We are one of those weird families that views a bare table as an abomination - a missed opportunity if ever there was one; our dining room table is perpetually set for a dinner party that has yet to happen. We grew up entertaining often but rarely sat down to a formal dinner around the dining table. That tradition carried with me wherever I moved, including my first, tiny, studio apartment (on the second floor of an 1879 farmhouse).
|Not too thrilling or too wacky tacky, but proof that |
even when you live alone, it's still a party of four.
As the tablescape changes often, it is nice to have a stock of supplies to give the table a quick wacky tacky makeover. The quickest way to a brand new table comes from my modest collection of vintage tablecloths. I am always reticent to post my collections because I lack an expert's knowledge on any subject; I become all kinds of self-conscious knowing that there are people out there with real collections that could easily put mine to shame. Anxiety aside, here are my tablecloths.
Although they don't subscribe to traditional themes like flags, eagles, and fireworks, the generally-patriotic color scheme of these cloths makes them ideal for use during the Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veteran's Day and pretty much any day in between.
These border prints probably border on the politically incorrect but I love them. Living so close to the gateway between our two countries, I'm surprised I haven't found more of these out in the wild.
Orange, brown, and green - a wacky tacky
color combo if ever there was one.
These two are printed on crisp, Irish linen.
Among the floral bouquets, the cloth on the right has a little nest full of robin's eggs.
Can you spot it?
These cloths get a lot of use during the summer months. While it is hard to choose a favorite, this blue and orange, tropical tablecloth that I picked at a shop not too far from the Cabazon Dinosaurs, really makes me happy. I think my next hypothetical business will be textile design and printing based on vintage examples.
The cactus print on the right has definitely seen better days but I really
love the washed-out overprinting and brushstroke cactus flowers.
|If you've been following us for a while, you |
might recognize this one (another favorite).
|We used it to set a tiki-style table for our|
Pineapple Upside Down Meatloaf.
It seems Christmas cloths are the hardest to find because they are so collectible (read: expensive). If you don't know by now, I only buy things on the CHEAP, so it seems my options are limited to the occasional swap meet score or hand-me-down.
The floral number might not be a "Christmas" print but the red and
green (set off by chartreuse) certainly puts me in the holiday mood.
Oh sure, the printed cloths are my favorite but I won't shy away from a hand-embroidered or cross-stitched example of tabletop finery. It seems weird but I like seeing the blue lines of the iron-transfer pattern behind the stitching; it makes me think of the person threading the embroidery floss through her needle and the hours and hours of work she had ahead of her. Oh, and how I would never have the patience or attention span to accomplish so time-consuming and labor-intensive.
So how do you dress your table? Do you collect vintage tablecloths, place settings, or dinnerware? Are you focused on a certain style? I am not at all persnickety when it comes to focused collecting or caring too much about certain styles, values, etc. I just buy what is inexpensive because to borrow a phrase from our pals at My Baby Jo, "A table's gotta have options."