All A’Bloom in Pink for Spring

INSPIRATION: Crunchy, ugly, brown grass that just teases us with sprigs of green. :-(

INSPIRATION: Crunchy, ugly, brown grass that just teases us with sprigs of green. 😩

It’s April 1 and still dipping below freezing each night. Would somebody PLEASE text Mother Nature and let her know she’s tardy for the party??!??!!!
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full dining room

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full table lengthwiseIf Mother Nature wants to play it that way and hold Spring back a while longer, I figured I’d just have to bring my own version of the season alive in the dining room!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Double place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Single place settingEach place setting starts with a pink, green, buttery yellow and white Pier 1 cotton placemat upon the bare wood table. The placemats are turned vertically to create a slight drop off the side of the table. A deep pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger is topped with Mikasa “Daylight” china, chosen for its graceful, leafy branches.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Cloche bell jar on Mikasa Daylight china

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Carnation in white egg cup, flatware, stemware collageA brilliant pink carnation peeks over the rim of a white egg cup from Crate & Barrel. It is covered by a clear glass cloche bell jar from Hobby Lobby. (A brightly colored egg would make a nice substitute to create an Easter brunch setting.) A soft pink napkin from LinenTablecloth.com is simply folded and laid alongside the dishes with Hampton Forge stainless steel “Bamboo Mirror” flatware. The simple glassware is from Old Time Pottery. (Other posts on this site using cloche bell jars include “Pleasant Under Glass”, “Spring Has Sprung”, and “Apple Green Luncheon”.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: cherry blossom branches and meringue candies collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: deep pink carnations in white ceramic teapotsThe centerpiece runs the length of the table so that each guest has a little eye candy in front of them. It is a melange of deep pink carnations in white ceramic teapots, white ceramic cylinders filled with small manzanita cherry blossom branches with carnations tucked around the lower perimeter, and white ceramic baskets of pale pink, yellow and white meringues. Notice how the colors of the centerpiece items reflect those in the placemats.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full buffet arrangement

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Buffet florals collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Tray with teapots

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Mikasa Daylight teacups & saucers collageThe buffet behind the dining table is partially covered with a the same placemats as used at each place setting to sweep the color and pattern across the room. On top of the placemats is an American Atelier white ironstone tray topped with various white ceramic teapots. Mikasa “Daylight” teacups and saucers stand at the ready nearby along with a few sweet treats. The floral vessels are taller, broader versions of those used on the dining table and also contain manzanita branches. Among the branches are stems of pink magnolias and more cherry blossoms. Notice how the cloche theme from the dining table is reiterated here.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: tea cart collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: candlestick lampThe vintage tea cart in the corner holds a few more sweets beneath cloches, a pot of bright pink cosmos, and a stack of Pier 1 doily dessert plates. A fun chalkboard sign wishing guests a “Happy Spring” leans casually against the base of a yellow candlestick lamp. (For more candle lamps on this site, see “Raining Orchids“, “All A’Bloom In Pink for Spring“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

This easy-to-create table setting would work nicely for any Springtime celebration including a ladies’ luncheon or tea, birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, retirement, or to help rejoice in the good news of a breast cancer survivor.

 

Other posts on this site featuring Spring tablescapes:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

 

Thank you for stopping by! I’m headed over to Susan’s at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and to How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday. I hope you’ll come with! And don’t forget to join me next week for Cuisine Kathleen‘s Spring Tablescape Challenge featuring entries from tablescapers all over the world!!!

 

Winter Cardinal

Christmas is over and the new year is well underway, but I’m still diggin’ the spirit-lifting spurts of bright red around the house. Even though snow has mercifully dodged us thus far, it is January so the trees are bare and the feel of winter definitely abounds.

