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.