STILL Precious!

Hello all!  I’ve never reprised an entire tablescape post before, but this seems like a good week to do it.  In the spirit of the Olympics … celebrating our world and its varied cultures. I hope you ENJOY!
(Originally posted March 9, 2010)

Last week when I did THIS  “every place setting is different” tablescape … 

… I started thinking about the only other time I ever remember doing a tablescape with mismatched place settings. (Not mismatched DISHES, mind you, but every place setting different.)

The event was the 2008 Festival of Tables at my church.  (I posted about the 2010 event HERE.) Since I was also the speaker for the evening, sharing about Renaissance Man’s and my involvement with Hope Unlimited for Children (which I told you about HERE and HERE), I decided to do my table using the theme of children around the world.  My table was called Precious In His Sight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging then and hadn’t learned tricks like turning off my flash — or not downsizing my pics;  there’s so much I would do differently today!  But I do have some pictures I think you might enjoy. Hopefully they’ll give you some ideas …

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use a globe as my focal point, but I did NOT want a common multi-colored desktop globe. Since every place setting was going to incorporate different colors, I wanted the center of the table to be visually calmer — a place for the eye to rest.  (This isn’t very calm, is it?)

Free from

So what did I do?  I went straight to Goodwill and bought a $2 common multi-colored desktop globe … then came home and sponged gold metallic glaze all over it.  I used glaze rather than paint because I wanted just a faint hint of color to show through — to give a bit more depth. You can’t really see that very well in the pictures, but you can in person.

Next I removed the stand, threaded the globe on a dowel rod, and glued black painted wood finials on each end. When it was time to do the tablescape, I set a small clear glass bowl on a black wooden stand — then rested the globe at an angle on top of it for a “floating” look.  I used several styles of black candlesticks to complement the black stand — then added white candles. To the pillar candles I taped bands of paper printed with the theme:  Precious In His Sight.

Finally, I used black chargers at each place setting to give some continuity. Beyond that, as you will see, I mixed it up … a lot! I certainly didn’t have authentic elements from each country, but my intent was to achieve the “feel” of the different cultures.

Because I would be speaking of our work with the children in Brazil, I obviously wanted one place setting to feature a Brazilian child.  This sweet-spirited young man is one of our kids at Hope Unlimited for Children.

After that, there was really no rhyme or reason to what countries I chose … just whatever caught my eye!  My mother once made a costume like this one from The Netherlands for my sister … many years ago.

One of my daughters has a soft spot for children in India. Maybe that was in my mind when I chose this one …

I seem to remember thinking I wanted to do a place setting with lots of “rough textures” when I came across this young Pakistani boy. The slate floor tile placemat was the place to start …

My other daughter lived in the UK for several years.  I think that’s why this little guy with his Union Jack-painted face got my attention.

And this little girl from Bangladesh … precious!

How could you not smile when you see this little Zulu boy? Besides, I have a young nephew who exudes the same attitude!

It was the ornate costume that first caught my eye — but that smile …  Oh, my …

As I said … Absolutely no rhyme or reason to my choices.  In fact, it wasn’t until after the project was finished that I realized I didn’t even have a child from my own country!  Oh, well.  So many other countries I “left out” too.

But now you want to know about the plates, don’t you?  To make the plates, I found high-resolution pictures of children in their native clothing. Then my wonderfully talented graphic designer-daughter placed each child’s image in front of their country’s flag — and enlarged it to fit the center circle of my inexpensive clear glass plates. I then printed the pictures on photo paper — and cut out the circles. I laid each photo in the center of a charger — and set the clear plate on top. They were a hit! Everyone wanted to know where I found the plates!  (The key is high-resolution pics — so they still look clear when enlarged. Wouldn’t it be fun to do something like this for a graduation party … or wedding … or family reunion?)

* * * * *

The world’s children … our future … our responsibility

Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow.  Black and white.
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. 

Precious …

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
(Luke 18:16)

Precious …

If you dare care wish, go HERE to read more about the realities of OUR world’s children.

I’ll be linking to Let’s Dish! at Cuisine Kathleen and
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.
If you like tablescapes, check out the parties!


  1. Beautiful…in so many ways….like watching the nations walk out in the open of the Olympics…such a good reminder of His children all over the world…great tables

  2. What a Master-ful plan you designed. No two nationalities (place settings) are alike, but all are precious in His sight. This is beautiful.

    Q: Would you share the organizational-fund raising components of your Festival of Tables? Sell tickets? Pot luck? Held in your church or where? Advertising it? Annual event? Do the men serve/cater?

