We’ve had a spell of glorious weather here in Canada, and last weekend the Japanese Maple in our back yard had reached the peak of perfection. The light filtering through its brilliant red leaves caught my attention, and bang went my plans for the morning. Setting an outdoor table was imperative.
Clearly, the table had to have red accents. Red transferware on a creamy quilt? Too muted, I decided. Red stemware? Those get regular outings during the season. Wait! I looked at the mug of coffee I was sipping. That’s it! Shaggy dogs with tartan scarves it is.
I was already in the middle of Christmasifying the house, so a bit more confusion and mess weren’t going to make any difference. The cushions destined for the porch found their way onto the back patio along with white knitted pillows and a throw from the basement.
A collection of Certified International Christmas Plaid dinner plates made a varied but unified base for Shaggy Sheepdog salad plates (Pier 1, no longer available).
Small artificial trees from near the Playhouse Under the Stairs and a galvanized metal sleigh filled with greenery anchored the table’s centre.
I have only three of the Sheepdog mugs, and had I known Pier 1 was going to leave us so abruptly, I’d have bought more at the time. Rats. But red Jardins du Monde Juliska mugs (discontinued) filled in the gaps nicely, along with Hearth and Hand with Magnolia tall, dark green tumblers (eBay).
Dark red napkins in lush pinecone and greenery napkin rings continued the festive outdoor theme.
It makes for an excellent Shaggy Dog story, doesn’t it?
I wanted to yell, “Ok, weather – just stop right here. No further changes are needed.”
It was a luscious day.
I finished taking photos, then snapped leashes on the dogs and took them for a long walk, eager to enjoy every moment of the weather gods’ gift. I understand we’ve had the warmest November in 90 years.
I am so glad I took advantage of nature’s bounty last week. Yesterday I noted that the Japanese Maple’s leaves were crumpling quickly and taking on their late-season, washed-out tone. This morning it is pelting down with cold, relentless rain. All good things must come to an end.
Thank you for giving us such a brilliant show, oh, lovely tree.
Mr. Sheep Dog will continue to delight us with his presence at breakfast for the next few weeks, and the plaid dinner plates will get a good workout for family meals. The festive season is just beginning.
I apologize to my American readers for rushing the season – I realize your Thanksgiving is still to come. If it’s too early for Christmas tables, please come back and join us at your leisure.
We are going to try and catch a break in the downpour and get in our walk. No doubt the house will be redolent with Eau de Damp Dog for the rest of the day; Glenn will get a fire going in the fireplace and they can gently steam until they’re dry. Perhaps some sticky gingerbread with a cup of tea this afternoon; something braised for dinner…
Have a lovely Sunday, all!
You’re correct–we’re not *quite* ready for Christmas red-and-green yet, (although I hauled out the boxes of vintage German ornaments from the move–going to take them to the Alps for proper Christmas!) The soft golden moody weather on the Silver Coast is reminiscent of October in California; a muted Thanksgiving this year.
I remember these sheepdog plates from a previous blog entry, and I like the cozy throw and pillows. It must be strange to set tables for 8…seems so long ago that we could have so many people together, innocent of what was coming. Austria’s lockdown starts Monday and ends Dec 6…we’ll see what getting home is like, across Spain, France, and Germany. Your yard looks beautiful; our acer turned flaming weeks ago!
Christmas in the Alps sounds incredible! Could anything be more fitting?
It does feel very odd to set tables foe eight, even outdoors. We’re back into “red” level here as of tomorrow. Sigh.
I took some pics of the remains of the Japanese maple today and will update the post. What a difference a week makes!
This is sensory overload in the best possible way. I was just browsing through your wonderful book with my coffee and saw this email pop on to my screen. You’ve made me want to go out and curse our maple for not being red. Lovely as always…
I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying the book, Linda. It seems so long ago it went off to the printers! It’s been a very long year…
Another gorgeous table by Helen! Well, I beat you to Christmas decorating. Only because we’re clearing out so instead of packing away all my Christmas decos for the move I put a few things out. Not many but I’ll take a photo and send.
Your table is so inviting and makes me feel that Christmas is right around the corner even though we haven’t had Thanksgiving. Enjoy what’s left of the fall color. Take care.
Haha! Those little houses are exquisite. I’d love to see them in person one day, and enjoy all the details.
The fall colour was whipped away by the wind today. We did manage to get out and walk between downpours. It’s blowing up a gals now – power outages on the way, I’m afraid.
Don’t worry..,,, all the stores & many houses in U.S. are decorated for Christmas already.
I always wait till after Thanksgiving but my birthday is the day before this year and being a November girl, I cherish that holiday.
I love your table. The maple tree in all it’s glory had set the scene for you. Gorgeous!
Happy Birthday, Patricia! Is it fun to have a near-holiday so all the family is together to celebrate with you (usually)? Or is it more like being born near Christmas, where you don’t get your own occasion?
What a beautiful setting. That Japanese maple is just the thing with the rich colored napkins and doggie plates. If only time could stand still for awhile.
It was a brief moment in time, Annie! A week later, all was swept away. I’m glad I changed my plans and captured the moment. 🙂
Those shaggy dog plates are so cute, and what a wonderful backdrop your Japanese maple has provided. Just gorgeous.
I’m in the same boat as you – many things I would have bought had I known about Pier 1. They are back online, and I know I need to give them a chance to “restock”, but not impressed so far.
As to whether its too soon for Christmas… Michaels has had Christmas decor since September, the Hallmark Christmas movies have been playing for several weeks now, and the radio station is now playing carols 24-7. I’ve set my Christmas blog table up in the dining room to capture whatever light remains, and Christmas shopping has begun in earnest. The neighbors on our street have been busy setting up the outdoor Christmas lights. So probably not -at least here in Canada lol.
Hope you are staying well, and that Moxie has fully recovered. Take care!!
I’m with you on the “new” Pier 1. So far it looks like the world’s greatest collection of slogans and souvenir mugs.
All is well here and Moxie is fighting fit once more. It took her a while to find her footing, but she’s finally put on all her lost weight; she looks terrific. Thanks so much for asking!
I love this! The maple is indeed stunning and the table setting is perfect. We rarely decorate for Christmas until the second week of December, but now I am inspired and will happily begin following the trend I am seeing everywhere around Atlanta – early Christmas decorations! Thanks for this!
My sense is a lot of people are gearing up early for Christmas this year; nice to have a bright spot to focus on amongst all the doom and gloom. 🙂
Here in Alberta we are so jealous of the wonderful weather you have had the past few weeks. As I’m sure you know, we have had snow on the ground for some time! Now that Remembrance Day has come and gone it is time to start thinking about Christmas…..thanks for the preview!
Alberta did seem to get an unfair allocation of nasty weather early in the season! I hope you enjoy setting up your Christmas decor in the wintery surroundings. It will seem totally season-appropriate, in any event.
Brilliant red leaves!!! Wow!
We used to have a wild area a couple blocks behind us with sumac that could rival any red leaf explosion. Wild no longer. Land has been developed into residential homes on a cul-de-sac.
Those leaves lasted about three days and then pouf!! They curled up into a dull, faded burgundy and drifted to the ground. I was so glad I took advantage of the weather. Japanese Maples have a very short blast of brilliant colour. Amazing.