Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where a "Dream" can take you...

Inspiration Monday
I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
Vincent van Gogh

This painting is called Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh was a brilliant but tortured soul. I prefer to look at his brilliance. That's what everyone wants to be remembered for anyways. I love the quote above. So much that I felt the need to put it up on our family room wall above the television.

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. What does it mean to you? Think about it this week... as you go about your day today and 
...write down one of your dreams, 
then make a plan on how 
you are going to make it happen. 
Because dreams can take you anywhere, you just have to dream where you want to go first. Most ideas start out as a dream, it is up to you to make them happen. Just remember if you can dream it- it can become your reality. For your entrepreneurs out there. Take this to heart.

It's been really busy the last couple of weeks for me. It is mainly my fault, I just have so many different adventures I choose to do. I participated as a vendor with my Willow House business at the most amazing Bridal Expo at St. Johns in Plymouth hosted by a company called Whimsical Occasions. It was awe-inspiring. I was hoping to be able to post a few pics from the show, but have not gotten them yet, so look for them when I do. There were some really beautiful items and creative people there.

I also have been subbing quite a bit as I love the little kids. Third Graders & tomorrow- First graders. Kids see things so clearly we tend to forget to do that when we're adults sometimes. I love to hang with them a bit. You get to watch & see how easy it is to get inspired from the little things in life.

And last but not least, I won a prize from the One World, One Heart Blog Event that I participated in. I was so excited! It is the sweetest, cutest hand-painted bear from Annie who lives in Australia and has a lovely blog called:
It is really really beautiful and I am going to hang it up in our office so I can look at it everyday. 
So- in honor of Annie and her sweet gift she gave to me- 
Sweet Dreams 
this week to everyone. 
Enjoy your week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why bother with the Table? Using Paper-vs-Real Plates.

 Topic: The Art of Entertaining!

Paper vs Real Plates. Really? Yes... This is the topic today.

The week seems to have gotten away from me, so it's time for a post this week. I was actually inspired to write about my topic, based on a Facebook status of my online friend Margie Church, aka the "Churchlady" who is an accomplished and published steamy Romance and Children's Books Author. She writes fun adventures, but her status post was: 

" I have different coats for the seasons, shoes too. Can't live here and not...wouldn't it be cool to have DISHES for every Season?

There were 32 comments. WOW- about dishes...What that meant to me is that I am happy that there really might be an interest for a blog like Design Spark!  discussing "The Art of Entertaining."  There were a couple of comments about, "... why don't you use paper plates if you want a change?" Also, "...we don't have room for more dishes, with limited shelf space, so buying more- wouldn't it be excessive?"

There is a time and place for paper plates. I do love them and use them too, but when you plan to seriously entertain for a small intimate party of 2 to a middle sized group of 10 even if it's casual entertaining, 

Why would you choose paper when it's just
 as easy to use really cool REAL plates?

This place setting has many layers. it is topped with a Willow House Amelia Thimble Dome (pg 24 in 2011 Spring/Summer WH catalog), complete with Faux robin egg inside. The WH Dress-Me-Up Platter(pg 79) works beautifully as a charger base for your Luncheon plates. The dark brown Mario Vitali Italian Stitch plate (WH eOutlet)is topped with the Villa Luncheon plate (pg 6) and one of the Terrace Accent plates(pg 8), with a beaded wreath on top.
 You don't have to spend much on Real plates (unless you want to! LOL), but they make a big different in impact on your guests. Besides you will impress your friends and family. They'll think you think they are special,(which they should be). You know, with real, you'll be going Green- it's better for the environment, just wash it and use it again. Once you make a small investment, you will have the dinnerware forever, or until you get tired of it! It's okay to give it away or sell it on eBay. When you do, pass it on to someone who will appreciate it.
We don't have to always be lazy and choose the throwaway option. 
Now, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking... 
The plates all co-ordinate, they do not perfectly match. 
The two pictures show a table set for four and 
each place setting is unique, none are the same.
You can see through the pictures below that 
You can mix patterns and shapes. and 
Simple changes can give a totally different look. 
A green silk runner makes a great accent placed on the center of table and topped with the Willow House Filigree Iron Candlestand (pg 58). The WH Ruffled bowl holding Manderin oranges (pg 45) is in the foreground, each place setting has different plates as bases topped with one of the lovely WH Terrace accent plates. More details on each place setting are listed below.

This tablescape also has a colorful red silk runner with the WH Lady Jane Bottleneck Vase (pg 6) with Lilies inside as one of the Centerpieces.the Wh ruffled collection- the pitcher (pg43) bowl (pg 45) and the Adair Upside-down cake stand (pg 44) 

Don't be afraid to experiment! 
You can use all kinds of different accessories- placemats, 
charger plates, napkins, napkin rings, glasses, silverware.
Check out all the different options below.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing some really great, fun placesettings that you can easily pre-create. Save your paper plates for the Kid's birthday partys or your summer cookouts. Use some great accent pieces to brighten up your table.

The cream colored plates Shown are the Willow House Villa Stoneware Collection Luncheon Plates (pg 6).
The Brown and white patterned plates are the Terrace Accent Plate from our Spring/Summer Wh catalog (pg 8) .

The Red and white patterned plated are the Portico accent plated located on (pg 29).
The different place mats were all bought from Kohl's.