Spring is here, somewhere. It may be so cold in the northeast that we have to wear mufflers, but the daffs are blooming, the tulips are pushing their way out of the cold earth. The hellebores are nodding their shy greeting--I love that green-tinged white hue, and they look great as cut flowers in a vase, mixed with hyacinth.
And all around me friends are making wedding plans. Their children are getting married--how did that happen so fast? Just yesterday, they were....well, you know what comes next.
My friend Frances Palmer is setting a spring table while she waits for her garden to come in, mixing many of her colors among the settings. She has recently changed her approach to selling her work--as have many of my artist friends. She is now selling everything--handmade and production pieces--online at her website, Frances Palmer Pottery. That means that the entire range of shape and color is available to all her customers. Stores can still buy from her online, of course, and stock up for their shops. But with this new plan, the turnaround of the factory in filling orders is speedier.
Frances has also created a gift registry. These are always useful for brides, of course, but they're great for anyone with a penchant for nesting, no matter what stage of life we've hit. In fact, I'd say that brides are the people who have the least clue how to set a table (hence they always choose very safe patterns, and never use them); it is the mothers and fathers of brides who are confident in their taste--and who have broken enough plates to realize that it only means you are enjoying your treasures, and they are usually replaceable. All china should be good china, and all meals special occasions. (My children are now snorting. I wasn't above serving dinners of Cream of wheat in the Royal Worcester bowls.)
I love the way Frances crowds her pressed flower forms (blooms homegrown in her garden) around the edges of these plates; the rims are bursting with spring--and the promise of many more bouquets tossed into all our lives.