Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue ... Easter Tablescape

"For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all new born" ~ Alice Freeman Palmer.

As I was doing this Easter tablescape, I couldn't help but realize that it was coming together from things that were old, things that were new, things that were borrowed, and things that were blue - the traditional rhyme which details what a bride should wear on her wedding day for good luck.  The rhyme appears to originate in England, an 1898 compilation of English folklore.

It only takes a rhyme to occupy my thoughts today with memories of my long ago wedding day and the Easters of my childhood, the anticipation of this year's Easter celebration with my family, and happiness at the friendship I have with a neighbor who shares my enthusiasm for pretty china, glassware, flatware, and gardening.

Something Old...

When I was growing up, we often went to my grandparents' house for Easter.  My mother is from Pittsburgh, and her parents still lived in the house that she grew up in.  Her three sisters stayed in Pittsburgh, while she and her brother ended up in the Washington DC area.  Easter was always a great celebration with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.  I remember waking up Easter morning with my brother and sisters to look for our hidden Easter baskets before going to church.  It was a running joke that my sister Julie's basket was always hidden behind this cake saver that my grandmother kept on top of her refrigerator.

This is one of the Easter baskets from our childhood and was usually the one hidden behind the cake saver.

My grandmother always had an Easter egg tree in her front yard.  After the long trip from DC to Pittsburgh, we would get so excited when we made the final turn on to Canterbury Lane and all wanted to be the first to spot it.  The tree was hung with colorful plastic eggs filled with candy.  I made this miniature version from twigs found in the yard, craft store robin eggs, and a late 1800s era ironstone pitcher.

Something New...

The tableware is new and pieces were recently purchased from Williams Sonoma, Pier 1, and Horchow.

The silver sparkly charger is from Pier 1.

The white swirl dinner plate is also from Pier 1, borrowed from my friend Pat.

The Blue Damask bunny salad plates are from Williams Sonoma.  They were sold in sets of four, with a different bunny on each plate.  I only used two for this tablescape.

The matching Blue Damask bunny napkins are from Williams Sonoma, and the flatware is the Audubon pattern recently purchased from Horchow.  I have to read up on table setting etiquette LOL.  When my friend Pat came over to visit and check out the Easter tablescape, I asked her about the position of the flatware.  Oops... salad fork on the outside, dinner fork on the inside.  Oh well, pictures had already been taken.

The tumblers are the Elegant depression era glass Cambridge Rosepoint pattern, and I used the idea of filling it with colored Easter grass from Susan's "A Spring Table Setting with the Easter Bunny" at Between Naps on the Porch.

I also purchased the matching Blue Damask bunny serving tray from Williams Sonoma.  All the Blue Damask items were 50% off by the time I was shopping for Easter.

I wasn't going to have time to bake cookies, so I went to the local Wegman's to see what I could find in their bakery.  I only go to Wegman's when I am looking for specialty items, but my sister Julie does her weekly shopping there.  I ran in to her while she was getting the things for our Easter brunch celebration.  At the same time we ran in to my friend Laura.  Too funny.  We were trying to chat, but with our grocery carts at the prime narrow intersection where the bakery and the prepared foods aisles come together, we were SO in the way with the many Easter crowd shoppers..

Something Borrowed...

This pretty silver basket was borrowed from my friend Pat, as were the white swirl dinner plates shown previously.

Ideas themselves can also be borrowed, with inspiration coming from what you've seen others do and putting your own twist on it.  I used several borrowed ideas from tablescapes I've seen recently on some great blogs.

These jeweled eggs are a DIY craft project that I picked up from Jacqueline's "Jeweled French Script and Sheet Music Easter Eggs" tutorial at Purple Chocolat Home.

Tin letters in Mary's "In the Potting Shed with Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail" at Home is Where the Boat Is really caught my eye when I saw them.  When I was at Hobby Lobby looking for "jewels" for the jeweled eggs project, I passed by a tin letters display and remembered how nice it looked.  I decided to borrow the idea for mine, using a smaller version.

Something Blue ...

I love the blue in these craft store robin eggs.

and the blue in this hydrangea...

Ending with a general view of the overall tablescape.  Happy Easter!!!

