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!

If you would like to become a follower of my blog, please go back to the top of this post, insert your email address where indicated,  and hit "Submit". And thank you in advance for your comments. They really do encourage me and make me smile!

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!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


It's been a while since I've posted a table, but life has just been getting in the way. So, today I decided it was time to get back into the swing of things! For some reason, August has always been a vacation time for me. Even when I was teaching, this last month of August would signal a time for adventure before the school year began (with the holiday crazies soon to follow!!).  The table I planned for today reflects that desire to "hit the road". However, today I'll be "hitting the road" in my imagination only. I found some new dishes in Steinmart last year and have yet to feature them. They became the inspiration for today's table, however.

This Is The Table I Created:

This is How It Was Created:

 I started with placemats that I found on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I like the "window shade" look to them, but they are fragile. I don't believe they'd be sturdy enough for every day use, but they are perfect for the theme of this table. Somehow, my "Wanderlust" is being reflected in a desire to seek adventure in exotic places and preferably places nearby to a sea. "Go Figure........."

The next layer is a plastic charger plate I found at Michael's and is normally used with my Johnson Brothers dishes at Thanksgiving. I wanted texture for this table, and the color is perfect for my new accent plates.

The next layer is one of my yellow Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods. They are truly workhorses in my collection.

To top of my dish stack is the dish I found at Steinmart. I loved the colors on these plates, the wicker texture-like print and also the image that brings new and different places to mind. I did some research on the map that is depicted on this plates, and it is a reproduction of an old map completed by a French cartographer in the mid-eighteenth century by the name of Jacques Nicolas Bellin. It shows the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, Western India as well as the Maldives Islands. These areas during the 1700's certainly were prime areas for exotic exploration. I could visualize the elephants that ambled along (covered with brightly colored cloth and perhaps with a royal leader on top!), as well as the untouched beaches of the Maldives.

To complete the setting, I chose my green ruffled napkins, two napkin rings: leather and shells; my  Treble Clef flatware from World Market and green goblets from Pier One.

For my centerpiece I chose components that would reflect a sense of adventure related to the geographical map location on the plates. Using a tray decorated with shells and found at TJMaxx, I filled it with my happy elephant statue found at HomeGoods, a faux green plant to mirror the palm on the plate and shells found at Michael's (although I'm not far from a So. CA beach, the shells found near us are not as interesting). Flanking the tray are my wooden spools found while antiquing that I ringed with new shell napkin rings found in Maine! A faux fishing net with more shells and faux sea urchins nestled inside, completes the centerpiece.

All in all, I hope the table showcases some favorite new dishes, but also reflects the feeling of "Wanderlust" I am feeling: this desire to explore new regions. I can't go back in time to when Persia and Pakistan were strikingly strange and unusual, but I could get into our "new-to-us" RV and seek new destinations! there's a thought!!

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

Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties. Be sure and visit these wonderful blogs and get inspired by all of the creativity goin' on!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend we celebrated one of my favorite holidays. I love Memorial Day for many reasons. First, and most importantly, we as Americans take a pause and remember the men and women who now and in our past have so bravely protected and defended our democracy and freedom. We also remember those who are no longer with us who have lost their lives in the service of our nation.

On a lighter note, the end of May signals the summer season has begun: time to brush off the patio umbrella, plant bright flowers and get the outside ready for entertaining,

(As an aside, back where I was raised in New York, Memorial Day also signaled that white pants and white shoes could now be worn without recrimination!)

My table this week celebrates the red, white and blue colors of our flag and is my very small way of paying homage to this special day in May.

Here Is The Table I Created:

Here How It Was Done:

I started with one of my favorite placemats. I found these at HomeGoods and they were originally bought for Valentine's Day. I love their tomato red color and the pattern:

The dish stack started with a cobalt blue glass charger that I found while antiquing in my favorite antique mall in Ventura, CA.

Next came a plate that is a true workhorse in my tablescaping arsenal. It is my white Metaceramica dinner plate, made in Portugal.

On top of this layer I added a new addition I found in HomeGoods. It is also a Metaceramica plate, made in Portugal. I love the design on the edge and the pretty shade of red of this salad plate. I'm glad I had a special occasion to showcase it.

The next layer of my presentation is made up of two dishes. I only had three of the blue dishes, so I used two blue dishes for two place settings, then used white appetizer plates for the other two place settings.  The blue dishes are labeled Booths, "Lowesteft Deer", Made in England  the white dishes are labeled "Two's Company". Both sets came from an antiquing trip in Carlsbad, CA.

I completed the dish stack with a cobalt blue glass sherbet dish, also found while antiquing.

My place setting was finalized with white-enameled flatware from TJMaxx, red goblets from HomeGoods and two napkins intertwined to highlight the red, white and blue color scheme.

I also added some whimsical cheese spreaders to be used with appetizers. They each have their own patriotic decoration:

My centerpiece was anchored with a white pitcher found at TJMaxx and decorated with a flag swag design, and filled with faux red and white flowers and small American flags. I also added red candles standing in glass star candle holders found at a church rummage sale. To add a feeling of celebration, I encircled the white pitcher with two bead garlands. The white garland lights up and adds to the celebratory atmosphere. This centerpiece will probably stay on the table for the week to help commemorate the holiday.

Accent pieces on the table include a star glass dish and a lovely glass bowl that was gifted to me by a very special aunt. Aunt Toshi came by with numerous plates and serving pieces that had belonged to her beloved mother.  I so appreciate all the things she gave to me because she knows my fondness for anything having to do with a table! I will share the other treasures I received in future posts. Thank you so much, Aunt Toshi, for gifting me with these special pieces that meant so much to your Mom.

I hope your Memorial Day Holiday Weekend was a good one, spent with those who mean so much to you. And, that, at least part of the day was spent in remembrance.

I'll be linking up to Christine's Dishing It! and Digging It! at and
Susan's Tablescape Thursday at  Thank you, Ladies, for once again hosting these fun parties!! Your efforts are appreciated.