Sugar High (Payback!)

So what do you do when you want to render a little payback to your adult children for their snarky teenage remarks regarding your parenting skills? You throw a little party for THEIR children that includes almost nothing but sugar…then send the little ones home for THEM to deal with! ūüôā That’s my plan for later this week. Bad, bad Grandma!

IMG_3249WMEven with children, I like to dress the table in washable linens. A white full-length linen is topped with a red poly-cotton cloth that is rife with whimsical gold stars and swirls. I bought several of the top layer linens several years ago on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond but have never had occasion to use them.

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Lunch will start with fruit-filled red or green Jello (cut into Christmas tree shapes) served on the green glass salad plates. That will be followed by grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks with ranch dressing, and crispy sweet potato fries on the white Corelle plate.

The simply folded napkins are actually plush white wash cloths tied with green and red curling ribbon.¬†I pick the cloths up at Sam’s Club¬†to stock our bathrooms for use as hand towels like this:

¬†I keep a separate stash just for little hands at luncheons (and barbeques because I’m masochistic like that! :-)). After lunch just toss ’em in the washing machine with a little soap and Clorox¬ģ to soak for a day or so, and they’re good as new! (If a stain remains, I use the cloth for polishing silver.)

The white flatware is from TJ Maxx and is just “formal” enough for 7-10 year olds.

I bought these fun ice cream soda glasses several years ago at a store that is now defunct. You can probably pick up something similar from Pier 1, Old Time Pottery, or even Dollar Tree¬†where I bought the red & white reusable straws. I’ll be serving a choice of strawberry or chocolate fudge ice cream sodas.

I went rogue on the place card holders. I don’t know what these things are intended to be, but I thought they’d make great holders! I bought them from Hobby Lobby a few years back.

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IMG_3276WMKeeping with my infamous motto of “go big, or go home”, I plopped this massive sleigh in the center of the table filled with¬† a big ol’ snowman and all sorts of goodies that the kids can take home after the party. I bought the sleigh and snowman wholesale about 10 years ago. The giant red, green & white Christmas candy canes are from Dollar Tree (2011). Man, I love that place! I created a very different¬†snowman tablescape last year that you can see by clicking here.

Beneath the sleigh is plush cotton “snow” scattered with oversized ornaments that look like wrapped candy from Dollar Tree.

IMG_3226WMKeeping with the candy theme in the sleigh is a huge plush “wrapped candy.” I had 2 of them, but can’t find the other one! Maybe by Wednesday…..

I bought these fun painted wood¬†“Ho, Ho, Ho” signs at Pier 1’s Christmas clearance last year.

IMG_3247WMI couldn’t let the china cabinet go unadorned. I bought this cute little dude at Burlington’s Christmas clearance last year for $1.97 (90% off)!!!!! This is another store that has great everyday prices and phenomenal clearance sales!

I am still grinning about the great deal these giant Santa hat chair covers were at….you guessed it…Dollar Tree! They fit nice and snug on our dining room chairs and give the room a really festive look! (I’m just praying they don’t discolor the chair fabric!)

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IMG_3231WMAnd the pi√®ce d’ r√©sistance…the candy/dessert buffet!!! Candy, cookies, cupcakes…lots, and lots, and LOTS of sugar!!!!!!!! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! The fun figurines on the candy bar came from Burlington’s Christmas clearance last year. The assortment of glass canisters are from Hobby Lobby,¬†TJ Maxx,¬†and Home Goods. I created a more glamorous¬†candy/dessert buffet¬†for a friend’s Sweet Sixteen x Two birthday earlier this year. Click here to see it!

I’m picking the kids up around 11:30 and bringing them back to my house. I don’t want their parents to drop them off for fear they won’t come back to get them once they see what’s on the menu! ūüôā I can’t wait!!! I’ve never felt so deliciously evil in all my life!!! ūüôā

Please join me at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch,¬†for Tablescape Thursday again this week to check out what other tablescapers from around the globe are doing to celebrate the Christmas season!

Wondrous Wheat!

I hope your Thanksgiving was one filled with love and laughter and lots of fabulous food! Ours certainly was, and I was thrilled to be surrounded by family and friends whose love I treasure.

With 28 tummies to fill, we had to set up in various locations around the house with a different theme in each area. The lower level had seating for the football enthusiasts, while the main level had a table for 10 in the living room and one for 6 in the dining room.  It is my understanding that wheat symbolizes prosperity and blessing. The dining room Рwith all the homemade breads and desserts on the buffet Рseemed the perfect place to celebrate the fall harvest.

IMG_3130WMWhile black and creamy white may not be a traditional Thanksgiving decor combination, I decided to buck the system and go for it!

