BTS Magazine March Issue 2023

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March 2023






Debbie Bietzell Taylor

Colette Kessinger

18 Tulips for Two

Betsy Harris

20 Checking on St. Patrick

Rita Davis Mitchell

22 BTS BASH 2023

26 Tulip Time

Terry R. Smith

28 Spring Is In The Air

Sherry Earp

30 St. Patrick’s Day Thrifting

Gail Lagomarsino Liotto

32 Abundance and Richness

Jon Fortuno

34 Floral Designs by Melissa Bradley Bishop

36 Shamrocks On Shamrock Lane

Phyllis Pope Hunt

38 Birds of a Feather

Lynn Hoffman Harden

40 Scotts-Irish Decent Inspiration

Kymberly Petty Emrich

42 Lilies of the Field

Rachel Doyal

44 BTS Information and Staff

45 Recommended Reading

Editor’s Thoughts

This issue is bloomin’ full of floral centerpieces (pun intended). And, the St. Patrick’s Day tables always bring a smile to my face. In addition to our beautiful tables, you’ll learn how St. Patrick’s Day is deeply steeped in religion, and interesting facts you might not have known regarding flowers. The articles are some of my favorite sections of our magazine.

For those who don’t know, BTS has a new group. BTS Magazine group was created and focuses on all things “magazine.” The weekly Magazine Worthy Wednesday posts are pinned to the “Featured” section and posted in the feed. This group doesn't allow table photos, unless they are entered in the weekly competition. We want all table photos to remain in the BTS group so that there is a clear distinction between the two groups.

Everything in our magazine is created and written by volunteer BTS members. I want to add my personal thanks to our Contributing Editors who not only proof and edit every page of the magazine, three of them also serve as BTS Magazine Administrators with me. I certainly couldn’t do any of this without their assistance. They are the BEST!

2 contents 2 Table of Contents Editor’s Thoughts 3 Feature Writers
Ireland Forever Alan Philips
Grecian Inspired
Tulip Time
Roses Are Red, My Love
Jan Wingo
15 Fun Facts About the Irish Around the World
by Erin M. Murphy
Touch of Tuscany
Inspiring Spring

Erin M. Murphy is a native New Englander, born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, now residing in New Hampshire. Erin’s passion for table settings began during a children’s finishing program where she fell in love with exquisite china, sparkling silverwareandtheoverallorchestrationofthefinediningexperience. That love later sent her to The Protocol School of Washington where she trained as a Business Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant, a decision that served her well in her marketing career andbeyond.Thediningskillsportionhasalwaysbeenherfavoritepartofanyworkshop she’s hosted. Erin hopes that today’s perception of ‘etiquette’ has transformed. She believes that dining is an art, an activity that extends far beyond the palate and elegance...awayoflife.

Melissa Bradley Bishop has always loved stories, both reading and writing them. During her 25-year teaching career, she spent many of those years writing with her students at both the elementary and high school level. While she was teaching elementary students, she started modeling the writing process by creating stories about a character inspired by her daughter. Recently she has started working on turning those stories she started with her students into soon-to-be published books. Luckily, she has an in with a publisher since her sister worked for a publishing company before venturing out to start her own publishing company that provides a one-stop service for indie authors. Melissa left teaching to join her sister at Alt 19 Creative 3 years ago. Melissa lives with her husband in Loganville, Georgia, where they enjoy cheering on the Dawgs!

Courtesy of Alan Phillips

Dinner Plates & Soup Bowl: Shamrock, Fiestaware

Salad Plates: Killarney, George Jones & Sons of England

Glass: Lismore,Waterford

Pint Glasses: Guinness

Flatware: Oneida

Napkins: Shamrock

Napkin Rings: Celtic

Vase: Belleek and fresh Daffodils

Coffee Pot: Ironstone, Independence

Creamer & Sugar: Mikasa

Irish Coffee Glasses: Libbey

Alan Phillips grew up in Sheffield, Alabama. He lived in Malibu, California, while attending Pepperdine University but eventually moved back to Sheffield, Alabama. “Being a chef for over twenty years, my tablescapes usually are inspired by the food I’m going to prepare,” Alan explained. He was also inspired because his mother’s side of the family is originally from Cork County, Ireland, coming to America in the 1840’s during the “Great Hunger,” the Irish Potato famine. Alan said, “I wanted to reflect the verdant greens I envision when thinking of the Ireland countryside.”

