The Preparations…

On Sunday December 14th our long awaited Christmas Party with the British Columbia Mennonite Girls and their husbands began at three in the afternoon. My preparations had been going on for a while.

2014-12-11 More XmasJoy was the theme and red and gold were the color choices I picked. I had red glassware but only had a total of 10 pieces so I was on the hunt for 6 more goblets or glasses to fill the 16 place settings we would need for our party. When we traveled to our son’s home in eastern Washington in early November we shopped at some thrift stores and found a set of 8 red goblets for a real good price. Yippee!

We do not have an open concept home by any means and to be able to fit 16 around tables we had to get creative. We decided to empty out some of the furniture from our living room so we could fit two round tables that would each be set with eight place settings.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. I saw a package of red and gold Christmas Crackers at Costco and knew they’d be a fun addition to the table. The red and gold sparkly chargers came from HomeGoods. I already had a stash of cloth napkins in red and gold tones and napkin rings that worked nicely with the color theme. I found flat Christmas wreaths and red candle holders for my center pieces.

Here’s a photo the day of our gathering with all the last minute touches added to the table. This photo was taken by Lovella. The next couple of  photos were taken by Anneliese.

Our front porch was transformed with a fake little Christmas tree that we had in our condo when we lived in Southern California for a few years. The vintage red step stool was a fun piece to put some of my lanterns on. The cedar branches and all the greenery with red berries, rosemary, and holly came from my yard. I had the large glass jars that I filled with the greenery and added a candle in to warm up the entry to our home.

I’m enjoying our new 3D star that we purchased this year that adds it’s light to welcome you to our front door.

My next post will show the people that made all these preparations worthwhile. Here’s the sneak peek of the girls and the guys.

More to come soon with some great photos from Anneliese and Lovella who clicked away while Dear and I worked on getting the food ready for everyone.

Since I finally set a table and took some photos I’m going to link this post to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish for this week. If you’d like to see my guests seated at these tables click here.

Birds, Nests, Eggs!

It’s time for Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish challenge and her theme is Birds~ Nests~ Eggs.

We just had our Women’s Friendship Tea at our church this past Saturday and I happened to have a sweet bird on a nest in a cage as my centerpiece. So timely!

2014 NSB Tea 001

2014 NSB Tea 002

2014 NSB Tea 046

2014 NSB Tea 133

2014 NSB Tea 084

2014 NSB Tea 122

2014 NSB Tea 097

2014 NSB Tea 113

2014 NSB Tea 112

2014 NSB Tea 111

2014 NSB Tea 102

2014 NSB Tea 082

2014 NSB Tea 048

2014 NSB Tea 001

2014 NSB Tea 002

Tea 2014 008

2014 NSB Tea 060

2014-04-05 2014 NSB Tea2My guests…Susan, Shavonne, Laura, Wilma, Pat, Andra, Judy, Katy, and Katie.

2014-04-05 2014 NSB TeaThere were a total of 36 tables at our Friendship Tea. It was organized so well with hand made food in our church kitchen. Many of the men and boys in our church volunteered to serve the tables and they poured our tea and made sure we had what we needed throughout the program. There were take home gifts for each of our guests and door prizes, too.

2014 NSB Tea 089

2014 NSB Tea 057The theme this year was Snapshots: Behind every snapshot there is a story. I will have a few more posts showing the rest of the creative tables and the photo booth opportunities before and after the tea in our church lobby. Here’s a panorama photo of several of the tables in our worship center.

2014 NSB Tea 049This was the first year since Dear and I have been attending Northshore Baptist Church that I was able to participate in the Friendship Tea. What a wonderful well run event it is.

2014 NSB Tea 131Katie and my snapshot at one of the photo booth backdrops in the lobby. Stay tuned for many more snapshots from this event.

I’m looking forward to visiting all the posts linked at Kathleen’s Birds~Nests~Eggs challenge.

The Three Birds Pub…

…or Public House. All secrets will be revealed and all projects will finally be shared from the mysterious sewing and planning for this evening of “Celebrating” good friends and good food.

Pub Night 034

We had a wonderful time at a “Thank You” celebration at this old house Pub on Sunday November 10th. We wanted our friend from England (who now lives in Washington) to know how much we appreciated his offering of his parent’s home in Porthtowan to us this past September. He not only offered their home but also gave us some great recommendations for things to do while we were there.  Our guests were very surprised when they arrived to our house Pub on Sunday!

2013-11-10 Pub Night1

We decided to name our pub “The Three Birds” because of the 3 birds on our stained glass window.

Pub Night 036

The reader board is from a business our son Josh had when he was in high school. Dear spray painted one side of it with chalk board paint that you can buy at craft stores. We used Union Jack duct tape to frame the chalkboard and frame some other signs that we made for the evening. Our daughter in law, Laura, did all the printing on the chalk boards. The printing on the signs were my effort…oye.

Pub Night 035

In England a lot of Pubs have Beef and Yorkshire pudding as specials on Sundays so we decided to do the same since our meal was on a Sunday, too.

As you stepped into ye olde pub you were greeted with various scarves from English premier league futbol (soccer) teams.

2013-11-10 Pub Night

2013-11-11 Sticky Toffee1

We had lots of fun with our signage…

2013-11-11 Sticky Toffee

We carried the bird theme wherever we could. These sweet birds were in a flower basket that Josh and Laura gave me for Mother’s Day symbolizing my 3 little birds that are all grown up now.

2013-11-10 Pub Night2Laura printed the names on the place cards, too. See the bird place card holders?

