Nearly done with prep!

I thought I should give everyone a quick late-night glimpse into Mom’s living room . . . temporarily transformed into a second dining room. This is the adult table.

Here is the bevy of name tags designated for the two kid tables:

And finally, here is my hysterically ugly “gurgle jug” which for some reason I am insanely fond of. I am the proud possessor of not one, but two of them. (Possibly three, I can’t remember.) Anyway, the two that I can find are holding tulips on the kids’ tables. I do feel that I should explain, in my defense, that I only bought them because I was collecting green Dartmouth pottery while I was in England, and I gathered up loads of other fun green thingies at antique stores and charity sales etc. But it turns out that  the most radically popular of all the Dartmouth pottery (judging from the wide assortment on ebay) seemed to be these gurgle jugs. I held off for a while – but finally I caved and decided that it would be ridiculous to have a collection of Dartmouth pottery that didn’t contain a few ugly fish. So I bought them. Now you know. I also have a snail. But aside from those weird items, the rest of the collection is actually quite beautiful!


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16 thoughts on “Nearly done with prep!

  1. What a beautiful table…even the gurgle pot (I have one on my wish list). I’m glad to be enjoying from a distance, though, because if I had to sit that close to those lilies, I’d be quite miserable in about 10 minutes. Lovely to my eyes; deadly to my sinuses.

    Every blessing of this glorious day to the Wilson/Merkle/Jankovic clan!

  2. I love love lvoe that you shared this!! I was wodnering if I *should* get teh tabel all set the night before:) I also LOVe that your adult table is sooo outnumbered by the kids’ table:)

  3. Soooooooooooo pretty… even the gurgle jug;)

    And I’m wondering what years were these produced? The fish looks like the type of carp which are often featured in Japanese art. Back in the 1930’s (pre WWII) there was a lot of interest in “Oriental” things, so there were things made here and in Europe that were inspired by the art of Japan… including odd fishy sorts of things like your jug. Now if they weren’t from that period then I don’t know what I’m talking about! LOL;)

  4. Well, then I guess I really don’t know what I’m talking about! 😉

    BTW, that link was so cute… love the audio of the “gurgle,” hehehe

  5. I love that you post pictures of your family meals. It always reminds me to put just a little more effort into our Family Dinner Night to add beauty to our fellowship. Sometimes just getting dinner on for the crowd feels like it takes all my abilities, but really, it doesn’t require that much more to add nice touches. Keep the inspiration coming!

  6. Could someone give me a little advice on caring for table linens? I love the look of table linens – both the tablecloth and the napkins. Even placemats! But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get out grease, butter, or lipstick stains well enough to consider using them all again on another special occasion. And so I always leave my table bare (which isn’t too bad because I do love my lovely wood farmhouse table! It can also look pretty with candles and flowers. Cleanup is a snap, too!). 🙂

    Still – I pause every time I pass table linens, whether that be in a homegoods store, the grocery, or a flea market. Any suggestions welcome!

  7. Jennifer,
    One of my favorite things is setting the table. And though I enjoy cooking, setting the table is more fun. My favorite table linen has to be the table runner. It adds some color and most of the time the spills never make it that far, so it holds up pretty well, depending on what it’s made from. I have a nice stash of them that cover the seasons. I always check the sales bins and you’d be surprised at what good deals I have found! Recently I got a couple for next fall. They had originally been around forty dollars each, and I paid around seven dollars. Now that’s the kind of shopping I like. And the runner is a very flexible accessory, no matter how many leaves are in my table. I have a few cotton/poly blend white tablecloths that wash and bleach well, and they come out of the dryer wrinkle free if I hurry. Sometimes I put a runner over them, sometimes not. My colored napkins do get stains, but a non-chlorine bleach and some pre-laundry spray treatment, like spray-and-wash, help get the stains out. And of course the white napkins can stand up to some bleach. It’s really not that tricky! I’m so used to it now, and we use cloth napkins most every night, so it’s just part of the routine.
    It’s amazing how much a cloth napkin, a table runner, and a vase of flowers help make dinner more of an event. If you are going to take the time to make a nice meal, it always looks and tastes better on a pretty plate on a cheery table. If I can’t find a flower, I pop a candle on instead. Though a bare table seems pretty bleak, I know sometimes it just can’t be helped. And a paper napkin is great for lunch, but it’s nice to have something more substantial for dinner. Just my opinion of course. Call me old fashioned if you want!

  8. The tables are beyond stunning. Looks straight from a magazine, it does!

    When you feast, you FEAST.

    We are a cloth napkin family too, and on feast days I really enjoy folding napkins in splendid little designs. You can do it the day before and plunk them somewhere away from little hands. Of course, little hands can often do more simple designs too. Our three year old can make a mean candlestick! 😉

    PS. If you read my shower curtain Easter dress rant, and are interested in seeing the finished product, I posted photos on my blog.

    Check it out here, if you like.

  9. Thank you so much for the reply! Next time I enter TJ Maxx or JoAnn’s I will give myself permission to wander through the bargain bins. Then I’ll pick up some spray and wash on the way home. 🙂

    I love pretty dishes in candlelight on a smooth wooden surface. But then again, it took me years to finally get around to putting up CURTAINS, which made my rooms look like a box, which I never realized until I GOT CURTAINS. Ha!
    What is it with me and fabric? For some reason it produces anxiety in me where other women seek it like candy, lol. My mom is an excellent seamstress. I grew up with her sewing all the time, surrounded by fabric! She has an eye for color, but I’m often overwhelmed by the sheer array of patterns and shades and options available. Time and money and the fear of “messing up” something keep me from trying. But Nancy, I think you hit it on the head: HABIT would really help to conquer all of that. Cheap experimentation helped me learn to cook, and now I have no fear of buying a $30 rib roast at the holidays, or a $10 wedge of cheese for a special recipe. I’m sure the same method can help me learn to dress a table, too.

    I’m also going to check out Diane’s post up there, which sounds promising! Thanks again.


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