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Monday, February 27, 2012

Croquet Anyone?

Ah croquet, a sport of leisure and refinement.

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As a child growing up in Northern California I often played the game with siblings and friends. We enjoyed no rules.

Quite awhile ago I spotted this vintage set at a flea market and brought it home with me.

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I probably imagined that by purchasing this set my life would suddenly be transformed into one which is routinely enjoyed at the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley

Blissful afternoons spent with friends.

“Croquet” by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

The delightful giggles of neighborhood children taking a turn.

“Playing Croquet” by Paul-Charles Chocarne-Moreau

Yes, a world of gentle breezes and white sand would create an excellent environment for a pick up game.

“A Game of Croquet” by Louise Abbéma

Reality Check!

I live in the desert. Our lawn is the size of a postage stamp and the rock hard caliche soil makes it almost impossible to drive the wickets down. Not to mention the heat.  So what to do~ place the balls in a wire market basket?

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Make a mallet shelf?

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Transform the cart into a gardening caddy?

Perhaps build a croquet lamp base ala Uncommon Goods.


Maybe create a unique candle holder.

Or just place the mallets in a basket.

Oh and what about a croquet party?

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Lovely tables dressed in linen.

Guests could wear their croquet whites.

Or channel the Great Gatsby.

Lemonade would be served on the veranda.

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For those that prefer something a bit stronger, a spot of Pimm’s is the refreshment of choice for the thirsty well heeled.

Finger sandwiches of course.

For dessert: a jolly good show of bright croquet pops.

Mr. Décor just reminded me once again that we live in the desert AND and that the croquet set has been gathering dust while taking up precious garage space. I fear Craigslist is in it’s future. Darn.


 All images found on Pinterest unless otherwise noted.


Bonnie said...

I have fond memories of playing croquet at my friends house. Enjoyed your post. Very creative.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Nooooo they can't go to Craig's list... I love the ideas you found above! I can see you making any of those things!! I always think of the croquet scene in Pretty Woman! lol!

Auntie Em said...

Your croquet set is quite a find. My cousins had a set. My memories are of sore, bruised feet and trying to be patient and wait your turn. lol
Love the set of wooden mallets in a glass vase in front of a mirror. I am thinking that there aren't any children in that house!
Thanks for the great post! :)

Jill Elaine said...

IF you Craigslist them - contact me FIRST! I want them! But I suppose shipping would be outrageous:(
You should at least put the mallets in a glass container and the balls in a basket for awhile. I'm sure you can do something really wonderful with them!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I see them and I keep thinking about buying one for my cousins to play...we have grass!

Vicki said...

Don't Craig's List them! They're gorgeous. You showed so many creative ideas... my faves were the basket of balls and the mallet shelf. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

laxsupermom said...

I see Jill beat me to the punch. Don't Craigslist them. Let one of your readers buy them off of you.

I have such fond memories, too, of childhood croquet games on our lawn. We eventually stopped playing when too many pieces were lost. I don't know what ever came of the remainder of the set. About 15 yrs ago, my parents were removing some boxwoods, and wouldn't you know there was a much weathered croquet ball found under one of them.

Find a way to display them or let one of us take them off your hands. Jill gets first crack.

Deserae said...

I only recall playing croquet a handful of times as a child. Your set is really fabulous....I think you should display them as you showed!!!

French said...

I'd hold on to that set! We loved playing croquet on my Grandparents' lawn when we were kids; and I'd definitely play today if we could share a Pimms at the same time!

My Cottage Charm said...

Oh Laura you found so many great ideas...they just can't go to craigslist!!! :-) Too bad your soil is hard and the desert is hot....a nice game of croquet would be a fun springtime past time! :)
Oh, and I LOVE Ikea too! Ours is about 1 1/2 hours away, so I only get to go every 3 or 4 months...but I do know how to stock up when I'm there! :)
Love ya girlie!

Little Leslie said...

I love all those ideas. You can come to Tujunga, and play it with us. Great post!!!

The Boston Lady said...

Hold on a second. If Prince William will be there then surely we all should be able to make it too! Desert aside. Ann

Hollace said...

The wire basket idea for the balls is great, and the mallets just for display...I'm surprised they are in your garage!
Aren't those lollipops at the end adorable? What great colors they made!

Northshore Prep said...

Oh my word...I grew up playing croquet, and truth be told, we still play during the summer!!!! And the decorating ideas....LOVE!

openid said...


What lovely thoughts and images. We have croquet sets and actually use them for their intended purpose. Let me know what color you want and I will reserve it for you!

Your Friend,

Terry said...

I too have an old set and we actually use them when the kids come over. I love how you displayed them in the glass jar.

Danielle said...

I loved croquet as a child too. We used to play at our neighbor's house in the summertime. Great memories. These are such an amazing flea market find. Don't sell them! I love this post and all your idea on what to do with them. Use one of those ideas and keep them. They would really make an interesting conversation piece as home decor : )

Danielle xo

Keri said...

I am in NorCal as well and grew up here, but we never played croquet and i always wanted to. I guess I need to find a set to play and teach my son. We may not be Brittish Royalty but we can sure pretend to be! :)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh Laura, I am right there with you. I often see sets at the sales and I am so drawn to them. My husband steers me clear. I also envision an all white lawn party but, like you, I live here in the valley of the sun sun sun. I hate the thought of it being broken up. I bet it gets snatched up in no time.
Those pops are sure cute :)

Jen said...

I love all of the adventurous ideas you have for the croquet set, especially the shelf. While we have never dressed up to play, I love the game and the fun you can have while playing. It's when you kids use the mallets against each other all of the fun is sucked right out of it! =)


Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

There is NO Way I would get rid of it. I used to play croquet in Michigan with my cousins. I love the memories of it. Nope, living in the desert or not...that would be staying...along with the ironing board....surely you have some old blankets or toys you could get rid of instead!!!

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

We play croquet here in Illinois all spring and fall long (summer's usually too hot). I have passed up vintage sets many times, trying to justify the purchase, other than for my love of the darn things. Now I'm thinking that I maybe should have bought some.....:)