Monday, March 4, 2019

Spring Blooms Tablescape

Hello readers, hello March! In today's post I'm sharing a tablescape with spring in mind. Whether your March came in like a lion or like a lamb, today we will focus on the promise of "Spring Blooms" here at the table. Color is key!
All week I am celebrating spring tablescaping, along with a group of other stylists, hosted and organized by Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate. In planning my table today, I knew I wanted to start with my dinner plates from the MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market line. These plates were created with a background choice of white, green, blue or black. I loved the black, simply for how dramatically the [predominant] tulip bloom in blue / purple coloring stood out against it.
I kept the table linens softer, layering a pale pink linen square (with matching napkins) over a yellow damask round cloth. In coordinating drinkware, I reached for a set of vintage mugs I had with an equally dramatic orchid bloom decorating the mostly black mug. The swirl stems are antique Depression glass, with an iridescent finish. The flatware is vintage (Nobility Plate silverplate), in a delicate rose pattern.
If you notice in the photo above, the table was set originally with no placemats. It was at that point in which I wanted more color for the table to really feel spring-like. I added what I found to be the perfect placemats beneath the plates. The pink leaf tips were a common thread for the linens and centerpiece, tying them all together nicely.
The centerpiece of pink peony blooms with ferns are a faux arrangement with "acrylic" water, nestled in a clear, round (bowl) vessel.
The napkins are held by miniature watering cans, used as a place card for each setting. The salad bowls are a clear glass with lettuce leaf-shaped embossing. The salt and pepper shakers are glass with blue and yellow guilloche enamel lids.
The MacKenzie-Childs teapot in the Flower Market pattern adds yet more color and bloom to the overall table styling.
The mugs are designed with the added surprise of sipping and seeing another dainty orchid bud inside each gold-trimmed rim.
From the MacKenzie-Childs website, the description of the Flower Market line reads, "set a sunny table in glorious color, fresh from a country garden....", and that was my goal today. Spring blooms of daffodils, tulips, iris, poppies and peonies are just some of my favorites in the garden from March-May (Zone 7a). If it's too early for spring in your region, having potted blooms - such as orchids, kalanchoe, or even potted bulbs like hyacinths or tulips - is a great way to usher in color and create your own spring! Check your grocery and find many potted bulbs / plants you can later plant and try nurturing outdoors.
My table today is set for four, perhaps to be shared with three volunteers who will come to my house and help me in my move / purge. I may even let you take a set of dishes home with you for your trouble! Bring a truck, I might even let you take the table and chairs.๐Ÿ˜‰
For plenty more Spring inspiration, please see the complete list of bloggers participating in this gathering below, and links to their tables. Each day different bloggers are featured, and the links are updated to take you right to their posts. Be sure to check back to see them all. To Chloe Crabtree - a special thank you for organizing this event!

My Thrift Store Addiction | My Family ThymeMe and My Captain | Follow the Yellow Brick Home | Katherine's Corner | Twelve on Main

Tablescapes are but one subject on my blog, and you can find other topics on the main menu at the header of my blog. If you're on a mobile or handheld device, just scroll to the bottom of your page and click on web version to see the menu. You may also search topics with keywords, or by labels, both options located on the sidebar of my web page. 
Spring Blooms Tablescape Source List
As a vintage and antique wares dealer, my typical fashion in tablescaping is mixing a blend of found items with newer, more readily available ones. For your own unique styling, try shopping your local antique malls, thrift stores, or flea markets for unique additions to your table designs.
Tablecloths, napkins,  Nobility Plate flatware, guilloche salt and peppers, lettuce glass salad bowls, Depression stemware, Otagiri black orchid mugs, miniature garden pails - vintage purchases
Flower Market dinner plates, teapot - MacKenzie-Childs
Placemats - Pier 1
Silk peony arrangement in acrylic - local overstock auction house purchase

Thank you for your visit today. Your readership and comments are always welcome.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Totes #18: Urban Renewal

Hello, armchair travelers, and Happy March!  Thanks for joining another adventure recap - this being #18 - of the Traveling Totes. This group got started back in 2015, and you can read all about it at this link. My personal tales with Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C can be found here. Be sure to read to the end of this post for another great giveaway, just in time for spring!

