Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let's Dish ~ Springtime Plaids, Checks,Dots & Stripes

First off I want to thank all the plaid and tartan 

fans that joined us for the Tartan Parade.  

If you missed the fun you can 

find the parade line up here.

National Tartan Day falls on Good Friday this year.  Several parade participants shared springtime plaids, so I thought I'd share my springtime plaids this week for .   .   . 

Cuisine Kathleen's weekly Let's Dish.

Spring has arrived and here at HFTS that means bringing out the MacKenzie-Childs dishes in the Taylor Series and dining alfresco out on the terrace. MacKenzie-Childs' web site notes that the dishes "mix and match in playful harmony." It was exactly that characteristic which drew me to these fanciful dishes in the 1980s.

Stack of Salad Plates in Wallcourt Collection 

Pastel colors, fanciful patterns, ruffled edges, flat edges, polka dots, plaids, stripes, checks ~ The Taylor Series and the Wallcourt Collection mix it all up for delightful springtime dining.

The ruffled dinner plates from MacKenzie-Childs' Taylor Series are each so full of pattern and color, that I keep added details to a minimum.

Pastel plaid tablecloth, Ambiance Vintage Garden white chargers, and vintage flatware were all that was needed to set the stage for the mix of patterns on the table.

Bearded Iris pattern "remembers the bright yellow
beards in botanical drawings of Richard's iris garden."

Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs founded the company in 1983. MacKenzie-Childs was purchased by Pleasant Rowland in 2001, and has since been sold to Twin Lakes Capital.

Aalsmeer pattern is named for the place "where
Victoria's sister and family lived in the Netherlands."
It represents the Dutch colors and boxes of tulips.

The Taylor Series was the original dinnerware collection of MacKenzie-Childs. It was "designed to be mixed at random like a happy ceramic bouquet."

King Ferry pattern "is a grid of fields and flowers
and sky and homestead to the MacKenzie-Childs family life."

These contemporary Majolica plates come in this ruffled edge or with a flat rim. Each is hand formed from red clay and painted by artisans in fanciful designs of the same color palette.

Myrtle pattern is named for a "Belfast lass who
wears a floral apron just like Milly Molly Mandy's aunt."

I liked the idea of mixing it up with different patterns, so when I first saw these pieces in a local store in the 1980s, I decided to purchase a plate or two at a time, each in a different pattern.

Madison pattern for the "Indiana, smokestack,
riverboat, 4H, farmtown on the Mason-Dixon line where Victoria
finished growing up with Southern belles and pet pigs."

Some of the patterns are now retired, but MacKenzie-Childs continues to add new patterns and on occasion will bring a pattern out of retirement.

Monet pattern "honors Giverny's dining room dressed
in delphinium blue and yellow beyond the trellised gardens."

Over the years I've limited my selections to dinner plates and special serving pieces. I appreciate that they are each hand crafted and made by artisans in Aurora, NY. There is no doubt that I will ever tire of the charming designs and beautiful colors of these ceramics.

For a simple centerpiece I used potted spring annuals popped in a whimsical tin vase encircled with carrots.

Hand painted napkins in pinks and greens

are tucked into the handles of petite bunny creamers.

My friend Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is was the inspiration for this idea. I had planned to use the bunny creamers filled with flowers at each place setting, but when I saw Mary's idea of using a mug filled with flowers as a napkin ring, I knew these would serve the same purpose.  If you missed seeing Mary's gorgeous 
Tulip d'Or table click here.

The flower filled bunny creamers 

make a thoughtful gift to send home with each guest. 

A yellow Kalanchoe plant offered the

perfect little bouquets with which to fill each creamer.

A special thank you to Jenn @ MacKenzie-Childs
direct service for help with specific descriptions for the pattern names.

Current patterns can be viewed here @ MacKenzie-Childs

Please help yourself to a scoop of citrus jelly beans

before heading off to visit others at the following parties this week.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Sarah,
    Wow those Mackenzie and Child plates are to die for! I have long coveted them!! LOL. Really beautiful colors and patterns for spring! Thanks for sharing these!
    Miss Bloomers

  2. Those are gorgeous dishes and the entire table turned out so pretty. I love the beautiful plaid tablecloth! Happy Easter, many blessings, xo marlis

  3. I love your idea using the sugar scuttle for jelly beans. Perfect!

    Beautiful table, Sarah.

