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This story and tablescape is in memory of my dear beloved Grandmother who would have turned 114 yrs old on Aug, 14th and all the joy she brought her family.
So many things in life can remind us of special moments. Sometimes it is the scent of a certain food that reminds us of Mom or Grandma cooking when we were a child, a perfume that reminds us of a special loved one, the type of weather that reminds us of a special event, the cigar smell that reminds us of a favorite Uncle or Grandfather and sometimes, something just as simple as the design on a plate can trigger a memory and that happened to me.
I live in a neighborhood close to the water and we have a great little shop in town that features coastal decor, apparel and jewelry. I go in from time to time just to browse and see if there is anything new I might want to add to my collection.
I was in there last week, and I saw a platter that made me stop and laugh in the middle of the store. Thank God I was with Bob so I didn’t look odd laughing for no reason with no one around. But to me it was a big reason to laugh.
The platter was of all things, a design featuring Flamingos. I held it up to Bob and said “What does this remind you of?” and he had a smile on his face too.
It was our little special moment.
To us the platter brought back a memory of our son and his obsession with Flamingos one year in Florida when we were visiting my Grandmother.
Back 25 years ago, on one of our many trips to see my beloved Grandmother in Fort Lauderdale, FL, she took us to a botanical garden that had Flamingos freely walking around on the grounds. (I don’t think that exists today).
Well, as soon as our son saw the Flamingos, which were about his size at the time or maybe a little taller, he was mesmerized. So much so, that we went back to the botanical garden every day for him to see the Flamingos for the duration of our trip. They came right up to him and he was amazed.
He couldn’t say Flamingo properly back then and called them “Flan-dingos”.
(He would kill me if he knew I just shared that information, but it was just adorable, and who else has the right to embarrass my child, but me? –but keep it to yourself anyway). With my luck, he’ll read this blog post and I’ll get a phone call.
Of course I had to buy him a stuffed Flamingo plush toy to take home with him on the plane and he was thrilled.
My Grandmother got a big kick out of him and his adoration for these birds (He adored his Great-Grandmother too, don’t get me wrong). I think she was also proud of herself that she picked the botanical garden in the first place and it brought him so much joy.
So now, every time I see a Flamingo on anything, it puts a smile on my face.
That was such a wonderful vacation for all of us.
Back in the store, with the Flamingo platter, I immediately flipped it over for the name of the company or design. The pattern name is “Floridian Design”. I am taking this as a sign from Grandma and the trip to Florida.
I asked if they carried any dishes to match and the saleswoman said, “No, just platters and Flamingo salt & pepper shakers”. My ears almost fell off. Did she just say salt and pepper shakers? As in my favorite table accent? This was a second sign from Grandma and I was sold.
I bought the salt & pepper shakers and the platter and I had a new mission, complete this collection.
I came home and started my quest to find the dishes that matched the platter. Not too hard a search thanks to Google and Amazon and the pattern was still in production.
The best price was on Amazon, so I ordered them with my prime membership. Two days and free delivery. What could be better than that? (You don’t know how hard it was for me to wait the two days).
Since Grandma’s 114th birthday was on August 14th, I knew the Flamingo tablescape had to be in honor of her. I miss her every single day of my life.
So let’s start a tablescape…
The dishes are a combination of beige, coral and sage green melamine. Which was great because coral, blush, peach and sage have always been some of my favorite colors, so I was very happy with these dishes when they arrived.
The dinner plate has a plaid rim with all the colors and the center of the plate is a single standing Flamingo with a background that looks vintage and has the words “Florida” and “The Land of Sunshine” written across the plate.
All reminders of our wonderful vacation.
The salad plate has a solid coral rim and multiple Flamingos on the plate with a soft beige background.
The set also comes with a sage green bowl with both the plaid pattern and a gold rim and a design of a pineapple and tropical flowers.
The pineapple is a traditional symbol of hospitality and “Welcome”.
Here is the complete set.
Now for a tablecloth... I went through all of my green tablecloths and none of them worked for me, so I went back to Amazon to find a tablecloth. This was harder to find than the dishes. Finally, I came across one that had the perfect colors -but vinyl.
I despise vinyl because I try to stay away from all the chemicals and phthalates it takes to make the product. I thought about it for a day and continued my search and I had to bite the bullet because I didn’t find anything else and the colors were just what I was looking for.
Since the dishes are melamine and the tablecloth is vinyl and both are great for outdoor use (plus the tablecloth is the same dimensions and my patio table), I thought I could make use of it on the patio, so I ordered the tablecloth.
In fabric it would have been perfect.
I am using green napkins to pick up a color on the tablecloth. The name of the napkin color is “Gecko Green” by Dll, just in case you wanted to purchase these. I suppose this color reminded the manufacturer of a lizard.
The napkins are over-sized ( 20 X 20) and look just too large at the place setting, so I rolled them up with a napkin ring instead of folding them next to the plate.
My napkin rings are gold medal palm trees; which started me thinking that I should find bamboo napkin rings. A new quest…
The dishes give you a tropical feel, so I am using bamboo chargers.
To continue the bamboo theme, the flatware is bamboo as well.
(I really don’t get to use these enough).
Next, the glassware. You will not believe what I found last year in Bed, Bath and Beyond at the summer clearance- Flamingo stemless wine glasses. I bought them even though I didn’t have a thing to use them with and now I do.
They are very cute and I will serve Grandma’s favorite drink in them – sweet iced tea with lemon.
My centerpiece had to honor Grandma and the first part of the centerpiece is the Flamingo platter that stopped me in my tracks and started this entire tablescape. It is a 19 X 8 rectangle and matches the salad plate exactly.
(Sorry about the size of this photo. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get it any larger than this).
To add to the platter, I am placing a photo of grandma and Michael in a very beachy driftwood frame…
This photo was from Grandma’s 90th Birthday!
In addition to the frame, I placed a Flamingo tea light holder on the tray.
This way I can light the candle in memory of Grandma.
The last addition to the centerpiece is a Lenox vase (to pick up the beige) filled with once again, my artificial white heather flowers.
During the times that I don’t have flowers to fill some of my vases that I display, I add material in the vase with an accent color of the room it’s in, so the vase doesn’t look lost on a table or dresser.
For this vase, I already had peach chiffon in the vase. It matched the tablescape so I just left it in with the flowers.
This is the complete centerpiece…
As far as table accents, well you know one had to be the new set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers.
I came across a bonus while shopping for the tablecloth. Another set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers (these are just a shade darker). They are magnetic and they are supposed to look as though they are kissing.
I also found a beautiful 12 X 8 coral Flamingo figural serving dish while tablecloth shopping.
Just adorable, but I don’t know what I will serve yet.
Maybe some of Grandma’s favorite desserts.
I think Grandma would have loved this tablescape.
I have one other sign from Grandma to share.
A while ago, while I was in Homegoods, and I bought the most wonderfully scented soap.
Just last night, I noticed that the soap is wrapped in Flamingo wrapping paper.
Yes, it’s a sign, that this tablescape was meant to be.
Thank you for letting me share with you my special tribute to my beloved and adored Grandmother.
Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!
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