Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Sentimental Journey

Gonna Take a Sentimental Journey

On Sunday, my husband and I went to a local swap meet to look for goodies.  I happened on a booth where a very nice couple had stacked up a set of pretty china . The wife saw my interested face and said, "You can have them all for $20!"  I looked at the dinner, salad, bread and butter,  and soup plates ( and a gravy boat!) and we made a deal.  As she was wrapping them up, I saw a whistful look cross her face.  She said sadly,  " I wish you could have known the lady who owned these.  She was the mother of my hair dresser, and a dear, dear soul."  I looked at her and said I wanted her to tell her hairdresser that her Mom's plates would be well taken care of, and that I would honor her china.  So, my post today is dedicated to all those collectors and lovers of china who can't resist the patterns and floral designs that dance across a plate; or the solid colored dishes that promise to complement whatever added pieces are linked close to them; or the brightly colored pottery that reflects the artistry of a country's culture; or the delicate cups and saucers and serving pieces that finish the tableau of the creative tablescaper.

When I first thought of this tablescape, and the sentimental theme I wanted to project, lace seemed to be the most appropriate texture for the table.  I started with these purple wicker chargers, eventhough they were a bit informal, because I loved the way their purple color brought out the color on the dishes.  I also thought they'd be a good contrast to the beige lace.

I started with the dinner plate and added the Mikasa flatware, making sure I had the utensils for soup, salad and main course.  I love the floral design on these plates; each plate has a slightly different array of flowers in the center.

                                                      Then I added the salad plate.

The stacked dishes ended with the soup bowl.  These soup bowls are just deep enough for an ample, but not overgenerous portion for a beginning dinner course.

Surrounding each setting is a bread and butter plate, butter knife and Mikasa water goblet and wine glass.  (I can't remember the pattern, but I have a request into for some information).  I followed the appropriate placement for each piece as indicated on the entry form for our local County Fair Tablesetting Competition.  Personally, I think I'd switch the taller water goblet and shorter wine glass.  When I'm dining I usually like to drink water first before wine, and would reach for the goblet first, but...who am I to mess with tradition?! Any thoughts on this?

I decided I still wanted more color on my table, so I went to my cup and saucer collection.  Is it true that  MANY tablescapers also have cup and saucer collections?  I started with salt and pepper shakers, then went to cups and saucers and then found my way to tablescapes! Yup, my husband keeps saying, "We're gonna need a bigger house!"  And that's since we've become empty nesters!!  I found the napkins at World Market.  There were just two of them on the clearance rack and I grabbed them.  I had no clue how I would use them, I just LOVED the colors and pattern.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how well they matched the dishes I had found.  Just meant to be, I guess...

In this place setting, the cup and saucer have sentimental value to me.  A wonderful friend of mine (I always look forward to our fun trips antiquing together!), was kind enough to remember me when she found this sweet cup from her Mom's collection.  She gave it to me and it has become one of my favorite pieces.  I love its colors and shape, but mostly what it represents:  a willingness to share with me, a piece of her family history.

I wanted my centerpiece to also reflect the theme of a Sentimental Journey.  So I started with a delicate vase and tiny pitchers that were sent to me by a very dear friend.  She lives in France and is Grandma to two of my granddaughters.  She knows of my love for ceramics, and sent this set to me from her Mom's home when they were downsizing.  These lovely pieces will always be precious to me because I think of my friend whenever I pass my corner cabinet and see them on display.  The candlesticks were a wedding present from a close friend who passed away much too young.  When I see them I recall many memories of our shared times together and the great laughs we had.

I added two other elements for this Sentimental Journey.  The crystal salt and pepper shakers were a recent gift from my husband.  It was a totally unexpected gift, and it represents his support for my newfound hobby of tablescaping.  This gift warmed my heart.  The final component is my Grandma's cut glass celery dish.  I never knew my Grandma (she died very young), but this dish was on EVERY holiday table as I was growing up.  I am proud to say, we still NEVER have a holiday dinner that this dish is not brimming with cranberry sauce or anything else the menu dictates!

So this table has represented a sentimental journey for myself, remembering precious family and friends. It's also been a chance to hold true to a promise I made last weekend:  to honor  the "dear soul" whose lovely dishes now reside in my dish cabinet, and will be enjoyed for a long time.  What a great hobby this is!

I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.  If you have to choose "Anonymous" to comment, please make sure your name is in the comment box at the end of your comment so I can respond to you personally!     Thanks, Rosie

I'm linking up to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

 A Sentimental Journey