Thursday, September 29, 2016

England Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape

Welcome, readers! Welcome Autumn! I'm glad you're here today for my seasonal tablescape, which is set in my dining room (versus my more typical tablescaping in the sunroom).
England Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Place Setting
If this is your first visit to my blog, you should know I love using vintage pieces I collect to do my tablescapes, and my dish collection runneth over!  Though won at auction several years ago, it is only this autumn that I have been inspired to set a table with this china. The turquoise, brown, gold and cream mix on the china being used - England's Crown Ducal in the Atlanta pattern - has always appealed to me in a classy, traditional way.
Twig Flatware in Bronze Finish, Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Plate Stack on Distressed, White Wood Chargers
As a collector and seller of antique and vintage goods, I often fall prey to fostering my finds, maybe a little too long. I love vintage china, flatware, and linens, but I also love tabletop serving pieces and accessory items. Not only that, I still enjoy adding a few current items in my mix. For this tablescape, the flatware is a new addition for me. The handles mimic the look of twigs, in a bronze finish. My blogging friend, Susan at Between Naps on the Porchis responsible for inspired me to buy the flatware, as she has similar sets that I admire. The flatware alongside this china, together with the distressed wood chargers, seemed fitting for a nice autumnal display on the wood table. My traditional wood table shall forever remain in its natural finish, never painted, as long as it remains in my possession.
Overview of  Autumn Tablescape Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Elements
My table underpinnings consist of a wool felt runner I already had, which is embroidered with oak leaves and acorns. Vintage brown napkins are folded like a turkey's splayed feathers in the water goblets. The centerpiece is a pumpkin assemblage, designed and created by my blogger friend Patti at Pandora's Box. I simply cut magnolia stems from the garden and arranged them at the base, adding baby boo pumpkins around it, as well as at each place setting. Writing each guest's name on the baby boo with a gold or bronze liquid pen makes for an easy place card.
Wedgwood Covered Tureen with Ram Head Handles
Other notable serving pieces added to the table include a Wedgwood covered tureen with ram heads as handles. I have a fairly good size of antique and vintage ironstone/creamware/pottery collected, and this is one of my favorites for its unique design. My favorite pitcher in cut crystal is also used at this table, another of my vintage (estate) finds. It works alongside my brown crystal water goblets (Lenox), and clear crystal wine glasses (Longchamp), both sets vintage.
Key Tabletop Accessories for Autumn Crown Ducal 'Atlanta'
Mixing old with new elements is easy to do, and mixing metals is something else I find easy to do. Along with the bronze finish flatware, two silverplate items - a water pitcher and smaller, covered tureen - are used on the table, as well as the candlesticks, which are brass (as is the chandelier). A couple of sterling serving utensils are set with platters in the china pattern. The turquoise covered butter dish is depression glass, and works with the color in the china's band. The cream pumpkin tureen is another newer item, a retail find last year.
Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape in DR with Reading Chair in Corner
Because our dining room gets used infrequently for dining, I made ours serve dual purpose by placing a leather wingback chair in the corner, near the window. A small table, big enough for a candlestick lamp and coaster, makes it a great place to read.
Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape in DR with Reading Chair, Storage Cabinet
My dining room also provides some storage for dishes, all with vintage furniture additions over years of attending auctions. Among those items are the wood inlaid cabinet beneath the mirror (where the ceramic rooster sits), a French vitrine in the corner across from the wingback chair (stores most of my sterling serving collection and other metal pieces), and in the other corner of the mirrored wall is a bar cart. I use the cart for displaying some of my serving pieces and seasonal decor.
Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape in DR with Storage Cabinet, Bar Cart
The dining room is adjacent to the kitchen, separated by a service door that swings. We keep it open most of the time for easy traffic flow in our floor plan, but the photo below shows it closed. The small wooden piece in the corner of the room is a vintage, 3-tiered muffin stand.
Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape in DR with Swing Door, Muffin Stand
This room's warm rose wall color provides a nice ambience for evening dinners, especially when candlelight is used with a dimmer switch on the chandelier.
Crown Ducal 'Atlanta' Autumn Tablescape in DR with French Vitrine in Corner
After the tablescape was struck, the runner and centerpiece remained on the table, and the pumpkin tureen rests on the demi table (a folded game table) along the wall in the photo below, not previously shown in this post. You can also see a better view of the French vitrine in the photo below.
Autumn Dining Room Decor
Although our most typical style of dining is very casual, either at the breakfast table or in the sunroom of our open floor layout (or out in a restaurant!), every now and then the dining room is used with company. When I do use the dining room, I like to dress it fittingly.
Thanks for your visit at the table today. I invite you to browse my menu bar of topics at the top of my blog and, if you find you have similar interests, I'd love for you to come back. I hope you feel welcome, and leave a bit inspired. This week I am joining all the bloggers conveniently listed below for you to simply click on to see a plethora of autumn tablescape ideas. A huge thanks to Chloe from the blog Celebrate and Decorate for organizing and hosting this roundup!

