Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve a la Art Nouveau

The New Year's Eve table is set
in anticipation of our annual New Year's
party pals, the Millers.
Last year, Kimberly did New Year's Eve and
what a table she put together for the event.
You can see it HERE
Now, it's my turn and I truly believe 
that New Year's is the most difficult
holiday for a tablescape.
 Please join me as I put this table together.....

I started with this over-the-top placemat, even though we both have them and 
 Kimberly used it last year, too.
I mean, seriously, if it isn't pressed into service for New Year's Eve, 
then when else can you use something this glitzy?

Next, my trusty architectural chargers from Pottery Barn.  
Probably my favorite chargers, because they are
like a chameleon, they just adapt to whatever setting you are using.

The dinner plates are clocks, which seems to be the de rigueur decorating
theme for New Year's.  They are enormous, but with the menu I'm 
planning, they will be perfect.

Atop the dinner plate are antique, Parisian-looking clock salad plates.
They inspired me to strive towards an art nouveaux theme.

I love searching for clip art to match my
theme, and this art deco-looking lass
seemed to want to join the party.

You can see where these girls have been placed and are two sided
to wish both sides of the table a bonne annee.

My two deco deer candelabra will preside over the festivities.

Shrimp cocktail over crushed ice in these very
retro servers will start out the meal.

 To mirror the silver and black of the tablecloth and runner,
I've enveloped a black Waterford napkin inside a silver
organza napkin with beaded border.  The finishing
touch is the silver and mother of pearl napkin ring,
again, echoing the art nouveau feel.

My go-to place card holders for New Year's Eve are the silver with marabou feathers.
They are holding the deco bordered name cards at each place setting.

Silver embellished butter knives. 

 A trio of glasses -- black water goblets from our wedding registry
31 years ago, clear wine glasses for the delicious chardonnay that
Kim will be providing for tonight's meal, and bling martini glasses
for the dessert.

Glistening pears in shades of mercury and silver are scattered
throughout the center of the table, along with a garland of 
clear 'crystal' beads on a filigree of silver wire.

Another chameleon in my possession is this twig candle holder.
I use it often, and it is quite adaptable and can be used
in all four seasons, depending on the color of candle.

 Butter warmers at each place setting are an indication of 
what's on the menu for the meal ahead......

 Pottery barn flatware in silver and black complete the setting.

Le Menu

Taking a cue from Kimberly and Kim last week, I shall be pressing 
MY hubby  into service as bartender tonight,
making throwback Brandy Alexanders.

Recipes and photos of the meal will be featured in an 
upcoming post.

Happy New Year to Everyone!!!
Kathy and Kimberly
A Graceful Table 

Today we're joining Yvonne at
Stone Gable for 
THE SCOOP- hundreds of diys', crafts, home decor, painted furniture, recipes and all things home
We're joining the gals at
for a linky party!

We're joining Kim at Savvy Southern Style
and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for
Tablescape Thursday

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas for 10 in Iowa

Once again this year, my sister Sue pulled off 
a Christmas feast for 10 without breaking stride.
An amazing hostess with a 
generous heart, she served up our traditional
Christmas dinner for the entire family.

A 22 pound ham with all the fixin's was served family style.
The green runner had hints of animal print, 
the fresh pine bough arrangement was
fragrant and beautiful.

Mashed potatoes like only she can make...
from potatoes she and her husband grew in their garden.

This is not a group of big drinkers, but Stephanie and I enjoyed a bottle of
wine that she brought back from the Pacific Northwest
while on a three month internship.
It was delicious.

A rare shot of my sister, sitting down, and a not so rare
photo of my niece, Kate, 'hamming' it up.
The framed photo in the background is of us as little girls.

This meal is always so special, not only because it brings
our entire family together, but also because it occurs 
in a 125 year old farm house that belonged to 
my maternal grandparents.  
My sister and I, as well as our mother, as children sat
at this very table in this dining room, in this house, 
eating Christmas ham with Phil and Naoma.
May the tradition continue.
A Merry Christmas, indeed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas with friends

Kimberly put on a Christmas feast that was 
earthy and elegant, juxtaposed in such a way
to evoke a homey, sophisticated, northwoods feel.

 The very holiday vibe from the Ralph Lauren tablecloth
was complimented by matching napkins, enshrouded in a
green shimmery napkin, and surrounded by a
gold embellished napkin ring.

 The accent color this year was copper,
as evidenced by the shimmering copper runner
down the middle, the copper-hued leaf garland,
the copper wine goblets, and copper candles.

The stage was now set for the clay and rattan Pottery Barn chargers,
topped with Christmas china in the 'holly berry' pattern.
The Artland Iris red water glasses add
a touch of casual, which I liked in 
contrast to the fine china place settings.

And then, there was the dinner itself.  
A masterpiece!

  A seared, then roasted beef tenderloin, stuffed with 
blue cheese, thyme, and panko crumbs,
atop a bed of pearled barley spinach pilaf.

A red wine/shallot reduction was drizzled over the tenderloin
just prior to serving.

Accompanying the beef was a trio of marinated, bacon-wrapped
scallops that were broiled at the last minute and 
served hot.

 The salad was carmelized pears on top of mixed greens, blue cheese,
red onion slices, and pomegranate arils.

 A light dressing of apple cider vinegar, honey, and shallots
was splashed on the salad before serving.

 Each end of the table was adorned with a fresh balsam, 
pine, and spruce arrangement in matching 
silver cachepots.

Dessert, a supper club throwback,
was grasshoppers, served with crushed
Oreos on the bottom of the glass, after which
we reclined in front of the fire
and reminisced and chatted
until bedtime.

We're partying with Christine at Rustic and Refined
for Table It Link Party #33
 Rustic and Refined

for a linky party.