Saturday, May 1, 2010

hardware store tablecloths

this wedding table is coming together! We still need a few more big plates (I'd say less than 6 left to buy), and a few more napkins and the silver. And then we're ready! I might start picking up pewter vessels for flowers next.

Some of the recent thrifting finds: china from Goodwill, and napkins from Goodwill and Value Village. The mustard-colour one in front was a real success story: these were bright yellow when we bought them. We tried bleaching them, which only seemed to make them brighter. A day in a tea-dye-bath and they are a pleasantly muted mustard colour now. I love the pickstitch detail. These may be a linen blend. The soft-rose napkin (also went through a tea-dye bath) is linen, edged with hand-tatted lace made by Quakers (I love it when you find new things, tags still on, at Goodwill); the white one on the left is linen with pickstitching, and the top right, which you can barely see, is cotton with some nice fancy open/cutwork edged in beige. We found the blue plate (two of 'em) with the beaded edge a few weeks ago and I liked the idea of including "something blue" on the table.

And for tablecloths? We're using old coffee sacks. Sure, they have a bit of a strong, ripe/green coffee smell to them, but we've decided we're okay with that. And the nicest thing? Not only were they available to us locally (because, let's be honest, if you have to ship recycled materials to reuse, it does kind of defeat the point - a little!), they are basically waste materials from Seattle's thriving coffee industry. Which is to say nothing of the fact that, after we use them, we can lay them down to kill weeds or kill grass if we want to build a raised bed over them. They are biodegradable, recycled landscape fabric - and I hear they work really well, too! If you'd like to pick up some of these sacks, they are an affordable $5.50 for a half dozen (try searching for coffee sacks on ebay - you'll be charged a lot more!). Upcycle Northwest is the company creating gardening materials (including a coffee-bean gravel for your garden paths!) out of Seattle's coffee industry wastes, and these bags are available at Stoneway Hardware just south of Green Lake. The guys laughed at the hardware store laughed when we told them what these were for, but general consensus seemed to be "cool idea!"

And just had to share this. I found this silver-plated tray, badly tarnished, at Goodwill, and paid $3. A few minutes of polishing and wow, what a beauty. Totally worth the risk that it would turn out to be aluminum (I was pretty sure that aluminum wouldn't tarnish as badly as this poor tray). I found the brass candlesticks at a yard sale in high school; I think I may have paid a quarter for each, at most. The sugar bowl is from the set my parents gave me, the table runner (which I love, it makes it feel so Scandinavian in here!) cost me 99 cents at Value Village the other day, and the cut-glass fruit bowl is something I picked up for 50 cents at another yard sale when I was in high school. These beeswax tapers are made by local beeswax candle company Big Dipper Waxworks. I've become quite enamoured with these lately; I get about 15 hours out of each taper and they are completely dripless (which is to say nothing of how wonderful they smell, even when they're not burning!). Looks like they have some great deals on these candles if you buy from their website - worth checking out if you want to add a little romance to your dinner table!

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