Monday, August 7, 2023

Monday Morning Blooms -

Welcome to Monday Morning Blooms
The theme today is sunflowers, a favorite summer flower for me.  
I'm thrilled to join today's edition!

As always I'm honored to be included as a 
"Guest Bloomer" for Monday Morning Blooms.
Pam, Lidy, and Mary are very talented floral designers and stylists who showcase their flower talents on the first Monday of every month.  
Click the links at the end to view their beautiful posts.  

This is my friend Debbie @ Mountain Breaths
Do you know sunflowers can grow to be 30' tall?

Sunflower blooms face east in the morning sun 
and track the sun as the day progresses.
This is known as solar tracking or heliotropism.

Native to the Americas, these classic blooms represent
happiness, good health, and hope.

Sunflowers are grown for use as food, medicine, dye, and oil, 
but I buy them as fresh flowers because they make me smile.

By now, you may know that I'm a bit of a Francophile.  
An admirer of all things French, I'm drawn to the 
rich, happy colors of French Country style.

For me, roosters and sunflowers are the 
quintessential French Country design element.
I knew immediately at the mention of sunflowers that
my Monday Morning Bloom post would feature sunflowers
on a tablescape with a French Country ambiance.

With that in mind, I invited my darling Ilonka Country Dolls to join us.
I purchased my first, the rabbit, at a small gallery in Carmel, CA.  
Soon after, Gumps featured Ilona Werner-Martin's charming handmade
dolls on the cover of their catalog, then a local small boutique began carrying them, and as you can see, one thing led to another.
This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Each doll is unique, individually sewn, and made from an 
assortment of beautiful fabrics, some of which were 
sourced from England and the south of France.
I was drawn to the sweet faces and the provencal fabrics, 
the simple embellishment of an antique button or piece 
of jewelry, such as the cameo shown on the lady above

The girls and I set a breakfast table to enjoy on the terrace, 
though in reality it is much too unpleasant here this 
summer to dine alfresco, even in the morning hours.

I selected a beautiful round cloth with a scalloped edge 
from Just Darvinyan older pattern named Ocean Waves.
The large tray is by Le Cadeaux, also in a discontinued pattern,
but both sites offer bright, fun designs from which to choose.
As you can see I filled the table with sunflowers using various containers: a Saint-Clément faience rooster pitcher, a figural vase by HenRiot, Quimper, a MacKenzie-Childs sunflower watering can, and a variety of pieces from MacKenzie's  Royal Check enamelware.

I filled a Royal Check ice bucket with real sunnies and mixed in these amazing faux 
stems in the MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check pattern.

The plate stacks repeat the Royal Check and the Le Cadeaux 
French provencal pattern using individual cutting boards.
The blue and yellow color pallet also reflects a
quintessential French Country ambiance.

Again, I selected linens which we have enjoyed for many years 
because of their provencal feel and paired them with 
 beaded sunflower placemats from Nicole Miller Home. 
You can find the placemats through a Google search.  
There are several sources online.

Le petit déjeuner is a choice of fresh baked
croissants or pain au chocolat.

And a coffee of your choice.
I prefer mine a strong French roast.  

Perhaps you like to add fresh French butter 
or a touch of Bonne Maman orange marmalade.

I do at times indulge in pain au chocolat, but today I'm having 
a butter croissant with a touch of orange marmalade.  
What is your pleasure?

I couldn't resist adding a flourish to the tray 
with these petite blue and yellow napkins.

They belonged to my mom, Henrietta.  She was lovingly known 
as"Hendi" by her siblings and liked to collect roosters.

Please, pull up a chair and join us.
Bon Appétite!
Previous Sunflower Posts can be found
here, here, here, and here.

If you haven't already visited Pam, Lidy, and Mary.  
Click their links below.

I leave you with these words of wisdom that my precious mother would say to us as we set out to school each morning.
I try my best to model these words, for if we go through the
day with a happy attitude, those around us are likely to feel the same.
I invite you to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on sunflowers, roosters, and French Country Style.



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. I will keep my sunny side up :-) Like you, I do indulge in pain au chocolat croissants but mostly in the afternoon. We have a local bakery that rivals the pain au chocolat croissants I've enjoyed in Paris. Your mom's petite blue and yellow napkins are lovely, and I always enjoy your French Country style. Sunflowers are an obsession of mine, and the favorite field where we go is being sold so we just went for the last time last week. We happened to be there when the TV station was filming the sunflower field, and my hubby was on the news. Thanks for starting my morning with your beautiful blooms.

