Friday, April 27, 2018


In 2013,  I ventured into the hobby of Tablescaping and Blogging. My inspiration came from being a follower of the very popular blog, Between Naps on the Porch ( and its wonderful creative author, Susan. Little did I know that from that first blog post, I would enter a whole new world of collecting lovely ceramics, dinnerware, centerpieces, glassware, linens, and flatware! But also a world that would lead me to creating a blog, taking my laptop to a whole unknown level of posting,  photography and creative writing. Today we celebrate Susan's 500th Tablescape Thursday and at her request to her followers, I'm taking a look back at a few of my blog posts that stand out in my memory for one reason or another.

The first table I'd like to share was my very first entry to Tablescape Thursday:  I remember the efforts to put this post together. Setting the table was not difficult, but steering myself through the production of taking photos, uploading them onto my photoshop program, choosing the photos I wanted and learning how to click and post onto the blog template; then doing the actual linking up were processes that took me HOURS to complete. But, when I became a contributor to my first Tablescape Thursday, I was so proud and happy I kept sharing it with family and friends!

Here are some of my other favorite tables:

This was a special occasion because my roommate from college who lives in NY came for the holidays! Our sunny days in CA had more meaning when we brought in the New Year with a dear friend who has been in my life for 50 years!!

Another memorable table was one I created that had as its foundation an unexpected gift from a dear friend. My step-daughter's mother-in-law who hails from France had come for a visit and surprised me with an exquisite tablecloth she had purchased at Versailles! I was humbled by her gift that showed she understood my love of this hobby of tablescaping!

Another table that stuck out in my mind began with another gift I received at Christmas a few years ago. I LOVE the colors of Provence and I soon as I saw this tablecloth I knew it would become one of my favorites!  I hope you can see why:

One table that brought back sweet memories was the one I did for my dear Dad who passed away when I was just 20 years old.  I have many memories of our short time together, especially the times we spent fishing! On his birthday I dedicated a table to him to honor those special trips. It was a heartfelt experience to put this table together.

Another favorite table of mine was one that I put together for a challenge from Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen. She asked her followers to create a table that used white with only ONE other contrasting color. I chose to use white with shades of brown. I enjoyed the challenge, and also enjoyed setting up my table in my living room------just for fun, and in case we wanted to enjoy dinner by firelight!

It was fun to go back and see the tablescapes that have brought me so much happiness creating. Thank you, Susan, for your mentorship and enthusiasm that have brought so many of us together to share our love for all the elements that take an empty table and turn it into our own work of art. Congratulations on your 500th Tablescape Thursday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Spring!

As Southern CA awaits the "Pineapple Express" of a spring rainstorm, I thought I'd brighten up the gray day of clouds by creating a spring tablescape.

I started my table with a vintage tablecloth that I found in an antique store in Pennsylvania. Thanks, Patty, for the fun day!! This tablecloth is absolutely beautiful, and a perfect base for a spring table. I love its cream color, but what is so stunning is the embroidery work that dances across the cloth. I have always admired the skill that is required to complete an embroidered piece of art like this tablecloth. When I see these table covers hanging in antique stores, I marvel at the effort it has taken, and wonder about the history of the artist who created it. I wish there were a way I could let the artist know that I will honor their stitchery and proudly display their work as part of my tablescapes.

To start off my dish stack, I placed a yellow straw placemat at its base.

Then I added my yellow Metaceramica dinner plate.

Next, I placed my Mikasa Antique Countryside "Fig"  plate. I love the edges on this plate and the colorful combination of bird, butterfly and fig!

For extra color and texture, I completed the plate stack with the Mikasa Antique Countryside "Pear" plate that is part of the same series. The pretty edging is scalloped, but I love the green of the pear and the sweet bird and butterfly. So fitting for a spring table!

I completed the place setting with my green-handled flatware I bought at the grocery store(!), my favorite beaded butterfly napkin rings from Pier 1, some green goblets also found at Pier 1, and a happy surprise I found in my linen storage: some lovely patterned April Cornell napkins whose colors perfectly coordinated with my tablecloth!

For my centerpiece I chose some favorite pieces of mine: a burton +BURTON teapot and cup and saucer my Hubby surprised me with on a Mother's Day. The pattern is called "Morning Meadow" and it depicts precious flowers, butterflies and bees! I filled the teapot with flowers that I recently received from my cousin. Thank you, Karen! I placed them on a placemat which reflects the colors of the table and sets the centerpiece apart from the candlesticks and votive candles that flank it.

To add some whimsy to the table, I also placed my favorite "peas in a pod" salt and pepper shakers. Thanks, Leah, for the gift. They always bring a smile to my face when this set is on the table.

I think I'll leave this table up for a couple of days. As this heavy rainstorm begins, it will cheer up the atmosphere in the house and bring bright spring days to mind!

I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at Thank you, Susan, for hosting this fun day where we get to see fellow tablescapers share their visions! Be sure and take a peek, and see what I mean!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Many months ago, a very loved niece of mine sent me a box of beautiful dinnerware. When I called to thank her, she stated that more boxes were on their way. And they were! By the time all three boxes had arrived, I had Johnson Bros. stoneware that consisted of eight dinner plates, eight salad plates, eight appetizer plates, eight small bowls, eight soup bowls, eight cups and saucers, a platter, and to top it off, eight coordinating goblets! I was completely overwhelmed!! Apparently, Patty had gotten the set from a friend knowing full well who would appreciate it the most.  And, I certainly do.  I have had a table in mind for these dishes for a long time, but life has just gotten in the way this year. Now, AT LONG LAST, I am able to create a table that I hope honors, not only the beauty of the set itself, but the appreciation and love I feel for the gesture that Patty made by obtaining this wonderful set and passing it on to me. This will be a Valentine's Day table!

