Thursday, September 23, 2010

Table Jewelry

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship.  As the harvest season approaches I am mindful that many are not so fortunate.  My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank.  As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project.  Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video.  I've included a link in the side margin of my blog.  I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger. 

Aunt Ida was a W.A.C. Major during and after World War II.  She was an intelligence officer stationed in post war Tokyo.  Ida adored Japan; she became fascinated with the culture and the arts of Japan.  As a little girl I remember that when she returned to the United States, she brought back many beautiful antique Japanese articles which she purchased while stationed there.  They graced her home for many years.  Today my sister and I are the blessed caretakers of her personal treasures.  One of my favorite legacies from Aunt Ida is a set of six antique chargers.  I've always thought of them as Imari, but I really don't know that for sure...I just know that to me they are as beautiful as fine jewels.  Because I have so few of them, I can only use them with small groups.  This day I felt fortunate to share them with three friends for lunch.

I decided not to use a tablecloth or placemats because I thought that the wrapped rattan base of the McGuire game table became a valuable design element when paired with the Imari Chargers.  I also liked the colors of the Persian rug underneath the table in combination with the colors of the plates.  The over-sized rattan chargers are from WalMart.  When I bought them, they were an amazing $3.86 per of the year.  Tip:  I am an advocate for chargers/service plates for many reasons.  I have discovered that one of the benefits of using a charger is that when I use table linens, they rarely become soiled!  That extra bit of plate usually catches any drips or spills.  I can frequently return them to the linen closet to be used multiple times without needing to be laundered.  Makes me a happy camper!

When I bought my flowers at WalMart,  I chose colors from the interesting palate found in the chargers.  The old cloisonné 'peacock' bowl with carved handles was our precious Nana's.  I elevated the centerpiece on an antique oriental base.  I always keep an eye open for bases in assorted sizes when I explore estate sales and antique shops.  A good base can make even a modest container seem more important.   Tip:  When I entertain, I usually ask if any of my guests are entertaining in their own homes any time soon.  If so, I often send a guest home with the centerpiece to be used kind of recycling.

The dark bamboo handle flatware was a fortunate find from Big Lots.  I paid less than $1.00 per piece for them...such a deal!  The vintage Madeira napkins were Nana's.  I chose them because of the unusual border design.  I like that the geometric pattern in the napkin is reflected in the multi-colored 'blades' on the plate.  I also thought that it echoed the rings in the flatware handles.  For me, the napkin effectively contributed cohesiveness to the design elements in my tablescape.

Nana was an accomplished hostess, and she collected an abundance of beautiful tabletop items during her life.  I've always appreciated these Art Deco Lalique tumblers with the palm fronds.  Did you notice the palm leaves on the charger?  I've never seen these glasses any place else, but I would definitely like to obtain more.  Please, let me know if you happen to run across them for sale...or if you happen to know the name of the pattern.  The crystal goblet is Rosenthal, "Iris," and is part of my wedding crystal.  I chose it for today because the petal in the goblet is replicated in the center blue 'pinwheel' on the plate.

Two of the chargers live as part of the normal vignette on the refectory table in the background.  If you look carefully, in front of the charger plate on the right is a cloissoné peacock that matches the centerpiece bowl.  It is one of a pair.  When they first came to stay with us, I didn't particularly care for them.  Over time, I've come to appreciate them, and I now enjoy using them occasionally.  They are definitely funky little fellows!

I wanted the design on the charger plate to remain visible throughout the luncheon, so I served the meal on a clear glass dinner plate.  You can pick them up for $1.50 each at WalMart.  Tip:  When I serve on clear plates, I make an effort to serve food that won't become mashed and smeared on the plate.  For example, today I served a large salad that featured shrimp, grape tomatoes, and white beans on a bed of baby leaf spinach with hot cheese bread.  The plates were pre-served and kept chilled in the refrigerator until everyone was seated.

Lunch is ready, and everyone is prepared to be seated.  I wish that you could have joined us today; I'll be happy to set an extra place just for you the next time.  I think that you would be a wonderful addition to the conversation. 

You can check out KC's music at, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."

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's a wonderful adventure.     


Shel said...

As always.. I love to visit here. Your plates are stunning. I love Madeira sentimental!
Have a super weekend.
Warm South African Blessings

Crafty Housewife said...

Your table looks fantastic! The dishes and flowers and everything are just gorgeous!

Denise said...

I just adore your plates and love the idea of using clear plates to serve so diners can still admire the china. Your attention to detail always amazes me. (like wanting to see the rug through the table because they complimented each other).

