Monday, November 26, 2018

Christmas Tablescapes: A Look Back

It's always fun to look back on how decorations evolve over the years, and looking at my tablescapes is just as fun. I like using my collection of dishes, and the holidays are a great time to bring them out, mix them up, and create tables with different looks. Here's a look back over the past five years or so of holiday tables of mine.

Oh Deer! Christmas Tablescape
I hope you'll join me the week of December 10th when I share my variation on the Christmas 2018 tablescape theme, along with a bevy of other stylists. Chloe Crabtree of Celebrate and Decorate will be hosting the party.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Rita C. at Panoply

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pheasant Merriment Thanksgiving

Fall is very focused on harvest, saturated color and warm layers, and all of these were part of my vision in preparing my Pheasant Merriment Thanksgiving tablescape I'm sharing with you today.
If you're new to my blog, I welcome you to join me, along with several other bloggers this week, all organized by the ever-gracious Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate. We are bringing you ideas just in time for gathering friends and family for Thanksgiving, "Friends"giving, or any fall-themed occasion. A complete list of bloggers participating is conveniently located at the end of this post, which links to their tables featured each day.
I am an antiques dealer who loves using tableware collected over the years, but I also enjoy adding new elements when creating tablescapes. Gathering items throughout my home, a fabric sent to me from my blog friend Patti was definitely my base choice for the table since it was perfectly sized for a tablecloth. I admire it for its duality in appearance: rich and faded, simultaneously, just as fall leaves appear on trees and scattered on the ground. As a landscape gardener, I next gathered remnants of dried hydrangea blooms and magnolia trimmings from my own yard. Cotton boll stems and little lights were mingled together with apples and pears as garnish, and the table centerpiece was complete.
My plate service begins with Lenox "Merriment" temperware from the 1970s, set on dark brown - almost black - chargers with a plank edge. Mixed metals are evident in the bronze twig flatware, while napkin rings are goldtone. Antique butter knives have handles of mother-of-pearl with sterling cuffs. Clear stemware hints at frosty mornings, just beginning to occur in our region this time of year.
Layered onto the Merriment dinner and salad plates are the classic Spode "Woodland" bowls with pheasant design on each. Napkins are also layered - sand and wine red - cotton, with hemstitch edging.
Anytime is a good time to use my vintage and antique transferware, but fall is an especially suitable time to bring out the browns, which is most of what my transferware collection is. The lidded soup tureen below was purchased from a fellow dealer at our antique mall. The ladle within was an estate sale purchase many years ago.
The covered vegetable dish was also purchased at an estate sale.
The table is set for easy conversation over the low profile of the centerpiece. Items both old and new are mixed on the table, a style I embrace fully as an avid collector and antiques dealer. I also enjoy mixing high- and low-end elements - including items scavenged from nature - to bring a homey feel to the table.
Colors on the table, all mixed and varied, are complementary of fall's spectrum, ranging from deep rose to red to rust, creams to sand to browns, gold, bronze and silver, and various shades of green.
The table, while rich in color, glows with the tiny lights. The company and food shared around the table will only make it richer and brighter.
Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving or any other late fall dinners - large or small - 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 of Thanksgiving. Each day new bloggers are featured. My appreciation goes out to Chloe Crabtree for organizing this event!





Tablescapes are but one subject I love exploring 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. 
Pheasant Merriment Source List
Lenox Merriment Temperware, Glassware - Vintage Personal Collections (Merriment available through Replacements, Ltd
Spode Woodland Pheasant Bowls - TJ Maxx
Brown Transferware, Silver ladle, Butter knives - Estate and Antique store purchases
Flatware, Chargers, Napkins, Napkin Rings - Pier 1 
Table Fabric (Covington Jaipur Kohl) - gift, Patti of Pandora's Box

Feel free to leave your comments so I'll know you stopped by. Interaction with readers is one of the things I value most in blogging. Thank you for your visit today. Happy Thanksgiving!
Rita C. at Panoply

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Before, After Putting the Garden to Bed

My Zone 7a garden has been put to bed for winter. I have many before and after photos that show one season's growth rate and how it's all pruned and ready for next year's cycle. The before photos are how the garden looked either late September or early October. The fall cleanup began mid-October after our first freeze warning, and was completed (intermittently) over two weeks. 

