Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog

Full disclosure: My granddaughter has zero interest in anything “girly” in nature, so I am left to cater to other people’s fantasies. Oh, well…c’est la vie.

I recently found three pink painted metal dress forms on the clearance shelf at Michael’s marked down 80% from $17.99 to a much more palatable $3.59 each. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but before I could say “plies and pirouettes”, I found myself making miniature tutus. Me! The grandmother of a child who, after seeing pictures of herself decked out in a feathered number for dance class that made her look like Big Bird, spent a considerable amount of time bulking up and went dressed as The Hulk for Halloween!!!


After several grueling days of cutting and tying tulle and hot gluing my fingers together more than once, I had miraculously created 3 very girly tutus. After adding a healthy dose of rosettes and bling, I decided this could easily pass for a ballet tablescape, brides, bridesmaids, or princess tablescape. Fabulous! So if you’re looking to throw a “Princess & the Frog” or “Frog Prince” or “Black Swan” kind of bridal shower or birthday party, this over-the-top tablescape might be right up your alley! (Seriously, though, if you’re going to throw your best friend a “Black Swan” bridal shower, maybe you should reevaluate your relationship! :-))
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I promise the candles aren’t crooked. They just oddly photographed that way!

The tulle used for the tutus is ivory, so I used an ivory full-length linen and napkins. TIP: for real weddings and tablescapes: If the bride is wearing an ivory gown, best to go with ivory linens in the reception space so as to not make the bride’s attire appear dingy. Years of professional wedding plan taught me that little gem!

I’m not a super fan of shiny runners at all, but they just seemed to work here. The blinding pink runners and creamy ivory linens are all from LinenTablecloth.com.


I used 13″ round mirrors purchased a couple of years ago at Hobby Lobby as chargers and “10 Strawberry Street” ivory stoneware from TJ Maxx. Ivory dishes are a nice little addition to your collection as they come in handy when using ivory linens.

You can buy cute lily pads like this from places like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Since “diamonds” are a major part of this overall theme (after all, they are a girl’s best friend whether she’s a bride, a princess or a ballerina!), I sprinkled on a handful. I guess they could also pass for water droplets if you want to go that route! The tiny ceramic frogs are from 2011 stock at Hobby Lobby. A demure pink spray rose brings color and yet another layer of texture to the setting.

The flatware is none other than my beloved “Royal Danish” sterling. The napkins are bundled up with a pretty “diamond” napkin ring. I bought these wholesale, but I have seen similar ones at places like Tuesday Morning and Z Gallerie. (Aaahhhh…Z Gallerie! The happiest place on earth!)

The diamond cut in the Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware is a perfect fit!

The centerpiece is a compilation of pink princesses, silver Revere candlesticks with ivory candles (you need to carry the ivory all the way through!), scads of “diamonds”, and pretty pink roses.

Someday I may do a tutorial of my own on how to create a no-sew tutu, but in the meantime you can click HERE for Julie Figueroa’s very easy step-by-step instruction. It’s basically just tying strips of tulle onto a length of ribbon. Too easy…even for clueless, craft-challenged me! I hot glued silk rosettes to the waistline and sporadically across the skirt itself. Little rhinestones were a pain (literally AND figuratively!) to put on, but the results were worth the half tube of silvadene cream. 🙂 To lend a little height and put these princesses on a pedestal (again, both literally AND figuratively!), I added 6″ silver cake plateaus/stands. (So sorry….I bought the cake stands wholesale several years ago and have no idea where to direct you to buy some this size.) A generous smattering of more “diamonds” runs the length of the centerpiece.

Medium-sized pink roses are nestled into a sea of more of the acrylic “diamonds” that fill a Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” mini vase.

The final component of the centerpiece is a parade of 11″ silver Revere candlesticks. I used my trusty (ivory) 15″ Paradise metal case candles to avoid any messy drips and reduce the threat of fire that always exists…especially when using something so flammable as tulle! Metal case candles found at stores like Hobby Lobby are usually white, but you can ask your florist to get other colors and sizes for you.

