Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Celebrating Mae Day

The May challenge for Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish!
was to create a tablescape for Mother's Day.

We decided to make ours a 
Grandmother's Day table instead
We created it to honor one of the 
grandest mothers who ever lived:
The Duchess's mother,
my grandmother.

Since her name was Mae, 
We're calling it our 
Mae Day Table.

For a centerpiece, we used one of her vases and some white carnations. 
White carnations, of course, 
are the traditional Mother's Day flower of remembrance
 for mothers who are no longer with us. 

Oh how we wish she were...

That photo was taken the day that the Duchess married Prince Charming.
It's one of the few photos that we have of her. 
She tended to shy away from a camera. 

She was easily embarrassed and would rather have the spotlight shine on someone else.  In fact, she would probably be embarrassed by this fuss and bother. 

We fussed and bothered anyway.  

Just about every item on this table belonged to Grama.

The focal point is her set of Blue Willow dishes
which were passed to her by her favorite maiden aunt. 

The set is beautiful and  exhaustive. 
There's a dinner plate, a luncheon plate, a salad plate,
 and dessert plates
as  well as cups and saucers, and bouillon bowls. 

Each piece has a slightly different scene on it.

Like so many homemakers from her generation, 
Grama collected this glassware from soap boxes.

I'm not at all sure of her flatware pattern, 
but I love the simplicity of it and the long, skinny shape of that dinner fork.

The only thing on the entire table that didn't belong to Grama is the linen. 
We chose a vintage tablecloth and napkins. 

But the napkins are tied with some of her pins. 

Grama always wore a pin.
And she always, always, wore a dress.
Unless she was leaving the house, she wore an apron as well. 

She was a humble woman with simple tastes.

Aside from her wedding band,
the only jewelry I ever saw her wear was a pin...

 ...and this mother's ring. 

There were no family jewels to pass down through the generations, 
not a lot of silver or gold either.  
In fact, the sum total of her finery 
is probably represented on this table.

But what she did pass down was some of that far above rubies stuff
of the virtuous woman. 

And we hope this table is even half as lovely
as the grand-mother who inspired it.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things, 
but you surpass them all. 
Proverbs 31:28-29 

Also sharing with Tablescape Thursday


Debbie said...

I am not sure what I liked about this most....the vintage tablecloth? the dishes...I LOVE those! The pic of your grandmother? Soo sweet Or those pins she wore? Mine had several pins too, it was just soo her and I loved them. Maybe it was just the over all idea of a grandmother's table? Such a good idea. Guess I just love it all! Hope you had a good day!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is a lovely table but the words you choose to tell us about your Grandmother were so sweet!

kitty said...

How sweet to honor your Grandmother. The blue dishes are soooo pretty and I love the flatware, too. I loved seeing the pins on the napkins.

ellen b said...

A wonderful tribute and oh boy what great treasures you have! I really love all the pieces from your grandmother!

Gina said...

What a beautiful table & tribute to your Grandmother! The china is gorgeous!!

Judy Bigg said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your Grandmother. Love, love the blue willow dishes and the picture of her. You have done an outstanding job.

Vee said...

A lovely tribute and such a good idea to use one of her pins for the napkin rings. She would no doubt be very pleased by your devotion. Sweet memories...

Tricia said...

Debbie, I love the idea of you all gathering together to set this pretty table for your grandmother! I know she is smiling in heaven to see you all enjoying one another, as well as her beloved dishes and other treasures. Happy Mother's Day!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Beautiful tribute to your Grama, Debbie. Way more valuable than rubies... way more. blessings ~ Tanna

Mary said...

Far above rubies indeed! I never saw my dear grandmother wear anything other than a dress~ little jewelry, a ring and her "earbobs" :) Beautiful blue and white table~ I love the tablecloth and the napkins adorned with her pins! Happy Mother's Day :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

This is just beautiful..and love the glasses from the soap boxes. I just recently told my kids about getting things out of soap boxes. What a great Mother's Day table and dedication to your grandmother...what a joy to have all of that...I do have my grandmother's silver.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

This is wonderful, love it all! I think my favorite is her pins on the napkins!

The Blue Willow is beautiful, I always loved it, but never have had any.

Great job, as usual!!

Happy Mother's Day, Debbie!


Marlis said...

The table is a fabulous tribute to a lovely woman. I Love her pins. My grandmother wore them too. Your pretty linens take a wonderful backseat to the vintage blue willow.. Great table.. Happy Mother's day to all and have a blessed weekend.. xo marlis

Robin said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. Those plates are wonderful and you are so lucky to have so many pieces. I had white carnations in my centerpiece this week and was unaware of their meaning. Thanks for sharing!

Robin Flies South

Barbara F. said...

