Monday, April 11, 2011

Tablescape -- Celebrating Spring

Have you ever noticed that as we get older, the change of seasons tends to make us more introspective?  Of course there is a practical side to each season of the year, such as lots of mowing and yard work in the spring and summer; homework, PTA meetings, school concerts, plays,etc., in fall; and then winter brings Christmas preparations, heating bills, and shoveling snow off sidewalks and driveways.  I think about these things too (only shoveling the snow -- not so much, here in the South).  But maybe it's because our son is away at college and no longer living at home with us (sniff) and I'll be turning 51 this fall, but I do look at things a bit differently now.  When fall comes, we no longer get those lists of school supplies and head out to do school shopping.  No PTA meetings, Band Parents, Scout meetings, or homework to check up on.  And I also think about the age-old cycle of life; all the things I've experienced up to this point, and what may or may not be in store for the future.  There are some things which we know are inevitable for us all, while others, we will have to wait for the passage of time and the changing of seasons to find out. So I guess the change of season is the theme of my table this week.  Spring has fully arrived, and it makes me feel light as a feather, or maybe, a butterfly. Today has been the most glorious day, and I feel like Winnie the Pooh in my "thoughtful spot".  We have had a continuous breeze today and I can hear the wind chimes outside our kitchen door, and right now that sound is as beautiful as any music I've heard.

I haven't done a tablescape in about six weeks.  That wasn't my original plan, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.  I was planning a St. Patty's Day table, but then I caught a cold, our son came home for Spring Break, and after that, my husband and I were out of town two weekends in a row.  And I just want to say right now, that I am amazed at all of you who manage to do a tablescape every week or almost every week!  How do you do it!?  Maybe I'll get faster with practice, but right now, it takes me FOREVER to get one planned, set up, photographed (courtesy of Mr. Forest Manor), and then a post written to go with it.  Those of you who do this all the time -- you're good!  I have lots of ideas that I think are good for tables, but so far I've only managed to do three.  And speaking of tables... I'm using my new dishes this week.  The pattern is by Lenox, and it's called "Butterfly Meadow". It has butterflies and bumblebees, flitting and buzzing through colorful spring flowers. And, as the sweet sales clerk at our department store said, "It's just infested with lady bugs":)  I don't know about you, but I love lady bugs. So enough talk, let's move on to the pictures.  I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  She does such a great job of hosting this event week after week!

My sweet Mom bought me these napkin rings for my birthday last year when we spotted them at Home Goods.  Thanks Mom!  I just love them!  I love the look of porcelain napkin rings, and this is the only set I have.  In this picture, you can see the little bumblebee, and the other side of the ring has a ladybug.   

My bread and butter plates have a different flower and butterfly on each plate.  

I didn't have any particular flowers in mind for this table, but I was so surprised and excited to find these freesias at our Fresh Market.  They were being sold in individual bunches, not as part of a mixed bouquet.  Since my napkins are yellow, I bought one bunch of yellow and one bunch of white.  As soon as I saw them I was reminded of my trip to England and Ireland eleven years ago.  We stayed in a country house in England, and our hostess had a pot of freesias at the breakfast table one morning.  Hers were yellow, white, purple, and pink, and they looked so lovely on her table.  It was just about this time of the year that we were there, and I will never forget how beautiful everything was.  I've never seen such gardens, but of course the price they pay for them is lots and lots of rain.

The green goblets were made in Mexico of recycled glass.  I think this kind of glass is interesting because it's not exactly "perfect" like other types of glassware.  The taper candle you see at the right edge of the picture is a honeycomb taper that I ordered online.  I bought them last year with these dishes in mind; they just seem to go with the bees and the whole spring theme.  I replaced them later for the candlelight pictures because they didn't fit quite securely in the candlesticks -- I didn't want them to fall over and burn the table or the linens.

The hemstitched linen table runner has white embroidered shamrocks on each end.  My sweet Mom-in-Law brought it to me from Ireland about five years ago.  It is one of my very favorites!

This is the other side of the napkin ring showing the lady bug.  The salad plates are solid white, but they have the raised butterfly pattern on them.  The sticker on the back said they were accent plates, and they're called "Butterfly Meadow Cloud".  The coffee mugs are the same design.  The dinner plates are not part of this pattern.  They are Lenox "Classic White".

The plates with the pink band are another variation of this set.  The sticker on the back read "Orange Sulphur Butterfly Dessert Plate".  The dessert forks are silver plate, "Old Company".

We didn't register for Sterling flatware when we got married because it was so expensive, we were afraid we wouldn't get much of it. I wish now we had, but that's okay. I do still like our "formal" stainless. I like the fiddle shape of the handles and the delicate pattern.  We have some sterling flatware that was given to us recently by my husband's grandmother, but it is for our son when he gets married.  It will probably make an appearance now and then in some of my tablescapes.

The vase in the center of the table is Fostoria American.  It was a wedding gift from my father's aunt, who used to own an antique shop in Virginia.

A bright, afternoon-sunlight shot.  We have a large tulip or "saucer" magnolia tree right outside our dining room.  It is not fully leafed out yet, but once it is, there will be no afternoon sun in this room.  It gets a few hours of sunlight in the morning, but that's all in the summertime.  My husband found taking indoor pics in this light a bit of a challenge, but I just really wanted some daytime shots.  I've had my fill of gray, winter skies.

The edging around the place mats is so dainty.  

Guess what?  We finally got to photograph the blue hour!  It went by really fast. You definitely need to have everything set up and ready to go.  The tree in front of the window blocks a lot of the sky, but you can still see it. It's just beginning now.

