Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Warming Up With Tartan and Paisley

It's not snowing, but we are having a cold, grey January here.  
I wanted to set a cozy table to warm my spirits.

A friend traveled to Scotland this past summer, and knowing how I love all things tartan, she returned home with this wonderful wool tartan throw just for me.  For some reason it looks pink in this close up, but you can see on the table, it is actually a true red.  Just as a tartan should be! It's warm and cozy and a perfect table topper for a winter day.

The snowmen here at HFTS 
cozied up just for the occasion.

Several of my snowmen are the work 
of US artist Natalie Silitch from Annapolis.

This cute guy was a gift enclosed 
with my latest order from Timeless Charm Gifts.
Wouldn't these be cute used as place card holders?

Tartan and paisley have always been at the top of my list.
I especially like tartan dishes and 
love to mix the various tartans together.  
Just take a look at last year's 
Tartan Parade to see what I mean.
Occasionally I like to throw in some paisley too.

Snowy Smiles plates by Williraye Studio
are another little "pick me up" for winter days.
Who wouldn't begin to feel better 
just looking at their cute faces?
And did you notice, 
their black and white checked borders?
They were the stars of another winter tablescape here.

Vintage Mother of Pearl flatware 
reminds me of snowy days.

A touch of polka dots and green stems made from 
French wine bottles seem to fit right in.

Layers of Tartan, Paisley, 
and Black and White Checks

Oak Leaves and Acorns

I'm beginning to feel happier already!
What about you?

Don't pack away the snowmen 
with the Christmas decorations.  
Snowmen like to stay out to play all winter.  

I had already created my winter tablescape in this post before ironically being treated to a birthday lunch that featured this incredible winter wonderland centerpiece.  Much to my delight, this darling winter scene went home with me as a birthday gift.  I'm eager to feature this winter scene in a tablescape of my own sometime soon.



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. Happy Birthday! Such a nice present! I love tartans too. I've never been to Scotland, but it's moving further up to the top of my travel whims list. Gorgeous on your table. And yes! Very cheery!

  2. A very belated Happy Birthday! I wish I'd been sharper and known about this! It looks like you had a happy day, and of course you'll have fun with those goodies for a winter tablescape.
    I loved your tartan table - warm and cheery.

  3. Happy Birthday wishes.....that cake looked fabulous! I love tartan plaid as you may remember the tartan dress I wore to my daughters wedding....the one that caught fire when we set off the sparklers outside the church...well it got a lot of burn holes...
    your snowmen were displayed just the same as I had mine....a bunch all lined up and I used a big low basket to group them it....I hated to take them down after Christmas they looked so cute...

  4. Hello Sarah. Not sure when your birthday was but belated wishes. I love willIraye studio items and is always something I search out on my trips to the states.
    A lovely tartan tablescape and can imagine lovely warming winter food on those plates.
    Snowing here so it all looks very inviting.

  5. Hi Sarah,
    Happy belated birthday wishes, if it was your birthday. The winterly table is so pretty and I love all tarta design. The plates are to die for and I admire the acorn leaf napkin ring. Is it antique? Thanks for sharing this wonderful table.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  6. Your table is frosty and fun Sarah! Love the snowmen and always love plaid! What a nice B-Day gift and that cake looks amazing:@)

  7. Happy, happy birthday! Oh how I wish for a day where I could snuggle under a blanket and watch movies.

  8. I love red plaid. The snowmen are so cute. Especially the one on the clothespin.

  9. Happy Birthday, Sarah! Your pretty tartan and paisley tablescape cheered me up this morning. It's so cold outside! THe border on your plates are perfect for you, and your snowman collection is so charming. Wow, I love your special birthday gift! I hope you put together a special tablescape soon. I want to see your pretty winter wonderland goodies!

    Have a super Wednesday!

  10. What a sweet birthday centerpiece and cake - Happy Birthday to you!! Love this winter table and your Snowman plates are adorable - just perfect with your plaids and checks!

  11. That is too cute that you were given the centerpiece..It was all planned around pleasing one of your great pleasures..tablesetting:)

    Happy Belated Birthday..
    Charming table you set w/ the tartan et all..and the one you were given:)

  12. Oh, I love this, Sarah! The photo with the close-up of the Snowy Smiles plate with the black and white border AND your Mackenzie-Childs charger? Delightful!

  13. Greetings from Scotland - so glad you like tartan. You also may be interested to know that the town of Paisley is in Scotland - not far from where I live and that's where the name of the design comes from as many paisley items were woven there. Great post and lovely photographs.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  14. Love the Tartan Sarah and wait until you see my tablescape...let's just say, great minds think alike! Love those tartan plates and the snowman plates are also really cute! Now that centerpiece you received is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it in another tablescape. So a belated Happy Birthday! Hugs, Linda

  15. My mother brought back the exact tartan plaid from Scotland for me! I love it.....and your table looks amazing!


  16. Happy Birthday! What a great present.. I saw a cute table setting this last week using charming buildings like those and Friendly Village dishes - I think it was over at Mary's. Your plaid go so well with the Courtly Check! Gorgeous.. Love the warmth this setting exudes. Snowmen and a gorgeous tartan - what a winning combination.

  17. Sarah,
    Happy Birthday, dear friend!!!
    What adorable SNOWmen...from the tablescape to the dinnerware...they certainly warmed my heart! Love the mix of hues, patterns and texture with the red tartan plaid throw!!! Let it Snow!
    P.S. Your comments always brighten my days!!! Thanks for your sweet visits!

  18. Your table looks so warm and inviting! I love the look of the patterns that compliment each other so well. And your snowmen are so charming...I meant to leave a few out for winter and forgot.

    Happy belated Birthday, sweet lady! :)


  19. Happy Birthday hugs sent your way, Sarah!! Your plaid and paisley table is a wonderful sight to behold. Those cute snowman plates would put a smile on my face. The snowman on the clothespin is adorable and would be perfect for a place card. Thanks for sharing your darling winter inspiration.

  20. We've seen some rather cold temps here, too. In the 20's and 30's, but blessed with beautiful blue sky's and sunshine. I'm a fan of cold weather, but I can really appreciate the sunshine, especially when it raises everyone's mood. I've been treated to smiles and pleasant words from the usually glum young women who work in shops and cafes. Very welcome change.
    My spam thingie works really well. Sorry you are being plagued.

  21. Happy birthday, dear Sarah! Hope it was wonderful. I love your tartan throw and love the table. Good thing you still have your snowmen to use, mine are already in the attic....Christine

  22. very cute table, i love red plaid, looks like i need a trip overseas, but i bet it won't be homegoods pricing :-(

    i also am smitten with your napkin rings, very pretty!

  23. Happy Birthday! I add to my daughter's collection of chip board houses each holiday season. They are wonderful! You know how I love to include gifts in my centerpiece...the one for your birthday was great. You and I were both thinking plaid for Cathleen's challenge. I love your mix of patterns, and the Courtly Check was a great addition. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  24. I don't want to hear ONE WORD about your cold temps! I sent my brother in Kerrville a photo of my themometer, which read -5º this morning!! Yikes!!

    Your table is wonderfully warm & inviting. Such a special gift from a special friend...I bet you think of her every time your wrap up in your tartan.
    The Snowy Smiles plates are adorable & SO YOU!!!

    Well done, my friend,
    Stay Warm,

  25. Well, happiest of birthdays. And I don't believe those two numbers, they need to be reversed! Love your snow plates with the plaid and also your cute collection. xo

  26. I really like the plaids and they do look so warm and cozy! What a nice birthday gift you received!

    Belated birthday wishes to you!


  27. Happy Birthday Sarah,
    I love the plaid, but the snowmen stole my heart. Just adorable. The flatware is so beautiful and I love the napkin rings. Tell me about the flatware. I have never seen anything like it Dianne

  28. Happy Belated Birthday wishes to you Sarah! Your wintery scene centerpiece for your birthday lunch is such a sweet gift to have to take home with you!

    I love your pairing of the tartan blanket and plates and black & white checks from your chargers and snowman plates! Very cheery for a cold & gray January and it certainly puts a smile on my face :)

  29. A belated Happy Birthday to you. The table looks very cozy!

  30. I love that you used black and white as a compliment to the tartan plaid! I like to mix patterns. Like Christine and Blondie, my snowmen are all packed up. I think in my hurry to get rid of Xmas, I didn't give a thought to keeping them out. It's all helping to brighten cold January days. And like Rett says- it is cold cold cold here in Ohio! Stay cozy!

  31. Oh my Sarah - I do adore all of your tartan plaid. It's the perfect thing to warm up a cold day!
    I don't have one thing plaid, but I think I may just have to change that.