Table Details:

Something Old ...
Grandmother's Cake Saver
Childhood White/Gold Easter Basket
Ironstone Pitcher
     Alfred Meakin, England
Clear Elegant Depression Era glass Tumblers:
     Cambridge Rose Point (Discontinued Actual: 1934-1958)

Something New ...
Silver Chargers:
     Pier 1
Bunny patterned Salad Plates, Napkins, and Serving Tray
     Blue Damask from Williams Sonoma
     Audubon from Horchow
     Tall Antique White Bunny from Pier 1
     Rabbit Salt and Pepper Shakers from Pier 1
     Rabbit Egg Shaped Plate from Pier 1
     Light Blue Tulip Patterned Tablecloth from Thrift Store

Something Borrowed ...
White Dinner Plates:
     Pier 1, from my friend Pat
Silver Basket:
     unknown, from my friend Pat

read more "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue ... Easter Tablescape"

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Coffee Table Dinner For One Tablescape

"I'd rather have flowers on my table than diamonds on my neck" ~ Emma Goldman.

I often eat alone at this coffee table in the family room.  This room is comfortable and well worn, with a big stone fireplace, a leather sofa and chair, antiques, and long ago photographs of my family going back to my great grandparents' generation.

The china is Blue Rose/Blue Bouquet by Johann Haviland.  It was another great antique store find, with 12 place settings and several accessory pieces.  The place settings include a dinner plate, salad plate, bread and butter plate, coaster, soup bowl, berry bowl, and cup/saucer.  The accessories include two sizes of oval platters, serving bowl, soup tureen, round gravy bowl, sugar, and creamer.  What a nice set this is.

It is always fun to find out something about the history of antiques and vintage items.  During my research about this china pattern, I found out that the well known Haviland maker started with David Haviland in 1853.  His sons and their descendants continued the family business with many splits along the way.  Jean/John/Johann was David's grandson and moved to Bavaria (Waldershof, Germany) in 1907 to begin the Johann Haviland Company.  The Johann Haviland Company was comparatively short-lived, ceasing production in 1924.  The name rights were eventually purchased by an Italian Company, and later by the Rosenthal Group in 1937.  Rosenthal began producing fine china for export to the United States that was marked "Johann Haviland, Bavaria, Germany."  In the 1970s and 1980s, many patterns were sold in grocery stores as premiums, distributed by the Johann Haviland Corporation of Des Plaines, Illinois.  I haven't been able to narrow down the exact vintage of my Blue Rose/Blue Bouquet pattern - could be anywhere from 1937 to the late 1980s.

The Elegant Glass from the Depression Era is New Martinsville/Viking Prelude.  My grandmother gave me a set of parfait glasses in this pattern when I was a young teenager.  I brought one with me to my first Depression Glass show, where someone from the DelMarVa glass club identified it for me, and the hunt was on.  Over the years, this is the pattern that I have collected extensively.

Oddly enough, I have never collected flatware.  I have always just used my every day Oneida, completely replacing it about once a decade when most of the forks have mysteriously disappeared.  That is about to change, starting with this 1847 Rogers Bros Daffodil pattern.

This violin was my grandfather's when he was a boy.  It had been stored up in my grandparent's attic, and was unearthed when they were cleaning the house out in preparation for their move to a retirement home in Florida,  It was in sad shape, with a coat of grime and multiple cracks in the body, considered worthless, and put out with the trash.  Mike saw it, knew how much I love things for the sentimental value, and rescued it for me.  The candlestick was from a Depression Glass show.  I think it is Duncan Miller, but I can't remember.  One of these days, I'll get all my hard copy notes and receipts organized on the computer.  It would be wonderful to have the inventory records right at my fingertips, not to mention the volume of physical space that I could declutter!

This is one of my favorite family photos.  I am on the right with Cousin Judy on the left - early 1970s.  On my mother's side, I am one of 19 cousins.  Growing up, we had many family get togethers, and Cousin Judy always had something creative up her sleeve.  I remember this occasion was a music recital for the grandparents and the aunts and uncles.  All the cousins dressed up - notice the long dresses, 1970s style.  None of us were musically talented, and it warms my heart to think of how patiently and attentively our audience listened to what must have been absolutely agonizing to sit through :-)

Ending with a general view of the family room.

