Cottages & Bungalows Magazine – Published!!!

Have you ever had one of those incredibly bad days that started out like this:

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Drying process collage

Giant fans and dehumidifiers brought in to dry the bathroom wall, dining room ceiling and floor.

Yes, that’s right. I was setting up a tablescape when I suddenly noticed a single drip…followed by a rapid succession of LOTS of drips…followed by a downpour!!! Not only was I not going to get this very special table done (more on that next post), but I was going to be thrust into a world of insurance claims and deductibles and plumbers and all kinds of stuff I’d prefer to avoid. (The bathroom wall will have to be torn out tomorrow morning to identify the exact cause.) This was NOT good.

THIS, however – after Ramon checked the mailbox – WAS good!!!
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Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, front cover

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 84

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 85

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, Resources pg. 97

A two-page spread in the April 2013 issue of “Cottages & Bungalows” magazine including 5 of my original photos and 2 pages of my design tips!!! Long story short, I didn’t think it was going to happen. This, therefore, came as a complete and utter shock on a day when a GOOD surprise was needed more than you will ever know!

Photos are from original posts “Tropicana”, “Pleasant Under Glass”, and “Oranges & Blossoms”.

I hope this mess in my dining room is all cleared away in a few days so that I can resume work on that very special tablescape in honor of one of my very special blogger friends who celebrated a birthday today. Better late than never, I suppose!

“Cottages & Bungalows” is printed 10 times a year by Beckett Media, LLC, and is available by subscription or on newsstands. Please pick up the April 2013 issue and scream excitedly to everyone around you, “I KNOW this woman!!!”

I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”.

Moss & Manzanitas

We’re under a stupid winter storm watch here in the Midwest. Wednesday night into Thursday is supposed to get really ugly. Stock-up-on-supplies-and-pull-out-the-longjohns ugly. (Mine actually have a Dennis the Menace flap in the back! :-)) So as we brace ourselves for a less-than-pleasant end of the week, I’m getting more and more anxious for Spring to arrive.
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DSCN1448WMThe concept for this table for 8 started back in January when I made an appearance on a local morning show here in Kansas City. (Click HERE to see the post, “Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” with video clip and start-to-finish photos.) I set up a buffet table that would work well for this weird in-between stage when the bareness of Winter is still painfully evident, but Spring is just a stone’s throw away. On that buffet, I used a lot of bling along with the moss and manzanitas that would have been great for a bridal luncheon or a 60th wedding anniversary, traditionally dubbed in the U.S. as the “diamond anniversary.” The post with that television appearance does include photos so you can compare that buffet setting to this sit-down one.

DSCN1395WMWhile diamonds are absolutely a girl’s best friend (well…diamonds and Spanx! :-)), for this more casual table I wanted to use “rocks” of a different kind. Hence the abundance of smooth river rock nestled around the manzanita “tree” centerpiece.

DSCN1387WMNothing says Spring like color, and this citrusy green dinner plate really grabs your attention! (Dollar Tree, folks! Dollar Tree!!! If you don’t have one in your area, petition the company to build one there!!!)

Flatware, napkin, menu collageA plain white cotton napkin is wrapped around a tri-color menu and topped with a single stone. The natural look of bamboo in the flatware further complements the setting.

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DSCN1428WMUnadorned clear glass stemware gets an upgrade with the addition of individual bottles of chilled wine. I like using these mini bottles from World Market to dress a casual table, but always have plenty of the big boys on hand as well. Some guests take the minis home as a souvenir, others drink it on the spot.

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IFThe centerpiece is made up of these cool manzanita branches I bought last year at Gordmans. When I first used them last Halloween I gave them a much more ghastly graveyard look. Here they take on a totally new role, dotted with white orchid blooms as if Spring is making its first appearance. With all the moss (the famous Moss Bridge, not to mention the mossy hillsides) and the stone (stone walls, the Blarney Stone), this would make a great table for St. Patrick’s Day!!!

IFI just love the color and texture and smell of reindeer moss! It’s so…woodsy! I tucked little sprigs of it among the branches as well as loading up on it at the base of the branch structure.

IFI found these fun-shaped ceramic vases at Home Goods about a year ago. They help extend the bright, invigorating color of the lime green plates and reindeer moss from the dining table to the buffet behind it.

Buffet cake, flatware, lg. floral collage

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I want to extend a HUGE thank you to The Home Girl for naming my blog as one of her “Five Fabulous Finds” and to Jenna at The Painted Apron for listing me among her picks for “Very Inspiring Blogger”! It’s always uplifting to receive recognition from fellow bloggers, and I appreciate it very much! These ladies both have an enviable array of weekly posts on tablescaping, recipes, home organization & decor…their talents abound! If you’ve not seen their blogs, I most certainly recommend that you treat yourself!