The theme of my travel update today is Renewal. More specifically, Urban Renewal. I've been lying dormant through much of winter here on my blog and, well, it's because Mr. P. and I are MOVING - downsizing - into an urban loft. We are ready to begin a new chapter in home living.
Miss Luna C in our urban loft 
You may or may not be surprised, or think this is the ultimate in Luna C life and living. If you were paying close attention, I have been dropping hints with comments throughout the past year both on my blog and blogs I read. The process of buying and selling happened very quickly and unconventionally, starting on the day of our last traveling tote update. We received an unsolicited call from a realtor, asking us if we would be interested in selling our home. Events of both buying and selling continued to unfold throughout the holidays, and we closed on our urban loft in mid-February. We closed on the sale of our home this week, the last week of February.

We had been looking at condos since 2011, initially as a second home (in FL). Ultimately, we shifted focus toward downsizing locally, and all the signs were pointing toward a GO to seize this timely opportunity. I'm mentally ready for this, even ready to leave my beloved garden (there is a shared terrace garden at our new home!), but the logistics of downsizing are somewhat daunting to me. 

So, my friends, my travels have almost exclusively been spent in purge activity - death cleaning -  right here in my own house, running up and down from my basement to second floor, and to donation centers. Immediately following Christmas, I started organizing and separating Christmas decor. Our contract allows us to stay in our home after closing on its sale, so the purge has been intentional, not impulsive. Our target move date is no later than late May, preferably sooner. Since January 1, I have purged clothing (taken to women's shelter),
Clothing Purge 2019
paper (still more to go, but the shredding company made a house call and shred on premises!), 
Paper purge 2019 - first cut
dishes (at least seven complete sets, and 2 partial, more to go), 
Dish Purge 2019 - first cut
vintage furniture decor (much more to go!),
Furniture Purge 2019 - first cut
and shoes/purses (Miss Luna C, Supvr) Four family members grabbed some before donating the rest.
Shoe / Purse Purge 2019 in process
The irony of the shoe/purse purge was that I received an email from Benita Roberts of Chasing Quaintness - on the same day - informing me I had been randomly selected and won a copy of Marie Kondo's "the life-changing magic of tidying up". I'm still waiting on some magic in getting this purge complete!

Just a day or so after closing on our house, when the stress valve of purge activity / moving was ready to blow, our realtor texted me, offering a break with a pair of tickets to see the touring Cirque Mechanics: 42Ft - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels at our local performing arts center. Short of running away and joining the circus that day, it was the perfect antidote for Mr. P. and me, along with Miss Charley C.
Now, a quick look at our new home (listing photo, below), and I will send you off to my other traveling tribe mates to see travels much more interesting than mine, I'm sure. I'll be back - when I can - and fill you in on more details of this new adventure.

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway. Cherry Kay of Entertaining Women is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Cherry Kay's March 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this set  of adorable MacKenzie-Childs bunny candles! Hurry over now!
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been this winter? Check them out at the links conveniently located below to see. It's always fun when we come together, no matter where we travel, near or far.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Cherry Kay with Miss Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™Thoughts and prayers for our fellow toter RJ @ The Sketchy Reader,
as she is away caring for a family member! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Thanks for traveling along on our adventures. Hope to see you on our next adventure recap, June 1, 2019. Don't forget to leave a comment on Cherry Kay's blog!

Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing: Pieced Pastimes, Best of the Weekend, Amaze Me, DIDIBNOTPInspire MeMake it PrettyThe ScoopCelebrate Your Story,SYSDelightsome Life H&GGrace at Home, Vintage Charm

