Wednesday, December 8, 2010

an outdoor table for Christmas...


I know that a lot of you would enjoy our temperatures right now. I am ready to trade. I would like some cold and snow, please. Send it as quickly as possible. Please.

In the meantime, we’ll be eating outside.

I like bringing a bit of nature to the table whenever possible. We found the fallen aspen branch in northern Arizona. The pinecones are from northern Arizona and our local favorite spot in the mountains. The pine boughs are from our Christmas tree. It always helps to buy a tree just a little bit taller than the ceiling. It makes for some boughs all season long.



The silver is my mother’s. She told me that it was customary for a bride to have her silver engraved with her maiden initial. She decided she wanted her married initial, despite her mother's objection. What surprised me was the placement of the monogram. It seems like it is upside down. Again, this is tradition and my grandmother’s silver is engraved with the same placement of the initial.

Please tell me why I keep buying candles that say they are dripless and somehow they are not. I will try the freezer trick to see if that will help.


These plates were so hard for me to photograph, much harder than a squirmy toddler. They are so reflective that the sky just seemed to wash them out. They seem to go back and forth from gold to silver, more on the gold side.
























And a bit of the night...


Please join the Susan and everyone else for more tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch.

43 comments:

food for thought said...

what a beautiful setting, i love the dishes, the silver, so bright and shinny outside. such a tranquil table~

Debbie said...

Barbara, I simply LOVE this table. Maybe I'm pining away for some warmer weather, but the fact that it's outside makes it all the better.

I love your "squirmy toddler" plates. No matter how hard they were to photgraph, they turned out beautiful. I love your use of silver and the little stories about the monogramming, too.

Just perfect.
And I'll send you some cold weather. We're NOT supposed to be as cold as we are in Georgia right now. UGH.

A Perfect Setting said...

You're right, wish I could trade right now! I would love to be sitting at your beautiful table! It is very lovely, inviting, and you did such a great job pulling it all together!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

So very very pretty!! I love the mercury glass candlesticks! The napkins and plates are gorgeous too!

Marlis said...

I love the mercury glass!! with those beautiful plates. and the natural touches. It's all perfect. I could sit there all evening and marvel in the beauty of the table and the surrounding habitat! Beautiful job.

The Tablescaper said...

This is glorious. It's so wonderful to see you celebrate what is around you - beautiful weather. The plates are beautiful and the mercury glass is wonderful.

- The Tablescaper

Scribbler said...

Fabulous -- casual elegance at its best.

NYCLQ said...

Absolutely FABULOUS!!! Beautifully done!

:D Lynda

Entertaining Women said...

I have the same Mercury Glass candlesticks on my dining table right now...great minds.... Lovely tablescape. The plates are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

Johanna said...

Hello barbara,
what a lovely table. When I read "outdoors" it make my flesh crawl but then I realized that you really have nice weather there. Amazing for me. The table is lovely, did I say that already? Very natural and the plates are so nice to that. I love the engravend flatware.
Greetings, Johanna

Dana and Daisy said...

Oh! That is so very beautiful!

Alycia Nichols said...

Good morning from teeth-chattering cold Missouri, Barbara! I will GLADLY send you this weather if I can figure out how to package it up and make the UPS man accept it! :-) I think it is so great that you are still able to enjoy the outdoors because the decorating possibilities are so endless!!! We in the Midwest, on the other hand, are restricted by stupid walls & ceilings that won't let our designs sprawl the way we might like. Boo for restrictions!!! :-) Your table is lovely, and I could just eat those plates & napkins up! There is something about the print plate atop the beaded design that is incredibly striking! Your mother's silver is gorgeous!!! I applaud her for going with her married initial if that's what she wanted. I never understood the upside down thing either, but a lot of people have it that way. As for the "dripless" candle, I don't think there's a candle in the land (save LEDs, of course!) that will withstand a draft! The slightest little shift in the air, and there they go drippin' all over the place. It's annoying as heck! I even have a problem with metal case candles if there's a draft! At any rate, your table is beautiful and I will still trade you ANY day for your clime compared to ours right now! Have a great, sunshiny day!!!

Kathleen said...

Barbara, that is beautiful. We rarely see such an elegant table outdoors! The silver is gorgeous!
Enjoy your good weather. I am waiting for a warm day near 40 to dash outside and do the lights! I am late this year due to the party.

Pat said...

Amazingly gorgeous, Barbara!

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

Barbara, what a STUNNING table! The mix of natural elements with the gold-patterned plates and silver candlesticks and flatware is just gorgeous!

xinex said...

Oh I want your weather. It's cold her, had frost at night on the ground but it usually melts in the morning. Your tablescape is lovely, so elegant! Love the salad plates and all athe silvery and glittery accessories...Christine

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Barbara,
What a beautiful table in that lovely outdoor setting. Just love your silver/gold fruit christmas plates....so elegant. A simple yet very elegant table. Enjoyed it very much!!
I love all the natural elements as well.
Thanks for dropping by and for your kind comments they were appreciated very much.
May you have a joyous Christmas Season,
Blessings, Nellie

A Hint of Home said...

