Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Welcome to the Family, Mindy!

I knew when Mindy joined the Amon family for 2009 Thanksgiving dinner that my nephew James was serious about her.

And I knew she had to be serious about James when, at the gathering, she followed my instructions to the letter on how to serve oneself from the buffet. She didn't roll her eyes, she didn't laugh, she just went with the flow (although I do remember a comment regarding missing directional tape lines on the floor-was that Mindy or James who said that?).

You see, I am a little bit obsessive about Thanksgiving dinner. No one is allowed in the kitchen but me. I am like Martha Stewart if she was a drill sergeant with no social skills. The only part of Thanksgiving I will delegate is the pies. I "allow" my sister to make the pies because she (even I have to admit) is an extraordinary pie-maker.

Thanksgiving with the Amons is a true test of love. We must have received a passing score, because Mindy is still here!

This weekend, my sister-in-law (James' mom) is hosting a luncheon for Mindy. She asked me if I could "help." That was all the invitation I needed to take over the event. The theme for the luncheon is vintage roses. I have had so much fun assembling various vintage pieces for the place settings and decorations.

The first order of business was creating a "place card" that could also serve as a takeaway for guests, and I had a brilliant idea.

My daughter went to undergraduate school in New York City. When I would visit her, we always would stop into this great shop called Fishes Eddys. They sold old and discontinued serving pieces from cafes and diners. On one visit, I spied a barrel full of coffee cups from diners with a sign that said "fifty cents". I couldn't pass them up at that price! I lugged a dozen of them home where they stayed in a drawer for seven years waiting to be repurposed.

And now the time is right for them to find new life. I have made them into pincushions. Tied to each handle is a tag lettered with each guest's name-perfect as a place card and takeaway for luncheon guests.

I found several silver-plated pieces that will be used for the table centerpiece and as serving ware. I discovered the salad tongs and water pitcher at the Austin Citywide Garage Sale. The tongs were just $3 and the pitcher only $5! A little bit of baking soda brought these tarnished flea market finds back to life.

At a recent trip to the Goodwill store, I uncovered several silver-plated bowls and goblets scattered around the store. Each piece was engraved with a year and "1st Place," "2nd Place,' etc. It took me a while, but I realized that these were trophies for sailing events. The earliest one was dated 1963. How cool! These, too, were tarnished (which I found appealing), but I went ahead and polished them to a bright lustre.

I will place these on top of a vintage mirror and fill them with flowers. In these photos, I used crepe myrtle blooms. I think I will use them at the luncheon--what could be better than free for flowers?

Welcome, Mindy, to the Amon family. Just follow the taped path, and you will be fine!

Please take a moment to visit the Etsy shops featured in the sidebar. Since the luncheon is all about pink and roses and love, I chose shops where you can find things that are pink..


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