I was sick (yes, again!) last week and spent a lot of time staring out the window planning my escape. I saw the most beautiful cardinal perched on a low-hanging branch for what seemed like an eternity and a fleeting moment all in one. She was a striking creature in her shockingly red coat and heavy-handed eyeliner. She brightened an otherwise dreary winter’s day with her brilliant color and gave me inspiration for a winter tablescape.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IMG_4055WMI bought these 222 Fifth “Winter Cardinal” dinner plates on clearance at TJ Maxx awhile back. The same thought that struck me while looking out the window is what attracted me to these plates. The tiny speck of red, while miniscule by comparison, is the star of the flat white plate with its silvery, sinewy, naked trees. (Click HERE to see another red, white & silver winter tablescape.) To add a little drama, I went with a double dose of contemporary square chargers in silver and red from World Market. Turning the top charger at a slight angle allows the red on bottom to just barely peek out…kind of like the cardinal in the tree. (Click HERE or HERE & scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see other tablescapes using doubled square chargers.)

IMG_4040WMThe contemporary lines of J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless works well with the setting.

IMG_3983WMThe slender tube-like fold of a red cotton napkin is secured with a silver napkin ring.

Each place setting is punctuated with a square glass votive filled with waterlogged cranberries and topped with a fragrant white carnation. (For more tablescape ideas using cranberries, click HERE or HERE.)

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Another shot of red revs up the stark white linen via the TJ Maxx table runner. I double-folded the center part back to lend more of a 3-D look with just the decorated ends exposed. The barren silver trees on the runner are a nice companion to those on the plates, and it could just as easily find its way into a Christmas tablescape.

I love the look of pavĂ©d carnations! This simple arrangement of easy-on-the-budget white carnations is anchored by acrylic “ice” chips for a wintry look and topped with cranberries for color. My husband said the square shape makes it look like a layer cake with whipped cream, which would make it perfect for a birthday party, shower, or anniversary! He’s right, but I think he just wanted cake! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another post using acrylic “ice.”)

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IMG_4045WMThe buffet behind the dining table gets an austere, yet somewhat theatrical treatment. A square glass floral container filled with more acrylic “ice” chips holds dramatically arched branches coated in silver paint. Peering from within is a lone cardinal. Another glass container is filled with fresh cranberries for the requisite shot of color. Votive candles dance the length of the buffet.

Champagne anyone?

I am thrilled to join my fellow tablescapers as we start this new year together at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday. Come along this Thursday, won’t you?

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Bienvenue! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
(Welcome! Let the good times roll!!!)

We will be shakin’ our bon-bon and having a grand ol’ time in celebration of Fat Tuesday tonight! Our trusty butler, Geoffrey, even plans to get in on the fun which is so against his staid British upbringing! 🙂

I’ve been busy all morning preparing a slightly more formal table than the way we celebrated over the weekend. The same amount of debauchery, however, is expected as for any Mardi Gras celebration!


I elected to allow the natural wood of the dining table anchor the setting. Over the bare wood I crisscrossed lengths of shimmering purple, green & gold netting.


Each place setting  started with a deep purple cobbled charger from Burlington. The china was purchased several years ago at Pier 1. Add gold toned flatware and my trusty Godinger “Chelsea” collection stemware.


Purple gemstone napkin rings from Z Gallerie hug the sheer organza Pier 1 napkins. Here you are better able to see the cobbled texture of the chargers.


The centerpiece is made up of several pieces. First, in a Godinger “Dublin” hurricane, is a mass of free-flowing fresh greenery. I wanted a kind of “messy” look to play off of the more formally arranged carnations beneath it.


Clusters of beautifully fragrant royal purple carnations rest in diminiutive crystal vases.


At each end of the dining table are Godinger “Dublin” cut crystal candle holders.


Graceful purple birds with soft green bellies and long, sweeping tails perch high above each gold candlestick. The birds were purchased wholesale many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to use them.

One of my favorite parts of decorating is the chance to create something new by combining various elements. The very boxy gold-toned candlesticks are softened by the addition of these bobeches dripping in crystals.


