Rise and Shine sunshine-themed tablescape to warm a bitter-cold New Year

I really don’t blame you if you thought this blog had been abandoned… I mean, who doesn’t post for an entire year? Me, apparently! Because I did indeed take a whole year off not only from blogging but even from setting pretty tables at home. Instead I spent my year going through the exhaustive learning process of a new job, and when that wasn’t using every last remaining brain cell, I was outside enjoying my patio and working on my cottage garden. Greg and I also took a lot of wonderful road-trips this year, including one to the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi with side trip to Pensacola Beach in Florida.

2022 has started off with a snowy bang. Weather at Christmas was very mild for Iowa, but it started snowing on New Year’s Day and we got six inches in about 4 hours. January 2nd dawned bitterly cold but with a bright blue sky, so the day was… picturesque, if not “beautiful” in the traditional weather-sense of that word.

For this year’s “new year” table, I decided to go with a theme of sunshine because … well, it was -9 (yes, MINUS NINE) overnight and a high of 7 above today so, I was craving a sense of warmth.

Back in March I had changed my kitchen over to a yellow and orange color scheme, and in my thrifting adventures I’ve lately found several sets of yellow and/or orange placemats. I decided to also use Fiestaware coffee cups in what I call “breakfast citrus” colors of lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit, so in my mind this became a breakfast table.

Dinner plates were a deep-discount find at Home Goods a few years ago – I love the sculpted “stitched border” pattern and these go with so many other casual pieces!

I found these adorable napkin rings – I popped them into my cart one day thinking they were suns… but on second thought I wondered if they were supposed to be sunflowers. No matter, to me they will always be little individual rays of sunshine, perfect for my yellow and orange “rise and shine” breakfast table. The napkins are actually dishrags, on clearance at TJ Maxx several years ago, but still brand new because I’ve never used them.

Forks are my handed-down Oneida “Chandelier,” and the steak knives (for cutting our breakfast ham, of course!) are a brand called Palm. The centerpiece is a small yellow container used for holding a pot scrubber at the kitchen sink – though mine has flowers in it – in the shape of a chirping bird. He’s corralled onto a small salad plate along with the salt and pepper.

Here are the Fiestaware colors – back when I was in the antique mall booth business, I bought a large collection of cups and saucers in many of the newer Fiesta colors from a person who was selling them dirt-cheap. I kept all the citrus colors for myself, and sold the rest in my booth over time.

Here are a few more views around the table…

Here’s the birdseye view – you didn’t think I would photograph a pretty table without climbing up on the step-stool, did you? 🙂

And the put-away shot, with everything gathered up and ready to go back into the cupboards.

And finally, here’s an image to Pin in case you would like to save any ideas for this post 🙂

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

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Noritake Carnivale New Year’s tablescape

The new year always seems to bring out thoughts (and images) of classic blue and white in the decorating world. Probably because that particular combination has a crisp and clean feel about it, unencumbered by the fullness and abundance so prolific in Christmas decor. I think it’s actually the white – or more accurately, the contrast with white – which creates the clean, crisp appearance, and that any color becomes a perfect New Year color when paired with white.

Case in point, I’ve had a collection of eight salad plates – “Carnivale” by Noritake – for quite some time now that I’ve never used. I set them for New Year’s to prove a point: that “purple and white,” “aqua and white,” even “green and white” … actually “anything and white” – can give the same fresh, clean feeling.

As you can see I have a hard time getting completely away from frou-frou, even when going for a “crisp and clean” new year’s vibe. My cutwork tablecloth is the closest I have to solid white, and my snow-white perching doves in the centerpiece seemed appropriate for January. (The perching crows were a simple craft I made myself, using thrift-store bud vases and Dollar Tree doves. Very easy to make!)

My own failings as a minimalist aside, it’s really the salad plates I wanted to share anyway. 🙂 These were an incredible bargain a couple of years ago directly from Noritake – as you know I rarely buy anything brand new, but these were so deeply discounted I couldn’t help myself. And I could NOT choose just one color, so I chose four! Carnivale has that beautiful stripe around the border, with just a bit of dotted detail. It reminds me of colorful awnings at a local fair. I love how it looks with my stitch-border solid white dinner plates – a Home Goods purchase about three years ago.

Flatware is my handed-down Oneida “Chandelier,” and glassware includes both Longchamps and snow-themed stemware.

Hard to capture in a photo, but the place setting also includes a footed crystal bowl in the middle for dessert.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of things:

This table looked lovely in candlelight with all that sparkling crystal.

Here’s the put-away shot, everything gathered and ready to go back into the cupboards.

And an image to Pin in case you’d like to save it for future inspiration! Meanwhile, come join us over in the Thrifty Tablescapers Facebook group for more ideas that will inspire you to set lovely tables on a budget!

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Happy New Year!

Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!

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Tablescape round-up and farewell to 2020

It’s probably safe to say that most of us won’t be sorry to wave buh-bye to the year 2020, and that we have high hopes of 2021 being SO much better. (I myself plan to stay up til midnight New Year’s Eve just to make sure the old year does in fact leave!) As 2020 comes to a close, I thought I would post a quick look back at the tablescapes I shared on the blog throughout the year.

In January, I hosted two long-time friends for a ladies’ luncheon. I had hoped to host more luncheons throughout the year, but that plan was soon scuttled as COVID-19 settled in beginning in March.

My Valentine’s Day plans also evolved, such that I didn’t fix a meal to enjoy my table-for-two, but Greg and I enjoyed ourselves anyway.

I don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but I had collected the most perfect set of Limoges and couldn’t resist putting together a “Wild Irish Rose” table for that occasion. (No corned beef and cabbage though… yuck!)

Blue and yellow – colors I associate with the French country look and in particular, with the city of Provence – continue to be favorite tablescaping colors. I set my second Provence-inspired table featuring an unlikely hero: “La Cigale,” the cicada! (Anyone else set a table honoring a creepy-looking insect? No? Just me? Okay…)

Over the summer I acquired the most beautiful set of chargers, which I deemed fit for a princess. I shared my fairytale table in early September.

I couldn’t decide on a look for Thanksgiving, so I shared a few ideas. The first was a table set in jewel tones. I loved the centerpiece on this one!

My second Thanksgiving table was more a celebration of the bold Autumn colors.

And third, the table I actually used when I hosted my daughter and her beau for Thanksgiving lunch, featuring my handed-down Currier & Ives dinnerware.

In and amongst the Thanksgiving table ideas, I shared a simple setting for one to mark the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

I hosted another friend for dinner around Christmas time, where we enjoyed a new-to-me treat: Hasselback potatoes! I used my Debbie Mumm “Woodland Santa” plates for this simple but festive table!

And for Christmas, I shared a table set with my most beautiful pattern of all, Old Country Roses. This table featured a special napkin fold, for which I provided a tutorial elsewhere on the blog. (You can also check out my free PDF file, “5 Fun Easy Napkin Folds” for the Christmas Tree and other simple folds!)

For more tablescaping inspiration, I hope you’ll consider joining my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers. We’ve enjoyed a full year of inspiration overload – the group is filled with budget-friendly ideas for setting fun, beautiful, and inviting tables on a budget. Come “play with the dishes” with us in the new year!

Here’s to more tablescaping fun in 2021!

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Friends, thank you so much for connecting with me this year – here on the blog, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… it’s through this technology that we are able to make the world just a bit smaller, a bit kinder, and a bit more inspiring. I appreciate these opportunities, and I appreciate you for being part of my journey! I wish you the happiest of holidays!

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