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An Almost-Christmas Morning Breakfast


People always ask me if we really eat at the tables I do.

Of course, we do! At least most of them. I especially enjoy it during Christmas when the whole room glows with white lights.


I am a very early riser ( 4 a.m. today, usually 5:00 a.m.). My husband is more normal and likes to sleep until about 7:30 or 8:00 a.m.. That works great because I like a good two hours alone when I get up.

This morning I prepared the dining room for a nice big Sunday breakfast of eggs and hominy.

I quickly found some pink dishes to match the tree
and did a fast set up. Even though there was just the two of us, I took an extra few minutes to use cloth napkins and tie a pink Christmas ball around them.


I do love hominy fried in a little butter with salt and pepper. . . not the grits, but the whole kernels of hominy. I have not had it in a few years. Yesterday my Mom mentioned that she made some for my Dad and I suddenly had to have some, too.

I would have taken a pic, but my camera battery is charging. If you have never had it, check it out. It's a nice replacement for hash browns for breakfast!

A Fruit-Studded Christmas Table

I love to use faux fruit on my tables. These pears were used in the centerpiece and then for more emphasis I placed one perfect pear on each salad plate. That's the beauty of using faux fruit--it's always perfect.

I thought the silver candles lacked in "oomph", so I changed them out for finials.

The finials worked perfectly and gave just the bit of "oomph" I thought the table needed. I hated how those pears photographed so yellow. If I used a flash the picture was ruined with prominent yellow pears.


This year those same pears are used in this garland decoration. I have painted them a bronze color. You may have to click the picture to see them.

I really like the bronze color so much better.

No Time for Tables This Week

Sorry, it's been a while since I've posted here. I have decorated 11 Christms trees in the past week. Nine at home and two at work. I've been posting about it all on my main blog. You can click this sentence if you want to go there.

I am planning to do a holiday table soon.

New Duds for the Dining Room Chairs


I spent the day cooking a mini Thanksgiving meal. I set a nice little table for just the two of us. I posted about it over on my main blog, Perennial Passion.

While setting the table I got the idea to sew two napkins together to make a chair back cover. It looks like a wrapped gift, doesn't it?

It actually has some cattails in the center of the ribbon which helps to give an impression of autumn.






Anyway this little item gave me an idea to make some longer coverings.
I was down on the floor cutting in between my meal preparations.


I didn't have a pattern, but they were easy to make. I had to think a little to figure out what to do around the end arm chairs, but that, too, was pretty simple.

Here is a peek at what they look like.
It's just the back because I am saving the full reveal for my holiday tablescape. I think I am going to get a lot of use from these. The silver color will be quite versatile.

I can see a new passion developing. I bet within a few months I will have many different sets of duds for my dining room chairs. What fun!

A Hunk of Squash, Red Pepper and Clove

a pair of scissors, a metal skewer and one toothpick (nearly hidden under the red pepper)

So what do you think I am going to do with this odd assortment of items?

Skewer up the squash and pepper, flavored with the cloves,and grill it for a little snack and then pick my teeth clean with the toothpick?

No, that would be way to predictable.


Got any other ideas?

Give up?

OK, I will show you...............







I bet you never would have guessed this, would you?
LOL.
Isn't he just adorable?
He would be perfect for a Thanksgiving table if you had planned to serve that squash. If not it would be a waste to buy so many squash just for the turkey heads.

I saw this idea someplace a while ago. I can't remember where, but I kept it tucked away in my brain. Yesterday at work the cook was cutting up squash & red pepper and I asked her if I could have these little pieces.

I disclosed my little baggie of company property to The Boss before I left, who raised an eyebrow in question.

"Times are tough at Zoey's house," I said. "You know what you pay me. This is all we can afford for dinner."

He just gives an incredulous shake of his head and walks back into his office. LOL. I love to work in such a fun place.

(I have not yet done a Thanksgiving table, so this is repost from my main blog from
'06).

Black and Yellow Fun Tablescape

We had a birthday party at work today where the client hired a decorator who did this beautiful table.

It's all black, yellow, white and polka dots. The cake was white with black polka dots.


