Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cherry Blossoms Dancing in the Wind

This week's table is inspired by cherry blossoms and the song "Concerning Past and Future Conquests" by Vandaveer. The song starts, "Cherry Blossoms, dancing in the wind, whistling a tune, same key I'm in." Doesn't that paint a lovely word picture?

Some trees have already started to flower here, but I don't have to wait until spring for cherry blossoms - my dining room walls and ceiling are always blooming! When we chose the paper for our dining room, we picked from Bradbury and Bradbury's Aesthetic Movement wallpapers. Our house was built in 1883, so this style is the correct period. Here is something about this paper from the Bradbury & Bradbury website:

  "This combination of medieval quatrefoils and Japanesque cherry blossoms in the frieze points to the Aesthetic Movement as a unique 19th century fusion of East and West. The ceiling pattern depicts the classical Japanese motif of cherry blossoms falling on cracked ice, and is surrounded by a border of heraldic crests and corner blocks of stylized Eastlake flowerpots. 

Gilded brocade panels of darting sparrows anchor the ceiling border to the cornice, held in place by gilded ribbons. The desire to surround one's self with things Japanese can hardly be underestimated in American interiors in the late 1870s and 1880s, when an appreciation of Japanese decorative design was considered the basic indicator of refined taste."

Here is a close-up of the wall. See the cherry blossoms? This paper has so much metallic gold in it, it makes it hard to photograph, but I love the way it looks in person.

Here are some close-ups of the ceiling paper which depicts cherry blossoms falling on the cracked ice.

For my Cherry Blossom table, I started with a white tablecloth and added a Cherry Tree made of jade or shells that I found in this house when we bought it. Then I added some faux branches from Target. To be honest, the tag said apple blossoms, but they look like cherry blossoms to me!
I used Royal Doulton Canton which has the Japanese Aesthetic quality and flowering branches around the border. I added gold chargers, pink napkins with gold napkin rings and gold rimmed stemware.
I had lots of trouble photographing this table - the light just wouldn't cooperate! Here are some shots of the room and the table.
I will be sharing my Cherry Blossom table with
Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.
Be sure and visit both sites for more wonderful tables!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

There are just too many tablescaping holidays in February this year and they are all in one week's time! But I couldn't let Mardi Gras pass without a table! I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch! Photobucket


I started with my gold tablecloth and added plummy purple place mats which I then covered with my favorite golden beaded place mats. Then I added a gold charger and blogland's favorite china, Gibson Claremont White (Gollum's china). I topped that with a green napkin and metallic gold napkin ring.

I used acrylic flatware because it looked fun and sparkley and purple glasses as well as gold rimmed one - all keeping with the gold, green and purple colors of Mardi Gras.


For the centerpiece I used my silver wine cooler with gold beads sprouting from it and two Mardi Gras masks. I added beads and coins all around the wine cooler.


Here is the table in all it's gold, green and purple glory:



Happy Fat Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White House China for Presidents' Day

My tablescape for this week will be in honor of Presidents' Day and I will be sharing this at Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. I am also linking to Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life.
This is the Lincoln China and this ornament is the inspiration for this table and a new collection of mine! My older daughter had to travel on business to Kentucky this fall and while she was there, she visited the Mary Todd Lincoln birthplace. In the gift shop, they sold these ornaments, so she bought one for me and one for herself. I loved it and it made us wonder if you could find other ornaments of White House china and we discovered Woodmere China Company's White House Collection! My Lincoln ornament is shaped like a little plate, but the ornaments from Woodmere are flat, but they go together very well! A little about the Lincoln China: it features a band of purple-red called "solferino," which was all the rage in the 1860's. This china was from President Lincoln's first term. There was a different service ordered for his second, but the Lincolns hardly used it because he was assassinated two months after it was delivered.
This is the Washington China. Although George and Martha never lived in the White House or Executive Mansion, I still consider this White House China. It has MW monogrammed in the center for Martha Washington and a snake with its tail in its mouth to represent perpetuity.
Next is the James K. Polk China. President Polk was born in my home state of North Carolina and graduated from my Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina. Sarah Polk graduated from Salem College, Alma Mater of my older daughter and current school of my younger daughter. I think this is the prettiest pattern. The ornament is too small to duplicate it, but the larger plates had a red, white and blue shield with "E pluribus unum" at the top.
This is the Benjamin Harrison China. Caroline Harrison had once taught china painting and designed this china herself. Before Mrs. Harrison's time, the White House had yard sales and sold off odd pieces of china from previous administrations. Mrs. Harrison made restoring and cataloging the remaining White House china her project.
This china is from the administration of Andrew Jackson. He wanted to have his china "made in the USA," but alas, the level of craftsmanship was not up to White House standards. Like most of the porcelain in America at that time, this came from France.
I had a hard time capturing the lovely green border of the Millard Filmore China. The Filmore family brought a lot of their own items with them into the White House and this china is thought to have been from their family collection.
The last ornament of my collection if the Ulysses S. Grant china. American artist William E. Seaton worked with the French firm Haviland to create this pretty pattern. Different flowers adorned different items and different sized plates.
On the back it tells which president used the china.
Here are all the ornament displayed on the ornament tree. There are 16 ornaments available and I only have 7, I can't wait to add to my collection!
I used my Old Glory placemats and Spode Pink Tower china for my table.
Here is the whole Presidents' Day table - Have a very Happy Presidents' Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Day with Cream Soup!

I am getting ready for Valentine's Day and, of course, will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Also joining the Valentine's Day Party at Laurie' Blog- Bargain Hunting (and Chatting) with Laurie.
I am using my Spode Pink Tower china for this Valentine's Day table and I have a new addition to this pattern - cream soups and saucers. Growing up, my grandmother always talked about her "good" china and added, "I even have the cream soups." I remember one of her cousins offered to buy the cream soups and saucers and her refusing. I didn't know why they were so special, but I always hoped I would one day have the cream soups in my pattern. Of course, I have LOTS of patterns now, but until last week, NO cream soups. One reason was cost and the other reason was rarity. They aren't made in every pattern and when they are, they are very expensive. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I saw a listing on Ebay for a good price and when they arrived they were all in good shape! NOW I have my cream soups and their saucers! Below is the whole table.
The place setting - I am using my platinum beaded place mats, gold chargers, red hock wine and gold and silver rimmed water glasses with a gold napkin and a red napkin ring.
What the dinner plate looks like without the soup cup and saucer
A cream soup cup and saucer
Here is my centerpiece - my gold ornament tree hung with blown glass hearts in red, silver and pink
A few more shots of the table
Here is another prized piece of this pattern - my covered vegetable dish.
Now that I have the cream soup and saucers in this set, dare I dream to get the tureen? Maybe one day!!!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Flurry of Snowflakes on my Table

Although the weather has been nice and mild - and easy on my gas bill!- my table is having a snowstorm!
I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch as usual! My dining room mantle is covered with snowflakes...
As well as my table...
My centerpiece is nothing but snowflakes and no two are the same!
My dishes are from Cracker Barrel several years ago, the beaded place mats and runner and jeweled napkin rings from Target. Happy Tablescape Thursday!