Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . . . .Tablecloth

Michael's really got me hooked with these new year themes for SCRIBBLE PICNIC.
Today's offering of TABLECLOTH has brought back special childhood memories 
yet again.
Hope you check all the stories our group posts today.

Antique, French, hand stitched, rustic linen tablecloth.
My dining room photo edited to a sketch ~ water color pencils ~ and 
several versions because I love them all! 

I created this post on a snow day last week - had extra time and was
 suffering from 'cabin fever' by the third day!

Growing up in England after WWII there was a shortage of money for
 decorative refinements around our home, however I do recall we always had
 a table covering for mealtimes. 

My mother - a very 'house-proud' lady - and wonderful
 dressmaker/tailor, also did exquisite embroidery and cutwork on linen, so I'm
 sure we had her handiwork under our bowls of porridge for breakfast, and 
fish 'n chips with mushy peas, or baked beans on toast for supper! 
 Don't forget, food rationing continued for several years after the war ended, and
many foods were unavailable.
For the 'working class' (and aren't we all familiar with the British class system
 of the past, think Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge etc.), housing and jobs for men and 
women (my parents were both in the Royal Air Force) returning from war were 
hard to find, paychecks were small. 

There was a huge housing shortage following the war. 
Fortunately we were put on the list for a 'prefab' home on a new estate
 consisting of modular houses for those returning military men and women, 
their families, and people who had lost their homes
 due to bombing. We moved there around 1946 staying until 1951.
 That new little house with it's garden was like a palace to us. I can still recall
 so many of the details. . . . . including the kitchen table always with a pretty cloth.
If only I had photos from that time - guess a camera wasn't in my parents' budget!

Tablecloths have always been household items I enjoy - even ironing
 them is a quiet pleasure!
I have this rustic French linen cloth purchased at an antique shop when visiting
 my brother in Carcassonne; a blue check Indian Khadi cloth from Kerala
 which I watched being woven in Cochin and use in Summer in the gazebo; 
an olive printed Italian cloth from my Tuscany visit; assorted formal damask
 cloths for big holiday meals; and of course my late mother's beautiful
 hand sewn versions.

Hope you'll check all the stories our art group posts
HERE at the Scribble Picnic today - come join in, we'd love 
to have you.


  1. Fantastic piece. I know he is rocking the themes...this one had me stumped though. Like taking a test in school....I froze and could not really think of much to do with it. Working on next weeks now! haha

  2. Growing up just after WWII your stories are just wonderful from England. I love that your mother took the care and attention to put a tablecloth out for meals. Your pictures are most wonderful.

  3. Beautiful tablecloth and a nice look back Mary.

  4. Mary this is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your memories! That is just so nice. :) Warmed my heart. I love your table cloths!! :)

  5. Mary you art and your story are both so moving. I love hearing the history of your tablecloth. Seems there are so many stories connected with tablecloths. Who would have thought. We never had an uncovered table. Kitchen usually had an flowered oil cloth you could wipe off. The dinning room, more like the one in your lovely painting.

    Thanks for sharing a slice of your life. This is more than an art meme, it's a family of artists sharing our lives.

  6. Wonderful memories here, Mary. I can't tell which one has the coloured pencils this time or such? Anyway, they had mushy peas even back then? there I was thinking it was a new invention when they rolled that out in cans in the 1980's! What do I know?! My, how your mother would be so chuffed to see your own love of tablecloths and table display today, wouldn't she? Beautiful. Thank you!

    BT, as you are enjoying these particular prompts as of late, I was definitely thinking of you when I chose "soup" initially and then changed it to "spicy" for greater creative license. Enjoy! We will all expect you to serve up something not only spicy but exotic and delicious, being the gourmand you are! :)

  7. I enjoyed all your renditions and I think it's wonderful that you have some of your mother's handiwork. There is so much love that goes into needlework. It pains me sometimes when I go to rummage sales and see how little they ask for all that detailed, painstaking work.

  8. Prefab housing, Never had any in our village though I remember seeing some over in Didcot and of course Harwell where there was a whole Prefab estate the remains of which can still be seen though the housing has gone. I remember growing up (Baby Boomer) in the 1950s and mum always had a table cloth on for breakfast dinner & tea. Rationing finished in 1954 so I remember very little of it, I think we would find it very hard now to go back to that now

  9. What excellent memories. I'm impressed she used tablecloths all the time. I shudder to think what my boys might do to a tablecloth during meals. They can make a mess at times.

  10. As a child, we ate most meals at the metal kitchen table, but Sunday noon was always at the tablecloth covered dining room table. Now I rarely pull one, nor even placemats, out of the buffet drawer.

  11. Those are all so pretty, Mary! You have just inspired me to bring out my tablecloths to use.
    Thank you, my friend!
    Warm wishes from Tone on Tone! I'm at the shop today :)

  12. What a lovely, proventual dining room and your story of your life is heart warming. I too was a WWII child and though we were nowhere near as close to the action as you were, as I child I can remember war planes flying over my house from the Naval Air Base that was not far away. And in my childs imaginations, Nazies were monsters and sometimes I would have bad dream s about them. I am so impressed that your parents were in the Royal Airforce ... such commitment, they had to be wonderful people. This was a wonderful post, Mary ... brought back so many memories :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol


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