Answering Your Questions & A Christmas Home Tour

Still haven’t turned the corner on this cold, or whatever it is. When I talk, I sound like a man, or maybe a frog–or maybe a man with a croaking frog in his pocket. lol It’s embarrassing! When I go someplace like the grocery store, or have to call someone on the phone, I sound ridiculous. Oh well, not much I can do about that.

Spent much of the day in bed, just sleeping and trying to get over this yucky stuff, but I didn’t want to let the weekend get by without sharing a quick post. A few folks asked about the centerpiece in Thursday’s Christmas table setting, specifically how I incorporated the magnolia leaves. (See table setting in this post: 12 Days of Christmas Table Setting)

12 Days of Christmas Table with Goose & Magnolia Centerpiece


To give Mrs. Goose a bit of height in the center….

12 Days of Christmas Table with a Goose Magnolia Centerpiece


I placed her atop the Nora Fleming pedestal I purchased recently and shared in this post: One Dish, Many Celebrations. When I bought this piece, I was thinking how much I liked the height and how it might come in handy later in a centerpiece. I didn’t expect to need it for that so quickly, but it was exactly the height I needed for Mrs. Goose in this past week’s table setting.

Nora Fleming Mini, Turkey


To create the centerpiece, I tucked magnolia branches up underneath the pedestal. The ends of the stems were not visible standing or sitting at the table, but if they had been, I would have covered those with some additional magnolia leaves.

Magnolia Branches in Table Centerpiece


Next I tucked small magnolia branches up underneath Mrs. Goose. I expected her to be a wobbly mess while I was doing this, but surprisingly, she wasn’t. So I was able to take my time walking around her, tucking branches under her base as I went.

Magnolia Centerpiece Arrangement Tips


One thing I quickly learned was how much better the centerpiece looked if I used branches that were naturally curving upward, instead of those that just stuck straight out.

Magnolia Leaves for Table Centerpeice, Tucked Under Christmas Goose


As seen below, when they curved upward, they kind of enveloped Mrs. Goose, creating a bit of a nest for her in this 12 Days of Christmas table. (Six Geese a Laying) 🙂 Definitely more pleasing to the eye than if they branches just stuck straight out.

One more tip: The magnolia branches with smaller leaves worked best in this centerpiece. Magnolia trees can have really large leaves, but the big leaves were just too big. Smaller ones were easier to work with and fit in where they needed to go.

Magnolia Leaves for Christmas Table Centerpiece


Hope that helps break down the centerpiece a bit more and perhaps answers a few questions.

12 Days of Christmas Table with Goose & Magnolia Centerpiece


In that post, I also shared this photo of my kitchen with magnolia branches everywhere. It always looks like this when I’m working on a floral or greenery centerpiece, or trying to decorate the mantel with greenery. Another question I received (I think on Facebook) was about the platter on the counter.

Kitchen While Working on Christmas Table Centerpiece


This platter was part of the Better Homes & Gardens Christmas dinnerware that you’ve seen me use in tablescapes over the past few years. I’ve had this platter for 2-3 years now, I think I purchased it the first year the dishware appeared in Wal-Mart, if I’m remembering correctly.

Christmas Platter


Here’s how this year’s platter looks. I’m kinda kicking myself for not buying one when I was in Wally World recently. I love it, too! In the platters, they often include the designs found in the salad plates of the pattern that year, or from year’s past. For example, the platter I have above, depicts the barn, deer, bunny and the sleigh seen on the salad plates that were out that year.

The platter below depicts the woody car that’s on this years plates. It also depicts the deer, bunny and owl that has been on salad plates over the past couple of years. They may still be on the salad plates that go with this set when it’s ordered online, not sure since I haven’t looked at those this year. I love the little village in the background.

Oh, I just noticed that we can still see the red barn that’s on the other platter, too. I think it was on a previous salad plate, as well. Really love the continuity they have going with this pattern from year to year. This dinnerware is available online here: Christmas Dinnerware.)

Christmas Platter with Woody Car Bringing Home the Tree


When I was in Wal-Mart a few days ago, returning the 12 Days of Christmas salad plates I had purchased a few weeks ago, since I ended up buying two whole sets online as seen in my recent table setting…

Better Homes & Gardens 12 Days of Christmas Salad Plates


…I noticed that they have a lot more of this pattern in stock now at my local store. It appears the dinner plates are almost all sold out. The pretty platter that goes with this set is visible there on the bottom shelf. This set is available online here: 12 Days of Christmas.

12 Dyas of Christmas Dinnerware by Better Homes & Gardens China


There’s even a nice pedestal this year. I picked one up and it’s heavy! I barely resisted buying it.

Better Homes & Gardens 12 Days of Christmas Pedestal


A Christmas Home Tour

Switching gears, yesterday I attended the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour. Photos aren’t allowed inside the homes, but I snapped a few photos while on the tour. I loved this!

Vintage Child's Toy Fire Truck Decorated for Christmas


They used a vintage toy fire truck for a pretty Christmas display in the garden. Do you see the tree it’s carrying–undoubtedly back to the fire station. 😉

Vintage Toy Fire Truck Decorated for Christmas


One of the homes on the candlelight tour…

Christmas Home Tour


I’ve always loved this home and it was especially beautiful decorated for Christmas. It wasn’t on the tour, unfortunately.

Historical Home, Marietta, GA, Christmastime


One of my favorite homes, a Victorian called Mockingbird Hill, was on the tour this year. The driveway was lined with little lanterns which were clear jars filled with candles.

Mockingbird Hill on Marietta Pilgrimage Home Tour at Christmastime


Double porches are the best!

Double Porches, Victorian Home, Mocking Bird Hill, Marietta, GA, Christmas Home Tour


Imagine sitting up there on a pretty day, watching the birds and the world go by.

