Monday, June 4, 2012

Shells and Hydrangea Luncheon

 Recently, I had several friends for lunch and planned to use hydrangeas for my centerpiece since I had them blooming in my garden.  In the process of setting the table an upcoming trip to the beach gave me the idea to add shells. As the table evolved I really had fun as it came together.

 One of the reasons I decided to add shells to my theme is I remembered buying these shells plates last year on sale from William Sonoma that I had not used. I love the blue napkins from World Market but the table seemed as if it lacked something. I don't know about you but I think of tablescapes and don't do them. When we traveled last spring to Provence I bought several table runners that I have not used either! Shame on me. Anyway, the idea of using one of the runners occurred to me. Of course, the blues in the napkins did not match the blue in the runner so I  changed to brown napkins. The squatty glasses bothered     me, too so I switched to glasses that had stems.

Yes, I liked the brown napkins with the runner better but did not like the butterfly napkin rings. I needed shell napkin rings! But, my best friend didn't have any and my teacher friends would be arriving soon so I just folded the napkin plainly and did not use a napkin ring. I have looked in several places since then and still haven't found any yet. Maybe I will find the perfect ones on our beach trip.

White octagonal plates- Johnson Brothers wedding ironstone
Crystal goblets- Francisan wedding crystal
Shell dessert plates-William Sonoma
Flatwear-William Sonoma
Rattan chargers- World Market
Brown basket weave napkins- Bed, Bath and Beyond
Table runner-Flea market-St. Rémy de Provence
Tablecloth- Matelasse bedspread ( almost vintage now!)
Sand dollars and shells found on St. George Island by moi except for the counch shells which I bought somewhere years ago.
Vintage aqua Ball canning jar used for flower vase
I have a few Ball-Perfect Mason vintage jars and realized I don't know much about them. I googled Ball jars and found out some interesting things. Did you know they made lavander, green, amber and gold jars also? I have never seen those colors but I will be on the look out. You might also be intrigued to know more about these jars. I am afraid my camera picked up the dust on several lids in the photo. I noticed the price tag on one of the smaller ones with a lid was still on it and the price was $4.50. I have no idea what I paid for the others some time ago.  For the Ball Jar collectors web site click here. I could do another post on the history.  Don't you love Google?

Lunch menu included: Sacramento Chicken Salad, Fresh strawberries and blueberries, petite blueberry muffins, and southern sweet tea with mint. We sat a
t the table talking for several hours. One of my friends made a luscious cheesecake pie for dessert but I forgot to make a picture.

Sacramento Chicken Salad

1 can artichokes (save juice)
1 box chicken flavor rice-a-roni(prepare as directed)
3 green onions sliced
½ bell pepper chopped
4 cups chopped chicken (cooked)
1 small can sliced black olives
Mayo to taste
Reserved juice
Combine ingredients. Add enough mayonnaise and reserved juice  for desired consistency. May be made one day ahead  and keeps for several days in the refrigerator. Serves 6-8

 The weather was so pleasant that day we strolled through my garden talking gardening and gardeners never lack for conversation. It was fun to share cuttings of several plants with them.

Hope you are enjoying luncheons with your friends.

Just got back from our beach trip and there was a package for me from Monica at Texas Fiesta Ware Fan.  Check out Monica's blog here. She mailed me beautiful shell napkin rings! I can't wait to use them Monica. Wish I had been able to do another tablescape using them. We left after one day home to visit our son's family in Las Vegas so there was not time. I did snap a pic and now I am able to add this pic and post from a long way from home.

Joining: Kim for Wow Us Wednesday, Susan for Tablescape Thursday and Kathleen for Lets' Dish.


  1. Bonnie, I so enjoyed watching the evolution of your tablescape! Such a beautiful luncheon for your friends. I know they felt very special with all the care you took preparing for them. Your garden is BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for sharing. Hope you find the perfect napkin rings on your beach trip! ;) blessings ~ tanna

  2. Such a beautiful luncheon! You have a lovely garden too.


  3. I am sure your friends enjoyed their luncheon and the tour through your pretty garden. I love blue hydrangeas. I have the same bench and watering can.

    Take care,

  4. I love that you added the runner. You are so good at that! The shells make me excited for the beach.

  5. Great tablescape and your lunch looks delicious! I know that a good time was had by all.

  6. What a great tablescape and your garden looks lovely! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  7. Hi Bonnie,you have set such a pretty luncheon table and I bet your friends loved it! Hydrangeas and shell always look wonderful together and makes a beautiful centerpiece for your table.You also have a gorgeous and serene garden...loved peeking in your garden! Your table runner is beautiful and the brown napkin harmonizes it so nicely!The shell plates are so pretty and are perfect for lunch:)Thanks for sharing a beautiful tablescape with us and for your lovely note. Have a wonderful evening!Hugs,Poppy

  8. Hi Bonnie~ I LOVE the pairing of hydrangeas with the shells! Your WS shell plates are beautifully paired with and your brown napkins and runner on your matelasse coverlet! I think it's fun & interesting how tables evolve. There are lots of times when I have something in my head but end up going a different direction. Love seeing glimpses of your garden and you lunch looks delicious!

    I just worked on a shell and flower table for Kathleen's Let's Dish At the Beach challenge for June 20th. You should link this post then! Enjoy your trip to the beach :)

  9. Your table is beautiful, Bonnie. I found my shell napkin rings at a small local shop. They are just tiny shells strung with pearls on elastic thread. I've seen long strands of small shells at Michael's. Perhaps you could restring those into napkin ring size. Mine are loose around a napkin. I double looped them for the porch table. That not only tightened them around the napkin, it also gave them more body. Perhaps you could make napkin rings if you don't find what you are looking for.

