I noticed a truck pulling up to the home of my friend and neighbor, and knew that she had been to Colorado to empty out her Mom's home. Miya, her Mom, had passed away and my friend had been through the difficult process of saying good-bye to family treasures. I followed her into her garage and she presented me with two boxes. Her request was for me to develop a tablescape using her Mom's dishes. I had known Miya from her visits over the years. She was a lively woman, full of personality and warmth. Her life stories were fascinating. She was of Japanese descent and had been relocated with her family to an internment camp during World War II. We were always riveted by her tales of a time that tested courage, strength of family, and resiliency of the human spirit. I opened up the boxes of plates, and knew that I wanted to dedicate a table to the memory of Miya, by honoring her dishes. Here is what I came up with:
Here's How It Was Created:
I started with a cream-colored lace tablecloth. I felt that the delicate pattern around the plates' borders would be best complemented by a vintage feel to the table.
I started my dish stack with a gold charger from Big Lots. There is a small band of gold around the plates, and the chargers accent this.
The dinner plate comes next. See the pretty floral pattern? And note the bi-color of the plate. The center is white, but a cream color extends to the edge. It is labeled Kikusui China, Made in Japan. My friend told me these plates were used as "everyday" dishes.
Next comes the bread and butter plate. In this setting, I opted to use the small plate as a salad plate, instead of its intended use; hence, its placement in the dish stack instead of at the top of the place setting.
The soup bowl comes next.
This is the total place setting. It is completed with gold stainless flatware that was loaned to me by my cousin. My Mikasa stemware holds a yellow linen napkin that mirrors the yellow flowers in the floral swag of the plates.
My centerpiece consists of a crimson metal-crafted rose sculpture that stands on a marble base. This was a gift from my husband when we were dating, and I treasure it. Since this table reflects sentimentality, it seemed fitting to include it. I also felt that the crimson color of the flower went well with the crimson color in the border of the plates. I used crystal martini glasses as tealight holders, because I remember that when Miya came to visit her daughter, we would enjoy her company having cocktails together before dinner, and be enchanted by her life stories and sweet laughter.
I added additional crystal accents to the table to achieve a formal feeling to the entire tablescape.
Here are some extra pictures of the table:
I hope that I have honored the memory of this very special lady by highlighting her lovely china that she shared with her family every day. I'm sure there are many memories associated with these dishes that saw and heard many years of family joys and sorrows as they gathered around the table. When you think of it, that's why this hobby is such a special one. We create special havens for our families to come to the table and be a part of a moment in time that is the history and fabric of a family. Maybe that's why dishes mean so much to us: they are not just vessels of different shapes and colors to hold food, but palettes that reflect our family gatherings. And this was Miya's table.
I'll be joining Susan at www.betweennapsontheporch.net for Tablescape Thursday. Be sure and stop by to see all the wonderful postings there!
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