Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Formal Halloween

This Halloween tablescape was quite different in a few ways. First of all, I had another surgery last week (honestly, this better be my last one for a long time!).  Recovery is going well, but I have quite a few restrictions. A couple of those restrictions include NO lifting of over 5 pounds and limited bending.  Well, fellow tablescapers know that those restrictions make our hobby virtually impossible (just carting a stack of dishes from my dish closet breaks the first restriction; and, then emptying accent pieces and flatware and linens from their hidden corners and shelves totally breaks the second restriction!).  However, I had really been looking forward to participating in the Halloween Tablescape Link Party, so I enlisted the help of my sweet Hubby, who is not only nursing me through yet another post-op recovery, but agreed to be my design assistant and dig into my tablescaping stash and haul everything I needed to complete my table! The next difference in this table is that I wanted a more formal look to my Halloween table this year. In the past, I have had smiling witches and owls, reflecting the whimsical side of the holiday.  This year, I wanted to produce a different kind of table. I wanted to highlight the color combination of black, orange and white (so very striking!), and make a space for a more elegant Halloween Dinner than guests might expect.

This Is The Table I Created:

This Is How The Table Was Created:

I started with one of my favorite tablecloths. I love the orange, white and black plaid, highlighted with silver strands.

Just for fun, I added an orange and black placemat that I found at HomeGoods last year. I knew I wanted to use it for this Halloween, but I just couldn't ignore my favorite orange and black plaid tablecloth I always use. So, I just used both!

I accented the silver in the cloth by starting my dish stack with one of my silver chargers.

Next came a black dinner plate that is a staple in my tablescaping stash. I love its pebbly border.

To reflect the Halloween colors, I then added my orange ironstone plate. Surprisingly, I found this pretty plate in a Rite Aid pharmacy one Halloween!

I next added a plate I don't get to use very often, but it is one who pattern I absolutely love. I found this plate at Macy's at one of their sales, and haven't had much chance to use it. It's part of the Martha Stewart Collection and is perfect for Halloween: kind of reminiscent of the lace one might find on the table and windows of a haunted mansion; or, maybe of the shape of the mirrors one might find in the same house!

I topped the dish stack with an appetizer plate from Pier One labeled Sul.  

I completed the place setting with black napkins wrapped in silver sheaths (to reflect a formal feeling); wrought iron napkin rings from World Market (if straightened out, they could look like a witches' broomstick!); my late mother-in-law's Rogers silver plate in the Heritage pattern; my Mikasa wine glasses; and, last, but certainly not least, my precious witch glasses that I won in a giveaway at Many thanks, Jenna! I love the expression on these darling witches' faces on these glasses!

My centerpiece started with two raised glass cake plates that I stacked upon each other to produce some height. I then covered the plates with a black cheesecloth scarf that I spread across the table. I added a lighted grapevine pumpkin I found at Michael's last year. And, completed the centerpiece with my crystal candleholders (both wedding gifts!) and two straw owls I just purchased from CVS!

I'm looking forward to linking up to the Halloween Tablescape Link Party. The hostesses are Christine at, Sheila at, Jenna at and Linda at It will be so much fun seeing everyone else's tables for Halloween! Be sure and take some time to check out these terrific blogs!  I'll also be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at  Thanks to all the hostesses who have so generously opened up their blogs to these fun link parties!

Happy Halloween to everyone!! And many thanks to my sweet Hubby for all his help in producing this tablescape!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A View of Versailles

I've spoken of my special friend, Gude, before. She is the beloved Oma (Grandma) to two of my granddaughters, and she visits from southern France a few times a year, much to the delight of the entire family. She is very kind, and often will come to the house bearing gifts to help me with my tablescaping hobby! This time it took two visits to bring an ensemble she had chosen for me. It consisted of an exquisite tablecloth and the napkins that matched. She had to carry one piece of the ensemble at a time because the material was so heavy together it made international flight travel extremely difficult! I have been so excited to plan this new table using these elegant components. As she explained, the vendor from whom she purchased my gift explained that the pattern of the cloth depicts a section of a ceiling at the palace of Versailles in France (the well know elaborate residence of King Louis XIV).  I hope the table I constructed lives up to the reputation of this lavish residence!

Here's The Table I Created:
(Explanation:  I had completed the first table with white candles, and after photographing the table decided I needed a little extra pizazz! So, I went hunting for gold candles. I found them at World Market, but when I got them home and tried to take the wrapping off of them, the gold layer peeled right off two of the candles!  So, I had to eliminate two of the candlesticks in my re-do of my table!)

Here's How The Table Was Created:

I started, of course, with my beautiful new tablecloth. I really feel this cloth is so much prettier in person. The muted gray background is perfect to highlight the gold threaded design. The pattern is actually quite intricate. It truly is a piece of art.

I decided to accentuate the gold in the pattern, so my dish stack started with one of the new gold chargers I got recently at HomeGoods. I use these mainly with my Christmas dishes, but my old ones really showed their age last Christmas, so it was time to start replacing them.

While in HomeGoods getting the chargers, I was thrilled to find the exact plates to go with my new tablecloth. They are Lenox porcelain dishes with the pattern name of  Largo . They are a perfect soft dove gray color with a basket weave pattern around the border. I absolutely love the look and feel of these dishes. I haven't really embraced the design frenzy for gray in recent times, but these dishes definitely called my name out in the store, and when I partnered them with my new tablecloth and napkins, I was elated.

I felt I wanted an elegant table, with gold and crystal accents. So, I added a cut glass salad plate as my next layer. I found this little plate at a church parking lot sale. I love its hexagon shape and fairly elaborate cut glass design.

