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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book Bundles

I am preparing to host a bridal shower for my dear friend's daughter. Both mother and daughter are teachers and we thought a "Book" theme would be fun. I showed in a previous post the centerpieces I'm working on for the wedding reception. The shower will be a brunch and much less formal and I thought we could use the same books I've been gathering. Shabby book bundles have been spotted all over blogland and Pinterest. 
What an easy and inexpensive centerpiece idea!

The color scheme for the shower is black and white with red accents, so I raided my bookshelves for all of my hardback red books. Who knew I had so many? I tied them up with random lengths of old lace, twine and tulle. Then I added an antique key and a tag printed on old book pages.

I'll be using my black and white toile table toppers that I made for my own son's wedding wedding 10 years ago. I have gotten so much mileage out of these!  The bundles will be anchored on ironstone platters along with some pots of red geraniums. 
As a favor for the guests I'll have book plates to take home for their own libraries.
So next time you're stuck for a quick and inexpensive centerpiece, just raid your bookshelf!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Arabia of Finland

The weather here has turned milder and mornings are delightful. I've resumed my morning bike rides and headed out yesterday for a quick ride around a nearby neighborhood. Ooh, a garage sale on my route! I pulled over to see what treasures might be found. I spied it immediately-
 a table full of Arabia dishes!

Arabia of Finland (pronounced a-RAH-bi-a)  is a pottery manufacturer that started in 1873 as a sister company to Rorstrand of Sweden. They are known for their excellent quality and clean, bright Scandinavian designs. 

I registered for the Anemone pattern when I got married in 1977. I was fortunate to receive 8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, a few soup/cereal bowls and a couple of serving pieces. It was designed by Ulla Procops and gets it's name from the beautiful blue anemone flower.

The hand painted pieces are all signed on the bottom.

The pattern has been discontinued and was a bit pricey even when I got married ( the dinner plates cost $10 each  in 1977). So to find a table full, set my heart aflutter!

 There was a sugar bowl and creamer,

coffee pot and pitcher, 

8 large mugs, 8 small cups and saucers, a serving bowl and 8 bread and butter plates,

 plus a charming teapot with a removable infuser.  

There were 31 pieces in all. How much did the seller want for the set?  $75. What ?! Now, many of you wouldn't think of paying that much for dishes at a garage sale, but I snapped them up!  

When I got home (of course I had to return with my car!) I pulled out the rest of my dishes and put together a simple, classic tablescape  using a blue ticking runner and some Pimpernel place mats. 

So, did I get a bargain? I looked up Arabia Anemone on Replacements Ltd. to find out. Replacements Ltd. offers a great service and are perfect for finding random extra pieces of china, but they are a bit pricey. If I purchased my garage sale finds from them I would have to pay $2,445.00!  Even on Ebay or Etsy it would cost over $1,000.00 for all of these pieces.

So that was my bargain of the week! What did you find?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Centerpiece Prototype #2

Yesterday I shared some photos of a wedding centerpiece I'm working on for my friend's daughter. (click HERE ) 
I believe the bride has decided she wants silver and cream with some deep red as her color scheme so I've worked up prototype #2. This time I used a silver tray as the base, added some red flowers to the creamy hydrangeas and used vintage red books for some color.

This is tough choice, all silver and cream or add the red? I'll let you know what the bride decides!