Spooky Spellbound Halloween Centerpiece & Table

Spooky Spellbound Halloween Centerpiece & Table

I’ve conjured up a Halloween centerpiece replicating a witch’s collection of oddities for casting spells, hexes and curses.

haunted-chandelier-Halloween-owl

It’s one of 21 seasonal settings included in this year’s Halloween Tablescape Hop hosted by my blogger friend, Rita of Panoply.

To set the tablescape scene, I’ve styled four theme elements; a spellbound Halloween centerpiece, place settings with holiday tableware, black napkins folded into the shape of a witch’s hat, and the chandelier decorated as an enchanted owl nest.

Most of the Halloween decor pieces — and all of the tableware —came out of attic, basement and kitchen cabinet storage. Additionally, I spent under $16 in total at Michaels and Dollar Tree for a few items to fill in the Halloween centerpiece and embellish the light fixture.

Creating the witch’s vignette was lots of fun, but time consuming! It took awhile (and many trips up and down the stairs) to gather everything together. Then I arranged and rearranged until styling the centerpiece into the finished look I envisioned. Join me for a spell!

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Alfresco Brunch Peacock Table & Napkin Fold

Alfresco Brunch Peacock Table & Napkin Fold

For Labor Day weekend, I planned brunch for two, with a peacock table setting on the covered porch. The “goodbye to summer, hello fall” table is one of 20 included in this year’s Welcome Fall Tablescape Hop.

peacock-table-napkin-fold

I always find this the most challenging to style, since it’s still so darn hot here in Pittsburgh! This year was no exception, as the 89 degree temperatures had me perspiring as I set and photographed the alfresco peacock table.

Because of the heat, I’m especially loath to head to the attic to retrieve fall decor items stored there. It’s also difficult to get in the mood to change up tableware and linens. Usually, I wait until the end of September. From Labor Day through then, I use non-seasonal, everyday and rooster theme dishware and decor.

So rather than acquire something new, I pulled peacock motif dishes from the kitchen cabinets — ones I haven’t shared here before. Although used pretty much year-round, the color palette works particularly well for a fall season setting. I hope you’ll agree! Styling a peacock table also provided the opportunity to use a new napkin fold I’ve been wanting to try.

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Set a Lemon Table

When Life Gives You Lemons, Set a Lemon Table

Stuck at home, after mom and I came home from Philadelphia with mild cases of COVID, we set a summer lemon table for a nice outdoor brunch before she flew back to Charleston.

lemon-decorated-plate-copper-twig-fork

Instead of being out and about, visiting with friends and family during mom’s visit to Pittsburgh, we spent the ten days isolating at home. Since breaking my right-hand, ring finger, I’m also contending with the awkwardness and restrictions of wearing a splint for six long weeks.

After all being fully vaccinated and double boosted, this was not how we planned spending our summer visit. COVID continues to mutate and spread. Life = lemons, sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that the vaccines and five-day course of therapeutic pills protected us from severe illness or worse. I experienced feeling like I had a severe cold. But, I was nervous about my elderly mom, and felt badly that she caught the virus while on “my watch.”

My finger, well that is indeed frustrating! Accidently broken by Mr. Buzz during a new card game with friends, I have another month wearing a splint And, of course it had to be my right hand — geez! Usually when I need a mood lifter I craft, but that’s not an option presently. Instead, mom helped me to set a sunny yellow lemon table, with tableware and linens already in the house. I even managed a new napkin fold!

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Botanic Garden Dishes: Floral & Butterfly Summer Table

Botanic Garden Dishes: Floral & Butterfly Summer Table

Today, I’ve set a summer table with beautiful Portmeirion Botanic Garden dishes. Each piece is hand painted — in exquisite detail — with blossoms and butterflies, and an iconic border of green laurel leaves. Some are also decorated with the occasional garden insect, and my personal favorite — a bee!

Portmeirion-botanic-garden-lily-flowered-azalea-dinner-plate

A true British classic, Botanic Garden was designed by celebrated ceramicist and designer Susan Williams-Ellis. In 1960, she took over the business from her father, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, an architect and creator of Portmeirion Village in North Wales.

While looking through rare books, Williams-Ellis discovered a volume of beautiful, meticulously drawn floral illustrations. In 1972, Portmeirion‘s launch of Botanic Garden tableware included 28 different flowers. It was an immediate success, and is still an active pattern.

This year, the company is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the collection with a special edition, 18 piece dinnerware set. Inspired by classic English picnic hampers, the 2022 Botanic Garden exclusive comes in a willow basket lined with removable fabric. Bee still my heart!

Alas, the Botanic Garden dishes currently in full bloom on the kitchen table are only on a short flowering season. My neighbor, L, generously and enthusiastically agreed to lend the tableware so that I could style a new setting for June’s Summer Tablescape Blog Hop. For those coming from Mary’s nautical table on Home is Where the Boat Is, welcome aboard!

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12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

After over four and a half years of blogging, I’ve shared a wide selection of seasonal tables, napkin folds, decorations, wreaths, crafts, and activities that welcome spring and celebrate Easter.

Here in Pittsburgh, spring seldom really arrives before mid to late April. Even then, we’ve been known to have the occasional snowfall! There’s nothing worse than having to bundle up in a winter coat to go to church on Palm Sunday or Easter. And, since the holiday can occur between March 22 and April 25, there can be years we’ve barely finished enjoying Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day, before its time to regroup for Easter.

But this year, they are predicting warm weather for Easter, and the forsythia, bulbs, and flowering trees will be in blooming.

Today, I’ve assembled a roundup of 12 ways to celebrate Easter and change of seasons — all in one place! Simply click on a photo or title to see each post or DIY tutorial in their entirety.

Hoping one or more will inspire you!

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Traveling Irish Shamrock Cloth Tablescape

Traveling Irish Shamrock Cloth Tablescape

March has arrived and I’ve already set the kitchen table with a “new” Irish shamrock cloth in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish-lad-Lizzie-collectible-figure

I’m actually the 12th Keeper of the Cloth to incorporate and style the Irish linen into a holiday table top.

My blogger friend, Linda of Life and Linda, bestowed me with the honor for 2022. See her Keeper of the Shamrock Cloth post for the origin and complete history of the tradition that began in 2010. There’s also a listing and pictures of all the previous posts as the shamrock cloth passed from one blogger to the next.

Six of those ladies are among a wonderful group of stylists who I regularly join in seasonal and holiday tablescape blog hops. Although I’ve never met any in person, they are all part of a supportive and talented community of acquaintances with shared interests. Sadly, we lost two fellow bloggers and bright lights recently; dear Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea, and Michelle of The Unpainted Hinge.

Lovely Linda sent me the Irish shamrock cloth — and it’s traveling leprechaun companion — all the way across the country from California to Pittsburgh. I’ve waited months for my opportunity to style the St. Patrick’s Day table, and hope you enjoy the results.

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