Cottage necessities: silk flower arrangements

Friends, I’ve said it before: silk flowers are a staple here in my little cottage – I could not and would not enjoy my home as much as I do if it weren’t for beautiful bunches! Do you use them? I know, I know… lots of people poo-poo them.

“They look so fake.”
“If I can’t have fresh, I’ll have nothing at all.”
“They’re awful.”

And to those people I say, you really don’t know what you’re missing, especially when higher quality silks are all over the thrift stores and other second-hand venues… and frequently 50% off or more at places like Hobby Lobby!

Here are a few of my favorites:

This one was $2.99 at Goodwill a couple years ago. It is presently popped into an antique biscuit jar that was a $1 auction win. I tend to move this one all around the house and change its container fairly frequently.

My little sawhorse coffee table was becoming quite the cluttered mishmash of containers holding everything from my collection of reader glasses to the TV remote and so many other random things. I rounded everything up into this cool vintage box labeled Daphne Prunes, and now it feels much more organized. And pretty, too, after setting in a bunch of Dollar Tree silk flowers from my stash for that spilled-over look!

Absolutely stunning ready-made bunch of ranunculus and other blooms from a local consignment shop for $6.99. It sits (literally) on a pedestal in my kitchen.

Perfect muted hues for an elegant table-for-two. The larger blooms are a place to rest, visually speaking, from the intricate borders on the dinnerware I used.

Simple views on my enclosed porch one day pre-pandemic as I headed off to work.

I spotted this huge solid pink poinsettia the moment I walked in the door at a Goodwill a couple of years ago. It is about two feet across and cost $2.99! Later, I found a variegated pink clip-on poinsettia bloom that mingles perfectly. A favorite at Christmastime!

What are your thoughts on adding inexpensive beauty to every corner of your home with silk flowers – yay or nay?

Here’s an image to Pin if you’d like to save these beauties!

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Vote for one…

I’m not a fan of the breadsticks… I would vote #4 out of the bag! How about you?

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Just arrived: dreamy chargers in fairytale hues

Over in my Facebook Group, Thrifty Tablescapers, members post daily with photos of lovely budget-friendly tables they’ve set with thrift-store finds, handed down/inherited treasures, and Dollar Tree dishes. These “thrifty” sources are always my go-to’s!

But recently, one of the gals posted an absolutely gorgeous table using the most amazing chargers which she mentioned were available on Amazon. When I went to check them out, they were out of stock – but a couple weeks later they returned, and I decided to go ahead and splurge. At $30 for six, plus free Prime shipping and two-day delivery, they were a bit more than I would normally spend.

But guys, I’m soooo glad I did because they are gorgeous! And while I did indeed pay full retail for them, it didn’t take long to realize how many different dinner plates I have that will go with them. SO many possibilities… and that makes them thrifty – right? (Please tell me it does!)

My first choice was the light baby blue, but I might have to go back for the “ballet pink”!
Just look at those pretty details!

The chargers are by Allgala, imported, and thick plastic. The ones I purchased are in baby blue with gold details in the sculpted edges, but this style also comes in pink. They arrived with a little foam slip-sheet in between each one, so no surface scratches occurred during shipping.

The first thing I did after unpacking them was – what else – play with some dishes to see what I had that would go well with them. I found a few favorites!

Formalities “Bernadotte” by Baum Brothers dinner plate, and “Old English” salad plate by Johnson Brothers of England.
Haviland Limoges, unknown pattern, double gold edge.
Crown Potteries 22k gold wide-shouldered dinner plate. Over the top with gold!
Hand-painted salad plate from Bavaria.
A personal favorite: Homer Laughlin Eggshell Georgian “Marilyn”.

Can’t wait to do something really special with these! If you’d like to buy them for yourself, you can follow this link:

Allgala Chargers on Amazon

Please note that the above is an affiliate link, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase through my link, it costs you nothing additional but I do get a small commission! (So thanks for using my link if you do decide to purchase! Also note that Allgala has several different chargers to pick from if these aren’t your style – same link above!)

What’s your most recent splurge? Let me know in the comments!

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Vive ‘La Cigale’ – An unlikely hero finds a spot on my Provence-inspired table for two

In 2018 I set a summer table that was loosely inspired by the colors of Provence, in France. Which is my pseudo-sophisticated way of saying that it was primarily done in blue and yellow. (Nevermind that if you Google “colors of Provence” it brings up a wide variety of colors, including vibrant shades of red, orange, fuschia, and more…. to me Provence means blue and yellow. And lavender, but that didn’t really fit with my table plan.)

(For more pretty tables set on a budget, check out my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers!)

Anyway, that table has always been one of my favorites, so this year I decided to try another variation on the Provence (blue and yellow) theme, set as a table for two. I also wanted this table to have some sort of “uniquely Provencal” element, but of course had no idea what that might be. So I Googled “symbols of Provence,” and found a blog post entitled “La Cigale: Why the Cicada Became the Symbol of Provence.”

