07 February 2011

Red is the Colour of...

And boy, do I RED!!! I will be joining MaryT/TheTeach over at Work of the Poet for Ruby Tuesday, Marty at A Stroll Through Life for TableTop Tuesday and Jenny @ off on my tanget for Alphabe-Thursday where Today's Letter is "R" - R is for "RED". Check out these wonderful blogs to see who else is playing along.

I elected to go with the traditional red and white for a Valentine's Day table for three reasons. First, from my youth I remember my Papa always bringing my Mama a beautiful Valentine's box of candy each year and the heart shaped box was almost always red. Mama saved the empty boxes and hung them up above the built-in drawers in her closet. As a child I used to those boxes and occasionally Mama would take one down for me to hold and look at more closely (read, play with VERY carefully). Red hearts and Valentine's Day are inseparable in my mind.

Second, a friend of mine from the VTLC (Vintage Tablecloth Lover's Club) sold me a wonderful red and white tablecloth with a bow and floral pattern and I haven't had a chance to use it before now.

The bow tablecloth was just crying out to be used with a round Fiesta platter I have that also has a red and white bow.

The platter/tray was sold by JC Penney for the Christmas 2007 season, but it works equally well with this February holiday. The rest of the table was designed around the bow tablecloth and platter.

The final reason I chose to use red is that it gives me an excuse to use one of my most treasured pair of candleholders.

The Tripod Candleholders have always been my very favourite Fiesta shape. I remember my grandmother having a vintage pair before their house burned down in 1963. They sat on the dresser in the room where I always stayed. When Fiesta was reintroduced in 1986 the tripods were renamed Pyramid Candleholders. While not understanding the name change, I loved that I would be able to get this fabulous Art Deco shape in more colours!

Because the pyramid shape is difficult to produce, Homer Laughlin had discontinued my favourite candleholders shortly after the introduction of the shamrock glaze in 2002. Many of us had been dreaming of a true red glaze for Fiesta and when Scarlet was introduced in 2004 we were ecstatic! But scarlet had come along too late for pyramid candleholders.

Each year the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association sponsors a charity auction in June to benefit education and students in East Liverpool, OH. Highlights of the auction are the pieces donated by the local potteries. Lo and behold, a dream come true! Homer Laughlin's contribution to the ELHSAA auction in 2005 were Scarlet Pyramid Candleholders. The auction takes absentee bidders and I was thrilled to find out I was one of the lucky winners. They have graced my Valentine table each year since they arrived at my house. I red.

While I don't collect the vintage figural Avon bottles, I have never gotten rid of the ones I bought back in the day. Other than some of the Christmas bottles, today's table is the first time I have found a use for any of the others. This is a tiny bottle and it looks especially lovely when the sun shines through the ruby glass.

The original holly pattern that Homer Laughlin put on Fiesta was only used for one year. Several of the accessory pieces (e.g. shakers, bud vases) do not have the holly decal, only a red line. This gives them versatility to be used at other times of the year, too.

Hardanger work is so beautiful and, like blackwork, is one of the needle arts that is not practiced so much today. One of my very dearest friends made this about 20 years ago and sent it to me as a gift.

The Franciscan relish dish is a useful piece on many tables.

This art deco era Chase piece was originally sold as a powder box, but when it is found with it's glass liner it works quite well to hold condiments at the table. The box comes in a number of different enamel colour combinations, as well as in both chrome and brass.

Back in the 1990s, Target sold a line of dishes called Cantinaware. Homer Laughlin filed suit for copyright infringement on their Fiesta dishes. HLC won and Target discontinued their line. This is a Cantinaware butter dish.

Valentine's Day is a huge holiday at our house. I have always joked that my Mom might forget to send us birthday cards or Christmas cards, but she never, ever forgets to send us a Valentine. And it's true. I continued the importance of Valentine's Day once I had children. Every year the girls would make beautiful hand-crafted Valentines to take to their friends at school. Occasionally they would need some help, but we always had a wonderful time sitting around the kitchen table making Valentines. And of course, their Papa and I would get one, too. These anthropomorphic heart suit Valentines are some of my favourites.

We made the heart suit Valentines twice - once for each daughter at around 2nd or 3rd grade. The Guy got the King and I got the Jack both times. The Queen went to their respective teachers.

1. Fiesta on the table: scarlet & white polka dots (an HLCCA exclusive), scarlet heart bowls, white salad plates, scarlet & white bow design tray, scarlet pyramid candleholders, white with red stripe bud vases and shakers, scarlet disc pitcher, and a white bread tray and sugar bowl.
2. Other dishes: a white Franciscan tidbit tray, white Cantinaware butter dish.
3. Heart suit Valentines made by my daughters when they were in lower elementary school.
4. Completing the table toppings: red flatware I got some years ago in Italy, tiny glass vintage strawberry perfume bottles, contemporary red napkins, white napkin rings that I've had since graduate school, hardanger hearts, goblets from Pier One, and a chrome and enamelled Chase dish.
5. All of this is set on the lovely red and white vintage tablecloth with the bow design.

