Ladies’ Luncheon/Ladies’ Dinner

I have 2 good friends that I have known and loved for most of my life. I met Monica in the 6th grade at St. Louis Catholic School, and we both met Audrey our freshman year at Bishop Hogan High School. (Go Rams! 🙂 ) Life, of course, scattered us around for a lot of years after graduation, but we started getting together several times a year for lunch and chatter about 15 years ago. We’re still at it!
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I hosted the girls at our home this past weekend for what turned out to be a 5-hour chat & chew marathon. I set the table up on Friday as a dinner table for four, then converted it on Saturday to a simple but pretty luncheon table for the three of us.

I set up in this sunny south window in the family room. I have been anxious to use this wonderful sky blue floor-length linen that drapes so beautifully. (The intense sunlight is turning that linen into a naughty little see-thru like somebody’s-dress-at-Sunday night’s-Oscars-who-shall-remain-nameless-here! 😉 )

I’ve also been chomping at the bit to use these table elements. This wonderful mocha-colored “St. Helena” charger from Z Gallerie has such gracefully scalloped edges! The china is “Conservatory Medallion” from the Martha Stewart Collection for Wedgwood. It was love at first sight with its meandering chocolate brown vines and scattered sky blue & mocha medallions.

Simple white hemstitched napkins work beautifully for lunch or dinner. The shimmering blue faux gemstone napkin rings, another Z Gallerie find, remind me of staring into little reflecting pools…or Paul Newman’s eyes!

International Silver’s “Royal Danish” sterling flatware makes a great match.

Chocolatey brown stemware from Old Time Pottery picks up on the deep tones of the china’s vine pattern.

Tiny individual salt & pepper shakers are placed above the dessert fork.

Silver Revere candlesticks hold chunky brown pillar candles. A single white Fuji mum lazily floats in a “St. Helena” footed bowl from Z Gallerie. A single, fabulous flower can often speak volumes! The candlesticks were, of course, removed before the luncheon.

Homemade lemon cupcakes were served with creamy strawberry ice cream for dessert. The footed dessert bowls from Old Time Pottery were the perfect color match for the china. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Mother’s Day Brunch” to see these bowls used in a different capacity.)

Other blue & brown tablescapes on this site:
Autumn Blues

Please join me at Between Naps on the Porch again this week for Tablescape Thursday. You’re guaranteed to get more than your fill of fabulous tablescapes from bloggers around the globe!

Peacock Pizzazz!

 Peacock feathers. There’s just something about them. They’ve just got that snappy, snazzy, razzle dazzle kiss-my-foot-and-call-me-Your-Highness pizzazz about them. This time of year a peacock feather centerpiece or side piece can really jazz up a tablescape as well as add texture, height, and implied motion.
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No table linen or placemat for this one. The natural wood of the dining table just felt right. What I did for this tablescape, however, was to mix colors and china patterns to mimic the pageantry of the peacock. A goldleafed glass charger is the foundation for an American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” dinner plate topped with a 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plate. The white in the dinner plate helps to break up the heavy concentration of color in the place setting.

The deep teal poly-cotton napkins from Home Goods are cinched with a Pier 1 “Beaded Circle” napkin ring that reminded me of a male peacock’s tail feathers when I first saw them. (Would someone please explain to me how it is that the male peacock got to be the showier one??!?!?! What a rip off!!!)

This goldtone flatware really gets a workout around here in the fall and winter months!

A mix of teal blue stems from Stein Mart and Dollar Tree green stemware pulls from the colors of the male peacock’s plumage.

I found these jeweled peacock place card holders at Tuesday Morning many years ago. For this occasion, a faux gemstone, like those in the holder, is added to the place card.

The peacock feathers I have are 52″ in length and interfered with the light fixture above the dining table. I did, however, want to capture the colors of the feathers in the centerpiece, so I used a single teal glass cylinder with a floating candle centered between clusters of goldtone candlesticks. Like the dinner plate selection, white candles were my choice in order to break up the high concentration of deep hues.

The peacock feathers, arranged in large Vidrios San Miguel green vases from TJ Maxx (also seen HERE), were moved from the dining table to the buffet behind it with a repeat of the teal glass cylinders and goldtone candlesticks. It took a total of 50 quills (25 each vase) to achieve this look. A feather, cylinder, and candlestick display similar to this would look great down the center of a reception buffet table, too!

As a side note, I wanted to demonstrate how this table could be easily transformed to a dramatic Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras look with the simple addition of a mask adorned with peacock feathers at each place setting. This would also make a kickin’ New Year’s Eve tablescape!!!

