Autumn Blues

This week – September 22 to be exact – I celebrate one year of sharing my craft with all the other tabletop enthusiasts who look forward to Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch. I have made some incredible connections through my association with this group, and it has been a wonderful journey down a road paved with the exchange of neat ideas. Beyond that, it has been an experience that has created truly supportive and caring friendships with people I have never had the pleasure (yet, anyway!) to hug in person. I am further beholden to all of you fabulous folks who have so graciously become a follower. You guys rock, and I thank you!

A happy and very unexpected extra this week: I discovered this morning that I am the winner of Yvonne’s StoneGable Giveaway!!! The prize is English Transferware from Nancy’s Daily Dish!!! Thank you to Yvonne for hosting the giveaway and to Nancy for her incredible generosity!!! I feel like Melissa McCarthy at this year’s Emmy Awards!!! 😉

I have posted some fairly over-the-top tablescapes the last several weeks. This week I am toning it down just a bit for a more laid back summer-into-fall transitional tablescape that is easy to replicate and that I hope you will enjoy.

This tablescape is one that would work well for an intimate evening with close friends or sharing a meal with another couple. It deliberately strays from the trappings of a traditional autumn table so that it can simultaneously represent the official close of summer.

The full-length table linen transitions from summer white to a deep ivory. A pretty April Cornell table runner from TJ Maxx brings color as well as the only floral element needed to the table. The runner’s brown background captures the essence of autumn while the varying shades of blue keep a foothold on the last bastion of summer.

A deep brown charger is topped with creamy ivory dishes with a scalloped edge from Pier 1. (These were purchased 6 or 7 years ago.)

The menus were created on my desktop computer using a soft blue lightweight cardstock backed by a deep brown heavier weight. The pages are secured using simple silver brads purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Beneath the menus are April Cornell napkins folded in the easy “Double Ring” style as illustrated on page 17 of Denise Vivaldo’s book “Perfect Table Settings“. This easy napkin fold allows the menu to enjoy a cushioned pedestal rather than lying flat. This particular fold just happened to yield a really interesting design!

The flatware is a faux mother of pearl from Target.

While using the same pattern of stemware for a setting is lovely, it’s often just as pretty (and sometimes prudent!) to mix the colors and patterns. Here a single deep blue stem from TJ Maxx dutifully breaks the monotony of the clear glass at its sides and mirrors the blue in the runner, napkins and menus. The trick when mixing is to identify some fundamental element of the stemware that either matches or complements.

Individual salt & pepper shakers are always a nice touch.

Sometimes simple is better, and in this case that certainly rings true. The centerpiece is composed of a clear glass globe set atop a very traditional lacquered wood stand from Old Time Pottery.
(To see another tablescape using glass globes, click here.)


Fresh curly willow nestled in the bowl resembles the meandering vines found in the runner and napkins. To achieve this simple, inexpensive (and totally reusable!) look, wind fresh curly willow tips tight enough to slip past the mouth of the bowl. That’s it! The willow will stay green for several days and darken gracefully with time. It’s beautiful either way. I store several bowls with the willow still inside it so that I don’t have to buy fresh every time!

One of my dearest friends, Monica Goodwin, gave me these fabulous (and very heavy!) carved candlesticks for Christmas one year. I like the height they provide without taking up a lot of space. Here’s another fun little trick: If you prefer chunky pillar candles as seen here instead of slim tapers, simply use a bit of Cling or other floral adhesive to temporarily adhere the candle to the top of the candlestick to steady it. On particularly breezy evenings I suggest taking the safety measure of using LED pillar candles as seen here.

Well, that’s another one for the books! Thank you again to Susan, my blogging colleagues, and all of you who stop in each week to let me know how I’m doing.
Happy Almost Fall! 🙂

More tablescapes on this site using curly willow:
Copper Zen
Welcome Back, Joel
Blushing Bridal

Won’t you please join Yvonne, Nancy and the rest of us for Tablescape Thursday again this week? You’re always a welcome guest!

109 thoughts on “Autumn Blues

    • Thank you, Ellen! That’s how I’m able to get away with using the same dishes over and over! 😉 It’s weird…I have about a billion dishes, but I have my favorites. There are many I’ve never even used. GOTTA get a dinner party goin’ on over here…soon!!!


  1. Oh Alycia, this is lovely. I love the idea of the willow, will need to steal, no politely ask to take some willow from someone as we don’t have a willow in our yard. Now I’m asking why not? Love the runner, as it sets the tone for a lovely table that anyone can replicate.. Great tip on the goop for the candles too. Congrats on the win! So fitting for you. Can’t wait to see what you choose. Love this serene table..


