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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27 thoughts on “Family Reunion Gifts Bring a Sunflower Tablescape

  1. Love your sunflower arrangement, very pretty.
    I love sunflowers…….they are such neat flowers
    Hope you had a great time at the family reunion.

    Blessings, Nellie

    • Over the years, we have learned how to have a great family reunion, and how NOT to have a family reunion. Ours runs pretty smoothly now, and is very enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hey Jennie, thanks for the mention! Yes, imitation is the best form of flattery, and I do it all the time, too. 🙂
    Your table it beautiful, I LOVE those plates your neighbors gave, they are really lovely. Have fun at your family reunion.
    Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

    • Dawn, your tablescape was so charming that I had to mention it and copy those corn dishes. I always love your vintage finds.

    • Susan, I wouldn’t have much in my stash if it weren’t for the gifts from family over the years. Shopping the house is a walk down memory lane and is one of the reasons I love to set my table. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Jennie, I love this table! The combination of “good” china with the pretty plates is wonderful, and those sunflowers — oh, my! I have a jug of them on my table right now, too. I also enjoyed seeing the verse from Sentimental Journey — my siblings and I sang that at our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, as it was one we sang as children on long car trips. Love that song!

    • Bev, thanks for your kind words. It’s a lot of fun to put together these tablescapes every week because each piece has memories attached to it.

    • Jenna, I’m very lucky to have inherited wonderful collections from my family and I enjoy building tables with these family pieces. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Well, you definitely did something for me when you published this tablescape! This has been a hectic week for me. My mother had a stroke and our “family reunion” has been around her beside and getting her moved into rehab. But, things are improving daily. The tablescape brightened my day, especially the sunflower! While getting through the week, my mind has drifted to thoughts of doing a tablescape drawn from Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace”. I’ve been inspired while reading Susan Vreeland to calm my “nerves”. What is it about blue and yellow that cheers us so???

    Thanks again for this vision of beauty.

    • Elizabeth Jane, I’ve read both Luncheon of the Boating Party and The Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland and I love her writing. Which book are you reading? I think the Van Gogh colors would make a stunning tablescape! Great idea. We also experienced many family reunions around my parents’ hospital beds and it’s not the best way to enjoy family. I hope your mother continues to improve.

  5. Beautiful sunflower post with the lovely dishes too. I love your pretty centerpiece and that sunflower field is amazing! Thanks for your kind and sweet visit.

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  7. I adore your Quimper, and I’m pretty sure that your sweet mother-in-love is smiling from heaven. Everything came together beautifully. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  8. Your table setting is charming. The sunflowers are just the right touch. Sunflowers are a favorite of mine. There is something about watching their flowers open up into those beautiful golden faces that says home to me. They remind me of the summers that have gone by, of the picnics and the reunions, and most of all the hours spent with family. You have woven your table theme around all of those lovely thoughts and ideas. Thank you for the sentimental journey!

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