Friday, November 20, 2009

The pink table

Hi there fellow op-shoppers! Or lunatics who just love seeing me make a complete fool of myself on here! I am happy to report that even though I had recently written that I am working on a yellow table, (which I am) I have managed to finish another one in a gorgeous pink.
Now sit down because I am about to educate you on how to achieve such an unbelievably fabulous table. Have you got your cuppa tea? (a prerequisite for any reading on here) if you have read any thing on here you will know I can go on a bit! And why not? it's my blog! so blog off and start reading..
It all started when someone gave me some plain pink fabric. I don't know why! it was ages ago, long before I became a nut for op-shop china. They obviously just thought I was the sort of person who would give a home to a piece of plain, fairly boring fabric that wasn't big enough to do anything with. I guess it saved them from having to throw it away and use valuable room in their garbage bag. AND YES I am obsessive and YES I do hoard everything, so I guess I would be a good bet as to who to chose when re homing such a remnant! With my massive act of appreciative excitement I thanked them and gave it pride of place in my remnant basket.
Actually I jest, I really am a complete hoarder and keep everything. Can you imagine the cost of our container when emigrating? My only justification is that my husband is even worse than me so I can get way with murder. In fact all my family is worse than me. My son is totally incapable of throwing anything away. We should all be on one of those documentaries about lunatics who keep the whole counties rubbish in their front room with the intention of one day building the Empire State Building with all the empty cereal packets which are stacked in one corner.
But, enough of that! Back to the table, you probably didn't come on here to look at my ramblings did you?????? HUM!!!! Well!!!!!! Actually you probably did! So on with the story anyway.
As I said the first thing was the pink remnant, then came the beige and pink check fabric which I bought in a sale. Not just any old sale but a silly one which sold stuff at ridiculously low prices. (my kind of sale). Can you believe the excitement? (yes I know I keep saying that but I really do jump about when a bargain comes my way.) when I found out it was only $1 a metre. Bloody hell, bargain or what? I mean this is New Zealand, nothing is ever that cheap! so I bought all 6 metres of it. It did help that I really liked it. So I got home and made myself a cup of tea (obligatory when experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the afore mentioned excitement) and thought "what shall I do with it". After finishing the said tea, and making another, (I really do have too much time on my hands) I couldn't think of a flippin thing. So up it went to the fabric basket. Destined to be a remnant forever, even if it was one of considerable size. I hear it's quite important to have size on your side when in the remnant basket, I mean otherwise surely you would just become a cleaning cloth or something equally as meaningless. Come on if you were a remnant would you want someone to come and ruin what little bit of dignity you had by cutting you into strips and turning you into one of those hideous woven bath mats.... NO I THINK NOT! Sorry if you have one of those, "I really like them!" (gotta keep the tasteless sweet ).
Well anyway several months, if not years had passed and I had done nothing with this fabric even though I had had several ideas over that period, just not enough time to put any of them into action. But, as luck would have it along came this project. So out it came along with the pink remnant and on to my table. Destined for great things. Not a woven bath mat. No surreeyy! A table runner, Not something to be sniffed at in the world of table linens and not just one runner but THREE!! yes readers THREE.

So with the base taken care of all I needed was... well everything else actually. I had found some of my favourite cheap plastic napkin rings, (hideous but loads of potential) and some pink napkins all from the op-shops. So I set about finding some suitable crockery.

While hunting for stuff (not stuff for this table to be exact) I had come across a Crown lynne pink and pale blue dinner service. It was quite nice, fairly plain but nice. It is not all that common to find a service with pink on it so I had to have it. It wasn't complete but I got it anyway. As luck would have it I soon found another crown lynne set in a slightly different pattern, but near enough to make a set. I mean Serve your meal in a bad light (which I always do, you should see my food) and you could always pull it off. It was a plan coming together.

Next I needed a beautiful centre piece. I found a round vase, and a really unusual pink glass jug with some gold, guilding on it. It knew it would make both a great vase or just leave it as the maker intended, a water jug. I know! throw caution to wind that's me. The Devil may care, is my attitude and yes sometimes I do just do leave stuff alone. Where's the fun in that though?

I did finally decide that the table looked better without the jug on it, even though I really like it.
There are some things I always buy when I see them. Silk flowers, Candles and assorted paraphernalia like ribbons, rafia, lengths of assorted haberdashery etc etc. I can always find a use for them and often the price of stuff like this new, can really whack up the price of the table setting. And let's remember we are trying to keep the price down as much as possible . I buy these things when ever I see them even if I am working on a table of a different colour. In fact it often inspires me to start another colour. Apart from the silk flowers which I was going to put in this vase, I had found some lovely decorative apple and pear decorations. I put these with the flowers and Bob's your uncle, A fabulous centre piece. Now, whereas, there is nothing like real flowers, when you entertain as much as me and like to lay the table each time it can really add up, cost wise. The selection of synthetic (such a naff expression) or faux (such a pretentious one) flowers are very good these days. For all those who are old enough to remember Plastic ones, and who categorise all unreal flowers in the same bracket, either get out more or believe me when I say they are in some cases very realistic and very re-usable. I have, on more than one occasion had people coming and asking me "are those real" and then they nearly always touch them, probably just to confirm my answer of "yes they are!" Bloody unbelievers!! still proves my point though. It is quite OK to mix real and synthetic together and in fact makes real flowers go a long way in decorative arrangements. I added some cut crystal glasses, as I hadn't been able to find any pink glass. I will keep looking though.
The napkin rings were made by wrapping lengths of glossy, pink transparent, ribbon around plain plastic rings. Which gives a lovely glimmer, I can't help it I do like a little bit of bling, probably because of my tacky working class roots on my Mothers side. (just kidding Mum) and then adding some more decorative ribbon and some small flowers to add a little touch of elegance and just bring in another hint of colour. I also use the little flowers for adding a little detail to my gift wrapping. Now here's a funny thing! I have never found anywhere, any cutlery worth buying at an op-shop. So, I tend to use the same set, or an old antique set I own to illustrate the tables. Obviously these are not so cheap so just buy what you like from where ever you want. I give you my full permission and if you manage to find a lovely set of cutlery in an op-shop, then know this, I am coming after you. I have never found a single set worth buying. But I guess once you have a set of any description that is all you need. I do still look around the antique shops though just in case the bargain of the year comes up. After all I don't want to miss it do I?

So there it is the pink table!

I know these photo's don't always do the tables justice, I'm afraid I lack the talent for great photography and I am saving my styling techniques for another project. But, it just gives you an idea of what can be achieved with this particular method of shopping.

hope you like it!

I'll be back rambling again soon so please keep looking, and leave me a message of great complement.
Jo x


  1. Gorgeous, love it, only wish I had the chance to eat at it!!!! xxx

  2. You get your great ideas from me(The working class girl) who taught you how to lay a table properly!!!! I like this one.

  3. Yes Mum I give you full credit for the ability to lay a table correctly. I also give you thanks for teaching me good table manners. With the resurgence of afternoon tea laid out in lovely old china I am hoping that a move towards eating at a well laid out table will have a come back too. After all the purpose of this project of mine is too show people that it doesnt have to cost alot of money to have style and in this depressing time of recession when sometimes it can seem that everything is being taken away from us why wouldn't anyone want to have a little more affordable luxury around them? jo xx