The exalted Frog Prince eyes the bevy of beautiful princesses from his perch on the buffet behind the table. A 12″ silver cake stand in the same pattern as those used to elevate the princesses gives him a little height. A larger lily pad is topped with a lacy ivory ring bearer’s pillow from the Beverly Clark collection. A trail of much heftier diamonds runs the length of the buffet along with clusters of soft pink roses. Notice that the silver candlesticks on the buffet are quite similar in shape (by design) to those used on the dining table to lend continuity. Ivory pillar candles are used to double back ambient light in the mirror.

Maybe someday my granddaughter will decide she wants to be a fairy princess instead of a weird, angry, steroid-enhanced green dude. A grandmother can only hope!

See more pretty pink posts on this site:
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Pink Plaid & Posies
Showered in Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Luncheon
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Au Revoir
Blushing Bridal Shower
Peony Power!
Pleasant Under Glass

Come on over and join the party at Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” anytime after 7:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday! I’m also joining for the first time “Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits” over at Yvonne’s “Stone Gable” blog. Then be sure to join Susan and a whole bunch of my cool blogger buddies for “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday. You’ll be glad you did!

Working Lunch

My husband is giving me “that look.” You know the one: the look that says, “Here we go again! Just shoot me now!” But I swear on a stack of pancakes I am NOT getting back into the wedding business!!! I am simply lending the benefit of my expertise to two three a few couples who have recently asked me for a little jump-start in their planning. And it’s not like I’m planning the entire wedding like I used to. Just the reception decor part. I mean, what’s the harm in that? 🙂

I had a lunch meeting a couple of weeks ago with a lovely couple and Mother-of-the-bride who are planning a May 2013 wedding. We spent nearly an entire day together, grinding our way through the details of their reception decor. I wanted to continue working right through the noon hour, so I set up a casual & fun lunch table that was pretty much in line with their chosen colors…and professions!
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Thanks to the sweltering heat (stick a fork in me…am I done yet??!?!!), we were relegated to the basement level of our home for the marathon meeting. We worked on the soft seating/big screen TV side of the room for most of the day, but lunch was set up in a little out-of-the-way corner on a marble top table.

Both the groom and the Mother-of-the-bride are elementary school teachers, so I thought it would be fun to use these lunch trays to make them feel right at home. (And to remind them that they’ll be right back in there with those screamin’ little demons in less than a month! :-)) I got an “A” for effort on that one!

I have been holding onto these really cool lunch boxes from Kirkland’s for another upcoming project, but the couple’s colors are turquoise, orange and white. How could I resist? Another “A” for effort!

I set it up so that we could just take the food from our lunch box and put it on our plate when ready to eat.

The chocolate and white luncheon-sized melamine plates (Target 2010) have just a touch of muted orange and turquoise in the simple design. I couldn’t believe how the plate colors nearly spot on matched those of the fun retro design lunch box!!! (The lunch box design reminds me of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In“. If you’re old enough to remember that show, take a little break and go fix yourself – and me! – a Metamucil cocktail with a Geritol chaser! ;-)) Fun white flatware from TJ Maxx lightens the look and stands out nicely against the deep color of the lunch tray. A bottle of refreshing Sioux City orange cream soda looks great with the setting and tastes great goin’ down…like a creamsicle!!!

Lunch was a quick and easy one: a piquant Southern fried chicken sandwich, a parchment paper cone filled with crispy thin Lay’s potato chips, and little Ziploc baggies of celery and carrot sticks. Just like in grade school…but without the stinky kid with the perpetually runny nose wanting to sit next to you! 🙂 I put a little ice pack in the bottom of each lunch box to keep the contents cold until time to eat.


The little wine table beneath the small screen TV was perfect for setting up munchies and dessert. (Yes….sadly, we have two televisions in the basement. My husband has grand delusions of this being a TGIFriday’s!)

We finally called it a day around 4:20. Sheesh….7 grueling hours of decision making!!! But guess what? The decor side of the wedding is now all but set in stone, and we won’t have to meet again until early April to finalize everything. Hallelujah! I love it when things work out like that!!! I hope you’ll check back next May to see the fruits of our labor!

Oh…I forgot the other thing: I got a glowing report card of straight A’s on my tablescape!!! 🙂 It would work really well for any kind of meeting including a teachers’ back to school planning session. This lunch and learn tablescape would also be something fun and different for a teen study group!

I’m linking up on Wednesday night with Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish! and on Thursday morning with Susan for Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. You can also find me at BeBetsy.com. I hope you’ll join us!

