The Fish Tale Tablescape for a Thoroughly Modern Daughter

I have been collecting dishes for my daughter for years, but she didn’t have her own place, she didn’t entertain, she didn’t cook, and she didn’t want those dishes — yet.  And then she did, and the Fish Tale Tablescape swam its way into my heart. I’ll bet you have a similar tale to tell about your daughter or your mother.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape TitleIt’s not a fish tale without a story to be told that’s a little bigger than life. My story (and I’m sticking to it) is that I agreed to meet the delivery guys who were bringing my daughter’s new sofa while she was out of town on business. While I was waiting, she said that I could use the time to photograph some of the pieces she had in her own “stash” and create a tablescape or two.

She probably said yes because she felt guilty about me having to wait for the delivery truck. Whatever — I was in dish heaven because I had some new dishes to play with.

When my daughter bought her first condo, it made my heart go pitty-pat when she wanted to buy a big table with leaves that would expand to fit all of her friends and family and would last her for years. Its dark espresso finish made the perfect base for a modern tablescape.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Intro

The table story started with the fish that she had placed smack in the center of the table. It was just begging to be the star of the show. She and a friend found it online and she actually thought it was convex rather than concave. It was her intention to hang it on the wall, but it turned into the perfect centerpiece.

She was already using the cream placemats I had found in the sale bins at HomeGoods, so I kept them on the table. I think it’s always okay to mix your whites in a tablescape, by the way. There’s a place for a perfect all-white look, but it’s not a requirement for a beautiful table.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place Setting 3

When I saw these Italian glass plates at World Market, I snapped up twelve of them and kept them in storage for her. I knew that she loved the milky glass (and I did text her a photo to get her approval). Then I saw the matching bowls at HomeGoods, and yes, I drove around to several different stores to get as many as I could. I ended up with eight.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place SettingI have been collecting the Monax white depression glass for her in the American Sweetheart pattern, but don’t have enough for a full place setting. They are pretty hard to come by without resorting to buying them on Replacements or eBay. She will have to let me know at some point if she wants more. There are enough now for her to use as side plates, and I love how their sheer glass and delicate pattern works with the very modern place setting.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Tablescape Place Setting 2

Since I was probably already skating on thin ice by rummaging through her closets — but remember, I had her approval — I did not look for her grandmother’s silver flatware set. I set the table with what she had in the drawers. Hmmm — maybe she needs a new stainless set that matches. Likewise, I didn’t find the set of twelve hotel napkins I also bought from the sale rack at HomeGoods, so there’s no fancy napkin arrangement going on here. Let’s get real; she and her friends use paper napkins that come with the takeout containers. 🙂

I grabbed her grandmother’s martini glasses because that’s what appropriate for this very modern girl’s tablescape. There’s always room for a Cosmo or two among friends!

Since I didn’t have flowers that suited this modern tablescape, I photographed without them. We went back again on the weekend for her housewarming party, and I brought her some interesting floral arrangements in Ball jars.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece

I love how the ornamental cabbage talks to the elegant roses and sweet daisies in this arrangement. Being a smart girl, she put protection on the table for the party, but I decided to include the flowers in this fish story anyway.

GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 4 GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 3 GotMyReservations -- Fish Tale Centerpiece 2

I loved how each arrangement was a little bit different and they were striking against the white tablecloth. Wouldn’t the white tablescape be beautiful on this white background as well?

You’re probably wanting a happy ending for that cute fish, and I’ve got one for you.  It found its way over to the coffee table and it’s holding remotes instead of flowers in Ball jars. Fish are flexible that way, you know. They’ve spent a lot of time in schools and know what’s up.

Okay, I’m done playing around with my fish tale and with my daughter’s dishes — for now. There’s another ‘scape to come; I had to wait a LONG time for those delivery guys. 🙂

I’m taking a break right now for my son’s wedding, but I encourage you to visit my regular linky parties to see some lovely photos and get some creative inspiration for your tables: Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here, Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. I hope you’ll leave a comment today and let me know you were here!

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

 

 

 

 

Sticks and Stones Tablescape — A Bridge Between Summer and Fall

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Such a ridiculous saying, as we all know that words and name-calling can hurt very much. Today, however, is about a happier set of sticks and stones — the Sticks and Stones Tablescape.

