Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birthday Luncheon for Quilting Friends

My spring peonies were FABULOUS this year!
It must have been all that rain we had earlier.


I cut armloads of them to arrange & there were still TONS left on the bushes.
After shaking off any visible ants from the blossoms,
I plunge the stems into a big bucket of ICE COLD water
and leave them sitting overnight on the deck.
No stranglers...that should be "straglers" allowed into the house that way!
Thanks for spotting my spelling error, Kathleen! LOL
We removed the center leaf from the large square sunroom table so that I could use a white silk tablecloth
that I had bought. This table is 60"x60" & just gives me fits trying to find tablecloths for it.
The white silk didn't work the way I wanted it to AND
it didn't give me the room that I needed so two hours later,
I had DH help me put the leaf back in.
He just loves it when I do stuff like that! ~~insert rolled eyes~~


So the BIG arrangement of flowers went on the dining room table

and a smaller cluster went into a blue & white container.
I used white quilted placemats & white, restaurant weight napkins.
This luncheon was for my quilting group & was also held
to celebrate one of my closest sewing & *tennising* (is that a word?) friend's birthday.
Happy Birthday, Sue!!
I've known Sue for over 23 years & she is a dear, dear friend.

Last year, Mari, author of the fabulous blog
had a give-away for this Wedgewood/Johnson Bros. Blue Willow tea set
that comes in its own hat box.

I didn't win it from Mari, but snatched it up when I saw it on sale
at T. J. Maxx last year.
If you get a chance, stop by & give Mari a hug,
as her precious pooch, Cinnamon, just passed away.


I've been adding plates & accessories to the set slowly,
whenever I find some Blue Willow items on my shopping trips.


I made a simple pineapple upside down cake for Sue's birthday celebration
but then I got the brilliant ? idea to try making individual little cakes with this pan.

I was inspired by Mari HERE
but her's turned out SOOOO much prettier than mine!
Her photography skills make me swoon.
She is truly a master with her camera AND her cooking!



They tasted good, anyway!

Sue is the only one in the quilting group who
likes to drink decaf tea, so she gets her own special teapot for her place.

I served a Chicken & Artichoke-Rice Salad
on beds of lettuce, topped with slivered almonds.
It has pimentos, green pepper & water chestnuts in it, too.



Recipe can be found HERE!

I know you'll love gets rave reviews & requests for the recipe
every time I serve it.

Thank you for visiting The Gazebo House.
Its nice to be feeling well enough to join in the world of blogland.
I'm joining Susan's Tablescape Thursday
on her beautiful blog,
As well as The Tablescaper on her pretty blog
for her



  1. I just love peonies but I never have more than a few blossoms. They are absolutely beautiful. One day mine will surprise me ...I hope!

    So glad your better. Beautiful post.

  2. Lovin' those big pink, puffy peonies Rett! I think it's fun that the B-Day girl got her own personal tea pot! Looking forward to the chicken salad recipe, glad you're feeling better:@)

  3. First of all, I am so JEALOUS of your peonies Rett. I think they are one of my very favorite flowers and the smell takes me instantly back to my grandmother's house. I love how you can plop them in a vase and get an arrangement that is magazine worthy!!

    The rest of your table is lovely too... and how special for your friends. The lunch looks yummy!

    So glad your arm is better. I have been battling tennis elbow for 6 months { I don't play} and it is slowly getting better. {I think it is blogging elbow lol}

  4. Oh, your peonies are gorgeous! I love your flower vase with them, just stunning! Your table is marvebelous, I love your china, blue and white transfer is just so elegant and classic. I'd love to be in your quilt group, I love to sew!...and maybe later I can get to go to your house for these yummy things. I have the same pan and I just a great idea from you. Come on over and visit my grand-Victoria's bash. Lots of hugs. FABBY (sorry about your friend's loss, it's so sad)

  5. I love your peonies...I used to have a whole row along the house and when we renovated, I lost them. Sniff, sniff.

    Your luncheon looks like it went wonderfully. The salad looks delicious and your table setting gorgeous!! I know everyone must have had a lovely time! Well done, Rett!

  6. Beautiful flowers and table setting. I'm so jealous of the peonies!

  7. Alright that does it, I'm moving in Rett. Between your knowledge or sewing/quilting and your fabulous food and tablescapes I just can't possibly be expected to resist one moment longer.

