Thursday, September 2, 2010

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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!)

To your left are the bread and dessert plates. The bread plates complement the Glenwood, are another Goodwill find, but alas are unmarked.

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

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.

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.)

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

And a Haeger pottery bowl, again from Grandma Helen.

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.

Here's a more-visible shot of the candlesticks...

... and another look at the finished "speedset" table!

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!


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!


  1. Happier Than A Pig in MudSeptember 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Very pretty! Lovin' your rose dishes, very detailed silverware and the monogramming stopped me in my tracks! Have fun:@)

  2. Welcome to Blogland! Happy to see that you have joined us. I have been a blogger since June and I am loving it. I do feel a little intimated by the lovely placesettings. I too go to Goodwill alot so I can participate.
    You created a very pretty tablescape! I need to learn to layer my dishes for the visual effect. I love your rose dishes and flatware. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing......

  3. Your table is lovely -OI love the dogwood plates and the SS flatware -just beautiful

  4. You have a really good eye for color, and you already show skill with layering, one of my favorite things when creating a tablescape. Welcome to blogland; you're going to love it. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

  5. Very pretty, and with such nice descriptions! It seems we share a love of dish *hunting* at the goodwill;). Happy tablescaping and cheers to more hunting! Have a lovely day!

  6. What a great table. You sure can tell it was a "speedset". I enjoy all the stories you added as description. Adore those monograms!! I must admit when I starting tablescaping regularly it took a while for my husband and family to get into you. I've always loved to set the table, but not as often as I do now and I'm lovin' it. After a while, hubby even asked me to set the table for his poker buddies! Come out of the closet, girl, you certainly have the talent.

  7. Very pretty table. Lovely lace tablecloth and those lavender candlesticks are beautiful. I wish someone could tell me who makes those cream colored soup bowls, I have a whole set of the dishes! If I remember correctly the only thing on the bottom is USA.

  8. Hi Janet, I love your tablescape! It looks elegant. Love the Homer Laughlin dinner plates. The accent plates with the pink roses look great along with them. Your flatware is really pretty, too. Happy Tablescaping!


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