Easter Bloom

Easter Sunday is just a few days away now, and here is one final table that I hope can be of help to someone in search of last-minute ideas.
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INSPIRATION: Wreaths with pale pink & yellow Easter egg-like beading that I bought 8 years ago and have never used.

INSPIRATION: Wreaths with pale pink & yellow Easter egg-like beading that I bought 8 years ago and have never used.

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IFI started this demure Easter table with a full-length pure white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

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Flatware, rim shot, lace plate collageEach place setting begins with a pink, green, yellow and white striped cotton placemat from Pier 1. (I used these reversible placemats on this side in “Pretty In Pink” – a birthday luncheon for my Mom – and on the flip floral side in “Days of Wine & Roses”.) A white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with the inspiration for this table: a wispy pink & yellow beaded wreath that has a very “Easter-y” look about it. The dinner plate is creamy, buttery yellow stoneware purchased at a local grocer last autumn (for just $1 each!!!), and the lacy white salad/dessert plate is one of my favorites from Pier 1. “Danish Princess” silver given to me by my Mom looks smart and adds just a touch of understated formality to the table.

Egg cup, napkin, beaded wreath collageThe pretty petal pink napkins and the celery green silver-banded napkin rings that adorn them are both from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I wanted to pick up just a little of the green in the placemat through the napkin rings. The white egg cups are from World Market.

Stemware collageIf this stemware seems at all familiar to you, it’s because the pink patterned stem graces the Home page of my blog. The green goblets are a part of one of my favorite go-to sets from Dollar Tree. (If you can get a goblet that will work as hard for you as these green ones do for me year-round for just a buck each, buy every one you can possibly fit in your storage closet!)

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IFTIP: I’d like to call your attention to the dried curly willow branches running along the two long sides of the centerpiece florals. This is a way to easily (and very economically!) visually corral your centerpiece. It has the same subconscious visual effect as placing the florals on a tray or setting them on a runner.

Floral (table) collageLook at the effect of the willow branches…how they lend a truly organic feel to the overall look of the centerpiece. These evergreen topiaries are faux, but you could certainly use real ones and plant them later. (Unless you live in the Kansas City area where it seems like the snow is NEVER going to melt!!! 🙂 )

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Bunny collageI used these fun paper hydrangea bunnies in another Easter tablescape two years ago. They have such a fun and feminine quality that I really like. Something I like about these is that they are both cream and white which allows me to use them with either shade.

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Rabbit floral, tie & geranium collage

IFThe buffet has plenty of space on it for food, but I wanted to dress it up just a little. On one end is my stone bunny, Barton. Barton last made an appearance in another Easter tablescape two years ago as well as on an Easter brunch buffet table last year. This year, Barton has switched up from the usual eggs on his tray in favor of pretty pink carnations surrounded by a bed of white waxflower. He’s sporting a pink Ombre ribbon tie that Ramon put on him like a proud Papa. 🙂 Nice knot, huh?

I want to wish you and your family the very best of this Easter week,
and may you be blessed always by the grace of God.

Tablescapes suitable for Easter breakfast, brunch, luncheon or dinner on this site:
“Easter Floral”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”

“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Carousel Colors”
“The Bluebird Special”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Rolling Fields of Green”

I’m joining the following blog parties this week, and you’re invited along!
Marty’s “Tabletop Tuesday
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday
The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta

UPDATE: This post was featured as the most viewed entry for The Home Girl’s blog party!

Find this and other fun posts from my blog at BeBetsy.com!

