Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rosanna’s Second Annual Tablesetting Contest Results

I am thrilled. Contestants from all over the country sent in their beautifully creative tablesettings and told us their even more amazing stories. Judged on creativity, style and the story behind the design, the winning designs grabbed at the heartstrings and captured what the contest is all about: family, friends and the joy of living.

Our 2008 First Place winner received an award for “Creative Use of Rosanna in Bringing People Together” in our 2007 contest. This year, she pushed all the way to the top with her “Christmas in August” table setting. Congratulations Ashley Nichols-Lee of Medford, Oregon. You impressed all of us at Rosanna Inc with the way you mixed our vibrant Boho pattern, our Olive Green Napoleon Flatware and the 12 Days of Christmas appetizer plates. Such a surprising combination and a fabulous way of mixing your spring plates and everyday flatware with those special heirlooms reserved for the holidays. And using ornaments for place cards is a great, affordable idea with impact. A big A+ to you!

Second Place goes to Sheena Kelso, “The Invisible Hostess” of Seattle, Washington. Sheena’s “Glam Christmas” table setting was a sophisticated standout, inspired by our Haute Holiday collection and Black Dots plates. The dramatic red and black motif featured black stemware and red roses with mirrored trees.

We simply couldn’t stop there. We had to give out a few other awards to a handful of tables that simply could not go unrecognized.

Our “Portrait of Young Artist Award”* goes to 8 year-old Kendall Weldon of Medford, Oregon. This year she borrowed dishes from Grandma, with the hope of having her own for next year’s contest. Kendall described how fun it was to spend time with her mom participating in the contest. We loved her use of purple in her spooky autumn table. Kendall you’re a star, we’re so happy you participated. We were truly touched. *As you might recall, our Portrait of a Young Artist collection was designed by my 11 year-old daughter Francesca. We thought the award name would be perfect for this up-and-coming talent: Kendall.

“The Heart of Rosanna Award” honoree is Ann Milar of Sacramento, California. Ann’s table shows the sweet theme she created for her daughter’s 5th birthday. Homemade cupcakes and chocolate-dipped strawberries were served on our Cupcake plates, and lemonade from the beautiful teapot Ann inherited from her great-aunt was poured into our Tea’s Me teacups. This table brings many of our philosophies to life: some of life’s sweetest moments are created at the table. And the sight of a group of youngsters celebrating around a lovingly prepared table with treasures from Ann’s great-aunt too shows us that these tablesettings are not about the “things” on the table, but how we use the “things” in our life to connect to others more deeply.

“Best Accessories” honors go to Julie Seever of Lincoln, Nebraska. Her “April in Paris with Rosanna” table inspired by our Fleur plates and dressed up with our Rococo Noir black cake pedestals has us saying, “ohh la la”. She mixed vintage pieces seamlessly with new finds to create an air of luxuriousness and the feeling of Paris in springtime.

The 2008 “Couture Table of the Year” goes to last year’s overall winner, Tresa Nichols of Medford, Oregon. (Yes, the Medford designers did well again this year.) Her table takes a trip around the world via our Bon Voyage plates, stopping in Paris, Venice, London and New York. Tresa was drawn to sketch-like images of her favorite cities and she accented them with our black Dinner Party dinner plates and Rococo Noir cake pedestals, mixed with fashion-forward pink and a pretty Parisian damask. Simply chic.

“Best European-Inspired Table Award” goes to Helen Casady of Seattle, Washington. We received a number of entries inspired by Europe (which is no surprise since so many inspirations for our collections come from Europe) but this award just had to go to Helen. In her letter she reminisced about her honeymoon visit to London which resulted in her tradition of “taking tea”. Years ago Helen’s sister-in-law gifted her Rosanna Red Dot plates, and over time she’s managed to collect all the pieces of the collection. Taking tea at this table always reminds her of her sister-in-law and the wonderful memories of her honeymoon.

Honorable Mentions go to the following talented women as well:

-Brooke Weldon of Medford, Oregon (Kendall’s mom). She used our Caffe Italia dessert plates and latte cups with a Rococo Noir cake pedestal and mixed them up with some of her other favorites for the ultimate spread for enjoying coffee and cake.

-Amanda Humann of Sammamish, Washington. Amanda immersed herself in setting this table as a cure for her writer’s block. The final design helped her write and illustrate a story she was working on about four witches. (You may notice there’s no flatware on the table. Why? Because witches use wands instead.) Oh, Amanda we absolutely loved it.

-Maree Sperle of Austin, Texas. Maree told us all about her love of everything 12 Days of Christmas. Her table brought together our 12 Days of Christmas appetizer and dinner plates with many of her other 12 Days collectables including napkin rings and pear placecard holders.

-Jamee Bryant of Indianapolis, Indiana. Her “Ready to Wear” table setting was a vibrant hot pink and apple green girl-fest complete with dress forms and handbag table d├ęcor, Gerber daisy napkin rings, shoe-shaped salt and pepper shakers and Rosanna plates with various dresses.

-Anu Kapur of New York, NY. Anu loves throwing coffee and tea parties for friends. She set her table with Rosanna Cupcake plates and Caffe Italia latte cups with a gorgeous silver teapot and matching sugar bowl.

-Lyn Ferriero of Reston, Virginia. This past Mother’s Day Lyn threw a poolside luncheon for her “mom” friends to celebrate their accomplishment: their children. Lyn created an absolutely stunning table using our Black Dot plates. She hand-painted a wine glass for each mom with black dots and a personalized pink monogram initial, and her floral arrangements featured pink Gerbers and roses with green hydrangeas.

I would have loved to give every entry an award. Women around the country put so much time and creativity into their incredible table settings. We hope everyone involved will join us again next year, as we dare you all to take on those fabulous Medford, Oregon ladies! Get your friends and families together, pool your dishes, inspire each other and practice all year long.

With my deepest gratitude for the inspiration you’ve shared,