Cicadas? Ug, I HATE cicadas! They creep me out to look at them, especially their eyes and those crispy brown “shells” they leave behind when they molt!

Cicada shell, image courtesy University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. | Vintage Floral Cottage
Cicada shell, image courtesy University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Still… some French guy a long time ago adapted the story of “The Grasshopper and the Ant” to instead feature a “cigale” who produced music all summer instead of working to store up food… and you can guess how that turned out, so maybe, I thought, maybe there is something romantic and French about cicadas that I missing.

Cicada, photo courtesy West Virginia University Extension

GAAAAAA!!! Nope, still horrific.

And yet. And yet. They were long ago adopted by the good citizens of Provence as a symbol of their region so they must have some socially redeeming value… or maybe it was just that the good citizens of Provence finally realized they were never going to escape that deafening “weeer-weeer-WEEEEEERRRRrrrrrr” noise so they might as well embrace it.

In any case, who am I to argue with good citizens? “La Cigale” for the win, in the form of a beautiful cicada brooch pin found on Amazon.

Cicada brooch pin from Amazon | Vintage Floral Cottage
Cicada brooch pin from Amazon. Now THIS is a cicada I can learn to love!

The tablecloth for this table is a flat sheet, folded to a size suitable for defining the two-person space on a four-person table.

Provence Inspired table for two | Vintage Floral Cottage

Glassware is Whitehall by Indiana Glass in a beautiful (dare I say) French blue – thrift store finds I’ve had now for many years. They are a favorite for their size and weight, and I have them in several colors.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Sunny yellow dinner plates are marked “Hollywood Craftsmen” on the bottom, and salad plates are “Rose Bouquet” by Coventry Fine Porcelain. Also thrift store finds.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Flatware was a splurge… I now have four place settings of “Napoleon Bee” by Wallace, which I’ve collected over the past year via Amazon. The pretty plaid napkins were consignment store finds.

These and the pretty plaid napkins were secondhand finds.

The centerpiece features the same bunch of flowers from my 2018 Provence tablescape, just plopped down into a different container – this time a white sugar bowl by Federalist Ironstone.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Have you spotted “la cigale” yet? Here he is, perched on a hand-painted side plate that also corrals the salt and pepper shakers.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

I moved him around to various spots on the table just because he looked so beautiful.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Also included for perusal before lunch is served: the May 2020 issue of Victoria Magazine, because it perfectly complements the color scheme and features “The Charm of French Style.” (It does not, however, mention cicadas. At all.)

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

A few more views around the table.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage
Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

The put-away shot, because everything just looks so pretty waiting to go back into the cupboards.

Provence Inspired table 2020 | Vintage Floral Cottage

And an image to Pin if you would like to save my Provence 2020 table for future ideas!

I’m linking this tablescape to Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s blog, Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to click through for many more wonderful table-setting ideas!

Vive La Cigale!

Cicada brooch pin from Amazon | Vintage Floral Cottage
‘La Cigale’ Cicada brooch/pin from Amazon.

Please note: this post contains my affiliate link to Amazon. If you click through to purchase your very own cicada brooch pin, it costs you nothing extra but I receive a small commission. Thank you for using my link if you desire!

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Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick’s Day Table

Last year I had the opportunity to meet a woman whose parents had collected thousands of pieces of Haviland Limoges in hundreds of different patterns, including many large and full sets. She had spent several years helping them sell the pieces individually on Ebay, but when I met her, they had both passed away and she was undergoing a massive effort to liquidate the collection. They owned a small house with three 2-car garages all connected to each other, insulated and finished inside, and lined with industrial shelving, which contained the massive collection.  I visited her three times over several months, and did my part to help lighten her load 🙂

Part of my haul was a few pieces of this pretty pattern featuring gold edging and a shamrock border – I purchased four dinner plates and four salad plates, and have waited for this week to use them, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I decided to set the table with a theme of “Wild Irish Rose,” since these fun silk napkin rings brought such happy color to the scheme.

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The solid green dinner plate is by Home Trends, which I think was originally a Target or WalMart house brand – mine of course came from the Goodwill.

The gold flatware and white cutwork tablecloth were also secondhand finds, as was the crystal glassware. The green glassware is from Dollar Tree.

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The centerpiece is a thrifted collection of pretty silk florals rounded up into an antique biscuit jar – an auction find.

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

I just love these pretty edges!

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views around the table.

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

… and here is the “put-away shot” – all gathered up and ready to be put away.

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Finally, here’s an image to Pin if you’d like to save this table for future ideas –

Wild Irish Rose St. Patrick's Day tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’m linking my Wild Irish Rose tablescape to the 600th edition of Tablescape Thursday over on Susan’s lovely blog, Between Naps on the Porch! Check it out for more inspiration!

 

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