Courtesy of Terry Pritchard

Dinner Plates: Art Deco, thrifted

Salad Plate: Vintage milk glass, Old Colony Open

Lace,Anchor Hocking, thrifted

Small Plate: Depression glass hobnail,Anchor Hocking, thrifted

Stemware: Art Deco, thrifted

Cups & Saucers: Art Deco, thrifted

Berry Bowl: Schleiger 146 Limoges, Haviland, thrifted

Flatware: Silver plate, Wallace Hotel Lux Collection

GoldTea Spoons: HomeGoods

Chargers: Hobby Lobby

Velvet Hearts: Hot Skwash

VintageValentines: Gifted from sister

Flower arrangement: Created byTerry

TerryPritchard grew up in Illinois. She has also lived with her husband in Pullman, Washington, both working on graduate degrees. Next they moved to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where her husband was on faculty. Then onto South Dakota where they have been there ever since. “The Greek Goddess centerpiece was the inspiration for this Grecian themed tablescape. I named her Psyche, who was the wife of Eros, son of Aphrodite. In Greek mythology the couple was one of the few examples of lovers finally finding a happy ending. My choice of table components are based on the most recognized symbols of love: Hearts and Eros. Both are squarely rooted in Ancient Greece,” Terry said.


Courtesy of Cheryl Holland


Dinner Plate: DollarTree

Salad Plate: Southern Living

Stemware: Libbey Sirrus

Flatware: Gracious Goods

Napkins: Amazon

Boxwood Charger: Hobby Lobby

Placemat: Hobby Lobby

Cheryl Holland was born in Columbia, Kentucky, and lived there until she moved to Bowling Green, KY, to attend Western Kentucky University. She completed her B.A. in journalism and public relations while adding a second major in English and Literature. A master’s degree in organizational communication was earned at the same time that she joined the WKU faculty at age 21. After teaching for several years, Cheryl applied her love of magazine design to interiors, designing and remodeling many historic homes and commercial structures. Cheryl’s inspiration for this setting was her love of blue and white. “The adorable blue and white bunny plates were my starting point, and I built the setting from there,” Cheryl said. Elements of Easter and spring were used, including bunnies, carrots, and greenery. The centerpiece of bright multi-coloredTulips was the focal point of this festive table!


Courtesy of JanWingo


Dinner Plates: Pier One

Glasses: Cape Cod, Imperial Placemats: HomeGoods

Tablecloth: 2022 Bash

Coaster: Knitted by sister Candlesticks & Chargers: Butler’s Pantry

Jan Wingo was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and currently lives in Seagrove Beach, Florida. “Most of this table items were either gifted or thrifted. I especially like the glasses which are Imperial Glass Cape Cod and purchased at a shop in Arkansas. My Grandmother Hannah had these. The vintage tablecloth came from last year’s BTS Bash and was given to me on my 70th birthday by my Ladies’ Bible Study group. BTS inspires me to use my beautiful things and I love seeing everyone’s creative posts,” said Jan. She keeps her breakfast room table set at all times so it does not become a catch all for keys, bags, etc. Jan explained, “My two sisters from Memphis are BTS members, and we keep each other in mind when we are thrifting or shopping.”


It has been said that America is the most Irish country in the world and as a Boston girl, I would know.At the age of five, I had a brogue. It was ever so slight, the faintest melodious lilt rolling off my tongue. My pronunciation of ‘bathin suit’ and ‘vaulume’ left no doubt that shades of green coursed through my veins and that surely happens when you spend five days a week being taught by a nun from County Laois (pronounced leash) in parochial school.Though I outgrew the brogue, my Irish heritage proved strong. The daughter of a firefighter with the surname of Murphy, bagpipes and shamrocks were part of my upbringing.We did not wait for the month of March or St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate our Irish heritage. Corned beef and cabbage were a customary Sunday dinner and Irish bread a weekly staple.Turns out that my parents weren’t nearly as Irish as I was! It was me who identified most with our Celtic heritage, though I surely failed at step dancing because my toe didn’t seem to want to touch my bum in a tight, orchestrated way. Let it be known that I did excel in the pubs when joining in songs regaling the homeland.What wonderful memories were made.

