Sharing a Marie Antoinette French-Styled Hutch for Mid-Summer

Ahhh summer!!! Now that the shed is in and we have begun working on moving the fence, I am feeling happy and can decorate again… Today it is all about Marie Antoinette…

Last year’s thriftshop find ~ our happy couple having a tête à tête.

I was at Target last month sometime and found this fun Marie Antoinette card.. I LOVE what it says and it cracked me up! I am thinking you will enjoy it, too:

All I said was, ‘Let’s have cake,’ or ‘Let’s eat cake,’ or something like that, and suddenly everyone got all pissy!”

Poor Marie Antoinette… So misunderstood!… ;)’

Brittanica shared a fun video debunking the myth that Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.” She did say,

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”

This was written down by a writer named Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who reported that he found the quote in a book, when Mademoiselle Marie Antoinette was just five years old!

Apparently it was already a popular phrase, and no, someone so out of touch with how peasants lived wouldn’t have understood why those people couldn’t afford to eat brioche, a wonderfully sweet bread…

Cake time!

I pose another thought…

Remember how you’ve heard in the past, or may have seen portrayed in movies, beggars or peasants coming to the back kitchen doors of estates and being given meals or bread from those kitchens??

What if brioche that was leftover from noblemen’s meals was shared with them??

Perhaps that is what Marie Antoinette was referring to…

Interesting thought, non?

Lightened this photograph a little so the English Springer Spaniel would show up.

Today, of course, we have food pantries and soup kitchens of which we can donate canned goods and foods to to share with people in need. Our IOOF (Odd Fellows and Rebekahs) group donates boxes full of foods every couple of months, several hundred pounds.

Here in the hutch

For our mid-summertime hutch, I thought about the abundance of hay and vegetables which will be coming into harvest very soon.

I’ve picked a few tomatoes already this summer and I’ve sprayed Tomato Set on all four plants hoping they will be pollinated again and set even more tomatoes! I’ve taken some of my white and green onion tops and planted them in the garden, too. I love watching their allium heads come up!

And of course there is always tea time! I was just reading about The Traveling Teacup over at Barbara’s site, Mantel and Table. So sweet! If I wasn’t working most of the year (and ended up being too worn out each day…), it’d be fun to send another teacup out there!

I did share the book Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Christian singer Stephen Curtis Chapman. It is the story of the loss of their daughter and God’s hand in the family’s getting through this tragedy. Very powerful and I think you would enjoy it so I’ve linked it. I am not sponsored so just for you.

I had no idea that this post was going to go in the rabbit trail directions that it is taking, but sometimes we just have to Let go and Let God, right?

Apparently I was supposed to share this book with you, and I know I haven’t before. 🙂

source ~ Marie Antoinette on Wikipedia

Back to Marie Antoinette…

Then when my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were here last month, we drove over to McKinney and Farmersville. In Farmersville, Texas (about an hour away from here), Gini and I went into a cute clothing shop so she could pick up some Farmersville t-shirts and I found this dish towel…

It was a sign that I needed to put these two finds of Mademoiselle Marie-Antoinette together and make a vignette!

And this is how this this Marie Antoinette French-Styled Mid-Summer Hutch came to be!

I’ve put together everything French-related that I have, plus summertime harvest teacups and china. Many of these pieces are thrift shop finds.

The stack of plates are the new-to-me Castleton plates my mother-in-law brought from their IOOF thrift shop in Sacramento, California.

Same with the gorgeous hot chocolate pot ~ which couldn’t you see Marie Antoinette having a cup of cocoa seated in a chair designed to hold her poofy dress pulled up next to a small tea table??

A little dark and blurry ~ my bad! I didn’t pull out the tripod and chose instead to let the camera focus in manual as best it could! A piece of wall paper I’ve had sits in the background and which would work perfectly in a dollhouse… On my bucket list. 😉

And here’s the full hutch ready for company… and Marie to visit! 😉

Happy mid-summer, friends!

Barb 🙂


Sunday Sentiments ~ A French Valentine’s Tablescape Set with Love

Valentine’s Day table settings for me by far are the prettiest to create. Soft and romantic, these tablescapes set with the airiest of bone china pieces is always the way to go for pure beauty. Today I’ve brought out all of my beautifully decorated French Haviland & Co Limoges pieces to share with you…


For this table setting, I brought in my little resting angel to add to our decor. After a good bath and a little touch up paint he rests comfortably in the table’s middle. Along with a small bouquet of grocery store florals, the two create a nice low off-set centerpiece along the table.

I actually got the idea from an older post I did back at our Big House in California…

This was one of the first teas I photographed when my blog was still very new ~ a Peacock and Roses Tea. The script writing I loved to use now causes problems when reading the post so the text is wonky but the photos are still good. 😉

I had saved up these little notepads from Joann’s or Michael’s for a year until it was my time to host a tea, then I brought in our angel and strew peacock tail feathers along the table with him. I think these are Mary roses, an English rose I had growing out in the garden there.

Close close all night

By Elizabeth Bishop

Close close all night the lovers keep.

They turn together in their sleep,

Close as two papers in a book

that read each other in the dark.

Each knows all the other knows,

learnt by heart from head to toes.

