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Pink Spring Table

Spring has sprung (finally!) and I’ve been eager to set a small luncheon table to celebrate. I’ve used several pieces from my previous “speedset” table, but also some new items. Let me give you a tour of the table before we enjoy our lunch!

First, you can see that our dining spot is situated at one of my favorite spots in the house: next to the large bay of living room windows. I’ve set the table with an emphasis on pink and Spring.

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Here’s your seat – you can watch the robins hopping around on the lawn by looking out the window to your left. We’ll be using these first pretty plates for dessert, so we can move them off to your right while we enjoy our salad. I don’t know the name of this pattern, but I love the creamy white background, gold edging, and pretty roses. (Update March, 2014: I discovered that the rose plates are called “Summer Rose” by Taylor-Smith-Taylor!)

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Our salad plate is a soft yellow. The wide rim and pastel colors remind me a lot of a vintage brand called LuRay, but these are marked “MSE – Microwave and dishwasher safe.” A moments’ research revealed that MSE means Martha Stewart Everyday, so the fact that I got a pristine set of 2 dinner plates and two salad/lunch plates at the Goodwill, for a grand total of $2.99, makes me very happy!

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At the bottom of the stack, our entree will be enjoyed on beautiful Homer Laughlin Glenwood. I acquired these plates through Ebay; the other two plates shown above were Goodwill finds.

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Our beverage mugs are mis-matched, but they are from the same series. Your mug echoes the pale yellow of the salad plates…

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…and mine repeats the pink theme around the table. I have a third mug in this series, too – together they are one of my favorite sets, and I don’t even drink coffee!

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Here you’ll find we are again using my Oneida Chandelier stainless flatware – believe it or not, this is the only set of flatware I own! It was a long-ago gift from my Aunt, and I’ve decided there’s no sense in saving it for special occasions – I love to use it every day! You can also get a much better view of the pattern on our vintage tablecloth – very Springy!

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Feel free to pluck a pink napkin from this scrolly heart, another Goodwill treasure…

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…and shoo away this visitor if you wish, she is only here to watch the birds!

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Here’s the view from my side of the table.

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I’ll be happy to pass you the salt in this pretty pink Depression Glass shaker. (Sorry, no pepper with this meal as I don’t have any kind of shaker that complements this one!)

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Oh! And I want you to meet our seatmates – our Spring-time friends Rob & Jay. Rob is a hand-painted Lefton figureine, and Jay hails from The Whitehall Society. Robins and Bluejays are among my favorite birds. Don’t they look right at home with the rustic white picket tops? (You might remember that I won those picket tops recently from Donna’s give-away over at Funky Junk Interiors! My little birdies love them!)

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Here’s a peek at our floral accompaniment – a vintage pink Diamond Point vase by Indiana Glass Co., filled with a simple silk stalk from elsewhere in the house.

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Finally, the table where we’re seated is extra special to me: it is an antique that sat in my grandparents’ home for decades, and I kept it after they both had passed away. I’ve included below a full view of the table without the covering and dishes.

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Now let’s enjoy our lunch and this beautiful Spring day!

More soon –

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Thrifty joy (or, seek and ye shall find)

After drooling over all the wonderfully creative tablescapes celebrating St. Patrick’s day over at this past week’s Tablescape Thursday, I was regretting that I didn’t have anything that could be construed as shamrocky… or even “green”… to join the holiday fun. I decided that I would look for some thrift-store finds that would be fairly versatile and not overtly “holiday,” because St. Patty’s isn’t a day we really celebrate around here (except for pinching those who forget to wear green!) and I need to be at least somewhat conscious of over-accumulation. (I know.)

I must’ve carried some of that fabled Irish luck today, because I found just what I was looking for: a set of four salad/luncheon plates with a green pattern that’s reminiscent of shamrocks but doesn’t scream “St. Patrick’s Day.” I really like these because I think they can be used for just about anything. They are marked “mse” (Martha Stewart Everyday) and I got a set of 4 for $2.99. Hooray for thrift stores!!

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Ahhh it’s a beautiful day here in Iowa today, heading up to 70 degrees and sunny! Also one of those rare days when I am home mid-day (unemployed) and my daughter is ALSO home (Spring Break) so I decided to fix a lunch that our little family could enjoy out on the screened porch.

On the menu were grilled hot dogs on toasted buns, and Kraft macaroni and cheese. We always get a laugh when we have this humble fare because we all remember the day a few years ago when we tried to enjoy it out on the un-covered patio… and had our experience ruined by a bird passing directly overhead. (Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking!)

Here were the table elements we enjoyed, in addition to each other’s company, starting with our wrought-iron, chippy-white bistro table and a vintage tablecloth which consists of four panels just like the one showing. (I have actually thought of making pillows out of this cloth because the design lends itself very well.)

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Vintage off-white plates with pretty aqua cornflowers (or are they bachelor buttons?) – my mother had a whole set of these when I was young. I didn’t like them at the time, but I’ve come to appreciate them and now own three salad/luncheon plates in this pattern.