The Irish can also be portrayed in an unfavorable manner: however, when it comes to the drink. Some equate them with ‘ramblers and gamblers’ who endure ‘seven drunken nights’ and sing out ‘no, nay, never.’ It’s such a biased stereotype.The Irish, like other cultures, show that heavy drinkers make up only a percentage of the population.The Pioneer Association, founded in 1898 as a Christian solution to the problem of alcohol, is comprised of those who completely abstain from alcohol.And let me tell you, there is nothing like a cuppa Irish tea to get you moving in the morning! Ireland, the third-largest island in Europe, holds such a special place in my heart, and my soul is most certainly ‘forty shades of green.’ With roots in County Kerry, Killarney and Castleisland, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the country –touring its rugged coasts, steep cliffs, and lush beauty from south to north – and I long to go back each day. It’s not the castles or the Blarney Stone. It’s not the Cliffs of Mohr, theWild AtlanticWay, or the countless sheep that graze the landscape. It’s something deeper and richer, filled with the wealth of unique customs, renowned traditions, and a historic legacy.Ah, bí fós mo chroí (be still my heart).

It is said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so let’s join in the craic and learn 15 fun facts about the Irish around the world.

Fact 1: Did you know that GeorgeWashington acknowledged the Boston Irish on March 17, 1776, when a new code word was ordered to pass through the Continental Army lines? “Boston” was to be answered with “St. Patrick.”

Fact 2: On January 27, 2020, it was reported that there are more than 500,000 and more than 300,000 Irish in NewYork and Boston, respectively.


Fact 3: 30.4 million American residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2019.

Fact 4: John F. Kennedy (born in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts) was the first IrishAmerican Catholic president: however,Andrew Jackson holds the most direct ties to Ireland with both of his parents born in County Antrim.

Fact 5: In 1845, nearly 2 million refugees from Ireland crossed the Atlantic to the U.S.

Fact 6: Irish-Americans helped define America as the land of opportunity.

Fact 7: Boston hired the first Irish cop in U.S. history, 1851, Barney McGinniskin. He was a quiet and respectable 42-year-old laborer.

Fact 8:As much as 30% of the police in NewYork City were made up of the Irish who moved to the U.S. By the turn of the 20th century, 5 out of 6 were Irish-born.

Fact 9: Most of America was built by the Irish, starting with railroads and canals then graduating to larger projects and skyscrapers.

Fact 10: Being or associating with the Irish during the month of March is the best feeling in the world. Because if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.

Fact 11: Up untilWorldWar II and beyond, the Australian Catholic church was essentially an ‘Irish’ Catholic church. From 1800 to the 1870s, Irish clergy were prominent in Australian Catholic history.

Fact 12: The phrase ‘Irish diaspora’ was first recorded in a 1954 book called ‘TheVanishing Irish’ but didn’t become popular until the 1990s during a famous address by President Mary Robinson, the 7th President of Ireland.

Fact 13:The Irish Harp is the national symbol of Ireland, and since the 10th century has been a vital symbol for the Irish people, representing its spirit.

Fact 14:Wikipedia lists the total of Irish people 70-80 million worldwide.

Fact 15:The oldest bar in the world is in Ireland, Sean’s Bar, which has been thoroughly researched by the Guinness Book of Records and proudly holds the record for “The Oldest Pub in Ireland.”

Irish Diaspora: Discover where all 7 million of them are now! - Celtic Titles

The Irish American identity - why does it remain so strong? (

When America Despised the Irish: The 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis - HISTORY

