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Monday, February 14, 2011

Makeover Monday ~ Reviving Tired Linens

I have been hoarding collecting vintage and antique linens for a few years now. A good portion of my collection was acquired while living in Germany. No matter how many napkins and tablecloths I may have, if I see something lovely at an estate sale or flea market it comes home with me. I guess I have an insane desire to rescue cloth. Thankfully I now have an outlet for my passion in the form of Metis Linens.

As you may know I will soon be hosting the High Tea Tablescape linky party on February 23rd. Over the weekend I began rummaging through various closets and chests in search of inspiration for my own tablescape. I was also looking to see which lovely vintage and antique linen pieces could be added to the ever growing prize piles I will be offering at the party. Before to long my house looked something like this:


Ok I’m kidding. I found the above picture by googling “hoarder”. :) But I did find that I had no less than four white tablecloths all the same size. I am not even going to admit to how many sets of white napkins I have. (Mr. Décor reads this blog. :)

I decided that I wanted to create a tablescape in a pink and white theme but found out that I owned not a single piece of pink linen. So I selected the shabbiest, dingiest white tablecloth and napkins and headed to the wash room. First I hand soaked everything in warm water and oxy clean to rid the fabrics of any stains and brighten them up a bit.

V day 023

I then grabbed a bottle of Rit Petal Pink Dye. I do like the liquid better than the powder. I wanted the tablecloth to have just a hint of pink so I added 1 tablespoon to the hot water bath. The napkins received about 3 tablespoons of dye as I wanted them to be a bit more of an intense pink. 

Once the linens were transformed into the wonderful shades of blush and bashful I hung everything out on the line. This is always the preferred choice, versus a dryer, when dealing with vintage and antique linens.

V day 035

I removed everything from the line while they were still ever so slightly damp to make ironing a breeze. Here is the new pink cloth on the dining room table. I added a cream colored topper so you could better see the contrast.

tea 004

I then began gathering all of my pretty dishes that feature shades of white, pink and green to use on the table. This dish is one of my favorites. It was a gift from Grandma Jingles and I didn’t even have to “demand” it. ( Smile~ a reference to Saturday’s post.) I just adore how it looks against the pink cloth.

tea 028

Ok, back to the party. Everyone who links up a tablescape on February 23rd has a chance to win either the highly sought after “Fit For A Queen” or the equally desirable “Royally Scrumptious” winning titles. Of course to have such glorious awards we need a few experts on hand. So I invited two of the best tablescapers in all of blogland. First, we have the beautiful Susan from Between Naps On The Porch. I am sure that she really needs no introduction, but in case you are brand new to blogging, Susan hosts the highly successful linky party “Tablescape Thursday”. Week after week Susan presents such inspired beauty that her images often takes my breath away.

Next, we have my dear friend Yvonne from Stonegable. Now many of you might be familiar with Yvonne’s talent for creating truly unique and original tablescapes. Every time I see one of her designs I think “Love lives in the details.”  But I know a little something about Yvonne that perhaps you don’t. Given that the theme of this linky party is High Tea Tablescapes I think it is fitting that our expert Yvonne is well versed in high tea as she grew up in both Scotland and England. ( I try not to covet her fleur de lis utensil holders.)


I am in the midst of rearranging my living room to accommodate such esteemed greatness. I’ve moved in two new chairs. How do like it so far?

throne room bp

So here are a few little sneak peeks of the prizes that await you.

t 016

t 020


t 027

I will leave you with a favorite Valentine that I received from dear Nancy of My Crafty Little Page. The image of the wee lad in lederhosen reminds me of my own Sweet boy who was born in Germany.

t 030

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends!



Button, button who’s got the button?



Carol at Serendipity said...

What a lovely post. I need to freshen some linens and I will try some oxyclean.

Your photos are lovely.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

That table linen looks BEAUTIFUL!!! Of course the hoarders photo...made me giggle!!! I loveeeeeeeeeee this post!!! Such beautiful settings! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

ImagiMeri said...

Dearest Laura,

Do the coincidences never end???? Where in Germany did you live? I lived in Essen, near Dusseldorf, back in the early 80's. I traveled back and forth between the USA and Germany, so my total living time there was about 2.5 years. Looking forward to your tea, and I hope you can make it for my luncheon. Could you possibly post my button on your blog as well? Happy Valentine's Day!


bj said...

