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 silver-plated 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'

Sandhill Crane Migration






  1. What a pretty and refreshing table. In my lowly opinion, you can't go wrong using blue with everything! Such an interesting combination! Just lovely!

    1. Thanks, Darlene! I agree that blue goes with just about everything! Blue has long been my favorite color and it is well-represented in my house. Thanks for stopping by

  2. Stunning dishes,just wonderful!Your table is elegant and inviting!Love the tulips color too.Hugs!

    1. Maristella, thank you for the sweet comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed my table. I admired the dishes for a long time before I found them at a buy-me-now price!

  3. I have Oneida’s Golden Julliard, and I love mine too.

    1. I think they're such a timeless design. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Congrats you are being featured at Thursday Favorite Things!

  5. I love your pretty table setting, especially the plates. I live in Florida on the Treasure Coast and the Florida sandhill crane subspecies is a non-migratory bird and are here year round. It is startling when you see a family of them casually strolling along a major road.

    1. Thank you, Karen! I think cranes are majestic. We don't see any near the N GA mountains, but we do get great blue herons. A few years ago I saw my first flock of a dozen wild turkeys hanging out in the subdivision's common area. They're huge and I can imagine the cranes are quite a sight. Thanks for stopping by!


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