    • Thank you, Marlis! I just buy the willow tips from the wholesale florist. A big bunch of them just costs about $7.50. If you buy it, just be sure to ask for the tips. They are slender enough to easily bend. I buy the Cling from the wholesaler, too, but I’m pretty sure it’s available in retail stores. It doesn’t mess up your stuff, although it is a bit of a chore to remove it from metal finishes if it gets warm. GooGone takes it right off, though.


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  3. Wonderful and beautiful as ever Alycia! You truly have a gift.
    The willow is a great accent in the glass bowl. I also have it a tall glass candle holder. I love it, infact we have our very own Curly Willow tree.


    • You have a curly willow tree??!?!??!?!!! Oh, wow!!! Lucky woman!!! That thing would be stark ravin’ naked if it was in my yard!!! I LOVE to decorate with the branches! I buy it from a local wholesaler so it’s not too expensive, but I’d much rather be able to saunter out back with some clippers and go to town on the tree in the yard!!! 🙂


  4. Hi Alycia!
    Loving this tablescape! I’ve never seen any April Cornell at T.J.Maxx’s! I’m jealous! That’s a beautiful print and I like the connection to the summer/fall transition. What a cute idea with the willow in the bowl! Your friend chose well, those are really nice candleholders! Thanks for the fun napkin fold idea and link! Hugs, Liz
    P.S.-thank-you again for trying to find more of those dishes! You rock!


    • Hey, Liz! Yes, I found the runner at TJ Maxx, I think, and the napkins at Home Goods. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate, they’re kind of the same place anyway. I know that several of our blogger colleagues have this same pattern, and when I saw it I was thrilled with it, too. I think I’ve had it for more than a year but have just never had the chance to use it. Thanks for stopping by, and the hunt for the dishes does continue! 😉


  5. Hi Alicia, Congratulations!!!! i recently started following your Tablescape, i love all your ideas , colors and everything u do. you are my inspriation, now my table is looking little colorful and happy. Thanks.


    • Hello, Satya, and thank you for your visit! I am very happy you stopped by! I am also very happy that you are able to find some inspiration in my work. I hope you will come back to visit often. Have a great day! 🙂


  6. Alycia~ Congrats on your blogiversary & winning the giveaway!

    I confess to having the Autumn Blues…we had a cold snap last weekend and are steadily climbing back to the 80s this week. I’m beyond ready for Fall!

    I adore your runner~ brown & blue is one of my favorite color combinations. Your napkin fold is wonderful, particularly with your print~ what a wonderful surprise! I always look forward to what you bring to the table~ thanks for sharing your talent & sense of style & fun 🙂


  7. Yea, I’m so happy for you that you won that giveaway! Way to go, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more!

    Love your pretty outdoor table. It’s so fresh and fun. The menu cards are wonderful, too. Always a joy to visit you.

    Happy Tablescape Thursday to you…




    • Hi, Yvonne! I’m glad you like the centerpiece! I have kept this one under wraps for about a year. I somehow knew the day would come when finances would squeeze my floral budget! 😉 You’ll probably see a variation of this look a couple of more times this season!


  8. Alycia, you always put such effort in your tables and it shows!! I read in one of your posts that you spent seven hours on your table. You are the bomb girl!! Love the brown and blue combo.


  9. Congratulations on your win at Yvonne’s! I know you will find something super gorgeous at Nancy’s.

    This table setting is so lovely. I can just imagine sitting and enjoying a fabulous dinner with friends on the deck. The table runner and napkins add just the perfect amount of pattern and color. I have candlesticks like those and I never think to use pillar candles. Thanks for the idea!

    And lastly, thank you so much for sharing your wonderfully creative tables this past year. Here’s to many more blogging years!


    • Hey again, Tammy! I just left your blog not too long ago. I’m slow about getting around to my own blog today! 😦 The candlesticks….yes….I think there are so many beautiful candlesticks that don’t get used because they weren’t necessarily designed to accommodate pillar candles. I either put them up there with Cling or use a pillar adapter. My husband freaks whenever I use tapers (because I caught a table on fire last year!), so I’m trying to use pillars more. Thank you for making this year a great one for me! I look forward to many more with you!!!!!!


  10. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your anniversary. You have created another fabulous table. I think we need to crown you “The Queen of Casual Elegance” seriously you are the Candice Olsen of tablescaping.


  11. I just love the fun colors and patterns of April Cornell. What a lovely table. The colors are so rich and pretty. Isn’t it fun to still be setting tables outside? Keep enjoying the weather. I have just loved all of your outside tables!!!


    • Hey, Jacqueline! I am so glad to have a few great weather days to do some things outside. It was so hot over the summer, then it was raining like every day, then it was windy every day. FINALLY we have some weather worth waking up for in the morning! 🙂 I’d be doing a lot more stuff out there if I could get my old body to cooperate! I’m sitting here listening to some Eric Clapton (“After Midnight”, “Cocaine”, “Layla” all get me jumpin’ around!) and thinking I should be out there walking the neighborhood, getting some much needed exercise! Have a great weekend, and thank you for stopping by!


