My Auntie Betty Jo and I had a special kinship. We both loved to have a beautifully decorated home with lots of brick-a-brack, our tastes were on the fancier side, we enjoyed classic clothing, high heels and jewelry, and we enjoyed cleaning our homes and decorating them or working in our gardens, and also we enjoyed needlework. She lived with her sister, Auntie DD, and took care of Grandma Mayer in the Mayer family home on Havre's East End. I lived with both of them after Grandma passed away for a little while, before moving into my second apartment. Auntie Betty Jo came over a couple of times after I bought The Cottage, and she felt right at home here. Lots of fancy everything!
Sadly, both Aunties are now gone. Auntie Betty Jo passed away first. I was not able to attend the funeral because I had a job interview in Helena. I'm still upset by that; I should have been with family and the deck was stacked against me from getting that job from the start. After Auntie DD passed away, I got a call from my cousin Candice asking if I wanted Grandma Mayer's dining room set and hutch, and if I did I could have them and whatever was in it. I went and got the furniture and whatever was in the hutch, and I'm sure glad I didn't pass those up. After all the grieving had subsided, I went through those boxes and got to looking at one of the china patterns-that wasn't Grandma Mayer's fine china, that was Auntie Betty Jo's! What a treat!
Auntie Betty Jo's china pattern was Briar Rose by Schumann and is made in Bavaria. This set is so Auntie Betty Jo! The pattern is a pretty pink rose with light lavender highlights and yellow centers, with mint green leaves, on white china with gold trim. The shape of the plates is very fancy-just like Auntie Betty Jo! Alas, there was but a few pieces in that hutch, but I plan on adding to the set over time.
For this setting, I used Great Grandma Mayer's Coronation flatware, to bring three generations of Mayer women together. Longchamps by Cristal d'Arques (various sources) was used for the stemware, and in a complete drink service-water, champagne, white wine, red wine and port. I kept the Meadow Butterfly table cloth in pistachio (Bed, Bath and Beyond), but used a napkin in rose quartz from Tablecloths Factory, using two colors Auntie Betty Jo loved to combine-green and pink. I chose silver plated salt and pepper shakers by Weidlich Brothers (Lucke silver collection, private sale) because the shape went so well with the china. I chose my beautiful newel-post-electric-lamps-turned-candelabra (thrift store) for the centerpiece, and in the middle is a large ruffled Fenton Art Glass vase in milk white hobnail (thrift store) filled with wild geranium, found in our Bear's Paw Mountains south of Havre.
On the Pepin Sideboard are the dessert and tea service. Dessert was served on the matching Briar Rose oval tray and on Briar Rose salad plates. The gravy for the potatoes was served from the antique sauce boat (thrift store). Tea cups and saucers in white china with a gold double-band trim by an unknown manufacturer (rummage sale) are ready for tea, served from a tea service from the Lucke silver collection.
Update on those candelabra: I posted them on a local Facebook page and didn't think I would get a response, but I did! The poster said they belonged to her parents, who got them in St. Louis. She said they liked to buy salvage like that and fix them up or modify them and sell them. So, now I know where they come from!
On the menu was:
Mixed Spring Greens with Green Goddess Dressing
Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Peach Glaze
Lemon Cake with Butter Cream Frosting