Thursday, September 20, 2012

Everyday use-what-you-love table setting

In April I gussied up our sunroom. We spend about 3/4 of our year using this room as a living room and dinning room. It is almost floor to ceiling windows on three sides and so we get lots of natural sunlight. Unfortunately, there aren't real windows, only storm windows and screens. If it is a sunny day, we can use the room even in February. Once the sun goes down....watch out! It's popsicle land. Since we spend so much time in the sunroom I wanted to add some color and whimsy. Above you can see the dinning area. As you can see, we had a small table and mis-matched chairs. I'd been wanting a large wood table for the sunroom for a long time, something with leaves that could seat a large group for dinners and discussions. 

One of my friends was selling the perfect table over facebook. Cheap. It needs refinishing but with the leaf makes a large square. A square is perfect for discussion! Almost as good as round. We bought it but then I had a dilemma. Now the two table cloths I made for our smaller plastic table were too small! Well, I'm a do what you can with what you have kind of gal so we "make" it fit.
 Above you can see the table set for our dinner. As you can see, the table cloth is not big enough, but because the table is wood, it looks grand! Someday when we refinish the table it will look fabulous!
I like to add something from nature to my table. Right now the squirrels are eating the acorns from our neighbor's oak tree. We have lots of their "misses" in our front yard. You can see the acorns with attached leaves around the candle on the table.
 Hmmm....here's a closer look. You may notice a few odd things in this picture. The first is that I set the table on three sides. Seems odd, doesn't it? Because the table is so big and we have some other seating in the sunroom, we keep the table pushed very close to the wall unless we have company. We sit like this for our meals. It also allows everyone to gaze on my delicious quilt while eating! (Insert laugh track here.)

Another thing you may have noticed are the dishes and glasses. They don't match or even really go with the table cloth and quilt. I have worked over the last year to eliminate paper products from our home. The first area I worked on was paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware. I needed enough plates, napkins and glasses for a party. The plates and glasses you see came from a thrift shop. I buy things at thrift shops when I love them. I don't worry if they match or if there are enough for a place setting. In fact, the only matching place setting I have is my good china. And that I bought at a neighbor's auction for $80 right before Mike and I got married 20 years ago. I'm talkin' about a 6 piece place setting of honest to goodness real china! What a deal.
Here's a close up of one of the place settings. You can see the floral china plate. I just love it! For under $10 I got about 7 large plates, 7 small plates, 3 soup bowls, 4 dessert bowls and one large platter. You can't beat that! They are all either this purple-ish flower pattern or the orange you see in the other photo.

In addition, I bought the Juicy glasses at another thrift shop. I actually think I have four of these but can't find one at the moment. It is probably in our basement with one of the men. I love these glasses that originally held something else: peanut butter, sour cream, etc. I have several others including the floral one on the table.

You can see the linen napkins I made. They are just large squares that I hemmed. Nothing fancy. I do love the feel and texture of linen.
 Above is a close up of my center runner. It was made from the same linen as the napkins. I wanted something that was natural and that I could decorate with items from out of doors like the acorns and leaves you see above. The large floral coasters were made from the left over fabric I used in the wall quilt. We also use them to set our hot plates on to protect the wood table when we eat. They are larger than typical coasters and fit nicely under a plate. 
Finally, here's a close up of my wall quilt. I had recently read Memoirs of a Geisha and wanted something remotely Japanese. I thought this fit the bill nicely. I do so love the colors. The lanterns were a Joanne Fabric find. I believe they are Martha Stewart. I had a 50% off coupon and am pleased with their look. 

So why am I showing you all of this? Well, I'm entering a contest! I don't do that often but I saw the Table Stitch, Table Set, Tablescape contest at Sew, Mama, Sew and thought I'd showcase our everyday table. 

What I want you to take from this post is not that you need to sew your table setting or that you need to start thrift shopping or even that you should make a quilt for your wall. My purpose is to tell you to find things you LOVE. For me, it is less important that the whole setting matches than that I love each piece that is used. We also live on a very strict budget so it is vital that I spend little money and that I think about the footprint of each item I purchase. 

You are probably different.

That's the point. Don't think you have to do what you see someone else doing. Do what you love. Spend some time thinking about what that means. For me, it means simplicity (you see how simple my table is) and color and some craft (sewing). For you it may be romantic, modern, matchy-matchy, store bought, thrift bought, knitted, papercrafted, etc. The world is your oyster!

Go for it!

1 comment:

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow your wall hanging is amazing. Very pretty.

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