The Bluebird Special – In My Mother’s Honor/My Brother’s Memory

It’s going to take forever to write this, but this time I’m going to do it……………

I love my parents. They put up with a LOT from me when I was a kid. I mean A LOT, people!!! I was crazy!!! If I had a daughter like me, I would have put her in a nunnery and not just throw away the key, but melt it into a doorstop to make the door more secure!!! They hung in there, though…especially my Mom. Frustrated and befuddled as she may have been, she hung in there. Throughout my life she has weathered my boyfriends, husbands, breakups, career changes, household moves, hairstyles, and even my “I just want to experience life” crap. My Mom has been good to me and good for me. For all three of us – Berishia (who I call Barf), Jay (my little brother who I called Hemorrhoid because he was such a pain in the @$$!), and me (who Jay called “Erica” as in Erica Kane because of the aforementioned “husbandS” thing!). She has been a role model and a cheerleader in more ways than I could write without a serious case of carpel tunnel setting in. She has been a Mother and a friend all in one…and that’s not always easy with a kid like me. 🙂

So….my Mom’s birthday is coming up this Friday. I don’t think she’ll mind my telling her age because it’s in her Senate bio and has been splashed across every newspaper and mentioned in every television or print media interview she has ever given. She’ll be 84 years young. And when I say “years young”, believe it!!! She can still out-shop (“rag pullin'” as she calls it), out-party, and out-dance me by a mile. (I suffer from extreme “Elaineism” when it comes to dancing…y’all know that “Seinfeld” episode!) This woman stirs Eveready® batteries in with her oatmeal for breakfast!
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Inspiration collage

INSPIRATION: (1) I almost broke this little pot I found about a month after my little brother, whose trucking handle was “Bluebird” – lost his life in a motorcycle accident. (2) While driving today, I saw 3 of these Pavlich trucks (the company he loved and worked for) when I haven’t seen any in months. It was a sign. I knew it was time.

IFI started this Spring birthday tablescape with a full-length white linen from Linen Tablecloth.

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IFI display the bluebird pot in a guest bedroom. I’ve had it since 1999. When in 2010 when I saw these beautiful “Early Bird” plates & bowls at Pier 1 with the bluebird in the bowl, it hit me right away that I had to have them. I wanted to create a table to honor my brother. For 3 years I tried…and for 3 years, I couldn’t do it. It was just too hard. Still is. So this year, I’m using them to honor my Mother’s birthday – which is joyous and because last year I teased her about eating dinner at “The IHop Hour” which is like 3 in the afternoon when the senior discount starts at IHop restaurants! – and my brother whose memory from this day forward I choose to rejoice in rather than mourn.

IFI ran my sister all over the state of Minnesota looking for these square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning last year. She shipped them here just in time for my stepdaughter’s birthday dinner party. The faux bamboo flatware was a great buy at JC Penney Outlet.

Stemware, Napkin collageThe stemware are those wonderful green Dollar Tree goblets we all know and love! These are the best buy!!! Attractive, usable in all four seasons and, at just $1 each, unbeatable in value! I bought the napkins, aptly named Spring Tulips, and the green woven napkin rings at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago. I like this “bow tie” because it can be both masculine (in black, gray, or some manly pattern) or feminine like it is here in this buttery yellow.

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Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece is a tangle of delicate yellow tulips in white ceramic vases (Michaels), a variety of bird nests filled with eggs, birdhouses, and boxwood balls atop white ceramic pots.

TIP: When using multiple elements in your centerpiece, try not to line everything up straight like soldiers. Try lining up a single element and then “scattering” the rest to break up the uniformity and add visual interest.

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Birdcage & clock collage

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IFThe buffet is simply topped with a wire birdcage and vase full of willowy branches at one end, a vintage-looking clock in the center, and an urn filled with Spanish moss and bird eggs on the opposite end.

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Tea cart collage

Finally, the tea cart is made ready for coffee or tea with “Early Bird” mugs and a white teapot from Home Goods.

Mom & Alycia Collage II

Clockwise: Mom & me when I was 3 months old; Mom & chillin’ on a Sunday afternoon; Mom, Jimmo &  me at last year’s Mother’s Day dinner at our house; Mom, Barf (hands on skinny little hips) & me; Mom & me at Mario Tricoci Salon; Mom & me at her 80th birthday dinner at our house. Center photo: Mom, Daddy & me before they headed out to a gala

Mom & Alycia Collage III

Clockwise: Ramon, Mom & me celebrating my 50th birthday in the nerd…uh, computer store; Mom & me doing that Grape Nuts commercial thing where the mother is mistaken for the daughter (we do weird stuff like that!); Mom & me at her campaign party; Barf, Mom & me at Thanksgiving 2010; Kelly, Mom & me celebrating Mother’s Day at our house, 2010; in the parking lot upon my return from living & working on Capitol Hill in D.C. Center photo: Mom, me & famed hairstylist/entrepreneur Mario Tricoci (he cut her hair!!!)

