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Ted’s Tip No. 162

Farmers markets often are brimming with other level produce you would never find at the grocery store. Case in point, celery. This head was so deep green and overflowing with leaves that it became the centerpiece for Sunday night supper before being called into action for all sorts of dishes this coming week.



 

 

Dining Al Fresco

If you are a regular blog post reader of mine, you know dining outside is a big deal to us. Just something about breaking bread under the sun or moon that tugs at my heart strings. Sharing a meal with those you love rates pretty high on my list, indoors or out, but feeling the wind or hearing the waves bumps up the specialness. Whether it be a simple or grand table, or a blanket, or a park bench, enjoy a lunch or drinks or supper in the great outdoors on one of these beautiful days. It does the soul good.



 

 

Hydrangea & Geranium Set the Scene

The gift of hydrangea was the driving force behind our Sunday supper table. The big tub of geraniums that was a gift from the Country Living shoot months ago going crazy with all this sunshine. Together they set the scene for the meal. This was the 18th year in a row we celebrated Summer with a group of dear friends on the last Sunday of July. We love a tradition. All sorts of blue was pulled to incorporate on the table. The recycled metal whale we sell at WK the centerpiece. Which meant the hand painted whale glasses that were also a gift were called into action. The British blue banded dinner plates with the French monogrammed W salad plate atop always makes me smile because it combines so many things near & dear to my heart–England, France, blue, monograms. A bit of tan from the bamboo handled flatware adding a bit of additional color. It was a hot, hot day so I liked the idea of no tablecloth and the cool of the zinc tabletop exposed. Then Mister Sive was at the grill doing his magic. An easy G&T station set up so folks could help themselves. Then we were off and running with a gathering to celebrate the season!



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 160

Stylish dish towels become even more stylish oversized napkins when enjoying your meal at the beach, on the deck, or on the boat. The size allows it to cover your entire lap so spills or drips are caught. Plus the beautiful patterns add tons of extra zip to your table or picnic blanket.



 

 

Of Hydrangea and Whales

The Sunday supper table was prompted by hydrangea that was a gift from our friend Catherine and whale glasses hand painted by the artist Margot Larkin for us. Often when setting a table, one or two things become the theme or driving force and then everything else falls into place. Paper placements picked up at Bell’occhio in San Francisco on my last trip that have maps of France with cheeses from each region were called into action as well as a recycled metal whale we sell like crazy at the shops. Blue also became a theme so the splatter plates picked up at Ikea for a song finishing things off. Then paella dinner was served!



 

 

Of Fish and Whales

The fish napkins we have had forever and the whale glasses that were a gift from artist Margot Larkin, the driving force for this sunny blue table setting. The island day so pretty it was one for the books.

The white peonies and the overflowing bucket of French lavender adding a bit of flowery-ness and off we went for a table for two. The sun creating all sorts of shadows, but worth every ray of goodness.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 154

A collection begins with one thing. Vintage dinner plates found at flea markets and estate sales are an easy thing to collect. You can mix & match designs, or really be a sleuth finding more of a certain pattern.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 153

Much like getting dressed in the morning and setting your clothes out while you are getting ready, think of setting a table much in the same way. Pull things that you think work together and group them on a staging area. Add, subtract. Whatever strikes your fancy. Then set out adding all the things to your dining table.



 

 

The Case of the Traveling Peonies

They made it! The peonies I plucked right as we were leaving Hawthorne made the cross country flight and are being enjoyed on the dining table at The Gainsborough as I type. They are our Flower Friday blooms of the week. Boy were those little guys ready for a fresh cut and a big drink, but other than that, they were serious troopers. I cut them and instantly wrapped the bottoms of the stems in a wet paper towel, then wrapped them tightly in a ziplock bag so the stems stayed surrounded by the moisture. I carried them in my L.L. Bean bag on the plane and they sat perky in the middle seat for the flight. Our meals at the table a fluttery symphony of color & scent.



 

 

On the Menu, a Heavy Dose of Greens, Please

Each Hawthorne visit, a few new goodies from the shop make their way into our suitcase. That helps add that layered ‘collected over time’ look & feel we both like so much. This trip it was the trellis placemats and the large gingham napkins I kept eyeing every time I walked by the display at the First & Spring shop.

The green ribbon orb a gift from our friend, the artist Denise Fiedler, also made its way cross country in our bag. White lilacs from caretaker Bill’s property that he brought over the day after we arrived as he knows how much I like them. Then a variety of other green things pulled from the cabinets and dinner for two was served.