Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"My True Love Gave To Me": A Twelve Days of Christmas collection

For most of us, getting a few strings of lights on the house, a wreath on the door,
and a tree up in the living room is a holiday decorating job well done. For true
Christmas aficionados, like my mother, that’s barely a start.

Why have just one Christmas tree when she can have four, one wreath when she
can have five, her line of thinking goes. She’s a super-decorator and a holiday house
wonderland is her goal.

Of all the trees in the house, my favorite is the tree in the living room decorated
with all crystal ornaments. I credit my mother with inspiring my holiday tradition
- - - for twelve consecutive years I presented her with a Waterford crystal ornament
from their “12 days of Christmas” collection. Last year was the last ornament in
that series; however now I’m looking to build upon her “12 days of Christmas"
theme. Here a few of my favorites:

row 1: Waterford sixth edition flute, $85.00, Macy’s, Plates, $99.95, Williams Sonoma, Glassware, $29.99, Macys
row 2: Napkins, Gumps, Haviland six geese a laying, Haviland, $22.00, Rubylane,Cake plate, $4,000, Neiman Marcus
row 3: Appetizer plates, $96.00, Rosanna, Napkins, $49.00, Williams Sonoma, Sakura 5 golden rings, $21.99, Replacements

For more 12 Days of Christmas themes, make sure to visit Snippet & Ink on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On these days, Snippet and Ink will be
posting some amazing boards inspired by the 12 days of Christmas.

Below are two of her boards:
Board #1 – Partridge in a Pear Tree

Board #2 – Two Turtle Doves

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dining by Designer: Happy, Happy Holidays from Jonathan Adler

Long before he made his debut as head judge on "Top Design", he made a
splash with his own hand-thrown pottery. America "hearts" Jonathan Adler.
The potter-turned-designer has created a complete Jonathan Adler Home
Environment, an upbeat and groovy universe he envisions as "happy,
handcrafted, and luxe".

He can put breasts on a vase and we'll buy it; turn a turtle into a ornament,
and we want if for our Christmas tree; needlepoint the ace of spade on a pillow,
sell it for $165.00, and we all sigh, "J'adore".

Adler is a riot of fun! He is Jewish and from New Jersey and can be found
speaking Franglais - - - it’s all about “a soupcon" of this and "moiself" that.
His official aesthetic is "happy chic," and this means Jonathan Adler is always
chipper, never dressed in all black and eternally encouraging his followers to
put clown art on the wall.

As a living icon of modern design, his work is at the forefront of style. His
unconventional approach to ceramics has single-handedly taken pottery from
hippie to hip. If your holiday décor calls for something clean, modern and
“happy”, like this skyline menorah, look no further than Johnathan Adler.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Vivre exclusive: Set of six. Like an antique treasure from the Savannah,
these decoupage plates add safari excite to the table.
Animal Glass Plates, $945.00

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Decorating ideas for Holiday cards

Like the first robin of spring or the changing leaves of autumn, the first holiday
card always signals a new season. It marks the beginning of an annual affirmation
of personal connections that, in today’s fast-paced world, is becoming more
important than ever to me.

I was so happy when I saw that my friend Vane over at Brooklyn Bride was
hosting a “Holiday Card Swap”. I’m a huge fan of cards; I send them to
my family and friends all the time. When I mail cards it is my way of reaching
out to the people in my life to renew and reaffirm our relationship. Here are
some ideas to weave those holiday cards into colorful arrangements for your

Today is the last day to take part in the “Holiday Card Swap”, so click over
to Brooklyn Bride and sign up if you're interested. Since I've started blogging,
my personal contacts have widened, I’ve met some amazing women and this
gives me the opportunity to share the holiday season with the women that
I’ve been in contact with all year, as well as those that I haven’t.

Speaking of cards, Nicole of DearNic has launched her new line of Christmas cards
today on Etsy, make sure to check them out!

images: Country Living, O at Home, Better Homes and Garden and RedBook

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dining by Designer: Kate Spade's new dinnerware - see, spot, fun!

Handbag designer Kate Spade adores them. Like her handbags, footwear,
sunglasses and stationery her collections are infamous for taking traditional
designs and updating them with whimsical touches. Have you seen her simple
black bag with the surprise polka dot lining? This new dinnerware collection,
Sag Harbor, which will be in stores next year, is true to the Kate Spade style.