Mom & Alycia Collage IV

Clockwise from top: Mom & me at Bruce R. Watkins Center; at my cousin’s wedding; at Watkins Center again (we spend a lot of time there!); at my parents’ home before heading out to the Rod Stewart concert; posing like the Doublemint Twins! Center: Mom & me at her 81st birthday luncheon at our house.

Mom & Alycia Collage I

Me being the very annoying kid I am giving Mom the bunny ears; kissing her little head at her 80th birthday party at our house; my sister, niece (kneeling), Mom & me at one of her Senatorial pep rally/photo shoots; Mom, Daddy & me on the Missouri Senate floor; we laugh alike!!!; Mom & me at Elton John concert. Center photo: Mom, Daddy, Ramon & me out to dinner at the M&S to celebrate Daddy’s 83rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!

Jay collage

In memory of Bluebird
July 3, 1960 – Forever in Our Memories

Joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”.

For more Spring-inspired tables on this site:
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Easter Floral”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Easter Brunch”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Springtime in Paris”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Carousel Colors”
“Spring” page – featuring 2 Spring tables

Easter Floral – Purple, Pink & White

This is nuts! It’s St. Patrick’s Day already, and Easter Sunday is just 2 short weeks away!!! I really feel like we’re in a time crunch, so I’m just going to jump right to it!

Starting this week, I will begin each post with a photo of the inspiration for the tablescape. I hope this will help novice tablescapers to expand your creative thinking skills.

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This week’s inspiration: a pack of cocktail napkins with purple & pink tulips that I spied at the grocery store!

Last week’s table was serene and subdued. This week’s is its polar opposite so get ready for an over-the-top color explosion, baby!!!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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Flatware, Napkin, Stemware, Egg Cup collageI started with a full-length white tablecloth (LinenTablecloth.com) and topped it diagonally with a reversible Easter egg-colored striped cloth. I used this same topper on the flip side for an Easter buffet table last year. Rose-colored chargers from Michaels (picked up for the bargain price of just 49¢ each last year!) are the foundation of the place setting topped with a white Corelle dinner plate, a Bordallo Pinheiro green cabbage salad plate, and a Pier One white floral bowl. A pale green napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond peeks out from beneath the plate. The stemware is the ever-familiar Dollar Tree green goblet paired with a beautiful purple number from T.J. Maxx. The flatware is International Silver “Danish Princess”, and each place setting is finished with a pink, purple or yellow sparkled egg in an white egg cup from World Market.

DSCN2418WMThe centerpiece – a melange of figurines and florals – runs the entire length of the table.

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Bunny collageI love these super feminine twin bunnies all dressed up in their Easter finery! I have named them Hilary and Henrietta. 🙂 I arranged their bunny ears to look as though they’re a bit wind-blown in the Spring breeze!

Table floral collageThe main table floral is pulled together in a wire basket with woody green accents. Heads of cabbage are joined by a bunch of perky pink larger-than-life faux tulips set to give it an asymmetrical look. The basket is surrounded with pots of pink and purple African violets and white ceramic vases of tulips and hydrangea.

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Buffet floral collageI’m back to my old dramatic tricks with these over-the-top floral arrangements on the buffet behind the dining table. Oversized pink tulips and cabbages spill from curvy white glass vases (T.J. Maxx) to create quite a stir!

Floral chair collageThis room is truly about florals!!! The seat of this child-sized chair has been replaced with a moss ball cut in half and topped with faux florals to mimic those on the dining table.

