A Memorial Day and Beyond Centerpiece

May 31st, 2011 in blog, projects     
suewhitney Sue Whitney, editor
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Here is my something of Jeans that takes center stage in my centerpiece. This statue from the 1800s belonged to my Grandma and was handed down to Jean. When Jean passed she left it to me. It is very special to me and resides in my living room on a daily basis. She looks a little like Jean and clearly reminds me of her in a very good way. Yesterday she was moved to the dining room. Jean loved flowers so I gave her a sole Bleeding Heart at her neck.
The overall table scape had my sisters sensibility. One that I now share and embrace. Family treasures and organic materials unite to create a living centerpiece with sentimental value. 
The base of the table scape is fashioned from a roll of moss. It is lined on the bottom so it will protect the table. I simply cut it to an appropriate length and edged it with bark and stones to create the natural and organic appeal.
After laying out the moss the scaping began. The statue needed a base so I went to the garage to find one. The old stove grate was perfect. Jean and I did a lot of craft projects together so I cut some art paper to fit beneath the grate to give it a finished look.
This made the statue show off just enough. I added a single Pansy blossom for color.
Jean was all about family so I pulled one of her favorite pictures of the Peterson kids to put next to her. She was the glue that held the family together and you can see she is looking at the family image with a you better take care of each other or else kind of attitude. It made me smile.
Here is the fam! From left to right... Little Ricky, Roger the Dodger, Baby Susie, Jeanie Ann, Howie John, and Gare Snare.This picture cracks me up! Four boys and two girls. Jean and I never stood a chance. Ah,hahahaha!
The staue itself reminds me of Jean in many ways. She was a teacher so the little school girl carrying a tablet is symbolic of her passion for education. Inscribed on the tablet are the words peace and war. Jean was all about peace and understanding. The scarf that she is wearing is the necklace that my Dad gave to my Mom as a wedding gift that has been gifted to me. My Dad is also in heaven so this is my way of showing that my Dad was waiting to take care her when she got there. Now I am quite sure that they are doing a little fishing and playing a little Cribbage together!
She also wears Rosary beads. No we are not Catholic. In fact we were brought up staunch Lutherans. This is where I show our shared sense of humor. Dont get me wrong I have always been drawn to these for their religious meaning, but in this instance it reminds me of a rite of passage. We grew up in a small town where there was one public high school and one Catholic high school. It was the job of the Scandanavian Lutheran girls to date the Irish Catholic boys from the parochial school down the street. Hey, you cant mess with tradition. The Peterson girls dated the Cashman boys!
Jean collected pewter so I pulled a creamer out that originally belonged to my Mom and filled it with Wine Vine. Jean also loved wine..... more symbolism!
This is something of mine. Can you tell? This is an old rusty plumbing part. I stuffed it with used candles and moss. I think it fits in quite nicely with the overall look. It makes me laugh a bit. When others move on to a better place they leave behind nice things like antique statues, silver, and pewter. When I make my move old plumbing parts and other such rusty oddities will be a large part of my legacy! 
A birds eye view!
Here is my something of Jeans that takes center stage in my centerpiece. This statue from the 1800s belonged to my Grandma and was handed down to Jean. When Jean passed she left it to me. It is very special to me and resides in my living room on a daily basis. She looks a little like Jean and clearly reminds me of her in a very good way. Yesterday she was moved to the dining room. Jean loved flowers so I gave her a sole Bleeding Heart at her neck.

Here is my something of Jean's that takes center stage in my centerpiece. This statue from the 1800s belonged to my Grandma and was handed down to Jean. When Jean passed she left it to me. It is very special to me and resides in my living room on a daily basis. She looks a little like Jean and clearly reminds me of her in a very good way. Yesterday she was moved to the dining room. Jean loved flowers so I gave her a sole Bleeding Heart at her neck.


Many of you know that I lost my sister to her battle with breast cancer a few years back. Every Memorial Day I try to find a way to honor and celebrate her life. This year I set the table in a fashion that would have her approval I believe that I learned my appreciation for all things old from Jean. When I was a young girl my job was to set the table at my sister's house when she hosted a family holiday event. She would send me out to the garage to get Grandpa's that, to the closet to get Grandma's special this, and to her garden and woods to fetch the organic goods. I used to wonder why I had to do all of these things, but now I fully appreciate what she taught me.

Table scapes like this are not meant to be maudlin, but rather to create conversation, evoke happy memories, and initiate family bonding. Again, I hope you and yours shared a beautiful Memorial Day together! 

With a few simple changes like replacing Jean's statue and removing the family photo this living centerpiece can reside on my dining table all summer. There are no fresh cut flowers so all I need do is keep it watered. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! 

 

 


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posted in: blog, projects, tabletop, centerpiece, plant holder, candle holder

Comments (8)

RustyDiva writes: Beautiful and touching tribute to your sweet sister Sue! I really enjoyed this post and the story behind it - thank you for sharing it with us.

Kenda Posted: 9:28 am on June 7th
DustyRust writes: Beautiful! I to lost my little sister (47) 2 years ago to the same monster. I can definetly relate. What a sweet tribute. Posted: 2:32 am on June 3rd
meizitang writes: yeah, it touchs me a lot. very nice design. very nice. Posted: 7:39 pm on June 2nd
SnowmanHill writes: Sue, I just love the whole vignette. I have Mom and both brothers in heaven, so this touched my heart too.

Take care,
dana Posted: 5:36 am on June 1st
EmmasNookandGranny writes: Awww, that is soooo touching. And beautiful, too. I love the combination of elements. It is very Sue!

~Marge Posted: 5:59 pm on May 31st
georgiamoon writes: Sue, what a stunning tribute to all that you learned from your sister and the love that you shared. My sister taught me a lot about life too. I think this is such a beautiful way to remember her for the special person she was. She's watching you with pride, Georgia Posted: 5:58 pm on May 31st
bolmscheid writes: Beautiful centerpiece! Brought back memories of OHS and home for me as well ... Class of '77.

Brenda
Posted: 5:28 pm on May 31st
Heavenly_Treasures writes: SUE,
Now that the tears have gone.Ive enjoyed this so much and how you shared from your heart about your family You have definetly touched my heart since I lost my wife years ago.What a beautiful seting and how you got this arranged it is down right beautiful.All I have to say is what a treasurer you are to all of us who know you.I just want you to know how much I appreciate you and your LOVE & FRIENDSHIP
you are truly blessed and have a special family.GOD BLESS, Have anice day ROBERT. Posted: 8:10 am on May 31st
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