4th of July Picnic

I’ve made many virtual friends since I began blogging WAAAAAY back in 2009, but I’ve had the honor of meeting only a scant few in person. This week’s tablescape is at the suggestion of the incredibly talented, funny, and gracious Pattie Tierney, author of the Olla-Podrida blog, who I have visited twice! Miss Pattie recently suggested we have a little fun with picnic baskets we unearthed. (Hers from her storage, mine – a super bargain at just $12.50 – from a recent estate sale.) Pattie and I have made a blood🩸 oath to use our baskets quarterly over the next year to see where our imagination leads us. OK, maybe not a blood oath, but you get my meaning!😄 Won’t you please create a reminder to yourself to check out Pattie’s entry which will be posted at Olla-Podrida on July 4?!

I hope you enjoy the little video above⬆. And here are a few detail pics of my fun hunt-style picnic basket all dressed up for the 4th of July!⬇

Under the trees of this modest grove in our backyard is the perfect place for a summer picnic!

Vintage metal spatterware plates remind me of my paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, KS where I spent a lot of time as a kid.

This giant basket can easily hold a feast for 6 with all the accouterments! Here I have patriotic napkins folded the same way we fold our flags.

Lots of space to hold a double layer of food containers!

The holiday cupcake sleeves are from Home Goods, and the little stand from the bargain bin at the front of every Target store🎯. The silver star decor, remnants from my granddaughter’s graduation party, fit right in like sparklers!

Aside from the main food table is this shorter “grazing” table. It’s lower to the ground so that one needn’t stand if resting on a blanket beside it. The larger buffet table is dressed in a stretch covering from LinenTablecloth.com, and the huge star is from Old Time Pottery. (I’m not compensated for mentioning these places. Just lettin’ y’know where to look!)

Star-spangled runner from Hobby Lobby on red & white checkered cloth.

A loaf of bread to accompany the fruit, cheese, and wine is neatly tucked and tied with twine in a napkin.

More Old Time Pottery stars.

Nap time? Uhhhh…yes, please!!!😴

I hope your 4th of July celebration is one of joy and reflection upon what the holiday signifies at its core. In this country, we pledge to stand “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.”🗽⚖️🇱🇷

I have a few 4th of July tablescapes on this blog that may interest you!

If you are interested in general picnic tablescapes:

Have a happy and safe 4th! And don’t forget to visit Pattie’s blog on the 4th. You will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!🇱🇷

Monkeying Around With Chinoiserie

If it’s as hot where you are as it is here in the Kansas City, MO area, please know I empathize. Gee WHIZ, it’s scorching!!!!!🥵 I can’t entertain the notion of setting up outdoors as even the mornings are intolerably muggy. This is not what June is supposed to feel like! So I’ve been “monkeying around” in the dining room with blue and white with a dash of orange.

The inspiration for this tablescape came from a pair of lumbar pillows I bought last year from Sew Gracious. (I’m not compensated in any way for mentioning this or any other site. I just love to share!) So perfect for our dining room!!!

I started each place setting with an orange glass Bormioli Rocco charger and Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” plates and bowls. The Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” salad plate brings visual texture to the setting.

I bought these monkey napkin rings years ago at Z Gallerie. He looks as if he’s holding on to that napkin for dear life!😆

Nell Hill’s. I mean…!!! I LOVE that place! The planters I happed upon while one of the showroom designers was setting a table there are perfect! (Yes, I took them right off her assembly cart…with her kind permission, of course!) I found the pots of spiky greenery there at Nell Hill’s on another shopping trip and added faux agapanthus.

Monkeys and gold-tone planters from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, Missouri’s West Bottoms shopping district. (Visited there over this past weekend. They are TEEMING with product, y’all!) The blue and white biscuit jars are from Nell Hill’s.

On the vitrine sits a Nell Hill’s blue and white foot tub filled with juicy oranges. The tub is surrounded by a trio of finial jars, a miniature vase, and a couple of ginger jars, also from Nell Hill’s.

If you’re as much a lover of blue and white or chinoiserie as I am and would like to see more of it on this blog, check out the posts below. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Have a fabulous week!

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

OK…so you got me! Busted! I finally gave into the whole “Downton Abbey” craze after resisting for more than 10 bloody years. (Oops! I sound like a commoner!)

“Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”

I started watching and simply could not stop!!!!!! I have now watched the entire series 3 times over, the 2019 movie twice, and am gearing up to see “Downton Abbey: A New Era” at our local theater. Satisfied?

So to celebrate the new movie, the glory of all things “Downton Abbey”, the beauty of formal table settings, and most particularly the wry humor and steadfast wisdom of the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet Crawley (quotes in her signature violet color), I’ve created a couple of tablescapes that I think capture a bit of the splendor. This is the first of two…or many…not by any means historically accurate!😉

I read somewhere that a white tablecloth was used in the series only to protect the decades-old table at Highclere Castle where “Downton Abbey” was filmed. (If I read it on the internet, then it must be true!😉) Hmmmmm…🤔 So naked formal table it is for this entry!

I don’t know, nor did I note in the series or the first movie, that gold was used very much decoratively in the 1920s. (Silver – or silver plate, nickel, or zinc for the less monied – had prominently established its place.) I’ve blatantly strayed from that with this gold leaf charger, the flatware, and gold-rimmed Royal Scotland china.

“Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Meals were always served in courses at Downton, and a cream soup bowl and saucer like these from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO may have been a part of that.

I took notice of the elaborately folded dinner napkins and did my best to replicate a Bishop’s Hat fold. I failed miserably and settled on this one instead. As noted in an article in Victoriana Magazine, the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York always employed a napkin fold to hold the dinner roll. Whether or not the Dowager Countess would approve of such a change is up for debate…or not.😒

First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I were living in an H.G. Wells novel.”

My beloved Nell Hills (Kansas City, MO) beverage stem with Cristal d’Arques “Asheville Gold” champagne flute.

While you’ll never, ever, ever see the likes of these little dudes (they rather look like footmen, don’t they?) on a formal dining table at Downton, I felt them right at home 100 years later. I like them, so they stay…unless the Dowager Countess says otherwise, of course! (Source: The Painted Sofa, Kansas City, MO)

Don’t be defeatist, dear. It is very middle class.”

The Dowager Countess referred to Lady Grantham’s floral arrangements as being better suited for “a first Communion in Southern Italy.” Geez…that was harsh! 😒 I don’t even wanna know what she’d say about this monstrosity in heavy lead crystal! (It would, of course, be removed for real dining.)

“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?”

While multi-arm candelabra were more the fashion of the time, I don’t think anyone (except perhaps the Dowager, of course!) would sniff at these leggy gold candlesticks.

“Edith, you are a lady, not Toad of Toad Hall.”

Although one would never catch the Dowager in such “hep” fashion as this, it certainly might be found in the closet of the very fashionable Lady Mary or Lady Edith. It’s certainly found in mine!

If you like this formal tablescape and would like to see others on this site:

National Donut Day

Oh, yeah! Now we’re talkin’!!! DONUTS, baby!!!🍩🍩🍩 I could eat nearly a dozen by myself! If you love donuts like I do, Friday, June 3, 2022, is National Donut Day. It’s like mid-year Christmas!!!!!!!! June 3 also happens to be National Egg Day🥚, but really…who cares?😐 Glazed, powdered, chocolate, old-fashioned, crullers, cake, jelly-filled, long john…I don’t care! Just gimme my donuts (and my elastic-waist pants!)!!!🍩🍩🍩

If a Bloody Mary or mimosa isn’t in your brunch plans, you may as well go back to bed!



Bordallo Pinheiro green cabbage plates and fruit bowls play a prominent part at each place setting. Notice the birds on the runner that complements the napkin rings.

More Bordallo Pinheiro in the form of sauce bowls nestled between the tall Z Gallerie mosaic shell vase and the smaller green glass arrangements.

Sausage links, eggs, fruit…yeah, whatever! It’s all about the DONUTS, man!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, mimosas are always nice for brunch, too!

Doesn’t matter where you go (because there are literally hundreds of “the best”)…just get yourself to a donut shop on Friday, June 3! Krispy Kreme (my personal favorite) is offering a free donut and/or a $1 original glazed dozen with the purchase of a dozen or 16-count minis. Dunkin is offering a free donut with beverage purchase. Better yet, dial up Pinterest, pull out ye olde Fry Daddy, and whip some up in your own kitchen!🍩🍩🍩

Other breakfast/brunch posts on this site include: