Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tutu Fun! Danse Macabre Tablescape

Welcome to my blog, Panoply! Today I am setting the table fit for Halloween, but with a twist (and maybe a turn). Taking a page from my past as a ballet dancer, I had tutu much fun with this tablescape, appropriately titled "Tutu Fun! Danse Macabre Tablescape".
The YouTube video performance by the  l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (link below) is for your listening pleasure. You may want to click on the video link and open it in another window to enjoy the sound while I tell you about my table. The piece is called, "Danse Macabre" by the composer Camille Saint-Saens.
Back in the late 1980s, our Charleston Ballet founder and artistic director / choreographer (Andre Van Damme, mentioned most recently on my blog hereand here) created a piece for a late October performance called Danse Macabre (Fr., Dance of Death). The dance was choreographed to the music which you hear in the video link above. We were costumed in solid black unitards, completed with hoods, masks, gloves and pointe shoes, with white felted skeleton patterns cut and sewn on the fronts only. We danced under black lights, on a stage set with tombstones, fog and eery lighting. The shot below is that of a newspaper photo in print from that time (we were expressly prohibited to take our own photographs at that time!). We rose from the dead (macabre) and danced through the darkness. It may have been whimsical from the audience perspective, but it was frightening as a dancer to be en pointe under those circumstances! Fortunately, no bones were broken.
When I saw the salad plates (pictured below) at HomeGoods in early September, I clutched them immediately (there was only one box of four). I knew exactly what I'd be doing for a Halloween table, and I had everything else I needed to complete my vision.
As you can see from that newspaper photo, our costumes were more like those pictured on the Homer Laughlin appetizer plate below.
However, it was 'tutu' tempting to add the pink tulle skirted skeleton plates into the mix.
Danse Macabre Pique Arabesque
Have I 'piqued' your interest?
Danse Macabre Pas de Valse
Then let's waltz through the other elements I added, such as the spider web net table topper on the white base cloth.
Danse Macabre Saute Crosse Derriere
Not to jump (saute) too quickly, but I'd also like to point out the bone ivory flatware.
Danse Macabre Brise en Arrière Glissade
Now that the individual place settings are behind (en arriere) us, we can slide (glissade) through the rest of the table design. For instance, the table runner you see is vintage, piece-quilted placemats positioned end-to-end.
Crystal candlesticks of varying heights add a bit of drama, for "it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness", as the saying goes.
And for those who are superstitious, it would be far better to have crackled stemware than cracked mirrors, yes?
American Brilliant Period Crystal Pitcher
Things are brilliantly clearer to me now. Halloween tablescaping can be tutu much fun!
MacKenzie-Childs inspired champagne / wine bucket
Not that I have a checkered history with Halloween, but it has never been my favorite holiday. I don't care for the passing out of candy (another plus to loft living!), but having a brew or other drink with a neighbor while doing so could certainly make the drudgery of the task much easier!
In fact, having a meal at this table with a couple of neighbors might be the perfect antidote to my loathing of past Halloweens. Shall we dance and / or dine?
Tutu Fun! Danse Macabre Tablescape Source List
Chargers & napkin rings, Courtly Check - MacKenzie-Childs
MacKenzie Childs inspired champagne / wine bucket - Patti Pultorak, Pandora's Box 
Dinner plates (Mikasa Magnolia), crystal candlesticks, Cabin Creek Quilt placemats - vintage finds, estate sales
Wicked salad plates, tablecloths - HomeGoods
Three skeletons plate - Fiestaware
Ivory flatware, Sophia - Horchow
Black ruffled linen napkins - French Garden House
Purple crackle glassware - Pier 1
I'd like to thank our designer / organizer, Chloe Crabtree, of the blog Celebrate and Decorate, for bringing this week's host of stylists together for many more tables of inspiration for the Halloween holiday. Please enjoy more creative takes on Halloween tables via the complete list of bloggers below, with links provided. For your convenience, I will update the links daily, so be sure to come back each day.

Although I don't much care for this holiday, as you can see, it only takes something small to inspire having fun with decorating / tablescaping! Do you go all out for Halloween? Do you have trick-or-treaters in your home or in your neighborhood? I would love to hear from you and your thoughts on Halloween decor. I try to respond to each and all. If your comment shows up as 'no reply blogger', be sure to check back on this post in case I don't have your email to send a direct reply.

