Friday, February 26, 2010

Gien China-Fabulous GW Bargains

A friend and I shop at Goodwill on our lunch hour almost every Tuesday and last week I made another wonderful purchase!  I knew when I saw the box with the maker from France that I must investigate further.  

What a pleasant surprise to find these beautiful Gien "Alice" desert plates with a cake server tucked inside.  I scooped up the box and couldn't wait to examine them for chips or scratches.


They were in mint condition  and barely looked  used. I wasn't familiar with Gien china so I later looked them up on ebay and to my surprise they retail for $36.00 per plate.  Can you believe  I purchased the entire set of six ...are you ready ...for $7.00!  

The cake server is beautifully made and is listed on another website for $52.00. 

Doesn't the server look great with my grandma's china!

 I would love to buy some accompanying pieces but unless they show up at Goodwill I won't pay that much for dinnerware!  Before this purchase I had never seen or heard of Gien china but when  I visited their  website I fell in love with all of their patterns.  Pricey but beautiful...take a peek if you's the link:

I love the blue pansies and muscari blossoms.  They are some of my favorite spring flowers.   The muscari blooms remind me of Texas bluebonnets, another fav of mine.

 I arranged a little vignette on the piano with Easter bunnies to hopefully hurry Spring!

  This set is perfect for spring or summer tablescapes and they coordinate perfectly with my grandma's periwinkle blue Franciscan china.

I started playing with my dishes again...and this is a preview of my Easter tablesetting.  I haven't used my grandma's entire set in years and since I have so many unusual pieces that were included like a huge platter, gray boat and adorable double handled bowls I've decided to use all the pieces this year.  The Alice plates give a great updated and fresh look to old vintage china.   The pattern is Brentwood and has a simple flower motiff with a platinum edge.  

 I also found these sweet little bread plates at GW from Godinger & Co.  They are the palest and softest blue color and the scalloped edges are so pretty.  I paid  $3.00 for 4 plates.  This is such a pretty color for spring!  

If you don't shop at really should.  There are some wonderful items available but you do have to take the time to look.  It helps the community by employing wonderful people and  recycling is a good thing. (as Martha would say)  

Happy treasure hunting !  

This week I'm linking with Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday Favorites, Blue Monday at Smiling Sally's and A Picture's Worth a 1,000 Words for Second Time Around Tuesday.     

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday Favorites-Spring Tablescape

This post is one of my earliest posts, when I barely knew how to post anything but pictures. is one of my favorite spring vignettes..and I'm definitely trying to hurry spring along!   I can't wait for a warm sunny day to work out in my garden and get my fingers dirty!  

Original post:  April 11, 2009

I love bunnies, topiaries and tulips, so I combined all my favorites on my corner table.

Have a great Sunday and go visit Chari at Happy to Design for everyone's favs!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pink Saturday-Mud Pie and Girly Girl Pink

Okay,  I usually don't go "ga-ga" over clothes...but while minding my own business at work   (I work in a hospital) I accidentally noticed the gift shop had the most adorable baby girl outfit proudly on display.     They displayed it seductively so I really couldn't miss it.  I was innocently walking  by and almost got whiplash when I spied something in my peripheral vision.  I exclaimed an audible "ahhhh" and may have even gasped.  I hate to admit this but,  I immediately had the clerk snatch  it out of the showcase before anyone else could buy it.     I know.... and I am ashamed... but it was the only one left !  

Are you ready?   Let's all say it together.....

Ahhhhhh.....I don't even have a baby girl... but my best friend does!  She just had a girl  and  I can't wait until she's big enough to wear the entire ensemble...because as the gift shop clerk so happily informed me (evil woman) ..the outfit has matching shoes and a headband!  As I heard these words, it was too late to stop me..our baby girl had to have the entire matching outfit!  

Thank goodness for my employee discount!

The outfit is from Mud Pie and they make the most beautiful line of baby clothes!