I hope your Mardi Gras celebration is a safe and fun one! When you finally wake up from your hurricane-soaked gumbo coma, please join me for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Another tablescape on this site using peacock feathers:
Proud As A Peacock!

Mardi Gras Lite

Fat Tuesday in celebration of Mardi Gras 2012 is just about a week away now!!! Problem is, the term “Fat Tuesday” probably has my photograph posted next to it on Wikipedia. I have been bad, bad, bad, bad, bad the last……oh, let’s say 10 years to be honest. I quit exercising every day but continued to shovel in the food and drink despite the ever-expanding hips, thighs, belly and “Oprah arms” waving back at me in the mirror.

This year, instead of the tower of fried catfish, vat of jambalaya, shrimp Ă©touffĂ©, hush puppies, King’s cake and hurricanes I’ve routinely enjoyed in the past, I’m pledging to lighten up. To that end, I have also created a Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras tablescape “lite”…an upscale, sophisticated, pared down version of the more decadent Mardi Gras style to which I am accustomed and hold so dear.

The traditional hues of purple, green, and gold will still be there in all their glory…just not as over-the top in their presentation. This table might work for those who want the essence of Mardi Gras without the whole “Swing from the balcony and show me your —-!!!” feel. 🙂 (In-laws, bosses or clergy invited for dinner might appreciate the less bawdy tone of it!)

I’ve never used a royal purple table linen for any occasion, but this year it lands on the table as the base of the tablescape. Dual chargers in a gold square and purple cobblestone round cradle a clear glass dinner plate and green glass salad plate, thus incorporating all the traditional colors.

A royal purple cotton napkin is cinched with a flirty bangle napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Goldtone flatware works well with the place setting.

I was so pleased to see that I had stemware of a similar shape in purple (TJ Maxx), green (Dollar Tree), and gold (World Market).

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. It was totally my husband’s -who fancies himself “The Tablescape Whisperer” – idea to include the long strands of beads. I resisted, thinking it would be way too cliché to have bundles of them down the center of the table. Plus, I whined, it will take away from the clean lines! We compromised, and I ended up arranging them in this quieter “grid” that frames each place setting as well as the centerpiece elements. Purple, green, and gold glass vases hold simply-arranged royal purple calla lilies. Finishing out the centerpiece are clusters of Mardi Gras “disco balls” that catch the light.


The buffet in back of the table is also relatively staid with a single, albeit oversized, royal purple Vidrios San Miguel recycled glass vase stuffed with an arrangement of graduated purple calla lilies. Using a single piece in a dramatic size and color negates the need for lots of little pieces all over the buffet top. Purple and gold glass votives dot the buffet’s edge and add to the overall ambiance in the room.

I don’t think they make gumbo-flavored rice cakes, so I’ll have to come up with something that will be healthy, filling and tasty without sending me into carb/fat/sodium/sugar overload. Yeah, I know…good luck with that! 🙂 New plan: Stick with the old eating plan, but eat it at the pared down table! Love it!

Please join me for Tablescape Thursday again this week to see how other tablescapers from around the globe are decorating for and celebrating Mardi Gras!
Laissez bon temps rouler, y‘all!!!

To see other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras!

The Cake Studio

I was in the business of designing and coordinating lavish weddings for a lot of years. During that time I befriended some of the most talented cake artists this tri-state area (and beyond!) has to offer. (I’m no fool…I like cake! 😉 ) Just in time for Valentine’s Day, but perfect for ANY AND ALL occasions, allow me to introduce you to two gals with the most awesome baking and design talent around! (Sorry…no scratch and sniff/taste available!)

 

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Owners Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio) and Michelle Rice (Iced Art) have a really fun, eclectic style that translates into stunning, picture-perfect cakes. With their fabulous confections and the bright coral walls of the shop as a backdrop, I dropped in a wedding tablescape depicting a formal dinner look made contemporary by the combination of black and hot pink.

This tablescape’s place settings have sentimental meaning. The gold leafed glass chargers were a gift from my sister. The intricately designed octagonal “Jacobean” by F. Winkle & Co. salad plates were a gift from my mother (also used in a very different tablescape “Peaceful Peonies”), and the highly embellished flatware is “on loan.” (Seriously…does Mom really think I’m giving this back???)

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The BB&B black polycotton napkins are folded to accommodate a place card or menu and banded with simple hot pink ribbon.