Recently I found these creamware mugs (not sponsored) while looking for after-Christmas sales at At Home, a home goods retailer close by in Lewisville, Texas (just east of Denton). They are a nice addition to the other creamware pieces I’ve collected over the years from HomeGoods, Marshall’s and other shops.

How I set this table

I began setting this table with a snowflake patterned tablecloth I have had for years. I love its lacy texture and the way it drapes off the table ends is very pretty and ethereal. Over the years it has shrunk with washing and accidental drying (from when I first began having teas with friends) so now it is more of a runner.

This worked perfectly as I was able to use the fall placemats I shared in this fall tablescape just upside-down, which adds even more texture and pattern to our table setting!

Bring in the pink

My go-to color is always pink! I had fun with last month’s Blue and White in the Cupboard but pink and white is my absolute favorite combination for any tablescape. This time I’ve pulled out four now-vintage Shabby Chic napkins I’ve had since the early 2000’s when Target used to carry a lot of Rachel Ashwell Simply Shabby Chic table linens.

Paired with the new white-handled silverware I picked up at Judith Stringham’s Christmas sales event in December plus a sweet silk rose napkin ring, the Haviland china looks delicate and sweet. Bone china is pretty tough, actually. It’s stoneware that bangs and chips more readily, surprisingly!

If you are looking for really beautiful vintage/almost antique Haviland & Co Limoge ware, here is a link for you from Etsy.

Valentine’s decor

Since we are still officially in winter ~ even if the plants outside say spring is coming soon! ~ I kept the pine and pinecone garland up on the chandelier and added a few more crystal and mercury glass ornaments to it for fun. Here is the other heart wreath I didn’t use in this month’s Pinterest Challenge wreath makeover.

Love this time of year!!!

Happy almost Valentine’s, dear friends!

Barb 🙂


Winter Decorating in the China Hutch

Here’s where we left off this last time with our blue and white decorating…

I had picked out a mishmash of the only blue and white pieces I own and began filling the china hutch little by little. Today I thought I’d share the whole hutch with you and what other pieces I placed on it for a nice wintertime display!

I was concurrently taking down all of the Christmas pieces, dusting then putting up the new decor right at New Year’s since I had to be finished for $10 on the 10th and most of the pieces on the dining room table were used to create this winter look.

I brought out the bright white Italian plate I found at HomeGoods in 2017 (upper left, back) from once we were settled up in Sanger at Wagon Master RV park (and weren’t driving either of the RV’s around rattling dishes!). Layered with it is the more ornate serving plate which goes with my favorite white plates, and two old creamware creamers found while thrifting at Twice As Nice here in Denton, Texas.

The butter dish is also from HomeGoods and I found it about a year ago. We only had the Butter Lady (dishware from Polland, and brought back from England in 2005 ~ not shown, I need to remedy that!). The blue and white planting pot is new and was found on Amazon. The French plate was another find from the thriftshop.

I kept out the Christmas trees I decorated while we were still in our last home in California and set them here for a little wintertime sparkle alongside my favorite (and only!) creamware teapot. I had this sweet blue and white cat drip stopper and thought I’d add her to the festivities…

This little kitty reminds me of my daughter’s cat, Dorian, who is a gorgeous long-haired Ragdoll cat but really looks nothing like this sweet pawing kitty! Just a nice reminder…

Did you notice the tiny bird keeping a close eye on the cat??

There are a few other birdies perched around the hutch also keeping their wary eyes out for this cat’s antics. No flying feathers here, thank you!

Three small cups are stacked which also are a close match to my favorite plates along with with a small cake plate and a Pottery Barn mercury glass candleholder. The shelves in this hutch are narrow but I love stacking plates and items in here!

Here is a photograph from our last home in our dining room tucked into the right corner. I like using this plate stacker from Target. It used to be all gold but I got a wild hair and dry-brush painted it white one day. Still wish I had bought two!!! Target only had a few of these more ethereal pieces, ever… Then they were gone. Today’s young folks want something more “modern” but I still prefer things a little more twee. 😉

I like this wintertime blue and white styling! I kept the barn painting on the top of the hutch and added a favorite tin with the girl sipping tea alongside plus added a duck basket from my Christmas totes that I’ve had since my late 20’s/early 30’s (the 1990’s). The duck carries Christmas ornaments in his back basket some years but right now it has a little greenery tucked inside. The angel blowing kisses is a Southern Living hostess piece I was able to pick up when I held a decor party back during that same time period.

Of course!

One thing begat another… I got excited creating the hutch, which then made me think of a cup of tea (an ADD thing! which I don’t think I have but you never know…) so then I thought about:

What if the buffet part became a place for guest to come and pick up a cup of tea? (I was thinking of bed & breakfast idea.) The breakfast tray idea jelled when I remembered staying at The Beverly Hills Hilton and having tea in bed (was great fun and the waitress who delivered the tray thought I was cute because I was sooo excited about the tray!) when I went to the Design Bloggers Conference ~ this was when I went in 2016 to Atlanta ~ and here is where I went to L.A. (now Design Influencers Conference) ~ in Los Angeles a few years ago. If you’ve never been to a design influencers conference, they are a lot of fun and sooooo inspirational! I always wanted to meet up with friends at Haven, too!*

*Okay, was that a run-on sentence/thought or what?!!

