Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ibid, 2

Crown Lynn (sandown) Old yet contemporary!

This is a Crown Lynn 1970's stoneware dinner service, called Sandown. Love it or hate it but it's certainly representative of it's decade. I am into all things retro at the moment so I love this. I mean it's not pretty but its not as bad as it could be and put together with all these components I think it makes a table worth sitting at. It makes a nice change from all things current and modern. And yet, it doesn't exactly look old fashioned either, does it? Crown Lynn was New Zealands only commercial pottery which ran from the 1940's until the 1980's, when sadly it shut down due to a down turn in business! There's a massive amount of crown Lynn collectors here in NZ and they are fanatical about their collecting. I have been to peoples houses to buy one or two pieces of pottery, which I purchased from on line auctions, to complete this set and they have rooms which are wall to wall shelving covered with assorted pieces of Crown Lynn. As with any collections the values are rising as they are no longer in production. I have managed to complete a couple of sets and am contemplating whether to add to another one.
GLASSWARE. You can see in the full view image of the table that I have bought some beautiful amber glass ware. It is very collectable around the world. So always a good buy and not just for our purposes. I have bought some engraved wine glasses/champagne flutes. Sadly, I was only able to get five. Such a shame! I did, however, manage to get some more amber glasses, which I use for the end positions of the table. For children at the table or for less formal occasions or even just for water I used some highball glasses which you can see in the table below. I love amber glass it has a radiance that you just don't get from normal glasses.
The place mats were an unusual purchase that I made ages ago. I really wasn't sure if I would ever be able to do anything with them, but, as you can see they came into their own on this table. The illustration below shows how the fluted edges add a softening detail to the finished look. They are a very strange design really, a they are made of stiffened, very loose weave hessian with some embroidery on them. They did come with coasters but I never really know what to do with coasters on a table. I suppose you could always sew them together and make something with them...maybe a centre mat etc.. (actually that's quite a good idea). Anyway, I do find the mats interesting, because as I've said before I always like to turn something fairly undesirable into something that most people like but,wouldn't have thought of. The runner is one I have had for ages and I love it. It has so many uses. It is also a great protector of the table underneath when serving hot dishes. It is made of bamboo strips.
THE VASE AND FLOWERS AND CANDLESTICKS. I chose a simple vase to be in-keeping with the simple nature of this table. It was a pink vase that I painted in a matt black. The circular shape married well with circles in the pattern of the crockery. The candlesticks are available in most op-shops, in differing styles. Again they are usually in there in quite an abundant amount so obviously not popular. I hope that you can see how good they can look in the right place (and cheap too). If you wished to, you could buy heaps and make a long line of them along the table, that would create a very dramatic effect, with candles of differing heights. (For another table you could do like I did with the vase and spray them any colour you like.) The flowers started off very simply but I really wanted to add a little more interest. So you can see from the earlier picture how it evolved. My trusty old grapes came out and soon changed the feel of the table. So simple but so effective. NAPKINS AND NAPKIN RINGS. Here in the picture below you can see how the addition of a little bit of greenery from the garden has given the rather plain napkin rings an added touch. There are many ways to make something very simple and plain look quite lovely. The simplest of touches can make the world of difference to any setting. This particular plant has the most amazing pinky, grape colour on the underneath, which shows through on some of the place settings. It reflects the colour of the grapes very well. The napkin rings are, as usual, just my trusty old plain ones, which can be varied for many tables. The Napkins are simple and don't need to be to over the top as the table doesn't require to much fuss. It is easy to confuse "fuss" with "detail". You can see in the earlier picture that the napkin shape that I settled on is different from the one that I started with. Fundamentally the table is very similar but I think you will agree that the end result is so much better for the little extra effort.

So there it is... The Crown Lynn "sandown" Dinner service. ENJOY!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A selection of glassware for the turquoise table.

Turquoise glassware that I have bought since I designed the original table. I haven't actually put them together yet but, I will post when I do. I just felt that the table might benefit from a little more glamour and less whimsy on occasions. It is also stuff that I a collecting from what has become known as the "Retro Era". technically the eighties are not part of that but hey who's looking?
It is a very unusual colour which attracted me to it in the first place.

I was thinking that the two bowls might look good with tea lights or candles and the jug could be loaded up with flowers in the middle of the table!!

Some items that I have come to love along the way!!

Now these are incredible and are very collectable.
While researching the age etc and any info I can find on them, I found out that they are American "Hobnail milk glass". There are many single glasses on
Ebay, but, I have not found any whole sets being sold together.
You can see this set in use on the post yelow sunny table. They are great for cocktails!! Always handy in my book!

These two green glass purchases were made together as I thought that it would be quite nice to put some
bubble bath in the green decanter and put it in the bathroom. However I found that they looked so good on my new 1950's dressing table that I keep them on there. (will post pictures of that soon) The vase makes a great item to hang necklaces.
It comes from the 1960's period.

Strictly speaking these things are not completely table design, but while out hunting I come across many useful and completely useless items that I simply have to have. I bought this with the intention of selling it as a piece of Kiwiana. however after being given two huge bags of the most amazingly sweet grapefruit I found this to be the best citrus squeezer I have ever used. (shame its so ugly). Still, it's earnt it's place in my kitchen. As William Morris said "function over form". Who am I to argue???

