Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tea in the Parlor on Tablescape Thursday

Tablescape Thursday! Thanks to Susan of Between Naps On The Porch for hosting this fun event. Click here for more table-topping fun and inspiration.


Meanwhile, I am going to have tea in front of the fireplace, and have a slice of Grandma Cake! Come with me, as I walk you through the recipe for Tea in the Parlor. . . .

Start with a parlor, a blank slate:

Paint it to your liking, and add ... well, stuff. Furniture is a good place to start.

Drive 200-plus miles to Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to order period-style furniture from Angel House.
Stir in some blood-curdling "we don't have that fabric anymore"
moments, dash to Calico Corners and order fabric to go!

wait ... wait ... wait for the call that the furniture is ready. Pester Angel House.

Pester Angel House again, till patient lady in the office begins to sound testy on phone. Rejoice when furniture is ready!

Send husband Howard and his ex-wife (00ps, ex-roommate) Mitchel on a 400-plus mile round trip in a rented truck to fetch new parlor furniture in Massachusetts to save whopping delivery charges. Offer to pay for their lunch en route. At Burger King.

Fall in love with the furniture.
Ask it to marry you, then remember you are already married.
And that furniture would make a poor husband,
as it has no means of taking out the trash.

Ruthlessly shove furniture around over and over again because
you can't find an arrangement that works.

Realize that for Tablescape Thursday, you can fudge it
and just use one wee bit of the room. Move appropriate furniture into place:

An Angel House (very comfy) wing chair, and the old
barley twist table your sister-in-law was donating to charity
and you snatched from her garage.Discover, too late, that the bottom side of the wing chair bears evidence of the
passage of a cheeky little white and brown spaniel who left a bit of himself behind,
on the upholstery fabric. Clean off for future pictures.

Add a bit of old table linen that doesn't need ironing, realize you don't have anything that doesn't need ironing,
so resort to last week's bit of old lace.

Add Johnson Brothers "Indies Blue" china, an old "Blenheim" pattern silver spoon (it hasn't been polished so just claim to like that vintage look), the cobalt and gold Meissen teapot, change your mind about the Meissen teapot as you don't have any cup & saucer to measure up to it, realize you don't have enough nice china and hear your husband scream all the way from midtown Manhattan, replace Meissen with unknown maker blue and white teapot, and, finally,
a slice of Grandma Cake to make it all worthwhile.

And there we have it....
Tea in the Parlor, or:
How To Get The Most Posts Out Of One Homemade Cake.

I'd light the fire, but it's a gas gizmo and I am mortally terrified of it.

And I still don't have a satisfactory arrangement of furniture in this room.


  1. Hello!
    Okay, I did find your blog, I read it all, wiped the drool off my chin and now I want to say....I LOVE your home!! Can I move in? The only major problem I see with it is the cold looking white stuff outside....I am a CA girl!!
    I will be back, again and again!
    Grandma G's

  2. Morning, Cass! Oh, I loved the instructions on setting up your tablescape! You're right, furniture would not be a good thing to marry - it can't make you a living either!
    What beautiful dishes and tea pot you have! And the napkin is perfect. Do you have any left over cake?
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  3. This looks so inviting, tea by the fire.

    I am enjoying the pix of your home, always having a love affair with old houses. Hubby is no so enamoured (he work, the cost...), but it is nice to dream.


  4. Linda/ "Mom..."Thu Mar 05, 11:31:00 AM EST

    * D-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l!!! * Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Linda

  5. GM Cass...what a fun day you made this pour me a your furntiure its great..goes with your wonderful home to a T. loved your post today...Happy Thursday to you girl!! hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  6. Hi again Cass-
    Luv your tea in the parlor! I did something similar where my tablescape is for one. Now feel free to leave me another funny comment...I enjoy them!

  7. Oh, do I know the frustration you're going through. I have shoved the furniture around my family room so many times that if I say one more word I may end up with a divorce. I finally have the only arrangement that will work, even if I don't really like it I'm going with it. You will eventually come up with something, just hang in there. Meantime, tea and cake is always a great idea. Hugs, Marty

  8. Wow! What a beautiful home and furnishings. I would love to sit before the fireplace and have tea. I'm afraid of my fireplace too. My house caught on fire in 2002 so just about any fire gives me a fright! Great job I love those Johnson Brothers pieces. Deb

  9. LOL, getting a kick out of your post this week. Love your home, that old wide plank flooring, yummy! Good luck with the rearranging, it is hard at times.
    Love your tablescape set up this week, cozy, pretty china!
    Linda Q

  10. So inviting...can I come over?

  11. Just darling! I love the blue and lace. Be careful of that fireplace I totally understand.

  12. Lovely tea table. A perfect spot to take a moment to relax!

  13. Sounds like an absolutely lovely tea time. :) I'll have to check out grandma cake though. Sounds like something to make for my mom.

  14. I love that little grouping! I will so try to have some "me" time and do something like that!

    Happy Thursday!

  15. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR it looks cold at your house (in photos from Wednesday). Thank you for stopping by to see me for Outdoor Wednesday (sorry I am late getting back because I went to play all day yesterday & took wonderful flower pictures that you might need to go visit to help you hold out for Spring). I loved your post for Tablescape it made me laugh MANY times. From the offering to buy lunch at Burger King, to the dog hair on the chair (who would have noticed if you didn't tell) to the being married to the furniture/no because it can't take out the trash! LOL!!! Hang in there for Spring & I loved your blue & white!

