Farmers Market Inspiration

I can’t think of a place where there is more color and texture than at a farmers market.

The produce, the flowers combine to make me want one of everything which means I always come home with more than I need.

This time the market buys provided inspiration for a table.  It was a little challenging getting the carrots through the neck of the bottle until I found just the right size.

IMG_9438With the centerpiece of flowers and vegetables in place, it was easy to choose the rest.  

I had planned on using the black plates with the harlequin bowls, but one plate was missing….how does that happen?  

The solution was to do half of the place settings in reverse which added a touch of the unexpected.

As I added glassware to the table, I remembered the little Mason jars which I use for the kid drinks at tini time.  Off went the chosen water glasses to be replaced by the jars. 

This table was such fun to create, and as I stood back and looked at it it dawned on me that inspiration can come from anywhere.  You just have to be open to the suggestions.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

 

Meeting the Chickens

IMG_9284A friend very excited about her newly acquired chickens couldn’t wait to show them off.

I must say her feathered friends are being treated royally and claim as home a specially built coop.

IMG_9278I didn’t catch it at first, but check out the name.  That is so my friend!

As entertaining as her new beauties were, it was impossible not to let the eye be distracted by the drama of nature that was all around.

Every growing thing looked like it was on steroids which was attributed to fish emulsion.  I’m thinking that is a must for next year’s garden.

 Complementing nature’s bounty was the magic of the fog wafting in from the water.

Its quiet presence is a thing of wonder,

to say nothing about how its veiled mystery enhances color.

At every turn there were breathtaking vignettes with an astounding variety of color and texture.  Remembering that a short time ago there was nothing more than grass between the house and the shore makes all this bounty even more remarkable.

I think you will agree that it would be very easy to spend hours right here listening to the sound of the sea, watching the fog come and go, experiencing the quiet beauty of nature and keeping company with the chickens that are sure to come calling.

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Gardens Galore

Looking Back & Ahead

First, thank you for all of your well wishes in response to my last post.  They have great healing power.

Valentine tableIt just dawned on me that Valentine’s is a few days away.  To escape the crowds and avoid the hassle of finding a place to eat without a reservation, I started years ago making that a special evening at home for which the hubby is most grateful.

tablescapeThis year that won’t happen as I’m not quite ready for kitchen duty, but let’s take a look back at tables that helped make the Valentine meal special.

tablescapeMost years we’ve eaten at what we call the big table.  After all, it is a special evening.

tablescapeSometimes the table has a touch of elegance, 

tablescapeand Valentine’s is a perfect time to bring out those pieces  associated with people I love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore often than not the table is playful with those mixed patterns and colors I so like.

Valentine tableOn those February evenings when the weather is spring like and dove songs fill the air, we take advantage and eat on the screen porch, always a treat.

tablescapeNo matter where we eat or how the table is set, flowers help make it special

Valentine rosesand none are more special than the bouquet I get each year from the hubby.

No, there won’t be a dinner at home or a special table this year, but looking ahead to next week I have other plans that will give the hubby a night off from bringing me the evening meal.  Shhhh, don’t tell!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

What’s With Delphiniums?

IMG_6797So many plants grow easily in Maine.  My problem is not being very expert about any of them.  Take delphiniums.  They are beautiful, but little did I know about how tall they grow.  As I watched them mature, I thought it possible that I’d planted one of Jack’s beans!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe taller they g0t the more top heavy they became meaning they bent and broke no matter how carefully they were staked.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, I thought, I’ll just cut these beauties and take them inside.  As soon as they were disconnected from their stem the blue ones began raining petals, but the lighter colors proved to be long lasting on table tops throughout the house.  On this table runner, they were also the inspiration for a casual table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was one of those nights for a house favorite, fish chowder.  Playing off the yellow in the  runner, these plates served as a charger for varied colored bowls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor salad, I chose these harlequin patterned dishes.  I never tire of using them as they are so versatile and add interesting pattern.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANapkins are one of my favorite table accessories as they are not only functional but add a little artistic flair to any setting.  This one is a simple accordion fold which when spread becomes a standing fan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs this understated table shows, it doesn’t take much to make the ordinary special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, about those delphiniums.  I felt so defeated by their unruliness that I cut them down to the ground, but they are a very determined flower.  Here it is September and they have come back ready to bloom and still growing!  We’ll see if I’m any luckier controlling them the second time around.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things