Diwali My Way

The extent to which I am familiar with Indian culture is that which I’ve seen in movies like “Bend It Like Beckham”. Last year, though, I found a blog called Rainbow – The Colours of India hosted by my blogger buddy Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee (Mukherjee). Sanghamitra is an avid traveler and photographer who captures some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. She has become my personal version of National Geographic. 🙂 I’m in awe of people who can just pack a suitcase and hit the road (or skies, or water) without reservation or hesitation. I’m the consummate homebody, so I live vicariously through those brave, happy-go-lucky souls.

Sanghamitra’s photos of the bright colors of India, along with her posts last Fall on Diwali (popularly known as the “festival of lights“), inspired me to try my hand at a table that celebrates the festival which generally begins in October/November. This Diwali-inspired tablescape is by no means “traditional” or “authentic”, but it is my attempt to capture the colors, smells, tastes and feel of a country I admire but will never see in person. I think it fits right in with Cuisine Kathleen’s “Destination Challenge” this week!
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An abundance of rich, bright colors starts with the hot pink overlay.


Each place setting begins with a gold-leafed glass charger. The amber glass dinner plates are from Pier 1, and the 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plates were a Home Goods find a couple of years ago.

Sheer gold napkins from Pier 1 are cinched with tiny child-size bangles purchased at a local market called Namaste India. It’s a fun place to shop with lots of different foods, clothing, jewelry and other items unique to the Indian culture.

Shiny gold flatware works well against the brilliant colors.

A combination of opulent glassware includes gold-embellished tumblers that I bought at TJ Maxx in several different base colors (purple, red, turquoise) including the green pictured here. The purple gold-rimmed wine glasses were a Pier 1 find many years ago, and the leggy amber flute is from World Market. I love every opportunity to mix and match glassware!

The centerpiece that extends the length of the table is a mix of various components. Hot pink rose balls sit center stage atop a gold vase. Flanking the vases are graceful red gem-studded gold Buddhas that I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft store a couple of years ago. Multi-colored glass votive holders dot the rich swath of red & gold silk fabric placed diagonally and allowed to puddle onto the floor for dramatic effect.

The buffet behind the table boasts colors that complement in the flowers, candles and other details.

Spices commonly used in Indian cooking are as beautiful as they are tasty. Coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, ginger, mustard seed, paprika and turmeric are just a few of the wonderfully fragrant spices that add zesty flavor.

Cinnamon, star anise, and fragrant bay leaf are other popular spices used in Indian cooking that produce a special flavor. Finish off the evening with a fabulous libation made with blue curacao liqueur.

I carried the hot pink color to the buffet via a small arrangement of peonies and a more imposing bouquet of calla lilies in a brass vase from India.

Other Asian-inspired posts on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

I enjoyed my week off and got a lot done, but I’m glad to be back with all of you in Blogland! Please join me at Cuisine Kathleen’s for “Let’s Dish!” and at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday again this week!

Time Out!

I am taking a brief, but much-needed, blogging break. My house looks like a remnant camp of Occupy America, I’ve not been to the salon in weeks so my eyebrows look like Abe Vigoda and Andy Rooney had a baby, my husband now refers to me as “What’s-Her-Name Who Used to Take Care of Me“….it’s all just a big ol’ hot mess around here!!! And just keeping it real, folks, I need some plain old R&R! 🙂

I am so grateful for each and every visit, and I hope you’ll hang in there with me. I’ll be back next week (or possibly the next…depends on if my stylist has to send out for more wax to tackle these caterpillar eyebrows!) stronger than ever. Meanwhile, especially if you’re a first-time visitor, please take a look around and see if there’s anything you like!

