Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas table 2010

In this time of Christmas cheer, I love trawling the op-shops and markets to see what wondrous delights I can steal away at astonishing prices. This year was no exception and I found some very cute pieces. Bundled together in an array of traditional colours, I think you will agree that a lovely festive dinner table has been brought to bare.

I have included the next photo simply so that you can see the components of this table. It is taken at lunch time, but the light created by the mass of candles is really best shown off at night.
I will simply list the pieces that I found on my travels so that you may be able to pick out what individual pieces go to create this lovely setting. VERY cheap black candle holders x 2, 2 x green glittery fat candles, 1x retro red vase with white church candle in it, placed centrally in a wreath which I bought in the new year last year. 3x tiny gold Xmas tree decorations, a couple of broken gold beaded garlands (virtually free) draped around the black candle holders, an assortment of red votive's complete with tea lights (essential to have buckets of those at this time of year), tall red candles, another gold garland made from lots of little festive shaped trinkets, including harps, trumpets and bells etc.
I bought a packet of red fabric roses to use as present decoration, but, couldn't bring myself to part with them so placed them lovingly on the table too. The best (in my opinion) thing that I bought, that I love, are the gorgeous little string garlands that consist of tiny porcelain objects in red and white. You can see them in this picture but, it's not the best image of them.
All the garlands were carefully draped around the strategically placed items and add a wonderful Chrismasy feel to the whole table.
The china was my white porcelain set, with silver trim, which I layered up and then placed some newly acquired red napkins which came with a lovely gold edging. I was very happy with those as I had managed to get eight. The napkin rings are made from an opalescence china and are quite gorgeous. Sadly, I was not able to get the full effect from the photography.

You can just see the way the napkins have been folded and placed on to the plates, in the picture above.
I think you will agree (or I hope that you do) that the table looks really lovely when lit up at night. I am very happy with it and just hope that my guests will be too. The twinkling of the gently bobbing flames adds a wonderful sparkle to so many of the pieces in the table.

So there it is The Christmas table 2010. I'm off to make some mulled wine and mince tarts made with mincemeat and filo pastry. I may just add a little Brandy butter just to get the Christmas spirit flowing.........
Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year to all. Keep popping by in the new year to see what other designs of thrifty table chic I can come up with for 2011.


Friday, December 17, 2010

I have managed to get some lovely photos of my christmas table this year so I will be putting them on here in a short while.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Amber glass on cream/yellow linen

This table is another example of how one dinner set can be made into something so different. I think you will agree, if you go back to the last posting, that it looks completely different. I don't mean just because of the fabric which is obviously not the same, but the way that it creates a totally different ambiance on the table. I really like it, I think that it looks a little like a french country farmhouse. A style that I am particularly fond of. It has an element of sophistication while at the same time a casual feel.

Notice on this table that I have used the cups and saucers to great effect. Not for the usual after dinner coffee or tea session, but, in fact as the desert dishes. I love to use cups and saucers as desert bowls I think it's a bit quirky...I'm all about quirky. Just ask any of my family, they will be only to happy to confirm that happy little detail. Any object that can be used for something other than that for which it was intended then I'm gonna find it!

The napkins are simply held in shape by very smooth, plain rings in a matt yellow. Nothing fancy, just simple. No posh folding, after all this table is not a really formal table just a well laid out casual affair.
These runners are in fact two rectangle small cloths, but, I use them like this because, well, I just like it. I have to fold them into shape to make them work here. I am going to cut one of them up and make it into a proper runner. Then I will have more to play with, while still keeping one for a smaller table should the occasion occur. (It always does). I only found three napkins in the same fabric (the yellow check) so I use them to buffer the shortfall in place mats.

Notice the venetian bowl here, as I said in the last posting, it is very beautiful and has quite a bit of financial value. That's always a plus point when buying at op-shops and such a nice surprise to buy something just because you like it and then find that it is worth a lot more than you paid. You can see it so much better in this picture than the last one in the previous posting.
The centre element to the table is different too. I have used the papier mache veg and bunches of fruit. It's so very simple but attractive. I hope that you will agree!!

I think I mentioned in the last posting that I have also bought about 9 amber glass sundea dishes, they are lovely. I think I am going to try to lay them along the centre of the table with water and floating candles in them for a bit more of a relaxed feel for a more intimate dinner date.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

some ideas for you!!

