My first thought upon seeing the vase,was an animal-print themed table, but I had to work with what I already owned, and there was nothing in a safari theme.
So I begun with the basic gold chargers, black octagon plates and the vase (I opted to not use a tablecloth this time as I thought the wood went well with the vase):
Ho hum, yawn, BLAH.........
Off to hunt for a little spice...
These Tiara dishes that I collect will add a little spice as salad plates.
Now what will I use for glasses?
I pulled out quite an assortment that might work:
I really love the gold ones, but decided that the black stems worked better.
So I set the entire table with them.
(Only to decide later that I did not like them after all -- it was too much black once I added the black napkins). So I ended up using glasses different from any of those above (you will see them later).
I went down to my basement stash of goodies and found my basket of branches (yes, I keep branches around as I use them all the time). I used these same branches on my Christmas tree - they were sticking out around the candy cane topper. Branches are indispensable additions to floral arranging (fresh or fake). They're a "good thing" (as Miss Martha would say).
I know you are saying, "What in the world are those black blobs next to the vase?"
I used to collect a lot of things and one of those things was women's gloves. Don't ask me why - I just liked them.
So while rummaging around for something else, I stumbled upon these long black gloves. I thought they were appropriate since the vase is a woman's handbag.
I entwined the fingers around the little bud vases holding a couple of last week's flowers that still look decent.
The little gem thing on top of the gloves is actually a floating candle which is clear with gold flecks in it. (I just needed a bit of sparkle on the black).
So that is the process I go through to set a table. Basically it's just trial and error. I find it a fun thing to do.
Here is the completed table with larger, heavier gold glasses.
After I finished using the dining room table to mark my quilt, I decided to do a Valentine tablescape.
I ended up with a pink/burgundy/gold scheme with a crystal heart plate on top and another small tiara glass gold heart in the center of that. The gold heart really tied in the bottom layer, of the new beaded gold chargers.
I used all sorts of items that I had no idea I would be using. Like this mermaid in the glass
I found her in a drawer and since she was pink, she was fair game. :) She didn't end up staying in the glass.
I first tried my heart quilt for a tablecloth, but I decided not to use it since I can't bear to have food spilled all over it. I kept trying to think of a way to use it since the month of February only comes once a year and it's the only time I use this quilt.
I finally decided to lay it over the back of a chair. It can be easily removed when someone needs to sit--if anyone ever does. I have not decided yet if I will have a Valentine's dinner party or not.
I had a tough time coming up with a centerpiece. For the moment I've decided on this.
It's another wall pocket vase shaped like a heart. I have a pearl necklace, a lady's glove and a boutineer from my wedding inside. It all sits atop a cake plate with a few pink/gold flower candles and some "ice cubes" scattered about.
All in all, I'm happy with it.
I expect my new red wine glasses to arrive in the next day or so. I think they will be too red, but if, by chance, they are more burgundy colored, I will switch out the white ribbed crystal I am using now.
Oh, the mermaid ended up here:
I think she looks so cute hanging on the knob. She has holes in her back to hang on a wall, so she worked perfectly.
Oh, I also added my "LOVE" candle holders just because they are perfect for Valentine's Day.
Whenever I have candles on a tablecloth, I like to include a candle snuffer as part of the display. That way it's always handy to put out the candles.
I don't want to blow on them and have hot wax all over the lace cloth.
I didn't spend much time thinking of a centerpiece. I grabbed this oversized Margarita glass which was already full of clear marbles. I wiped a little dust off the rim, tossed in a few blue marbles, then filled it with water and floated a single dahlia. The bird candle holders were used just because I think they are probably from the 1950's and I saw them first when I opened the candle drawer.
All day at work I was craving spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, onions and basil. When I got home I immediately put a big pot of water on to boil. I skinned the tomatoes, chopped the onions, sauteed them in a bit of oil and butter, tossed in a handful of chopped basil..............
Ah, who would have thought I'd find heaven on a Pyrex plate?
While looking for my black linen tablecloth, I came across this piece of fabric I bought last year.
Hmmmmm....my black octagon and Fire King peach lustre dishes might work with this animal-like print.
It won't be the black/peach Halloween-type table with the pumpkin floral centerpiece I had originally envisioned, but I decided to go with the flow and see what emerged.
It was the first time I used the swirled caramel-colored chargers I got last Christmas.
The octagon black plates worked fine on top of the round charger.
Then I added a peach lustre plate and a peach lustre dessert bowl. I put a faux squash in each dessert bowl to bring in a sense of autumn.
I used black-stemmed octagon champagne flutes with black linen napkins rolled tightly in a cigar shape and inserted inside the flutes. Another stemmed goblet is used for the main drinking glass. The coffee cups and saucers are peach lustre.
I scattered a few real green pears (from the tree in the empty lot next to me)and added six earth-colored large candles. For sparkle I tossed a few clear glass cubes and some shiny gold circles and squares.
For the centerpiece I used my animal print ladies purse vase filled with orange dahlias.
Because I did not have enough dahlias blooming, I used last year's dried/painted allium seed heads as filler.
This was a fun table to do. I am glad I didn't find the black tablecloth. Maybe I don't even have a black tablecloth. I buy so many that I can never remember what I have!
3:00 pm. Update:
As often happens doing one thing turns into a whole day of work. I have climbed up and down the stairs to the basement more times than I care to remember, cleaned more china cabinet shelves than I ever want to do again in one day and lost 3 fingernails!
I have rearranged the entire living room--including moving a curio cabinet into the dining room. Once moved I had to change the items in it so they worked with the table. Then I had to redo the china cabinet that is already in the dining room. Then I had to redo the one in the living room because I had the peach lustre in it.