  32. Happy belated birthday, Sarah! Oh, I love your tartan!
    and your warm and cozy table! I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday!

  33. Happy Birthday Sarah! You know I adore this table! We are kindred spirits! Tartan and paisley and oak leaves, oh my! Love this winter table. I'm all warmed up and cozy now! ~Delores

  34. Belated Happy Birthday, Sarah. I can't wait to see your winter scene tablescape. This tartan, checks, and plaid tablescape is so charming. Love the use of the throw as a table cover, and those dishes are so much fun! You always do such a great stack for a place setting. How neat is that stemware made from French wine bottles. Love the color and the shape of those. laurie

  35. Hi Sarah, your plaid on plaid table is so attractive. I adore plaid. What a sweet friend to bring you such a wonderful gift. hugs ~lynne ~

  36. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for your comments on the silver. I thought I would stop by and say hello! Love the photography.

  37. I am a huge fan of plaid, so I really loved this tablescape! All the decorative elements were so nice! I especially liked the plaid plates and the napkin rings with the silver acorns! Hope you had a wonderful Birthday and thanks for sharing this cheerful and pretty table! =D

  38. Happy Belated BD Sarah,

    Wow... that's a pretty centerpiece. Tartan? I guess, we have that in Sweden, but not the same name. Excited to try this.

    A great setting on a winter day.

    Greetings from a frozen city of Stockholm,
    /CC girl

  39. Hapy belated birthday, Sarah! The take home centerpiece is beautiful and PERFECT for a winter tablescape. Love your mix of tartnas and checks. My hubby collects Willie Raye Santas and snowmen figurines. Great table. XO, Pinky

  40. Happy belated birthday pretty girl!! Many blessings for your new year of life! Terrific present too. The tartan and check plates got me swooning and drooling, wow..I'm in love with them! Thank you for your sweet and kind visit.

  41. Sarah, I love all of the layers and patterns in this tablescape! I'd have never thought of pairing paisley and tartan, but you did it beautifully. Your plates are so cheerful! I couldn't agree more about snowmen liking to stay out and play after Christmas. Sometimes mine play until Valentine's Day!

  42. Happy belated birthday, Sarah! What a fun table...come on up to the prairie if you think it is cold down where you are!

  43. Happy Birthday Sarah! I'll look forward to another table setting with your wonderful centerpiece. The little snowmen on your salad plates are just adorable, and all the elements work so well together. I keep my snowmen out until they are replaced by springtime bunnies! Linda

  44. Sarah, I too adore tartan plaid! Your tablescape is wonderful. Love your uniques snowman collection. I just put mine away to pull out the Valentines decor. I also love your Mother of pearl silverware. I would love if you linked to Share Your Cup.
    p.s. Can't wait to see what you do with your new birthday gifts. I also love little houses.

  45. You made my day with this. "Snowmen like to stay out to play all winter." I've been trying to have January snowmen for years, much to Music Man's disapproval. Now I have support for my snowmen. :) Looking at your paisley napkins made me think about using bandannas as napkins - we get such inspiration from each other. Loved your post!

  46. Joyeux anniversaire, Sarah! Your snowmen plates look beautiful with the plaid plates! I love the little clothespin snowman. It would be a great place-marker! Love your birthday present...I think I would have loved that cake too!!

  47. Happy Birthday to you!!! Wishing you the best for the coming year!
    Yes, like you I'm receiving a huge amount of comments from 'Anonymous"! How did you turn them off? After I read your blog I went to my settings and adjusted something but not sure if that's the right thing to do. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    PS Today I received my first nasty comment from 'Anonymous'! Shame the aren't game to put their name on anything!!


  48. Happy Birth Day to you Sarah..I had mine on 20th.your table-scape is very pretty.everything looks beautiful...L)L)

  49. What a wonderful friend to bring you a tartan throw from Scotland. I, too love tartan and plaid!

  50. Hi Sarah,

    There is so much we cannot control, but we can do little things like setting a fun table and fluffing our surroundings to lift our spirits...I always sense your cheerful spirit through your fun and creative table settings...thanks for inspiring all of us to look for fun and cozy combinations at this trying time of year.


  51. Love you chilly snowmen... and the tartan mixed with paisley. What a great combo! This table would be perfect at my house... it is snowing right now! Happy Weekend!

  52. What a wonderful and fun table setting...and we do need snow....maybe this will help bring it on Sarah! Thanks for linking to my 26th Open House Party!

