Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Labor Day Celebrations!

 

The last weekend of summer approaches we anticipate a wind up with a wonderful weekend of friends and entertaining.

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It doesn’t need a lot of prep or cooking.

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Laying out the bounty of the garden (or the farm stand) can be a feast for the eyes.

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Thoughtful display can bring grocery store purchases to another level.

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Sometimes we hesitate to entertain because we dread the work involved. It can be as easy as selecting some delectable treats and displaying them in a pleasing manner.

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Hope you enjoy Labor Day weekend!

Participating in Cuisine Kathleen’s End of Summer Challenge.

- The Tablescaper

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Change

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They say that change is good.

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I must say that I am struggling with it.

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I am trying to look at things differently.

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Trying to gain a little perspective.

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Change is hard. I’m not to the good yet, but I’m trying.

- The Tablescaper

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life Rolls On

 

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Life has been busy!

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Mine is recently been full of many changes.

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I’ve done a little visiting here and there as time allows.

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Hope you are enjoying your summer.

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- The Tablescaper

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Where do you keep it all–Part 5?

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In celebration of my fifth blog-a-versary I am hosting my fifth annual “Where do you keep it all?” party. Without a doubt, whenever someone reads my blog, the most frequently asked question is “Where do you keep it all?”. There was no doubt in my mind what I would be sharing this year. There is a small room in my basement at the base of the stairs which we used to call the Train Room. Many years ago we had a huge table built in the Train Room so that my husband and son could set up their trains. Well, I don’t think it every really got set up and now my son just finished his freshman year of college, so I departed on my journey of taking over the last possible bit of space in my home to store my tablescaping paraphernalia.

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This is what the Train Room looked before. Clearly there were no trains running in there! More like a train wreck!

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The first step was to clear it out. See, there was a train platform under all of that! Now, this room was a real challenge to figure out how to set up. Behind the louvered doors is our HVAC system so access to it was an important consideration. Access during it’s life as a train room wasn’t any too good. We needed to remedy that.There were wheels on the table so it could be shifted to gain access, but the table itself was so darn heavy, not to mention all of the crap stuff on and around the table. It really didn’t work. I hired my talented nephew to change the doors from hinged to sliding. That way I didn’t need to accommodate space for the doors to swing and if something needs to be removed or repaired in the HVAC system, the doors could be easily removed.

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Whenever I try to organize anything, I always start with sorting.I used bins and gave them a temporary label to help keep it all straight.

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These metal racks are one of my favorite storage devices. They can hold up to 300 pounds per shelf and each shelf can be set at a height of your choice. That being said, it’s a little hard to predict as you’re building the shelf exactly where you want the shelf. Mr. Scaper was a huge help in building the shelves.One of the primary purposes of the new space was to accommodate my vast collection of glassware.I previously kept it in plastic bins, labeled as to content, and with each glass individually wrapped. That system made it difficult to remember exactly what I had and hard to locate. Plus it was time consuming to unwrap and rewrap for each table. While being out on open shelves may make them dustier, thus necessitating washing before each use, I used to wash them before each use anyway.

Putting the glasses into their new homes was a huge task. I wanted it by color so it was key to be sure that I had finished emptying all of the storage bins of any given color before I moved on to the next. I realized I needed to dig into all of the bins and get one glass of each set out so I wouldn’t miss any of a particular color, before moving on to the next color. The photo above was from when I finished the greens, was moving into the blue greens and getting ready for the blues.

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I have my dishes in color order and find it an extremely effective way to find and use my dishes. I wanted to do the same with the glassware.

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I remember that I had stored some of my pink depression glasses with my pink dishes so I went and pulled them out too. What was great about that was that it allowed for some new dish space!

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This was such a huge project (and truth be told there are a still a few things that are not finished) that I thought I ought to name this post “How I spent my Winter” but like any good organizational project, it sure was worth it. I also thought about “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Hah! The entrance to the room (formerly the Train Room and now the Glass Room) has a pocket door from when we refinished the basement years ago. I love pocket doors! They are all over my home. Such a space saver.

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The above photo is the view as you first enter the room.

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It’s such a pleasure to be able to access all of my glassware so easily. It’s wonderful to see it all too!

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Do you see the pieces of cardboard on the floor? I emptied out most of the glassware that was in boxes and kept one panel of each box so I would know it’s manufacturer, model, etc.

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The above photo has the oranges, yellows, golds, browns, blacks and clear. I actually buy less now because I can finally see what I have (which I know, is too much).

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This shelving unit was in the room already. It was an Ikea purchase and was low enough to fit under the soffit but still maximize the space. It too got completely cleaned out and now houses glassware in red, pink, lavender and purple.

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Another goal of this project was to remove all of the candle holders from the china room to open up some space for china that didn’t have a home. I couldn’t move the candles themselves as this room has a fair amount of heat coming from the HVAC system (thus the louvered doors for ventilation) and I was afraid they would melt. If I every buy another candle holder, someone should shoot me. It’s sad to say that the hurricanes are in a completely different closet (I’ll have to share that another time).

