Do you ever view the pages of a book, admiring its perfect photos, and dream about living in one of the places you are reading about and seeing? I have a book, The Most Beautiful Villages of England, that I love to look through and do just that. Dream. Imagine. Wish. Hope. I have resolved to never outgrow dreaming. I cannot imagine not imagining.
I am crazy for English cottages and buildings. I am enamored with thatched roofs. I love the wood details mixed with stucco and rock. I love the informality of English gardens; the way the flowers appear to grow naturally. And, I loveee my English transferware! My dream of dream homes would be an old English Tudor styled cottage with a genuine thatched roof. I described this place in one of my poems, Writing Abode, which is also the name of my other blog...which I have not given as much time to as I would like to...which I am still imagining I will do. I hope.
This book is filled with such places that I dream of and the photographs contained within remind me ever so much of the transfer ware pattern by Johnson Brothers entitled Olde English Countryside.
Do you see the similarity?
This set of dishes used to be our everyday dishes. I suppose I grew tired of them and switched to something else. I used Ridgway Woodland for awhile. Now I've got a mix of red transferware plates. I think I'm really missing these though! ;-)
I really enjoyed creating this tablescape, though in the back of my mind I'd been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to include my cottage ware (teapot, sugar, creamer and a few other pieces shaped like cottages), but alas, they are currently not to be found. A few things have yet to be unpacked from our recent move!
I have a long strip of burlap that I chose to use as a tablecloth/runner. Rather than place mats I used some woven wooden, handled chargers. I purchased these from World Market. I love the look of them but they are not well made, unfortunately, and several of mine have began falling apart just from handling a few times.
Two napkins were placed at each setting. The dark brown is a paisley jacquard pattern. Around each of these I wrapped a linen luncheon napkin made with hand crochet accents. I think these paired well.
I like the mix of textures: burlap, cotton/poly blend and linen.
I believe the flatware is by Hampton and the pattern is San Remo or something similarly named. It has an ornate silver detail and ivory colored handles. It was a Tuesday Morning find. Additionally, I've seen it online at Horchow and it comes in eight or nine colors. It seems like it averaged a dollar or two per piece, so very inexpensive so far as flatware goes. It's nice for occasional use.
The plates feature hand painted, subtle touches of gold, pink, green and blue. This is referred to as polychrome or sometimes enameling where paint is applied within the confines of the transfer and then glazed over, thus making it permanent. The plates depict a Mother and daughter outside of their cottage. The village water pump can be seen in the foreground.
The opposite side of the plate details a row of thatched, countryside cottages guarded by a tattered fence overgrown with an abundance of flowers. Pure charm!
The pillar candles are from Zest candles. They have a woven, basket weave texture to them which I further enhanced by wrapping them with a little hemp.
The centerpiece, I feel, is perfect for the theme of the table, and the book to for that matter. My sister gave me this light up English village some years back as part of my Christmas gift. I placed a few faux moss covered stones around the base of it because it has endured a couple of owies through our house moves.
(Yes, I am experimenting with paint colors in the background, and no, I am not going with what you see there.)
I think the village looks especially pretty at night, when lit.
...casting warmth of fragile glow....
(I just quoted my own poem...is that wrong?)
I have been waiting for the chance to show you these onyx wine glasses. They are some of my favorites in a mix of brown, rust and green colors. Each one is unique. I found these on Ebay and they were only about $10 for a set of six! I don't think anyone who's seen them at my house hasn't commented on them.
I'll be quiet now and let you finish looking around...
Good night...it's time to for me to dream my dreams, for "if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
A Thoreau quote taught to Shawn by his parents when he was young, and since to me.
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Susan at Tablescape Thursday
Sherry at No Minimalist Here
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chich Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
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Cindy at My Romantic Home
French Inspiration Thursday
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