12 November 2009

Tablescape Thursday: A Brush With Gloss

 

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Awhile ago, I told you about  a photoshoot I had done with our local paper, The Houston Chronicle.   While the photoshoot was a personal disaster (a very, very sick dog, candle wax drippings all over my silk tablecloth, etc. etc.) – the end results of all the hard work of the photographer and the reporter turned out very nicely, I think. 

Once a month the Chronicle produces a glossy magazine, called Gloss – of course - which concentrates on Houston design, style, fashion, and society.   Their writer had emailed me wondering what one special or sentimental  item did I use over and over again while entertaining.   After laughing hysterically at my being asked about entertaining  – I told the reporter I’d get right back to her with an answer.  Nothing like stalling for time!   The only favorite entertaining  item I could come up with  was my antique silver dome.  The reporter liked that idea and asked for a photograph of it.  Once approved – a date was set and she and the photographer came out to my house to take pictures of this oh-so-special (not!) dome.   I don’t even know what the domes are officially called -  but I’m sure the Victorians had some fancy name for them.    The reporter asked me about their history, but even the antique dealer I contacted drew a blank.   All I know is that I love the way they look.  I own two now – both are large, with finely etched designs – but their main duty is just to gleam on my dining room table, dinner guests or not.  

 

 

The two silver domes as they usually are – one stays on the table, while the other rests on the breakfront.  (open window wide to see the full picture.)

 

Looking at this picture of my dining room as it is today – it’s almost embarrassing how quickly things change around here.     At the photoshoot just a few weeks ago, the shelves were filled with blue and white transferware, but now my new collection of creamware has really changed the room’s appearance.  And this Friday, there will be more changes when those humongous iron sconces go bye-bye.  Thank God!  Those sconces were a mistake from day one.   They are pretty, to be sure, but they totally overpower my small dining room.    They were originally painted black when, in a moment of impaired judgment,  I bought them.  But that first night after being hung, while my stomach was in knots from knowing how wrong I had been in choosing them, I hastily painted the black sconces cream in a desperate attempt to make their size less noticeable.    I can’t wait for their replacements:   dainty gilt sconces, with three arms delicately scrolled.   Anyone want to buy a pair of cream painted sconces???

 

 

 

In truth, it really doesn’t matter that my dining room looks so different today than it did at the Gloss photoshoot because, despite having taken dozens of pictures of the carefully set table, the magazine ended up showing only one tight, closeup shot of the silver dome – similar to this picture above (although Gloss’ photograph is much more professional looking, of course!)     Also in the article, there is a small picture of me, looking a little like a deer caught in the headlights which is exactly how I felt while they were taking the pictures.    In the magazine, I share my “entertaining secret weapon” story with two other much better known designers in town – the talented Andrea Garrity and Cathy Chapman, whom I have long admired.    I truly feel so honored to be in such great company!

 

 

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The table set for an imaginary dinner party – ready and waiting for the photographer to arrive.

 

Although I thoroughly enjoyed decorating my table for my pretend dinner party, after it was all over,  I really wished I had spent more time on it and given it more creative thought.  For the tablescape,  I just used what I had and didn’t buy anything special except for the flowers, a few white pumpkins and the green apples.    Where is Eddie Ross when you really need him???? 

 

 

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Though the Gloss story was due to come out in the November issue – I didn’t want to set a traditional Thanksgiving table – with faux turkeys and pilgrims in reds and oranges.   Instead I used fall themed pumpkins, but in white to blend with my dining room better.   And I added  the bright green apples for the bright pops of color.

 

 

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When setting the table, I first put down the large napkins to act as a sort of placemat.  When I have a rare, real dinner party, I always top the table with a white linen cloth over a plastic lined one to protect the silk skirt from spills.   For flowers, I typically use pink roses because I think that color goes good with my china.   The mercury glass vases came from Target, on sale, I think I paid $9 for each!  I used two different sets of candlesticks and staggered them – one set is mercury glass, the other is a pair of antique gilded wood altar sticks and I added votives for extra soft light.    Looking at this picture now,  I probably should not have used the mercury glass candlesticks – they hide the painted antique ones that I think are prettier.   Oh well, live and learn.  

