Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The 70 Cent Safari

I wanted to do one more tablescape for January, so I went to HomeGoods to use a gift card my sweet stepdaughter gave me for Christmas, and found inspiration for my January table!  You just gotta love the clearance aisle of HomeGoods! You never know what treasure you may find there.  On the bottom shelf of the aisle there were stacks of dishes, all in the same pattern: some dinner plates, and some salad plates. When I picked one up and checked the bottom, the sticker read, "70 cents"!  I couldn't believe it!
So, I immediately grabbed four salad plates and headed for the checkout.  For some reason, the minute I saw these plates I thought of an African Safari. I think maybe the pattern reminds me of "Big Cat" prints: like a panther or cheetah...something like that. I thought of my black dinner plates at home, and felt the color combination really lent itself to a Safari theme.  So, this table was born:


I did not use a tablecloth because I felt the wood of the table added to the texture and color I was looking for (minus the flash!)

First, I added my seagrass woven placemats to use as chargers.  I found these at Kohl's.

Then, came my black pebble-bordered dinner plates, gifted me by my other sweet stepdaughter last Christmas. (It's so nice when your family helps support your obsession hobby!)

The inspiration plate came next. I love the color palette of these plates! Can you see what I mean about the "footprints" on the plates? I'm not sure why these didn't sell (there were many plates unbought!). I must say that the bowl of the plate is very flat and serving food on them could present a problem: it's almost as if the food would slide right off! So, maybe, these were seconds and rejected for that reason.

My place setting was completed with my Treble clef flatware from World Market, new Lenox
napkins from HomeGoods (I know they look rather formal, but I thought the fern pattern in them looked like a jungle tree!), wrought iron napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond and Dollar Tree stemware (just love that store's glassware!)

My centerpiece got started with a scarf of mine whose print reflected the zebra and spotted cats that might be seen on a Safari. The focal point of the centerpiece is something I discovered on the way to the checkout line at HomeGoods on my shopping excursion.  As I was thinking about a Safari theme, this darling wood elephant was right at my sight level! Before I knew it, he was in my shopping cart!  I'd like to think his raised trunk will bring my luck to my house (isn't that what they say?), but I know for sure he's a welcomed addition to my tablescaping goods and perfect for this table.  I then added a wrought iron lantern that normally sits on my kitchen counter, and filled it with faux greenery that is usually on my fireplace mantle.  I wanted to give the impression that my little elephant was getting ready for lunch at an oasis on the African plain!  I then added some wooden spools I'm using as candlesticks (found while antiquing in Santa Cruz).  I completed the centerpiece with some votives for extra glow, and surrounded them with some wooden necklaces for accent.  Another accent are my elephant salt and pepper shakers I received for Christmas.  How cute are these cuddling elephants?!

So this is my 70 Cent Safari.  I can't believe January is almost over.  Soon I'll be taking out my red and white dishes to get ready for Valentine's Day!                                                                                            I hope your new year is starting out well. I'll be linking up to
Susan for Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net  and Christine at
www.rustic-refined.com for Table It! on Monday.  Thank you, ladies, for giving us all a chance to share our tables.

If you would like to become a follower of my blog, please go to the top of the blogpost, fill in your email address where indicated,  and hit "Submit"!  Many thanks.

I love your comments. They really do put a smile on my face. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Celebrating Father Time

January is a transition month. Our homes, our towns and stores no longer wear their festive trappings.  The weather is unpredictable. Even in Southern CA:  we're still waiting for substantial rain, and we need jackets in the morning and evening, but can still wear flip-flops during the day: very confusing! Many of us are trying hard to keep to the resolutions we started so enthusiastically at the beginning of the month.  There isn't even anything to really look forward to:   Being retired, I can't really look forward to a day off on Martin Luther King's Day-------I know, stop whining! Valentine's Day usually means a nice dinner, but it really isn't until Easter that we get to plan a real family gathering and the weather brings spring flowers and the promise of summer.

I decided to try and jumpstart my lethargy by spending time doing what I LOVE to do, which is tablescape. So, I stood in my office (dishroom) and waited to see what idea would jump out at me.  One of my New Year's Resolutions, is to avoid purchasing new dish inventory until I have done at least one tablescape with each of my plates that I have accumulated. As I stood there looking around the room,  I realized I had yet to do a table with blue and gold.  It seemed to be a perfect opportunity to create a table that would reflect the excitement of a new year starting (my end-of-the-year activities precluded me from doing a New Year's Eve table this year!),  and still use some plates I haven't used yet.

This Is What I Came Up With: (Please excuse the empty hutch! I just realized as I looked at these pictures that I haven't refilled it since emptying it of my Christmas decorations! I told you I've been lazy!):

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my often used navy tablecloth I bought at the County Fair.  I love it for its no-iron and stain repellent finish.

My dish stack starts with my gold chargers from Big Lots (recently used at Christmas dinner).

Then I added an additional charger (my cobalt blue glass charger I found while antiquing in Ventura, CA) for color coordination and texture.

Here is the plate that got my idea started.  I found it at HomeGoods for $1.00!! It is labeled 222 Fifth, Blue, Porcelaine Fine, Made in Indonesia.

I topped the stack with a colbalt blue glass sherbet dish also found while antiquing.

I finished the place setting with navy blue napkins from WorldMarket, gold napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond, my gold glass tumblers from my trip to Venice years ago, and the "gold" plated stainless steel flatware on loan from my cousin.

I debated how to create my centerpiece. I thought some more about what I wanted this table to reflect.  I felt that the dark blue and gold color combination successfully reflected the celebratory nature of the starting of January and the new year. Then I thought about what a new year means: new beginnings, new challenges, and other changes. There is something that is constant, though.  Father Time will just keep chugging along no matter what our personal universe gets impacted with. I figured a clock would be good to represent Father Time! So, I walked around the house and looked at my hubby's clock collection (while I look at dishes and such in antique stores and swapmeets, my hubby swoons over clocks!)  I decided this Anniversary Clock  had the height and metal color perfect for my tablescape.  I love the intricate decoration on the face of this clock----so lovely and romantic.  If you haven't seen an Anniversary Clock ( named because it only has to be wound every year, so if a couple was gifted with one on their anniversary, they wouldn't have to wind it until their next anniversary!) They always have 4 globes that act as a pendulum swinging first in one direction, and then the other direction. They also have glass domes that house the clock's mechanism.  I then added two weights that are used as part of a wall clock's chains that work the clock's mechanisms through gravity. To finish the centerpiece I added  gold sprays.

The accents on the table are the serving pieces from the flatware set and a gold-finished plate that was gifted to me by a dear friend.

So, here is my salute to Father Time and my first tablescape of 2015. Completing this tablescape has helped with my post-holiday doldrums.  It felt good to get the creative juices going again and start on my plan to use dishes I haven't shared yet. How have things been going for you since your new year has started?

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net
and Christine's Table It! at www.rustic-refined.com.  Thank you, ladies for hosting these parties so faithfully! Please take a look at these wonderful sites and enjoy the creativity that is shown.

I appreciate all your comments; more than you know!        Rosie