Mocking Bird Hill, Marietta, GA, Christmastime


Enjoy the rest of your evening. See you soon for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. I so miss living in Cobb County! “May-retta” at Christmas is always lovely. Enjoy it for me, too, please.

  2. Feel better soon ! Thanks for the beautiful pics !!

  3. donna a zoltanski says

    You definitely have a talent for decorating! I too love dishes – and enjoy very much all your table settings! One is prettier than the next! Always look forward to your next post! Hoping you feel better soon.

  4. Please take it easy! Glad you’re a little better. Love the BHG Xmas dishes. I have last years and this years 12 days.

  5. Beautiful magnolia leaves…ours were totally insect bitten this year. Your tablescapes are terrific!! franki

  6. You sure get better things in your Walmart than we do here in Mexico! Back to bed now and you go see the doctor this week.

  7. Wow, Susan, I’m so sorry you’re still feeling so bad, but I’m glad you go to the Marietta Christmas Home Show. It looks beautiful at night, I’m sure. Your pictures are very enticing! I always get great inspiration from your centerpieces. I wish I had a magnolia nearby I could get some branches from. they do have the best foliage for holiday displays. Keep resting and get to feeling better! BTW, I got the woody platter you pictured above, since I love the salad plates so.

  8. Penny Meade says

    Just ordered 3 gallons of paint “My Perfect Color” as you suggested, in one of your recent post. We tried Sugar Cookie and Tea Biscuit, loved the samples! Will keep you posted, bless you and hope you get to feeling better soon. Thoughtfully, Penny

  9. Thanks for the post, especially when you’re still not feeling well. Please rest and gargle and don’t forget the chicken soup!

  10. Cyndi Raines says

    That home tour looks so magical with all the pretty lights, would love to have seen it too. Sure wish I could find a goose like yours, she is so pretty. Hope you get some good sleep so your body can start to heal. Do you have a humidifer in your bedroom to release warm moist air? That might help also.

    • Thanks, Cyndi! I just looked on the bottom of Mrs. Goose and it’s says “CR, Christmas Collection, White Christmas.” I did find it in Home Goods, didn’t realize the Home Goods sticker was still on the bottom until I just looked. You may want to check eBay over the next few weeks, you never know when one might pop up there.


    Susan—please feel better SOON! I went online and ordered the 12 days of Christmas dinner set—it’s on sale now! But your Walmart has alot more than mine does here in Virginia! Iam going to have to hunt and see what I can find in other Walmart’s near me—-Williamsburg is right down the street so ‘ll check some of the Walmart stores there! Thank you as always for all the valuable information! I do appreciate you!Merry Christmas,Elizabeth

  12. Never miss Mockingbird Hill at Christmas. On my list.
    Feel better. A rest might help?

  13. Hi. Love your home and surroundings. Where exactly do you live???
    Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy Ne Year.

  14. I’d love to do that Marietta Homes tour one of these days. (It will have to be after knee replacements, unfortunately.) I grew up in Marietta but they started the home tours after I left.

  15. Helen Ivory says

    I have been really enjoying your posts for a while now and would like to say thank you for all the great ideas. I luv your blue and red transferware in the cabinets. Hope you get well soon.

  16. Susan,
    Beautiful Mrs Goose centerpiece! Please take of yourself. This yucky virus/cold stuff is evidently all over the east coast. I came down with it just before Thanksgiving and ended up canceling our trip to Hilton Head because I couldn’t stop coughing!
    Hope you feel better soon – plenty of rest and honey tea

  17. Love your posts and am a 3rd generation “table setting aficionado” myself. I was lucky enough to inherit all the china, silver and crystal from both my mother and grandmothers. It brings a smile and a tear when I use the many different pieces throughout the year. Thanks for your inspiration! And hope you’re feeling better soon-it’s run rampant through my family(I’ve currently got the same “manly” voice) here in Southern California and seems to be highly contagious. Wishing you well.

  18. bobbi duncan says

    Susan, I hope you are feeling much better. Michael just recovered from a three week bout of whatever this weird virus is that so many have contracted; went from severe sore throat to lots of coughing that really wore him down. I love your table setting and the smart way you arranged the lovely magnolia leaves. We are fortunate that magnolias thrive where we live here in the Brandywine Valley as I love to use them, especially if I’m putting together a Williamsburg arrangement. The red truck or woody with Xmas tree seems to have a real following; perhaps folks need a bit of nostalgia with so much bad that the world has seen. We used to have a 1956 red pick-up so I have a fondness for that look. Last weekend I put together a red lantern with a diorama inside, consisting of a look-alike truck at a Xmas tree lot–turned out cute. This morning I watched Amazing Hotels featuring Giraffe Manor with Stacey as the star. It was exciting, to see on TV, the very place you blogged about! Sending thoughts of healing and hugs.

  19. Oh, thanks so much for sharing those gorgeous home and your lovely table setting. Here we don’t have magnolia leaves and pay dearly for them, but I have a stash of faux ones..and I may just have to use them somehow. Have a Merry Holiday

  20. Juanita in OH says

    Your wonderful Mrs. Goose is so special, I LOVE her face and posture. Adding the magnolia leaves was pure genius. The decorated houses are such a joy. I hope you are feeling much better very soon. Keep a close eye on the symptoms you have. When I was in my forties I had a nagging cold, still went to work everyday and doing a lot of sleeping. It turned out that I had pneumonia. I do not want you to have anything more than a cold. God bless you.

  21. Eleanor Newton says

    Wondering if I could still find pictures of your beautiful home.

    • Thanks, Eleanor! Just click on the category “Home Tours” at the top of the blog. Then click on “My Nest” and you’ll find all the posts I’ve written showing various rooms in my home under there.

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