Search This Blog

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Sporting Life - Canine Style

I have quite a treat for you today.  While visiting my family in Cleveland last week, I visited Rebecca and Derek Smith in their new home that sits on twenty four acres with multiple outbuildings.  "New" is a relative term.  It is actually an architecturally significant Century home in Chagrin Falls.  They have JUST moved in and are truly still in the middle of boxes and remodelers.  I am so grateful that she agreed to collaborate on a couple of tablesettings with her beautiful dishes and accessories.  Rebecca is the owner of Rebecca Ray Designs, a company that celebrates the sporting life, and you can see one of my previous posts  featuring her goods here.

We were able to set three placesettings at the end of the dining room table and I bet you can't tell that the other end of the room is filled with boxes and packing paper and even Derek's laptop set up on a stack of cardboard!  Boy!  I was asking a lot to do this.  Thank you, guys!  Note the black framed oil beside the's their daughter, Lizzie in her first horse show and Rebecca's mother, Ann painted it.  I tell's a talented family!

Have you ever heard of Marguerite Kirmse?  You can read about her here.  She is an English artist from the late 1800's who did these etchings featured on these plates by Wedgewood.  We chose three different designs to feature on this table.

You can see more of her images here.  I jumped at the chance to use these, but stopped jumping when Rebecca told me what they were worth!!!  I handled them very gingerly after that.  Of course, I was even more drawn to them when I saw the acorns on the borders.

Here's a close-up of the Cocker Spaniel artwork. 

And here's the back of that plate.

To say that Rebecca knows her dogs is sort of an understatement.  She breeds and shows English Setters and her mother, Ann Yuhasz, is a rather big deal in the dog judging world. Her kennel is called Hemlock Lane and their champions have shown at places like Westminster Kennel Club Show to name drop just a bit.   You can see some images of her dogs here.

Here's doggy love for you!  It's their daughter, Lizzie, with one of their puppies. Because of this love of dogs,  their collections are impressive.  You'll find a treasure trove of dog and horse related items in their home and outbuildings.  Most of them or vintage or antique. 

 Here's what we chose to feature in on this table:

These vintage, taupe-on-cream linens support the colors of the plates.  We placed them directly on the  lovely old Baker inlaid table. These napkin rings are from the Rebecca Ray collections.  They come four to a set and are different dogs or horses.  These reproductions of old brass encircled rosettes are handmade for the company by the Amish community in nearby  Middlefield, Ohio.  They show up on many of her purses and accessories and can be customized to your taste.   

Here's the sweet Beagle face......

and here's the King Charles Spaniel.  I featured my set of equestrian themed rings in a post I did called "Giddy-Up".  You can see it by clicking here.

Rebecca just opened the doors to her china and glassware storage closets for me and I chose these engraved wine glasses to go with this placesetting.

They are from an old Seder set that has been in her family for years and years.  Aren't they special?

The horn handled knife is paired with vintage silverplate.

Look closely at the knife rests!

These salt and pepper shakers are made in Japan.  These guys don't look very happy to be here, but are very sweet and perfect for the tone of the tablescape.

At two of the placesettings, I placed these tiny spill vases with a few wildflowers from the yard.  What a nice pair, not totally matched, but facing each other.  Love them! 

Then, the third place got this little pair of paper mache dogs in the same colors.  I just walked around and "shopped" her shelves to find them.

Let's look at the center of the table. 

As a divider, we chose this remarkable alabaster setter.  It almost took both of us to lift it!  For right now it has found a place in a dry sink welcoming guests as they come in the front door.  As she unpacks, it could probably end up anywhere, I suppose.

Then we added one of a pair of bronze bookends. You'll find several sets of these around the house.

And.....trumpet fanfare, please.....these French chalk dog heads that usually hang in the hallway. I've tried to research them from the markings on the back and I can't find anything.  They are engraved M(H?)alide Suepteur Edite Paris.  It's hard to read.  If any of you know anything further, please let me know.  I. Love. These.

And then there's this waif-like little bronze guy.  I chose him because I just loved his face.

See what I mean?

I couldn't help sticking my hand into that china cupboard you see and finding this to use for the wine coaster.

Here's the marking on the back.

And they just happened to have the perfect bottle of wine to put on it.

Who wouldn't want to sit at this table and dine?  Especially with the comfort of the Rebecca Ray leather and canvas pillow with genuine horse harness fittings?  It sits on one of the 18th century tole, rush-seat chairs. 

You'd never know by the look of this serene table that uninvited guests were dropping in, Rebecca was late for the Western Reserve Dog Show, Derek was in the midst of bank negotiations, Lizzie was looking for lunch, and about six dogs needed to be fed.  They were so gracious to me.  Their mind-set was putting things away, and I was taking them out right and left. I wish them well in their new home.  May they fill it with love and laughter. 

I think you'll agree they are "best in show"!

My next post will be the same table done in an equestrian theme with her unique finds and dishes.  You'll love it!

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Open House Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Fridays Unfold

Seasonal Sundays

Let's Dish


  1. How lucky to have a friend like that! I would be in dish heaven!!! Great table and I can't wait to see the Equestrian table.

  2. Wow. I love dogs, so I think this table is fantastic!!! Of course we are horse people, too, so the equestrian table will be fun to see, too!!!

  3. What a fun post! I love seeing all the wonderful dogs. Can't wait to see your equestrian table.........Sarah

  4. LOVE the Spaniel plate. Do you know the maker??

  5. Oh my goodness. This is unreal. I love all the dog china and accessories. Such stunning tablesettings. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  6. Love the dog inspired tablescape! We have a German Shorthaired Pointer and just would LOVE to have an English setter too! :)

  7. Be still my heart. I love these dog dishes! The little bronze dog is wonderful.

  8. Great table! I love all the details...and all dogs!
    I am waiting for the horses.
    Besos from Argentina, Silvina.

  9. Lucky you to get to play with such magnificence! I love those napkin rings. I must go check them out.

    - The Tablescaper

  10. Oh my~ I have serious dog dish/napkin ring envy!! What fun for you to have access to all that Best in Show DOG LOVE :)

  11. Oh yeah, I'm feeling almost like Mary...very DOG envious! I love those dishes, they're gorgeous, along with the napkin rings, so special! I have a dog collection, so I have all canine pertaining things so close to my heart. Love it, love it! You are lucky too.

  12. Another beautiful table to love! I especially love the napkin rings and the knife rests but I love everything!..Christine

  13. Wow, dog plates too. How cute they are and make such a good table.

  14. I adore as in love, love, love those plates! My grandparents lived in Lyndhurst, Ohio and whenever I visited them we used to drive out to Chagrin Falls and Gates Mills. I was in a horse show in Gates Mills once too. What a beautiful area and I miss it. I will visit Rebecca! Thanks for a lovely post and reminding me of happy memories.

    Susan and Bentley

  15. This was A fun post for me, first I live about 20 miles from Chagrin Falls, then We had a Brittany Spaniel growing up and had had English Springer Spaniel years ago. thanks for sharing


Please let me know what you think of this posting. I treasure your comments and love the feedback.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...