The contemporary orb centerpieces on each end helped to carry out the circular theme as did the boxes covered in polka dot paper that were used as pedestals for the candles.

I am a little concerned about that yellow ribbon burning. When I left an hour ago everything was lit. I hope someone is keeping an eye on those!

I loved this big tall centerpiece.

How about the yellow boas on all the ladies chairs? All the ladies are expected to wear them during the party.
Every person also had a pair of black sunglasses and black/yellow M&M's that were personalized with the birthday lady's name. The sunglasses were used as place cards.
What a fun party. The champagne toast will be served in battery operated glasses that shimmer with rainbow colors. Our servers will push the little buttons on the bottom of each glass to get the lights going, then fill with champagne and bring them all in . I wish I was there to see it.

They should be dining on their prime rib right now. I do hope everything goes well and that I get good comments on my follow up call tomorrow.

Mini Desserts


I am quite enchanted with tiny little desserts.

Recently our Food & Beverage Director started serving mini desserts in the restaurant. They are so darn cute.

While looking for bases for my cupcake cloche, I came across some tiny little liqueur glasses and decided to make something out of a cake I had in the refrigerator.

I cut two little strips of the citrus cake and stuck them in the glass.

I melted a teaspoon of orange marmalade and spooned it over the top.

Since it was Halloween, I had some mini KitKat bars and I split one in half and stuck it in the glass.

YUM!

It is just big enough to satisfy a sweet craving, yet small enough that you aren't wasting a ton of calories. I think it would be a great way to serve dessert at a dinner party. You might even make two or three different minis and serve them all. Your guests would get a small dose of three different desserts. How fun would that be? They would also be great on a Christmas buffet alongside the other regular sized desserts.

If any of you make any, please let me know what you made. I love to get new ideas!

Counterscape

Sometimes I just don't have the time to set a full dining table.

It was a very busy hectic weekend getting all the deck planters cut down and ready to retire for the upcoming winter.

I took some of the flowers that still looked nice and made this arrangement at the end of my kitchen counter.

My mother-in-law gave us some nice red "torpedo" tomatoes and I incorporated them with my onions, squash, pumpkin and turkey.

I will enjoy this "counterscape" for the next few days.

If you don't have the time or inclination to set a full table, you, too, may enjoy just creating a little bit of autumn appreciation on your countertop.

Fall Tablescape on the Deck

What beautiful weather we had this weekend. To enjoy the last few warm fall days, I decided to rearrange the deck and set a cozy fall dinner table.

Since there were only two of us, I used my small weathered white wooden table and two metal chairs. I put the chairs on each end, which left the center under the table open and empty. Since we did not need that space for our feet, I put one of my Tropicanna planters dead center to fill the space.

I used my Maple leaf dishes. I love these dishes and try to use them as often as I can during the autumn season. Earlier today I was at Walmart and they had these green foliage napkins marked down to $1.00 each. I spent just a few moments debating whether to buy another set of napkins. For only $6 for 6 of them, how could I resist?
It just happens that they work great with my green salad plates and my 1970's-era avocado green goblets.

My recently-completed orange/yellow/black table runner also worked nicely. I am glad I can use it for tables other than Halloween.



The centerpiece was my faux pumpkin filled with flowers from the deck, a sprig of burning bush and a couple sprigs of Maple leaves in their fall glory.


I scattered more Maple leaves around the table.


I also scattered a few autumn-colored kisses. They were for dessert.

Guess what we had for dinner?

TACOS!

LOL. Some people might think I did a lot of work for a taco dinner, but it didn't take that long and it was a sheer pleasure to create this table.

Pink Christmas Table

Since my dining table is currently covered by a quilt in progress, I have no settings to show this week. So I thought I'd share a few pictures of my tables from last Christmas. It's a bit unusual since it's pink. But as you can see with this daytime view, the Christmas tree in the dining room is also pink.

Here it is a night with a big Margarita glass full of pink and clear marbles as the centerpiece. The Margarita glass is flanked with crystal angel candleholders. I have scattered a few big glass ice cubes just to pick up some sparkle.

