Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Table for Joe

My Dad's birthday would have been coming up on September 4th, and he has been very much on my mind the past few days. I lost him unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was 20 years old. It may have been 49 years ago, but I still find times when his loss is as fresh as the day it happened. As September approaches, I decided to honor the memory of this tall, lanky, sweet man who made a life for me where I felt protected, loved, and supported.

My Dad loved to go fishing. Our neighbor had a "cabin cruiser" and would invite my Dad for fishing dates that would bring him such joy. I found a picture of him at the captain's wheel of this cruiser and the expression on his face shows how happy he was while out on the water! I thought I'd share it with you in this tablescape. Some of my best memories were when we would go fishing together. He would rent a skiff; we'd pack up our rods, reels, bobbers and bait (usually frozen spearing) and head out with a basket lunch and motor out to just beyond the breakwater.  We would sit for hours just waiting for that bobber to plop below the water and signal that a fish was on the line! Sometimes we'd reel up the line to find the bait gone and no fish. But, other times we'd cheer to find a fish on the line. My Dad would grab the net, scoop up the fish and unhook him! Generally, we would just release the fish, but there were times when we'd bring the catch home. On the east coast (this was off of Long Island in New York) we would fish for fluke and flounder and only sizeable catch would become dinner!  We'd listen to a portable radio, talk and laugh. It was a magic time, now that I think of it.

So, here is the table I came up with:

How It Was Created:

I started with a white linen placement from Macy's because I wanted to lighten up the table a bit.

Then, I added a water hyacinth placemat that reminded me of a rope coiled up on the pier!

I thought these silver-toned chargers look like the  galvanized metal of the pail we would bring to carry home any fish we might catch!

For my birthday this year, family members generously gave me gift cards to HomeGoods (they kindly encourage my hobby of tablescaping! Thank you, family!). I wanted to find dishes with fish on them, but had no luck. I did find these nautical plates that highlight the different types of nautical knots. My Dad tried to teach me how to tie different knots, but I never could get the knack of tying them!

For my top layer, I went with these anchor plates. I've used them before on this table here.

I completed my place setting with red and white checkered tumblers filled with red and white checkered napkins (when we went on our neighbor's boat they always had a red-checkered tablecloth and napkins!); and,  my Treble Clef flatware from World Market ( I thought it looked like a fish hook!).

For my centerpiece I decided to gather a collection of items that reflected the components of a day of fishing! I purchased this water hyacinth basket in HomeGoods on my shopping spree.  I first placed a decorative fishing net into it. I added one of my shell embossed salad plates; then I added a wooden seagull I found at Steinmart. One thing my Dad and I always saw while fishing were numerous seagulls----especially when they would following the commercial fishing boats home at the end of the day. (a note: I realized when I got home, that the beak on my "seagull" was not bent at the tip as it should be, so this is probably a sandpiper, but if you won't tell, I won't!) My Hubby took me to a Fishermen's Hardware store while I was preparing this table, and I was thrilled to find red and white bobbers that look EXACTLY like the ones I used while fishing. I would have thought they'd be high tech nowadays, but that was not the case. I found fishing hooks and weights, as well. So, I added this fishing gear to my basket. I "shopped the house" (my family room is decorated in a nautical theme), and found a wooden spool, a wood tackle, a brass lock and a glass float: all reminiscent of boat gear. I finished with two ceramic fish appetizer plates that I found at the supermarket! I completed the centerpiece with wooden candlesticks (they are actually bobbins I found while antiquing), and white candles. I added my Dad's picture, as well.

This tablescape was truly a labor of love. I do believe my Dad would have gotten a kick out of it, because it represents such special memories of very happy times with each other. Happy Birthday, Dad! You will always be in my heart

I'll be joining Susan at www.betweennapsontheporch.net for Tablescape Thursday and
Christine at www.rustic-refined.com for Dishing It! and Digging It!.

It's always fun to visit these websites and see what everyone is sharing that week! Be sure and take a look and see for yourself! Thank you, Ladies, for your continued support in hosting these parties!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


It's been a while since I've posted a table, but life has just been getting in the way. So, today I decided it was time to get back into the swing of things! For some reason, August has always been a vacation time for me. Even when I was teaching, this last month of August would signal a time for adventure before the school year began (with the holiday crazies soon to follow!!).  The table I planned for today reflects that desire to "hit the road". However, today I'll be "hitting the road" in my imagination only. I found some new dishes in Steinmart last year and have yet to feature them. They became the inspiration for today's table, however.

This Is The Table I Created:

This is How It Was Created:

 I started with placemats that I found on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I like the "window shade" look to them, but they are fragile. I don't believe they'd be sturdy enough for every day use, but they are perfect for the theme of this table. Somehow, my "Wanderlust" is being reflected in a desire to seek adventure in exotic places and preferably places nearby to a sea. "Go Figure........."

The next layer is a plastic charger plate I found at Michael's and is normally used with my Johnson Brothers dishes at Thanksgiving. I wanted texture for this table, and the color is perfect for my new accent plates.

The next layer is one of my yellow Metaceramica plates from HomeGoods. They are truly workhorses in my collection.

To top of my dish stack is the dish I found at Steinmart. I loved the colors on these plates, the wicker texture-like print and also the image that brings new and different places to mind. I did some research on the map that is depicted on this plates, and it is a reproduction of an old map completed by a French cartographer in the mid-eighteenth century by the name of Jacques Nicolas Bellin. It shows the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, Western India as well as the Maldives Islands. These areas during the 1700's certainly were prime areas for exotic exploration. I could visualize the elephants that ambled along (covered with brightly colored cloth and perhaps with a royal leader on top!), as well as the untouched beaches of the Maldives.

To complete the setting, I chose my green ruffled napkins, two napkin rings: leather and shells; my  Treble Clef flatware from World Market and green goblets from Pier One.

For my centerpiece I chose components that would reflect a sense of adventure related to the geographical map location on the plates. Using a tray decorated with shells and found at TJMaxx, I filled it with my happy elephant statue found at HomeGoods, a faux green plant to mirror the palm on the plate and shells found at Michael's (although I'm not far from a So. CA beach, the shells found near us are not as interesting). Flanking the tray are my wooden spools found while antiquing that I ringed with new shell napkin rings found in Maine! A faux fishing net with more shells and faux sea urchins nestled inside, completes the centerpiece.

All in all, I hope the table showcases some favorite new dishes, but also reflects the feeling of "Wanderlust" I am feeling: this desire to explore new regions. I can't go back in time to when Persia and Pakistan were strikingly strange and unusual, but I could get into our "new-to-us" RV and seek new destinations! Hmmmmm......now there's a thought!!

I'll be joining Susan at www.betweennapsontheporch.net for Tablescape Thursday  and Christine for her Dishing It! and Diggin' It! at www.rustic-refined.com .

Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these parties. Be sure and visit these wonderful blogs and get inspired by all of the creativity goin' on!!!