Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape

Royal Stafford “Clematis” dinnerware. Sigh!!! When this design first hit the scene some years ago, it was all the rage. I promptly plucked up ten dinner plates and cereal bowls to add to my ever-growing collection. Hmmm…that was 5+ years ago. I’ve just recently been inspired to actually USE them!

 

This relatively quick and easy-to-assemble tablescape begins with a pewter-toned crushed poly full-length tablecloth that I absolutely love for both its color AND its versatility.

 

 

 

 

The smoky grey/pewter of the tablecloth and napkin – loosely knotted and draped over the lower edge of the plate – works so well with the purple hues of the dinnerware. I used 2 chargers for depth and color variation (a lavender acrylic and a silver beaded edge metal), a tablescape design trick I also used for “Simply Peacock Garden“, “French Poodle“, “Pumpkins & Peacocks“, “Copper Zen“, and “Hooray For Vodka!

 

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

 

The water glasses are simple stock from Old Time Pottery. The plum-colored wine glasses are from Home Goods.

 

Now this is where it all gets a little sketchy. In my twisted little mind, clematis and flowering dogwood possess some similarities.  No, they don’t look just alike by any stretch of the imagination, but the blooms on dogwood branches were close enough for me to create dramatic height for this table! Flowering dogwood branches spring up from this trio of slender grey glass vases that make up the simple centerpiece.

Other posts on this site (other than Mardi Gras and Christmas!) that use a healthy pop of purple:
Purple & Pastel
Purple for Spring
Luscious Layers of Lavender
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Easter Floral
Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!
Planning in Purple

 

88 Years and 88 Keys

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,
or the “Birthdays” tab above for more celebrations!
One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Tropical Tablescape

It reached a hot, humid 93 degrees yesterday in the Kansas City area. 93!!!! June JUST started!!! It feels like we’re in the tropics, but there are no banana trees, beach huts, or hot, shirtless cabana boys bringing me frosty cold fruit drinks with little umbrellas. Where’s the justice???!?!?!?

Since it’s feeling like the Seychelles outside, might as well enjoy a summertime meal with a casual, colorful tropical tablescape full of hot color! (But again, I have to ask….where are the hot cabana boys??!?!?!!)
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.) 

One of the most striking colors around for a tropical tablescape is sexy, sultry, steamy hot pink! A lap-length plain linen is finished off with a rush of color and pattern with this monstera leaf/bird of paradise/hot pink plumeria-laden fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.

Place settings here are kept simple with clean lines that don’t duke it out with the linen. Hot pink melamine dinner plates (also used here) rimmed with a bit of orange are complemented with faux bamboo flatware. No salad plate is present even though a coconut laced fruit salad is on the menu. When dining outside in summer, consider chilling your salad plates or bowls to keep the contents crisper and cooler longer. Also consider presenting the salad fork to each guest in a bowl of ice (shown here or here, Tip #3). It looks cool, makes a grand presentation, and the cool fork won’t wilt your salad greens! (For a tropical setting like this, consider presenting the salad fork in a half shell coconut filled with ice and decorated with a tropical bloom!)

A small orange glass vase from Hobby Lobby is filled with plumeria blooms and placed in the center of each plate. The fabric topper features images of plumeria, lilies, and bird of paradise, so any of those (or a combination!) works well.

 A black poly-cotton napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond is tucked into simple clear glass stemware. (There actually is a bird of paradise napkin fold that  – if you have the patience & skill to create it – would look great if you wanted to place the napkin on the plate.)

The centerpiece used here is one of my favorite parts of the tablescape with its dramatic size, bold color, and asymmetrical design. I have used this oversized ginger jar from Home Goods for a couple of different Oriental tablescapes in the past. It is equally at home here decked with highly textural painted orange bamboo. I decided to place a few of the bamboo sticks in a perpendicular fashion to balance the width with the height of the centerpiece and lend fun modern flair.

A trio of black iron candlesticks outfitted with sleek black tapers is placed on each side of the centerpiece to further extend the length of the centerpiece on the 6-ft. table. Using black tapers rather than pink or orange keeps a sleek, continuous line going.

It’s always a good idea to dress serving tables to complement – although they needn’t necessarily match – the dining table. Here I used a full-length hot pink linen on a round table to serve icy cold “adult beverages” with tropical flair. Notice the plumeria cascading from the fruit bowl to draw from the tiny bouquets at each guest setting.