I could drink out of these glasses every day!!! Delicate pink crystal bears an etched design of meandering vines. I picked these up at Marshall’s and would really like to find more of them! (See this stemware used again for an Easter tablescape, “Pinky Peter Cottontail”.)

This magnificent centerpiece, created by Dana Nigro at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO is a remnant from my days as an event designer. The sturdy manzanita branch is dotted with pretty hot pink flowers and dazzling crystals. This truly was the center of the tablescape, with everything else being built around its simple beauty.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Iron candlesticks and treasure chests bursting with hot pink peonies rounded out the decorative centerpiece to complete the tablescape. I went with white rather than hot pink candles to maintain a bit of formality and so as not to overwhelm the look with too much of a good thing.

The three amigas: Michelle Rice (Iced Art – Cakes By Design), Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio), and little ol’ me! (Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
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!

Chocolate Traditional

I couldn’t let this season of romance get away without posting a tablescape using chocolate brown & pink!!! It works not only for Valentine’s Day if you’re hosting other couples, but for a bridal shower, ultra feminine birthday celebration, or – with a few key tweaks – a celebration honoring a breast cancer survivor.
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“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Spurred on by last week’s pinning episode with all the little rosettes, I decided to wake this plain chocolate brown linen up with a strip of pink & brown edging. Again, not willing to try my hand at whip stitching, I simply used exposed pearl head pins to affix the edging to the hem. It all tied in nicely.

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA silverplate charger and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china are topped with a simply folded pastel pink napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond. A small silver bell rests next to the hostess’s place setting. While it would normally be used to summon staff during dinner (as if I actually have staff! 🙂 ), this bell is to signal that it’s time for all the couples assembled at the table to steal a kiss!♄

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com I have a lot of stemware, but one of my favorites is Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection.

Another favorite collection is the International Silver “Danish Princess” flatware my Mom gave me. Here the dinner knife rests on a silverplate knife rest.

Silver hearts hold a place card by Artifacts.

No Valentine’s Day party is complete without a little chocolate something-something!

I bought these silver epergnes quite a few years ago. They are the companion piece to the 4-lite epergne shown as a buffet piece HERE. I really like the detailing. The white silk shades simply slip over the custom-made metal case candle (outfitted with a peg votive holder) and rest on the affixed bobeche. I can also swap out the custom candle/shade option for real tapers or remove the center bowl and use the piece as a 3-lite candelabra! Quite versatile!

I think I bought this silver covered casserole at Tuesday Morning about a billion years ago. I have used it both for food presentation and florals.

What’s a Valentine party without a ton of sweets on a dessert buffet? The aroma of all the chocolate is intoxicating! (I’m one of those odd women who does not care for the taste of chocolate, but I LOVE the smell!!!)

Coffee service is set up using the Elegance Silver coffee urn I purchased years ago. A pretty silver Victorian sugar scuttle with its tiny scoop is perfect for sweetening coffee (when a dip of your sweetheart’s finger won’t do the trick. 😉 )

On the opposite end of the buffet are Godinger silver petit four stands filled with all kinds of goodies. The silver pastry tongs have beautiful Baroque detailing.

I am so excited about this new acquisition!!! My goofy/loving cousin, Dee ;- ), got this silver Lazy Susan from our sweet friend, Doris, whose exceptionally good taste shows like a Derby prize winner. You should see this chick’s house! Anyhooooooo….Dee used it to display sweets at her recent 30th wedding anniversary party and then sent it home with me! I feel like passing out cigars to celebrate my new baby!!! Thank you, Dee Bug! Thank you, Doris!

Über feminine lacy paper dessert napkins are weighted down with my Lladró “Angel Lying Down” figurine, a gift from a client a few years back.

The corner tea cart, bought by my Mom in the 1950s from the swanky House of Modern and given to me a few years ago, is a handy-dandy extension of the buffet. A fun pink moscato is iced down in a silver champagne bucket, also given to me by my Mom. The salad course will be served with forks iced to perfection in this silver mini champagne bucket that is also perfect for a split of champagne if you’re dining alone! (Icing the fork tines is a great way to keep your salad greens crisp just a little bit longer, especially in summer! Just watch the look on your guests’ faces when the fork is presented like this! If you’re not lucky enough to have “staff”, the hostess should personally present the bucket for each guest to take a fork.) See another cool way to ice forks down by clicking HERE and scrolling down to Tip #3! This is also a fabulously fun & fancy way to present dessert forks or spoons!!!

