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Of Fish and Whales

The fish napkins we have had forever and the whale glasses that were a gift from artist Margot Larkin, the driving force for this sunny blue table setting. The island day so pretty it was one for the books.

The white peonies and the overflowing bucket of French lavender adding a bit of flowery-ness and off we went for a table for two. The sun creating all sorts of shadows, but worth every ray of goodness.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 154

A collection begins with one thing. Vintage dinner plates found at flea markets and estate sales are an easy thing to collect. You can mix & match designs, or really be a sleuth finding more of a certain pattern.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 153

Much like getting dressed in the morning and setting your clothes out while you are getting ready, think of setting a table much in the same way. Pull things that you think work together and group them on a staging area. Add, subtract. Whatever strikes your fancy. Then set out adding all the things to your dining table.



 

 

The Case of the Traveling Peonies

They made it! The peonies I plucked right as we were leaving Hawthorne made the cross country flight and are being enjoyed on the dining table at The Gainsborough as I type. They are our Flower Friday blooms of the week. Boy were those little guys ready for a fresh cut and a big drink, but other than that, they were serious troopers. I cut them and instantly wrapped the bottoms of the stems in a wet paper towel, then wrapped them tightly in a ziplock bag so the stems stayed surrounded by the moisture. I carried them in my L.L. Bean bag on the plane and they sat perky in the middle seat for the flight. Our meals at the table a fluttery symphony of color & scent.



 

 

On the Menu, a Heavy Dose of Greens, Please

Each Hawthorne visit, a few new goodies from the shop make their way into our suitcase. That helps add that layered ‘collected over time’ look & feel we both like so much. This trip it was the trellis placemats and the large gingham napkins I kept eyeing every time I walked by the display at the First & Spring shop.

The green ribbon orb a gift from our friend, the artist Denise Fiedler, also made its way cross country in our bag. White lilacs from caretaker Bill’s property that he brought over the day after we arrived as he knows how much I like them. Then a variety of other green things pulled from the cabinets and dinner for two was served.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 149

Use the leaves of flowers, in this case hydrangea, as placecards. It is an earthy, natural, use what you have, resourceful way to be creative. Use markers or crayons or watercolors to write the name.



 

 

Peonies & Tulips

They took center stage. The peonies and the tulips snuggling right up next to one another. From there, the rest of the table was super easy to set. Red became the color story and we were off and running with a table for deux. These were the first peonies of the season for us, the lone bucket at one of my favorite flower stalls at the Market a happy sight. They sat perky at the shop on Saturday for all to enjoy, made the ferry trip over, made the ferry trip back, and are now in the city on the dining table to be enjoyed like crazy this week. A peony might seem dainty, but quite the opposite. 



 

 

The Gift of Lilacs

We were given these lovely lilacs as a gift the other day. My mind went instantly to setting a supper table for two around them. The Barbara Eigen vase would be the perfect vessel for the blooms which set the ‘green’ theme. Then it was just pulling things and piecing them all together. Setting a table is very much like putting together a puzzle. The only difference is you get to decide whether the pieces fit or not.

I had someone ask me on Instagram after I posted one of these images if we ever just warmed up a TV dinner? Which totally made me smile, as I loved them when I was a kid. We both love to cook so we don’t, but we do order out often. Even then, I like to set a table. The world and life has become so busy, I find the ritual of it slows down time. Then we get to sit and enjoy the meal, time slows even further. 



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 147

Vintage glass bottles as vessels scattered together can turn an ordinary bunch of blooms into something visually appealing where the single stem of the flower becomes the star.



 

 

Prep Days

The last few days have been a buzz of activity at our beloved WestWard. Country Living magazine asked if they could shoot our place with an entertaining bent, since they know how much we like hosting a dinner party. So it has been a cleaning, planting, playing with flowers few days to get everything ready. Prep days. In a few hours a group of talented folks from around the country will descend on our beach place for a 2 day shoot. The entire process of a photo shoot is quite something else. The level of detail, the smallest detail, is of great consideration–which if you are a regular reader of my blog, is a concept near & dear to my heart. It will be such fun! I call WestWard ‘the little house that could’ as this will be the 6th time it has been featured in a publication or design show. It is just filled with things we love, our #1 design advice, always. Extra added bonus, fingers crossed, the weather forecast is for 2 days of sun! More details to follow in the coming months…