Not enough matching pieces

party_music50February 13, 2010

The antithesis of a decorator here, I'm taking my queue from this forum and trying my setup beforehand. It's not going well. LOL!

I'm having 7 total for dinner tomorrow and, other than some new napkins, I don't have 7 matching *anything*! I'm having lots of food (multiple courses) and that requires tons of space on the table, so it looks pretty full even without the food service dishes, and I think that "busyness" helps. I added two wine carafes and they definitely improved the look of things. lol!

I have more than a few sets of dishes, placemats, napkins, etc., but they're all sets of 2 or 4, and the odd 6, and they don't complement each other very well. Some I buy or make, but many were given to me as gifts from my mother and sisters, so they seldom match well. :) The sets I've chosen contain different shades of blue and yellow, so they're the best of the available combinations, I think.

I decided to put 3 matched sets on one side, and 4 matched sets at the ends and other side. I'd probably alternate the different settings if it were an even number of people. My BF suggested that I give each person a completely different placesetting -- I think he was kidding, but you never know. LOL!

It's too ugly to take and post a pic. here. lol! None of my placemats work w/ the pretty bare table beneath, and none of my tablecloths work with the other combinations. I just thought of using oval paper doilies as placemats, but I'm going to see if I can get a tablecloth today. That should help.

Do you only invite as many guests as you have matched pieces?! and space?!?! lol! I have a *tiny* kitchen. On the bright side, a friend gave me a small spray of yellow roses and carnations yesterday, and since both dish sets have a bit of yellow too, they will work nicely after I choose a better vase and cut the stems shorter. :O)

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oldalgebra

To begin with: This is the fun part! So, don't be afraid to post pictures.
You know, if you can bring yourself to try this, you might want to mix all the dishes up. In other words, give each guest a different dinner plate, salad plate and, if you're using a B&B, make that one different too. Mix the stemware too. Nobody's wine glass should match their water glass. I saw this done once (even the flatware was mixed), and it was very cool.
Tie it all together with the color in the napkins and the candles and the flowers. Make the tablecloths the same color, if possible.

It's hard to make decent suggestions without see what you've got. Maybe, if you're too hesitant to show the table setting, you could take a picture of all the items you have to work with? People are pretty clever here, but they need a jumping off point.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:20AM
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blizlady

Without seeing what you have to work with, would you be able to maybe purchase an inexpensive set of white dinner plates? That way you could mix and match something like in the attached link.

Here is a link that might be useful: mix and match settings

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:22AM
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oldalgebra

I really like your BF's suggestion. That could work VERY well. Try it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:24AM
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blizlady

I found this site where almost all settings were different and it really works!

Here is a link that might be useful: mixing china

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:32AM
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lynninnewmexico

Buying a new set of all white dishes is a good suggestion . . . but only if you have the time and money to do it on such short notice. I LOVE OA's suggestion of mixing the patterns up and tying it all together with your flowers, napkins, etc. Don't set the table with one set on one side and half the other. Mixing is fun . . . and even more so if the hostess thinks its fun. So stop apologizing, put on a big smile and your guests will think it's fun, too! The bottom line for any good party/dinner is that the food is yummy and the hostess is having fun with her guests.
Lynn

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:36AM
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oldalgebra

Lynn is so right! You should be proud! Your guests are going to love it. And I bet you have stories to tell about each table setting. "My sister gave me this set for ..." "These belonged to Great Aunt Harriet and everybody in our family thought they were ugly, so I got them." "Grandpa bought these at the Five and Dime for Grandma on their honeymoon."

And if you don't have a story, then make one up.

What fun everyone is going to have!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 12:03PM
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party_music50

OMG, I am so glad I posted this here. It definitely fits my personality to do something like that, but I figured it would look so bad that it would ruin their appetites. lol! I'll try it out later today.

I have enough sets to do a completely different place setting for each, plus lots of "mixers" (extra sets of salad plates, soup bowls, many wine/water glass selections, etc.) I'll rip it out, set the base (tablecloth & napkins) and then give it a try. I'm running out of time though because other things aren't working out: couldn't get the chicken I wanted so am re-working the menu, the choc. cups I made for the mousse 'bloomed' last night and most broke when I unmolded them this morning, so I'm trying to decide what to do about dessert too. :)

Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 12:04PM
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patty_cakes

I love mixing things up! A whole set of anything can get a little boring. Using a solid w/a pattern is so much more interesting and can also be more colorful.

