Monday, September 1, 2014

September Road Trip!

These are three words that are music to my ears!  Ever since I retired from high school teaching, the month of September has taken on a new meaning.  The word used to loiter on the edge of my consciousness throughout the summer;  then it would intrude into my thoughts about the middle of August, and by Labor Day it would pounce into my awareness like an intruder who's been waiting for an open window to wreak havoc on my sense of serenity!  And the year would begin.  Don't get me wrong; once I got into the routine of interacting with new students and personalities; once I reconnected again with colleagues; and especially once I jumped into the curriculum of treasured literature and the challenge of sharing my love of the written word with my classes, I would remember what brought me to the profession in the first place, and I was actually happy to be back in my classroom.

However, I have to admit that the sense of freedom that retirement brings with it, is a very close second to the fulfillment that my teaching years brought to me.  One thing this freedom brings is the ability to travel outside of the summer months.  And traveling is much easier then.  So, when my hubby said he had to attend a conference up in Northern CA,  I opted for a Road Trip, rather than a flight.  This way we could take a few extra days and "explore some little towns" along the way.  Translated, this means visit "some antique malls to search for more tablescaping goodies!"

This whole explanation is a very long way of explaining why I produced this tablescape today.  I suddenly got to thinking that I really should use some of my current dishes that I haven't shared with you yet, before I continue to add to my inventory.   I've been thinking about blue and yellow for the past couple of weeks, so I searched the house and this is what I came up with:



Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my navy blue tablecloth (I love this cloth; spills just bead!)



I then added a yellow straw placemat found at HomeGoods.  I like the color contrast.



My dish stack started with a royal blue glass charger I found while antiquing in Ventura, CA.  I've been wanting to use them for a while.



The next layer is my yellow Metaceramica dinner plate from HomeGoods (seen many times in my posts).



I then placed a navy blue linen napkin from World Market to separate the salad plate from the dinner plate.



I've been waiting for the right table to share these salad plates.  These were found at a store in Ventura that raises money for animal rescues.  I was delighted to contribute to their cause!  The pattern is called Summer Fruit 174, and it is from International Tableworks.  It really was the inspiration for this table of blue and yellow.  I love the pattern and it reminds me of a picture out of a coloring book!





The place setting is completed with my lime green flatware (from the supermarket!) and my blue glasses from Mexico (found at Pier One).





I've noticed other blogs where the tablescaper has chosen to place the "centerpiece" at the end of the table, instead of in the center. I decided to try this look for this table. It was a real change for me, but I have to admit, I really like the change.  I especially could see this working for a meal with many serving dishes.   They could be lined up along the middle of the table for ease of serving, yet an attractive vignette can still be a part of the table without getting in the way.  My centerpiece, or in this case, table vignette, consists of a tray from HomeGoods, lined with a yellow linen napkin and filled with pieces I found around the house:  a sunflower plate marked Italy and found at a swapmeet;  a salad plate also just marked Made in Italy and found the same day; two blue and white ceramic pieces found at Hobby Lobby, a candlestick and bird (they have no markings); and a floral arrangement found at Michael's.  The tray is flanked by two white lanterns given to me by a very special friend who encourages my hobby!  Thank you, Mary Beth!



The other accents on the table include a thin runner of burlap ribbon on which sit a Godinger & Co. plate from HomeGoods, and a ceramic teapot given to me as a birthday present.






In one of her posts over at Between Naps on the Porch, Susan had shared the idea that the arrangement with two settings on each side of a square table, promoted easier conversation and closeness at a table (those weren't her exact words, but that was the idea I carried away from her comments).  So, I decided to try it, and I really liked the intimate feel of the table.




So, I've shared some plates with you that I haven't used before, which frees my guilty conscience up a bit to explore for some more!  I'll let you know how the road trip goes.  I'm looking forward to the change of scenery, but I also wouldn't be disappointed if a vintage tablecloth came home with me!

I'll be linking up to Christine's Table It! Link Party at www.rustic-refined.com 
and Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net

Thank you, ladies, for hosting.

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