Thursday, November 12, 2009

TABLESCAPE THURSDAY: LUNCH IN PARIS

I am a worrier by nature. I bought a set of six salad/bread plates from an estate sale a while back. And they have sat for a long time. But I have not stopped thinking about them for one second. You see, I wanted to do a tablescape with them, but sometimes the creativity light bulb in my brain just remains unlit. I knew what I didn't want to do. Now, why is that so easy to figure out? Think about it. It is the figuring out exactly what we want to do that is the hard part. And that may be my problem in the world of tablescaping and why I do it so little. God knows I have enough dishes... So I was lamenting to Fidd (Future Interior Design Daughter, who's progress in school I am going to bring you up on later in this post) and she (also known as Emily) said, "Mom, let me do a tablescape with the stupid dishes." To myself, I was thinking, hee hee, that doesn't mean I am going to take pictures of it! So she began to assemble things.
I am joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for her event today, so you know that a successful table setting was laid. Fidd does have a lot of creativity. She needs that to make up for a bit of sloppiness, but that is where this blonde control freak person comes in. The problem was, the dishes were black and white and very French. I didn't want to do a black and white tablescape for reasons I don't even know... and due to the unlit light bulb, I didn't have a clue what sort of color combination or type of centerpiece would work. So she got to work. I sat drinking my coffee, averting my eyes every time she looked my way. When she left the room to gather up napkins or glasses, I ran over to the table and thought, oh no, what is she doing??

Another problem with the black and white dishes was making the table look fall~like. I mentioned that to her. "No problem." She replied. I told her not to mix two white plates on a cream color charger. A roll of the eyes. I didn't like the napkin rings. "Get out of the room!"


She came from the craft room/office with this floral arrangement before setting out the gold tinted wine glasses. By now I was ready to hide my camera and disassemble the laptop so I couldn't be forced to blog about this disaster. Then she finished things up and I sat looking, then nodding my head, and then I gave her a big hug. When she said, "I bet everyone is going to say this is your best tablescape ever," that's when the Kodak moment ended.




I admit I fiddled and tweaked. She is too impatient to learn how to fold a napkin or position the silverware correctly (or like perfect soldiers, the way I tend to do it). I switched out the napkin rings and lit a candle. By then she was in the shower, all was forgotten. So here we have it. She did a great job, didn't she? The black and white mixes in well with the white china and off white capiz shell chargers and napkins. She mixed in some gold fall colors with some silver serving dishes. And she tied the dessert/bread plates in with a whimsical touch, a small trifle glass filled with black and white buttons.



These are close-ups of the plates. They look like French combat scenes to me. For anyone that can speak or read French, click on the picture to enlarge, there is some dialogue going on and it could be meaty... The markings on the back are H.B. surrounded in a circle that reads: 1/2 Porcelaine De Choisy~Le~ROI.





One plate has a tiny chip on the edge that can be sanded, otherwise they are in excellent condition. I love them. I am making cabbage rolls for dinner tonight. Should I serve them here? Does cabbage go with black and white?






The chargers and wine glasses are from Pier I. The dinner plates are from HomeGoods. The napkins and rings are from Target. All of the silver is from my thrifting adventures and the faux flowers are from Michael's. The geraniums in the window are from this summer. They are still going strong so I brought them in. Aren't they pretty?
Emily is more than half through with interior design school and getting her degree. She just finished up a grueling semester in which she had two classes, each having her design a hotel lobby and a townhouse, respectively. It is so much more than floor plans. She has to design and plan everything down to the electrical and lighting system. The design school she goes to is year round with 2 week breaks between semesters, so she will complete her degree in less than 4 years. Next year she plans to take a real estate course and get her license and attempt to combine the two fields. I think this is a really smart decision. You go, Fidd!!









Hey...if you enlarge this picture you will see Nina, the parrot, in her white cage off to the right. Probably waiting for the cabbage rolls. You might also see the door to the china closet open wide also. So much for staging. I want to remind you all about the giveaway. Tell your friends! My blog button is on my sidebar if you want it. It's new and I am proud of it, of course. This weekend I am going to the lake after missing 2 weekends in a row. I am going nuts. And I have something big there that I am going to tell you all about when I get back!
Have a great weekend!! :-)








59 comments:

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

Did you say Lunch in Paris? I'll be right over!

You crack me up...what a fun and entertaining post and you and Fidd did a fabulous job, it all came together beautifully!

Thanks for your comment...my checks still hurt from laughing so hard! I do think if we put our two blonde heads together we could figure out how to saw one in half...tee hee!

Love and hugs,
Karyn

stefanie said...

i think your table is gorgeous!!!!! it all look sooo professional, mine is filled with boxes and glitter, so i am a little jealous..lol

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane, I think it all looks beautiful... I LOVE your black and white plates... I could give you a loose translation of what they say, but will let someone more fluent than I am in French do so (even though I am French, I need to take lessons!)... Your daughter did a wonderful job... love to you... Bisous... Julie Marie

xinex said...