I am dedicating this blog post and tablescape to the honor of fellow blogger, Pat Freymuth, of Back Porch Musings. The blogging community has lost a great voice in the world of classy, traditional, lifestyle blogs, as evidenced by Pat's home, her tablescapes, and her personal style. Pat fell ill just a few short months ago, and I just learned a couple days ago of her untimely passing. Pat is, undoubtedly, now making her way through halls and rooms of sheer beauty and ultimate style in a heavenly space, her forever home. Farewell, Pat, you will be missed, yet remembered as one always true to herself! 

Autumn Tablescape Blog Hop Schedule

Everyday Living | My Kentucky Living Blog | Starfish Cottage | Up To Date Interiors | Twelve on Main 
Life and Linda | CoziNest | Ramblings of a Southern Girl | The Little Yellow Corner Store | Casa Watkins Living | Celebrate & Decorate
Home is Where the Boat Is | Belle Bleu Interiors | Dining Delight | Rustic & Refined | Sweet Sensations 
PANOPLY (you are here!) | The Painted Apron | Exquisitely Unremarkable | Flourish & Knot | Little Bits of Home
(A special thanks to Kathryn at The Dedicated House for featuring this post on the Make It Pretty Monday Party #195!)
Rita C. at Panoply

Friday, September 23, 2016

Early Fall Home and Garden Snippets

Truth be told, I was ready for fall before we left for our great American road trip in mid-August. Obviously, Mother Nature was not. Nonetheless, I put away my hummingbird feeders just before we left, and even brought the yard furniture and umbrellas in. Once home, I quickly changed out a few seasonal vignettes, both outdoors and in, so I could keep the feeling, even if only in my mind. Finally, it's fall.
Pumpkins were purchased the first week of September. I buy at least one mum in bud stage, and then plant it mid-November, when I typically remove the pumpkins from the porch.
A few pumpkins were added to the garden as well. Otherwise, things are quite messy in the garden by this point.
The Mexican sunflowers did NOT disappoint! Each place where I planted them (three), they grew taller than my 6' brick walled fence. I will have plenty of seeds for next year!
Happily, I could see them serving the birds, bees and butterflies too. I even saw a hummingbird on them after vacation, more than a month after I took the feeders down.
Much work needs to be done to clean up the garden, but not until it cools down. Inside, though, I played with textiles, dishes, and a few other items for an early fall flourish.
The pillow cover that looks like a miniature yo-yo quilt was purchased on our trip while shopping the Sundance Outlet in Salt Lake City. It reminded me of a collage of fallen leaves. It's made of raw edged circles of different fabrics, stitched at center like buttons.
I changed up my sideboard in the sunroom for my first fall seasonal display.
Just a few other items were sprinkled around areas of the house which see higher traffic, either in passing or by actual usage. The breakfast table....
....the dining room.
Fall is here. Let's do cozy, shall we?
I'll be participating in a blog hop of autumn-inspired tablescapes, September 26-30, hosted by Celebrate and Decorate. I hope you'll come back and see another new tablescape of mine on Thursday, September 29, as part of that series. Thanks for your visit today!

Happy Fall, Y'all!
Rita C. at Panoply

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall Tablescape: Cornucopia, Canyon, Currier, Color!

Some of my favorite things about fall include cooler temperatures (even if only in the mornings and evenings), a clearer blue sky than the blanket of summer haze, and more intense color, caused by a natural combination of the slant and brightness of the sun, changing leaves, and the last hurrahs of the garden.

My tablescape today is the compilation of all these things:
Cornucopia, Canyon, Currier, Color!
I was happy to return home from a recent cross-country trip, and slip into the mood for fall. As part of that prelude to fall, I wanted to create a tablescape of my interpretation of some of the best of the season, a cornucopia, if you will.
The wicker cornucopia (which I already had) started with a simple fresh bouquet of flowers and greens cut from my garden: Mexican sunflowers, butterfly bush, periwinkle, white lavender, and Otto Luykens foliage. I added simple fruit - orange, pear and apples - to the mix, along with Indian corn, a few miniature pumpkins, and nuts gathered from daily walks, and it casually became my table centerpiece.
After nixing several choices from my stash of vintage textiles, I finally settled on a pale yellow damask cloth as my base, and used the flip side of the handsewn, spiral runner I purchased last year and used in this post.

