Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Woodland Tablescape

Happy Groundhog Day!!

In honor of Groundhog Day I wanted to creat a woodland table setting from the little critters that were decorating my Winter Woodland Mantel and a collection of woodland themed dinnerware that I have bought thru the years at thrift stores.  I am particularly fond of racoons,  if you have ever had a family of little racoon babies come visiting you know how hysterical they can be to watch.  The item that inspired this table was a collection of two handled soup bowls from the National Wildlife Federation decorated with various woodland animals.  Everything else used for this table was purchased over the years to go with the soup bowls and to eventually be able to create this tablescape.
You may remember the little big eyed racoons from the Thanksgiving Hunt Tablescape I created in 2013

You can see the rest of that post here ->  Thanksgiving Hunt Tablescape.  I did find another one of these cute racoon figurines last summer and used both of them in this post.

Last summer the male racoon that had been raiding our bird feeders decided to visit our patio,  he came up to the patio door and stood up (like a prairie dog) and just stared into the house.  As you might expect my four cats went into a frenzy,  little Oreo's back arched straight up into the air as she screeched a scream of the undead.  The  "boy's",  Cheetah and the Black Prince,  stood back crouching on their hind legs while emitting a low pitched growl that sent chills down my back.  Baby (my sweet little girl cat) stood back and and watched the hysteria of the the other cats.  Baby was the Grand Dame of the house,  at age seventeen she had the sense to not approach the door and stand back while the other cats went ballistic.  Now mind you that I jumped up and slammed the sliding glass door shut within a few seconds, but our visitor the wily racoon continued to stare into the house for several more minutes.
Several days later Ricky Racoon (I named the male Ricky after Ranger Rick in the children's magazine) came back and brought a lady friend with him.  The lady in question had a belly that appeared to be dragging the ground.  Again Ricky Racoon raised himself up on his hind legs and stared into the house and stayed there with his lady for several minutes.  Again the door was slammed shut.

There was a reason that the young couple started to come around the patio.  Their food sources at the feeders were empty.  Ours were empty because we quit filling them in August and September because of the abundance of seeds from the sunflowers and black eyed Susan's  around our patio provide a feast for the birds in late summer.  Norma, our next door neighbor moved away and our new neighbor not only did not fill the feeders that Norma had left behind but she threw the feeders out and removed every plant and flower in the entire yard leaving the yard barren.  My neighbor on the left had gone camping for several weeks with her husband so her feeders were all empty too. 

Now racoons tend to be very smart,  young master Ricky Racoon had noted that Boots (the stray cat) we had been feeding on the back patio would occasionally knock a few bits of dry food onto the patio so Ricky Racoon had been doing clean up duty after we were tucked in for the night.  I should imagine that his train of thought was that if I fed stray cats why wouldn't we feed him.  As the situation became more desperate for Ricky and his lady they started coming around at all times of the day and night and eating the food that had been set out for Boots.  We started filling the feeders again and our little friends did not come around for a while.

Several weeks later we were watching TV in the family room when later all holy heck broke loose.  It seemed if there were little racoon babies everywhere, darting from here to there as if they wanted to be in a thousand places all at the same time. Under the tables, between the legs of the chairs, around and around the baskets of flowers, up, down, around and around.  They were everywhere, or so it seemed because of their erratic darting maneuvers.

My cats were screeching and screaming, darting from window to window and back to the patio doors and around and around the house.  

In reality there were only four of the little baby racoon critters bouncing off of the walls on the patio, but they moved so fast that it seemed more like a dozen of the little dudes marauding like a band of banshees in the late evening hours on the patio.  The proud Papa racoon would stand back as the babies were searching out for any crumbs of food that they could scrounge up. 
But there were few scraps to be found.  We were feeding Boots and quickly removing his plate and taking the leftovers to the garage until Boots would come back to snack again before nightfall.  We had created a food shortage thinking that the youngsters would move on and find their natural food sources in the woods. Not so.....  Trash cans were spilled over at night after they were set on the curb for trash day spilling garbage onto the lawns throughout the neighborhood.  Every home where our neighbors would keep food out for their dogs and cats were visited by the racoons to scrounge the scraps that might remain in the bowls.
Finally one night when I went to bed early so that I could be to work early the next day I could hear my neighbors dog from three houses down barking incessantly.  As the minutes were dragging by listening to that dog bark non-stop I was going crazy.  I slammed the bedroom windows down and crawled back into the bed and put the pillows over my head trying to squelch the high pitched sound of the little yippie dogs barking. But to no avail.  Five or ten minutes later I ran down the stairs and stepped out onto our patio just as the owner of the offending dog finally stepped out to see what her dog was barking about.  And then the screaming started.  Oh my God!,  Oh my God,  over and over again.  She was screaming at the top of her lungs.  Her beloved little pet had been chained to the post supporting her patio cover while the marauding baby racoons were darting back and forth tormenting the little pup while they were trying to get to the dog food left in a bowl on the porch. Papa and mama racoon were prowling back and forth to protect their little babies and generally intimidating the pup while he barked and barked.  By this time all of my neighbors were out to see what the heck was going on.  The barking pup was rescued and the dog food was removed from the neighbors patio.  I gather that the HOA had something to do with providing traps, in any case the baby racoons disappeared from the neighborhood very shortly thereafter.  Papa racoon is still alive and well.

