Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Apple Pickin' Time!

Along with falling leaves, swapping light blouses and sweaters for cozy jackets, giving up Sunday car trips for football games, changing curtain sheers on the windows from white to gold, making the dishes in the hutch go from summer white to the brown and white of Johnsons' Friendly Village, fall is a perfect time to think about apples.  How could you have a Halloween Party without "bobbing for apples"?  How many times have you said, "Trick or Treat!" and gotten a caramel apple wrapped comfortably in a paper wrapper?  Who doesn't love walking into a home the night before Thanksgiving only to be greeted by the smell of a baking apple pie wafting through the air?  Somehow, apple spice doughnuts at a Fall Party would not be the same without some warm apple cider ladled out of a punch bowl garnished with a cinnamon stick.  So, producing a fall tablescape that celebrates the apple is totally understandable.  Let the fun begin!!

                                          Here's my tablescape celebrating the apples in fall.

    I started with a yellow tablecloth and napkins that were a gift from my in-laws when they traveled to the island of Madeira near the Azores.  Since these wonderful people are now gone, using this tablecloth in this tablescape, made the project even more memorable.

Each place setting starts with a brown placemat from Home Goods (gotta love that store----especially for this hobby!)

     I then layered with a brown basketweave charger from Michael's (now on sale!).  I had seen these last year, talked myself out of them eventhough they go well with my Thanksgiving Johnson Bros. plates;  thought about them all year, then was happy to see them back in stock THIS year, so I grabbed them.  Has that ever happened to you?

    Next, came a yellow dinner plate from Home Goods.  It is labeled Matceramica on the bottom and it is made in Portugal.

    I topped the stack with a green apple-shaped plate found at a swapmeet.  It was a steal, and I feel it works well for the theme of this tablescape.  The setting is surrounded by flatware from World Market (it is a "Treble Clef" pattern, but I think it reminds me of an apple stem.....kinda!)  The napkin ring was on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond and it is my FAVORITE color.

    The glasses were purchased in Venice at the Murano Glass Factory when we went to Europe a few years ago. ( Doesn't that sound impressive?  We went on one of those "If it's Thursday, it must be Belgium" 10-day rapid tours, but it was wonderful!) I love, love, love their color and shape (can you see the indentations in the glass and inset colored glass fragments?).

    I created the centerpiece using a wooden crate I found at Michael's.  I filled it with apples, and tried my hand at wrapping them with burlap ribbon that seems so popular in today's fall decorating trends.  I hope to find more uses for it around the house as I continue with my fall decorating, for I do like the look.  Next to the apple crate are free-standing scarecrows I found at Target (look in the "dollar" section!) and then the fall leaf candle rings were from Hobby Lobby.  I also scoured my salt and pepper collection again, and came up with the split apple s + p shaker!

    I added the sunflower plate (found while antiquing and marked only "Italy" on the bottom).  I thought it would work well for holding apple spice muffins for a fall brunch.

    I just bought this owl pitcher at a Design Center. I figured my grandkids would love the shape!  Care for some apple cider?

    One last look at my entry for "The Apple Challenge".  Thanks, Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen,  for hosting this tablescaping challenge, and giving us all a chance to get our creative juices flowing.  And thanks, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch,  for hosting "Tablescape Thursday"each week which allows us to connect with other fellow tablescapers!!

I'll be linking up to Between Naps on the Porch, and Cuisine Kathleen this week.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  It would be great to get a comment from you.  If you have to sign in as  "Anonymous", please sign your name in the comment box so I can respond to you personally.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Sentimental Journey

Gonna Take a Sentimental Journey

On Sunday, my husband and I went to a local swap meet to look for goodies.  I happened on a booth where a very nice couple had stacked up a set of pretty china . The wife saw my interested face and said, "You can have them all for $20!"  I looked at the dinner, salad, bread and butter,  and soup plates ( and a gravy boat!) and we made a deal.  As she was wrapping them up, I saw a whistful look cross her face.  She said sadly,  " I wish you could have known the lady who owned these.  She was the mother of my hair dresser, and a dear, dear soul."  I looked at her and said I wanted her to tell her hairdresser that her Mom's plates would be well taken care of, and that I would honor her china.  So, my post today is dedicated to all those collectors and lovers of china who can't resist the patterns and floral designs that dance across a plate; or the solid colored dishes that promise to complement whatever added pieces are linked close to them; or the brightly colored pottery that reflects the artistry of a country's culture; or the delicate cups and saucers and serving pieces that finish the tableau of the creative tablescaper.

When I first thought of this tablescape, and the sentimental theme I wanted to project, lace seemed to be the most appropriate texture for the table.  I started with these purple wicker chargers, eventhough they were a bit informal, because I loved the way their purple color brought out the color on the dishes.  I also thought they'd be a good contrast to the beige lace.

I started with the dinner plate and added the Mikasa flatware, making sure I had the utensils for soup, salad and main course.  I love the floral design on these plates; each plate has a slightly different array of flowers in the center.

                                                      Then I added the salad plate.

The stacked dishes ended with the soup bowl.  These soup bowls are just deep enough for an ample, but not overgenerous portion for a beginning dinner course.

Surrounding each setting is a bread and butter plate, butter knife and Mikasa water goblet and wine glass.  (I can't remember the pattern, but I have a request into for some information).  I followed the appropriate placement for each piece as indicated on the entry form for our local County Fair Tablesetting Competition.  Personally, I think I'd switch the taller water goblet and shorter wine glass.  When I'm dining I usually like to drink water first before wine, and would reach for the goblet first, but...who am I to mess with tradition?! Any thoughts on this?

I decided I still wanted more color on my table, so I went to my cup and saucer collection.  Is it true that  MANY tablescapers also have cup and saucer collections?  I started with salt and pepper shakers, then went to cups and saucers and then found my way to tablescapes! Yup, my husband keeps saying, "We're gonna need a bigger house!"  And that's since we've become empty nesters!!  I found the napkins at World Market.  There were just two of them on the clearance rack and I grabbed them.  I had no clue how I would use them, I just LOVED the colors and pattern.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how well they matched the dishes I had found.  Just meant to be, I guess...

In this place setting, the cup and saucer have sentimental value to me.  A wonderful friend of mine (I always look forward to our fun trips antiquing together!), was kind enough to remember me when she found this sweet cup from her Mom's collection.  She gave it to me and it has become one of my favorite pieces.  I love its colors and shape, but mostly what it represents:  a willingness to share with me, a piece of her family history.

I wanted my centerpiece to also reflect the theme of a Sentimental Journey.  So I started with a delicate vase and tiny pitchers that were sent to me by a very dear friend.  She lives in France and is Grandma to two of my granddaughters.  She knows of my love for ceramics, and sent this set to me from her Mom's home when they were downsizing.  These lovely pieces will always be precious to me because I think of my friend whenever I pass my corner cabinet and see them on display.  The candlesticks were a wedding present from a close friend who passed away much too young.  When I see them I recall many memories of our shared times together and the great laughs we had.

I added two other elements for this Sentimental Journey.  The crystal salt and pepper shakers were a recent gift from my husband.  It was a totally unexpected gift, and it represents his support for my newfound hobby of tablescaping.  This gift warmed my heart.  The final component is my Grandma's cut glass celery dish.  I never knew my Grandma (she died very young), but this dish was on EVERY holiday table as I was growing up.  I am proud to say, we still NEVER have a holiday dinner that this dish is not brimming with cranberry sauce or anything else the menu dictates!

So this table has represented a sentimental journey for myself, remembering precious family and friends. It's also been a chance to hold true to a promise I made last weekend:  to honor  the "dear soul" whose lovely dishes now reside in my dish cabinet, and will be enjoyed for a long time.  What a great hobby this is!

I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.  If you have to choose "Anonymous" to comment, please make sure your name is in the comment box at the end of your comment so I can respond to you personally!     Thanks, Rosie

I'm linking up to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

 A Sentimental Journey       

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My First Tablescape

HERE I GO.....

Today I start a new adventure.  I have entered the ranks of "the tablescaper"!  You see, I have discovered there are others, like myself, who can't go to a department store without making a detour through the china department to cruise the stash of new patterns; or lick my lips at the displays that sparkle only a few steps away from the main walkway leading to the rest of the store.  Visions of mixing and matching of Fiesta plates with colorful patterned salad dishes dance through my head.  This complusion follows me through antique malls, thrift stores, estate sales and even seasonal displays in our local grocery stores and pharmacies!  So, please join me as I share the bounty of my "finds", and enjoy the sense of creativity and happiness that fills me every time I explore my magic hutch and try to change an empty table into a work of art.

MY FIRST PUBLISHED TABLESCAPE (the ever popular Blue and White collection)

I start with a cobalt blue tablecloth I found at our County Fair (it resists spills and wrinkles---perfect for my household!)  Polish Pottery is a favorite of mine.  Don't you love the numerous patterns and how well they coordinate?

This salad plate is a different numbered pattern, but still works with the dinner plate!

I have blue glass items from various places, and thought they would work well with my Polish Pottery pieces.  This is a sherbet dish I found "antiquing" (unfortunately, there were only 5!  I'll use a clear glass dish for me, the hostess!)

The flatware is a Mikasa pattern.  I don't know the name, but I thought the beads outlining it would work well with the dots in the plate pattern.

I added red-checkered napkins to match the red accent dots on the pottery.  Napkin rings are an Old World Market purchase

The centerpiece consists of a Polish Pottery pitcher I found at Home Goods (one of my FAVORITE hangouts!)  The red flowers are from Michael's, and I chose the color to add some color and complement the napkins.  The one blue glass vase with the scalloped top came from a gift shop outside the historic village of Jamestown in Williamsburg, VA.  The other vase came from a glass-blowing exhibit outside the old Ponderosa Ranch (anyone remember "Bonanza"?!) in Lake Tahoe.  I used a blue and white placement to add some more texture to the table.


I'm always happy to have the chance to play with some of my favorite dishes!  Thank you for taking a peek at the first tablescape that somebody outside of the family has seen!!!