Sunday, May 17, 2015

In The Jungle Birthday Table Setting

Mother's day was celebrated with three of my four son's in attendance this year .  We had a hearty homemade country style meal served on jungle themed dinnerware.  Now that may sound a bit bizarre, a jungle theme is not the norm for Mother's Day,  however we were celebrating my son Bobby's birthday too.  Normally we celebrate his birthday on the Sunday before Mother's Day but this year we combined the two occasions.  I usually create a Cinco De Mayo fiesta table for Bobby's birthday but he wanted something different this year.  Being the good Mom that I am - I made sure he got a "different" table setting to celebrate with this year.  While Bobby was not born on Mother's Day,  he did come home from the hospital on Mother's Day.  It seemed that a joint celebration on Mother's Day would be most appropriate.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
All of the boys wanted an old fashioned country style meal like Grandma used to make.  A big old mess of green beans cooked with fat back bacon and Irish potatoes quartered up and thrown in for the last twenty minutes and cooked tender in the bacon and bean juice. There were plenty of sliced tomatoes and green onions and a cake of corn bread seasoned with bacon drippings with lots of crispy fried bacon baked into the cornbread.  I made fried pork chops as requested by the kids. My daddy always loved pork chops with cornbread and green beans. Oh Yum!   I can cook with grease with the best of them.  ~~~ Move over Paula Dean ~~~
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

The cake was my country version of Boston Cream Pie made per usual (yellow cake sliced and filled with vanilla pudding) but with hot fudge sauce (homemade of course) poured over the top of the cake.  We did not take any pictures of the food or table on Sunday.  I recreated the table during the week and waited for a day with enough light to take pictures.

  This table started as an idea several years ago.   I was influenced by several wonderful jungle tables that were shared on Tablescape Thursday at BNOTP over the years.  With the exception of the candles, the small elephant place card holders, and the cheetah scarves that were bought at Marc's and the Tiger Charge it By Jay chargers that I bought from Christine's (Christine's Home and Travel Adventures)  moving sale on Facebook, everything else was thrifted over a period of several years.
The table cover
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
This striking zebra pattern of this duvet cover caught my eye at Goodwill a while back.  It had just come in as a donation complete with the original tags.  The duvet cover reversed to solid black textured velvet on the other side.  I took the seams out and made a table cloth from each side.  I used the black side for my New Years Eve post "A Horn Blows At Midnight"  which you can see HERE .
Plum Creek Place - New Years Eve Tablescape
Next I laid out the cheetah pattern scarves that I had bought from Marc's and placed a thrifted basket of greens on top of the scarves (a thrifted zebra metal plaque was leaned against the basket).
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
The wicker place mats came next 
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
Followed by the lovely chargers from Christine.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Sakura's La Menagerie jungle dinner plates
and salad plates.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
 The Tiger pattern of the charger plates are perfect with the dinnerware pattern.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
 The napkin rings were bought at the VOA last week - 16 rings for $2.99. The brass elephant place card holders were placed on top of the square napkin rings.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
Giraffes and elephants as well as a tiger or two populate the Jungle's edges.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
 Black stemware was collected over several years.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
The giraffes are from a local garage sale last year.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
 Tigers peek out from under my jungles canopy.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
The orchids have started to bloom again.
 Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants

 The giraffes and the pictures on the shelves are from a garage sale that I went to last fall.  When I explained that I was doing tablescapes with the stuff that I was buying they gave me a huge discount on the items I had picked out.  When their daughter looked up my blog on her smart phone and they saw how I decorate the shelves to follow the theme of the table the lady having the garage sale had her husband pack up many of the items that you see here including the butterfly animal print plate and a set of zebra pattern chargers too!  There are many other items from this garage sale that I will be using in upcoming tablescape posts.  I am thinking another jungle table later on towards fall and another tropical "by the sea" table setting in a few weeks.
 One last picture.
Jungle tablescape, Sakura jungle plates, giraffes, elephants
I have been occupied with packing up "stuff" to go to storage and trying to clean and repair as I go in anticipation of putting my house on the market within the next year or so.  This has become an overwhelming and daunting task. I am not really up to doing a lot of the heavy work so it is a very slow go. I think I need to have a huge garage sale myself to get rid of a lot of the "stuff" instead of packing and moving it. Dozens and dozens of boxes of stuff  have already taken the ride to the Goodwill to be donated over the last few months.

I have not been taking the time to visit and stop to say hello to so many of my blogger friends.   Shame on me!  I will be stopping by to visit soon - I miss you all!!

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Susan's Tablescape Thursday

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pink Chocolate Girls Night Out Tablescape

Cuisine Kathleen's challenge to create a "Girls Night Out Tablescape" seemed as if it would be easy when I first thought about it.  In reality this challenge sent some perplexing thoughts wandering through my mind for several weeks now.  Just exactly what does girls night out mean to me?  Join me on my journey as my thoughts meander through a lifetime of  "Girls Nights Out" and the thoughts on creating a girls night out table setting.

