Looking for the light revisited

Hey, friends! It’s nice to see you again. Thanks for sticking with me. I’ve been busy taking photos!

GotMyReservations Reflection

In photography class we are working on using natural light to illuminate our photos — to “see the light” is the hallmark of a good photographer. As bloggers, we know that a striking photo is important to our work. It’s also easy to use simple items to boost the light in your photos — try using a piece of white posterboard as a reflector. In this photo of a crystal punchbowl, I had a white foam core board over on the right, and the mirror also gave more reflected light. You may remember this mirror from a previous post about creating vignettes. I also posted another photo the last time I took a photography class. I’m very consistent. 🙂 Continue reading

Sideboard Love

I was very slow to take down my Christmas sideboard decor, as I loved it so much this year.

Angel Sideboard Got My ReservationsIt was TIME. Really. So out came the pink for Valentine’s Day.

Staffordshire Cup and Saucer Got My Reservations

Staffordshire Cup and Saucer

Continue reading

Silver in the Garden and on Your Table

Our Chicago suburb has a garden walk every summer as many towns do.

We saw some beautiful flowers…

GotMyReservations Good as Gold Hybrid Tea

Good as Gold Hybrid Tea Rose

…and sat on a lovely front porch in the shade while the garden clubbers handed out cool water and cookies. Continue reading

Alycia Nichols, You Made My Day

I said it. I said “Uncle.”

I have spent my day in a funk after visiting my orthopedist and coming to a decision about my arthritic knee. He told me that I have to say “uncle” before he’ll consider doing knee replacement.

BandOhio

I’ve been suffering from what I call marching band knees for many years — my knees are shot from too many years of abuse and too many years of being overweight. I had arthroscopic knee surgery in 2002 and my doctor told me I’d be begging him for a knee replacement in five years. Well, it’s been eleven years, and I have been determined not to wimp out. Everyone said that it would become clear — that I would know when it was time for a knee replacement.

Sometimes life’s lemons are sweetened with sugar.

I still don’t know about the knee replacement, but I do know that I was in a bad place today. And then along came this wonderful post from my friend, Alycia Nichols of Tablescapes at Table Twenty- One.

Click into the photo to see Alycia’s amazing tablescape!

In February, when we were putting the final touches on our April 2013 trip to France, I posted about these cute placements I saw online. Then I dragged my traveling companions all over Paris trying to find these pink and green ones because my blogging buddy Alycia liked them. For those of you who don’t know Alycia, she is the kindest commenter out there in the blogging universe, and I wanted to thank her for her generosity with her time for other bloggers.

Click into the photo to see the full post.

What she created with a silly quartet of plastic placements is truly amazing and I am thankful once again for her thoughtfulness. Sometimes people outside of the blogging community don’t understand the sense of community and friendship that develops in the blog world among people who may never meet each other in person, and my friendship with Alycia is one of those connections that surpasses reason.

So, if a knee replacement will get me back to Paris, and London, and Rome, and Venice, and Florence, and Berlin, and Prague, and Istanbul, I’d better buck up and do it. My travel bucket list goes on and on… and Alycia and I need more stuff for our tablescaping stashes!

Please visit Alycia’s beautiful tribute to Paris. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

Revisit to a popular Fourth of July Tablescape

GotMyReservations - 4th of July Firecracker Tablescape

I have to blame it on the lightning.

Tuesday night, we experienced a strong thunderstorm that brought lightning and over four inches of rain in a short time. We were already awake from the storm, and suddenly we both saw and heard a massive bolt of light hit VERY close to our house. Our electricity immediately went off and that started my day at 4:45 AM.

I had no intention of creating a patriotic tablescape this week; in fact, I didn’t even think I had enough in my stash to make one. Then I remembered the box of decorations I had put away in the garage. I had too much time on my hands this morning while I waited “patiently” for ComEd to get the power back on, so I started designing this tablescape in my head.

GotMyReservations - 4th of July Centerpiece

When I got home from my errands (really an avoidance measure to stay in the air-conditioned car instead of my hot house), I started with a crazy foil starburst decoration that I must have bought for a 4th of July party along the way. I pulled out my ironstone pitcher and it made a nice firecracker effect; I was hooked.

I checked for flowers — what would go with the firecracker? More roses, of course. I knew that my climbing rose was on its last legs after the storm, so I cut a big bunch from the bush. I had to fight with a bumblebee who was determined to get the last bit of nourishment from my roses. 🙂

Got My Reservations - 4th of July Rose

And what to put on the table? My red tablecloth was not bright red enough for the placemats I made years ago, so I grabbed the blue and white quilt that usually hangs on my upper hallway bannister. Perfect! We actually eat at the table after I create the tablescapes each week, so I wanted to give the quilt more protection than the little placemats provided. One of the elements of the placemats’ patchwork effect is a blue and white striped ticking, so I got out my everyday dishtowels which also had a similar stripe. Voila! — as the French say; I had a layered linen base for my dishes.