Miss Kitty reaching a paw out to say Hello!

I went kinda overboard taking photos but that’s because it is so fun to share each styled vignette with you all!!! I need to pull out the serving platter more often…

On the opposite side of the buffet line… We have all of the Independence Day dishes stacked for guests to use plus a couple of mugs and teacups for tea…

One last look at the tea tray… Love finding those small jars of honey and jams! Winco carried them before Christmas, of all things!! Winco is my usual grocery store and we started going to get groceries there while we were living in So Cal.

Happy tea to you,



An Ethereal Thankgiving Table

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge where a group  of designer friends get together each month to share our takes on a Pinterest photograph picked out by Cindy of County Road 407. Thank you Cindy for another great Pinterest Challenge!!! 

Let’s check out what all of our PC party goers have for us this month, shall we?

Welcome  everyone, and if you are just coming over from my friend Carol at Bluesky at Home and this is your first visit to French Ethereal, a hearty welcome to you!!! I always love what Carol comes up with and I know her table is set beautifully. 

Our Pinterest Challenge inspiration piece this month comes from a blogger designer Cindy knows. Lindsey Brunk’s Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Inspiration brings us much elegance on a quiet budget. Follow the linked post title back to see her romantic ethereal table and more.


What Lindsey used for her Thanksgiving table

  • a floor length black tablecloth (sheet)

  • store bought garland of eucalyptus and copper sprayed leaves
  • red mums and small berries spray painted copper
  • dark grey charger and dinner plate with a white napkin draped down between
  • a special Thanksgiving note atop the dinner plate

Because our inspiration photograph showed only a place setting of copper knife, fork and spoon atop a white vintage napkin, basically we had free range to arrange our Thanksgiving tables however we wanted! 

What I came up with for our Thanksgiving table

I noticed the copper silverware right away* and I’d love to get some but it isn’t in the budget just now. But touches of black from the tablecloth I do have!

This black and gold paisley runner I found at HomeGoods probably five years ago now. I love it and it serves two purposes here ~ one as a table runner but also as a visual draping like in Lindsey’s other photographs. I have a couple of napkins and various kitchen hand towels which would have worked for draping as long napkins but none were plain. So that nixed it for me.

*an oxymoron, I know, lol! 

Can you spot Mr. Turkey??

Copper touches and natural elements

The inspiration photo shared a small piece of wheat at each placesetting and various copper tinted foliage. I don’t have any wheat but coppery-gold faux pumpkins and gourds I do have! Acorns are falling off of our oak trees outside so they replace the wheat in sharing our harvest with friends and family.

I also added in a small pinecone turkey my daughter made in elementary school 20+ years ago now. Adding personal touches to our home decor and our tablescapes is another way of telling our family and friends how much we love them.

The brown and cream linen checked napkins were found last year in Minnesota when we went up to visit our son and daughter-in-law in South Dakota. We visited the Mall of America and an apple tree orchard while there. The mall is only four hours from their home (they go a couple of times a year to shop) and the napkins were found there at Nordstrom’s.

These checked napkins were on clearance for $40 total, I think. Similar ones with just a border are $100 for four on their website right now, so these were a bargain! Yessssss!!!! 

I do like shopping at Nordstrom especially at their Black Friday and After-Christmas sales. My personal little time to splurge and look for gifts for family and friends.

Our anniversary was just a week or so ago and my inlaws sent us this arrangement which was perfect to feature with its fall colors in this Thanksgiving tablescape!

I have several plates which could work here but I felt the lovely brown winter plates were best. Snow is just beginning to fall in the midwestern states and these Johnson Bros. Friendly Village set can be used here for Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. With a simple swap of a fall bouquet to one with little red berries and white mums this ethereal tablesetting easily transitions for the holidays.

Thank you for stopping by today and please be sure to leave me a comment or two. If you like what you see here, please sign up to follow my blog. I appreciate you! 

Now let’s visit Chrissy at First Day of Home’s A Simple Elegant Thanksgiving and check out her lovely take on today’s Pinterest Challenge Thanksgiving idea! 

The links are here if you’d like to follow all of us in order and do come back and begin again when needed. Every post has quick links to take you from post to post.

***Terrie’s post link wasn’t quite right so here is her corrected permalink for you ~ My Simple Thanksgiving Table at Decorate and More With Tip

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Blessings to you,

Don’t Mince if It’s Chintz!

Chintzware is having a huge resurgence in popularity just as it did in the very late 1990’s and into the 2000’s. Hugely popular when chintzware first was produced in English potteries from the late 19th century into the early 1900’s through the 1940’s, chintz became popular all over again. I had already found a few chintz transferware pieces while out visiting antiques malls with my friends in California, so I too was swept along in the craze… 
Do you remember an issue of Victoria Magazine’s back in the 1990’s sharing Rob Lowe’s former wife’s chintz collection?? She had an enormous collection of chintzware that I would drool over and it has been a favorite of mine to collect ever since…