These are not the polka dots of yesterday. Kate Spade did them in chocolate
brown, navy and green with white, it's a new twist on and old classic. People
think polka dots are little, but when you blow them up big like she did, they
because fresh and modern.

Polka dots evoke a fun, playful and whimsical spirit and are a great motif
for a wedding. Polka-dotted designs are part of the retro craze. Brides are
taking retro and making it a lot more contemporary. Polka dots are being
used in a way that's funky, fun and fashionable. Take these cakes for

The term polka dot first appeared in the 1880's, when both the dots and the
dance were especially popular. As you see from these images, today's dots
have a bolder vibe than their predecessors. With loud colors and a retro
feel, they are more colorful, playful and graphic.

Kate Spade has a way of translating her fashion look into tabletop, enabling
one to dress their table as they would themselves with flexible, mix-and-match
designs. So your formal plates can come out of the china cabinet more often when
you accessorize with playful items like these.

This Christmas, mix things up with the Spruce Street collection. The vibrant
rich colors and entertaining designs lend personality to the table.

images sourced from: The Knot, Brides, Martha Stewart and Southern

invitations: custom made by Ceci New York.

dinnerware: Kate Spade, Spruce Street, mugs set of 4, $75.00;
tidbit plates set of 4, $50.00; both available at Michael C. Fina.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What the Fork! Flatware from A to Z

If flatware sounds a little, well...flat, remember that beautiful flatware adds the
perfect sparkling touch to your table. From durable sterling silver (which actually
looks better the more you use it) to easy-care stainless steel, today's flatware
is available in patterns that complement any style, whether you're traditional,
country or downright funky. The classic five-piece place setting is your starting
point - serving pieces like carving forks and gravy ladles can complete your
flatware registry.

(l to r): A is for Alain Saint-Joanis, $400.00; B is for Buccellati, $775.00;
C is for Christofle, $161.00.

The knives, forks and spoons that you'll use with your china and crystal - - -
not any flatware will do. Look for an attractive design that will match
or complement the good looks of your dinnerware. Here are some flatware
patterns from A to Z:

(l to r); D is for Deco City, $150.00; E is for Ercuis, $878.00; F is for French Regency,
$259.95; G is for Gorham, $259.95.

(top to bottom): H is for Hannah, $84.00; I is for International, 259.95; J is for
Japanesse Bird & Bamboo, $75.00; K is for Kirk Stieff, $278.95; L is for Louis XV,
$319.95; M is for Michael C. Fina, $449.95.

(top to bottom): N is for Neoclassico, $449.95; O is for Odiot, $2,149.00; P is for
Puiforcat, $460.00; Q is for Queen Elizabeth, $299.95; R is for Reed and Barton,
$229.95; S is for Sarong, $85.00.

(l to r): T is for Todd Hill, $55.00; U is for Union Square, $55.00; V is for Village of
Sienna, $50.00; W is for Wallace, $450.00.

(l to r): Y is for Yeoward, $975.00; Z is for Zambesi, $145.00.

Traditionally, brides-to-be register for sterling or silverplate flatware to use with
formal china and stainless steel for everyday. These days, couples are selecting
the style that best fits their lifestyle. Always choose flatware that suits you.

source: all flatware available at Michael C. Fina

Friday, November 16, 2007

Women who make beautiful tableware: Kim Westad

I began seeing and reading about women with wonderful unique and handmade
tableware and enterprises in smaller venues - at antique shows, crafts shows
and etsy. Women are taking their personal passions and turning them into
livelihoods. Here at Toast and Tables I wanted to create this series, "Women
who make beautiful tableware" to honor the women in this country who have
successfully started a business doing what they love. Kim Westad came from
a background in graphic design, she discovered her love for clay , began
designing three dimensionally in 2001 and 2 1/2 years later, left her full
time position as a graphic artist to concentrate solely on ceramics.

