Monday, February 28, 2011

Break's over....and I'm back.

I took a two week blogging break to take care of some things ....meetings.....reports....Dr. appointment -- I won't bore you with all the details of that.... but there were some fun times too! And that's what I'll share. I missed you, and it's nice to be back!

Our Sunday School class has started a "pilot" of a program we're thinking of starting Church-wide next fall. We have two sets of four couples who are meeting once a month at each other's homes for dinner and devotions. The host provides the main dish and beverages (I also had a few appitizers), #2 brings salad and bread, #3 brings dessert and #4 has the devotion for the evening. Our house was first to kick off. This was the table set for six. Our dinner was lasagna, spinach salad, Italian bread and strawberry cake for dessert.

My "staged" tablescapes are usually quite full, but I went for a much simpler table setting for this dinner. I found this tealight candleabra in a Yankee Candle catalog. I filled the cups with epson salt and the tealights. Sorry that I got busy and didn't get a lit picture.

Red glasses were a find at a "pre-Christmas" open house at a local antique store a couple of years ago. Love them for all the "red" holidays.

Black and white checked napkins over...

black and white checked salad plates.

Plain white dinner plates.

Fun black iron flatwear.

We really had a fun gathering and great fellowship. Can't wait for our next dinner on the 11th. This time I bring the devotions. Have you ever been a part of a dinner group with your Church? I think this will be a good way to get to know our newer members too as we match them up with a group. One of our group is in his early 90's, recently widowed and he really enjoyed the evening out.

It's always a pleasure to have a visit from two of our granddarlings!

Although mama had to hold them still in order to get a non blurry picture. They're on the move!

This past weekend we had a gathering from work to honor our boss who retired in December. That was such a busy time, we decided to wait until after the holidays and better weather. This is a picture of my co-worker and co-party planner, Betsy and Mr. Mid-Atlantic.

I've been blessed with great bosses since I started working with the school system, but I have to admit, Elaine's been one of the really special ones. We're really going to miss her leadership.

Everyone brought finger foods to share -- this was the table ready and waiting. Grocery store flowers in pinks and greens.

Sideboard waiting for the sweets -- we had pound cake with cherry pie filling and triple chocolate cheese cake.

The kitchen table was set up for the "bar" area for those who wanted wine or mixers for drinks.

And a little coffee and Russian tea station for those who didn't.

Napkins in pinks, white, and black & white checks made a pretty "skirt".

This little white pineapple is a scented candle from Bath and Bodyworks on line. $12.50. I haven't lit the candle yet, but I love the pineapple!

A close-up of the flowers.

Antique depression glass plates.

I found this sheer overlay tablecloth at a favorite gift shop at Virginia Beach this fall -- The Ragged Robin.

Let the party begin!

A spring flower arrangement and gift certificates to several local eateries.

Many good wishes for the new retiree.

Even grown-ups enjoy "party favors".

A tray filled with "tea and toast".

Little ball jars filled with Russian Tea mix.

Little bottles of champagne or spumante.

My party assistant was plum tuckered out! Well we're caught up on what's been going on in my Mid-Atlantic I've got quite a bit of catching up to see what's been going on in your little corner of blogland! It's good to be back!

I hope Susan doesn't mind but I'm going to add this post to Tablescape Thursday over at "Between Naps On The Porch". Be sure to check out all the tables set this week for inspiration or just for fun!.

See ya!


  1. Please invite me to one of your get togethers...looks like so much fun! I wish we were neighbors so I could be like Gladys Cravits on Bewitched and just drop in!!! I guess it's best were just blog-buddies! hehehe

  2. Hi Martha! Oh, I've missed you and glad you're back. You've been playing! Love the idea of your Sunday School class dinners! That's a great idea. Your table looks wonderful. The retirement party looks fantastic too!
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. What a fun time! You have some great ideas, I love the "tea and toast" idea. So glad you are back, you were missed! Have a great week! Sandi

  4. fun, fun, fun!!!
    Wonderful post and nice party.

    Small groups can be a great way to get to know others. I haven't been a part of a small group in years. Think it's long over due.

