Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dogwood Christmas

Christmas china can be beautiful, but I have come to prefer Christmas tables set with non-Christmas china.  I'm inspired by all the unique tablescapes posted on  blogs and at Christmas teas I've attended. So many designs inspired and augmented by stuff and things we already own from dishes to ornaments.  My Christmas Challenge is to create a Christmas table using each of my sets of dishes. Table #1 features Dogwood Dishes, Homer Laughlin "Eggshell Georgian" circa 1951.   I posted April Flowers using this pattern, and haven't used them since, so they were eager to come out and play.

Homer Laughlin Marking
Georgian refers to the type of . From 1941-1969, the next numbers refer to the plant.  So these were made in March, 1951 at Newell, West Virginia, across the Ohio River from their beginning in the 1870's at Liverpool, Ohio.

Used a table cloth I made for a table last Christmas,  Christmas Celebration.

My sister gave me four bird napkin rings found on sale at Z Gallerie.  Love them.
 Knives add a winter, rustic look to the table.  Can you see the little bee in the knife shaft?  New flatware from World Market purchased on sale.
Centerpiece made of dogwood leaves and reindeer that are part of my Christmas decorations.

 When I was putting together another table with another dogwood pattern (Do you think I like dogwoods?), I realized that I have magnolia trees on my campus, so I am able to prune a few branches as needed!  Dogwood flowers look like magnolia flowers so much that I originally called these trees Dogwoods until one of you Southern women corrected me (y'all know your magnolias!)
Love the large platters with hand painted on each "handle."
 Great bowl for mashed potatoes.

 Started with a rattan placemat that I found at a thrift store in Santa Barbara for $1.50 each.
 Layered with a charger I found at World Market last year on sale for $1.

Tablecloth made from a remnant I found at an upholstery store. 

Centerpiece made with Dogwood branches, cast iron reindeer, and votive lights for sparkle.

You may have heard of the legend of the dogwood, sometimes called the Easter Dogwood Legend.  It is appropriate for Christmas as well, a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
`Isaiah 9:6

The Legend of the Dogwood
I happen to like the story as it origins are deep rooted in mountain culture, it is a story of a natural event.
The story goes that when Jesus was awaiting crucifixion and when the crosses were being made the trees begged God to spare them, but the Dogwood begged not for it's life but for the life of Jesus. 
The Roman soldiers picked the Dogwood.
The Dogwood pleaded with God to use another wood but God did not intervene.  The Dogwood would now carry the body of Christ to his death and the Dogwood knew that for all eternity Dogwoods would be known for this horror.
God in his wisdom spoke to the Dogwood and understood the tree; in that time Dogwoods were tall straight trees that provided sturdy timber for homes and vessels, safety for the animals. bowls for food, utensils to cook with; and God spoke.
God told the Dogwood that the burden that was carried would be carried only one time, and from that time on Dogwoods would be knarly small trees with poor timber size so not Dogwood could be used in this manner again, God told the Dogwood that the Dogwoods would now be responsible for eternity to help people remember.
The Dogwood would only bloom for a very short time before and after the date of the crucifixion, the flower would have just 4 petals representing the hands and feet of Christ, they would be marked with a hole and the blood of Christ and the center of the flower would be circular raised and represent the head of Christ wearing the crown of thorns.
And so it is today, the Dogwood is a small twisted tree, it blooms at Easter and the flower....well look for yourself.


  1. Beautiful table...Love the dishes and the Dogwood is gorgeous. Those bird napkin rings are so much fun. I have the brown ones. The deer are so cute, mixed in the greenery.

  2. Your dogwood dishes are very appropriate for Christmas, and they look beautiful on your table. Love that iron reindeer,too!

  3. Are you sure those aren't magnolias? Being a Southern girl, I am familiar with both!

  4. What a lovely tablescape! Oh, & I checked out your Santa adorable!!!!

  5. I am such a huge fan of magnolia leaves!!! I wish we could grow magnolias here the way they do in the South! I live in Missouri, and the dogwood is our state flower. It is a beautiful bloom, and it does very closely resemble the bloom of the magnolia on a smaller scale. I'm with you on the non-traditional Christmas dishes. I like to occasionally use some that are not specific to the season. Your centerpiece is beautiful, and the chargers are FABULOUS!!!! I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season!

  6. I just love your dishes! Those charger plates are beautiful and your tablescape is just lovely! So earthy and warm....

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Such a beautiful table. I think the leaves in the center are perfect with your lovely dishes.. Great way to bring a bit of holiday look to dishes not really designated as such! thanks so much for your sweet visit.. Merry Christmas, xo marlis

  8. Hi CJ,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet
    comments. Really enjoyed your Dogwood/magnolia/
    and deer tablescape. It is truly beautiful and unusual, but I enjoy unusual too! It is creative
    fun to turn something that isn't typically used
    for a Christmas or any other holiday, and turn it into something that looks perfectly like it.....
    You have done just that, and it looks wonderful.

    Merry Christmas,
    Blessings, Nellie

  9. Good morning CJ! I love that table and those napkin rings with the birds on it are wonderful! I need some new napkin rings with birds on it! Hey thanks for your visit and your kind comments. I see that you are from California...we are in a VERY rural's like another state actually...maybe Oklahoma! Lots of farmland and we are about 35 minutes in the mountains above Palm Springs. is good to me you and I will visit again. Just became your newest follower!

  10. I just love Magnolias and Dogwood trees. We fortunately live in an area of Texas where they grow. The idea to use this pattern at Christmas is brilliant. The reindeer with the green bow is my favorite and then the placement in the magnolia leaves is lovely. Thanks for sharing. Happy Tablescaping.

  11. So pretty! I love the tablecloth you made, it's great! Dishes are beautiful! My mom loved dogwood and had many trees. Ours lose their leaves in Fall though.
    I agree, no more seasonal dishes for me. I have 2 sets of Christmas Lenox and a few others! No more! :)

  12. Lovely table, CJ...very pretty china.

  13. Beautiful photography and wonderful story! I'm glad you left me a sweet note so I could come for a visit! I'm so excited to be your newest follower and would love it if you'd return the "love" on your next visit!!!

    XO, Aimee

  14. Just beautiful...your dishes are perfect for Christmas!

  15. I love Dogwoods and this table is gorgeous! Love these dishes and the colors you used are perfect. hugs, Linda

  16. Very, very pretty! Whether dogwood or magnolia - they look lovely for Christmas! I also looked at your Santa sideboard - beautiful!


Thanks for your encouraging messages! No anonymous messages. Thanks!~CJ