In preparation for Valentine's Day I have been actively hunting down components for my Valentine's table, not really concentrating on anything else. On Saturday, my sister-in-law came to visit and presented my husband with a bouquet of gorgeous tangerine-colored roses (he had had a very frightening medical issue two weeks prior and had the whole family concerned!). She mentioned that this particular shade of rose had been a favorite of their mother. When she left, I kept looking at the bouquet and suddenly thought, "Those flowers would be a perfect match for the dishes that belonged to my husband's grandmother!" I've had these plates in my possession for a few months. When I started tablescaping, a dear cousin had shared them with me in the hopes they would find their way into a tablescape. So-----there went the plans for Valentine's Day! I immediately changed gears (I felt like an editor at a newspaper yelling, "Hold the Presses!") and decided to start, before the roses began to wilt, the process of developing a table with Grandma Mora's dishes!
Here's the Final Product:
Here's How It Was Created:
I started with a pale yellow tablecloth that I covered with a lace tablecloth. The pale yellow doesn't show through very well, but somehow I couldn't eliminate lace when the tablescape is dedicated to a Grandmother. Lace and Grandmas go together. I know, because I am one!!
My dish stack starts with a gold charger from Big Lots. Grandma Mora's plates are edged in gold, and this charger should work well.
Here is Grandma Mora's dinner plate. It is labeled Golden Ware, manufactured by Sebring in Sebring, Ohio. It is also marked Warranted 22 Carat Pure Gold! Imagine that! The family story goes that there were 9 children in the family, living in Bakersfield, CA. The oldest of these children was Cora (my husband's Mom and my Mother-in-law.) When Cora got her first "real" job she used one of her first paychecks to purchase her Mom a set of dinnerware. This gesture shows the kind, generous heart of my late Mother-in-law, as well as her tremendous affection and gratitude for her Mom, Isabelle. All that is left of the set are four dinner plates and a serving bowl.
I LOVE the floral pattern on the plates. I'm not well-versed on flower types, so I'd appreciate knowing what type of flowers they are. Could they be a type of tulip? No matter what they are, they sure look lovely dancing in the breeze! The gold trim is still very much intact and it is bright and shiny. Beautiful! If you "google" "Sebring", the historical society in Sebring, Ohio has chronicled the history of this pottery company. There are some examples of their "Golden Ware" and lovely floral patterns seem to be a favorite theme.
The individual place settings look like this. I wanted to keep the linens neutral in color so that the plates would stand out. I had a couple of choices of napkin rings, but went with the butterfly (from Pier 1) because it seemed appropriate next to a field of flowers! The gold flatware on loan from my cousin completed the setting. I decided this place setting would be for a tea/coffee party, so alongside a simple Mikasa water goblet, I perused my teacup collection to find four teacups that mirrored the colors of the flowers. I had to add coffee because Grandma Mora was a serious coffee lover, and, after all, this is HER party!
Here are the additional settings with the different teacups:
The centerpiece is highlighted by the gorgeous tangerine-colored roses that were the inspiration for this table. They are seated in a Lenox Woodland patterned vase and accompanied by crystal candle holders (a wedding gift from a very special friend) with cream-colored tapers from Williams-Sonoma.
Here is the surviving bowl from the set. It is in perfect condition and would be just the thing for some tasty muffins at the party.
The Lenox Butterfly Meadow creamer and sugar bowl add to the the garden/butterfly theme that this table seems to be taking!
I had to add the Butterfly Meadow salt and pepper shakers simply for decoration. Aren't they sweet?
This precious Burton + Burton teapot (Morning Meadow) was a gift from my hubby six years ago when I was hosting a tea for my daughter who was having her second little girl! (she later would have one more little girl; three bright lights in my world!)
A special accent to this table may seem out of place, but had to be included, regardless. This coffee mug was a World War II Corningware mug brought home from the war by the family's beloved, Uncle Chris. He thankfully made it home safely from New Guinea, when so many others, didn't. Uncle Chris was rumored to be the "favorite son" of Grandma Mora, and my husband felt she would be smiling by the presence of his mug on her table.
Once again, I am astounded by the power of plates, crystal and linens when arranged together. They have the power to bring to life the memories of the people who sat together at everyday meals and special celebratory gatherings. These plates will be passed down to the great-granddaughters of Isabelle Mora, and they will pass them down to their own children....and so the thread continues. We tablescapers share the secret of knowing how powerful a dinner table can be and what it represents, and how happy we are when all the components come together in a pretty way to honor those who once surrounded a table and used the plates we now admire.
I'll be joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net
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