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape Title

Mixing the colors and textures of wood and stone in a tablescape brings the harmony of nature to your table.

Every year about this time, I pull out the beautiful crocheted tablecloth that transitions my table between summer and fall. The muted grey-brown of the cloth reminds me of summer vacations in Michigan, collecting Petosky stones on a sandy beach.

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 2

The pull of autumn brings with it the sturdier browns of fall campfires and walks in the woods. The crocheted tablecloth plays peek-a-boo with the bare wood of the table, and the wooden tray anchors the centerpiece.

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape Centerpiece

The items in the centerpiece echo the colors — grey stones, an amber glass cruet, an olive wood grinder from Provence, and creamy candles that reflect the soft white of the hydrangeas.

GotMyReservations -- Waverly Napkins

It’s not a tablescape in my house without some bargain treasure hunting, so these Waverly napkins from Tuesday Morning were the perfect find to complement my sticks and stones colors. The flowers have more “sticks” on them!

GotMyReservations - Napkin Rings

Needless to say, these napkin rings from a local thrift shop jumped into my cart.

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 1

Pewter chargers and grandma’s silver…

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 4

The perfect napkin and napkin ring…

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 5

The glint of gold from the fruit bowl…

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 6

The amber plates and the Murano glass goblets weave an autumn spell…

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 7 GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 8 GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 9

Nature’s beauty is repeated in the floral center and design on the rim of the accent plate …

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 10

The waves of the lake show up in the Pfaltzgraff Filigree pattern on the plates.

GotMyReservations - Sticks and Stones Tablescape 11

The transition from summer’s light to autumn’s dark builds a comforting tablescape for a beautiful September day. Only happy memories are served up at this Sticks and Stones Tablescape!

I’m taking a break right now for my son’s wedding, but I encourage you to visit my regular linky parties to see some lovely photos and get some creative inspiration for your tables: Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here, Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. I hope you’ll leave a comment today and let me know you were here!

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape

It’s that time again — school’s back in session and teachers are doing their jobs with skill and love. It’s time to say thank you to the teachers of the world, whether it’s a public school or home school teacher, a religious education teacher, or a sports or music teacher. Every teacher deserves an apple, so today I’m featuring my An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Intro

Although I’ve always loved to set my table with pretty things and have fun collections of dishware and linens, until I started tablescaping for Got My Reservations I never really thought about what went into creating the perfect set-up. Why do some settings work and others don’t? I’ve learned that buying strong, versatile basic pieces will take you a long way. It’s like school; if the student understands the basics, he or she can build from there.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Centerpiece 2

Coming up with a theme is the easiest part of building a tablescape — An Apple for the Teacher just built itself.

This tablescape started with a collection of beaded fruit that I’ve used many times throughout my house. It’s perfect for the transitional time in the fall between Halloween and Christmas because it has some sparkle, but it’s muted. I knew it was also perfect for this table. A friend gave me this red bowl from Crate and Barrel a few years ago, and I’ve used it for every “red” season since. It’s a basic, versatile piece.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Napkin

I wanted to use these della Robbia-style napkins and grabbed the beaded napkin rings I picked out of the sale bin at World Market last spring. I had decided that I didn’t want to go full-out with the matching tablecloth, so when I saw this table runner at Marshall’s I knew I had a winner. It’s got texture and color while still being subtle. Another basic piece that I can use over and over again.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Cloche

The people in the store probably thought I was a crazy lady as I stood in front of the clearance items and practically cackled over FINALLY finding the perfect footed cloche on sale. I have been looking for one of these for months since I was featured at Marty’s cloche-fest at A Stroll Thru Life — featured for using a real cloche, which is the French word for bell. The Marshall’s cloche was only two dollars off, but I declared victory. I put the perfect apple in the perfect cloche and now I have another piece to add variety in the heights of my centerpieces — a basic tenet of tablescaping.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Cloche and Apple

Once the theme was in place, the rest of the ‘scape came together quickly. The fall colors in the napkins called for the gold chargers and my mother-in-law’s collection of Murano glass goblets. I pulled the Pfalzgraff Filigree off the shelf again, as the stoneware blends well with the sacking fabric of the runner.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Place Setting 3