The idea of a different place setting for everyone is awesome! ;o)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 3:05PM
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jeannespines

party music...love all the suggestions above...here's one more ...I think you're a basket maker...so mix in some of your wonderful pcs. to serve bread or whatever! I like your BF's idea, too...just have FUN & ENJOY your company!
Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 3:47PM
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Purplemoon

Great suggestions, hope you share photos, I know everyone will love it.
And the BONUS....
BF will probably be stunned we all thought he had a great idea. LOL.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:23PM
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party_music50

We started to try the "every setting different" approach, but neither of us liked the way it looked at all. Sorry, but I went with 4 and 3 (and even the chairs are 4 and 3). lol! I managed to get a tablecloth that I think works ok. The table's not finished because I needed to get back to the food... I took some quick pics along the way. It's nothing too fancy, but it will suit me just fine. I didn't finish the flowers, but found a nice cobalt bud vase and cut a spray of yellow roses for it. *perfect*. :)

Here's one of the 4:

Here's one of the other 3 (I was trying different napkin rings) -- I don't have matching soup bowls with this set, so I used the white w/navy trim rings:

I went this way instead:

It will look better with the food... and I'll add more flowers and wine. lol! Jeannespines, there's one of my baskets I planned to use for the dinner rolls. :) The side table will be set up yet too (and use my cracker baskets :).

And... I didn't abandon the broken chocolate cups. I just finished making the chocolate mousse and it tastes fantastic!!! I hope it's even better after it chills:

It's not fancy, but we'll have a GREAT time!

Happy Valentine's Day!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:05PM
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luvstocraft

Your dessert looks yummy--chocolate, need I say more???? LOL

This post was a fun read, and neat that you realize no one is going to care about the dishes as long as the food is good and they are having fun!

Luvs

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:01AM
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oldalgebra

PM,
It looks very inviting. Like your blue-stemmed glasses. I could have used them last night.

Have a great time.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:24AM
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jeannespines

Dessert looks yummy! And your place setting dishes are both very festive! Like the blue wine glasses, too! Nice to see flowers! Have fun & enjoy! TFS! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 12:44AM
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Purplemoon

with that yummy dessert, how am I suppose to look at dishes? LOL. But I think you setting looks nice, and I especially like the flower dishes. Pretty colors.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 1:26AM
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party_music50

Thanks, everyone! I was expecting my BF to give me flowers to use on the table, but that doesn't seem to be happening (no surprise). I have some geraniums, impatiens, and lantanas blooming under lights in the basement... I'm going to do a little 'picking' later for the table. :) Does anyone know if lantana will be ok to use as cut flowers??? I guess I'll find out!

I remembered having the blue-stemmed glasses... I have a dozen, but was only able to find 6 in the cupboards... the others are in a box somewhere. :( Someone my father knew was tossing DOZENS of them, so I gladly saved some. :)

purplemoon, I LOVE those flower dishes!!! I found the dinner and salad plates at a dollar store around here once. They're a perfect 'weight' and even prettier in person.

Thanks everyone for the help and comments. I'm trying to be better about the decor part. ;^)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:09AM
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lynninnewmexico

The table looks pretty and so do those desserts! Lantana will be fine in the arrangement, but pound their stems a bit so that they can take in a lot of water. You'll have to show us more of your baskets someday soon. What talent!
Lynn

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 11:04AM
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party_music50

Thanks for the tip on the lantana, Lynn! and the nice comments on the table/chocolate. :)

I would LOVE to show you any baskets anytime you'd like to see them!!! lol! I always LOVED baskets and it was quite accidental that I started to weave. I teach weaving too. And thanks to a co-worker who convinced me to enter the NY State Fair in 2008, I'm the weaving champ two years in a row. lol! I'm trying to decide if I'll enter again this year.

I can't resist... I'm working on a basket now, but am actually disappointed with it, so I don't think it's worthy of entering in any of the competitions. Here it is in progress -- it will take a few more weeks to finish because it's a killer on the fingers. It's a 36-spoke "buttocks" basket (see the shape :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 11:49AM
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luckygal

Oh, my!!! Your basket is wonderful - I can see why you are the champ! That's incredible!

I think your table setting is very nice as the colors on both sets are similar. I love the flower ones with the blue centers altho the others are nice also.

Dessert looks yummy and I'm sure your dinner will be wonderful!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Purplemoon

how can you be disappointed in that GORGEOUS basket? WOW.
The shape and colors are simply wonderful.
I can't imagine others you've done if this one isn't up to your standard. Congratulations on your weaving accolades by the way. That's some talent you have.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 4:00PM
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phonegirl

So glad you posted pictures of your table, desserts and basket. I enjoyed reading this post and I'm so glad you ended up with a great table.

I'm impressed that you kept the choc. cups and used them. People are way to wasteful and it doesn't change the flavor. Wish you lived closer and I would sure give you some dishes.

