Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunflower Tablescape - Curated from My Garden!

I have journaled my garden with photos and notes for the past 15 years, and out of thousands of photos taken (no lie), I probably only have 10% or so that I can get really excited about. I got a little carried away with my excitement a few weeks ago and kicked it up a notch to bring you today's tablescape of sunflowers.
Late Summer Sunflower Tablescape 
Much to my delight a few years ago, sunflowers (helianthus) voluntarily grew in my summer landscape beneath the feeder I fill with black oil sunflower seeds during cold weather months.
Garden birdfeeder, volunteer sunflower with goldfinch perched on stem
For three years in a row, the patch of sunflowers grew bigger, and more varied.
I captured their beauty in photos, the best of which (to me) was a profile shot of a huge sunflower, with a bee approaching.
I also caught the bee on the flower, head on, the flower's petals gorgeously lit from the sun hitting it from behind, and the bee within its sweet center.
Even though I didn't have any sunflower volunteers this year in my garden for whatever reason, I made my own sunflowers - in the form of these dishes you're seeing in today's tablescape!
Detail: watering can placecard holder, vintage batik print napkins
While browsing my Panoply photos one evening after uploading to my Shutterfly account (where I share my albums with my Panoply sisters), I came across a $20 off any order website sale, on top of which I was able to get free shipping. Browsing Home Decor, I found you can upload your images and create PLATES! It was 10pm, and the sale expired at midnight, so there I was, uploading photos of many varieties of my garden favorites (only one sunflower in the dozen or so I uploaded). NOTE: This is NOT a paid post, and my blog is a no-income producing blog. I am simply sharing an amazing experience.

Just before the clock struck midnight, I ended up with just two plates - one of my bee/sunflower side view, and another favorite of mine, my hydrangeas. Mind you, these photos are each in their respective years' folders of Garden 20__ folders, where blank is the year they were taken. I was getting a little spastic, trying to figure out my favorites and pull from the hundreds within each year's folders before the midnight hour expiration.

I was so excited when I received my plates, I waited for another sale - this time 50% off - and ordered enough additional plates to complete service for four in the sunflowers - all with photos I have taken in my garden.
These plates are melamine, 10", and the photo quality on the plate is terrific! Shutterfly dates the back of the plate when they produce it, and each plate is a saved "project" on your Shutterfly account, should you want to call it up and use it for additional items, too many to name. Pssst....don't ever pay full price for anything on Shutterfly - they ALWAYS have deals going on, and often the discounts can be stacked (multiple discounts allowed on a single order).

The sunflower plates became the impetus for my late summer sunflower tablescape. As soon as I got the quilt home from the Longest Yard Sale, I knew it would become my tablecloth. The pieces came together as follows:
Sunflower plates: Shutterfly ($18.99 each, less the $20 or 50% discount offers)
Charger plates:  Fiesta square plates in Sunflower, purchased at one of our nearby outlet stores
Flatware:  Vintage Oneida, bought at an estate sale
Glassware:  Vintage 1977 Lenox Impromptu
Centerpiece:  Primitive Dough Bowl - estate sale, and Sunflower Bouquet - Dollar Tree
Tablecloth:  Quilt, Longest Yard Sale
Napkins,   Vintage batik print, part of vintage linen lot purchase from Susan Nowell
Wooden napkin ring holders: Vintage (1970s, Mr. P.)
Watering Can Placecard Holders: Ballard Designs clearance, Bunny Williams design
Salt & Pepper Shakers: Longaberger

With my dish addiction, this could get really dangerous! I generally don't use melamine plates, but these sure were a fun find, and fun to make. In an otherwise barren year of volunteer sunflowers in my garden, these plates make me happy. They also are a great way to memorialize my love for my garden.
Thanks so much for joining me today. I appreciate your visits and comments!
Rita C. at Panoply
(Special thanks to Christine at Rustic & Refined for featuring this post).

Sharing with any given number of these fine hosts: