Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lavender Transferware Snowflake Tablescape

Stay, season of calm love and soulful snows!
~ from the poem To Winter by Claude McKay~

 Do any of you remember my bird cage dining table  I made from a broken bird cage?   Well,  this table has  become one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  

I envisioned something outside of  the traditional red and green color scheme for this setting.  I envisioned a tablescape of silver and white snowflakes and ice crystals with a little bit of soft, pale color added.  I've always liked periwinkle and in fact had a previous homes bedroom wall painted a very light shade of this color.   My  inspiration were these gorgeous, ever so light periwinkle / lavender  / purple transferware plates in the Asiatic Pheasants Pattern.    I think this is a beautiful pattern depicting pheasants fluttering amongst a lush floral bouquet.  They seemed to be a perfect match for the table.   These transferware plates are not the typical English pieces I include in my tablescapes,  rather they are Swedish and made by the firm Gustavsberg in the late 19th to early 20th century.  When I came across these a couple of years ago I could not resist buying them solely for the rare,  beautiful color they are.

Asiatic Pheasants is one of the most popular patterns ever produced.  So many potters used this pattern that it is still not known just how many companies did indeed produce wares in this design. 

  Back to the table scape...I love, love, love to layer linens so layer one was a very light silver, almost white, organza table cloth.  Rather than traditional place mats I chose  white cotton/linen blend napkins with a silver ribbon sewn around the edges.  These were placed at an angle allowing the corners to hang over the table.  Next I added hand beaded silver chargers and then another clear beaded, metal charger over that.  This gave some glimmer I really wanted at the table.  I think that the beaded items, especially in silver, add light and airiness which gives a great visual impact.  

Next, of course came the plates. 
I chose to mix up the silverware.  I brought my Towle Stockholm from home and paired it with these pretty, white and silver salad forks which add another touch of supple elegance.  

Napkins are layered too...first is a white, jacquard poly blend under organza napkins that match the table topper.  The napkin rings match my chargers.

The etched goblets were on clearance a while back at Hobby Lobby.  
I love the second pic down with the candlelight shining through.

  At each setting I incorporated some pieces of Spode Mayflower ,which is another beautiful pattern in the same lilac/periwinkle shade as the plates but with hand painted roses in the center.  On each bread plate I placed these gorgeous, silver snowflake candles.  These ball candles come in a variety of colors from Zest Candles.  They're only a couple of dollars a piece.  

 Under each cup and saucer I placed a small wreath adorned with faux ice covered branches. 

To the backs of each chair, I tied matching wreaths with organza garland and a sprig of lilac to tie in the color scheme.

 My centerpiece is what originally was to be the top of the bird cage.  I decided to use it atop the table.  I wrapped three garlands around the cage top:   white and lavender floral, ice covered branches and more organza garland.  Underneath the cage topper I placed an additional beaded charger, plate and a large pillar candle.   throughout the garlands and over the table I placed an assortment of inexpensive, plastic snowflakes covered in glitter or metallic paint.

The crowning touch to the cage was draping a beaded wine bottle cover over the top.

 So many little ice crystals fell from the garland that I decided they'd be a welcome addition to the table and I scattered them all over  allowing them to stay where they fell.

 This antique tureen dish is another perfect match for this table setting.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. 
 ~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

 Between Naps On The Porch
Centsational Girl
Charm of Home
Masterpiece Monday
The Lettered Cottage

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Chicken in Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce

My friend, Tonja, gave me this recipe some years back and it's been a family favorite ever since.  I make this several times a year.  If you're reading this Tonja, I don't know what this dish is called so if you do, let me know!  

 I think, for me, this comes in a tie for my favorite chicken dish along with Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken (click to get the recipe).   I have to admit though, it isn't the most attractive dish in the world.  In fact, when it comes out of the oven it looks kinda gross, but it doesn't taste that way!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken in Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 jars dried beef slices 
16 slices bacon or 8 thick slices
2 cans cream of mushroom soup or 1 lg family size can
16 oz. sour cream
(sliced mushrooms, optional)

For 8 chicken breasts, Layer a pan with 2 jars dried beef slices

Wrap the chicken breasts with two slices of bacon or one slice of thick bacon and place on top of dried beef slices

Mix two cans (or one family size) can of cream of mushroom soup and 16 oz. sour cream

 Spread the Sour Cream mixture over the top of the chicken breasts.  Bake at 350 for about an hour

See what I mean about it not looking so good? 
 I promise, it tastes soooooo much better than it looks.

There will be lots of sauce and we ladle extra over the chicken and rice.  We usually make rice pilaf or a mushroom rice.   To make it look more appetizing, I dress it up with a sprig of fresh herbs and I like to cut the breast in half.  I think that helps it look more like it tastes.

For those of you who come to my blog solely for transferware...I have a treat for you!  Author, Transferware dealer and founder of the Transferware Collectors Club, Judie Sidall is guest posting tomorrow or Wednesday, and we have a giveaway to go along with it!   


Funky Junk Interiors
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