Thursday, February 23, 2012

82 Degrees Today????

 Can you see it?
Enjoying a little breakfast treat on the porch early this AM and it is already 65 degrees while I am taking this photo.  We love our crazy South Carolina weather!

Okay, I know you see it now, just look at all that warm sunshine!  Weather man says we can expect to top out at 82 today.  Hard to believe, unless you step outside this morning.

  I am enjoying it as much as I can before heading in for another late day at work.  Hope you get to enjoy a beautiful day too wherever you are!  Have a good one!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello Mardi Gras!

I have been thinking quite a bit about Mardi Gras and all the beautiful tablescapes I've seen out here in blogland.  I love the colors used for Mardi Gras along with all the fun, festive and sometimes even gawdy decor. No offense Y'all but I really do love it!  Hehe!

Since I am not from New Orleans, and haven't ever attended Mardi Gras, I didn't realize until this year that the colors themselves actually have some symbolism until I read that on another blog this week.  Sorry, I forget who you were but here is the official symbolism of the colors I found online;

Purple Represents Justice. Green Represents FaithAnd Gold Represents Power.

(taken from this website; ) This is a wonderfully informative site about the events, traditions and history of Mardi Gras in New Olreans, check it out!

I have wanted to do a Mardi Gras tablescape for a few years now but felt like it would be kind of silly to do one when; 1.) We don't actually celebrate Mardi Gras, or live in a state that does.  Though I did see there was a community near my sons home in Charleston that did this year.  Huh?  2.) I am not Catholic, but am Protestant and therefore do not adhere to the more common rituals of penance and various traditions associated with Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and Lent.

But...I do think you all may be on to something here!  I kinda like the idea of a celebration the day before Ash Wednesday, which for me, while not observed publicly, much like Lent is a day or time of reflection that I've come to recognize as signifying our need for a Savior for the forgiveness of our sins. Technically if I'm correct, Mardi Gras is actually the culmination (or the end) of Epiphany celebrations, but I like thinking of it as the kickoff or the beginning of Easter, if you will.  Is that so wrong?

So with all this in mind, I set about creating my very first Mardi Gras Tablescape this year.

I started by pulling out one of my handmade gold colored tablecloths for my round table.

Gold to create a "powerful" first impression.

Next I pulled out one of my favorite pieces of purple fabric to use on the lazy susan.  It must have worked because I am really pleased with how well this entire tablescape turned out.  Purple is for "justice" all right!

While I was upstairs digging around for fabric, I spotted this purple glass candle holder that I just had to add.

Look closely, I think that's a Fleur De Lis on there too!  

Because I really wanted to create a dramatic centerpiece I decided to add all the masks.  The purple, green and gold masks all came out of one package from the DT, with a few extra to spare.  

My favorite part of the centerpiece was the idea to use my very own mask I purchased from New Orleans many years ago while traveling there with work when I was a travel agent.

It's certainly not one of those more elaborate and detailed masks you can buy down there but is just so special and beautiful to me.  I was quite young back then and on a very limited budget too.  I love how simple it is and reminds me of someone wearing makeup.  It also reminds me that yes indeed, like it or not we all wear a mask to some extent don't we?

Next, it quickly became all about birds, beads, and doubloons.

I already had the two birds in my craft room upstairs.

I purchased these beads and coins from the DT as well.

How fun!

My final addition to the centerpiece was a few small pots of yellow and purple flowers.  I already had them as well, purchased from a clearance sale at Michaels.

I really love how this turned one turned out!

I decided to use my Gourmet Butlers Pantry dishes because I think they work very well here.  I also think the design on the plate looks sorta frenchy too, right....maybe?  LOL!

  Since I needed to add some green to my Mardi Gras tablescape I decided to add my green raised wheat plates. You can just think of this as a big heaping plate full of "faith"!

The final topper came with these adorable paper napkins that I purchased from the DT.  I also purchased the paper plates that coordinated with them but decided against using those for this setting.  I love how these napkins have some white in them to match my dinner plates.

My stainless silver is my wedding flatware.

It is from Oneida and appropriately named, what else?  Louisiana!

My glasses are from my mothers mother.  I love the gold etched rims.  Even with all their wear and tear they are still so beautiful to me!

 I am so excited about this tablescape I can hardly wait until the Mr get's home.

Happy Mardi Gras! 

  I know it's actually Ash Wednesday today and that Mardi Gras ended yesterday but I do hope you will overlook that one little small detail.  I'm so limited on time, was off today and since tomorrow is;

I figured why not go for it.  I'm so glad I did too!
I hope you enjoyed your visit here as well.  If you did, be sure and leave me note.  It's always nice to hear from you.  Be sure and pop on by the party to see more beautiful and very talented tablescapers.

Have a great day and great weekend everyone!


Find out what it means to me, oh yeah!  Lookout!  Today was certainly one of those days my friends.  You know the kind, one of those days when you come across someone or several people as the case may be, who seem quite oblivious to showing a little respect.  It really makes me wonder is this a concept that is going out of style. I mean really!  Maybe it's just me, but it seems more and more people expect respect from others but are ignorant about forwarding respect towards another.

Let me tell you how I was raised!  I was raised to respect ALL people when you first meet them, period.  End of story!  I was taught to always be respectful of your elders, even if they seem a bit senile.  I was taught to respect teachers, clergy, officers, bankers, employers and those of higher authority even when you do not agree with their choices or ethics. Smile!  I was taught to be especially respectful of those who have disabilities, for theirs is a very difficult world.  I was taught to be respectful of all other places and other peoples property.   In short, I was taught that everyONE deserves a measure of respect until proven otherwise.  Even after someone has shown to me that they really do not deserve my respect, I still treat them back in a respectful manner (usually as efficiently as possible) but with a measure of decency none the less. 