 

 

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For the dishes I used my wedding china that all the women in my family also have:  my mother, my sister, my two aunts and myself all have identical dishes – Haddon Hall by Minton.  This way, if any of us ever gave a dinner party for a huge crowd, we would have a matching set!  I think that is great idea, but the truth is that I just really loved this pattern when I was choosing my china and I still do.   There is a fine celadon colored rim that encircles the pink and yellow flowered dishes, a small detail that I think is so delicate and pretty.   The bubble glasses are copies of the famous Tiffany ones and I added the green wine glasses that I had bought at Pottery Barn years and years ago. 

 

 

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The dining room window faces east, but since this is such a small town lot – the house next door is just a mere 10 ft away – that once it hits noon, this space quickly gets very dark.  You can see here how dim it looks since this was late in the afternoon.    No wonder why I keep my chandelier and sconces lit all day!   But, I do think that dim dining rooms are more romantic and atmospheric, so the low light has never really bothered me. 

 

 

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And here is the actual magazine story!   I love the way the photograph of the table came out.   I wonder how they chose this particular shot – they took so many different ones from all different angles.   Being a part of my town’s newspaper was such a special thrill – something that would never have happened it not for the blog and you, the reader.  As always, thank you so much for all your support of Cote de Texas these past few years.  I don’t say that enough – but I feel it every single day!    I wish I could thank you each individually, and though I try to answer the comments, I fall short as the blog takes up more and more time.  But please understand that all your kind words, your affection and your loyalty mean more to me than you will ever know.

 

 Gloss is online digitally if you want to read it,  go HERE.

 

 

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I am linking this to Between Naps on the Porch’s Thursday Tablescapes HERE.  Be sure to visit and see all the other tablescapes that are featured today!!!   

84 comments:

  1. Great story, Joni! And you look super cute in your picture with the great green scarf.

    xoxo

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  2. Joni, As always a beautiful post written to perfection and your dining room is gorgeous with your glimmery dome and beautiful china. This is a room I would love to sit in and have a cup of coffee or a meal. It photographed beautifully and your picture is adorable. I am in love with your gorgeous table cloth, did you ever get the wax out? So glad to see you on Tablescape Thursday over at Susan's blog. Kathysue

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  3. Joni...what a wonderful story...no one can tell a story like you! I love your tablescape...and I am sooo coveting your gorgeous antique dome! The etching is just beautiful! It is so neat that you would show this today because I just ran across a dome about a month ago in an antique shop...but it wasn't near as pretty as yours. I think you are right about them being called domes because Neiman Marcus sells dessert servers that have silver plated bases with domed glass covers and they call those "domed serving pieces." :-) Love your gorgeous china and the story about how you all chose that as your china...what a great tradition! The pink roses are perfect contrasting with the green of the apples. I can see why your beautiful table was the main pic on the cover page of the story.
    :-) Susan

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  4. This was a vedddddie interesting story ;-) . I love the domed cover! Love those dishes too--everything is picturesque!

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  5. I really like your tablescape even if you think some things should have been different. It's visually interesting without being overdone. I like it a lot.

    A quick question...there is one photo where the bottom of your curtains is shown...is that a 4" pool? I'm about to order my curtains and am trying to visualize what a 4" pool looks like in a dupioni silk.

    Thanks.

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  6. They always do such great close-ups in newspaper and magazine features. I suppose it's the lens they use because when I come in really close with my little Canon my picture gets distorted. I think your table looked great! I love your drapes, btw.

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  7. Your dining room looks so inviting! I love that fact that you used what you had. So many times people think they have to purchase new items for a special occasion when all they really need they already own. Lovely post as always.

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  8. Joni, I just came from Susan's blog and noticed you had left a comment for me, thank you so much for the nice comment, You are the best!! Kathysue

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  9. Joni, your tablescape has such a simple elegance - I can never pull that off. Darn it! Now I'm going to be wanting one of those pretty domes. I cannot believe those vses were only $9 each. What a statement they make. And there's your pretty table - the star of the publication! Congratulations! Now I'm going over to read the article. laurie

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  10. Lovely!! Both you and the dome!