Tea cart collageThe tea cart holds a Ralph Lauren white ceramic cake stand with pierced edges I picked up at Tuesday Morning a few years back. The white tea pot is from Home Goods. Last, the whole inspiration for this tablescape: paper cocktail napkins with pink & purple tulips.

China cabinet collageAnother Ralph Lauren cake stand on the china cabinet holds glittered Easter eggs.

That’s one Easter tablescape down, one to go!
For more Easter inspiration on this site visit:

Easter Brunch
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Carousel Colors

Before I get out of here, I’d like to say thank you to The Home Girl for featuring my tablescape, “The Party She Deserves”. It was the most-viewed entry for her blog party, Festive Friday Fiesta, last week. That sure put a smile on my face!

Come party with me this week at:
Cuisine Kathleen – Let’s Dish!

The Tablescaper – Seasonal Sunday
Between Naps on the Porch – Tablescape Thursday
A Humble Creation – A New Creation
The Home Girl – Festive Friday Fiesta

Check out this and other posts from this site on BeBetsy.com!

Rolling Fields of Green – St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape

A million-and-one thanks to blog party hostesses Marty at A Stroll Thru Life (155th Tabletop Tuesday) and Jessica at A Humble Creation (A New Creation link party #3) for featuring my tablescape from last week honoring fellow blogger Vernice at We Three Dogs & Me! I am honored, flattered, and tickled petal pink! 🙂

A portion of this post is featured in the January 2015 issue of “Kansas City At Home” magazine along with an interview regarding trends for entertaining at home!

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“They say Mother Earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore.
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilight’s door.
Her eyes are the stars in heaven,
Watching o’er us all the while.
And her heart, it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle.”
(Opening lyrics of “
Ireland“,
lyrics by Stephanie Davis, Jenny Yates, Garth Brooks)

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Charger, Flatware, Stemware collage IIThis year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner party tablescape has a very organic quality about it, mixed with a little pot o’ gold glitz. It started with a full-length white tablecloth (LinenTablecloth.com) as the foundation. Beautiful rippled glass champagne-colored chargers purchased from Costco a couple of years ago lay beneath creamy white dishes from T.J. Maxx. Godinger’s “Dublin” crystal (what else for St. Patrick’s Day?!) and goldtone flatware round out the place setting.

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Flower, shrub, lg. moss ball collage

Moss balls on brass stand collage

Cabbage collageI tend to use more subtly symbolic decor when decorating for St. Patrick’s Day, hence the moss, cabbage, evergreens (all symbolizing the rolling green fields of Ireland) and gold accents (the pot of gold, of course!). Florals and greenery are assembled in a tightly gathered parade of creamy, rustic stone & earthenware pots (symbolic of the many fences made of stone in the Irish countryside) that I placed on a moss table runner. Gold mercury glass votives dot the centerpiece, and a few extra moss balls show up on worn golden-colored stands tinged with verdigris.

TIP: Using lots of pots or vases in the same color family creates a harmonious look down the length of your table. You can connect the centerpiece even further by placing everything on a runner or tray.

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Buffet collage - 2The buffet behind the dining table is very simply dressed with a pair of antique white stone urns topped with evergreen mounds, a trio of gold mercury glass votives, and a tray of “Dublin” rocks glasses to serve a wee bit o’ Brendan’s Irish Cream after dinner.

Other posts on this site with tablescapes suitable for St. Patrick’s Day:
“Upscale Irish”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” (buffet)
“Apple Green Luncheon”

I am proud to participate this week in Cuisine Kathleen’s “5th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl“. Head on over there to check out lots of tables wearin’ the green! I am also taking part in Marty’s 156th “Tabletop Tuesday“, Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” and The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta“.

