Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Royal Albert Valentine Table for Two

This past Christmas my sweet Hubby gifted me with an exquisite tea set.  It is Royal Albert bone china in the Old Country Roses pattern. I have it displayed in my hutch, but I decided I wanted to honor such a special gift by making a tablescape which highlights my new tea set. I felt that the upcoming Valentine's Day would be a perfect time to share this special gift with you.

Here Is The Table I Came Up With:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with a burgundy tablecloth that I have had for a long time.  I realized that the color of the roses on the Royal Albert china was actually more of a burgundy red than a "Valentine red rose" red, so I chose accordingly.  Unfortunately, the rich burgundy of the color didn't really come through when it was photographed.  But, it was actually a good color match to the color on the tea set.

Next, I added a bright white lace tablecloth for a romantic feel. Once again, the color was determined by the color of the tea set. The bone china is bright white, so my cream-colored lace tablecloths just would not work!

My dish stack was begun with my open scrollwork charger that I found online at Maryland China Company. This company is a great source for white ceramics.  Once you have ordered, you will start to receive their catalog with endless possibilities for creative tables and specialty ceramic pieces.

I brought out my "workhorse" white dinner plates. These Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods have graced many of my tables!

I continued my dish stack with my Madeleine salad plates from Pier One. I still love to use these because their delicate scalloped edge adds some interest.

To finish off the dish stack, I used the cup and saucer that is a part of the Royal Albert tea set.  I love the delicate roses that dance across the cup and saucer, as well as the bright gold trim along the edges. Absolutely stunning!

I completed my place setting with my white patterned Waterford napkins;  sparkly gold napkin rings (a birthday gift from my special friend); gold-finished flatware (on loan from my cousin); and, my favorite crystal: Rogaska's Gallia.  Photography doesn't really convey the delicate etching and cuttings in this spectacular crystal pattern. I decided I would use a water goblet, a wine glass and a cordial glass for a special Valentine's Dinner.  I also added one of my Waterford champagne flutes for a celebratory toast!

The focus of my centerpiece had to be the beautiful teapot from my new set! I filled it with faux white flowers and elevated it on a beaded trim glass cake stand.  Then I surrounded it with my lighted bead wreath and an additional red bead wreath for accent color.  The creamer and sugar bowl from my tea set, and gifted crystal candlesticks finished my centerpiece.

I had two accent pieces on my table:  one was a heart-shaped candlewick bowl filled with Valentine's candy, and the other was the cake topper from my original wedding cake (just for a romantic touch!)

I was so happy to share this new addition to my china collection.  I'm planning on a tea party with my daughters and grandchildren sometime this year,  and this new Royal Albert tea set will hold a special place of honor!

I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with love, a look back at memories, and maybe some flowers and chocolate!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at  Please take some time to visit these wonderful blogs and enjoy all the creativity there is to be found there.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Country Breakfast

While on a business trip with my Hubby, I spied an interesting antique mall shop and had to investigate!  It was just before Christmas and most of the booths were decorated in red and green and the emphasis on items was on Christmas. One booth particularly caught my eye, and a stack of dishes called to me. There were 9 plates (4 dinner plates and 5 salad plates) with an $8.00 tag posted on the stack! I absolutely loved the delicate pattern on the plates, and looked forward to setting a tablescape with them. Holidays are over and there's now time to get back to my hobby, so today I pulled the dishes out of my storage closet!  When I first discovered these plates, I knew they had a rust and green floral garland on them, but I didn't really see them as Christmas plates. For some reason, they reminded me of a country kitchen, so that's how I designed the tablescape.  I could just see them as a part of a table for a country breakfast!

This is the table I created:

Here's How I Created It:

I started with plaid placemats that I found at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Plaid always conjures up a country kitchen look, so I thought it was a good way to begin! Unfortunately, the color came out very orange in the pictures, when really there is more of a rust tone to the coloration of the plaid. This is significant, because the flowers in the plate are more of a rust color and really do match the placemat well.

I chose my brown basket weave chargers as a base for my dish stack.

Here is the new dinner plate I found.  It is marked HOME, but there are no other identifying names.