The buffet area is the perfect place to extend the festivities from the dining table. Purple, green & gold mirror balls stretch the length of the buffet with a strand of the same colored beaded garland. On one end of the buffet, a Harlequin doll stands guard over the assorted candies in cut crystal containers.


On the opposite end, a mini bar of soul-satisfying bourbon, scotch and brandy in cut crystal vessels awaits thirsty guests along with fun feathered masks.


I don’t much care for store-bought King’s cake, so I am substituting these lucious homebaked cinnamon rolls. The smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is wonderful!!!


This Beverly Clark cake server with the regal crown on the end is the perfect utensil for cutting and serving the King’s cake!

I didn’t create menu cards for our buffet this evening, but we will dine on a traditional gumbo starter followed by fried catfish, red beans & rice, candied sweet potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. After all, that’s what Fat Tuesday is all about! I wish you and yours a joyous and festive one!

Other Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday tablescapes on this site:
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Mojo
“Mardi Gras Madness”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”

 In the browsing mood? I hope you will take the time to visit Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!

Planning in Purple

Stuck inside with a half-foot of snow on the ground, I was happy to have the company of the Moms who braved the snow-packed roads today for a planning meeting/ladies luncheon.

 

Even though I officially retired in 2010 (ha!), I find myself drawn to lending a hand to friends and family members who are planning a wedding. The week after New Year’s, I found myself hosting an update meeting with the mothers of the bride and groom. I set up a small table for three near a window so that we could enjoy a view of the untouched snow in our back yard.

 

 

 

 

We needed room to spread out with notebooks and such, so the table was simply and sparsely set. Beaded edge silver chargers on a crisp white linen were topped with my very traditional Easterling “Majestic” china. When planning a dinner party or luncheon, I try very hard to match the table setting to the taste of the guest(s) of honor. In this instance, both mothers are very traditional, so I stuck with classic pieces including heirloom silver and beautifully cut Mikasa stemware.

 

 

Remembering that the mothers share a fondness for the color purple, I paired that with silver and white. (They had both lobbied passionately for purple as a wedding color, but lost that battle to the bride. 🙂 ) It really helped to liven up the tablescape! Tucking a humble purple carnation into each napkin extended the color from the centerpiece.

 

The silver-painted tree fern from our New Year’s celebration was still going strong, so I pulled it from the plain glass ginger jar from last week and dropped it into a beautiful Waterford crystal vase. It sparkled so nicely against the snow outdoors and the white table linen! (Kept in a cool place – I use our garage – tree fern can last for up to 3 weeks!)

 

This lively pop of purple carnations is assembled in a shiny silver Revere bowl. So simple to put together in just minutes! I used rhinestone-studded stick pins to adorn each flower to add to the glamour of the table and remind us all of the diamond rings to be exchanged in just 6 short months. (Always remember to cut flower stems on the diagonal to help them take in sufficient moisture from the floral foam. Carnations will keep for a long, long time if you keep them in a cool place with plenty to drink.)

Other posts with tablescapes suitable for wedding-related events on this site:
Love & Orchids
Peonies & Pearls
Purple & Pastel
The Party She Deserves
Something Blue Bridal Luncheon
Bling Wedding
All A’Bloom for Spring
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Candle in the Wind
White Hot
Peaceful Peonies
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Chocolate Traditional
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pink Plaid & Posies
Pretty In Pink
French Poodle
Peony Power
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
One Shoe Can Change Your Life
My Sister’s Wedding China

Click here to see all the photos for Planning in Purple, or click the “Weddings” tab above!

Don’t forget to join Susan and the other tablescapers this week at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!!!

Thanksgiving 2010

This time last year was difficult at best as my son struggled to recover from yet another major surgery precipitated by yet another bout with Crohn’s Disease. He was temporarily sprung from the hospital to enjoy the day with us, but he was unable to partake of the meal. Instead he received nourishment from the portable I.V. strapped on like a backpack. He took it like a champ. This year, although still not quite 100%, he is able to eat, eat, eat!!! I have prepared his favorite pecan pie just for him!