Many of the sights we took in on our trip included some of our National Parks, including the ever-popular Grand Canyon. It was by accident that I discovered, earlier in our travels, one of the souvenirs I knew I wanted from this trip. It was a set of Pendleton-USA's National Park series jacquard napkins; specifically, those inspired by Grand Canyon National Park (one of the four available designs and a park which we planned to visit). BAM! They were available at the Canyon Village Market! Rich in color and texture, I knew they'd make the perfect accessory to the table I had in mind. The brass napkin rings were a great purchase from blogging friend, Diana, of Adirondack Girl at Heart's Vintage Shop.
I pulled out my vintage Currier and Ives American Homestead series china (manufactured 1950 - 1986). Each piece within the place settings  (along with the serving pieces) are titled differently, and each title depicts familiar scenes of working families' homesteads (see photo below, with those titles on various pieces). I bought the china from a neighbor's yard sale, and used only a portion of it to set a prior table in July (see those posts here and here). Many of you commented on your memories of this china in your own households; my mother had it too. :)
For place markers, I picked up pine cones from the neighborhood and stood them in copper peat pots. Name cards can easily be tucked between the cone petals.
The wood-like texture of the chargers are faux - an inexpensive Pier 1 sale purchase, as are the golden amber glasses (acrylic!). The flatware is vintage Oneida (1945), in the Bordeaux pattern, yet another nod to the harvest season with grape clusters on the handles.
Once completed, there was something very satisfying in the play of color and textures of this tablescape for me. It definitely was a good springboard for adding a few more touches of fall which soon began to crop up through the higher trafficked areas of our home. Those changes will soon be seen in a post to come.
Whether you're embracing changes in the season indoors or outdoors, I hope there's a sense of inner peace in whatever you're doing and wherever you are.

Thanks for your visit at the table today. I hope you leave a bit inspired, and feel free to leave a comment! By the way, I am a no-revenue blog, and no compensation was received for mention of any products used in this or any other tablescape I create for my blog posts.

(A special thank you to Kathryn at The Dedicated House "Make It Pretty Week #193 , Diana at Vintage Charm #50, and Sharon at Blue Willow House for featuring this post!)
Rita C. at Panoply

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Miscellaneous Musings No. 4

It's time for me to do another dump of random things that have been filling my pre-frontal lobe of short-term memory. I did a brief research on where this random stuff is stored, and that pre-frontal lobe appears to be responsible for my very active, sometimes overactive, brain.

I mentioned in my last musings I like and notice signs. Pictured below is yet another sign I noticed, when dropping off a package at my daughter's home. The sign's on her front door (to which her 10 year old nephew noted, "hey wait, you sing and dance". Yea, and I bet she does a little of the other, too.
A sign of the season....puttin' up hay....Hey!
Field of Hay
Another sign of the season...haulin' the hay (as captured, going down the highway, tethered, on a flatbed trailer).
Tractor Trailer Load of Hay
Which reminds me of this hilarious video I saw recently. If cats said "Hey!" instead of "Meow". Watch, and be entertained.
I caught this display (pictured below) when my sisters and I were antiquing in July....I think maybe the booth vendor was struggling with the styling here, do you agree? The sex, the season, and the items for sale....what?? It was good for a chuckle.
Train Wreck of a Display
Speaking of chuckle, when my sisters and I are together, we almost always have more than one 'pee your pants' laughing episode. In the video below, I'm reenacting one of those moments. As soon as we pulled into the driveway of sister J's house on our last visit in July, she came out to greet us, waving, and then did this (watch, it's only 4 seconds):
Ohmygosh, we just about died laughing. Just one of the many times in those two days. Sister M and I typically have at least 1 or 2 of those same kind of moments when we're restyling our spaces at the antique mall, too.

On the topic of gardening, I could pull weeds, truthfully, every day of the growing season, and still never be finished. My husband helps me pull them, too, and it's become a bit of a ritual, if not compulsion, almost daily. There is one thing that lightens us up in the process, though. I cannot tell you how many times we may go out, pull weeds and overlook this one particular type (pictured below, among the garden plants and then against the wall).  One day those suckers may be 2" high and, the next day (especially after rain), they'll be nearly 2' high, no kidding! We often play a little game of it, quizzing each other on, "where's the weed?" in a particular bed, to see if it's as easily overlooked by the other, as it seemed to be for our own (lack of) observation.
Do these weeds make my butt look big??
Where's the Weed?
Here's a bouquet of weeds Rose of Sharon that sprouted from last year's seeds. Remember, when I cut that shrub down in March, I said I'd probably still have seedlings for years to come. I was hoping I'd be wrong.
Rose of Sharon volunteers
And what about kudzu? Holy cow, it's like something out of a sci-fi movie in this neck of the woods AND city. The pictures below were taken from the passenger's seat in the car, and that stuff is everywhere!
Kudzu Monsters!
Kudzu Highway
Back to the subject of compulsions, ...I admit it, I have my fair share of quirks, and so does Mr. P. The Maxine cartoon had one recently that made me laugh:
"There should be support groups for women who can't put their dishes in the dishwasher dirty."
Guilty, as charged. My son-in-law once told me washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher was like wiping your butt before you take a crap. He may have a point. I also read  - somewhere - that a dishwasher actually performs better when you put the dishes in dirty. Sometimes I don't run the dishwasher for a few days, though, and I can't stand the thought of food on the dishes and utensils that long. For more on Maxine's creator, John Wagner, and how she morphed into such a character, click here. It's interesting.

