...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Waechtersbach Christmas Tablescape

The first Advent was this past Sunday, so it's time to start using the everyday Christmas dishes.  This set is by Waechtersbach and made in Germany.  We had originally purchased this set to be used at our cabin, I mean who could have a mountain retreat with no Christmas dishes - now really !!! ;-)

 But since we sold the cabin, they had to come home with me, and I'm glad. I exchange the dishes in the kitchen for these. A 15 minute swap and we are set for the whole month.

I love the simplicity of the dishes, they are bright and festive and durable!

I guess this must be a favorite.. rustic placemats call for a less formal flatware set - so out came the rosewood handled  brass flatware once again.

A salad/dessert plate....

on top of a dinner plate on top of the straw and gingham check placemat.

White linen napkins folded to resemble Christmas trees. Glasses that have a story to tell!!

A floral pick placed over the fork on the napkin

Square plates hold the white candles amongst the trees that line the center of the table

Notice that bowls have been added, and there is a water glass at the place setting - this is an evolving table - yeah that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

The tassels came off the chair backs and the little wreaths made their appearance.

I love this spiral tree, it looks as if the snow gently drifted down and dusted the greenery and red berries.

This tree is painted metal.

Albeit it small, this tree is wrapped in charm.

Three trees out of one stump

Yes, these glasses do come with a story. In 1985 (were I older, I'd be saying "in 19 and 85"), my mom brought my godmother over from Germany for a visit. They spent Christmas with us, my godmother baked, my husband got fat, I learned a lot. This was at a time when Long John Silver's (yes the fast food restaurant) had a gift with purchase. One glass with each meal. So 6 people in the house = 6 glasses. And my aunt loved Long John Silver's. I thought the glasses were pretty cool. I think there were two glasses each year and then there were dessert plates...So in time, I had amassed quite a collection of this good crystal. Each time I use it, I am reminded of my sweet Godmother who I know has found Long John's in heaven!  Did you notice the gold rim?

  Guten Appetit!

Placemats: Stein Mart last year
Dishes: Dillard's
Flatware: gift from Mom
Fine holiday crystal:  Long John Silver's 1985, 1986, 1987
White linen napkins:  Tuesday Morning
Assorted trees: assorted places
Floral picks:  Hobby Lobby years ago
Mini wreaths:  a now defunct Christmas store many moons ago

It's after Thanksgivings, so we must be having leftovers!
Tortilla Soup
With your turkey carcass, make a fresh turkey stock.  If not then use purchased chicken broth - about 6-8 cups or more depending on the consistency of your soup ingredients. 
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic, mashed
8 ounces green chile, chopped. Check your grocer's freezer, select the hot variety, already chopped.
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 oz stewed tomatoes, cut into smaller, bite sized pieces
1- 12 oz can sweet corn kernels 
2 1/2 cups shredded turkey/ chicken
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8-10 corn tortillas
shredded Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese mix

Prep: chop onions, garlic, grate cheeses, cut up stewed tomatoes. Slice corn tortillas into 1/2" strips and then cut the strips in half.

In a soup pot, saute onion, garlic and green chiles in oil until soft.
Add tomatoes, corn, turkey and broth. Mix in spices and simmer 1 hour. Adjust seasonings to your liking. 
Fry tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp and drain. Don't over-fry or they will get hard. 

In a bowl, add tortilla strips and cheese and then ladle the soup over the top.

Thank you so much for dropping in. I'm glad you came. Hope you try the soup, it's quite good on a cold evening. 

I'm linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday, be sure to drop by for some beautiful tables, lots of inspiration and the perfect way to while away some time!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus. One of the visual aspects of the passing of time is with an advent wreath where one candle is lit the first Sunday of Advent, the second Sunday the first candle and another are lit and so on until December 25th. Another visual and tactile way to count down the days is with an Advent calendar. I have several of these - oops I think it's now another collection.