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I boxed the votive candle holders by color. This makes it a whole lot easier to take a grouping of them upstairs to a table to decide exactly which one works best.

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I moved my plastic drawers of placemats (of course organized and labeled by color) in from the other room as they were behind a pole and the sofa so it was rather difficult to open the drawers. They fit perfectly to the left of the one metal shelf.

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I had previously shared where I kept my runners (chest of drawers above by color) and napkin rings (small plastic drawers by color) but the problem was I had many napkin rings that didn’t have a home.

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So, I added more small drawers for napkin rings and small items such as place card holders and other small table accoutrements. The boxes on the shelf shown above hold all sorts of things that I have a hard time figuring out where to put: moss for floral arrangements, floral frogs, carpet balls, vase fillers, potpourri, faux fruit and vegetables, and the list goes on. When trying to organize anything I always sort first and then label, label, label!

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The clear boxes in the photo above hold part of my napkin collection. That seems to be the only downside of this project. Some of the boxes of napkins are in another room but they are all labeled and organized by color so it’s not that much of a downside.

This was a huge undertaking, but I’m so glad I did it (and so glad that my family finally let me takeover this space). It allows me to see and use what I have so much easier.

Check the prior post or see the side bar for easy links to the prior “Where do keep it all?” posts.

On another note, those that are regular readers of my blog know that I have taken a bit of a break. My blogging break will continue.I recently went back to work full time after being a stay at home mom for many years. I hope that my full time position transitions into a part time position so that I can continue to blog, but only time will tell. I hope to have a better handle on it by the Fall. It has been an extremely busy Spring for me and will continue to be an extremely busy Summer. Sometimes these things are beyond our control. While I won’t be posting much, I love to see all that you have to share so I will be visiting.

I know I haven’t been able to promote the fifth “Where do you keep it all?” party very well but I’d love to have you link below. Feel free to share an old post, as long as it relates to where you keep it all.

- The Tablescaper

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Taking a Break

I really enjoy blogging and certainly enjoy tablescaping, but sometimes life gets in the way! There are a lot of exciting things taking place in my life right now and I need to step away from blogging for a time.

I will be celebrating my 5th blogaversary on Sunday, June 1, 2014 with my annual “Where do you keep it all?” link party. I hope you join me to link or just to visit!

This winter I took over another space in my home and did a huge reorganization. I can’t wait to share it with you!

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Click on the photo above of my china room to link to my first “Where do you keep it all?”

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Click on the photo above of my tablecloth closet to link to my second “Where do you keep it all?”

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Click on the photo above of my tea shelves in my entryway to link to my third “Where do you keep it all?”

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Click on the photo above of my flatware storage for the fourth “Where do you keep it all?”

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Click on the photo of the breakfront above to see where I keep it all in the summer.

As time allows, I hope to be stopping by and visiting. If not before, I’ll see you on June 1st for the FIFTH “Where do you keep it all?”

- Alma, The Tablescaper

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Seasonal Sundays #201

Each year my school district hosts a tea for senior citizens. This is the fifth year. The tickets are free and despite increasing the number of tables every year, there is always a waiting list. This year we had over 150 people attending. Some of the food is donated by local merchants and some of it is prepared by our cafeteria staff. I design and lend my china for the tea related centerpieces. We have approximately an hour and half from when the High School cafeteria is filled with 300 or so students to transform it for afternoon tea. The custodians descend, clean the room, and change out the table. Then a bevy of volunteers help set the tables. The individual plates and cups and saucers are lent for the day by our local hotel. High School students volunteer to serve the tea, scones, tea sandwiches, and dessert.

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This is after the lunch tables were stacked away and the floor was cleaned.

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Tables set.

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Guests are seated. The grand prize of the Hat Contest was Brunch at the Local Hotel.

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The entertainment included snippets from school plays.

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Orphans from the Middle School production of Annie.

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The High School Chamber Orchestra performs, as does the Middle School Late Night Jazz Band. Art work from all of the schools is displayed. The High School ceramics class made fused glass necklaces that were given out as door prizes. Other items donated by local merchants were additional door prizes. In our planning this year, we realized that other than in photographs our Primary Schools weren’t represented so the Primary School students made book marks that were laminated and handed out by these precious students.

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It is a huge undertaking, with many people working in various capacities, and a huge success! Now to put it all away!

- The Tablescaper

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dessert is served

When hosting an event it’s fun to give lots of choices for dessert. Some people are chocolate people. Others prefer vanilla or fruit. Last week I shared my tablescape for the appetizer part of my hosting Book Club. For dessert I set the table to allow everyone to serve themselves and have lots of choices!

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I followed a similar color scheme to that of the appetizer table.

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Coffee and tea are arranged so everyone can serve themselves.

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My Ikea chargers make a great tray.

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Chocolate spoons make dessert even more fun.

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It’s all about the choices!

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Had to buy this little cookies as the color of them matched my theme! LOL!

Click HERE to see where I may be partying this week.

- Alma, The Tablescaper