Butterfly Bleu – The Grand Resurgence of Melamine

In a recent segment of “Better Kansas City” (my first appearance back on the show after a 7-month absence for my stupid spine surgery) I talked about the joys of the new melamine dishware that has flooded the market in recent years. One thing for certain: this ain’t your mama’s melamine!

Our back deck sets the scene for this sweet little table for four decked in a 108-inch round ivory tablecloth and surrounded by banquet chairs with ivory Spandex covers from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

Each place setting starts with a double layer of chargers that picks up key colors in the salad plate including a sapphire blue metal from Pier 1 (first used in the post “Simply Peacock Garden” in 2014) topped with a chocolate brown Baroque-style (also used in “Pheasants & Pumpkins” back in 2014) from Hobby Lobby. I’ve discussed in prior posts how using more than one charger can add interest to the place setting via design, texture, shape and color. The dinner plate is Home Essentials Antique White, a popular staple around the tablescaping blog world.

 

 

I found the blue compotes at Old Time Pottery way back in 2010 and have only used them a couple of times. Shame on me! The salad plate – my inspiration for this tablescape – is a sweet melamine by TarHong with impressive blue butterflies and an additional carte postale design. A far cry from the drab melamine of the 1960s! The faux mother of pearl flatware is from Target.

 

 

 

I recently picked up this beautiful Aurora Blue stemware by Qualia at Home Goods. It perfectly complements the clear glass stemware I purchased at a moving sale some years ago (also seen in “Something Blue Bridal Luncheon“). Ivory cloth napkins are cinched with a blue acrylic napkin ring, tucked into the stemware, and embellished with a blue butterfly to further complement the salad plates.

 

 

The hefty centerpiece, heightened by a rosewood Chinese pot stand, is made up of a tangle of greenery mixed with blue hydrangea, ivory roses, alstroemeria and hypericum berries finished off with eryngium blue thistle.

I’m not around as much these days as I’m taking LOTS of time out of each day getting healthy: walking 5-7 miles a day, spinning on my recumbent bike, working out with small weights, preparing fresh meals from scratch…all the things that will help my spine get (and hopefully stay!) strong and lose the “surgery weight.” I’m peeking in on you, and I’m so glad you peeked in on me today. Have a great week ahead!

Other posts on this site with butterflies include:
Float Like A Butterfly
Grazin’ In the Grass
Spring Into Easter
Patisserie de Paris
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Spring Has Sprung
Mother’s Day Brunch
Purple For Spring
Showered In Pink
Going Green For Spring

If you’d like to see other posts on this site using double chargers, check these out:
Proud As A Peacock!
Fete Noir et Gris
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Year of the Rabbit
Copper Zen
Cranberry Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner
Get Me To the Church on Time
Let It Snow!
Winter Cardinal
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Mardi Gras Lite
French Poodle
Hooray For Vodka!
Clematis & Hyacinth
Rhapsody In Blue

Rhapsody In Blue

RHAPSODY IN BLUE
(a re-post from September 2010)

I treated a couple to a post-nuptial luncheon in our home to celebrate their union. A smattering of “diamonds” brings glitz & sparkle to the wedding tablescape.

 Bursts of bright green play nicely off the bride’s chosen colors of French blue & white. Granny Smith apples and juicy green grapes are surrounded by green button mums, spider mums, pink waxflower, Queen Anne’s lace, viburnum, and fragrant Stargazer lilies all spilling from a silver pedestal bowl. The main piece is flanked with green grapes atop simple silver pedestals.

 Each lady’s place setting is marked with an oversized “diamond” napkin ring. The gentlemen have simple “wedding bands” of silver. Two chargers – one rhinestone-rimmed and the other a plain silver – mimic the differences in the men’s and ladies’ place settings. The scrolled-edge cream-colored plates are from TJ Maxx, and the quilted table runner and napkins are from Z Gallerie.

  Although a simple fare is served (pecan-chicken salad on croissant, honey-dipped fruit on a skewer, assorted cheese slices and kettle chips with strawberry shortcake for dessert), the tablescape still has a decidedly regal feel about it.

