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Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's Tables and Templates at That Old House!

It's a casual supper table today, as I race to catch up to Tablescape Thursday
at Susan's Between Naps On The Porch blog.

I was distracted today.
The stone fabricator guy came by to make a template for the new counter top. Plus, you can tell by the book left lying around that daughter Alida is home from California for a whirlwind visit.

Yeah, she reads stuff like that. I read decorating books.


But back to the matter at hand. Come for dinner!
How many more Autumn table settings I can inflict upon you?

It's crazy pumpkin time at That Old House!

We've got pumpkins on the plates, pumpkins on the table runner,
and lots of ceramic and glass pumpkins just pretty-ing up the landscape.

Details -- including martini glasses, green plates, candles, and napkins from
Dollar Tree, and a braided runner, round placemats, and a big new pumpkin from Kohl's:

Flatware is a mixed bag of very vintage silverplate, from various Ebay scores.
I love the soft glow of lightly polished old flatware.

Cute for a casual weeknight supper:

Those napkins are really tea towels from Dollar Tree.
Nice, big, absorbent, and cheap. Also washable and green.

Most of our dinners are at the big round oak table in our conservatory.
Did I ever tell the story of that table? It's got quite a history in our family. Another time. . . .
(And don't believe my brothers when they say it came from a home for unwed mothers in 1900s Brooklyn.
They are pretty much wrong.)

One thing -- when you buy candles at Dollar Tree, there is sometimes one that won't stay lit.
Yeah, the burgundy one. And the orange one leaked on me when I took the plastic off its little bottom.
I have no clue what that liquid was, but it inspired me to put a plate beneath the candles!

I probably won't be using Dollar Tree candles on Thanksgiving. One year I used bargain-basement candles, and halfway through the big dinner they collapsed in on themselves; they turned to liquid inside, and their wicks sank right down! Thank goodness they were in hurricane holders. But still, what a mess. Wax everywhere.

Don't forget to visit the other dish-crazed dames at Tablescape Thursday!

But keep reading -- a kitchen makeover begins at That Old House!

Today I dutifully cleared off all the clutter from the "L" shaped kitchen counter.

(That brightness to the right is our sunroom.)

I put all the counter clutter here for the time being:

Why am I sharing this mess with you? Yikes, it looks awful.
Have I no shame? Nope, guess not.

But the mess was worth it. Template man came and did this:

I never realized they actually made a wooden template, stapled together like a big frame.

Isn't this cool? It is like a giant puzzle. I took these pictures from the sunroom.

Ah, goodbye, smooth top cooking surface! It's not your fault I hated you,
and I hope we can find you a good new home.

We should hear in just a few days when our new soapstone counter will be delivered and installed. This is Step One in our kitchen re-do -- new countertop with a new sink and faucet, and a gas cooktop. It's a beginning, but a really good beginning!

It just started raining. I knew I should have taken this guy for a walk 10 minutes ago. . . .

Dion and I wish you a lovely Thursday -- what is left of it! We are about to get wet. -- Cass

P.S. Funny note: Template guy pointed out to me that some of my cabinets are not entirely level, and they will have to shim the counter. Not level? Cabinets in an 1880s kitchen not level? I told him I'd have been way more shocked if he'd told me they were level. :-)


  1. You two could work together on a book..The Philosophy of Decorating.
    Crappy candles are never worth it. I recall the mess of my "dripless" candles that melted all over my black candle holder. Lovely.
    You must be so excited about the reno. What fun.
    I suppose he would have been surprised to find out the walls were not square too.

  2. Hope Dion (and you) has a raincoat! I can hardly make mine go outside unless the weather conditions are perfect! I know you are so excited about the new counter tops--yeah!!! I won't be sending Alida my reading list :) ps--I'm having a little giveaway!

  3. This is such a great post! I loved your candle stories-you are a very entretaining writer!
    Best wishes, NM.
    PS the table looks gorgeous!

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog today! I felt like it was Christmas when I saw I had a comment :)
    I grabbed my husband and sat down to look at your beautiful home. love old homes, my heart just skips a beat everytime I see one. My daughter was laughing at us as we were ohh and ahhing over your home.
    I will have to post the inside pictures of "our" farm house!!
    It is so good to see that your dream came true!!

  5. Wow, I just love that cute little Dion...and your tablescape!!!

  6. Love your pumpkin tablescape! Great colors! I also enjoyed your little stories!

    I want your little doggie!


  7. Woo Hoo! I'm so happy for you Cass on getting new countertops!
    Love your Fallen table. You have so many pumpkins - love 'em.
    But you know, every time you put up a little photo of little Dion ~ he really steals the show, well, um the post! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. You are so fun! I enjoy your commentary so much. Your table looks so pretty, and I cannot wait to see the counter tops! That soapstone is going to make such a difference in your kitchen. laurie

  9. I bet you are so excited ! I can hardly wait to see your new counter ! I am wondering what color you chose ???

  10. Love the tablescape. All of the pumpkins are just wonderful. I don't think I could get tired of them. Love that you will get your new counters soon. Can't wait to see them. Hugs, Marty

  11. I love all those ceramic and glass pumpkins! The pumpkin dishes are great too.

    THANK YOU for showing us your "mess" as you call it - - - makes the rest of us feel human.

  12. I love that cute pumpkin runner. I never tire of pumpkins. That is funny about that little burgandy candle not staying lit. Hooray for new countertops. If you looked around by blog - I just remodeled my kitchen and am working on a giveaway tied in with my kitchen right now. So, make sure and stop by. Thanks!

  13. ♥ your pumpkin table! The amber glass one is really cute. I never tire of seeing them, so keep the tablescapes coming. Your counters/sink are going to be awesome. I don't know how anyone can cook on an electric stovetop. I would burn everything!

  14. Hi Cass,
    Me again - oooooo black with little veins sounds wonderful - I can hardly wait to see ...I want to do something like this in my kitchen at a later time !

  15. What a lovely table and I do love pumpkins. Daughter home from California. That is where I am. Thanks for stopping to visit me. Love you home and good luck with the counters

  16. Wow, you're table looks very festive to me, coming from Australia. I love all the autumn colours and your cute little touches like the tea towel serviettes! That old house of yours is a cracker! Enjoyed your post immensely - have fun with your new benchtops (I got new composite stone ones last year and I lerve them!) Give cute little Dion a pat from me! Best wishes, Maryanne

  17. This is a wonderfully warm & welcoming table, Cass. I feel lucky to have bought 9 of the same pumpkin plates this year & would have gotten 12 if they'd had them. They look great on your table!

    I join you in hating my glass topped stove. :( Mine is only 4 yrs. old & I WISH I'd gotten gas instead. *Lucky Dog~Lucky Dog*, not Dion. LOL

    Good luck with the remodel & be sure to take LOTS of pictures to share.


  18. I wish my kitchen was in a mess for the same reasons as yours. I don't need a new counter top, but I need some painting done. Pretty table setting - very warm looking.

  19. I love all of your pumpkins and pumpkin plates--so pretty.


  20. I love all f your pumpkin things!! So nice on the table. Had to laugh at your unleveling experience--our house is the same way!!

  21. Your pumpkin plates are so cute! You sure have an eye for decoration!


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