Table Details:

Blue Rose patterned china Dinner Plate, Salad Plate, Berry Bowl, and Cup/Saucer:
     Johann Haviland, Bavaria, Germany Blue Rose/Blue Bouquet (Discontinued Actual: 1937 - 1980s)
Blue Rose patterned china Pitchers:
      Colonia Pottery Stoke England Avon
Clear Elegant Depression Era glass Wine and Cordial Glasses:
     New Martinsville/Viking Prelude (Discontinued Actual: 1940 - 1986)
Clear Elegant Depression Era glass Candlestick:
     Duncan Miller?
Placemat and Napkin:
     Pier One, pattern Hemstich Smoke Blue
     1847 Rogers Bros, Daffodil

Participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
read more "Coffee Table Dinner For One Tablescape"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tea in the Turret Tablescape

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the ceremony known as afternoon tea" ~ Henry James.

The table is set for Tea in the Turret, where the colors and patterns are pastels and florals.  What a contrast to the stark winter reality of last weekend when I took these pictures.  Warmer temperatures have arrived this week, the snow is starting to melt, and it won't be much longer before spring is here for good.

For the centerpiece I used a pink depression era glass Cambridge Draped Lady Flower Frog.  It is sitting in a glass console bowl from the same era.  Mirrors are a nice way to set off glassware displays, and I like to use simple mirror squares underneath focal points.  I was a frequent visitor at antique stores and depression era glass shows in the 1990s, which is when and where I obtained most of my furniture and collectibles.  I am still, and always will be, a collector at heart.

The rose patterned china tea service was a bargain find at an antique store that was going out of business.  The pattern is Lady Margaret by Queen Anne (England).  It included 8 of these plates.

And 8 of these cups and saucers.

The pink swan is also Cambridge depression era glass.  Swans are one of the most collected of all items produced by the Cambridge Glass Company. Cambridge introduced the swans in 1928, and they remained in production until the final plant closing in 1958.  The goblet is the New Martinsville/Viking Prelude pattern.

One of the tidbits of information I learned when I started collecting depression era glass is that there is a difference between elegant glass and depression glass.  To quote Wikipedia, "Elegant Glass is high quality glassware created in the United States during the Depression Era.  It was sold for high prices in department stores and given as wedding gifts.  When new, Elegant Glass would cost more than its oft-confused counterpart, Depression Glass, because it was at least partially handmade, had a cleaner finish, and more vibrant colors.  From the 1920s through the 1950s, Elegant Glass was an alternative to fine china.  Most of the Elegant Glassware manufacturers closed by the end of the 1950s."  The Cambridge and New Martinsville/Viking patterns that I collect are Elegant Glass.

The tea service came with this coffee pot, but not a tea pot.  One day, I hope to get a tea pot to complete the set.  It is currently available at Replacements.com, but pricey.  Maybe I'll eventually find one on ebay, and if not, bite the bullet and go for what Replacements.com has to offer.

The creamer and sugar.

I do love vintage things, including hats.  Mike made the hat stands for me at the local cabinet shop.  He made 2 sets of 3 stands in various heights.  One set was made from oak and the other set was made from mahogany.  It was a Christmas gift, which I thoroughly appreciated, but his real motivation was to hang out with the boys, and the hat stands were just a by product LOL.

The pewter rose napkin rings were a recent ebay find.  They have 1987 stamped on the inside.  Finding vintage 1960s, 70s, and 80s tableware items is my latest collectible obsession.  I was born and raised in those decades, and having them classified as vintage makes me realize I'm getting old.  Folding cloth napkins is a new thing for me, and I'm learning by doing google searches. 

This vintage green glass plate was also a recent ebay find, shipped all the way from Australia.

I haven't actually made afternoon tea yet, but am finding plenty of inspiration in this beautifully illustrated cookbook from Tea Time Magazine.

