Sometimes, New York feels like the smallest town in America! A couple of months back, when I was still at Martha, I ran into Amy Azzarito from Apartment Therapy (one of my absolute favorite blogs!) right outside my old office on 42nd Street. Amy had already done such a sweet post about my blog and is such a flea market fanatic herself, we knew right away that a joint shopping excursion was something we'd just have to do! So with the holidays upon us, Starbucks in hand, off we went last Sunday for a New York adventure of our own!
At a thrift store on 9th, just around the corner from our Hell's Kitchen apartment, I came across these beautiful antique mercury glass ornaments. Like so many other things I collect, ornaments are somewhat of an addiction for me. And they're not just for trees either! I love using them in wreaths, piled high in compotes on a fireplace mantel or even scattered going down a table. Plus I love the colors! Talk about holiday inspiration!
Here we are hunting the flea market at my favorite vendor Rich's booth on 39th Street. As you can see, Christmas (not to mention a cold New York City chill) was in the air!
It didn't take us long before we'd gathered about a dozen more gorgeous antique ornaments. That blue pine cone at the bottom had already sparked an idea for a pretty Hanukkah table, while the magenta one on the right—well, let's just say visions of bubble gum danced in my head!
No day of holiday shopping at the flea market would be complete without a delicious lunch at Marseille with new friends! Thank you, Amy, for being such great company! Can't wait to see your post at Apartment Therapy with all your finds!
As soon as Jaithan and I got back to the apartment, I was so inspired by all the antique ornaments I found, I thought it might be fun to whip a few holiday table settings for all that entertaining you might be doing. With the red and silver ornament, right away I thought of peppermints and candy canes!
Check out the finished table! I used potted poinsettias paired with vintage red and white table runners I found at the flea market here in town years ago. The color palette I kept tight for that fun retro feel, while champagne flutes and monogrammed coin silver spoons add a note of sophistication.
Mixing, more than matching, always feels more modern to me, especially with finds from the flea market! For the flatware, I paired coin silver spoons with red Bakelite knives and forks that my grandmother Dottie passed onto me years ago. The ribbon around the napkin I tied with a dab of hot glue.
For a little extra sparkle on the table, I used red sanding sugar on the champagne flutes. Just wet the rim with a lime or lemon wedge, then dip!
Here's a detail of the potted poinsettias, candy canes in vintage glasses and antique ornaments scattered on the table. How festive is that?
For an equally inspired holiday table, this one for Hanukkah, I began with the blue mercury glass pine cone ornament from the flea market, together with silver ones I've been collecting for years. Then I added pretty blue jelly beans, crystal rock candy and an array of crepe paper folding spheres.
Even though they're ornaments, the natural pine cone shape is still great for Hanukkah. For the miniature arrangements, I used vintage silver ornaments and faux glittered ferns in Fire King Blue Turquoise sugar bowls. I got mine on ebay. Check 'em out!
For another turn at mixing and matching, I used a full set of silverware with an eclectic mix of vintage glasses. I then used antique monogrammed hand towels for napkins, together with a collection of silverplate boxes from the flea market going down the center of the table.
Here's a detail of the crystal rock candy in a silverplate covered dish I found at a thrift store in Maine. The crepe paper spheres add fun to the festivities, while the silverplate candlesticks keep the look sophisticated.
For my third and final holiday table, I wanted to do something that's very near and dear to my heart. About two years ago, my grandmother Dottie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, the doctors caught it early, and Dottie continues to be happy, healthy and very excited for Christmas! As a way of honoring and remembering all the mothers and daughters, the sisters and grandmothers in the battle against breast cancer this Christmas, here's a holiday table with heart. When I found that beautiful magenta ornament at the flea market with Amy, right away I was inspired to do a table pairing pink Fire King china with, quite appropriately, my favorite mother-of-pearl flatware.
I love the pearly iridescence of the flatware, together with the mercury glass ornament, pink swirl china and fuchsia satin ribbon.
To add a little sweet to a table full of heart, I piled high with gum balls this vintage champagne glass from the flea market on 26th in Chelsea. Growing up, I remember Dottie telling me how far five cents used to go on her visits to the candy store! It was always "a penny of this" or "a penny of that" and soon the whole bag was full!
Here's a detail of the runner doing down the center of the table. I used a vintage linen runner, then added satin ribbon in varying sizes and shades of pink. How easy and inexpensive is that?
For the salt and pepper cellars, I used antique miniature alabaster urns, together with mother-of-pearl spoons.
And finally, here's a detail of the flower arrangement. It's a mix of corner-store carnations, all in pretty shades of pink and grouped in antique footed cordial glasses. I even used some of the smaller bubble gum pieces around the candle!
And so, as you ready your home for the holidays, perhaps even with a trip to a thrift store or flea market for inspiration, remember that ornaments aren't just for trees! Their curious shapes and spectacular colors are the perfect addition to any holiday table! Speaking of, do you have a favorite of the three?