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Transferware set to a Beach table and Longfellow poetry

The Secret of The Sea ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ah!  what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!

All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;

And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!

Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,

Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor's mystic song.

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,

With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;-

Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,

Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;-

How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,

That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,

Till his sould was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,-

"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"

"Wouldst thou,"- so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?

Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"

In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,

I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,

And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

My table is an old spool for cable wire.  I just flipped it on its side and now we've got an outdoor table! ;-)  It's got a hole in the center so I can add an umbrella! 

Brown transferware ship plates available HERE
Almost everything else in the tablescape is available at Simply Abundant.
This Ebay store offers a truly 'abundant' selection of home goods, table linens and more.  They carry over 4000 beautiful items!!!  I've provided links for the items I got from this shop and used in this post.  The selection is wonderful and the owner is a joy to work with.

Heritage Lace crab damask placemats in linen
Heritage Lace crab damask runner draped over stool in blue.
Heritage Lace Shell Runner draped over stool
Heritage Lace Beach Sandscape Runner across table and hanging over the side

Napkin rings:  are shower curtain hooks.  I tied a knot around each of the hooks.
Wine bucket:  is a waste bucket
Side plates:  are soap dishes
(these are from Simply Abundants BLUE WATERS collection)

Shell Candle holders:  I fashioned these from  wine bottle stoppers adorned with sea shell napkin rings and small votives.

Centerpiece:  Shell Pillar Holder lined with a Blue Mercury glass votive holder.  I placed this in a vintage glass compote and around the shell base scattered tonal blue, aqua and clear glass beads.

Aqua goblets:  Park Design from Simply Abundant, available in three colors.  These are beautiful, large and have a nice weight to them.  Rocks and Tea Glasses also available.

Pineapple Cake...yummy and came from a local bakery! 

Linking to

Miss Mustard Seed
Feature Yourself Friday
Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday
Marty at A Stroll Through Life
Hodge Podge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Housewife Bliss
Frugal Fabulous Design
Show and Tell Friday 
Friday, Finding Beauty 
Show and Tell Friday 


  1. Wow, you've set a qorgeous table!

  2. wow, sorry I keep repeating myself..but this may be my favorite to date! I can feel the sea spray. I love how you captured the essence of the beach with your choices of colors. Love this one Nancy!I like the mix of contemporary glass in aqua blue with the brown transferware. I have to long does it take to plan such a tablescape and then execute it--a lot of detail and thought goes into your tablescapes.

  3. Oh Nancy this table is addorable! I can feel the sea.


  4. Oh my goodness Nancy!!! this is breathtaking!!!!
    So beautiful...and of course beachy...LOVE beachy!
    You do a wonderful job of putting together a tablescape.

  5. Nancy, this is a very outstanding table decoration with that touching poem. Your transferware is again gorgeous and I love all the details with the aqua color. So beautiful.
    Greetings, Johanna


  7. Simply stunning table. So much eye candy. I love the fullness of the table, no empty spaces. That's what I strive for in most of my tables. Thanks for showing the way.

  8. Nancy, just GORGEOUS! I think we may have used the same glasses :) I love setting beach tables during the summer and this one is memorable
    xoxo pattie

  9. Oh boy, now this is a tablescape that is RIGHT up my alley! Just stunning!

  10. I love your table.. it's layer upon layer of interesting items. a true visual feast.

  11. Nancy, Beautiful table and I love all the beachy accessories. You have such a great eye for all the details.
    xo, Sherry

  12. Love the resourceful!!! This is really a tranquil setting. Happy VTT!

  13. I LOVE IT! What a wonderful setting in every way. I love the feel of the table. It sort of draws you in to the ocean as you are looking at it and reading your post. What a wonderful post!

  14. Nancy, this table is as beautiful as the poetry. What a treasure trove of beautiful items. I'm off to see that brown transfer ware. Love it! ~ Sarah

  15. This is my favorite table of the night! I loved the poem along with all the beautiful pictures of this creative tablescape. We used to have a "table" like that too when I was growing up. The transferware is to die for and who would have thought of transferware on a beach tablescape! Love the blue too. Nancy, if you would like, enter my giveaway for a set of 12 "Style Sisters" napkin rings. Joni

  16. oh how i loved your table, so creative! i adore the dishes in your setting, wonderful color mix~

  17. What a fascinating tablescape. It definitely evokes the beauty and mystery of the sea.

  18. Wow, I have to go back and look again in case I missed something! Very nice, lots of texture and color! I love the runner and candle holders!

