Stars & Stripes

IF

INSPIRATION: My Daddy. A man who gave much to his country through tireless service in his community and unparalleled love for his family.

I’d like to thank my regular readers for your kind indulgence and your incredibly compassionate phone calls, cards and emails over these last several weeks as I took time to care for and then ultimately say goodbye to my Daddy. (A SUPER BIG thanks to Liz at “Infuse With Liz” for fielding questions on my behalf!) These last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life. I saw a person I have literally known all of my life slowly wither before my eyes. I lived with Daddy at the hospital and then at Hospice House for the final week of his life. When it became apparent the end was just minutes away (Ramon told me the signs to look for), I crawled into bed with him and held him as tightly as I could to keep his gaunt little body warm until the angels came to take him home to Jesus. I wanted this remarkable, scholarly, introspective, golf-playing, popcorn/apple pie/peanut butter on waffles-eating former farm boy of a man who lived his life with gusto and touched so many in such positive ways to know without question that he was loved and cherished on the day he died even more than the day he was born. My Daddy, James B. “Jim” Wilson, a.k.a. “The Kissing Bandit”, no longer walks this earth. He now lives in what I have chosen to call a “cozy upscale one-bedroom condo with fabulous marble door, incredible pastoral view, and very quiet neighbors”, a.k.a. a mausoleum at a nearby cemetery. (Daddy was a commercial realtor. I think he would be proud of my description!) I know I can go there to visit anytime I wish without calling ahead or dressing up or having anything of real interest to talk about, just like always. It will be just my Daddy and me..hangin’ out.

I am back to blogging for just a moment. There is still much to do in the way of “tying up loose ends” that must be addressed and preparation for the now rescheduled surgery previously planned for June 21st. I had this 4th of July tablescape all set, photographed, and ready to publish, though, so I’d like to share it with you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it and see close-up details.)

Full deck - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Full table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI set up this casual table for 12 on a clear, sunny day back in May. Two 6-ft. folding tables are nattily dressed in double layers: full-length 90″ x 132″ white topped with a 60″ x 102″ navy blue tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The 4th of July is the time to dress a table in multiple hues that reflect the colors of our nation’s flag! (LinenTablecloth.com has some GREAT patriotic linens in stars and stripes, too! They’re on sale this week, so it’s not too late to get them for your 4th of July tablescape!!!)

Multiple place settings - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Patriotic place setting - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Napkins & flatware, rim shot, flag on plate collage

Stemware - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEach place setting starts with a woven rattan square charger from Tuesday Morning. Stark white square dinner plates from the B. Smith collection at Bed, Bath & Beyond are topped with square navy salad plates from Pier 1. A small American flag is a natural guest favor. I wanted the napkins (doubled because let’s face it…barbecue is messy and you’ll need at least two!) to really stand out against the deep navy tablecloth, so I draped a bright red one off the side of the table at each setting and then topped them with alternating stars or stripes in navy & white. The flatware is one of my favorites with such an appropriate name for Independence Day: Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriotic – Mirror”. The simple clear glassware is from Old Time Pottery.

White resin bistro chairs - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEven humble white bistro chairs look great when all lined up like soldiers!

Patriotic floral centerpiece - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Table flags & Pelligrino collageThe centerpiece that marches the entire length of the table is very simple but effective. Two large white glass vases are filled with lots of branches dotted with small white flowers. Look closely…the profusion of blossoms kind of reminds you of a fireworks display in the sky! Or perhaps sparklers?! Smaller white vases filled with bouquets of small American flags from Target are placed at intervals along with flag pairs on tabletop stands. Bottles of Pellegrino are placed on the table for guests, and they look right at home with their sassy red stars.

Buffet table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneThe small buffet table has decor befitting the occasion that complements the dining table.

American flag "bouquet" - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneA large “bouquet” of American flags poked into a white ceramic vase flaps in the wind.

Pelligrino collage - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI love it when food packaging works into my decorating scheme!!!

Watermelon slice, stacked plates, forks, iron stars collageThese rustic cast iron stars usually hang out in a guest bedroom, but today they are part of this tablescape. A juicy watermelon wedge sits atop a stack of white appetizer plates from Crate & Barrel.

Barbershop Quartet Boater - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI’ve had these fun turn-of-the-century boaters for a long time. The red, white & blue trim takes me back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson or Harry S. Truman when barbershop quartets were cool and politics might have actually been fun! 🙂

Cake plateaus, whole watermelon, Absolut collageI’m a big fan of “grown up dessert” made of a whole watermelon injected with vodka. Delicious, light, juicy, and FUN!!! The red, white & blue ceramic cake stands are from Hobby Lobby.

Other tablescapes with a patriotic theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
“Stars & Stripes”

“4th of July Coastal Style”
Lauren in the Library
American Royal Tablescape
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
Peacefully Patriotic

I’ll be rejoining a couple of fun blog parties this week: Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. (CDT) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday after 9:00 a.m. I hope you’ll come along with me to these parties to see what all the other talented tablescapers out there are doing for the 4th of July holiday! Check me out at BeBetsy.com, too!

In support of our military and their families, please join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party”!!!