Thursday, December 1, 2016

Polished to Plaid: One Table, Two Looks

Welcome to Panoply's holiday table settings! This year for the holidays, I'm doing something just a little different in my tablescaping. I'm demonstrating how you can readily and somewhat easily make two looks with one table. My theme is Polished to Plaid: One Table, Two Looks. 
Holiday Polished Look
Holiday Plaid Look

If you're new to my blog, let me tell you right off the bat that I love playing with dishes. As an antique dealer, I consider it a bonus to be able to purchase and foster vintage tableware and linens to give variety to and enhance my tablescapes. When I want to rotate my stock, I can simply offer my collections for sale in my rented space at our local antique mall. Due to the fact that I typically host Christmas Eve for all my family who are in town (generally 25-30 guests), I tend to squirrel away a pretty good stock of tableware and linens, I admit it. ;) 

Both of today's looks started with the same basic underpinnings on the table for each: an ivory damask tablecloth, with a runner layered down the center. The runner actually inspired my idea for the two looks, one polished (more formal), and the second plaid (more casual), as its construction of tartan plaid center with velvety textured ends seemed to suggest that yin-yang look I so often gravitate toward in my style preferences.
Next, I turned my concentration on the centerpiece. Working with vintage and newer things I had, I pulled out my pedestal mirror and crystal candlesticks to start. I already had a couple of tree-shaped, preserved boxwood topiaries, so I plunked them into a couple of cast iron urns, but not before I added some battery-operated, warm led lights I recently found with 6 hour on, 18 hr off timer (complete source list for these tables is at the end of the post).
I placed the candlesticks on the pedestal mirror, added one more string of lights across the runner (tucking the battery pack under it), and added some heavy-weighted silver balls to the tray. Nandina branches with berries were cut from the landscape garden and tucked around. To complete the centerpiece, I anchored each end with white birch branches saved from my garden's fallen trees.

My plate stacks consist of silverplate platters as a charger base, topped with white china dinner and tartan plaid salad plates. I used my sterling silver flatware for this table, as well as part of my collection of sterling and antique silverplate napkin rings for the cotton damask napkins. Crystal wine glasses stand beside monogrammed tumblers, while the cup/saucer match the dinner plates. Salt and pepper shakers are crystal pineapples, the Southern symbol of welcome.
To transition my look from polished to plaid, I only changed out a few key things: the centerpiece, the chargers, napkins, flatware and the stemware.

For the plaid look centerpiece, I used three graduated hurricanes in lieu of the candlesticks and silver balls. You can see how I used them in a prior tablescape for summer here. I found an inexpensive package of three plaid owl ornaments to drop in the base of each hurricane, and added some faux snow in each. The pillar candles are battery operated, a safer option than the real deal in the polished look above. I tied a plaid ribbon on just one of the urns, showing how you could opt for plain naked or beribbonned. For the polished look, you could perhaps use an ivory satin ribbon.
The change in the place setting, using a different charger, napkin, flatware, glassware, and salt and peppers results in the more casual look below.
The chargers, flatware and glassware are now red and the napkins are plaid. The little lanterns on the plate stack have battery-operated votives inside, and are decorated on top with a faux berry napkin ring. They could simply be moved elsewhere on the table while dining, or offered as a takeaway for guests.

Another thing I did to mix this tablescaping up even more was place different chargers at the end seating for each of the polished and plaid looks. This is an easy trick to use when you don't have enough of one item (in this case, chargers). Mixing the elements at the end seats is a nice way to keep the look coordinated and consistent, where the differences appear more as bookends rather than interruptions to the view overall. In this case, the Courtly Check pattern of the chargers match the trim on the runner, another plus in keeping the look consistent.
For the plaid tablescape, I even used a different color flatware (black), because I only had service for four in red. It still coordinates well with the look, as you can see.
When accommodating all my guests for Christmas Eve, it is not uncommon for me to mix and match my tableware, flatware, and textiles. All spaces are used for seating - dining room, breakfast area, as well as the sunroom space - and while the tables are set with some basics, the reality is no two place settings are exactly alike at any one table.
The points I've tried to demonstrate in these varied table settings are several: 1) you can gain a lot of versatility with some basic underpinnings (white china, glassware, table linens) ; 2) using vintage items, especially in unexpected ways (silverplate platters as charges) makes the hunt for these [often inexpensive] items fun; 3) using vintage items, mixed with newer things, adds your personal flair and style to the table, something your guests will undoubtedly notice and appreciate.