That’s it for this week! Go slip into a sassy little sarong (or a thong if you can still rock that! ;-)), get something fruity fresh going in the blender, and stay cool! (If you find those cabana boys, though, you have my permission to go from cool & collected to all hot & bothered!!! Can I get an amen? ;-))

Visit more summertime tablescapes on this site by clicking on the “Summer tab and on these individual posts:
Lemonade From Bill
Under a Paper Moon
Tropicana
Oopsy Daisy
Purple & Pastel
Give Peace A Chance Retro Tablescape
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen this week for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday).

Mardi Gras Lite

Fat Tuesday in celebration of Mardi Gras 2012 is just about a week away now!!! Problem is, the term “Fat Tuesday” probably has my photograph posted next to it on Wikipedia. I have been bad, bad, bad, bad, bad the last……oh, let’s say 10 years to be honest. I quit exercising every day but continued to shovel in the food and drink despite the ever-expanding hips, thighs, belly and “Oprah arms” waving back at me in the mirror.

This year, instead of the tower of fried catfish, vat of jambalaya, shrimp étouffé, hush puppies, King’s cake and hurricanes I’ve routinely enjoyed in the past, I’m pledging to lighten up. To that end, I have also created a Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras tablescape “lite”…an upscale, sophisticated, pared down version of the more decadent Mardi Gras style to which I am accustomed and hold so dear.

The traditional hues of purple, green, and gold will still be there in all their glory…just not as over-the top in their presentation. This table might work for those who want the essence of Mardi Gras without the whole “Swing from the balcony and show me your —-!!!” feel. 🙂 (In-laws, bosses or clergy invited for dinner might appreciate the less bawdy tone of it!)

I’ve never used a royal purple table linen for any occasion, but this year it lands on the table as the base of the tablescape. Dual chargers in a gold square and purple cobblestone round cradle a clear glass dinner plate and green glass salad plate, thus incorporating all the traditional colors.

A royal purple cotton napkin is cinched with a flirty bangle napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Goldtone flatware works well with the place setting.

I was so pleased to see that I had stemware of a similar shape in purple (TJ Maxx), green (Dollar Tree), and gold (World Market).

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. It was totally my husband’s -who fancies himself “The Tablescape Whisperer” – idea to include the long strands of beads. I resisted, thinking it would be way too cliché to have bundles of them down the center of the table. Plus, I whined, it will take away from the clean lines! We compromised, and I ended up arranging them in this quieter “grid” that frames each place setting as well as the centerpiece elements. Purple, green, and gold glass vases hold simply-arranged royal purple calla lilies. Finishing out the centerpiece are clusters of Mardi Gras “disco balls” that catch the light.


The buffet in back of the table is also relatively staid with a single, albeit oversized, royal purple Vidrios San Miguel recycled glass vase stuffed with an arrangement of graduated purple calla lilies. Using a single piece in a dramatic size and color negates the need for lots of little pieces all over the buffet top. Purple and gold glass votives dot the buffet’s edge and add to the overall ambiance in the room.

I don’t think they make gumbo-flavored rice cakes, so I’ll have to come up with something that will be healthy, filling and tasty without sending me into carb/fat/sodium/sugar overload. Yeah, I know…good luck with that! 🙂 New plan: Stick with the old eating plan, but eat it at the pared down table! Love it!

Please join me for Tablescape Thursday again this week to see how other tablescapers from around the globe are decorating for and celebrating Mardi Gras!
Laissez bon temps rouler, y‘all!!!

To see other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras!

Peaceful Peonies

Chinese New Year is January 23, 2012. I love the colorful pageantry associated with this holiday! Last year I created a traditional Chinese New Year tablescape using lots of red and gold with black accents. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see last year’s post.) This year, now tired of all the red used for Christmas decorating, I went rogue with a fiery hot pink.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

One of the great things about this particular tablescape design is that the Asian influence is somewhat understated, thus rendering it suitable for various contemporary-styled occasions such as rehearsal dinners or ladies luncheons (sans the candles, of course). The two-tone linen combo of sizzling hot pink over the more neutral black immediately draws the eye in.

To demonstrate how the same dishes can create an entirely different atmosphere depending on the accessories, compare this setting to that of “Let Them Eat Cake” from a post last year. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Let Them Eat Cake“.) A gold leafed glass charger and gold-rimmed white china from Pier 1 are topped with an F. Winkel & Co. “Jacobean” salad plate. The vivid coloring and busy pattern of the salad plate are just the right combination to accent the plainer underplates and bring in the black, gold, hot pink and white.

I had my eye on these Buddhas from the moment they hit the store shelves at Z Gallerie last year. I must have chewed half a pound of fingernails waiting for them to go on clearance, hoping there would be enough left over. Jackpot! Got all I needed at 75% off!!! Here they hold a gold mercury glass votive.

