Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Stuff America is Made Of

It's been 2 weeks since I have blogged. I have been desperately working on the Romancing the Home Entertaining book that's being published this fall. But it's the last day of the month, so I thought I would take a few moments for my blog. The Fourth of July in Lake Bluff is truly the stuff America is made of- parades, block parties, and cook-outs.Our friends, Jill and Barry are coming over Friday night to attend the big block party with us, so I thought we would start with appetizers on the porch. So I'm sharing with you my front porch all decked out for the big weekend. Vintage Americana pillows invite one to "sit a spell" on the porch and drink a little lemonade. The clematis are amazing this year- bright blue and huge,so I had to use them on the red silk napkins. And of course I can't have a table without a little bling, so I add the rhinestone boxes. Vintage American flags are draped on the railing to show our patriotic spirit! Staffordshire blue and white china show historical scenes from American battles for freedom. The weather is glorius, 70 degrees, sunny and a light breeze. It's so great to be living in small town America, and being able to celebrate and have our freedom! Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Entertaining

Summer entertaining is usually a more casual affair. We have just recieved some great baguette trays and bread boards that are fun to use to display food. Cheeses, dips, roasted vegetables look great on the big board, while little appetizers arranged down the baguette board are displayed in an interesting way. Jan Barboglio has just come out with a great container for sangria- a hand blown jar with an iron crown stopper. Her mercury glass bowls are awesome for hummus, salsas, or guacamole and can be chilled in the refrigerator. But the most grand piece is a stunning large candle holder - 34.5 inches high. the large glass vases are great for flower arrangements or just a simple pillar candle. Vines or garlands could be wrapped around the beautiful rope iron arms. The other new piece from Jan is a great iron and cement display platter- so organic and a statement piece.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Entertaining Book Coming in the Fall!

Susan Snodgrass makes the most beautiful fairies in the world. While many of her creations are elaborate, my favorite one is called "The Jar Lady". It's almost like she has been captured in a canning jar, like children catch lightening bugs in summer. Using them as inspiration, a table is set in the fern garden for a tea party with children. This is part of an upcoming book that we are publishing this fall called "Romancing the Home Entertains". It is a 390 page book full of color photos of parties and tablesettings, along with suggested menus and recipes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cheap Trip to the French Countryside!

It seems that everything is blooming right now, particularly these pink shrubs along the back drive way . I couldn't resist setting a table for dinner for two with them as a backdrop. We just planted a new perennial that looks like lamb's ear, but has a different shaped leaf. I works great as a backdrop to the pansies and blackberries. Peonies have shed their floral leaves and can be used as the "charger" for the plates. The hand painted decanter is from the 1920's. This tranquil setting transports me to the countryside in France, even if it's only for a dinner!