I am not as particular as I use to be due to not enough hours in my days and I'm so thankful for that. It's makes me far happier than I use to be. I finally realized life is to short to be like that.

I would love to see more of your baskets. You do wonderful work and I agree with Luckygal and Karen.

Punk

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:49PM
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party_music50

Thank you luckygal, Karen, and Punk! The dinner is over and I've been cleaning up. We had a great time. The glasses on the table confused everyone. They expected to take them from the cupboard, as usual. :O)

Punk, I'm NEVER wasteful with anything. It's just the way I am. Can't change. Always trying to do what I can for the environment and ecology too.

I hope you're all serious about wanting to see pics of my baskets, because I'm off to do a separate post. It will get pic heavy in a hurry. lol! I don't photograph many that I make, but I can show you a sample. :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 11:16PM
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party_music50

Hello all --

Been very busy here (same everywhere, I'd guess). One thing I had to do was finish weaving and decide my entries for the NYS Fair. lol!

Since I posted photos of my basket while in progress, I thought I'd show you what it looks like when finished. I decided to enter it! I don't think that it will win, but it would be nice if it gets displayed -- mostly because it's so different from anything else that will be entered.

There are only 2 basketry competitions: original design and commercial source. The left is my original, and the right one is called "Amish Tray" from someone else's pattern. Wish me luck! This is my 3rd year to enter, and I won 1st place in both competitions the previous years. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 7:53AM
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excessfroufrou

Your baskets sure look like winners to me. It is absoulutely amazing to me that you can make those. They are beautiful. I used to do a lot of hand-made crafts, sewing and such, but I found that a lot of people don't appreciate the time and effort that goes into most projects. I'm certainly a lot more selective of who I gift my projects to. We are not to far from the Ozark Folk Center here in AR. and they offer classes in basketry and they are offering one on glass bead blowing, I think I would really like to try that one. Oh well, maybe later. I wish you the best of luck at the fair and hope you keep your title in place.
Frou

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:27AM
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luvstocraft

Wow! I'd sure give both of your new baskets a blue 1st place ribbon if I were the judge! You do beautiful work, those are amazing! Good luck. Luvs

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:59AM
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jaybird

The baskets are gorgeous....I'm with Luvs....I would give you lots of blue ribbons!!
Thanks for showing us!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 11:22AM
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Purplemoon

Your orginial design looks like a Blue Ribbon Winner to me.
What a fantastic design and colors you did. Judges should be very impressed. But I think ALL your baskets are winners. You're so darn talented with this!

By the way, it was fun reading this 'old' thread again about the dinner party and mismatched dishes. I loved it.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 12:25AM
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party_music50

Thanks for the nice comments!

Frou: I certainly understand what you mean about people not appreciating the work/effort/time/talent that arts & crafts demands!!! and I understand your lack of interest in taking basket classes, but I would LOVE to learn to make glass beads!!! I teach basket weaving at the city's Art & Community Center and to local groups, but there is very little interest and even less since the economy is so bad. More often than not, I've had only two students at a time, but the worst experience I had was when I limited the class to 12 and had 17 show up! lol! I'm still amazed because the WORST student I ever had (she had NO talent for weaving or understanding, her workmanship was terribly shoddy, and she didn't do anything correctly! If I told her to cut 5 spokes, she'd cut 4 and then wonder why her baskets never came out right!) was the one that immediately bought supplies and started selling her baskets. oy. ;^)

luvs and jaybird: thank you! and I wish you were the judges!!! lol!

Karen: thank you! but I really don't expect a blue ribbon with my original design this year... I've never seen a ribbed basket entered before, and I've been told by a reknown teacher than the judges don't understand this particular technique.

It seems like SO LONG AGO that I posted this original thread! Since then I've bought new table linens and lots of other stuff -- but now I'm off on a different tangent working and having work done on the outside of the house. I am *SO* looking forward to having some outdoor holiday decor this year!!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 5:52AM
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lynninnewmexico

Well, whether you win a ribbon or not, I/We think you're incredibly talented, PM! I like both your entries a lot. Very nice! TFS.
Lynn

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:13PM
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party_music50

awwww... Thank you, Lynn. I'm 10 for 10 on ribbons and entries, so I'm probably feeling a lot more pressure on myself than I should (like I'm *expected* to do well).

I hope that I didn't sound harsh on my comments about my "worst" student... she knew she was that way and having difficulty, and she laughed about it, saying she couldn't believe that people would buy HER baskets. lol! I taught her to make 3 different baskets and they're the only 3 she could make. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:53AM
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jeannespines

PM, your work is beautiful! Love your original pc & also the colors & pattern of the Amish design. Good, good luck! Ribbons, or not, you're A+ ...JMHOpionion! TFS! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 12:02AM
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