Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My Very First Tablescape Thursday

Newbie here at this blogging stuff. I know I’m posting this one day early but I wanted to get it up & edited correctly before I add my link to Susan's Tablescape Thursday site at Between Naps on the Porch.

I had such fun creating this table setting so I could participate. Thank you, Susan for a chance to share my “pretties” with others. I used my very best china & Waterford crystal for you & I am excited to share the pictures. This is the first time I've ever participated in such a blogging group like this. I hope you enjoy my ideas.

My table set for six. I can fit eight if I don't use placemats & do a tablecloth instead but it is a little tight. This is better with the smaller number.

The Waterford bowl you see in this picture, I hand carried on the plane home from Ireland. I only purchased a few special items on that trip & this is one I treasure!

I intend to serve gazpacho salad in it at the dinner party I’m having this weekend. After going to go to all the trouble of setting up such a table, you know I just had to invite some friends to dinner!

TT dining room centerpiece from the top

The "chandelier shot" of my centerpiece:

I started with a simple green ivy wreath & filled in with lots of silk autumn leaves. The little pumpkins & grapes are beaded & really sparkle in the light. I had to remove the birdcage that I originally had in my dining room centerpiece (you can see it here ) & switch to this pumpkin instead, so people could see each other across the table. I found the pumpkin in a neat shop (sorry I don’t remember the name) in McKinney, TX on a visit to DH’s son & family. Lots of great antique shopping in McKinney!

TT water pitcher, Waterford butter dish

This view shows my lead crystal water pitcher which was a Christmas gift from hubby’s son & wife. They now live in Chicago so it was purchased there.

The little Waterford butter dish next to it is another item I carefully brought home from our Ireland trip. I would LOVE to return to Ireland someday!

My great-grandmother followed her true love to America from County Cork. Here is a photo of a bridge in Cork. Just look at all that beautiful GREEN! She worked as an upstairs maid in New York until they married. My mother was pure Irish. In fact, her maiden name was Peggy O' kidding! I cried when we landed on Irish soil & I cried when we took off to go home, too. If I ever win the lottery one of the first things I will do is buy a home in Ballybunion! The views on their golf course rival Pebble Beach. We won’t mention my score there. :/ I was too busy looking at the ocean instead of the ball.

TT Waterford salad bowl

Back to the table: From this angle, you can see my Ralph Lauren candlesticks that I found at T.J. Maxx years ago. I can’t remember what I paid for them (not much, I’m sure) but they are HEAVY!

Note the little bobèche on each candle to catch any melting wax. It is pronounced “bō-ˈbesh”….I had to look it up, because I wasn’t sure. I have a small collection of these tiny inexpensive treasures & use them all the time. You can a find great selection of them here. Not affiliated at all….I just like to give them as hostess gifts sometimes.

The little individual salt & pepper shakers are useful since both hubby & I have high blood pressure & I try not to use much salt in my cooking. My guests can just season to their hearts content….or DIS-content, as the case may be.

TT napkins & rings

A close-up shot to show you the napkins which match the lace placemats you’ll see in a minute. I’ve had the napkin rings a long time & they have developed a nice patina that makes them look antique. Trust me, they’re not THAT old! LOL

I ADORE anything lacey with cut-outs or embroidery!! Must be my Irish heritage. Years ago, ”lace curtain Irish” was a derogatory term used to describe Irish immigrants who would put up lace curtains in the windows of their shanty houses for appearances sake. They had notions of being more respectable. The term is far from being a compliment but I embrace the description.

TT cocktail glass for shrimp

Doing the place setting “strip tease” as Mid-Atlantic Martha calls it, starting with these HUGE cocktail stemware. I'd be flat out cold on the floor if I drank a Cosmopolitan this size!

They are ENORMOUS! I intend to put cocktail sauce in the bottom & then hang 3 garlic-marinated, grilled shrimp off the sides. (recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Grilling cookbook, the older version) I’ll post a picture after I make it.

TT Lenox Jacguard salad plate

The next layer is a Lenox salad plate from their Jacquard pattern. I like to mix & match my patterns & I have several different salad plates & soup bowls that I use, depending on the occasion…..the Eternal Christmas ones with gold holly or the Presentation Ivory ones with ribbons & bows for a birthday celebration.

TT Lenox Eternal china plate

Next is the Eternal pattern of Lenox which is my mainstay & the pattern for all my other pieces….coffee cups, bread plates, etc. I can see that my pink shirt was reflected in the bottom band of gold in this photo. I don’t know how to fix that….too new to photo editing yet.

