Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Florentine Tablescape

We are having a small dinner party this weekend for our "couples" book club. We love getting together with a small group of friends to share our lives as well as thoughts about what we've been reading. The book we chose for our friends to read and discuss is a classic, I, Claudius  by Robert Graves. It is about the Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and finally Claudius. Well, I couldn't quite come up with a Roman theme for the party , so I'm going Italian. I've pulled together several things that I think look quite elegant.

On our trip to Italy several years ago I bought several tapestries at the San Lorenzo market in Florence. I've used one as a table topper and turned it on a diagonal.

I've used gold chargers, Wedgwood White dinner plates and hand painted salad plates. Each plate has a slightly different motif.

 I'm using my sterling flatware made by the Italian silversmith Buccellati. The pattern is Milano. I've always considered it to be classic and timeless. Simple white linen napkins are dressed up with gold beaded napkin rings.

For a centerpiece I filled an Italian cachepot with Christmas ornaments that have yet to be put away! Maybe I'll swap them out for some flowers by Saturday!

 Iron candle holders with some gold beading adds a little sparkle. I've placed them on my vintage Florentine trays, which you can read more about HERE.

And some vintage ruby red goblets add even more richness to the table.

For dinner I'll be serving turkey tetrazinni,  
lasagna florentine, caesar salad (of course) rustic Italian breads, assorted cheeses and Nutella pound cake and gelato for dessert. I'll share recipes in a few days! 
 I like to join these parties

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Frenchy Postcard Pillow

My brother got married this past year and his lovely new wife suffers from allergies, particularly down pillows. So they were cleaning out and redoing all of the throw pillows in their house and they happened to toss them my way! I came back from our visit at Thanksgiving with several bags full of down pillow inserts. Now that the holidays are over, it's time for some sewing projects.

Of course, I turned to Debbie over at Confessions of a Plate Addict for some inspiration! Here is her version of a Pottery Barn pillow that she shared awhile back.
 So I made a copycat of a copycat.

I printed off the postcard images onto iron-on transfer paper, trimmed the images then ironed them onto plain muslin. Then I top stitched the "postcards" onto some ticking fabric that I had in my stash. 

Here is my version, looking very fresh!

Gotta go, I've got more pillows to make!
I like to join these parties

                 Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cookie Buffet

Candy buffets have been popular for several years now at weddings and I've put several fun and colorful ones together. A new trend is a cookie buffet. Actually these have been popular for years being a long standing tradition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now, I grew up in Pittsburgh but moved away as a teenager. I don't remember this tradition, but others have assured me it started there!

Another dear friend had a son getting married over the holidays in California and she and her husband hosted an informal open house the beginning of January in Arizona. They chose to do a nacho bar, a cookie buffet and a hot chocolate bar. I volunteered to help set up and this is how the cookie buffet turned out...
I made a chalkboard sign for the table.

 The bride's colors were turquoise and red so we tried to stick with that.
 I did a mixture of cake plates and glass canisters for the cookies,
 and made labels for each flavor.

We did ten cookie varieties - chocolate chip, lemon bars, ginger snaps, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, peanut blossoms, iced sugar cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, dark chocolate white chip and pirouettes. I recommend planning on 3-4 cookies per person.
Here I am all set up and ready for guests. This is the kind of dessert buffet that is fairly easy to pull together if you like to bake - or have friends that do!

I like to join these parties