Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dancing Daisies

Wednesday was my birthday.  My cousin came over and generously brought me, along with other things, a beautiful bouquet of flowers that included some vibrant-colored Gerber Daisies. Thank you, Karen!  I woke up this morning and saw them on my dining room table with sun streaming in on them and they actually looked like they were dancing!  I thought, "I have to do something to honor these beautiful flowers! I think I'll create a tablescape!"

So, this is what I came up with:

I decided I really wanted to showcase the colors of the bouquet, so I started with placemats from Pier One that reflected these colors.

Then I opted to go with a different combination than I might have gone with in the past.  I've been wanting to do a black and white table, and I figured this might be a good time, because black and white would not detract from the bouquet's colors, and might even enhance them!  So I started with the black plates that were part of the Christmas box of plates from my stepdaughter.  They are from Target and marked Home: "Zanzibar".  I really like the pebble-like texture around the border!

The next dish came from a Macy's sale and is a from the Martha Stewart Collection ( no pattern name indicated).  I like the lacey lattice-work pattern on this plate.

The top of my dish stack is a porcelain bread and butter plate from Mikasa that I purchased on-line. Its pattern is labeled as Urban Rose.  I'm not sure how its pattern will photograph, but I love the gray accent on the floral design.  Can you see how the gray color is just splashed across the rose like a watercolor?

The table setting is completed with black stemware found while thrifting at a store supporting an animal shelter (I was happy to contribute to this worthwhile cause!); napkins that match my placemats; and, my Mikasa Regent Bead flatware.

My centerpiece showcases my birthday bouquet.  I placed it on a Dollar Tree black dinner plate and then for some added texture and interest, I added my Tabletop Lifestyles: Castleware plate from HomeGoods.   Some ceramic birds from Michael's for accents and then some glass scatter beads complete the centerpiece and table.

Do you think using the black and white plates makes the flowers stand out or should I have used more colorful plates?  I do have some orange and yellow dinner plates, and some patterned ones in similar colors that would have complemented the bouquet.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at and
Christine's Link It Up! Table Party at  Thank you, ladies, for continuing to host these parties!  It's always so much fun to see what other tablescapers have created!

Your comments do make me smile, and I am curious about your opinions on this week's table! Thank you!!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Look At The Past

If you take a look back on this previous post , you'll note that my husband's cousins spent some time when we were visiting them sharing stories about their Grandmother's china.  They sent some of the pieces home with us so that I could have some "tablescaping" fun! Today, I want to share another special find from that visit.

As the family explained, this set was one of the gifts Grandma and Grandpa Mora received on their 50th Wedding Anniversary in June of 1957.  My hubby says he remembers it sitting on the stereo cabinet of their house when he was a young boy.

After some research, I discovered this set was known as a "Centerpiece Ceramic Fruit Bowl with Candle Holders". It has the number 20316 printed on the bottom of the bowl and the candle holders.  I assume this is the pattern or style number. Further investigation shows that the pattern is called "Golden Wheat"and it was manufactured in Japan in the 1940's.

This particular set has one of the most common identifying marks of the Lefton product:  a foil sticker on the bottom of the bowl.

I love the pretty pastel pink of these ceramics, and even after all these years the gold pattern of the "wheat" is bright and lovely.

Apparently, George Lefton turned his passion and hobby for porcelain into a business in 1941 while living in Chicago.  He was one of the first American businessmen to deal with the Japanese after World War II, and he imported goods from Japan under the label, "Made in Occupied Japan".  He was known for pricing his goods so that they were affordable to the general public.

The items in his collections consisted of items that could be used every day, as well as things that were made just for display.  When the Lefton Company was sold in 2001 after its founder had died in 1996,  a source of some of the most popular collectibles and kitchenware in America was ended. Today, the items from this company are available on websites and in antique malls and collectible shops, and are prized as vintage items.  I'm glad this particular set has remained in the Mora family and will continue to be a part of the family legacy.

I'll be joining Dawn at for her History and Home Link Party
and Christine at for her Table It! Link Party.  Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these fun parties!

