Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Entertain Fair Trade, Volume 2: Singing the Blues

Welcome to another installment of Entertaining Fair Trade, my chance to showcase the lovely items sold at Ten Thousand Villages along with some of my own pieces.  Please visit my previous posting, A Colorful World, to learn more about the store and their mission to support artisans from developing countries around the world.  I had been working on this tablescape...

in my mind for weeks and weeks, admiring the new items that had been added to the Blue and White collection, mentally pairing them with pieces already in my collection.  Oh...the picture I had in my mind was stunning.  I just could not wait to actually set this table!  Although the store sells a number of tablecloths in the blue family,

I chose this hand screened Springtime Floral cloth, made in India.  The main body of the cloth is cream, covered with paisley, flowers and leaves, while the pattern is concentrated at the border along with bold cobalt stripes.

I've dressed up the matching napkins with these "PEACE" silver napkin rings.  The Blue and White collection at Ten Thousand Villages includes many hand painted pieces from Vietnam.  A little background from a quick internet search..In Vietnam, the use of cobalt blue underglaze for decoration on porcelain began during the 14th century and this traditional style of ceramics is still being produced by artisans today. What I really hoped to accomplish with this tablescape was to blend the traditional with the modern.

Several years ago, I discovered these cobalt and white salad plates at Pottery Barn.  The pattern, Something Blue, with birds and botanicals, is exaggerated and bold, yet hints at traditional Asian porcelain as its inspiration. Equally modern and fresh, yet keeping with the color scene, these hand painted Dots dinner plates from West Elm, with their whimsical blue dotted rims, tie all of the pieces together.

I hope you agree that this eclectic combination of traditional Vietnamese porcelain and modern blue and white dinnerware not only works, but is gorgeous.  At Ten Thousand Villages, blue and white times are often shown paired with rich brown wood...

therefore I chose these deep brown woven chargers from my own collection to accent the cobalt and white pieces.  This adorable Shesham Butterfly Box from India would be a perfect little party favor for a special dinner guest.

Or...I think it could be cleverly repurposed as a salt cellar on the table.  This vase, with an unknown history, is part of my own collection.

Thank you to the folks at Trader Joe's for having cobalt blue and white flowers for me...you must have read my mind!

I like the way the gold and blue stems of my wine glasses pick up the colors in the vase.  Also from my own collection are these optic water goblets, with a touch of cobalt blue in the stems.  I also selected several tabletop accessories, again pieces from the Blue and White collection at Ten Thousand Villages.

Influenced by Ming China, this Floral Sugar and Creamer set fits snugly together inside of a bamboo basket.  Made at the same studio in a village near Hanoi...

these pretty Flowering Tea Lights add a special touch that only candlelight can do.

For interest, each one is carefully painted with a different pattern.

To tie this table together, I have woven this Showers of Flowers garland throughout my tabletop.  Made in Bangladesh from paper and palms leaves...

this darling garland will be decorating many more of my tablescapes.  I just could not be happier with this table setting and had so much fun putting it together.

Please visit Ten Thousand Villages' website to learn so much more about the products I have featured today.


  1. Beautiful table, Jill! I envy the way you combine dishes from numerous spots into such a lovely blend that is all your own. I love those new square bowls too, but my favorite piece here is definitely the tea light holders. Thanks for featuring the beauty of fair trade!

  2. This color scheme is one of my favorites. Gorgeous table!

  3. Such a nice collection!!! I really like your stemware...the stem of the taller goblet is so pretty!!! Beautiful linen, and a wonderful centerpiece vessel! The napkin rings are really neat, too. They would work so well for so many different occasions. Very pretty!

  4. Blue is always a good choice. Love all the dishes.

  5. Beautiful! I love how nicely your dishes look on your pretty tablecloth, the stemware is just gorgeous!

    Thank You for sharing and have a wonderful day!
    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  6. Hello Jill,
    Graciousness, blue & white? That rocks! I so love all your details.
    So simple but mighty elegant.

    Happy TS,

    Greetings from rainy Stockholm,

  7. Gorgeous Ming china blue! Love the box from India. Beautiful table.Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  8. This turned out so beautifully!! Your tablecloth is stunning, and those stems look like jewels on your table, with the sun shining through! This took a lot of effort, and it is well worth it!! Gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Just beautiful blue and white. Great tablecloth and I can't get enough of those rattan chargers. They look good with everything!

    Robin Flies South

  10. Oh wow.. that tablecloth is fabulous. Have to go visit on line! The dishes are a perfect jewel for this cloth. the whole table is wonderful.. xo marlis

  11. I think that you and I share many of the same design philosophies. And I am a major blue and white advocate! This table is pure pleasure at every level. Thank you for sharing a peak with us. Cherry Kay

  12. I just love the idea of Ten Thousand Villages. I am happy that you told us about it. I just love the blues and whites on this table. It is so lovely, in every way.

  13. Beautiful!I love blue & white! I loved Ten Thousand Villages in Buffalo, NY. We do not have one here in Illinois! Wish we did.....
    Blessings My Friend,

    1. Wrong! We have Ten Thousand Village stores in Evanston, Glen Ellyn, Champaign and Oak Park, IL.

  14. Wow I have only one word for this tablescape.... Gorgeous!

  15. I was recently in Portugal where blue and white is everywhere. I was so drawn to the handmade pottery but could do nothing more than admire. You would have loved it!

  16. Oh how lovely this is. I especially love your garland.

  17. What an amazing table and true explosion of the glorious color of blue!Thank you for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  18. Just stunning, what a gorgeous table...hope you return the visit!
    Happy Easter.

  19. Very gorgeous, yes I agree, it all works! Beautiful table, I love the way you have mixed the plate patterns.

  20. Thanks for sharing this pretty blue and white table. Love the dishes and the iris with the white tulips.

  21. Hey, Jill...I know this post is nearly a year old, but I just shared it with my fb friends in the Mishawaka, IN, Villages store. As you publish new Villages posts, I'll keep them posted on your tablescapes!