Sun & Sky

 
The blazing, unforgiving heat of August in Kansas City just wilts me! Aside from blasting the A/C and sipping cool drinks, the best thing I can do to lift my spirits (next to shopping, of course!) is to surround myself with lots of bright color. I hosted a luncheon with a brightly colored tablescape and did just that!
 
I am a huge fan of classic cobalt blue which reminds me of the sea and sky, especially when paired with sunny yellow. A dose of white makes the brilliant colors in this tablescape really pop. This casual luncheon tablescape contains elements from Pier 1 Imports (“Mirandela” chargers, stemware, yellow crockery), Tuesday Morning (napkins, napkin rings, placemats), Macy’s (flatware), and one of my favorite haunts, Z Gallerie (centerpiece finials). Fun, wispy yellow spider & acid green button mums from Costco rounded out the look. (Click HERE to see the dishes in the same design as these chargers in another tablescape.)
A cup of rich, creamy broccoli cheese soup makes the perfect appetizer, followed by a (relatively) healthy chicken Caesar salad with freshly shaved parmesan for the main course.
The 3″ square yellow crockery was used to bake individual apple-walnut cakes that topped with cinnamon ice cream. These were the perfect luncheon size, and the presentation in the tiny crock made them a little more fun!
With my tummy full and my mind swimming with the feeling brought on by all the bright color…I think I’m back on track! Crisis averted!

Old Navy Seafood Cruise

INSPIRATION: A set of 4 striped Pier 1 plates found at a thrift store.

INSPIRATION: A set of 4 striped Pier 1 “Marea” dinner plates found at a thrift store.

This quick post might help out with your 4th of July table planning by just adding a few small flags. It’s fairly easy to put together and makes a casual fun summertime tablescape. (I created this tablescape last year just days before my Dad got so sick, but forgot about it and never posted it.)
(Click any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - full table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - double linens and fishnet topperThis table for four looks to celebrate the wonders of the beach and sea. It starts with a 108-in. white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com and it topped with an 85-in. navy square. If you prefer less of a drop for your top cloth, LTC has a navy one in a 70-in. and a 54-in. (Pictured is a 48-in. table, so decide according to the preferred drop and the size of your table. I wanted the white to just barely peek from beneath like a crinoline petticoat, so I used an 85-in.) The table is finished off with a fishnet to add to the nautical/beachy look.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - Place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - Flatware, individual plate collageThe place setting begins with a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery. Next comes the “Marea” blue striped dinner plate from Pier 1 that I found in a local thrift store. All four for just $2 with nary a scratch on them!!! (“Nary”?!?!? Who am I…Grandma Moses??!?! 🙂 ) A blue melamine salad plate from Target and a fun dessert plate with a ship’s wheel motif finishes off the stack. As my dear blog friend Cherry Kay of Entertaining Women pointed out in her most recent post, “Soft Summer Blues”, don’t even go there when it comes to trying to perfectly match blue tones. The range is just too vast and you’ll only end up crying in a corner somewhere, reeking of cheap wine and low self-esteem! 🙂 The flatware is from TJ Maxx, and I added a seafood picker (essential for getting to that sweet meat hidden deep in the claws!) that I picked up at World Market.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - Napkin, lobster napkin ring, pail, crackers collageI found these beautiful silver (plastic!) lobster napkin rings at Z Gallerie a few years back on clearance at 75% off. There were only 9 of them, and I swooped in like Batman to claim every one of them as my own! The little aluminum pails came from the $1 aisle at Target, and the seafood crackers are from World Market.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - stemwareSimple clear glass stemware for water and the obligatory wine!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - seashell centerpiece in raised glass cylinder

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - centerpiece seashells from overhead

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - Seashell collageI bought this beautiful raised cylinder from Pier 1 many years ago…on clearance. It was marked all the way down to about $12. I wept with joy. The silver bottom is sturdy, and the open-ended clear glass piece on top just raises right off. Here the cylinder is filled with lots of pretty seashells deliberately arranged to show off details of some of the most interesting ones.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - hats on chairs, flip flops

