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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where do you keep all your stuff - part two: tablecloths

The majority of my tablecloths hang in one of the closets built in the hallway. They are hanging by size within color.

The shelf above the hanging rod, holds some coverings for outdoors, some extra linen yet to be made into towels, placemats or runners, a runner or two, some new tablecloths still in their cover, and the faux poppies for our Mexican meals outside. Do you notice the tags on the hangers?

Now this is where my OCD comes into play. Although I do know the size of most of the tablecloths hanging, there quite a few that I don't use as often so their size can be a mystery. By size, I'm referring to the length. Our old table required a 84" length and I still have a few of those, but most of the ones are now at least a 90" length. Can you tell that the tags are color codes? Brown tags are odd things (my grandmother's 70" length, runners, squares, etc). White takes are 84" length, yellow tags are 90" length, blue are 100+" and the green tags are 126". By size within color I mean that they all hang from the shortest to the longest in for instance, the white grouping, then they hang from shortest to longest in the beige grouping and so on. Makes pulling one out pretty easy. I know, I know.. too much organization. But it makes me happy :-).

I want to share a few tips with you on preserving your linens:
1. First, use the right washing agents. The detergents that contain bleaching agents are perfect for white linen but should not be used for washing colored linen or else your linen would get discolored or spotted. Only bleach-free detergents must be used for washing colored articles. Use pure soap or gentle detergents. Soap works best in soft water. Never use chlorine bleaches to avoid damage to the fiber. Only oxygen-type bleaches should be used for white linen laundering. However, no bleach should be used when washing spun, colored or embroidered linen. 

If the water you use is hard due to a high lime content add a softening agent, especially for darker-colored articles. Use plenty of water because linen is very water-absorbent. Water temperature should be selected according to the care instructions attached to your linen article. If the temperature exceeds the recommended maximum temperature it may lead to fabric shrinkage.  

Whether washing by hand or by machine, linen items have to be thoroughly rinsed in plenty of water to remove all soap, detergent and residual soil and prevent the formation of the so-called age spots due to the oxidation effect.

2.  Resist the urge to store your linens fully starched if they are some you don't use often. Instead of the fibers bending when you fold, the starch I can break the fiber instead. Continuous folding of starched linens will surely show the wear and tear. If linen articles are stored for a long time, refold them from time to time.

3. The easiest way to iron your linens is  to spray them with water, or take them from the dryer fairly damp and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight. I'm not sure why this works, it just does. The next day when you take them out to iron, you will find you don't need starch and ironing is a breeze.

In case of light-colored linens, iron on the wrong side first, then on the right side to bring out the sheen. As regards dark-colored articles, iron on the wrong side only. 

Iron embroidered items on the wrong side on a towel.. This keeps the embroidered portion  from flattening out.

4. I don't use an ironing board to iron. I had a board cut 3 ft by 8 ft long. Wrapped the entire board in an old wool blanket. Then covered the blanket with a cotton covering. Staple the covering to the side not on the ironing surface. Place it on the end of your table and iron the tablecloth on this. Pull the ironed part over the table until all parts of the tablecloth are ironed. No creases, once across the width and your tablecloth will be wrinkle free. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dinner for two Tablescape

Welcome to our dinner for two. Yes, just for you. I pulled out the Sunday best, nothing is too good for you! Pull up a chair and have a seat, dinner will be ready in just a sec!

Just ignore inspector Regan. He thinks he has to have his nose in everything these days! Could be he's anticipating the shrimp cocktail.

All the plates are united by a gold rim, even the underplate for the sherbet glass that will hold our shrimp.

You have good eyes, the salad plates are indeed a different pattern.

But don't they make a pretty stack? Each one a different maker, each one a different age.

This piece is by Seltmann Weiden - Germany - there is no date associated with this mark, but I am guessing this piece came about after WWII and before 1960. It belonged to my maternal grandmother.

This is another Seltmann piece, this time Seltmann Erbensdorf - which was opened in 1940. This factory was destroyed during WWII. Also from my maternal grandmother.