The chairs have gold stockings with elves peeking out or sitting on top.

All in all it was a fun romantic holiday table.

Halloween Table--Test Run

Since I already had this pumpkin centerpiece filled for the weekend table, I decided to test my Halloween runner to see which dishes I may use in October.

These bright green dishes I bought last year are just a tad too bright for most of my tables, but I think for Halloween, they work nicely to give a little punch to the table.

I used a golden orange marbled glass charger, black octagon dinner plate, & green salad plate. I put a clear glass plate on top of the green to tone it down a bit. I think the little ghost gives a playful touch.


I finished making the table runner just a few days ago.
I think this setting will work pretty good. I may try to find some more green accent pieces. Something like salt/pepper shakers would be nice, though I don't think I have any. I have plenty of time to think about it. Right now I will be removing everything from the table so I can use it to pin my last side of binding to my almost-finished (yippee!!) quilt.

Fall Tablescape #1

Another piece of fabric inspired a table. Because quilting is my #1 hobby, I have a LOT of fabric. I always buy 3 - 5 yards of fabric when I find it at a highly discounted price.

I was sewing a quilt block with this fabric, when I suddenly thought that it would make an interesting table cloth.

So before I cut any more of it, I took it to the dining room and tossed it across the table.
I thought I had some dinner plates that would work nicely with it. I must confess that I do not remember all the dishes I have. I would venture to guess that I have at least two dozen different patterns of dinner plates. I was thinking of something in the purplish/burgundy color.

I didn't find any dinner plates in that color pallette, but when I came across these Hull dishes, I thought they might work


quite nicely with these caramel marbled chargers. Aren't they lovely? It's a shame that most of the charger gets covered by the dinner plate.


The full place setting turned out to be this:
The napkin was almost a perfect match to this pumpkin-filled floral centerpiece. It has fresh flowers and allium seed heads that I painted black.
I used amber-colored glassware.

I first tried a live zinnia atop the napkin, but it was too small, so I used these faux sunflowers.

It's definately beginning to look like fall in my dining room!

Turquoise, Cobalt, Hot Pink and Gold Tablescape

Earlier today I brought out this fabric to test it for a table runner binding. It did not work for the binding. When I went to put it away, I admired the print and wondered if I had any dishes that would work with it.

I threw it on the table and went to my dish storage cupboards.

What a pleasant surprise to quickly find these:


Turquoise, gold and cobalt -- all the colors in the fabric. The turquoise handled bowls are very old McCoy pottery pieces which I just love. The plates are just Wally World purchases. I always check Wally's markdown aisle and often pick up a new color of plates there. Usually I will just buy the dinner plates or the salad plates and mix and match. I find an eclectic table much more interesting than a matchy matchy table, don't you?

I went out to the deck and clipped a handful of flowers. I love summertime when I have everything I need for a centerpiece right out on the deck. I just needed to find a vase. I didn't have to look far.

I decided to use some capri dot glasses that were right in my cupboard for vases. These glasses are from the 1950's. I love these, too (I guess I just love a lot about this table).

I like floating one pink star dahlia in these short glasses.
I think it turned out very summery looking. It will probably be my last summer table for the season.

Let the Speeches Begin

In honor of the start of the democratic convention, I have made a quick table change using the Patriotic table runner I just finished yesterday.
The red dahlia floating in the bowl is also reused from the chicken table bouquet I did Saturday.

I am sure I will be doing one or two more Patriotic tables before the November election.

Rooster Tablescape


I was inspired to do a rooster table by this country creamer and two blooming Rembrandt dahlias on my deck.


Since the centerpiece would be rather rustic, I chose this blue bandanna tablecloth.
Red chargers would work with the red dahlias I used in the centerpiece and I decided that Bob Timberlake's 'Ella's Rooster' plates would be used, since they had all the same colors. I pulled a couple of roosters down from above my cupboards to use with the floral centerpiece. I am very happy with the color coordination of the flowers ,the dishes and the roosters.
I used four different colored bandannas for napkins.


This table was very quick and easy and will work great with the chicken I am planning for tonight's dinner.
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