I was pleased to participate as both a designer and one of 4 workshop presenters this past weekend at “Garlands & Gatherings”, a benefit event for Hope Haven of Cass County, MO. Hope Haven provides shelter, advocacy and support services to women and children in our area who have fallen victim to domestic violence or sexual assault. The Saturday morning brunch brought out a nice group of women looking to support the cause, have a little fun, and learn a few tips on holiday decorating (Karen Mills, Interiors by Design and me), personal style (Jennifer Niehouse, It’s So U!), and cooking trends (Jean Ostby, Williams-Sonoma). Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be posting the tablescapes I designed for the event with the hope that you will enjoy them as much as the benefit attendees did!
To kick it off, this first table is something fun for kids. The pastel/candy/polka-dot theme would be great for a Christmastime birthday party or just to make the kids feel extra-special at their assigned Christmas Day dinner table!
Please pardon the photo quality. The lighting wasn’t the best, and I was under a tremendous time crunch.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)
Although it generally would not be practical to employ a full-length linen for a children’s table, I used one here to cover the ugly legs of the folding table and to hide scads of storage boxes! The 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth on this table for 8 is from LinenTablecloth.com. (Alternatives to a linen:  go bare,  use an inexpensive sheet,  wrap the ugly legs in festive ribbon,  add Christmas elf stockings to the legs stuffed with gift tissue to make them stay up & cover the leg all the way to the top, and then “gift wrap” the table surface.)
I chose to go with paper and plastic goods for this kid-friendly tablescape. Each place setting begins with a colorful polka-dot “placemat” which is actually a piece of felt from Hobby Lobby. Very inexpensive at just 50¢ apiece. Next are Dollar Store plates in pastel blue and purple topped with a ring pop to add a little color, fun, and a bigger sugar high for the kids. 😉
The inspiration for this tablescape was the pair of “marshmallow and candy” Christmas trees I found at Hobby Lobby. I set them atop a clear glass pedestal for added height and then created a “tree skirt” using scads of curling ribbon. (What a pain in the patootie!)
Keeping with the confectionery theme, I added clear glass apothecary jars down the center of the table filled with all kinds of colorful candies. The swirl pops amidst the Pixie Stix look very much like the inedible “marshmallow” swirl pops from Hobby Lobby in the very center of the table that add even more height to the overall look. (NOTE: If you don’t want to risk your nice glass apothecaries, try using various sizes of clear Mason jars or jars that previously held jelly, mayo, pickles, etc.)
I also found these wonderful pastel nutcrackers at Hobby Lobby to place at each end of the centerpiece and stand sentry over the candy!
I created this fun look by covering ordinary banquet chairs with a white stretchy cover and a bubble gum pink satin sash from LinenTablecloth.com. I then used a length of yellow satin ribbon to affix a melange of candy ornaments to the center. The polka-dot ribbon (Hobby Lobby) was the final touch to tie the chairs in with the dots on the marshmallow trees and the placemats. (Chair covers for a kid’s party? With these easy stretch covers, clean up is a breeze! Just toss ’em in the laundry!!!)
Last, just for laughs, here’s a picture of me – no makeup, pancake flat hair, and my “out in public” back brace bulging beneath my sweater – as setup began. Goodness knows that back brace needed to be on, because when it was my turn to present…..well, just watch this 90-second video!
AND MY BACK & SHOULDER PAID A HEFTY PRICE FOR THE CRAZY SHENANIGANS THAT LITTLE BURST OF ENERGY BROUGHT ON!!! 😦
I’m back on my walker now to get around and having sleepless nights from the pain. But it sure was fun while it lasted! 🙂