I am joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week, and I also hope you will stop by the Valentine Blog Party hosted by Bargain Hunting & Chatting With Laurie on Friday, February 10. Pop in to get tons of decorating ideas for your Valentine’s Day party from tablescaping bloggers with romance on their minds all around the world!

♄♄♄Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you!!!♄♄♄

Other Valentine’s Day posts on this site you might enjoy:
Love’s Arrow
Peonies & Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses
“Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend”
Should Have Put a Ring On It
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”

Other posts in chocolate brown & pink:
Au Revoir
Just Us Girls

Days of Wine & Roses

Wine and roses. I like them both.
The former perhaps a bit more than the latter…but I digress.

Valentines Day is the perfect time to break out the wine, the roses, the chocolates…and the pink!!! Yes, it’s another pink Valentine’s Day table, but this time it is mixed with a deep, delicious burgundy.
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IMG_4239WMThis simple but sweet mix of modern and traditional could be easily transformed from a Valentine’s Day tablescape to one for a wedding, bridal shower, birthday, or to honor a breast cancer survivor.

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Each place setting has a pretty floral placemat adorned with vintage roses. The placemat from Pier 1 is reversible. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Pretty In Pink” to see how they were used with the reverse side.) The white charger is from Old Time Pottery, topped with a modern B. Smith square dinner plate. Mercury-colored heart-shaped salad plates purchased years ago from Big Lots complete the stack. A soft pink napkin works to separate the white-on-white of the dishes.

IMG_4260WMFor each guest, a favor they are sure to enjoy…a box of chocolates simply wrapped in shiny white paper and tied with a gossamer pink ribbon.

IMG_4257WMAnother bit of modernity is interjected with the J.A. Henckels “Bellasera” flatware.

IMG_4254WMI was thrilled to find this Pier 1 stemware finally hit the clearance shelf at 70% off! It’s traditional shape is kissed at the bottom with mercury-colored glass that lends a sultry modern look.

Fluffy heart-shaped biscuits are served up on a little paper lace. The Crate & Barrel appetizer plates are the perfect size for it.

The table decor is an extension of the silver, burgundy and pink elements at each place setting. Tri-level silver candlesticks hold pink tapers, and a trio of white ceramic bud vases from Michael’s merge – courtesy of a length of Ombre ribbon – to form a pedestal for a pink & burgundy rose ball.

I used these white swan gravy boats from Pier 1 as candy dishes at each end of the table. Swans are a symbol of love & fidelity which makes them a perfect choice! (Plus, I had no time or money to go out searching for actual candy dishes!) They are flanked by a nosegay of roses & hydrangea in the same vases used for the centerpiece.

I love the look of a stark white full-length linen, but this time I wanted it to better reflect what was going on up top. I remembered a bunch of tiny silk rosettes purchased years ago from Hobby Lobby. (They are now harder to find and much more expensive than the 9Âą apiece they were ten years ago!) Because I’m not a wizard seamstress like my next-door-neighbor, Barbara, who would have whip stitched these on in seconds flat, I took the time to pin each rosette. (Whatever, Barbara! Move on! Get over it! :-)) I made sure to gracefully position the 4 corners of the tablecloth to showcase the rosettes there. Kind of reminds me of the train of a wedding gown…which is why this would make a great table for a bridal shower or wedding, too!

The buffet repeats the colors and theme used on the table. Multiple bottles of wine are gathered on a silver platter with a pink pillar candle to illuminate the glass. A variety of white ceramic dishes holds candies, homemade sugar cookies decorated with silver dragees, cupcakes in rose-patterned paper holders, and a white layer cake with raspberry filling. (There is no close-up of that cake because that bad boy started to slide in the warmth of the room!) Miniature versions of the burgundy & pink rose ball used for the centerpiece bring a little more color and texture to the buffet.

For a person who isn’t all that into Valentine’s Day, I think I’ve gone the extra mile this year! More tablescapes suitable for a Valentine’s Day celebration include:
Peonies & Pearls
“Be Still My Heart”
“Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend”
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
Love’s Arrow
Roses In October
Chocolate Traditional
Should Have Put a Ring On It

I want to give a big shout out and thank Courtney over at “Courtney Out Loud” for featuring a little piece about my favorite spot in the house to relax with a cup of “tea.” (Uh huh, yeah…seriously…Jack Daniels makes tea now! Ooohh…my nose is growing! ;-))

I will be joining Susan and the other lovestruck tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Be sure to tune in to see what they’re up to!