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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rustic Roses Tablescape

Do you have a plan for when you have unexpected guests? 

Can you set a table in 15 minutes? Stay tuned for how I did it!

 A great tablecover (or not) is a quick way to set the mood.
The table outside is more narrow and therefore chargers don't work as
well. Especially larger, more rustic ones. So this table is set without them
for lack of space!

Some great dishes, estate sale silver, a water goblet (they'll have a drink
 in their hands when they sit down) and the necessary napkin are the 
fundamentals for this quick dinner set up.

In lieu of flowers, I used a log. Yep, you hear right. I keep one lying
 around for just this purpose. (Actually, I choose a perfectly shaped 
one with lichen on it when the winter firewood is delivered). 

I drill some hole into the log and then I can place my perfectly weathered, 
copper candle cups into the log. Those were a memento from Carmel, CA 
when we were there several years ago. I love how this log drips with lichen. 

Of course, being blessed with some perfect weather helps everything right along. 

The napkin is a beautiful jacquard with a delicate crochet edging caught up in my rustic napkin rings I made a few weeks ago. You can check HERE for the tutorial. I think I'm going to be able to use these frequently.

I find myself using these goblets quite a bit. They are handblown in 
France but I was lucky enough to purchase them on a trip to Santa Fe.

Am really loving how rustic this looks on the table. 

I couldn't resist these plates when I saw them. Roses. Filigree. Antique 
writing. I was sold.

The dinner plate is as spectacular, too.

Totally loving how the roses in the silver play so nicely with the dishes.

Just pop on over.. the table is set. I'd love to have some company!

Matelasse - estate sale or Savers
Plates - Royal Stafford
Glasses - Handblown in France, purchased in Santa Fe, NM
Napkins - had them for a long time.. Rose Trellis in Sage
Silver - Old Company Plate, used HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE
Napkin rings - made by Moi, tut HERE
Candle cups - Carmel, CA
Log - probably pinion

Thanks for dropping by. I'm delighted you chose to spend some time here. I love knowing you were here by reading your comments! 
On Thursday, I'll be partying at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch!
I hope I see you there.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fluffing and stuffing.. it's the season!

Because our home isn't done in light colors, it's challenging to lighten
the rooms up without things turning jarring. One easy solution.. add a 
lighter pillow! The chevron pillow is made with yards of French silk
ribbon! By me.

The pansies are on their last legs. I'm reluctant to pull them out though.
They were perfect smiling faces all winter cheering us upon our arrival
home each day. Even the creeping jenny came back this year. Guess
it's true that we had a mild winter.

 My green thumb is brown. Bluntly, it sucks. So we will see how 
long this combination planter lasts. The mother-in-law's tongue is 
about 11 years old. I had to separate these tongues out of the
huge mother plant. Paired it with a succulent, which I cannot grow,
but keep trying. It's already trying to become a tree! Why can't 
mine stay short? I don't think the ivy will stay. It needs too much 
water, and I hadn't found a string of pearls plant yet. But, I'm 
loving the look.

Found this teapot at an auction. I purchased it to be a planter or 
something, anything.. I love copper. Sweet violets stuffed inside 
- we will see how long these last.

Now these, I can grow. No sun, water, but not on the leaves. 
Yep, if you are green and aren't too picky, you will thrive here!

And wow, my herbs. I only had to replant rosemary and basil. the rest
have all survived the winter. I really thought the chives were goners.
But they sprouted back this spring. I thought the sage was gone too, 
the third or fourth freeze we had, it turned black. Can you believe
it came back? Masochistic plant if you ask me.

My father-in-law told me once that these are hard to kill. Well, they 
do really well if you water them in the winter. I keep forgetting that
part, so each spring, I have to visit the nursery and get replacements. 
In red. Bright, deep red at that. Love the pop of color!

And to stuffing ourselves.. wow this is a good appetizer. A friend shared
these at a get together recently. She got them from Southern Living.
Strawberry Crostini. You MUST try them. Seriously. They rock.


  • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries $
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons minced shallot
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened $
  • 36 pretzel crackers


  1. Stir together strawberries, basil, brown sugar, shallot, and pepper. Spread softened cream cheese onto pretzel crackers. Top with strawberry mixture.
Note: We tested with Keebler Town House Flipsides Original Pretzel Crackers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Good Earth Tablescape

Let's Dish about the Good Earth!
Not Earth Day, I think I got off track here, but I was thinking Pearl S. Buck, who spent many years in China and who wrote frequently on the topic of China.
The notes from book are from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/goodearth/summary.html - Spark Notes.

Wang Lung is a poor young farmer in rural, turn-of-the-century China. During the time in which the novel takes place, Chinese society is showing signs of modernization while remaining deeply connected to ancient traditions and customs. 

 When Wang Lung reaches a marriageable age, his father approaches the powerful local Hwang family to ask if they have a spare slave who could marry his son. The Hwangs agree to sell Wang a 20-year-old slave named O-lan, who becomes his wife. O-lan and Wang Lung are pleased with each other, although they exchange few words and although Wang is initially disappointed that O-lan does not have bound feet.

Together, Wang Lung and O-lan cultivate a bountiful and profitable harvest from their land. O-lan becomes pregnant, and Wang Lung is overjoyed when O-lan’s first child is a son. Meanwhile, the powerful Hwang family lives decadently—the husband is obsessed with women, and the wife is an opium addict.