What a lovely, elegant table you have set! Beautiful in the outdoors. Your plates are gorgeous!

Sweetladyelaine said...

You set a beautiful table in an awesome place!
It just is so shiny and elegent. Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas!

bj said...

OMGoodness.. what an absolutely LOVELY outdoor table. So very pretty. I love all your natural decorations and your dishes are to die for.
Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful setting.
hugs, bj

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a magnificent table. I adore all your silver and the wonderful history behind it. Your photos are so breath taking. Thank you for sharing this beautiful table setting. Thank you for swinging by to say hello.. hugs ~lynne~

Cindy said...

Beautiful china! The silver is beautiful too...how nice to have your mothers silver!
Thank you for visiting me Barbara...please visit again soon!
http://dwellings-theheartofyourhome.blogspot.com/

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I will happily trade you a little cold weather to be back eating outside! Your table is gorgeous...I love all the silver candlesticks. Just seeing the outdoor setting with the holiday plates...so different than in Illinois:)

Thanks for your visit!

CAS said...

From one desert rat to another, I agree that we need some chill-factor here in AZ. Your outdoor dining is just beautiful. I love that you pulled some of nature's best into an elegant setting with all the silver & mercury glass. Did you have any uninvited guests from the "cat" family?
CAS

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Barbara, this table is stunning! Dripping with beauty... REALLy a nice treat today.

hip-chick said...

Oh how pretty. We could eat outside as there is no snow at our house yet either...of course it is a balmy 24 degrees out with an expected low of 13 tonight!

Jacqueline said...

How about a home swap! I would be happy to fly to see snow, I don't like to live with it. Actually our snow is melted and it is survivable.

What a fantastic table. I love your clippings of pine, surprising in the desert. The tones of the plates and the napkins are fabulous together and then the touch of bling on the plates and the mercury glass - wonderful! I love seeing Christmas outside. Wish I were there.

Vittle me this... said...

so beautiful!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady. I see you have your Tablescapes on for the Christmas Holiday this is so Beautiful sweet lady, you know just how to put it all together lovely. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas sweet lady.

Mary said...

What a gorgeous setting & table! The light is beautiful *sigh* Love your silver mercury glass candleholders. I'm especially fond of your "squirmy toddler" plates too :-)

Your weather is sounding very appealing to me, we have unseasonably cold temps in the 'teens...my southern blood is not used to that!

Debbie said...

Absolutely beautiful... I take my inspiration from people like you!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment!!! Oh, and I would be more than happy to send you some of the cold and snow that we are already having!!!!

Rettabug said...

Barbara, this table sets the tone for a feast for a King! Lovely, lovely pieces....especially those goblets & golden plats. *mega sigh*

I have been neglectful in visiting your beautiful blog....I have LOTS of catching up to do, I see! I need to get a fresh cuppa tea as I'm going to be here awhile. AWESOME shots!

destiny said...

Your tablescape is amazing!!! It could be in a magazine!! I love the nature you brought in and your mercury glass candle holders...everything! Enjoy your meals outside!

Anita said...

Wow, this is just gorgeous and like a magazine!! Your photography is always incredible. I love the outdoor setting. The china is so pretty with the natural background. Thanks for stopping by!! We are trying to take those moments in between things and really enjoy it!

Atticmag said...

Christmas looks fantastically beautiful outside. It's just something we could never do but you've done it to perfection. Thanks for stopping by to see us. Happy holidays. Jane

Mimi said...

Beautiful table, Barbara...love the saguaro in the background! Those salad plates are really pretty. I will volunteer to trade weather with you...I remember the first few years in Phoenix, it didn't seem like Christmas without the cold and snow...we soon got used to it, though...wish I could say the same for cold windy east/central Kansas!

It's a Wannabe Decorator's Life said...

What an incrediable table! Love the pottery barn napkins! Everything looked gorgeous!

Sailing Simply said...

So beautiful! I love your setting on the table and outdoors. I see we have the same initial too! Love the silver. I have some from that we inherited from my inlaws as well. They were my husbands mothers and that was her married intial too. I've not heard of using the maiden intial, but have heard of them being upside down. Again, I really love your beautiful tablescape!

Tammy said...

Beautiful setting! Love the different size candlesticks on the center. The mercury glass is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Love your pretty pretty table -- This silver is quite lovely -- I didn't know about the maiden name initial. Love your pretty dishes too. Thanks for your sweet visit.

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

So delicate and beautiful. Very elegantly set. Gorgeous.

Designs on 47th Street said...

Hi Barbara! Sorry I am so slow to stop by and say hi to you and thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I can't believe I almost missed this LOVELY table! Wow!! Those dishes are so gorgeous as is all of it! I simply cannot imagine setting an outdoor table in Dec. We are at about 7* this morn!

Donna

Lindy said...

What a beautiful table! Very elegant!