Have a glorious week (or two!), and I’ll see you on the flip side! 🙂

Bling Wedding – Lauren & Darren

Some may recall the horrendous Thanksgiving table construction disaster of 2011. I will never forget it. Ever. You’d think I had learned my lesson, but no-oooooo!!! My husband and I got up at the (pardon my French, ladies & gents) butt crack of dawn to create this table outdoors before the 100+° heat chased us back in. Ah! Great plan! Until…..I was so horrified this time that I couldn’t even take pictures of it. A sudden gust of wind swelled from out of nowhere, and…I think you can easily guess the rest! The sound was so deafening that…well…let’s just say I had to trash the shorts I was wearing! 😉

You’ve heard variations of the quote “God looks out for fools, drunks and old people”? As I would be defined as the trifecta where that’s concerned, I apparently received special dispensation on all 3 counts because, despite the 20-car pile-up look-alike on the table, nothing actually broke. Luckily, I had gotten quite a few shots off before the wind sneezed. I wasn’t going to take any further chances, though, and we promptly whisked everything back indoors. I reset the table and took the final shots in there. So if it looks like these photos were taken in 2 different places, it’s because they were!

Without further whining, here’s an all-white table that could be duplicated for a wedding reception or anniversary party. I dedicate it to my friend, Lauren, and her husband, Darren, who just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. So please sign the guest book, come on in, and have a seat at…where else?…Table 21!!!
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I love the look of an all-white wedding reception! It’s so clean and crisp and, well, wedding-y! 🙂 Lauren & Darren’s actual wedding colors 26 years ago were pink (or was that called “mauve” in the 80s?) and white, but this is what I would envision for their anniversary celebration if I could be there in ol’ St. Louis to do this for them.

White full-length linens are reminiscent of Lauren’s sweeping white gown in 1986. Silverplate chargers are the foundation for place settings created using my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china.

I created menus that incorporate more “bling” via the wedding ring clip art and a teardrop-shaped faux gemstone brad at the top.

Estate silver from my personal collection accompanies Godinger “Chelsea” stemware with its diamond design (implied bling!) and starched white hemstitch napkins in a simple square fold atop each bread plate.

At the bride’s place setting, a trio of full-blown creamy white roses are nestled into a Baroque silver bouquet holder.

These teardrop pearl and rhinestone-studded frames hold place cards for each guest.

Lots and lots of flowers in shades of creamy white grace the center of the table. Besides the very prominent towers of cascading dendrobium orchids are six small rose and cymbidium orchid arrangements in 6″ glass goose neck vases and four all-rose arrangements in silver Revere bowls. Each rose has a rhinestone pin stuck in the center for a little extra bling. At two intervals, suites of 4 silver Revere candlesticks with 25″H white candles surround the smallest floral arrangements. Introducing the tall silver candlesticks breaks up the sea of glass at that level on the table created by the taller vases. Having 4 heights of floral arrangements creates drama at many different eye levels. (It’s 4 heights because the tower vases are a single 31″ in the center flanked by two 24″.)

These tall & graceful goose neck tower vases have enjoyed a long 30+ year run in the decorating world. It’s all about making the overall arrangement a little bit different to breathe new life into them. Here I used lots of green-tinged white dendrobium orchid stems. For this demonstration, the orchids are faux (just $1 each on sale at Hobby Lobby!!!), but a profusion of the real deal on a wedding table…heavenly!!! I used curly-Q ornament hangers to get the arrangement dripping with bling. Not satisfied to stop there, I visually (and literally!) strung together the tower vases using 6-ft. bling garland. Just hook the ends to the lip of each vase with the hangers! I bought all my bling at a wholesale place, but you can find something similar at places like Hobby Lobby or through your florist. Actually, the single teardrop bling for chandeliers can be purchased at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s in the lighting & fan department! If you’re really ambitious, string together your own unique combination of bling! (Hint based on my wind-blown experience: If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure that tall, top-heavy arrangements are either heavily weighted or have sufficient protection from wind gusts. Don’t try to fight Mother Nature…she always wins!)

So…did you follow the sort of theme going on here with the teardrop shape? In the menu card brads, the place card frames, the floral bling. It’s important to do that to instill continuity at the subconscious level of the brain where people kinda think, “I love it! It all just flows!” Well, yeah, it flows! It flows because you’re subtly repeating a theme. The same applies to the repeated elements down the center of the Tuscan-style table. It just…say it with me, everyone…flows!

Congratulations to Lauren & Darren! I wish you many more years of wedded bliss!

Other posts suited for weddings on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Roses in October”
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“White Hot”
“Get Me to the Church On Time”
“Showered in Pink”
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
Rhapsody In Blue

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday, and Susan for her 200th edition of “Tablescape Thursday” this week! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!