This sweet teacup set  I ordered online from a lady in Washington and it is a
Royal Albert Crown China piece from around the 1920’s or 1930’s. The name of this pattern isn’t stamped on the back like other potteries did back then (denoting that it is an early piece from possibly even before 1901, the year potteries were required to begin production stamps per country).
My guess is it is a version of “Summertime” originally produced by Royal Winton and it came in different background colour-ways. 
When English chintzware was first offered by the potteries located in the Stoke-on-Trent area north of London, the demand for all things chintz absolutely skyrocketed across the United Kingdom, the Continent, Australia and especially here in America! Transferware had been around for about 60 years at that point but these all-over floral china pieces were something entirely new and fresh.  
Here is a photograph I took at our last home sharing our corner-round display cupboard. It held curios when I first bought this piece but later it became a china cabinet of sorts holding teacups and other china, which it has held now for years!
And here is a look at this teacup curio now here in Texas…

A tall stack of teacups with three chintz teacups in view

Top left – an unmarked teacup (possibly Eastern European or from Japan, 1950’s) with pink roses and vines which is part of a luncheon set including a cup and scallop-shaped sandwich plate with indent to hold the cup. These luncheon sets were popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s for serving guests at home and at events. Often these luncheon sets are found in more of a clear or colored carnival glass rather than chintzware like this one is.
Back bottom Royal Winton’s reproduction of its original “Welbeck” tableware which is so pretty with its yellow background, sprigs of realistic dark pink roses, blue forget-me-nots with pink tulips and yellow daffodils.
This set was produced in 1995 when chintzware had its second wave of popularity (due in large part to Victoria’s chintz publications). Still a favorite and yes! you can drink out of these as long as their are no interior cracks in the glaze.
Top right front Royal Albert’s Old Country Roses 1999 teacup and saucer with gilding on the teacup’s handle, rim and footed bottom as well as along the saucer’s rim.
Here is the luncheon plate leaning against the curio cupboard’s back glass. My best friend Janet gave me this set back in the early 2000’s for my birthday. She found it an an antique mall in Roseville, California.
Decorate Your Coffee Table for Fall
Here I’ve paired Royal Winton’s “Welbeck” teapot with three other transferware decorated styles for a late summer-early fall look. “Welbeck” is the yellow background version of “Summertime,” the same floral chintz on a creamy white background.
This Arthur Wood and Son modern teapot was a gift from the ladies in my tea group from the Victorian Tea Society in California after we moved into our last home. I practically killed myself painting that long living room wall a blue-green (photo below), unpacking every box downstairs, and then hosting a tea just three weeks after we moved into the Big House in the spring of 2004. (Which meant cleaning the downstairs like a mad woman before the tea!). Good thing I was young then!

I love that the ladies thought to bring me this modern chintz teapot on its bright cheery pale aqua background as a house-warming gift!

I do miss the size of this living/dining room! We swapped the two once and it was sooo cozy for winter. Loved the blue-green of this wall!!
It was in use at a peacock tea I had 10 years later when I first started my blog in 2014 (I know this as my phone and instamatic cameras never took photographs this clear! Plus I had painted these chairs by then.).
The tablecloth I found in England in 2005 when I went to visit my brother and his family there. Linnea and I would leave the kids home and go thrift-shopping around Sawtry, where they lived, and to antiques stores for a couple of hours. The kids just wanted to stay and play and were plenty old enough to be on their own then. This was one of the pretties I brought home from that trip.
Here in this home chintzware is having another heyday and afternoon sunlight just brings out each piece’s beauty even more!
A study in b & w.
~ Sparkle!!! ~
One of my other sisters-in-law Kim bought this dark pink chintz one-cup pour-over for me for Christmas one year.  Perfect for carrying on a small tray to take tea into another room in the house or out-of-doors, it is a fun functional piece!
Anyone for tea?
Here is the “Summertime” teapot by House of Claridge. In the 1990’s, Gail Claridge created The House of Claridge and asked Royal Winton to reproduce their vintage chintzware prints in new china styles that she designed.
Did you spot the oops?
I joined an online email chat group from England back then which produced a newsletter for chintzware lovers. Emailing members and learning about the history of different and rare pieces of chintzware, transferware in general and just reading those newsletters was a lot of fun!
Any shares would be most appreciated!
If you’d like to check out some of my other posts on china patterns and the like, you might like these here and here.
One of my earliest tea posts written five years ago sharing about meeting the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson at Macy’s and the teaset and tray my husband gifted me for Mother’s Day that year.
Glad you stopped by,
Barb 🙂

The Story Behind This Patriotic Mantel…

These colors don’t run… 

In my previous post sharing this patriotic mantel just a couple of quick highlight photos were shared. Today I am going to share the story of why I chose each of the items in this mantel scape.

How these small treasures honor our American patriots and veterans on this Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day…

Many of  you know my husband is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran who served eight years in California at Camp Pendleton and at H + S Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. 

Between those two posts, he served seven months in the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) aboard the USS New Orleans, part of the USS Tarawa group stationed in the Gulf.  For his part, he received the Navy Achievement medal, a gold crossed-palm trees Kuwaiti medal and another medal for helping during hunger relief in Bangladesh.

When the operation was first announced no one knew if this would be another Vietnam or erupt into another world war; there was no way to know. I was terrified for Charles and am grateful that he came home with only five crushed disks in his back (a slip off the ship’s ladder during a storm with a full 70 lb. pack on his back) and a permanent skin rash. I prayed a lot and so did everyone else whom I knew who had loved ones in the air or on ship or land.