Irish in Australia background | National Museum of Australia (

Top 20 Irish Celtic Symbols And Their Meanings Explained (

Irish population in America by state, top ranked Irish ancestry (

13 Con’t from p 12
Courtesy of Debbie BeitzellTaylor

Dinner Plates: Royal Norfolk, Goodwill

Salad Plates: Villa Bellagio,Tabletops

Unlimited, Goodwill

Goblets: Bubble Glass,Artland, Tuesday Morning

Wine Glasses: Local winery


Placemats: DollarTree

Vase: Goodwill

Flowers: Hobby Lobby

Votives: Goodwill

Chandelier Fern Swag & Table

Runner: Michaels

Debbie Beitzell Taylor was born at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. Debbie grew up in the bay area and has lived in the South Bay for the past 39 years. She and her husband enjoy travel. For 97 days last summer, they traveled the perimeter of the US and even hit a few thrift stores along the way searching for treasures. Debbie explained, “Our love of travel plays a part in my table settings. This one was inspired by the two small paintings of the Tuscan countryside that I purchased in Sorrento, Italy. I have always wanted to recreate the feeling of being in a beautifulTuscan garden.”

Courtesy of Colette Kessinger

China: Camilla Blue, Spode

Glasses: Cherrywood, Gorham

Light Blue Tea Glasses: Whitehall

Flatware: Strasbourg Gorham

Tablecloth: Cotton cut work

Candle Holders: Twisted stem glass filled with moss and battery operated candles

Centerpiece: Loose arrangement of pink and white Azaleas, White Spirea, and Yellow Honeysuckle

Colette Kessinger grew up in Greensboro, Alabama, and has lived in Newnan, Georgia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Lexington, Virginia; and now resides in Carrollton, GA. Colette said, “My table was inspired by the hope of Spring and the loveliness of early spring flowers. All the old southern gardens of my hometown guided the selection of flowering shrubs for my garden. I often build my tables around what is currently in bloom. Using flowers from my garden coupled with one of my china sets chosen in 1958, and my mother’s crystal, Cherrywood by Gorham, makes my table complete with lovely memories.”

Courtesy of Rita Davis Mitchell

Tablescape Origin

Dinner Plates: White, Delmar Fapor

Salad Plates: Cabbage, Bordallo Pinheiro

Flatware: Bamboo, Cambridge

Water Goblets: Thrifted

Napkins: Hobby Lobby

Placemats: Etsy

Table Runner: HomeGoods

Cookie Jar and Bowl: Depression Glass, Princess,Anchor Hocking, gifted from mother

Centerpiece: Repurposed cake stand, antique white ironstone pitcher, cherry blossoms

Rita Davis Mitchell was born in Decatur,Alabama, but has spent most of her life in Georgia. She currently lives in Canton, Georgia. “My love for pretty tables comes from Sunday dinners at my great-grandmother’s house, and my love for antiques and beautiful things comes from antiquing with my mother and grandmother as a child. My inspiration for this simple table was my mother’s depression glass. I love the way it looks when the light hits it. I wanted to keep the table light as a reflection of early spring. I love mixing new finds with old treasures to create a unique look full of memories made and those yet to be,” Rita explained.

Courtesy of Betsy Harris

Tablescape Origin

China: Fantasy, Celebrate, thrifted

Crystal: Christiana Platinum, Noritake

Flatware: Louisiana, Oneida

Serving Bowl: Queens Royal

Chargers: Hobby Lobby

Napkins: White hemstitched, Amazon

Napkin Rings: Tuesday Morning

Napkin Rings: Gold plated, Amazon

Salt & Pepper

Shakers: Silver plate, vintage lovebirds, thrifted

Candleholder: Vintage silver plate, auction

Betsy Harris is a North Carolina native, and a devoted wife and mother who splits her time between her home in the Lake Norman area and her home in East Tennessee, where two of her three children reside. She is a graduate of Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC, and holds a master’s degree from John W. Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is a retired teacher and private school headmistress who is now thoroughly enjoying all of the tablescapes in the BTS group. Betsy explained, “As a lover of real floral arrangements, the sixty White Tulips were definitely the focus of this table. I have loved setting a pretty table all 37 years of my marriage to Mike, who is such an incredible enabler where acquisitions of china, crystal, and flatware are concerned!” Betsy believes the creation of a beautiful tablescape elevates even the most ordinary days and meals. She appreciates interacting with other like-minded BTS members who have created so many beautiful tables!


of BTS members. Speakers Jim Gatling, Justin Peters, and Replacements with Keith Winkler, will be at both

next table in mind! Following our daily sessions, you can shop Wetumpka t miss this spectacular event!

