Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Miya's Table

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 for Tablescape Thursday.  Be sure and stop by to see all the wonderful postings there!

I love reading your comments.  Thank you in advance.  If you would like to know when I've completed a post, just go to the top of my blog by "Follow by Email", list your email and hit "Submit".  Thank you for following me!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blue (and White) Monday

I heard an interesting "Commentary" on a news channel Monday Night.  The reporter was mentioning that the first Monday after New Year's is known as "Blue Monday".  Apparently, studies have shown that because the holiday season is all over; because school and work places are generally back to a normal schedule; because most geographic areas are dreading the impending long, cold stormy winter season; because people have made resolutions they are already having difficulty keeping; because visitors have headed home leaving a void in the house; because houses have lost their holiday finery and look empty by comparison;  because holiday bills start showing up in the mailboxes and financial reality sets in, the phenomenon of "Blue Monday" has been noted.  I decided to ward off this scenario,  personally, by planning a tablescape.  The design process always makes me happy, and is sure to dispel any blues.

Here is my Blue (and White) table for Blue Monday:

Here is how it was created:

    I started with a white placemat from Macy's.

My dish stack began with white scroll chargers I found at Maryland China Co. I ordered three that were labeled as seconds and one that was from the regular inventory, and, honestly, I couldn't tell the difference! (except in the price!)

The blue dishes belong to my cousin who let me borrow them for this tablescape. They are labeled Liberty Blue:  Historic Colonial Scenes Printed on Staffordshire Ironstone.  The dinner plate depicts 
"Independence Hall".

Next comes the salad plates that depict "Monticello".

The stack is topped by a small bowl depicting "Betsy Ross".  I really like the craftsmanship of these plates.  The engraving is well done, the blue color is so pretty (it actually doesn't photograph as pretty as it really is) and the beautiful floral border is just lovely.  They really do honor well the history of our nation.

I'll be planning tea for this meal, so I added the cup and saucer to each place setting.  They depict "The Old North Church".

     I also added a water glass that is Mexican glass and was found at Pier One.

The table setting is complete with navy blue napkins from World Market and porcelain napkin rings that I found while out antiquing.  I used my Mikasa flatware.

My centerpiece is made up of a lace doily topped with candle holders from Hobby Lobby and a wonderful flower pot that was a Christmas gift from a dear friend.  She found it in Montana and it is one of the most unique pieces of pottery I think I have ever seen.  She also included the A "Winter Rose" Poinsettia as part of the gift.

Since I'm planning tea, I'm using a favorite teapot of mine that was a birthday gift.  Its pedestal was bought on our trip to Florence, Italy.

Here are some additional photos of the table:

Do you think this table could keep away those "Blue Monday" blues?  Do you agree this
phenomenon exists?  I hope that everyone's first week after all the holidays is a good one, and filled with anticipation of all the things that a new year promises.

I'll be linking up to  Thank you, Susan, for hosting Tablescape Thursday!

I love reading your comments, and will respond to them, but until I learn how to fix it, you have to come back to my site to read the response!  If you'd like to become a follower, just go to the top of my blog and fill in your email address by "Follow by Email", then hit "Submit".