So, which table was your favorite? 
The polished, more formal tablescape....
...or the plaid, more casual tablescape?
Polished or plaid, go bold and mix things up!
Polished to Plaid Tablescape Source List:  
Vintage ivory damask tablecloth, white damask napkins, pedestal mirror, silverplate platters used as chargers, crystal candlesticks, silverplate and sterling napkin rings, monogrammed 'C' (clear) and ruby red glassware, black flatware, 'Castleton' white china, cast iron urns, heavy silver ball ornaments - collected over time (estate sales, auctions, antique stores)
'Longchamp' crystal stemware - Mr. P.'s vintage 
Tartan Plaid Runner, Courtly Check Chargers - MacKenzie-Childs
Plaid Napkins - Sur la Table (thank you, Stephen!)
Red Chargers - Michael's, last year
Graduated hurricanes with battery-operated, pillar candles - Wisteria catalog, years ago
Tartan plaid salad plates - eBay
'Prelude' sterling silver flatware - auction, years ago
Red flatware - Bed, Bath & Beyond 
Small, black lanterns with battery-operated votive candles, crystal pineapple salt & pepper  - Williamsburg Marketplace, years ago
Preserved boxwood topiaries - Antique Farmhouse, several years ago
Ceramic owl salt & pepper - Decor Steals, several years ago
Birch tree logs, nandina clippings - landscape cuts
Trio of owl ornaments in hurricanes, artificial snow, and battery-operated, led string lights - Big Lots 
A special thanks to Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate for organizing this special holiday blog hop of tablescapes. Sure to inspire you, any one (or all!) of the bloggers participating can be found in the complete schedule below. Be sure to visit your friends - or make new ones - by clicking on the links conveniently listed.  Thank you so much for visiting mine today!



Twelve on Main | Everyday Living | Home is Where the Boat Is | Rustic - Refined


Life and Linda Rattlebridge Farm | Rosemary & Thyme | Living With Thanksgiving | Cozinest


Come back next week for another roundup, this time of holiday home tours, also hosted by Chloe. I'll be the caboose on that blog tour train, scheduled to publish on Friday, December 9th, 2016. I'll have things ready and waiting for you. Hope to see you then!

Rita C. at Panoply

Traveling Totes: Fall Fun, Another Giveaway!

Hello from this little corner of the world, and welcome to another installment of the Traveling Tote tribe. This is installment #9! For the background on this series of related posts, you can read all about the makings of the Traveling Totes Tribe here
Before I get too far, we all know Christmas is coming, and our tribe is sharing our holiday spirit with you, our readers, with a chance to win a MacKenzie-Childs glass ornament. Be sure to see the details of the ornament giveaway at the end of this post!

Since we last gathered and shared our travels in September, things have quieted down considerably for me, Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C (for those of you not familiar, yes, my totes have names). After spending three weeks trekking all over the US in August, my latest travels took me out of town for two separate family wedding weekends. One wedding was in Atlanta (late September), and the other in Houston (early November). Though Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C did not actually make appearances at the weddings, they got around in each town visited.

In Atlanta, while visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Miss Charley C thought she'd make a great addition to a few of the installations.
Miss Charley C among Green Hornets and Waterdrops, Neodymium Reeds
Miss Charley C with Earth Goddess and Fiori Boat and Niijima Floats

