One look, and I was hooked.

A goofy reverse world where the animals call the shots, so to speak.

The scenes are depicted on six tin plates, “Le Monde Reversé” (the Reverse World) by Vieillard & Cie. The inspiration for the plates is Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (Scenes from the private and public life of animals), a collection of articles, short stories and satirical tales produced by the French caricaturist, illustrator and lithographer under his pen name Jean-Jacques Grandville, whose real name was Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard, 

Here we have The Fine Arts.

The Fine Arts

In which the animals are painting portraits and taking photographs.

The Vegetable Garden looks relatively innocuous until you look more closely.

The Vegetable Garden

Note the human heads in the cold frame, under cloches and being watered. This one is a little creepy!!

But what a fun basis on which to style a table. The common colours among all the plates were coppery brown and shades of green. So I went with that—copper wire napkin rings, resin chargers, and Burple-Inspiration Green water goblets by Anchor Hocking.

The centrepiece was simplicity itself – Lanterns, fresh oak leaves and fun salt & pepper shakers, like the mushrooms above and the pheasants, tucked in below.

The Fishing

Of course, we had to use the monkeys, too!

And the ducks. A full complement of animals peeking out from the leaves.

I think my favourite plate is The Hunt. I love the depiction of the rabbit.

And the stalking dog with his pack of hounds…

… chasing the human straight into the waiting pot, top hat and umbrella aloft as he runs.

A little sinister but lots of fun.

And being tin, the plates make wonderful picnic ware.

It’s getting chillier down here on the Cape. The dew is thick in the morning grass, and we’ve had one or two fires in the fireplace, using up the last of the previous year’s wood. We’ve now received another cord which our wood guy unloaded into the driveway. Glenn wheelbarrows it around to the back of the house, and then I do the stacking, which appeals to my Tetris-loving brain.

I use the squarest logs to form the end stacks, alternating direction with each row, so the stack stays stable; then, I fill in the middle with the more irregularly shaped pieces. This year’s load gave us two full stacks about 6′ in height and the same in width, plus a few stragglers for the front. The wood was all that stood between me and a frozen house during last year’s gruesome snowstorm, where we lost power for more than 24 hours. We have since installed a generator, but having the wood all stacked and ready provides psychological comfort. We do love our wood fires; there is nothing cosier on a chill winter day than a pot of hot soup or stew consumed in front of a glowing fireplace.

One last look at the table.

Enjoy your week, everyone!