Monday, May 6, 2013

Franciscan Picnic Tablescape

1973 was the year Franciscan China brought out Picnic - a big, bold, brazen pattern that is heavy and different from other dishware of that period. The color and style is reminiscent of that decade. Remember the avocado green shag carpet craze? The Jetson's space aged house? The green and yellow color is the first thing you notice when you see the pattern. Picnic's salt and pepper shaker combination form a futuristic mound. The water goblet is straight out of George Jetson's kitchen. Most of the pieces are conspicuously over-sized.

Although not everyone's choice of dishware, Picnic can still make a nice family friendly tablescape. Pat chose it as this week's inspiration pattern. She realized that too much of this pattern can be over whelming. So, she mixed other dishware to "tone" is down a little. And to make it just a little different, Pat set each table as if it may have been set during three different decades since 1973 to show it can be fun and versatile (and timeless, too? Well, no, not really.....)

The inspiration pattern:
Over view of the tables:

Dinner in the 1970's
 Breakfast in the 1990's
 Dinner 2013
Details of each table:
Table One - Dinner in the 1970's was a simple event. Nothing fancy. Probably coffee and/or milk was served with the meal. No individual courses. No fancy napkin fold. Pat did add a bright yellow charger and used a lime green napkin for additional color.

Simple, inexpensive stainless flatware

The piece piece place setting

The bright yellow charger is Sun Yellow Color Spectrum by Mikasa

Pat used a clear water glass with the futuristic "George Jetson"-style goblet

The cup and saucer are the only pieces in this pattern of "average" size

This tall vase was used to balance the extra large coffee pot

The coffee pot is a huge, hefty 11" tall and when filled with coffee, extremely heavy

Table Two shows a possible breakfast setting from the 1990's. (Sorry, we used a current newspaper.)

Flatware is "Vault" by Gourmet Settings (satin finish with smooth handles)

The five piece place setting

The butter dish (big enough to hold a pound of butter - not just a cube)

Small pitcher is actually a gravy boat

Pat used simple glassware - "Samba" by Libby

The mug is lime green "Playa" by Tabletops Gallery

Small 17" white napkin is held by a Lime Green Napkin ring (our favorite - PVC pipe spray painted with plastic friendly Fusion spray paint)

No dinner plate here - Pat used the ample salad plate 

Debris from the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan started arriving on the North Coast of California last month

Table Three was set for use anytime.

Flatware is Noritake Iron Brown - ceramic and stainless

The five piece place setting

The yellow napkin is held by a lime green flower napkin ring

The place setting starts with a Franciscan Picnic Bread and Butter plate

The next layer is a Fiestaware Sunflower Yellow Luncheon plate by Homer Laughlin

Holding it all is the over sized dinner plate 

Pat started with a hand woven rattan charger that is almost 15 inches across

The Bread and Butter plate is Fiestaware Sunflower Yellow

Some describe the salt and pepper shakers as a "mushroom"

The flower arrangement sits in a Picnic pitcher/gravy boat

Pat mixed a Lenox Expresso water goblet with an inexpensive Dollar store flute
One last look 

Where is came from:
Picnic Dinnerware - by Franciscan China from my personal collection
Fiestaware - by Homer Laughlin from Macy's
Noritake Flatware - "Iron Brown" from Walsh's (a local store long, long out of business)
Vault Flatware - by Gourmet Settings from Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Over sized Rattan Chargers - from Costco years ago
Yellow Placemat - from Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Napkins - Hand made by Pat
Newspaper - our local daily newspaper ("The Times-Standard")


  1. I think this dishware is quite pretty. I love the "mushroom" salt and pepper shakers and the flower-shaped handles on the lidded pots. Now you have me nostalgically thumbing through my old '70s cookbooks looking at photos of food and table settings from the era!

  2. I have used Franciscan ware in the past and loved it. I have a few pieces now and need to do a table using them. Such great patterns! Loved how modern you were able to make it!


  3. Back in the '70s, I didn't like those colors or that type of pattern. NOW, I love them. It just looks so happy, especially with that yellow charger.

  4. I love this. I've never seen this pattern, but it is soooo 70's. I love seeing this. I couldn't pick a favorite, but I can say I love the mushroom s&p!!! Wonderful. xo marlis

  5. Definitely takes me back to the 70s. I so enjoy your tables for one and how you show the different details of each setting. I may be a copy cat and do a post like this sometime. '-)

  6. You chose a great vintage pattern to do these fabulous tables...they remind me of some dishes I had back in that era!
    Thanks for sharing...Happy Mother's Day.

  7. Love it. My first thought was that it would play well with Fiesta and you did just that!! Love the goblet, coffee server and the salt & pepper shakers.

  8. Thanks for your comment on my yellow depression glass. You asked me to do another setting with it so I went looking on my blog for another 'scape I thought I had done with the yellow depression glass, but only found this one where I used the hankies in another way.


  9. My parents received this set as part of their wedding registry in 1974. I "inherited" this set as a college student in 2002 and still use it to this day with my family of 5!