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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spirea Garden Party ~ French Style

Spirea 
is an old fashioned plant 
that reminds me of
Victorian houses 
and 
garden parties. 

Welcome to

The Scoop On ... 
Spring Tablescapes 

Enjoy the Spirea Garden Party,
à la French style,
en plein air.

I am excited to be part of

Top This Top That 
Setting for Four 
Botanic Bleu 
Hymns and Verses 
Unexpected Elegance

 for the first day of the 3-day tour.


What better way to spend a warm Spring day 
than having a glass of fresh mint tea 
with a walnut and apple garden salad 
next to the spirea plant in full bloom? 



Folding wooden chairs with worn blue paint 
are perfect for outdoor dining. 
Gracie is hanging out under the table 
hoping for a little treat. 



After the long harsh winter, the spirea bush 
is filled with the most blooms ever on long 
graceful fronds that sway in the wind. 



Pots of ivy and lobelia on the table add 
to the garden party.  



Tall clay pots without the usual wide rim at the top 
are popping up in garden centers and stores.  



Made in Italy in unfired red clay... 
A little Navy #4 Valspar sample paint quickly 
transformed the little pot into a blue one. 



Stainless flatware with a fleur de lis design adds a French touch. 



Standing in a small blue flower pot, the flatware is easy to reach. 



Fresh iced mint tea quickly forms 
condensation on the blue fleur de lis glass. 
A warm 86° tied the high temperature for the date. 



These warm days with fresh green grass, leafy trees, and flowers 
are among the best weather days during the year. 

A strong breeze keeps the weather pleasant, 
but means that some weights are needed 
to keep the linens from blowing away and 
small things from blowing over.  


A vintage brass watering ring anchors the silverware-laden blue pot. 
 A brass sprinkler head in the shape of a watering can  
is hefty enough to hold linens in place. 



Blue and white garden dishes with a new toile design are 
extra special with their contrasting borders 
and extra design details. 
Each piece has fluted edges.



Square (really eight-sided) dinner plates, 
salad plates, and bread plates 
with a floral pattern accented by 
a bird with outstretched wings 
are reminiscent of antique French designs. 
Only we know that these did not come from a 
French flea market. 
HomeGoods is our little secret. 

Round soup/cereal bowls have a surprise in the bottom... 
the little bird ready for flight! 

Dishes... 
Bleu et blanc vaisselle... 
A passion all my life... 
To find unusual shapes, 
with so many details, 
and in so many pieces, 
is a thrill!
The  small square condiment bowls 
  are one of those unusual pieces 
that make a pattern extra special. 



Walnut and apple garden salad is my favorite salad 
anytime of the year and especially for a garden party.  



Feta cheese and raspberry walnut vinaigrette 
add just the right zing! 

Walnut and Apple Garden Salad Recipe
Spring Mix packaged greens 
Apple slices
English walnuts
Feta cheese
Raspberry walnut vinaigrette
(Paul Newman's is my favorite.) 



Iced mint tea pairs perfectly with the garden salad. 
An overturned flower pot keeps the tea in easy reach. 



French linen kitchen towels serve as table runners 
for the final touch of France in the 
Spirea Garden Party. 

Come back anytime to sit for awhile 
in a blue wooden chair 
and to drink a glass of iced mint tea. 
 
 ~~~~~~~~~~
Porcelain ~ Adelaide Blue & White @ HomeGoods

All information is supplied as a courtesy for my readers 
with no compensation from any source. 
~~~~~~~~~~
If you can spend hours reading 
magazines, catalogs, and design books,  
then you are in for a treat.


Ten bloggers are joining the five hostess bloggers 
for a tour of Spring Tablescapes. 
15 blogs over 3 days

Look at the hostesses! 
Everyone of them has 
style with pizzazz! 

I am so excited that 
Botanic Bleu 
is included.
After partying with me, 
hop, hop, hop on over 
to the other four Spring Tablescapes today. 

Come back on April 23-24 for 
TEN more inspiring Spring tables 
in The Scoop On...Spring Tablescapes.

Tuesday, April 22 Wednesday, April 23 Thursday, April 24

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Please join me at these inspiring sites...
SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

Monday, April 21, 2014

On the Road to Hico Antique Show 2014

Good friends who 
guarantee laughter invited a group 
 to go on a small road trip. 

Bluebonnets, antiques, and pie 
are all on the schedule. 


The hostess who invited us to her house 
for the weekend in the Texas countryside 
posted this photo of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes 
on her FB page. 
 It was taken near the entrance to her driveway. 

Hico Antique Show 2014 
here we come! 

April 25-26, 2014 ~ 10:00 am-5:30pm ~ Hico, TX
Entrance Fee Benefits Volunteer Fire Department 
What's on my wish list this year? 
White stoneware 
Old garden tools 
Vintage 1940s cotton tablecloths 
Transferware 

and 
P I E 
at the Koffee Kup Cafe in Hico. 




Wild foxgloves 
Peach-colored Indian paintbrushes 
Pink scallop-edged cake plate 
My homemade muffins made 
a great impromptu photo shoot. 
~~~~~~~~~~
Anyone else planning to be in Hico on 
Saturday, April 26, 2014? 
Always love to meet fellow bloggers. 
Send me an email message if you would like to meet. 
I can always eat another piece of pie with friends. 



Here we are, Hico Hotties, with some of our purchases in 2013. 
A fun-loving local saw us on the bench and laughingly asked, 
"Y'all the Hico Hotties?" 

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Please join me at these inspiring sites...
SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Magnifique Blog 1

Happy Easter to everyone.

In late August 2012,
I discovered the amazing world of blogs.
Since then I have been entertained,
educated, and inspired by hundreds of bloggers,
and continue to discover new blogs.

Part of the joy of blogging is
sharing the awe and wonder we find in
très magnifique blogs.

 White Gunpowder 
is a
Magnifique Blog. 


The free printable Easter tags below are from
Bill and Kay who write the inspiring and creative

White Gunpowder
White Gunpowder

Please visit their blog
for a firsthand look at pure inspiration and creativity
and to experience their generosity.

White Gunpowder
~~~~~~~~~~
Please let me know about 
blogs you consider 
magnifique 
for possible future features.