after the storm

after the storm
Welcome autumn!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

on a search ...

West Elm came out with the cutest plates for the holiday season in 2013.

I was recovering from surgery and wasn't allowed to do much of anything. We don't have a West Elm here but once I was able to sit at my computer again, I started having fun just window shopping. (Is there a comparable expression for when you are doing it on your computer? Windows shopping?) Well, by the time I realized I could not resist the Dapper Animal plates, Mr. Bear was no longer available.

I had a very friendly, helpful West Elm employee on the phone trying to track them down for me. A couple of times, I thought I had it but realized the clerk I was talking with had confused the badger with the bear. I became ridiculously obsessed. I needed Mr. Bear. My original thought was to get some for my son's girlfriend because they had several bear encounters while camping. I couldn't find even one so sending her a set wasn't going to happen. I sent requests to West Elm to carry them again. My husband had business trips in cities that were lucky enough to have a West Elm and he checked. No luck.

All the other animals would be in stock for a while and then disappear, only to show up again so of course, I keep looking. Mr. Bear is the only one who has not done this. In my desperation, I even tracked down talented artist, designer, Rachel Kozlowski's email, asking her if she knew if any were available ANYWHERE. She was very gracious to me despite the fact that as I am typing this, I realize that I was behaving like a stalker. No luck.

They even came out with Mr. Bear tea towels but I wanted the plates. No luck.

Last year, they had a Dapper Animal set all dressed up for the holidays in black, white and gold. No luck.

Still no Mr. Bear with his adorable hat that always makes me think of my brother. It's even my favorite, a buffalo plaid. I wish this story had a happy ending but it doesn't. I check eBay and Etsy regularly. I check West Elm obsessively.

A few weeks ago, West Elm came out with a new set of Dapper Animal plates.
There is a bear but it is not Mr. Bear. He just isn't the same. I am sure a few of these will find their way to my table. We are University of Arizona Wildcat fans so the wildcat dressed up in his reindeer sweater may be hard to resist. And look at the moose!

I am a West Elm fan. I have many of their dessert/salad plates. They always seem to have ones that have a little something extra. I have always had excellent customer service from West Elm too. I have had orders that have gotten mixed up and they have always made it good and quickly. I so appreciate their helpful employees especially ones who are patient with a bear-plate-hunting crazy woman.

I have to say these are probably my West Elm favorites, by Shanna Murray, for Thanksgiving or any time we want to celebrate around our table. I have two of these, for each of my children. I hope they will be home to see them this year.

I have enough of these to have one for everyone else, at least for now. It is so hard to decide how many plates to buy when the family keeps growing and growing.

I have some extras of the original Dapper Animals if anyone wants to make a trade. I promise I will give Mr. Bear a very good home.

Mr. Owl looks ready for fall!

(Disclaimer: Pictures 1,2,4 and 5 came from the West Elm website. The rest are mine.) I am joining Susan and others at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

finally, a tablescape ...

In my absence, I've still been having fun with my tables. Somehow they just haven't gotten photographed other than a quick shot or two with my phone. My dear friends joined me this week for our every two weeks gathering. This week was my turn. After I washed the linens, the flatware and the dishes, I stacked them on the dining room table to put them away. When I saw them this morning, I remembered that today is Tablescape Thursday. So, everything went back in it's place even though the actual gathering was on Tuesday.
We are so lucky. We have been friends for years and try to meet every other Tuesday. Sometimes life gets in the way, but it has been easier since our children are grown.
We are in the hottest part of the year. Although many of our meals here are eaten outside, this wasn't the day for it.
Blue and white always feels cool and calm to me but I did add the orange napkins.
There are lots of colors to pull from these dishes.
This group of women is so important to me. We have been through a lot together. There have been heartbreaking times and times of complete joy. Through it all, we keep meeting every other Tuesday.
They have wisdom and insight. They know when all another needs may be a nod of understanding or a hug. Other times, we talk and talk and talk it out.
Every Tuesday there is a lot of laughter. A lot of laughter.
There are Tuesdays that have been filled with tears but even on those days, we still laugh. It is so very healing.
Our opinions can be diverse but it doesn't matter. We solve the problems of the world. We debate the issues, all with respect and love.
I am so blessed to have these women in my life. So very blessed.
As you can tell, I set a simple table. Sometimes I like to fuss and make it more elaborate but for the most part, I am most comfortable with simple.

Joining Susan and everyone else (finally!) at Tablescape Thursday, with Sherry at Home Sweet Home, Southern Savvy Style, Rustic and Refined, The Scoop and Your Turn to Shine.