps one other course while guests bring a salad, dessert and possibly appetizer.




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Of course with our dinner being smack dab in the middle of October, I was thrilled to be able to pull out some autumn colors which just warm my heart and soul.

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First time to use my Target tablecloth from the 75% off sale after last Christmas.

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Does anyone (speak up now!) remember this pitcher I found at a yard sale early in the fall?  I considered using it to place faux flowers in and sell at my show ~~ BUT!  I didn’t!  I kept it.  One more BIG surprise?  The faux floral lady used REAL, LIVE honest-to-goodness mums on her table!!

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Rather dark picture, but who doesn’t get weak in the knees with candlelight?

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Gold Chargers                Resale Shop

Black Dinner Plates        Thrift Shop

Salad Plates                    New from Anthropology

Amber Glasses                Recent find at a Junk Jaunt

Glass Dome                     Goodwill

Napkins                          World Market

Napkin Rings                   Pier 1

Faux Greenery along

with artichoke candles   The Silk Thumb

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It really was a lovely evening, enjoying time with good friends.

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The Menu

Paula Deen's Cheese Ring

Dilled Pork Roast

Sweet Potatoes

Crunchy Apple-Pecan Slaw

Pomegranate Margaritas, Beer, Iced Tea, Apple Cider



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Tablescape Thursday

Please join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for a delightful day filled with gorgeous tablescapes!