    I also love the fact that you have books stacked everywhere. I mean really, doesn't every creative person have books stacked everywhere???

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  11. Oh, JOni, it's beautiful & congrats on a local feature. I'm happy you are getting the recognition you deserve in your city. That table is beautiful, don't apologize for any of it. Love, love the tablecloth. You do a great job, even if you don't entertain that much. I hardly EVER set a formal table myself either.

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  12. Yes Joni, I want to buy those sconces!!! Debbie in New Jersey

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  13. Thanks for sharing, I love that you invite us along! Congratulations!

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  14. What an incredibly beautiful table...

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  15. Oh, Joni - you styled it beautifully :) Eat your heart out, Eddie.

    Jacci

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  16. Joni!

    I DO "know" someone famous! Your table is just lovely and I covet that dome, you can be sure I will be on the lookout for one myself. I adore silver and it would be a nice addition to my collection. I like the mercury glass and think it looks very nice with the hand painted candlesticks. I think it adds a nice contrast.
    Your china is very pretty...job well done Girl. Congrats on the magazine spread!

    ss

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  17. Hey Joni,
    I love the tablescape!
    I had a surprise other than your lovely comment... Shawn from Country French Antiques paid me a visit... who would have thunk it. Best Birthday ever... Inspiration from all directions.
    You are the best! Thanks again for your autograph!!!

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  18. The entire table is beautiful --- love the china. What a great idea for all the ladies in the family to have the same china. And you look great in the photo!

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  19. Is your silver English? If so, can you photograph the hallmarks? I have an English Silver hallmark book and I can possibly tell you more about it (assuming, again, that it's English). I think your pieces were called Fowl Cover or Turkey Dome.

    I too have Minton china albeit a different pattern. Love yours!

    How fun to have a photo shoot of your dining room - I think that would be "just the funnest thing"! Thanks for sharing!!

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  20. I would love to buy your silver domes. If you track any more down and don't horde them for yourself (haha) let me know please. I just love that one on you table with the scroll work. MB

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  21. Joni...you can spin a yarn like no other! The picture looks gorgeous...as does the whole setting! LOVE it!

    ...and you look adorable!

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  22. Madame, my compliments!!!!
    (You need to read this with my most stylish French accent...)
    You know how to bring on the show, love your room and the table setting is perfect. I will never forget the first setting I saw in your garden, lunch for two...
    You confessed you better half never saw a bite...LOL!

    Beautiful!

    PS: Your hairdo is most becoming!
    Looking good! :)

    XoXo
    Victoria

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  23. Joni - I live in Houston and enjoy your blog so much. Seriously, I count on it. Thank YOU! Signed, Devoted Reader.

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  24. How GORGEOUS! You're making me drool over your fabulous silver. I really should start a collection :)

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  25. I totally LOVE that silver dome!!!! Great table and a stunning chandelier...

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  26. Jenny, yes - that is about a 4 inch puddle! hope this helps!
    Joni

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  27. Joni - I loved the tablescape and all of your blog - it's fabulous and I tune in every morning for updates. I'm actually interested in your sconces that you are so quick to dispose of - can you send me the dimensions? They might be perfect for my dining room.

    Happy Holidays - from Mary Jane in Carlsbad, CA.

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  28. I loved it - elegant and very accessible for those without your talents. I adore English china and yours especially! My sister and I share crystal and silver patterns (Waterford Lismore and Towle's French Provincial which was my mother's and now mine) and it really makes setting a table for the masses much easier. Last year I had 20 for Thanksgiving and ended up setting two different tables with one being in our center hall and every place was fully set with china, silver, etc. That day and that meal were just wonderful! All that being said, sharing china & silver patterns it is a great idea and I would encourage others to do the same.

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  29. Who cares what those dome things are called ~ they are gorgeous! And you don't need Eddie Ross ~ you did a great job all by yourself. I am in the middle of a series of no stress Thanksgiving table setting posts that stretch the budget with creativity. Stop by and take a look if you can.

    ~Jermaine~

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  30. Joni
    I subscribe to quite few design blogs, but am always so happy when I see a new one from you. Yours is my favorite. Thanks so much.