Here's another thing that demonstrates mine and Mr. P.'s quirky sense of order (below):
Straight line
See how nice and vivid that stripe is painted on the road's edge? That's right in front of our parking pad. (The faintly visible 8 on the road is another story, another day). Now, look at this one (below):
See where the stripe gets painted on the grass? That's a neighbor's, just beyond ours. Although we don't have a grass edge on the side with the parking pad, we do have grass on the opposite side of the street. But we don't have painted grass. Nor do we have random weeds growing between our concrete and asphalt seams. That's because Mr. P. meticulously weed eats the grass away from the street and finishes the grass cutting with a blower, so that when the road does get striped, it won't be on grass. The city striped later than their normal June date this year but, thanks to our compulsive nature, we stay ready. :)

Seems Mr. P. is among those guys who know their wives are going to take pictures of most everything, but I don't necessarily do it for my blog. I've just always taken a lot of pictures, whether it's at the antique mall, my garden, decor changes, travel, etc. Now, it's every time I make a meal, he says, "aren't you going to take a picture?" lol.
Cheddar Bacon Chicken Ranch Pasta - Simple to Make!
Truth is, the real meals never look as good as the tablescape glamour shots, for which I'll go to such lengths as climb ladders or straddle a bench for the perfect overhead view. I've nearly gotten caught up in a ceiling fan in the sunroom, and attacked by wasps outside. Here's an outtake from that alfresco dining experience a few weeks ago (below). You know, one of the ones where you hold your camera out, overhead, and hope you have the subject centered?? Obviously, my aim was a bit angled toward my feet.
Little did I know there was a wasp's nest under the corner of that bench. When I picked it up by the underside to move it, out they flew! I banged my knuckle up pretty good bad as I flailed my hands, air Ninja style, and hit it on said bench as it dropped. Then I declared war on the wasps, and got out the Raid. No dishes were harmed in this scene (it happened as I was breaking it down), only my hand was collaterally damaged. It looked like I had a boxing glove on afterward.

Never mind the hands, did you like my sandals? They're Chaco brand (no compensation here, nada), and I've been getting a lot of mileage out of these this summer! They're great for garden, water, or adventure (hiking) with their nylon web straps - but the soles are like earth shoes from the 70s. Remember those? Very comfortable, and I even walk several miles at a time in these. But, let me tell you....they took me almost an hour when I first bought them to get the straps situated just right. They are totally connected throughout the footbed, and when you pull one strap in one place to loosen it, it tightens in another.  Cause and effect, baby.
The 4th of July typically means fireworks, but this year one local guy apparently decided he was going to have his own his car. I know this story could have had a tragic ending but, fortunately, it didn't. So, after reading it (article link in caption), it struck me as funny on several angles.
Vehicle Fireworks Incident
One angle: notice the sign that reads, "DEAD END". Second angle: the story recounts the driver as noticing smoke coming from the floorboard. I had this vision of the Flintstones peddling their feet on the pavement through the floorboard, making sparks. Third angle: the story mentions a nearby building, a car wash, was partially melted as a result of the fire. Obviously, the car wash was not running at the time.

My neighbors - both sides - had their own fest of fireworks right on the riverbank on the 4th. Once lit, they looked and sounded like they were exploding right out of my attic! I found myself reacting much like most dogs.....very anxious and stirred up, and wanting to bark.

Speaking of dogs, I have several granddogs - three, to be exact. A lot of my blogging friends have grandbabies, but not me. I have granddogs. Wanna see my very social granddog at his favorite place in the world, doggy daycare? He even made their Instagram account, he's so sociable. And handsome!
Handsome Granddog
Here he is again, with a new (to me) and fun app called Prisma, in a mosaic finish.
Prisma Effect
Finally, here he is with all his buddies, on a different day:
He loves his friends.

Don't we all?

Mr. P. and I have been on a Great, American Road Trip (GART) through most of August, and I've accumulated so many notes, I may just have to draft a special edition of musings for that 6,000+ mile trip sometime soon. Just one example: suffice it to say, I really worked on my public restroom muscles on that trip. ;)

So, what random thoughts do you have on your mind? Add them to my musings with your comment!

Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing: Amaze Me, DIDIBNOTP, Show & ShareMake it PrettyThe ScoopVintage Bliss Tuesdays, Thrifty & Vintage FindsCelebrate Your Story, Let's Talk VintageTalk of the TownSYCDelightsome Life H&GTOHOTVintage CharmFoodie Friday & Everything ElseFNF