Monday, February 4, 2019

Purple Passion: Fire and Ice Tablescape

Welcome, readers! Today I'm sharing a tablescape I've dubbed as "purple passion: fire and ice" to warm your winter day, spark some friendly conversation and, hopefully, deliver some inspiration for an inviting table setting.
This week I am celebrating a table set for Valentine's Day, along with a group of other stylists, graciously hosted and organized by Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate. My table today is set for four, perhaps to be shared with a favorite couple for Valentine's Day, or maybe three girlfriends, a la Galentine's Day style. 
The table begins with a matelasse cloth as the base, as white as fresh fallen snow. The glass chargers are like puddles with ice rings, sitting upon placemats in regal purple. Candlelights reflected in the charger's center are subtle mood enhancers at the table.
Dinner plates are classic, Mikasa '.Magnolia'.
The lavender transferware salad plates were a vintage find last summer. They are circa 1880, made and marked Epine U & C Sarreguemines. Utzschneider and Company was a porcelain company that made ceramics in Sarreguemines, Loraine, France from about 1775. Transferware, like these plates, and majolica pieces were made by U & C in the late 19th century.
Gray napkins are reminders of typical winter skies, rolled and bound with beaded rings that mimic ice pellets. The purple stemware has a crackled base, like frozen water in winter.
The flatware is Fortessa 'Lucca', nice and solid in weight.
Candlesticks of varying heights are a mix of high and low (both in profile and price points), placed on a vintage quilted mat in the center of the table, made by artisans from a well-known WV co-op. Two silverplate birds (salt & pepper shakers) are perched nearby.
The pansy plant (from the 15thC French word, pensรฉe, meaning thought or remembrance) was simply "planted" in the circa 1880 Atkins Brothers Sheffield silverplate biscuit box inside a plastic bag. The pansy is part of the viola family, a European wildflower, and is a wonderful early spring flower which can also be enjoyed as a winter planting in Southern regions. Its fragrance is sweet, and the flower is edible. In the Victorian language of flowers, where open display of affection or love was frowned upon, the pansy was a secret courting symbol of love or admiration. I am using the term purple loosely in this case, as this plant variety shown is actually known as blue blotch. ๐Ÿ˜Š Vintage soup spoons are filled with lavender buds tied with tulle, ribbon, and vintage millinery florals.

Whether you're hosting Valentine's, Galentine's (love with your gal pals), or just enjoying an ordinary, quiet dinner by candlelight, I hope you've been inspired with even one idea as a takeaway from my tablescape today. For plenty more inspiration, please see the complete list of bloggers participating in this gathering below, and links to their tables. Each day different bloggers are featured, and the links are updated to take you right to their posts. Be sure to check back to see them all. To Chloe Crabtree - a special thank you for organizing this event!
Follow the Yellow Brick Home | Zucchini Sisters Red Cottage Chronicles | My Thrift Store Addiction | Me and My Captain

Tablescapes are but one subject on my blog, and you can find other topics on the main menu at the header of my blog. If you're on a mobile or handheld device, just scroll to the bottom of your page and click on web version to see the menu. You may also search topics with keywords, or by labels, both options located on the sidebar of my web page. 
Purple Passion: Fire and Ice Tablescape Source List
Vintage Tablecloth, Crystal & Glass Candlesticks, Center Quilted Textile, Bird Salt & Peppers, Silver Biscuit Box, Lavender Transferware Salad Plates  - Estate Sales, Auctions, Antique Dealers
Place mats, Napkins, Glass Chargers, Glassware - Pier 1
Napkin Rings - Kohl's
Flatware (Lucca) Fortessa - Sur la Table

Feel free to leave your comments so I'll know you stopped by. Please note that Google+ Support Team announced February 1, 2019 that all Google+ pages and its features are going away (or have already) by April 2019. This includes the Google profile pages and feeds, followers, + button, and comment feature, so if you try to leave a comment on my page and cannot, it is because that function was disabled by Google, not me. All past Google+ comments will disappear.

I am on the Blogger platform, and am now using Blogger comment function. If you cannot leave a comment, I will appreciate an email at letting me know. I would love for you to follow my blog by email with Feedburner subscription (sign up is on sidebar, just below the labels). Interaction with readers is one of the things I value most in blogging, and I don't advertise or sell your email to anyone. Thank you for your visit today. 
Rita C. at Panoply
(A special thanks to Christine of Rustic & Refined's Dishing It & Digging It #239 , and all the gals (Chloe, Kari, and Benita) at Celebrate Your Story #167 for featuringg this post!)

Friday, December 28, 2018

Panoply 2018: It's a Wrap!

In 2014 I started this collage photo summary format as a way to capture my year in one fell swoop, a sort of journal summary. These collages are subject matters that matter to me (and how I spend the majority of my time), and my way of remembering the best of 2018. It's been a busy year, with a never-ending goal of striving for healthy activity while maintaining a fun and organized lifestyle.
There are links back (in the captions) under each photo collage subject header: Home, Garden, Tablescaping, Travel/Tales of the Traveling Totes, Vintage Finds, Panoply Booth Displays, Miscellaneous Musings and honorable mention subject of Organization. If you're so inclined to read, you can click on the captions, each semicolon separating different posts on that header. The one marked in bold under each header was either the most viewed or my personal favorite, often one and the same of that subject. Feel free to dig in. Enjoy!  

