The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Count Your Many Blessings!

Dear Ones, the stanzas to Count Your Blessings have been running through my head, especially this time of year. If I were to count my blessings and name them one~by~one this page could not hold their contents! I have, truly, been richly and abundantly blessed.

As you may have previously read, we vary hosting holidays On Crooked Creek with our son. The tablescape is from Thanksgiving 2009. This year we will join our son and daughter~in~law at their home.

The place settings have been set. I'm using my favorite faux fruit as place card holders. The little white vases were purchased by my dear husband as a 40th Wedding Anniversary gift when we visited Nell Hill's Summer Open House! They will be filled with fresh flowers. . .soon.

Instead of passing the responsibility around the table for someone to volunteer to give thanks. . .on this Thanksgiving Day, I used the poem A Thanksgiving Prayer by Doris Land Mueller. Dividing the four stanzas among us allowed for all to partake of the blessing before our meal.

A Thanksgiving Prayer
We cannot thank you, God, enough
For all the gifts you give,
For life and breath, for joy and song
That fill each day we live.

With gratitude this special day
Our praise goes up to you
For loved ones whom we cherish,
For all they are and do.

Lord, thank you for companionship
With those who share this meal;
The ones not gathered here with us,
Let them Thy blessings feel.

And now, oh heavenly spirit,
Descend on us, we pray;
Teach us to share the gifts we have
Today and every day.  Amen.

Doris Land Muelller

Today, On Crooked Creek, as I name them one~by~one, I'll be adding the names of my blogland friends to my many blessings. Truly, I have been surprised by what the Lord hath done when I entered the ranks of blogger. You have blessed me in numerous ways. From lurker~to~blogger. . .I thank you for your encouragement, inspiration and patience, but more importantly, for your friendship.

Today, I'm joining a new friend, Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for her Tabletop Tuesday. Please stop by and be inspired by all the lovely post. . .you are sure to be blessed!

Until next time. . .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Plate Addict Lives Here. . .

I'll be joining Tam @ 'The Gypsy's Corner for my first ever  'Three or More - Tuesday' with my faddish about plates! Please join us and see what the ladies have to share from their collections of three or more.

Oh, yes! I confess. . .I have a faddish about plates! Curvy plates oh~h! Elegant plates oh~h~h! Monochromatic plates. . .oh~h~h~h! Painted plates, seasonal plates, whimsical plates, woodland plates. . . I confess, I'm addicted! (Does it go in my favor that I'm a good cook?) I didn't think so!

A new family tradition began when our son moved away from home after his college graduation. We divided the holidays.  Even numbered years, our son has Thanksgiving at his house, odd numbered years we host Thanksgiving On Crooked Creek. Shortly after arriving to our new home, "Mr. Ed" and I discussed the need for some new dishware. Having raised two very active sons (and their host of friends) life had taken it's toll on our set. (Notice that is a singular term?)

That being stated, we were off together on a hunt for new dishware. I wanted something more neutral than the grayish~blue with pink painted flowers that had set on our table for the past fifteen years! Oh, dear ones, you'd think purchasing neutral~toned dishware would be easy. . .not for us! I wanted something elegant, but simply stated. "Mr. Ed" wanted vibrant, heavy and manly! Guess who won?

The pattern I choose for us. . .

Coventry. . .Fine Porcelain. Service for 8 with  matching 5 piece accessories! All for $78.00. The place settings consist of dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, soup/cereal bowl, cup and saucer ~ each is varied slightly to give an interchangeable look.

The accessory set consist of a serving platter,
 bowl, creamer and sugar.

Dinner plate is fluted with beading on the rim and small embossed leaves near the center. Saucers have a large leaf embossed rim with beading towards the center.

Bowls have fluting with beading at the rim and smaller embossed leaf pattern at the base. Cups are similar to the bowls and have an embossed leaf on the handle.

Saucers are similar to the salad plate with the exception of a convex center cluster of leaves that resemble a snowflake!

Then . . .

Our neighborhood hosted a three block participation garage sale during our city wide event! My newest neighbor, just across the cul~de~sac, had these lovely sage green plates for sale for $1.00 each!
                                                                                                    . . .   SOLD!

Can you imagine my surprise when I went for the Wichita Eagle the next morning and found a brown paper bag with salad/dessert plates, soup/cereal bowls and footed mugs on my front porch? AND. . . when I went to pay him for the extra pieces . . . he said I had already paid! No "extra" charge!

Is it any wonder that these have become my favorite 'everyday' dishes? Sage green scalloped with a fluer~de~lis look! They make all my kitchen creations look so inviting and delicious!

