Monday, July 13, 2015

Anchors Aweigh!

I've been wanting to do a nautical tablescape for a while now.  So, I decided today was the day. My family room has always been decorated with a nautical theme. I guess because I have always loved the "call of the sea". It could be because I've always lived near an ocean (born on the east coast and now living on the west coast.) Or, maybe it's because I had a grandfather who who sailed on the Charles W. Morgan (a well-known whaling ship from New Bedford, MA). Whatever the reason, I wanted to share some of my nautical treasures with you, so I went around the house gathering my lighthouse collection, my collection of "salties" (these are caricatures of old sailors in their seagoing clothes), rusty blocks and tackles, and my ship's wheel and clock.   It was a fun table to do.

Here's how the table turned out:

Here's how it was created:

I started with my navy blue tablecloth that I bought at our county fair. It was an obvious choice for depicting the sea!  I love this cloth: it is essentially wrinkle-proof and spills actually bead on the material!

My woven seagrass placemats reminded me of the coiled ropes you might see along the dockside; perfect for a nautical theme.

I then added my square ceramic dinner plate purchased at a design center (there is no identifying marks on them).

I know it may look odd, but I chose to place my glass cobalt blue charger on top of the dinner plate.  Why? When I stacked the dishes this way, the triangles that are formed by the dinner plate peeking out reminded me of the signal flags that are found on boats; thus enhancing my nautical theme!

To top the stack, I placed my salad plates found at Tuesday Morning.  These were an obvious choice for this setting because of the anchor design and red, white and blue color scheme. These plates are labeled CMG, Handpainted in Portugal.

I completed the place setting with my red and white napkins from HomeGoods, (wanted a print for accent against the solid tablecloth) some new napkin rings from HomeGoods' clearance section (I thought the leather look and studs somehow looked like they'd be a part of a ship's galley!); my blue Mexican glass glasses and my Treble Clef flatware from World Market because I felt it looked like the rope on an anchor.

I placed my "centerpiece" at the end of the table instead of in the center, because I wanted everyone to be able to see its components while they were seated.  I started with the box my Hubby and neighbor made for me, and filled it with lots of goodies. I laid out a faux fishing net first. Then,  my ship's wheel came off the wall, along with my ship's clock (my Hubby kept asking me what time it was while I was creating my table because the spot on the wall where the clock normally resides was empty!)  Then I added other objects: a pelican (my absolutely favorite member of the bird family: I LOVE watching their travels as the flock soars in a solid line over the ocean!); my wooden "salties" (love the detail and expressions on these sailors' faces!) and a lobster dish towel. The photograph is a picture of a ship model my late brother created. He was a master model maker who would never use a kit to produce his ships. He would research the ship, find the plans and build them to scale. Using magnifying goggles, tweezers and phenomenal patience, he would create astounding works of art. I actually watched him remove pin heads to use as the nails on the planking of the "ship's" deck; or wind up thread to look like the pile of rope neatly wound into a stack on the deck. I always marveled at his incredible talent and commitment to his hobby.

My accent pieces on the table include a white plate with shell design found at Tuesday Morning. It is labeled Mudpie and is a favorite for my summer tables. I've also included a red and white Mikasa stoneware plate labeled Gourmet Basics, Hunter and added some cheese spreaders from Tuesday Morning which reflect a nautical theme as well: aren't they cute? And, of course, I've scattered my lighthouse collection throughout the table.

I'm so happy to be sharing my nautical decor with you.  Now I can hang the clock back up so we know what time it is!!

I'll be joining Christine at her Table It! Link Party at,
                       Susan for her Tablescape Thursday at
                       Kathy for her Home and Garden Thursday at
                       and Chloe for her Celebrate It Sunday! at
Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties.  Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs and see what other tablescapers are up to!

I thank you in advance for your comments. They really do put a smile on my face.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Belated July Fourth!

I just attended a reunion of a choir I used to sing with because the director is retiring.  It was a wonderful night.   The evening was one of sharing memories, catching up on present accomplishments, re-connecting with old friends, but mostly enjoying the choral sound of 175 singers brought together for one main reason: singing the songs that filled our rehearsal and performance hours under the tutelage of our extraordinary director. He and his wife will now be "on the road" with their motorhome!  However, because my attention got diverted,  it became very clear that I could not make the deadline for posting a Fourth of July tablescape.  So, I now I share with you a belated July Fourth table!

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with an unusual set of table runners. Actually, these are not table runners at all: they are Waverly window valances that I just got back from the dry cleaners.  They were hanging in my den since I hadn't put them up yet, and they called to me as I went into the room looking for a table covering.  My red, white and blue table was about to be created!

I then added my red ruffled straw placemat. I just like to use these placemats on different holidays: they add a sense of "celebration".

I chose my Block Zen Chop Plates from Mikasa to use as a charger. I thought the white stripe that would be showing under the other dishes in the stack would mimic the white stripe of the American flag.

Next on the stack I used my blue Churchill dishes in its Willow pattern.  I bought these plates two years ago and had yet to use them. I'm glad I got to use them for this tablescape; they really are so very pretty.

To complete my red, white and blue color theme, I went back to the watermelon plates I used in my Father's Day tablescape.  There are no markings on them, but I found them at Michael's.  They are perfect for a BBQ or any summer table!

I completed my place setting with plastic glasses from the Dollar Tree store, my red flatware from the grocery store, and kitchen hand towels from HomeGoods that I will be using as napkins.  I loved their watermelon embellishment. I found the watermelon "mini-clothespins" at Michael's and thought I could use them for adding placecards to each place setting. I also included individual appetizer plates marked as Room Creative, Susani Red from HomeGoods.   I found the cheese spreaders at Tuesday Morning. There are four different patterns.

My centerpiece started with a basket tray I found at Michael's.  I "lined" the basket with a casserole dish from my Polish Pottery set.  I filled it with a patriotic pitcher I got from Tuesday Morning. I added faux flowers and American flags to the pitcher.  I have had this lighted wreath since last year.  I was going to use it for the holidays, and never did. I've been itching to see if the tiny lights would show up in a daytime tablescape, so I decided the look could replicate "fireworks" and used it for the Fourth of July! I also added a red berry garland for contrast. Unfortunately, the tiny lights don't show up as well in the photos as they do in "real life", but you hopefully get the idea! The basket is flanked by candleholders I just got while antiquing.

For accent pieces, I added a glass star I bought at a church yard sale (MANY good bargains there!) and a Villeroy and Boch bowl I found on our Maine trip last month.  I'm trying to add more red transferware to my tablescaping stash, and I couldn't resist this darling bowl.

I had to share the "artwork" from some of my grandchildren from Father's Day.  They wanted to color July Fourth pictures, so these are just a few, for fun.

I hope your Fourth of July was full of fun and celebration for the wonderful country in which we live.

I'll be joining Christine for her Table It! Link Party at,  Susan for Tablescape Thursday at and Kathy for her Home and Garden Thursday at
A continued sincere "Thank You" to these ladies for hosting these parties!

Your comments really do make my day. Thank you in advance for taking the time to leave a few words.