Table Details:

Rose patterned china Tea Service:
     Queen Anne (England) Lady Margaret (Manufacturer status unknown)
Pink glass Flower Frog:
     Cambridge Draped Lady, Type II Base, (smooth), 8 1/2", 10 Holes, Item #518 (Discontinued Actual: 1927-29, 1930-34, 1940, 1949-53)
Pink glass Swans:
     Cambridge 3" swan, individual mint/nut (Discontinued Actual: Type I 1928-33, Type II 1933-39, Type III 1939-58)
Clear Elegant Depression Era glass Goblets:
     New Martinsville/Viking Prelude (Discontinued Actual: 1940-1986)
Rose patterned Green glass Vintage Plate:
     ebay, pattern unknown
Placemats and Napkins:
     Kohls, pattern unknown
Pewter Rose Napkin Rings:
     ebay, marked 1987, pattern unknown

Participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch
read more "Tea in the Turret Tablescape"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Aspen Hill Winter 2015

Winter 2015 in the Mid Atlantic region has seen brutally cold temperatures and several snow storms, including this late season storm that hit on March 8th.  Aspen Hill has been buried in snow for weeks and the lane is a mess, but despite everything it has its moments of beauty.  Welcome to my home.

read more "Aspen Hill Winter 2015"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Winter Violets Tablescape

"Surely as cometh the winter, I know there are spring violets under the snow" ~ Robert H. Newell.

It is yet another snowy day at Aspen Hill, but surely spring is around the corner.  I've always loved violets, my February birth month flower.  It is fitting that violets, which were the very first china collectibles that I received as a child from my Grandmother, should be the theme of my very first tablescape, and my very first blogger post!

I had fun on this unexpected day off from work gathering the things to set the table in the conservatory with the wintry scene as a backdrop.

A closer view of the tablescape.

I used an antique soup tureen for the centerpiece and filled it with ivy.  The small violet swan, cup, and covered what-not in the foreground were among the childhood birthday gifts from my Grandmother.

The water pitcher is the elegant Cambridge Rose Point pattern.  Mike and I waited all day at an estate auction for it to come up for bid.  This was one of my first depression era glass purchases many years ago, and at the time I had no idea if I was paying too much as I got caught up in the bidding frenzy.  Heaven forbid, after waiting so long I wasn't going to be outbid LOL.  I fell in love with this pattern that day.

The depression era glass goblets are also the Cambridge Rose Point pattern.  The purple tumblers were picked up at Kohls, and one of the few things that isn't vintage.

I have never folded napkins before either.  It has been a lot of firsts for me today.  I found this simple style on a google search.  Well, it looked better before I took a close up of it.  I'll have to remember to tuck the bottom in better next time.

The violet teapot was another antique store find.

I decided to bring in more of the violet theme to stage on the nested plant stand.  The plants needed some attention anyway, so it was good timing to move them to the counter where I could work on them.

I found the violet coffee pot at an antique store, and the vintage planter was found at a thrift shop.

My Grandmother also gave me many violet themed vintage post cards.  Even as a child, I loved these kind of gifts, and I think she loved that I loved them.  Making the framed collage was a DIY project.  

A closer view of the plant stand.

The vintage terrarium was a yard sale find from my neighbor friend Cheryl.

 More violet china collectibles from my Grandmother.

This covered dish is a companion to the soup tureen used for the table centerpiece.

In keeping with my Grandmother's tradition of violet collectibles on my birthday, my Mother gave me these beautiful sugar and creamer sets.

Ending with a final view of the tablescape.

Table Details:

Violet patterned china Dinner and Salad Plates:
     Mikasa Valerie, Pattern D4951 (Discontinued Actual: 1981 - 1982)
Purple Depression Glass Plates and Soup Bowls:
     Hazel-Atlas Newport Amethyst (Discontinued Actual: 1936 - 1940)
Clear Elegant Depression Era glass Ball Jug Pitcher and Goblets:
     Cambridge Rose Point, Pattern 3121 (Discontinued Actual: 1934-1958)
Purple glass Tumblers:
     Kohls, Libbey fundamentals, Classic Colorings, Violet
Violet patterned china Soup Tureen Centerpiece and Companion Covered Dish:
     Limoges, pattern unknown
Tablecloth and Napkins:
     Kohls, patterns unknown
     Oneida, pattern unknown

Participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
read more "Winter Violets Tablescape"