The set of sixteen makes a four piece setting for four. Exactly what we need when our son and daughter~in~law come to visit for dinner.

As many of you have already read, I work part~time in retail sales at a local antique, home decor, gift shop.
So~o~o~o. . .

when these dishes arrived at the shop. . .I was swooning, head~over~hills, had ~to~have . . .addicted!

These are oversized dinner plates, measuring 11 3/4 inches in diameter, which makes them an easy choice for substitute chargers! Their warm, golden glow with brown rim give them such a pleasing backdrop for our French Country theme On Crooked Creek.

Salad plates are patterned chili peppers! The colors are true to French Country although these might be more Salsa flavored! We adore their warm colors.

What truly sold me on this set for four were these whismicial bowls with their little side handles! Purchased in Summer, I couldn't break the habit of eating French Vanilla Ice Cream in them. NOT a good habit to induldge in! Now we find cereal, chili, oatmeal, and soup are better choices.

Aren't those little handles darling?

Looking for new coffee mugs brought about this purchase from Artland. Mine were chipping, scratched and becoming a 'health hazard'! Now, how could I purchase four mugs and not take the rest home?

Elegant, simply stated!


Vibrant, heavy, manly!

Although my faddish with plates continues, I have reformed~somewhat. I truly am trying NOT to purchase more dishes. Curvy plates. . .oh~h! Elegant plates. . .oh~h~h! Whimsical plates. . .oh~h~h~h! Seasonal plates. . .I already have these!

"Mr. Ed" doesn't raise too much of a fuss when I purchase dishes. . . he does like my cooking!
But. . .
when I brought these heavy dishes home he voiced his opinion,
" What are you going to do when the cabinets come crashing down from the weight of all those dishes?"

On Crooked Creek. . .

the solution was simple enough to me. . .
purchase new cabinets!

Until next time. . . 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Calm Dining This Fall. . .

On Crooked Creek will be joining our gracious hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Never disappointing are all the inspiring tablescapes that blog land ladies have prepared for your viewing pleasure. You're sure to come away with a collection of ideas for use in your own home. Be sure to leave a comment and thank you for visiting today.

Isn't it amazing how quickly the days are passing by and the holidays are rapidly approaching? With the onset of cooler temperatures, comes a hurried time On Crooked Creek. As "Mr. Ed" prepares for long hours on the Kansas highway, my schedule lengthens with holiday sales in the retail world. So these last few days of Autumn are especially important for us to enjoy one another's company.

Having changed out the vivid hues of Autumn, I chose soft colors for Calm Dining This Fall. For the next thirty days or so, I'm savoring every stolen minute with my dear husband. A touch of Romance is the air tonight
On Crooked Creek.

 Red and gold stripe shades have been changed to soft ivory on the overhead chandelier with the addition of hydrangea and twig garland with beaded pearls for accent.

 Champagne and soft russet hydrangea in the French Country half basket replace the former sunflowers.

Removing the ivory tablecloth allows the warm hues of the natural oak wood to enhance the hues in the table runner, place mats and napkins. Burgundy, sage green, gold, khaki, rose, rust and a hint of lavender on a taupe background in muted hues calm our souls.

Taking center stage are candlesticks, votives and a candle lamp to enhance the Romantic allure for the evening. Seating has been reconfigured for intimacy.

Using my golden dinner plates rimmed with brown as chargers adds another dimensional layer to the place setting. Our dinner plate will be the sage green scallop, white embellished leaf salad plate, and a sage green scallop dessert plate.

With cooling evening temperatures, we'll enjoy 'a cup of tea' in the sage green pedestal mugs. Most anytime Raspberry Tea  is a favorite; however, having sampled Cranberry Orange on our Annual Trout Fishing Trip, we have made a seasonal change. The bubble stemware serves as our water glass.

Pears, still my continual favorite faux fruit, I opted for a French Country wire basket filled with passionate pomegranates for the centerpiece. Two red candlesticks continue the 'fire of passion' with taupe ROOT candles. Transparent sage green glass leaf votive holders with heady fig scented candles are placed at each setting.

Instead of using napkin rings, I folded the napkins following a design from Susan, @ Between Naps On The Porch. Featured here is number one Pocket Fold from Susan's Napkin Fold Tutorials. The stripe backing of my napkin folded twice makes a mitered corner, adding interest to the fork placement. This double fold allows for the floral design to be seen at the top and at the bottom of the napkin.

Soft flickering flames coming from the lamp candle will enhance our conversations as we linger over tea. The lilting sounds of Celtic Harp Instrumental Christmas background music  will remind us that our time to linger with one another is time to be cherished.

Until next time. . .