Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Diving into Summer Tablescape, with a Side of Patriotism

Welcome to my blog, Panoply! Today we are diving into summer, with a side of patriotism, in a tablescape that symbolizes each. Summer in America, with the traditional peak holiday being Independence Day (July 4th), is a time when we typically celebrate both our freedom and leisure activities. While this year may mean more staycations, we remain steadfast in our values of freedom and leisure time.

This table was initially conceived with the salad plates purchased last summer. Shopping sales after Christmas as well pre-COVID fleshed out my ideas for the table earlier this year.
Vintage postcards on the place settings satisfy the vintage and antiques dealer in me, and add the 'just right' amount of patriotism to an otherwise mostly blue & white table.
Something different for each place setting.
Of course, summertime is a time for diving into pools, lakes, rivers and oceans. 
Inspiration hit me like a wave when an artisan friend of mine shared one of her fused glass creations (below) on Facebook in February. This serving platter traveled from Arizona to West Virginia to take center stage on my table. 
My friend was originally inspired by these two pictured below. They are salad servers she purchased as mementos from a European vacation. I was lucky enough to find a set willing to swim across the ocean from France, just in time to meet their match on the table!
They make me smile. In fact, the retail shop from where they are sourced - Pylones - has as its tagline, "Createur de Sourires" (creator of smiles). 
Here comes the sun!
We are all set for diving into summer, with a side of patriotism. Let the fun begin!
I want to thank Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate and Andrea from Design Morsels for co-hosting this Patriotic summer table blog hop. The list of tablescapers participating in this roundup, along with their blog links, is here for your convenience. Be sure to check out all the other stylists in the list for more summer and patriotic table inspiration.
Panoply (you are here!)

For your convenience, below is a list of the elements used on my table, and the sources (no affiliations or sponsorship for me, just information for you).
Diving into Summer Tablescape Source List
Tablecloth - (Kate Spade Charlotte Street) - HomeGoods
Napkins (Santorini), Pedestal (Royal Check) - MacKenzie Childs
Woven Jute Placemats - Kohl's
Galvanized Chargers - Hobby Lobby
Blue & White Ticking Plates (Laura Ashley Blueprint Collections) - HomeGoods
Blue & White Salad Plates - Big Lots
Water Stemware (French Bee La Rochere) - Sur la Table
Stemless Glassware (Blue Bubble) - Pier 1
Ivory Flatware (Sophia) - Horchow
Pewter Napkin Rings, Postcards - Vintage
Whirligig Swimmer - Eddie Bauer Home
Glass Platter with Swimmers - Artisan-made - Mary Nunn
Salad Servers (Quelle Salade 50th Swimmers) - Pylones (Colombes, France)
Here Comes the Sun brimmed hat - gift
While we've delayed any and all plans for a vacation this year, I'm curious as to how are you celebrating your leisure time this year? Most folks I know are postponing trips in hopes that fall will prove a better time for travel, while getting home projects completed, and creating magazine-worthy gardens and landscapes. Are you living your life pretty much as normal, or are you a bit guarded in your comings and goings? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for your visit today. Whether you're a longtime reader or new visitor, I appreciate your stopping by. Tablescaping is one of my favorite hobbies I share on my blog. You can check out my drop-down menu at the top of this post (desktop) to see other topics within my blog, or scroll through my archive or subject labels on the sidebar. If you're on a handheld device, just scroll to the bottom and click on 'view web version' to see the menu (at the top). Whether you subscribe for post updates (signup is just above my profile picture on the sidebar) or just occasionally visit, I hope you'll return again soon. Stay safe, and be well.
Rita C. at Panoply

Monday, June 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote, and a Giveaway

Welcome to the 23rd episode of the Tales of the Traveling Tote! Nope, no travels these past three months, sorry. But, if you want to read all about escapades BC (before corona), you can go here. While travel has been put on pause, and certainly life as we knew it BC, let's add a little fun with a giveaway! Be sure to read details near the end for our gift for one of our readers.

Just after our last post on March 9, Mr. P. had a surgical procedure (kyphoplasty) to help ease the pain from the compressed vertebrae he sustained from his fall in January. Our lives were already put somewhat on pause at that point in January, and I played nurse to Mr. P.'s restricted mobility. After his surgical procedure, he had almost immediate relief, and although he endures some discomfort after sustained activity (I told him, "welcome to the club"), we are back to walking our daily 3 miles - thankful! 

We honestly have not been to much of anywhere, other than my trips to pick up groceries ordered online.

Little did I know my typical germophobia of being in a hospital on that day in early March would go exponential after that, but here we are, almost three months into a pandemic. {sigh}
I could post a floor plan and show you how I've been from the garage to the kitchen to the living room, office and bedroom.....you get my drift, I'm sure. Yea, we've all been taking those trips.

I even put my totes away and opted for a hands free crossbody I bought a couple years ago from a Michigan female entrepreneur, K. Carroll Accessories. It was one of Oprah's 2018 favorite things. It's called the Harper, and one option besides the strap is a carabiner clip I can attach to my belt (no sponsorship, just an item I love). Check it out in the video below. You can order your favorite team colors too.
I have spent an extraordinary amount of time cooking and baking in the loft during COVID to minimize our outside contact. We didn't do any curbside meal pickup for our first 39 days of stay at home, and I was more than okay with that. Lots of comfort food cooking and baking has been my M.O. I've got a particularly picky eater in Mr. P., much like a kid, so my strategy has been to bake alongside cooking. When he won't eat the meal, I know he'll eat dessert. Let's be honest, who cares if it's dessert for a meal?? And who cares if you have a little adult beverage while cooking??
COVID Comfort Foods and Desserts
Let me just say this: of all those foods pictured above, the center cherry almond muffins (thank you, Marsha!), the brownies, and orange scones (pictured below) have been on replay at least FIVE times each since late March. Also, that Greek orzo salad in the bottom right corner of the collage above has been made at least SIX times, for sure. I have shared that one with several family members. I gave one entire bowl to my sister for her birthday, lol. She said she ate it for all three meals daily until it was gone. 🤭
Orange scones that rival Panera's!
I also made the lemon curd and cream cheese tart pictured below last week for the first time. Thank you, Mary for that recipe!  I had to improvise using a glass pie dish since I didn't have tart pans, but it sure tasted great anyway.
Other than kitchen time, getting out and walking (mostly in our old neighborhood) on good weather days has been an activity I've looked forward to. It gets us out of the loft, and has allowed me the opportunity to enjoy every bit of spring unfolding, one day at a time.

My girls visited me on Mother's Day, and brought me a goodie box (including fresh cuts from garden iris and lavender transplanted to my oldest daughter's landscape last year from our former home's garden!). They dropped it at our door, then went out to the parking lot and called me to come out on my balcony. 😍
One other enjoyable first was a Zoom call with the Traveling Tote Tribe, though not all of the tribe members joined for one reason or another. Zoom has been become the latest thing for virtual get togethers, classes and entertainment in general.
There is one last project I've been working on throughout much of this COVID, and it involves an essential activity for a family member. I'll share more on that later, but let's just say it involves this guy (below) leaving the building. 🤣


The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway. Linda P at Life and Linda is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Linda's June 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this set of four MacKenzie-Childs feather canape knives! Hurry over now!
Without further ado, here are all the links to the rest of tribe members' travels since our March 1 post. One member was actually out of the country when things starting closing down worldwide, but was able to get home safely! 
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
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay with Miss Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women

Thank you so much for dropping by the blog today. I love reading your comments, and don't forget to leave one on Linda's blog for a chance at the giveaway! Come again for our next adventure, which  will be September 1, 2020.