Now that's not to say that there are not times when a person can be so challenging that I rapidly loose respect for them and want to tell them exactly what I think about their attitude, but honestly, I just don't go there.   The fastest way for me to loose respect for someone is when they elevate themselves above everyone else.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  When a person walks into your story with an attitude that convey's "It's all about Me!" I quickly loose interest.  Understandably in the retail world, that is the message you can expect to receive from most customers everyday.  But the difference in how one customer conveys that message to the next is always amazing and astounding to me.  Most of my customers, about 85%, usually are of the sharing respect theology that I adhere to and are a genuine pleasure to deal with.  Occasionally though, you come across someone who does not share this mutual feeling of respect and doesn't mind letting you know.  That's one of those times when I remind myself that I am worthy of respect and am a better person by not letting it get to me and not letting someone else's poor understanding of being respectful change mine.  

I googled and came across this page at WikiHow;  I thought it offered quite a bit of great info on the subject of respect.

Since tomorrow is Wellness Wednesday at The Decorative Dreamer, I'm posing this question....

What are your thoughts on the subject of RESPECT?

I remember as a teenager in high school in the late 70's and early 80's that I had several classmates of the mindset that believed respect was something you and others had to earn first and was not something that was freely or automatically given.  I've never really understood this concept other then to the extent that the more integrity a person demonstrates over time the more respect they earn, but I've always thought of that as a different "level" of respect.   Since we all know it is also very easy to quickly loose respect for others, I would love to hear how you personally handle that as well.  I guess what I am asking here is what's your views on respect and your thoughts on respect in general in our world today?  Do you think respect is still being taught to children today?  Does society have a different view on respect these days then from previous years?  What do you think?

Oh yeah, by the way, I turned the music back on!   Woohoo!  I love music and was really missing it!  Feel free to silence it if it bothers you, otherwise...Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tablescaping with Chefs

Do you do Italian night at your house?  We sure do!  In fact we have Italian dishes quite regularly here at our house.  Spaghetti is one of my most all time favorite dishes to eat and to make so I cook it  quite regularly.  One evening about a month ago, I was setting the table once again for one of our regular spaghetti dinners and thought to myself I sure would love to do an Italian night tablescape.  Not only, was I thinking about how I would put it all together, I was thinking about the perfect dishes to use as well.   Of course, I was thinking about those specific dishes because I have been staring at them at them everyday at work ever since last October and had grown quite fond of them.

  But....the last thing in the world I needed around here was more dishes.  Do you think I let that stop me? Oh Noooooo!!!!  Especially when I figured out how I could buy them without getting my Mr. all upset.

I'll be honest with you.  This was what started it all, and this was for all intentional purposes as far as it was going to go when I first purchased these little guys.

They are part of a collection of fashion ceramics we sell at Stein Mart that is labeled International Chefs that are designed by artist Jennifer Garant.  They are salt and pepper shakers, aren't they just so cute? The Mr. said the great thing about these is you can always know that the chef in the black pants is the pepper and the chef in the white pants is salt.  LOL!

Well, that's part of the conversation we had with my own chef about these this weekend when he came to town for a visit.  Little did he know I had just a few more surprises to share with him.

I was so excited that the time had finally arrived when I was able to bring out the new dishes.  Of course, I wanted to serve Spaghetti on them that night as well.  I almost hit a snag when I asked my son and his girlfriend if they would join us for dinner at home and he hesitated saying they had already eaten Spaghetti only a few nights earlier.  I was literally holding my breath!

Then, when they agreed Spaghetti would be fine, I pulled out the new dishes and rapidly went to work setting the table.

I even pulled out my forever unopened bottle of red wine for a great prop.  LOL!  Don't worry, my son decided to supply his on bottle of red wine instead, so off to the store they went.

I started our setting with my white dinner plates from Lenox.

I then decided to use my amber colored goblets because I liked the way they coordinated with the new dishes.

The black and white checked napkins were a must but the bamboo flatware was a stretch I know.  I used them anyway because they were black and the only black flatware I own.

Now are you ready to see the new dishes yet?  Okay, here they are!

They are chef plates!   All of these are also designed by Jennifer Garant.  They are also part of the International chefs collection but I think these are all actually French chefs though.  Oops!

Oh well!  I still think they were perfect for an Italian night dinner.  Honestly, the more I looked at these in the store the more I kept thinking how great they would look with Spaghetti.

So when the right opportunity finally arrived I cooked up a big pot of Spaghetti sauce...

 ...and pasta.

Chopped up a little salad....

....and baked a loaf of Garlic bread.

This is what my son picked up from the grocery store.  No particular reason for the brand other then he wanted to try it out.

So, with the table all set and dinner made it was time to dish it out.


How cute is that?

My oldest, the chef and his girlfriend certainly thought so.

Especially when they realized that the dishes and the salt and pepper shakers were theirs to keep and were going home with them!

See, didn't I tell you I figured out a way to buy these dishes without getting the Mr. upset?

I love it!  I just couldn't resist buying these chef dishes for my very own chef.
Could you?

I am so happy to finally be able to share this post with you at
I've really been waiting on this one!

Hope you enjoyed your visit here, I'm glad you took a look.  Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a great weekend Everybody!