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  31. Joni,
    I really love your tablescape! It is so beautiful and you see you can do wonderful things with all the things you have without buying new things!

    Greet

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  32. The table looks wonderful Joni - they have captured it beautifully. You look very gorgeous too, xv.

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  33. Joni, everything was perfect! It was beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us, gorgeous!

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  34. Joni, your table is absolutely gorgeous!!!! I love the pops of color in your flowers and apples. What time is dinner being served??? tee hee hee

    Hugs!!!

    PS....The picture of you is a great one!!!

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  35. Great post Joni and lovely to be featured in the magazine. Your china is just beautiful but to get all the women in my family to agree on anything would be a feat in itself. I do love the idea of sharing for larger events. You gals could cater a wedding.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  36. Such a great mix of pieces-which I love. So much more interesting than the "set" setting-pink roses,white pumpkins-I hope you sat down for a well deserved catered to do or at least a stiff drink afterwards. GT

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  37. Stunning table Joni. Love the color of the roses with the china. You are the woman with an definite eye for beauty!

    Ruthie

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  38. I absolutely love your blog and you! Your dining room is gorgeous and the changes you are making are very inspiring. Congratulations on the recognition you are getting that is soooo deserved.

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  39. Joni, your table is just gorgeous. I love your silver domes, they are just beautiful. I am so glad to see more people using silver today, it seems like it went out of fashion for a while. You tablecloth and your china are stunning. Congratulations on your article in Glossy. What a compliment. Everything is done to perfection. Hugs, Marty

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  40. It all looks great, my friend! Congratulations!!!!

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  41. You are singlehandedly reviving a lost art.Your dining room is beautiful, as is your table.Who needs the food?

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  42. Gorgeous table, great post, Joni!!

    I love all the elements you used.

    I wish I had a place for the sconces!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  43. Love that you are in the Gloss, that is so cool...your picture was great, I see no deer! If anyone in blog land should be in the news it is you...

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  44. I hope you are happy with this photo...I know you are picky, but the green scarf looks great on you.

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  45. lovely table setting, lovely photo,lovely Joni.

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  46. I want those sconces!! Will buy. Thanks.

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  47. Like the table scape Joni....
    What a cute scarf! Luv the green color, looks so good with us brunettes!
    Leslie

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  48. Congrats on the feature Joni. A true local heroine! And the photo looks fabulous. You did a great job and do NOT need a stylist.
    Olga

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  49. You add your special shine to Gloss. Congratulations for a job well done. Hope the silk booboo has been fixed. Small oopsy in such a lovely tribute to your talent.

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  50. Beautiful tablescape, room and article... Would you share the wall color of your dining room and describe the color? Love it in the pics! Read your blog everday!

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  51. Yeah! I'm surprised you haven't been in Gloss before. It all looks so pretty....I love those pink flowers.

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  52. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!!!!!!! Just like you, friend! I just want to squeeze you!

    xoxo,

    Andrea

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  53. Hi Joni,

    It's such a relief and so refreshing to hear that a professional decorator can make a mistake that they regret too. Boy do I know that feeling. Thanks for the honesty.

    ~janet

    p.s. everything looks beautiful.

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  54. Congrats Joni. I love your sconces. Let me know what you want for them!

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  55. Fabulous, as usual! A wonderful mix of old and new, luxurious and economical. Keep up the great work, Joni! :-)

    Shannon

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  57. You did a wonderful job. I think it's a beautiful table setting - very elegant and welcoming.

    I see there are already a few takers, but if those sales fall through I'd be interested in buying your cream sconces too. ;)

    (kaatskoenig@hotmail.com)

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  58. Pretty is as pretty does.
    Just lovely work Joni.
    Love when your chairs face out when you don't use the table for dining.
    xo xo

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  59. Oh, most famous one! Just look at you all cute and stuff in the magazine! I love your silver dome and it makes a lovely centerpiece on your lovely table. You did set a very pretty table. Your china is very lovely and how great so many of your family members have the same pattern! Even though you chose not to go all pumpkiny on your table, your dishes have a Fallen look to them. You always do such wonderfulness!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Shelia ;

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  60. From one Texan to another,I loved your spread in Gloss. And I can't wait to see your new sconces. Great read, way to go! I start chemo again Monday so please keep me in your prayers. I need all I can get.
    love to you,
    nancy
    www.rivieraboardwalk.blogspot.com

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  61. Hi Joni
    Great Job! I Love all your new creamware. Thanks for the great post...I'm currently working on my dining room & need some inspiration!