Me and Miss Charley C, Water Mirror with Saffron Tower
On the flight to Houston, Miss Charley C was getting some crazy ideas, and thought she wanted to astronaut!
Yes, we visited the Johnson Space Center while in Houston, and got to tour the National Historical Landmark, Mission Control Center.
Mission Control is, of course, where the communication and brain power behind some of  the most famous human space travels for Gemini and Apollo flights were commandeered. With less than the equivalent of 6MB (that's nearly the same size as some of my inidividual photos!), in IBM computer technological storage power (hello slide rules and calculators!), we landed the first men on the moon in 1969 AND brought them home safely!
Apollo 11 1969 crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and....Miss Charley C? "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
Uh oh...Houston, we have a problem. Did you know Miss Charley C was planning to be on that Apollo 13 mission, but got replaced??
Apollo 13 1970 crew: Jame Lovell, Jr., John Swigert, Jr., Fred Haise, Jr. and ....Miss Charley C?? The actual statement to account for the problem on that flight:  "Ok, Houston, we've had a problem here".
In her dreams! She wished she was part of those Apollo missions 11 and 13 and the current day hall of fame for all those astronauts, located in the Rocket Park at the Space Center. That's where there's an actual Saturn 5 rocket housed, along with other rockets that propelled men and women into space.
Apollo Hall of Fame and Saturn 5 Rocket at Rocket Park
Miss Charley C also got a taste of what our future space program will be in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (below). There, we got to see the Orion capsule (the proposed vehicle to take us to Mars), as well as the Canada Arm (robot with human-like dexterity), and rovers being tested for future use in space. Miss Charley C hovered along the catwalk, wistfully.
Space Vehicle Mockup Facility
After all that work, before leaving the Houston area, Miss Charley C was up for some playful entertainment.
No, not the zoo....just a great little animation, outside the Rain Forest Cafe at a nearby mall. ;)

Now that that we're home, my focus is shifting to local and online shopping with deals everywhere you turn. Sister M and I had a day of shopping our Capital City Art & Craft Show the weekend before Thanksgiving, and boy, did we have fun! I think Santa had a little too much fun, to be honest, literally pulling us into his workshop for a photo op. The Art & Fair was sponsored by our local Lions Club, helping various charities, and the photo booth was for the Gabriel Project, so it was all good.
I mentioned Christmas is coming, and we traveling totes members took advantage of summer's travels to further our friendship among ourselves with an ornament exchange in a secret swap fashion. We each were given a name, and sent our traveling tribe member an ornament from either our recent travels or one representative of our home region. FUN! My present arrived in traveling tote style, all wrapped in classic black & white.
My secret swap buddy was Debbie from Mountain Breaths, and she gifted me the two sweet ornaments below from her Adirondack region. Debbie particularly enjoys her family's cabin during season, which she has many memories of with her parents, and now shares with her own family members. Thank you, Debbie, I will certainly enjoy these ornaments, and will think of you and our tribe's friendship each time they're unwrapped for the season!
Speaking of ornaments, and Debbie.......
The Traveling Tribe is offering another giveaway. Debbie @ Mountain Breaths is our sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Debbie's December 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win the following:

Our giveaway is a fabulous MacKenzie-Childs' glass acorn ornament in the ever-classic Courtly Check pattern. It's perfect from fall through all of winter. Be sure to stop at Debbie's and leave your comment to enter the giveaway.

Until our next adventure (coming March 1, 2017), thank you for traveling along. It's a pleasure to have your company and visit!
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been of late?  Check them out at the links conveniently located below.
Emily and Miss Courtly Childs @ The French Hutch

Catch Miss Luna C's and Miss Charley C's earlier adventures by clicking on Traveling Totes under the drop-down menu bar 'Travel' header (top of blog), and you'll find all those posts. Thank you coming along on our tribe's adventures!

Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing: Amaze Me, DIDIBNOTP, Show & ShareMake it PrettyThe ScoopVintage Bliss Tuesdays, Thrifty & Vintage FindsCelebrate Your Story, Let's Talk VintageSYCDelightsome Life H&G Vintage CharmFoodie Friday & Everything ElseFNF

Friday, November 18, 2016

Vintage and Small Business Shopping - Katy, TX

Mr. P. and I traveled to the Houston, TX area for a family wedding the first week of November. The wedding was in Katy, TX, about 45 miles west of the airport. We found ourselves with idle time on both Friday and Saturday of the planned weekend events. What to do? Google  "best antique stores Katy TX" - BAM! Let's go shopping!
I chose KT Antiques, arrived at 10 am and, as fate would have it, it was Christmas Open House weekend. Most dealers were having 20% off - yippee! KT Antiques had some great dealers with equally great displays and great stuff, so I thought I'd share some of what caught my attention.
Pictured above was an adorable woodland mannequin tree in one booth, while the frames on right were the displays in the store's front windows. I loved them both - a child mannequin decorating a tree full of new ornaments, and a cowboy Christmas theme in the other window.