IMG_3171WMInspiration for this black and white tablescape came from my Royal Stafford “Herdsman” dinner plates. The rim is peppered with stems of wheat among the bounty of fruits and flowers. The braided rope rim of the charger imitates the design on the inner circle of the plate.

The black napkins are folded twice lengthwise then doubled over inside the silver napkin ring. I fanned out the bottom for a fuller look of this simple napkin fold.

IMG_3167WMKeeping with the very traditional look of the table – color scheme notwithstanding – I chose Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. The name “Jamestown” just evokes thoughts of colonial Virginia! (Fun fact: Jamestown celebrated their first Thanksgiving 401 years ago in 1610.)

IMG_3132WMOf course, Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware seemed absolutely right for this traditional Thanksgiving tablescape! (Hampton…yet another Virginia city!)

IMG_3127WMAn image of wheat on the menu furthers the theme. (Find recipes for the Drunken Peach Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, and Apple-Walnut Cake here or by clicking on “Recipes” tab above.)

IMG_3144WMThe centerpiece was kept simple with a few silver candlesticks and blackbeard wheat in square vases. The very center of the table was reserved for a silver bread basket filled with cornbread muffins and my sister’s fabulous yeast rolls.

IMG_3152WMThe buffet piece is a blackbeard¬†wheatsheaf adorned with a simple black bow. No one was more surprised than I that it turned out as nice as it did…and didn’t fall over! ūüôā

Thanksgiving 2011…out!

 

 

Pheasants & Peacocks

After Sunday’s very unexpected and very unnerving decorating fiasco (click here if you missed out on the horror of it all), I have finally regrouped. I figure I haven’t time to wallow in it with all the cooking and cleaning left to do before guests start arriving on Wednesday night. (I have forgiven myself for being such a nitwit, but I will never forget!!! :-))

I spent minimal¬†time on this new¬†centerpiece, but I think it will suffice. Ramon helped me rearrange the tables into a square shape rather than the¬†original¬†12-ft. long oblong. It seats 2 fewer guests, but we’re also seating in the dining room (click here for those photos) and on the lower level for football fanatics.

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A couple of full-length ivory linens drape the 6-ft. tables kissed lengthwise to create an “almost square” which will seat 10 of our 24 guests.

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A deep chocolate charger is foundation to the exquisitely detailed peacock china I bought a couple of years ago at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. I have an unnatual attachment to this china. It’s just so….cool! ūüôā I used it last year at my friend Jean’s house, too, in a post called Shake Your Tail Feather!

img_3092wm.jpgI chose complementary faux mother of pearl napkin rings (Old Time Pottery) and flatware (Target). The ivory Bed Bath & Beyond napkins are simply folded twice lengthwise, secured with the ring and draped vertically across the plates.

IMG_3091WMI like the height of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection stemware.

Everyone should be pretty well fed!

The new centerpiece made up of various sizes of LEDs, faux cabbages, pumpkins, pinecones and a few pheasant feathers¬†is set atop a 28″ silver beaded-edge cake plateau. The mantel decor complements the centerpiece with several of the same elements.

I certainly hope that you and yours enjoy a safe and loving Thanksgiving! After stuffing yourself with turkey and pie on Thursday, throw on your elastic waist pants and pop on over to join tablescapers from all over the globe for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

Best Laid Plans

I am still reeling from a decorating disaster that happened this morning. I had just gone into the kitchen to start my husband’s breakfast around 7:30 (NO idea why I¬†was up that¬†early on a Sunday morning!!) when I suddenly heard a deafening crash. I knew right away just what it was, and my heart sank.

I had worked for 2 days on the construction of a rather ambitious, over-the-top¬†centerpiece for one of our Thanksgiving Day tables, but the entire thing – which was elevated about 28‚ÄĚ – had slid to the floor! Glass and debris and pheasant feathers were EVERYWHERE!!! Huge shards, little slivers, chunks….you name it! So what started out as an elegant and decidedly contemporary¬†Thanksgiving table that looked like this…

…quite unceremoniously became this:

Nearly every LED candle was damaged (and those things are NOT cheap!), and 2 of 4 huge glass candlesticks were obliterated. Luckily, only one crystal goblet was broken at the stem and one (very expensive!) salad plate was broken in two.

Lesson learned: ALWAYS use a floral adhesive you trust. I usually use Cling¬ģ which provides a monster grip, but I was trying to avoid the ugly green color of it showing through the glass. I used a see-through – but clearly not as effective – adhesive instead. My advice: Just figure out a way to hide your mechanics, and DON’T compromise the safety standards of the composition. I have SO learned the hard way!!! I’m just glad it didn’t happen in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner or while someone was standing nearby. I’m also very grateful I had not yet set all the stemware. The damage was relatively little considering everything in the path of the avalanche.