 

The “grownups” table for 12 set up in our living room has a little glitz and glam going for it. A seasonal rich chocolate brown table linen anchors the setting.
To offset the deep brown and add sparkle, I used lots of cut crystal that was sure to reflect the tiniest bit of light. Two crystal epergnes with gold trim are the crown jewels of the table. (Scroll further down this page to “Shake Your Tail Feather” to see this epergne used in a different tablescape, or click HERE to see it in a Christmas tablescape.)
The flowers in each of epergne include scads of seeded eucalyptus mixed with orange carnations and deep burgundy leucadendron. I opted for ivory metal case candles to avoid drips on the linens.
The smaller arrangements on this table are in cut crystal rose bowls with a pattern similar to that of the epergnes. Added to these arrangements are sprigs of russet-colored alstroemeria.
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A patterned gold charger and ivory dinner plate are topped with rich chocolate napkins in a traditional fold. I gilded a handful of leaves (Lord knows there are plenty around to pick up!) and added an ivory mini pumpkin to plop on top. The leaves and pumpkins are repeated at intervals down the length of the table.
Longchamps crystal stemware again mimics the pattern of the floral vessels. Faux mother-of-pearl handled flatware completes the place setting.
I scaled back a bit on the amount of food this year, but I don’t think the menu disappoints. There’s a little something for everyone! The quote on each menu is from a book my husband received as a gift called “Gratitude”.
 
 
 The fireplace mantel receives a lightweight treatment of Longchamps crystal mini vases filled with the same flowers as I used on the table. An array of shiny gold-colored candlesticks with ivory candles (watching them like a hawk!!!) fills out the arrangement.
The children’s table is not so fancy. It’s mostly about utility here, with a shot of “ooh wee!” tossed in by way of the centerpiece. A simple ivory linen is topped with a fun runner.
Each child’s place setting consists of a pumpkin-colored melamine dinner plate topped with a colorful floral paper napkin. Everyday stemware and flatware round it out. (I want the kids to learn to use stemware as opposed to regular glasses. I don’t worry so much about breakage when I use these relatively inexpensive everyday stems.)
 
 
The centerpiece has all the same flowers as on the adults’ dining table presented in a wooden & metal planter. The floral arrangement is flanked by two metal treasure chests spilling over with apples and grapes. The framed menu is for the benefit of the lucky adult who draws the short straw and gets babysitting duty! 🙂

I wish for each of you a safe, happy, loving and warm Thanksgiving holiday!

Hollywood Fright Night

Who says just because you’ve passed on to “the other side” that you can’t dine in luxury?

Join these legendary ladies of Hollywood’s most spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat, wet-your-pants movies for a ghoulish yet stylish midnight supper. They’re just dying to have you for dinner…literally!!! Among the once shining stars on the guest list: Carrie White (Carrie, 1976), Regan Macneil (The Exorcist, 1973), Annie Wilkes (Misery, 1990), Kayako Saeki (The Grudge, 2004; The Grudge II, 2006 and The Grudge III, 2009), Baby Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, 1962), Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, 1992), Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard, 1950), and the elusive Mrs. Bates (Psycho, 1960).

No graveyard soiree for these former stars of stage and screen!

 

Because mystery men from their Hollywood heydays have fresh flowers delivered to their graves each week, there are plenty to decorate the table. Because I learned my lesson from the fiery centerpiece disaster on a windy night last month AND because the ladies get enough real fire in hell (we assume that’s where all these dastardly divas are spending eternity!), I used LED candles all around.

 

 

For each special lady, a black napkin folded into the shape of a clutch bag with a carnation embellishment. Of course, nothing but silver and our best crystal will do!

 

Creepy crawly friends check out the table arrangements.

