Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - 2010 review

As the year ends -- I thought I would do a "Tabletop Review" for Tablescape Thursday. I've had so much fun celebrating with you throughout the year....and being invited to your celebrations as well. So let's glance back through 2010 before we say good-bye and ring in a brand new year.....shall we?

Happy New Year! This January 1st table was so busy that I just picked the centerpiece picture of Father Time and Baby New Year. It's always fun to start a fresh new year and 2010 does hold some special moments and sweet memories for me.

My February reds were on the table for Chinese New Year....it fell on Valentine's Day this year....had a hard time picking, but went with this one just because it was a little more unusual.

I built a little Irish village on the table during March for St. Patrick's Day.

Peter Cottontail was the special April guest front and center for Easter.

May brought pretty flowers and Mother's Day.

A fun foxhunt (the fox got away) for June's Father's Day.

The Fourth of July was an old fashioned table.

How about a beach vacation look for August?

Fall colors began to appear for my September table.

A pre-Trick or Treat table for Halloween in October with the grands.

November had us counting our many blessings for Thanksgiving.

Christmas table by the tree for December.

I hope your 2010 was full of fun gatherings around your tables...special moments with loved ones and friends. Wishing you the happiest of New Year blessings for 2011 and looking forward to joining you at the table over at "Between Naps On The Porch" with our ever gracious hostess, Susan.

See ya!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Traditions and gifts

Marty says "Anything Goes" for this week's "Tabletop Tuesday"...so here I go! Be sure to visit "A Stroll Thru Life" for a wonderful visit with Marty and friends!

We've been blessed with another wonderful Christmas filled with the love of family and friends.

One of my family traditions growing up was my mother's Italian dinner for Christmas Eve -- I've carried that on as a Christmas Eve lunch of Lasagna, salad, garlic bread and my husband's sweet potato pie. We had four generations around our tables. My dad, Mr Mid-Atlantic and me, our daughter Katy and her husband Brett and his sister Rachel, and our twin grandgirls, Kendall and Keelyn. I set two tables -- this was the dining room table setting.

And this was the kitchen table setting.

This "china" was the very first set of Christmas dishes I owned. I've always loved holly, so when I found these after Christmas about 25 years ago, I was thrilled to get a box (settings for 4) at half price (something like $10). Over the years I've added more - (in fact this year I found some matching glasses on eBay that should arrive soon -- they'll be added to the table next year). We always invited my in-laws for Christmas morning breakfast and used these. At this point in life, I could probably afford to purchase a much more elegant set of Christmas dishes to use -- but these are the ones that hold wonderful memories for me....much more precious! Now my children have carried on the tradition of Christmas morning breakfast and we go to our daughter's home. (Our son and his family live in Georgia) -- I gave them both boxes of Christmas dishes when they were first married. So fun to see the tradition live on!

These were for the twins. I found these at Goodwill before Christmas last year and the Santa cups were a fun addition this year from Target.

This little centerpiece trio of angels called my name at Marshalls this year.

They're even sweet from the backside -- love those little wings...but most especially....

....their little arms wrapped around each other in love!

It was certainly a gift to have the grandgirls here and watch them open their Christmas Eve gift of new pj's -- this is Kendall.

And Keelyn...too bad I didn't get pictures of the pj's too. You can see that unwrapping is serious business!

This sweet little tin box was a gift from a wonderful friend....it quickly became a part of my Christmas decor as a mistletoe box!

And can you see that there's a new guy in town?

....yep....that would be Santa #48 for our collection! My husband's sister and husband give us a new Santa each year and Santa has put some in my stocking over the years as well. I think maybe this one is a little camera shy.

There! That's better!

And last, a picture of our White Christmas. It started snowing Christmas night around 6 and was still snowing yesterday morning when I went out to get the paper.

Best of all....I have no place to go! So I can enjoy this picture perfect snow without having to dig out....another gift!

Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas at your cottage or castle...wishing you many blessings for the New Year.

See ya!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two Thrifty Christmas Tablescapes

If you follow me, you know how much I love playing with my dishes and setting the table. I've been spending the past few weeks drooling over all the beautiful Christmas china on so many tables. I've also read some of the comments from some who have said that they didn't have any Christmas dishes because it wasn't in the budget and one who really touched my heart who said she lost all her holiday dishes in a house fire. Well about 20-25 years ago I had two sets of dishes. One everyday and my good china -- neither set were Christmas coordinating colors. And I had some serious Christmas china envy. My house was very tiny and my budget was tight. If only I knew then what I know now....I could have had Christmas "china" all along -- for next to nothing! I'll show you a couple of VERY thrifty Christmas tablescapes. Welcome to the 1st table.

My simple centerpiece is a glass globe with a red candle in it. The greenery here is faux, but in reality, I could walk out my door and get most of this for real free in my own yard. Ivy, cedar, boxwood, pine, holly -- just whatever you can find.

Here's your place. I started with a plain green tablecloth - one I've had for about 25 years or so. It's a polyester blend and washes and wears great. Very inexpensive.

The paper napkins I found at Marshalls - a package of 16 for $2.99. The flatware came from Target a couple of years ago for $1 a piece.

And now for my "china".

This is one of my favorite Christmas patterns by Spode.

And when I remove the clear glass plate....

...you can see my "china" is really paper! I got a package of 8 plates for $3.99 at Kohl's. I got my plain glass plates at GoodWill, but I've seen them at Walmart too. Again, very inexpensive.

If I could only invest in one holiday linen -- it would be cloth napkins -- they're the most afordable -- I got these 4 from Tuesday Morning for $7.99. I've put them in everyday Libby water goblets -- $1 each. A gift tag tied to the candycane would make a cute placecard.

Add something from your Christmas collection into the greenery. I collect Santas -- but vintage Christmas balls or cute ornaments would work well ...whatever you have.

This one is part of a salt & pepper set from Hallmark a few years ago.

This one came from the dollar store years ago.

I put one figurine at each place.

Wouldn't cardinals be pretty?

I really like the tree pattern on the dishes with my dining room Christmas tree.

Now for a totally different look.

This one is a casual colonial look. The red checked tablecloth came from Walmart last year -- I think they may still carry this.

A place setting for you. I think this would be cute for a Christmas brunch or breakfast -- or maybe even for a kid's table.

I used the same paper napkins from Marshalls and my treble clef flatware. I got this from eBay this year. Just showing you that everyday flatware can still look fun and festive.

A closer look at the centerpiece -- part real, part faux. Again, a green wreath, pineapple in the globe, surrounded by lemons and pomegranates with a bit of holly thrown in. This works with lots of fruits....apples, oranges, limes -- whatever you have on hand. Then you can eat it!

These little pewter covered soup bowls came from eBay a couple of years ago. Does pewter remind you of the 70's? Most of mine is from that time period. I still like it.

I found these paper plates (under glass) at Marshalls this year - 8 for $2.99.

I love the little colonial people ....

...spelling out .....

...the Christmas greetings....

....all around the plates.

This Williamsburg stamping lets us know that the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has authenticated this pattern as being a true colonial period pattern.

I used the same Christmas napkins.

This time in some matching pewter mugs. Cider anyone?

Overview of the table.

closer view of the centerpiece.

I hope you've seen a few ideas that can inspire you to set a pretty holiday table without breaking the bank or blowing your budget.

Wishing you all a most delightful Christmas with tables surrounded with that which is truly precious....family and friends, no matter how you set your table!

Be sure to visit Susan of "Between Naps On The Porch" for Holiday table inspirations and more!

See ya!