Dinner On The Grounds

In honor of my friend’s 30-ish birthday today (wish him a happy birthday on Facebook or Instagram), I had to write about his new book and how much love I have for the new addition to my JTF III collection :))) 
Did you guys see my friend James Farmer on QVC a few weeks ago? James and his new book Dinner on the Grounds were featured on the network, and he did a fantastic job! James had prepared several dishes from DOTG…fried okra, dirt cake, and even my grandmother Mama Doris’ banana pudding. I got such a kick out of David Venable saying in his TV voice “Mama Doris’ BANANA puddin’!”
In case you missed the awesome on-air interview, check it out by clicking here. 
James is beyond talented, is the best friend ever, and family to me. With every one of his books, I become more and more proud of him, and I love that he shares his talents with all of us through these gorgeous pages full of poignant stories, sentimental anecdotes, and tried-and-true recipes. This book, as I wrote about here, is especially close to my heart (I say that every time another one of James’ books arrives!) because this one features two of my family’s most special occasions, as well as my personal artwork. The book, divided by occasion and menu, inspires me to make ordinary meals extraordinary with James’ beautiful tablescapes…. linen napkins, centerpieces, fresh ingredients, and friends and family – life’s best moments celebrated together.
You may remember the post I did on my brother Brince’s rehearsal dinner. It was an honor to design this special night for him and his fiancĂ©, my now sister-in-law Laura Lyn. And the party is featured in DOTG along with their wedding. How fun is that?!?!
After I  designed and created their rehearsal dinner paper suite (invite, response card, place cards, menu cards, labels, etc.),  James asked if I would contribute my personal artwork to Dinner on the Grounds.  I was immediately blushing – both honored, humbled and maja nervous. 
So, with menus in hand, I set out to paint the delicious featured dishes James had prepared and photographed for DOTG. Definitely my first time painting a hot dog or a shrimp! I had a ball painting each one….ripe strawberries, layered dirt cake, fresh herbs, and much more.
Along with the food items, I designed and painted a “crest” of sorts featuring James’ monogram,  inspired by his logo on his website and blog. So, as you can imagine, this book is especially special to me, and I am honored to have contributed to my dear {birthday} friend’s latest work.
Here are a few peeks of the book:
The glorious cover…hydrangea, tomatoes, magnolia and silver….if you know James, then you know this couldn’t be more “him!”
His tables and food, photographed by his super talented sister and one of my dear friends Maggie, are exquisite! 

The inside of the front cover is a scattering of the menu cards that I painted. My talented friend Lauren of Parkway Press arranged and lay them out for publishing. 

Here’s the rehearsal dinner for my brother and sister-in-law.
Read more about it here.
And here!

Their menu card

And here’s their absolutely fabulous wedding! 
Brince and Laura Lyn married in August on the most beautiful, mild, gorgeous day – especially for late summer in South Georgia!
Laura Lyn’s perfect touches were everywhere, the barn was incredible, and their food amazing! 
See more of her wedding deets here

Don’t forget to get your copy of DOTG here! 
And Happy Birthday to James!