Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

This post is being completed out of necessity.  My daughter is in early labor and I am holding back my instinct to go sit with her, because I know this is the time she and her husband need to be sharing this experience together.  So, I thought, "Distract yourself! If you get this table completed you can participate in Cuisine Kathleen's Spring Tablescape Party afterall."  You see, I had done a post about our Easter Dinner and intended on linking it to Kathleen's party, when I read that the entry had to be "non-Easter".  If you want to see that posting just click here.  So---now that I have the time, I got out my camera, took some pictures and would like to share a table that I hope reflects the colors of spring, particularly the vibrant colors of spring flowers.

Here's The Table:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my straw placemats that I got from Kohl's.  Somehow they remind me of the materials that birds like to use to construct their nests.  Our yard has been filled with the melodious chirping of birds who are industriously building nests:  surely a sign that Spring has Sprung!

I decided the table would be the site of a springtime lunch of soup, salad and muffins.  So, I'm using my Metaceramica yellow plates made in Portugal from HomeGoods as chargers:

Next on the dish stack will be these Royal Stafford plates also from HomeGoods.  I love the colorful flowers that seem to be dancing across the plate!  They will hold the salad for lunch:

The next layer are small daisy plates that I found at the supermarket! They are labeled Fresh Decor and come in four colors:  lime green, yellow, turquoise and orange.  I'll serve muffins on this plate:

To top off the stack is a bowl I have been waiting to share with you.  I found 8 of these bowls at a swap meet.  I have no pattern name or maker.  They are just labeled, "Italy".  The man who sold them to me told me he was selling them for a neighbor lady who was "downsizing" her home.  I love their shape and the floral detail at the bottom of the bowl.  It just seems so unique to me.  I'll serve soup in these bowls:

To complete the table setting, I chose my multi-floral napkins from Pier One and the flower napkin rings I also got at Pier One.  The orange flatware came from Target, as did the floral decorated tumblers:

My centerpiece started with a yellow lattice-patterned runner from HomeGoods. I used my Portuguese-made Farval pitcher from Marshall's, filled with faux flowers from Michael's. (I have some white and yellow roses that are blooming in my garden, but I'm so distracted I didn't trust myself with pruning clippers right now.......gee, I wonder how my daughter is doing?!)  I added some other faux flowers wrapped in butcher paper that I found at Michael's, as well.  The pitcher is sitting upon a sunflower plate that I found at a swap meet.  Like my bowls, this plate's only marking is "Italy".  It was in pretty poor shape when I found it, but a good scrubbing helped its personality come through:

So, this is my tablescape for spring!! Let's see, it's taken me about 2 hours to complete this and my daughter hasn't called yet to let me know if the hospital is keeping her, or sending her home until her labor progresses more.  Well--I guess I could start cleaning out my pantry!  With four daughters and soon-to-be eighth grandchild, you'd think I would get used to all of this........but the thrill doesn't diminish.  And, after all, this is my youngest, too. (My baby girl giving birth to her own baby girl!) Thank you for letting me distract myself!  I'll let you know how it all turns out!!

I'll be joining Kathleen at  for her Spring Tablescape Party and Susan at for next week's Tablescape Thursday.  Thank you, ladies, for hosting these parties!

I love to read your comments!  They are always appreciated! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Squared

A few months ago while in HomeGoods, I spotted some blue and white dishes that really attracted my eye.  There was only one issue: they were square in shape. I am a real traditionalist and didn't have any square plates in my tablescaping stash. I started looking at this relatively "new" trend ( to MY way of thinking!) when my daughter got married in 2012 and chose square plates etched in platinum for her china. I loved her plates, but just hadn't embraced the look. So, I passed the dishes by.  Well, fastforward to a couple of weeks ago when while I was back at HG (gee-----I guess I go there alot!), I noticed the same blue and white dishes in the clearance section for only $3.00 each!! How could I resist them?! So----I took a leap! I now have some square plates of my own.  And I love them.  I thought I'd celebrate spring with my new additions. I also realized this might be a perfect table for Cuisine Kathleen's Bird, Nest and Egg Challenge!

Here's the Table:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my blue tablecloth from a vendor at the Orange County Fairgrounds.  It is spill resistant and never needs serious ironing.

My stepdaughter got me this Ralph Lauren table runner for Christmas.  Don't you just love it?  I do believe it inspired me to make the final decision about my new plates; the color is perfect.

Since this is a spring tablescape, and the birds are building nests all around (I've been watching a particularly ambitious small brown bird using snippets of material from my hanging flower baskets outside of my back French doors each morning!) I decided my new straw placemats from Kohl's reminded me of potential nest building material!

Here is the dinner plate to my new square plate set. It is marked CHinoiserie Toile; designed by Maxcara.  I LOVE the colors and pattern.  And the little bird adds a touch of Happy Spring to the table.

