Monday, December 15, 2014

A Holiday Tradition-A Tour Through Christmas in the Mansion-Rahr West - 2014

One of the new holiday traditions that my sister and I have started was to spend a wonderful day together touring the exhibit, Christmas in the Mansion, at the Rahr West Museum.  Even though I am one of the many designers who participates in decorating a tree or a room, often I decorate so early that I do not get a chance to see the entire collection of everyone's work.  Even before I took to doing the work at the museum, my sister and I for several years always enjoyed selecting a day where we could be together to browse leisurely through the Christmas displays, have a healthy lunch at some place new in the community and have fun doing some shopping.   What a very pleasant way to start the holiday season and share it with someone as dear to my heart as my sister.  We look forward to it each year and speak of fond memories of those visits in the past.  

Included in this post are some of the pictures from our memorable visit.  I hope this has inspired you to create your own "special day" with loved ones during the Christmas season.  Merry Christmas and many blessings in the New Year.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Vintage Christmas Tablesetting-Days Gone By

I really loved creating this Christmas tablesetting for 2014.  It really gave me the cozy and warm feelings of days gone by.  (Please see the matching vintage Christmas tree under the "Christmas Decor" category.)  This tablecloth combines two different patterns into a tablecloth that screams retro.  I love the use of red and white gingham with the rustic holly, pinecones and birds.  It really gives a "homey" feeling.  The vintage bucket which holds the candle, holly, pinecones, peppermint candies represent the same theme also used in the Christmas tree.  

Because I always incorporate a bit of whimsy in my tablescape designs, I choose to use the peppermint striped appetizer plates and the polka-dotted santa-face mugs,  It delights both children and adults alike.  

The nativity set was displayed on a little table but was scaled down in quantity because of the size of the table and lack of space.  Again, the use of the same fabric added to the consistency of the rustic, country-vintage feel.  The nativity has a little silicone light bulb which is lit in the evening and reminds me every night what Christmas is all about.  The nativity glows brightly in front of the dining room window, giving all who see it a warm and peaceful feeling.  

A new baby is born, sweet baby Jesus.  Have a blessed Christmas.

A Vintage Christmas

Remember the thrill of past Christmases?  The house full of friends and family, the kitchen table packed full with food and snacks, the dozens of Christmas cookies from the many days of mom's baking, the silver tinsel tree shining brightly in the living room as it changes into the four colors from the spinning color wheel.  Hanging on the tree are the sweet candy cherries that are wired to the tree.  The sound of laughter and the cracking of nuts from the cast iron dog nutcracker can be heard coming from the tons of people squeezed into the kitchen around the table where all the good conversation and mountains of delicious, mouthwatering dishes create a delightful invitation to stay a spell.  

Although I do not have a silver tinsel retro tree, I thought it would fun to reproduce the "feel" of those vintage days.  Therefore, I choose to use burlap, dried hydrangeas, apples, peppermint candy canes  and red and white gingham to match the vintage Christmas tablesetting I created in honor of the "good old days."  (Please see the picture of the vintage Christmas tablesetting  under the "Tablescapes" category.)

The tree came pre-wired with white light.  So, throughout the house, I also added garland wired with colored Christmas lights.  There is something nostalgic about the multi-colored lights.  It really added to the feel of the years gone by.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Merry Christmas and many, many blessings to you and your family.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas in the Mansion 2014

As I write this post, I can see that just outside my window there is a lot of snow coming down.  The weather people are predicting up to 7 inches of snow by the morning.  Yet, it is but a few days away from Thanksgiving.  The holiday season is coming in like a pitched snowball during a back yard snowball fight---fast and some what unexpectedly.

What helps set me in the spirit of the holidays is the preparation for the Christmas display at the Rahr Museum.  I always look forward to it.  This year I was able to decorate the tree and the surrounding area on the second floor landing.  It is a 9 foot tree, a size I was not used to tackling.  It was so much fun selecting and putting it all together to get the look that I felt would be stunning to any visitors.  Let me know if I accomplished this goal.

The exhibit, Christmas in the Mansion, at the Rahr West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin begins this Wednesday, November 26, 2014.  So....Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Remember to come and tour the exhibit after this special holiday.  Many blessings to you and your family.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumn Fun

I love Autumn.  I think it is time to bring out the pumpkins, scarecrows, and Halloween decor.  I thought I would share a picture of my whimsical scarecrow which is perched outside our front door.  Now it is time to make pumpkin butter and drink some warm apple cider!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rahr West Art of Tablesetting 2014-Spring Rain Tablescape Theme

I waited all year for this event!  This year I created "Spring Rain" tablescape at the Rahr Art Museum.  I am glad the framed art worked with this theme since I am in need of more art work for the exhibit in the future.  Having this framed picture seemed to work with the colors in the tablescape, so I was lucky to put it all together.  The raindrop chandelier crystals hung with clear wire over the table truly makes it look like rain.    Come see the exhibit.  It begins October 5, 2014 and runs until October 26, 2014.  Enjoy!

Bright and Sunny Autumn Tablescape

It is now October and summer is over.  The leaves are changing quickly on the trees, the garden harvest is coming to an end with only the need to pick and can the sweet, red beets and the variety of apples are now available at the orchards.  Pumpkins are everywhere and they make the perfect part of a tablescape.  This Fall I am able to use some pumpkin plates I picked up on clearance last year.  They are bright, cheery and whimsical.  The pie pumpkins on the table will eventually be processed for puree to be used in pies or pumpkin bread.  Yum!  So I hope you will enjoy this time of year as much as I do.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sunny Yellow Lemons----Lemon Tablescape 2014

The Independence Day holiday celebrations are over and the remainder of the summer can be slow and easy with bright sunny days, cool evening breezes and plenty of relaxing conversations on the porch swing with tall glasses of lemonade or lemon basil sorbet. 