And here's our best shot of it.  I'm so glad Susan told us about this magical time of day.

We did a lot of pictures this time because I haven't done a table in so long.  We definitely got carried away;)

Here's a neat shot of the goblet.

I hope you all have a great week, and I hope you're celebrating Spring in your part of the world.  Thanks for visiting my blog!


Lenox "Butterfly Meadow" dishes, coffee mugs, salt and pepper, napkin rings -- Home Goods and TJ Maxx last year
Lenox "Classic White" Dinner Plates -- Home Goods last year
Place Mats -- Home Goods
Stainless Flatware -- Oneida "Tennyson"
Goblets -- Home Goods
Lettuce Edge Napkins -- Bed, Bath and Beyond
Linen Table Runner -- Ireland
Honeycomb Candle Tapers -- Online last year at this site
Bird Votive Holders -- Michael's last year


  1. Beautiful, Denise! You've coordinated everything perfectly. I particularly like the placemats; their edging caught my eye right away. You and your husband make a great team. The photography's excellent!

    Nicely done and welcome back to Tablescape Thursdays!

  2. Hi lovely lady.
    I love your beautiful dinning room with your lovely Tablescapes sweet lady.I love the way you have put it all Together with Your Lenox "Classic White dinner plates just lovely with your place mats also~~ I would like to Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my new Tablescape Denise. I also hope you have a Great Week.

  3. Denise, I totally relate to your thoughts at the beginning about the changing seasons. I like how you called it being in your "thoughtful spot".

    Of course, that reminded me of the Pooh days so I went into a "thoughtful spot" of my own. LOL

    The table was DEFINITELY worth a six week wait. I can't always do one either, especially since I coordinate mine with my mother and sister.

    I love the smaller plates with the butterflies, and my daughter would adore them as well as the napkin rings. The whole table is springy yet elegant. I love it, and the candles and blue hour? Those are my favorite shots of all.

  4. Denise, what a pretty table! The blue hour shots are gorgeous! Those placemats really caught my eye, and I enjoy reading the story of all your pretty things. It sounds as if setting this special table brought a lot of wonderful memories to mind!

  5. Wonderful table setting! And Bill's right, the photography is excellent.

  6. Beautiful dining room furniture...I love it! I also like the placemats, they're so neat, the plates with different designs, so springie! The shots of the blue hour are terrific, your whole photography! It was so nice to read about your pretty things and your mom's gift, I too love ceramic, or porcelain napkin rings. Thank you dear Dennise for dropping by and leaving such wonderful comments!

  7. Denise, this is beautiful! I love your new is sooo perfect for spring. Your candlelight pics took my breath away...just gorgeous. Your dining room is lovely! I love the distance shot with the chairs separated to see the table...great photography! Loved hearing about your trip to England, too. I'm going to get day. :)

  8. You have a wonderful room for your tablescapes! I love the candlelight! And you have a beautiful tablescape set up. Your butterfly Meadow plates are just gorgeous! They would be so nice to sit down to.

  9. Lovely table setting....very elegant. Enjoyed your post, looking forward to more. Diane

  10. ohhhh...i loved the candle light pics...they made me just stop dead in my tracks. i just found this same china and am plotting and planning a sweet little porch tablescape for me and my precious mom! thanks so much for sharing

  11. Denise!!!! How ya doin'!!??!?! We've missed you! Sorry to hear you have been under the weather. That's never fun. But you came back strong with a beautiful tablescape! Hip, hip, hooray! I think it's so great that you and I both pulled out the Lenox this week! You have much more of it than I do, though; I just have the green banded salad plates (as you saw when you visited!) and coffee mugs. I really like them but have never used them until now. Freesia....what a beautiful, unassuming yet show-stopping little flower! Love it in both the yellow AND white! It looks so fabulous with the dishes!!! I didn't register for sterling flatware when I got married, either, but have since acquired 2 beautiful sets: 1 from my Mom and 1 from a dear friend. I love them, but I don't use them nearly as often as I do my silverplate and stainless!!! (Maybe because I have those boxes well-hidden and have to really work to drag them out!) :-) I hope you have a really great weekend, and I'll "see" you again real soon!

  12. Hi Alycia,

    It's great to hear from you!! Thanks for the kind words. By the way, didn't I read recently on your blog that you had just recovered from pneumonia? I'm sorry I didn't realize that sooner, but I hope you're completely recovered. That is a scary thing to have; I had it when our son was a senior in high school, and I spent three days in the hospital. Took me weeks to get over that cough. It sounded like your husband took good care of you. About the Butterfly Meadow, isn't it funny how we women can be? As soon as I saw your pictures I said to my husband,"Oh I wish I'd gotten the green instead of the pink". Never satisfied.:-) Yours looked so pretty with that tablecloth! By the way, I have those same "Spring Meadow" napkins from Bed, Bath & Beyond in pink, yellow, and pistachio. They are easy to use and very springy. You take care and stay healthy.


  13. Beautiful spring table, Denise.

  14. Welcome back to blogland. Your tablescape has a beautiful balance to it. It also is perfect for your lovely dining room. The napkin rings will become a family treasure because they are from y our precious mom. Family treasures are always the best! Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

  15. Hi - It's your Mom....

    Love your beautiful tablescape. The photography is wonderful as usual. Wish he could make me look this good in family pictures. I am so far behind I wasn't going to do my Easter table but I think I will now. Love you, Mom



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