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So here we are again readers, or should I say reader? (thanks Dawnie! Dawnies Den is amazing by the way). Today I have found the time to sit and write. After a long conversation with my adorable husband in the spa last night, while drinking a glass or two of bubbles, he inspired me to get on with my writing and stop feeling self indulgent about using my time to do this. He loves it!! He thinks that if you have a creative interest then you should pursue it. ( I know ladies isn't he fantastic?) He is the most amazingly, supportive and encouraging man that I have ever known! And let me tell you I have known a few. I don't mean in "that way". I simply mean that I have met a few.....Oh for goodness sake, you know what I mean! So I shall shut up and continue. I think that you get the point that I love my Husband and he loves me and that's all that matters. THERE I'VE SAID IT!!

So the silver and white table.......This table evolved really from one or two random purchases and a gift. Two of the silver goblets were from friends, (sadly no longer together) given to us as a departing gift as we ventured overseas from the South island all the way up to the North island and to the cosmopolitan centre of New Zealand more commonly called Auckland. Yes I was to become a "Jafa". (don't ask what it means. it is a derogatory term given to all people from Auckland by.... well just about everyone else in NZ really). "It means "just another F.....g Aucklander". I think it must be an affectionate term don't you? Up here we accept the comment and welcome it because it enables us to live in the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. Oh My goodness I have done it again...I digress. I a waffling. Shame on me!! I guess to say that I like the sound of my own voice translates into my own thoughts as well, seeing as I can write the most amazing nonsense too.

But Hey it's my blog!!

So back to the table...
As I said "an evolution of items" that led me to pursue other things which enabled me to put this table together. There are some items which come up regularly in op-shops. Probably because they are not very fashionable and are sometimes difficult to use, but, I love the afore mentioned goodies as I love the challenge of taking things that no-one else wants, and show them in a different light. When putting a whole lot of silverware together suddenly what seemed like a fairly useless item comes into it's own. I managed to get a few more goblets over the next few weeks and so another table was born.

(Tip;- When buying goblets always check they are not damaged inside).

From this idea came the notion that the silver plated trays that always seem to be hanging around in one relatives' house or another, that usually end up in op-shops would indeed make great platters. A base that is ideal for stacking up all the plates and dishes therefore requiring no place mats.

Silver is always a good base for an evening table as the candlelight adds a wonderful sparkle. On this table I have varied the settings slightly so that you can see how it can work with an assortment of crockery, napkins and the use of crystal as opposed to silver goblets.

Silver trays also make great serving platters for buffets or table centre pieces as can be seen on this table.

During my hunting, I also bought two silver tea sets (don't ask me why?) OK! well I will tell you. Way back at the beginning of my obsession, while, hunting for my eclectic dinner set, I decided that because I was struggling to find a tea pot ( I have one now thanks and it's adorable) that I would buy a silver one instead. Having bought one, I then found another one which was much nicer. It has a much nicer tray, and I already have many ideas about how to use it.

(TIP;-One idea is to use the original tea set as an unusual centre piece. Fill each item in the tea set with short stemmed flowers and place on the tray and put in the middle of the table. Instant glamour! The second idea is to use the other set as a piece for the sideboard or such item of furniture that you may have in your dining room. It adds another element of the same colour to the room setting. )

The candlesticks are antique and I bought them many years ago in the UK. They always add an heir of formality, which, I love at a dinner party. The other smaller candles are little Lillies. As I said in an earlier post I always buy candles like that, when I see them them as they are very affordable (another way of saying cheap in this politically correct world of ours) and they come in so many styles and colours. Variety being the order of the day and very much what my nonsense blog is about.

The table cloth is beautiful but a devil to iron. I had to have this one though as the price was incredible. They normally sell for a fortune at antique fairs.

The white and silver crockery was my first "posh " set. It was given to me as a gift many years ago. I have since added to it to increase it's numbers. Strictly speaking this isn't an op-shop purchase but white crockery is often available so I don't feel guilty about including it here in my blog. I have slightly altered the table for the last few pictures so that you can see how it can be changed for different settings.

This one includes the sandwich plates that I decided to buy to add to my eclectic set for the purposes of using as starter plates. Notice the different napkin folding and rings used.

So once again another table.......ENJOY.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I just spent hours writing a whole document about my next table which , went very well and I included loads of really good pictures to see if I could cut and paste it on to here. It is just that it is not easy to get all my pictures on here once the text has been written and it is very frustrating. After several hours of writing and picture editing I am ready to put it on here only to find that it won't let me cut and paste. How annoying!!! Looks like I will have to spend another day doing it all over again. yuk!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I have been very busy with all my girlies eating and drinking my way to obeicity. And enjoying the most amazing date with my husband to celebrate out wedding anniversary. I truly think that I married the most wonderful man in the whole world. I feel sorry for anyone who didnt get him. Looks like that would be everyone else then!!!

I have been beavering away putting together some more tables for my project and I am trying to get up the courage to approach an interior magazing to do an article about my ideas. I think it could be an interesting thing to see considering how the recession has made it so hard for people to go out and buy all the new stuff they might want. As I said before Op-shops are coming into their own and are very busy right now. You should see the amount of lunatic collectors like me who regularly patrol all the op-shops in their town looking for either sellable stuff or just a good old fashioned bargain. I am mad enough to fight my way through and to be honest, I am quite capable of allowing my determined and some might say dangerous habits to smear my otherwise perfect personality. I mean I will snatch a bargain out of the hands of even the most old and vulnerable pensioner. I mean come on, I probably saw the item first so back off old person.