Dear Angelene,

Your mom's band goes on tour this week, so we had a family dinner to hold us over until we all come together again.

My idea for our table came from Kathleen at Yellow Rose Arbor.  Last week, she chose an inspiration item for her table setting -- a cute little bluebird teapot wearing even cuter red tennies.  Her table grew from her inspiration.  So this week, I decided to try the same thing -- find some inspiration.  A watering can at TJ Maxx caught my eye.  I love black and white stripes and bright colors, and the watering can had them all!

Then serendipity!  I found three black and white mugs. at TJ Maxx.  They were on sale for $2 each.  The rest of the table was easy.  The flowers are recycled from Easter.  I peeled away the outer petals from old roses,  put them in small votives, and added some baby's breath and recycled yellow ribbon.  Then, to make the votives seem more important, I put them in hurricanes.  Presto!

Here's my place setting and yours.  Finding sippy cups to match the tablescape has become a wonderful challenge!

Many of these items are from around my house.  The black and white tray was one of my first home decorating acquisitions -- back when your dad was just a bit older than you are now and we lived in a tiny in-law unit in Berkeley, California.  I felt extremely grown-up buying that tray!  It's a quarter-century old now, and I love it every bit as much as I always did (and might explain my attraction to the zebra mugs).

If ever trapped on a desert island and allowed only one set of dishes, it will be my Spode (there will be tablescaping on my desert island)!  The black and white polka-dot casserole dish is the real deal -- Spode.  Everything else I got at wonderful discount stores, without which I could not pursue my dish hobby.

Here's a photo for you of the entire table (I got to sit next to you this time)!

What's this blurry photo?  Your booster seat was forgotten at home, so we set you up on two law books.  They first belonged to my dad (your Great Grandpa Jackson, whom you never had the pleasure of meeting), and then the books became mine.

See the spot on the top book, Corpus Juris Vol. 63?  When I was cleaning up after dinner, I stepped on something moist and squishy!  Yuck!  It reminded me of stepping on a slug.  Slugs used to get into our Berkeley in-law unit, which was part of a very beautiful garden.  But this time, the squishy thing was a beet!  The beet fell from your plate, to your lap, to Corpus Juris Vol. 63, to the floor.  And forever more, Volume 63 is imprinted with your beet from yesterday's dinner.

I don't know whose law books these will become someday -- maybe yours?  But now you know the story of the purple spot on Volume 63.

One of my wishes for you, Angelene, is to seek and find inspiration in your life.  My dad's stories about the law and his books -- which I used to dust in his office on the weekend -- inspired me.  Our wonderful table last night grew from the inspiration someone shared about her own creative process.  Each moment of inspiration is a gift.

Inspiration might arrive in the form of music.  We already know that your mama's music charms you beyond words. 

Inspiration also might come from books that you dust with love, stories that people tell you, or little bluebirds wearing red tennies!  Be on the lookout, Angelene!

All my love,

Grandma J

 P.S.  Special thanks to Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor for inspiring this message to my granddaughter and for the cutest bluebird I've seen!


  1. How darling! What a beautiful way to share your love of dishes with both us and your darling Angelene!

  2. That is the cutest watering can! I love all those wild colors. :-) Great tablescape and amazing how many things you already had to go with it! What group does Angelene's Mom sing/perform with? Great pics of her at the end of your post...

  3. Ahhhh....I love those zebra cups...just my style! I bought some zebra plates last week and can't wait to use them. Your tablescape is soooo PRETTY!


    Come by and enter my GIVEAWAY...I think you will like it!

  4. Ok - FIRST, the flower arrangements in the hurricans - AMAZING! I am totally going to steal, I mean BORROW that idea one of these days when I get around to working on tablescapes again! LOL! It's FABULOUS! The whole thing is so fun! Great job~! Changes to the garden are posted, hope you can stop by and take a peak when you get the chance! :) Take care! A

  5. I love it. The note is so sweet! Thank you for sharing!

  6. This is just adorable! Love those great colors together! I have those yellow polka dot round placemats, haven't used them yet. The votives in the hurricanes look great! Good job!

    Love the way you write to your granddaughter! What's the name of your daughter's band?

    Thanks for mentioning me in your blog!

    Keep trying to get posted on Susan's blog, this needs to be seen by many!


  7. Hi...I found your blog through the grapevine...or would that be "blogvine"...I love the idea of writing to your granddaughter...I also have an almost 3 year old and I'm doing a cookbook type blog for her...Have you thought about having the blog turned into a hard back book to give her..My daughter had the first year of my blog turned into a book...real dust jacket and everything...she used it really came fabulous.....Sue @ Rue Mouffetard

  8. Love the watering can and all the black and white dishes. It's very cheerful in a stylish way. I'm glad to see you saved the law books. I've been having a family 'discussion' about that (someone wants to get rid of them, and I the hoarder, I mean collector, do not!). From one Dish Addict to another, it's nice to meet you! :)

  9. I love all that black and whtie with vibrant colors, too!!!

    Gorgeous!!!! And a fun tale, too!

    Hugs, Lana

  10. LOVE this table! The yellow dotted placemats with the black and white is fabulous, and that floral watering can just makes the table. Clever use of your Easter flowers! Yes, tablescaping would make life on a desert island bearable! I enjoy your posts addressed to your little granddaughter. Thank you for your comments on my TT post!

  11. I love the vibrant colors and fun pattern mix. What a happy table!

  12. What a neat table, the zebra stripes against the yellow and then the roses for the centerpiece...I love it and the story of the beet juice on the law book.

  13. What a great post. I love the whole idea for your blog!! When you mentioned Arlington Heights, I immediately knew you had to be from Chicago! Me too!

