What do you get when you mix…

… Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day?

A mixed tablescape! Last Sunday was not only Valentine’s Day; it was also the celebration of Chinese New Year. We had guests join us for the occasion. I had been so busy with things the whole week that I hadn’t even thought of how I would set the table. Even though I am of Chinese descent, I don’t have many Chinese-y things… so, I had to do a little digging to come up with this quick centerpiece:

The pseudo-“fabric” draping is really just a piece of Chinese-y silk fabric, which has languished for years at the bottom of a box of fabrics I have stowed away. The edges are not finished or anything. It is truly just a piece of fabric I just kind of ruffled up, and hid the unfinished edge. I added a silver reticulated tray with some Mandarin oranges, and found a leaf garland in the box of things I was going to drop off at the thrift store. I decided to borrow the garland for one last fling… :)


I added some empty money pockets called Hong Baos (elders would give money to youngsters in these money pockets), and…. chopsticks (well, I told you I was short on Chinese decorations, and I was rather desperate at 3:30pm when dinner was supposed to start at 5pm!)

For our dishes, I used my Royal Albert Lady Carlyle because they are the only dishes that would fit the Valentine’s Day theme with them being pink and all… you can see the Valentines peeking from beneath the placemats (they are from Baby to our guests). All red napkins were used for the Valentine’s theme, and to symbolize the traditional Chinese firecrackers:

Oh, about 45 minutes before our guests arrived, I decided we HAD to have some fortune cookies for the Chinese meal we were about to partake. Sometimes I think I am a little loopy! So, I made these make-believe fortune cookies out of felt in less than thirty minutes. I didn’t have any felt that are more yellow, so I used a light beige. My shabbily made felt fortune cookies are quite an embarrassment compared to the felt cuisine items my sister makes:

Then, I added these Italian brass candelabras (although no candles were used) because Marco Polo had gone to China… at this point, you go “huh”?! I told you I was desperate for anything Asian-related … I love these tall candelabras. They are about 20 inches tall:

Baby had her little placesetting too, complete with her own fake fortune cookie. The slip of paper in her cookie says, “Your fortune will be full of cookies”! I didn’t have time to come up with a wittier line.

The Chinese meal brought by our guests was delicious. For dessert, I followed Ellen‘s advice to make this for Valentine’s Day. Thanks Ellen, it was a hit!

I took Baby down to inspect my tablesetting after her nap and before our guests arrived. She went, “Ohhhh!” I think for the first time, she realized the different things I had done to the table. It’s never too early to start Baby off with dish-aholism, is it? :) Thank you for visiting my hastily put together tablescape. I look forward to seeing your tablescapes! Meanwhile, have a fantastic day.

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