I shall always come back to blue. I love so many different hues and shades of color, and I mix and match them with abandon. Yet, time and again, I find myself returning to tones of blue, for dressing, for special touches in my home, and for my tablescapes. For me, 'having the blues' is not always a negative thing...certainly not when I'm designing a table. This day, I set a feminine table for a birthday luncheon for my dear friend Debbi. Life had been hectic recently for the five of us, and I wanted to create a soft and gentle vignette...a spot to stop for a while...and dine and share fellowship with precious friends.
For groups of five to eight, I often host my guests at the game table in the living room. The table itself is 42" in diameter, which becomes pretty congested for anything more than four place settings. Tip: I frequently use my Flip-top Table Top to turn my 42" table into about a 60" round table. I ordered two of them, and I have several friends who also have a couple of them. We share them with each other when needed for entertaining large groups. Think Co-op with your friends! I also ordered the zippered covers for them, and they story easily in the garage. I ordered the flip-tops from By Invitation Only. Should you wish to inquire about the flip-top table tops, you can e-mail Sandy, the owner, at email@example.com.
My first step in creating my table was to choose some soft, feminine linens. I selected a handkerchief weight white linen undercloth with white embroidered furls and DOTS...I adore polka dots! My primary topper is a 70" light blue matelasse cloth. For a final special touch...
I layered the center of the table with a wonderful small 36"lace table square that came from, you guessed it, our precious Nana. Nana's white linen cutwork lace napkins added some refined texture. I tied them with a length of blue and white checked silk ribbon. For a touch of bling, I attached a variety of sparkling earrings and shoe clips to each napkin. That choice earned rave reviews from my guests! A simple place card, made with my Cricut Expression, was tucked into each napkin.
Accompanying the cutwork napkins to the party was the Reed & Barton "Francis I" flatware that once belonged to my mother-in-love. For my centerpiece, I placed an old-fashioned 'frog' in the base of one of Nana's crystal bowls with an applied sterling silver overlay design. I continued the soft color palate with pink roses, Dutch Iris, and white lilies. Around the base of the arrangement, I inserted white w/ pink Alstroemeria, or Peruvian Lily. The flowers were all from Sam's, my go to flower market whenever possible. If I do this arrangement again, I'll delete the Alstroemeria. It was one extra flower that I really didn't need. The 'stand' beneath the crystal bowl is actually the base to an antique porcelain double ink well...an example of 'look around and use what you have.' The pair of reticulated Italian creamware urns flanking the centerpiece are an eBay find, and they have a neat provenance. I bought them from a woman in Australia. She said that they had belonged to her great aunt. She worked for a 'mail' company, and she promised that they would arrived safely. I like them so much, and they make me smile...if you look at them closely, you'll realize that the little lady must have decided that she wanted the roses to be a darker pink...so she painted them! But she must have become tired because she didn't paint all of them.
A silver charger plate with a beaded rim was used as the first layer of my place setting. Next comes a Wedgwood, 'Albion' dinnerplate. I topped it with a Haviland, "Instruments" on a Diana blank luncheon plate. I can never pick just one design when I'm asked to name my favorite pattern, but this luncheon plate ranks right at the top of my list every time. The workmanship in this plate is true artistry in my eyes. Our first course soup was served in Nana's crystal chiller with its matching under plate. I don't know who manufactured this crystal. I have been told by numerous antiques dealers that it is French, and it is hand blown and hand cut. I love to use it; it is one of my favorite things.
I am always captured by the reflective value of crystal in a tablescape. Add a little candlelight, and the crystal pieces appear to 'dance' before your eyes. The wine and the water tumbler are also part of Nana's French crystal. For this tablescape, I mixed them with Waterford Simply Blue, an eBay find that I collected in three colors. It is an interesting blue, and it almost seems to change color, depending on the shade or hue of blue with which I mix it. Did I tell you that I love blue?...I thought so. I bought them reasonably at the right time. They have drastically increased in price in the last year. The butter pat that you see tucked in next to the plate is Haviland "Ranson."
Everything is ready, and I hear the door bell's chime....
I'm ready to "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off." Let's enjoy some wonderful food together and while away the afternoon with treasured fellowship and conversation. I'm so glad that you are able to join me!
Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday. I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday. Click on the button below to hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays. You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.