An August Fair is such a wonderful and natural celebration! A fantastic summer has now been upon us for some time, and the early signs of harvest are becoming increasingly evident all about! This is an excellent opportunity to share the joys of fresh vegetables of course, but also grains and berries. It was with these influences in mind, that I approached this table setting.
Blue, especially deep blue, is not a part of nature’s more typical palette, so the deep blue-toned berries offer us the somewhat rare chance to explore this wonderful hue in a seasonally inspired table decor, and I seized that opportunity! I also was craving a bit of a sophisticated vibe as an alternative to the whimsical, playful feel of my earlier summer table.
Below are the details of my selections:
I chose a natural-toned, Williams Sonoma jacquard tablecloth that I just love. It is earthy and reminds me of grains. Unfortunately, it is not currently available on their website. I purchased mine discounted on ebay.
I felt it important to inject some jewel-toned hues into my natural beige and blue theme to warm the tone and to help reinforce the connection to the more traditionally recognized harvest colors, and yet, I was striving to distinguish this celebration as well by allowing it it’s own unique decor. My solution was to use the placemats to dabble and yet not overwhelm the palette. Meanwhile I loved maintaining the consistency of the jacquard. These were from Williams Sonoma and were called “Harvest Wheat” (how appropriate!) in the pumpkin/rust color option. I purchased them on ebay along with the matching table runner, which I used on the small, round table supporting the candles for our candle bonding activity.
The harvest tones of this china suit it well to the task for reasons similar to those of the placemat selection (above). It is made by Noritake, and the specific pattern name is “Gellee” Mine is a family heirloom, but it is readily available on ebay and through Replacements, Ltd.
Water glasses were purchased in a set at T.J. Maxx.
Petite European crystal wine glasses look lovely and allow small, frequent pours for course pairings. These were purchased on ebay.
When considering a purchase, it may be helpful to note that these tend to be the same glasses I use every holiday, so they get plenty of use.
The centerpiece included candles of varying heights illuminating a naturally-shaped cascade of faux seasonal berries. Specific elements are listed below:
Candles & Candleholders:
The candle arrangement can perhaps most easily be described by breaking it down into three sub-arrangements:
- Centrally located: Two royal blue palm wax tapers (purchased online at Aloha Bay) sit within off-white holders purchased at Linens & Things.
- On the left: a 6-inch navy blue pillar sits in a 6-inch Moroccan Wood Pillar Holder alongside a 4-inch tri-toned pillar (gold, green, navy) resting in a 10-inch Moroccan Wood Pillar Holder. They are not side-by-side, but rather the solid candle is pulled slightly forward with the tri-toned set slightly back. The pillars were purchased at Michaels. I have had the wooden holders for many years and cannot remember where they were purchased, but a similar set is available at Pottery Barn. You also may be able to find exactly what you need gently used from ebay and get the added satisfaction of recycling!
- On the right: An 8-inch matching holder supports a 4-inch matching tri-tone and two 3-inch navy pillars rest in mini glass hurricanes with mini navy glass beads in the base. All candles, holders, and beads (with the exception of that of the Moroccan wood just described) were purchased at Michaels.
I was so excited about these faux berries! The red and black raspberries appear beaded and add a very magical quality as they reflect the candlelight around them. My arrangement weaving in and amongst the bases of the candles consists of 2 raspberry swags and 4 raspberry picks, all purchased at Michaels Stores. Also, at the two heads of the table, a cluster of blueberries (consisting of two picks each: one ripe and one unripe, purchased at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores) sit nestled among actual corn husks. This is all blended into a seamless array of naturally-inspired seasonal color and beauty intentionally planned at every viewing angle to have no front or back.
Side note: One of the great aspects of stores stocking items at seasonally inappropriate times, is that when they decide a season is “over”, they mark everything way down… but the season isn’t over! I purchased all of these items from clearance bins at marked down to practically nothing! Definitely check out your local craft stores because you never know what you might find!
Nautical blue, 100% cotton napkins purchased from Amazon are the perfect accent for this theme and contrast the naturally-toned tablecloth and place mats dramatically.
These napkins were folded in half and rolled. They are held in place by ribbons and ties of varying color and texture purchased at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and adorned with “Naturally Home” Triticum Wheat stocks purchased from Michaels Stores and a small segment of faux unripe blueberries (achieved by disassembling a pick).
Personalized Wine Charms:
Wine charms with each guest’s initials are not only very flattering but also quite practical, especially when pairing courses with wines and therefore involving small, frequent pours.
These are essentially the same design I use most holidays. I simply change-up the beads to match the theme of the current celebration. In this case, “blueberry-like” Halcraft #93793 beads were combined with square, flat amber ones, and topped off with white adhesive lettering all purchased at Michaels Stores.
Click for the instructions for making these sparkling and ever so versatile personalized wine charms.
Favors: “Blueberry” beads in organza pouches
To add to the tone of sophistication aimed at through this decor, I decided to forego celebratory party crackers. However, I did not want to sacrifice the enjoyment and bonding of the paper crowns that has become a time-honored tradition. As a solution I decided to go with party beads instead! I chose navy ones that resembled blueberries, purchased them in a pack of eight from a local iparty store, dressed them up in cream-colored organza pouches from Michaels Stores, and distributed them as favors that could be worn at dinner.
I crafted these simple and elegant place cards using cream-colored folded, card stock from Staples embellished with lettering made from Jolee’s “Gold Mini Foil Alphas” purchased at Michaels Stores. The decorative ribbon is tied in a simple knot and extends onto the back of the card as well. The brand is Offray; color is “dancer navy”; width is 5/16″; item code is NW 3672 MN; and item number is 00345-2011-01. It is affixed using a mini glue gun.
I loved topping off my table setting with the elegant and yet still magical tea accent of a honey spoon. Mine were “Disney Wonderland Tea Honey Spoons” and are widely available, including on Amazon. I actually purchased them on vacation, which had the added bonus of reminding us of those wonderful memories during our celebration!
Interestingly, these somewhat complex accents hint at the sophistication of a tea party and yet the childhood joys of a sugary confection at your place setting. This complexity contributes to the warmth of a theme based largely on cool tones.
Overall happy early harvest, have an amazing August, and if you can, make time to celebrate! :)