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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Europe: An Illustrated Tablescape

The table setting today is the result of my nostalgia for a certain town in Germany where, every ten years a fabulous religious spectacle brings people from all over the world. This is the Oberammergau Passion Play, and 2010 is a performance year. I attended the 1970 play and found it and unforgettable experience. How I wish to be there this year, especially this month, as it leads up to Easter.

The backdrop for the table is a tablecloth my brother brought me from his 5-year stay in Germany during the 1970’s. It is a map of the European continent with landmarks and geographical features.
It was fun to point out to my mother the cities visited in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Greece during my trips in 1970, 1979, 1993 and 1995.

At first I planned to iron the 58" x 48" tablecloth, but once I started trying out various pieces for the table setting, I decided to leave it un-pressed for a more 'authentic' unfolded map look!
Now my question was -- what to use with such a busy tablecloth? I decided to begin with clear glass and crystal and ended up using pale amber and clear dinnerwares:
4 vintage "Rosemary Dutch Rose" luncheon plates ($14.00 for 6 at consignment shop)
4 vintage "Rosemary Dutch Rose" berry bowls
4 clear Arcoroc bowls (5 bowls for $2.00 at thrift shop)
4 "Vendange" goblets, made in France ($7.00 for 6 at Crate & Barrel in the 1980’s)
4 tulip glasses, made in Sweden
The flatware is Oneida stainless "Raphael."

To contain each place setting I used German style white cotton Battenberg lace placemats. They echo the white background of the tablecloth. White cotton napkins with lace corners are set in the clear bowls.
Napkin rings did not seem to work here, so I placed a souvenir spoon on each napkin. I bought this spoon in Myconos, Greece, an island in the Aegean Sea.

Going with the plan not to obscure the places on the map, a pair of simple candlesticks with soft yellow candles were placed in the middle and off to the side, a simple crystal basket with tufts of flowers.

Then the fun began as I ‘illustrated’ the linen map further in 3D, with small items from various spots on the map: a teacup from Oberammergau, Germany, an Eiffel Tower, a Bobby’s hat from London, and a miniature book and Delft candleholder from Holland:

While I have large items like tea set, dishware, etc. from my travels, I needed the smallest items to illustrate the tablescape map. The souvenir spoon is from London:

From the blue and white teacup collection came a Royal Copenhagen cup and saucer from Denmark.

Here, just off the coast of Portugal is a cork coaster from that country. I got a set of 12 from Williams Sonoma or Crate & Barrel.

A coaster from a set of six I bought in Athens, Greece in 1993. This coaster illustrates one of the ancient sites I visited on the mainland -- Sunion.
(Note the tablecloth border with names of the various countries.)

Here is the passport cover I used on my 1970 European tour:

European countries are very close together; Here is a miniature plate of Grace and Rainier of Monaco, and a ceramic cheese dispenser shaped like the leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy. Right nearby is the Oberammergau, Germany teacup and saucer.

Near the cheese-dispenser Tower of Pisa is a souvenir spoon from Austria.

Next to the Tour Eiffel, (which my brother got in France) is a tiny 10-cent thrift store plate showing Paris landmarks. The souvenir spoon is from Italy.

Isn’t this a different tablescape? And,...was it crazy to photograph!

On this side of the table you must have the place setting upside down if you are going to photograph the map right side up!

I hope you found this table setting interesting. Thank you for your visit today. I would love to read your comment!

Visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more Tablescape Thursday posts. See more Vintage Thingies Thursday posts listed by Suzanne at Coloradolady. See more "Thrifty Thursday"participants at Leigh's blog,Tales From Bloggeritaville.

ATTENTION: Please don't miss my next post which will show and tell more about my attendance at the 1970 Oberammergau Passion Play.


Irene said...

Carrie, How wonderfuland unique! Your tablesettings definitively provide great converstion prompts!

Low Tide High Style said...

What a wonderful theme for a tablescape and I love the vintage tablecloth that your brother brought you from Europe!