Newburyport Impressions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAViewed from the boat, Newburyport has the look of an old New England town.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThough prosperous today, I learned from one shopkeeper that by 1970 the central area had fallen into such disrepair that it came close to being demolished.  At the last minute, a decision was made to rebuild rather than tear down, and rehabilitation began in the early 1970’s.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThus it was that the historic architecture and heritage of the town was preserved. 

Now there is a diversity of shops, restaurants and businesses contributing to Newburyport having become a popular tourist destination.

What struck me was how much brick there was.  Even the sidewalks were brick, and it was interesting to note the varying patterns.

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Like in many New England towns, flowers brighten the sidewalks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand provide opportunity for creative display.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne day may not have been long enough to experience all Newburyport has to offer, but that was time enough to be left with a sweet memory. In case you are wondering, this is a s’mores pizza.  If you ever have occasion to try one, I suggest having friends share it so you don’t get sugar overdose!

Pipe DreamsNow it’s back to the boat to ready for the next phase of this boating adventure.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Last Minute Doings

Planning ahead is not one of my long suits.  No, last minute spontaneity is my game, and more often than not it works pretty well.  Sometimes it takes a couple of phone calls to make something happen, but rarely does last minute not work out particularly when the invite includes food!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile dinner is cooking away,  I prepare the table, and there is usually something on it  that gets me started.  Here, it’s some of my trusty  bottles filled with flowers from the garden.  What would I do without them as they make a centerpiece so very easy. These are left from San Pellegrino beverages, and I find them perfect for grouping.

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My table settings are generally simple and defined by color, pattern and a touch of whimsey, all combined here in the placemats and napkins.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASubtle hued dishes, one of my many sets gotten at TJ Maxx, are tonight’s choice.

Now, I could have stopped here, but I couldn’t resist adding these salad plates, each one different and suggestive of something that could have been created by Picasso!  As I think about them, I can’t help but smile remembering the unexpected snowy day in Provence where an artist kindly opened his shop and let my daughter and me have a look.  He definitely came out ahead!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust as I was finishing the table, the placemats made me think of the little monkey bells sitting on a bathroom shelf.  How could they not become part of what is turning out to be a very fun table!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, that’s it.  Everything is about ready, and in a few minutes the doorbell will ring announcing the friends who we are lucky to have join us.  I do love these last minute gatherings!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Inspiration Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Thanks to the Rain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA tablescape can begin in unexpected ways. This one is thanks to three days of  drenching rain which is hard on top heavy blooming plants.  It made me sad to see all of a tall columbine’s beautiful  flowers flattened on the ground.  I staked as many as possible, but most I cut and filled bottles and vases with them. It’s no surprise that some became part of a centerpiece.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was a wonderful surprise to discover how sculptural the flower was.  I don’t know whether that’s normal or whether the shape was in part due to the rain.  No matter,  it’s  lovely!

The  beautifully designed woven textile from Italy became the influence for an Italian themed tablescape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA collection of large plates with scenes reminiscent of Tuscany served as chargers,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAperfect backdrops for new square black bowls from Ikea. The flatware from TJ Maxx was a great accent color, far more interesting than the silver I first put on the table.

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I couldn’t resist once more using these napkin rings, also from Italy.  Without question, they will show up again and again on one or another table as they are among my favorite things. 

IMG_6786Preparing this table brought back so many memories of time in Italy, a place that, like Maine, has a piece of my heart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll that is missing now are the friends who will join us for a dinner of risotto with Italian sausage and caprese salad. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Inspiration Thursday

Tablescape Thursday