Here Is The Table I Created:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my red tablecloth that I use regularly for Christmas and Valentine's Day:

I decided the color scheme for this table would be red, white, black and silver. I wanted a more sophisticated color scheme, so those colors seemed right. I had found these silver chargers at HomeGoods a while ago. Right now their intricate pattern seems somewhat romantic and perfect for a Valentine's Day table. I'm actually using them more as a placemat than a charger.

The next layer of my dish stack became a black plate with a pebbled border that I found at Anna's Linens (unfortunately one of my favorite stores that has now closed!) I wanted to bring out the color black so I added this plate.

Now for the "guests of honor" on the table. I started with the dinner plate. The plate is labeled, Johnson Bros Ironstone,  "Marbella".  There is an additional notation of "Snowhite" above the pattern name, and I'm not sure what that means. My best guess would be that the "Marbella" pattern comes in different colors, and this one is "Snowhite".  Please take note of the floral pattern on these plates. I don't recognize what the particular flowers are (can anyone help out there?), but I found the pattern very striking, especially in the red, white and black color scheme.

I added the appetizer plate next.

Here is the completed place setting:

It consists of a red napkin wrapped in a silver sleeve accented with a silver filigree napkin ring:

The silverplate I used was my late mother-in-law's and is is Rogers Bros. in the Heritage pattern.

I absolutely love the black goblets that are part of this set. They are a perfect size and complement the stoneware so well.

I also made the cup and saucer a part of this place setting. The shape of the cup and with its coordinating black saucer adds a definite touch of sophistication to this dinnerware set.

My centerpiece begins with silver placemats and a Valentine's Day heart wreath that reflects the color scheme and theme of the table.

I then added a favorite glass vase filled with faux red flowers and lighted pearls,  and completed the look with red candleholders. In the evening they should add a romantic glow to the table!

I wanted to share the accent pieces that are part of the dinnerware set as well: an oval platter (love the shape!) and a bowl.

I have so enjoyed planning and executing this tablescape to showcase this gifted stoneware that was so unexpected and so very appreciated. Many, many thanks, dear Patty; for the generous surprise, and very special contribution to my tablescaping hobby.

I'll be joining Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Thank you, Susan, for hosting this fun party where we get to invent a space for our dishes! Please be sure and drop by to see all the other tables. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Unexpected Formal Thanksgiving

I was getting ready for Thanksgiving by getting out my beloved Johnson Bros. Friendly Village plates when my girlfriend called and invited me to an estate sale. While at the sale, I spied an exquisite Lenox dinnerware set sitting on a table. I noted that the pattern was called Tudor.  Everything about this set was calling my name: its cream-colored bone china;  its brushed gold edging; an intricate Greek Key-like pattern in deep blue dancing across the border; and, the fact that it was six complete place settings!  I walked away, however, because the Christmas shopping season is rapidly approaching and with a family that has grown to 4 married couples and 9 grandchildren,  my shopping attention is very diverted! I talked about it to my Hubby, just in casual conversation.

The next day when I got home, my Hubby asked me to check inside the dishwasher for something, and when I opened it up, lo and behold, the  Lenox dishes were perched in the washer ! Apparently, he had conspired with my girlfriend to go back to the estate sale and surprise me with the dishes! What a Sweetie Pie!!! I immediately decided that the Johnson Bros. were just going to have to wait another year, because I absolutely had to create a table with my new acquisition!

So, that was how my informal Thanksgiving table changed from one covered in fall leaves and shades of brown and orange to a rather elegant and sophisticated table.  My family will be surprised when they walk in this year! But, I just couldn't resist!

Here is how the table turned out:

Here is how the table was created:

I started with the beautiful tablecloth given to me by my dear friend. It is from France and the pattern reflects the ceiling of Versailles. You can read more about this tablecloth here.

I started my dish stack with a gold-brushed charger from HomeGoods.

Next came the star attraction of my dish stack: my lovely dinner plate. Sigh........

Then I added the salad plate.

Topping off the dish stack was the bread-and-butter plate. I love that the style and pattern of this set is just as pretty as a bread-and-butter plate, as well as a dinner plate.

I completed the place setting with the matching napkins to the tablecloth nestled in a gold and pearl napkin ring from my tablescaping stash! I also added the beautifully styled cup and saucer from my new set; the gold-plated flatware is on loan from my cousin, Karen (thank you!); and my Rogeska Gallia crystal wine glasses finish the place setting.

I actually had to go hunting for my centerpiece. Off to Hobby Lobby I went and discovered that Thanksgiving is truly the lost holiday in the stores!! Everything was about Christmas decorating!! I stumbled upon one aisle that had what was left from fall decorating (Thanksgiving hasn't gotten here yet, right? Or did I miss it?!) Anyway, I found just what I was looking for way in the back of a shelf! The colors were JUST RIGHT, and it looked sophisticated enough for a formal table, yet the pumpkins still whispered, "Fall".  I also found some pretty candle holders that I probably will always use when I set the table with this particular dinnerware. I completed the look with my battery-operated candles, and "Voila!" :

I know my "guests" will be surprised when they see I created something quite different for my Thanksgiving meal, but I was thrilled to use my new dinnerware set for such a special day when family is gathered together.  I have always wanted a dinnerware set of this quality and pattern and I'm very grateful to my Hubby and my girlfriend, Mary Beth, who made this wonderful surprise happen.

I'll be joining Susan at for Tablescape Thursday. Thank you, Susan, for hosting this party especially during the Holiday season when so many beautiful spaces are created! Be sure and stop by for a visit and see what I mean.