Happy Pink Saturday!!  Visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for all the other girly-girl pink posts!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday-Gumbo Night

Gumbo is a favorite at our house and since my recipe makes a large portion and feeds 10-20,  I always have leftovers to take to work, church or share with friends.    I usually freeze some too!  This week we invited friends over for gumbo on Valentine's Eve.   The table was casual and I used my everyday Gibson dishes.

  I had some lobster/crawfish napkins that inspired the table color scheme of  blue and red.  I didn't buy anything new but just used what I already had in my dish collection. 

The soup tureen  was purchased last year at a antique mall for $ 5.00.  It doesn't have a ladle so I used just one of my silver vintage pieces.  The Tureen is perfect for gumbo!  

The candlesticks were purchased years ago at Hobby Lobby at half-price.

The flatware is King Cedric-Oneida and I love these soup spoons.

The smaller soup bowls are from my collection of rice china and since our first course was clam chowder these bowls were the perfect size to layer over the main course "gumbo"  bowls.  

I used the Gibson dinner plates as a charger and placed the napkin under the  soup bowls.  I love the cobalt blue border. 

My favorite red goblets came back out for a pop of color in honor of Valentine's Day.  They are also great for Christmas, Memorial Day and Fourth of July tables as well.     

(No I didn't forget to take the tree down -it's a Valentine's tree)

I am often asked for my recipe so I thought I would share it: 

Crawfish and Shrimp Gumbo

1 medium chopped onion
3 stalks of celery
1/2 chopped green bell pepper
2 tsps of chopped or minced garlic
Smoked turkey sausage (or sausage of your choice) 

Saute above ingredients in 3 Tsp. of  olive oil until onions are translucent.

 1 28 oz large can of diced tomatoes
1 carton of  of a good chicken stock
1 16oz can of tomatoe puree,  sauce or 1/2 can of tomatoe paste  
2 cooked chopped chicken breasts

 I let this simmer on the stove for at least 2 hours then one hour before serving I add the okra.  Last but not least I add the crawfish tails and shrimp.  Make sure you don't overcook once you add the  seafood.  

1/2- 1 lb. of  cleaned medium shrimp
1 thawed package of crawfish tails

Season to taste with:

Cracked black pepper
Garlic salt 
Paul Prodhomme's-Seafood Magic

Serve over rice and finish with a sprinkle of 

This is a perfect meal to serve for Fat Tuesday/ Madri Gras meal as well. 

We had a great night filled with laughter and gumbo!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday Favorites, Tablescape Thursday-Valentine's Table for Two

Happy Valentine's Day!  I originally posted my Valentine's Tablescape a couple weeks ago but thought it would be  perfect for a Chari's Sunday Favorites post.  I apologize if you have already seen it..but this was one of my favorites !     

Original post 2/3/10

I'm particpating with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  I have so much fun putting a tablescape together and with Valentine's quickly approaching I thought I better get in gear and get busy on a Valentinescape.    So I started playing with my dishes and to my surprise I had everything on hand to create a red and white theme...well almost everything..I did need some fresh flowers.  

These placemats and matching napkins were purchased in the most beautiful shoppe in Carmel last year.  These were on sale and I loved the print and rich colors.

I used my faux pearl braclets again for napkin rings!  My napkins wear them as much as I do.

My favorite red goblets...I love the bubbles in the glass.

The flatware is King Cedric-Oneida.

I layered a portugal charger, then my Lenox  "Butterfly Meadow"  salad plate and topped it with a white sunflower bowl.  

It still needed more red so I found a set of  fun little bowls I bought at Christmas just because they were so cute..a polka dot and a stripe. 

I finshed the table with a white votives candles in crystal holders and a red and white bouquet of flowers.

I later  found these little red heart shaped voitives at Target for $1.00 and added them to my table along with a heart-shaped plate...and       

before I could finish the table...I had some visitors drop by and they love chocolate so much I...

 added two heart shaped ramekins from Target (their favorite store)  filled with chocolate truffles just for them.

So now I have two looks for this place setting...a heart shaped ramekin or a cute little polka dot bowl as a finishing touch.  I must say I really do like the little ramekins too.   

Those little lovebirds really like dining by candlelight!  

Happy Valentine's Day!