If you're a blogger who enjoys setting tables and participating in Tablescape Thursdays, hosted by the inimitable Susan of Between Naps on the Porch, how do you decide on a theme? For me, it can begin with a location I want to use, a new (to me) vase, flowers in bloom, a color that keeps coming to mind, an era I want to evoke. Holidays? Not so much -- except for Christmas.
I tend to work intuitively, responding to the call of one object for another, deciding whether something feels right, or seems somehow "off." Unfortunately, the bothersome aspects tend to show up most when viewing the photographs. For that reason, I tend to download a few at a time as I take them, analyze what I see, make adjustments, and then continue.
Sometimes I assign a theme to the table setting only after the photography has been completed. I started to delete the first picture below, but then I began thinking what it might represent. Here, take a look for yourself:
Obviously the heavy fog is lifting (see below) -- I know, I'll call this one "Gorillas in the Mist!" Hmmm, that doesn't sound very appealing, does it? How about "Wuthering Heights?" Surely Cathy and Heathcliff will come rushing in from playing on the moors, famished and ready for a meal on the front porch.
The mists seem to be clearing. Could it be that it was only a fogged camera lens causing the unexpected "special effects?" I suppose I'll have to remember not to rush home from work, set a table, and bring a camera directly from an air conditioned interior into a humid, 97 degree environment (following a thunderstorm!).
Come back up the steps with me please ...
Finally, we can now (literally) focus on the table. It's just a little table for two. The tea roses and lilies had taken a beating in the heavy rain, so I cut shrub roses (no-spray varieties) and white flowers for which I have no name. I hope one of you can enlighten me. They were planted by a previous homeowner, and they're borderline invasive (but quite pretty I think).
Pale pink vintage damask napkins in silverplated rings ...
I forgot the mint julep cups, Scarlett. We will definitely need something cool and refreshing this afternoon!
You've heard of a skirted round table? This one is -- literally! It's a Ralph Lauren 100% linen skirt with a row of tiny buttons up the front. When I saw it on top of a box of clothing in a thrift store (50 cents per item), I thought it could be used somehow in a tablescape ... or as fabric for a throw pillow. I need your help in figuring out how the pocket can be utilized in this application. To hide an ace (or two) to facilitate cheating in a friendly game of cards? For packets of artificial sweetener? To hold a small flask for those times when dining with a teetotaler is just too tiresome? I'd love to hear your ideas!
Looking out from the entry hall ... I can hardly wait for the crepe myrtle to burst into bloom!
Can you see the Creeping Jenny spilling over the front of the concrete urns? It's one of my favorite ground covers, and it turns a very bright yellow-gold when it's planted in direct sunlight. I'm not always a fan of "chippy" white paint, but I do like that it makes these planters seem as if they've been in place for ages. They were actually purchased at a moving sale, pre-patina'd and at a very reasonable cost.
Several of you have been asking for a garden tour. Here's a peek at the entrance to the "sunken garden." There's a flight of stone steps down to a wooded area that mosquitoes seem to view as their local headquarters. Otherwise, it's a lovely spot!
A closer view of the glassware:
Closer still. The one on the right is my favorite shade of pink. Wouldn't it be pretty filled with white zinfindel or a nice blush or white wine?
The optic pattern and etched design really capture and reflect the candlelight.
Yes, I lit the candles for you. Would that they were citronella! The mosquitoes have found me here on the porch! No bites yet, but they seem to find my hands fascinating as I take the pictures. NOT conducive to steady-handed photography!
Not dark yet, but the light is definitely fading ...
Here's the River Birch tree that's reflected in the glass over the center dormer. Some of the flowers in recent table posts have been cut from this bed.
Would the picture below qualify as a "blue hour" shot? I'm still grateful to Michael Lee of Designs by Gollum for bringing this phenomenon to my attention. I can see why, as she mentioned, the French rhapsodize over l'heure bleue!
Susan of BNOTP did a fantastic Ideabook for Houzz recently that explains the concept and illustrates it with gorgeous photographs. She calls it "The Wonder of the Blue Hour," and you can see it HERE.
Here's what Wikipedia says about it:
The blue hour comes from a French expression, l'heure bleue, which refers to the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day. The blue hour is considered especially flattering for people with blonde hair in photography and is often also when the smell of the flowers is at its strongest during the summertime.
You can't see them in the pictures, but there were fireflies everywhere. I grew up hearing them called lightning bugs, which we children gleefully captured and placed in Mason jars (always with holes punched in the lid). What did your families call them? Were you cautioned not to touch the part that illuminates?
Speaking of what we call things -- I'd love to refer to this as a veranda, rather than as a front porch. Would that sound terribly pretentious? I do hope so! ;)
I'd say the light outside the windows still has a bleue quality, wouldn't you?
The roses do smell sweeter in the early evening ...
Candlelight and roses. Is there a more potent combination when it comes to romance?
The votives are scented as well. They're in candleholders I found at Goodwill for 99 cents (the pair). The're probably intended to be turned over and used to hold taper candles. I decided I preferred turning them upside-down. I could imagine tall candles melting quickly (just as I have been as I created this little veranda scene for you this evening!). ;)
Did I say it's hot ... and humid? ''L'art pour l'art'' ... as the French say ... art for art's sake. As suffering for art goes, my little discomfort is minor. Go away mosquitoes!
And now for the grande finale! Why am I speaking French to you tonight??? At any rate, it's not quite the end. Normally, as regular visitors to Affordable Accoutrements know, I like to end with a table by candlelight. But this time, you deserve more ...
I popped the flowers into the refrigerator for the night, went to bed, and hoped for sunny weather the next morning. Can you see the color of the sunrise on the wall to the right?
The Impressionists loved to capture the bright light of the midday sun. I prefer the drama of the angled light and long shadows of early morning and late afternoon!
I wish you could have seen the azaleas in bloom. At the risk of sounding more delicate than I am, there was just too much pollen out here at that time. It coated every surface with a day-glow yellow-green color (I wanted to say chartreuse, but I've sworn off French for the remainder of this post!). It also gave me an instant headache the moment I stepped through the door!
Allergies, sweltering heat, biting insects ... I'm making this space sound terribly appealing, no? It's actually one of my favorite spots, especially when it rains ... or snows.
The wrought iron furniture is new. I've looked at old, heavy pieces at numerous estate sales, but they're always in terrible condition. I'm sure a quality set would be worth repairing, sandblasting, painting ... but I'll leave that to the serious collectors.
I hope one of you can identify the white flowers!
I'll have to say this is some of my very favorite glassware. But don't be surprised to see it in an Etsy shoppe ... very soon!
I also failed to mention that I'm using vintage glass salad plates, with an etched rose design.
Another look at the flowers (fresh from the fridge!). I did snip off one drooping rose and added a few new buds here and there.
I love the way the light below passes though the stemware and creates patterns on the dark green foliage.
We're almost done!
Thank you for joining me for Gorillas in the Mist ... on the Moors ... Mist on the Porch ... on the Veranda! ;)
Whatever it was -- Happy Tablescape Thursday!!! Please join Susan HERE and visit all her talented table setting participants!
Visit my little Etsy shop HERE and let me know what you think ... and what you'd like to see there!
Please help me celebrate my one year blogoversary by leaving a comment on my post HERE -- it gives instructions for entering a giveaway for Stan Williams, The Elegant Thrifter's The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.