Tag Archive for Tablescape Thursday

Chickadees on the Porch & a Giveaway!

I’m on the porch nesting with Chickadees . . .

Enjoying some tea and tucked in a nest of grey~enjoying a bit of warm & welcome sunshine on the porch.

 These Chickadee plates, Global Design Connections by Kate Williams, along with teapot, cream & sugar~ took flight from HomeGoods to follow me home~

I was enamored by the grey twig-rimmed edge on the plates and twiggy detailed spout and handle on the teapot :)

To celebrate my two-year blogging anniversary January 15th, I’m sharing some dish & bird love and giving away this set of two salad plates, two dinner plates, teapot, cream & sugar~ to one winner~ to perch at your table.

For a chance to win these Chickadees :) mention in a comment  you would like them come home to roost with you! Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry. For an additional chance to win, leave another comment and tell me your favorite bird you like to see perched at your feeder :)

 A winner will be chosen February 1st.

Wishing you a warm place to nest & perch this winter~

This giveaway is now closed. 

Congratulations to Rett at The Gazebo House!

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How the Tables Have Turned~ A Year in Review

A look back on my top viewed tablescapes of 2011. Thanks to everyone who visited and to those who took the time to comment!

When it comes to the table, I find myself inspired by Holidays, the Garden & Flowers, Food, Books, and last but not least~  HomeGoods :)

Click on the links below to see the tablescape post in full.


Winter World~ Book

Flowers for Easter~ Holiday and Flowers!

Garden Wisdom~ Garden and a Vintage Volume-inspired Table

Dining with Butterflies~ Book!

Lilacs and Daylight~ Flowers

How to Find Flower Fairies~ Book!

Reliable Seeds~ Garden and Cupcake Fun!

Grandmother’s Flower Garden~ Garden & Grandmother’s Quilt

Stem to Stern~ Holiday Boating Fun

Peony, White, and Blue~ Book and Flowers!

Oh, Say Can You See. . .~  July 4th Holiday

You Say Tomato~ Garden

More Loggerhead Love~ Turtle & Cupcake Fun

Fantasy Island Getaway~ Boating & Anniversary

Nesting Instincts~ Garden/Bird

Halloween Treats~ Halloween Fun

Thanksgiving Lakeside~ Thanksgiving & Flowers

A Fairy Little Christmas~ Book & Cake Pan Fun

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  Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday~

Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday~

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

How the Tables Have Turned~ A Year in Review


A look back on my top viewed tablescapes of 2011. Thanks to everyone who visited and to those who took the time to comment!



When it comes to the table, I find myself inspired by Holidays, the Garden & Flowers, Food, Books, and last but not least~  HomeGoods :)

Click on the links below to see the tablescape post in full.




Winter World~ Book



Flowers for Easter~ Holiday and Flowers!



Garden Wisdom~ Garden and a Vintage Volume-inspired Table



Dining with Butterflies~ Book!



Lilacs and Daylight~ Flowers



How to Find Flower Fairies~ Book!



Reliable Seeds~ Garden and Cupcake Fun!



Grandmother’s Flower Garden~ Garden & Grandmother’s Quilt



Stem to Stern~ Holiday Boating Fun



Peony, White, and Blue~ Book and Flowers!



Oh, Say Can You See. . .~  July 4th Holiday



You Say Tomato~ Garden



More Loggerhead Love~ Turtle & Cupcake Fun



Fantasy Island Getaway~ Boating & Anniversary



Nesting Instincts~ Garden/Bird



Halloween Treats~ Halloween Fun



Thanksgiving Lakeside~ Thanksgiving & Flowers



A Fairy Little Christmas~ Book & Cake Pan Fun



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  Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday~


A Gardener’s Christmas

 In a Gardening state-of-mind, I’m on the porch enjoying the Season with a few things that make me happy~

A simple Christmas table~ ideal for our casual living at the Lake.

A promise of a flower in an Amaryllis bulb, a few collected watering cans . . .

