Springtime in Vienna Tablescape

It was pretty wet and chilly, that March spring break in Austria eleven years ago — my first trip to Europe. That doesn’t keep me from thinking about Vienna and Salzburg when I think spring. The pansies were profusely blooming and there were flowers and trees making their homage to spring everywhere, despite the weather. Nature is like that.

GotMyReservations Mirabell Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg was one of the shooting locations for the Sound of Music.

Those pansies kept coming back to tantalize me when I started planning this week’s tablescape. I knew I wanted to incorporate the beautiful faux pansies I had seen at Joann’s, since it has still been too cold to have plants outside. I remembered the intricate embroidered cloths that I bought in Austria and voila! I had my inspiration for the week. Continue reading


Got My Reservations 25 Days of Christmas 2013 Medium Button20 Days til Christmas — but who’s counting? Well, that would be me and many of you, I’m guessing.

Sometimes the most surprising items give us the most inspiration when planning tablescapes, and that happened to me this year. While going through the last of my mother’s things, I ran across a scarf that she treasured and wore during the Christmas season. Its Victorian motifs were the springboards for today’s Over the River and Through the Wood tablescape.

GotMyReservations-Over the River and Through the Wood Scarf

Growing up, my family often sang in the car, and I remember rousing choruses of Over the River and Through the Wood during the Thanksgiving season. Of course, we always said woods — who knew that it was singular? First published in 1844, the actual title is The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day,  written by Lydia Maria Child and celebrates visiting her grandfather on Thanksgiving Day. Continue reading

Penny Rugs and Ball Jars Tablescape

In honor of Thanksgiving, today’s tablescape features two all-American household items, penny rugs and ball jars.GotMyReservations - Penny Rugs and Ball Jars Tablescape Intro

Penny rugs are a decorative art made by appliqueing round cloth medallions onto another piece of cloth in a pattern. As with many fabric crafts, penny rugs were first made when materials were scarce, as they were during Civil War times. Small scraps of wool and felt were attached to a rough fabric such as burlap or felt using a blanket stitch to make a table runner or mat; they were too delicate to actually use as rugs. Continue reading

Purple Haze Tablescape

Tiered centerpieces have always intrigued me and I’ve saved pictures and pinned more than a few sites with elaborate tiered beauties. When I re-discovered matching purpley Partylite candle rings in my stash closet, I figured that I had the inspiration for a new fall tablescape. It didn’t quite turn out as expected, but I present my Purple Haze Tablescape — a little bit more of “kissing the fall sky” before we launch into Christmas.Purple Haze Tablescape Intro

My inspiration for this ‘scape started with this tiered centerpiece from Note Songs 2013. I cannot find the original post, but do visit Shelia at Note Songs and say “Hi!” I liked the way the textures of the white roses, artichokes, and glass played together. Continue reading

Inspiration from Pottery Barn

I love catalogs. When the holiday catalogs start rolling in during October and early November, I am greedy in my eagerness to see what new and wonderful things are out there in the stores. I rarely buy any of it, but sometimes use the beautiful photos as an inspiration for my own decor. Because you are my people and are kindred spirits, you know exactly what I mean.

Take, for example, this stunning mantel piece from Pottery Barn.

Pottery Barn Autumn Centerpiece

Image Credit

Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday: Climbing Honeysuckle

If you build it, they will come.

I built this trellis specifically to hold the New Dawn Rose and the climbing honeysuckle that were already in my hedgerow when we moved in. They are happy campers this year with the weather we’ve been having here in Chicagoland! I have more blossoms on both plants than I’ve ever had.

Got My Reservations - Climbing Honeysuckle on Trellis

The individual petals on the honeysuckle are just gorgeous and oh, that pink…

Got My Reservations - Climbing Honeysuckle


I’m linking up to parties at 5 Minutes for Mom, Create With Joy, and A Room With a View for Two. Please stop by to visit these inspiring bloggers and check out some of the links on their party today!

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!


Sh-t Happens

Sorry to be so graphic, but it’s true.

You’ve all experienced it. You plan and plan and something still goes wrong.

I’ve been watching the Next Food Network Star program on DVR about a week behind and it really hit me that entertaining is a crap shoot. Sometimes things go as planned, and sometimes the universe disconnects your microphone. And I went on the Food Network site to give you a link and found out that my favorite had been eliminated. Shuckey darns.

We can all be Food Stars if we want to be.

The other night we had some people over to celebrate my birthday. It’s part of the ongoing feast that I hope to continue for the next 30 years. I was blessed with gifts of food and drink from friends who contributed from their hearts, and the support of my husband and daughter.

But stuff happens.

After weeks of drought, between 5:00 and 7:00 there were spurts of rain. Why??? Because I planned an outside party. That’s why.

While waiting in the garage for the rain to stop, I tripped over a stack of portable chairs in bags and grabbed the garage door frame, which is lubricated with lithium grease. To get it off, I had to use nail polish remover, ruining my manicure. I had to leave the arriving guests to make repairs.

We had to put all of the tables, linens, flowers, and candles on the patio AFTER the guests had arrived — and the “putting” was done by the guests. The thought fills me with horror — guests aren’t supposed to have to do the work (unless you are a guest at Martha Stewart’s). One guest found my hurricane candles and put them on the tables; another filled the vases with roses. The men pitched in and put up all the tables, and tried valiantly to figure out my plan for the table coverings.

The catered main dish didn’t heat up as quickly as the caterer said it would. So we served more drinks.

Music Man (otherwise know as Saint Tom) dropped the pasta dish in the oven. Thank goodness pasta is indestructible. No real problem.

It’s better to have entertained than not to have tried.

Apparently people were having fun or were well-enough lubricated with beer, sangria and Pimms to be oblivious to the crises happening. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, even the friends who pitched in to make things happen.

I believe in the nobility of entertaining people and I take great, great pride that people are willing to give me two or three hours of their busy lives.
~~~ John Lasseter

I turned on the oven tonight to heat up the leftover Pork Normandy and it smelled like oven cleaner.

All of the oven racks were on the bottom of the oven — a reminder that I slept through the cleanup of the party. Truly, I am married to a saint, and the smell quickly was replaced by the amazing aroma of the Calvados sauce.

I am blessed that people were not only willing to come to my party, but were willing to help.  There’s room in my heart for a few more parties.

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Flower Stories: Bridal Veil Spirea

Today would have been my father’s 89th birthday — 05/11/23. He loved plants of all kinds, but he especially loved flowering bushes and perennials. Happy birthday, Daddy.

I wait somewhat impatiently every year for the bridal veil spirea to bloom. It’s not actually in my yard; the roots are in the garden of the abandoned house next door.

We had a punishing rain last weekend and lost some of the fresh glory of the blossoms, but most survived. This post makes me realize that I need to plant my own spirea on my side of the fence, because when the bulldozer comes, I’ll lose all of this beauty.

I do my best to honor Oksana’s memory and to take care of her garden; it’s time to go to the nursery again in honor of my Dad and Oksana.

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