This is us at our engagement party during the summer of 1987. Charles officially went into the USMC in January 1988.

The hair got a bit shorter after this photo was taken! This was phase one of the haircuts. 😉

It is with great honor and respect that I share this post with its leaning books about Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Navy Cross recipients and other wonderful books written about our great nation’s military.

I have also included a book on The Civil War which my father stayed up until the wee hours reading it cover to cover when he was out to visit when my daughter was very small. I think he would approve of this post!

Why are they leaning?

These books are leaning to show the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty. The leaning also convey that our military service personnel may get knocked down in battle or by post traumatic distress but they get back up, dust themselves off and keep going. That is the way of a soldier ~ resilient, humble, God-fearing, loyal… and brave.

The burning candles are for those soldiers who didn’t get to come home ~ like the continuously burning light and watch (guards) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery who stand at attention 24-7-365. These candles are for them.

The transferware plates

Two blue transferware plates show part of America’s history ~ “Independence Hall” created by Liberty Blue, Historic Colonial Scenes, on Staffordshire ironstone; and Johnson Bros. Historic America “Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains.”

I found four of the “Independence Hall” plates while thrift-shopping in California a couple of years ago and shared them in this past post.  The Covered Wagons plate was one given to me by my sister-in-law Linnea 21 years ago when I drove out with the kids to visit she and my brother Gene in Weatherford, Texas. Small world that it came back here…

Flow blue delftware and a French plate

When I was an exchange student to Germany in 1981 my host family took us to Holland for a long weekend. A little of the money I’d taken with me to Europe brought home this pair of Dutch Delft shoes with little twirling windmills plus this sweet Delft cow.*

They are reminders of that special time learning about the people and culture of the Netherlands, but here later in life they have also become reminders of the sacrifices made by the Dutch people in recent history during WWII. 

The Nazis entered Holland in May 1940 destroying cities and peoples in their wake. The Netherlands were finally liberated between September 1944 and April 1945 as part of the Allied Forces surrounding Germany and ultimately forcing Hitler and the Nazi party’s surrender.

*A little more about Delft and Holland in case you are interested.

France also suffered greatly with the Nazi invasion of WWII, therefore this French soup plate “Eglantine” by K + G, Luneville, France, is my tribute to the French resistance and the people of France and their part in helping to win the war. The quietly hidden fleur-de-lis on a ribbon of  gold also shares in this patriotism.

And of course a bouquet of flowers lies there for all the fallen and for all the victories our military members have seen in 243 years of America as a country. 

A special pin to share…

Mr. Ethereal and I will be watching war movies like we usually do on Memorial Day and having a few cookouts. But this year as in most years I spend time remembering… I’m happy to share this special mantel vignette with you.  Enjoy yours!

Happy Memorial Day,


$10 Thriftshop Challenge ~ A Couple of New Pieces

Today is  another $10 thriftshop challenge day here at French Ethereal and as you probably already know I love heading out and seeing what’s out there at the thrift stores!

This week  I found this lovely cut glass bowl with beautiful deep carvings and a lovely serrated and  scalloped edge for a mere $4.00. I think I may have shared this story before but it’s worth sharing again.

My great-grandmother Julia Foley collected lots of cut-glass back in the early 1900’s ~ during the time when Americans were taxed on how many things they owned {or on certain things they owned, I’m not entirely sure on this point).

Julia ended up having to sell all but four of her cut-glass pieces to pay the taxes. She kept one for each of her children to have later on. A bigger bowl similar to this one was handed down to my grandmother Helen, who handed it down to my mother Ginny sometime in the late1960’s or early 1970’s.

It always held blown and dyed eggs during Easter and pinecones or colorful glass ornaments at Christmas each year. It was just part of my memories of home as far back as I can remember.

Love the swirls and little star cuts in this glass bowl!
 Mom then handed it down to me back during one of my visits to their last home in Connecticut in the mid-1990’s sometime. I have loved it ever since and I think both of them will look lovely this next Christmas holding colorful vintage ornaments,
don’t you?

Trying out different plates and bowls while at Twice As Nice thriftstore.
The second piece I found was really the first found ~ this lovely silverplate chafing dish made by Raimond Silver Manufacturing Company  The company began manufacturing silverplate wares in the early 1960’s and later was “acquired by W. and S. Blackington, Co.” in 1966.

The Raimond hallmark is plainly seen on this leg. This pretty chafing dish is in mint condition with no scratches and little tarnishing on it. I believe it may have a lacquer coating on it to protect the finish.

This silver dish cost only $6.00 and I thought the two pieces were good bargains!  I plan to use the two together and separately.  My first thought was to use this silver chafing dish in our new master bathroom to hold towels rolled up between the two lavatory bowls…

Until then… these two thriftshop finds will grace our Prairie Home and decorate our window quite nicely!

Joining a merry band of goodies looking beautiful
for Valentine’s…

Day or night.

What fun thriftshop finds have come home
with you lately?

Sharing with
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog

Happy weekend,

Une Table Pour Deux ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving  this year ~ we have much to be thankful for including a warm and comfortable home to live in, family and good friends both old and new, and a good job where my husband is getting to really expand his knowledge and display his abilities.

