Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Right place, right time 
Tomorrow is the ultimate day of thanks for
most Americans. We gather to acknowledge
how truly blessed we are. This year I don't
have to dish it out. However I thought I'd
share some inspiration from tables past.
And hopefully inspire a perfect setting for
your gathering of kindred spirits. It doesn't
have to be fancy. All that's required is a bit
of creativity and a touch of extra effort. The
table shown right wasn't for Thanksgiving.
However it was an autumnal dinner and all
we did was pile some pumpkins in the center.
The result quite charming and beyond easy.

Past present 
All I do is mix and match. I often start from the
cloth up. Thanksgiving 2013 was a jacquard in
the classic blue willow pattern. Every dinner
plate was a different Spode blue/white transfer
pattern - all dishwasher safe! The salad plates
were antique Tea Leaf ironstone - once in just
about every kitchen in America. The bread and
butters - mid-century Wedgwood Countryside.
Tall stems were Heisey Old Williamsburg in
"nut brown" (you'll see them again.) And the
tumblers were handblown Italian. Candlesticks
from my Mother. Hand embroidered napkins
once part of my great grandmother's trousseau.

Tabula rasa
Thanksgiving 2014 was our first in our new
old house. While we hosted eleven that year,
our new antique table is wide enough to seat
two on each end if needed. Thus with all of
the leaves we can easily seat eighteen at one
time. The tablecloth is banquet sized damask
grabbed at a store closing sale in Dallas. The
monogrammed napkins an estate sale find.
Dinner plates are Spode Imperial D'or. Those
Cream soups - Adams Titian Ware in Royal
Ivory. The water glasses are Yeoward, Wines
Val St Lambert Gondole. Every single dish
and glass shown were purchased on e-bay.
Home plate
Our 2015 Thanksgiving table started with these
fabulous Dorothy Thorpe plates. I first spied
them at Bergdorf Goodman for a fortune. Then
oh so slowly built up a set via e-bay for a song.
Finding a tablecloth that worked with this set
took years. Finally Williams Sonoma came to
my rescue! My beloved nut brown stems made
a repeat appearance. Along with vintage fifties
Imperial Glass Provincial goblets in amber.
Aunt Dorothea's Holmes & Edwards silver is
the Century pattern. Over the years I've added
pieces at bargain prices. Now we've got enough
place settings to fork it over to a crowd!

Go with the Flo
In 2017 we used one of my favorite Spode
patterns - "Florence." My intention was to
celebrate the hues of autumnal foliage. The
plates popped against the dark brown and
red of a woven jacquard tablecloth. Once
again we put our "nut" brown and amber
gold Heisey and Imperial stems to use.
And finally, after a decade of searching on
e-bay was able to add a second pair of Val
St. Lambert amber candlesticks to the mix.
While dramatic it was still rather homey.
Just like the comfort food on the menu this
table was all about HOME SWEET HOME!

There's always room for more!
Last year we hosted Christmas instead of Turkey
Day. Hence my sister- in-law "S" set an equally
lovely Thanksgiving table. She mixed it up with
family heirlooms from multiple generations. And
our century old patriarch who sat at the head of
the table. At center was an arrangement created
by Lewistown's  Wild Iris Floral & Home. The
end result proves anyone can set a pretty table.
All that's required is a little bit of time, effort.
and creativity. In the end what's most important
is the love and fellowship shared with all who
gather around the table. Now that's something
to be thankful for! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!