This store had a few dealers offering a mix of vintage and new retail items. Normally, I take exception with a shop calling itself an antique store and promoting new items, but the dealers who did this (mostly in the space at the front of the store) did a really fine job of merchandising display. One, in particular, caught my eye with her merchandise styling.
I loved how this dealer used the suspended screen door above her booth space and had grapevine boughs with lights on top. So pretty! Her items were a mix of new and old, and the woodland Christmas tree (pictured above) was also in one of her spaces.
The photo above shows some of her items in a little more detail. Look at those tiny chandeliers suspended on the table - those are ornaments! Nice vintage linens, transferware, and silverplate.
Directly across the aisle, the same dealer also had the space pictured above. She did a fine job of mixing antiques with new merchandise. I loved the spaghetti-style ceramic tree in the top right frame seated on the silverplate sweet meat basket. The tree was new, the basket vintage. I had to think hard about what I chose to purchase, as we traveled by air, and I had limited room to pack and carry on.

Once back at the hotel, I received a call from KT Antiques, telling me they pulled my name for a $25 gift certificate to one particular dealer. Back to the store I went! That dealer had also recently opened a store across the street called Ruizstudios, and I was able to shop either her booth at KT or her new store! Let me show you around her lovely store where most of the merchandise is new, not vintage.
She carries Pom Pom at Home and Pine Cone Hill Textiles (above), and a nice selection of candles and infusers, along with a few food items (jellies, dip mixes, chocolates).
She had a garden section with faux topiaries, flowers, vessels, and statuary.
She tucked a few pieces of blue & white porcelains and ceramics, along with glass cloches, in the mix.
Her holiday display was very attractive, too. There was a small section of traditional red and green in the back area.
My favorite display was probably this huge parasol she had in the front window (below). Decorated for Christmas on this holiday opening, I could see the parasol being quite versatile for any season. Imagine spring flowers!
On this trip, we also took an extra day before the wedding events, intending to explore San Antonio, but the forecast called for thunderstorms, so we went about 45 miles south of the airport to the Webster area. There, we visited the Johnson Space Center, but I also looked for antique shopping between Webster and Katy. Using Google, I chose the Market Place Antiques and Collectibles for the prospect of finding several dealers in one locale.
The website noted two buildings with 72,000 square feet, and nearly 90 dealers. The first building had a layout concept I have never seen before. You walked in, through the outside doors, into a hallway (see Mr. P. in the right frame of the collage above). There were glass enclosures for most of the dealers alongside the inside hallway. A few dealers were situated on the walking aisle. We were there on a Friday morning, 10 am, and there may have been 3 or 4 dealers there. I finally spoke to one man, a coin dealer, and asked him to explain this layout to me. He said each dealer manned his/her own booth, the dealers come and go as they please, and most likely the majority would not be there on a Friday. There was one dealer who apparently kept watch of a couple other dealers' spaces, and she had their doors open for shopping. Weird. The second building was more traditional in style, a large warehouse, but I was underwhelmed overall.

Some of the vintage merchandise that I did not purchase, though caught my eye while on this trip, included all the items pictured in the collage below.
The ironing board cover was repurposed from an old quilt, and had a nice pad included with it. That, along with the brown transferware bath set in the upper right frame, were both in the KT Antiques location. What looks like an antique beaded purse is actually a stained glass with bead fringe. The wicker basket was HUGE - a hot air balloon basket! The latter items mentioned were in the Market Place Antiques.

The things I did purchase on this trip are pictured below, all from KT Antiques (except for the vintage garden sign, spotted in Ruizstudios, and purchased with my winning gift certificate).
Clockwise from top L:  a jar of vintage watch faces and timepieces; a polychrome transferware salad plate and figural napkin ring in front of it (dog chasing squirrel); a French pilot's leather cap from early 1900s, a color litho print of collie shepherd before a newborn lamb in snow (titled "Shepherd's Call", by Albrecht Schneck - 1828-1901); hand-painted garden sign, and three vintage, hand-crocheted potholders.