    Your table is so fun. I love all the bright colors and of course, the zebra stripes (had a bathing suit like that once!). And I love how you got your inspiration.

    Very nicely done. So glad I stopped by!


  14. I am so impressed with your blog, and I do love that you are addressing your darling granddaughter. What a marvelous idea. I also love the post from Sue suggesting that you publish your blog.

  15. Oh, I SO understand your blog! I have a grand-daughter that is my heart (she shares it with her brother ) and she tells her Mommy how much she loves Grandma's cooking, stories and tables- how I LOVE hearing that! Thank you for your visit and kind words
    xoxo Pattie

  16. What a wonderful blog! Your granddaughter is a lucky little girl to have a grandmother who is so talented and devoted. Thanks for visiting me, too!

  17. I love your table setting. It is just wonderful. I just love all the exquisite colors!!! I am a new follower to your blog. I hope you have a chance to come say hi. Cheers, Lia

  18. Hi Grandma J,
    what a nice table. Looks very happy. I hope that you come all together soon.
    Greetings, Johanna

  19. Hello...

    Ohhh my, first of all I must say that I was nearly moved to tears to see how and why you have this share your thoughts, ideas, and many memories with your precious granddaughter just fabulous!!! I just know that someday she will thumb...or click (hehe!) through these pages with such adoration of her Grandma!!! I adore my Grandma...I enjoy all of the little journals that she wrote!

    Well my friend, your table is beautiful!!! I love the idea of finding an inspiration piece and building a tablescape from it! I will have to try that! The colorful watering can is absolutely adorable...very pretty!!! You certainly were successful in building a beautiful settings, etc...from that pretty little watering can!!! Ohhh...and I love your pretty Spode dishes as well! Ahhh...and the thought of a deserted island where tablescaping awesome! Hehe! Can I come along? Ohhhh wait...then it wouldn't be a deserted island...would it? Hehe! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful table and delightful letter to Angeline with us!!!

    I also wanted to thank you for coming by and taking a peek at my "Springtime" tablescape. I really enjoyed your visit and sweet note! Thank you!!!

    Have a fabulous Friday!
    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  20. Your blog is just delightful, written as if letters to your little angel. Very well done!
    I started blogging to describe & inform my DD about all the heirloom dishes & treasures that I inherited from my mother & grandmother. Seems we are both too busy to just sit & talk these day. I hope someday to have mine put into book form. you can have that done, you know. Go to CeeKay's blog "thinkin' of home" & search out how she had it done.

    Great idea!

  21. Dearest Ridgely, I feel as though I'm stepping into a wonderful story book when I visit your blog. The way you display your tablescape and tell the story to Angelene touches me in such a way, it's hard to explain...thank you for your wonderful blog and also for stopping by my blog and leaving your kind comments.

  22. Love, love your table!! It's so creative and fun! I also noticed your Franciscan Desert Rose on the post below...of course I love that. Your blog is just beautiful too--what a great idea! Thanks for stopping by and please come again:-)

  23. Hi,

    This is my first visit to your blog and I wanted to tell you I love it! Not only do I love your photos and what you write about but I adore how you are writting to your little one. How great is that!

    Your tablescape this week is wonderful. I love black, yellow and white and you put this together just perfect.

    Great idea on making the flowers nice again too!

    Now I'm off to read what band are you in?


  24. What a sweet post! Beautiful tablescape! Love the spode and all the black and white pieces....Christine

  25. What a darling post and table setting too. So bright and colorful. Glad I discovered your blog--thanks for leaving a nice comment about my Fisherman Luncheon. Good luck to the band. I listened to their music and Angeline's mom is incredible! My son is in marketing for San Francisco Jazz. They should head west....! Would love to see them perform someday.

  26. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment, I always appreciate those that do:) Your blog is lovely and what a treasure to keep these memories for your granddaughter, not to mention the wonderful advice you can give her.
    Your table is gorgeous, I just love that watering can, the colors are awesome together.

  27. Thank you so much for your kind words. It's so nice to make new friends. I love your blog and the fact that you are writing to your precious little granddaughter. What a gift you are giving her. And......I adore the black and white and the bright wonderful colors. It reminds me of my daughters ( latest post. We all love the black and white and bright colors.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  28. Your such a wonderful dearie mum and great grand.

    First of all, I love and appreciate you came to visit me secondly, I love how you sets your table and the mismatch is just so GORGEOUS.

    Love every bit of your dearie collections.

    Have a great w/end and Take care.

    Greetings from Stockholm

  29. Thanks for coming by my table this week -- I haven't had a chance until now to stop by and tell you I love this cheerful table you've set! All the great colors mixed with zebra stripes. Your granddaughter is so sweet, soon she'll be playing in the dishes as well!

  30. It is my pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your kind words.
    Thank you for sharing your thought to Angelene with the rest of us. We are never too old to learn life lessons.
    Your table scape was truly inspired! I love black and white decorating. The Spode is fantastic.
    Stop by again for tea.

  31. Wow those colors are so fun! I love the whole look. Thanks for visiting my blog. It's great meeting you albeit over the internet :)

  32. Precious, just precious. I hope as my granddaughter gets older I'll be as clever. I've been meaning to tell you your Mom was way ahead of her time. You may know that a few years ago, I think when gas was as its highest, UPS redesigned all their routes to eliminate all left turns. It saved them time and money.

  33. Hi! came across your blog. Talent to setting up beautiful dinner table. I PLAN TO FOLOW YOU. if you get a chance stop by

  34. Hi, Just wanted to stop by for a visit to see how you are doing, I hope all is well!

  35. Thanks for stopping by and your wonderfully inspiring comment. I just loved your table..and see you too love African prints. Your granddaughter is privileged to have such a clever grandmother! I look forward to reading more about your life! Enjoy your weekend!