My “old reliable” goldtone flatware works well here with its subtle pattern.

I opted for crystal stemware with gold rims, but opaque black stemware like Mikasa’s “Elegance-Black” would work well, too.

I felt the need to break up that searing hot pink surface a bit more. I achieved this by folding the black poly-cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond into a long chevron and placing them beneath each setting, allowing them to extend downward over the pink linen.

I almost always use either white or ivory candles, but I’m getting bolder in my old age! 😉 Long black tapers are set into a trio of 20″H goldtone candlesticks to add height and color down the table’s center.

Black powder-coated ginger jars hold a mix of pink peonies, white alstroemeria, and star blossoms. (Florals used here for demonstrative purposes are faux, but I encourage the use of natural flowers for actual entertaining. If, however, all natural flowers are out of your budgetary reach, try mixing realistic fauxs with fresh. The key there is realistic fauxs that blend well!)

Lined up on each side of the centerpiece are four gold mercury glass votives to add ambient light at the lowest level.

The notably restrained buffet decor is a giant black ginger jar flanked by a pair of the same F. Winkel & Co. plates as used on the table. Florals from the table are extended by simply plopping 3 peonies into a shallow black bowl.

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, so printed menus with the Chinese symbols for dragon – 龙年 – or a dragon watermark, or menus in the shape of a dragon would be another element to make this table special. Specialty stores may carry oversized ceramic dragons which would be a great addition, too! (Or go check out Grandma’s attic for them. These dragons, as well as panthers for some odd reason, were all the rage in contemporary 1960s homes.) A nice substitute for the peonies would be deep pink carnations, orchids or, depending on availability, pink plum blossom branches which symbolize luck. If your budget allows for it, rented bamboo chiavari chairs in black would be the crowning touch!

More tablescapes using hot pink on this site:
Daisy Crazy
Hello, Dahlia
Let Them Eat Cake
Hollywood Fright Night

Another tablescape using peonies:
Peonies & Pearls

Thank you for stopping in! I hope you’ll join me again this week at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday! You can also catch me at BeBetsy.com!

Best Laid Plans

I am still reeling from a decorating disaster that happened this morning. I had just gone into the kitchen to start my husband’s breakfast around 7:30 (NO idea why I was up that early on a Sunday morning!!) when I suddenly heard a deafening crash. I knew right away just what it was, and my heart sank.

I had worked for 2 days on the construction of a rather ambitious, over-the-top centerpiece for one of our Thanksgiving Day tables, but the entire thing – which was elevated about 28” – had slid to the floor! Glass and debris and pheasant feathers were EVERYWHERE!!! Huge shards, little slivers, chunks….you name it! So what started out as an elegant and decidedly contemporary Thanksgiving table that looked like this…

…quite unceremoniously became this:

Nearly every LED candle was damaged (and those things are NOT cheap!), and 2 of 4 huge glass candlesticks were obliterated. Luckily, only one crystal goblet was broken at the stem and one (very expensive!) salad plate was broken in two.

Lesson learned: ALWAYS use a floral adhesive you trust. I usually use Cling® which provides a monster grip, but I was trying to avoid the ugly green color of it showing through the glass. I used a see-through – but clearly not as effective – adhesive instead. My advice: Just figure out a way to hide your mechanics, and DON’T compromise the safety standards of the composition. I have SO learned the hard way!!! I’m just glad it didn’t happen in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner or while someone was standing nearby. I’m also very grateful I had not yet set all the stemware. The damage was relatively little considering everything in the path of the avalanche.

Now I need to take time that I didn’t have to spare to figure out what the heck I’m going to do for this table decor by Thursday. I always start setting up at least a week early so that I can tweak and play with the arrangement. This time it was a blessing and a curse. Sure was pretty while it lasted. 😦

Gotta take out the trash. Gosh…I sure hope I’m able to laugh about this someday.
Be safe, y’all!

Copper Zen

I’m still on the mend from this horrible upper respiratory thing that has plagued me the last two weeks, but I’m not going to let a little thing like not breathing keep me from posting!!! 🙂

I had this post on hold from a table I did some time ago. This one is not a Thanksgiving-oriented set-up, but it will be a good one to keep in mind for those days in January and February when you want to create a peaceful winter tablescape for entertaining after the hectic holiday season.

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IMG_2923WMI started with a sleek black full-length table linen.

