A Study in Neutrals and a New Beginning


Well, I finally finished the dining room this morning! I guess I spent 10-12 hours on it total. But it was totally worth it. Everything is put away, organized, and clean.


After spending all of that time in the dining room, I was not in the mood to do an elaborate tablescape. But I just hate to see the table bare! I guess the tablescaping disease will do that to you! So I decided to do a simple table with some these great small plates that I saw when I was putting away some things. I realized that I had not used them in a while, so they became the focus for this table.


For the kitchen, I wanted to use the Friendly Village square salad plates. I just love the square salads.


I called the new display on the hutch “Embracing the Orange.” Today I am calling both the kitchen and dining tables “A Study in Neutral.” As much as I love color, I also am drawn to earth tones and neutral shades like brown and taupe.


I started in the dining room with these off-white placemats and my taupe square dinner plates from Wal Mart. I’ve had these placemats for a number of years, and I noticed that they have a few stains that aren’t coming out. I guess that I will have to toss them at some point, but I am resisting doing that because I like them so much.


These cocktail-themed plates are really cute and I like them a lot. Each one of the set of four has a different picture on it.


I chose the Present Time flatware because of the neutral colors. I like mixing and matching these utensils and have ended up using this set much more than I ever dreamed that I would.


I decided on my taupe napkins and found these napkin rings in brown and tan. My mother-in-law picked these up at a garage sale and gave them to me.


Unfortunately, I don’t really have any neutral-toned glasses and my clear crystal seemed too formal for this table. I decided on my Dollar General green glasses. They are casual, and the earthy green shade works well with the rest of the place setting.


For a simple centerpiece, I chose my standby Wal Mart candle tray. I put the tan votive in a holder in the middle and surrounded it with black and brown “river rock.”


In the kitchen, I put down my taupe placemats and topped them with my off white Wedgwood plates.


Then came the Friendly Village salad plate. I chose the paisley napkins in shades of brown and tan to complement the placemat with a simple gold napkin ring with tassel. Since we had pork chops for lunch, I used the steak knives with my Chateau flatware.


I finished the place setting with these amber balloon goblets.


For the vignette on the kitchen table, I used the candle tray and river rock again. This time I replaced the votive holder with three small tea lights. I liked the simplicity of it and the way that I can use this centerpiece in a variety of ways.


I was very satisfied with my final efforts on both tables. I was going for simple neutrals, and I think that I achieved that.


This time last year I got a call from a local school asking me to take a maternity leave for one of my former students.


I decided to do so, and I ended up having a good experience with it. A few months ago a received another call from a different former student asking me to take her maternity leave. She teaches at the school where I used to work, and her maternity leave would be at the beginning of the school year, just like the one that I took last year.


For anyone else, I would have given them an automatic “No.” But because I love her so much and feel so close to her, I did seriously consider it. I took a few days to weigh out all of the pros and cons, but ended up deciding against it. I just really don’t want to get up and go every single day for several weeks. The main reason that I did the sub job last year was that I thought that I owed it to myself to try it at least once. I would never know if I wanted to sub or not if I didn’t ever do it.


I tried it and did like it. But I did also find out that I no longer have the desire to be totally responsible for a classroom. I felt bad turning her down, but I knew that I did the right thing for me.


I decided to focus on the antiques and collectibles market and to keep trying to beef up my booth. I have also enjoyed being available to help out both of our parents if they need it. I’m a substitute teacher for a Sunday School class, and I like being able to stay ahead with my housework, which I could never do while working. I began tablescaping a few months after I retired and blogging a few months after that. These two things have filled my creative need, and I have enjoyed both more than I ever dreamed. Overall, I feel very satisfied and fulfilled in my retirement.


Therefore, when I received a call a couple of weeks ago for a possibility of part-time work, I was very surprised and flattered that they called me. The local newspaper needs someone a few hours a week to do some proofreading and a retired English teacher fit their needs. I accepted, and I completed my first week last week.


I really like the work. The atmosphere is quite easy and congenial, yet everyone takes their jobs seriously. I worked really hard while I was there, and, unlike teaching, I left it there when I left for the day.


Overall, it is a good fit for me, and I hope that I can continue indefinitely. I’m not sure if the paper will keep this position permanently, but it is good for me for now.


So that is my new beginning, and I am happy with reinventing myself yet again. That is also one of the fun things about retirement. I can keep reinventing as many times as I want! Hope everyone has a great week!


 I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady,   From the Farm at Sunny Simple Life, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Metamorphosis Monday, Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage ,  Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday,  Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase ,  The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours,  Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill , Cottage Style at Lavender Garden, Homemaking Paty at Hope in Every Season,   The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much,  Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Efforts and Assets at Hickory Trail, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style ,  Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House,Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style,  Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately,   Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,  Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia,  Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters,Open House Party at No Minimalist Here Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage , Tips and Tidbits at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design 

About Bev

I am a retired teacher who has only recently taken up tablescaping and blogging. For more information, see my About Bev link.
This entry was posted in Tablescapes, Vignettes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Study in Neutrals and a New Beginning

  1. Vicky Hunt says:

    Your neutral tables are lovely Bev. I especially love the Friendly Village plates. My sister has the same square Wal Mart plates that you have on your dining table. I don;t think I will want to sub when I do retire (many years from now), but I guess you never know! Congrats on the job with he paper….sounds perfect!

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  2. Kathe says:

    Such a pretty neutral Tablescape Bev! I’m glad to hear someone else say setting tables fulfills their creativity! I know it does for me and has opened up a whole new world to me 🙂 I’m glad to hear you are happy!

  3. Love the dishes Bev…the square ones could be paired up with anything and those Village plates are so cute!

  4. Kathy says:

    Love your tablesettings – beautiful in their detail – I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,

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