    1. Deb, thank you for allowing me to share the photo. It is truly amazing! I've seen towering sunflowers, but never that tall. To think they can grow to 30' is mind boggling! I'm sad your sunflower field is going to be sold. Are they developing it?
      Yes, I had to share Mother's sweet cocktail napkins. Brings back a flood of memories of her weekly bridge parties when I was a child. I think I've always loved linen cocktail napkins because of those memories.

  2. Sarah, your keen eye for detail and curated collections are fabulous. I just love the French country style of roosters and sunflowers. The Ilonka country dolls are charming and perfect to pair with sunflowers. The various containers filled with sunflowers are stunning on your French country table. One can never have too many sunnies, in my opinion. The beaded sunflower placemats and Provençal fabrics are lovely. I bought a lovely French tablecloth in Provence many years ago. I would love to join you for a dark French roast cup of coffee and a croissant with butter and marmalade at your beautiful table. It is always a pleasure to have you join us for Monday Morning Blooms. Happy Monday and stay cool, Sarah!

    1. Thank you, Pam. I have to say those little French country dolls have lived here for decades and they still delight with smiles when I walk into our guest room where they reside. Actually this summer the largest lady had settled into a chair here in the sunroom. I look across the way and she seems to say, "Isn't life grand". I only have a pair of the beaded placemats, but seeing they are available online, I may need to add a few more. They are truly gorgeous!

    2. Thank you for the trip to France from my easy chair through your blog. The roosters with the sunflowers and you French textiles are perfect together.

  3. Too many objects I love to name cutting boards..French linens..rooster..dolls..sunflowers(Wow Deb)..EVERYTHING>xox

    1. Monique, can you believe the sunflower grew that tall!

    2. Oh, Monique, you know me and my collecting habit! It's just part of the fabric of my being, and I do enjoy living with special things that spark memories on so many different levels. Thank you for always being so dear!

  4. Oh Sarah, I have had such fun on my visit today! First of all that pic of Deb with those towering sunflowers is amazing! The sunflowers look fabulous in the rooster pitcher~ your collection of Ilonka Country Dolls is adorable, they are so sweet! Your breakfast table with the colors of French Country style is so inviting, a profusion of sunflowers! I love the plate stacks with a sunflower placemat, Royal Check plate, unique individual cutting boards, and flatware holder are wonderful! So sweet to tuck in the rooster napkins that were your mom's...Please pour me a cup of coffee and pass the croissants!

    1. Jenna, I have to agree about the photo of Deb. Totally amazing that sunflowers can grow that tall and stand so straight! I ordered a few more pieces of Royal Check during the Barn Sale this summer. I find that I use them year round, but especially during the summer months. The ice bucket was a new purchase. It is perfect filled with flowers! I loved your sunflower tower in your entry. What a clever idea!

  5. Wow, that photo of Deb with that towering sunflower is amazing. Sarah, you are an avid collector. Your Ilonka country dolls look lovely with your sunflower collection. Love the beaded placemat. How special your mother’s cocktail napkins are. A chocolate croissant sounds so decadent with a. Ice cup of coffee. Sunflower 🌻 joy is a good thing. Thanks for sharing your pretty sunflower table this morning. Happy week ahead.

  6. What a joy to see your gorgeous post this morning. I feel transported to the French Countryside! Sunflowers are my favorite late summer flower and they can bring any humble bouquet or setting to life. (yours is anything but humble) I had to look twice at those fun MC check sunflowers mixed in your arrangement. The dolls are such a precious presence; what a sweet collection. It's always a thrill to come by and see what you're celebrating! Happy week, Sarah!

  7. Dearest Sarah,
    Lovely blooms and settings.
    Did you know that Costco does sell the Pain au Chocolate individually wrapped and from France?

  8. Happy Monday Sarah! I visited you to see your wonderful post bright and early this morning from my phone, but I’m just now sitting down in the comfort of the AC after an appointment and running errands. I so love seeing your vignettes and collections…the linens and dishes, with their patterns, textures and cheery colors! The dolls are darling and I have beaded sunflower placemat envy. :) Your blue and yellow table is stunning and so happy and I spy one of my favorite MKC watering cans on it. Roosters and sunflowers do go hand in hand…I would love to join you for petit déjeuner and a delicious croissant with orange marmalade. I love your sweet embroidered rooster napkins, such a wonderful remembrance of your mom, "Hendi"…love that nickname! As always, it’s a treat to have you join us as a guest ‘bloomer’. 🌻 We are so steamy here with a dew point of 74…’2 showers-a-day-weather’ if you’re out and about. I don’t know how you Texas gals handle the August heat, Stay cool. ♥