    • Kelley, our ANNUAL event is held at the church, and tickets are sold. Advertising is simply “in church” and via church newsletter and word of mouth. We have a kitchen crew that prepares the meal, and our men serve as waiters. A sample letter to table hostesses is available here:

      I don’t have anything to do with the planning of our event. If I did, it would be a fundraiser for missions! (Our ticket sales basically pay for the meal and an honorarium for the speaker.) I would also put more emphasis on outreach, inviting unchurched in the community.

      Good luck if you decide to plan an event. It has a lot of potential for fellowship in the community and is a lot of fun!

    • Thanks for this great info. When you mentioned “Festival of Tables,” I remembered our good friends in Columbus, Ohio, who have an event of exactly this nature. It is designed for outreach, Susan, just as you suggested, and tickets are sold out early! The instant they’re available, they’re gone, and they’re not cheap because the proceeds are for a great cause: MISSIONS!

      My daughters were teenagers when the three of us were privileged to attend a FoT event and it was spectacular. I’ll never forget it! Each of us were seated at a different table, so that made it even more fun. My table was called “Black Tie” and I’ll never forget the chocolate covered strawberries decked in tuxedos! Someone painstakingly painted tuxes on each HUMONGOUS strawberry. The decorator of this table also had sparkling bubbly for us and some other treasures that only we went home with as guests of her table. Our waiters wore black trousers, white shirts and bowties. They were great!

      One daughter was seated at a table called “Everything AND the Kitchen Sink.” It was decked with quilts, and like yours, all the place settings were uniquely different. The centerpiece? Why, a kitchen sink and faucet, of course! It was adorable! My good friend Julie, whose husband was just elected in April as pastor of that very church, also prepared a roast dinner, cobbler and apple pies with a sort of down-home country flair. Every guest at her table wore a country apron, too. It was so cute. I can see all the photos I took in my mind’s eye! The waiters for that table wore overalls!

      Our other daughter was seated at the table that won the prize for “best design,” and it won unanimously. Here’s why: 9/11 had just occurred weeks before and the theme for this table was “God bless America!” HANDS DOWN, girl! It was spectacular, and just remembering this table gives me goose bumps and a lump in my throat. The hostess of this table even dressed like a Red, White and Blue Statue of Liberty. She was something else.

      If we ever pastor again, I would love to conduct a “Festival of Tables” annually to raise funds for missions, too. In Columbus, each lady who decorated their table also served as “special speaker” as they were each asked to share why they did this or that and what Scripture inspired them. They each took no more than 10 minutes and told about the ladies at their table, the decor, and tied it all together spiritually. I’ll tell you– there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

      Women {people} are hurting everywhere, and we need each other. Someone we work with, our neighbor, a friend we’ve not seen in ages we run into in the market… people are hurting and longing for someone to care. I can just imagine the unforgettable, even life-changing potential events like FoT have been, are and can be! I can’t thank you enough for sharing this post. I don’t doubt for a moment that someone else has been inspired!

      Thanks for sharing the link, too, Susan. I GREATLY appreciate it!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kelley of Kelley

    • Great ideas, Kelley! There is definitely much hurt in our world, and every chance we have to spread cheer and comfort is an opportunity I pray we won’t miss!

  3. Susan- What a great tablescape and I love how you made us all feel part of the larger world than we live in- Blessings- xo Diana

  4. I do so love this table. How clever to set up each place for a different child in their native costume.. so fun to see. xo marlis

  5. This doesn’t surprise me one bit…your heart is flying here as you celebrate His Kids around the world. Thanks for the inspiration and for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  6. Very clever! This is a wonderful idea.

  7. How beautiful and thoughtful, just in the knick of time for the London, Olimpics. I love your World tablescape with all those pretty faces from all over the world. I also love the pretty table with the gorgeous different transferware plates. Thank you for dropping by and leaving me such lovely comment on my transferware dishes. Enjoy the weekend.

  8. What a wonderful idea and so beautiful! It made me want to do one to honor my varied heritage! I’m Jewish/German, Swedish/Norwegian and Cherokee Indian! That would be some kind of tablescape! Thanks so much for sharing yours with us.

  9. Love your unique table, what a great idea.

  10. Absolutely beautiful!

  11. What a creative and meaningful table! You should be very proud!

  12. If this isn’t the epitome of the Olympic spirit, I don’t know what is!!! You and your daughter deserve big-time kudos!!!!!!!

  13. As lovely as the tables were, I know your talk was what was incredible. I SO WISH I could have been there!

  14. Very clever and timely! I love your idea with the globe! Thanks for linking to Let’s Dish!