Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Touch of Italy

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. 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.

Did you know that Blogger has a handy feature that I have come to call "Time Bake"?  Thanks to the kindness of "The Tablescaper", I learned that it is possible to create a post at one time for publication at another time.  Also, "The Tablescaper" was generous to link my posts to Tablescape Thursday the last two weeks while "Sweet Mister"  took me on a magical trip to ITALY...that's me shouting with joy!...which leads me to today's post.

While we were spending several days in Sorrento, Italy...Thank you, Splenderosa... I found a magnificent establishment ...

 ...filled with magnificent linens.  You would have been just as blown away as I was.  Established in 1862, the company is still operated by the same family.

Welcome to linen heaven!  Something for everyone, I'm certain!  I even included a special shot for all of you rooster addicts!  I've always wanted a beautiful cloth that spoke of the organic textures and natural colors that permeate Italy.  I found just what I desired, and it was the inspiration for today's luncheon, a birthday celebration for the Garden Friends' Girls of Summer.  After today, we'll take a break from our Bible studies until the Fall.

I'm going to have so much fun with this wonderful set of linens.  I can envision designs using both sides of the reversible pieces.  I think that it will transcend every season beautifully.

   Taupes, whites, and a soft blend of greens worked well together to create a tablescape that gave a special nod to the fleeting days of Spring.

To anchor the center of my table, I chose the Mottahedeh, "Muse√© des Arts Decoratif" tureen,  one of my best eBay gets.  I'm always tempted to use this beautiful Italian piece every time that I design a tablescape.   I also found the four white Italian candlesticks via eBay.  The pair of jardinieres were bought at Hobby Lobby.  I was in my neighborhood store just yesterday, and this group of pottery is still available.  The bitty birds were bought on clearance at Michael's.

The many details on this wonderful tureen make it the favorite of my tureen collection.  Tip:  Tureens make it easy to create an effective centerpiece.  They have an immediate impact, and they greatly reduce the need for a large number of flowers.  Tureens are one of my favorite centerpiece elements.

Homeland Grocery proved to be a valuable source for the white and green Hydrangeas.  I made a second stop at my boutique florist, Sam's Wholesale Club, for the white Spray Roses , Hypericum Berries, and fillers.  I always laugh when I say, " Filler, the amateur floral designer's best friend."

I have to admit...I'll create a symmetrical design almost every time.  You can also see that tendency in the way that I arranged the items in the pair of crystal cabinets.  Makes me happy.

 The antique ivory handled flatware was made in 1865, by Landers, Frary, & Clark of New Britain, Connecticut.  Today was their premier appearance; I found the set of 12 at a wonderful local antique store.  I liked the point-counterpoint effect of the Caspari rattan charger against the crisp white porcelain of the Wedgwood "Countryware" dinner plate and the Haviland "Ranson" plate.

I've really enjoy entertaining with our everyday Mikasa, "French Countryside" goblets.  They are a generous size, and they feel nicely balanced in your hand.  I like that the shape of the stemware is repeated in the decorative design in the tablecloth.  Tip:  Repetition of design, pattern, and color is always an effective strategy when creating a tablescape.

The pair of white fretwork obelisks on the buffet held candles.  They worked in lieu of additional flowers, which saved me a few dollars.  Sometimes the smallest touch is all that is needed.  The rattan encased carafes at either end of the table are from Nell Hill.  Today they were filled with ice water for my guests.

When I finished setting the table last night, I snapped a few candlelight shots to share with you.  Still experiencing a sharp learning curve, but I plan to keep trying.

I'm so grateful to "Sweet Mister" for our magical trip to Italy and for our new family treasure.  I look forward to using it often for many years.  I've missed my precious Garden Friends, and I am eager for them to walk through the door.  I'd love for you to sit at my table, too!

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."   Hop on over HERE 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.

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."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!       



Splenderosa said...

Oh WOW, I just clicked over to see you...imagine my wonderful surprise when I saw you had posted about Sorrento and this fabulous linen shop. I was at the same shop, bought many lovely things for gifts; I love what you've shown us today beginning with the wonderful damask tablecloth and napkins.
I cannot believe my luck at having a mention here.
Thank you so so much. I look forward to knowing more about your visit to Italy. xx's

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

Oh my goodness! that store looks AWESOME! I would have spent a whole day there just looking around. Your table looks fabulous, I loved it. The white looks beautiful with the earth tones. What a beautiful place to visit for a vacation.

Martha said...

Europe has such amazing linens -- am bringing home one new (Portugal) and one old (England) -- but I could bring home a suitcase full!!! Your choice is stunning and I like the colors -- it will be very useful over the years! Love your "new" cutlery. What a treasure!