. . . and a couple of vintage trowels, showing the visible signs of use & hours of happy work~ one red & one green~ the perfect colors for the season :)

Little watering can ornaments (Smith & Hawken from Target) are filled with bits of Cedar & Leyland Cypress and sprinkled at each place setting~

A favorite decorative birdhouse, made with recycled materials~ a vintage glass door knob, old hardware & barn wood~ has a starring role for the Season with its iron finial church steeple &  tin-fashioned cross.

 The birds will enjoy a gift of seed decorated houses.  Purchased from a garden center, these edible bird treats would make a fun (if messy :) project for kids using a cardboard/milk carton house base, coated with peanut butter & decorated with seeds, raisins, cereal (Cheerios, Chex). . .anything that birds can feast on!

My urn, that has hosted tomatoes & pumpkins at the table, is supporting a grapevine wreath with faux berries and a pine cone laden tree.

A found bird’s nest is back at the table this week, filled with blown quail eggs, a feather, and embellished with a bit of lichen~

A few Paperwhite bulbs are waiting to be planted and their fragrance enjoyed~

Wishing you the simple pleasures of

Nesting & Feasting this Holiday Season!

Gardener’s Christmas Table Details:

Chargers & Flatware/ World Market

Napkins & Quilt/ Kohl’s

Bird Napkin Rings/ Pottery Barn

Dishes/Oneida Westerly Basket

Goblets/ HomeGoods

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday~

  Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday~

Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday~

 The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays~

Homespun Christmas Link Party~  Recipes & Tablescapes~


A Gentle Transition and Giveaway

On the heels of Thanksgiving, before rushing headlong into the Christmas Season as I usually do~ I’m lingering at the table with a warm palette of neutrals and a touch of soft gold. . .enjoying the last few days of November.

I found this 222 Fifth, Gold Leaves pattern at T. J. Maxx several weeks ago~ there were only a few pieces remaining which suited my purposes and table for four.

I decided then that these dishes would provide a gentle transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas~ with the blending of the acorns & oak leaves on the salad plates together with the pine cone sprays on the dinner plates.

I’ve always loved organic materials at the table . . . flowers, birds’ nests, greenery. . . pieces of the garden and in this case, remnants of fall with the dried leaves, acorns and bloomed grasses. . .

  A pheasant feather, gold dipped pine cone, soft grasses along and some pieces of evergreens~ Leyland Cypress & pine~ are tucked between the dinner plate and placemat for a seasonal embellishment along with an oak leaf and acorn. . .

 A bit of sparkle and a soft glow provided by the votive holders and beaded placemats, are precursors to the glitz and glamour of the season. . .

My matelassé coverlet is layered with two wool blend throws in a tan and white plaid pattern, also found at TJ Maxx recently, for a little added warmth and soft color~

Mikasa’s French Countryside goblets with their graceful silhouette and flatware from Target with a hammered surface add additional softness to the table.

A lidded tureen~ adorned with an oak leaf pattern on one side and pine cone spray on the opposite~ is filled with greenery, a found bird’s nest filled with blown quail eggs, pheasant feathers, grasses & gold pine cones & oak leaves. . .

After searching for acorns & oak leaves, I found myself foraging along the aisles at Target~ delighted when I found these votive holders~ the hob nail-like surface echoing the detail & texture of a pine cone.


A little seed of an idea germinated with the advent of the Christmas Season. . .

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to share a little dish love as a gift as I approach my two year blogiversary in January.

A gesture of thanks for your generosity in taking your time to comment and for those who follow. . .

Which still amazes me and I am extremely thankful for :)

This giveway includes four 3-pc place settings, tureen, and this 50 x 70 inch wool blend plaid Lauren throw~ to be given to one winner.

No Tweets, Facebook Likes, or Following is necessary to enter. Just let me know you’re interested in providing a good home to these dishes & cozy throw in your comment to be included in this giveaway and I’ll throw your name into the tureen :)

Winner will be announced on December 10th.

 This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to Sarah from Hyacinths for the Soul!

Thanks so much to ALL for your encouragement,

visits, and kind comments!

Wishing you the Warmth and Blessings of the upcoming Christmas Season~

A Gentle Transition Table Details:

Plates & Tureen/Gold Leaves by 222 Fifth/ T.J. Maxx

Goblets/ Mikasa French Countryside/ Tuesday Morning

Placemats/ Kohl’s

Tealight holders & Flatware/ Target

Napkins/ Pier 1

Lauren Wool Blend Plaid Throws/ T. J. Maxx

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Nesting Instincts


I’ve been feathering my nest twig-by-twig lately. . .