This is a grand table, made all the more special by all the warm and loving memories. I do like Proverbs 31. I need to buy white carnations for my mom when I go to the cemetery.
Happy Mother's Day to you and The Dutchess. xo

xinex said...

Everything is so beautiful, Debbie. I love the plates, the edges are so pretty. The tablecloth is stunning and the way you put the table elements together is just fantastic. Love all the jewels on the table. I can tell that your grandma Mae was a very stylish and wonderful lady....Christine

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Such a nice tribute Debbie! Very pretty table, I love the dishes, so glad you still have them and enjoy them:@)

Miss Char said...

What a beautiful table Debbie, I've never known anyone to have that much Blue Willow and your extra touches with your Grandma's jewels, glassware and silver is just precious. I'm sure she is very pleased to know that you remember her with such love. Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

Denise said...

So glad you fussed and bothered with this table for our Grama. Just an absolutely lovely table inspired by a wonderful woman. I do so love the pins tied to the napkins. Just the right amount of jewel to highlight her beautiful set of dishes. Oh how I miss this grand woman...

Debbiedoo's said...

Beautiful Debbie. LOVE the blue dishes and all the layering you did on this table. You are sooooo good at tablescapes.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

what a great tribute to Mae and to have had her a part of your world is awesome. And your table is totally royally set. Love the colors and the rich feel. Hope your day shines.....

Tanya@takesix said...

Oh goodness, such a beautiful table and tribute, Debbie. The dishes are stunning and I especially enjoyed reading about your grandmother. I laughed when I read about the glasses from soap boxes, because of my dishes from oatmeal!! Gorgeous!

BECKY said...

So lovely, Debbie! Makes me think of my Mom. She loved Blue Willow, and finally got some about 10 years before she went to be with the Lord.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful tablescape and for bringing to mind sweet thoughts of my very much missed Mom. Precious.


Grace on the Narrow Path said...


Scribbler said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. This is a beautiful table and a beautiful post.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Ok, so it's the rare tablescape that brings tears, but you succeeded. You did it with the pins. Of course, your creative execution is just perfect, but the memories of my own grandmothers (and a great-grandmother) just overwhelmed me. We didn't even have as many family jewels as you have here, but I was blessed with the legacy that's "far above rubies" like you were.

How I would have loved being invisible in the room when all of you were pulling this table together! I can only imagine the almost-tangible emotion, the memories, the stories... Just beautiful!

Happy Mother's Day to you, Debbie!

Ann said...

Gorgeous ... gorgeous photos, gorgeous words ..... gorgeous memories.

Some of what you said could have been said about my gran'ma, too. She too wore pins ... I have many ... she also had a "mother's ring" ... now I have it, love it and wear it.

In fact, I loved her "mother's ring" so much, my own family got me one several years ago for Mother's day. I like wearing them together.

As usual, Debbie, this was a masterpiece and brought back many of my own memories of my gran'ma.

Cheers and Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!

A Cottage in the Clouds said...

What a beautiful table to honor your grandmother! Gorgeous china and linens. Love it.


This dishes are absolutely gorgeous, with so many pieces for almost everything! You are so lucky to have this gorgeous treasure from your granny, how wonderful! Beautiful honor to a great lady. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY and many blessings.

Sooner Laura said...

I loved everything about this post too. Except it made my eyes leak a little.

Diane said...

Lovely remembrance of your grandmother! The blue willow is so pretty - I am not sure I have seen that same pattern before now. The tablecloth is beautiful - love the white on white embroidery. Also, love her jewelry - wonderful memories you have!

Tracy said...

WOW! That is so lovely...gosh, even if I set out to do somehting that elegant, it certainly wouldn't look like that! BTW, my Grandma ALWAYS wore a dress and she wore a pin as well. In fact, I have one of her pins with her initials and it is so special to me!

Sonja said...

I'm celebrating right with you, for the mothers and grandmothers who have made my life so special in 1000 ways! I think every one of them would be so proud to have a table like this set in their honor. And of course, it's because of the true values they lived that such a tribute means so much!

Oh to be a Proverbs 31 legacy for our own children!

Beautiful tribute Debbie.

Happy Mother's Day!

Carol said...

Beautiful table and tribute, Debbie!
I shy away from the camera too, as, methinks, do you.
The Blue Willow is so special and lovely.
Still impressed by your job on the deck!
Happy, Happy Mother's Day!

FrouFrouBritches said...

This is my favorite table ever! The Blue Willow dishes are so beautiful. They remind me of my grandmother. I love that long skinny fork too - so simple and elegant. I love that you added her pins to the napkins. Just beautiful! What a moving tribute to your grandmother. Love it, Debbie!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

You make me laugh and today you gave me goosebumps! What a tribute to a real lady!!


Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

This is such a touching, beautiful post. I had such a close relationship with my maternal grandmother, and I always wonder why we often limit celebrations and even comments to just mothers, so I'm so happy to see you honor your Grama. What joy to have her beautiful dishes too! ~Zuni

Maryann said...

These dishes brought back memories of my own grandmother...she had that very same set. Loved the tribute to your grandmother

Linda W said...

Debbie, this is absolutely gorgeous and the most beautiful tribute to your beloved Grama. She passed on to you the most lovely of things...a loving heart of gold!

Linda said...

Awwwww, such a lovely table and tribute to your Mother. Your table is beautiful. love the dishware and your details are spot on. I truly hope you have a wonderful Mother's day.

Kathleen said...

What a lovely table honoring the Grand Duchess! I love the china, I am very partial to cream soup cups! Using her pins as napkin rings, what a wonderful idea!
Your pics are fabulous, I can "see" the crispness of the linens!
Happy Mother's Day to you and the Duchess! :)
Thanks for sharing this at Let's Dish!

Denise said...

Beyond beautiful.

Sue said...

A beautiful tribute to your grandmother, Debbie, the Far above Rubies, is so much more valuable than gold or silver.
Though her treasures that you have shared are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Wishing you and your Mom, the Duchess, a very blessed and Happy Mother's Day.

Sherry said...

What a gorgeous table Debbie! I love the delicate version of the Blue Willow. It is the prettiest china pattern. You did an outstanding job on this and it is such a lovely tribute! Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Karena said...

Debbie really gorgeous, adore the blue and white with the very special pins on the napkins!!

I want to invite you to enter my giveaway from the Enchanted Home!

Art by Karena

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I love all that beautiful transferware! Another stunning tablescape and so special since you used your Grandmothers things.

Gayle said...

A beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I hope your Mother's Day is perfect.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

That centerpiece made me suck in my breath! And the tablecloth? Completely swoonworthy!

I have a praise in that our home has officially sold. I now have just 32 to days to find a home, pack and move. A little pressure? :) We put a bid on a home yesterday that will give "The Money Pit" a run for it's money.
I wanted to let you know that I so appreciate all of your support and kind comments and if I am absent the next few weeks from your blog please know I will return soon.

For whomever you nurture, have a happy and blessed Mother's Day.

Kathryn Ross said...

Beautiful table and tribute to your gran! Love how you arranged her things so elegantly and the pin napkin holders idea is inspired!

Thinking of my own gran's dish set in a box in my basement - been meaning to pull that out, too . . .


Marigene said...

Beautiful table and such a pretty china pattern.
Happy Mother's Day!

Chatty Crone said...

Beautiful table setting.
Happy Mother's Day! sandie

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That is such a pretty, pretty table!
Love the pin idea, and the blue willow are like amazing!

bj said...

so so pretty...
xo bj

Diann said...

What a beautiful tablescape! Absolutely stunning. I hope you are having a wonderful Mother's Day!

Kathleen said...

I haven't spent much time on the computer recently but happily I have just now caught up with ALL your blogging. From tablescapes to garage sales, May Day traditions to deck cleaning, I have enjoyed reading them all. I love visiting your corner of bloggerville. Happy Mother's Day to you. Kathleen.

Sharon said...

Tried to leave a comment about the deck post - it wasn't allowed. Is that the punishment I get for being so late to the party???

Anyway, it was a hoot, Deck Woman (or is it Ralph Macchio?)

And may I say that this lovely table is the perfect tribute to your wonderful Grama. Completely beautiful, properly understated, and warm and inviting...

I look forward to meeting her some day.

Hope you're having a very special Mom's Day! Did you get to see the girls? I sat in church this morning sandwiched between the two sons - THAT was a gift that made my day (week, month, year!)


Aledia said...

Those dishes are just breathtaking!! I love how you used the jewelry as well, this is such a beautiful tribute!

I hope you have a very blessed week!
Thank You so much for stopping by and leaving me a sweet comment on my Mothers Day Tablescape.

Aledia @ Plum Perfect

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Beautiful! What a sweet and beautiful tablescape. Love all the meaning behind the treasures you used. laurie

Kelley said...

I feel the love.

I have my grandmother's Currier and Ives dishes, and have added enough pieces for each daughter to already possess service for 10, complete with pie plates and other service pieces. With their winter scenes, they were always used on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. I never was big on blue, but THEY WERE GRANDMA's. HELLO! Extra, extra special. My children never knew her. Their loss indeed.

Jaybird said...

What a lovely table!!! and tribute!
I think the silverware is "Louisiane" 1938 by Rogers.
I love the dishes too.
Blessings to you,


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