Romantic Vintage 1940s Parisian Valentine's Day Dessert Table

Ah, the French…what would we do without them?  Precut sticks of deep fried potatoes would not seem so exotic.  Passionate kisses involving tongues would not seem so romantic.  And what about that whole French bread pizza craze?  And for giggles let us thrown in one Luc Besson (think The Professional and 5th Element).  Gone.  All of it.  I know, I too am struggling to breathe right now.  Alright so all of that might have been a bit of a stretch.  But the one truly important thing that would vanish would be the inspiration for our take on Valentine’s this year.  Our last one if you believe the Doomsayers!  Oh emm gee, we better get started…
This year we wanted to skip the whole red and pink heart jazz and go with a more muted color scheme and sophisticated theme. Not that there is anything wrong with getting those colorful miniature cards and conversation hearts from your friends at school.  Here at Hello My Sweet, we wanted to go in a different direction.  Think more east. No, no not Asia.  Too far east.  Back it up a bit. Keep going, right there, big money, no whammies, STOP…France!
Vive La France!
I wanted to do that whole Indiana Jones red line on a map thing from Martinsville, Virginia to Paris, France.  But Mademoiselle Heather said I was on a deadline…boo! Maybe next time.  As I said before we had this look in mind about our V-Day table & printables this year.  Heather had wanted to do something feminine that included elements of old air mail envelopes, mailboxes, and love letters.  So I went about my research, and NO I do not mean playing World of Warcraft…I see you eye-balling me woman. It was then that I had my epiphany, and by epiphany I probably mean my son shot me in the head with a NERF dart.  Let’s set our table in Paris, France during wartime.  We’ll let everyone in on a day in the life of a young woman, sitting at her vanity, where she has various trinkets and recent letters from her betrothed, who has gone off to war.  I know on paper that might sound a bit heavy handed, but we can only imagine what it must have been like for so many women during the years of 1939 to 1945 to say “Au Revoir” to their men and worry for years at a time. When the guns stopped firing and the treaties were signed, their men came back, though unfortunately not all of them; to the waiting arms of the one they love.  Nothing epitomizes romance and enduring love quite like that.
With our color scheme in tow, we ventured off to do some prop shopping.  The first place we usually go is our local Jo-Ann Fabric store.  After much distraction and looking around, we decided to go with a taupe colored muslin for our “vanity” top covering.  We also picked up a length of fringe and some lace in a pale pink.  The fringe, while being a tad bit on the expensive side, was gorgeous and I had plans to spruce up a well used cake stand with it.  Since our Jo-Ann store is located in a mall, we also decided to walk on down to the Belk department store as well.  At times in the past we have found some incredible deals in their home goods department.  This time was no exception. Sitting beneath a display of glass cake platters and stands, was an unassuming & dented upside down box.  Turning it over revealed it to be this little gem.  (Boo :( it is already out of stock)  This had to be one of the largest apothecary jars I have ever seen.  Looking at the price tag of $40.00, I would’ve thought that was a fair price for it, but it was about that time I noticed a sign saying that all Home Accents products were 50% off.  Score!  A 17 inch apothecary jar for $20.00?  To be fair, this was after Christmas and we know that a lot of stores have end of year clearance sales.  We didn’t find anything else we wanted, so I went ahead and got in line to purchase my awesome find.  I handed the box over to the lady behind the counter, she then scanned it and told me the total; a whopping $10.49!  Wow.  I walked away from the counter clutching the box like a man who had just stolen something.
Photographic proof! Saving money makes our hearts smile.
I have mentioned her before in other articles, but I think it bears mentioning again since she is such a treasure trove of awesome vintage stuffs.  Cindy Robertson, Heather’s mother, graciously let us borrow some truly unique family heirlooms that we thought would look great on our vintage Valentine’s Day table.  A Sabin 9” Crest-O-Gold china plate with real 22k gold trimming, a woman’s oval mirrored vanity tray with gold filigree, a pewter jewelry box with some very intricate carvings, a picture frame from the 1940’s, a gilded plant/birdhouse stand, and several books with copyright dates ranging from 1917 to the 1930’s.  All of it, super old and super cool!
Another person we would like to give a shout out to (we’re so hip, we’re using super cool youngster lingo!) is Carmen Taylor.  Hailing from Tampa, Florida she “is the creative mastermind behind PomFlair which offers hand crafted party ware.”  We contacted Carmen through our Etsy store and pitched an offer to have some of her gorgeous wares, in particular her tissue tassel garland, on a future table for some cross company promotional goodness.  She was a great sport about it and agreed.  Unlike some other Etsy store owners, who were understandably less than enthusiastic about “loaning” out product.  We totally understand, in this day and age, people just usually don’t give you much reason to trust them.  In the end though we think we reached out and made contact with a kindred spirit, and it will surely benefit our readers and customers, both PomFlair’s and Hello My Sweets’.

Awesome Tassel Garland from Carmen of PomFlair