Now I need to take time that I didn’t have to spare to figure out what the heck I’m going to do for this table decor by Thursday. I always start setting up at least a week early so that I can tweak and play with the arrangement. This time it was a blessing and a curse. Sure was pretty while it lasted. ūüė¶

Gotta take out the trash. Gosh…I sure hope I’m able to laugh about this someday.
Be safe, y’all!

Copper Zen

I’m still on the mend from this horrible upper respiratory thing that has plagued me the last two weeks, but I’m not going to let a little thing like not breathing keep me from posting!!! ūüôā

I had this post on hold from a table I did some time ago. This one is not a Thanksgiving-oriented set-up, but it will be a good one to keep in mind for those days in January and February when you want to create a peaceful winter tablescape for entertaining after the hectic holiday season.

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IMG_2923WMI started with a sleek black full-length table linen.

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I bought these fabulous¬†dark green Home Essentials & Beyond “Montclair Collection”¬†dinner plates at Marshalls awhile back. I so love the intricate raised design! My hesitation in using these lovely plates sooner has been in what to pair with them. The black linen inspired me to use a black charger, but I knew it would disappear. The addition of the cool square copper-colored chargers made all the difference!!! I wish I could tell you where to get the copper chargers, but I bought them wholesale and don’t know where they are sold retail. The black chargers are from Wal-Mart. I set the double chargers in an offset position to show off all three layers.

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For this dinner we were eating Chinese takeout, so a pair of chopsticks were the only eating utensils necessary. I nestled them in the crevice of sleek black napkins pinched with copper-colored napkin rings (also purchased wholesale) and draped across the plate.

IMG_2915WMSo I finally got hip to Dollar Tree. It’s about time, huh?¬†My Mom called and said there was some beautiful dark green stemware there that I just MUST see, so off I went! Lo and behold, there was stemware that would work perfectly with the plates! Hooray!!! I scooped up a dozen each goblets and champagne flutes, and the cashier gave me the ugliest look I’ve ever seen when I got to the counter. She was NOT happy about having to wrap all of those, even though I brought along my own bubble wrap and box!

I bought these uber-cool¬†dark green Vidrios San Miguel vases (made of recycled glass!) at TJ Maxx awhile back. LOVE THEM!!! They’re huge and they really make a statement on the table! To go with the sleek, zen feeling of the room I just plopped in a few branches of fresh curly willow for a cool and easy centerpiece.

I used a double row of votives between the two vases of curly willow to lend continuity to the look of the centerpiece and add ambient light.

I repeated the oblong votive treatment on the buffet behind the dining table for a sleek, easy look with lots of character!

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Peaceful Peonies
Mandarin Bling
Year of the Rabbit
Mikasa ‘Daylight’ Giveaway

Other tablescapes using curly willow on this site:
Welcome Back, Joel
Autumn Blues
Blushing Bridal

I’m joining Susan and a bunch of really talented tablescapers from around the globe again this week for Tablescape Thursday. Please join us!

Serape High Style

I’ve been sick as a dog with¬†cold/flu/upper respiratory infection¬†– again! – for the past week. I’m not sure how this happened since I try so hard to avoid it. I may as well send the grocery cart through the car wash for the thorough wiping down I give it before touching it. Same with doors, gasoline pumps…anything I think could be infected. I apparently need to buy myself a bubble to live in November through April! Or maybe this is payback for my post about my sister,¬†Barf, last week. Who knows?

Anyhooooo….my good buddy and neighbor, Barbara, and I¬†pooled our resources a few weeks ago for a fun south-of-the-border girls’ night in. Barbara whipped up wonderful¬†Mexican food – our favorite –¬†so I created a table with a little upscale autumn¬†flair. This would make a great tablescape for Cinco de Mayo, too!

Our Mission-style wood dining table is partially covered with a blanket Ramon & I picked up on a day trip to Tijuana about 20 years ago when we were first “courting.” Those were the good ol’ days when I would risk breaking every bone in my body under the weight of all the bottles of tequila, brandy, crema de cacao, and potent vanilla extract I lugged back across the border. (I was skinny then, and actually had visible bones! ;-))

I picked these dishes up at Tuesday Morning several years ago. They are among my favorite patterns, but because they are so theme specific I rarely get to use them. They remind me of a colorful serape. ¬†The bowls were perfect for generous helpings of Barbara’s flavorful tortilla soup. (Click here or on “Recipes” tab above for the recipe!)

I used store-bought corn husks as place cards.

Bright yellow napkins from Bed, Bath & Beyond are cinched with fun wooden bead rings from Pier 1.