Phyllis said...

You always entertain with style and grace. Beauty is every where one looks on your beautifully appointed table! The Mottahedeh tureen is magnificient in every way, and you were fortunate to win it on Ebay. I agree that tureens make fabulous centerpieces! Your new ivory flatware is beyond lovely......a treasure, for sure. I have never seen such intricate ivory handles. The tablecloth from Italy is so special and you will always think of "the shop" when you use it. It truly was a heaven for table linens.

Mabel said...

A wonderful tablescape! A symphony of flowers, antique flatware and matching china. I adore the tablecloth. It makes everything looking twice as nice! The shop in Sorrento is absolutely stunning! I adore this little shops in Italy where they sell linen who cannot get anywhere else in Europe! As a linen addict it might be worthwhile thinking about a trip to il negozio di A. Gargiulo Jarnuzzi.
Greetings from Switzerland!

Mabel said...

A wonderful tablescape! A symphony of flowers, antique flatware and matching china. I adore the tablecloth. It makes everything looking twice as nice! The shop in Sorrento is absolutely stunning! I adore this little shops in Italy where they sell linen who cannot get anywhere else in Europe! As a linen addict it might be worthwhile thinking about a trip to il negozio di A. Gargiulo Jarnuzzi.
Greetings from Switzerland!

Cindy said...

Such a beautiful tablescape and your bird taureen is spectacular!!!

A Toile Tale said...

This is a beautiful post. It does justice to that beautiful cloth. And, of course, any table would be gorgeous with that tureen. My heart beats a bit faster every time you use it. Thanks!
Linda @ A Toile Tale

Marigene said...

Cherry Kay, your tablescapes leave me with my mouth wide open...always so beautiful. That tureen is simply gorgeous.
I think you described that store correctly, linen heaven...I know I would spend hours in there, and end up having to buying everything I drooled on!

sweet violets said...

Gorgeous table with that wonderful cloth!!! Love to use neutrals like that.....and I have spent many hours in those linen shops.....they appreciate fine handwork in Europe!!!

Sweetladyelaine said...

Oh my, I would have had such a hard time deciding what to buy at that store! You made a lovely choice. I love your table. Everything is just perfect and delightful! Thank you for sharing..
Blessings My Friend,

Anonymous said...

I am sure you went crazy in that shop just thinking about all the possibilities for your tables. We were also just in Italy, Tuscany, and I did quite a few posts from there. Such a magical place.

Tricia said...

SO glad your trip was so lovely! What fun to find that wonderful linen shop! Your new linens will be the perfect souvenir of your trip. Your table is lovely -- that last photo before the candlelit ones is my favorite. Perfect light for the subtle colors!

Miss Merry said...

What an amazing store! I could spend hours and hours there. And what a lovely, lovely table. So elegant.

A Perfect Setting said...

Cherry Kay, what a beautiful tablecloth, I don't know how you ever could choose with such a selection! I, like you, like symmetry in design. I do my best sometimes to get away from it just because I know I'm like that... your tablescape is so beautiful. I do love the Mikasa goblets. An amateur floral designer? You could have fooled me, your designs always look so professional. Thanks for all the tips, I enjoy your lovely tables! Oh yea, glad you had a nice time! Hope I can make that trip one day!

Tess said... always! I love your linens and love your tureen!! This is such a nice soft palette. Sounds like your trip was wonderful!

Pondside said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that, Cherry Kay! The glimpse of the linen shop in Italy and your beautiful table. I'm a lover of symmetry - another reason your tables appeal to me.
Do you know, I have a small version of that exact rooster cloth!

Scribbler said...

You always put together the most perfectly fabulous tables, right down to the minutest detail. I love the mix here -- and your new purchases of linen and flatware complement it so beautifully.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Oh, my goodness, Cherry Kay, I missed this post! What a gorgeous new set of linens to go with your wonderful memories. Your table is stunning!

Stylish Settings said...

What a wonderful table setting and beautiful Italian linen. Enjoy your memories of Italy every time you dine.

Wren said...

Wow. This table is amazing!!!

I just registered for the French Countryside dinnerware. I am wondering though--did you buy the French Countryside GOBLETS or ICED BEVERAGE GLASSES? They look so similar online. I really like the size you have. Would you mind letting me know?

Wren said...

Wow, this table is amazing!!!

I just registered for the French Countryside set. But now I must register for the glasses, too! Can you let me know whether they are the French Countryside GOBLETS or ICED BEVERAGE GLASSES? I just love the size of the ones on your table. Thank you.