  19. I always look forward to seeing what you'll do next with your transferware, and you have outdone yourself this week! What a marvelous table, with so many perfect details. Love the knotted napkins -- an inspired touch! And that glassware is great, too.

  20. What a fabulous table setting! And, as a beach lover, I see it as a lovely tribute to our beautiful, troubled Gulf Coast. Your blog is a daily inspiration!

  21. This is beautiful! I am so ready to pull up a stool & relax here.

  22. Beautiful post! I love this setting, with all those lovely little details. And I love how cleverly you put everything together from different sources, new and recycled.

  23. Great table! Love the stemware & beachy theme!

  24. This is a lovely setting by the sea! All the colors are beautiful sea worn blues, greens, greys and sun washed white! You did a masterful job!!!! I love how you thought outside of the box and used what you had sooooo creatively to set this beach inspired table.
    I am so taken by your centerpiece. I love the mix of sea glass and shells with the candle. It is a real attention grabber!
    As usual, Nancy you set the best tables.

  25. I love transferware! This looks great!

  26. What a fantastic tablescape. I love the beach theme. Those candelabras are great. It would be perfect to sit down at that table with a plate piled high with crab legs. ;-)

  27. Oh, those clipper ship plates are so nice. The blue bubble glass goes so nicely with the brown transferware. Love the blue candlesticks. Beautiful table, as always, Nancy!

  28. Absolutely gorgeous and with poetry too - how romantic! I just loved everything. I am absolutely new to tablescaping and just did my first one today. How inspiring. Thanks.

  29. The transferware is gorgeous...the whole table scape is gorgeous. One of the prettiest I've seen.
    Happy VYY..have a wonderful weekend.

  30. The weathered spool makes a beautiful setting for your lovely combination of brown, cream and blue. I just love that poem and haven't read it in sooooo many years. Thanks.

  31. Great table and those plates are simply great (and tempting, lol).


  32. This is stunning! One of the best beachy/coastal tablescapes I've seen...looks very much like one is sitting near the beach and it is elegant with a casual flair too. I love all the blues and greens.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. So much fun, love your seascape tablescape!

    Happy VTT,

  34. Beautiful table-setting! Your blue glasses are especially exquisite.

  35. Truly beautiful. Could feel the breeze blowing. Bet the dinner was magnificent.

  36. Nancy,
    What a wonderful table setting. Just amazing with so many details!!

  37. Interesting tablescape...I like what you've done with the linens.

  38. what a gorgeous table...I love all the colors!!! great job!

  39. I had to laugh remembering my "Cable Spool" table years ago.. I got a large one that was left on the side of the road and wanted 'little ones' for the chairs.. I went on a search and those cable guys would not part with them.. finally I got 6 very small ones, (had to pay for them).. but this 'table set' was in my back yard for years!
    I loved it and love what you did with yours!
    thanks for the memories!

  40. Beautiful Tablescape! I love transferware. It has such elegance and class.

  41. Such an adorably romantic table! I love all of your sea-side touches.

    I've copy and pasted your recipe for ginger ale in the post below too :)

  42. Love, love, love it!!! The texture, the feel, it's just wonderful!

    Hope to see you Sunday at "Summer Sundays". This tablescape would fit right in.

    - The Tablescaper

  43. Beautifully themed, one of my favorite peices of poetry and artfully blended, thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  44. I just found your blog
    through BNOTP -your tablescape is amazing !

  45. Oh my gosh......I LOVE this table! The brown transferware ship plates are wonderful....and I just love the colors. The soft blue and aqua with the pale brown......gorgeous! Every detail is perfect!

  46. WOW! This fantastic! I am totally inspired.

    Thank you so much for linking up to Fab Friday this week.

  47. Oh very beautiful Nancy! I love the soothing effect of this tablescape. Nothing beats water for a relaxing theme. And I love all the details and dishes on your table! just wonderful!

  48. If you only knew how much I love the ocean....

    What a fun post and creative table. I'll bet that you had fun, eh?

  49. Stunning table setting! I have long admired those dishes....having sold so many pieces when I had my antique store. Now I wish I hadn't sold them, but maybe that is why I don't have the store anymore. Love the blue glassware with the brown dishes and the whole theme is gorgeous!

  50. Gosh that is a gorgeous table! That turned out darling! Oh... I found a link to your blog (and mine too!) on a RUSSIAN website. I’m sending the site and I also translated it with Babelfish translator. Thought you might get a kick out of this. Too funny!

  51. I do remember this table I came over and drooled over the dishes then. It is beautiful set outdoors with all of the beachy accessories. Thanks for coming by and telling me about it.


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