Monday, November 28, 2011

A Small Start

I had a wonderful holiday weekend, as I hope everyone had. A lot of cooking, a lot of eating, a lot of cleaning, a lot of shopping (for me, anyway). Some time spent on Saturday helping mother-in-law out with shopping and cleaning. By Sunday, I was bushed!  As in, even if I was seriously planning on beginning the Christmas decorating I would not have had the energy to do so.  So I didn't. I did, however, pick up a couple of poinsettias I saw Saturday. One for me, one for mom-in-law. This picture doesn't do it justice, it's a lovely plant.

Then I remembered that my Santa snowglobe I picked up at Home Goods last year was tucked safely in my curio cabinet, quite easily accessible.

I now officially have a Christmas vignette on my livingroom table, a small beginning, but a good start. I suppose it may be better balanced with a third piece just to the right of the snowglobe, but let me tell you, I need to keep the coaster placed and available for when someone puts their ever-present soda there. (Sorry these pictures are so light, they always look so good on my camera display screen!  My hubby might be picking up on my hinting for a new camera for Christmas, shhh!)

Since I made a start, I finished the prep work by putting away the Thankgiving and fall decor. Obviously not quickly enough, the gold chargers I had wiped clean and stacked on the staircase to be stored under my bed found a new use by my kitty, Ms. Missy. 

Who knew that plate chargers could do double duty as a kitty bed?

Linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We gathered around the table Thursday for Thanksgiving 2012.  My hubby and I prepped and plotted and got the traditional turkey on for the five of us. My hubby also did a ham this year, as he's not a big turkey eater. In fact, the large turkey platter I scored at Goodwill this summer got confiscated for the ham presentation, as it needed a large one. No matter, I always carve the turkey and serve slices on the table, so was able to use a smaller platter for it.

I had showed my planned table setting earlier this week, and lamented that I didn't have another plate to use for bread. Well, on Wednesday I made one more super quick pop into the GW, and found the perfect 6-pack of bread and butter plates for $3.

I pulled out our Reed & Barton flatware to use for the dinner, and was very pleased with how everything worked together. Ultimately, we were all seated together over a predictable but well appreciated Thanksgiving meal, and enjoyed the day and each other.  I hope everyone enjoyed all the blessings of the day.

Note:  I had to go back and edit this a week after posting. I am in the middle of scrubbing pots and pans when it occurs to me.... I put Thanksgiving 2012 on the header instead of 2011. Bwahahahaa! (And yes, I am one of those people whose lightbulbs go off at odd hours concerning random things, like just when I'm drifting off to sleep I'll have an epiphany about a project at work, and I wasn't even thinking of it.)  So I am now typing with my nitril gloves on, as those pots are still awaiting scrubbing.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Wishes

I did a trial run of my Thanksgiving table tonight. I have been for the past few weeks trying to accumulate fixings for making a lush tablescape for Thanksgiving. I had mentioned in a previous post that due to plumbing issues our wedding china is packed away, so I purchased these white plates at Goodwill.

I am working with a couple of handicaps trying to put together a nice table. One is of course, budget as always. I have been haunting my favorite discount and second-hand stores a lot.  The other is storage, with an eye for packing in the not-too-distant future. We hope to sell and move across country this year (more to come on that as it develops) and I am supposed to be eliminating possessions, not adding to them.

I couldn't resist some few items, tho. Besides the plates, which at $1 each for 6, will cover both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and cost cheaper than nice disposable dinnerware.  The gold chargers were gotten at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I was so proud of myself for getting the 6 for $8.  I've since been seeing them at all the dollar stores. Well, they'll last a good number of dinners, at any rate.  The chamois soft leaves that so many of you have in your stock were purchased at Big Lots, I wish now I had gotten 6 instead of the 5, I might stop on my way home tomorrow. Big Lots is also where I got the nice table runner. 