This is very, very nice. Nana's peacock bowl is wonderful. I just love old pieces, especially family treasures. Thanks for sharing with us.

Laura said...

What a beautiful table !
I love the idea about sending an arrangement home with a guest.
It is clear you treasure the things that belonged to beloved members of your family.

Enjoyed visiting,

White Spray Paint

Anonymous said...

I hate I missed it:large salad that featured shrimp, grape tomatoes, and white beans on a bed of baby leaf spinach with hot cheese bread.some of my favorites.
Love Aunt Ida's dishes and your Nana's linen's was the perfect touch.
Have a blessed weekend

Pondside said...

Wouldn't I love to have been a guest at that luncheon!
Your chargers truly are jewels, and all more precious because of their history. The tip regarding the glass luncheon plates is a good one - thank you!

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

Cherry Kay, I always enjoy and learn from your posts. Thank you for going into such detail about the way you assemble such inviting tables! The flatware IS perfect for this table -- and a Big Lots find!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Debbie said...

I was afraid you weren't going to invite us to a table this week. I'm sure glad you did. I always look forward to yours.

I love your Aunt Ida's chargers and think they are just beautiful. I can imagine how pretty it was with the rattan charger topped with them and a lovely meal on a glass plate. As always, you put it together beautifully!!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Aunt Ida's dishes are fabulous! I am no expert, but they sure look like Imari to me. Wonderful table.

And I am SO impressed by your daughter's beautiful song. I can't count how many Crop Walks we've participated in -- we started our girls when they were about 5, and took our dogs along as well.

You must be so proud of your girl! I've signed on as a Follower, so I can see what you and she are both up to. And I'm going to send that YouTube clip to my own daughters. Thanks!

D.B. said...

I love everything about this setting. It is gorgeous. I especially like how you used glass (table/dishes) to let the background patterns shine through! Brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

Alycia Nichols said...

Beautiful plates!!! I really, really like them! As for the flatware...very cool! I don't shop Big Lots very much, but that looks like a reason to start!! Your centerpiece is exquisite, and the floral container is terrific! And I TOTALLY agree with you on the reason to use chargers besides how pretty they look!!! Great job!

Ann said...

Wonderful!! I love it parents are in the process of moving and this past Tuesday I helped my mother pack up her Imari dishes, dishes that I bought for her while we were stationed in Japan and also ones that her brother, my uncle, sent to my grandmother while he was stationed in Japan 40 years ago. I just love the pattern!!
Thanks for sharing.
The Tattered Tassel

Marlis said...

You have the most wonderful gift of letting us know the choices you made and it gives me an insight into your careful thoughtfulness. Your table is beautiful and I love those plates. I am so taking your hint to avoid smearproof foods on glass plates. That makes soo much sense. Duh, why didn't i think of that.. Thank for the lovely visit. I always enjoy myself immensely here!

Life with L said...

Beautiful plates and a great idea to use clear plates so you can see the beauty of those plates. Your chairs are lovely. I love your glassware as well. Thanks for sharing....

xinex said...

Your Japanese plates are gorgeous, Cherry Kay. How fortunate of you to inherit them from your Aunt Ida who obviously have a very exquisite taste...Christine

Okie Chic said...

Hi to you okie and your table is so beautiful!!

Brooke said...

Wow! I am just a bit jealous and in awe. I can't ever get my flower arrangements to look like that and you got them from Walmart!!! Great job. :)

Debbie said...

THose are some of the most beautiful dishes I have ever seen. You did a fantastic job. And what a thoughtful host you are....I would love to be a guest! Debbie

Anonymous said...

Good morning! Cherry Kay, you've outdone yourself and how lucky you are to have become the caretaker for such gorgeous pieces.

Debbie said...

What a lovely setting! Great idea to use clear plates over the chargers! Passing the centerpiece on is a delightful idea.

Mimi said...

What a beautiful table...great idea using clear plates to serve the meal. Your centerpiece is gorgeous.
Have a great weekend!

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

Wow, your daughter has a beautiful voice and it's awesome that she uses it to do so much good in the world. The song made me get a little chocked up but at the same time, very cheery and happy.

I too am in love with chargers, however, I can never find ones that will go well with my dishes. I have some beautiful red chargers that I love to use around Christmas. I walked for blocks in down town Los Angeles asking every little dish shop to see their chargers. But sadly, I didn't like any of them. They were either gold, silver, or red. I even thought of purchasing some and spray painting them!

Your table is very pretty. It's nice that the dishes are so special to you and your family. It was a good idea not to use a table cloth, the dishes get all the attention.