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I bought these fabulous dark green Home Essentials & Beyond “Montclair Collection” dinner plates at Marshalls awhile back. I so love the intricate raised design! My hesitation in using these lovely plates sooner has been in what to pair with them. The black linen inspired me to use a black charger, but I knew it would disappear. The addition of the cool square copper-colored chargers made all the difference!!! I wish I could tell you where to get the copper chargers, but I bought them wholesale and don’t know where they are sold retail. The black chargers are from Wal-Mart. I set the double chargers in an offset position to show off all three layers.

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For this dinner we were eating Chinese takeout, so a pair of chopsticks were the only eating utensils necessary. I nestled them in the crevice of sleek black napkins pinched with copper-colored napkin rings (also purchased wholesale) and draped across the plate.

IMG_2915WMSo I finally got hip to Dollar Tree. It’s about time, huh? My Mom called and said there was some beautiful dark green stemware there that I just MUST see, so off I went! Lo and behold, there was stemware that would work perfectly with the plates! Hooray!!! I scooped up a dozen each goblets and champagne flutes, and the cashier gave me the ugliest look I’ve ever seen when I got to the counter. She was NOT happy about having to wrap all of those, even though I brought along my own bubble wrap and box!

I bought these uber-cool dark green Vidrios San Miguel vases (made of recycled glass!) at TJ Maxx awhile back. LOVE THEM!!! They’re huge and they really make a statement on the table! To go with the sleek, zen feeling of the room I just plopped in a few branches of fresh curly willow for a cool and easy centerpiece.

I used a double row of votives between the two vases of curly willow to lend continuity to the look of the centerpiece and add ambient light.

I repeated the oblong votive treatment on the buffet behind the dining table for a sleek, easy look with lots of character!

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Peaceful Peonies
Mandarin Bling
Year of the Rabbit
Mikasa ‘Daylight’ Giveaway

Other tablescapes using curly willow on this site:
Welcome Back, Joel
Autumn Blues
Blushing Bridal

I’m joining Susan and a bunch of really talented tablescapers from around the globe again this week for Tablescape Thursday. Please join us!

Autumn White Wedding

I recently received a request for ideas on an autumn wedding. Not that I have anything against fall colors, but sometimes it’s fun to march to the beat of your own drum. Try instead an autumn rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or wedding reception using the more unlikely colors of white, cream and chartreuse with touches of earthy brown for good measure. (For more wedding table ideas click here!)

If the weather is still warm enough in fall to do an outdoor wedding event, go for it! When you set up outdoors, the sky is the limit where your decorating options are concerned!!!

A full-length ivory table linen is topped with a satiny brown runner to add color and dimension to the tabletop. The place settings are fairly traditional with glossy silver chargers and ivory dishware from TJ Maxx. (One huge no-no is to use items that will upstage the reception decor on “The Big Day.”)

The napkin (Bed Bath & Beyond) is very simply folded across the dinner plate and tucked beneath. A white mini pumpkin is centered on each napkin. While a faux pumpkin is used for this sample setting, I suggest using the real thing. Mini pumpkins can be purchased at the grocer this time of year for around 50 cents apiece, and they make a great little take-home gift. (Or you can take the leftover pumpkins to bling them up and use them in a fall arrangement like here.) If you know a calligrapher or someone with exceptional handwriting skills, ask them to pen the names of each guest onto the pumpkins! Cooler yet….have them inscribe the monogram of each guest. That’s really different and kinda fancy to boot! 🙂

Keep the flatware along the same line of formality as the rest of the setting. The design on this flatware is similar to the pattern on the rim of the dinner plate. I went with Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal that offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Long tables offer an opportunity to do so many cool things with the centerpiece!
A mix of high and low arrangements fill out this 12-ft. table. For even longer tables (so cool to see 18-, 24-, or even 36-ft. tables!!!), add more high ones to balance it out. For this table, I used a little wrought iron number I bought earlier this year. It’s reversible…or at least I made it that way by accident! Lesson learned? Play with your toys…don’t just use them the way they were displayed at the store!!!

This is the way it’s used here, but it’s actually upside down and missing some parts!

This is how it’s supposed to look. I finally figured out what all those “extra” mystery pieces were for!

I outfitted the top of the centerpiece with a grapevine wreath bought at Hobby Lobby. I secured it with  floral wire. Next came lots and lots of flowers including chartreuse and creamy white hydrangea, white roses, and a few orchid blooms. (Sprigs of green hypericum berries, unripened coffee beans or unripened raspberries would really look slick and add more texture, too!) Hydrangea quickly wilts, so the trick is to put the water vial on the end of the floral stem immediately AFTER it is inserted into the wreath so it doesn’t wiggle loose. (Took me half the doggone wreath to figure that one out! :-() Use floral tape to secure the vials to the twigs so they don’t poke out or fall off during dinner…which would be highly embarrassing! Tuck in bits of fabulously bright chartreuse reindeer moss to help hide the mechanics of your arrangement, and finish it off with a plump white pumpkin. (Hint: When you go wreath and pumpkin shopping, take the centerpiece you’ll be working with along to make sure the wreath is the right size and that the pumpkin won’t overwhelm or topple it.)