 Because of their costly habits, the Hwangs fall on hard times, and Wang Lung is able to purchase a piece of their fertile rice land. He enjoys another profitable harvest, and O-lan gives birth to another son. 

Wang Lung’s new wealth catches the attention of his greedy, lazy uncle. Custom dictates that Wang Lung must show the utmost respect to members of the older generation, especially relatives, so he is forced to loan his uncle money despite knowing that the money will be wasted on drinking and gambling. The Hwang family’s finances continue to falter, and the Hwangs sell another tract of land to Wang Lung.

After O-lan gives birth to a daughter, a terrible famine settles on the land. In the midst of this crisis, O-lan gives birth to another daughter. She strangles the second girl because there is not enough food to feed the baby and the rest of the family. 

Wang Lung is forced to take his family to a southern city for the winter. There, O-lan and the children beg while Wang Lung earns money by transporting people in a rented rickshaw. They earn just enough money to eat. Wang Lung begins to despair of ever making enough money to return to his land. He and O-lan briefly consider selling their surviving daughter as a slave. 

Eventually, a group of poor and desperate people ransacks a rich man’s home, and Wang Lung and O-lan join them. Wang Lung steals a pile of gold coins. With this new wealth, he moves the family back home and purchases a new ox and some seeds.

 O-lan had stolen some jewels during the looting. Wang Lung allows her to keep two small pearls, but he takes the rest and hurries to buy three hundred acres of Old Master Hwang’s land. O-lan gives birth to twins shortly thereafter. The couple realizes that their oldest daughter is severely retarded, but Wang Lung loves the child dearly.

 Wang Lung hires laborers to plant and harvest his land. He enjoys several years of profitable harvests and becomes a rich man. When a flood forces him to be idle, he begins to feel restless and bored. He finds fault with O-lan’s appearance and cruelly criticizes her for having big feet.

He becomes obsessed with Lotus, a beautiful, delicate prostitute with bound feet. Eventually, he purchases Lotus to be his concubine. When O-lan becomes terminally ill, Wang Lung regrets his cruel words and comes to appreciate everything his wife has done for him. 

 Meanwhile, to lessen the demands of his uncle and his uncle’s wife, who have moved their family into his house and continued to exploit his wealth, he tricks them into becoming opium addicts. Eventually, Wang Lung rents the Hwangs’ house and moves into it with his family, leaving his own house to his uncle’s family.

After O-lan’s death, Wang Lung’s sons begin to rebel against his plans for their life. They do not want to work as farmers and do not have his devotion to the land. Furthermore, his first and second sons often argue over money, and their wives develop an intense animosity toward one another.

  In his old age, Wang Lung takes a young slave, Pear Blossom, as a concubine. She promises to care for his retarded daughter after his death. In time, Wang Lung is surrounded by grandchildren, but he is also surrounded by petty family disagreements. 

By the end of the novel, despite Wang’s passionate dissent, his sons plan to sell the family land and divide the money among themselves, signaling their final break with the land that made them wealthy.

The overarching theme of The Good Earth is the nourishing power of the land.

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck 1931
Tablecloth - Made by Moi
Napkins - very old
Brass chargers - eons old themselves
Plates - Midnight Trellis plates by Home Essentials and Beyond also used HERE and HERE
Bowls - Waechtersbach
Flatware - Siam, gift from mom-in-law
Teapot and cups - from mom-in-law
Chopsticks and rests - JCPenney
Center stand - GardenRidge, Dallas
Center bowl - Made in Portugal - Horchow's

 Please help take care of our earth, it is a good earth!  Linking up with Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish party on Wednesday evening. Also linking to Susan's Tablescape Thursday party on Thursday.. Cya there!
Thank you to all my faithful readers and followers. Seeing your comments makes my day.. thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wisteria came for Breakfast tablescape

Wisteria came for breakfast. 

Her heady fragrance permeated the fresh spring air.

Her subtle colors dominated the landscape.

Sharp contrasts of black and white fought with her to be the stars, Wisteria won.

Wisteria is attracted to the soft fluttering of the birds as they fly by quickly in search of a sunny spot to rest.

Wisteria casts her shadow as if to weave a spell.

Reflective surfaces with her showy perfection allow you to drink her in.

She requires the perfect cups and glasses to drink her being.

The little vases carry her song to the tabletop.

Wisteria draped herself across the table majestically, ensnaring you into her tendrils.

Wrapped napkins bowed to her graces.

Flatware shied away from her beauty.

She appeared as a gentle breeze.

Wisteria ruled the table.

She was here for but a spell. Too quickly gone. I pray she comes again, soon. She soothes my restless soul.

Tablecloth, napkins - Stein Mart
Napkin rings - Tuesday Morning
Chargers - Pier One
Plates - Wedgwood Windsor
Small plates - TJMaxx
Egg cups, spoons - Gourmet Pantry, Lubbock
Glasses - Mikasa French Countryside
Cups - Mikasa Cheers
Flatware - Horchow
Silver - estate sales

Thank you so much for coming by to visit Wisteria and me. It's always fun to have company and share in your thoughts. I'll be linking up to Cuisine Kathleen's new party - Let's Dish on Wednesdays. On Thursdays. we make our appearance at Susan's Tablescape Thursday. Please come by for a visit!


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