Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Tradition

Momma always told us that we had to have our Christmas tree down by New Year's Day, so that we would have good luck during the coming year. So yesterday I began to take the ornaments off of our tree in the living room. As I am removing each of these beautiful ornaments, I am remembering my mom and all of the wonderful traditions that she instilled in me. Now they are part of my children and grandchildren's traditions. As each of the ornaments is removed, I take one more good look at them and gently pack them away for next year. I wonder what the new year will bring. I am looking forward to wonderful times in 2012. Happy New Year everyone from our family to yours.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Concrete and Crystal for Christmas!

This is one of my favorite Christmas displays - the concrete old garden cherub fountain contrasted with the vintage crystal collection and old rhinestone pins. The crystal is a collection of vintage gold trimmed glasses, never an entire set, just what I happen to find and like. The gold leaf designs unify the collection. I use old rhinestone pins as Christmas decor. They look great sitting on little silver toothpick urns. A rhinestone crown sits on top of the head of the cherub adding a little holiday sparkle.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Ice Cream Cake

For birthdays, we have a favorite ice cream cake made with Sara Lee Pound Cake, coffee ice cream, hot fudge and Heath Bar bits. So for Christmas, I decided to change it up a bit and make the cake with peppermint ice cream, dark and white chocolate ice cream, Milano Mint Cookies, and candy canes. My children were skeptical, as they love the original, but after tasting it, agreed it was a great combination for Christmas. The original recipe is in our cookbook,"Romancing the Home Entertains". It's a frozen treat, made with layers of sliced pound cake, ice cream, Heath Bar bits, and hot fudge, made and assembled in a springform pan. For this version, I crushed 2 candy canes for the topping, Pepperidge Farm Milano Mint cookies, and layered them with a dark chocolate and white chocolate ice cream, peppermint ice cream, hot fudge, thinly sliced Sara Lee Pound Cake (frozen section of grocery store), hot fudge topping and chopped salty peanuts. Looks a little messy but it was Deelish!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day Table

Christmas Brunch is the most traditional meal of our family's year. Traditional foods of daddy's fried oysters, Marshall Fields thin roll pancakes, and other family favorites continue to be served every year. Setting the table with a series of John Grossman salad plates, given to my by my old staff at Marshall Fields, brings a sense of nostalgia to the table. Mis-matched gold rimmed dinner plates are set on top of large Anna Weatherley chargers. The crystal is Bayel and was a beautiful pattern that was discontinued in the 1970's. Lot's of candle light, even though its morning , adds to the magic of the festive meal. Merry Christmas to all from our home to yours! Join us at Tablescape Thursdays to view more festive holiday tables at

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve- My Favorite Day

A couple of my favorite Christmas decorations- all ready for the arrival of Santa tonight! I love Christmas Eve almost more than Christmas Day. All my children joining in to prepare Christmas food, wrapping the last minute gifts, taking the grandchildren out for a late afternoon walk to see the lights, and getting cookies ready for Santa make it a very special day! Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snow Dust for Christmas

We are not supposed to have a white Christmas, so this little dusting was a delightful surprise. I couldn't wait to see the first snow on the arbor that my neighbor and husband built this summer. I love the way the snow falls on the branches, just icing the tops, kind of like a "snow ganache".Not having any electricity near the arbor for lights , I had to settle for the gazing ball and greens in my birdbath. Looks like Christmas is almost here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Gift Wrapping- Tartan Inspired

I spent yesterday getting my gifts ready to mail- last minute as usual! Tartan pattern was used as the over wrap, but of course it had to be romanced by a few of my favorite things- bling, leopard, feathers and polka dots for a little surprise element. This year we are selling the most beautiful tartan silk ribbons and I love this bold black and red buffalo check pattern. It looks great with the voile leopard ribbon from Sam's Club. Red feathers are used on most of the gifts to unify the presentation. Mixing all these elements together creates a unique gift wrap- so pretty to sit under a tree! So now into a box they go, heading south for the Holiday Season.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Details from Jill's Home

The family room all decked out in Tartan and Red.

The living room all decked out in bronzes and jewel tones.

The living room tree packed with ornaments- so gorgeous!

Family room detail- small wooden box layered with a tartan covered book and shiny brooch!

family room vignette of old chalkware Santa's, bottle brush trees and reindeer.

Kitchen island display of Santa's - don't you just love the donkey?

Family room mantel details.

Family room tree of reds and tartan- so much Holiday spirit!

A collection of lambs displayed in snow under a cloche on the family room coffee table.

A charming vignette in the family room behind the sofa.

Tartan collection display in the family room- love the old tartanware.

Beautiful vignette on top of the baby grand piano- notice all the elements used.

Tablescape in the foyer- love the lights in the branches in the large floral!

Today I want to share my friend Jill's home with you for a little Christmas inspiration. It's all about the details for Jill. She is the master of vignettes and cloches, mixing her antique collections with holiday decor. Her great visual eye adds layer and layer into her special Christmas displays. Being in her home during the holidays is a true feast for the eyes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Tablescape in Shades of Blue and Green

For the Lake Bluff Christmas Home Tour, we decided to set the table in non traditional colors of green, cobalt blue, and purple. A collection of various patterns of vintage gold rimmed china was placed on top of the gold croco glass charger that we sell at the store. Cobalt blue water glasses were paired with mis-matched vintage crystal compotes and Waterford Powerscourt wine goblets. An organic touch was added with the leopard print napkins ( another best seller in the store) and natural horn sterling silver flatware. For the tablecloth, we sewed together several yards of powder blue taffeta and layered a green and blue netting table topper that was encrusted with sequins to add sparkle. Jeannie at Twigs made these beautiful little arrangements in antique champagne goblets of orchids, hydrangeas and ferns. A mixture of crystal and mercury glass candlesticks, fitted with crystal shades were placed down the center of the table. An old frame was embellished with old jewels in chartreuse, blue and clear and held a bed of mood moss with a reclining bronze cherub surrounded by brooches in the color scheme.

Vintage place card holders were placed in the compotes at each guest's seat. During the evening, when the candles were lit, the crystal and jewels on the table glowed with Holiday spirit. We will be joining for Tablescape Thursday. Come take a look for a little inspiration.