Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Almost My First Blogaversary!

Last September 12, 2013, I began my adventure into the world of blogging.  It was the start of a hobby that has given me so much pleasure.  A good friend, more like a family member, came over and set up my blog for me.  He used Blogger, showed me how to fill in the blanks of the template, and I began.  My first blog post can be seen here.  Since then, I have changed my layout somewhat and learned much more about photography ( got an attachment for my flash unit for better lighting; decided I liked the "x-large" size of photos; and, tried some creative shots of dishes and accent pieces).  It's gotten so much easier to put a post together.  When I started, it took many hours to set up the table; then it took a long time to take pictures that weren't too dark or didn't highlight the tablescape very well; then it took forever to actually compose the post (figuring how to download photos from iPhoto; figuring how to to link up to parties----I didn't even know what a "thumbnail" was!)  It really was at least a two day project.  Things have improved dramatically.  And I credit the sweet fellow bloggers I have met in the course of starting this hobby, for making that improvement.  Thank you, Susan, from  and Dawn from for your encouragement and willingness to answer my questions.  In those beginning days of confusion,  you both really kept me going, and I'm so very grateful.

It's been wonderful over this past year sharing my love for dishes, linens, flatware, crystal and accent pieces with other tablescapers who share this same fascination.

For this blogaversary tablescape I decided to challenge myself.  I'm still trying to use things I haven't used before.  I did that for my last post, so by the time this post came, it was really difficult to find new components.  But, I was determined.  So, everything on this table has not been used this entire year.

Here's The Result:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with a placemat I had purchased at Pier One just as I began blogging:

The first layer of the dish stack is the only dinner plate I haven't yet used.  I got it at the Shinoda Design Center, and it was my determination to enter the world of more contemporary table design that convinced me to get a square-shaped plate. I decided to go with white so I could pair it up with any other plate design or color.

The next plate is a salad plate I found at World Market. It is just marked on the back, Made In Portugal.  I loved the pattern and colors, and would have preferred pairing it with an orange dinner plate, but I realized I had already used my orange plates for last Halloween, and so I couldn't use them for my challenge!  I know it was a stretch to pair this plate with this particular placemat, but I felt the orange in the placemat "sort of" went with the orange in the plate's border design.

The first hiccup in my plans for this table were the napkins!   I had nothing I hadn't already used or any napkins that would really complement the salad plate or placemats.  I found these napkins in my napkin storage and thought, "Umm...they've got blue and gold...maybe they'll work."  The second hiccup was that I had found these napkins at World Market on the clearance table and there were only three left.  So, my table became a table for three. The gold napkin rings are from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

To complete the table setting, I used my mother-in-law's flatware.  It is only labeled "V.U. Stainless Nickel Bronze". Since I did not have any glasses that I hadn't already used, I decided to use these Netas: Made in Italy mugs I purchased from HomeGoods a few Thanksgivings ago.  Their color blended well, even if I rarely serve dinner beverages in mugs!

The centerpiece was very hard to produce.  I searched all around the house for something I had yet to use in a tablescape, and couldn't find anything at first.  A placemat that I use on my sideboard seemed to coordinate with the colors on the table.  Then I found a blown glass vase that I had bought at a street fair in Ventura, whose color also blended with the table components.  I looked outside, and the last of my dahlias was blooming so I grabbed it and flanked it with two LED candles my hubby got me for Christmas.  I wanted a little height, so I turned a tray upside down and "voila!"

I added a gold tray (a Christmas gift from a dear friend) and the serving pieces from my mother-in-law's flatware set to fill the empty spot where the fourth tablesetting would have been, if I had bought four napkins instead of three!!

So, I was able to complete the challenge I had set for my first blogaversary.  There is nothing on the table that has been used during the entire year.  Thank you for stopping by and helping me celebrate.  Know that all of you who have become followers hold a special place in my heart.  Your support means more than I can say.  And to those of you who take the time to comment, thank you.  You truly do make my day.  I've so enjoyed getting to know all of you over the year, and appreciate every comment you make.  I never realized how important this hobby would become to me.  It's made me push myself to learn new things, organize myself and get the cobwebs out of the creative side of my brain which had gotten pretty congested since I retired!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
and Christine's Table It! Link Party at
Thank you, ladies, for hosting these parties and giving us a chance to share our ideas.

If you would like to become a follower of The Magic Hutch, just go to the top of my blog, fill in your email address by "Follow by Email" and hit "Submit"! Many thanks.