I'll start with something pretty in the current state of the fall/winter garden, and that's my pansies planted in early October. These replace my summer annuals, give a fresh look now, and winter over to early spring.
A before and after look of the front flower beds is shown next. Notice all the liriope has been buzz cut for winter.
Before and after of the front corner of the landscape pictured below can also be seen in the background in the above collage photo. The little green fans surrounding the concrete pedestal were daylilies received as a giveaway from Mary's blog, planted the first of October. The more noticeable contrast is the snowflake viburnum against the fence (background) are cut back about two feet.  So were the nandina (heavenly bamboo) to the left of the viburnum (not pictured). Again, the liriope is buzzed.
Before and after of the knockout roses in the front landscape beds (below).
Before and after in the courtyard: containers were emptied and cleaned, and the cantilever umbrella (shadow in lower frame) is covered for the winter.
Lavender (and climbing roses) are cut back for winter. They are sheltered in this brick enclosed courtyard.
Back in the main landscape - the west wall - before and after is seen below. Zinnias, salvia, sedum, stray black-eyed Susans and coneflowers all cut down to the ground in most cases (also four o'clocks further right, out of frame).
Here's a before and after view of the eastern landscape wall, standing on the south end, looking north. Big changes: spirea, dwarf butterfly bushes were both hard pruned, Mexican sunflowers and hyacinth bean vine on trellis ripped out (annuals), and knockout roses against wall were pruned.
Below is probably the biggest contrast in before and after: a comparison of the south end of the landscape.
The Otto Luykens are cut back all around.
The western corner perennial hibiscus are cut to the ground, as are the hostas. The hydrangeas got a hard pruning. Only three in the bed and last hard pruned in 2015, they were overgrown. It is likely I will not see blooms next year as a result (next year's buds are mostly on old wood that was cut), but it was due.
A before and after view of the center back area. Again, hydrangeas (including my limelight) were pruned hard, hostas cut to the ground. 
Before and after of the wildest, southeastern corner of the landscape: the tree variety butterfly bushes and spirea are pruned, as are the hostas. You can now see the other two season cherub statues again, as well as another group of Otto Luykens in the back corner.
Cleaning up our landscape takes about 40 man hours, but it makes spring so much easier. I have a longtime gardener friend who helps me in the majority of this effort, but I am right there with him. There was so much debris, and most of it was composted (three trailers full), but several bags (mostly containers and lavender from courtyard) were recycled by the city. Stakes and tools were cleaned, hose carts covered, and all outside water valves were turned off.
If you recall in this post, we had some pretty major summer storm damage to trees on our two riverbank lots across the street from our home. 

Tree removal work began in July, and just ended October 31 due to so many rain delays (river rising and ground saturation). See the diagram below for before and after of the six trees removed.
The remaining trees were limbed up for a clean look after. The trees with undergrowth on the left are the neighbor's.
We also had our magnolia pruned, but it remains incomplete as of this writing. The before and after as it currently looks is below. Our objective is to take the tree away from the gutter and prune about three feet shorter. Remember, we had a growth inhibitor injected earlier in summer to retard future growth.

A couple shots of my last flower bouquets of the season.
The hydrangeas are still full, thanks to dipping them in alum, a great tip I learned from Mary a few years ago.
I ditched the fern and bought a pumpkin for the front porch, and used some magnolia branches to trim it out.
The landscape before and after, standing on the southern end, looking north.
Now all I have to do is rake the leaves from the maple at the utility pole, the Japanese maple and the Kousa dogwoods. Oh yea, and the riverbank sassafras and maple.
I love my garden in all its seasons, even when it's sheared for winter. It's cleared and cleaned, with enough plants for winter interest, and all ready for next spring's growth cycle. If you're not sure of your own agricultural cold hardiness, you can check this USDA map and find yours for optimal gardening. How are your garden cleanup efforts going? Do you do your work in fall or spring? There are advantages / disadvantages to both. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for your visit today!

Rita C. at Panoply

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Holiday Booth Displays 2018

Happy November! It's that time of year when so many holidays seem to blur together. Am I right? Believe me, I feel it firsthand. The Panoply sisters were busy the week before Halloween flipping our antique mall booth displays from fall to holiday. It's a must, when you consider how consumers (bloggers included!) plan their personal decor in advance. Retail must be ready for those who are already ready to purchase for the holidays.

With that said, I want to share our Panoply booth stagings as they're set for Christmas 2018. We have what we consider four separate booth spaces on the main floor of the South Charleston Antique Mall in the way we divide and style. We tried to add a bit of holiday cheer into each one. Our last updates in styling our spaces can be seen in this post. I won't show prior photos, but you can always reference that post when I comment on previous looks.

