Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reserve Coming Home Now

I'm thrilled to tell you that my first book Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions is now available to pre-order. You can reserve your copy at or Barnes & Noble at an amazing discounted price.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holiday Shopping Season

Did you get your tickets to Molbak's Girls Night Out? Space is filling up, and you do not want to miss out on this event. Whole Foods will be on hand dishing up great holiday recipes, tips and dessert. In Spa of Woodinville will be offering up hand and neck massages, so you can relax and enjoy the evening. Then you've got door prizes, 42 varieties poinsettias AND I will be on hand signing my beautiful boxes and doing a couple short tablesetting presentations. Reserve your spot and enjoy the experience of shopping for the holidays this year. When everyone else is standing in long lines and rushing all over town, you can sit back and sip your eggnog next to a blazing fire with those you love. See you there!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Winter Warehouse Sale Dates

Rosanna's Winter Warehouse Sale
Saturday, December 5th 2009
9am to 5pm

*Get on our email list by emailing a request to and receive updates and reminders.

If you are already on our email list an official invitation will be emailed soon with details of our private shopping event for our email list.

We'll post more info as it becomes available. See you there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Real Big Chill

A few days ago I returned from a small, informal weekend reunion with some of my high school friends from the Beaverton Beavers class of 1972. I love saying that name-- a fabulous and authentic retro high school name.

Spending a few days together for the first time in years, we realized this weekend something all of us desperately needed. Finding ourselves middle-aged and buffeted by the storms of lifes recession, the onslaught of aging, and the loss of our youthful enthusiasm, we clung to each other as we remembered who we once were. I know, I know; it's a bleak picture. But here comes the good part:

The biggest surprise of all revealed itself to us within the first few hours of being together. Even after all these years, we were able to see that glimmer of brilliance we had in our youth; it was still living inside each one of us. We realized that this gathering gave us a great gift: it reaffirmed who we were.

As in the classic The Big Chill, the weekend was not without drama, the rekindling of buried feelings, and healing from the hurts of life. Together we rediscovered the simple happiness and delight in friendships that date back to childhood days.

I believe reaching out to the people who truly know us is one of the most powerful ways to find the strength we need to overcome the challenges of life. It feels so good to be loved and understood. It is a relief to know you're safe.

Make an effort to get together with a group of old friends; you'll be amazed by the miraculous ability of these gatherings to renew your sense of purpose and hope.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Coming Home" Coming Out Soon!

There's excitement in the air around our office these days. Though it's still a ways off, we're all anxiously awaiting the release of Coming Home, my new book by publishers Stewart, Tabori, & Chang in March 2010. A whole team of people have poured a tremendous amount of thought, energy, and care to make this book a reality. Through the process of putting my thoughts down to write this book, I learned so much. It has truly been a labor of love.

Coming Home is the book I've wanted to write ever since my mother passed away ten years ago. In it, I talk about the values she taught me. I use these lessons every day in designing tableware and making a beautiful life for my own family. I'm grateful and gratified that I had the opportunity to put it all down in words and express some of the things that are most important to me in this special way. 

Tradition, ritual, community, and beauty. The cornerstones of this book are the same ones Rosanna has always promoted as a company. The only difference here was that the book format provided me with a palette of creative expression very different from the tools I use when I design tableware. Sometimes the prospect of writing an entire book felt daunting, but the experience was always exciting. In these pages, you'll find some of my favorite recipes that I cook myself, tips on how to beautify your home in aesthetic and emotional ways, and a few peeks into my own family's rituals, traditions, and travels. I've written Coming Home as a seasonal guide in the hopes that organizing the book this way will help readers recognize how simple it can be to live well all year round. 
Keep your eye out for more updates here and on I hope you're as excited as I am!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Changing Of The Guard

I hate to admit it, but summer is over. School's started and we've made the official transition into fall. I'm always sad to say goodbye to those three beautiful summer months of slower living. Yet fall has its benefits too. For those of us with children going back to school, fall means the beginning of a new year. The fall marks a new year in a variety of religious faiths as well-- Judaism, Ethopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, a sect of Hinduism, and even a Celtic-based pagan religion. Although the world is preparing itself for a long winter's sleep, this new season nonetheless provides us with a new chapter of life, and with an opportunity for reflection. 

