I’m catching up on my inventory of tablesetting photos and cooking done during the lockdown. Though many made their way into Entertablement—The Four Seasons and Entertablement—Much Depends on Dinner, as well as the four quarterlies, it seems I have a startling number still to share. Time to get cracking!

These psychedelic plates are by Starla Michelle Halfmann and were sold by Anthropologie.

As described on their website:

From the animals on her childhood farm to the wildlife on the forested trails around her Austin home, Starla Michelle Halfmann has loved the natural world her entire life. She conveys her passion with intense splashes of color and gilded details, bringing a painter’s eye to your home decor.

I’ve used the Mooreland turquoise plates before here:

She produced at least one plate with a cobalt background, plus this deep melon-coloured/orange plate, Dancing Hares.

And that inspired the cake, the recipe for which is here. I had been dying to try out palette painting with icing, and the abstract design of dancing hares (though they look more like boxing hares to me) seemed a perfect place to start.

Though I chose the melon/orange colour for the cake, I went with the cool turquoise colour for all the accoutrements on the table—drawn thread linen napkins from Pottery Barn years ago and antique Venetian tumblers from Elise Abrams Antiques.

I used Wedgwood’s shell-edged cream on cream dinner plate to support the colourful salad plates. The raised border added some texture which harmonized visually with all the activity on the wild animal plates.

The fox…

…or the owls could be fun to try next time!

Looking back at these pictures, I’m reminded of how glorious the hydrangea usually are in the Cape about now.

Alas, this year, we were hit with a late frost, and the buds were killed off—all of us spent hours clipping back dead wood stems. I have about 20 bushes, which take approximately 30 minutes each to trim properly. Our compost mound is finally beginning to collapse as the stems have begun to disintegrate. So the hydrangeas are giving us a very sparse show this year, as the flowers bloom on the previous year’s stems. We should have a fine display next year, though, deo volente.

I’ll sign off with an update on the dynamic duo, Spencer and Marigold. They’re almost 18 months old and are in the prime teenage phase. Lots of energy and semi-listen most of the time. At least they don’t grunt or spend hours with their heads stuck in the fridge, gazing vacantly at the contents. Very similar to Burton and Taylor, they’re always together. She’s very calm; he’s more of a nerve-ending and hates thunderstorms and fireworks. Churchill is almost 11 now and very patient with both of them.

We had a very wet spring in Canada, and while Glenn and I were away, our daughter Lauren was looking after them. She had let them out in the backyard to do their business, and they (and she, it seems) got distracted. The pool cover was still on, and the monkeys entertained themselves by bouncing up and down on the cover, getting thoroughly soaked before galloping through the garden.

Can we come in now?

Prompted by that incident and others involving eau-de-damp dog, we tracked down some “bathrobes” for them.

These thirsty towels wrap around their bodies and wick the moisture most thoroughly. The dogs seem to love them and never object to them being put on. They’re from Ruff and Tumble.

The tight fit (which is adjusted with velcro fasteners) renders them excellent “thunder shirts” as well, which has helped a lot with Spencer’s anxiety. We gave one to our neighbour for his retriever, Sophie (who comes to visit when her Dad has to be away), and she uses hers for the same purpose.

Taken this week—butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, would it? And no, they are NOT allowed on the furniture. Sigh.

Enjoy your Sunday, all.