Adding the red sparkly accent plates to my collection has also turned out to be a winning choice. I use them over and over again and the modern circle design adds another texture to the stack with the rectangular design on the chargers, the filigree design on the plates, and the gentle slopes of the lotus bowls. Of course, one can never go wrong with using Grandma’s silver, so out came the Gorham Chantilly. It just sings along with all of the other textures and designs on this table.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Centerpiece

For the final accents, I added a cranberry glass decanter that picks up both the red and the gold, and silver candlesticks. Music Man was very distressed last week when he broke one of the red votives for the candlesticks, but I was able to replace it at half price at Hobby Lobby. Another score for me and another basic for the tablescaping closet restored.

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Place Setting

 Creating the perfect tablescape is not rocket science, but it can be an art.

After I photographed this table, I realized that I had forgotten a very important apple from my collection — the one I received as a parting gift when I retired from my school district. I put it under the cloche where it belongs and rephotographed with my trusty iPhone. A golden apple for this retired teacher…

GotMyReservations - An Apple for the Teacher Tablescape Cloche with Golden Apple

I’ve been trying to work ahead on my tablescaping and photography as I will be having a knee replacement in late October and won’t be able to shop from my stash to set up the tables for a while. I’m having a hard time taking down this tablescape, though. It just glimmers in the afternoon sun and sends a very happy message to our empty nest.

I’m linking up this week at Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist HereInspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit these creative bloggers for lovely photos and inspiration.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

 

Family Reunion Gifts Bring a Sunflower Tablescape

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Intro

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

Did I tell you about our family reunion this year? We’ve been having family reunion weekends annually for thirty-one years. Although not everyone comes every year, we have decided that if we don’t have the reunion annually, it could easily die a quick death and we don’t want that to happen. One of the gifts of having an annual reunion is seeing one’s younger relatives grow up and prosper — especially the children. This year, my cousin asked me to photograph her five grandchildren while at the reunion, and with some trepidation, I said I would. They were adorable and I got some fun pictures that expressed the children’s personalities, even though I’m an amateur photographer. As a thank you for my time, my cousin sent me a beautiful flower arrangement, and today’s sunflower tablescape was inspired by her thoughtful gift.

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Place Setting B

As I started to put together the elements of the tablescape that would complement the sunflowers, I didn’t really think I had enough yellow to make it work. Then I took a trip to the linen closet, where I found the coordinating placemats and napkins with yellow stripes and checks. It was still pretty pastel and the napkins carried a lot of pink, so I added a few pink-tipped carnations from the grocery store to the arrangement.

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Centerpiece

Then I began shopping for dishes in the cupboards. Of course, I had to start with my signature style — using grandma’s china and silver. This pattern, Stanwyck by Noritake, belonged to my next door neighbor and when she died, her kids gave me the entire set. The fragile blue and gold filigree pattern balances the bold orange and yellows of the Quimper salad plate.

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Place Setting 2

While reading blogs this morning, I saw a post from Dawn at We Call It Junkin where she used her corn on the cob plates in her design. Brilliant, I said to myself, and since imitation is the highest form of flattery, I added my white stoneware corn dishes to the table with their yellow corn stickers. Who said I didn’t have any yellow stuff in my stash?

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Vertical

GotMyReservations -- Sunflower Tablescape Quimper Butterfly

 After that it was easy — just pull more French pottery from my collection courtesy of my beloved mother-in-law, including the Quimper candy dish filled with dark chocolate coated almonds, a pair of candlesticks, and a French butterfly. I added our wedding crystal, silver napkin rings, and my Gorham Trilogy flatware and got out the camera.

Voila! A sunny tablescape inspired by the sunflowers of southern France and enhanced by my collection of French faience. I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law would have loved the whole thing, and I miss her most at this time of the year because she’s not there to share the family reunion with us. Family is a true gift that cannot be underestimated or forgotten.

I’m linking up this week at Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen for the Summer Fun Challenge, Open House Party with No Minimalist Here, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit these creative bloggers for lovely photos and inspiration.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)

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