This week I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party, “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, and you’ll be able to see the work of talented tablescapers from all around the world. It’s really cool to see decor from places like Sweden (Chubby ‘N Chieque), India (Crystal Grandeur), Australia (Desire Empire), and, of course, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Other tablescapes on this site to help you prepare to entertain this Spring:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel!”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Carousel Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Peony Power”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Mikasa Daylight Giveaway”
“Daisy Crazy”

Mardi Gras Madness – 2013

This post is SO appropriately named. I had a whale of a time photographing Mardi Gras colors with a dark, icky sky raining on my parade. The purples are probably going to weird you out, but just throw on a pair of shades and hang in there with me, will ya?! That said, Fat Tuesday 2013 is just a few days away and I wanted to share with you a quick look at where we’ll be partying that day. I can’t wait to get started cooking!!!
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IFThere’s something I’d like to point out if you hadn’t noticed about this table: There’s no centerpiece of any kind! That’s right! None…zero…zilch…nada! The 2 spots where decor would have otherwise gone will be occupied with my version of King’s Cake and a plate of French bread. Here’s the cool thing, though…the absence of a centerpiece is not readily noticeable because of the way the table is set! The “centerpieces” are happily hanging out back there on the hearth.

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IFEach place setting starts with a gold charger which is topped with a clear glass dinner plate and a green glass salad plate. What differentiates each setting is the purple, green, or gold mirrored “disco ball.”

Flatware, gold disco ball, green horn collageGold flatware rounds out the place setting, and a colorful noisemaker rests on the charger. It’s Fat Tuesday. There will be lots of noise going on in here!!!

Stemware, napkin, beads collageThe napkins are folded to resemble the fleur de lis associated with New Orleans and the Mardi Gras season. (It IS a season there in “Nawlins”…not just a day!”) I used this same Pier 1 stemware for one a 2011 Mardi Gras table, “Mardi Gras Mojo” and a 2011 St. Patrick’s Day table, “Upscale Irish”. I really like the gold band around the top.

Feather arrangement collageThe background decor uses the same glittered feathers used for the “Mardi Gras Mojo” table as well as the purple, green & gold cords used on the chairs for that post. The 39″ purple glass Vidrios San Miguel vases are from Home Goods.

Mantel collageThe mantel is dressed up a little with gold mercury glass votives.

I want to wish my friends in the Northeastern part of the U.S. a safe weekend as the Nor’easter moves in tonight. Hunker down and stay warm!

More posts on this site for Mardi Gras:
“Mardi Gras Mojo”
“Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!”
“Mardi Gras Lite”
“Peacock Pizzazz”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”

Have a great Fat Tuesday, everyone!

Platinum & Pink Valentine Tablescape

Valentine’s Day is just about a week away now, and I’d like to share a simple but impactful centerpiece on a table I have created for one of my upcoming tablescaping classes. While this is a table for four, it could be easily adapted to a more intimate table for two by removing two place settings and moving the centerpiece to the far edge of the table so the couple can sit side by side.

IFThe dilemma always exists in how to make a table suitable for the tastes of a man paired with those of a woman. My solution is to use a color that appeals to both sexes, although probably for different reasons: platinum! Men think of it as the color of a sharp pinstripe suit, tuxedo or morning coat. Women, of course, tend to think of it in terms of “da bling” (with a diamond strapped on that band big enough to break all 5 fingers!!!) 🙂 Either way it goes, it’s a fabulous color that works really well with touches of pink infused for softness. I draped this 48″ round table with a crushed poly platinum linen big enough to gently puddle around it.

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Napkin collage

Flatware, Stemware, Favor collageThe china used here is classic Easterling “Majestic” with a deep gray band and platinum rim. The chargers are silver-leafed clay. The pearly pink & silver napkin rings from Old Time Pottery are doubled up to give them more depth. Taking its cue from the centerpiece, a snippet of bling adds a dash of sparkle to the napkin.

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IFThe simple centerpiece was created with heart-shaped oasis floral foam. This one is laden with faux carnations for class purposes (to see more on how it was constructed, visit Table Tips, #38), but it could certainly be made with the real deal. Fluffy fresh carnations give you a lot of bang for the buck, and just imagine the sweet clove fragrance!!! I dotted the arrangement with rhinestone stick pins and gently curved stems cut from a bling spray (that regular readers may recognize from my Christmas 2012 tree and living room wreath arrangements) to give it more of a 3-D look. Tri-level silver Revere candlesticks with white candles lined up on both sides of the floral arrangement round out the centerpiece and add a sexy glow.

This table, expanded to seat more guests, would be ideal for wedding-related events, an anniversary, or a special lady’s birthday. The floral centerpiece (used with different supporting elements) would work nicely for a baby shower.

More tables on this site suitable for a Valentine’s Day celebration:
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”
“Chocolate Traditional”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“Days of Wine & Roses”
“Love’s Arrow”
“Princess Pink Birthday Dinner”
“Roses in October”
“Pretty in Pink”

The blog parties this week are brimming with love! Join me, won’t you, for Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish! (anytime after 6:00 p.m., CST on Wednesday), The Style Sisters’ “Centerpiece Wednesday”, Susan’s Tablescape Thursday (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday), and for the very first time Beverly’s “Pink Saturday”. Don’t miss the Valentine blog hop at “Bargain Hunting With Laurie” starting Sunday, February 10th!

 Have a Happy and Loving Valentine’s Day!