Hi Janie, FIDD sure did a great job. So nice that you got yourself a personal tablescaper and designer. Your plates are very interesting, very pretty and unique. I love them! I also like your napkin rings. I sent your magazines today and you should get them in 2-3 days....Christine

Stacey said...

Sounds like a smart daughter to me! Your table turned out just great. Is there a yummy dinner to go with it?

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Jane your FIDD did a wonderful job on this table...Now I really love those plates I feel like blacl/white is starting to take over my love of blue/white as I jsy got some toile farm animals dishes...can't beleive I really got rid of most my blue/white ones for them...Oh well its a sickness I can live with ha ha !! girl I hope you have a great weekend at the lake home...Hugs and smiles to you dear friend....Gl♥ria

Janie's World said...

FIDD did a fabulous job. It all came together perfectly. BTW, I also love your letters you made. They are inspiring.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh, I love your new plates! Those are so unique and pretty, and your FIDD did a great job with the tablescape. Sounds like she has set a path toward success. laurie

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I think you and FIDD make a great team! The whole table looks amazing!

nannykim/spindlecottage said...

I love it! I love the bare bones of that beautiful table all by itself....but the tablescape goes so well with it--it looks like I have gone back in time...sort of ;-). I like the buttons in the dish thing---I couldn't see what was in the other one? stones? not sure. Anyways--I like it LOTS!

Kathleen said...

Those plates look very intersting..and yes they go with cabbage! :)
It looks lovely, Jane..and I can't wait to see what the surprise is!

Bonnie said...

Hi, I can't remember the last time I had stuffed cabbage, was it at school??? I used to love it. I remember watching Martha Stewart's mom make it on TV and it looked so yummy.

Fidd did a great job with the tablescape!

~Bonnie~

PS - Sadie sends her regards to Milo

kimmcl said...

Very pretty Blondie! I love those dishes - they are gorgeous!

Lori E said...

We always have to tweak things don't we. She did do a good job. It looks welcoming and relaxed. Your input was valuable too.
Cabbage rolls sound perfect to me. Love them. I am looking forward to hearing about the lake news.
Have a great weekend.

susan said...

This is giving me visions of setting the table with my daughter--except SHE will be the blonde in charge :)--her dishes, her house!That little streak of stubborness is the thing that will make FIDD/Emily good in her profession. I think it's called idividuality and determination! Mothers's just call it a pain :) You have taught her well! (love those buttons) Yes, sigh...the crumb is making me crazy!

Sherri S said...

I LIKE the mix of everything she did. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your table! Your daughter did a wonderful job. I might just have to ask my teen if she wants to do one. See what different ideas she can come up with. LOL

silk purse said...

This is precious and hillarious at the same time!

I frankly wondered what you would say next, and Fidd/ Emily, well she's clearly quite the accomplished youn lady!~Sometimes all you need is "a fresh pair of eyes", even of she is determined; that's a good thing really!

So glad you joined the fun for Table Scape Thursday; it's so much enjoyment for all of us to hear the entertaining "why's and wherefores" of what you created, and how that "unlit bulb"..,How..,what a hoot! the bulb became "lit", in the person of your daughter "kick starting" the process for you.~(With those little motherly refinements being tweaked into place, when she went to get her shower)!

(Cute parrot, by the way)!..,

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

This is SO neat, Blondie! You handled it perfectly and everything looks wonderful. I understand the "tweeking" totally! It gets me in trouble but I do it too!
Hugs,
Mona

Tootsie said...

she did a fabulous job!!! and my hat's off to her. I haven't bothered to even try again after my one horrible disaster attempt...lol
I am tablescape challenged...even when I try to copy someone else's post!!!
it looks fantastic...
have a great weekend if I don't make it back again before!

Sandy said...

Beautiful table, I love the French plates. Your daughter did a fabulous job on the table. Maybe another tablescaper in the family, in the future? Thanks for visiting.
Sandy

Paula said...

Your daughter did a very nice job with her tablescape. Have fun at the lake this weekend!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
Fidd did a lovely job, those plates are really awesome! Your home is so lovely, you really need to show us more pics, I was ooohing and aaahing over your kitchen! I laughed out loud at your comment you left me about teenagers, how true! Have fun at the lakehouse my dear! Hugs, Cindy

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Lovely, even to the red geraniums. :-)

Another one of those things, I've never done... Stage a tablescape. Like crafts, which I don't do. ,-) But I'm happy that people do do and enjoy them.

Have a wonderful weekend, and fun with whatever your project is.

^_^

SmilingSally said...

