Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.

 

 

This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.

 

 

 

 

I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.

 

 

 

 

The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!

 

Chocolate Traditional

I couldn’t let this season of romance get away without posting a tablescape using chocolate brown & pink!!! It works not only for Valentine’s Day if you’re hosting other couples, but for a bridal shower, ultra feminine birthday celebration, or – with a few key tweaks – a celebration honoring a breast cancer survivor.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Spurred on by last week’s pinning episode with all the little rosettes, I decided to wake this plain chocolate brown linen up with a strip of pink & brown edging. Again, not willing to try my hand at whip stitching, I simply used exposed pearl head pins to affix the edging to the hem. It all tied in nicely.

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA silverplate charger and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china are topped with a simply folded pastel pink napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond. A small silver bell rests next to the hostess’s place setting. While it would normally be used to summon staff during dinner (as if I actually have staff! 🙂 ), this bell is to signal that it’s time for all the couples assembled at the table to steal a kiss!

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com I have a lot of stemware, but one of my favorites is Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection.

Another favorite collection is the International Silver “Danish Princess” flatware my Mom gave me. Here the dinner knife rests on a silverplate knife rest.

Silver hearts hold a place card by Artifacts.

No Valentine’s Day party is complete without a little chocolate something-something!

I bought these silver epergnes quite a few years ago. They are the companion piece to the 4-lite epergne shown as a buffet piece HERE. I really like the detailing. The white silk shades simply slip over the custom-made metal case candle (outfitted with a peg votive holder) and rest on the affixed bobeche. I can also swap out the custom candle/shade option for real tapers or remove the center bowl and use the piece as a 3-lite candelabra! Quite versatile!

I think I bought this silver covered casserole at Tuesday Morning about a billion years ago. I have used it both for food presentation and florals.

What’s a Valentine party without a ton of sweets on a dessert buffet? The aroma of all the chocolate is intoxicating! (I’m one of those odd women who does not care for the taste of chocolate, but I LOVE the smell!!!)

Coffee service is set up using the Elegance Silver coffee urn I purchased years ago. A pretty silver Victorian sugar scuttle with its tiny scoop is perfect for sweetening coffee (when a dip of your sweetheart’s finger won’t do the trick. 😉 )

On the opposite end of the buffet are Godinger silver petit four stands filled with all kinds of goodies. The silver pastry tongs have beautiful Baroque detailing.

I am so excited about this new acquisition!!! My goofy/loving cousin, Dee ;- ), got this silver Lazy Susan from our sweet friend, Doris, whose exceptionally good taste shows like a Derby prize winner. You should see this chick’s house! Anyhooooooo….Dee used it to display sweets at her recent 30th wedding anniversary party and then sent it home with me! I feel like passing out cigars to celebrate my new baby!!! Thank you, Dee Bug! Thank you, Doris!

Über feminine lacy paper dessert napkins are weighted down with my Lladró “Angel Lying Down” figurine, a gift from a client a few years back.

The corner tea cart, bought by my Mom in the 1950s from the swanky House of Modern and given to me a few years ago, is a handy-dandy extension of the buffet. A fun pink moscato is iced down in a silver champagne bucket, also given to me by my Mom. The salad course will be served with forks iced to perfection in this silver mini champagne bucket that is also perfect for a split of champagne if you’re dining alone! (Icing the fork tines is a great way to keep your salad greens crisp just a little bit longer, especially in summer! Just watch the look on your guests’ faces when the fork is presented like this! If you’re not lucky enough to have “staff”, the hostess should personally present the bucket for each guest to take a fork.) See another cool way to ice forks down by clicking HERE and scrolling down to Tip #3! This is also a fabulously fun & fancy way to present dessert forks or spoons!!!

I am joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week, and I also hope you will stop by the Valentine Blog Party hosted by Bargain Hunting & Chatting With Laurie on Friday, February 10. Pop in to get tons of decorating ideas for your Valentine’s Day party from tablescaping bloggers with romance on their minds all around the world!

♥♥♥Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you!!!♥♥♥

Other Valentine’s Day posts on this site you might enjoy:
Love’s Arrow
Peonies & Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses
“Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend”
Should Have Put a Ring On It
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”

Other posts in chocolate brown & pink:
Au Revoir
Just Us Girls

Happy Birthday, Barf!

You know how kids pick at each other and give each other a lot of grief, but then grow out of it in later years? All that applies to my sister and me…except the growing out of it part. I lovingly bestowed the nickname “Barf” on my big sister about 40 years ago, and it just kinda stuck. Barf this, Barf that, Barf the other….regardless of the name on her birth certificate, to me she is simply “Barf.”

Barf and her sweet friend, DeEtta, visited Kansas City a little over a week ago on their way to Columbia, Mo. Barf is an October baby and was on her way to an annual October babies celebration with other family & friends.  Because she was turning 100 or 150 or something like that on this birthday, she was pooped out from all the driving. So we held a jazzed up little “come-as-you-are” birthday dinner party at our house.