This “San Remo” flatware worked out much better than I thought it would! It really lent to the “upscale” Mexican feel.

Cobalt blue beverage glasses from Pier 1 paired with margarita glasses from Old Time Pottery.

The centerpiece is a profusion of “Peacock White” flowering kale with fronds that remind me of a cactus, “Medusa” ornamental pepper plants, and succulents nestled in a hammered aluminum ice bucket. The nearly all-vegetable centerpiece is extended with various peppers, squashes and pumpkins. The mercury glass-lined raised¬†tealights in gemstone colors are a World Market find.

I was so happy to find matching accessory pieces for the dishes including trays, serving bowls and pitchers. I gave this pitcher of margaritas a more rustic look with the addition of twine wrapped around the neck. The traditional molcajete is another Tijuana treasure that sees a lot of action around here.

To dress up the buffet, I used one more bit of Tijuana memorabilia –¬†a Mayan calendar –¬†which is backed up by a huge orange platter to add depth, height, and vivid color.

I fear I’m going to cough up a lung if I don’t rest now. Hope you enjoyed it!

Other tablescapes exclusively created for or suitable for celebrating Cinco de Mayo on this site include:
Cinco de Mayo 2013 РLiving La Vida Loca
Cinco de Mayo Simply Done
Sunflower Simple
Christmas Fiesta

Be sure to join me (if I’m still tickin’ by then!) for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!!!

R.I.P. Andy Rooney

Happy Birthday, Barf!

You know how kids pick at each other and give each other a lot of grief, but then grow out of it in later years? All that applies to my sister and me…except the growing out of it part. I lovingly bestowed the nickname¬†“Barf” on my big sister about 40 years ago, and it just kinda stuck. Barf this, Barf that, Barf the other….regardless of the name on her birth certificate, to me she is simply “Barf.”

Barf and her sweet¬†friend, DeEtta, visited Kansas City a little over a week ago on their way to Columbia, Mo. Barf is¬†an October baby and was on her way to an annual October babies celebration with other family & friends.¬†¬†Because she was turning 100 or 150 or something like that on this birthday,¬†she was¬†pooped out from all the driving. So we¬†held a jazzed up¬†little¬†“come-as-you-are” birthday dinner party at our house.

Everyone was dressed comfortably and casually, but I wanted to do something kind of swanky for the table. Barf and DeEtta had already traveled quite a distance from Minnesota and still had another two hours to drive after dinner to get to Columbia. I wanted the table to be something she would enjoy but that would also be easy to put together since I was feeling particularly lazy. So I went with spiffed up basic black.

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Silver metal chargers and¬†Noritake “Spectrum” china are my “go to” pieces that take a lot of guesswork out of the whole thing.

IMG_2718WMBlack napkins folded into a neat little square with an orchid bloom for a shot of color.

The menu card has a photo of¬†Barf at 6 months old. Wasn’t she a cutie¬†patootie? (Speaking of patooties, I tried to cover hers a little here with my watermark! :-)) Creating these menus was my favorite part of the whole set-up!

I went with J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware…just because. ūüôā

IMG_2732WMAnother great “go to” is my Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. I love it for its timeless beauty, its incredible versatility, and the way it feels in my hand. It’s perfect!

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I bought these cool triple-decker bling mirrors a while back at Hobby Lobby. Yes…Hobby Lobby! They’re very sturdy and reflect a lot of light. While they are meant to be hung on a wall, I decided they would make much better centerpiece trays. The neatly lined votive candles and 25″ metal case candles (much safer taper if you don’t want candlewax everywhere!!!) double back in the mirrors. My Dad was quite intrigued with the design.

Mirrored cylinders hold a mix of bright green cymbidium orchids, dusty miller (rescued from the back yard before the frost got to it!), and raw coffee bean clusters.

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I wanted something lush for a buffet piece that leaned toward fall without screaming it out loud. “Peacock White” flowering kale had both just the right color and texture I wanted mixed with the dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, and raw coffee beans. This heavy 4-light¬†silver epergne (also seen here¬†filled with mounds of baby’s breath at the “Princess Pink Birthday Party“) is a great buffet or centerpiece item, and it has a removable bowl for easy arranging and cleaning.

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

L to R: Mom, Me, Daddy, DeEtta, and the Birthday Girl…Barf!!!

I’ve done a lot of teasing here (as always, because what are sisters for? ;-)), but I really do love my sister. She’s a very warm, kind, giving person with a heart as big as all outdoors.¬† Yes, she’s weird and goofy…but she’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Barf! ūüôā

Note: This would make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape, too!!!

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Roses In October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

As is always my distinct pleasure, I am joining Susan and the other talented tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Won’t you come along?