Monday, August 06, 2012

Beat the heat: Placemats

It is still hitting 100 degrees each day here and I am looking for ways to hang in there for the duration of the summer.
Yes, we do have AC, but unless I just hole up all day I still find myself getting heated up as I go about my day.
Sooo....I decided to set our dining table to add a beachy vibe to our house.
I started with seashore bird themed place mats.

Added ceramic sea shell with real shells inside.

A few plants and the scene is cooler.
When clear glass goblets and white dishes are added it feels even more like a bit of the sea shore.
(I must confess that unless I set place mats, napkins and a center piece of some sort on our dining table the table quickly become the landing zone for all sorts of paper work and stuff  that needs to be put away at  some vague later time.  Having the table semi set seems to help stop that from happening.  Just a tip for others with clutter magnetic dining tables like mine.)

Now about the place mats...

I've had them for several years. I actually got them on ebay.

They were acquired during a hot Houston summer that seemed endless to me.
I was looking for something that would help set a summery mood that would be cooling.

They are Pimpernel place mats.
Pimpernel traditional place mats first came into my world back in the 1980s when I visited the UK and bought a snack set sized set that featured British wild flowers.
I used them each spring and summer on my end tables; ice tea glasses can be placed on the acrylic surface and the "sweat" of the glass does the place mat no harm.
They land on my end tables around March and stay there until autumn when they are changed out for a more wintry themed mat.
If you haven't explored Pimpernel place mats, you might want to go to "Pimpernel place mats" and be ready to find a vast world of art for one's table.
I have found older no longer available designs available on ebay and keep an eye out for them at estate sales and such.

Daughter Laura brought me a full sized set of Pimpernels from Sweden; that set featured the art work of Carl Larsen.

I love his capture of homey scenes of his home and family back in the late 1880s.

The Swedish set add color to our kitchen table.
The acrylic surface is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth, and the cork back side is substantial enough to keep the place mats in place.
I have a couple of place mats with a Christmas theme as well.
Have you ever owned Pimpernel place mats or coasters?
What themes were yours?
How are you getting through the hot days of summer where you live?