Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Radiant Orchid for 2014

This post is dedicated to my mother-in-law whose favorite color was orchid/lavender. Perhaps her name, Viola [a genus of flowering plants in the violet family], shaped her fondness for the delicate shades in the purple palette. The picture below was her engagement picture taken in 1943.  She was a tea drinker who particularly enjoyed Bigelow's Constant Comment tea.  She succumbed to cancer in 1998.

On January 8, one of the creative members of Afternoon Tea Across America [an e-group I belong to] wrote a post informing us: "Pantone, which creates palettes for the home, fashion, and graphic-arts industries, named "Radiant Orchid" as its 2014 Color of the Year, calling it a 'captivating purple that draws you in with its beguiling charm'."  A spokesperson at Pantone said Radiant Orchid is an enchanting harmony of fuchsia and purple with pink undertones.  Wedding planners are predicting it will be a popular color in weddings this year.

The member presented a challenge to the group to see how many ways the color orchid could be incorporated into a tea party - be it tablescape linens and china, flowers, decorations, food, invitations, clothing and jewelry, or anything else applicable.

The mother and daughter duo at Miss Spenser's blog belong to the e-group, and Spenser wrote a lovely post about Radiant Orchid.  Go here to read it, if you haven't done so already.

The challenge sent my mind swirling.   I don't have any orchid linens, and I don't recall  ever seeing any in stores.  Have you?  Maybe that will change this year!

I do, however, have a few china pieces in the orchid color palette that I photographed for today's post.  The hand-painted Lefton china trio below was given to me by a friend of my mother's when I was still in high school.  That was long before I had an appreciation for beautiful dishes and tea, but it survived until I was ready to enjoy it.

The teacup below is a Royal Albert, and is part of their 100 year commemorative tea cup collection I was gifted with.  The pattern is Hartington Lane, manufactured in 1990 with clusters of lilacs adorning it.  I love the fragrance of lilacs in the springtime, don't you?

When my hubby and I visited Scotland in 2001, I got the Highland China trio below.  The thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland.

The Royal Albert tea set below, is called English Chintz [from the 1940's], and is also a part of the 100 year commemorative collection.

My birth month is February, and the month's designated color is purple.  February's flower is a violet or iris, and the birthstone is Amethyst.   The only jewelry I have in the orchid color palette are two birthstone rings, pictured below.

While searching the Internet for orchid linens I came across a blog called Swede that had a gorgeous orchid tablescape posted in 2011.  The author of the blog made her tablecloth.

[Photo courtesy of Swede blog ]

There are no orchid garments in my wardrobe, so I selected someone else wearing a garment in the orchid color palette.  Isn't Kate stunningly beautiful?

[Photo courtesy of www.express.co.uk]

Lastly, orchid colored food for a tea party - a frozen yogurt butterfly...

[Photo courtesy of bentoriffic.com]

accompanied by orchid colored French Macarons.  Yum!

[Internet Photo]

I hope you've enjoyed viewing this post as much as I've enjoyed putting it together.  Thanks for the inspiration, Martha!

Can you visualize hosting a tea party in 2014 with Radiant Orchid as the theme color?

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Today I'm joining:
Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Artful Affirmations for Teacup Tuesday
Antiques and Teacups for Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea


  1. Beautiful all around, especially your MIL!

  2. With February being your birth month, purple from violets is a natural for you! I don't have much in that color in my wardrobe...but just bought a down coat on sale and it is purple....the first coat I have had in the color...I like it! I love your china pieces. So pretty, and lovely photos. Thanks for sharing and linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  3. Your MIL was beautiful, as are those amazing tea cups. Love your post today. Blessings, Martha

  4. I think a "Radiant Orchid" toned tea party would be delightful! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your beautiful china as well as the pictures you found in your search, and the picture of your lovely mother-in-law. That trio you received while in high school is GORGEOUS - but it all is, it's hard to pick out a favorite. I think some macarons and a yogurt butterfly are a great start to orchid tea treats.

  5. What a lovely picture of Mrs. Barkey. It's looks just like her. So young and so pretty.

  6. What a beautiful, vibrant color! Love the first teacup you showed and your mother-in-law was a very pretty young lady.

  7. What a sweet and dear post. Your Radiant Orchid theme post is visually stunning! Just so much beauty to see. Thank you for sharing : )

  8. An orchid is not only a beautiful flower but a beautiful colour. I do happen to have a few things in my wardrobe in that colour although it is not my best colour. I have that same February teacup and I adore the English Chintz from the '40s. It certainly is a beautiful pattern. You blogged an interesting post, Phyllis, and thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you for coming to tea.


  9. I have many things in shades of lavender, which could include the new radiant orchid. I've had a tablecloth with matching napkins for some time and do wear a lot of the colour too.
    My birth month is February also and I have some lovely amethyst jewelry from hubby. My mother loved purple (her BD was 5 days before mine) and now I have a granddaughter loving the colour. Maybe it's in the genes?
    Your mother was a beautiful woman Phyllis and I'm sure she's smiling down at your orchid tea party. It is special for me loving the colour.

  10. How fun to see your post about “Radiant Orchid”, Phyllis. The frozen yogurt butterflies are a great idea for a tea party in this theme.
    You have some beautiful examples in your china pieces and how special to know it was your mother-in- laws favorite color.
    I have always loved any shade in the purple family so enjoyed your post about this a lot.

  11. What a sweet photo of your husband's Mother and a lovely tribute to her with her name. I love all your pretty teasets!

  12. Congratulations on your anniversary! Your purple post is quite pretty. Loved the yogurt butterfly.

  13. Happy 500th post! Quite an accomplishment!

    I also am a February gal and I love anything with violets on it. I have a collection of cups & saucers that are just violets, some were my Mother's. Plus two teapots with violets from special people. My sweet hubby even gave me a vintage set of dinnerware with violets on it.I fell in love with them and proclaimed them the "Easter Dishes". It's been a tradition in our family for many years now. I have a little granddaughter that was born on Valentines Day almost 7 yrs ago and my violet collection will be hers some day!

    Blessings, Edie Marie

  14. Love that beautiful picture of your mother-in-law, as well as all the great photos illustrating your interpretation of the new color of the year!


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