Beasts, Birds & Fish

I never know what is going to inspire a table setting.  This one, I think started with seeing a red, red robin bob, bob, bobbing in the fountain.  That made me think of bird topped cloches and birdhouses, all sitting on a bright orange silk runner from Vietnam that repeats the colors of spring flowers.

From here, everything takes on a life of its own. Placemats from Thailand trimmed in orange and green provide a neutral background for whatever dishes are chosen.

Though I have little bird napkin rings, I chose these carved wooden ones from Kenya. After all, beasts and birds do one another no harm.

As I’m putting this table together, my mind is thinking about what food to serve.  I decided on fish, salmon in fact because it fits right in with the color scheme.  With that decision made, choosing plates was very easy.  

As an afterthought, I changed the wine glasses from the etched ones to the orange globed ones that I seem never to think about except at Thanksgiving.  They add just the right amount of color and are a nice contrast to the textured Fostoria water glasses.

The beasts, birds and fish have no trouble coexisting, and for me the table represents some of what I like best about spring as well as brings back memories of places I’ve traveled.  It will be fun to share with the friends who are coming.

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Tablescape Thursday

Getting Back to Normal

After a couple of months of doing nothing much except laying in bed with my foot elevated, it felt good to get back to normal activity like cooking  and setting the table.

Mind you the effort was minimal, but it doesn’t take much to make a happy table especially when there’s already something there from which to work.  The handblown vases that have been  on the table for weeks gave me a starting place.

I started with pink placemats, but the turquoise ones insisted on being chosen.  Since I like color I had no problem letting them have their way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoosing the napkins was a piece of cake as these multicolored ones from Anthropologie play off  both the vases and the placemats.  No fancy folds required because the fun napkin rings continue the colorway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was tempting to add more color with the dinner plates, but I opted for white ones

and added salad plates with playful patterns and complementary colors.  They were pleased to be included as they have been hiding in the cabinet for far too long!

Finished with the ever faithful Fostoria thumbprint stems, a gift from my now hubby several years before we were married, the table is done.  It is a first step that makes me feel that all is right with the world!  The hubby is even happier as he has had enough of kitchen duty and is glad to welcome me back to the business of preparing meals.

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Tablescape Thursday

Getting Ready

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the hubby and me, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday.  Maybe that’s because it’s the only one where the family still gathers at our house, and each year we hope that all of our small brood will be at the table.

img_8283Most things stay the same from the table setting to the menu. Out come the dryer hose pumpkins that have been a centerpiece mainstay for oh so many years.  

img_8280The trick is to create a little different look each time they appear.  At some point, I may have to start repeating!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No question the Della Robbia ironstone will come out of the cabinet for its annual appearance.  It is the first set of dishes I bought so they have real sentimental value, and given that only one piece has been broken they are indestructible.  For sure the color way is reminiscent of the 70’s, but for Thanksgiving it is perfect.

Like with the pumpkins, the challenge is to change things up each year, and that is getting harder.  It’s likely that that no one notices whether anything is different,  but for me its’s  what makes setting the table fun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost years a little something new is added.  It may be a placemat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor glasses or napkin rings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome months ago I purchased this inexpensive flatware thinking the colors and shape were fun.  It never occurred to me that it would be a great match for the Thanksgiving dishes, but here it is. Carson of Downton Abbey probably wouldn’t approve of the arrangement, but it adds a bit of jauntiness.

The something new this year are the place holders that I recently found in a cute shop in Franklin, Tennessee.  You can bet they will be part of tables to come.

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With the table ready, I’d best get thinking about a grocery store list!

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Tablescape Thursday

Bar Talk

Most nights the hubby and I eat at home, and because it is easy, we more often than not have our meal at the bar.  Casual? Yes, but that doesn’t mean ignoring serving the meal attractively.  Typically, there are flowers, a basket of fruit, bottles or some other simple decorative element on the bar that serves as inspiration for selecting dishes, glasses and flatware.

tablescape/barThis night yellow tipped tulips grouped in cute French yogurt bottles provide the starting point.  By the way, if you are not familiar with Kinfolk, check it out as it is a gorgeous publication.

tablescape/barFrom there, it was easy to select these dishes,

tablescape/bar napkins and placemats, all taking their colors right from the tulips.

tablescape/barAdd to those, green Fostoria stems that were a gift from my now hubby long before we ever thought about being a couple!  

tablescape/barThe last touch is the flatware from Ross that keeps the color theme going.  Though it’s always a fun addition to a table, I have to confess that it’s kinda flimsy which validates you get what you pay for!!

tablescape/barThere you have it, about 2 minutes of effort that will add to the pleasure of the evening meal.  Whether or not the hubby ever pays attention who knows, but I’m guessing he would notice if such little touches disappeared!

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Just Looking

Stop!  There’s no more room in the cabinets for more dishes, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.  Is the same true for you?

How can you not be tempted when you see a display like this, so full of color and spunk?

And these dishes make me think of my collection of bird houses and what fun it would be to combine them with such playful tableware.  It’s all I can do to resist them.

These plates are so Texas, perfect for bar-b-que, and the centerpiece is quite a nice touch as well.

 Here the colors are just right for a Mexican feast complete with fajitas, guacamole and black beans.

Always white is classic, and these days there are so many wonderful shapes and textures that have given white a whole new look.  I wonder if the popular French country look has anything to do with that.

Speaking of French country, a bird nest filled with eggs adds a just right touch

and putting the nest under a cloche is a great idea.

Try hard as I might, there’s no way to resist these lobster plates.  They will be perfect for many a lobster themed dinner.

The good thing about looking is that it’s great opportunity for inspiration.  Do you find it so?

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