As the leaves and light deepen to the rich gold and copper tones of Indian Summer, I've been doing some thinking myself. What do I want to focus on in this new stage of life? What's important? 

What's most important to me at this moment is getting back to basics. I want to nurture a sense of gratitude and enjoyment for the simple aspects that make me feel blessed, my children most of all. I try to stay mindful of small things I can do to enrich my life and encourage feelings of tranquility and contentment. It's just a matter of training my attention on the things I already have rather than the things I wish I had. This task is much easier said than done, but I find that when I truly devote myself to keeping this attitude, the outcome is well worth the effort.

Good luck with your new year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One More Honorable Mention

This entry was sent in by snail mail on time, but got lost under a pile of paperwork. Ginny Kalchbrenner of Clancy, MT is receiving (a late) Honorable Mention for her "Late Afternoon Tea". Ginny hosts teas for her grandchildren at her mountain home and even travels with her tea set to share afternoon tea with her granddaughters in Memphis. What a wonderful activity and tradition to pass on. This table featuring "Tea's Me" and "High Heel Shoes" is just adorable. What young person wouldn't be excited about sitting at this table. Frankly, I would like to be sitting at this table! Sorry for the late mention, but we couldn't let this table go unnoticed.

Disclaimer: All other snail mail entries were accounted for and were part of our official judging.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Third Annual Tablesetting Contest Winners!

Here at Rosanna we are touched, moved and inspired by all of the entries in our Third Annual Table Setting Contest. The spirit and soul of our company is rooted in family traditions, coming together, and creating a beautiful life regardless of your circumstances. You'll find this year's winners not only set beautiful tables, but exuded the soul of our message and the heart of our brand. We thank everyone who participated and hope to see you all competing again next year!

Congratulations to our First Prize winner, Brook Weldon of Medford, Oregon. This is Brook's third year as a contestant. With two Honorable Mentions behind her, she finally won our top prize and a $500 shopping spree with her Boho Holiday tablescape.

Brooke couldn't have integrated the Boho dishes better. Her use of pine cones, birds, a bird house, tree foliage and cranberries beautifully captures the spirit of the season. She also incorporated our beautiful Italian Napoleon Flatware in Olive Green. The silverware elegantly framed each place setting, adding that last touch of refinement that everyone agreed showed a masterful demonstration of artistry and spirit.

In addition to setting a winning table, three generations of women in Brooke's family have made a tradition of coming together and entering our contest. For a company that tries to make all our dishes say "our products make traditions," we couldn't be happier about the Weldon family's ritual. All participating members of the family have been recognized for their award winning tables over the past years. You'll see the other ladies of Medford's tables in this year's Honorable Mention section.

Our Second Prize winner, and the winner of a $100 gift certificate is Jamie Boudman of Gilbertsville, PA. Jamie is a mother of 3 children under the age of 8. In recent years she has poured her heart into creating unique birthday and holiday parties for her children. With the encouragement of her family and friends, Jamie recently took her love and passion for entertaining and started her own event planning business, Giggledust Parties. We think the greater Philadelphia area is incredibly lucky to have her.

This is Jamie's "Pink Princess Tea Party" table featuring our Chelsea Flowers collection. She must have intuitively sensed something, as we just refashioned this design into children's tea set called "Garden Party". We love Jamie's tea party, and we agree it is specially designed for princesses.

Tiffany Hammer of Seattle, WA receives "The Spirit of Rosanna Award" and a $50 gift certificate. Her table is inspired by the story "Stone Soup", a children's story about bringing people together. Like the Medford ladies, Tiffany tapped into one of the bedrock beliefs that we think of when creative every dish: coming together as a community.

Taking the lesson from this wonderful story, Tiffany, although currently unemployed, doesn't let her circumstance prevent her from entertaining her friends. Instead, she says it motivates her to be more creative and has inspired a new dinner party tradition. Each friend brings some of the ingredients for the evening's meal, and everyone cooks the meal together. WE LOVE THIS! It's precisely what we try to promote with our company and our products. We also love that Tiffany used the bowl's packaging for a vase, and that all the ingredients for the soup are prettily displayed on the table.