    Thank you Dear Lady for the prayers!!! hugs.

    Thinking about you,

  5. What a fabulous job you did Martha! I am alway so impressed with all that you do and all your 'fixins'! It looks just wonderful!

  6. Gald you're back!! The table is wonderful. I just love the black and pink combo. The checks really add to it. I just have a thing for the scroll flatware, I really am going to have to break down and get some!

  7. What clever party ideas! You sure jumped in with both feet as soon as you got back! Love the tea and toast idea and the black checkered napkins are adorable!

    Sounds like your rested and raring to go!

    Hooray for you!

  8. Glad you are back and loved the tablescapes. I am sure they picked you to be the first host house because they all know about your amazing tables. Loved the pineapple!

  9. Yea! Martha's back with a bang! Two parties - you've been a busy lady. You've set the bar high for your Sunday school class! Such a pretty table, and the food sounds sooo good. What a pretty party for your retiring boss. Love the "skirt" made of all of the pretty napkins - very clever. That sheer overlay is so pretty. Everything looked beautiful, and I know your boss was thrilled with this lovely party. Welcome back to Blogville! laurie

  10. Goodness, Martha, you HAVE been busy! Your "dinner and devotions" group sounds like a wonderful idea -- and you've set the bar high for future hostesses, with your beautiful table! The party for your boss looked lovely, too!

  11. Hi Martha! Looks like you have been partying hardy! lol Love your pretty! Your assistant is a cutie! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  12. Martha, so glad you are back. Looks like you have been having a ball. I love the idea of the couples devotions. Makes for good fellowship and probably not too hard on any one couple.
    Welcome back, Ginger

  13. Girl, nobody sets the stage for a meal quite like you! Marvelous settins! I just adore the red, white and black combo!

    God bless and enjoy the day!
    So glad your back in business. place!

  14. So glad to have you back, hope things are running smoothly your way now. Your table is darling. I'm loving all the checks. What a wonderful party, you sure know how to set the stage.. love, love, love your little assistant....hugs ~lynne~

  15. Wonderful! Looks like you thought of every detail. Looks like a wonderful time!

  16. Love it all! The candle holder is a great piece. And the pineapple is beautiful! Have missed stopping in.

  17. In the food service world, they would say that you have "been in the weeds."..."Slammed."....I'd say you've been one busy woman. Great parties. We've had 'cell groups' in our church that we used to attend. It was called "Shining Knights", and it operated as your mentioned. I've heard some of these groups called "Foyer Group" and "Community". They all work pretty much the same way. We tried to be flexible for each host/hostess because some times people didn't have enough space in their home to entertain, so we'd always be just as happy if the 'host' called for us to go to a restaurant. That way no one had to feel like they couldn't belong to a cell group. Good luck with your new venture. It can be a wonderful way to get to know more people in your church. Our groups would be reorganized every four months....after each couple/person in a group had an opportunity to host. Thank you for sharing your lovely designs. Cherry Kay

  18. Glad to see you back! Loved the party.. it's all so very lovely. Black and pink is soo very pretty. Love your flowers and the pineapple too. Thanks for dropping in with your kind comments.

  19. Our church doesn't do that sort of thing but I think it's a great idea. Your table looks beautiful. Very nice party for your former boss. Love the "tea and toast" idea.


  20. What fun times you have been having! Love the black and white checks and the pineapples is great! May have to see if our BBB has one! Love the tea and "toast" idea for party favors.

  21. Hi! It's nice to have you back showing us another great tablescape. Don't you just love red and black together? What a nice group of people. I think your meetings with food and devotion are a great idea.


  22. Great ideas this week! I'm sure your dinner group will love all of the food and fellowship. Thanks for sharing with us-glad you're back!

  23. Hi lovely lady.

    Im happy to see you are back sweet lady. I also love red and black together on a Tablescape just Beautiful~~~.I hope you have a Great Day !!

