Monday, December 31, 2012

RE-ceiving Guests: Jane Austen 200 year Anniversary Dinner Party



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The dinner was exceedingly handsome, and there were all the servants, and all the articles of plate which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his seat at the bottom of the table, by her ladyship's desire, and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater. 

Pride and Prejudice

I don't want to say good-bye to 2012 without celebrating Jane Austen's breakout year: 1812.  Sense and Sensibiilty was published and Pride and Prejudice was sold to a publisher and would be printed the following year.  My sisters and I are Janeites.  We love all the Jane Austen novels.  And since the Pride and Prejudice miniseries on the  A & E network in 1996 there has been a resurgence in Jane Austen popularity.  There have been big- screen movie adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Emma.  PBS & the BBC recently adapted all the novels into movies. Plus there have been updated stories based on her novels such as Clueless and an Indian version called Bride and Prejudice.  There's been a popular novel making Elizabeth Bennet a vampire killer that I read which Keira Knightley has optioned to make into a movie.  Downton Abbey is a popular series on PBS (season 3 premieres January 6, 2013) and the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith is surely a descendant of Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice.

So, when One King's Lane had some Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy dinner plates and Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley salad plates on sale, how could I resist? 


Fitzwilliam Darcy dinner plate

Miss Elizabeth Bennet dinner plate
Mr. Charles Bingley salad plate


Miss Jane Bennet salad plate

For this table setting, nothing but the finest would do.  So the chargers and napkin rings are silver plate and the silverware is sterling.  The crystal goblets are Waterford Sheila.

For the centerpiece, I used Jane Austen novels as small pedestals and then I used sterling sugar bowls and small milk pitchers as the vases for the flowers from the garden.
The tablecloth is one I gave to my mother from Switzerland.  I love the delicate embroidery.  I think Miss Jane Austen would approve.


Written by Reba

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hope you had a happy 4th of July

A friend was having a few guests over for an Independence Day dinner and I lent her the three blue checked runners which she used across the width of the table.  I loaned her some red chargers, the fireworks salad plates and the blue and red star napkins.  She had red glasses and napkin rings and she bought some red and white flowers for her centerpiece.  Her dessert was a cake I make every 4th of July, pictured above.  Its is simple to make and everyone likes it when they see it.  I just use a yellow cake mix, whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.  The cake bakes in a rectangular glass cake pan.  After it cools, I spread whipped cream.  The blueberries go in the upper left corner as the star field and the sliced strawberries form the stripes.  The first time I made this cake I was a newlywed.  We were invited to my in-laws for the 4th of July.  I had seen this cake in a cook book with sparklers.  I was so naive that I thought they were real sparklers instead of candles with sparkler effects.  I bought real sparklers which when lit spread ashes all over the cake and created black smoke in the kitchen and dining room.  Needless to say, the decorations on the cake were ruined.  The flying ashes from the sparklers burned a hole in the in-laws' countertop and the windows throughout the house had to be opened to get rid of the smoke.  My husband joked that the neighbors were going to call the fire department because of the smoke pouring out of the windows.  It wasn't far from the truth. If I had seen that amount of smoke, I would have at least called the neighbors to see if they were okay.  Moral of the story: Never light fireworks inside the house.

We hope you had a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday and we will be posting again soon.


Written by Reba

Saturday, April 14, 2012

RE-cycling: Curtain Rings to Custom Napkin Rings


ADORABLE RECYCLING CRAFT.  I went over to my friend Martha's house and she showed me this adorable craft she had just finished.  She wanted napkin rings to go with her dining room and kitchen table settings, but her color combinations are not trendy and she couldn't find ones to work.  She decided to try to make some and found the idea of using old plastic curtain rings, string and glue to turn them into custom napkin rings.  The supplies ended up being a little less than $1 a ring which was a good deal for getting napkin ring that match her setting *EXACTLY*.

GLUE FOR THE ENDS.  All Martha did was wrap the string around the ring and secure the ends with the fabric fushion liquid above.

HER FIRST COLOR COMBO.

HER SECOND COLOR COMBO. 

I told Martha these were great color combinations in general for summer and I happen to have a pack of plastic curtain rings around so I think I will be trying this project myself. 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. THE POST THAT INSPIRED THIS PROJECT:
http://www.thesweetestoccasion.com/2012/02/diy-colorblock-napkin-rings/


WRITTEN BY ELDAROSE

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Our Western Tables Settings can be seen HERE
RE-cycing projects for a Greener Christmas are HERE


Percy Jackson and the Olympians Camp Half-Blood Kids Party discussed HERE

St. Patrick's Day Table featuring lots of RE-cycled items/crafts is HERE


LINK PARTIES:

See more Tablescapes HERE

UndertheTableandDreaming












How to Nest for Less





Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Tickled Pink at 504 Main

The Shabby Nest








Stuff and Nonsense

Friday, April 13, 2012

RE-ceiving Guests: A Traditional & Feminine Table



TRADITIONAL. It feels like I haven't seen a table set like the ones of my childhood in a long time.  My mother's tables are very different from mine.  Her settings are always much more formal and traditional.  While I do enjoy more modern looks, my model for table setting goes to the formal tables my grandmother, aunt and mother would set for ladies parties, luncheons and holidays when I was a child.  When I was home for Easter, I snapped some shots on my iphone (hence the poor photo quality) of my mom's Spring china/table to share. 

THE DORIAN GRAY OF TABLE SETTINGS.  I took this picture last week, but I probably could have taken the same picture 35 years ago, too.  My mother's dining room hasn't changed in all that time.  The very feminine floral china is from Limoges.  The silver is Towle Old Master. I don't know who made the goblets.  The white embroidered tablecloth is one Reba brought back from a trip as a gift for our mom.   The silver candelabras are older than I am so they fall somewhere between "vintage' and "antique". ; )  The glass bud vases may be new in design and by "new" I mean less than 35 years old.    I wonder if a younger person would find this look appealing at all or if they would think it is horribly dated?  Personally, I think it is a look, that while not trendy, is still appealing.   When I grew up tables were very feminine because they were thought to reflect the taste and style of the hostess.  A very feminine table was the norm and I still like a feminine table with floral designs and lace.

DELICATE.  FINE. DAINTY.  Right now I am really into all things rustic and/or modern for decor and table settings, but looking at my mother's table settings over Easter, I remembered enjoying and admiring the details in a finely cut piece of delicate floral china.   I still really like pretty and feminine as a look, what about you?  Classic or out of style? I'm curious what you think.




PLATES CLOSE UP.     I think silver or colored chargers would make the table seem more modern, but I didn't add any because that wouldn't be my mom's style.  One detail I liked was how the scallop of the napkin's edge matched the scallop edging of the plates and the curve of the silver ware.   No modern sharp angles here.  I find it funny how things go in and out of fashion.  Who knows what will be in 35 years from now. 
 WRITTEN BY ELDAROSE

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You can see Reba's Pink & Green Toile Table HERE

Purple, silver and white wedding tables discussed HERE

Blue Toile & Buffalo Check Pattern Table is HERE


LINK PARTIES:

See more Tablescapes HERE


UndertheTableandDreaming





How to Nest for Less








Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

The Shabby Nest








Stuff and Nonsense