"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.
About a month ago, Retta, from The Gazebo House, hosted a precious tea party for her little princess in the gazebo HERE. She designed a darling tablescape with LOTS of DOTS! I commented on her post that I had recently bought a great Waterford Linen, "Ballet Dot" tablecloth at Tuesday Morning, and I thought that she might like it, too. Rett contacted me to say that she had made a run to her local TM and found the Ballet Dot napkins,but no tablecloth. When she told me about the napkins, I returned to pick up napkins for myself...and I found another tablecloth. Do you see a pattern evolving here? I bought the cloth and mailed it to Rett. We've had so much fun with the whole process that we agreed to both create tablescapes with our new linens and post them at the same time.
We also think that it would be great fun if you all decided that you would like to join our party. When you read posts from other bloggers, do you smile when you discover that someone collects a pattern just like yours?...or linens...crystal...silver...centerpiece components? Those of you who collect roosters and chickens immediately come to mind. We'll announce a date for our Tables for Two Party soon, so start finding your partners and make your plans. It's going to be fun! Rett and I live half way across the nation from each other, and we've never met in person...but I believe that I've found a wonderful new friend! We're excited for you to make some new friends, too!
The timing for me has been perfect because I've invited the Garden Friends to join me for lunch. Everyone will bring something to share, so my main job is to create a tablescape to welcome my precious guests. It's still blazing hot here, so I wanted to create a cool (as in chilly) atmosphere. My mind went immediately to my favorite blue and white. I need to warn you that this is a photo intensive post. The early morning light was so wonderful that I just kept snapping. Scroll quickly if you desire. Enjoy!
Blue and white always makes me happy...cool, calm, and collected.
The Waterford, "Ballet Dot" tablecloth and napkins provided the perfect anchor for my design...lady-like and refined without being too prissy. This cloth has a really nice "hand" to it; I'll check out Tuesday Morning again!
I knew that I wanted to employ a variety of shades of blue. With that in mind...
...I bought soft blue Hydrangeas to mix with a variety of blooms from Homeland Grocery Store and arranged them in a pair of blue and white import, reticulated compotes from Hobby Lobby.
I placed the compotes to either side of our Burleigh, "Blue Willow" tureen and under plate.
I spread a number of cobalt and silver open salts along the table. They belonged to our dear Nana. My guests always seem to really enjoy using them.
The little blue and white frog was a gift from my dear friend Cindy. On the bottom of the frog, she wrote F. R. O. G. = Fully Rely On God. I keep this little guy in my kitchen, in a spot where I'll see him every day. He's on the table today because I wanted to share the idea with you.
The Coalport decanters provided the finishing touch for the center of the table. I put water in them, so my guests could easily refill their goblets. I bought them on eBay for a song. You can find them with some regularity. They were originally used by some liquor company as a limited edition promotion. Some sellers don't know what they have, and they put a high opening bid on them. Take your time; they'll show up again for very little. eBay Tip: Always ask the seller questions about an item BEFORE you place a bid. For example: A seller might list a plate for an opening bid of $9.99 and a shipping quote of $8.95. The seller also might let you know that a total of 10 plates are available, each for the winning price if you want more. If you want to buy multiples, be sure to ask the seller for a "multiple purchase/combined shipping quote" for the number of plates that you wish to purchase BEFORE YOU PLACE A BID. Why? eBay's system will automatically increase the listed shipping price by the number of plates that you purchase. If you buy 5 plates, it could tell you that your shipping charges will be $44.75 ($8.95 x 5). If you haven't asked the seller for a quote, you could end up responsible for the exorbitant shipping charge, and you've committed yourself to a contract for purchase. Most sellers will automatically revise the invoice, but I don't plan to ever put myself in a bad position because I failed to inquire.
For the place settings, I started with the gold-toned bamboo handled flatware. I bought a large service of it at an estate sale. They picked up the gold rim on the Royal Doulton Steelite cobalt blue charger plate. I recently bought 12 of these on eBay for $20.00! Steelite is Royal Doulton's restaurant quality stoneware.
The middle layer is our everyday Burleigh Ware, "Blue Willow" dinner plate. I chose the Burleigh because I liked the gold rim...and it was dishwasher safe. I have always really liked the Booth's "Real Old Blue Willow" china, but I didn't want to have to hand wash it every day. I'm still tempted to collect the Booth's...some day. It's an amazingly beautiful pattern.
The Coalport, "Kings Ware" luncheon plate is another recent eBay acquisition. It continued the idea of "dots" with its calico center field and with its embossed rim. The blue and white import lidded cup was an estate sale find. Today I served Gazpacho in it. The chilled soup was perfect for a hot summer day.
I didn't use any candles today. I didn't want to add one extra degree on this sweltering August day. The sunlight did a beautiful job of making the lights dance through the crystal goblets...
The cobalt AJKA, "Arabella" was a lovely contrast to the Waterford, "Simply Blue" goblet. The cut design in the Waterford stem picked up even more dots. The miniature blue and white tureen held butter pats today. My dear friend Marsha brought me the pair of these from Nell Hill's in Kansas City. I only have six of the lidded soup cups, so I used Japanese rice bowls, estate sale purchases, at each end of the table.
God was doing amazing things with his paint brush this particular morning!
I kept the buffet quite simple today...
Perched on the Towle, "Lafayette" sterling tea service, from Nana, is an Italian blue and white tulipiere. If you happen to run across another one, I'd love to have a pair of them! This one is about 15" tall. The Lalique, "Le Coq" stand sentry duty.
We're good to go...
Dickens, A.K.A. "Door Bell", let me know when my guests arrived. He's very good at his job!
Everyone filled their plates from the kitchen counter. Gazpacho, quiche, green salad, French bread, and Red Velvet cake made up our menu. The custom painted bread board and the creamware pitcher arrived recently from Italy. Sweet Mister bought them for me the day that we spent driving along the Amalfi Coast earlier this summer. I was excited to be able to use them for the first time.
It may be hot outside, but I think that this table will create a nice cool mood for my guests to linger and share food and fellowship. I'm going to skip on over to see how RETT AT THE GAZEBO HOUSE has used our Ballet Dot tablecloth. Why don't you come with 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." 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 trip...it's a wonderful adventure.