Be My Valentine!

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Regina said...

Becky, this is the most beautiful Valentine table I have ever seen. Every piece is put there with love, and I love hearing about it. I will be anxious to hear what you serve on these beautiful dishes.

Cathy said...

I LOVE your Valentine's Day table, Becky. I set a red and white table, too, for special occasions, but it doesn't come close to yous. Love the polka dot dishes and all your great accessories.

Southerncook said...


This is the most delightful tablesetting I have ever seen. Your use of your Fiesta collection is amazing. Makes me want to go out and buy some. OOOPS!!! My favorite color is red too, those candle holders are to die for and that vintage tablecloth, LOVE IT.


Becky said...

Ladies, thank you so much! I had a great time putting together this extravaganza of red.

Kim, USA said...

Oh wow you are ready for Valentines! Great dishes you have here. Thanks for sharing!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I just love it. You linens are wonderful and the polkadot dishes always make me drool. Yours are fabulous and all of your accessories are perfect. A stunning tablescape. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Liz said...

Oh my, these are gorgeous! I still do hardanger. :) Your friend's work is beautiful.

My entries:
Moms... Check Nyo

Maria @ LSS said...

What a beautiful Valentine setting!

bj said...

Now, this is a BEAUTIFUL Valentine table. Just lovely. I am in love with RED, too...suppose we could marry it??
xoxo bj

Gizelle said...

I love your table setting! I always have red as a motiff at our table because we have painted our walls red...would love to see mine as lovely as yours, job well done!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Becky! I love your festive red tablescape! That vintage tablecloth is gorgeous! So glad you are checking out la Sainte Chapelle! You are in for a treat! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

EastCoastLife said...

Wow. That is the most beautiful Valentine's Day table I have ever seen. I would be very happy to have my meal here.

Lola said...

Fabulous Valentine table setting - and blog too!

XOXO Lola:)

Mary said...

What wonderful pieces you have in your collection! Your vintage tablecloth sets it off beautifully for a Valentine's Day table!

Anonymous said...

Your valentine table is beautiful!

I love the candleholders especially.

Kathleen said...

First thing I see this morning and it is beautiful! I hope that means it is going to be a good day!
I love everything, the tablecloth is just wonderful and the whole table just pops.
Including the little Valentines and hearing the story of your mom's candy boxes was just so sweet.
Thanks so much for visiting and following, and I will do the same if I am not already.
I am doing my Val table today.
Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pieces with us!

Daphne said...

Good Morning, Becky! I admired this cloth when I saw it for sale, and it looks even better now that it's on your table! It definitly found the right home. The bow tray is perfect with it. I think that Chase pieces are your signature tablescape accessory!

Gail said...

What a beautiful Valentine tablesetting. Love reading your stories especially the heart shape candy box your Dad would give to your Mom. Thanks for sharing.

Enjoy your day,

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Your Vintage tablecloth is the perfect backdrop for your darling table. It is so festive and happy. Thank you for swinging in to see the benched vignette. hugs ~lynne~

Becky said...

Oh, thank you, thank you. I really appreciate each of you who have stopped by to see my table. It brought back lots of happy memories and I'm glad you enjoyed sharing them. I also appreciate those of you who are new followers!

Liz, I love hearing about others who help preserve lost arts.
Debbie, I have la Sainte-Chapelle on my list. Can't wait to see those windows.
Daphne, I believe you are correct. I LOVE art deco chrome. :-)


forgetmenot said...

You are definitely ready for Valentine's Day---lovely table setting. Mickie

Denise said...

Please wrap the tablecloth and candle holders up and get them ready to be sent by air mail. I will be contacting you with address. They're wonderful!

EG Wow said...

You sure do look ready for Valentine's Day!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a lovely setting to serve a Valentine's Day meal in. I love your heart people.

Donnie said...

Everything is just so beautiful especially those great candlesticks.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a fun table, I'm so glad that you found the red candlesticks! Sounds like it was meant to be-enjoy:@)

Judie said...

I LOVELOVELOVE RED!!!! Great post!!

AshTreeCottage said...

What a great Valentine's Day tablescape ~ love it! I am your newest follower.

Susan and Bentley

Theresa said...

So cheery and sweet! I heart red too! Happy "R" day!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love red also and this certainly is a feast for us red lovers, even without food!

The heart people are just wonderful...

Jenny said...

What an absolutely lovely, happy table display.

If you described that to me, I would not have thought it would work, but somehow you combined all those elements to create a vibrant, ridiculously lovely table.

Thanks for linking to Alphabe-Thursday's letter "R".

I really, really enjoyed my stop here today.


Annie said...

Becky, you may have outdone yourself! What a great tablescape!

myorii said...

Totally loving the red table setting! Of course, I love red too so I may be biased :) I absolutely need to find those red heart dishes. They are too adorable. I don't know what I would do with them but I just have to have them :)

Ames said...

Everything is gorgeous! I love red too!