Fidd clearly has a touch. You must be proud of her, Jane.

Mary said...

I think Fidd has certainly chosen the right career - she did great! I love the plates - can translate some of it but my French is not good - hope some French speaker will help you out. Guess you will be doing a lot more redecorating in the coming years.....Fidd will probably want to use your homes as models!! Not bad - and now my 13 y.o. granddaughter says she's leaning toward interior design (I was hoping she would be a doctor - preferably specializing in Geriatrics!!!!), so if I live long enough perhaps she'll work magic here in the house even if she can't cure my aches and pains!

Looking forward to the lake house surprise. Have a wonderful weekend there.

Shelia said...

Hi Jane! Oh, your little FIDD did a fabulous job! This was a funny post! I can just see you shaking your tiny head and little FIDD saying, just wait, mama!
The table does look great. What unusual dishes but they're really elegant! Tell FIDD, I loved her work. Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Helen said...

Dear Jane,
French combat scene ~ I had to laugh out loud!

And FIDD .... your future looks quite bright if tablescaping is any indication. What an amazing education and your plan to combine real estate with design is brilliant!

My favorite (after tabletop) is the table itself ~ lovely!

Enjoy your weekend .......

Lou Cinda said...

Jane ~ Emily/Fidd did great!! My boys don't help, but they will, however, give an unsolicited opinion of what I have done. Not always a good thing!

I think this might be my very favorite tablescape EVER!!!

Have fun at the lake!! You lucky girl!!

Lou Cinda :)

Beth at Aunties said...

Oh Jane,

Daughters are so fun and she did wonderful! I laughed how she told you to get out of the room. LOL
Mine teaches me and blows me away all the time by her talents. Aren't we lucky?
Fantastic job. The treaking turned out grand too.:)

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Love your site. Beautiful pictures. Charlene sent me to you. Glad she did
Maggie

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Oh, Mothers and daughters, what a team?! She did a lovely job and I love the bare wood table showing. Cute casual centerpiece too.
Blondie, love your crafty side coming out in the holiday letters. Great job.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Janie... what fascinating plates! I tried to translate them from the free thing online, but it was hopeless. I think you need to email Professor Debbie to come to the rescue and translate. :-)

I loved your tablescape and your commentary. Now what can be at that lake??? Can't wait to find out.

XO,

Sheila :-)

KarenB said...

It all looks very Frenchie. She did a great job. It is difficult to give up control, though, isn't it? So, box mixes, huh? I'm thinking there are ways to mess those up as well! Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Karen @ Elderberry Street

Pat said...

I think it's beautiful! And I love black & white...anything goes with it, girl. :-) Fidd is quite the designer right now I think. Thanks for sharing!

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

I love that dimly lit photo of the table setting all ready for everyone! Looks so cozy there. We never seem to imagine that our children will actually grow up and be smarter than we are. But sometimes that happens! Have fun at the lake! Maybe you'll have something from me next week.
Brenda

Cass @ That Old House said...

I loved this whole post, but especially the control-freak Mom and daughter interplay. Oh, wow, I know that territory very well -- I inherited it from my OWN mother!

Emily did a wonderful job --the table looks chic and balanced, a good mix of contemporary and classic.

She also sounds like one smart cookie, doing the design degree and then the RE license. Brilliant!

You are lucky. Howard is convinced that our daughters will be living in refrigerator boxes under the George Washington Bridge in NYC, given their chosen careers, and we will have to support them for the rest of our lives, and then some.

I only hope they marry well. :-P

Have a lovely weekend, my friend! Dion is disappointed he never got a cookie, but he got a bit of shredded wheat instead.
Cass

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

She did a good job. I love those black and white plates. And the napkin rings. Very pretty!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Jane! Well, you know if there is lunch in Paris, I'll be there! I think your daughter did a terrific job! I would be pleased to see mine interested in a tablescape! I am hoping that comes with age!
As for the plates...hold on to your hat because I feel the French teacher in me coming out....et voilà! Run the other direction unless you really want to know all!! lol
I did some research and here's what I found out:
The plates are French majolica or faïence made in the factory at Choissy-le-Roi from 1860-1910. The H.B. stands for Hippolyte Boulenger, who was the director there...not to be confused with the Belgian artisit by the same name. The plates that you showed were from a series centered around the fables of Jean de la Fontaine, a very well-known French writer. His fables use animals as main characters, but for these plates, people have been used to illustrate. "Le Loup et l'Agneau" means the Wolf and the Lamb. The saying at the bottom is the moral of the story...basically, the strongest is always right. In the story, the wolf eats the lamb even though the lamb is able to argue quietly that he could not have been the cause of any of the wolf's problems. Yikes! The other plate is entitled "La Lice et sa Compagne" or the Mastiff(dog) and her Friend. Once again, the moral of the fable is at the bottom...
roughly, give them a foot and they'll take four. We might say, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. In this story, the mastiff convinces her friend to let her stay at the friend's house until she (the mastiff) has her puppies. Her friend lets her continue to stay until the puppies are so large and powerful that the friend can't throw them out. I think there is also a series of military plates, which may be some of the other ones that you have. I hope that helps. You have some wonderful plates there...and a wonderful daughter who was willing to help you out!! Happy weekend...hugs...Debbie

Liz said...