Here is the square salad plate with another pattern and a small bird just patiently waiting to begin nest building!

The next layer in the dish stack is a plate I found at the Swap Meet.  It is labeled only "Made in Italy", and I have been waiting to find the right tablescape to share it with you! I love its scalloped shape and delicate painted design. And since I knew I'd be using daffodils in the centerpiece, the choice of a dish    with blue AND yellow seemed a perfect fit! 

To top the dish stack off, I chose my blue glass sherbet dishes found while antiquing.

The place setting is completed with yellow linen napkins from my in-laws' trip to Majorca, and white porcelain napkin rings from an antique store (roses are always part of spring!)  I used my Trebleclef flatware from World Market, because their shape somewhat resembles the twigs my little bird friends have been hoisting to their nests!   I also added my Mexican glass tumblers, a gift from my daughter at Christmas.

The centerpiece was created from a platter and pitcher that were also on clearance where my square plates were! There was no way I could leave without them.  The daffodils were part of the decorations for my daughter's baby shower her sister and I put on this past weekend.  I found the birds at Michael's, and their "nests and eggs" were generously loaned to me by my dear friend.  I wanted to separate the patterns a bit, so I added two small runners of burlap ribbon.

Since I was enjoying the look of blue, white and yellow together, I shopped the house and added some accent pieces to the table.

I've had this plate so long I can't remember where I found it, but it is labeled I. Godinger & Co. It normally is displayed on my sideboard.

I couldn't resist this addition to my Polish Pottery collection that I found at TJ Maxx.

And, lastly, these favorite salt and pepper shakers came from an Italian Pottery Outlet I always make a stop at when I am in Santa Barbara. I don't think I have ever gotten out of there empty-handed!

Some additional pictures of the spring table:

Happy Spring, Everyone!! I'll be linking up to Cuisine Kathleen at for
Kathleen's Wednesday Let's Dish Challenge
and for Susan's Tablescape Thursday. Thank you, ladies, for hosting these parties!

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I love to read your comments. They are always an encouragement and always appreciated.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Simple Salute to April

When I started this blog I only knew I loved planning and creating tablescapes.  I didn't know very much about china (other than what I liked and disliked); crystal was merely table jewelry to me, and I knew NOTHING about linens (who knew Ralph Lauren designed table linens?!) But, since I have entered the blogosphere and enjoyed the tables of so many talented tablescapers, I find that some names are becoming familiar to me and a whole new knowledge base is finding its way into my awareness.  One designer who has captured my interest is April Cornell.  I absolutely love her brightly colored tablecloths, napkins and placemats.  They are perfect for setting a table that speaks of light, happy meals and welcomes the smiles that come with the experience of a shared occasion around the family table.  So, this post will honor the talent and design colors of April Cornell.  Actually, this post honors other things relating to April, as well.  First of all, this April finds my oldest daughter celebrating her 40th Birthday! It is also the birthday of my youngest granddaughter who will be four!! My stepdaughter has an April birthday, as well as a dear cousin, whose name I carry.  And, then, the end of April is the due date for my second daughter's first child ( and I will once again have a baby granddaughter to snuggle!) So, this post is a salute to April, and all it means to me this year!!

Here's my April Cornell Spring Table:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with the April Cornell tablecloth I found at HomeGoods.   I not only love the vibrant spring colors, but the pattern and precious edging on the cloth.

There were many colors to choose from, but I decided to use yellow as the accent color.  So, I started with my placemats from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I first tried a green plate, then a yellow plate, and then switched my whole plan and went with purple!  I just decided to celebrate color today! These plates were found at Anna's Linens and are marked Gallery: Margarita.

The next layer is the dinner plate that I have shared in a previous post: It is English china, labeled Cotswold.  I love the way the purple in the dish pops with the purple dish underneath it.  I also llike the floral pattern on the plate against the flowers on the April Cornell tablecloth.

Next is the salad plate to the Coswold set.

The table setting is completed with gold flatware on loan from my cousin, glass mugs that I found at Ikea (absolutely cannot believe how well the pattern on the mugs matched the tablecloth! It's like they were designed together!) and the April Cornell napkins.

The centerpiece is simple.  I begin with a precious vase I first introduced in this post.  Its colors work perfectly with this tablecloth.  I added a faux garland of leaves and two brown paper vases filled with faux dainty daisies from Michael's.

So, let's salute April!! Let's salute the wonderful colors and designs of April Cornell.  Let's salute the birthdays of Lisa, Lucy, Tori and Rosemary.  And let's salute the birth of Laura's baby girl, another precious addition to our family, who will one day have a place at our family's table, no doubt decorated with one of Gramma's tablescapes!!

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

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