Hollywood Fright Night

Who says just because you’ve passed on to “the other side” that you can’t dine in luxury?

Join these legendary ladies of Hollywood’s most spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat, wet-your-pants movies for a ghoulish yet stylish midnight supper. They’re just dying to have you for dinner…literally!!! Among the once shining stars on the guest list: Carrie White (Carrie, 1976), Regan Macneil (The Exorcist, 1973), Annie Wilkes (Misery, 1990), Kayako Saeki (The Grudge, 2004; The Grudge II, 2006 and The Grudge III, 2009), Baby Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, 1962), Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, 1992), Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard, 1950), and the elusive Mrs. Bates (Psycho, 1960).

No graveyard soiree for these former stars of stage and screen!

 

Because mystery men from their Hollywood heydays have fresh flowers delivered to their graves each week, there are plenty to decorate the table. Because I learned my lesson from the fiery centerpiece disaster on a windy night last month AND because the ladies get enough real fire in hell (we assume that’s where all these dastardly divas are spending eternity!), I used LED candles all around.

 

 

For each special lady, a black napkin folded into the shape of a clutch bag with a carnation embellishment. Of course, nothing but silver and our best crystal will do!

 

Creepy crawly friends check out the table arrangements.

 

Two gnarled branches of a manzanita tree grace the center of the table with gleaming silver candlesticks, cut crystal votive holders, and an array of cut crystal vases filled with pink carnations and roses.

 

Oh, no! There’s a big bloodsucking bat coming toward you and a snake in the branches!!! A couple of the ladies must have brought their agents along!

 

Ooooh! And there’s a sneaky spider. Another lady must have brought her publicist! The mouse is surely her long-suffering but faithful assistant!

 

 

Carrie is present in the form of a skull, still wearing her prized prom queen tiara. The bloody “brains & spinal tissue” oozing from her neck is fashioned from fresh red cockscomb (celosia argentea, also often referred to as Brain Celosia.)

 

Hey!  How did this guy from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” crash the party???

 

The view from Carrie’s seat of all the candles in pitch darkness.

 

 

The view looking up from hell. 🙂 See the eerie full moon above?

Other creepy tablescapes on this site:
Serpents & Skullduggery
Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast

 

It’s the Great Pumpkin!

Those of you who know me know I love to eat! Luckily, so do many of my friends! We enjoy dining like the Europeans: slowly and with purpose. For this casual 3-hour dinner on the deck, the pace fit the menu and the colors are all about the season!

Inspired by Charles Schultz’s wonderful classic cartoon, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, I created this autumn tablescape for a few close friends who just wanted a quiet but fun evening.

 

Each place setting featured a rusty, almost orange-colored metal charger that I picked up at Tuesday Morning several years back. Brown rimmed yellow stoneware from Pier 1 was perfect for our entrée. Pumpkin colored melamine dishes from Target took on the salad, and brown rimmed green soup bowls were there for a delicious chunky tomato soup with crabmeat which could have been a meal in and of itself!

 

Taking full advantage of my newly purchased David Stark book, Napkins With a Twist, I pulled together this fun fold with this colorful cotton napkin from Stein Mart. The fold is incredibly easy to do, despite all the resulting nooks & crannies. Each napkin is topped with a mini pumpkin and faux autumn leaves. (See this napkin used in another fall tablescape HERE.)

 

My husband was not fond of the place cards/menus I created at the last minute (he’s a critic now!), and on second glance I think I could have done better. Desperate times called for desperate measures! The evening’s fare was printed on the back of each place card.

 

The centerpiece was a complete, total, and shameless rip off of the cartoon with the massively proportioned pumpkin surrounded by sumptuous mounds of fall leaves! I perched the pumpkin atop a small stand to lend a bit more height and drama.

 

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s getting dark much earlier now so I’m able to actually light candles before guests come out for dinner at 7:30.

 

Two sides of the centerpiece were flanked by various seasonal gourds. Putting the gourds on two sides only elongated the centerpiece and kept it from looking too rounded.

 

It’s hard to tell in my amateur photos, but the entire centerpiece was subtly illuminated from underneath using these miniature LED votives. Hiding them throughout the leaves provided a soft glow to the entire piece.