Hope your having a wonderful weekend.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

You plates are beautiful and I think I love all things Lalique...stunning. I love the way you "teach" as you write about your tables. There is always more to learn.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

This is all so beautiful -- love those dishes and how sweet to send the arrangement home with a guest! Love your pretty chargers.

Pam @ diy Design Fanatic said...

What a beautiful table!Your Japanese plates are gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment on my fall tablescape! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Denise Marie said...

I love every single detail of what you did and that it is bargain to valuable treasure from the family history!! It was all made to go together.

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

Thanks for all those suggestions. I don't have a Hobby Lobby anywhere near me, the closest one is over 150 miles away.

I went to their website and found only one, which is exactly the one I have! I'll be posting it on my next tablescape for my Fall table.

I was thinking of shopping on online stores, I had never thought of that until now. Thanks so much for your suggestions, you're very kind.

Anita said...

Oh my goodness those are beautiful!! They definitely look like Imari. I had a very large plate from our relative who loved in China during WWII, but my mom took it back! I also love seeing the persian rug underneath. You always come up with something different and inspiring! You will be able to drill holes in the wood unless it is too soft. I have an update on our CD...yesterday we got to work with a guy who has played keyboard for and written with Paul Baloche, and it was amazing! We really needed some encouragement from someone who knows the worship music world. Then Luis got an email from the guy who mixed/engineered Hillsong's "Faith, Hope, Love" CD which was very encouraging too. I know God puts those people out there, but it's so amazing when you see His plan working!! Had to share that with you:-)

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh I only read your first two lines started the song! Love this. I have to come back I am late leaving but I want to come back and read the post and talk to you about using it on my blog. Think about it ok? I'll come back or see if I can find your email. We provide a food pantry. I'll be back. This totally brightened my morning.

MyJourneyBack said...

Hi I only have a min. again. I was wanting to post about it on my Mission 4 Monday feature. I'll be back later tonight and read your entire post. Have a great day. Sherry

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Very beautiful. Wonderful tips. And I love the whole atmosphere you have set around the table as well. Nicely done.

Green Door Girl said...

I love the charges - those ARE a great find! They definitely look "richer" than 3.48! - LOL Thanks for the follow - I am returning the follow.

Jennifer (Green Door Girl)

Life on the Edge said...

This is the second Asian themed tablescape I've seen this week, and so very lovely! I may have to try one someday. I think they are very elegant. What a treasure to be able to pass down through the generations! Count me as another one who loves your idea of putting clear glass plates over the decorative chargers/plates.

Oh, I won't be doing a review on a table. I'm being given a gift certificate for any item I would like within $40 in exchange for using their link and for reviewing the product. I am very excited about what I chose, and can't wait to receive it and do a review so everyone can see what I got and how I used it!

Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge said...

Wow, just got done listening to your daughter's song. Amazing! No wonder you are so proud of her!

Life on the Edge

Sandy said...

Thanks for visiting and your wonderful comments. I know you are a proud Mother, that is a wonderful song and it says it all. I think we all need to take a step back and just realize how blessed we really are. That table was just breathtaking, and a wonderful ideal to give the guest the center piece. Talk soon!

bunny, The Paris House said...

Hello Cherry Kay,
Everything on your table is pretty and so special, I love the Iris Rosenthal Goblets, they are just so elegant! I would love to have a few of them, maybe I'll google them and see if they are still available. The floral centerpiece is also just spot on perfect with your dishes.
Thanks for sharing your lovely table

Denise said...

Enjoyed visiting with you. My first visit but not my last.Beautiful dishes.Please drop by and visit me.God bless Denise

Lana said...

Gorgeous! Such refined details...and I love Nana's napkins, too!
Hugs, Lana

Entertaining Women said...

Lana, thank you for stopping for a visit. I love the napkins, too; and Nana left us soooo many. We are truly blessed. I use them all the time when I entertain. Come by any time! Cherry Kay

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

Such a beautiful table! Thank you for the WM tip -- I'm going there right away to look for the chargers. I really enjoyed seeing your daughter's room also, such a cozy, charming space.

Thank you for your visit :) I'll enjoy reading through your blog!
Cheers, Andrea

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Cherry Kay, your aunt had such a wonderful eye for beauty. Every time you use something that you inherited for her, it is stunning. I can't believe you got that wonderful flatware at Big Lots! How lucky! laurie

pozypeacock said...

It is such a lovely table setting. You did a very beautiful job.

When I came across your blog, I was happy to see several things that touch my heart. That you love God as much as I do, the little yellow butterfly, you love painting and decorating and I think I spied the a peacock flower vase. Am I right?

Thank you so much for all the bargain ideas!