For all you givers of cocktail parties. This is a good website.

Another great blog I have found. Its so full of ideas.. I am in heaven!!

This is a fantastic site for all your china needs. If you are lucky enough to find a really great dinner set or china of some description and desperatly need some more then give them a go.

Amber glass ware on purple linens

The Amber Glassware dinner set was another one which evolved over a period of time. I saw a set which consisted of place settings for four people. "Oh, that looks nice" I thought to myself. So without further ado I hopped over (actually I walked like everyone else, but, indulge me,) over to the till with the said dinner set in hand and laid it on the counter. "There!" I said to the rather pleasant looking lady behind the counter, ""There, I think I will take this please". "Oh" she said. "That's nice, rather old fashioned." What does she mean by "Rather old fashioned?" I asked myself. But, after I stopped myself from jumping the counter and giving her what for, I decided she was right. As usual, I was attracted by what most people leave behind. Now for most people, amber glass ware is one of those things that you either love or hate. For me it fell into the category of 1970's bad taste for years. It was put firmly into the same basket as those hideous houses that had a piece of BROWN GLASS as panels either next to the front door or worse, on an inside door. You know the type, that when you go to look at a house you say to yourself "that is coming right out." That's if you like the house of course. Anyway I digress just for a change. You get the point! I didn't like it. However after starting this blog and spending far more time than is sensible in op-shops. I realised that one can see quite a lot of Amber glass. It is however quite collectible and can also be seen in many antique shops nowadays. So if for no other reason it is worth buying and selling to dealers or online auctions.

For my purposes though, It was the fact that it was a dinner service, complete and in good condition. Actually when I got it home I realised that it wasn't complete, but, not to worry I was soon able to acquire some lovely little sundae dishes and then some more dishes and so on......

Next came the serving bowls one of which had a matching smaller example. Perfect for cream I thought. So the set wasn't looking half bad, but, it was only for four people....hmmmm, that's never any good for me. So, I then spent ages trying to find another complete set. I just kept looking, but it took a while.

It was during this time that I found the most beautiful Venetian, large stem bowl. A collectors piece if ever there was one. You can see it in the picture below. It is the top half of the arrangement. It is very delicate but so beautiful. As is usual in my photography the picture does not do it justice. This is another collectible piece which at present I am unable to let go off. I do tend to hoard all my stuff...but, who cares it is bought for my blog, not to sell, well not yet anyway. I really should take another picture of it and put it on here it is worth it so you can see the whole piece. Anyway, for the centre piece, I added it to a large flattish serving dish and filled the whole thing with grapes and flowers. Some real and some not quite so..well actually, when I say "not quite so" I obviously mean dead as a bloody Dodo! And even then not dead as a Dodo, because that would imply they had been alive at some point..but, no, not in this case. They are my trusty ornamental grapes and flowers. Every good bloger, who does what I do...(are there anymore? I wonder) should have a whole shed full. You can never have enough faux flowers and props made up of fruit, veg, unusual little things that catch your eye and so on......Most things can be made into a centre piece, just let your creativity flow. On my last blog I found two little metal baskets which I think had some soap and smellies etc in them. I however, thought, WOW! I can do something with those... and so I did. I used them for paper napkins on this occasion, but, just let your imagination run away with you. There are no rules other than the ones that you impose on yourself. Another time I may well put candles in them, or another time I had though of wrapping cutlery in paper napkins and placing the neatly wrapped sets upright in the baskets for a more casual occasion. See how you can turn a very relaxed 'do' into something quite special with out having to make it formal. Something I know that most Kiwis seem to dread!

After not being able to find another dinner set to match the one I had so enthusiastically purchased in all my frequently frequented op-shops I decide to look online. Low and behold... there it was the exact one. In perfect condition and less money than the one bought from the op-shop. I did have to pay for postage though. So it turned out to be about the same as the first one. So I now have a dinner set for eight people with a selection of sundae dishes and a beautiful Venetian stem bowl.

The glasses are very fragile and did actually come with some leather sheath type things. but I took them off. They are very 1970's which is why I bought them, but, after removing the covers I realised that they are rather good looking with out them.
I'm well 'appy!!!