Summer of 70's + The Art of Conceptualizing a Table Setting
They call it Inspiration
The summer is filled with long toasty days and the yearning to play. Even as a young adult, there is this nostalgic air about days spent in the summer sun. To let go of all responsibility and get lost in some groovy tunes, pool side, is the summer break dream.
As of late, I have been falling hard and fast for some 1970s love. I have always been a free spirit, as some would say. Born in the wrong era.. or maybe actually, born in the right era and placed here to keep that era brightly shinning through.
I remember, as a small lady, getting lost in the endless soul of my mothers wardrobe. She was a collector of sorts, a trait I have inherited to say the least. I would spend hour upon hour draping myself with brightly floral patterns and macrame creations. Stacking my arms with at least twenty bangle bracelets and dancing around with flowers in my hair, til the sun set behind the tall palms.
I remember my first stack of tapes my parents bought for me. I'm not sure if it was for a birthday or christmas, but I do remember sitting for hours infront of my boom box listening to them til the wee early hours. They gave me the beatles, the mamas and the papas, sonny and cher ....simon and garfunkel and kc and the sunshine band-- to name a few. They gave me soul and spirit and inspired an endless bond with the era of long haired hippies and the protest for peace. They didn't know it at the time, but they built a foundation in me that seems to have been the source of inspiration for many years to come.
As a young adult, having lived many different lives, in many cities across the world, I have finally found myself settled in Los Angeles, Ca. My source of art has evolved over these many years, in many ways. From the platform, to the style, to even the industry--- my have I changed. As it seems however-- I may have just taken a long bumpy trip along a large circular path, that has brought me back to my roots and soul.
It's funny how you categorize things in your brain growing up. I felt the need to grow out of my hippy-sentric tendencies and find cleaner, straighter lines in my work and style. I placed this era in an adolescent category, that seemed at times childish and immature. But you see-- the brain has ways of tricking you my dear friend. It has ways of color blinding you and telling small fibs that then become truths, until you no longer know which road brings you home.
So I fought the fight and find myself letting go of expectation. Allowing social influence to just be seen as a suggestion and allowing my naked eye to guide me to the goods. I find myself drawn to these eccentric patterns that were painted across my parents photo albums and hidden away, now deep in our closets and attic. I find myself getting lost in antique malls and flea markets, searching for pieces that have character and history. I find myself free from the lines society draws around me and plain out inspired.
now on to the goods----
I wanna talk about putting together a styled table. When conceptualizing a new set up, I usually start with one source of inspiration. It could be as simple as a certain shade of green I had come across or flower I had seen was in season. Maybe its the new crystals I collected on my latest trip or a piece of pottery I saw in the window on Abbott Kinney. Whatever is is, I let it then take the drivers seat and give my instincts free range. Now, I know that it doesn't come that simply at times, so for this post, I am going to discuss the creation of this retro afternoon table get up and how the heck I pieced together these items.
After many factors came into place, a few weeks ago I finally conceptualized my Blueberry Wild Child donuts. I knew at once that I wanted to share them with friends on a Saturday afternoon over coffee and good conversation. I also knew that deep purple flowers just had to be part of my backdrop. I didn't know what kind, or what they would look like and didn't want to get my heart set on a specific flower, if it wasn't in season or in stock. So I let the store decide for me. Sometimes thats best. Work with your options- don't be picky. This way you allow your surroundings to dictate your choices.
I knew I wanted a retro flair in this table arrangement. I mean its summer and that leans toward more playful and bright coloring, which I wanted to take full advantage of before the fall months begin to dull us.
I am the type of consumer that always has my eyes peeled for special finds, as they present themselves in the unlikeliest of places and you have to take advantage of when you find the goods. So start collecting. Don't simply anticipate thinking up random arrangements. The odds are-- you are not going to randomly come up with an eclectic grouping. That comes with time and collecting.
You should also be collecting bottles and jars that are worthy of keeping. I generally allow the quality of bottle, or shape of jar to dictate some of my oil and kombucha purchases. I'm not saying this is how you should live your life making choices, I'm just saying, make yourself away of the opportunity to re-use products. All the clear glass jars on this table were found in that exact way.
Another way to re-purpose, is using ceramics in different ways. The green and brown pottery pot, with the small purple flowers is actually something I use to hold food usually. It has a lid and is the perfect serving bowl-- but now also the perfect pot for flowers. The "condiment" bowl / sugar + toppings jar, is actually a vintage ashtray with smaller condiment bowls placed inside. This just may be my favorite part of the table. I know-- random, right? It is the very first time I have thought to use it in this way and feel silly for not re-using old (clean) ashtrays in the same. A whole new world, just opened for me.
Next, I want to discuss this table cloth I am using-- or should I say bath towel. That rights-- I came across this towel at World Market actually, and just KNEW I had to use it on my table. It's choices like this that will make your table setting one of a kind. So don't be afraid to think outside of the box.
The rest then quickly came together. I always use either sticks or stones as details, to bring in more of the earth and ground the table. I also strongly believe in cloth napkins, as they not only are eco-friendly, but they make the experience just a bit more special. To finish it off, I mis matched some basic plates and mugs and added a few cacti, because why not? I love to mix it up.
See the whole table setting and gathering below and remember, every moment is worth making special. Even if you are simply having your best buds over for some coffee and donuts.