Showing posts with label COTTON PICKING TABLESCAPE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COTTON PICKING TABLESCAPE. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I grew up in "cotton country", and moved back to the same cotton-growing area as an adult. Growing up in this part of Arkansas, there were several expressions that were a normal part of our language, and I didn't realize until I moved away that they were not part of everybody's vocabulary! One of those expressions was "cotton is king". Our neighbor, Memphis, had a festival every year called the "King Cotton Festival". Cotton production was such a major part of our economy at that time that the expression made a lot of sense.

Another expression that was used in my area of the country was "not a cotton-pickin' thing" or more often, "not a cotton-pickin' thang". Many times this would be the response to the question "what are you doing". This expression doesn't make sense, because picking cotton by hand (which is what was done when I was growing up) is not a "doing nothing" kind of job. I know about picking cotton, because when I was growing up our town hosted THE National Cotton Picking Contest (of course, nobody said "picking" - the word was "pickin'"). Eventually, although cotton farming remained a stable in our area, other industries and businesses became more important, and the Cotton Picking Contest disappeared.

Cotton is picked (usually by machines now) and taken to the gin in the fall. This time of the year, I still get nostalgic for the old cotton picking contest; for the sounds and smells of the gins working into the night (modern technology has allowed gins to function without noise); and streets littered with enough cotton to make it look like it has snowed on the edge of the yard (when I was growing up, cotton was thrown loosely into the back of large trailers and taken to the gin. A lot of cotton was lost between the farm and the gin. Now, cotton is tightly packed and bundled into truck-size modules to go to the gin, and there is very little cotton litter on the roads.)

Yes, I do have a tablescape today. I just got a little sidetracked (or maybe a lot). I know - you're not surprised. Sorry-I just needed to reminisce for a little bit. In celebration of cotton going to the gin (and in memory of the former glory days of growing cotton in the Delta), I am sharing a Cotton Pickin' tablescape.

Okay, now I have to laugh out loud at myself! I bought these place mats at a garage sale one time. They have cotton bolls painted on the corner of them. When I tried to use them the correct way, the beverage glass had to be placed right on top of the painting of the cotton boll, so I turned the place mats the wrong way. Now that I'm looking at my pictures on this post, I realize the cotton boll is probably supposed to be in the bottom left corner instead of the top right!! Oh well, maybe I'll remember that the next time I use them. (So, if I am still blogging next fall, and if I do another cotton tablescape, you can laugh out loud when I forget all about this little revelation I just had and turn the mats the wrong way again!)

That's a miniature cotton bale being used as a bread-serving table.

A framed painting of cotton bolls serves as a tray in the center of the table.

Cotton boll glasses were a wedding gift 40 years ago. At that time, it was a "must" for any bride in the Delta to receive at least one set of cotton boll glasses! (I'm telling y'all this, because I know all of you want to rush right out and see if you can buy some 40 year old cotton boll glasses!) I stenciled the cotton bolls on the fabric for napkins years ago. I used to have eight of them, but stains have caused them to dwindle down to four. Salt cellars belonged to my grandmother. Flatware - Target. Metal chargers, Green plates - Estate sales. I think the wine glasses and decanter were a gift, but I've really had them way too long to remember.

Thank you so much for your visit. I'm still sending cards to Katherine and to Andrew (If you'd like to send cards to them, please see my sidebar for directions). Don't forget that you can find links to all of the wonderful Blogville tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch. laurie