  9. Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today, as always, you bring joy to our floral therapy Mondays! I Iove your French country style - who wouldn't want to join you for a little bit of croissant and marmalade?! Your sunflower arrangements are so pretty on your French country table. I love the Provencal linens too, they are always amongst our bestsellers and I'll be honest, I started selling them because I wanted one of each for myself! Your collection is extra special as each linen has treasured memories. I would love to join you for a French coffee at your beautiful table. It is always a pleasure to have you join us for Monday Morning Blooms. Happy Monday dear friend! xo Lidy

  10. What a treat to enjoy your guest posting on MMB and another opportunity to see your wonderful collections, yet another I've not seen before. Seriously, Sarah, your interest seem to be never-ending, yet always so attractive and unique. The place settings are simply beautiful. And I will enjoy a butter croissant with you!

  11. Sarah, I adore true French Country style, and you have captured it beautifully! Roosters and rich colored French fabrics make my heart sing! They also pair so wonderfully with sunflowers. Your entire setting is gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing your collection of the precious French country dolls. I have never seen them before. I can see why you started a collection. It would be so much fun to join you at this lovely setting for coffee and pastries. Happy Monday, sweet friend! Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

  12. Sarah, it is always a pleasure to enjoy your beautiful collections as vases for the perfect summer flower the sunflower. I love your French Country Style.
    I am so glad you shared your mother's wisdom and included her charming yellow and blue rooster cocktail napkins.
    Your sweet French country dolls add the perfect touch to your post.
    How delightful it would be if we could share a french coffee and croissant!
    You have taken me back to France this morning with your lovely vignettes.
    I am amazed at Deb's tall sunflower.
    I do hope your heat gets better soon! 🌻☕️🌻

  13. Sarah! I’ve always enjoyed following you on IG, and I’m so happy to learn of u to our blog! You have such a knack for creating the most beautiful things. I too love sunflowers, and mixing them with your lovely collectibles, as well as some Royal Check MC. is the perfect way to roll into August! I love it all! 🌻 💙🐓💛

  14. You really should do a book! I would be the first to buy it! Your words along with your beautiful treasures are such a treat to see and hear.Thank you for sharing with us, like going abroad with no jet lag! With love, Bonnie C

  15. Hi Sarah, Such a lovely way to start your day with this lovely sunflower table setting! I loved seeing Deb's tall sunflowers. We planted them once and I enjoyed watching how they grew but they didn't get as tall as Deb's. I do recognize a Francophile since it takes one to know one, lol! I think your collection of dolls, just so charming with their colorful clothing. I did have a collection of Santons I enjoyed for years. They also have the colorful clothing. Sadly, one of the collections I've parted with. A beautiful tablecloth for your setting and the beaded placemats are so pretty. I think your mom's napkins add such a special touch to this table setting. I wish I could join you for coffee on your terrace, that would be lovely. Happy August Sarah.......

  16. Oh I just LOVE sunflowers! Our first kitchen was all green and white and I had sunflower everything in there since they never fail to make me smile. I knew they grew quite tall but I don't think I have ever seen any quite as tall as in that photo with Debbie.

  17. Sunflowers are one of my favorites, and I know I need to go out and take photos before the goldfinches totally obliterate the flowers. Great collections, loving your arrangements of things. sandi

  18. It's always such a treat when you post, Sarah, and when I see several of my favorite elements -- sunflowers, the Provencal colors of blue and gold, and a gorgeous setting -- well, I'm in seventh heaven! I saw my first of the season at market yesterday and know more are on the way! I hope you're having a lovely week!

  19. Sarah...the sunflowers and the adorable vignettes and MKC are so beautifully curated to create a feeling of such warmth and happiness!....I had to idea that sunflower could grow so tall!...and of course, the sunflower theme that you created has that oh so feeling of being in Provence! You are a delight!!!

    1. It's from Me...Shirley
      @Housepitality Designs

  20. What a beautiful post, Sarah! I am so inspired! I, too, love sunflowers, how their little faces follow the sun. Your French touches on your tablescape are so stunning and unique. :D

  21. Wowza, this is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this on Farmhouse Friday! I'll be featuring it tomorrow. Have a great weekend and thank you for linking up. pinned

  22. A really beautiful mixed media work. You take such gorgeous photographs of flowers. Such amazing detail.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.