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

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Never too many orchids

It's our 47th Valentine's, aka the 47th anniversary of our second date. On that Valentine's day that many years ago my soon to be husband gave me 9 orchids and asked me to marry him.  I wish I had a picture. This year that sweet man bought me 12 dinner plates with orchids.  

Side Note: his dad had the largest orchid greenhouse between Dallas and Hawaii. That tidbit was learned later as we dated some more.

Hence, I have this thing for orchids. Apparently I'm more sentimental than I ever imagined. 

He really took me by surprise. Orchids on dishes. He does think we have "more than enough" dishes, but I guess I'd been yammering about these that I came across on Ebay for so long, he pulled the trigger. 
These are Rosenthal Winifred Orchid. Surrounded by the yellow rose of Texas, my favorite Lilies of the Valley and forget-me-nots this plate has moved itself to the top of my favorite list. The plate has a back stamp dating it to US Zone Germany 1946-1949. They are in absolutely perfect condition and arrived without one plate being shattered.

The cutlery is Community (Oneida) White Orchid. I had purchased it years ago at an estate sale on the half price day. They opened at 9 and I was there at 8:20am. I purchased it with the future in mind, as I bought them probably 8 years ago?? White Orchid was first produced in 1953 and the bill of sale included with this set is dated in 1953. It's as old as I am. 

I had previously used these Rosenthal Aida orchid plates on a table I did to showcase a tablecloth from a friend of mine. You should check out her linens here. They are wonderful!! I had the soup bowls, which I tend to use for salads as well, bread and butter plates and that was it. Then my sweet friend who had the rest of the pieces (dinner plates, salad plates, serving pieces) decided to let hers go and thus I now have 12 place settings of this china as well. At the time, I did not know about the others on their way :). These date from 1953 to 1956. 

Tried out this combination of blue placemats and pink napkins, but a whole table of pink and blue.. well it's not my cup of tea.

From a few weeks ago. I think maybe if I had some pink in a floral arrangement it might work so I haven't discounted setting one like this in the future. However, my sweet husband is "not into pink". Those are Heisey Orchid candleholders on the table.

Pink really is pretty with the dishes though...

So we'll be dining on the blue linen this Valentine's evening. Sterling napkin rings contain white damask napkins, Heisey Orchid water glasses to be used for wine instead of the pictured Libbey Rock Sharpe and the menu is his favorite veal piccata, the link to the recipe is here. He's also purchased a sweet white orchid for the centerpiece.

I wish you much love, joy and happiness in the year ahead. May your memories sustain you and bring you joy.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Ready for Tech Football!

Covid-19 has affected so much this year. 
We have been partaking in social distancing since early March. 
I'm officially tired of it and ready for a bit of normalcy.
Texas Tech is supposed to play this weekend. We shall see.
 And there was a challenge to post your football tables on a Facebook group to which I belong.

As I was sitting at the dining table working this morning (I try to change venues so that it doesn't feel so much like being sent to my room), I thought of what i could do quickly. So in about 15 minutes...

I pulled out these black and white place mats that I purchased at Detours (shopping at La Fonda) in Santa Fe, my red Juliska Berry & Thread dinner plates and our Pipestone salad plates (another Santa Fe purchase from the Chile Shop) and red cutlery.

So in love with the red roses!

These silver candlesticks came home with me from my favorite antique store in Lubbock, A Beautiful Mess. 

Sadly, I think the Berry and Thread are no longer available. They are the perfect shade of red. And i don't remember the maker of this cutlery. It too is the perfect shade of red.

I flanked the flowers and candlesticks with two Texas Tech signed footballs. And other than the red and black, that is the only ode to football on the table. 

The black napkins were also a Santa Fe purchase from the Chile Shop.. They wash like a dream. Napkin rings came from World Market a long time ago. 

I paired a Mikasa French Countryside water goblet with an Ajka Arabella wine glass for a touch of glamour.

For a total of 15 minutes, this came together very quickly. It can be done!

Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Orchids on Gray

A while back I was asked to do some table settings using my favorite french jacquard tablecloths.  I purchased this gray one because I thought it'd go with my Lenox Snow Lily. But alas, no. Snow Lily is more taupish gray and this is a true gray. Sophie of Bleu d'Olive is my tablecloth purveyor (someone mentioned that is is my tablecloth crack dealer :-) ). She is French, lives in Arizona, and is in the process of getting a website up and going. When it's live, I'll share her info! You can also find her table linens at Detours inside La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, NM. I believe she has a spot in Scottsdale, Arizona as well. Sophie's website is up! https://bleudolive.com

I pulled out my Rosenthal dinner plates and topped them with a Rosenthal orchid bowl. The orchid pattern is a new one in my collection (huge eye roll). My father in law had the largest orchid greenhouse west of Dallas. He even sent cattleyas to Hawaii. He and Raymond Burr could talk orchids forever! I had purchased the Community White Orchid cutlery pattern a long time ago and was looking for dishes when these Rosenthal pieces came into view.

This tablecloth is called ABCDaire or Alphabet. Between the motifs on the drop, alphabet letters are dispersed around the table. I had the pink napkins that were purchased on Amazon.

I chose to use the Mikasa Iced Teas and Libby Rock Sharpe 2009-4 waters for wine glasses. Many of the older pattern wine glasses are quite small so I'll use waters for the wine instead.