 

Further illumination was provided by multi-hued pillar candles from Pier 1 placed on the 2 sides of the pumpkin not decorated with gourds. The tri-level orange wooden pieces were purchased a few years ago at Hobby Lobby and added to the tablescape just to add narrow vertical interest.

 

I really like these candles that boast four different but complementary hues.

I count myself lucky to be joining the ladies and gentlemen for The Style Sisters’ Centerpiece Wednesday and Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

Centerpiece Wednesdays ButtonTablescape Inspiration, Click to View

Coming Up Roses

 As I work to soak up every last bit of warmth Mother Nature has to offer, I continue to entertain on our deck. Last week offered a seesaw of daytime highs, and this 74 degree afternoon seemed perfect for a cup of warm mulled cider in place of tea to go with our (bakery) apple strudel and very lively conversation.

If I could dress every tea time table in pink and white, I would! There is nothing so feminine as the soft color of pink!!!

I had not used these wonderful Maxcera “Victorian Toile Rose” dishes since my Mom’s birthday party in early spring. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it still seemed appropriate to introduce lots of pink into the tablescape. (Click here to see a slightly more over-the-top table for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can also click visit “Princess Pink Birthday Dinner” and “Pretty in Pink” whose color scheme and elements are also appropriate.)

I just love little touches like this!

This “Danish Princess” silverplate design is among my favorites and such a great match for the very feminine dishware.

Each delicate cotton luncheon napkin was rolled and “tied” with a garland of euonymus from the yard.

The gorgeous pink roses were sent earlier in the week from former clients commemorating their six-year anniversary. (It’s so nice to be remembered. I was truly touched by the gesture!) I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to share their beauty and wonderful fragrance with friends. The roses are displayed in a Godinger crystal rose bowl with the classic “Olympia” design.

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Pretty In Pink
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
French Poodle
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Au Revoir!

 

Even though apple cider was on the menu this past week, I am so happy to once again join in with the discerning women at Lady Katherine’s Tea Parlor for Tea Time Tuesday!

TEA TIME TUESDAY

Au Revoir!

I can only live vicariously through others since I have such a profound fear of flying. Thank goodness I have lots of friends and family who are ready and willing to hop on a big metal bird at the drop of a hat! Their adventures become my adventures, and this time is no different. As our pals head across the ocean to Paris, France, they can reminisce about the bon voyage dinner held in their honor. And as they wine & dine in the great restaurants, they can giggle about my lame attempt at recreating the fine cuisine.

I am a pink freak, so it’s always exciting to do a table for someone else who shares that passion.

I always knew this “Eiffel Tower” would come in handy for something! As my globetrotting friends set out on yet another wonderful cross-Atlantic adventure, we said goodbye with a dinner featuring tidbits of decor and cuisine they will likely encounter in “gay Paree!”

 

We have said au revoir to summer here in the Midwest, but the outdoor temperatures belie that fact with daytime highs in the 70s and 80s. So to bring in a bit of autumn and tone down the pink a bit, I used chocolate as the base color for this tablescape.

Atop the creamy chocolate table linen are gleaming silver chargers & flatware to keep the brown from washing out and looking so flat. A plain, creamy earthenware with a decorative rim was used to show off the food.

Menu and napkin

I created the fun little menus on my computer using cardstock and fleur de lis brads from Hobby Lobby. The pink toile scenes reminded me of the French countryside in a time when men and women actually strived to be described as “genteel.” The fun font I used reminded me of the font used on the posters promoting the 1958 movie “Gigi”, set in turn-of-the-20th century Paris.

I recently bought another book on napkin folding. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband!) This cute little fold looks like a “petit pain.” (Translation: bun.) It was a lot easier to create than I thought it would be and looked really sweet at the top of each plate. (Check out the “Books That Make You Go “Ooh!” tab at the top of the page for more information “Napkins With a Twist” by David Stark.) For a complete tutorial on how to create this napkin fold, click HERE and scroll to Tip #33. To see other posts on this site using the rosebud napkin fold, see “Cupcake Colors”, “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet” and “Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink”.