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Old Navy Seafood Boil - Hat and sandal collageOf course, Old Navy flip-flops are the preferred shoe of the day! And then you decide…do you want to be The Skipper or Gilligan? 🙂

Other nautical/beach-themed posts on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Tropicana
Hot Tropical
Ocean Blue
Flamingos in Paradise
4th of July Coastal Style
Caribbean Queen
Summer Breeze
Oranges & Blossoms

Join me at these fun blog parties this week for lots of summer tablescapes:
Table It!
Tablescape Thursday

Something Blue Bridal Luncheon

Shhhhhhhh! Do you hear that? The sound of church bells tolling in the distance….do you hear it? It’s May, and you’ll hear a lot of those now that the wedding season is in full swing. May is a popular month for outdoor wedding events in many parts of the country because the air is yet untainted by the overwhelming aroma of summer barbeques and swimming pool chlorine.

In the hustle and bustle of preparing for the big day, an intimate luncheon just for the bride and her attendants might be in order. A quiet spot under the branches of an old oak tree provides the perfect venue. (This setting would also work very nicely for a ladies’ luncheon.)
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

Hanging the canopy over ground space uninterrupted by massive tree roots was way out of my league! Nothing like the handy dandy help of a good husband with no fear of heights to get things going! Be sure to test the ground beneath the canopy to make sure it’s level enough for the table and chairs before going through the trouble of hanging it. (Also a good idea to make sure all nearby bird and squirrel nests are unoccupied. We found this out the hard way!)

The foundation of this tiny round table for four is a full-length white linen topped with a soft blue Ralph Lauren “Veranda Paisley” cotton linen from TJ Maxx.

Silverleafed terra cotta chargers and simple white Corelle plates are enlivened with a soft blue cotton napkin from Burlington.

Luncheon breads are tucked safely away from nosy birds beneath a 6″ clear glass cloche from Hobby Lobby.

The Baroque design of heirloom flatware is a good fit.

What’s a wedding celebration among friends without a champagne toast? (Remember to have a chilled sparkling cider on hand for any non-drinkers in your group!)

I chose this particular iced beverage glass because of the shape of the stem. The ball there is similar to that of the top of the cloche and the “ankle” of the floral vessel. I always try to consider shape similarities when choosing tabletop items to create a sense of unity. Your guests won’t necessarily make a conscious connection, but their subconscious will pick right up on it as that “something” that makes the table work. This is yet another reason why it’s good to get very well acquainted with your personal tablescaping inventory.

A clear glass vase of simple apple blossom branches is the only centerpiece needed. The sheer white canopy is festooned with the traditional “something blue” of trailing silk ribbons.

When the breeze catches it just right, the canopy looks like a bridal veil or the train of a beautiful gown.

The canopy is anchored away from the table to accommodate chairs just before lunch begins by using pearl head pins along the hem to secure it.

See 6 more wedding-related events all on one page by clicking on the “Wedding” tab at the top of this page. You can see even more entries suitable for wedding-related events by clicking on these individual posts:
Roses in October
Blushing Bridal Shower
Peonies & Pearls
Showered in Pink
Raining Orchids
Get Me To the Church On Time
White Hot
Autumn White Wedding
Pink Plaid & Posies
Flirty Peach Skirt

I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. I hope you have a chance to visit!

Mum’s the Word/Zen Garden

I’m taking a break from the buffet tables I have shared the last couple of weeks to bring you something a little different. I have a goofy rule about not buying anything unless I can think of at least 5 ways to use it in under 30 seconds. Sometimes that’s a real challenge. Other times, however, the ideas just flow.

I recently conducted an exercise in my “Art of Tablescaping” class that engaged the students in looking at a centerpiece item and brainstorming about all the different ways it could be used. The genesis of these two tablescapes is that exercise, along with napkins & matching placemats I bought year-before-last at Burlington. The white flowers remind me of Fuji mums, and the gentle nature of the design makes me think of a quiet Japanese garden. I figured I could bring out a little or a lot of that Asian feel depending on the additional elements used, but that both looks would work well for a Spring tablescape.