I know your High Tea will be such a success.
I don't have the beautiful dishes and such to make a beautiful tablescape....but, I do have my post all ready and waiting. :))
xo bj

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

your tablecloth turned out great!! What a good idea. Am looking forward to seeing the final product. Have a Happy Valentines Day!

The French Bear said...

Oh Laura, I love the pink tablecloth, it is just stunning!!!! Your dishes are so beautiful...I am in love with the ruffled plates!!!!! Love, love them!
Sadly, I think my sewing room sometimes looks like the photo, I need help!
Margaret B

Blondie's Journal said...

You really can be a stitch, Laura {no pun intended}! I think you did a great job with the tablecloth and napkins...they are beautiful and I'm sure your table will be, too! I'm looking forward to your party!


Linda said...

How do you find time for all of this? Everything looks wonderful.

Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Bloggymom said...

Beautiful linens. I need to give my linens a makeover very soon, too. Sounds like a good thing to do as spring approaches.

Laura Wilkerson said...

Wow! Ms. Susan and Ms. Yvonne (I love her btw) there's no competition there! They are both in a catagory all their own :)
I can't wait to see everyones tablescapes and thanks for the linen post...I always see these linens and see a spot or stain and don't bother picking them up but then I have never thought about dyeing them. I'll think twice next time I run across a deal.
Have a lovely Valentines Day!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Grabbed the button to put on my sidebar. Hugs, Marty

AshTreeCottage said...

I am so excited about this new party!! I love serving tea, and when I used to be able to visit London often, it was my favorite way to spend an afternoon with friends. Count me in!! Happy Valentine's Day!!

Susan and Bentley

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh you got me! I saw that hoarders picture and my jaw hit the floor. I was shocked because I don't imagine you this way at all. I thought "she has a PROBLEM". Funny, very funny. You pulled an April fool on me on Valentine's Day :)

Karena said...

Laura Happy Valentines Day!!

I often forget about dying linens and I have a set that could benefit from this!!

Art by Karena

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I love linens, as well, and have a small stash of vintage tablecloths that I just can't part with. Thanks for visiting and your sweet comment.

Marie said...

I'm so excited to be joining your high tea party on the 23rd. Thanks for stopping by my blog and inviting me! I am sending my RSVP Laura :-)

BEAR's Mom said...

I've only ever gone out three times with friends for TEA ~ it was fun ~ but {{{don't delete me for this}}} I am a coffee person =)
However, the tablescape blogs have so impressed me and amazed I will be visiting you on High Tea Day... {{{with my coffee}}}
Happy Valentines Day
~victoria~ said...


You always bring a smile to my face (I love the hoarders photo - nice touch!) You are speaking to my heart; antique linens! What wonderful, talented women you have enlisted as judges. I look forward to the Grand Tea Party and all its splendor.

Happy Valentines Day!

Your Friend,

Whimsey Creations said...

Wow so pretty. I nearly died when I saw your first picture though! LOLOLOL

eddieross said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Melissa Miller said...

Happy Valentines Day Laura! :)

Andrea said...

Absolutely love the Stonegables tablescape! Gorgeous plates!

Secret Garden Cottage said...

I love your French linens in the first pic... beautiful!
This table scape party sounds fun!
Happy Valentine's Day!
~ Jo :)

laxsupermom said...

I love linens and was lucky enough to get some of my husband's Great Aunts linens when she passed. Love all the elements your using. Can't wait to see the finished table. Thanks for sharing.

Kim Neyer said...

What a beautiful table! This makes me want to have a tea party myself! Following you from MBC :)

Atticmag said...

Hi Laura, your tea scapes sound like so much fun. Will try to take part. So appreciate you dropping by. You're very up-to-the minute with all the pink as well. Jane

Dogmom Diva said...

Laura, I love what you did with the linens. They turned out beautiful! thank you for stopping by my Pink Saturday post, I am a bit late in my visiting!

Happy V Day!