Many of her hand-thrown porcelain pieces incorporate a beautiful vine
inspired slip design. The design is comprised of individually applied slip dots,
which are slightly raised above the surface. This gives the pieces a wonderful,
tactile quality. All of the slip designs are created freehand, so each one is
unique. You can buy her pieces from her etsy store. [click here]

On December 8th, Kim will be participating in the 2007 Bust Magazine Craftacular.
If you're in New York I encourage you to come out and support Kim and the other
wonderful artist. The Craftacular will be held at the Metropolitan Pavillion from
10am - 8pm. Kim says, "I like retail shows where I'm able to get feedback from
other people. I like people to be able to afford things. I get a lot of young people
wanting to buy stuff and I want them to be able to have things, so I make
pieces in all price ranges.” All of her work is functional, dishwasher and
microwave safe.

Kim is proof that if you follow your bliss, it will lead you down the right path.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mottahedeh's Sacred Bird and Butterfly dinnerware

This holiday season, Mottahedeh & Co. leads the way in excellence for decorative
table accessories. Their Sacred Bird and Butterfly collection is a holiday favorite.
From formal to rustic, Mottahedeh's reproduction porcelain dinnerware is
a perfect compliment to any type of well-dressed table.

Mottahedeh and Co. is known for its porcelain reproductions, which have
graced museums across the country and some of the most distinguished
homes in America. The company has made fine china for the President
of the United States, the U.S. State Department and the Diplomatic Corps.
Sacred Bird and Butterfly is true to the original antique. The original Chinese
export sets the dining room of the famed Nathaniel Russell House. The Chinese
word for butterfly, “tieh”, is a pun which expresses the wish that the owner
might live to a ripe old age.

(top to bottom: leaf tray, $80.00; large square bowl, $195.00; butterfly
mug, $80.00; butterfly cream soup and saucer, $90.00; all available at

As the holidays are a time to take pleasure in families gathering together
why not add to the enjoyment by making the table a feast for the eyes with
fine tableware.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Designing by Designer: Make waves and a big splash with Nautica’s dinnerware collection

Using the Latin word for ships, David Chu started his menswear company, Nautica,
in 1983 and proceeded to build an empire based on all things attached to the sailing
mentality. The Nautica lifestyle is a casual, relaxed approach - - - whether that is
in apparel or home collection.

The newest addition to the dinnerware collection is Yacht Club and as the name
implies, its elegant and refined look is taken from the days spent on a yacht in
the French Riviera. The collection features fine white porcelain pieces accented
with light blue striping, plaid and chain link patterns.

The nautical decor doesn’t stop with tableware; many couples opt for a nautical
theme wedding. "Ahoy mates! If your adventurous heart belongs to the sea, a
nautical theme wedding is just right for thee."

Some couples opt for a nautical theme if they are having a wedding near any type
of water, including oceans, seas, rivers, even large lakes. Of course, another good
reason to have a nautical theme is if you’re going to be setting all or part of your
wedding on a boat. You don’t even have to go anywhere on the boat to have a
great wedding or wedding reception on a sea faring vessel.

Your nautical theme wedding invitations, like these designed by Ceci New
, can be the start of the fun.

Your wedding attire, flowers and color scheme can reflect the gold, yellow, blue,
black and red colors, which are used in the international signal code flags used by
mariners. Roping epitomizes the look.

It's a very successful theme. Your nautical theme will result in smooth sailing for
all who will share your special day and provide a memorable theme that embraces
your love of the sea. Carry the nautical theme to the table with the On Deck

images sourced from:, The and Rebecca Thuss

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are you missing the boat? Gravy boats for your holiday table

Have you ever thought about the design of a gravy boat - - - the spout, the ladle,
the plate? Do you pour? Do you ladle? And what's the plate for? Well here's
a quick lesson: pour unless there's a reason not to, such as the gravy is very
thick or if it separates quick and always use a plate as it keeps the
drippings off the tablecloth.

(l to r: Fiesta gravy boat, $21.60, Macy's; Gravy boat, $24.00, Pottery Barn)

Millions of gravy boats will bob and dip around the Thanksgiving table this
year as they are passed from guest to guest.

(top to bottom: Mikasa cocoa blossom gravy boat with stand, $80.00, Dillards;
Kate Spade June Lane Platinum, $219.00, Bed, Bath and Beyond; Vera Wang
gold gravy boat, $169.00; Sauce boat, $59.00, Juliska; Wedgwood Shagreen
cocoa gravy, $139.00)

This fine-china fleet is an essential part of the holiday tradition. Gravy boats
survive as serving pieces only because they are used once or twice a year
around the holidays and for special occasions.

