Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Valentine For A Friend

I dedicate this table today to a dear friend who passed away two weeks ago. It was not unexpected, just much quicker than anticipated, and tremendously difficult; my heart is sad.  I know we normally associate Valentine's Day with romantic love, but, for me, I have always thought of it as a time to express love for all those special people in our lives who surround us with their presence, and gift us with their warmth, humor, support, and encouragement.  Judy was one of those people in my life.  You know how much it means to have a friend who is there through all the times in your life, both good and bad.  For over 40 years, Judy was such a friend to me. But, I don't want this to be a sad post, because Judy and I had too much fun together to let sad thoughts be her legacy. So, I'm going to remember her today as my shopping mate: one of our favorite activities throughout the years!  Judy was one of those people whose entire home was decorated for every season.  Every tabletop, wall shelf and hutch would reflect the time of year! We'd even keep each other informed about what store had the best available items for a particular time of year. In fact, many of the components of this table were purchased with Judy by my side, as we ambled up and down the aisles of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Steinmart and Marshalls!  We also loved to go antiquing.  She was with me when I purchased some of the items on this table. Special memories, for sure.

This Year's Valentine's Day Table:

How It Was Created:

I started with a red tablecloth that I generally use for Christmas.

I added the new lace tablecloth I found while antiquing.

I started my dish stack with a ruffled placemat I found for 98 cents at Pier One! I am using it as a charger.

I then added these white square plates I found while shopping with Judy at Shinoda Design Center (one of our favorite haunts!).

Next I added red plates that I recently got from a church rummage sale. At 25 cents a piece, I couldn't resist, especially with Valentine's Day around the corner.

The next plate is a square melamine plate from Target. Honestly, the melamine dishes are so pretty nowadays, they really do mix n' match with ceramic plates quite nicely.

I topped the stack with plates that Judy and I found at HomeGoods on one of our trips together.  It is marked Room Creative, susani red.  I really liked the pattern on it.

The place setting was completed with red napkins, white ceramic napkin rings whose rose design seemed appropriate for Valentine's, red flatware from Walmart, and wine glasses from Dollar Tree (a new purchase this year). Note the precious hearts on the glasses.

I knew my centerpiece would feature a rose topiary I had purchased last year. Judy had told me last year that CVS Pharmacy was having a sale on their Valentine's Day items and this was one of the things I bought. I knew it had to be a part of my table this year.  It is sitting on an appetizer plate and flanked with crystal candleholders. I also surrounded the centerpiece with heart garland. At the last minute, I added a heart-topped wine bottle stopper I found at the church rummage sale. Isn't it cute?

Other accents include a heart dish I found at TJ Maxx many years ago (Judy found one as well that day!) and heart-shaped dishes from Michael's (I've added battery-operated candles to them to add some glow; as well as faux rose petals).

A special addition to this table, is the cake topper from my wedding 26 years ago.  It seemed fitting for a Valentine's Day table.  Funny memory about this topper. When my hubby-to-be at the time and I found it, its figures had blond hair and the flowers were white. So he set up a pedestal, placed the figurine on top and meticulously painted the blond hair brown, and made the flowers red, since that's what my wedding flowers were planned to be.  I can still see him crouched over the figurine, a bright light beaming on his work using a tiny brush to make the couple look more like us. It makes me smile just to think of that scene.

So this Valentine's Day table is dedicated to the memory of a friend whose company made so many days brighter.  I will always hold her memory in my heart. When you see your special friends again be sure and hug them tightly when it's time to say good-bye.  The joy and comfort they give to us and share with us cannot be measured.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day. Hopefully, it will be a day of shared affection and warm friendship.

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at,
Laurie's Valentine Par-tay at, and
Christine's Link-It! party at
 Be sure and check out these fun blogs and share in all the creativity. Thank you, ladies, for your efforts to keep these link up parties going!

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