Ebru Bacaksizlar of Turkey also won a $50 gift certificate and is being recognized with our "Bringing The World Together Award". August is a very important month in Turkey because of Ramadan. This table was set to honor Victory Day... celebration of the victory in the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence. Ebru has a "tughra" on the plate which says, "Bismillah", or "In the Name of Allah). She uses evil eye charms on famous Turkish needle lace, and highlights the table with a copper pitcher & pannikins for Ayran, a cold drink made of yoghurt. We must never forget that all around the world families sit down to beautifully set tables, and wonderfully prepared meals. We appreciate Ebru's reminder that setting your table can be an expression of love for your family, your mentors, and even for your country.

Our "Portrait of a Young Artist Award" (for the second year running) goes to another member of the Weldon family, 9 year-old Kendal. Kendal is receiving a $50 gift certificate to help her build her own collection of beautiful things. Kendal writes, "Last year I was given a $50 gift certificate which I used to buy the Portrait of a Young Artist dish set. These are the dishes I used this year in my masterpiece! I had a lot of fun getting together with my mom, grandma, and aunt to create my table setting."

Kendal, we love your use of color and the whimsical pairing of the polka dot with the collection. The handwritten place cards add a lovely touch, and the use of the packaging on the table was very creative. We're thrilled that you enjoy spending time with your family, and we're delighted to think that setting the table will never feel like a chore to you!

And now for some Honorable Mentions...

This lovely summer luncheon table was submitted by Ashley Nichols-Lee of the Weldon family in Medford . Ashley took our top prize in last year's contest. Thank you for your continued participation, we love your unfailingly sophisticated style.

Tresa Nichols, also of Medford, OR created this lovely summer dinnerparty table inspired by our "Secret Garden" collection. The first word from Rosanna was "Fresh", and so we would like to give your Honorable Mention "The Fresh Factor Award." Thank you for your continued participation, Tresa.

The "Romance Ritual Award" is another Honorable Mention that goes to Talia Famiglio of Sarasota, FL. Talia's son is just 20 months, and as we mothers know, making time to spend with your spouse is difficult but very necessary. To make sure the couple has their own time together, Talia and her husband have instituted a weekly date night at the house. He cooks and she sets an elegant table that feels like a little escape, even while sitting in their dining room at home. This romantic ritual suits new parents perfectly. We're so inspired by creative version of on date night.

The "Delicious Award" and Honorable Mention goes to Ann Milar of Sacramento, CA. Your gorgeous Dessert Night table inspired by your every-other-month get together with your girlfriends was a strong contender for top prize. Of course, we adore the idea of a bi-monthly girl's night. Just reading your email we could feel your joy for these events spilling over. Secondly, for everyone reading who can't see, your use of the black lace tablecloth inspired by your favorite skirt is adorable. Rosanna has always been a "Fashion Tableware" company, and we often say, "Dress your table as you would yourself", which is exactly what you've done. We love the "Platinum Chandelier" teapot mixed with the "La Soiree Parisienne" collection. It continues the story of the dress, and alludes to the idea of wearing it somewhere elegant and chic. From your children's table last year to your grown up table this year, we simply adore you!

Kim Mower of St. Louis, MO receives an Honorable Mention for her "Mix and Match Magic". Kim may have had a slight advantage as she owns, a tableware rental boutique in St. Louis. One of the advantages to owning multiple sets of our "Boho Holiday" collection is being able to pull one style plate out of the assorted set. This gives Kim tons of options for using one, two or all six patterns on any given table. Kim has paired the Boho Holiday plate with our Coral "Dinner Party" dinner plate, a brilliant combination that really makes the brown design jump off the table. This table fits perfectly with the season. The bride that hired you for her shower luncheon was very lucky indeed!

"Summer Brunch on the Patio" by Narza K of Seattle, WA wins Honorable Mention for "Fabulous Finds". Narza writes, "I also love that you don't have to spend a lot to make something special! The wine caddy, silver goblets/wine glasses, and silver plate under the center piece l found all at Goodwill for not more than a few dollars. Who would have known? Part of not breaking the bank - when trying to make something special is using what you have on hand. I wanted a low center piece for easy talking - so I just used the Rosanna box I got my dessert plates in and put a shallow bowl in the middle of it and placed the roses carefully inside!". We love your creativity, and your eye for hidden treasure.