Coalport floral placecard holders let everyone know their place. I've also seen these in multi-colors. Thee are incredibly delicate. It always surprises me to find such treasures still intact.

Remember that the goal was to highlight the tablecloth, so I left the center a bit more bare than I usually do. This way the center motif shows well. This table was set during the beginning of Covid times and I had thought I'd try to venture out and pick up some flowers. My youngest child noticed what I was doing and came back with the perfect pink roses. Not bad for a boy! I added vinca tendrils for a bit of dimension. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do or any port in a storm.

Unimposing vintage pressed glass candle holders. When I set this table for guests, I'll bring in some more crystal candle holders or votives and another small bouquet of roses on each end.

One of my next missions is to find some gold napkin rings that are not too heavy for delicate plates. Any suggestions? These silver ones are rimmed in gold so they worked well on this table. The cutlery is Antique Baroque by Wallace. Would you use chargers the next time?

I'm always smitten by the detail of borders. And cutlery. And linens. Let's just face it, I'm smitten with all things table.

Thank you for stopping by. It's been a pleasure to share this table with you and I hope it brought you joy in this time of Covid. How are you handling it?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Pretty Little French Fishes

A table in the time of Covid. In March where nothing was in bloom and I wasn't going out.

I had purchased this French jacquard tablecloth from my friend Sophie Christian. She lives in Arizona and is my tablecloth purveyor. I have many of these French textiles. They are coated, but you can't feel it and they resist stains. Water and wine both bead up on the surface!
Edited: Sophie's website is up and running! Bleu d'Olive

I found the French Limoges fish plates at a local antique mall, A Beautiful Mess. If you are ever in Lubbock, do drop in! You won't regret it.

These have some beautiful specimens on them!
The gilding around the rims is just icing on the cake.

I finally found the much wanted pearl handled fish cutlery.

Could  you have resisted this engraving?
I could not. Period.

I paired everything with my Lenox Colonnade dinner plate on a Jay-Imports charger.

Added the Mikasa Parklane Iced Tea along side a Tiffin wine glass.

In anticipation of being able to put together a table such as this, I had eaten, soaked in clorox, boiled for 30 minutes and then dried some oyster shells. I then edged them in liquid gold leaf. Insert a sterling salt spoon and the perfect salt cellar is born.

In the center, there are Pottery Barn brass and glass hurricanes, Baldwin brass candlesticks, and a Mikasa crystal votive holder repurposed as a vase.

I hope you enjoyed your visit. I wish you'd stay for a bite. It's been quiet around here during these Covid times. I am looking forward to the day when there are jewels around the table and laughter reigns again.
Cherish your friends, they are the jewels of life.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Organizing for a Dinner Party

How I Organize a Dinner Party

I was invited to join a FB group about dishes and beautiful tables. Oh the eye-candy!!! And it's so addicting to see everyone's pretties.

This post is a result of a comment I made to a question on how early you set your table before an event. I will admit I always do it early. But by the time of the event, I've already had it planned out far in advance; table, menu, decorations and have a detailed plan of attack in place.

Since it's spring and Easter is coming up in April, I'll just start with the beginning planning Easter 2020.

For me it's easier to work with 1) pick a theme, 2) pick the table, 3)pick the menu. I would suggest you go with what works best for you.  But I do know that melding the table decor with the menu is always a good thing. For example, your dishes look best with a white tablecloth, but do you really want to serve BBQ on your good china? Your white tablecloth?

For this Easter, I wanted to use what I had and not buy new things, but still have a fresh table. We are planning a lunch so it will be less formal and without candles.

I started auditioning the china with the 'other stuff'. Chargers and napkin rings were auditioned first.
Pier 1 Cedar placemat, Pier 1 white charger, Pier1 plaid plate, WS bunny plate and napkin, Dillard's green napkin ring. No.

Bordallo Pinheiro Charger, Pier 1 plaid plate, WS bunny plate and napkin, Dillard's green napkin ring. No.

Pier 1 Cedar placemat, Pier 1 galvanized charger, Pier 1 plaid plate, WS bunny plate and napkin, galvanized napkin ring. Yes!

Added the Tissus Tosselli tablecloth. Decide it will work and proceed to set the table. 

Minimum flatware, one glass but I am able to see how the table will look even if there will be more guests.

The galvanized center piece is 'almost' a done deal. The faux florals will be replaced with mini tulips or narcissus the day before Easter. However, i have the 'grass', the faux eggs and the bow on the chicken feeder and know it will be a fitting centerpiece.

I take a picture of the table, plan out the menu and make a detailed list of what's on the table.
Do not forget to make a note of items you want to purchase before the event. 

Then the napkins, napkin rings, place cards, ribbon, some decor items all go into a small tub. Add the lists and pictures to the tub as well. Everything is together and easily accessible later for set up and you can add items as you go. I'll add invitations to this tub when i get those.

I add the tub to the stack in the office. If I need to purchase something, a sticky note goes on the outside of the tub. Always viewable and accessible. 

Back to when do you set your table? I usually set it about 3-4 days early. Minus flowers. Cover it with the cheap plastic drop cloths available at any home improvement store and proceed with the rest of the preparations. Since I still work, I have to parse out the planning and preparation so that nobody is exhausted before company arrives! So yes, Christmas 2020 was planned last year and I actually have Christmas 2021 in its tub as well!  Happy Entertaining!!


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