Hey Jane! I think Miss Fidd did a great job! Those daughters sure see things different than we do! :)

Those are beautiful French plates!!

~Liz

Rettabug said...

Blondie, please tell your DD *Fidd* that I think she did a terrific job & is on the right career path, too. I wish her well & hope that we get to see more tablescapes from both of you!

♥ the touch of the black & white buttons....brilliant!

Knitty said...

I love the tablescape. I love that Debbie was able to provide background on the china and translations. And I love the acronym FIDD. :-D

The White Bench said...

Oh Jane, sooo beautiful! Love the black and white transferware plates! All looks so chic...
Can't wait to hear what the surprise is!!;))
Thank you for your sweet words, it's always such a pleasure to read your comments!
Monicaxo.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Jane...Yes, I think you did very well. It seems almost impossible to find any for sale in the US right now. I found one plate from the military campaign series for $89 plus shipping...but it didn't tell the size. And you got 6 for $40? Wow! And you know that they are from around the turn of the century...1910 at the latest. I would say that you did great!! Happy weekend...Debbie

Sarah said...

I think it is a lovely table. I think the French plates were a great find. They are so interesting. Thanks for sharing the table. It's great!

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Cabbage rolls sound great - but, we'd eat anything off of those lovely plates!

Sonia said...

Beautiful plates and lovely fall table...would be lovely to dine there! Hope your weekend is fabulous!! Miss Bloomers/Sonia

Picket said...

Hey girl! I think it turned out great and I know you must be so proud of her....my creative light bulb keeps blowing a fuse lately...tooo many cords plugged into the socket! lol lol Hope you have a great time at the lake sweetie...thanks so much for coming by! ~Picket~

Shelia said...

Hi Jane! I love your new button. So sophisticated! Now where did you get the text in the little box? I'd like to just copy and paste too.
Be a swetie,
Shelia ;)

Rebecca said...

Hello
Thank you for stopping by! Your tablescape is lovely..
Lol... when you said to enlarge the photo to see your parrot I did and thought the lamp was the bird - until I looked to the right and saw the cage.
Blessings
Rebecca

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Girl.. you always put a smile on my face. You are just the sweetest thing out here in blog land. Your tablescape turned out beautiful. I love, love, love the plates.
Thanks for swinging in and leaving well wishes for the open house. So far..so good... I hope you have a terrific w/k at the lake..
hugs ~lynne~

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Miss Jane, your table is beautiful....so peaceful and elegant. The plates are stunning. I love it all....a true winner.

Sending you hugs, Barb ♥

xinex said...

Nice to hear from you Janie. Did you get the magazines yet? Thanks for you nice comments. You know it was not just the vegetable cover that broke, the gravy boat, 3 cream soup cups, a serving bowl, oval platter and 1 salad plate all broke but the set is still worth what I paid for. Hopefully I can find the other pieces somewhere. I am always on the look out. The fruits inside the cloche are promeganate. They look like apples, don't they? Hope you are enjoying your weekend. You're at the lake, right?...Christine

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Fidd's comment "Mom, let me do a tablescape with the stupid dishes." left me laughing. I love the honesty of our children. The table was just lovely and I think everything just goes perfectly together.

KarenB said...

Jane, Thanks for the lovely comment. The house walk is for our church, so not a huge deal. If you need to find some warmth, though, you're welcome to come this way. It's free!

Karen @ Elderberry Street

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I think cabbage goes excellent with black and white...green and black are tres chic to moi.

Those plates look a LOT like the Napoleon ones I picked up in Brussels...they must be the same make for sure. And your table looks ready for a Franco American Thanksgiving celebration...I just love how it all came together!

Susie Q said...

Well, I think it looks just wonderful. It looks beautiful and welcoming...hey! I will be roght over! Keep that tea hot okay??

Have I tild you that I LOVE your table?? Well I DO!!
Love,
Sue

Chrissy said...

Simple and stunning!!!Love your windows.....

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Jane...

I think Fidd did an awesome job...it's quite lovely. I know..I've always been a perfectionist too, but I'm relaxing in my old age. My little grandson does the placecards for our dinners and I actually have his artwork on my fridge....believe me...I've NEVER done that before. My poor daughter....all of her art relegated to a box. :-(

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....

Hugs,
Spencer

Anonymous said...

nice read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you hear that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.