. . . tidying, sorting, consigning, donating~

 There always seems to be nesting going on around me. . .

 I’m long past due taking stock. . .

. . . cleaning out & preparing for Fall with October’s arrival around the corner~

I thought I would follow the birds’ lead and bring my nesting instincts to the table this week ~

And since birds of a feather flock together~ I decided these teapots & pitcher should come home to roost with my set of four fledgling plates~

  Gracie China Victorian Bird tea pots along with a pitcher, took flight from TJ Maxx to follow me home~

Filled with an assortment of white blooms serving as vases~ for a flower-filled habitat for my table.

I used my fledgling dishes on a table here, back in January.

On a lark, browsing tablescapes on Pinterest, I discovered that a photo from that post migrated to a blog on tumblr and was then reblogged by tumblr bloggers over & over :(

I noted on the photo on Pinterest that I was the original source and emailed tumblr about copyright violation sending a link to my post.  I received a reply within 30 minutes that the media file had been removed.

I’ll be watermarking my photos now and pinning with more interest & an eagle eye in the future :)

Have you made an interesting or disturbing discovery on Pinterest?

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Birds in Flight~ sprinkled with sanding sugar~

Perched on a soft landing of lemon curd, berries & whipped cream~

Nesting Table Twig-by-Twig Details:

Nesting Pillow/ Pottery Barn

Bird Plates-Gracie China, Napkins & Napkin Rings/HomeGoods

 Gracie China Victorian Bird Tea Pots & Pitcher/ TJ Maxx

Dishes/ Oneida Westerly Basket

Chargers/ Pier 1

Tablecloth- Quilt

Flatware/ Horchow

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Purples, Plums & Petunias

While the calendar says September, we’re still having summer weather~ thankfully with some lower humidity.  A teaser of fall-like temperatures are on the horizon for the weekend.

 I set a transitional table reflecting the bit of summer we’re still in the midst of~ enjoying the last of the summer annuals.  Petunias~ still blooming after a long, hot summer and some fruits in season~ Plums and local Muscadine Grapes from the Farmers Market.

I picked up these dishes a month ago at T J Maxx for a song~ each plate costing less than my former daily Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

 It seems I’ve traded my Starbucks habit for a Dish one :-)

Originally thinking I would use them in the spring, I decided I could enjoy them now~ accessorizing with amethyst goblets & napkins and using an assortment of deep rich purple & plum-colored fruits for a centerpiece. . . my favorite kind of centerpiece~ one you can eat later :-)

 Adding a few petunias scattered among the plums, red and champagne grapes and local black muscadines~ enjoying the flowers while they are still busily blooming.

My two-tier server I used before here, is lined with salad savoy leaves for color and a foundation for the fruit~

 The lacy pattern on the stand and woven scalloped chargers led me to a loop edged ribbon to tie on the napkins in lieu of napkin rings~

A Nordic Ware Petits Fours Pan for mini flowers~ four different garden varieties~ dusted with powdered sugar~

I used a boxed mix~ dividing the batter between petit fours & some cupcakes, since each petit four only requires a tablespoon of batter~ that’s a lot of flowers :-)

Plates~ Royal Stafford/ T J Maxx

Tiered Bird Stand/ HomeGoods

Napkins & Chargers / World Market

Goblets/ Target.com

Flatware~ Portmeirion Botanic Garden/HomeGoods

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The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper ****

by Sarah Addison Allen

An Edible Book Review inspired by Jain at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.

“The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.”

I’m long overdue in sharing this book that I read back in April~

I always look forward to Sarah Addison Allen’s books~ I had pre-ordered it, anxious for its arrival. It was waiting for me like a nice, juicy peach ready for me to sink my teeth into, when I returned from vacation. I took these photos and cooked this book back when the azaleas were blooming, and although I had shelved this review, I didn’t shelve this book until after I read it cover-to-cover in two days. . . one day if I hadn’t had to unpack & bathe :-)

My intention was to take a little road trip to tie in to this review, and visit Transylvania County in Western North Carolina ~ the area that the town of Walls of Water is based on, and home to over 250 waterfalls. It became apparent that was not going to happen and though it’s still on my list to visit, it looks more like it will be the fall when the weather is not in the triple digits.

My other excuse is that I got waylaid by another book about peaches  . . .

The long-buried secrets and mysteries of The Peach Keeper continued to haunt me to return to it & Walls of Water ever since~  most recently by an article in Our State Magazine.

Full of North Carolina native, Sarah Addison Allen’s trademarks~ magic, small town charm, and FOOD~ The Peach Keeper is easy to devour in one sitting~  and is a great book to tuck in your beach bag or keep by your night stand.

In keeping with this book, I set a simple table where peaches are the stars. Peach blossom-inspired napkin rings from Pier 1, napkins from Stein Mart, Napoleon Bee flatware for the buzzing of the bees & a tablecloth from Kohl’s~

“A cool breeze floated eerily by, smelling of peaches.”

“If anyone had been paying attention to the signs, they would have realized that air turns white when things are about to change, that paper cuts mean there’s more to what’s written on the page than meets the eye, and that birds are always out to protect you from things you don’t see.”

“There was a slight hint of peaches in the air, but it didn’t scare her.”

Tucker Devlin:

“What I know, what I’m best at, is peaches. Peach juice swims in my veins. When I bleed, it’s sweet. Honeybees fly right to me.”

“He looked like the world was a ripe peach and he was ready to bite it.”

There was plenty to tempt my palate between these pages~ Oatmeal Cookies with Coffee Icing, Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies, Lemon-Chicken Salad, Lemon and Broccoli Mini-Quiches, Angel Food Cake, Honeymoon Pie. . .but it just seemed criminal not to use peaches in this edible review~

“Cups of lemon crème layered with hazelnut shortbread crumbles, pansies, lavender, and lemon verbena.”

I layered peaches, store-bought hazelnut shortbread cookies, lemon curd & whipped cream~ and garnished with edible violas for an individual, easy trifle~

“Lunch was then served, beautiful food garnished with edible roses and tasting of lavender and mint and lust. People closed their eyes with each bite, and the air turned sweet and cool. The quartet played ravishing melodies that were strange and exotic. There was a curious sense of longing in the air, and everyone felt it. People began to think of old loves and missed opportunities. Unlike most of these functions, no one wanted to leave. Lunch lingered for hours.”

“So it was with Claire Waverley, a beautiful, mysterious caterer who it was rumored could make your rivals jealous, your love life better, your senses stronger, all with the food she created. Her specialty was edible flowers, and once it got out that she had something no one else had, everyone wanted her.”

I highly recommend sipping on a Peach Bellini on a Saturday or Sunday morning as you read this book :-)


“ ‘Can you really make people feel differently with the food you cook, with the drinks you prepare?’ ”


A savory recipe for your peaches~ A Stacked Peach & Mozzarella Salad~

Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad, recipe courtesy Southern Living

Served with baby spinach and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette~ Delicious & definitely a Keeper recipe :-)

  “Just as they turned to walk back up the steps, the scent of peaches permeated the air for a moment, thick and cloying, before it faded into the night, crossing the moon in a wisp of smoke, then disappearing.”

“Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.”

 “North Carolina novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction — a captivating blend of fairy tale magic, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.”

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Dining with Butterflies

I’m dining with the butterflies~ enjoying this book~ with its beautiful illustrations by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), German-born naturalist and artist.

At a time when few women were educated or literate, and rarely travelled, Maria Sibylla Merian was a pioneer, and made history with her studies of insects in Surinam.

Trained as a copperplate engraver and watercolorist, she documented the metamorphosis of butterflies, laying the foundation for modern entomology.

 On seeing a collection of butterflies from Dutch Guiana, (modern Surinam), she decided to study tropical flora and fauna, to discover whether the moths and butterflies she saw in collections shared the same life cycle as those she had bred: the egg and caterpillar stage.

In 1699 she sailed for South America with daughter Dorothea, the first time any woman had ventured on a journey of exploration on this scale.