  4. Sarah, You have the BEST dishes--every time I see your tables I think to myself, "oh yes, those are the ones I was drooling over..." I only have resisted the McK-C dishes because I could never make up my mind which pattern to collect. Now I am in love with the floral metal dishes, but can't decide which color. I wonder if that is the same Pleasant Rowland as the founder of the American Girl collection? I'm thinking it must be, as her name is quite unique. That would have been around the time she sold AG to Mattel. Beautiful table and dishes. Happy Easter. Linda

  5. Mackenzie-Childs designs have become so timeless in their appeal. We have a huge Mackenzie-Childs store here, and it's always a delight to see their new additions. I currently really like their floral enamelware chargers...thinking about adding them. The bunny creamers as napkin rings are the perfect touch. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  6. This is so pretty! Love the plaid cloth with the whimsy of those gorgeous dishes! I hope you have them insured! I went into the little MC that just opened here, omg, 38.00 for one napkin!
    I love how you mixed everything, and the centerpiece is wonderful! The jelly beans look good too! :) i just had a few. Did you know the seconds of Jelly Bellies are called Belly Flops! Cute.
    Thanks for linking to Let's Dish!

  7. How totally beautiful these dishes are! I love the pottery kind of dishes, as is the kind we used to do.
    Adorable napkin rings and those jelly beans are making me want to go get some right now! Lovely centerpiece. HAPPY EASTER!

  8. That's truly an Easter table - the colour, the texture, and those sweet little bunny creamers. I love the details.

  9. Sarah,
    Love the plaid and all the colorful plates. I also love those bunny napkin holders.
    Happy Easter!

  10. Sarah, I enjoyed the descriptions and pattern names in this post. I have some of the MacKenzie-Childs pottery dinner plates, and their colorful whimsy is wonderful for mixing and matching. Your Easter table is delightful! I have the little bunny creamers, and you have given me a wonderful idea to put the napkin through the handle! Thanks for a scoop of jelly beans. Love the scuttle presentation!

  11. Sarah~ How delightful your MC collection is! It makes me happy just to look a the patterns, colors & ruffled edges! "Designed to be mixed at random like a happy ceramic bouquet" wonder I'm so drawn to it :) Your yellow accents from your vintage flatware and your adorable bouquet-bunny-creamers are perfect touch! Wishing you & Sadie a Happy Easter :)

  12. Such a pretty table Sarah! Love the bunny napkin rings, the flowers are a great touch! Happy Easter Week:@)

  13. I knew you had a thing for MC but didn't realise your addiction went so far!
    I love all the different designs you have in your collection, how clever of you to start the mix and match process back in the day.
    Wishing you & Mr H a wonderful Easter, not too much chocolate, now!

  14. Oh Sarah,
    What a gorgeous table! I love ALL those dishes and could NEVER PICK a favorite! WELL, I DO LOVE the ruffled one. AND the story behind the names is enchanting to hear! LOVE THAT! What a clever idea for the napkin rings. I ACTUALLY Like that better than a plain one, Hmmmm, now I have a new thingy to look for!
    Happy Easter to you and yours,
    Big Bunny Hugs to you,

  15. REALLY cute way to use those bunny creamers!!! I saw Mary's mugs, and you both really hit the nail on the head! You picked just the right flowers to add, too, with those tiny blossoms! I also like the way you used the sugar scuttle for jelly beans. Very creative! The dishes are all so pretty, and I love how each one hs its own unique markings. They have a charm that already has and will continue to endure over the years. I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and blessed Easter weekend. Take care!

  16. Sarah, your MacKenzie-Childs collection is just lovely. I love the way you mix and match, and the colors are so perfect for spring and Easter. The carrot tin is adorable to use as a centerpiece and what a clever way to use the bunny creamers. Hope your Easter is glorious!


  17. Oh Sarah! this is just the prettiest and sweetest Easter table! All the dishes are beautiful. And I love the creamer/napkin idea! Everything is wonderful! I hope you and your family have a happy and blessed Easter!

  18. I love your happy table, Sarah!
    Have a wonderful Easter.

  19. Sarah, what a happy table! I can see why you collect these pretty dishes! The bunny creamers holding flowers and serving as napkin rings are SO charming! The whole table makes me smile!

  20. How lucky you are to have MacKenzie-Child dishes! They are so beautiful! I agree with you--they need to be the star of the table. Too much more would detract from the artistry. Happy and blessed Easter to you and yours, Sarah. ~Zuni

  21. Oh how pretty your spring plaids are and those beautiful MaKenzie-Child dishes! Beautiful!

  22. Looks like a fun place to enjoy our short spring. Someone you know was voted Outstanding New Chi-O at SMU. Happy Easter to you and yours!

  23. Sarah, I never thought about plaid in pastel refreshing. It makes me think of summer madras...beautiful! Love the sugar scuttle filled with jelly beans...just another form of sugar, right? :) Happy Easter to you and your family!

  24. Sarah, I love this table setting with the mix and match of patterns and shapes of the plates. Love the ruffled edge ones. The bunny creamers are so sweet. I definitely need to learn more about MacKenzie-Childs dishes. They're so pretty.

  25. This is a beautiful and festive tablescape for both Spring and Easter, Sarah! I love the colors and patterns of the MacKenzie-Childs dishes..they are perfect!

