Dianne's Creative Table

I am inspired by light, all things natural, reusing previously loved items, and bargains!

Monday, June 25, 2012

O Solo Mio!

It's so great when you have good friends that love a lot of the same things you love.  Maybe that's what actually makes people friends in the first place.  One of those dear friends and I love to take classes.  We have taken photography, bread making, tablescaping, computer, exercise, and our latest; a cheese making class.  The class began with a visit to the Nubian goats. 

Their owner had a basket of animal crackers, their favorite treat, to help us make friends with the goats.  Goats don't share very well and the big ones pushed the little ones out of the way.  
Paula Butler from Standing Stone Farm, our instructor, did not use goat milk for this class, but instead, used regular store-bought whole milk.  She showed us how to make mozzarella and ricotta.  We were then able to purchase kits with the supplies needed to make our own.  
We decided this was a great excuse to have an Italian Dinner Party! 
You might remember this place setting posted HERE.  I quickly realized with just a few changes, I could transform my semi-country table into my version of an Italian Cafe.  
 I found the cute little chefs at Ross.  
Their little cake plate perch came from the Classy Flea in Marietta, GA on our recent Atlanta trip to see Neil Diamond!  

I really wanted candle-dripped Chianti bottles, but I discovered you can't just go out and buy a ready-made, dripped bottle, so I decided to make my own.  I called around to several local liquor stores and found one that had two matching Chianti bottles in stock.   I learned that there are special "dripping" candles, but I didn't have time to order those on-line, so I called all my friends and begged for colored candle stubs.  I just held them side-ways and despite a few burns from dripped hot wax, I was able to make my own! 
 The day of the party, I added the fresh grapes to the table.  

Several months ago, during a pizza making class, I learned how to make infused olive oil which is so delicious! 
 My antique crystal salt cellars with grey salt.  
My friend and I made both Mozzarella and Ricotta the night before the party.  I used both cheeses and put together a unique and delicious lasagna.  The day of the party, I made two large pans of Foccacia for dipping.

One of our guests brought an awesome antipasto tray. 
The dessert maker putting together the blackberry tart. 
Made with fresh mint and blackberries from our bushes.  Even more delicious than it looks!
Fred, I think the antipasto was a hit!  Two seconds after this shot, the tray was completely empty. 
Red sauce, lasagna, and Suzanne's Ceasar salad.   Not the prettiest lasagna pan, but I needed a really deep pan.  Vanderbilt Dining to the rescue with the loan of a commercial pan.  
Lasagna made with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, white sauce, and our cheese of course.
Sorry for the blurry shot, but I was in a hurry to eat!  Needless to say after some wine and food, there were no more photos.  
I will be joining the following parties:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Secret Garden

To begin, let me just say, I have the best in-laws in the world!   
It makes sense that they would be great people because they raised two of the best sons ever and I was lucky enough to marry one of them! 
My MIL has varied interests, but she is really into color, fabric, flowers, and decorating.   My FIL worked as a landscaper for the state of TN for years before starting his own business.  Now that he is retired, he helps my husband with his landscaping business. He works harder and longer than than all the young guys put together.
You may remember my husband's entries and wins at the Antique and Garden Show posted HEREHERE, and HERE.  The gardens are always a family affair with my in-laws working harder than anyone.  At the end of each show, the plants that haven't sold and need a home usually come home and join our family. 
My in-laws have a lovely garden of their own.  Come with me on a stroll through their beautiful gardens with many of the plants brought home from previous garden shows.
On the way to their home, we drive past Ke$$ha's house just a few houses away. Apparently she's a celebrity.  
Moving on to my in-law's house.  This is the garden area that greets you as you come down the drive.  

 Anabelle and Oak Leaf Hydrageas outline her herb garden.
This is the view from their awesome back deck.  This is one corner of their two level deck that spans the entire length of the house. They have entertained with dinner, music, wedding receptions, etc on this large and spacious deck.
My FIL was on the roof taking some of these shots!  This is looking up the drive and there are more hydrageas above the front patio.  When my husband and his brother were young, their project for many years was terracing this yard and putting in all those bricks. 
Along the way to the secret hydragea garden, there are some unique Hosta plants.  I don't know the exact name, but they put up these pods, which then turn bright orange and then they leaf out in the winter. 
This is the entry to the secret garden. 
The gate weighs about 400 pounds and took six grown men to install.  It was purchased at one of the Antique and Garden Shows. 
This is the view the greets you as you enter into the garden. 

 Since my MIL likes her flowers like her people; strong and upright!, she had all the weaker stemmed plants moved above the garden wall. 
Another roof shot of the entire garden.  They have private access to this area from their bedroom. 

She sent me home with a couple of blooms.

I added a Calla Lilly from my garden and put them next to my newest orchid.
Thanks for visiting the secret garden.   I will be visiting the following parties:
Tablescape Thursday
Seasonal Sunday

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Check it Out!

It all started in Texas!

Anna runs this wonderful shop during the October Antique Week in Round Top, TX just overflowing with imported linens and clothing from Austria. 
Anna is from Austria and she returns there every winter and purchases handwoven fabrics from the local women.  
She had rolls and rolls of grain and feed sacks that could be purchased by the yard.  If you look in the upper right corner of the above photo, you will see a roll without color.  This roll contained two 90" runners that were very soft compared to the other rolls.  This particular fabric is woven for blankets.  The strips are 90" long and about 15" wide and several are sewed together to make a blanket.  I bought both pieces on this roll because it felt so good in my hands I couldn't resist.  
I purchased this runner and about 3 of it's cousins (You can see them HERE and HERE).  In fact, I spent more money on table runners than anything else.  I couldn't resist!  Well, that's not true, because I did resist and only bought 3 runners for me and one for my MIL instead of the twenty or thirty I wanted!  You can see the weave clearly in this photo, along with the bird's nest still attached to it's branch that my husband brought me.  
When I saw these red checked placemats on Ebay, I knew they would complement the weave in the runner.  

I added my Johnson Brothers bowl and pitcher that I also brought home from the antique show.

The chickens, sitting in a nest of aspen wood shavings, came from Home Goods last year.  
I added the woven rattan chargers to echo the nest.  The red polka dot glasses are from Old Time Pottery. 

I have had the wrought iron candle holders forever.  
Flatware is Cambridge from Ross and napkins from Home Goods.  White square plate from Old Time Pottery topped with an Mikasa Antique White salad plate. 
This table has been without flowers for several days so I decided to try gathering some blooms from our yard, but they seemed to have succumb to the heat.

The Oak Leaf Hydrangeas really perked up when they were in the cool house and had a long drink.  I did too! 

I will be joining the following parties:

Let's Dish!

Tablescape Thursday

Seasonal Sunday