IMG_4760WMI remember sitting in the aisle with the napkin on my head (the inspiration seems to come quicker for me that way!) with possibilities shooting out from every which way. (And yes, I often sit there for long periods of time making purchase decisions that have more to do with “How much trouble will I be in for spending this money?” as opposed to “How many ways can I use it?” Don’t judge me! ;-))

What you’ll see here are side-by-side comparisons of how switching just a couple of elements can change the whole look and feel of a tablescape. See if you can spot the subtle differences. “Mum’s the Word” on the left would be great for any “business casual” get-together, and “Zen Garden” on the right would work well when serving something fun like sushi or takeout Chinese food.
(Click to enlarge any photo.)

Besides the robin’s egg blue placemats and napkins, both place settings utilize Z Gallerie’s “Delfina” china with its glossy white center, chocolate brown rim, and sophisticated silver edging.

Making the napkin look a little different is as easy as changing the napkin ring. The napkin on the left has a silver-rimmed faux mother of pearl ring (I bought them at Old Time Pottery, but Z Gallerie has them, too), while the ring on the right is a natural rattan (Pier 1).

The setting on the left uses clear glass everyday glassware from Old Time Pottery. The setting on the left replaces the all-American stemware with a simple white sake cup from World Market.

The flatware on the left with faux mother of pearl handles is distinctively different from the stainless bamboo on the right which evokes a more deliberate Asian feel. (Both from Target.)

The elements of the unusual centerpiece remain the same for both tablescapes. A stripped natural manzanita branch from TJ Maxx (yeah, that’s right, TJ Maxx…who’d have thought?!??!) mimics both the color and curves of the branch on the placemat. Soothing white Fuji mums in clear glass Hobby Lobby cylinders stand alongside silver Revere candlesticks with chocolate brown candles. (Note: Fuji mums will last for a couple of weeks if you cut the stem on the diagonal, change the water every couple of days, and maintain a comfortable room temperature.)

The overall look of the buffet is altered by the simple addition of extra elements that steer away from the more austere look of simple candles and florals as pictured on the left.

The simple white World Market sake set and teapot (T.J. Maxx) definitely lend Asian influence.

The melodic sounds from soothing Japanese chimes can be used to gently alert your guests that a feast awaits.

Subtle differences can make a world of difference!

Other posts on this site with an Asian feel:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Year of the Rabbit
Peaceful Peonies
Mikasa Daylight” (Design #2)

I am joining Susan and many other talented tablescapers from out there in the world for Tablescape Thursday again this week. Also hooking up with The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

Tall & Toile, Y’all!

The packing process is in full swing now. This will be my last post for a while. I’m taking a short hiatus to get moved to Savannah, GA with my husband. Before packing the last of the dishes and other “stuff”, though, I had to host one final (albeit small) dinner party a few weeks ago on the deck. This was an evening filled with both laughter and tears as I said, “So long!” to a couple of very dear friends. We all had horrible “racoon eyes” from crying and didn’t want to be photographed for this post. Suffice it to say, we had a wonderful time and I will treasure this final dinner party at our Lee’s Summit home.

I’m feeling sort of blue because we’re leaving the Kansas City area, so I decided to use that color for my last table.

I bought this wonderful toile table topper several years ago for a display table in my shop. I absolutely adore toile, and it was an even bigger hit with me combined with these dangling “jewels.”

Each place setting consists of silver-leafed terra cotta chargers topped with my favorite Noritake “Spectrum” china. Heirloom silver, Longchamps crystal and white cotton monogrammed dinner napkins rounds out the setting.

Creamy agapanthus in three silver julep cups was just enough for this tiny table.

I like the look of very tall candles! One of my 5-lite silver Revere candelabra held these svelte 25″ metal case candles that kept up with the cool spring winds accompanying our outdoor meal.