23 EventSponsoredby BeautifulTableSettings,LLC cont from p 22

How to Order BASH Tickets

Click on link below


24 cont from p 23


MONDAY, March 20

8:30 Check In

9:30 Welcome - May Eason, BTS Founder

Opening Prayer - Matthew Albritton, First United Methodist Church of Wetumpka

9:45 Shellie Phelps Whitfield, Director - Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce

10:00 May Eason - Mix and Match a Table

11:30 -1:30 Lunch (in 30 minute sit downs at tables and move on)

2:00 Jill Haisten and Philip Thompson

3:00 Justin Peters - Mini Antique Roadshow (private message Justin to sign-up for session)

4:00 Dismissed to Wetumpka

TUESDAY, March 21

9:30 Welcome

10:00 Keith Winkler, Replacements, Inc. 11:30 -1:30 Lunch

2:00 Jim Gatling - Master Story Teller

4:00 Dismissed to Wetumpka


10:00 - 4:00 Provisions Cheese & Wine Shoppe will be serving Wine & Charcuterie to those checking out of Session 1 and to those checking into Session 2

During Wednesday Meet & Greet Debbie & Tom Jackson - Photography Program

Keeton Lloyd - Accessorizing and Napkin Folding


THURSDAY, March 23

8:30 Check In

9:30 Welcome - May Eason, BTS Founder

Opening Prayer - Matthew Albritton, First United Methodist Church of Wetumpka

10:00 Jim Gatling - Master Story Teller 11:30 - 1:30 Lunch

2:00 Keith Winkler, Replacements, Inc.

4:00 Dismissed to Wetumpka

FRIDAY, March 24

9:30 Welcome - May Eason, BTS Founder 10:00 Phillip Thompson - Floral Centerpiece & Table Design 11:30 -1:30 Lunch

2:00 Jill Haisten - Linen & Lace

3:00 Justin Peters - Mini Antique Roadshow (private message Justin to sign-up for session)

4:00 Bye-bye till BTS BASH SPRING 2024

SATURDAY, March 25

10:00 - 2:00 Public Shopping BASH participants and the public

25 cont from p 24
Courtesy of Terry R. Smith

Tablescape Origin

Dinner Plates: Finlandia, Myott, gift from friend and BTS member Shannon Kersey

Salad Plates: BlueWillow, Johnson Brothers

IcedTea Goblets: Premiere Cobalt, Libbey, gift from daughter

Sterling Flatware: Greenbrier, Gorham, inherited from great-grandmother

Knife Rests and Salt & Pepper

Shakers: Blue Onion, Karlsbader

Zwiebelmuster, Facebook Marketplace

Solid Napkins: Cobalt blue hemstitched, Overstock

Blue &White Print Napkins: Thrift store

Silver Napkin Rings: Dillard’s Blue &White Napkin Rings: Thrifted, eBay

Blue &WhiteTable Runner: Etsy

Vase: Salvation Army

Floral Centerpiece: FauxTulips,Amazon

Terry R. Smith was born in Texas, and as an Army brat (her words, not mine), and has lived in Georgia, North Carolina, Germany, Spain, and Alabama. She lived in the Ozark and Troy, Alabama, area for 40 years, and moved to Northport, AL in 2020. Terry shared, “My table inspiration was the lovely handmade table runner. I decided to stack two of my favorite blue and white china patterns. The top section of the vase serves as a flower frog. I decided the faux White Tulips would be the perfect accompaniment to my blue and white table. Thanks to fellow BTS member and friend, Dona Adams, for sharing the Tulip information. They are the perfect permanent botanicals because they look so real!”

Courtesy of Sherry Earp

Tablescape Origin

Dinner Plates: Corsica Home, Kohl’s

Salad Plates: Hobby Lobby

Goblets: Pier One

Silverware:Wallace, JC Penney

Lilac Napkins and Floral Napkin

Rings: Hobby Lobby

Wooden Chargers: Hobby Lobby

Placemats and Green Napkins: HomeGoods

Bird and Nest Salt & Pepper: Hobby Lobby

Floral Centerpiece: Gift from son

Sherry Earp was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and lived in Smyrna and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, during her school years. She moved back to Smyrna when she married almost 50 years ago. After being sick, she was so excited that her son, Jeffery sent her the gorgeous floral arrangement. “After I received it I knew I had to set my table to showcase the floral arrangement and send him a picture of it! It definitely cheered me up and brightened my day,” said Sherry.


Courtesy of Gail Lagomarsino Liotto


Tablescape Origin

Green Dishes: 1890sWR Midwinter, thrifted

HighballTrellis glassware: 1960s 22k gold vintage, Shoji, thrift shop

Antelope Green Glasses: Thrifted

Flatware: Destiny, thrifted

Gail Lagomarsino Liotto was born on Staten Island, New York, and has lived at New Jersey Shore since 1995. “I am a “thrifter” at heart. I like to collect not only beautiful things but ordinary pieces that I can transform and arrange in creative ways. As a child I played house and always loved a beautiful table. My three daughters and I had tea parties and every occasion was huge,” said Gail. She explained that her table is 100 percent thrifted. She and a BTS friend Diane Scrudato enjoy going to thrift shops together. Gail added, “I have been inspired by BTS to set all sorts of tables!”


Courtesy of Jon Fortuna


Tablescape Origin

China: Spring, Royal Crown Derby, inherited from mother

Sterling Flatware: Sir Christopher, Wallace, inherited from mother

Crystal: Henley, Hawkes, and Franciscan, Tiffin with fuschia etching, inherited from grandmother

Napkins: Antique damask, inherited from mother

Napkin Rings: Sur LaTable

Tablecloths & Chargers: Amazon

Figurines: 18th century Meissen, inherited from Mother

Floral Arrangement: Meissen Fruit Compote, Doyle’s NewYork

SterlingTray: Inherited from Godmother

Jon Fortuna is originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and currently lives in Houston, Texas. He’s an interior designer and has always had an interest in a well appointed table. “It is something that I inherited from my Mother and Grandmother Olga, both of whom were wonderful cooks and hostesses and set a formal table every evening whether we had guests or not. My inspirations for this Thanksgiving table were the antique Meissen pieces. The figurines were Mother’s, and the compote was an amazing auction find. I wanted the centerpiece to convey feelings of harvest and abundance without using the expected autumnal color scheme. I love my Mother’s Royal Crown Derby Spring and think the colors worked beautifully into the concept of abundance and richness without being something expected,” said Jon.


Floral Designs

Floral centerpieces have long been a beloved feature of table settings and event décor.Whether they are an eye-catching addition to a wedding reception or a charming detail at a dinner party, these arrangements have a rich history that dates back centuries.They add color and texture to the environment and can create a cohesive theme for an event.A well-designed floral centerpiece can serve as a focal point and draw the eye, creating a visual anchor for the room.

One of the primary benefits of floral centerpieces is that they can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Flowers have a unique ability to elicit emotions and can create a feeling of calmness, relaxation, and joy.They can help to create a welcoming environment for guests and can set the tone for the event.

Floral centerpieces are not only visually appealing but also have practical benefits.They can help cover unsightly aspects on a table or other fixtures in the room.They can also help to create a sense of intimacy and privacy for guests by dividing up large spaces into smaller, more intimate areas.

In addition to their aesthetic and practical benefits, floral centerpieces can also serve as a way to communicate with guests.The flowers and colors used in the centerpiece can convey a specific message or theme, making it a powerful tool for those who love to set a beautiful table.

So where did this idea of floral centerpieces come from? Flowers and plants have been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years.The use of floral centerpieces in ancient times was no exception, with the beauty and symbolism of flowers in their everyday lives.

The first florists can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Florists were commissioned to design very highly stylized wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces to be used in processions, burials, and temple offerings. Many ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs depict arrangements of lotus and papyrus in vases on tables as well as being carried by men and women.