Pub Night 045This was another Chalk Paint project that Dear painted for me. I bought the white photo frame from Michael’s on clearance for $11.88. I liked the shape of the wood frame. Dear took the glass out of the frame and spray painted it with the Chalk paint. We let it dry and waited a few days before we treated the chalk paint as directed by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiping it off. Now it was ready to go. I stuck on the stickers and Laura printed out the menu.

Pub Night 013

These banners were some of my sewing experiments. The front banner is just a short twine tied between our island pen lights with 3 of the 12 napkins I made for the table. There were only 9 of us at the table so I used these 3 to fill in the air space in our kitchen/eating area trying to cozy things up to look more like a pub. I’ll be brave and show more close up detail on my sewing efforts at the end of the post.

Pub Night 025Each place setting had a poppy broach that I made by cutting off individual poppies from a bouquet stem of poppies that we bought at Hobby Lobby. I used wire cutters to do that and then attached stick on pin fasteners on the backs so they could be pinned on easily, or not so easily as it turned out. The reason we decided on the Poppy broaches was to commemorate Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day since our time together was on Veteran’s Day Weekend and Poppies are worn extensively in England during this time.

Pub Night 010

The centerpiece was filled with some items that we would see on pub tables when we were in England and some things I added. I wanted to use as much pewter as I could.

Pub Night 011I used pewter mugs that Dear and I bought in England in the early seventies for our flower arrangements.

Pub Night 018

The napkin rings were silver tea pots. All the plates were made in England. I used a combination of three different blue and white transferware.

Pub Night 012

Pub Night 048

2013-11-11 Sticky Toffee2

These are the rough cut napkins that I made from a yard and a half of British themed fabric. I was able to get 12 napkins from the yardage I bought. I trimmed the runner with some bias tape I found in my MIL’s old sewing box. I also used bias tape for the little triangle cut outs that were left over from my original Pub banner.

Faerie - banner 003

Now to the most important reason for our evening…our guests!

Pub Night 058

The lovely ladies with their poppies on. Left to right, Katie, Laura, Gwen, Terri, and Sophie. Terri and Gwen are sister in laws. Terri is married to Gwen’s brother Luke. Luke was too sick to be able to join us. Sophie is one of Terri and Luke’s daughters.

Pub Night 061

Our guest of honor Gabriel with his wife Gwen and Josh and Laura. It was fun to share our England experiences with our friends and to thank Gabriel in person for his generosity to us and his great suggestions on what to see and eat in Cornwall.

Last but not least was our dessert.

Sticky Toffee 017Sticky Toffee Pudding. I will be posting the recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook on Wednesday, November 13th.

Sticky Toffee 009

We said farewell to our guests with our stomachs full and our hearts full. A most wonderful evening. Our kids helped us clean up and we went to sleep content with visions of Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding dancing in our heads. If you want a tried and true recipe for Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for your Christmas Holidays this year make sure you order one of our Celebrations Cookbooks. If you gift someone with this book you are also gifting children in Kenya who need clean water to live well. All of our author royalties go to this cause.

Sticky Toffee 013For the next couple days I think I’ll sit with my feet up and enjoy this book that I first heard about on Vee’s Blog, A Haven for Vee.  It finally arrived last Saturday. We ordered it before we traveled to England! What is on your schedule this week?

I’m linking up to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish. As soon as her direct link is up for this week I’ll add it to my post. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to link up. Looking forward to seeing what’s going on in Dish world!!

Set the Table…

…and they will come!

On Monday night we gathered around the table to enjoy our visitors from California. We had stuffed cabbage that we call Goluptsi. You can see the recipe here. We had a wonderful salad with lots of goodies chopped in it and dressed with our favorite Persian Dressing.

Thursday the MGCC girls are being interviewed by Suzanne Woods Fisher at 2:00 PST and 5:00 EST on her Amish Wisdom show. You can listen in on a live feed here.

I’m linking up with Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly Let’s Dish Linky Party!

Valentine Day Table

An early Happy Valentine’s Day to all who visit here!

We are celebrating the arrival of Katie tonight and our son Josh and DIL Laura are joining us around the table set for Valentine’s Day.

Dessert will be a Red Velvet cake.

Our dinner tonight is going to be Rib Eye Steaks, Roasted Vegetables, and a Cucumber Tomato Salad. I hope to remember to get a photo of all of us around the table. I’ll edit my post tomorrow to add the photo if it gets taken! Here’s the update…

On Valentine’s day our Small Group is having a potluck meal together. We have joked that the big pot of chili I’m making for that event is ideal for Valentine’s Day because it could give everyone Heartburn. Are you making a special meal on Valentine’s Day or do you go out?

I’m linking up to Kathleen Cuisine for her Let’s Dish weekly event. Here’s a Valentine’s Day bar scape from our condo years.

Snow & Ice ~ Tablescape

Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen hosts a weekly meme called Let’s Dish. This week she challenged us to come up with a scape using the theme of Snow and Ice. Here’s what I came up with…

We sat at a version of this table on Sunday night with our son and his wife to celebrate our son’s birthday. I’m sorry to say I forgot to take photos of our actual dinner…oops! Our dining chairs are off to the upholsterer and we aren’t sure when we’ll be getting them back so we are using some of our folding chairs for the time being.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we’ve had several foggy days. The sun finally made a breakthrough on Tuesday afternoon. We are going to have our rain pattern return for a few days with a dry weekend promised so far. With our freezing fog we’ve had some ice issues. Do you have snow and ice in your neck of the woods?

Christmas Beginnings…

I’m joining Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen with my first Christmas table for Let’s Dish.

We even had a full on Christmas dinner at this table the Saturday after Thanksgiving with Josh, Laura and Dan. It’s a long story. The recipe for this Apple Butternut soup will be shared in December on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.

Today I reset the table to my more casual everyday Christmas theme. I hope to share that next week.

More decorations went up today. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house…