Thursday, July 12, 2018

Seaside Beachcombing Tablescape

There's an unequivocal sense of calm I get when I am at my favorite beaches. My favorite pastime while walking on beaches is looking for shell treasures and sea glass that wash ashore. I never take anything alive, but those I do collect I sort, boil clean, and take home as memories of my favorite trips. Today I've made them an integral part of my tablescape which I've labeled Seaside Beachcombing.
In fact, it's not just the seashells I've made as part of my tablescape. I've used several elements which represent my favorite colors and sights from my favorite beaches to capture my seaside vision. First, the napkins, placemats and napkin rings were all purchased together, and the textiles are reversible. One side of the textiles is a classic paisley, the other a bit preppy and flirty. The color scheme reminds me of the Caribbean and Gulf beaches we (Mr. P & me) love best - sea, sand and sky.
The napkin rings represent the sea turtles we've come to love and respect both on land and underwater in the places we visit and scuba dive. The threats to these ancient earth creatures are many, including poaching (shells for jewelry & accessories, meat consumption), debris, artificial lighting, oil spills and pollution, etc. Please, take a minute to read more at the link provided so you can be mindful when going to beaches where seas turtles nest and inhabit.
The appetizer plates, a serendipitous find at an estate sale several months after sourcing the napkins and placemats, turned out to be a real catch for pairing with the textiles.
Using a drop cloth tablecloth as a base gives the feeling of a light-colored (my favorite) sandy beach, and an open crocheted cloth draped across the table lends the impression of a fishing net. The centerpiece consists mainly of a lidded glass jar full of shells collected over the years, with a curious sandpiper and various glass fishing floats surrounding. A larger shell and coral - lucky finds in the Caribbean between two hurricanes - are also placed on the table.
Florida fighting conch shells make great little place card holders at the top of each place setting charger.
The chargers are a blend of the colors of the shells, sun and sand, with hints of green glass and plant life of the sea.
The beverage service is acrylic, in various shades of blues and greens, very much like the glass floats on the table, and very much like the colors found on the beaches we love best.
The legend behind sand dollars is linked to both Christian and secular connotations. The five slits are said to represent Christ's wounds on the cross and/or the Easter lily, a star in the center as the star of Bethlehem. The back of the exoskeleton outlines the shape of a poinsettia, a traditional Christmas flower. When broken open, the sand dollar has what appears to be five "doves", legend saying they represent the spread of good will and peace when released.
I don't know about you, but putting this together puts me in the mindset of relaxed time spent at the beach. I love where we live, nestled in the Appalachian mountains with all four seasons, but given that we live in a land-locked state, I think I'm soon ready for another seaside getaway.
Seaside Beachcombing Source List
Placemats, Napkins, Napkin Rings - The Best of Everything, Naples FL
Chargers - MacKenzie-Childs Parchment Check
Lunch Plates - Pfaltzgraff Filigree
Appetizer Plates, Glass Floats (some are Blenko) - Estate Sales, Antiquing Finds
Tablecloth - Lowe's (drop cloth, cut & frayed)
Crochet Cloth - Susan Nowell (My Place to Yours)
Flatware - Horchow
Acrylic Glasses - Pottery Barn
Carved Sandpiper - Gift from Hilton Head
Shells, Coral - Grand Cayman, Hilton Head, Naples, Sanibel
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Thanks for joining me today at my Seaside Beachcombing table! 
Rita C. at Panoply
(A special thanks to Chloe Crabtree of Celebrate and Decorate and Sandra Garth from The Sweet Sensations for featuring this post on Celebrate Your Style #138).

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