The ancient Greeks were known for their love of flowers. Many of their arrangements included hyacinths, honeysuckle, roses, lilies, tulips, larkspur, and marigolds.They also used decorative herbs, like rosemary, flowering basil, and thyme.They were also often used in religious ceremonies and celebrations. During the Olympic Games, victors were often crowned with a wreath made of olive branches and flowers. In addition, flowers were used as offerings to the gods and placed to honor the dead. One of the most significant uses of floral centerpieces was during the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a secret religious festival that took place in honor of the goddess Demeter.The festival involved a procession where worshippers carried floral baskets, called kantharoi, filled with flowers, fruits, and other offerings to Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

Like the Greeks, the ancient Romans used floral centerpieces in religious ceremonies and celebrations. They also used flowers as decoration in their homes and gardens. During the festival of Floralia, which honored the goddess Flora, flowers and plants were scattered throughout the city. Many ancient Roman art pieces depict arrangements as well. Roman floral design took elements of Greek floristry and infused more regal and elaborate design aspects into their style. Roses and violets were utilized, along with exotic flowers, such as oleander, myrtle, crocus, amaranth, ivy, and laurel which they acquired through trade. One of their lasting impacts on the practice of arrangements is the tradition of placing flowers at burial sites.

Floral arrangements also have a long and rich history in both ancient China and Japan. In ancient China, flower arrangements were typically used for religious ceremonies and as offerings to ancestors.The arrangements were often simple, using a limited number of flowers, with great emphasis placed on the symbolic meaning of each flower. In contrast, in ancient Japan, the art of floral arrangement, or Ikebana, developed into a highly sophisticated and intricate art form, with a focus on minimalism and the natural beauty of the flowers. Ikebana became an integral part of Japanese culture, and the practice continues to this day. Both China and Japan have made significant contributions to the art of floral arrangement, and their distinct approaches and styles continue to inspire and influence modern floral design.

Throughout history, floral arrangements have been an essential element of many cultures and traditions. From ancient times to the present day, people have used flowers to celebrate life, mark significant events, and pay respect to the deceased.The art of floral arrangement has evolved in many different ways across the world, with each culture bringing its unique approach and style to the practice.Today, floral design has become a highly respected and specialized field, with professionals utilizing their skills and creativity to create breathtaking works of art.Whether it’s for weddings, funerals, or a tablesetting, flowers continue to captivate and inspire us with their beauty and symbolism, making them an enduring and cherished part of human history.

“A Brief History of Floral Arrangements” by Sarah Gerrish,Architectural Digest, May 2018

“The Fascinating History of Flower Arranging” by Katya Shynkaruk, House Beautiful, July 2019

“Flower Design Through the Ages” by KevinYlvisaker,American Horticultural Society, 2018

“The Evolution of Floral Design” by Jane Packer, Floral Design Magazine, 2012

35 Con’t from p 34
Courtesy of Phyllis Pope Hunt

Tablescape Origin

White Plates: JC Penney Home

Cabbage Plates: Maxcera, HomeGoods

Stemware: Jomop, Amazon

Flatware: Oneida, Dover, wedding gift

Chargers: Hobby Lobby

Napkins: Created by Phyllis

Tablecloth: Storehouse, St. Patrick, HomeGoods

Centerpiece: Items gathered from the house

Candles and Coins: DollarTree

CandleWraps: Created by Phyllis

Votive Cups: Clear glass, gold leafed by Phyllis

Phyllis Pope Hunt lives in Piedmont, Alabama, where she grew up and married her high school sweetheart. Following college graduation, she briefly taught school before marrying and starting a family. She has two children and four grands who all live in other states. They visit in the summer, and because three of the grands have summer birthdays, Phyllis creates a themed party for each one. “We’ve had some pretty unusual tablescapes, from Peppa Pig to the penguins of Antarctica! So much fun!” she explained. Phyllis now works with her attorney husband, Alan, as a legal assistant/office manager and operates her handmade jewelry company, Blue Willow Bracelets, named after her love for blue and white china. “I joke that I work for Alan during the week and he works for me on the weekend. However, green has always been my favorite color. I love all shades. So, that made doing this St. Patrick’s table even more enjoyable. Although it’s a simple table, the many shades of green make it visually rich to me.And, we just happen to live on Shamrock Lane!”


