Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Boughs of Holly Tablescape


Hello and welcome to my home as I join a group of bloggers for a Holiday Tablescape Blog hop sponsored by Chloe Crabtree @Celebrate and Decorate. At the bottom of this post are links to the other wonderful tablescapes for your inspiration.

Christmas evokes many memories of faith, family and friends, and for me setting a festive Christmas tablescape begins my holiday decorating.

 I set a formal table today using my Lenox Holiday china with all formal elements.  I love the drama of gold, elegant crystal, a touch of glitz and candlelight.

Lenox Holiday was introduced in 1974 and became an instant classic. 

I  wish I could remember when  I began collecting the Holiday pattern.  For a number of years, all my family gave me pieces of this china for Christmas and birthdays.

The lovely boughs of holly that entwine the border of the plates, remind me of the old Christmas carol, Deck the Halls.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa,la,la,la,la, la, la,la la. Tis the season to be jolly, Fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,la.

Don we now our gay apparel, Fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, Fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,la. (Just in case you can't remember the lyrics, LOL!)

 The song captures my festive mood and tablescape.

 I adore this vintage tablecloth that graced my dear mother-in-law's table for many years.

To me, traditional red and green with gold accents has timeless elegance.

For the centerpiece, I used a mirrored table runner  embellished with a scalloped crystal bowl filled with various textures and sizes of red Christmas ornaments. On each side of the bowl are crystal candlesticks with red candles and sparkled gold Christmas trees.

Resource list:
Plates- Lenox Holiday
Silverware- Buttercup by Gorham
Glassware- Gorham
Crystal bowl- Waterford
Crystal Candlesticks- Waterford
Tablecloth- Vintage
Gold Christmas Trees- Gift shop
Gold chargers- Wal Mart
Napkins rings- Pier 1

Thank you for joining me today for a Holiday Blog Hop sponsored by Chloe @ Celebrate and

May the joy of Christmas be real in your heart this Christmas. I think of you, my readers, warmly and appreciate your friendship. To new readers joining today for the blog hop I welcome you and invite you to visit regularly.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. "

Merry Christmas,
Please visit all the other talented bloggers listed below for many other beautiful Holiday tablescapes.







Monday, November 14, 2016

Family Thanksgiving Dinner


Setting a beautiful table is a pleasure for me. I especially enjoy selecting which china, silverware,  glassware and linens to use. Even ironing a tablecloth has it's rewards. But the best part for me is designing the flower arrangement and the most satisfaction is when I can make it different and use something from my own garden. Another secret challenge is to use what I have without buying anything.

This tablescape was last year's family Thanksgiving table.  The china is an english game set that I bought at Brimfield antique show many years ago. Each plates showcases a different bird. The flowers in this centerpiece were simple white hydrangeas with aucuba greenery from my garden. This is the first time I used hydrangeas on my Thanksgiving table. View 2014, Thanksgiving centerpiece here.
You can view the subtle differences in 2013 here.

It is nostalgic for me to post a Thanksgiving tablescape because Living With Thanksgiving was born Thanksgiving of 2009. You can see my first post and first tablescape here.

 I'm quite sentimental using these little pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. I used these shakers every Thanksgiving while my children were growing up. Now, the grandchildren enjoy them.

This is the only pic where the candles were lit. Do you like candlelight as much as I do? It adds a special ambience.

It helps me to keep a Thanksgiving folder with  menu's and recipes used over the years.  This folder  saves time the following year. The menu varies a little each year with the choice of vegetables and desserts. Everything else stays the same.
Do you serve a similar menu each year?

I  change the centerpiece each year. Sometimes I use a different container and always vary the flowers in some way. It helps to refer back to the pictures from blogposts to remember centerpieces and how I set the table.

Sophie made cards for all of us.

Turkey and cornbread dressing with gravy
Green beans
Squash casserole
Fresh Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie

It was a wonderful meal with family. A time to thank God, and reflect on our many many blessings.
I am excited to spend Thanksgiving at my daughter's house this year. 
May Thanksgiving, 2016, be especially meaningful to you and your family.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Living Thankfully,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thanksgiving Vignettes

Colorful mums, heirloom pumpkins, gourds, and dried corn easily decorate my patio and welcome fall and the Thanksgiving season.

The fall bounty of pumpkins, butternut squash, wheat bundles 
and dried hydrangeas are easy accents.

The cotton fields are white for harvest right now very near my home. I like to decorate with cotton and have been known to borrow some stems from the fields, however, this cotton is actually faux but it looks so real. Dried corn, a vase of cotton stalks and a stack of pumpkins topped with a gourd nestled in a grape vine wreath came together in a few minutes. 

Looking through Carolyn Roehm's fall notebook and smelling the oatmeal cookie candle from Anthropologie gets me in the mood to decorate and reflect on my many blessings.

My white pitcher from Target gets used often for quick arrangements. I loved the deep fall colors in these flowers. If you strip the leaves off and mix the flower preserver that comes with bouquets from the grocery store the arrangement will last longer.  A tree slice charger is a great woodsy accent and adds texture. 

In this arrangement, using the same pitcher as the picture above, I used yellow astroemeria flowers from the grocery store.  They are inexpensive and last at least two weeks. Using a tray full of real fruit and vegetables as accents is a great decorating tool and it reminds you to use them. My daughter-in-law taught me this. When she comes home from  grocery shopping she immediately creates attractive vignettes and stores her fresh items at the same time.

This is one of my daughter-in-law's vignettes. It's attractive and easily replenished as you use the veggies. The figs didn't last long!
I am so thankful for a wonderful daughter-in-law!

My daughter cleverly carved a pumpkin expressing thankful sentiments. I'm thankful for her and my grandson in the background!

Another vignette from my daughter's house.
I love that our country celebrates Thanksgiving. It is a time to enjoy the blessings of food and family. Thanksgiving is truly a state of mind. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lucerne, Switzerland


Viking offers pre-cruise packages and we opted to spend two days in Lucerne, Switzerland, before our Rhine River Cruise. (If you missed Part 1 about the Viking Idi, our longboat for the Rhine River Cruise click here. )
 Lucerne is a city in central Switzerland, in the German speaking part of the country with beautifully preserved medieval architecture and sits amid a mountainous panorama right on Lake Lucern.

The baroque style Jesuit Church along the river Reuss in Lucern's old town was built in the mid 17th century but the onion topped towers were not completed until 1893. It's striking architecture dominates the south bank of the river.

The famous Kapellbrucke or Chapel Bridge was built in 1333 and links the old town (Altstadt) to the Reuss River's south bank. It crosses the river at an oblique angle from the south to the north bank. The Tower and bridge are among the most highly photographed scenes in Switzerland.

Majestic swans swam along and underneath the bridge.

You can see in this close up the gorgeous hanging flower baskets that bedeck the bridge. Beautiful paintings can be viewed inside the beam structure supporting the roof. This bridge is considered to be one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe.

The Swiss have a long tradition of serving as mercenaries, especially in the armies of the King of France, from the later Middle Ages into the Age of the European Enlightenment. The tradition continues today with the Swiss guards in the Vatican. The Dying Lion was carved out of sandstone in 1820 to commemorate the massacre of Swiss mercenaries defending the Tuileries palace during the French Revolution.

On the second day in Lucerne our optional tour of Lake Lucern was called Pearls of Switzerland. We cruised the lake on this passenger boat to our destination at the base of Mt. Pilatus.

The scenic lake cruise was beautiful.

 At Alpnachstad, the world's steepest cogwheel train ascends to the top of Mt. Pilatus.

 Mt. Pilatus has an elevation of 7000 feet.  

Hotel and restaurant at the top where we ate lunch.

After a hike the clouds rolled in and we couldn't see the mountain.

After a delicious lunch and hike, we rode two sets of gondolas all the way down another side of the mountain.

This was our delightful and excellent guide, Christina. Next at the base of the mountain we rode a van to the Einsiedeln Abbey, an alpine farm and to a cheese factory.

Our next stop was Einsiedeln Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery famous for the Black Madonna. They did not allow pictures inside.    

The Lady Fountain is in the middle of the square.

I was thrilled to see the little girls in native costumes drinking from the fountain.  It has fourteen taps and I observed people drinking from all fourteen around the fountain. Google says the fourteen taps equate to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The tradition is to drink from each tap.

After the Abbey we visited an alpine dairy farm and meet real swiss cows. Next we toured an actual cheese factory where we made our own cheese that we actually brought home with us. I will spare you pictures of us there, suited up in hair nets, shoe covers and lab coats. After the cheese making the factory had prepared a fondue dinner for us. It was a long but interesting and scenic day. The next day we were coached to Basel, Switzerland, to begin our cruise on the Rhine. I hope you will stay turned for posts on the rest of the cruise. Living Thankfully, 
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