Mother’s Day Tablescape

I received an email from one of my long-time readers,  Shauna.  She is a retired grandmother in a Southern state who was one of the first people to start reading my blog and has always been a kind supporter sending encouraging emails throughout the last year.  As usual her email opened up talking about her grandchildren (whom she adores) and the woes that are common to being a mother to three adult children.  One of the things she mentioned in her email was that her children said that her style was “fussy” because she likes traditional china with floral motifs and woodland scenes.

“They say I am being fuddy duddy because I want to set a nice table when they come visit.  I don’t think it’s being old fashioned to set a table that is pretty?  Just like I like to dress up when I go out to dinner, I think setting a proper table for special occassions is important, well at least to me.”

Shauna laments that she is worried that her “grandbabies” will grow up thinking that nice dinners “come from a box”.  At the end of the email, she asked me if I would do a table setting with more traditional china to show her how to mix things up and effectively “get her daughter to put a sock in it..” (her words….not mine!).

Hmmm…..traditional china into a modern tablescape?  I know it can be done, but the challenge was how to do it and not have it looked forced.  Second, where the hell was I gonna find some traditional china since all my dish sets are fairly contemporary.  One word – resale shop.  I went to my local second-hand shop and stumbled up a beautiful set of teacups and saucers in a delicate yellow and blue floral motif.  It also didn’t hurt that they were on mark down!  SCORE!

So with a starting point, I did what I always do – I shopped my home to find what I already had to pull the look together.  After doing some digging, I unearthed some tea pots I bought at Pier One last year that inspired the centerpieces and the notion that I would do a Mother’s Day Tea on my patio.  Usually I brainstorm an imaginary client to center the tablescape around but I already had my muse in Shauna.  Strong, sassy and a tad traditional, Shauna exudes the type of grandmother I think any person would want.  She bakes cookies, occasionally rides a Harley and has a killer closet full of beautiful shoes (oh yeah Shauna is a shoe addict – YSL, Gucci, Choos – yup this lady loves her some heels).  So I knew that I had some leeway in creating a tablescape that was traditional but definitely not stuffy.

I think I was able to integrate the traditional with the modern (plus sneak in some booze into the mix just fro you Shauna).  I will do a full breakdown of the table on Monday with additional pictures as well as tell you about an awesome give away.  However, until then, have a fantastic weekend and to all the wonderful ladies who have provided nurturing, love and support to all those around them, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

ps: Shauna, I hope you like the tablescape.  It’s a little bit of sass with whole lot of class…just like you darlin’!

Link Parties:

Show & Tell Link Party on Blue Cricket Designs

Tutorial & Tips Tuesday on The Stories of A to Z

Table Top Tuesday on A Stroll Thru Life

Texture Tuesday on Kim Klassen Cafe

Tea Time Tuesday on Lady Katherine Tea Parlour

Tea Time Tuesday on Rose Chintz Cottage

Tea Cup Tuesday on Martha’s Favorites

Tuesday Tea for Two on The Plumed Pen

Teapot & Tea Things Tuesday on The Silken Purse

Tablescape Thursdays on Between Naps on the Porch

Hooking Up with HoH on House of Hepworths

Lovin’ It Fridays on TidyMom

New Year’s Eve Dinner Party Table Setting

As promised, here is the “sister” table setting to the one I posted yesterday.  While yesterday’s table setting was a bit more relaxed perhaps even whimsical, this setting is more formal, hence why I think it suits a dinner party.  As I was putting the pieces together for this tablescape, it dawned on me that with all the crystal and white china, it looks like a wedding table……but then I thought isn’t New Year’s about joining the old and the new, so in a way it seemed appropriate.  But then I could simply be making stuff up to soothe my ego.

If you read the posting on the blog Living Livelier, you know that I tend to create back stories for each of the projects I do, even tablescapes.  I find creating these fictional characters and their fictional lives, help me better understand what the final product should look like. With this table setting, I imagined the party giver was my younger (imaginary) sister.  This sister is a little more traditional and reserved,  and while she appreciates my panache, she and her husband prefer something more traditional and classic in their home.  They enjoy scouring estate sales for silverware & crystal, adore mono-chromatic color schemes and appreciate timeless style.  She loves Max Mara, carries an understated Louis Vuitton bag (no monogram print for her) and reads Traditional Home on the weekend.  Her husband loves Ralph Lauren, owns a vintage Rolex and is saving up to buy a classic Porsche Boxster.

(Yeah, I sorta go overboard on this stuff….and to my real sister, I love you very much even if you aren’t this idealized version!!)

With all this in mind, I limited myself to shopping my existing pantry closet as well as the big discount stores (Dollar Tree, Marshalls & Ross Dress for Less) for anything extra.  In addition, I placed one extra restraint on myself in that I  could not go buy new flowers – I had to recycle the flowers I purchased for the original table setting.  Thinking a little outside the box when it came to my center piece, I think I was able to create a look that is classic and elegant….something that could be used for a dinner party, bridal shower or a formal lunch.


Tablecloth: Custom made from fabric found on
Napkins: Crate & Barrel Outlet
Napkin Rings: Pottery Barn (part of their catering set they now sell)
Charger Plates: Ikea
Plates: Dollar Store
Crystal Goblets: Waterford Crystal (given to us by The Partner’s parents)
Wine Glasses: Ross Dress for Less
Centerpiece: It is a coffee filter wreath I made for $3 and tucked flowers into
Flower Vases: Crystal shot glasses – Ross Dress for Less
Crystal Candy Pots: Marshalls
Party Favor Bowls: Both sets of crystal bowls are from Ross Dress for Less ($2.99 each)
Party Poppers: Mix of homemade using paper towel rolls store-bought (Dollar Store)
Crystal Candlesticks: Pieces I have picked up from antique marts and discount stores – none over $10
Flatware: Mix of mother of pearl from eBay and everyday flatware from Costco
Champagne Bucket: CB2
Flowers: Recycled them from the other table…just cut them lower to fit the shot glasses & any leftovers got tucked into the wreath.

Hope this gave you inspiration to set your own fantastic holiday table!