First a quick look at the table setting
As I started gathering up the different items that I had been collecting to do a girly tablescape for a year or so my mind kept wandering to thoughts all of the adventures that I had had on my "Girls Night Out" escapades through the years. One of my first memories of going out with the girls was when my girlfriend Marla's mother drove us down to the Polish Women's Hall for the weekly Friday night dance.  Sounds innocent enough right?  Well it was,  but my Daddy had forbid me to go to these dances.  Oh but we had a ball.  I still remember exactly what I wore,  a pretty gray sweater with a deep pink skirt and a perky pink scarf around my neck.  We had so much fun dancing to a band (probably just a neighborhood band) we even hammed it up when a local TV station came in and taped the kids out dancing on the floor.  I made it home before my 11 O'clock curfew and well before my Daddy came home from work on the night shift.  When Daddy came home on Friday nights we would pop some popcorn and gather around to watch Ghoulardi,  a Cleveland TV legend played by Ernie Anderson who later became a nationally recognized voice in commercials and TV programs.  Drew Carey used to wear his Ghoulardi t-shirt on his TV show.  As we settled down to watch whatever ghoulish movie that was showing that night they opened the show by broadcasting the images of the kids dancing at the local dances that evening.  They had never done that before........ Well you know what happened then,  I will never forget my father turning around to me (still wearing my pretty gray sweater and pink scarf) and stating with a deadpan look on his face and a flat voice that I looked just like the girl on TV.  I think I was grounded forever.
I had to make a trip over to my storage unit to pick up a piece of material that I had bought at Goodwill last year.  I had rolled down the window and was playing old time rock and roll (Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Capital of the World you know),  it's the kind of music that gets in your soul (hehe) and reminiscing about the adventures my girl friend Dee Dee and I had with a couple of other gals from the office cruising around Southgate USA.  The premier shopping center in the country at that time and the best place to be seen for a bunch of young chicks in a 1960 Corvette convertible, rain or shine, snow, sleet, or hail.... we would be cruising.  I used to think the Beach Boys wrought all of those songs about us.  I feel sorry for kids today,  what do they have?  Justin Bieber..... that thought would give me the creepy shivers.

I had to dig around in the garage to find a box of beads, a heavy box of beads.  I had bought packages of different colors and styles packed together in about five pound bags for one dollar each several years ago from Marc's.  I thought this would be a good time to use a few of them.
I laid out the pink and the chocolate color beads but ended up only using the chocolate color.
Pink flowers with brown stems from Marc's a few years back were perfect for the centerpiece.
When I married (at a very young age) there were no more girls nights out except for PTA meetings, cub scout and boy scout meetings, and going to TOPS club meetings and shopping with my mother.  Now that I look back at it I realize that my Mom was truly my best friend.  When we went out it was girls night out!  We would go to dinner at Chinese restaurants (my dad was a steak man) and then go to weigh in at our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club meetings a few days later.  We would shop and then we would talk almost endlessly.  Mom and I were the feminine side of the household that I grew up in.  My father and my two brothers plus three of daddy's brothers probably helped forge the relationship my mom and I grew into as I grew older.  When dad and mom retired and moved south my life changed but I found new friends and hobbies but none ever replaced the relationship I had with Mom.

Back to the tablescape
I found my box of girly stuff that I had been collecting and
laid them out down the center of the table.
The pink and black ring holder shoes are perfect for a party favor.
Cute high heel desert plates are perfect for the cream horns, Baklava and petit fours cakes and tiny red velvet, salted caramel, pistachio and frosted chocolate cup cakes.

Various candies dot the table like table scatter.
Hard to tell the chocolates on the tablecloth from the Hershey's and the buckeyes isn't it?
Pretty napkins from Goodwill.
A jewelery holder holds the chocolate beads
in a most feminine way.
Black champagne glasses and pink flatware.
Large black octagon chargers are layered with pink lace trimmed napkins
and pretty high heel girly plates.

Mom and dad lived in North Carolina for twenty years during which time I had two more sons.  Mom would come to stay for several weeks when each child was born.  We would talk and talk until the wee hours of the morning. Every vacation I would pack up the kids and we would go to Grandma's house plus whatever occasion I could come up with.  The eight hour drive did not seem so long going down to see Mom, once there we always had an adventure or two and we went to mom's bingo games every week.  My favorite bingo games were at the VFW Hall with the veterans.  The ladies axillary would host about forty veterans from the VA Hospital,  one was a  lady who had served as a nurse and was said be the oldest living female veteran from World War One in North Carolina,  such a sweet lady she was and what an honor it was to meet her. The evening included a home cooked meal.  My mom always made the steak and gravy to take for these Bingo nights.  We would start cooking the steak around mid-day in her electric skillet, she would flower the steak and brown both sides and keep adding the steak to a roaster in the oven until about sixty or so pieces were ready to have homemade gravy added and slid back into the oven until they were tender.  Good times.
So Mom this one's for you!  I can't think of anyone that I would rather have a girls night out with,  we could shop till we drop and we can eat cake till we pop! There are no more worries about counting calories now.  How I wish you were here.

