Notes From Swan's Nest


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Is It Spring Yet?

It’s snowing outside – again. But, after all, it IS mid-February and the calendar assures me it’s still officially winter. Much of the nation is weary from wave after wave of mega snow and ice storms. In the Colorado mountains, we expect and embrace this kind of weather and are generally less-than-happy when the snow machine takes a hiatus, as it did during the past several weeks. While I enjoyed being outdoors without freezing my you-know-what off, each snowfall is vital for the moisture it brings to our forests, streams, and rivers, and the overall economic health of our mountain community. Plus, the sight of every surface outside my window, covered in new-fallen fluffy snow, is exceedingly beautiful.

Nevertheless, I feel a yearning for spring starting to develop. My eye is drawn to springtime colors, whether browsing in my favorite clothing shops or selecting flowers and blooming plants in the floral department of my grocery store. So, when I had the opportunity to create a table setting this week in conjunction with a newspaper interview, I decided to set the table for a springtime gathering.

Bright yellow placemats and a mint green table runner, fashioned from a 3-yard length of fabric, anchor the table and set the theme for my spring décor. Decorative gold chargers, gold-rimmed white china plates given to me recently by my mother, my favorite green and white, scalloped-edge bunny salad plates, and inexpensive stem-less wine glasses filled with simple arrangements of yellow and pink cut flowers, add another layer of seasonal color and visual interest.

Cut-work linen napkins are gathered into painted, wooden napkin rings that resemble flower pots – each sporting a single tulip in a variety of springtime colors. When I purchased them over 25 years ago in a decorators warehouse, I certainly never dreamed I’d still be using them years later, but it just goes to show that a bit of unexpected whimsy in an otherwise somewhat formal setting, can lend the ideal finishing touch to carry out the theme and prevent a table from appearing stuffy.

Springtime colors can be just the remedy for late-winter blues, so lift your spirits, surprise your family or guests, and create a little magic with a fast-forward to another season for your next gathering around the table.