Taking a cue from Canada’s motto — A Mari usque ad Mare, or a country from sea to sea — behold a table with a seafaring theme. The Good Ship White Rattan has hoisted sail. With flags aflutter, she embarks on a sea of red metalasse.
Kenna Red by Pfaltzgraff has docked on sturdy rafts of white rattan.
Spare sails edged with red blanket stitching are buoyed up with life preservers.
Striped barrels are ready to receive a daily ration of grog; pressed glass vessels are ready for the daily ration of life-saving fresh water.
A pair of lighthouses ensure that Good Ship White Rattan doesn’t run aground.
The dinner plate sports a plain red band.
The salad plate has a cheerful check pattern.
Finally, the chubby bowl…
…with cheerful polka dots.
We’re proudly flying the Canadian flag with its striking design of a single red maple leaf.
Our Canadian Hockey team is called the Canadian Maple Leafs, the jarring grammar of which drove my British born mother, an English and French teacher, around the twist.
My mother is not the only one to take issue with Canadian language usage. Our national anthem has caused wringing of hands and rending of garments lately, specifically the fourth line of the first verse:
Our home and native land
True patriot love
In all our sons’ command
We see thee rise
The True North, strong and free
From far and wide
We stand on guard for thee
Glorious and free
O Canada we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada we stand on guard for thee!
I was an English teacher, too. I stand with your mother. Meanwhile, the White Rattan is a noteworthy vessel. The dappled sun photo is your “money shot”. Outstanding! Happy Canadian Independence Day. CherryKay
Thanks, Cherry Kay. You never quite know how the photos are going to turn out, but I do enjoy the late afternoon for its softer light. Thanks for stopping in.
Happy 4th to you and yours! I hope you have a fun celebration planned.
I do have another question. Are you still shooting with your Sony a600 Mirrorless camera? Cherry Kay
Hi Cherry Kay. I use both my Nikon 7100, mostly for tableware and food, and the Sony for travel. The battery lasts longer in the Nikon because the lens is manual. I love the ease of the motorized lens in the Sony, but have to be very mindful of the battery. When we are traveling, I recharge it every day.
Helen, thanks for the reply. It was your travel pics that sent me shopping for a mirrorless camera. I shot with the Nikon D7000 for about the past 4-5 years. In January I bought the Nikon Z7, and I have pretty much fallen in love with it. It’s currently sitting on my lap as we drive north and west toward Niagara Falls. I gave the D7000 to my daughter. CherryKay
Love the Good Ship White Rattan – minimal but majestic. Happy Canada Day from your southern neighbors.
Isn’t it nice that our respective Independence Days are in the same week? Happy 4th to you and yours, Sandra!
What a fun post! Almost every line made me laugh. Loved it! You are too creative.
I am a new tablescape blog reader and I think yours is my favorite. Your taste seems to align most closely with mine and I love your sense of humor (without a ‘u’). I’m still working my way though all your entries and have learned a lot about combining patterns. Thank you for that.
I’ve seen your post on how you store all your tableware. Can you also share how you decide what to buy? Do you only buy what you love, and then figure out how to combine it with your other things, or do you also buy things that you don’t particularly love because they support the things you do? Or…do you love everything you own because it works with something else you own?
If there isn’t a limited quantity of something (like there often is with antiques), do you always buy 12? Or do you have a few sets large enough for a crowd, and limit the others to 6 or 8?
When you’re putting together a tablescape, how long does it take? Hours? Days? Years?
And, finally, do you set the table and then create the menu, or create the menu and then find tableware to support it.
Awwww – you’re very kind, Barb.
In terms of deciding what to buy, I really like variety (no kidding, she says, lol). Salad plates with multiple patterns are probably my favourite pieces, and I buy what I love whether modern, vintage or antique. For combining, I’m more strategic – dinner plates with interesting details like curvy rims, checkered borders or texture that serve multiple functions. Napkins and runners, same thing. They’re relatively easy to store because they’re not breakable. Glassware takes up a lot of storage, so it has to do multiple duty. I have both delicate and sturdy, for more formal to more casual tables. Display pieces, like lanterns or tureens, take up the most room. They really have to do yeoman versatility work or be so unique that they earn their storage keep.
I don’t always buy twelve unless I’m investing in antiques. Then I’m pretty fussy about 10+. I’m more relaxed about vintage and modern patterns; I try for 8, but sometimes end up with 4 or 6 – in that case, I may register a search on eBay or Replacemens for additional pieces.
Putting together tablescapes is pretty much constant for me, at least mentally. I use Evernote to hold pictures of what I want to start with – a theme (holiday, event, season) a set of plates, some particular glassware, a flower arrangement. Then I drag in pictures of pieces I think will work with it – the linens, napkin rings, placemats, glasses, cutlery, centrepieces, etc. to see what works. I’ve got dozens of combinations on the go which I plan to set sometime soon or in the future. Then I try out the “soon” ones by putting the actual pieces together because sometimes it doesn’t work like I think it’s going to. So I adjust. Then I snap an iPhone picture and load that to Evernote, so I know I’ve tried it out. That speeds up the actual setting considerably. I can mentally wall off what I’m physically setting without losing any inspiration that comes along while I’m out and about. I keep an “Aquisition Ideas” note in Evernote for pieces I’ve seen but am not ready to commit to – maybe there are similar pieces I might like better, there will be an end of season sale, or I might decide against them completely. As you can imagine, this takes quite a lot of time, but it’s a hobby. I’m much more active table setting in the summer because flowers are so readily available, I love setting up outside, and dining is relaxed. The light is way better for photography. Ironically, the photo processing, maintaining the blog, dealing with Pinterest, etc. probably take multiples of the time the actual tables and recipes do. I have hundreds of travel photos still to process…
I go both ways – menu to table and table to menu. I have a bee theme one going right now for which I just baked a honeycomb cake made with candy melts and bubble wrap. Hilarious. I hate to waste the food, so I sometimes have to scrounge around and donate whatever I’ve baked or invite a bunch of people over. Nuts, I tell you!
Hope this helps! Enjoy the weekend.