    Your salad sounds delicious.

  10. Your hydrangeas are beautiful, and so is your tablescape. That chicken salad looks devine as well.

  11. What a beautiful post! That salad sounds amazing & what a neat tablescape.

  12. I'm crazy for the
    BLUE hydrangeas,
    Bonnie! I only have
    the white Annabelles : )

    What lucky guests
    to arrive to such a
    lovely afternoon that
    you had ready for them!

    xo Suzanne

  13. I think that we all go through the same process when designing a tablescape. Yours turned out beautifully! The Sacramento Chicken Salad looks and sounds good. I've saved it to give it a try. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  14. Hello Bonnie, what a beautiful table and delicious looking lunch. You always go to such a lot of trouble. Why not glue one of your shells to a piece of ribbon for a napkin ring?
    Thank you for your visit and kind words. Sadly my luncheon is a little daydream as it has done nothing here but rain for the last 4 or 5 days! Still, that is what makes Ireland so green, and my garden is benefitting! Have a wonderful weekend, love Linda x

  15. Hello it's me again. I forgot to mention about the Ball jars. I see them all the time on the 'net'. I think they are lovely, especially the blue and lavender shades, and gorgeous for flowers. We don't have them here. What were they originally for? Love Linda x

  16. Terrific! There's nothing on your table I don't like. Hydrangeas are blooming here yet, and I can't wait until they and the peonies add their color to the garden. I'm glad you remembered your table runner. You've probably noticed I use them a lot. Happy day, Bonnie.

  17. Hi Bonnie, you have a beautiful blog. I enjoy looking and getting great ideas from blogs like yours with such pretty and interesting things to show. Your table is set so beautifully and the chicken salad looks delicious. Your garden looks like a wonderful place to sit and admire the gorgeous hydrangeas. Please come back to visit me and I will definitely return to see what you are doing.---------- Shannon

  18. I need you as a neighbor, Bonnie! I know almost NOTHING about cuttings and repotting and all that stuff. I try so hard, but it's just not where my skills abound. Your hydrangeas are beautiful!!!!!!! That's part of my have tons of hydrangea bushes around the house someday! Of course, someone else will have to care for them because I'll kill 'em just by looking at 'em funny! :-) You made some really great color and fabric choices for this table. Sea-inspired doesn't always necessarily mean blue, and I think it was a great idea to go with the soft browns. Those W-S plates really rock!!!!!!!! Beautifully done! Have a relaxing weekend!

  19. Bonnie a most gorgeous tablescape!! I love all of your choices!!

    Anita's Parisian Party
    Art by Karena

  20. Hi Bonnie, thank you so much for stopping by the "shop." I absolutely love your table. It is so serene. I'm crazy about the sea, so this is divine to me.
    Love the title of your page too.
    Following and looking forward to visiting.
    Much love,

  21. Hi Bonnie, thanks for the visit. My daughter is embrace the grace. I like your blog

  22. Yes, Bonnie, the Paris party makes me wish I were there - a little too much! I just love your garden and your table that reflects the beauty with your hydrangeas! What fabulous shell plates. The color combination is so beautiful. The salad sounds fantastic. What a lovely time you had! Wish I were there!

  23. Loved your tablescape with the hydrangeas!! So glad you posted your chicken salad recipe - love the combination of artichokes/black olives - plan to try it soon. My hydrangeas have had their best blooming year ever. I have kept a little soaker hose on them and they seem to thrive with that - they really droop when I turn it off.
    I have several of the Bell canning jars that belonged to John's grandmother. Have one filled with vintage buttons and potpourri in another. Sometime enjoy grouping them with vintage milk bottles filled with daisies and black-eyed Susans - so country and Southern! Maxine M./Enterprise, AL

  24. Just posted the ,above comment. One of my canning jars says
    "Ball", one says "Mason", and one says "Atlas". They are all different shades of pale turquoise in color, and all belonged to Ma Moates (John's grandmother), so I know that are quite old. Would love some info. on their value, although I wouldn't part with them. MM

  25. Your hydrangeas are fabulous. I make that exact same salad. I didn't know it actually had a name. Thanks for reminding me to make it. It's a summertime dish around here, and I must say it is one of my husband's favorites.

  26. Hi Bonnie,
    What a lovely luncheon! LUCKY YOU having hydrangea already, mine are a long way away! Beautiful garden too:-)

  27. Your table is beautiful! How fun the have lunch with friends and use your beautiful dishes!

  28. Beautiful table! I love hydrangeas, I have about 50 of them, many I made from cuttings and rock rooting. They are just starting to bloom.
    The dishes are lovely, and I love the shells Monica sent you.
    I do the same thing, buy and forget what I have. I think of tables and then forget. Now I write them down!
    Thanks for linking to Let's Dish! I hope you will come again next week. No theme, what ever you want! :)

  29. Those napkin rings are going to be simply perfect. I love your garden, wow. That is a real treasure. Beautiful table. I love the salad!! I bet y'all had a blast. Your runner is fabulous. And the brown is the perfect color with it. The shell plates are great too.. xo marlis

  30. A lovely table, and the menu sounds delicious. Love those chargers, and the shell plates. The runner is gorgeous. Beautiful garden... I wish I could get hydrangeas to grow.

  31. Hi Bonnie~ I'm glad to see you were able to link your beautiful shells & hydrangea table to Kathleen's challenge! Love your new napkin rings :)

  32. What a lovely table...the shell plates are great. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous, mine did really poorly this year, with only a couple blossoms.

  33. I'm glad they made it safely. I am looking forward to seeing them on your table.


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