TT Glass charger centered

I can’t wait to share my chargers with you!! These BIG clear glass plates were purchased from a Waccama store in FL (for about $5 each!) before they went out of business. I spray painted them on the BACK with gold paint years ago. This was before I ever knew about glass paint or sealing stuff. I, of course, hand wash them very carefully & store them with foam sheets in between so the paint doesn’t get scratched off. I really should look into sealing them somehow. Any suggestions?

Another view….the top of the plate is smooth glass & all the relief/texture is on the bottom of the plate. I just love them & get lots of compliments & questions about them. I don’t let anyone wash them but me. I’m really particular about handling my breakables & I prefer that guests “just let me do it myself!” Anybody remember that Anacin© commercial?
“Mother, PLEASE…I’d rather do it myself!” Oh golly, I’m really dating myself now.

TT Lace placemat, II I’m pretty sure I found these cutwork placemats at T.J. Maxx but it was so long ago, I really can’t remember (you’ll hear me say that a lot)…..senior moments more & more. *sigh*

They have gold stitching all around each section. Very delicate & very pretty & need the utmost of care when hand washing. I use BIZ which is the heirloom world’s favorite product. For some really good instructions on how to wash & preserve delicate laces & such, please read my sewing friend Bunny’s post on the subject.

TT buffet set for coffee & dessert

Coffee, tea & dessert will be served from the sideboard.

TT Lotus bowl

I wanted to show you a close up of my Lotus bowl, (Lenox) which was a house warming gift from our friends, Cece & Tom. Both are deceased now & I always lift up a prayer for them every time I use it. I do that with many of my things that were gifts. It helps me keep the giver close in my heart.

This weekend I’m planning to fill it with a chilled & spiked fruit compote to be spooned over angel food cake. I have to work on the rest of the menu now that I’ve got dessert all figured out. Hey, I’ve got MY priorities straight!

One last photo of the table in candlelight. My camera only has 2.0 megapixals so it doesn’t do a very good job & I’m trying to improve the shots using Microsoft Picture It Premium but I really don’t know what I’m doing yet.

Any suggestions on what kind of camera I should hint to Santa about???

I tucked in some tiny battery operated tea lights between the leaves of the arrangement. Silk botanicals & open flame do NOT play well together. This is much safer & I’ll be more relaxed with just the 2 tall tapers burning.

The lit pumpkin on the sideboard, left is a new purchase from T.J.Maxx this week. Only $12 & I love that it lights up! It brings some much needed color to that corner.

Here’s what it looks like during the day. Pretty, huh? That’s a Fitz & Floyd plate, which will hold some chocolates for after dinner & next to it is another beaded pumpkin in a candle ring.

TT pumpkin daytime

Gosh, this whole process takes a long time, both to set up, photograph & then to describe! Now I have to start cooking for the dinner! Yikes!

I hope I didn’t forget anything. If so, please feel free to ask me about it? I love to share information & ideas & I cherish any comments. Funny how I never realized how much a comment meant to someone until I recently started blogging myself. Now I try to say something nice anytime I visit one of you. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your sojourn & remember the Golden Rule…. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.


  1. Your table is absolutely beautiful!!! I love the waterford...every piece is dazzling!!! All of the fall touches just leap off the screen...wonderful!!! I love it!!!


  2. How sweet of you to say all that....thank you! I worked really hard on getting things just right. I don't know if I can do a tablescape every week! Its exhausting to set up, photograph, edit, upload & then comment, too. Whew!
    I appreciate your kind words so very much. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Wow!!! Gorgeous!! (Not that I'd expect anything less from you. :))

  4. Rett, you have an amazing gift. I would love to have a meal at your table. I can see the various wines for the various courses now. I would definitely help you cook, too. This is so impressive. I swear you could give lessons in class.

  5. Rett, everything looks so very, very lovely! It looks fit for royalty. I know your friends will feel so special knowing that you created this experience just for them. Lucky friends! Blessings, Karen (Soop)

  6. Beautiful table. Your Waterford bowl is diving. So many pretty pieces. Just lovely!


  7. What a spectacular debut! You've incorporated so many beautiful elements, and coordinated them perfectly! Your photographs are stunning! I can't believe you used an older, lower resolution camera and achieved such impressive results!

    I can't wait to see what you do next! We'll be watching! ;)

    Warm regards,

  8. Your table is gorgeous! Love all the Waterford. I'm a big fan. Love the Irish stories too! How special.

  9. What a great "first!" Love the waterford and Ireland connections.

  10. Absolutely fabulous! You have some LOVELY crystal pieces. I told my hubs the other day...I don't have one piece of waterford...he just said life is rough! Yours is beautiful. Great tablescape!

  11. Simply beautiful! Love the stem ware, that amber color is perfect for a fall tablescape!

  12. Well, I'd say you've done a perfect job for your first Tablescape Thursday! You'll be hooked after this first time. Your elegant table is really beautiful and your dinner party guests should be thrilled with all the attention! Hope you'll visit my site! Welcome to this group of crazy tablescapers! We have so much fun!