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And my everyday stainless, Oneida’s vintage “Chandelier” pattern. (Why yes, that IS a paper napkin hiding on the right!)

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For beverages, we just used a set of color-coordinated plastic cups. Altogether a very pretty and practical table, and a yummy lunch on a beautiful day.

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More soon!

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Speedset: my covert table-setting operation

Let me start out by stating that my husband doesn’t care what kind of dishes we have. If it were left up to him, since we have three people in our family we would have three dinner plates, three forks, three spoons, etc. (Nevermind that he has 14 sets of sockets and wrenches out in his garage – when it comes to dishes, he doesn’t get it.)

So for me to spend any time fussing with setting the table would surely be considered by him to be… well, he might not come out and call it a “waste of time,” but that’s only because he’s learned a thing or two in 19 years of marriage. I can guarantee you, he wouldn’t even begin to understand my desire to participate in Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s wonderful blog, “Between Naps on the Porch.” (Although, perhaps if there were a “Metric Wrench Wednesday” he would spend some time arranging his box-ends attractively on a fender or something…)

But, I out-foxed him again… I waited til the day of his doctors’ appointment, and I spent my “alone time” not reading, not napping, not soaking in a bubble bath, but setting the table. Ha – take that, Mr. Three-Forks!

Anyway, because I only had about an hour to clear the table of its day-to-day crap, set it nicely, and then tear it all down again and re-set it to its original disheveled state, I’m calling my first-ever Tablescape Thursday submission “Speedset.” It doesn’t really have a theme (except perhaps for the soft rose and sage “botanical” colors), and it doesn’t have a lot of accessories. (I WISH I could create something as beautiful as the bee-and-sunflower theme table at Stone Gable – I’m afraid hubby would have to go on a week-long vacation for me to have time to create something as lovingly detailed as that!) But it did give me the chance to see how a few of my mish-mash pieces would look together if I did decide to get fancy. (And by “get fancy” I mean “use a tablecloth.”)

I’m so delighted to take you on a tour around the table!

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Each place setting includes a dinner plate, pasta bowl, dessert plate and bread plate. More on those in a moment. First, though, I’m loathe to admit that I am woefully lacking in the cloth napkin department (horrors!). I thought about using paper, but then remembered these monogrammed vintage pieces I’d received from my great-aunt Hazel many years ago. I don’t think they are napkins… they might be tea towels, or even very sturdy hankies. I have no idea whose initials are on them… oh, and I only have two: Peach…

…and blue.

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So, since there are three of us, I used one of “Auntie Hazel’s” own monogrammed hankies for the third place setting. Not really up to the task of an actual napkin, but okay as a stand-in for the photo shoot.

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Here’s a close-up of the peach napkin and its monogram, along with my Goodwill-find napkin rings (painted ivory by yours truly).

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Remove the napkin and we have a pretty white pasta bowl – another Goodwill find, this one unmarked but with a very pretty scrolled edge.

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Below that, a truly fab Ebay score: Homer Laughlin Glenwood dinner plates, which I had to have after seeing Susan’s “100th Tablescape Thursday” post a few weeks ago. (Lord forgive my covetousness – these are even more beautiful in person!)

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To your left are the bread and dessert plates. The bread plates complement the Glenwood, are another Goodwill find, but alas are unmarked. (Update, March 2014: Discovered that these are “Summer Rose” by Taylor-Smith-Taylor!)

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The dessert plates are simple and lovely: bright white, with a gold rim. I found them at Pier 1 about 15 years ago.

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To your right sits the drinkware. Each place has an Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) goblet from my paternal grandmother Helen’s collection, and a vintage tumbler from my maternal grandmother Verdie. My photo of the tumbler didn’t show the pattern very well, so I photographed it against a less busy background.

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Flatware is a set of high-quality stainless I received from Auntie Hazel – these are Oneida Community Stainless in the “Chandelier” pattern. I love them and use them daily. (Also photographed against a plain background to show the pattern.)

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Serving pieces include two soft green plates from Goodwill, marked “Crown Devon, Fielding’s, Florentine Green, Staffordshire England.”

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And a Haeger pottery bowl, again from Grandma Helen.

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For a centerpiece, I used my frosted pink Diamond Point vase (Indiana Glass – Ebay) filled with muted-tone silk florals from Goodwill, flanked by my Goodwill purple glass candlesticks that have been added to the Lavender Shelf.

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Here’s a more-visible shot of the candlesticks…

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… and another look at the finished “speedset” table!

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I hope to do more tablescaping soon, and I hope I won’t have to be covert about it in the future – I’ve started using placemats at dinner time, and so far no one seems to notice mind. I should be able to sneak in some fine china and my lace tablecloth real soon!

Cheers!

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PS – It should go without saying that I’m linking this post to Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to visit there for literally hundreds of beautiful table-setting ideas!