“Ireland, I am coming home.
I can see your rolling fields of green
and fences made of stone.
I am reaching out.
Won’t you take my hand?
I’m coming home, Ireland.”
(“
Ireland” chorus)

The Party She Deserves – Birthday Dinner for My Blog Friend, Vernice

When I first started blogging about 3 years ago, I had no idea I would make so many long-distance friends. I have such a good time getting to know you! Even though I’ve only met a couple of my blog friends in person, I have still developed deep, lasting friendships with several people. One of those people, Vernice, celebrated her 82nd birthday last week. (I don’t think she’ll mind my posting her age since she has it right there on her blog, We Three Dogs and Me.) Because Vernice and I live about 1300 miles apart and I have a profound fear of flying, I have never had the pleasure of seeing and embracing this lovely lady in the flesh. I hope to remedy that some day. Meanwhile, I want to honor Vernice in the best way I know how. This is the birthday dinner I would give to celebrate 82 wonderful years of my friend, Vernice…the party I would give if I just lived closer…because in my heart, she deserves it.
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DSCN2090WMI still think of 82 as being a spring chicken! I would want Vernice to enjoy being Queen for a Day in a room filled with light, spring-like colors that express the joy and optimism I see in her personality, her heart, and each tablescape she lovingly creates. And flowers…Vernice would be treated to LOTS of flowers!!!*

IFThis table for 8 would work well for an upscale Spring birthday celebration, bridal shower, bridesmaids’ luncheon, and even a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party! Swap the apples out for eggs, and it could even work beautifully for Easter Sunday.

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IFI chose to expose the bare wood of the table and use placemats, draped off the side. I used Granny Smith apple green and white houndstooth placemats and white poppy bowls from Pier 1, along with cotton napkins and B. Smith square dinner plates from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Stemware, flatware, bowl collageSimple clear glassware and stemware keep the place settings from competing with the abundance of decor. I used many of these elements in another tablescape, Apple Green Luncheon, a couple of years ago. It never ceases to amaze me how the same basic elements can produce so many different looks!

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Floral, bowl of apples, pepper shaker collage

Lit candle, short floral collageThe centerpiece is made up of many different elements including fresh white bird salt & pepper shakers purchased from Pier 1 several years ago. Vernice loves birds (and all animals…especially her dogs Peanut & Bambi, and her frisky new kitty cat) so I wanted to be sure to include them! A pair of white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie are parked on each side of a Ralph Lauren reticulated white pedestal bowl piled high with apples. White roses spill from the same small bowls used at each place setting and white ceramic vases from Michaels. TIP #1: Using multiple heights of flowers on the table adds interest and color.

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Buffet floral collage

Buffet apple and orchid floral collageI wanted the dining table backdrop to be really dramatic, so I used a number of different white and clear floral vessels to achieve that look. Tall white ceramic cylinders overflowing with wispy white orchids, white reticulated vessels (these are actually candle holders, but you can simply slip in a clear glass vase to hold the water) filled with hydrangea, viburnum, roses, tulips and hypericum berries, and smaller containers with roses and hydrangea are scattered across the buffet. White wood candlesticks like those on the dining table create a bit of ambient light that bounces off the mirror behind. TIP #2: Using a mirror as a backdrop works wonders to double the depth, color, beauty and ambient light in your decor. TIP#3: Use a variety of flowers in the same shade for a textural bonanza!

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Tea cart collage

DSCN1820WMAlways a little something-something for the tea cart and top of the china cabinet.

To my dear, sweet Vernice…I love, admire, honor and respect you with all my heart. You are a strong, sensitive, brave and giving person with untold talents and a heart as big as 1000 lakes. Happy Birthday #82, and I wish you the best year ever!

Other posts on this site using green & white:
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Upscale Irish”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” (buffet)

I am sharing Vernice’s birthday celebration dinner with Jessica at A Humble Creation for her Monday Link Party, Marty’s “Tabletop Tuesday“, Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. Central time), The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday, Yvonne at Stone Gable for “Tips, Tutorials & Tidbits”, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. Central time), and a brand spankin’ new blog party, “Fiesta Friday”, over at The Home Girl! You can also see my work at BeBetsy.com!

*The florals used for this “fantasy table” are faux, but I recommend using fresh flowers for real dinner parties whenever your budget allows. There’s just nothing like ’em and you can give them away as favors to the guests as they leave!