Your Daughter

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pink Petals April Inspired Tablescape

Inspiration can pop up when you least expect it,  even when you are exasperated and forlorn that an idea you have been working on has not worked out to be what you wanted.  But an unexpected picture, a very lucky find, and lovely plates from a dear friend can come together in the most unexpected ways to give you a very happy outcome. A color palette from "design-seeds ", a set of April Cornelle placemats found at the last minute,  four lovely pink Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates and four pink and yellow napkin rings from Marigene at "In the Middle of Nowhere" came together and resulted in a pretty in Pink Petals April Tablescape.

Last Thursday morning at around 10:30 AM I was out in the yard cutting dozens of daffodils that I had intended to use in a blue,  yellow, and white (my favorite color combinations) tablescape to post for Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on The Porch.  The flowers went directly into a pitcher while I went upstairs to get the box that contained my white and blue soup tureen, only it wasn't in that box.  As it turned out the tureen is probably in a box stored in the basement storage room at our other house and yes I did waste several hours of time looking through the boxes in the extra room upstairs and at our storage unit (a couple of miles from our home) before I remembered where the tureen I wanted was at (this getting old stuff is getting old).  Despite of the fact that the tablecloth, dishes and stemware were already set on the would be blue,  yellow,  and white table,  I just lost all interest in doing that tablescape.  I was disheartened and disappointed that it would require nearly a sixty mile round trip to pick up the tureen that I needed.  I consoled myself by going through the Emails of the repins from my Pinterest boards. It is my usual custom to visit the the Pinterest board of the person repinning my pins and pin one of their pins when I happened upon
the Petals color palette in pinks, yellows, and coral.

I had been wanting to create a table setting using the pink Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates that Marigene had so kindly sent to me several months ago for a while.  But the inspiration I needed to create this table setting had not come to me until now.  The catalyst I needed was found latter that evening at The Volunteers of America when I spotted a set of April Cornell place mats in new condition (except for the fold mark from being stored) complete with the original labels hanging in the domestics section of the VOA.  The pattern was in varying shades of pink,  yellow, and spring green.  I rushed home after buying these little beauties and grabbed the cabbage plates and set them on the place mats.  They were perfect with the paler shades of pink in the AC place mats.
I placed thrifted Williams-Sonoma yellow dinner plates (that were already sitting on the table) under the cabbage plates, and again - they were perfect.  But the dark pink,  what could I use to go with the dark pink?  Then I spotted the Maxcera Coral Vanilla Chintz plates I found at HomeGoods a couple of months ago,  but there were only three of them.  I looked at the stack of Spring plates on the kitchen counter waiting to be washed before they could be used.  All of these plates had came from thrift stores over the winter and there near the top were four Fitz and Floyd pansy plates.  One was a coral pink, although a bit smaller and with black markings in the center, it was similar enough to use with the Maxcera plates.
Fitz and Floyd dessert plate.
 Maxcera dessert plate.
I grabbed the Anton Studio Designs green goblets that I had bought at Marc's (and had left sitting in a bag in the garage since before Christmas last year) and washed them,  then placed them on the place mats with the plates. 
 Green floral salad bowls marked Magenta on the back of the bowls (a recent purchase from HG)
The green Lenox candle holders seemed perfect to use once again even though I had just used them in a Spring tablescape. The pale pink tablecloth is a near perfect color match for the cabbage plates and the coral napkins placed across the salad bowls are a perfect match to the dark pink of the place mats (no wonder about that! Some of the napkins still had April Cornell stickers on them).
The daffodils (plus freshly picked extras to replace the ones that had faded) were placed in a Park Design pitcher bought from our local Marc's store last year (I love Marc's close-out section).  

The rose pink Lauri Gates Hampton flatware matched up perfectly with the medium pink in the AC place mats, again - perfect!

Disparate items from many different sources that all came together after viewing a pretty color pallet (called petals) and then finding the April Cornell placemats only a few hours later. 

 A couple of spring bunnies added a bit more whimsey to the table.

The Players:


Napkin rings from Marigene.

Pink Bordallo Pinheiro Cabbage plates from Marigene.
A shadow from the green goblet is reflected on the right side
of the plate.
More pictures.

 In the morning light.
Thrifty finds, lucky finds, and a thoughtful friend made this table possible.
Thank you Marigene.

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