  13. Rett
    How lovely!!!! I love all your crystal and the entire room gets me in the mood for fall!!

  14. Absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Hi Rett....beautiful table..I especially love that plate you painted gold...I never would have thought to do something like that..I often use colorful paper plates or things you can't eat off of under my clear glass plates but never would have thought to paint on the backside....Thanks also for being the first person to notice how our Sophie girl resembles her Grandma.....While pulling out the old black and white pictures I came across quite a few where we resemble each other.... Sue.

  16. Wow and didn't you say you are a newbie? Nah! I think you are a pro! Beautiful and elegant table! Love the waterford crystal and the dinnerware and the white dishes. Love everything....Christine

  17. Gorgeous!! Your elegant table is really beautiful, I love it all.. I am having a give a give a way please do try to stop over

  18. Wow, your first tablescape is STUNNING! I love all the glassware you have on it and the way you placed the 'martini' glasses on the plates. Those chargers are just beautiful. I scrolled through all your pictures very slowly, just soaking it all in. Truly beautiful Rett, you did an amazing job. And your friends.. oh my, how lucky are they to come to dinner :-)
    Oh, and I loved the pic of County Cork. I'm from the North of England originally, and I loved visiting Ireland ;-)

  19. Welcome to Tablescape Thursday! You'll find it great fun to see such lovely tables and so satisfying to see your own lovely items on display.

    I LOVE your table. Everything is so festive and elegant. I know you are very proud of all your things...they are just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Your table is absolutely beautiful. So glad you joined in the fun of TT. Hope to see you here again. ~ Sarah

  21. This table is stunning!
    You have very beautiful pieces!
    Everything is set to perfection! And I loved how you incorporated beautiful family history and homeland. It really touched my heart.
    Wonderful tablescape! I enjoyed this so much!
    All the best,

  22. You've been holding out on us! So glad you joined TT! I don't know where to start with how beautiful your 'scape is! The dishes, the stemware, the linens, the table, everything is lovely and together, breathtaking. So sparkly and elegant! Your photography is excellent as well!
    I can't believe you are new to blogging, your blog is terrific (I'm a follower now! Can't wait to go back and check out your other posts!). I know your guests will be impressed!


  23. This may have been you first tablescape Thursday, but you did a fabulous job. I loved hearing about your Irish family and your waterford was wonderful.I think anyone invited to your dinner party would feel very special.

  24. What a fabulous table - every detail is perfect. I'm headed to eBay today to look for glass chargers to paint - great idea! I'm already looking forward to your next tablescape.

  25. Rett-For your first TT you jumped in with both feet!! This is beautiful and I am sure took a lot of effort to make just perfect! I'm Irish and I love anything Waterford! I know your guests will be impressed (gazpacho salad sounds wonderful!). Have fun and thanks for sharing this!

  26. I love your elegant table! I can't believe this is your first TT. Everything is wonderful, and so well thought out. I love the fall centerpiece!

  27. Rett, Your tablescape is beautiful...warm and inviting! Each detail producing a lovely elegant feel! Love the amber stems! :) ~Rhonda

  28. Oh your table is beautiful! Thanks for "inviting" us. I love your waterford and that pitcher is TDF! You got everything "just right"! I love that lace as well - (Scotch-Irish here!) Can't believe you're new to this. Hey, and thanks for the mention -- what a nice surprise. Thanks for all the inspiration you've shown today.

  29. Stunningly beautiful table! The crystal and dishware are gorgeous, and all the more special because of where it came from. Just lovely.

  30. Hi Rett, Nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting my tablescape. Your table is just stunning. I love all your beautiful crystal.
    You displayed everything so lovely.

  31. Beautiful elegant table. I love all the crystal and china. Nothing beats a sparkle on a table. You did a magnificent first tablescape. Loved all your elements.

  32. Hey there!
    Welcome to the fun at Tablescape Thursday.
    It's wonderful to see all the lovely and clever ideas that so many others share. Such fun.
    Your first TT is BEAUTIFUL.
    I do believe I would have hand carried the crystal as well.
    Hope you'll stop by at my place for a spot of tea.
    d from homehaven

  33. Hi Rett, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. I love your blog. Your tablescape is so beautiful and elegant. It takes talent to set one that fancy! Oh and I love the side board!

  34. So GORGEOUS!!!! Very elegant and stunning tablescape! I think your 'charger' idea is brilliant and am going to steal that idea if you don't mind!! ;-)
    P.S...I scrolled down to view more of your blog--you are doing a beautiful job!

