Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tablescape Thursday: Blue & White Garden

Mother nature thwarted my plans to set this up outside and take pictures in the actual garden, which by the way is coming together quite nicely - thanks to lots and lots of hardwork, and even more money. But enough about that - today we celebrate tablescapes thanks to the oh so gracious hostess, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Make sure to visit Susan's blog for her tablescape and those of all the other bloggers who deserve the recognition!

This week I've worked so hard in the garden, battled sickness, started a collection, and got lost trying to find several different home and garden centers. It was a busy week, needless to say. With all of that going on, I had little time to visit with you all - and so, I thought what better way to show gratitude to and for my faithful readers, than to have a party in the garden where I've been sequestered these past few days. Unfortunately, mother nature planned otherwise. So please, indulge me, and follow along ...

Burlap covers the table (which would have been in the grassy area between gardens in my small backyard) and sheet moss is tucked between, under, and near the blue and white Chinese pottery, and the terracotta pot saucers used as chargers for our Pfaltzgraff stoneware. Folding teak dining chairs slip covered in a blue and white plaid fabric, tied simple at the back with small coordinating ties ...

Sage green linen napkins held with carved fruitwood napkin rings sit atop Chinese blue and white rice bowls. Bright yellow mums and astromeria fill the largest of the pottery, spilling over the edges - the true look of fresh cut flowers from the garden. The fragrance of the new additions of the garden perfumes the air, as we all sit back in our slipped chairs, laughing, relaxing, commiserating - with a fine glass of Chardonnay, no doubt.

And finally, a simple but delicious summer salad and cucumber mint wrap, we would all enjoy with the faux bamboo stemmed flatware I've yet to actually use. I was lucky enough to find this on super sale last year after summer, and have service for 20 ready and waiting for this years back-yard dinner party. If you missed looking at last years, check it out here.
Ah, yes - it would have been picturesque, beautiful, and all worth the pain. How about a rain-check? LITERALLY!

A New Collection

I'm not sure why I'm so attracted to the blue and white combination, or the simplicity but perennial beauty of the uber popular Chinese Ginger Jars and Tea Jars, but I am. I really am, and I'm not alone. Designers throughout the country are using these porcelain beauties, once meant to be gifts to the 17th century kings and queens of Europe, directly exported from the artists in China.

From the halls of king's mansions to the tabletops of modern bungalows - blue and white wares have certainly maintained their popularity while travelling from pride to peasant and back again.

Over the past few months, I've collected my own blue and white pottery from stores, Brimfield, tag sales, and eBay a beginners collection. Pieces range from antique to new, nice to fantastic, and I spend hours almost daily searching for new outlets on where I can find the best stuff, cheap.

It didn't start out as a meaningful collection - simply a 19th century double happiness jar with a pierced wooden lid I found at an estate sale for $8. Worth more than $150, it was something I couldn't pass up - even though I really had nowhere to put it. Soon, I had a small collection, and started looking at blue fabric, blue art, blue blue blue ... I even started to pull blues into my bedroom, which was a profusion of reds. This picture spurred that move, and I've never been happier. Look forward to that post, soon.

Weather collected on table tops, dining room buffets; in cupboards, bookcases, or armoires; even displayed atop mantles, entry hall credenzas, and kitchen cabinets - the classic nature of the blue and white appeal to many, and have certainly grabbed hold of me.

So, count this as the lead in to my Tablescape Thursday post tomorrow, the picture above providing a bit of a hint. See you then!