With that, I am thankful for a job photographing what I love and to be able to share places to visit around Texas and beyond with you.   I also get to share inexpensive found goodies from thrifting trips and  
today I am sharing this little table pour deux…

Dining out-of-doors is lovely in the fall… The daytime is still warm and sunny and the bugs are gone so setting up a table for un alfresco déjeuner holds promise of rest and much enjoyment.  And often a simple table is best set in the garden where we can enjoy birds chirping away in the trees nearby and the the garden’s plantings as they bloom before heading to bed for the year.

This table setting is an adaptation of another table styling created recently on our larger picnic table.
 The nice thing is that either styling can be copied for any time of the year by removing these little Baby Boo and velvet pumpkins then adding new elements
for whatever season you are in.

Here I’ve used a vintage embroidered tablecloth found at an antique shop paired with simple white plates and crystal wine goblets and silverplate flatware.

Sweet checked napkins found on clearance add their own nice rustic flair to the overall elegance.
Woven grass placemats repeat the soft pale color
of the little pumpkins and add a little more gold to the table setting, as does this sweet little pheasant.

Bringing out a pillow or two adds a little French ambiance to the dining experience and is always welcome.

The nice part  is as you sit and relax away
the afternoon sharing a meal with your spouse or
a dear friend
we begin to re-energize ourselves from the craziness of a busy year ~ always a good thing.

Here’s to a lovely holiday season and best wishes to you on this Thanksgiving day…

Hugs and blessings to you,

Beautiful Embroidered Lace ~ Appenzell WeiBstickerei

Last fall  I found the prettiest lace handkerchief with the tiniest little stitches and pretty flowers woven into it on a fluke while driving around Dallas and just happened to be passing
by a thriftshop…

Recently  I used this pretty handkerchief as a napkin
in this pretty tablesetting but then I got to thinking
about it… and I wondered what kind of lace
was this?
Another of my newer thriftshop finds ~ this cotton hanky is delicately trimmed with
just the tiniest little flowers all the way around it’s four edges.

Both of these handkerchiefs above were found at thriftshops ~ 
the lower is a man’s handkerchief from the early 1900’s
is my guess.
The Appenzeller wedding handkerchief {top} showcases
a beautiful and probably handmade bobbin lace edging ~
3″ at its widest and 4 1/2″ long at the corners.
Amazingly beautiful with a small peony or waterlily in the Appenzell embroidery technique
set just inside one corner of the cotton batiste handkerchief ~ 
this was certainly handmade!

Would you believe I found this one inside a large
but not great picture frame for a mere $4.00?
True story!

So here’s a little history of this type of lace for you.

A bit of an oops photo!  I didn’t look at what direction I had the plate… Oh, well!  Really shows the beauty of this lace.  😉

History of Appenzeller Embroidery

Appenzeller weiBstickerei is the name in German and in English
{pronounced like “apple” and weiBstickerei has a “double S” written as a capital B}
it is called “the whitework of Appenzell {Switzerland}.”
According to Tourismus Appenzell this type of whitework
“evolved from three related craft industries: tapestry,
cotton spinnery and chain stitch embroidery.”

The peak period when this embroidery technique was hand-sewn was during the 1850’s.
Machine embroidery became available during the Industrial Revolution and basically wiped out all handmade lace industry
with its cheaper costs and mass production ~
quality was sacrificed.
In an excellent paper published by the author of Studio Stitch Art ~ 20th Century Lace: The Struggle Between Machine Lace and Hand Made Lace
the author discusses that combining usage of the jacquard loom carding techniques with the lace backing created by the
bobbin net machine, infinite possibilities in lace designs
were now at the designers’ fingertips.

Skilled lacemakers were stunned at the better quality of
this new machinery but purists {Luddites} kept at their craft
and thankfully handmade lacemaking survived on a much
smaller scale still being passed down from
mother to daughter.

Lacemakers today still use these same ethereal techniques of sewing with silk, cotton or linen threads wound onto bobbins.
Pins are set out in specific patterns on a pillow and from there
the seamstress embroiders in very specific knots and twists.
This technique of creating stretchers, flowers and padded areas
created magnificent 3-D quality pictures which are almost
unheard of in today’s modern world.

I once read that a good day’s work was finishing a
1″ x 1″ square of lace in an 8 hour day…

Another of my little napkins used as a placemat… 🙂
Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog
Wow ~ Savvy Southern Style
Thursday Favorite Things {following week, Lol!}
Keep In Touch ~ Let’s Add Sprinkles

An update:
This post was featured at
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Petite Haus

An update ~ here are a couple of books you might like that go along with this post:

Just a little fun lace history for you!

Royal Week ~ Limoges Porcelain Fit for Royalty

Royal Wedding week  for HRH Prince Harry and his fiancée Ms. Meghan Markle and it wouldn’t be complete without a small discussion and a little history about “taking tea.” Warming us when it’s chilly outside and cooling us down when poured over ice cubes in the summer ~ tea is the perfect drink no matter what side of the Pond one lives on! 😉

courtesy of Yahoo.com images, saved to Period Dress on Pinterest

Excitement and guessing about what the bride’s dress will look like are all part of what is being shared this week surrounding the upcoming Saturday nuptials at St. George’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, England of
HRH Prince Harry of England and Ms. Meghan Markle ~ a fairy tale being played out much like one 62 years ago where another American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in April of 1956.



