Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Cozy Moments of the Heart

Welcome, friends!
Valentines Day is a month away!
Join us for a Valentine's Day Tablescape Blog Hop!
We hope we will inspire you to set your own
Valentine's Day Table.

Thank you to our host Rita @ Panoply
the lady who keeps us organized and on track,
and a special welcome to our newest participant,
Barbara Leone @ Mantel and Table
There are 16 tabletop stylists joining the hop today.
Links are at the bottom of this post.

The Chef and I traditionally spent Valentine's Day
dining at a table for two in our home. 
We learned long ago that dinners out on Valentine's Day
were excessively expensive and reservations hard to come by.
My husband, was an exceptional cook, and I a dishaholic,
who takes much pleasure in setting a beautiful table.
I have to say, we were a perfect match!

This year I plan to set a table by a cozy fire.  
The menu is yet to be decided, but it will be simple.
Just 3 weeks out from my hip replacement, I anticipate celebrating with my friend who will be here helping me. 

Though the meal may be simple, the table will be simple elegance
as I wish to set a special table to show my heartfelt gratitude to
my friend for her generosity of helping me post surgery.

I plan to use a stack of beautiful Arte Italica Finezza Italian ceramics 
with the most intricate lace design encircling each border.
Linens are from Arte Italica Crown Linen Designs.
The round velvet placemats are my go to favorites.
I have them in almost every color offered.
Soft and cozy, the lush velvet adds a level of elegance
worthy of the exquisite ceramics stacked upon them.

The ruffled linen napkins are thick and soft,
and feature the Crown Linen Design logo.
Unexpected napkin rings are actually French 
antique sterling and ivory baby teething rings. 

I've had my own sterling teething ring since a baby, but it wasn't until
2018 on a quick getaway to France, that I chanced upon 
the idea of using these charming bits of childhood as napkin rings.

Each time I visit Paris, I make a point to visit the 
charming shops along Rue du Bac in the 7th Arrondissement.
 La Maison du Bac is one of my favorites with its mix of old and new objects dedicated to the arts of the table.  Obviously my kind of shop!
It is here that I first noticed sterling teething rings used on the table.

I began my own collection of antique teething rings on that 2018 French trip shopping the renowned Foire de Chatou, a fabulous fair
for antiques and food that is held twice a year and has been around for over a hundred years.  Next date: March 8 - March 17.
Four of the above were found that first trip, 
and the others added in years since.

The sterling flatware is Sir Christopher by Wallace.
Selected for our wedding registry, the classic pattern has
proven the test of time, still pleasing the eye.

Rather than additional linens on this table for two, I chose a long cozy wool scarf to drape across at an angle between the settings.

The colors and the long, loopy 
fringe say COZY to me.

Arte Italica pewter has been part of our tabletop inventory 
since 1999, and it, too, has proven the test of time.  

The delicate pink glass stems are vintage and perfect for a shrimp cocktail to start or some sweet treat to end the meal.

The posey bouquet is a mix of alstroemeria, freesia, and tutsan berries.
I gathered the mix into a tumbler which I placed inside a recent birthday gift, an exquisite bag by German artist, Anke Drechsel.

The hand embroidered silk velvet is intricate and stunning.
Rather than use this visual delight to tuck away jewelry, I decided to 
purpose it as a flower vase to keep out for pure enjoyment.

I tied on one of the teethers 
that has a sterling heart.

Here is a close up of the fine hand work.

What do think?  
Do you like to use objects 
as unexpected vases?

I discovered this Veuve du Vernay at World Market months ago.  
The pink toile is a fun touch for any celebration table.
The one of a kind heart is handmade by an artist in upstate 
New York who creates collages from images 
found in old MacKenzie-Childs catalogs. 

Whatever your plans for celebrating Valentine's Day,
I hope you and yours dine at a special table.
As Pooh says, "It's so much more friendly with two."