  24. Hi Martha,

    Welcome back! I just love the idea your Sunday School class is trying out. That is truly a good way to get to know other church members -- good food, fellowship, and devotions. Your boss's retirement party looked very special. Those pink and white table linens really caught my eye, and I just love your sideboard and the mirror over it! It looks like you've been very busy, and I hope everything was okay at your doctor appointment. I didn't do a tablescape this week as I have a bit of a cold, but plan to be back next week. Enjoy your weekend!


  25. Martha, you've been a busy lady! Love those checked plates...beautiful table! That is a cute pineapple...I'm always drawn to anything with a pineapple motif. Your granddarlings are so precious! What cuties!

  26. WOW. You have been one busy lady, and I loved the treats from both parties. The table for the church dinner was just fantastic. I'm crazy about those black and white checks. I have seen similar and would love them.

    And I love the way you did the napkin "skirt" for that second party. I'm definitely going to use that idea. It's so pretty!

  27. We are right now part of a group of people from out church who meet on Wednesday nights. We share a meal with everyone providing part---sometimes we have Mexican or Italian night, this past week we had hot dogs and burgers. We rotate choosing a passage of scripture. We have a hand out with the scripture in 4 different translations and then we have 5 questions that we use to prompt discussion each week. It's a great time of sharing and caring.

    Your get togethers look much like ours!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment.

  28. Happy to see you back, Martha! You really know how to throw a party...looks like everyone was having a great time. Your tables are always so pretty. Your grandbabies are beautiful little ladies!

  29. Thank you so much for visiting me Martha and for your lovely comments, so nice meeting you.
    Loved the check plates, the pineapple is so cute. Your grandcuties are adorable! I can see your crazy about them, I have a couple of them too and I'm just nuts about them!
    People are having a wonderful time at your home, it sure looks that way, I would too if I was there with you. At least I'm your newest follower!

  30. HI Martha.
    Loved your black and white check and red table.
    Really nice! and looks like yall had one very nice retirement party. I bet your boss had her
    socks blessed off! Very nice of you!
    Blessings, Nellie

  31. Welcome back. Now you KNOW I loved the black and white tablescape. Looks like you have done a lot of entertaining. Have a great weekend.

  32. Martha, thanks for visiting my new blog....I read your profile and realize we have a lot in common, scrapbooking, cardmaking, and needlework. I love to smock baby dresses and sew. Your parties looked like such fun and you are a great hostess, I can tell. The crystal "ice bucket" is so pretty and I would be afraid I would break it....but then, you are using it and enjoying it as well as your guests!! Your red, white, and black table is gorgeous....and the iron flatware is just toooo cute!!!! Come back to see me, I am now a follower of yours.

  33. I am coveting your fun flatware! Being new to the advwentures of tablescaping, there are a few things that I will need to purchase. Flatware tops the list since my stepkids think that it is easier to throw it away than wash it! Grrrr!

    The tea and toast idea is too clever. I may have to borrow it!

    Thanks for visiting my new blog and leaving an encouraging comment.

  34. Your tables are beautiful and so are your Granddarlings. :)

  35. O, this is all just wonderful. I am totally in love with your black and white checked plates. COVET !! :) Everything looks just perfect. You did a great job.

    We belong to a home fellowship group and we meet every Sunday night, taking turns hosting in our homes. We ALWAYS have a meal together with each of us bringing something that fits in with what the host is having. We have a WONDERFUL time, off-the-chart good meals, and we are all as close as we can be. Most of the time there's about 20 of us and we love each other deeply. I KNOW you will love getting together with your group.
    xoxo bj

  36. Welcome back, Martha! We missed you. Looks like you had a great bloggy break. Your table looks fantastic and your grandkids are so cute!...Christine

  37. Our church has dinners where people sign up for the location most convenient. Often these include people of different faiths so we not only get to know other church members but learn of other traditions.
    Is your puppy a shih tzu? I have one, and she is the most loving little dog ever.
    I'm always glad to hear from you!

  38. Your table looks wonderful!
    Love those red glasses!
    What a great way to spend an evening with friends, devotion and food! :-)

    Smiles, Dolly

  39. Martha, I about cracked up when you said at work they could smell you before they could see you! :) I do love these burners. Hope you're having a great week.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)