This night was a little warm, and that just brought the sweet smell of these pretty posies to the fore. Wonderful! I chose roses and carnations because they are so pretty together, and the variation in the depth of pink in the roses was interesting. Both were clipped within an inch of their little lives to create the mounding effect at the bottom of the tower and to float in the clear oyster votive cups. Stray rose petals helped to fill out the look.

To add just a bit of height and visual interest on the outside of the tower, I arranged the roses and carnations in clear vessels with a just a teensy bit of greenery.

What’s an evening celebration without a barrage of candles, especially when the honorees’ destination is the city most commonly referred to as La Ville-Lumiere (City of Light). The background music included a little Celine Dion, Eartha Kitt, and the soundtrack from “Something’s Gotta Give” (one of my all-time favorite movies!)

For other Parisian-themed posts:
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
French Poodle

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Pretty In Pink
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas

Please pardon my French, but I am plein de joie to once again be a part of the Style Sisters’ Centerpiece Wednesdays and Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays.

Centerpiece Wednesdays Button

Tablescape Inspiration, Click to View

Tea Roses

I have a close friend who is a 14-month breast cancer survivor. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and because I love my friend dearly, I held a pink ribbon & roses high tea in her honor. The weather cooperated (thank goodness!) and graced us with 78-degree weather at 4 p.m. so that we could enjoy high tea on the deck.

We know that many people confuse high tea (heartier fare served later in the day) with the more delicate afternoon tea, which generally includes lighter food offerings at an earlier hour. My friends and I LOVE to eat, so a high tea seemed most appropriate

 

Ultra-feminine pink & white is always a favorite for high tea, afternoon tea, and ladies’ luncheons, no matter the time of year. For the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it seemed perfect! Today’s table is draped in floor length soft pink cotton and topped with a white mock quilted/damask linen.

 

This pretty, contemporary place setting uses Silvestri “Sculpted Rose” dishes. I like the kidney bean shape of the snack plates with the indentation to hold the cup firmly in place. The soft colors and profusion of roses balances out the decidedly heavy construction of the plates. The flatware is “Danish Princess”

 

The cups – used on this day for both soup and tea – are surrounded by doves.

 

These white cotton luncheon napkins are among my favorites. The corner design is so subtle. A simple length of pink ribbon adds color and again pays homage breast cancer awareness.

 

The tea set is so much fun! A combination of roses, doves and girlie ribbons make the set a favorite.

 

Indeed there was plenty to drink today! A champagne toast to start (and finish!) in honor of the breast cancer survivor present, iced tea with a slice of Granny Smith apple for color and flavor, and wonderful hot tea with apple & cinnamon to sip as the afternoon wore on and the air cooled.

 

As high tea calls for a heavier fare, these hearty tea-sized turkey & herbed cheese sandwiches on croissant with homemade broccoli-cheese soup fill the bill.

 

Crunchy, sweet butter cookies shaped like pretzels taste wonderful with the cinnamon-apple tea!

 

Fragrant pink roses in simple silver julep cups adorn the table. Each guest received a nosegay with a ballerina-tied pink ribbon as a parting gift, a reminder to stop and smell the roses AND to do that necessary breast self-exam each month.

To my sweet friend and to ALL breast cancer survivors and fighters, may you stay in the pink for years to come! And in memory of those who lost the battle, including my great-aunt Genevieve, this one’s for you.

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
French Poodle
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Pretty In Pink Birthday Luncheon
Coming Up Roses

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas

 

TEA TIME TUESDAY I am pleased as pink punch to once again join Lady Katherine and all the lovely ladies (and gentlemen!) in her tea parlor for Tea Time Tuesday. For those of you who enjoy fine tea time activities, just click on the link!

Ap-pear-ently Autumn

This has been a really busy week so far, but never too busy to sit down over a leisurely dinner with hungry visitors! While I enjoy the opportunity for pageantry afforded by the rich hues of fall, sometimes “simplicity” is a welcome watch word.

Just because it’s a weeknight, doesn’t mean the table has to be boring.