Now, waltz on over to see more from the bloggers listed above!
Thank you for your visit today! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Feline Fondness for Fall Tablescape

Welcome to my blog, Panoply! Today I'm experimenting a bit with some fall decor elements in a new tablescape I'm calling Feline Fondness for Fall.  I love fall and I love just about anything leopard.
When it comes to fall fashion, several staples may come to mind if you ask any trend-conscious man or woman: blazers, scarves, jeans, boots, etc. I'm no expert, but I bet leopard is considered a secret weapon in any woman's wardrobe, particularly in fall and winter. So, is there any reason to doubt a little leopard can be that same secret weapon in home decor as well? Or even in tablescaping? Raise your hands if you agree! 🙌 A little leopard can go a long way, just like a red lipstick, and it's my springboard in today's table. 
First, a thank you to Chloe Crabtree, from the blog, Celebrate and Decoratefor hosting and organizing several bloggers each day this week, to bring you an entire week of fall tablescaping ideas, all listed at the end of this post. 
Typical of my personal style, I always like to mix vintage items with anything new, whether it's fashion, home or garden. I also have no problem mixing high- and low-end elements with no bias toward either. Today's table is all that. While the leopard salad plates are the new found fun items on the table, there's plenty of other well-loved elements being incorporated too. See source list for resources.
The tablecloth is a humble dropcloth, and the plaid, mohair lap throw-used-as-runner is a vintage estate find. The napkin rings are old belts, recycled, with added grommets. The napkins, chargers, dinner plates and flatware are all recent years' retail purchases, as are the velvet and felted pumpkins and napkins on the table.
Mid-century wooden candle holders and a silverplate pitcher sit comfortably with Art Deco period salt & pepper shakers. The little acorns are new this year, felted, with real acorn caps attached. The vintage wine sipper acts as a catchall tray for the acorns, but could just as easily serve its intended purpose with wine being served.
Vintage crystal is original 1970s from Lenox, part of my earthy registry choices way back then. Water goblets are interchangeable as wines, and tall glasses are in the same pattern.
Since adding the vintage Japanese folding screen to the dining area wall, the space feels much more inviting, especially for a table setting.
As takeaways for guests, I purchased several vintage, stamped spoons with messages appropriate for the guests and the fall theme. One example is pictured below, next to the felted acorn: "what you think you become". Think about the message intended there. These are great conversation starters, and you can order any message you'd like.
I hope you've found a bit of inspiration for ushering in fall and finding a way to perhaps use some of the things you may already have to create your own style. The source list below gives you a better idea of how I mix things up and, in this case, added the proverbial "red lipstick" of the leopard plates to build upon.
Feline Fondness for Fall Tablescape Source List
Dinner Plates - Pfaltzgraff Filigree
Salad Plates - Ballard Designs
Chargers, Flatware - Pier 1
Brown crystal glasses, goblets - Lenox Impromptu
Napkins - French Garden House
Velvet Pumpkins - LoveFeast Shop
Natural (dropcloth) tablecloth - Lowe's
Wool Plaid Runner, Wooden candlestick holders, silverplate pitcher, wine sipper, salt & peppers - Vintage Finds
Be sure and stop by each day for updated links below, taking you directly to each blogger's table setting with a their ideas of a fall themed tablescape.

Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment. I appreciate each one of you, and getting to know new visitors is a fun part of blogging. Hopefully, you'll return again. Thanks so much for your visit and readership today.
Rita C. at Panoply

