Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Tablescape in Celebration of Cranes

I'm often asked where I get ideas for tablescapes and vignettes. Of course sometimes I start with a plan. There's a holiday coming up or perhaps a change of seasons. Or I've just found something fabulous that I want to showcase. This week I hadn't thought of anything particular.

But then I was looking through my 'bucket list' and came across the Sandhill Crane migration. Every year in late winter/early spring over 600,000 sandhill cranes converge in the Platte River valley flyway to refuel for the journey to their subarctic nesting grounds. This is something I've got to experience!

While musing about a trip to the Platte River, I realized I hadn't done a tablescape featuring Kutani Crane dishes. I had found inspiration! And better yet, I had plates!

I love the intricate designs and many colors of this pattern. I found the dishes in an antique mall, in excellent condition but a bit overpriced. So I negotiated a better price for eight place settings, but didn't purchase any serving pieces.

We had admired this pattern at my husband's colleague's house. They had displayed it very formally (think Downton Abbey). While the plates aren't casual, I thought I could bring a bit of modern informality to the table.

The vaguely damask table runners placed across the table pick up the unusual brown edging on the plates (no, it's not gold, silver or copper). The runners were an inexpensive $10, bought two years ago.

What could be better than a pair of deep blue pheasants? It looks as though they flew off the plates and onto the table! The Elegant glass came home with us at a glass show in Cartersville, GA. If you've never been to one, you can get a taste of the experience at Glassware Everywhere.

Besides shades of blue, the other color repeated on the dishes are variations of pink. Tulips in similar tones were simply placed in a silverplated pitcher. These are silk; the tulips in my garden haven't yet bloomed. I was inspired by the tulips we had seen in Spring in the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The flatware is our every day stainless that I still love, even after all this time.

Songbirds on branches clasp the cotton napkins, continuing the theme.

I took most of these photos in the morning sunshine. The dining room faces east and I always find taking good shots in here a challenge.

I love the soft swirl of the vintage cranberry glasses, again echoing a similar color on the plates.

I enjoy using salt cellars δΈ€ they are pretty in their own right and they allow me to use some of the artisanal salts that are available in soft colors. These have cobalt blue glass liners.

Some formal elements, some casual. Some new, some vintage. Blues, pinks and browns. An informal table with special touches.

As evening approached, I added cut crystal candlesticks, just because I love candlelight.

I was pleasantly surprised that I had captured the blue hour through the window!

I am so happy to once again be setting tables in the dining room, after 16 long weeks of the kitchen renovation. I hope to somehow organize all the pics I took of that process and share them with you in a post. Soon I hope!

Table resources
Plates | Wedgwood 'Kutani Crane'
Water glasses | Steuben 'Rose Swirl'
Pheasants |  Paden City, pre-1950
Napkin rings | Lenox 'Chirp'
Flatware | Oneida 'Juilliard'

Sandhill Crane Migration

Finding inspiration
Follow the Yellow Brick Home  
Between Naps on the Porch  
Katherine's Corner  
Eclectic Red Barn  
An Artful Mom  
French Country Cottage  
Sundays at Home  
Dishing It Digging It  

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring in the Atlanta Botanical Garden

I know many of you are still knee deep in winter. For us March has been blustery, chilly and sodden. Luckily a few days of sunshine coincided with my daughter's spring break, so off we went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Camellia japonica are still covered in blossoms here and in my garden. They are late this year.

Setting off on the canopy walk, we encountered Viola tricolor var. hortensis in concrete planters which have been blooming most of the winter.

A type of Trillium about to bloom.

The woodland is beginning to green below us, one of the few remaining old-growth forests left in the City of Atlanta.

This sculpture is part of the permanent collection of works by Dale Chihuly in the botanical garden.

Surrounded by thousands of daffodils and jonquils, the reflecting pool then cascades down the hillside.

To one side is Narcissus Garden, a work of contemporary art created by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The installation is comprised of 1,400 stainless steel spheres, each with a diameter of 11 7/8 in.

Narcissus Garden is a joint effort between the Atlanta Botanical Garden and The High Museum of Art, which recently hosted Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Although I didn't see the exhibition, my daughter found it fascinating.

Returning to the more formal areas of the garden, we were met by hundreds of tulips.

Loved them against the bright red branches of the shrub/tree!

More tulips were in the parterre surrounding another of Chihuly's sculptures. Through the Glass, Darkly will take you on night tour of the garden and more of his glass sculpture installations.

Our next stop was the orchid center, where these towering arrangements hung from the ceiling.

The Conservatory contains plants from the desert habitats of southern Africa and Madagascar.

In case you didn't think a botanical garden was a magical place!

Thank you for joining us!

You'll enjoy visiting:
Metamorphosis Monday 
The Scoop 
Celebrate Your Story 
The Dedicated House 
Let's Add Sprinkles 
French Country Cottage
Dishing It Digging It  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Celtic Patterns for the Table

I was very excited planning this table! It is the first St. Patrick's Day table I've set since we traveled through Ireland last May. So I've included a few shots from our trip to set the stage.

Ireland is incredibly green, in shades from yellow-green through dark spruce. Miss J is admiring the view from Newgrange - even in the rain, the greens are vibrant!

I bought this beautiful scarf at Trinity College in Dublin. The emerald cloth is woven with repeating Celtic patterns in a yellow green. Since it is very wide, I thought it would work perfectly as a table runner.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tea and Chocolate on a Winter's Day

Sleet, high winds and -- thunder. What a day! Glad there was nowhere I had to go!

I decided the thing to do was indulge in hot tea and chocolate on a winter's day.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chinese New Year, Vintage Style

February 5 begins a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Lunar New Year celebrations start on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and last for about 23 days. As a result, it comes on a different date each year. I particularly enjoy celebrations during the long winter months. They provide something to look forward to and moments of bright color to brighten what can be quite dreary days.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Silver and White for Embracing January

Every season has its beauty. On this cold, blustery day, I decided to embrace January's by setting a glittery table of silver and white.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Setting a Warm Winter Table...Just Because!

We are in Week 11 of our kitchen and master bath renovation. It has turned the whole house upside down and inside out. We've retreated to the lower level that we finished a little over six years ago. The game room/garden room where I've been designing tablescapes is the only room in the house which has escaped the chaos.

I've always found setting tables to be both creative and relaxing. Needed all the more as power tools echo above my head! I hadn't yet come up with a design for this week's table when G walked in the door with a dozen roses -- just because!