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  62. Dear Joni,
    Why are we designers so hard on ourselves? Perhaps it's because we literally keep seeing new ways to tweak the design, when then makes the existing design seem not as good? I thought your dining table was fabulous! The silver and sparkle mixed with the organic elements is so pretty. Apparently the magazine thought so too, look whose pic was the largest!
    Anne

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  63. Really lovely table -- and I adore those pink roses! My Minton china "Bellemeade" is always so difficult to decorate around -- it is silver with gray and pale blue .....LOVE your choice!

    BTW -- my DH commented: "Hey do the guests just get a single apple to eat?" LOL!~ Just teasing!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  64. Your tablescape is just beautiful, I love the domes, I have seen the individual plate ones, so lovely, I think your china is beautiful and I enjoyed the story. I especially love that tablecloth, wow is that just beautiful, enjoyed my look around, come and visit...

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  65. Wow, you got the biggest picture in the spread! Congratulations. Blogging is a wonderful thing. What would you be doing if you didn't have your blog? Do you ever wonder?

    Love the green scarf.

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  66. Keeping my comment short:
    Bravissima Joni!

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  67. Congrats on being featured. Your tablescape came out very nice. I love the china and the silver domes and the story!...Christine

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  68. Congrats on being featured. Your tablescape came out very nice. I love the china and the silver domes and the story!...Christine

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  69. Could be a page out of Veranda Joni!! You are amazing!

    Have you thought about two beautiful ferns on stands on each side of your DR cabinet?

    I love the trio of plates! I'll fly right in for dinner!

    Best,
    Michelle

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  70. When I got engaged years ago, a dear friend gave us 6 teacups and saucers in the Hadden Hall green pattern! I have always used them with my silver tea service, but now I think I might be inspired to collect some place settings because yours look wonderful. Congratulations on the article, too. I never miss your blog.

    Scribbler in Birmingham

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  71. Your table looks wonderful...even if it is for a "pretend" event!
    marcie

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  72. GORGEOUS table setting...LOVE love love the roses...and despite it feeling hectic it turned out beautifully! =)

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  73. Oh, I knew that Joni way back when......

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  74. Congrats on the 'Gloss' recognition. Beautiful job, Joni!

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  75. Dear Joni,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment back to me.... I am very impressed that with all your readers that you took the time to have a look and write a comment! If you have a sec click on 28/10
    on the site and see my own house. The house you looked at..... the before was my decor ...after... French purchasers from Cannes...ummmm guess there may be a tie in there!

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  76. That's beautiful! I had to laugh at your story about your photo. Our home was in the Dallas Morning News last spring, and I had no idea they would take MY picture. I was wearing the most ghastly pink, baggy shirt, right there in the middle of my yellow and red living room. It was hideous! You're right, live and learn! I've just found your blog and I'm so glad. Can't wait to read more! So fun to find another Texan.
    Cheers, Andrea

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  77. Wonderful table setting, Joni. Thanks for all the advises you give to us...

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  78. lady this is gorgeous! oh, and you look beautiful in your pic, no deer there.

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  79. Hi Joni! First, 'I heart you"! There, got that out of the way! Your blog keeps me hungry for more and quenches my undying thirst for beautiful French design all at the same time, by every stroke of your midnight oil burning fingers.

    Truly, I am interested in your sconces and would love to know their dimensions and your asking price. I have long pined after them and your chandelier. Have they already sold???

    Keep it coming, well done!

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  80. How wonderful you came out in sich fab magazine with your no less stunning tablescape! I love the mercury vases where you have the lovely roses! I came because I was looking for something in pink on the Internet and your silver dome caught my eye. I have one sterling one too that was my hubby's gift some C'mas ago. I've been blogging since 2011, so I haven't seen this table or met you. I hope you are still blogging?! My blog is FABBY'S LIVING.

    FABBY

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