February 15, 2012

2012 is a Leap Year


Hop on over
to my pad
for a
awesome time!


A larger-than-life statue
of the celebrated bullfrog
Dennis Hopper (no relation to the actor) sits in the center of Twain Pond.

It's early evening now, and fireflies flicker overhead.

Hopper held the title of Calaveras County Leaper King for seven consecutive years (1952 - 58),*
a staggering accomplishment for even the most athletic of frogs.
* Of course, that was before mandatory drug testing.

Twain Pond's cultural significance (It's Dennis Hopper's birthplace.) led to its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Environmental rules are strictly enforced. Rustic signs, in keeping with the natural surroundings, help direct visitors to specific areas of the pond. Photobucket
Regular harvesting of the rushes around the banks of Twain Pond increases both the quantity and quality of plant and animal life. Placemats, woven from the harvested rushes, are popular souvenirs among the tourists.


Shortly after Dennis Hopper retired from competition, there was a movement among the locals to rename the pond "Hopper's Place" in honor of their hometown hero. Dennis, humble frog that he was, would not hear of it.

Stretching the length of Twain Pond, pink votives and pebbles provide light and a natural resting spot for Hopper's decedents.


Lily pad salad plates float on the surface. Bright pink water lilies bloom in profusion. In 2003, the water lilies were registered with the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society under the name of Nymphaea 'Pink Leaper'.

The lilies, indigenous to the area, can be purchased through Friends of the PondReally? You really thought there might
be a Friends of the Pond site? Really?
, an organization that works tirelessly to preserve the beauty of the pond and its surroundings.


Chocolate covered crickets are kept under glass until dessert and coffee are served. Surprisingly, these little morsels closely resemble Raisinets.

Hope your stay was un-frog-gettable.

What's for dinner? . . . . . . . . . . . Anything but frog legs.

Tablecloth: Moda, Meadow Friends Pond, Blue Camouflage, Heart to Heart Fabrics, through Amazon
Placemats, Bed Bath and Beyond
Napkins: JoAnn's Fabrics
Dinner plates: Fiestaware, Periwinkle Blue, borrowed from my daughter
Salad plates: Bordallo Pinheiro, Cabbage Green, Sur la Table
Pink bowls: Lenox Floral Fusion, fuchsia, Macy's
Flatware, Pottery Barn, purchased years ago. PB now sells a hammered pattern much like it.
Green tumblers: Bed, Bath and Beyond
Ceramic Frog centerpiece: a gift from my friend, Sarah

I am linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesdays

Prior to creating this leap year tablescape, I did an internet search for "fog pond tablescapes" and found this pond tablescape at the fabulous site, Mid-Atlantic Martha. The pink napkin/lily idea belongs totally to Martha.

Dennis Hopper normally resides on the ledge of our garden fountain. He is NOT porous and has a high gloss finish. A light coat of thick water base paint was applied with a sponge.. Smudges were wiped away before they dried.
When he goes back outdoors, I'll use water and a scrubber to return him to his original look.

The cattails were made like so:
Glue-soaked paper towels were squished around wooden dowels and dried in front of the fireplace.

A second, single layer is added in an attempt to smooth out some of the bumps. Paint follows.


To make the napkin rosettes (aka Big Water Lilies)::
Fold the napkin into a triangle.
Starting from the bottom fold, roll into a long tube..
Roll rather loosely, as I did, for a big flower, more tightly if you want a truer looking rosebud.


Start at one end and roll the tube up on itself.


Tuck the end into the bottom, center hole.


  1. This is just CRAZY CREATIVE!!!!!!!!!! What on earth?!?! How did you ever come up with this? This is great!!!!!! Dennis Hopper...TOO funny! The "fireflies" in the centerpiece arrangement are just creative beyond words! What an excellent idea! And you MADE the cat-o-nine tails?!!?! I had to go back and take a 2nd and 3rd look when I saw the tutorial at the bottom. I never would have guessed! The "blue pond" table linen...genius! This is fabulous, Denise! I really, really love this! The back story is so cute...makes you really buy into Dennis's life! "Mandatory drug testing." SO funny!!! I'm going to click on the "recommend this to Google" button! You have some really fun ideas here! You GO, girl!!!

    1. Alycia,
      I don't know what the Recommend this to Google button is, but I know it is something nice that you are doing for me.
      Thank you very much.

  2. This table is toadally awesome! Alycia said everything I was thinking. You are so creative and always come up with wonderful stories to go with your tables. Just love this.

  3. Visiting from Mrs Matlock’s,have a great Alphabe-Thursday and weekend too.

  4. You made the cattails! I'm so impressed! I hadn't thought of the Great Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County in decades! I used to be an English teacher...years ago. The tablecloth establishes the marine locale perfectly. I love every single detail! Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  5. I love the creativity of the table. Good job.

  6. For some reason I couldn't see the pictures, and after reading the comments, I'm totally intrigued! I will check back later! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm your newest follower! ~CJ

  7. What a cute whimsical table! Very creative...

  8. Enchantingly clever! He is just so cute and what fun to have the fireflies and the lily pads and blossoms and even the cattails! This was very very creative!

  9. I love this table. So glad you showed us how to make those napkin rosettes. Dennis Hopper is too cute!!

  10. What great ideas! Love Dennis Hopper!!!! Can't believe you made those cattails!

  11. BIG DITTO on everything Alycia said...she nailed it perfectly. Even tho I'm use to incredible creations from you, this is one of the Top Ten!

    hugs, Karen

  12. Hello.
    Smiling...who knew frogs could be so pretty!
    Lovely, creative post.
    Thanks for sharing & visiting.

    Midnight Rainbow

  13. So very creative! Love the napkins, Martha's blog is great.
    I am sure your guests will dine hoppily at this table!

    I was thinking Kangaroos for Leap Day. When I was still in the classroom I remember making Kangaroo hats with the kids. Had a stack of gray construction paper that never got used for anything!

    1. I contemplated doing kangaroos for Leap Day. It certainly is a more unique theme than frogs. I discarded it almost immediately. I have no kangaroo items. If fact, as you can see, I only have ONE frog. So the frog idea won.

      Kathleen, I've certainly been enjoying your posts (even more than usual) these past few weeks. Maybe it's all the food. It's delicious and easy enough for someone like me (I burn water.) to make and get on the table in double quick time.

      Happy Mardi Gras. Don't be too strict with yourself during lent.

  14. Wow! Love your tablescape and your tutorials on the cattails and lily-folded napkins.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    Thank you so much for stopping by :o) ...please do come back again any time. Have a blessed weekend!

  15. I was so surprised to see your table theme! I am afraid of frogs but this table is adorable! Made me smile with all the details you have added, the cattails, the "lily pad' plates. I have those too!! How fun!! Thanks for your sweet visit and yes you should plan another trip to Carmel..I am posting about a place we stayed on my next post. You might want to check it out. We stayed at Seven Gables Inn ...just beautiful!!
    Miss Bloomers

  16. Hi lovely lady.
    Your Tablescape is so sweet love it!!. So glad you showed us how to make those napkin rosettes.
    You did a beautiful job putting this all together sweet lady. I would like to thank you so much for your comments so sweet of you. I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family.
    XXOO Diane


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