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I see you are getting out the good linens for your wonderful High Tea!
I am so excited to see everyone's creative and beautiful tables! I can just imagine the pomp and prettiness that will fill the blogs next week.
Thank you for the honor of judging all of these entries! It will be a big job... and a fabulous delight!
Happy Valentine's Day

Nan said...

Oh, I am laughing!! LOL! I was sooo worried when I was reading and saw the picture coming up the page of the hoarding room!! Oh, you just took me on a scary little trip! And now I'm so relieved! Phew.

The linens are beautiful - makes me want to see if my mother has some from my grandmother, which I'm sure she does.

Natasha said...

Looks like there are going to be some very busy bloggers out there! What fun!

Best wishes,

thestonerabbit said...

Just popped in from Nancy's blog to tell you your little Valentine is wonderful!!! What a terrific creation.

Your High Tea sounds awesome.....and I love the pinkness you added to that tablecloth! I like the liquid Rit the best, too.

Hope you are having a great Valentine's Day!


Phyllis said...

Oh my goodness - the tablecloth and napkins turned out perfect. I am so afraid of using dye but this is certainly encouraging!

That little dish is beautiful, btw.

Betsy said...

What a great idea to just dye the cloth. I'm glad you put the white cloth on top so the contrast shows through. It's such a yummy shade of pink and the napkins just a bit brighter. Great job and thank you for sharing and for visiting with me.
Happy Valentine's Day

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Laura, that is some living room you have there, girl! Fancy! ;)
Looking forward to seeing all the fabulous talent in Blogland!

Susan said...

Hello Laura...Love how you dyed the cloth. Great job. Also wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Loved having you. Sincerely, Susan

Lisa said...

Absolutely fabulous! I love linens! I can't wait to see the tablescape! I adore your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Bettyann said...

wow what fancy tables..will be sneaking in to view all the wonderful tables...

The Tablescaper said...

Can't wait to see your high tea!

- The Tablescaper

Sparta Savings said...

Wow - what a great idea to die a dingy or stained tablecloth! I'm going to tuck that one in the back of my mind for later. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Jenni said...

Hi Laura~

I love how your pink tablecloth turned out! And I am so excited to read how you did it, too, because I have been wanting to try dyeing some fabric, but was unsure of how to go about it! I will have to buy some "Rit" dye the next chance I have! :)

Your tablescape party sounds like so much fun, and it will be wonderful to see what everyone does! :) I will put your button for it on my sidebar!


Gypsy Heart said...

Beautiful! I know you're going to have a gorgeous tablescape using the pale pink, green, etc. You have 2 dynamite ladies involved ~ both create amazing tables.

Will be anxious to see the finished product...table. :-)


Jen said...

Laura, What a wonderful collection to have. I only have one or two vintage pieces, but what treasures they are. Your pink tablecloth and napkins turned out just beautiful!

I am looking forward to your "tea party". I know the setting will be stunning.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Debbie said...

Well, this ought to be fun to watch unfold! I love the new pink linens. I love nothing more in craft and design than to see someone think outside the box for a transformation.


Miss Sandy said...

A belated Valentine wish to you too! The party sounds like it is going to be loads of fun, I look forward to seeing your table scape. Have a happy Tuesday!

Judy @ In His Grip said...

Okay, so I can call my linens "collection" too then. I love the idea of giving them a little color with some dye. I am going to try that. Thanks for stopping by "In His Grip".

Sandy said...

Wow, so much eye candy!!!!

Thanks for visiting me,
My Shabby Streamside Studio

Jingle said...

elegant pieces.

lovely pink.

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Those look gorgeous Laura! I loved your hoarders lie that is what my closet is starting to look like:) XO

French said...

I am slow to the visits this week....I absolutely love the pink tablecloth, and napkins....the high tea will be a grand success!

My Crafty Little Page said...

Laura - I just found your comment on the pink chest. Any comment over 2 weeks goes to be moderated and I forget to check it! Anyway, I think I still have it - it's in my antique store. It's missing one of the drawers so she may not want it. I think I have $45 on it but take 20% off of that and whatever to ship. Let me know. I like the bottom space - a file folder fits in it, or other smaller jewelry boxes. Anyway - just let me know and I'd be happy to ship it to you. :) Nancy