The first of our spaces is our largest, and it was our original space rented nearly ten years ago (we started in a less trafficked area until this became available). Linens, as shown on the right edge, are a mainstay for us, and that rack is typically full of dressier table and household linens, all laundered and pressed, ready to purchase and use. The anchoring piece on the left of the space is a locked showcase of a some treasured smalls.
At the front and base of the showcase is a Christmas display of a carriage seat, quilt, ice skates, skater's lantern, and various items for winter frolicking.
In the center of our space we changed out rugs for the season, adding the thick wool, red rug. On it sits a toy carriage and doll, along with a child's tartan rolling suitcase. It's a nod to going to Grandma's for Christmas.
The setting in the back of this space includes tartan plaids outfitting the antique table and bentwood chairs sister J purchased recently, complete with a vintage ceramic tree, a bowl full of bells, and other items for holiday use.
The wall above the table/chairs has changed significantly since early fall with both a large print and mirror selling. A smaller mirror is added, along with the brass hat rack and sconce flanking a Fenton light fixture above. Vintage hats are a staple offering of ours too, and we will add some lights on this rack for a more eye-catching, holiday look next time we're in. Various prints and plaques round out the space on the wall.
One cabinet is decked out for serving up some Christmas cheer, with primarily glassware and silverplate items. I'm not sure what that floozy is doing standing beside the Madonna, it's our conundrum, but that's how we roll when styling. One sister said this restyling/redecorating effort was like hiding Easter eggs, and we both agree it's a game of hot potato as to who gets stuck holding the last item that needs a new place, given our rule of trying to never take anything (other than seasonal) out of the booth once it's in.
The curio pictured below was a recent find to help with those leftover items needing new perches in our booths. The case is actually a revolving unit with glass doors, and is currently holding several more holiday items. 
Our second space is geared toward men (mantiques), but I have to be honest in saying I really enjoy searching for and styling with the items here. So, it's not just mantiques! There's not a lot of Christmas decor in this space, though, other than a few items within the curio cabinet on the right. That may change in the coming few weeks, as more items are brought in.
During this holiday transition, however, we did condense some of our previous display and created this cowboy corner (below) on the outer left wall edge. The deer and bull horn racks came from that same estate as the furniture pieces I purchased for my dining room and shared here, and the hats, boots and framed print of the little boy smoking (my sister's finds) complement the corner.
Across the aisle from mantiques is our farmhouse kitchen and garden space. We keep our more casual linens here (added many holiday linens), and also various tools and decor which could be used in this ever-popular style.
A vintage Tom & Jerry punch bowl set, and a couple of old vintage candelabras make for a quaint, old-fashioned Christmas.
Directly across from the wall shown above is the display rack below which is made from picket fence sections with added shelves.
Bookending the farmhouse kitchen and garden space is the winter sleigh ride vignette below. You can see the picket fence at the back of the sleds, and the casual linens and rest of the wall decor in the background. The sleds and vintage tartan are resting on the wallpaper table I found a few months back, and the metal paper guides which pull out from the table came in handy to hang the skates on the lower right side. UPDATE: Both sleds sold! One sled sold within hours of us leaving the store, the other within a few days!
Beneath the table is an antique erector set from the 1920s. Hard to believe little kids were gifted these kinds of things, but it's true. Not only is the solid wood box heavier than anything most kids can carry (it took two of us to carry it!), it has razor sharp contents!
On a shutter and shelving unit which divides our third and fourth booth spaces, we have various items on the shelves, including the nativity set below.
Just on the other side of the shelving unit, this bowl of vintage ornaments sits on the edge of our fourth and final space.
The final space displays a Victorian scene, with remnants of our apothecary we set up in late August. A lot of those items sold, so we condensed what remained, and then filled in with holiday items.
Below are the scales my sister M purchased from that great estate sale we all shopped (same for the table and chairs, deer and bull racks shown earlier).
In the corner, we staged wood cutout carolers. These are actually being purged from my personal home decor.
Last but not least, a handmade, Christmas coal Santa is dressed in tattered quilted remnants, patiently sitting and waiting for those who come to the antique mall to experience our holiday spirit.
Panoply booths are located on the first floor of the South Charleston Antique Mall, 617 D Street, South Charleston, WV. It's an easy on/off of WV I-64, Exit 56. We hope you'll stop in if you're traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house this holiday season via Charleston, WV on I-64, I-77 or I-79.
Thanks so much for your readership and preview of our holiday booths. Your comments are always welcome!
Rita C. at Panoply