Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Book Club Dinner And Tablescape

Last night I hosted our book club for dinner.
Normally our book club meets once a month for hors d'oeuvres and discussion, but not dinner.  However, I was feeling quite ambitious, creative and brave so I decided to actually cook!

But who cares about the dinner, I just wanted to create a book themed tablescape!
My new dough bowl was the inspiration for the centerpiece. 

Which I filled with red books, white pumpkins, green leaves and antlers.

Two new candlesticks, a recent find at Wisteria Antiques in Santa Cruz flanked the dough bowl.
Their red accents gave me the idea to focus on the red books.

 
 Instead of candles, I put white pumpkins on top.

I love their curly stems!

I used white cabbage leaf chargers for the dinner plates, layering transferware salad plates and more white pumpkins.

The numbered linen napkins are from Pottery barn, several years ago.
The crocheted placemats are from World Market.

The jute herringbone runner is also from World Market.


Ruby glasses, silver flatware and antler steak knives are vintage.

Once the table was set, it was time to concentrate on dinner, my least favorite thing to do--cook!
But how can you screw up roasted chicken, wild rice, green beans and salad?
My goal was to prepare a simple, comforting, fall inspired dinner.

Just before everyone arrived, I built a fire, lit all the candles in the house, opened a bottle of red wine and set out hors d'oeuvres.  Everyone arrived hungry and ready to discuss our latest book.
A good time was had by all!

Oh yea, the book!
We read That Woman by Anne Sebba, about the life of Wallis Simpson, the twice divorced American woman who married Prince Edward.
It wasn't the best book we've ever read, but it did provide for some lively discussion!
The next book is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

What are you reading?
I would love to know!

Partying at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday.
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays.
No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursday.
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall In The Dining Room

Fall has arrived in the dining room, thanks to the addition of my current inspiration, an antique dough bowl.

 I've been looking for a wooden dough bowl for years and finally found one at a consignment store, of all places.

Without any documentation as to its authenticity or age, I knew I was taking my chances buying it.
What if it was new?

I decided not to care and brought it home, then promptly filled it with potted plants, fall leaves and gourds. 
It is such a great centerpiece for the table--I can envision it filled with pumpkins in the fall, pine cones or ornaments during the holidays and tulips in the spring!
In fact, there is no end to the inspiration this dough bowl will provide!

I'm linking to Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Harvest Wreath

The harvest wreath, a symbol of fertility, growth and celebration has a long history that goes back to ancient Western civilization.
It represents the bounty of the harvest during the autumn months.

Typically, you won't find a wreath hanging on our door until fall.  
That's when I like hang a special harvest wreath, representing the abundance of autumn in all its glory.

This year I found our fall wreath at Uniquely Chic in Healdsburg.
I love it for its wonderful combination of dried hydrangeas, autumn leaves and pomegranates.

To me it says welcome.
"Welcome to our home!"

I'll be sad when I'm forced to replace it during the holidays with an evergreen wreath...
So for now, I'm enjoying this warmly abundant wreath for the remaining autumn months.

I'm linking to Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday.



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Friday, October 25, 2013

Wisteria Antiques And Gardens

 Last week my friend and I headed to Santa Cruz for a girl's overnight trip of site seeing, eating and shopping.
I had one thing on my mind, and that was to visit Wisteria!

 I was so afraid it wasn't there anymore, but to my surprise, it is better than I remembered.
Of course, the gardens and nursery are wonderful, but the little cottage is a delight.

Every room is filled to the max with gifts, collectibles, antiques and everything in between.

Like this bee pottery that caught my eye.

The dining room has a cow theme going on.

As you can see, every surface and every inch of space is merchandized. 

The living room with its stone fireplace is my favorite room though.

There is so much to see, that it overwhelms.
I could spend hours in the cottage.

(Wisteria)
Amazing pottery, amazing wooden candlesticks and amazing art!




As if the cottage isn't enough, in the back of the nursery there is a series of rooms, all attached to a wraparound porch that are packed with merchandise.

Each room has its own theme and color.
This is the turquoise room.


"Our beautiful vintage property provides a tranquil setting to shop for your home and garden. We feature French country antiques, decorative accessories, paintings, artwork, tables, chairs, buffets, sofas, armoires, beds, chandeliers, mirrors, tabletop, pillows, quilts, plants, garden décor, topiaries, fountains, benches, arbors, decorative pots, and much more." ~ Wisteria Website

I'll never forget the first time I visited Wisteria back in the day.
I was blown away!
Funny thing is, I still am!

(Wisteria)


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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Staghorn Fern As Living Taxidermy


 For those who are squeamish about deer antlers in their decor, there is the staghorn fern plant as an alternative.

They are another "IT" plant that seems to be becoming more and more popular.

I'm currently obsessed!
 Martha Stewart seems to be too.
I'm loving the wall of ferns on her porch. 

I think they look great grouped together on an outside wall.

I mean, how cool is this?

And this?

For those living in cooler climates, hanging them indoors is a better option.

 They like humidity, so hanging them in a bathroom is a good choice.
As long as they get bright light too.

They require a weekly soak, allowing them to dry out between watering.
I did my research about the care of the staghorn fern before I bought two from the wholesale nursery last week.

 Isn't it beautiful?
I am toying with the idea of not hanging one of them, instead laying it flat on a table or stack of books.

 Or perhaps, propping it up on an easel in the living room.
The other one I'm planning to mount on the wall in the sunroom.
Who needs antlers when you have staghorn ferns!


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