I also purchased a few new items - couldn't resist. Seasonal, snarky dish towels - possibly hostess gifts; lime-green dish towels - possibly for a future tablescape; and the cutest dark chocolate bars - Choc Stars - I've ever seen, a product of Germany. Those will likely be part of door prizes for an upcoming, Tiffany-themed bridal shower I'll be co-hosting in March 2017. The items below all came from Ruizstudios in Katy.
Of the shops I visited on this trip, I would highly recommend the Katy, TX shops (KT Antiques and RuizStudios). There were a few other shops - all of them clustered along 2nd Street - worth visiting, but I just ran out of time. I would not necessarily recommend making an effort to visit Market Place Antiques between Webster and Katy.

Have you done any vintage shopping lately, or found some new stores worth mentioning? I always appreciate the mention, especially of vintage and antique stores, either in comments from readers or from fellow bloggers. One never knows when a trip might land you near a great shop someone has mentioned. The chance to meet another blogger or reader in one of those locations would be the icing on the cake! Don't forget - November 26, 2016 is Small Business Saturday - a great opportunity to help small business owners by shopping their stores!

Thanks for tagging along on my latest shopping trip. Your readership and comments are appreciated! Please feel free to leave a comment here today.

Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing: Amaze Me, DIDIBNOTP, Show & ShareMake it PrettyThe Scoop, Thrifty & Vintage FindsCelebrate Your Story, Let's Talk VintageSYCDelightsome Life H&GVintage CharmFoodie Friday & Everything ElseFNF

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Panoply Booths: 2016 Holiday Ready

Panoply is holiday ready! No, not at home, but in our spaces where we style and sell our vintage and antique wares locally. 
Intending to highlight the furniture pieces, the above space has only a few subtle touches hinting toward the holidays,  A turkey platter, tree skirt, and various Christmas-themed smalls are scattered throughout.
The space above is the transitional area just to the left of the space shown in the leading photo. We have a sort of "I'll be home for Christmas" theme with the vintage luggage on the aisle, moving on to the casual linens, with holiday-themed textiles added for the season.
Just around the textiles rack in the transitional space is this little "Christmas kitchen" area, with seasonal items sprinkled around. The angels perched on the high shelves are clothed in Pierre Deux fabrics, really pretty.
The "Mantiques" area has only a few holiday-themed items, but consistently displays things guys often gravitate towards.
The space we call our "main booth" is where we mostly decked the halls for holiday staging. We brought back Miss Chrissy - our holiday mannequin tree - and situated vintage children's toys throughout the floor space. 
The back center now holds a sideboard table (the leaded glass fireplace screen sold!), and beneath it are several toys, some of which are Amish-made.
 Near the tree we have a child's antique doll bed, Chatty Cathy, and a child's rocker.
In front of the display case, we've set a winter wonderland scene with an antique wooden sled (unsold from 2015), a primitive lantern, vintage skates, sleigh bells, and textiles to warm the scene.

We are just three dealers among approximately 75 in an 18,000 square foot building, so having vintage holiday items ready early is important. Since we will be having a store-wide open house the first weekend of December, and the fact that we are all busy with our own schedules at home in this season, we generally try to stage our holiday look in early November.

A first for me happened in the antique mall on the day we were staging our holiday items. A customer asked if I was Rita, and I assumed we had met somewhere before. Nope. She was a blog reader from a town about 40 minutes west! She recognized me from my picture and our spaces. What fun it was to have a conversation with her and, in talking, found we have a mutual friend from the dance world. The reader I met was also a dancer, and we enjoyed that connection. If you're in the neighborhood, come see us at the South Charleston Antique Mall, 617 D Street, South Charleston, WV. If you ever are, I'd love for you to contact me ahead of time - I may very well be free to come and meet you, too!

Rita C. at Panoply
(A special thanks to Kathy at A Delightsome Life Home and Garden Thursday for featuring this post!)