Monday, February 23, 2015

Playing with Pretty Pastels

When my Hubby came home from a business trip a few months ago, he walked in with a box containing two sets of plates.  He had stopped to visit his cousin, and was gifted with these plates that had belonged to his beloved Aunt Josie. Happily, because I am married to him,  cousin Ana, is now my cousin, too!  She knows I love to tablescape and felt that I would love these plates, and how right she was.  I want to share one of these sets with you today.  Apparently, this set was the family's everyday dishes and Ana remembers them well while growing up.  Because we're almost into Spring (I know those of you in the majority of the country are finding it hard to believe; I'm in Southern CA, so the concept of Spring is more of a reality), I decided to highlight the pastels of these pretty plates.  This is how the table turned out:

This is How The Table Was Created:

I started with a new pink tablecloth I found at Bed, Bath and Beyond last week.  I couldn't resist the soft, precious pink of this cloth.  I'm thinking of using it this Easter with my Butterfly Meadow dishes, and this was a good dress rehearsal.  I actually believe the color is prettier in person than the photo depicts.

I started with my green glass charger plate I found while in Ojai at a thrift store. It has no identifying marks on it, but it is a lovely color, and reminds a great deal of Jadeite.

Then I added Aunt Josie's plate.  It is labeled  French Saxon China.  I did some research on the pattern through Replacements, Inc. and it was not an easy job.  The majority of the patterns are listed as "FSX with a number" : no pattern name. You'll never guess what I did.  I went through 4 pages of pattern numbers, found a similar one, and didn't write down the number!! The pattern wasn't exactly like Aunt Josie's.  It had the same floral design, but the plates did not have the lovely scalloped border.  I will, however, go through the pages again, and find the correct number for a later post. I do remember that it said the pattern was produced around 1957.  Isn't it a happy pattern?

I then added a creme colored napkin and one of my Butterfly Meadow napkin rings.  The table setting was completed with my cousin's gold plated flatware and my Rogeska Gallia wine glasses.  I love this crystal pattern.  It is delicate and intricate from the top of the glass down to the etched stem and base.  I felt it reflected the airy feel of the floral design on the plates.

My centerpiece was an obvious choice. I've previously shared this bowl and candle holders here.  Since this set was a 50th Wedding Anniversary gift for Aunt Josie's parents, it seemed fitting that her dishes should be highlighted with this centerpiece as an integral part of the table.  It is really a fruit bowl, but I just filled it with faux greenery for a more spring-like feel.

I accented the tablescape with two extra china pieces.   I  used the serving platter from Aunt Josie's set (note the handles that have been worked into the scalloped edging).   I decided to "keep it in the family" and added a serving bowl that Aunt Josie's sister, Cora, had purchased for their parents. Cora was my Hubby's Mom and  I previously highlighted the story of  this china here. I thought that it was interesting that the pattern from Aunt Josie's plates was very similar to the pattern that Cora had chosen.  They actually could be used together on the same table.  I think this reflects the idea that these plates were created during the same time period and that the ladies had very similar tastes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                

I was so happy to put together this tablescape. It is not only a way to usher in a new season, but I have had the chance to bring a small bit of the history of my Hubby's family together: his precious Aunt, his cherished Grandmother, and his beloved Mom.  Thank you, Ana, for helping to make this possible.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
  and Christine's Link It! Party at  Take a peek at these wonderful blogs to see
  the many creative people in blogland!

I love your comments. They are appreciated and really do make me smile.

If you would like to become a follower of my blog, just go to the top of this post, enter your email address where indicated and hit "Submit"!  Thank you.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Valentine For A Friend

I dedicate this table today to a dear friend who passed away two weeks ago. It was not unexpected, just much quicker than anticipated, and tremendously difficult; my heart is sad.  I know we normally associate Valentine's Day with romantic love, but, for me, I have always thought of it as a time to express love for all those special people in our lives who surround us with their presence, and gift us with their warmth, humor, support, and encouragement.  Judy was one of those people in my life.  You know how much it means to have a friend who is there through all the times in your life, both good and bad.  For over 40 years, Judy was such a friend to me. But, I don't want this to be a sad post, because Judy and I had too much fun together to let sad thoughts be her legacy. So, I'm going to remember her today as my shopping mate: one of our favorite activities throughout the years!  Judy was one of those people whose entire home was decorated for every season.  Every tabletop, wall shelf and hutch would reflect the time of year! We'd even keep each other informed about what store had the best available items for a particular time of year. In fact, many of the components of this table were purchased with Judy by my side, as we ambled up and down the aisles of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Steinmart and Marshalls!  We also loved to go antiquing.  She was with me when I purchased some of the items on this table. Special memories, for sure.

This Year's Valentine's Day Table:

How It Was Created:

I started with a red tablecloth that I generally use for Christmas.

I added the new lace tablecloth I found while antiquing.

I started my dish stack with a ruffled placemat I found for 98 cents at Pier One! I am using it as a charger.

I then added these white square plates I found while shopping with Judy at Shinoda Design Center (one of our favorite haunts!).

Next I added red plates that I recently got from a church rummage sale. At 25 cents a piece, I couldn't resist, especially with Valentine's Day around the corner.

The next plate is a square melamine plate from Target. Honestly, the melamine dishes are so pretty nowadays, they really do mix n' match with ceramic plates quite nicely.

I topped the stack with plates that Judy and I found at HomeGoods on one of our trips together.  It is marked Room Creative, susani red.  I really liked the pattern on it.

The place setting was completed with red napkins, white ceramic napkin rings whose rose design seemed appropriate for Valentine's, red flatware from Walmart, and wine glasses from Dollar Tree (a new purchase this year). Note the precious hearts on the glasses.

I knew my centerpiece would feature a rose topiary I had purchased last year. Judy had told me last year that CVS Pharmacy was having a sale on their Valentine's Day items and this was one of the things I bought. I knew it had to be a part of my table this year.  It is sitting on an appetizer plate and flanked with crystal candleholders. I also surrounded the centerpiece with heart garland. At the last minute, I added a heart-topped wine bottle stopper I found at the church rummage sale. Isn't it cute?

Other accents include a heart dish I found at TJ Maxx many years ago (Judy found one as well that day!) and heart-shaped dishes from Michael's (I've added battery-operated candles to them to add some glow; as well as faux rose petals).

A special addition to this table, is the cake topper from my wedding 26 years ago.  It seemed fitting for a Valentine's Day table.  Funny memory about this topper. When my hubby-to-be at the time and I found it, its figures had blond hair and the flowers were white. So he set up a pedestal, placed the figurine on top and meticulously painted the blond hair brown, and made the flowers red, since that's what my wedding flowers were planned to be.  I can still see him crouched over the figurine, a bright light beaming on his work using a tiny brush to make the couple look more like us. It makes me smile just to think of that scene.

So this Valentine's Day table is dedicated to the memory of a friend whose company made so many days brighter.  I will always hold her memory in my heart. When you see your special friends again be sure and hug them tightly when it's time to say good-bye.  The joy and comfort they give to us and share with us cannot be measured.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day. Hopefully, it will be a day of shared affection and warm friendship.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at,
Laurie's Valentine Par-tay at, and
Christine's Link-It! party at
 Be sure and check out these fun blogs and share in all the creativity. Thank you, ladies, for your efforts to keep these link up parties going!

I absolutely love reading your comments.  Thank you for taking the time to visit!