The tablescape below is a reflection of the "lazy days of summer."  I love the cobalt blue and bright, sunny yellow colors together for this particular tablesetting and for this part of summer.  As always, I love the mix of patterns, but this time it is a bit more subtle. And, of course, I love lemons.  Both to eat and to decorate with.

So bring out the water balloons and the yard games....summer is not over.  Grill up those hot dogs, start an crackling campfire and sit back and watch the bright, twinkling stars show up in the evening sky.  Enjoy every minute of it!

My Love for Lemons Tablescape 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Independence Day Tablescape 2014-Star, Stripes (and Checks?) Forever!

It is hard to believe that it is mid-June and I prepared my Fourth of July tablescape.  I wanted to do it early enough so that there could be several weeks to enjoy it before the holiday arrives.  (You know how quickly the summer time goes.)  So here it is!  Seeing the red, white and blue just adds to my summer time excitement.  There are always picnics, BBQs and fun at the beach surrounding this holiday celebration.  So bring out the lemonade (and the mosquito repelent) and fully enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

A mixture of patterns, but keeping the red, white and blue color theme.
Borrowed many of the items from the Summer Strawberry Tablescape. It made it fun and easy!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Spring (Summer?) Is Finally Here--Summer 2014 Tablescape

Incredible!  The change from snow and cold to green and warm or almost hot is here in Wisconsin.  As I write this post, I love to watch the setting sun over the corn field in the backyard.  It always inspires such peace and tranquility.  It is an exciting time to pick out the vegetable and flower plants from the garden centers that will go in to the garden and in the front yard.    Such excitement is also being transferred to the inside as well.  The summer tablesetting pictured below is one of my favorites.  I love the red and the sage green.  It just bursts with cheerfulness with strawberries and lemons.  I hope you will enjoy both the outdoors and the tablesetting too.  Happy Planting and Welcome Spring/Summer!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter 2014 Tablescape

Even though Spring as not yet arrived, I thought I would create my own Spring excitement and anticipation by putting together my Easter 2014 tablescape which includes my blue and yellow theme.  Since I found the whimsical ducks at a resale shop for $2 each, I fell in love with their playful look/position.  It almost looks like they are delightfully splashing each other in water.  It is what inspired me to use the blue theme.  I would love to add some checkered yellow handle flatware to this.  These pieces are the bare bones of this tablescape.  I  am still in search for anything that might embellish it even further.  I know my finishing touches will be the cute yellow marshmallow Beeps.  What is Easter without the Beeps?   Happy Easter and I hope the Easter Bunny will be good to all of you.  (Chocolate bunny--yum!)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Going on a Safari

I anxiously await a beautiful Spring and the hope that accompanies Easter.  When I look at the calendar, of course, I see that I have some time to go.  It may be too soon to bring out the bunnies, eggs and ducks for an Easter tablescape.  So I have opt to create a Safari tablescape while I wait for April.  My inspiration was the lovely plate from Kenya.   It is not made of wood, but is extra heavy.  My guess would be it is made out of soapstone, but I will need to do more research.  So I purchased the thin-necked giraffe at a second hand shop and added it to my collection.  Hopefully, the rustic feel adds to the safari look.  The beautiful tablecloth was lovingly sewed by my sweet daughter from our purchase at a fabric store.  It is something even more special since we did it together.  (I always cherish those mother-daughter outings.)  So here it is, I hope you find it very pleasing and puts you in the mood to be adventurous (maybe  even on a Safari).

Need an inspiration piece-the striped plate from Kenya
Need an inspiration piece-the striped plate from Kenya
Collecting themed items-giraffe, elephants, leopard balls
Collecting themed items-giraffe, elephants and leopard balls
Use of color-brown, gold and green
Use of color-brown, gold and green
Use of black color to tie it all together
Use of black color to tie it all together
Use of texture-wood, grapevines and antler flatware
Use of texture-wood, grapevines and antler flatware
Use of patterns-paisley, leopard and stripe
Use of pattern-paisley, leopard and stripe

Monday, February 24, 2014

Preparing for Spring

In just a few days it will be March 1st and we are all watching and waiting for the slightest signs of Spring.  This winter has been relentless, but we need to begin planning for Spring and Summer, because when it is here, we need to get the most out of it.  My to-do list includes being outside as much as possible since I have seen the interior of our house for so very long.  I look forward to eating every single meal outside and enjoying the beautiful sound of our neighbor's cows at milking and feeding time.

For now, I am thinking Spring and I have decided to change out my front door decor to reflect the upcoming Easter.  I had the ribbon here at home, so I didn't have to purchase anything new to get a new look.  It does lift the spirits a bit just seeing the brighter colors.  Now, to begin thinking about a new Easter-inspired tablescape......

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine's Day Tablescape

The thought of February just around the corner brings so much energy, especially after such a cold and difficult winter.   Valentine's Day is an even more special day for me since it is also my sweet sister's birthday.  It is almost the month in which I got married, so an anniversary is coming up soon.   Since all of the Christmas holiday decorations are put away, it is time to look around the house for pieces I can put together for a romantic Valentine's Day tablescape.  With just what I could make use of around the house, this is what I came up with.  It is a sage green and red Valentine's.  I hope it inspires you too.