Kat :)

Beth said...

Beautiful setting, gorgeous tablecloth, love the placemats!

Jeanette said...

Those placemats are incredible and what a unique tablecloth.

Postcardy said...

That's an interesting tablecloth.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Carrie, this was just fascinating! I bet that was the trip of a lifetime, and your efforts in this tablescape reflect that! And I see a very shiny object... in addition to the cloth, that Leaning Tower of Pisa caught my eye. If it goes missing, you won't have to look far! ;-)

Happy Tablescape Thursday...


Sheila :-)

black eyed susans kitchen said...

This table setting reminded me of a trip to Germany and France many years ago. We had such a good time...just a wonderful place to go.
♥, Susan

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Wow! What a fun and clever tabletop tour. Thanks for taking us along.

Julie said...

What a cute and fun table

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Carrie, I have never seen anything like this absolutely fabulous tablecloth! I love the way you found objects that symbolize areas on your "mapcloth". I think I would have to frame this. It is soooooo fun and unique. Thanks for this great post!

Jane said...

Sounds like you have done a lot of traveling. I enjoyed your post and the tour!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Carrie, this is brilliant! The tablecloth is so unique and adding the little 3-D effects makes it even more unique! I love this idea! You have some wonderful treasures from all over the world, and this was such a fabulous way to use them. laurie

CC said...

What a unique tablecloth..your table settings were beautiful..everything was lovely,and I love how at different places on the map,you showed where you had been. This was great fun..thank you for taking us with you. Happy VTT..have a great weekend.

Paulette said...

I love the table scape, but I can't get over the tablecloth! I could look at that for a long time.

Debbie said...

What a great tablecloth, image the dinner conversation it would spark!

Amanda Lee said...

What a fun table setting! I love the table cloth!

Charlotte said...

I have now traveled around the world in five minutes! Such fun.

Allie and Pattie said...

How cute!! I love cloths like that and this was a great way to showcase it!
xoxo Pattie

Coloradolady said...

That tablecloth is the crowning jewel! Love it!! Have a great VTT!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

This is a great idea for a wonderful and fun tablescape. You did a great job I would love to eat at your home and discuss the table more.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Decor To Adore said...

This is a wonderful table. It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since I've seen the play.

Lia at Petite Little Bee said...

I just love this. The tablecloth is so delightful. Thanks so much for sharing, and if you have a chance please come by and say hello. Cheers, Lia

Stephanie said...

Very interesting and very well planned table setting. Beautiful pieces, very creatively arranged. Peace, Stephanie

Nancy's Daily Dish said...

Very unique, very cool, very interesting and let's not forget very educational! This is really great! I love it!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Facinating! What an interesting tablecloth. I might even frame it if it was mine so I could see it all the time! Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday this week! Hope you have had a chance to enter the giveaway.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Tales from Bloggeritaville

SueWis said...

Very pretty. I love map fabrics!

Ann said...

That could certainly keep the table converstion going for hours. Very cool. Ann

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Yes, a very unique tablescape! Very interesting! I love the yellow depression glass place setting!


Linda said...

You have come up with a great way to showcase your travel treasures. It looks fabulous! Linda @ Bushel and a Pickle

Joanne Kennedy said...

I love how you made your tablecloth turn into a 3D one. Very clever! Your plates are beautiful too!


Wanda Lee said...

What a fabulous, pretty and interesting tablescape my dear!

Cheers from Wanda Lee

Gwendolen Elaine said...

That is such a creative tablescape...and so interesting!

Bill said...

What a great idea! I'd be so busy reading the map, I'd forget to eat! Well ... not for long I'm sure. I like the way you challenged yourself to make the "active" design work in a tablescape. You pulled it off beautifully!


Unknown said...

I love maps, and this is especially awesome. I don't know if I'd let people eat on it.

Carrie said...

Many thanks to each of you for your lovely comments.

Elizabeth, I've only used the tablecloth one or two times over the years. I then sent it to a Chinese laundry who made it like new again.