  Having evaluated and categorized her specimens, in 1705 she published her major work Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, in Dutch and Latin.

She made 60 copperplate engravings to illustrate the stages of insect development, arranged around the cultivated and wild plants she had encountered on her travels.

With its detailed text and imagery, the Metamorphosis is the first work on the natural history of Surinam. For 17th century Europeans it was an insight into an unknown world.

This quilted throw from HomeGoods migrated into my cart recently and was the inspiration for this table.

I thought it would be the perfect foundation for this book, with the butterflies sipping nectar from the quilted flowers~ while I sipped on tea from my Portmeirion Botanic Garden Blue Tea Set and dined among the embossed butterflies on my Lennox Butterfly Meadow Cloud plates.


Quilted throw/ HomeGoods by Ridgefield Home

Plates/ Lennox Butterfly Meadow Cloud/ HomeGoods

Trays/ HomeGoods

Bee Stems/ Sur La Table

Napoleon Bee flatware/Horchow

Napkins/Pier 1

Tea Set/ Portmeirion Botanic Blue/ Marshalls


I spread my wings with a little bow tie pasta chicken salad, recipe courtesy of Pillsbury~ to fly over and join the fun at Lynn’s Celebrity Cook-Along with Pillsbury~ and a few Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers  served on the side.

Dried Cherry-Nut Chicken Pasta Salad, recipe can be found here.

I substituted chopped pecans for slivered almonds in the recipe and made an additional substitution with the dressing called for. Not a huge fan of poppy seed dressing, I decided to try Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinaigrette that is slightly sweet, and has some gorgonzola in it, when I read a comment that suggested adding some gorgonzola to the pasta salad for additional flavor. It was a quick & tasty substitution for the poppy seed dressing that I mixed with Olive Oil Mayo and complemented with the dried cherries, nuts, chicken & bow tie pasta.

 I recently had a milestone birthday, and was gifted with my very own Poppin’ Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy napkin holder, since the Dough Boy was introduced 5o years ago, in 1961 :-)

A metamorphosis~ from crescent rolls to sugar-sprinkled butterflies garnish a layer of berries, lemon curd & whipped cream.

“TASCHEN’s reprint of a hand-colored first edition copy, belonging to the University Library of Basel, includes the complete plates with a commentary by Katharina Schmidt-Loske. Merian accomplished a pioneering achievement of the modern age. This publication pays homage to her work and offers readers an opportunity to appreciate her sumptuous engravings.”

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Stem to Stern


 Memorial Day kicks off Boating Season at the Lake.

In anticipation of boating over the course of the long holiday weekend, I decorated the pontoon for fun~ from Stem to Stern ~ including a few stems in a mason jar.

A few pillows. . .

Some Red,White & Blue to dine with. . .

A beverage tub filled with drinks to keep us hydrated. . .

 A breezy day~ with the wind whipping the flags :-)

 Watermelon and Feta~the creamy, salty cheese is the perfect partner to the sweet, juicy melon~ in a flag formation with the addition of a side of blueberries :-)

I found this idea in Southern Living Magazine where Foods Editor, Scott Jones, fondly remembers the BBQ Sundae served at the Rebel Barn BBQ in Oxford, Mississippi.

 An entrée, not dessert, the sundae layers pork, slaw, and baked beans, all covered in thick, sweet red sauce, or Lexington-Style sauce in our case. Perfect and portable for tailgating or picnicking~

My husband smokes a “Boston Butt”, “Picnic Roast”, “Pork Shoulder” or “Shoulder Blade Roast” ~ all names for shoulder cuts that make great pulled pork.

Our pork shoulder is brined for 24-48 hours, depending on the size & how organized we are :-) . . . in a mixture of ½ cup of pickling salt (which dissolves in cold water), 2 quarts of water and ¾ c of molasses.

 Remove from the brine, blot with paper towels, brush on olive oil, and liberally add a dry rub/seasoning blend of salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, garlic powder etc.

Smoke at 225 degrees over lump charcoal with some soaked hickory or apple wood chips for about 1  1/2 hours per pound. Remove from smoker, wrap in foil and let stand an hour. It should fall apart, with all the fat melted away :-)

Wishing you a Safe & Happy Memorial Day~

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