Hop about and be inspired!
💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖

Hyacinths for the Soul - Cozy Moments of the Heart - Valentine Tablescape (You are Here)
Red Cottage Chronicles - Family Fun Valentine's Tablescape
Life and Linda - Love You Beary Much
The Painted Apron - Rosy Valentine
Me and My Captain - Elementary, My Dear Watson
Home is Where the Boat Is - The Birds and Bees
Pandora's Box - A Valentine Breakfast
Thrifting Wonderland - Be Mine...Valentine


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. Just beautiful Sarah! You table by the fire does speak “cozy” with your scarf as a table runner, velvet placemats, beautiful dish stack and flowers. I always love to see your collections and your sterling teething rings are no exception! Brilliant to use them as napkin rings and enjoy their engraved designs and patina, instead of tucked away as a keepsake in a cabinet or drawer. I do love thinking ‘outside the vase’ and your embroidered bag makes a lovely way to enjoy your flowers! I'm so glad to hear you have friend to stay with you after your surgery and help during your recovery, I’ll be thinking about you.♥ As always, it’s a treat to have a virtual seat at your table and hop with you, Happy Tuesday!

  2. Good morning, Sarah. Your table by the fire is charming and cozy. I am a broken record as I am always amazed at your attention to detail. The CL velvet placemats are the perfect foundation for your lovely stack of Arte Italica dishes. Your collection of teething rings is lovely and how clever to use them as napkin rings. The idea of using a gorgeous embroidered silk jewelry bag as a covering for a tumbler holding sweet flowers is genius. It is special to have a friend staying with as you recover from surgery. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, sweet friend. What a treat to sit at one of your perfectly curated tables ❤️

  3. Well, Sarah, of course you answered my question of utilizing unconventional elements on the table. The velvet embroidered bag immediately caught my attention! So beautiful, and your teething ring collection is superb. I have a collection of old sterling napkin rings, but this is definitely a most unique and wonderful collection of yours. The table setting by the fireside is so well done with Arte Italica everything, and the colors definitely speak cozy to me. I'm so glad your hip surgery is behind you (no pun intended), and that you have the company of a good friend helping you, and seeing you through this Valentine's Day, which I know can be a hard one for you. Thank you once again for bringing this inspiring beauty to the hop. It's stellar!

  4. Oh Sarah, this is so pretty and cozy! It is always a treat to visit your tables and this one is so welcoming~ the flowers are gorgeous in that incredible embroidered bag and I love love your teething ring collection, so special! You can never go wrong with sterling flatware and pretty crystal glasses. I also love the soft colors you chose and the wool scarf is the perfect touch. The Crown Linen place mats are beautiful and add to the wonderful variety of textures on your table. I am so glad you have a friend to help you after your surgery, I hope you have a speedy recovery.
    💕 Jenna

  5. Muted pinks:) And ohmygosh that collection again:) Beautiful.

  6. I enjoyed your post and learning about the teething rings - what an interesting tool that certainly wouldn't be used in current day! Lovely table for your friend! Your trips to Paris must have been exciting! Wishing you luck with your recovery from surgery and I will be thinking of you!

  7. Dearest Sarah,
    Love those teething rings as napkin holders.
    Yes, for vases we have to be inventive and draw out its full beauty.

  8. First off Sarah...prayers for you regarding surgery and recovery; hip surgery can take some time so here is praying you heal quickly. Your cosy table is indeed cozy by the fire. So glad you have someone to share the meal with. And you have set such a pretty table with all the muted colors. I always enjoy your detailing your pieces as I learn something new each and every blog hop. The teething rings are so unique as well as your velvet embroidered bag surrounding your vase of flowers. It is always a pleasure to blog hop with you and this wonderful group of stylists as we always find something to inspire us, don't we?

    1. I need to tell you that I focused on what I thought was a very unusual vase. What a great idea. Thanks. Love your table setting

  9. What a lovely table Sarah, and thank you for the warm welcome - I'm so happy to be joining you all! There's so much I love about your table, from the beautiful Arte Italica plates to the teething rings, and your gorgeous bag vase! And it's so cozy there by the fire - I'm sure your friend will feel your gratitude. (I just had my hip replaced too, and it changed my life! I hope you're going to LOVE your new one too!) Take care and Happy Valentines!

  10. Sarah, your table is a vision of cozy romance! Those plates are my favourite from Arte Italica. Using the antique teething rings as napkin holders is not only brilliant, but now have me going down a rabbit hole to find some myself! I love the how you have used such soft and cozy elements on the table such as the velvet place mats and warm wool scarf, and that beautiful velvet bag (swoon). Against the backdrop of the fire, they really help to create the story of cozy moments of the heart! Wishing a quick recovery from your recent hip replacement!

  11. Sarah, I'd love to join you by the cozy fire and your table setting is absolutely charming! I adore your velvet accents--pinned! Sending prayers for a healing recovery.

  12. Sarah, your florals looks so beautiful in that velvet embroidered bag. How unique and so beautiful. Your teething ring collection is amazing and such a great idea. The sterling flatware is lovely along with the crystal stemware. Those lacy plates are gorgeous. I so admire their beauty. I am so glad a friend is helping you with your hip replacement surgery.
    I hope all goes well and your recovery is short. Always a pleasure joining you.

  13. Your Wallace is beautiful -- I love that pattern. And the bag surrounding your flowers is perfect. The table setting is simply beautiful -- so elegant. I'm thinking your surgery must be coming up soon, maybe next week, so I'm sending good wishes ahead of time so they can "stack up" with all the good juju you deserve. I'm so very glad your friend will be helping and I'm sure will be most impressed by such a lovely table setting!

  14. Sarah , a lovely pattern and table setting. I loved seeing your teething ring collection and what a great way to use them.
    I’m so sorry to hear you need surgery! I am so happy to know you have a dear friend with you and to help in your recovery. Thinking of you sweet friend…

  15. Wow Wow this is so romantic! Those gorgeous lacy plates are so amazing. I never thought about using teething rings as napkin rings but I LOVE the idea! They just add something so special especially with Crown Linen napkins. I have some striped ones and they are just the best aren't they! Loving everything you used to create this tablescape. Hope you heal quickly my friend.

  16. First, best wishes for your continued recovery, Sarah. It's wonderful to have a good Friend to hep you especially in those first few days at home. I've spent a lot of time in Italy and absolutely love your Italian china. It makes the plate stack simple and intricate at the same time. The centerpiece is so eye-catching with the beautiful embroidered bag. What a clever way to display it for everyone to enjoy. The cozy setting by the fireplace is lovely and sets just the right tone. Lovely hopping with you.

  17. Just beautiful Sarah! How fun to discover the Veuve du Vernay in the pink toile. Definitely a fun touch for your lovely table. What a sweet gesture to set a table by a cozy fire so you can celebrate with your friend who will be helping you. xx

  18. Beautiful post!

  19. Sarah, so cozy and charming! Setting the table in front of the fire is a romantic embrace of the holiday -- or any wintry evening. The linens and plates are beautiful. The silverware and stemware are elegant. The hand-embroidered bag is stunning. This is a fitting tribute to your friend! Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day

  20. This is such a beautifully creative tablescape, Sarah. I love using found objects as vases, and the teething rings as napkin rings are very inspiring, too. I love the texture of your plates: They are stunning! I also think your napkins are such a pretty color. Happy Valentine's Day!

  21. Sarah, your table is beyond gorgeous. You have such lovely collections that you showcase so beautifully. The teething ring collection is so special and I have so long admired the Arte Italica dishware; it looks so pretty on the ruffled placemats. The jewelry bag as a vase is stunning and so creative. I am so glad to hear that you have a friend to help after your hip surgery and I'm sure that s/he will be delighted to have a seat at your beautiful table. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a happy Valentine's Day!

  22. Sarah, I love the beautiful pinky mauve and those napkins; oh my the crowns and ruffles. Your tablescapes are always a work of art and the gorgeous velvet bag is perfect for your cozy setting. Sending prayers and a hug for a speedy recovery!

  23. Spending the night of St. Valentine at home with such a cozy dinner table is a great idea. I love the flowers at the center of the table.

  24. Sarah, I thought you had me at the first photo. The bright color of the ribbon on the gorgeous box, until I read further on. The whole table setting is beyond words. The lace edged dishes are stunning and sitting with a loved one at that table before the warm fire would amount to heaven. Happy, happy day..xxoJudy


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.