Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Garden Friends Christmas, 2012

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.

Tomorrow morning the Garden Friends Bible Study group will gather around my tables to celebrate the most important birthday of each and every year.  I'm so excited for them to walk through the door and sit at my tables.  I've had a wonderful time preparing special tablescapes that I pray will honor them.  I hope that each one of them will return to her home and feel that she was the guest of honor.  (Photo intensive post...enter at your own risk.)

I found a bright sunny morning when I came down the hall to give Dickens his breakfast this morning.  I grabbed my Nikon to capture some light filled shots of my tablescapes for the Garden Friends' Christmas luncheon.  I've set two tables for 17 guests.

I've enjoyed using lots of shimmery apple green in my Christmas decorating this year.  A determined sunbeam seemed to say, "Here, let me make everything even more bright and shiny for you."

 Even Nana's antique silver chandelier is dressed for the occasion.  The canopy of shiny green is simply picks laid across the interior arms of the fixture.  The ornaments added a nice pop of Christmas red.  Tip:  The ornaments and the picks don't have any significant weight.  I try to "keep it light" when adorning the chandelier.  The fixture itself is so heavy that I try to avoid adding excessive weight to it.  Safety first!

 The glittery apple green reticulated ribbon is probably my favorite element in this centerpiece.  I used three pieces and "rolled them" into loose loops.  The ribbons are anchored by the red "quilted" cachepots, found at a local florist.  They were quite inexpensive, and I really like the diamond pattern.  Tip:  I bought ten of these.  I'll be hosting another large luncheon for my sorority sisters in October, 2014.  I thought that these would make great centerpieces for that occasion and many others.  Currently they are scattered in different places throughout our "Christmas house."  A pair of mirrored place mats creates a nice reflection.  I tucked four of the Lalique Love Birds into the design...just because I like them.

 The clear glass hurricanes were bought at Michael's a number of years ago.  They are still in stock, and they are very inexpensive!  The cream colored pillar candles are simply wrapped with a peppermint striped ribbon...left over from last year.

The glitz and shine continue on the buffet.  You should see me...I'm covered with glitter!  It may not all come off until Easter!

 Who knew how often I would use the Apple Green Bormolio Glass Charger, bought on clearance at Gordman's.  Thanks, yet again to Alycia of TABLESCAPES AT TABLE TWENTY-ONE.  Alycia provided what may be the 'tip of the year.' I use these chargers often.

My guests will dine off of the Royal Worcester "Regency" dinner plate, an eBay find.

Making an encore appearance, the King's Crown Tiffin Thumbprint Ruby Flash Plate will once again accommodate our dessert... 

...which will be served in the individual lidded dessert compotes.  The apple green linen hemstitched napkins are rolled into a beaded napkin ring in red and green.  I like the way that they pop against the Williams-Sonoma White Linen Hemstitched Tablecloth.  Do you see the square crystal salt cellar just above the teaspoon?  These belonged to my friend's mother-in-law.  My friend brought them to me as a gift.  I told her that I would hold them and use them until she decided that she wanted to use them after all...or one of her sons wanted to use them.  I am honored that she entrusted them to me.  My mother-in-love's Reed & Barton Francis I silver flatware is such a blessing for the times that I entertain larger groups. She was an amazing hostess, and I was blessed to learn so much from her.

Today, the Waterford Simply Lime seemed an obvious choice for my color story.  The Tiffin Optical Gold Goblet was acquired through eBay.

Makes me smile.  Let's go into the living room, and I'll share some pics of this table's "little sister"...The games table is also ready and waiting for our guests to arrive...

Come on in!  

The centerpiece for the games table is the only significant difference in the two tablescapes.  This is an old Cooper Brass Hurricane that I have had forever!  This was on of the first decorative pieces that I purchased when we bought our first home...many, many years ago.

The candle is actually glass, with an indention that holds a tea candle.  The greenery is, again, simply shimmery green picks that I have loosely fashioned into a wreath around the base of the hurricane.  Easy peasy!

Done!  I wiah that you could join me...

...We'll dine "tree side."

I captured some candlelight shots of both tables last night...  

When I think of candlelight shots, I always think of Bill at Affordable Accoutrements.  I miss him...Come back, Bill!

I am so blessed to call these precious sisters in Christ my friends.  They are one of the most special gifts in my life.  I'll be back next week to share my tablescape for my beloved family.  I pray that you will know a peace-filled Christmas surrounded by family and friends.  We have all witnessed the breaking of so many hearts in the past week...in the passing year.  I pray that we'll embrace each of the people that God has placed in our lives...some of them are easy to love...some of them take a little more effort.  I pray that we'll seek God's reconciliation in fractured and painful relationships.  The time to build or rebuild relationships can be so fleeting.  I don't want to waste a moment.  I know that in my life, I have never regretted choosing to take the high road...no matter how contentious the relationship.  I've often regretted taking the low road.  Think about it.  What if sweet Jesus had decided that we weren't worth the pain that He endured for us?  I can't even wrap my mind around the despair that would invade my heart.  I pray that we'll focus on the multitude of gifts and blessings that God has unwrapped for us in the person of His Son, Sweet Jesus, Lover of my ragged soul.  Merry Christmas, my dear blogging friends.

Wednesday is the 40th edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".  I'm excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable for TUTORIALS, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!  
Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH."   Hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

When I think of December, I think about the day that I married Sweet Mister...this week, we celebrated our 44th anniversary.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts (even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy), I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there!  

You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!            

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