An Unpredictable Mix Of Photos And Chat~

A Fall Dinner With Friends.

Today I'm sharing with you a post script to my last post about bleaching pinecones. In that post I walked you through a loose tutorial about the process and showed you how I used the lovely pinecones in a table centerpiece. If you missed it, please have a look. But today I want to show you the finished tablescape.

Each fall we have the same wonderful couple over for dinner to celebrate autumn and to give thanks for our friendship. It's an evening of lively chat and hearty fare. This year I asked my friend Donna to make us an apple crisp with apples from one of our trees. Although we are having a pork roast and sweet potatoes, I would like to just eat appetizers and fast forward to dessert! What is better than warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream?

Above are a couple of close ups of the centerpiece. I mixed white pumpkins, a bit of grapevine, kraft colored shreds, and my bleached pinecones inside the box Larry made for me out of recycled lumber. To the arrangement I added a small faux bird's nest with a few feathers for texture and interest.

Can you see the little nest here?

To build upon the pumpkin theme, I used mini white pumpkins in champagne glasses to create additional height on the table.

I placed a generous amount of dried hydrangea pedals inside each glass to support the pumpkins.

As an additional touch I added place cards.

Digressing a moment, let's talk table etiquette. Many husbands and wives are polarized on the question of what to pass when someone asks for the salt. I read years ago, Emily Post I think, that proper manners dictate passing both the salt and the pepper shakers, regardless of the request. Like a married couple, they're wed for life. Therefore, no matter which my table mates ask me to pass, I pass the set. 

Larry on the other hand (he's quite the literalist), will only pass one shaker. And yes, that bothers me. However, I think I've created a solution~

I nestled our pretty shell shakers in a little bowl. Hopefully I've conveyed the idea that these two little cuties are going steady. Good idea?

I think this is my favorite of all final touches; a sprig of rosemary tied with a bit of vintage seam binding to a linen napkin. Rosemary is the herb of remembrance. Perhaps that's the reason evidence now suggests that inhaling the scent of this pungent herb each day can help improve memory.

I think the table looks pretty. I love having this element of party prep finished in advance. When I prepare for a party I clean the dining room and set the table first. Then I make sure the powder room has an A+ rating. My thinking is, if everything else falls down around me, at least I'll have peace of mind about the two most important rooms of the evening. But what about the kitchen? you ask. To which I reply, For everything else there's takeout (and MasterCard).

Anyway, I do hope you like my fall tablescape. I got a great addition to my camera lens arsenal this week, and I really had fun photographing the table.

I don't usually talk in depth about personal things such as health concerns. But I'm going to share something that's been going on in my life of late. I suffer with a chronic urinary tract condition known as, interstitial cystitis. If you are unfamiliar with this malady you can read about it here. After enjoying about 18 months symptom free, I suddenly tanked. I was even forced to cancel my scheduled trip to see my beloved St. Louis friends! When a flare happens I do three things. I whine and complain, I begin an intense course of Chinese herbs compounded by my practitioner, and I drive about 40 miles, three times each week, to see my acupuncturist. As a result, and because my life is just generally busy, I have been away from projects and blogging. I love taking photos and writing posts and I resent this unpleasant intrusion and burden to my schedule. But such is life.

I'm only sharing this so you will understand why my posts are so inconsistent, in the hopes that you won't leave me for another blogger. How about if you just think of us as salt and pepper~ mates for life. Very truly speaking, I value highly each visitor to our blog.

Larry has been really busy in the shop and there is some good stuff on the way. In the mean time, thank you sincerely for being here today!



  1. Hi Dana, What fortunate friends you have to come dine at that beautiful table! Everything looks just lovely! Regarding UTI's - have you tried D-Mannose? It's really helped me. Blessings, Janet

    1. Hello! Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave such an encouraging comment. I'm happy that you like my tablescape! I am in fact on D-Mannose and I really appreciate it that you would offer such a great suggestion. I will stay on it even after my symptoms have abated.

      Thanks again for reading my post! Dana

  2. Dana,
    If you'll be the "salt", I'll join you as the "pepper"!
    I do believe that when ladies in The Land Of Blog
    hit a 'certain age", life gets interrupted with health issues.
    I'm hoping, and lifting you up in my daily prayers, for renewed health!
    This is a lovely post, gorgeous photos and perfect hues for Autumnal Friendship Dinner.
    "Mr. Ed" and I bleached some pine cones years ago. . .
    Think I need to bring them out of storage before Christmas!
    May our "salt" and "pepper" journey be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
    "Pepper" Pat

  3. Dana,
    Your fall table is lovely. The glasses with hydrangeas and baby boo boos make excellent place card holders.

    I am sorry to hear about your health issues and hope you feel better already. Infections drain the life out of your energy... said from experience with other kinds of lingering infections. Even when the pain is under control and the infection is on the road to healing, it takes forever to regain your strength.

    My sister and I are visiting our brother in Alabama for a couple of weeks following our trip to Paris in September. I have a new Silhouette that is still in the box because there has not been time to set it up, download the software, etc... Hope to make some personal signs when I get home.

    Take care. We friends are still here regardless of how long between chats.


  4. It's a beautiful table Dana. I love how your arranged the box and the pumpkins sitting atop of hydrangeas is beautiful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  5. Saw your table featured at Sunday's at Home and had to check it out. Love the neutral and natural look of it. The bleached pine cones work so well and contrast nicely with the black salad plates. The white pumpkins in the glasses are fantastic place card holders. Gorgeous tablecloth square as well. Yum! Apple crisp - you have great friends! Hope you feel better soon.