1 Tablecloth, 3 Different Holiday Tablescapes Ideas - with Linda leonard

It is my absolute pleasure this week to introduce you to Linda Leonard.

She is an avid participant in the best Tablescaping group in FB: The Art of Dressing A Table, ran by Debbie Allen. She lives in Bristol, VA (USA), and brings her much joy to see the creativity of some of the most wonderful people she calls her new friends.

Linda won the tablescaping competition I sponsored inside the group, and what she did with her prize was absolutely stunning! Has been a pleasure getting to know her and an honour to have her style one of my best sellers: the Hipsum tablecloth.

Here's a little glance into her life:

Q: Linda, you create stunning table settings. When/How did you start this wonderful hobby?

A: Hi Ana, thank you for inviting me to tell you more about my love for setting tables. I guess my love for pretty table settings came from mother, Lena Mae. My mom always wore an apron and she smelled wonderful with spices, flowers, cleaning supplies, and soap from always washing her hands. You could smell bread and cakes, while hearing her singing a favorite song as she went about her day. She wasn’t a showy woman but strong and quiet. I don’t remember her owning more than 2 sets of dishes. She would take a pastel cloth and place it on the table then cover it with a lace tablecloth. She would set the table with a small vase of flowers and glasses that she collected from oatmeal boxes.

Q: Excuse the interruption... oatmeal boxes? Never heard of this! 

A: When I was young woman, companies would place glassware in oatmeal boxes, which is where most of our collection would start. Friends would swap to complete their sets. I still see those tables set with pride and creativity. It was the feeling of love that flowed from those tables that made you feel safe and warm, that’s what I strive from with each table setting I prepare. It’s not about perfection for me, its about the feeling in the heart. My oldest daughter, Sarah, said it best one day, when she came over with a beautiful cloth that a woman had created from different types of needlework: “Mama, can you believe the beauty that is in this woman’s heart for it to come out of her hands like this?” I responded, “Yes I can, because I am looking at a heart as beautiful right now”. My mother had 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls. I have two daughters and 5 grandchildren. I have been married for 58 years to a wonderful man and my girls call him their hero.

Q: Do you have a method on how you start one of your gorgeous tables? What is your creative process?

A: My youngest daughter, Cindy, says “Mama, you can take the simplest thing and make it a glorious table setting". I am inspired by so many different things, I love it all. It can be a plate, a piece of cloth, a napkin ring... and it starts a creative thought in my mind of what I could do to make it a star on the table or how it could compliment another piece I have.

I enjoy mixing patterns and textures. Most people have a style you recognize the minute you see it, because personalities do shine through when we put our minds and hands to work. It’s the wonder and miracle of each beauty and gift God has given each woman. Trust you heart, trust the things you love, then put them together and make no apologizes for your work.

Q: Advice to someone just starting this amazing hobby that is Tablescaping?

A: Learn the basic rules of plate, glass and silverware placement, then go for it. The happiest of my high school years was while in Home Economics (I don’t believe there is a class like this now), but in those years I was learning, listening and make my way to table settings that were designed to bless others, I pray I have succeeded.

Q: You created 3 beautiful table settings with the same tablecloth. All so beautiful and different! Would you please talk to us about them?

A: When I received this tablecloth in the mail, my mind went into warp speed with all the possibilities, I must have set 10 tables in my mind that day. This tablecloth is timeless and the possibilities are endless. The first two tables were built with the “right side” of the tablecloth, the 3rd I envisioned when I flipped the cloth over and saw another opportunity.

Each of these table settings come together because of the linen, it’s the star, it was working it’s magic and bringing balance to the table. From a French Country Morning, to a Glamorous Deer Scene, to a Romantic Ice Skating Afternoon, the linen was the still the focal point.

Here they are:

Idea #1: A Thanksgiving French Country Morning ("wrong" side of the tablecloth) 


Idea #2: A Christmas Romantic Ice Skating Afternoon


Idea #3: Glamorous New Year's Eve Deer Scene


Thank you to Linda and her magical hands to bring us these tablescapes!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you enjoyed this article. Need some table linens for your next gathering? Either wipe-clean tablecloths or classic styles (both eco-friendly options), we've got you covered!

xoxo, Ana

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