GotMyReservations - 4th of July Glass and Napkin

After that it was easy. I pulled out the navy napkins, rolled them up and put them in the Pfaltzgraff Filigree cups that match my plates. I layered blue glass plates and tumblers, followed by the stoneware with a blue rim. Finally, I added my super-special shrimp cocktail glasses and filled them with delicious cherries. My table was just screaming July by this point!

GotMyReservations - 4th of July Cherries

Got My Reservations - 4th of July Star Candle

Remember that I had no electricity during all of this? I pulled the curtains wide open and took the photos with my trusty Canon Rebel T3i using the afternoon sun streaming in through the window. For someone who had no plans to do a patriotic tablescape, I think this turned out darned good.

Got My Reservations - 4th of July Table

GotMyReservations - Rainbow

Image Credit: KSF

The power came back on just as I was finishing up the photo editing on my laptop and I was a happy girl. We’ve got a lot to celebrate in the upcoming week. The United States has its faults, but I’m proud to be an American today.

I’m resharing this patriotic tablescape from last year for Christine’s Table It party at Rustic and Refined. Hopefully I’ll have another new ‘scape later on this week — stay tuned!

 

Tablescape Thursday: Spring into France

One thing I’ve learned since I’ve started stalking following tablescaping blogs is that when I see a wonderful piece at a good price, I should grab it.

That was the case with this beautiful 60″ x 120″ Indian cotton tablecloth from April Cornell that I got at Home Goods for $24.99. The blue and green paisley with yellow accents was just the shot of spring I needed in my dining room — it’s unclear here in Chicagoland whether it’s winter or spring, so I voted for spring! The tablecloth has mitered corners with a sewn-in border and is stunning. Although it’s actually a traditional Indian paisley, to me it says country French and that was where I went with it.

I got to work gathering up pieces from around the house that would complement the colors of the bold tablecloth but not necessarily compete with it. I started with these very bold placemats. Nope. Too much.

I went back to my trusty pewter chargers from last week (sending a quick thank you to my mother-in-law’s memory) and layered my mom’s sweet china (Claridge from Four Crown China) with the World Market Indian cotton napkin. I like how the clear salad plate shows off the beautiful blue and grey stripes of the napkin.

Since every party at my house always starts with appetizers as people gather, I envisioned the dinner beginning with Basil – Lemon Sorbet as a palate cleanser. It would look beautiful in my inherited sorbet glasses. My mother-in-law loved these swirl dishes; does anyone know what the pattern is?

I grabbed the antique etched glass goblets and simple water glasses for beverages. The combination of complex and simple helps to balance the table.

For my centerpiece, I started with a crystal cake plate and put a large hurricane on it with the bright blue candle. Again, too much and too tall. Then I turned the cake plate upside down and put another of my glass plates as a candle bobeche. Perfect proportions.

As the pieces started to come together, I knew I didn’t even have to get fresh flowers for this table. The silk flowers and vines that I already had were perfect for the setting. The “white” flower ring from Partylite turned out to actually have a complementary yellow cast, and the ivy sets off the beauty of the Chinese and Delft teapots.

Finally, I knew that I had to have some pops of yellow to complement the yellow in the tablecloth, so I pulled out a few pieces of French Quimper pottery from my (mother-in-law’s) collection. They are not usable for eating as they are old and likely have lead in their glazes, but putting four small plates on stands completed the centerpiece.

After I arranged the fake ivy, I realized there was room for another set of candlesticks at each end, so on the table went more Quimper with votives set on top. (You’ve probably figured out by now that I hate getting wax on my tablecloths and almost always use bobeches and votives.)

If my table could talk, it would say, “Passez une bonne journĂ©e!”


I’m linked up today to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to stop by and see some other inspirational tablescapes!

 

Thanksgiving Tablescapes: You Can Do It!

Before I start, I’d better come clean. I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year.

So it’s easy for me to say you can do it, but you can with a little ingenuity and some good shopping genes.

There are lots of website that show you how to use what you already have. I adore these creative ladies, but even I (who never met a set of dishes I didn’t like) find them a little intimidating. I’ve been collecting their gorgeousness on my Pinterest board, though.

There’s still time to get out to Pier 1, World Market, Target, or Kohl’s and put together your Thanksgiving table — and it’s probably all on sale. Here’s a beautiful table set by a friend of mine for her annual fall party. It’s simple, beautiful, and easily attainable by any hostess.

Your friends don’t care if your chairs don’t match. It’s the hospitality and your generous spirit that they love.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your weekend!

 

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