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Cozying Up the Condo

Summer to fall transition in our new condo has me honing my nesting instincts. Most of summer was all about settling in, furniture placement and organizing closets. Now it's time to have some fun in decorating. I'm cozying up the condo in anticipation of fall's arrival. While some of what I've been doing (pillows, throws) is for seasonal change, much more (wall art) is for enhancing the overall decor, which will likely stay through the seasons.
Today's post gives me the opportunity to share with you the little creature comforts I've been adding to the condo, filling in what were previously some blank spaces. Thanks to Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home for organizing a bounty of bloggers who are doing much the same kind of seasonal decorating in their homes, you'll find lots of inspiration in the links provided at the end of my post today. These are bound to help you jumpstart your own creativity for fall in your home!
The first and only pumpkins to arrive on the scene in my home for late summer, early fall transition will greet you at the front door entry mat.
Inside, a freshening up on the sectional comes with a mix of older pillow covers, together with a perfectly coordinated pair of lumbar pillows I found on sale recently at Pier 1. Their colors match a throw I already had almost exactly (see lead photo in this post).
These pillows aren't just for show either. I use them for back and leg support!  And pillows rotate around from place to place in my home with the seasons. What was previously on the sectional stays for fall, this time on the Parsons chair behind the sectional.
Little things like antique, wooden croquet balls are suddenly elevated as seasonal transitional showpieces in a quadruple silverplate bowl (antique estate and auction finds).
A West Virginia potter's piece with signature maple leaf design works especially well for fall.
The wall behind the sectional leads to two additional rooms on either side of the central fireplace niche pictured below.
The 5" original sketches are by a WV (now NJ) artist/friend. They are my state outline (WV) and my state's official tree (sugar maple) leaf.
While we're in the great room, I want to show you the Japanese byobu (a folding screen) I mounted on the wall behind our dining area, below, as viewed from the sectional.
I have owned this screen since 2007 (estate auction purchase) and am just now hanging it! I found an art gallery in Honolulu, HI (specializing in Asian art) which sold the mounting clips that solved my biggest dilemma - how to properly mount a folding screen of this size. 
On the table currently is the vignette pictured below (normally on the glass top, but placed on a tablecloth to eliminate glare). The quilted runner was purchased from a WV artisan, the antique dough bowl at an estate sale, and the bouquet of sunflowers inside are faux.
Sunflowers on the kitchen counter (real) and a MacKenzie-Childs teapot are other welcoming visuals seen as visitors step inside our door. The framed prints on the wall are foods among the flowers, our main food groups as I like to refer to them: fruits, veggies and ice cream (the latter being Mr. P.'s main food group 😉). These are vintage cross-stitched finds recently purchased at an estate sale.
Sunflowers are also in my laundry room, which I have decorated with mostly garden themed items. In a basket on the counter are my melamine plates I created with pictures from my garden on Shutterfly (mentioned and shown here, here, and here). Late summer blooms are featured.
In my office, I hung my vintage Art Deco framed needlepoints (estate finds).
This room carries a distinct Asian vibe with furnishings, and the Asian art vase now holds cotton bolls and pheasant feathers for the summer to fall transition.
The bookcase in my office has a gathering of my favorite things: a vintage mannequin head form with Art Deco period beaded skull cap, a Parisian-themed child's purse on hatbox, a couple of my antique trophy collection, along with a treasured antique lion's head embossing seal (which reads, "ST RITA CIRCLE NO 45 INST MAR 28, 1915, NATIONAL CIRCLE DAUGHTERS OF ISABELLA"). The shelf framed art is a unique, androgynous Art Deco figure, handmade of paper and folded satin (estate purchase).
Even the fire exit in our condo has a seasonal transition, a sort of back-to-school / library feel. The jib door holds various books, while the framed art includes a pencil sketch of my undergrad alma mater (by local artist), with an Andrew Wyeth lithograph, Early October, on the wall beside the books. I've held onto the Wyeth litho since 1989 and never hung it, just stored it.
The master bedroom is getting cozier too. The quilted wall hanging is yet another item I've had, this one since 2001, now taking center stage on the wall behind the bed. A WV artist created it in 1999.
The nine botanicals on the side wall are my most recent estate acquisition. I am pretty excited about these. They are 1885 original chromolithographs by German botanist Otto Wilhelm Thome. They were all professionally matted and framed recently, very tedious for me to hang, but I am in love with the end result.
Having these in the bedroom gives me another sense of garden zen in my surroundings. For some reason, the fig illustration was what grabbed my attention first at the sale. I don't really know why, but it speaks summer to fall transition perfectly in my mind. While the prints themselves do have some foxing, the left side matte is just glare from the light in the room when I took the photo.
Though I'm not quite finished hanging art in the master bedroom, I am happy with the cozy factor progress with pillows, throws and lighting.
I also swapped the grey flannel chair pictured above into the bedroom, and took the leather barrel swivel chair previously there into Mr. P.'s space. You can see the before looks in this post, here. His room is the least finished (no hurry), but still very cozy for watching TV. I have ideas for his space that I still hope to persuade him to go with.

It'll be a little while before I go all out with the pumpkin patch I've accumulated, but I gathered most of them into my dough bowl for a look-see of what's to come.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your readership. I love reading your comments too, and I try to respond to each one. If you don't receive a direct email response from me, check back and see if I didn't leave a reply here on this post. Some who leave comments have a "no reply" when I get notified, so I may not have your email to reply directly.

Be sure to check out all the links below for more inspiration!

(A special thanks to Debra at Common Ground's All About Home Link Party #5, Rebecca at Zucchini Sisters' Celebrate Your Story #197, Kathy at A Delightsome Life's Home and Garden Thursday, Amber at The Yellow Brick Home's Thursday Favorite Things, and Suzanne at Pieced Pastimes' Saturday Sparks Link Party #340 for featuring this post!)

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