Pia VanHanen of Seattle, WA (but originally Finland!) sent in three lovely tables. All the tablescapes were very different proving that Pia has personality to burn. We wanted to honor her "Tribal Traditions" table for it's earthy, sensual glow. We loved the fanciful elegance of the other tables, but all the girls at Rosanna thought this table created a uniquely calming ambiance. Fantastic use of that brilliant turquoise against the crisp white. We also loved the napkin rings and the feathers on the table.

Susan Masci of Foxboro, MA is receiving an Honorable Mention for her elegant stylish spring table. We loved the use of her sterling silver flatware and crystal stemware that sets off the "Parisian Wallpaper" design, and really makes you feel like you're in Paris. We found the tablecloth very appealing, and all agreed we never would of thought of it. Extra kudos for giving us a new idea for using our own products!

Amanda Humann of Sammamish, WA is receiving an Honorable Mention on our blog for her striking pink and black holiday table. We love the drama of the "Rococo Noir" tea set, set off against the whimsical "12 Days of Christmas" plates. Amanda shows us here that Holiday traditions can be bold, glamorous and fun.

We're also giving Amanda's pre-schooler Victoria an Honorable Mention for "Best Dressed at the Table".

When Victoria decided to have a tea party
instead of heading for her favorite princess dress, fairy wings, and silk scarves, she donned scaly wings and a head full of sharp teeth. Then she and her "baby" sat down and enjoyed a light afternoon repast. Even dragon mamas need a little something to quench their fire after a hard day of cleaning the cave and watching the hatchling.

Victoria, you are darling. We hope your plush friends appreciate all the hard work you put into your tea party. All of us here at Rosanna certainly do.

"Royal Safari" by Michon Mullineaux is receiving an Honorable Mention as our "Elegantly Wild" table this year. Michon tells us that working on a super yacht doing service for 10 years with little storage and not being able to just "run to the store" has made her very resourceful. Here she uses mugs as vases, boxes as a candle base and herbs from her garden for greenery. This table is inspired by her husband from South Africa. On special occasions she will set a table that will remind him of home. Our "Uptown Spots" collection has never looked so good!

Gwen Johnson of Gwendolyn G Design in Edmonds, WA also receives an Honorable Mention. Gwen sent in a number of great designs, but Rosanna fell in love with this one. She loves the choice of linen and the beautiful arrangement of ornaments as a centerpiece. It doesn't hurt that "Dottie Baroque" is one of her all time favorite collections. Rosanna loved the way the orange draws the eye to give a very fall feel to a collection that was essentially spring. Gwen, thank you for your continued participation in our contest.

Emily Brummel of Costa Mesa, CA receives an Honorable Mention for her "Going Green" table. Emily is a graduate student on a tight budget, but she makes this environmentally-conscious table work with recycled glass goblets and her fabulous flea market candelabra. Emily was introduced to Rosanna through a feature we had in Real Simple magazine. She checks our website all the time, even though she knows she can't afford anything right now. This isn't a bad idea. You never know what will be on our sale page, or what specials are up for grabs. She's building her wish list (a feature on the site). We believe in the law of attraction, and we think you are doing a great job and attracting those new dishes into your life!

A special Honorable Mention goes out to Lisa & Sherry-Anne of Bellevue & Issaquah, WA who spent an entire day together building their wonderful "Luxe Be a Ladies Luncheon" table. Due to technical difficulties the images aren't available to share with you at this time. We're hoping to post it soon. Lisa and Sherry-Anne's table was another contender for top prize. It featured "Platinum Chandelier" over a white charger set on a Wedgwood blue brocade tablecloth. Their center piece was a bird's nest of burgundy feathers inside a beautiful white porcelain crown. You have to see it to believe it. These ladies put all of their favorite things together and the result was a table you'd never want to leave! The two sent us a lovely joint email honoring their friendship and all of the things they love about each other. The whole office was sighing. We adore you both!

We were not able to feature all of the entries here, but that doesn't mean they weren't amazing. If your table wasn't featured, we hope it won't discourage you from trying again next year. All of the entries were beautifully photographed and exhibited amazing attention to detail. We appreciate everyone's participation and creativity.

If you are a winner you will receive an email before the end of the week with all the information about your prize. Congratulations!

We at Rosanna have certainly learned a few lessons from this year's contestants. They proved to us that even hard times can still be beautiful times, and that sharing and coming together always yields worthwhile results. They also demonstrated that we can honor others by honoring our own self expression. May your traditions old and new live throughout the year and bring joy to your whole family.