Friday, December 14, 2012

Tartan & Roses Romantic Tablescape

I recently found the most beautiful dishes. Sadly they're a discontinued pattern by Ralph Lauren, but that didn't stop me from working very hard to collect 4 place setting (only two mugs so far).   I said to my daughter, "aren't these the most beautiful dishes you've ever seen?  She laughed and said " I think they're the most beautiful dishes YOU"VE ever seen"  I had to giggle.  They have two of my favorite things on them.  Roses and Tartan Plaid.  I think I actually squealed with delight (followed by a sigh) when I saw them, lol.  Please Click on each photo for an enlarged version of each picture.
 Even though both the tablecloth and the dishes are made by an American designer, I think this table setting just screams "English Country".  It also mixes some very contrasting patterns and colors.  There is the masculine and bold Tartan Plaid against the very feminine roses, and  the traditional Red and Green Christmas colors accented with pink.  I must confess, I love contrast, it reminds me of well....me, lol.   Some days I feel like a proper English lady, others, I'm full of Shanonigins ;)

I've actually made two different centerpieces for this tablescape. One, the traditional English Country flowers in an antique wooden box, and the other, a more contemporary woodland scene tucked under a cloche.  I purchased my Cloche at World Market for 24.00 and it's a really nice size.
 Here's a close up of the cloche vignette.   I used artificial snow on a white platter and tucked a white deer (from World Market) 2 tree candles, and a bottle brush wreath under the cloche.  This was going more with the tartan plaid in using the woodland or hunting theme.
This is the floral centerpiece.  I have a vintage monogrammed hankie that I used under the box for a touch of romance and to pull in more pink.  The base of the arrangement is evergreens, filled in with white and green mums, red carnations, and of course, pink roses.  I think this would have also worked well with fushia or red roses, or a combo of all three.
Here is a close up of each place setting  I found these fun English Crackers with a tartan plaid band.  Each one contains a tissue hat, a joke, and a charade title.  I love crackers because they put everyone in a fun and festive mood.  Let's face it, it's hard not to laugh when everyone puts on a silly hat.  Have everyone share their joke at dinner, and then play charades with your dessert.  It's built in fun, and I love it :)
 The Key-  You may notice that each place setting has a key?  This is the key to the Inn.  It's to remind us that in our hearts, we can give the Holy Family a warm and safe place to stay.  This symbolizes our love and generosity towards the baby Jesus.  These are Christmas ornaments that can be taken home by each guest to remind them of this gesture.
Is someone you love (and miss) spending Christmas with the Angels?  If you'd like  to remember them in a special way, make them a place setting and place Angel wings on their plate.  It's a nice way to remember that they are in good hands (or wings) even if you miss them.  These wings can then be hung on the tree after dinner (from World Market).
I want to take this time to wish you and yours a Joyful and Blessed Christmas season.  You bless me every day by allowing me to share this blog with you.  Thank you so much for the love and joy you bring to my life.  I wish us all a special 2013
God Bless us Everyone, Hugs and Hope, Shannon 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Visions of Sugar Plums Give-Away

As most of you know, I'm a firm believer in shopping small, locally owned businesses whenever possible.  It puts money into your local economy and keeps Americans working. That being said, I did some local shopping and one lucky reader will get to win this sweet stash :)
If you're ever in Denver, make sure you take the free tour of Hammond's Candies. They still make their candy canes and lollipops by hand.  You'll definitely feel like you've spent some time in Santa's workshop.  I've included two lollipops and one Christmas tree ornament.  These would make great stocking stuffers, or just plain fun for the little one's in you life.
Baby, if it's cold outside, these should take the chill off.  6 ounces of Wind and Willow Original Mulled Cider mix.  This can also be used to make hot mulled wine, and will make one gallon.  6.25 Ounces of Mary Lake Thompson Chocolate Peppermint Cocoa mix, in an adorable fabric bag.  These would make great hostess, or neighbor gifts, or they would also be great for those Holiday visitors who stop by. 
Sweets for the sweet!  9.7 ounces of Scharffen Berger fine artisan 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate. Take my word for it, this is THE chocolate you want to bake with.  This chocolate will kick any recipe up several notches.   7.8 Ounces of Dean Jacobs Silver Sparkling Sugar.  Not only is this sugar beautiful, it comes in a lovely glass jar with a clamp seal.  Sprinkle this on cookies or a white frosted cake for instant elegance.
click on any of the photos to see the enlarged version

One Mary Lake Thompson Flour Sack Kitchen Towel.  Although this will be beautiful at Christmas, the winter theme will be appropriate all Winter long.

To enter for this Give-Away

1).  Like Shannon's Shanonigins Facebook Page  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannons-Shanonigins/135210736536443?ref=hl

2).  Leave a comment about your favorite thing in this give-away, or just wish me Merry Christmas :)

The drawing for this give-away will be held on December 10th.  Thank you so much to all my readers for the Joy you give me year round.  I wish Blessings and Joy during your Holiday Season