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  www.betweennapsontheporch.net. 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 www.betweennapsontheporch.net 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.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"FALLing" Back In

I created a post in September, but have not done a tablescape since April ! I woke up today and decided that with temperatures in the 60's (a welcomed signal that fall has hit Southern CA) it was time to bite the bullet and FALL into tablescaping again!! Wow!! Am I rusty!! I must have stood in front of my dish storage closet for 30 minutes before an idea started to germinate. On our last RV trip we went antiquing and I found some plates that seemed just right for a fall table. So that was how this table began.  Much rummaging and many mutterings later, this is what I came up with to honor my new-to-me plates:

Here's the table:

Here's How It Was Created:

The table covering I chose was one I have used on previous Thanksgiving tables. I thought it would coordinate well with the rust-colored flowers so prevalent on the salad plate I was highlighting (sorry I didn't smooth out the wrinkles; I was busy re-orienting myself to my camera!)

The base of my plate stack was my faithful brown basketweave charger I have used for many Thanksgivings and other fall tablescapes. It's always nice to welcome back old "friends" when you haven't created something in a while!

The next layer is my yellow Metaceramica plate from HomeGoods. I wanted to pick up the yellow in my accent plate, so I felt this was just the right match!

And now for the main attraction! I found these salad plates hidden away in a bookcase of an antique store and immediately fell in love with the colorful pattern. It is labeled "Spode; Great Britain, Gainsborough" with a marking stating Copeland, which I believe is the pattern name. I feel very fortunate to have found them!

I completed my place setting with yellow linen napkins from HomeGoods, napkin rings from Pier One (which I thought mirrored the flower on the plate!) , amber-colored glasses from the Dollar Tree store, and my ever-faithful Treble Clef stemware from World Market.

For my centerpiece , I started with a strip of burlap to add texture to the table and break up the solid color of the tablecloth. I wanted to use a colorful flower arrangement I got last fall so I lined with napkins that match my tablecloth, one of the wooden boxes my neighbor, Gary, had made and stained for me . Next, I added the flower arrangement.  I completed the look with a couple of fall ceramic plates, and some pumpkins (one of which I got at the pumpkin patch I visited with my grandkids). Then I finished the look with a couple of fall-festooned votive candleholders.

And there you have it! I enjoyed my day of putting the table together, but it certainly took longer than in the past.  I want to keep up my momentum now that I'm back to tablescaping, so I'm looking forward to posting my upcoming Thanksgiving table in a couple of weeks.  How did the holidays get here so incredibly fast?!  I hope all of you are enjoying the change of seasons and gearing up for all the wonderful activities that make those memories we like to cherish.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net.   Please be sure to stop by and see all the creative entries that are shared! Thank you, Susan, for keeping the tradition of Tablescape Thursday!!

P.S. On a side-note, I want to let you know that sweet Alyssa Grace, our newest granddaughter is now home with her Mama, Dada and sister Gianna, and she is thriving! She's now up to 8 pounds, still having some feeding issues, but busy growing and making all around her smile!! Thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Happy Ending and Beginning

I've been gone for a while. The family has been on quite a journey. On the 18th week of our daughter's pregnancy, it was discovered that our unborn granddaughter had a heart defect : an aortic arch that was too small,  as well as a hole in her heart. We knew the baby would be tiny, but we hoped she could wait until her due date to be born. But, our sweet Alyssa Grace decided to be born on July 29th instead of September 13th.  She entered the world at 2 lbs. 14 oz. and came out crying (VERY unusual for a preemie of her size, but reflective of her personality that she was a fighter and ready to take on her new world!).  And, indeed, she has. Her nurses hung a sign on her isolette that read, "Alyssa Grace, Heart Warrior!"  When she was a week old, she was airlifted to San Francisco where an outstanding cardiac team took 6 hours to totally repair her heart! A truly miraculous feat. She was flown back home 3 weeks ago, is still in the hospital, but she is thriving. A hearty 5 lbs. 5 oz, she needs to gain some weight, and get over some eating issues,  but will be home soon! My heart is full of gratitude for the hospital staffs of both hospitals that have been Alyssa's home since she arrived. The surgeon, attending doctors, support personnel and NICU nurses are truly angels on earth. I have tears in my eyes as I write this, just thinking about all the expertise and loving care that has been demonstrated by the talented and caring people we have met during this extraordinary time. My heart truly "runeth" over with gratitude.

In anticipation of her triumphant and very anticipated return to home,  I have readied the family bassinet. If you go to this post, you can see the history of this Precious Heirloom, now 111 years old!

Here is the place where Alyssa Grace will sleep when she comes home to live with her Mama, Dada, and big sister, Gianna (who at 3 years of age is very excited to have a new baby sister!)

Here is a side view:

As I mentioned in my previous post, prior to each new baby sleeping in the bassinet, the moms got to choose the colors they wanted for the decoration. I gave Alyssa's big sister, Gianna, the choice for the primary color, and she said , "PINK". (I have to explain that no matter what choice of anything you give her, she always answers, "PINK").  My daughter said she wanted the second color to be "Strong" to reflect Alyssa's fighting spirit, so we agreed on magenta.  The pictures make it seem like red, but the color really is a bright, pretty deep pink of magenta!

My cousin, Karen, came by and graciously agreed to help me with the star attraction of the project, which is the bow that graces the end of the bassinet. I love the way it turned out! Many thanks, Karen!!

I  then added some extras for the new baby.

First, some flannel receiving blankets:

Then, a soft toy with a sweet ladybug to keep Alyssa company:

Then  I added something a little bit extra special.  A fellow blogger has started a shop on Etsy.  It is called "PalmettoDawn".  While checking out her shop, I noticed her "Pacifier Pouches with Matching Wristlet".  I contacted her and she was kind enough to custom make one for my new grandbaby using the colors of pink and magenta. Isn't it sweet?  I know my daughter will love this, especially when she's out walking with the baby. There will always be a "binky" in reserve if one should drop!  Thank you, Dawn, for your craftsmanship and creativity.  I know your shop will be a success!

As my life slowly returns to normal, I hope to get back into a regular schedule of blogging and tablescaping again.

Many thanks to all the extended family and friends who have prayed, started prayer chains, and morally, spirtually and physically supported our family through this challenging time. Special "shout outs" go to Cousins Steve and Ana (and you both know why).

I can't wait to see dear baby Alyssa in her new bed when she gets home!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday at  www.betweennapsontheporch.net. Please stop by and enjoy all the participants' entries.  It's always a fun to what people have shared.  Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to host the party!