This sweet plate that I'm using as the underplate for the crystal sherbet is by Bavaria Tirschenreuth. Another piece of my maternal grandmother's. This dates the piece some where from 1930-1981.

And then I also have these pieces from my maternal grandmother. They are marked Johann Seltmann Vohenstrauss, factory in existence from 1901-1975. My grandmother had these when I was a little girl, I can so remember them.

 The original use of these dishes could possibly be for serving cookies since the serving place is the size of a salad plate and the little plates are the size of American butter pats. Today, it's holding the drips from the decanter.

Napkins from an estate sale. Eight napkins and placemats in pristine condition!
These little gems are marked Handgemalt - handpainted and belonged to my maternal great-grandmother. I should really have polished the silver tops!

This leaf dish is from my husband's paternal grandmother, marked Stouffer China - Czechosolvakia. That country doesn't even exist anymore!

European sized dinner plates, which means they are smaller than American plates. These are Rosenthal - Selb made in Germany. 

Three different candlesticks, two are gifts and the third with the gold band was purchased at TJ Maxx this past year.

The wine and sherbets are the same pattern, Libbey Rock Sharpe

A rosemary plant surrounded by giftwrap and placed in a crystal bowl serves as the floral centerpiece. The fragrance will compliment the pork tenderloin!

Gold flatware from International rounds out the setting. 

Wool embroidery on wool background hand stitched by my mother. She rarely used this because my dad placed a car battery on it and stained it. She washed it and the wool felted, which "just ruined" it, so says Mom. But I love it and use just as it is. 

Inspected by Inspector Regan, who gave his nod of approval. No climbing on the table this week! You think he's learned his lesson? Seriously, he has his nose in everything I do, ironing, washing dishes, cooking, hand sewing, machine sewing and computer work. 

I'm joining Susan's party at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to drop in Wednesday evening to see the Tablescape Thursday tables set just for you! I'm also joining Masterpiece Monday.. click HERE for a direct link.. some cool stuff to be seen!

Thanks for dropping in and leaving your kind comments! They are blessings in my day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where do you keep all your stuff - part one

I cannot believe that I am going to show you the insides of cabinets!!!  Our house was built in 1961 by an architect for his use. There is no wasted space anywhere. You can see that the hallway, all the way into our bedroom is nothing but built-in storage from floor to ceiling. Perfect, isn't it?  I actually have room for all sorts of goodies behind all those doors and in those drawers. Today, I'm sharing napkin and napkin ring storage.

The built in in the mini-hallway in our bedroom is the perfect depth for napkin storage, although presently half the cabinet is used for sweaters. I tend to keep my napkins grouped by color if at all possible.

Are you intrigued by the mini-tubs you see? They are still a work in progress, as Staples ran out of labeling pockets and I am eagerly awaiting their restocking!

Can you tell what's inside? Sure you can... It's napkin rings. Only the lower right one has the label holder on, I think this is where I ran out.

I take pictures of the napkin rings, print them out to size and then cut to fit the picture to the label holder. I also make sure I write the number of napkin rings on the picture.

This way, I can easily see what I need, how many I have and only pull out the what I need without disrupting the entire napkin ring world. Oh, the mini tubs came from Wal-mart and were $1.50 each.

I also have two drawers in here with placemats and one of the drawers has placemats and matching napkins in it. Down the hall is the drawer where I keep the placemats and napkins we use on a daily basis.

 Oops, noticed the lower shelf has some chargers that got shifted. Wonder what I crammed in on the other side??

Votive candles and candle holders have a home in the lower drawer of the plastic drawer insert. In the upper drawer are Halloween spiders and pumpkin place card holders. Votives, jars, decorative elements all have a home in here.
Along with the bulkier placemats and chargers.

Off to right the mess on the lower shelf... Hope you enjoyed the visit. Sharing was painful! ;-)

How do you store your napkins, napkin rings and such? I'm curious.

I'm linking to Susan's Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday.. be sure to drop in for some really great inspiring redo's..


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