Setting the Table

I’ve had great fun at the YMCA Sale (Yarralumla) and Revolve this past weekend. Where once I used to look for mainly for clothes I’m now looking to also ‘dress’ my table. At present my taste seems to be definitely retro table ware from the 70’s and early 80’s and napery from anywhere from the late 50’s onwards.

I particularly like souvenir tablecloths, yes those ones with tourist scenes and themes. They are all printed on linen. It started with a Fiji tablecloth (I’ve not been there but TB has) found in one of the Woden op shops. I’ve now added a Northern Territory and an Australian Wildflower cloth. I also found a lovely Scandinavian daisy patterned table cloth at the YMCA Sale last year. As Andy Muirhead of the Collectors says once you go past three of anything its a collection!

I also had some inspiration from Adrian Franklin’s book A Collectors Year (New South 2008) which I’ve just bought. Flicking through the book I saw the Midwinter ‘Stonehenge’ pottery range of which quite a bit was apparently sold in Australia. This was due to our comparative wealth to that of the UK at the time. I was somewhat surprised to see several pieces of the ‘Sun’ and ‘Creation’ patterns at the Y sale, which I promptly picked up. Interestingly, right next to these pieces were some look-alikes which had no identifying marks. Later in the day we stopped in at Revolve on the way back from taking the Christmas decorations back to the storage unit. We were completely stunned to find three complete plate settings of the Midwinter ‘Wild Oats’ pattern.

We will definitely be using these sets, as you can see from the toast with our most recent batches of strawberry and blackberry jam!

I’m also getting a bit retro in the garden. It started with four concrete 1960’s pots inherited from my late Aunt. I’d really like to get some more as I really like the shapes. I hadn’t really known where to look but at Revolve I found two anodised aluminium pots. The flared one, sadly missing its drip tray, is quite large and may end up housing my Lemon Verbena plant. I think the smaller upright pot might do for a succulent. See even my taste in plants is going retro, as I recall that as a child one of the first types of plants I grew were succulents and cacti. I’ve also included a photo of my Autumn-flowering Crocus, just because they look so good!

I’ve also included a photo of two late 50’s early 1960’s place mats which have clearly never been used. I picked these up at the Y sale. Quite a good day when all was said and done.



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