Salad Plate: Game Birds of theWorld, Franklin Mint

Flatware: Royal Danish, International Sterling

Crystal: Optic Montaigne, Baccarat

Salt Cellars: Baccarat

Pepper Shaker: Sterling top on glass, antique store in Paris

Placemats: Hester and Cook

Napkins: Buffet Collection,World Market

Lynn Hoffman Harden is a native Californian and grew up in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the last 30 years she has lived in the Portland, Oregon, area in a suburb called Lake Oswego. “My career has been in the clothing industry as a ladies’ sportswear buyer, owning a screen printing business, followed by manufacturing and importing children’s clothing from Thailand. My love for table setting began in the eighth grade. I attended private girls school, and since there were no boys around, we had to occupy our time with something. They had a table decorating contest. I entered a picnic themed tablescape, made a tablecloth in the image of a watermelon and had the whole table set on the floor with picnic basket and other picnic accessories, and I won! The inspiration for my BTS table was the fall season. I purchased some paper placemats from Hester and Cook that had large pheasants on them, and I decided to expound on that. I used a lot of my bird figurines to complete the table,” Lynn explained.


Tablescape Origin

Dinner Plates: BlueWillow

Black Plates: Goodwill

Cobalt Blue Glasses: DollarTree

Green Glasses: Facebook Marketplace

Postcards: Amazon

BeehiveVases: Goodwill

Table Runner: Hobby Lobby

Blue/Green/Black Ribbon: Hobby Lobby

Candle Holders: BlueWillow

Irish Dancer Music Box: Thrifted

Kymberly Petty Emrich was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, and is a 7th generation Williamson countian. “My beautiful log home was a revolution grant property, the original section of the house was built in 1796 before Franklin became a town. I am a retired Victims Advocate, for victims of violent crime, with the District Attorney’s office. At the age of 14, my Dad gifted me a camera he purchased while stationed in Japan, thus began my lifelong love of photography. I am an avid hiker, mainly so I can get amazing landscape photos, a love hate relationship. I have always had a dish fetish, and love to set a beautiful table to enjoy. I raised four boys, so a beautiful table was my only feminine outlet during that season of my life. I grew to cherish this art. I am of Scotts-Irish decent and St Patrick’s is always a fun time to decorate a table,” Kymberly explained.

Courtesy of Rachel Doyle

Tablescape Origin

Green Glass Plates: Corelle Festiva

Clear Glasses: Dollar Store

Stainless Flatware: JC Penney

Napkin Rings: Tortoise Shell, personal collection

Rachel Doyle was born and raised in Carlisle, Arkansas, attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, earning three degrees. She taught at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, before going to law school at Emory in Atlanta, Georgia. Rachel moved to the Dallas, Texas, area in 1985 where she has remained. Her love for pretty table settings has grown over the years, limited only by storage availability. Rachel found a remnant of the Day Lily fabric several years ago and made a small tablecloth and a few napkins. Rachel said, “When Day my Day Lilies began to bloom, I knew I had to use them together, even if the tablecloth was too small for a table of 12. Solution: a‘table runner.’"


The Best of BTS magazine is created, written, and digitally published by Beautiful Table Settings member volunteers in collaboration with the BTS Facebook group. BTS magazine reserves the right to edit all material for clarity or space availability, and to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication. No reproduction of online materials is permitted without the written consent of the Editor.


Langston Berzins, Ranae B. Coheley, May Ridolphi Eason, Janet George Herald, Beverly B. LeBoeuf, Robin Shamblin, Grace Skidmore

We invite you to join our Beautiful Table Settings Facebook group, currently comprised of 162.8K members. May Ridolphi Eason founded the group in 2019 to share collections, ideas, and tablescape designs. We invite you to post a photo, pattern, manufacturer, origin and inspiration. Photos to be entered in the friendly weekly competition should be posted on the new BTS Magazine group under the Magazine Worthy Wednesday weekly post that is pinned to “Featured” at top of the page. Show your creativity and enjoy that of others!

Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kathy S. Waldrop
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kiecha
Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erin M. Murphy, Melissa
BTS Facebook Group Founder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May
Bradley Bishop
Ridolphi Eason

Recommended Reading

Learn the secrets to designing show-stopping monochromatic floral arrangements. In this stunning book, renowned floral designer Kiana Underwood shares her techniques for creating beautiful single-color displays using inspired ingredients dramatic textures, and vibrant colors. The ultimate resource, Color Me Floral, has an extraordinary arrangement to enhance every occasion.