 

Two gnarled branches of a manzanita tree grace the center of the table with gleaming silver candlesticks, cut crystal votive holders, and an array of cut crystal vases filled with pink carnations and roses.

 

Oh, no! There’s a big bloodsucking bat coming toward you and a snake in the branches!!! A couple of the ladies must have brought their agents along!

 

Ooooh! And there’s a sneaky spider. Another lady must have brought her publicist! The mouse is surely her long-suffering but faithful assistant!

 

 

Carrie is present in the form of a skull, still wearing her prized prom queen tiara. The bloody “brains & spinal tissue” oozing from her neck is fashioned from fresh red cockscomb (celosia argentea, also often referred to as Brain Celosia.)

 

Hey!  How did this guy from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” crash the party???

 

The view from Carrie’s seat of all the candles in pitch darkness.

 

 

The view looking up from hell. 🙂 See the eerie full moon above?

Other creepy tablescapes on this site:
Serpents & Skullduggery
Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast

 

Au Revoir!

I can only live vicariously through others since I have such a profound fear of flying. Thank goodness I have lots of friends and family who are ready and willing to hop on a big metal bird at the drop of a hat! Their adventures become my adventures, and this time is no different. As our pals head across the ocean to Paris, France, they can reminisce about the bon voyage dinner held in their honor. And as they wine & dine in the great restaurants, they can giggle about my lame attempt at recreating the fine cuisine.

I am a pink freak, so it’s always exciting to do a table for someone else who shares that passion.

I always knew this “Eiffel Tower” would come in handy for something! As my globetrotting friends set out on yet another wonderful cross-Atlantic adventure, we said goodbye with a dinner featuring tidbits of decor and cuisine they will likely encounter in “gay Paree!”

 

We have said au revoir to summer here in the Midwest, but the outdoor temperatures belie that fact with daytime highs in the 70s and 80s. So to bring in a bit of autumn and tone down the pink a bit, I used chocolate as the base color for this tablescape.

Atop the creamy chocolate table linen are gleaming silver chargers & flatware to keep the brown from washing out and looking so flat. A plain, creamy earthenware with a decorative rim was used to show off the food.

Menu and napkin

I created the fun little menus on my computer using cardstock and fleur de lis brads from Hobby Lobby. The pink toile scenes reminded me of the French countryside in a time when men and women actually strived to be described as “genteel.” The fun font I used reminded me of the font used on the posters promoting the 1958 movie “Gigi”, set in turn-of-the-20th century Paris.

I recently bought another book on napkin folding. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband!) This cute little fold looks like a “petit pain.” (Translation: bun.) It was a lot easier to create than I thought it would be and looked really sweet at the top of each plate. (Check out the “Books That Make You Go “Ooh!” tab at the top of the page for more information “Napkins With a Twist” by David Stark.) For a complete tutorial on how to create this napkin fold, click HERE and scroll to Tip #33. To see other posts on this site using the rosebud napkin fold, see “Cupcake Colors”, “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet” and “Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink”.

This night was a little warm, and that just brought the sweet smell of these pretty posies to the fore. Wonderful! I chose roses and carnations because they are so pretty together, and the variation in the depth of pink in the roses was interesting. Both were clipped within an inch of their little lives to create the mounding effect at the bottom of the tower and to float in the clear oyster votive cups. Stray rose petals helped to fill out the look.

To add just a bit of height and visual interest on the outside of the tower, I arranged the roses and carnations in clear vessels with a just a teensy bit of greenery.

What’s an evening celebration without a barrage of candles, especially when the honorees’ destination is the city most commonly referred to as La Ville-Lumiere (City of Light). The background music included a little Celine Dion, Eartha Kitt, and the soundtrack from “Something’s Gotta Give” (one of my all-time favorite movies!)

For other Parisian-themed posts:
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
French Poodle

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Pretty In Pink
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas

Please pardon my French, but I am plein de joie to once again be a part of the Style Sisters’ Centerpiece Wednesdays and Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays.

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