Tea and Brits

Tea and the British go together like… well…

tea and biscuits…

This week I shared a post about porcelain fit for a king so today I thought I’d share a little about how tea time as we know it came to be.

Tea as a drink has its origins in China in the year 2737 BC when Emperor Shennong was away from home with his army. His servant was preparing hot water for him to drink and a leaf from the camellia sinensis bush blew into his cup. The leaf went undetected and Emperor Shennong drank from the cup and found the brewed tea to his liking.


By English wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

In the 1500’s, Portuguese priests and merchants were offered tea  to drink in China and they enjoyed it and brought tea leaves back to their part of the Western world. Tea became a popular drink in the United Kingdom
during the next century.

The East India Tea Company brought tea production to India during this time in order to compete with China. Consumption of tea was mostly for the upper classes initially as tea was expensive but with England being able to produce its own tea, the drink was eventually cost-effective and made available to everyone.

Anna Maria, Marchioness of Tavistock.jpg
Anna, Duchess of Bedford By Unknown – http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2716693070094285158FiYlXt, Public Domain, Link

Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, started the tradition of afternoon tea back in 1840 by inviting in a few friends to share a light meal to stave off hunger between the noon meal and dinner

which then was served at 8:00p.m.

The idea took off as apparently everyone was hungry and
high tea became very fashionable.
What’s the difference between the different tea repasts
you ask?
According to a nice post by Tea Time magazine afternoon tea {also called a low tea} is a light afternoon snack where little finger or tea sandwiches, scones and cake is served. High tea is a little more substantial with savories and meats included with the tea and is more like what we would call supper. High tea is served at 5:00p.m.
Not really a tea but too beautiful not to share.  🙂
Here is a table set for a light dinner at the Biltmore Estate
that I shared in my Biltmore at Christmas post last December.

A cream tea is a tea that serves scones with clotted cream and a small pot of jam.

In the Victorian Tea Society when we had teas at each other’s

homes we really had an afternoon tea.

Once in a while if a friend just happened to stop by

then I might have a cream tea as a mid-morning snack

but actually a cream tea is a type of afternoon tea

in the United Kingdom.


Tea Accoutrements

Tea tins

Earlier this year I found this tea tin at HomeGoods and since it works with our British tea theme today plus it’s my favorite color…  Just had to share here with you today! On the back of this sweet pink tin of black tea by the Keep Calm and Carry On Beverage company, Ltd. there is a summary of how the famous saying on WWII British posters came to be:
“On the eve of WWII the British Government printed 2.5 million Keep Calm and Carry On posters. The aim of the simple five word statement was to convey tot he country a message of reassurance for the troubled times that lay ahead.
“The posters went unused and subsequently destroyed at the end of the war.  Some 55 years later a second hand book dealer in the North of England discovered a copy of the poster in a box of books bought for auction.  That find marked the rebirth and launch of the Keep Calm and Carry On message into the 20th Century.”
Tea tins have been in production for over a century now  but tea was first stored in small locked tea chests or boxes within the home {think the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773}.

Tea bags

There are first cutting and second cuttings of tea with the first cut referred to as the best tea for that harvest from the camellia sinensis bushes at a tea plantation.  Brewing a cup or pot of loose leaf tea is still the best tasting way to enjoy tea.

There are differing types of tea ~ white, black, oolong, rooibos, green tea and more.

There are also tisanes which are herbal blends and not really teas but most people call them tea anyway.
The invention of the tea bag is considered as 1908 with little hand-sewn bags of fabric, usually silk.  Patents were applied for as early as 1903 with production beginning in 1904 and successful marketing of tea bags by 1908, hence the date.

Tea spoons

Spoons specifically for tea were originally called mote spoons and were created by Colonial pewter and silversmiths here in America.
These spoons were long-handled with slots in the spoon face itself for removing tea leaves from one’s cup and from the crevices of the tea pot’s spout. 
Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

I hope  you’ve enjoyed this little history of tea today and

please check some of my other posts featuring tea

by just searching “tea,” “teatime” and “table settings” in

the search bar along the top, I believe it is.


Set your recorder  to record the royal wedding which will begin at 4am EST this coming Saturday morning on all the major news channels starting at various times.

Check there programming for the correct time for that station ~ especially if you aren’t planning to get up to watch it live


Today’s post then is sharing some beautiful china
fit for royalty! 



This sweet Art Deco creamer with it’s zeppelin ridged style is lovely used as a flower vase.




Lovely Limoges  





Porcelain tableware from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s from European countries such as Austria, Germany, 
Selisia {modern day Poland} and especially France capture the heart
like no other ceramicware.


Beautiful, lightweight and durable with hand-painted gold details and decorated with roses and sweet garden flowers ~


Limoges and the ceramics from this time period are just as fashionable today as when these pieces


were first made. 





Variety of uses
In today’s modern setting ~ vintage and antique Limoge can be used for their original purpose as placesettings for dining or just decoratively as I tend to use many of these pieces here.

Antique china tends to have small chips often along its edges called flea bites and small crazing all over if not down and out cracks and repaired breaks which someone lovingly repaired long ago.
Other than drops, much of this is probably due to the stresses of weather and time as well as from being boxed away and stored when not in use or in fashion. 