The players in this tablescape:

Tea towels bought at Marc's (my favorite close-out store) for 79 cents each,  Faux deer antlers for place cards bought at Walmart packaged at two for $1.99 per set.  These are the only two items on this table bought at retail.  Everything else was thrifted.
Sango splash plates from Goodwill at one dollar each and racoon napkin rings five in a package for $1.91 for the set at the VOA.
 Various critters and pinecone candles gathered through the years while thrift shopping.
Soup cups marked The National Wildlife Federation bought for fifty cents each a long time ago at the GW store.

Flatware thrifted over the years at the Goodwill store.
Bill Blass bark candles bought for 50 cents each from Goodwill last summer.

Adorable bear candle sticks from the VOA.

Salt and pepper shakers bought at the VOA at the some time as the Bear cups.


My ever present friend, confident, and helper Cheetah had been napping on the chair tucked under the tablecloth.  Yes I rudely awoke him for this picture.  He likes to sleep on the chair covers that I made for the chair seats before Christmas,  the chairs are sporting a fresh coat of paint too.

I will be participating at Laurie's Valentine's Day Par-Tay on Friday February 6th with a Valentine's day table that is entirely thrifted and some craft projects made with thrifted supplies.  Please stop by Laurie's on Friday and check out all of the fun!

The kitchen table is covered with craft supplies gathered at thrift stores over the years.  I have to get busy so I can participate at the Par-Tay on Friday.  Here are a few of the items I am working with for my thrifty Valentine's Day projects.

gosh,  it looks like I am going to be very busy so that I can pull this all together for Laurie's Par-tay.

Most of you know that the North Coast of Ohio as well as the entire Midwest of the country has been dealing with bitter cold and blizzard like conditions lately.  But you know what,  the sun came out and people went to work, children had snow days, and we all did just fine.


 Kids love snow days.

Have a great week and remember to thrift on ladies, thrift on......

I will see you at the following link parties:

Kathryn's Make it Pretty Monday

Susan's Tablescape Thursday 


  1. Oh I love love love this table setting. The soup cups are adorable!!! On my list this year are two-handled soup cups - I just know there are some at a yard sale with my name on them. All the critters are so cute and really add to the atmosphere.

    Loved your stories of the racoons. We have some here but they keep mostly to the woods across the street - now and then we will see one along the side of the street.

    I can't wait to see the Valentine's Day table - your ideas are so wonderful!!!

  2. The tablescape is adorable, but nothing beats your story! How crazy~!! Cute cute table. I'm working on a few things for Friday's Valentine Party also.

  3. What a wonderful table, Candy. I love the way you elevated some of the centerpiece, and all of your little critters are so cute. What great bowls. I'm always amazed at what you find at your thrift stores. And those place card holders are great. I don't think our Wal Mart had those. I laughed all the way through your story about the raccoons (I can laugh because they aren't in my back yard!) I can understand why your cats went a little crazy over the critters looking in the door. Oh my goodness, your Valentine snippets are so enticing. I can't wait to see what you post. Thank you so much for advertising my party.

  4. It crossed my mind that I or "someone" should do a Groundhog Day T'scape and here you've created a great woodland tribute! Love all the little critters you've rounded up and the way you've displayed them! I like the box in the middle as a little "den" for the animals and the birch candles on the tall candlesticks add great height. Fantastic job!

  5. What a great thrifting you have been doing over the years, Candy. Such good finds and buys. I love your woodland table and love those soup cups!.....Christine

  6. Candy, your woodland tablescape is perfect for this time of year, and especially with all that snow you are having, makes one just want to cozy up inside, around such settings, where cutie patootie critters are scurrying about, amid beautiful bark candles, and giant pine cones and acorns! Candles lit, comfort food served, great conversation in the air - bring those snow days on!