(row 1: Martha Stewart gravy boat, $7.99, Macy's; Villeroy and Boch Audun Ferme
gravy boat, $58.50. row 2: Cellini gravy boat, $68.60, Bloomingdales; Spode gravy
boat spode, $182.00, Horchow)

Gravy boats are treated like the ugly stepsisters of the china set. For many,
it's not even something you would think about registering for. As you can see,
gravy boats are anything but ugly. I will be registering for Match's
Convivio dinnerware and naturally my favorite gravy boat is the one shown
in the top picture. Don't worry if you can't find one to match your current
china. Mix and Match. Sleek gravy boats are available to fit any table

(l to r: Eva Ziesel Classic Century sauce boat, $47.95, Crate and Barrel;
Sophie Conran pouring bowl, Portmeirion)

This holiday season, tableware will set sails! Don't miss the boat.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Women who make beautiful tableware: I'm bowled over by Ruth Hyndman and Leah Nobilette

Their bowls are hand-painted, hand-made and their use of color is uninhibited.
As seen on Apartment Therapy, Hostess with the Mostess and many other
blogs, Ruth Hyndman and Leah Nobilette have bowled over their admires.
Their juxtapositions of color and material created by the dimensions of their
bowls will certainty bring a cheeriness to the table.

(above: Very Hefty bowls, 14", $220.00; Hefty bowls, 6.5", $58.00; Iluren)

Combining thickness and weight, usually reserved for dark objects with the
brightest and happiest of color reminds me that even the brawniest of home
decor can bring a smile to one's face.

(above: Leah Nobilette handmade spike bowls, $65.00, Relish)

Although the bowls designed by Leah Nobilette are functional and food-safe,
they are more like sculptures. These beautifully designed ceramic bowls have
a spikey exterior, extruded through a pastry bag! Brilliant! Relish was a
early supporter of her bowls and you can now order them online; however you
should act fast before they're all gone. According to Ultra, a great design
site, Oprah once bought out the entire collection for O magazine and
to use for the set of her television show!

The reason why I chose to spotlight "Women Who Make Beautiful Tableware"
every Friday is because I believe that handmade pottery adds a great deal of
creativity and individuality to the table. There are a lot of handmade looking
items on the market now that are manufactured to look like they've been
crafted by hand; but they are not. I hope these post inspire you to buy
handmade; because when you do, you have a connection with whoever
made it. We live in such a technological world, isn't it just nice sometimes
to make a human connection.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Love Hue!

A favorite color palette really sets the tone for your wedding celebration. It has the power
to define a mood and exemplify a persona. Are you feeling blue? Green with envy? Red
Hot? Whatever the mood, Pantone, can point you in the right direction.

Ask any Stationary Designer, Florist, Art Director, Interior Designer or Event Planner
who Pantone is and they will tell you; Pantone, Inc. is the world's color authority.
Pantone provides design professionals with products and services for colorful
exploration and expressions of creativity. Talk about creativity, I just love the way
Event Planner, extraordinaire, David Stark, used the blue and green Pantone color
swatches to decorate the event shown above.

(above: color inspiration from House & Garden magazine. To see how some
amazing bloggers are using the green and black color combo , check out
Jennifer Skog's bridal shower and Erin's inspiration board for her upcoming
baby shower)

Color selection may seem like a daunting task. But the truth is, you don't have to be
a design professional to absorb ideas. In addition to the tons of bridal magazines that
are all over your coffee table, pick up the latest fashion or interior design magazine for
inspiration. Wedding colors are reflective of hot colors in interior design and current
couture fashion. Above are pages taken from House & Garden magazine. (I'm so sad to
hear that this magazine will cease publication next month, it was always a constant
source of inspiration for me).

(above: Dusk blue side plate, $4.98; Dusk blue cereal bowl, $4.98; lettuce green
10 oz. mug, $3.98; all available at Fishs Eddy).

Selecting a color theme for your table is a lot like choosing a color palette for your
wedding, you're limited only by your creativity. Pantone brings its color expertise
to the table and their Palette tableware collection allows you to mix and match colors
to suit your own individual style.

(above: Palette collection available at Fishs Eddy; Family of pantone mugs, all
10 colors, 72 pounds, W2).

Just remember, there's a fine line between tasteful and tacky so don't overdo it with a
theme or color. Knowing when to say when is key!