  8. HI RETT!!!
    WOW, I have missed chatting with you. I have been gone and prior to that so busy getting ready for such a long vacation.
    Glad to be home, but still feel so tired and out of sorts from such a strange time zone difference.
    You always have the most wonderful luncheons and parties and the tables you set up are perfect for any occasion. I so admire everything you do for those involved in your life. Makes them feel so special I am sure. You are a great friend and I am sure your friends are honored to know you.
    Have a great day
    and a wonderful summer
    it is Real Hot here!!!i am sure your sis has told you!!!

  9. I love your Peonies! They are gorgeous! I hope those "stranglers" stayed outside or at least went back to Boston, LOL!

    I do that with tables too, and yes, I know the looks you get!
    The table looks just beautiful! And lunch sounds wonderful too. I bet they had a grand time, and I hope you are feeling better!

  10. Hi Rett! I love your peonies! I planted some last fall and was lucky to get a total of 8 blooms. I hope to get more the next blooming season. You are so lucky to get so many. They compliment the table setting beautifully. I hope you and your loved ones are all well.


  11. Hi Rhett
    I am so glad you stopped by and left a comment so I could visit you too! We have lots in common. I like blue and white china and I'm a quilter.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  12. Peonies make such a pretty centerpiece -- and look so good with blue and white! A very pretty table.

  13. You did have a bumper crop, Rett. Ours did just "okay"... They are still beautiful but the wind picked up and they didn't last very long this year. Aren't they about the prettiest flower ever?
    I always love seeing your pretty tables. Lucky friends of yours! :)


  14. Stunning table and looks so yummy! Great flower shots...absolutely beautiful! First time here and loved your is magazine worthy!!
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  15. Rett, those peonies are fabulous. I can smell them from here! Well, actually it's probably the white ones I brought home from the store yesterday. LOL
    Wish we could grow peonies here.
    Love the Blue Willow service and the chicken salad looks like my kind of dish. Thanks for sharing this beautiful table. ~ Sarah

  16. Those peonies are beyond divine!!!! And putting them together with the blue and white (love your tea set!) is such an immensely eye-pleasing contrast!!! I'm so glad you're feeling better!!!!

    Lana In Italy

  17. This looks so yummy, Rett. What a lovely luncheon it will be. Your peonies are gorgeous, in and out of the house!

  18. Your husband sounds a little like mine, and I smiled when I read your comment about how he "loves" it when you change your mind. But, hey, this tablescaping is serious business. Sometimes, it takes a few tries before we get it just right, right? I love your Blue Willow tea set and the peonies. I have three varieties of peonies in the yard. One of the highlights of Spring for me is when they open up!

  19. Your table is just amazingly gorgeous. LOVE the blue and white and oh how I wish I had found that teaset at TJ's. Those peonies are my favorite color and I am always envious of those that can grow them. Alas, here in N FL we cannot but oh how I wish we could. Looking forward to seeing the post of that recipe it looks sooooooooo yummy.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  20. Hi Rett, Everything looks so beautiful! So much eye-candy and tummy-candy! Very, very nicely done, I love all of the details.

    Thank you so much for your kind words, and compassionate support ((hugs)), you're a gem! xoxo~m.

    P.S. I'm SO happy you found the Blue Willow in the hat box!! I had no idea it had made it to TJ Maxx ~ I thought it was only available through the manufacturer. Woo Hoo, that was a great find!! :D

  21. What a lovely lovely table that is, that birthday girl must have felt like a princess - I know I would!

  22. Rett....your peonies are wonderful. So jealous! Any secrets...mine barely bloomed this year! As always, your table looks lovely and luscious! Please share your chicken salad really looks delicious. So glad that I had the chance to scroll through Susan's Tablescapes and have to say I was so happy to see yours. Thanks!

  23. Wish i had been there! What fabulous blooms! I just got 6 or 7 this year and in a pale pink, your dark pink blooms are amazing. I love the silver wine server used for nuts, how gorgeous and what a fun piece. Your table is just gorgeous and the food looks fabulous too. How fun.

  24. Beautiful peonies! Gorgeous table and the food looks delicious!

  25. Rett~ Your Peonies are beautiful! I wish they lasted longer! Chuckling about insert eye roll, my hubby about had a stroke when I decorated his jeep for a picnic :-)

    Love that teaset! I would have snatched it up too! I know your friends enjoyed your lunch & hospitality!

  26. Such gorgeous peonies.They look so beautiful against all of your blue and white.

    - The Tablescaper


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