Before, After the HolidaysSunshine is a Great Inspiration!Bunny LoveLoving New Old Finds at HomeInspiration from Subtle Seasonal SignsCelebrating Fall Outdoors: Porch and PatioDining Room Furniture Finds, FlipsBountiful Baskets of FallChristmas Journal 2018: Home, Garden

A Garden of a Certain AgeEarly Summer Garden: Transformation, Tips, TricksSummer Garden Glamour ShotsArt Walk in the GardenMid-Summer Garden Glimpses, MaintenanceSeptember Garden: Beauty in the DetailsBefore, After Putting the Garden to Bed

Celebrating Life and Love with Noritake AzaleaSt. Patrick's Day Greenhouse TablescapeMajolica Spring TablescapeBunnies, Bounty, and Bouquets Spring TablescapeThis Table is For the Birds!Seaside Beachcombing TablescapeMorning Glory "Bee"ing Served AlfrescoFowl and Feather Fall TablescapePheasant Merriment TablescapeChristmas, Naturally Tablescape

Travel, Tales of the Traveling Totes
Raining Cats and Dogs: Totes Tales #14. GiveawayRegional Taste SwapGrand Cayman Photo JournalParadise: Tales of the Traveling Totes #15, GiveawayTales of the Traveling Totes #16Tales of the Traveling Totes #17

Vintage Finds
Too Late to Classify Vintage FindsEarly Spring Vintage FindsVintage Finds 2Q18Vintage Finds 3Q18Great Estate Sale Finds

Panoply Booth Displays
Panoply New Booth Vignettes Early 2018Summer Booth Updates 2018Panoply Booth Displays: Fall TransitionsHoliday Booth Displays 2018

Miscellaneous Musings
Misc. Musings No. 12Misc. Musings No. 13Misc. Musings No. 14Misc. Musings No. 15
This one gets its own title for 2018. I made a proposal in January 2018 to purge personal inventory of vintage finds. In April 2018 I finished the project with this purge recap. It was mentioned throughout the year in various posts, whether it was in Musings (see No. 12 under that subject above), Vintage Finds or otherwise, but it was a big deal for me. I have a feeling 2019 will be the year of the Death Cleaning.

Thank you to each and all of my readers throughout the year. Your comments, emails and other social media interactions are part of what makes my life a happy life. I love all the friendships gained through blogging. 
Cheers to the New Year!
Rita C. at Panoply
NOTE: I created this post, as I said, to organize my year of blogging. It's also the last step I take before ordering my annual "yearbook" from Blog2Print (no sponsorship or affiliation). They typically have a coupon code around this time each year for 30% off a book format* of your blog posts, so I'll be watching for that. If interested, I wrote about the process in 2016 (here), with some tips on how to compile your own book.  It's pretty easy to do, so I wanted to pass it along to my readers. If you sign up for Blog2Print's email, you will receive subsequent coupon offers throughout the year. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings No. 15 - Holiday Edition

This version of miscellaneous musings is brought to you by all the sights and sounds of the season that have caused me to either smile, shake my head in wonderment or even get mad, sometimes two or more of those reactions simultaneously. If you're new here, these musings have become a sort of 'thang' here on my blog, and you can see the string of 'em at this link. Remember, my blog is non-revenue producing, so any links or brand mentions are NOT sponsored, other than me sponsoring them!

It's so fun to see how people decorate their yards for Christmas, and the trouble they go to. Check out the one below, spotted in my neighborhood. Here, we have the Holy Family, the three wise men, Yoda and the two weiner dogs. Even the North Star couldn't guide this crew.
December 6 is the feast of St. Nicholas. Growing up Catholic, my parents celebrated our stocking gifts on this occasion. We received tangerines, nuts, and usually one small gift. Well, in a family of nine kids, my parents improvised for stockings. My Dad was a WWII vet who lost his leg just below the knee from a mortar explosion in 1945. Our stockings were my Dad's stump socks! They were pretty awesome, actually, held a lot, and were quite sturdy. Hey, we were onto the natural, farmhouse look before it was popular!

Here is a picture of my Christmas crack for this year that I had to search and stock up on. Target came through on the Limited Edition Peppermint Oreos and the Planters Brittle Nut Medley. I found the nut medley two years ago and bragged how good it was. We couldn't find it last year. Sweet stripes are cheaper at WalMart, but Cracker Barrel has them too. We are crazy for sweets in this house! Other sweets arrived as gifts too.
A Grinch realtor in Baltimore has stolen the show with the house listing shown below.
Well, my niece in Austin happens to be a realtor, and she happens to love makeup and costuming (that's her, below, with her baby girl, my great niece, last year).