The ugly little spindly legs on the bottom part of the centerpiece are camouflaged with mounds of florals accented with reindeer moss and a white mini pumpkin.

A mini pumpkin rests comfortably on a cushy bed of reindeer moss. I like the moss to look a little bit messy as nature would have it.

The side globes hold a single orchid bloom atop more reindeer moss.

The smaller components of the extended centerpiece correspond with the main piece. Iron candlesticks with fat pillar candles are flanked by small rose-filled globes stuffed with reindeer moss to keep a consistent look.

This same concept could easily apply to a winter wedding by swapping out the pumpkins with oversized ornaments. The look also works well indoors so long as the height of the centerpiece doesn’t interfere with overhead lighting, fans, etc.

I’m hooking up with my pals at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week. If you’ve never visited, you really must! Lots of talent out there!!!

A special shout out and great big thank you to Angie over at Echoes of Laughter who helped me figure out how to get rid of the bothersome “no reply” feature when I leave comments on other blogs. Teamwork paid off!!!

Raining Orchids

Yes, I am going to be stubborn about this. SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET!!! Temperatures have cooled from the horrific triple digits in most parts of the United States to something that feels like autumn, but I assure you it is temporary. It’s a fluke. A hiccup. An anomaly. The autumnal equinox doesn’t start until September 23 for countries in the Northern Hemisphere, so for the next two weeks I’m going to party like it’s 1999!!!

The one concession in my quest to savor the last days of summer will be a move toward deeper colored flowers. A profusion of richly hued orchids (accented with Asiatic lilies on the lamps) are the star of this September/late summer tablescape.

I decided to go with relatively simple pieces down low on the table to allow the higher pieces to fully shine. Standard white full-length poly-cotton table linens are topped with braided edge gold chargers. The gold-banded white china here is from Pier 1.

The white cotton monogrammed napkins are laid upon the plates with a simple fold. Each is topped with a stem of orchids. Because my wallet is lighter than usual these days and this is a demo table, faux orchids are used here. I would, however, recommend the real deal for guests. Orchids can last for hours and hours out of water under temperate conditions.

Bright gold flatware with a barely there pattern is right in line with the simple design.

The stemware is from Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection. I tend to serve a lot of beverages before, during and after dinner, so my table is almost always loaded down with various drinking vessels. Clusters of gleaming crystal always looks great!

Crystal decanters filled with the spirit-du-jour always look pretty. These were a great buy from Tuesday Morning.

The center floral on this 12-ft. long table is a glass cylinder filled with 6-ft.H orchid stems. I arranged the stems to appear to be “raining” over the center of the table. (Click here and scroll down to “Autumn Orchids” to see another way to use these super tall orchid stems in glass cylinders!)

I am a big fan of bringing the indoors out for a little air. Almost everything you love inside your house will look twice as great outside! These lampshades are from our dining room where the palette is predominantly orange.

The lamp base here is constructed of a simple clear glass 31″H cylinder. (Glass cylinders can be your very best friend!! Click here and scroll down to “Love and Orchids” for another great glass cylinder & orchid combo!))

Suspended from the lampshade frame and “raining” into the glass cylinder are garlands of bling along with silk orchids sewn onto fishing wire. I hot glued a rhinestone to the center of each bloom to give it a little more “oomph!” and amp up the sparkle within the glass base.

This offers a glimpse as to how the lamp looks in pitch darkness. I used an uplight turned upside down to project light downward into the glass cylinder. Click here or on the Table Tips tab above, and scroll to Tip #29 to see how this lamp is constructed for this total effect. (For more candle lamps on this site, see “All A’Bloom for Spring“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

Join me at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch” for Tablescape Thursday!

Shake, Rattle & Roll ’em!

Click here to see all photos for “Shake, Rattle & Roll ’em!”

 

A black, white & silver table brings to mind an evening of elegance, often contemporary in nature. It can also work for evoking thoughts of sheer simplicity. But can it also work for a Bunco dinner party?!!?!!? This week, I answer a subscriber’s request for a game night dinner party table!

Click here to see all the photos for “Shake, Rattle & Roll ’em”!

It is with great pride & pleasure that I once again join Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. After checking out my entry, please pop over and take a peek at what everyone else is up to this week!