    Thanks for sharing! Keep warm!


  7. Cute a as can be and what finds you have. The Woodland theme is perfect and the little critters are too sweet.

  8. oh goodness Candy, your raccoon adventures are too much! We have them but squirrels are our biggest pests, they dig up all my flowers! Your collected woodland tableware makes a great winter table to go along with all your tales! Pure winter comfort!

  9. I'm thinking on Ricky's first visit that he just wanted to come in and play with the cats, but I'm sensing the cats were having none of that!!! Wow! Had there been no door between them that would have been quite the melee!!! I'm with Baby...just stand back and let the youngsters have at it on their own! As for the fate of the newborns...egads! I can only imagine!!! If your HOA is anything like ours, they weren't trying to show any mercy!

    Your table is really terrific! I particularly like the way you elevated the deer with the one down below. Very cool!!!

    You are a very busy lady as you prepare for the Valentine's Day partying! Good luck!!

    We got some of that snow, but mostly just a dusting. The temperatures, however, have been in the single digits. Woke up this morning and could have sworn someone turned the heat off. It was so chilly in here! The heat was on, but only on 70 while the wind chills outside were in the negative, so we had to crank it up a bit. SO cold!!!

    Have a happy weekend!!!

  10. First off...Cheetah is gorgeous! Having cats of my own, I know how those throaty yowls can make my hair stand on end and chills up my spine...it is amazing the sounds that can come out of those little kitties!
    Love the woodland table, so cute. Your attention to detail is amazing, Candy. So many little animal figurines, pine cone candles, those plates and double handled soup bowls are so perfect for this table...and of course, the napkin rings, so adorable.
    Hope you are having a good week...enjoy the upcoming weekend!

  11. Oh my! I think I have to go "a thrifting" with you, Candy! You have created the most amazing tablescape and I love the woodland theme:) Those raccoon napkin rings are simply adorable! From the soup bowls, and the flatware to the birch bark pillar candles, every detail is prettily incorporated into the theme....beautifully done! Love the deer antlers! Which section of Walmart would carry the deer antlers? Maybe I can find them at our local Walmart. Happy weekend! Hugs, Poppy

  12. I am absolutely charmed by your fabulous and fun table! Those little critters looked real! How precious and how fun that you have thrifted most everything!! I would love to have a table filled with all of these woodland friends!

  13. I was so absorbed in the racoon story that I could barely look at the photos, Of course I pinned some. Such a great table and the story should be famous. I was rooting for the family to be given a whole plate of food, but I know how that would turn out. I am currently aghast about a Mouse in the house and hope there are no little ones scurring around any time soon. We used to camp and the rascal racoons would open our cooler and came into our tent once.

  14. OMG...love it all. That table is wonderful...perfect attention to detail. Score!

  15. Oh, Candy! LOVE the stained glass centerpiece! and the silver heart ornaments...what a great idea.....love your scapes.....and I envy your "Finds"......I love shopping the flea markets and Goodwill......
    Stay warm!

  16. Candy!!

    OMG!! I do not even know where to begin!!! There are so many pretty and interesting things in this post!!

    Okay, let me start...

    All of the woodland figurines are darling!! The birch bark candles are to die for as is the flatware and the soup bowls!! And the pine cone candles!!

    Love all the Valentine's decorations look so pretty. Can't wait to see what you will do with everything!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!


  17. Your woodland table is marvelous! What a great collection of things and how great that they are all thrifted! I have a winter woodland theme on the top of my cupboard and I don't want to take it down. I will have to add some Spring touches!

  18. OMG I am exhausted after reading about the raccoons! Cute as they can be they are marauders and they can be surprisingly vicious. We've built our bird feeding station to be anti-raccoon, squirrel and chipmunk proof! They will clean your feeders out daily and they make a mess of everything. I awoke to them raiding my hummimbird feeder years ago and they didn't even care when I turned on the flood lights! Your woodland tablescape is quite a feast for the eyes! I'm sorry I missed this before. I really like those National Wildlife Federation soup bowls and they look even more interesting with the Sango dinner plates- great combo! It's still deep winter here so this woodland setting is perfect for me. I may venture towards spring themes in March though spring really won't hit here until April. This is coincidental too in that I showed a picture of one of my cats who was hiding under the table as I created my recent tablescape!

  19. Somehow I missed this post before. What a clever idea to do a Groundhog Day theme. So clever! You surely do have a lot of beautiful things. I especially love, love, love your flatware. I have never seen any like them and I am always on the lookout. Even though I think what you have shown is stunning to say the least, my favorite is your cat on the chair. So cute!