2008 Advent Calendar swap- round cookie tin painted beige with gold highlights and lots of fun rub-ons to decorate the tin when the calendar pieces are not there yet. I ran some small faux greenery around the outer edge just to give it a more wreath-like appearance.

Our hotel key Advent calendar filled with great pictures of Christmases past and family. More pictures HERE.

Michael's Advent calendar made solely of QuicKutz dies and lots of embellishments.

Advent calendar swap 2009 - I just fell in love with the snowman ornament found at Michael's in 2009. My friend Stacy did a beautiful job with the bow!

This is a talking story of Christmas Advent calendar. Each day that is opened, another nativity figure gets placed on the magnetic background and a portion of the Christmas story is revealed.

Here is the Advent Calendar finished. This was purchased in 2008 at The Shop, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This musical Santa Advent calendar, also purchased in Santa Fe at the The Shop plays music when a switch is turned on. Grandkids love this one!

I found this Lego calendar in Chicago. Or was it Huntsville, AL? I don't remember. What I do remember is lugging it back home! It's one that gets used year after year. the kids can build the little Lego characters. Very entertaining, even for the 29 yr old.

I am linking to Tablescaper's blog for Seasonal Sunday.. be sure to jump over and get some great decorating and seasonal inspiration.
I am linking to Holiday Haven's Christmas Blog party.. check this blog out for some great ideas!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgivings Tablescape

Welcome to Thanksgivings at our home. As we count our many blessings, come on in, prop up your feet and stay a while.

I'm extremely blessed to have these napkins from my mother. Before she passed away she made sure that I had them and the matching tablecloth in my possession so that there could be no questions. My grandmother handstitched the monograms on all 12 of the napkins AND the tablecloth. They were part of my mother's dowry and are still in pristine condition today.

I'm blessed with this set of silver. In Germany, it's a tradition for the Godmother to buy her Godchild a piece of silver for every event (birthdays, Christmas, Christening, Confirmation, etc). I would have chosen something much more ornate, but this is the same WMF pattern that my Godmother had. My grandmother was worried it wouldn't be complete, so she stepped in.

I am blessed with this stack! Each piece has a story and therefore as we sit and recount a years worth of blessings, I am reminded of many more blessings.

I am blessed with this charger and the for the memories it brings forth. It was purchased at Williams Sonoma in Chicago on the Million Dollar Mile while at a sales meeting for Bernina USA. Thank you Bernina! Faith, do you remember?

I am blessed with these classic white dishes. This was the second (first were for the kitchen) set of dishes I purchased after our house fire over 10 years ago. They were a wise choice.

I am blessed with a husband who understands my obsession with dishes. As long as there is food on the plates, he doesn't care!

I am blessed with the matching hammered napkin rings.

I am blessed with the best sisters-in-laws ever! I remember when I found these estate-sale-ing with Bunny.

I am blessed with good friends. I was a Thanksgivings baby and Dorothy and Freddie gifted me with this lovely silver bell many, many years ago. Like true friendships, this bell survived the fire.

And I am blessed with a mother-in-law that I would wish everyone could have. This was her mother-in-law's pitcher of which I am now the keeper.

I am blessed with a loving husband, wonderful sons, and two adorable granddaughters.

Without further ado; the table:




Multi-fabric tablecloth - created myself - click HERE for instructions
Chargers & napkin rings - Williams Sonoma
Dinner plates - Wedgwood Windsor
Salad plates - Myott Thanksgiving
Water - Mikasa Parklane
Silver wine goblets - Spain
Silver - WMF
Salt and Pepper - Reed and Barton
Silver candlesticks - unknown
Pheasant candlesticks - Fitz & Floyd
Silver bell - Reed and Barton 
Copper tub - can't remember ;-)
Flowers - branch from our oak tree, feathers from the nephews,
mums from the grocery store
Copper candles - TJMaxx
Turkey platter - Spode

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
--Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn
(A translation by Theodore Baker: 1851-1934)

I'm linking to Susan's fantastic tablescape party at Between Naps on the Porch.. please join us, I'm sure you will be most welcome!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin