To all my readers, I wish you a very happy New Year!
I am just back from New York. What a fabulous trip!
My family was invited to attend the International Débutante Ball, held at the venerable Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Want to take a peek?
The grand ballroom, shot the afternoon of the ball:
A close-up of the very tall and beautiful flower arrangements:
A shot of the dance floor, and then the stage. You can see some of the chairs aren’t placed yet.
The gold leaf ceiling:
Prior to the Ball itself, here is where the receiving line was held, above.
Each deb stands in front of her state or country flag during the receiving line.
Guests starting to arrive in the main ballroom:
Dinner is served before the presentation of the débutantes:
The young men who serve as military escorts presenting the colors:
A flag bearer carrying the flag of the girl’s state or country follows behind the deb and her escort.
A crowd favorite was the lovely Scottish deb who had a piper (bagpipe player) follow her and her escort to the stage.
The American debs have a famous song about their state playing as they walk to the stage.
It is dramatic and beautiful pageantry to watch and hear.
The Texas debs also received thunderous applause, partly due to the extremely difficult “Texas Dip” (a form of the English Court low-bow), which they are expected to perform instead of the normal curtsy. It is breathtaking to watch these girls maneuver their Texas Dip!
What a night to remember, a real-life fairy tale!
(all photographs by Color Calling)
The really hectic days preceding Christmas can make us lose sight
of the reason for the season.
If you have just three minutes, watch and listen to this beautiful video set to
“Love Came Down at Christmas.”
I promise you that you will feel so uplifted.
The music is soaring and the art is gorgeous.
Click here to watch and listen.
Safe and happy holidays to all my readers!
I will be posting very sporadically this very busy week while I spend time with family and friends.
See you in the New Year!
Nothing says “Party” like a martini, and a pretty martini is a favorite drink during the holidays.
Place a (dry) crystal martini glass in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.
Here is a good shaker which works better than any we have tried.
With its high-style shape, it also looks great on your bar.
A few weeks ago, I posted about the state of my family room mantel, here.
Today, I want to show you the finished mantel installation.
My wonderful carpenter and his crew did a beautiful job installing the hand-carved panels.
Remember the Before?
There is a little touch up work to be done on the mantel’s wood finish,
which will happen after the holidays.
I am very pleased. It really gives some needed ornamentation to the fireplace.
Did you notice Mrs. Claus and Santa flanking the centerpiece?
They are handmade, and have such dear little faces and details.
They stand over two feet high!
I have a few more finishing decorating touches, so I’ll update on those later.
Readers, is anything hanging you up with your decorations, or are you finished?
I would love to see and share your mantel masterpieces!
Please email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you follow this blog, you know how much I like chargers.
No, I don’t mean teenage daughters who want to go to Forever 21 with my credit card.
I am talking about the service plate kind of charger, as in dinnerware.
I just had to share my latest find, above, pictured with my Spode Christmas china.
I found this on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond (online).
Green-rimmed bone china chargers.
About 12 1/4″ in diameter.
$6.99 plus free shipping. Yes, $6.99. Whoo-hoo.
The best part of this, is, it looks good with my other china as well.
My Lenox Autumn
And it even looks nice with my set of Hunt Scene china (not sure of the pattern name) by Royal Doulton:
I just had to share my good luck in finding this great deal!
I think the quality is amazing for the price (there was a $24.99 sticker underneath the label).
Clearly, this is a very versatile piece of dinnerware.
You can check it out here. I received my charger plates within a week of ordering them!
the Fresh Air Fund of Independent Presbyterian Church, a very worthy cause.
This home belongs to one of my dearest friends.
She has the most gorgeous collection of antique English bone china
you have ever seen.
(The dining table looks straight out of Downton Abbey, with six gold-and-crystal Art Nouveau goblets per place setting!)
I had to dodge some photographers from “Southern Lady” magazine,
who were there photographing for their 2013 Christmas issue, but you’ll get the idea.
The decorations are the work of the fabulous Leah Hazzard,
another friend, and flower arranger extraordinaire .
Here is a simple tip for making your holiday table look better.
Use a charger plate under your dinner plate. It gives a nice layered effect.
Sometimes called “service plates,” they are used to cradle the first course plates,
and are usually (though not always) removed for the entrée plate.
However, etiquette dictates that they are always removed from the table before the dessert course.
Here are some good looks for both casual and formal Christmas settings using chargers.
I love interesting crafts.
This one is my most favorite.
It was given to me by my mother.
A handmade corn husk angel.
It will be our tree topper again this (and every) year.
Isn’t she simply beautiful?
Available by pre-order only from Troy (Alabama) Marketplace: email@example.com