I actually like this time of year. The hubub of Christmas and New Year's has passed, and we look forward to the coming days of Spring with much anticipation. But until those tulips start to rise from their long winter's naps, I like to focus on the here and now. And what's here and now? Why, Valentine's Day, of course!
I always feel like the house looks a little "bare" without the glitz of the holiday decorations decking the halls. So a few years ago, I decided the best way to decorate for the time between Christmas and Easter was to get into the Valentiney swing of things.
Here is a glimpse of my kitchen table setting.
Most of these special things have been collected over the years. I've had the rose-shaped bowls the longest of any of these pieces. Last year, John gave me the pink jadeite cake stand as a Christmas gift. And I added the vintage tablecloth just this year. It's fun to scout out little pieces to add to your collection as time goes by. It's ok not to have everything all at once. It's more fun to pick and choose the special pieces as you find them. Of course, my prized possession is the Humpty Dumpty cookie jar taking center stage. And what, you may ask, does he have to do with Valentine's Day? In reality, not much. But I LOVE this cookie jar, and I often try to work him into my tablescapes.
Here's a close up for you. He was a find like none other from our favorite little vintage store in Roxboro a few years ago.
This year, I decided to decorate the the dining room a bit for our upcoming Valentine's dinner. John and I rarely make use of this room. But for holidays and birthdays, we always cook a nice meal and eat in the dining room like real grown ups.
Here is how the dining room gussied up for V'day. First, the bird's eye view... I have used this tablecloth for years now. And the dishes. I just added a few red candles (from Christmas) and a big bunch of roses to the center of the table.
And then, the close-ups... I love tucking flowers into bowls. It just looks so pretty. And when it comes to Valentine's Day, it just HAD to be roses!
I added a couple of fat love birds. They did the trick, I think.
And on the hutch, I added my "Cupid Awake" and "Cupid Asleep" prints to the mix. And to give a little history on these, they are old but not uncommon. These are prints created from the late 1890's photographer, M.B. Parkinson's work. He used the four-year old daughter of a friend as the model. "Cupid Awake" captured people's hearts with her sweet innocence, while "Cupid Asleep" showed her clinging to her arrows in slumber.
These are especially timely for this time of year. But I love them, and will likely use them more than just at Valentine's Day.
Now to just plan that Valentine's dinner menu, and we will be good to go way ahead of time. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm not the handiest in the kitchen, so if you have any good meal ideas, feel free to pass them along, and I will be sure to share them with my husband (and lead chef) for his consideration. I mean, I DID take care of the decorating, after all.