  12. Love this, Alycia. For me it has just the right feel, warm and inviting. I can imagine sitting there long after the meal is over enjoying friendly conversation and a cool breeze blowing over us.


  13. As a newbie blogger it is so nice to see success after 1 year! Happy Bloggerversary! I love your scalloped plates and the touches of blue. The globe centerpiece with the curly willow is so creative! Thanks for stopping by and giving me great advice on the Fall hutch challenge! I will try the tweaking and see how it looks.



    • Hey there, Kathe with an E! Welcome!!! It has been a fun year, and I’m looking forward to more!! I think you started just a few months ago, right? Maybe we’ll throw a big party when you celebrate year one! 🙂 I was SO intimidated when I first started, but I soon discovered there was no need to be. It’s all about self-expression and doing what you love. You have such wonderful taste, and I know your first year is going to be awesome!!! Have a fab weekend, Kathe with an E, and I’ll see you next week! 🙂


    • Thank you SO much! I’m so glad you stopped in! That curly willow in the glass globe is something I picked up about a year ago but never thought about doing until times got lean like they are now. (This economy SUCKS!!!) I love the look, and you will probably see it a few more times in the coming months! Thanks again for stopping in, and have a fabulous weekend!


  14. Hi Lady?

    You know that I am your avid reader, wherever I go. I might be so quite but still peeping in here as long I have the time.

    Anyways, am so drooling of your creativity. Me love—-

    TY a mill again for sharing your ideas that I might apply on my TS some other day.

    Happy TS and GB…



    • Hello, my sweet Chie!!!!!!! How are you??? Long time no hear from! I have missed you!!! First I was gone for like 6 weeks in May and June, and then YOU were gone. We have to stop that! 🙂 I’m so glad to hear from you and glad that you like the table. Welcome back, baby!!!!!!!


  15. Hi darling, Congratulations! I know you’ll find some beautiful transferware over at Nancy’s. Your table is stunning , so elegant. I love the tablerunner with the beautiful flowers. The curly willow is a wonderful idea, I hope to borrow. Girl if you head to Atchison be sure and give me a shout, would love to meet you.. any excuse to head back that way would be fine with me, depending upon how Mr. P is doing that day, and then yes, back to my “little” corner of the world. lol…. GPS tune it in head this way… hugs ~lynne~


    • Thank you! I’m excited about it, but I can’t decide what I want. I am TOO indecisive sometimes. Nancy has such great stuff….I’ll be days trying to figure out what to get. With our budget being so tight these days, I can’t just add on a bunch of stuff like I would have in the past. 😦 I really do think I’m going to Atchison when Ramon goes to Houston, though. I’ll let you know a few days in advance what day I intend to go. He is in Houston the 9th through the 14th, I think. I’ll let you know! I’m not sure how far Richmond is from Atchison. Is it on the way there? Is it completely in a different direction? I have no idea! How sad I am when it comes to directions! 😉


  16. …say goodby to the summer, (song from 60’s, lol)….what a beautiful transition you did with this beautiful tablescape dear Alycia, I just love it, they’re my colors! The centerpiece is totally artistic and fabulous! Stunning everything sweetie. Congrats on such terrific win at Nancy’s, can’t wait to see what you got! Thanks for your lovely visit, I love to have you! Lots of hugs, FABBY


    • “I don’t want to say goodbye to the summer…” Bryan Hyland’s “Sealed With a Kiss”, right? I LOVE that song! It’s so funny that someone else actually remembers the words, too! I’m glad you like the table, and I hope to pick something from Nancy’s wonderful store soon. There is SO MUCH from which to choose…I can’t make up my mind! Have a great weekend, Fabby, and thanks for stopping in!


  17. Alycia,
    Congratulaions! I’ll be watching for a new tablescape with that lovely transferware center stage! Thank you for your sweet comment and visit recently! You bless my heart!


    • Thank you, Pat! I have been browsing the “store” for hours and STILL haven’t chosen what I want! I am SO slow when it comes to shopping!!! 😦 It was my pleasure, as always, to visit your wonderful blog! Have a restful weekend, my dear, and I’ll see you next week!


  18. I have always loved blue and brown together. In fact, I am creating a new guest room, and those are the colors I chose. The runner is so pretty, and I love the very “earthy” crystal ball! I hope it predicts another year of beautiful tablescapes from you!


    • “…eartthy crystal ball.” I like that! Great description, Elaine! Thank you so much for stopping in, and I hope we get to see what you do with your new guest room! I have often thought of changing our guest room out to those colors to make it less feminine for make guests (it’s currently in pastel shades), but I just can’t seem to part with what I have goin’ on in there! 🙂 Thanks again from coming to visit, and have a beautiful weekend!