I will miss everything about you, Kansas City. You have been my only home for nearly 53 years. I will miss my awesome neighbors – the Alsups, the Rutherfords, the Jenisons, the Breshears – who have all been so sweet and generous and kind. I don’t know that I will ever be able to replace the feeling of “home” that they have provided on our little cul-de-sac over the years. I will miss Kansas City barbeque, the Sprint Center with its incredible acoustics for some of the coolest concerts ever, Chiefs games at “The K”, and the Kansas City symphony. I will miss the many parks, fountains and boulevards that make Kansas City so special. I will miss the Country Club Plaza, Z Gallerie (the closest one to Savannah is 5 hours away!!!), and Town Center Plaza where I have spent countless hours (and $$$). I will miss my former colleagues in the wedding industry, many of whom I still pop in on from time to time. I will certainly miss my friends – Sheri, my best friend of more than 45 years who has made life such a joy; Monica, Audrey, Rene, Michelle, my Kauffman Foundation crew – all of whom have been there for the best and worst of times. Most of all, I will miss my family: my sister and her children who make frequent trips into Kansas City; my very crazy cousins (yes, Dee…I’m singling you out!); my fun-loving aunt and uncle; my grandchildren; my stepchildren and their lively friends, and; my baby boy, Jimmo, who is the beat of my very heart. And, of course, I will sorely miss my parents. My parents who have loved and supported me in everything I do. My parents who I love so much it almost hurts. My parents who provided me with an upbringing that has made me strong enough to withstand the hardest things in life…even this move. For them I will hold my head up. That doesn’t mean I won’t cry. I’m crying right now, in fact. It does mean, however, that I will do them proud and not turn Savannah on its ear…too much! 😉

My dear blogger friends, please check back with me in a month or so. Once we are settled in to our new home in Savannah, I will be so happy to rejoin you in Blog Land.
Take care…y’all! 🙂

I am delighted to join Susan and the host of talented tablescapers who join in each week for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Home of the Lions!

This past week was such an emotionally difficult one with the passing of my dear friend, Delia Young. To the rescue were our dear friends who moved from Kansas City to the Detroit, Michigan area a couple of years ago! Ramon and I stepped on a plane bound for Michigan on Friday morning…no small feat as I am terrified of flying. There was no way, however, I would have missed out on visiting with our very special and incredibly gracious hosts…even if it meant I had to fly to get there!

 

The special treatment started at the front entry of their lovely lakeside home (above). It just got more and more special as we were treated to an inspired tablescape created by our hostess, Rene, to herald our arrival and declare the team spirit that runs deep.

 

Rene put her creativity to work to put together this incredible tablescape to get Ramon and me into the Lions spirit for the Sunday game!

The team colors of Honolulu blue, silver, black and white were all incorporated into the imaginative place settings with the placemats, team napkins and helmets, and chargers.

The cute miniature cars pay homage to both the Ford Motor Company which is headquartered in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, AND to my sweet hubby who is a plant doctor at the Ford Assembly Plant in Missouri.

Rene thought of absolutely everything when putting this tablescape together, including this hilarious depiction of the Lions crushing the New York Jets!!! She and her imaginative friend, Karen, conspired to create the ultimate centerpiece with this bronze-come-silver lion. They actually came up with the brilliant idea to dust the bronze lion with silver cake dust to sync with the Lions’ official colors!!! Is that not the greatest??!?!?!!

The menu included a feast fit for a King of the Jungle! (I actually turned down dessert at one of the city’s toniest restaurants to get back home to Rene’s pear upside-down cake!)

Rene thought of everything! The Beef Wellington even had a puff pastry “L” for Lions on it! (This was her first attempt at Beef Wellington, but had I not seen her prepare it with my own eyes, I would have sworn it was catered! Magnificent!!!) For the record, I officially gained 4 pounds from Rene’s wonderful cooking over the three days we were there!

Our lovely and very thoughtful hostess surveys her handiwork.

Ramon and I are still staunch Kansas City Chiefs fans (forever!!!), but thanks to our gracious hosts we have a special place in our hearts for the Motor City and home of the Lions!

Other sports-themed posts on this blog include:
Hometown Pride – Kansas City Chiefs
The 19th Hole – Golf & Forever Love
Boys of Summer
Football Tablescape – Kansas City Chiefs In the Red Zone

I am so happy to share my thoughtful friend’s creation with everyone who visits my blog and that of the Style Sisters’ Centerpiece Wednesday and Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays! Enjoy!!!

Centerpiece Wednesdays ButtonBetween Naps On The Porch