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From the Desk of Dixie

Christmas Dinner with Huckleberry Collective

We love coming together with local Birmingham creatives to collaborate and be inspired! Christina Brockman of Huckleberry Collective asked us to join this sweet Christmas dinner along with Ashley Mac's and Susan Gordon Pottery. Ashley Mac's, known for their Gourmet-To-Go, is the perfect way to an easy, but delicious stress-free holiday dinner. Susan Gordon Pottery is a small batch pottery studio creating collections of dinnerware, serving ware, decorative accents, and handmade jewelry that are organic, detailed, modern, and timeless. Susan’s work can be found in boutique retailers in cities across the country and you will find many of her ceramics nestled throughout our Dixie photography. We are loving her holiday collection this year with the addition of festive holiday illustrations hand-painted onto her ceramics.

We love the minimalistic simplicity of Christina's table. The clean lines of the flatware and the serving pieces along with the muted color palette of the florals allow the Christmas greenery to take center stage.

Christina knew that Ashley McMackin and Susan Gordon love the non-traditional Christmas colors as much as the tried and true red and green color palette. So when Christina found our Pine Crest designs created by Dixie artist Evelyn Henson, her mint green theme was established.

Fans of Ashley Mac's know that no meal of hers is complete without her famous sour cream biscuits and her baby bleu salad.

It's not Christmas dinner without a traditional red velvet cake! With a history almost as colorful as its rich crimson hue, the red velvet cake recipe dates back to the Depression era in the 1930s. Read about the cake recipe's story here for some fun facts to share around your Christmas dinner table this year! 

We love the idea of assembling a hot chocolate bar for guests complete with cinnamon, additional chocolate and cookies to dunk as well as peppermint stirring sticks....and of course oodles of marshmallows to sprinkle on top!

How gorgeous are the white anemone flowers that Christina included in her arrangement? And we may have to add this beautiful ceramic angel from Susan Gordon Pottery to our Christmas wishlist! 

Sources

Photography, Florals & Styling | Huckleberry Collective
Paper | InvitationsEnvelopes and Menu
Dinnerware and Serving Pieces | Susan Gordon Pottery
Food | Ashley Mac's

Reese, White and Blue, Y'all!

We were thrilled when Cloche Designs asked us to create the menu for their July 4th table, featuring their favorite Draper James x Crate and BarrelMagnolia” pieces!  We love a beautiful themed tablescape and the Cloche ladies did not disappoint!  Gina Langford’s Rosalie menu artwork (color adjusted to match the plates) pairs perfectly with the red, white and blue color scheme and all the other gorgeous details make this patriotic table a showstopper. Keep reading for all the pretty details!

Cloche Designs’ Laura Nell Burton and Christin Gish and their sweet daughters are all wearing the new Draper James Mommy & Me Collection. Draper James (founded by Reese Witherspoon) teamed up with mompreneur Rachel Blumenthal, CEO and Founder of Rockets of Awesome, to produce this beautiful, practical and southern-inspired collection.

Plates and bowls:  Draper James x Crate & Barrel “Magnolia” collection (on sale now!)

Flatware:  Sterling pattern "Etruscan" by Gorham (discontinued). Use your own silver pattern (even mismatched patterns) for a curated look, as if the elements on the table have been collected with love over time.

Stemware:  Vintage wine glasses and William Yeoward Crystal “Fern” water goblets.  Again, use your own pretty stemware to accent your table!

NapkinsOver the Moon’s new Linen Dinner Napkins monogrammed in a blue “Love Birds” crest by Peep’s Paper Products.

Menu:  We love how Cloche named our menu “Reese, White & Blue, Y’all!” Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Reese uses “Y’all” on lots of products at Draper James. It’s the perfect personal touch!

Place cards:  Using cookies as place cards is such a fun idea!  The personalized flag heart cookies by Baked Goodness are functional and delicious!

Centerpieces:  Simple, understated tulips and white peonies in traditional blue and white Chinese import make lovely centerpieces.  A crisp white tablecloth allows the table elements to shine.

The Cloche daughters helping their moms set the table is the sweetest! Children love to help, so let them in on the fun!  Knowing they get to eat the yummy cookies will keep them excited as they "work!" 

Recipes: tomato piebarbecue deviled eggswatermelon caprese saladsweet-hot baby back ribssouthern friend okraroot beer baked beanscorn on the cob; & American flag pound cake.

We hope you each enjoy your holiday as we celebrate our country’s birthday! Happy Fourth of July!

Photos by Jenna-Beth Lyde, Parish Photography

A Tradition of Entertaining - Nothing could be Finer than to be in Carolina

Nothing could be finer than to be in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, especially if you are a member of the McElwee family who gathers together every year to celebrate this favorite holiday.  Our own Dixie designer Addie McElwee's family gathering was extra special this past year as the extended clan of 50 brothers, sisters, and cousins gathered in Statesville, North Carolina to celebrate the 100th birthday of the house where their grandparents lived and raised four children.

Family lore has it that in the mid-60s, several cousins were attending the same summer camp in the North Carolina mountains and didn't recognize each other. Estelle McElwee - one of the first generation of McElwees to grow up in the house on West End Avenue - said "we cannot have that" and thus began the tradition of gathering together every Thanksgiving.  The four siblings have long since passed and with great anticipation the 12 cousins and their families continue the tradition to this day - with the number growing every year!

Currently owned by Shelly and Nate McElwee, the home continues to be a "work in progress," but it is with heartfelt pride that the house remains a gathering place for all to come home to.  When they hosted the family several years ago, a scavenger hunt was planned for the younger cousins to find and learn about special places in Statesville that were part of their heritage.



Many hours of preparation go into hosting such a large group.  Shelly, an Interior Designer, was faced with the challenge of seating 50 people.  Once she decided where to put all the tables, she began to gather items such as magnolia, candles and bittersweet to accompany different patterns of china,  including Blue Willow. It resulted in a warm and inviting tablescape for all to enjoy, whether seated on the screened-in porch or in the dining room.


The McElwees plan to gather at a cousins house near Charleston this year, with a couple of new people joining the clan - a bride and a baby!! As they gather around the table and sing the Doxology, they will give thanks for their many blessings, for those who they've loved and lost, for those who started this wonderful tradition and for the new generation of cousins in hopes that they will continue to gather for many years to come! 

Dixie has created a menu this year for the McElwees' Thanksgiving celebration. You can make a menu for your own party or gathering using any of our invitation designs. Shop designs from our 2017 Holiday Collection here

Photography: Amanda Caldwell Photography