 

These are simple place settings using humble stoneware, but dressed up just a little bit. I bought the oak and maple leaf faux wood chargers last season at Crate & Barrel, although now I’ve seen something very similar at WalMart! Could have saved myself…..ugh! I don’t even wanna do the math on that one! The mustard dinner plates are from Pier 1, and the avocado soup bowls from Target. I like the golden bubble stemware from Marshall’s so much that I’m sure I’ll use it over and over in the coming months!

 

The multi-hued striped napkins and the bronze oak leaf ring through which they are casually pulled are both from Pier 1.

 

 

 

I’m always so happy when I can pull a quickie centerpiece together with things I already have around the house! I constructed these nearly 4-ft. tall structures using dark wrought iron obelisks I purchased a few years back when I thought I wanted to train ivy to grow on them. (Click HERE and HERE to see other tablescapes using these obelisks!) Faux evergreen mounds sit atop wood & metal planters purchased at a going-out-of-business sale earlier this year. The finishing touches are yellow berry garland & Bosc pears.

 

 

These oak leaf floating candles were purchased at Pier 1 several years back, as was the table runner. The candles have a nice, subtle clove-like scent and are a wonderful complement to the charger and runner designs.

That’s Tuesday night dinner…with an upgrade!

I am pleased this week to once again join Susan and all the dynamic & talented women (and men!) for Tablescape Thursday, and The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday. Also, if you missed it, click on the “Fun Stuff” tab above for our first entry in the Tea Time Tuesday event hosted by Lady Katherine Tea Parlor. Have a wonderful week, and GO CHIEFS!!!

Tablescape Inspiration, Click to View

Centerpiece Wednesdays Button

TEA TIME TUESDAY

Tee Mit Hans Dresden (Tea With Hans Dresden)

This is the story of how a little girl’s curiosity (and hard-headedness!) got her into deep trouble, but  became a lasting memory. I want to thank my Mother for (1) letting me live after what I did on that fateful day some 46 years ago; (2) sharing with me the story of how she came to acquire this lovely tea set, and; (3) passing it on to me for a memory I will always cherish.

It isn’t often I get to share afternoon tea with friends, but when I do it is held near and dear to my heart. For this particular occasion, it was to celebrate recent accomplishments by each attendee. (An engagement, a retirement, and a new career. Hence the champagne & Godiva chocolates for all!!!)

My mother was gifted with this lovely Hans Dresden set back in the 1940s. My father’s nephew, who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, picked it up for her during his tour in Germany just before the city of Dresden was severely damaged by British & U.S. bombing. Little did anyone know of what great sentimental value this set would be some 65 years later.

I purchased these lovely embroidered cotton luncheon napkins years ago while on my honeymoon in New Orleans.

Let me explain/confess something. (Uh-oh…this takes me back about 45 years!) My mother had the entire set with coffee & tea pots, cups, saucers, dessert plates, and ashtrays! (Don’t give me that look! Smoking was perfectly acceptable…even encouraged…by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars “back in the day.”) As a child, much like now, I loved to play house. Despite many admonitions, I decided one day to play with Mom’s Dresden set. The result: the clumsy hands of a 6-year-old were no match for the delicate china. I irreparably broke several pieces of the set, and other pieces – like the pot above – were chipped. When my Mom gave me this fractured but nonetheless loved set a couple of years ago for my own collection, we had a good laugh…quite contrary to her reaction when I ruined it 46 years ago!!!

I did not prepare the sweets for this get-together, but I am grateful for the local pastilerias that did!

The centerpiece was composed of simple alstroemeria arranged in a tall, milky glass trumpet vase flanked by two smaller arrangements.

This was a wonderful afternoon spent with wonderful women – my mother included – who by all accounts forgive my past transgression of putting Hans in harm’s way.

Footnote: I saw this very set – in mint condition – on WorthPoint the other day. I was too afraid to look at how much it would be worth today had I not so tragically trashed it!

Other teatime tablescapes on this site include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Hello, Dahlia!

This week for the first time ever, I am pleased to join Lady Katherine and all the fine ladies for Tea Time Tuesday. If you enjoy fine tea accoutrement, exquisitely set tea tables and ladies’ gatherings as much as I do, please check out other bloggers’ photos & stories on her site!

TEA TIME TUESDAY