  35. Oh Goodness! This is a beautiful table! I love the linens and the chargers that you painted. Really nice!


  36. I absolutely looved your first tabelscape! I haven't posted one yet but love to look at all of them. Yours is gorgeous! I'll check every week.


  37. Hi your maiden voyage is beautiful. You seem like the kind of gal who just loves to set a beautiful table. Do you love to cook too? I really enjoy both.
    The Waterford is lovely. It is a dream of mine to have wine & water glasses by Waterford. Don't they feel so good in your hand?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  38. Rett, your tablescape is gorgeous! Where do I begin? I love the centerpiece, the Waterford crystal, the placemats and napkins ... and those chargers are wonderful!


  39. Hi Rett,
    Your table is beautiful, so glad you took the time to set it up and share it with us! The pictures are perfect - the descriptions of everything were interesting, too! Welcome to Tablescape Thursday, hope you'll be back!
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  40. Hi Rett, I have sooo enjoyed dining at your beautiful table! And the conversation and stories of your trip to Ireland were as delicious as the shrimp! I have lots of Irish in me, too. :-)Thanks for all the great links...I'll be sure to check them out. You china and crystal are beautiful...and what a brilliant idea for your chargers! Your guests are going to be totally awed this weekend! Thanks for a wonderful glad you joined in! :-) Susan
    P.S. I love my Nikon D40. I'm not sure how much they cost since mine was a gift...but I've been very happy with it in low lighting. :-)

  41. WOW - 40 comment so far for a first TT!! That's because your TT is great. It really looks fabulous and your story along with it just makes it better.
    I really enjoyed my visit to your blog and meeting your darling granddaughter. I, too, have a granddaughter who is my very heart. You are very talented in the sewing dept. too.
    Thanks for visiting my first TT.

  42. that was fab, thanks for sharing so much! i loved the bridge too~

  43. Your table is the best I've seen! You deserve all kinds of awards for it! I love it!!

  44. Hello Rett!

    Your FIRST TT? You are a pro at this, for sure!

    Absolutely love your table and the gorgeous images you have shared.

    I'm so happy to have found your blog! xoxo ~ m

  45. Stunning! I love everything about this tablescape. So beautiful.
    Have a wonderful dinner party

  46. Hi Rett,
    Just stopping back by to thank you for the thoughtful, fun comment on my cloche post. Congratulations on all the wonderful comments! I KNEW the readers were going to love your first TT post. You did an amazing job! Congratulations again!


  47. Rett, are you sure this is your first TT? You did a wonderful job. Yuor pictures are just wonderful! I love Lenox and Waterford. I am not sure the younger generation appreciates them as much as we do! Hopefully, one day they will. Thanks for participating. Come visit me at Applejack Lane sometime.

  48. You table setting is absolutely stunning.The lace cutout placements add a nice, simple, elegant touch. All of your pieces are beautiful. I can tell you are an accomplished homemaker. You keep a beautiful with such artistic flair attention to every little detail.

  49. Oh Rett, your table is just gorgeous! I love all your pretty ideas. I want to come for dinner, ok? Heehee!

  50. Hello Rett,
    Your table is glorious!The sparkle of the cut crystal was captured, even with the 2-megapixel camera. I especially love the Waterford bowl. I remember the grape plates from Waccama...I had purchased them to paint the grape designs...never got to them, then donated them to Goodwill. Why didn't I think of painting them gold? What a fabulous idea!!!

    Thanks for visiting my blog...your comments were so kind.
    Jane (Artfully Graced)

    ps I used to live near McKinney, in're right, great shops!We used to run up every week or so to the British Baker...for scones.

  51. Wow! The table looks Fabulous with all your treasures! You have a wonderful talent to be able to display everything so well. Your narration describing it all is perfect. You have a way with works! I'm proud to be related!

  52. Wow! I'm impressed! That's gorgeous.I don't think I'm Irish, but I sure like the same things that you do. When I go to flea markets, I hunt for old cutwork stuff and linens. I love it all!

  53. I missed this last week, glad I scrolled down and saw it tonight. It's all just gorgeous! Love the way the gold glasses tie in with the gold charger! I also really like the napkin ring!


  54. Oh my !!!!!!!!!!!!!! so beautiful--the table is outstanding.


  55. This table is gorgeous. I especially love your gold chargers that you painted (pretty clever) and that beautiful water pitcher. You do a fantastic job of setting a table!!

  56. Hi lovely lady.
    Your Tablescape is so Beautiful !!!
    you know just how to put it all together for the Holidays!!!

    Im your newest follower, come over and see my Tablescapes sweet lady.
    I hope you have a nice day with your family ~~~


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I read them all & each one is so very special to me & I try really hard to return the visit!