A Birthday and a Bunch of Carnations

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We recently hosted a family birthday brunch for my mom.  She appreciates pretty table settings and beautiful floral arrangements as much as I do, so I was looking forward to setting the table.

The Centerpiece

Around Valentine’s Day, the price of roses skyrockets.  And in February, other options for fresh flowers are limited.  But one enduring classic came to the rescue:  Carnations.

Mom uses them as one of her go-to flowers in her floral arrangements, and no wonder.  They have a lovely light, spicy fragrance, come in a variety of colors, and stay fresh a long time.  As a cut flower, they are underrated and usually reasonably priced.

So I bought a grocery store bunch of carnations in mixed colors.  I put a wire flower frog inside a milk glass container and cut the carnations to fit just above the rim.

I had some eucalyptus leaves that had dried in place in one of my winter white arrangements so I used them around the perimeter of the container.

birthday brunch centerpiece

And I had a pretty centerpiece.

birthday brunch centerpiece

Vintage Linens

For the table dressing, I used a few pieces from my vintage linen collection.  I placed a square table topper diagonally over a linen tablecloth and used cheerful rose print napkins on the place settings.

vintage fabrics

Porcelain China

The china is Villeroy & Boch “Switch 3” salad plates over Villeroy and Boch “Casa Look” dinner plates.

birthday brunch table setting

birthday brunch table decorations

What looks like a tea pot is actually the coffee pot for the Casa Look pattern.  The Casa Look china is discontinued.  It is our everyday china, and I love that it is strong porcelain china.  Clumsy as I am, these pieces have stayed intact for years with no chips.

The Switch 3 pieces are a gift from Mom.  They work nicely with the Casa Look and are also very durable.

birthday brunch
Can you spot the tabby cat in this photo?

The Leftover Carnations

When I first unwrapped the carnation bundle, I found that three of the blossoms were broken off at the base.  But why waste them? They made a cute statement on a bathroom windowsill.

carnations on windowsill

And the carnations I had left over from the centerpiece looked sweet in this little cup on the living room sideboard.

carnations in blue cup

The Birthday Cake

The cake was actually a key lime pie.  I got this key lime pie recipe from a trusted source and it is delicious and easy to make.

I wanted the pie to look like a cake so I pressed the graham cracker/almond crust into a springform pan but I went up the sides of the pan too far with the crust – far beyond the level of the custard filling.  I was worried the crust would crumble when I took the springform apart, but luckily that did not happen.

So what started by mistake became an interesting presentation. The crust was precarious, but it looked unique and held together while we sang Happy Birthday.

birthday brunch: the cake


About Villeroy & Boch:

What I love about Villeroy & Boch is that this company is not afraid to take chances and have some fun with their china.  Many of their designs are fanciful and so imaginative.  Even their more traditional designs seem to teeter just on the verge of whimsy. This edginess is surprising for a company whose origins date back to 1748.

An eclectic assortment of vintage Villeroy & Boch china can be found on Etsy.

Villeroy and Boch
Photo courtesy of Shop on Sherman

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9 Replies to “A Birthday and a Bunch of Carnations”

  1. I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog post ever since you did a post on my neice (your sister-in-law)’s dining room! Since I’m a Floridian, I had to comment on Key Lime Pie. My recipe is easy and the best Key Lime I’ve ever had. I know you’re not a cooking blog…however:
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1 tub of cool whip
    fresh lime juice to taste.
    Combine, pour into graham cracker crust and refrigerate.

    1. Hi, Ann: I noticed you were one of my subscribers. I’m so happy you enjoy my blog. Thanks so much for sharing your key lime pie recipe with me and my readers. It does look super easy and I will definitely give it a try!

      1. Hi, Cookie: Thanks so much for subscribing! I hope you will continue to enjoy this blog. On the key lime pie, I am never able to find key limes or key lime juice at my nearest grocer, so I just use fresh lime juice and it still tastes delicious. I have yet to try Ann’s super-easy recipe that she shares here, but it is similar to the one I make, and I assume it tastes wonderful even with regular lime juice.

      2. I usually don’t have Key Limes, so just squeeze regular limes. Lime juice from a bottle works, also! (I think it’s as good, if not better, than Publix!)

  2. Love this birthday bruch. The ideas with the carnations is awesome. Will relay to my garden club buddies. Love the use of vintage linens. Have never seen your dishes but beautiful. I am intrigued by your blog and just recently subscribed to it. Nice job.

  3. Ohhhh I love this table! The napkins, the patterns, the colors, the textures, it’s all so perfect! Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday.

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