Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thinkin' About Country Chickin'

The idea for this post started when my family went out to breakfast to celebrate the promotion of my granddaughter, Sophia, as she transitioned from 5th to 6th grade (a jump to Middle School!).  We went to a restaurant that was known for yummy breakfast fare. During the meal I fell in love with the syrup servers that were on the table. Here's a picture:

I meant to purchase a pair before leaving the restaurant, but left without doing so. Lo and behold, as we got to the car, my daughter came over and gave me a package. She had purchased a set for me as a surprise! I was absolutely delighted. I guess I must have praised these little ceramic figures all during the meal! I was so touched that my daughter would recognize how much I liked them and take the time to surprise me with a gift! I knew I wanted to create a table to honor this new treasure and was really amazed when I discovered how many "chicken-themed" items I possessed!

Here Is How The Table Came Out:

This Is How the Table Was Created:

I started with my straw placemats (I wanted a rustic look for the table).

Then, I used my yellow Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods as chargers.

I found these next plates in my storage closet. I had totally forgotten I had bought them while antiquing! The name on them says,  My Place, My Space. I felt they looked like a plate that might be found on a country table (almost a metal look to them!).

The top plates on the stack are labeled,  Fitz and Floyd "Ricamo".    I've used them in previous posts before.  I love the pattern and colors! And, they seemed perfect for my "Country Chickin'" table!

I completed the place setting with napkins found on sale at World Market (they looked to me like they could be a scarf around a cowboy's neck at a country meal!); napkin rings from a sale at Pottery Barn; my flatware from World Market ("Treble Clef": reminiscent of a country branding iron!); and, red and white checkered glasses from HomeGoods, sure to be found on a country picnic! I added cute watermelon clips that I thought could be used for placecards (and then removed once places were found!)

I wanted my centerpiece to reflect the theme of a "Country Chicken Dinner", so I filled my wooden box with components reflecting that theme: a fun, colorful wooden rooster I found at HomeGoods, some ceramic watermelon side dishes, antique bottles from a collection I received from my big brother , and some straw ornaments. I placed this arrangement on a yellow table runner from HomeGoods and added a burlap streamer to reflect a country feel.

 I completed the table with a daisy ceramic plate marked "Italy"  that I had found at a swapmeet when I was first gathering items to start tablescaping.  I then added a decorative ceramic plate I keep in a plate hangar in my kitchen (note the rooster in the center!). My accent pieces also included a salt and pepper set we purchased on our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas (30 years ago!); and, finally my newly gifted syrup servers!

So, this is the table I came up with to highlight an unexpected, but very appreciated gift!

I'll be joining Susan at for her Tablescape Thursday.  Please stop by and look at the wonderful contributions for this Thursday!

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!