I then added the salad plates. Isn't that floral border delicate-looking?  I also like the way the green on the plate mirrors the green on the placemat. It's funny how items purchased separately and from different sources can sometimes coordinate so well!

I then added  fruit decorated napkins I found with a matching tablecloth at Anna's Linens when the store was closing (I surely do miss that store!).  I felt the fruit pattern mirrored a country look, and the rust and green colors went well with the placemat and dishes.  I  found the "terra cotta" flower pot napkin rings at BBB and decided they'd be a good fit for this table.

I completed the place setting with green goblets I purchased at Pier One, and my Treble Clef flatware from World Market.

My centerpiece started with a narrow burlap runner and a small tray I found at TJMaxx.  I have other trays, but I thought the cream-color of this tray would work well with the color of the plates.  I added green napkins as filler, and placed terra cotta flower pots filled with marigold napkin rings into the tray.  I then added rust-colored tapers and tea light candles to complete the centerpiece.

So that would be my table for a country breakfast!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at Thank you, Ladies, for continuing to host these fun parties.

Be sure and visit these sites, Dear Readers, and enjoy what you see!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017

I couldn't let the first week of 2017 go by without a shout-out to the blogging world! I hope your holidays were wonderful and that your New Year is starting off in good health, with sweet memories and joyful expectations for the days ahead.

My cousin graciously gifted me with a gift card from HomeGoods for Christmas, so I decided to plan a  new table for our New Year's Eve celebration. My roommate from college came to visit from New York (our friendship began over  50 years ago!). My cousin and neighbors joined us. Our evening consisted of Mexican Dinner out, a home viewing of "Sully" and then luscious Mexican Fried Ice Cream generously provided by my neighbor and friend who joined us for the evening.

My shopping trip to HomeGoods found me "ooing and ahhing" over some silver-blazoned white porcelain plates and lavishly patterned silver charger plates. I also found a lovely glittery lace-patterned table runner, and my New Year's Eve dessert party was designed!

Here's How It Turned Out:

We had a wonderful evening, enjoyed our dinner, movie, champagne toast and dessert, and of course gleefully shattered the midnight air by clanging pots and pans at midnight!

Here are a couple of views of my new additions to my tablescaping stash:

Happy 2017, everyone!! Here we go again!!!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at  . Please stop by and see all the creativity that these ladies share by hosting these fun parties.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks

I'm not doing a full post today because it's been a crazy couple of weeks, and time will not allow a more complete blog post.  But, I did want to share my Thanksgiving table from today.

Here It Is:

I started with a new tablecloth that I found fortuitously at BBB on their clearance table for $6.00! I don't know why it was so marked down: the package was totally sealed, a 60 X 120 size and I just loved the leaf pattern and fall colors!  I also found darling utensil holders. I've never used these little flatware pockets before, and it was fun filling them up and making them a part of my tablescape.

Pretty early on, it was clear that my theme was going to be the colorful leaves of autumn! (Something we only see in the mountains of Southern CA or on the sporadic placement of an oak tree or other tree that continues the fall pattern of dropping its leaves, even if the climate doesn't encourage such behavior!)

My centerpiece of a cornucopia filled with leaves spilling across the table seemed appropriate for this theme as well.  While rummaging through my fall bin I discovered brightly colored leaf candle rings that fit right in, and cuddled my crystal candlesticks!

I have to give a "shout out" to my endearing Johnson Bros. Friendly Village dinnerware.  I would be lost without these faithful dishes gracing my Thanksgiving table.

I write this post at the end of a wonderful day surrounded by family : Hubby, four married daughters and their husbands, my eight grandchildren,  my cousin, and my dear granddog who is ailing, yet still able to snuggle and warm our feet under the table.  As I looked around at all the chaos and listened to voices of all ages ringing through the air, I couldn't help but mentally embrace the moment, and I wanted to hold the warm feelings that enveloped my grateful soul.  It truly was Thanksgiving Day, and I do Give Thanks for all who shared this day with me and made my spirit soar.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving Day reflected these same feelings in your home!  Now......we turn to the exciting days of greeting the Christmas season !!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at and Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at  Please check out these wonderful blogs and enjoy all the creativity that is reflected there!

I love to hear from you.  Please feel free to comment and say "hi"!

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!