I then added a favorite sherbet dish gifted to my husband and me at our wedding.

I completed my place setting with my beautiful matching napkins (they are a generous 20" by 20" size!); some spectacular gold and pearl napkins rings given to me for my birthday by my friend and neighbor, MaryBeth; my gold-plated flatware on loan from my supportive cousin, Karen; my Waterford crystal Celebration flutes; and, my Rogeska Gallia wine glasses.

For my centerpiece I wanted to highlight a porcelain music box that had belonged to my precious late mother-in-law.  I felt the elegance of it, as well as its muted colors would coordinate well with this table. Since it is not a high-standing object, I placed it atop of a crystal bowl to give the table some height. I flanked the statue with two sets of crystal candleholders, also gifted to us at our wedding by special friends. (N.B.  You'll note there are once again two separate picture of the centerpiece: before and after gold candles were purchased: any comments on which centerpiece works better?)

I completed my Versailles table with my grandmother's cut crystal serving dish and a cut glass bowl (absolutely love the elaborate cut class pattern on this bowl), a hand-me-down from an aunt of mine. Thanks, Aunt Toshi! I also sprinkled some glass scatter pieces around the table to add a bit of shine and sparkle.

This particular post was a true labor of love. I wanted so badly to show my gratitude to Gude for her kindness and generosity in gifting me with this unique and lovely tablecloth set.  I hope Louis XIV would approve!

I'll be linking up to Susan at for Tablescape Thursday,
as well as Christine at for her link party,  Dishing It! and Digging It!.
Please be sure and take a look at these wonderful blogs. Thank you, Ladies, for your efforts in hosting these fun parties!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Table for Joe

My Dad's birthday would have been coming up on September 4th, and he has been very much on my mind the past few days. I lost him unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was 20 years old. It may have been 49 years ago, but I still find times when his loss is as fresh as the day it happened. As September approaches, I decided to honor the memory of this tall, lanky, sweet man who made a life for me where I felt protected, loved, and supported.

My Dad loved to go fishing. Our neighbor had a "cabin cruiser" and would invite my Dad for fishing dates that would bring him such joy. I found a picture of him at the captain's wheel of this cruiser and the expression on his face shows how happy he was while out on the water! I thought I'd share it with you in this tablescape. Some of my best memories were when we would go fishing together. He would rent a skiff; we'd pack up our rods, reels, bobbers and bait (usually frozen spearing) and head out with a basket lunch and motor out to just beyond the breakwater.  We would sit for hours just waiting for that bobber to plop below the water and signal that a fish was on the line! Sometimes we'd reel up the line to find the bait gone and no fish. But, other times we'd cheer to find a fish on the line. My Dad would grab the net, scoop up the fish and unhook him! Generally, we would just release the fish, but there were times when we'd bring the catch home. On the east coast (this was off of Long Island in New York) we would fish for fluke and flounder and only sizeable catch would become dinner!  We'd listen to a portable radio, talk and laugh. It was a magic time, now that I think of it.

So, here is the table I came up with:

How It Was Created:

I started with a white linen placement from Macy's because I wanted to lighten up the table a bit.

Then, I added a water hyacinth placemat that reminded me of a rope coiled up on the pier!

I thought these silver-toned chargers look like the  galvanized metal of the pail we would bring to carry home any fish we might catch!

For my birthday this year, family members generously gave me gift cards to HomeGoods (they kindly encourage my hobby of tablescaping! Thank you, family!). I wanted to find dishes with fish on them, but had no luck. I did find these nautical plates that highlight the different types of nautical knots. My Dad tried to teach me how to tie different knots, but I never could get the knack of tying them!

For my top layer, I went with these anchor plates. I've used them before on this table here.

I completed my place setting with red and white checkered tumblers filled with red and white checkered napkins (when we went on our neighbor's boat they always had a red-checkered tablecloth and napkins!); and,  my Treble Clef flatware from World Market ( I thought it looked like a fish hook!).

For my centerpiece I decided to gather a collection of items that reflected the components of a day of fishing! I purchased this water hyacinth basket in HomeGoods on my shopping spree.  I first placed a decorative fishing net into it. I added one of my shell embossed salad plates; then I added a wooden seagull I found at Steinmart. One thing my Dad and I always saw while fishing were numerous seagulls----especially when they would following the commercial fishing boats home at the end of the day. (a note: I realized when I got home, that the beak on my "seagull" was not bent at the tip as it should be, so this is probably a sandpiper, but if you won't tell, I won't!) My Hubby took me to a Fishermen's Hardware store while I was preparing this table, and I was thrilled to find red and white bobbers that look EXACTLY like the ones I used while fishing. I would have thought they'd be high tech nowadays, but that was not the case. I found fishing hooks and weights, as well. So, I added this fishing gear to my basket. I "shopped the house" (my family room is decorated in a nautical theme), and found a wooden spool, a wood tackle, a brass lock and a glass float: all reminiscent of boat gear. I finished with two ceramic fish appetizer plates that I found at the supermarket! I completed the centerpiece with wooden candlesticks (they are actually bobbins I found while antiquing), and white candles. I added my Dad's picture, as well.

This tablescape was truly a labor of love. I do believe my Dad would have gotten a kick out of it, because it represents such special memories of very happy times with each other. Happy Birthday, Dad! You will always be in my heart

I'll be joining Susan at for Tablescape Thursday and
Christine at for Dishing It! and Digging It!.

It's always fun to visit these websites and see what everyone is sharing that week! Be sure and take a look and see for yourself! Thank you, Ladies, for your continued support in hosting these parties!