  19. Beautiful! On the hedge apples, they deter or repell like Deet,they will last two weeks inside or longer if cool. Never seem any bugs near them outside or inside.Some churches bring them in the fall and put by the doors,they are to keep mice out,they say.


    • Thank you, and thank you for stopping in! I, too, look forward to this group each week. It’s so much fun, and it keeps me out of trouble…sort of…kind of….well, not really, but it’s still a fun group! 😉 Have a great weekend!


  20. Congratulations on winning! And I’m so glad you’ve been at TT and we got to meet! Some day I’ll hug you in person!
    I love the blue/chocolate brown motif this week and those scalloped trim plates are divine!@!!!!!!!



    • Thank you, Lana! I still haven’t been able to pick what I want from Nancy’s vast selection! I keep vascillating…not a good thing! I hope one day we do get a chance to meet one another and hug away! It has been a wonderful 1st year for me on Tablescape Thursdays, and your graciousness has been a big part of that. Take care, and have a great weekend!


  21. Alycia, congrats on your win! You must be so proud of your first full year of blogging! As a newbie, it is people like you who keep me inspired. Thanks so much for all of your lovely compliments on my blog the other day! It means a lot coming from you! I look forward to following all of your new posts. Best wishes to you!


    • Thank you, Shenita, and thanks for stopping by! I was in a store yesterday that had a wide selection of crosses, and I thought about you! So this time next year we will be sending congratulatory wishes YOUR way! Looking forward to that! Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks again from dropping in!


    • Hey, Jenny! You have those glasses, too? Great minds think alike! 🙂 I should also tell you that I did see your post re: the white pumpkins you created for your very first post. I loved that!!! It just shows how we grow! You made some rockin’ ‘scapes with them!


  22. Hi Alycia…how nice to have you stop by and leave a comment.
    I have to say that your tablescape was wonderful! So interesting and not the usual humdrum…Unique and lovely.
    I don’t often do them..but when I see tablescapes like yours, it’s inspiring!


    • Good morning, Mona! So THAT’S why I’ve never seen your post on TT before…you don’t do it that often! Well, you should! You have some beautiful pieces and a wonderful, easy style. I read more than just the one post and was in awe of the incredible bargains you found at garage sales!!! I really should get my hips out and hit some of these garage sales every once in awhile!!! That Prelude flatware had to be the bargain of the century! You have a home filled with warm and welcoming colors that are perfect for fall decorating. Hooray for that!!! I look forward to seeing more of your seasonal creations. Have a beautiful day!


  23. Your tablescape is so lovely and a perfect setting to say good-by to summer. I love the colors in your April Cornell runner and the way you carried through with the colors in your stemware and centerpiece. Congratulations on being the winner at Stone Gable’s giveaway. Have a great week.

    The French Hutch


  24. Hi Alycia!
    Thank you so much for your kind remarks on my little blog. Your table is lovely….blue and brown are so elegant together. Congratulations on your win.

    Blessings, Audrey


    • Thanks, Katie! I do that fairly often, especially if we have people as guests with whom I am largely unfamiliar. That way, they can peek at the menu card before dinner and let me know if there’s something objectionable on there. I almost always get a chance to phone guests in advance of planning the menu to see what their allergies, dislikes, etc. are, but sometimes one or two can slip through the cracks! I enjoyed visiting Team Skelley (which is just the cutest name, by the way!) and will be back to visit again! Take care!!!


  25. Hi Alycia, I thought I had visited with you this week, but guess not, I am so behind. We moved our daughter out and into an apartment this week-end, so we have been non-stop trying to get her things ready, and help her with furnishings (on a budget). Thank goodness for Craigslist. Love your table this week! I have the runner (didn’t get the napkins though, darn) and those candlesticks, which I love. I never thought to use pillars in them, but they look great. Your centerpiece idea is so clever and I believe I could maybe pull that off!! Love the blue glasses with it, and the flatware and the brown and cream dishes look great, love the scalloped edging. As always, I appreciate your kind comments. Another gorgeous table, I love all of your ideas!


    • Hi, Diann! Thank you! I just haven’t been able to get into the traditional fall colors this year for some odd reason. I’m trying, but it’s not workin’ for me. So I’m mixing it up a little bit! 🙂 Hope you have a great week, too, and thanks for stopping in!


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  33. What a lovely transition tablescape this is, Alycia–I love blues and brown together. The pearl-handled silverware is so pretty–I just found my first of these in soup spoons at Goodwill! Those deep rich candlestands are gorgeous as well. So nice to hear about your childhood and raising apples and your dad–I’d love to sit and talk with him about apples, too. I grew up on a farm, and have (as an adult–not so much as a kid) always loved gardening, and 6 years ago I went through the training and became a Master Gardener. So you’ll always find gardening posts over at my place! My flowers and veggi beds are winding down for the season now, but I love this time of year with all the fresh produce to use in recipes.


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