  53. Sarah, I love your snowmen and tartan theme with some paisley and mother of pearl thrown in! What a fun tablescape and yes, it does bring a smile to one's face. Happy Birthday to you and thank you for sharing your wonderful table with us. Have lovely weekend.


  54. I like tartan, too. How you have mixed pattern with it makes your table very playful and fun. Good work!

  55. Happy Belated Birthday! Love your winter table, just warms me up, so pretty!

  56. Hi Sarah
    Looks like you had a lovely birthday celebration. Belated birthday wishes. Your table setting is beautiful. You have such beautiful things and know just how to display them. I'm glad to be back blogging again and catching up with dear firends like you.
    ((Hugs)) Rhondi

  57. Hi Sarah! Oh, your table is darling and I love all your cute snowmen. The snowman dishes are adorable.
    Oh, I changed my setting too because I was getting quite a bit of spam and not nice things. I know this will help.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  58. Happy Birthday, Sarah! I am so glad you were born!
    The throw is such a thoughtful gift...a wonderful way to remember your friendship while you cuddle up!



  59. Your tartan and paisley tablescape is so much fun. Love the snowmen and the Courtly Check goes so well with the tartan. Belated Happy Birthday wishes and many more to come.
    Hugs, Babs

  60. Happy belated birthday!
    I wish you the most wonderful year, filled with love, health, and laughter shared with good friends. The luncheon sounds like a lot of fun, and you got to take wonderful things home. Cannot wait to see how you will decorate with them.
    I love tartan too, actually all checks. What a thoughtful gift. Wonder why the color red is so difficult to photograph. I have the same problem. Love everything, but my favorite are the napkin holders with the acorns.
    You have the most beautiful collection of dishes and tableware, and the most inspiring way to present it all.
    Love and hugs,

  61. Sarah, I know how you love Tartan so I know you had fun putting this tablescape together. The throw works perfectly with your mixed tartans and paisley. Love the snowmen together on the tray.
    I am feeling the spam now. It started out slow and now it is taking a lot of time to delete them. I had to change my settings for comments too.
    Enjoy your cozy evening. I'm sure you will enjoy the throw in front of the fireplace.


  62. What a fabulous winter table Sarah. All the elements are wonderful and work together so well. Love it!

  63. Well, this is as cute as can be, Sarah. Gotta find ways to warm up these coooold winter days! Thanks for stopping by my Chocolate Bar post. ~Zuni

  64. Sara,
    Happy Birthday! Mine is this week...
    I LOVE your Winter tablescape and i chuckled when i saw that you wrote not to put away all your Christmas decorations that some can be used for Winter decorations. I just did a post on this topic on my Chrismtas blog for Rudolph Day.... LOL!!

    Thanks for stopping by !! Valentine's Day decorations are almost done here...


  65. Sara, You have a fabulous winter table. It has come along beautifully. xo

  66. Sarah, I'm so sorry to have missed your birthday, I hope that it was all you wished for. The new centrepiece is lovely and I look forward to seeing it again in the future.
    How well I remember the Tartan Parade of 2012, so sad that Ben won't be watching it again with me this year.

  67. DO you share your split pea soup recipe? I saw you at Where The Boat is...On the Winter Minestrone Soup recipe so I am hungry for split pea soup now! Love your blog and I just don't seem to come over enough! Love the snowmen! We are getting a lot of snow as I write this! Hugs Anne

  68. What a gorgeous tablescape. I love how you mixed all the different patterns up, It makes for a beautiful table and is so warm and cozy feeling.


  69. I'm new here and love your blog header, because the hyacinth is my favorite flower. Your blog is very nice, great photos and interesting about your boat and all. I'll be looking around now!

  70. I love tartan plaids too. I had the same problem with spam, so I disallow anonymous comments too. About 1 out of 100 was legitimate. Have a blessed day.

  71. A happy birthday, I love all the plaids, and the snowmen and the dishes and your tablescape of the houses. Beautiful andi

  72. This is an exquisite tablescape - love the tartan pattern. You'll probably find this strange - but I wish we had a real winter! I miss the winters we experienced in Ohio. Today, it's in the 70's we're under a severe thunderstorm watch and possible tornadoes. Not my idea of cozy!
    I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  73. I love this! I know it is warm and sunny there, but it is cold and gray and snowing here, and this table warms me up!
    Your plaids and snowmen are a perfect combo!


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