It’s that time of year — time for a little R&R and a focus on some personal goals.

One of my goals is to learn to use photo apps more effectively, and this photo demonstrates my first attempt at using my iPad to directly edit and watermark a photo.

GotMyReservations Yellow Rose

I’ll be doing a few book reviews and probably posting some new photos, but I need a little break from tablescaping and researching vintage finds. Stay with me — I’ll be back!

GotMyReservations Coffee Thank You Sign Off

A Conversation about Tablescaping for Dummies

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Today I’m thrilled to share a conversation about tablescaping with my niece, Jessie Weaver. Music Man and I just spent a wonderful long weekend in Chattanooga visiting family, as well as doing some touring in Atlanta. I enjoyed helping Jessie prepare for a party, and afterwards, Jessie wrote this guest post about her experiences, entitling it “Tablescaping for Dummies.”  I beg to differ. The blessing of creating a tablescape is that there are no wrong ways — or dumb ways — to do it. There is just YOUR way. And that’s what happened last weekend.

Jessie: When you are a self-confessed imbecile when it comes to home design, it’s a little intimidating to have your aunt, who blogs about tablescapes, come visit while you’re preparing to throw a dinner party. Really, though, it was a great blessing. The Expert went through my cabinets and drawers, helping me throw together a fantastic tablescape using only what I had. Continue reading

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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