  16. Cass,

    This was just so funny! I agree how anjmoying it is to wait for furniture. If they tell you 8 weeks, it is usually 12... but I do love thfurniture. The sofa would match perfectly with what I have in my den.

    Love your china! So pretty. And Grandma would be so proud of you for continuously spreading the word about her cake! :-)


  17. Dear Cass
    Very cute post! I love your blue and white dishes. I just can't believe you haven't polished off that cake yet!
    Your woodwork in your living room as well as your fireplace are lovely. Fabric and sofa are gorgeous too. I am sure as you add pieces the room will "fall" into place. I did a bit of looking for that sunroom valance fabric this morning. Unfortunately I didn't see any possibilities...the hunt goes on. (These things usually take me months. I am the worst at shopping!) Love, Paula

  18. I have the same Johnson Brothers blue and white -- bought a 4 cup teapot, sugar and creamer to match, 2 cups and saucers and 2 bread plates in England.

    Loved them so much that they are my everyday "kitchen" dishes.

    Got plates, more cups and more dessert plates.

    They look so pretty with the lace, the napkin and the piece of your grandmother's cake!

    A great setting. I can see myself sharing a piece of cake and a cup of tea with you!

  19. I have the same Johnson Brothers blue and white -- bought a 4 cup teapot, sugar and creamer to match, 2 cups and saucers and 2 bread plates in England.

    Loved them so much that they are my everyday "kitchen" dishes.

    Got plates, more cups and more dessert plates.

    They look so pretty with the lace, the napkin and the piece of your grandmother's cake!

    A great setting. I can see myself sharing a piece of cake and a cup of tea with you!

  20. I so enjoy visiting someone who also is crazy for old houses. Your little table set in blue is gorgeous. That piece of lace is extraordinary, especially since it didn’t need ironing. I just love your house! Stop by mine anytime!

  21. I love the blue and white. Can I sit down and have a cup of tea? :)

  22. oh my...I am coming to you house for that sofa! actually I am looking for a queen anne camel back sofa....sigh
    but I can't find one!

  23. I found you by following a trail of commenters that started at Leigh's blog and her Thrifty Thursday. Your house avatar called my name.

    I LOVE the house, and this tea in the parlor is so wonderful!!!

  24. Cass --

    Linderhof is German and my heritage is German as is the builder of this house -- my husband decided upon the name because it was his favorite castle in Germany (one of Bavarian King Ludwig's castles -- the most famous is Neuschwanstein Castle -- the fairy castle that is the inspiration for the one at Disneyland)

    I do think we are kindred spirits! I love your blog!

  25. What a fun post! I enjoyed reading about your scurrying around. I smiled the whole time, even imagining you sliding across those shiny wood floors. You sure ended up with a charming presentation of for tea. I hope you got to sit down and enjoy the tea and cake after all of that! laurie

  26. Cass, I would love to have tea in the parlor! That lace is so lovely!!! You arranged everything just right. Had to laugh about the hubby screaming! :D Jewel

  27. Cass,
    This is a great and fun post. Now I love your little tablescape ( I love Johnson Bros. china ) and I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful new furniture and the oh so lovely paint color you picked out. Great Job again, Cindy

  28. very fun that little table with the twistie legs...and your room looks beautiful, love the floors...

  29. What a pretty tablecloth and tea set!...Christine

  30. Hello Cass, A beautiful tablescape by the fire (Your tea-set is perfect). a beautiful house and furniture too and what a neat post, I hate waiting and pester the manufacturers too lol. Kathy.

  31. Thanks for doing cartwheels for all of us! Your post was hysterical! Still feeling sentimental about your Grandma's cake post, and can't wait to try it!

  32. Lovely post - you are too funny! I love the blues in your table setting - a girl after my own heart!

    I am so glad that you stopped by to say hi the other day - it is great to meet you!
    I look forward to getting to know you better through your lovely blog.
    Blessings on your day today,

  33. You are too funny -- the cat is giving me odd looks because I'm laughing so hard...

    LOVE the idea of tea in front of the fireplace. I may have to steal that one... Your china is to die for, and don't get me started on that beautiful setee!

    Have a great weekend. It's supposed to get to 63 on Sunday -- Yay!!!

  34. You are just tooo funny.. I loved the tour you took us to make this room come together.. you are a girl after my own it.. Your afternoon tea looks lovely..I would love to sit and visit awhile with you...hugs ~lynne~

  35. Cass!! Great post!!You have a charming sense of humor!! And a LOVELY home!! You need an extra chair for when I pop in for some grandma cake and tea!! :o)

    Thanks for the smile, and your tablescape is delightful!!

  36. Your house is so beautiful!! We live in a 4yr old house, so I long for a house with real character and history! I just love your blog!! I'll have to live vicariously through you!

  37. Lovely blog - I've spent about an hour here already - I love your style of writing - and your house is divine. Ohh that conservatory.

  38. LOL, what a fun read that was!

    I love your parlor.

  39. Cass, It is just beautiful! I loved getting to see what all you are doing on your home. I cannot wait to se all teh completed projects. I loved this one! Thanks for dropping by my place!

  40. What a charming little table - and picture perfect tea service. The spoon is lovely - "Blenheim" is a pattern I'm new to. Must be inspired by Blenheim Palace. Love the cake.


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.