Your comments really do make my day! Please feel free to leave one, and I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Beachy Tablescape....Finally

Today's tablescape has been a long time coming, and I can't really say why.  I've had some of the components in my tablescaping stash for over a year; even before I ever started my blog.  I've wanted to do a beach-themed tablescape for so long. Even this one has been thought about and re-worked, started and stopped. Has this phenomenon ever happened to any other tablescapers? Finally, I got up this morning and decided, I would just put the table together and let it turn out as it would. No more debates on tablecloth or placemats, netting or no netting, yellow or white plates, shells or lighthouses for accents??? Etc., etc., etc...... So, this is the final result for my beach-themed table.

A Look at the Table:

How It Was Created:

I decided to forego table linens.  I felt the dark wood would better ground the elements of the table. I  added a straw placemat whose sand color seems appropriate for the beach, and because I like the rough texture of the mat.

My plate stack starts with my white Metaceramica plates from Portugal, purchased at HomeGoods.

The next plate is one I found at Tuesday Morning (on the clearance rack!).  I saw the texture of it and the shell design around the border and knew I wanted it for a beachy tablescape! It is labeled Mud pie, Shell Dessert Plate.

The next plate is from J. C. Penney's and I got it a while ago during a major sale event.  I LOVED the color of it, its unusual shape and the crackle-effect of the glaze. It is labeled ASA Selection, Germany, and is the salad plate of the collection.

I topped the stack with Ralph Lauren napkins I got from HomeGoods.  I had started with plain turquoise napkins, but changed my mind (one of the stumbling blocks along the way to this tablescape!).  I went to HomeGoods in the middle of setting up and found these. They are labeled Fenton Paisley/Aqua and I thought the tan and blue colors were perfect for the beach; and I loved the pattern and texture of the linen.  I created the starfish napkin rings with my straw napkins rings, faux starfish and a drop of glue! (easy, peasy, and seen on many a tablescaping blog!)

The table setting was completed with turquoise-colored goblets (generously given to me by dear friends who were moving and downsizing) which I decorated with shell napkin rings I had originally bought for my beach tablescape (another change of heart!).  The flatware came from one of my trips to Tuesday Morning.  It is labeled Cambridge Stainless Steel; pattern: Cameo Ivory.  I am extremely happy with it and you'll probably see it in many of my future tablescapes!!  I also added individual votive candles and candleholders that were used at my daughter's bridal shower.  I'm hoping they add a warm lighting effect to the table.

My centerpiece starts out on a fishnet accent I got at HomeGoods.  I purchased the white lantern at least two years ago at Sears. I was actually Christmas shopping and discovered it on a clearance rack!  I bought it long before I thought of blogging, and just felt I'd use it on a summer table sometime!  It's filled with shells from a gift shop located on a local pier, and a pillar candle.  The lantern is flanked by two glass domes I purchased at a thrift store in Ojai, CA and the faux sea urchin and starfish are from a shop in Ventura, CA where we recently vacationed.

For table accents, I added a white pitcher (Farval, from Portugal and purchased from Marshall's) for iced tea:

A serving dish which is part of a four-piece salad plate set given to me at Christmas by my stepdaughter:

And, a conch shell my hubby got me MANY years ago from Catalina Island when I was teaching Lord of the Flies to my freshman English class and needed a teaching prop to illustrate how the stranded boys from the story signaled each other to call their "meetings" together on the island.

So, I finally completed my Beach Tablescape!  I had thought of using multiple colors on the table to reflect the many colors of the beach and sky;  I just couldn't decide what sort of table covering I wanted to use, and I had even toyed with the idea of sand (somewhere on the table!)  But, in the end, I kept the color scheme simple aqua blue and white, so reminiscent of the blue of the ocean and the clouds in the sky on a beautiful beach day!  I'm officially "unstuck" once more!  Enjoy your summer months!

I'll be joining Christine at for her Link It! Table Party and
                Susan at for Tablescape Thursday.                             Thank you, Ladies, for  hosting these parties!  Please join these parties and see what others have created!!

I love to hear from you and your comments are always appreciated!