Here I’ve repurposed this antique Irish soup tureen to display a candle ~ lovely!


Even if a piece doesn’t have any cracks or crazing ~ hot foods can cause any lead to leak out becoming poisonous so only use antique and vintage tableware with cold foods or place a clear plate between any food and your beautiful piece. 
This O and EG Royal Austria plate was manufactured somewhere between 1898 – 1918.  I hadn’t realized it was that old!

Too beautiful to just throw away past owners kept these 
ethereal pieces until it was decided to let someone else

enjoy their beauty…


This cake plate (above photograph, lower left) is really a Victorian or Edwardian era soup dish with flatter sides as was popular for dinner parties at the turn of the last century. This porcelain soup bowl was made by a pottery manufacturing company called O and E. G. ~ then owned by brothers Oscar and Edgar Gutherz. 

This little antique creamer with its zeppelin shape charmingly holds some posies.


According to a site called The Porcelain Zone Oscar Gutherz began the firm with Maximilan Marx decorating porcelain. Gutherz’ brother Edgar joined the firm after Edgar bought out Marx’s interest in the company. The company was commonly called Royal Austria Factory, according to the Porcelain Zone. From there, the brothers went on the produce porcelain themselves. 
Here are the years of production to help date a piece of their tableware if you have or find some: 
1876 – 1898: Marx and Gutherz
1898 – 1918:  Oscar and Edgar Gutherz
1918 – 1920:  OEPIAG – Österreichische Porzellan-Industrie AG
1920 – 1945:  EPIAG – Erste Porzellan-Industrie AG / Karlsbad
1945 – 1958:  EPIAG / Starorolsky Porcelán


This gilded Haviland deviled egg serving dish
has held berries on the table and does
double duty as a decorative soap holder
in our bathroom.
A collection of O and E G plates mixed with Haviland Limoges and other European tableware.

Practical uses
A practical way to use many of these pieces is by mixing them in with today’s modern tableware. My favorite thing to do is use reproduction cups and saucers that I know can be safely used for tea or coffee and the plates themselves can be used for cold foods like finger sandwiches, cold fruit and desserts.
If there is any doubt about using a dinner plate or salad plate for dining then a way to use them safely is by adding a clear glass or plastic plate over top to eat off of instead while enjoying the beautiful plate below.



My friend Gloria would do this whenever she used her antique carnival glass for our tea luncheons ~  although it may have been safe to use “as is” since it’s glass. The extra glass plate on top doesn’t detract from the look of the table either as it is almost invisible to the eye.








Another tip


The acid in citrus fruits can also pull lead out of pieces of porcelain.
Place a paper doily under your fruit salad when serving
oranges and mixed fruit salads.
Little bits of love in a stamp…
The history of Limoges

Often we call all of these pretty porcelain pieces Limoges
but that would be a misnomer.  Limoges is a city in France where the base clay called kaoline used in this very
white porcelain was found.

David Haviland already had a thriving china shop in New York when in 1840 he went to France to find a manufacturer out of the


many in the area who would create pieces of porcelain that he could then sell to the American public.


Haviland eventually moved to the city of Limoges so he could oversee production of his tableware.


The city’s name became synonymous with Haviland’s china


production and hence the name Limoges stuck.




These pieces were always hand-gilded and sometimes sold as blanks to be hand-painted by women in cottage industries.
This was particularly popular at the beginning of the 20th century with American women.

Manufacturer’s used a newly invented process of transferring a
lithograph onto a piece when decorating a plate or china piece in
house ~ a process of placing a pre-inked tissue stamped by copper
plates which was then “transferred” by hand by a worker
onto each china blank.
The pieces were then fired at a low temperature to fuse the
beautiful prints into the clay. 





An interesting book published by the Haviland Collectors International Foundation (HCIF) called
Celebrating 150 Years of Haviland China: 1842-1992
catalogues the history of the Haviland family and
an amazing amount of tableware pieces. 



A couple of years ago I shared my story of meeting Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and I thought I had shared about Royal Winton potteries as I have a book in storage about their manufacturing facilities and their process but perhaps not.
This book shares many photographs of the artists and young women at work applying transfers to pieces of china and hand painting ~ really interesting if you like
studying this sort of thing!










Sets of china

Monogrammed china available as souvenirs is always created for royal newlyweds and though the new Duke and Duchess won’t have their official new titles bestowed upon them until
after the wedding ceremony you can bet their actual family china will be spectacular. 


For other wonderful royalty posts check out my friend
Laura Ingalls Gunn’s wedding week posts on her blog
Decor to Adore.
She shares many posts on tiaras and all things royal.
A favorite photograph from this year’s Valentine’s post.
Sharing with
 Dishing It and Digging It
Thursday Favorite Things
Feathered Nest Friday
Sweet Inspiration
Inspire Me Monday
Friday Features
Hearth and Soul
Create Bake Grow and Gather
Tablescape Thursday
Best of the Weekend ~ Pender and Peony
Tuesday Cup of Tea ~ Antiques and Teacups
Tea in the Garden ~ Bernadine’s
If you’ve enjoyed this post here are several others
on all things royal:
Tea with the Duchess
Add Sweet Vintage Candy Boxes to your Decor
Royal Week: Keep Calm and Drink Tea!

Three cheers for love,