    Wishing you a very happy and Blessed Easter!

  26. So pretty!

    Hope you'd come and see my Easter craft, you can link too if you like at my meme. Happy Easter.

  27. Sarah...Love the place setting but I'm just happy to see a post from you. After watching the news of the tornados and seeing Arlington I was just a little "concerned". I'm happy to see that you are just fine.

  28. Those creamers as napkin rings is such a cute idea, looks great!

  29. Beautiful plaids. Love the napkin rings. Everything looks so cheerful. Have a Blessed Easter, Ginger

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  31. What beautiful, cheerful dishes you've shared, Sarah!! No wonder you will never tire of them. What a sweet idea of using the bunny creamer with flowers as a gift for each guest. I'll remember that tip. I love how bloggers share! xoxo Happy Easter!

  32. Hi Sarah and a Happy Easter!

    Decided to stop in and say hello. I have seen your comments all over and now my turn to comment on this lovely post. Wow, do you have the collection! I met Victoria and Richard many years ago while placing an order for my store. She was crazy and unique in her dress and Richard, always in a colorful tuxedo and pants. Loved who they were and what they created.

    Joined you today and will be back again and again!
    Mary Anne ox

  33. Happy Easter, Sarah!

    I hope to see you tomorrow for Blue Monday.

  34. What a fun post! I learned so much about MCK/C. I knew it had been sold once, but not that it had been sold twice.

    Your use of the little bunny creamers is genius! Definitely stealing it.

  35. Hi Sarah,
    oh my, those plates are colorful like Easter eggs. What a fun to play with them. Beautiful Easter table.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  36. I really love those plates, the whole decoration is beautiful

  37. Hi Sarah! These MC dishes are so sweet! Love the soft colors and the table looks gorgeous! Love all of the sweet little bunny things too! Hope you had a wonderful Easter.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  38. Wow! Such gorgeous dishes! Spring couldn't look any prettier on your table!

  39. Sarah, I absolutely love how you tucked the napkins into the handles/tails of the little bunnies! So cute and so clever! I AM going to have to borrow that idea. I've got some cow creamers that would be cute to do this with.

    Your dishes are so fun and cheerful!


  40. What a fabulous post! I have a few dinner plates and I am thinking of collecting a variety, too! I did notice some of your unique/retired pieces! Your table looks lovely and I would love to be sitting there on your terrace "chatting about Victoria and Richard" or "gossiping" about P Rowland and how she was virtually driven out of town or trying to figure out HOW those 2 young guys bought the company!!

    Stop by to see my "M-C imitation table!

  41. They are happy, happy dishes and you are so thorough in your post Sarah. the bunnies are a delight too. hugs, olive

  42. Thanks so much for your visit to my blog, Sarah! Your table setting is so pretty! (And I would love to help myself to some citrus jelly beans!!:)

  43. Sarah, this is just so beautiful! I remember when you put the napkins through the handle on those little pitchers, and I thought I was going to remember to do that some time, but I had already forgotten all about it. I have one of the little bunny pitchers. Those napkins are beautiful, and of course the M-C plates are incredible. I think you were so smart to collect them one at a time in different patterns. Makes the table so much more interesting and fun. laurie

  44. Oh some of my favorite dishes. The design and colors are just amazing, and I always drool when I see them. I love your tablescape, so pretty. Using the silver scuttle for the candy is so cute. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  45. What a darling bunny idea! Perfect with those cheery pastel plates. SO much variety. Really interesting how they got their names!

  46. I love your style and taste! Thank you for sharing at Cowgirl Up this week. Love having you at our party!
    :) Samantha @ Crafty Texas Girls

  47. Oh Sarah, they are soo beautiful. Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays this Easter.

    - The Tablescaper

  48. Simply GORGEOUS, Sarah! I'm so glad you had nice enough weather to eat outside. Your ruffled dinner plates from MacKenzie-Childs' Taylor Series are incredibly wonderful & make for a very fun & festive table.

    I love the idea of the bunny creamers as napkin holders! Too sweet & what darling favors to send home with your guests. I must look for something similar for an upcoming summer party.

    Hope you had a lovely Easter!

  49. Wow! your dishes are so pretty! Your table look so cheerful, and the bunnies, o my!...simply beautiful.

  50. Thanks for linking to Cowgirl Up Sarah. Remember when that designer guy used to always talk about MacKenzie Childs? What is his name, Christopher Lowell. Always have loved those dishes.

  51. How beautiful, Sarah! I love the MacKenzie Child's plates. The pastel colors are perfect for spring.....Christine

  52. Wow! Sarah, they make a great Easter table! Love it! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  53. I have seen this before but it was before I started collecting them. Thanks for sending me here again, Sarah, cause I am more interested in the descriptions now. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this....Christine


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