Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A is for AQUA!

I have decided to set myself a challenge. I am going to go through the alphabet and create a tablescape which is linked in someway to the letters of the alphabet. Not for any fancy reason, but simply because I have been struggling to come up with new ideas each week. I thought this would help to narrow down my choices and give me some boundaries to work from.

Last weekend I sat with my daughter and we made a list of all the colours that we could think of that began with the letter "A", then "B" and "C" etc. That gave some colour choices. Then we went back over the list and did the same with subjects. For example The letter "A" gave us Autumn and Asian. So you see how it works. We came up with so many things that I must confess that I probably have enough subject matter for about three years. HURRAY!!! Bless my daughters heart she was trying to watch the TV and I just kept nagging her to help me.......I mean she is a teenager and anything to do with me is totally not cool at the moment (unless she wants something lol). I'm all for exploiting them when it suits me too! wink wink. Anyway she helped this poor old, uncool Mum more than she knows. Thank you my sweet. So away we go into
A is for Aqua!

This whole table was inspired by this beautiful tablecloth that I bought ages ago from the Salvation army shop. I just loved it! Technically it doesn't quite fit this table as it is square and my table is rectangle. However, it covers the table and looks lovely (if not quite perfect).
You can see it in the picture above and in the picture below. You can see the beautiful Crane which gave the idea of creating a table with birds as the stars of the show.

Here are just a few of the components that went into making up this tablescape.
 The plates.........

Hmmm I'm not so sure about this one....

And then......

Now let me tell you secret, it is virtually impossible to buy chargers here in NZ. I have hunted everywhere to try and find some. I am even repaired to buy from a department store (I know shocking) if I could find some (mind you, NZ is short of those too). So here is my solution, I have hunted the Op-shops for large glass plates. This is what I have found so far........

Love it!.......and another....

And another.....Not bad for one days hunting is it?

Now come on you've gotta love this one! And finally......

For some strange reason this photo kept uploading like this, on it's side. So if you could just stand up and then balance on one arm, tilt your head and ....HOLD IT...there now you can see it the right way up? GOOD.... lol
Did you see the cute little ducks? well here are some more pretty birds.

And in the vignette on the sideboard.....You can't quite see the glass pheasant..shame he's a cutie!

Oh wait here he is..

 But how about this gorgeous lady? I had to have this, had, had, had to!! I found her this weekend at our local market!

 Is she not gorgeous in her posture and her opalescent finish? Now normally I am all about diamonds, but I have to confess to having a bit of a smidge of a thing about pearls too. I love the finish on them. It is one of those things which I am always attracted to (a bit like orange, I don't know why). If I see a pearly anything, I seem to love it! So when I put her on this table there was only one set of napkin rings that I could use. But instead of using them as napkin rings I added them to the glass candlesticks.

  Do you like the pearls? Too much??? Well that's me...too much!
So the centre piece in full!

Oh I do love her. She represents my inner beauty.....Sadly on the outside, I'm getting wider and wider...DARN that middle age spread. 
I even added my pearl handled cutlery, well knives anyway. The flatware comes from Japan. It is silver plated, and very like the RODD, Wilton design.

Anyway, The Vases. Here you see both the vases that I used. I collected them over a period of time. Don't forget all these things are vintage thrift store finds. (except the pearl handled knives and flatware, they were from an antique shop. But affordable never the less.)    

And here...this vase matches the beautiful pitcher on the sideboard.

I was lucky enough to find, a couple of years a go, four of the aqua wine goblets. They work very well on this table I think.

My napkin choice seemed a natural one. I simply used the sienna coloured napkins, which were the exact colour of the flowers in the table cloth. Lucky huh?

So there it is...And here are a few images in the candlelight....My dinning room is always better in the evening, I think you'll agree!

 When I lay this table for four of us. I nearly always put the flowers to the ends of the table. It somehow seems to balance out, the wrong dimensions of a rectangular table of this size.

Here is another view with the plates laid out a bit differently. I changed the table for the following evening.

 Do you think it spreads out the settings bit more?

So here's a little tip for you.
Did you know that when people who owned and lived in large manor houses a had guests to stay, it was customary for guests to re-use the same napkin each night for the duration of their stay. It was perfectly acceptable for the table to be relaid and the guests napkins replaced in their position at the table.

Don't forget to leave me a comment I love love love hearing from you! It's mighty lonely when you don't hear from anyone for a while, and being English living in New Zealand, I'm a long way from home and family.....SOB SOB SOB!!!!

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  1. Beautiful tablecloth! I love the idea of using the glass platters for chargers. I thought about doing that with round silver trays, but then there's the polishing problems. This is so much more practical and maybe more beautiful and they go with everything! So clever. Pearls are always just right and never too much! Dianne

  2. What a terrific idea. Can't wait to see what you do with 'x' ;)

  3. I love the glass "chargers." I have been in Honduras for ten years (missions) and brought home pewter plates to serve as chargers. I love how they reflect the light, and your plates do the same--and they match your candlesticks, as well. Such a pretty cloth!

  4. What a terrific idea for coming up with table schemes! Your aqua table is lovely! I like the way you place the flowers, and YES, lovely at night!

  5. Great idea on the glass trays as chargers! I like to find old silverplate trays and use those as well. Love your tablecloth.. it's a spectacular piece. Great choice in dishes and the Swan is a masterpiece. Great table. Many blessings, marlis

  6. The glass trays make for wonderful charger plates. Love the aqua plates...it is one of my favorite colors to work with.

  7. The glass chargers are really lovely. Great idea with the alphabet scheme to work with for your table setting. Thanks for sharing at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  8. Hi Jo, can you buy/win chargers or plates from ebay? Or would the shipping fee be too expensive?

    I had to laugh because I thought your duck plates were water blobs until you told me to turn my head...haha...then I saw the cute ducks. LOL

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog "My Trinkets"..I love comments!!! And I too have become your new follower.

    OK..I am off to see more of your beautiful tablescapes.


  9. Gorgeous glass chargers! The aqua plate is stunning! Love the alphabet scheme. Thanks for sharing:)
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  10. Everything looks gorgeous. I have a whole box of the first glass plate you showed! I bought two sets of the dishes years ago. They are great to use when I have a dinner party. I like how you used them as chargers. I am now a new follower :-)

    Jocelyn @

  11. Your table looks lovely! I really like the glass chargers and would have never thought of that. Now I have something else to want (smile)

  12. How pretty! Love your glass chargers and looking forward to all your tables A to Z.

  13. If I remember correctly, guests reusing napkins was why people began to use napkin rings. I have found that if I can't find a charger plate that I like, I can do a search for chop plates. Chop plates are usually 12+ inches in diameter...just perfect for a charger plate. My mama used to say that when I turned 13, she turned incredibly stupid; and she didn't even begin to become smart again until after I turned 21. Ah...life with a teenage girl. Thank you for sharing your beautiful A for Aqua tablescape. Cherry Kay

  14. Great concept...can't wait to see your celebration of the alphabet!!! Your first table is lovely.

  15. Jo...Love your chargers!! New Zealand, so far away and our connection is so close, tablescaping bring us togething......isn't that wonderful?
    ~:*~:*~Following you to see what wonderful things you come up with for the next Tablescape Thursday!:*~:*~


  16. This is so very pretty. I love aqua and white too. THanks for sharing at my newbie party.