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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You might be a tablescaper if...

This is a list I have composed after many discussions with my mom, discovering characteristics we share as fellow tablescapers. I hope you enjoy!

1. You sometimes lust after that one special purchase. You maybe even pay a bit too much. And when you get home, you don't regret it AT ALL. Not once. Not ever. Your heart still beats faster when you get to use it!

2. You have learned to misspell items you are looking for on eBay because you realize people selling make typos just like everyone else. Likewise, you know people commonly misidentify things. You search the wrong terms, too - just in case.

3. You have emailed a complete stranger who has posted information about an item they can't identify or that they have misidentified. And you correctly identified it for them. So you let them know what they have, whether or not they seem to care!

4.  When trying to decide how to set the table, you have to go from room to room to find everything you need. Maybe even upstairs or into the basement. Or out back, perhaps? More than once. This endeavor often involves a ladder.

5. Moving around your table pretties is an aerobic workout. And it lasts more than 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. You also get your weight-lifting and calisthenics. "Bend and stretch and bend and stretch..."

6. When you absolutely have no more room for even one more plate, goblet, or salad fork, you have a Ripley's-Believe-It-Or-Not-talent for rearranging everything and miraculously finding more room for an entire set of china, crystal, or silver!

7.  No store, garage sale, or boutique is too above or beneath you when if comes to looking for table pretties.

8.  You have often found that one bargain item you need to finish the perfect table, only to decide later it would really go great with these goblets you just saw, or those plates you remember, and maybe the linens you found online last week, etc.

9.  You have at least a few books around the house or websites marked used for identification.

10. You have a wish list of patterns or pieces you can rattle off to anyone who will listen. And there is a good explanation for every single thing you want. Which you can also explain in great detail. And you have at least one good friend who is just as interested in your list as you are. And that good friend looks for you and you look for her. Because she has a list, too!

11. You are gradually pulling your non-tablescaping family members and somewhat disinterested friends into your obsession. Those among them who once thought you were, um, eccentric now call you if they are out and see something that might tickle your fancy. They might even email or text message you a picture. They don't know what they are looking at, but you will. They bring it home for you and are happy to be a part of this mysterious life you lead! And you reward them with sincere and generous praise for their good eye for special things!

12.  Do you have a spreadsheet or a book where you keep a list of everything you have? Do you have pictures attached? How about plate measurements? I think you do, and if you don't, you should!

13.  You identify patterns in things like movies and cookbooks. Even in movie commercials. For instance, if you watched the old Billy Crystal and Danny Devito film, "Throw Momma from the Train," you would instantly note the pattern on Momma's teacup. (It's a common one.) I saw a Marmaduke commercial today with the briefest corner of a plate showing in two scenes. Again, though, it was an easy call. Two points for me today. How about you? 

14. You have a love/hate relationship with replacement sites. For so many reasons. You actually have a very detailed list of pros and cons. And can site many very specific examples. 

15.  You have never used every item you have. And you might not ever accomplish that. Because you are still collecting. You won't ever catch up. I have the same problem, (is it actually a problem?), with books. I buy more than I can read immediately. And by the time I have read them all, I have another pile of those I can't get to right now. Such is the world of tablescaping, too!

16. If you have a blog, you know that silver and flatware in general are hard to photograph. You may not get a good picture of the detail. You might get a good picture of yourself.

17. You have found items you actually own on other people's blogs. Many, many times.

18.  You buy new storage, (armoires, china cabinets, etc.), long after you need them. And you know when you begin to rearrange, your new storage will be full immediately. And that's without buying anything new to put inside. But at least things won't be perched as precariously everywhere else for a while.

19.  You have gotten rid of (many) perfectly good items, such as pots, pans, clothes, bed linens, etc. to make room.  Is that a stash of plates in your wardrobe? Or a silver chest among the sheets in the linen closet? Bread plates in the utensil drawer?

20. would never, ever save "the good stuff" for special occasions!

Have a fantabletastic day!


Many people think that Cinco de Mayo represents an independence day of some sort. Actually, it remembers the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexican forces conquered French ones. It is important to note that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the U.S. to a much greater degree than elsewhere. Be that as it may, it is a good excuse for some chili, taco salad, or enchiladas! Visit this site for a short history:

I found some great hispanic-themed dinnerware at TJ Maxx several months ago.  It's Yellow Talavera by Maxcera. Talavera refers to a specific pottery style: While I do not really think that this pottery looks like genuine Talaveraware, I love the fact that real Talavera only comes from Puebla!

I have paired the tableware with my new favorite stainless. The motif matches perfectly!

Green carnival goblets are a nice change from the stereotypical blue-rimmed glassware.

And I love the square plates!

As I often do on the porch when running out of room, I use plant stands to hold bowls, pitchers, etc.

Wish you could drop by for our fiesta! Have a great week!

Brunch Menu:

First course: Fresh fruit

Second course: Cheese Grits Casserole (click here for recipe)

Third course: Breakfast Quesadilla Wraps

This is another one of my thrown-together recipes. I typically will scramble some eggs, fry some bacon, sauté some mushrooms, peppers, and/or onions, find some cheese, etc. I wrap a quesadilla around whatever filling I have made from the aforementioned list. I butter the griddle and place a quesadilla fold-size down until toasted. I flip and heat the other side. Voilà!

Dinner Menu:

First course: Tortilla Soup (click here for a good crock pot recipe)

Second course: Taco Salad

I just put things together that I have on had. I really like to have enchilada flavored chicken for this. The easiest way to make this is take some pre-cooked cut up chicken from the refrigerated section of the story, and heat it in olive oil with a proportionate helping of taco seasoning. I top lettuce mix with the chicken, cheese, broken up tortilla chips, sometimes refried beans, salsa, sour cream, and/or homemade guacamole.

My homemade guacamole is pretty simple, too:

2-3 soft, black avocados
one third to one half of a white onion
several sprigs of cilantro
salt to taste

I put everything in the food processor. Ta-da!

Third course: Steak Tampiqueña (click here for the recipe)

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