 Something I had a surprising amount of trouble finding were cloth napkins.  My hubby doesn't care for cloth napkins, but I really wanted to use them. In hunting for them, I was surprised at the prices. I finally broke down and paid $9 for 6 plain cotton green ones at Walmart. An hour later at Ross I found this bundle of beautiful russet damask napkins with a leaf pattern on it, clearanced at $6. Yay, just the price I was looking for. The green ones will still work for Christmas.  At Annes Linens next to Ross I picked up the napkin rings for 50 cents each. 

I really, really wanted to find a set of those lovely leaf dishes people all over blogland are using as salad plates. The ones I saw were priced too much to validate them for this year's table, tho I might make that investment next year. In my now daily stops at Goodwill I've been fantasizing about finding a set of 6 amber or sage green glass salad plates at a killer deal, but somehow those have not materialized on their shelves.  So the place setting is rather simple, a single dish on a charger, but it works. The flatware I have here on my sample setting is our everyday stuff, I don't even know who makes it. I'll pull out our fancy stuff for Thursday's dinner. The stemware is my wedding crystal, Mikasa Park Avenue. I'm sure an assortment of everyday glasses will join it later, my family will be wanting soda with dinner, and I don't have the more appropriate iced tea glasses. Ultimately, that family around the table is much more important than what's on it, so it will be as it should be.

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, and a wonderful weekend.

I am linking with Marty at A Stroll thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friends and Findings

I walked into my office this morning and found this sweet pumpkin bundle on my desk. My longtime coworker and good friend Gina had given it to me, a little gift for my Thanksgiving table. Perhaps she remembered that I was debating getting a white pumpkin for my decorating this season, but had not made the commitment. She said it was just a token gift of well wishes. Isn't that a thoughtful gesture?  I do love this little piece, too, and you will see it in my tablescaping.  Speaking of which....

I found my plates for my holiday table!  I had been fussing over what to use for holiday serving this year.  I have a beautiful set of Royal Doulton china, my wedding dishes, but there was a plumbing incident in the wall behind where the dishes are kept. A pipe started leaking and there was water dripping onto the dishes and saturating the shelf they sat on. So while we waited for the men to tear holes in the walls, upstairs and down, to fix the leaking pipe, and waited another few weeks for other men to come patch up and repair walls and shelves, I carefully packed each delicate china piece and put the boxes in my bedroom closet. They finally finished repairs this past Tuesday. Our plan is to sell our condo and move next year, so it made no sense to me to unwrap the china to use over this holiday season. I did want to do something nice for this year.

I have over the past few weeks bought felt placemats shaped like leaves, and a set of gold chargers from BB&B.  I'm trying to get sets of 6, since we will be serving 5, and it doesn't seem right to buy an odd number of placesettings. I have been debating whether to just buy some nice, heavier paper plates, but that just doesn't strike me as looking nice, and would feel silly putting it on my new chargers. Since boxed sets are usually sold in packs of 4, I didn't want to get 2 sets, as I am also doing this on a very low budget.  I saw some plates at the dollar store I'd just about decided to go back and get, when I came across this set at Goodwill.  White, a nice scalloped edge on the border, and already packed up in a stack of 6. The price was right, too, at $5.99. 

So I will be exploring my tablescape, and will document my experiments later.  I would love to find another layer, like a salad bowl or bread dish, but maybe I'm being greedy.  Still, the Goodwill is on my way home from work, and it doesn't hurt to keep looking.

I am linking up with Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Touches

I had done the most of my Fall/Thanksgiving decorating a few weeks ago, and felt pretty good about it.  I really was behind in a couple of areas, though, I had not yet located and put out our fall tableclothes and placemats. I also had not shared my new look with my friends here on blogland. This first picture is my curio cabinet, it sits in my livingroom, just before you turn the corner to the dining area.

My curio cabinet top gets the nicest makeover.  Much of the decor I have there is the same as last year, which is being used for my current header. I left out the rooster plate this time in favor of the carved pumpkin I recently picked up at Big Lots. It's raised for display on a crystal Mikasa cake stand I got at an after Christmas sale last year. I am looking forward to using that cake stand this year at Christmas time. I also added my primitive patchwork turkey, and of course the raggedy Ann doll I keep there year round, she always looks at home.