I told her she could SO do that!

Meanwhile, I said I was purging some of my Christmas stuff this year. Hahaha, if you read my last post, you can see that I failed miserably. I did sell a few things that were cumbersome to store (see photo below), and I've marked down the wooden porch carolers and sled. One daughter took a tub full of things, and the other daughter took just a couple items.
If keeping decorations was as easy as the magical suitcases in the Hallmark movies, there'd be no issue with storage! Seriously, have you watched in where working girl (usually) goes to small town, gets stuck by bad weather or by not closing a deal, and magically, her carry on suitcase can produce an entire week's worth of clothes, not to mention numerous pairs of boots and matching coats?! We watch the Hallmark movies and laugh each time we see the many cliches in every one. Well, here are a couple of games to play while watching Hallmark movies when you spot any and all of the cliches. 

Speaking of drinking, I've been listening to the Pandora station, Christmas Radio. Some of those old classics have all kinds of swag, you can just hear it! Dean Martin sounds drunk, probably was, in just about every song on the album below:

I just love the musical arrangements behind the voice. These were the voices of my parents' generation. Let's not get started on the whole "Baby, It's Cold Outside" crap. 

Y'all! We got a new bed! Oh, yes we did. Not that our 20 year old mattress that looked like a roller coaster track with its dips (top L frame in collage, below) was needing to be replaced or anything.....but I was pretty excited when those Sleep Number guys took that thing out and replaced it!
It's still new, like a toy. We bought split king mattresses with a flex base (cyber Monday deal), and we're still figuring out how to improve our sleep scores that it records each night (yea, there's something under that platform base that records your every move, creepy). So far, my best score was the one below, after about one week of adjusting the settings and finding the right sleep number, pillow combination:
You enter your preferred number hours for sleep (mine is 9). It tracks time in bed if you're watching TV or reading (that shaded area on the left), and then scores you overall. Lol, then it coaches you with commentary. I have already found the "SNORE" setting handy with the remote, and altering Mr. P.'s bed position without him even knowing it! Our settings work independently of each other. I love it. My back and neck do too. This purchase was ten years overdue.

Speaking of recording your every move, do any of you have Alexa, Google, Echo or any of those other voyeuristic gadgets in your home? Well, while shopping for the family white elephant presents, we decided on today's latest and greatest version of the keyfinder - the Tile* - for Mr. P's family. My family had two of them in our 2017 exchange, and they were the most-stolen presents.
We also ended buying a package set for ourselves that had a gift with purchase - the Google mini home. It's a first for me/us. Just like the bed, it's kinda creepy. "Hey Google, play Pandora Christmas Radio" is about as intimate as we've gotten so far. But did you hear about Rocco, the African grey parrot who was placing orders with Alexa from Amazon? You've gotta read it - too funny!

* Side story right up there with "Aunt Bethany Saying Grace" in Christmas Vacation:  As I said, we had two tiles in our grab bag exchange last Christmas with my family, with 34 guests. Someone also brought towels as a gift. When people were trying to steal the "tile" and calling out, "where's the tile?", one brother-in-law replied, "the towels are over here". Everyone burst into laughter, a true Christmas Vacation moment.

In my last post, I mentioned creating a crafted wreath that I'm using on my sunroom dining chairs this year.
What I didn't tell you is that those suckers required hours of cutting the threads, drilling the holes (70 of them!), and hot gluing them together (6 hrs to be exact, but who's counting?). I am one who appreciates the value of time, and that is why I don't craft or sew much anymore (but am willing to pay for those who do!). I can do spreadsheets all day long, though, and tell you the net value of selling one of - any of  - those things. So, yea, spreadsheets are more my thing than crafting these days. 

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the leaves to fall on my Japanese maple tree in the landscape. The other day we were taking our daily walk, and one neighbor was on a ladder, shaking his tree to make the leaves fall, lol. I immediately thought of the Steve Miller Band song, "The Joker" (♪♫"I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree"♪♫). ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

Okay, readers, that's it for the holiday edition of miscellaneous musings. I'll be back on the flipside of Christmas, but until then, wish me luck with an expected 38 family guests for Christmas Eve dinner. Here's hoping no one gets sick before the dinner is served (or use it as their excuse for getting sick after), all the commodes flush, the geese don't destroy my riverbank lawn parking (๐Ÿ’ฉ), and a good time is had by all. Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a truckload of batteries to keep my little light strings running.....and me too!

Merry Christmas!
Rita C. at Panoply