I don't put out a lot on my end tables. A couple of main reasons are two furry creatures known as cats, they do have a habit of making a mess of my endeavors. Two other... well, three, actually.... reasons are my family. Living cozy as we do in our small condo, life with a husband and two teen girls means there is always something - or a bunch of somethings - left lying around on any free tabletop or couch, or floor, for that matter. So tho I do put a few things out on my end tables, they are generally joined by other competing items shortly thereafter. I did do cleaning today for the pictures, and felt comfortable sharing my cornucopia vignette on my end table. See that journal?  That's a nice Fall tree on it, isn't it? It's an accidental accent, since DD #1 left it there. In this case it adds to the look. (I moved the purse she also left there.)

My little corner on the kitchen counter holds a colorful display.  I just love how the warm reds and golds of Fall work so well with so many different finishes.

Finally, I actually did get out my Fall tableclothes, and actually found my placemats from last year.  Please disregard that messy desk area behind it.  We should have an armoire to hide our office mess, or even a roll top desk (so very 80s!)  I tried getting it from the other side, but the light reflected badly from that end.  Here, I'll show you.

I worked very hard to try to get a good picture of this carnival glass compote. The white blurry things inside it are glittered pumpkins being excessively glittery.  It sat so nicely on the new table runner I bought a few weeks ago.  Plus, I found a pair of adorable little sherbert cups in the same marigold color.  Okay, I don't know how very authentic these little sherbert cups are.  I have a feeling they're very recent 'faux' pieces, but they're cute, and for the $1.99 each I paid at Goodwill, they make a nice addition to my carnival glass collection. Three being a collection... I'm just starting.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankfully Toasty

This morning when I opened the door to bring in the paper and let out the cats, I encountered a rarity for our Southern Califnrnia area, a chilly (relatively) morning.  I had noticed during the night that our heat came on several times, and wondered about it. It wasn't that I felt cold or uncomfortable, so the dip in temperature was a surprise.

I grew up in Missouri, in a house over 100 years old, with drafts blowing in from every corner, between the bare plank flooring, under doors and any crack it could find. We heated entirely by wood, there was a grate in the floor which at some point had been plumbed for gas heat, but which our parents assured us was 'broken'.  It was eventually sealed over with plywood, to keep vents which should have brought in warm air from being another source of cold drafts.

Wood heating is an iffy thing. Our one wood stove centered in the livingroom was occasionally adequate to heat the overly large room (our home prior us occupying it served as a general store). We'd close the doors, shove rugs under the front door, and hang an old blanket on the kitchen doorway to contain the heat. But there were many bitterly cold mornings when we were miserable, no matter how we stoked and fed paper and kindling, the fire burned low and refused to throw off heat, and our family would gather around the big metal box which was the stove and lay over it, trying to suck up any warmth from it we could.

How appeciative I am to have central heating. How thankful that my family has only to adjust a dial on the wall to maintain a comfortable environment in our home. I was trying to tell my hubby how grateful I am to have this modern luxury, but he didn't get it. He grew up in middle class suburban Southern California, the coldest he has ever been was probably on our camping trip to the Grand Canyon in April, when the nighttime temps dropped into the 40s and he insisted on dragging our cooking stove into the tent to warm it up.

I am sharing some pictures from last year's Thanksgiving tablescapes. I'm inbetween computers right now, my hubby is transferring our old one into my daughter's bedroom, and we've yet to buy a new router for our new one. I'm borrowing my other daughters laptop, which is very awkward for me to use. Looking at these pictures, it occurs to me that I didn't find my patchwork pumpkin. I thought I was missing something!  I guess I'll look for it again. Maybe I'll even find my fall placemats, I can't think why they are lost.

Hoping everyone is staying warm and toasty this November.