Everyone was dressed comfortably and casually, but I wanted to do something kind of swanky for the table. Barf and DeEtta had already traveled quite a distance from Minnesota and still had another two hours to drive after dinner to get to Columbia. I wanted the table to be something she would enjoy but that would also be easy to put together since I was feeling particularly lazy. So I went with spiffed up basic black.

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Silver metal chargers and Noritake “Spectrum” china are my “go to” pieces that take a lot of guesswork out of the whole thing.

IMG_2718WMBlack napkins folded into a neat little square with an orchid bloom for a shot of color.

The menu card has a photo of Barf at 6 months old. Wasn’t she a cutie patootie? (Speaking of patooties, I tried to cover hers a little here with my watermark! :-)) Creating these menus was my favorite part of the whole set-up!

I went with J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware…just because. 🙂

IMG_2732WMAnother great “go to” is my Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. I love it for its timeless beauty, its incredible versatility, and the way it feels in my hand. It’s perfect!

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I bought these cool triple-decker bling mirrors a while back at Hobby Lobby. Yes…Hobby Lobby! They’re very sturdy and reflect a lot of light. While they are meant to be hung on a wall, I decided they would make much better centerpiece trays. The neatly lined votive candles and 25″ metal case candles (much safer taper if you don’t want candlewax everywhere!!!) double back in the mirrors. My Dad was quite intrigued with the design.

Mirrored cylinders hold a mix of bright green cymbidium orchids, dusty miller (rescued from the back yard before the frost got to it!), and raw coffee bean clusters.

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I wanted something lush for a buffet piece that leaned toward fall without screaming it out loud. “Peacock White” flowering kale had both just the right color and texture I wanted mixed with the dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, and raw coffee beans. This heavy 4-light silver epergne (also seen here filled with mounds of baby’s breath at the “Princess Pink Birthday Party“) is a great buffet or centerpiece item, and it has a removable bowl for easy arranging and cleaning.

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

L to R: Mom, Me, Daddy, DeEtta, and the Birthday Girl…Barf!!!

I’ve done a lot of teasing here (as always, because what are sisters for? ;-)), but I really do love my sister. She’s a very warm, kind, giving person with a heart as big as all outdoors.  Yes, she’s weird and goofy…but she’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Barf! 🙂

Note: This would make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape, too!!!

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Roses In October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

As is always my distinct pleasure, I am joining Susan and the other talented tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Won’t you come along?

Celebrate the Season

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see the (politically correct here) Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/etc. season finally arrive. I have had my fill of pumpkins for this year, and I’m ready for shiny and bright! Thankfully, we have a number of Christmas parties planned here at home for which I can pull out all the decorating stops…or show restraint. (Yeah, right! That’ll happen! 🙂 ) The master plan is to make each one unique in style, content, and color scheme. We’ll see how that works out since I am so partial to red during the holiday season!

This first party of the 2010 Christmas season came right on the heels of Thanksgiving which didn’t allow for a lot of prep time. I had to think fast on my feet! Mercifully, the long tables were already in the living room, Ramon hustled to finish the outdoor lighting (all red, of course!), and the house was already clean. To further maintain my sanity, I opted to share cooking duties with a favorite caterer. Our garage has morphed into a floral cooler (!!!), so lots of fresh greenery there to grab and arrange at a moment’s notice. (I don’t even want to discuss the bad “haircut” our porch evergreens got in the name of floral design for the small arrangements! 😦 ) At any rate, this dinner party kicked the season off with a bang!

Try as I may to avoid it, red makes its way into almost every holiday setting I create. Icy silver and white play host here to fiery red on a table set for 12.

Muted silver square chargers (Old Time Pottery) with rounded edges anchor the place setting. A rounded-edge square B. Smith with Style plate in frosty white is then topped with a crisp white dinner napkin encircled with a red & silver ring to keep the napkin from disappearing into the plate. Godinger crystal stemware from the “Chelsea” collection and Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware round out the setting.

 A simple length of satiny red ribbon is tucked around the charger to give the illusion of a “gift” and to add a little color.

This photo was taken a bit later in the evening, but I think it shows how beautifully the crisp white shows up to the darkness. It, like the tablecloth, reminds me of snow!

I wanted to add a bit more red and introduce something a little fun to the table. I settled on these beautiful Christmas cards from Pier 1.

Inside each card was the evening’s menu embellished with a similar design! I’ll probably use this tactic a lot this season. It’s a great way to use the cards that I’ll most likely never get around to sending out! 🙂

I have 3 of these lovely silver epergnes, and liked the way they looked like pretty soldiers lining the center of the table! I just find seeded eucalyptus to be one of the easiest greens in the world to work with at Christmas time, so you’ll see a lot of it in my arrangements throughout the season. It drapes so beautifully and is so graceful. The greenish-grey color is wonderful, too, and it stands up nicely against the darker evergreens. My favorite filler, leucadendron, makes another appearance here along with bright red berries.

Tiny crystal vases hold snippets of seeded eucalyptus, evergreens, and cheerful red berries.

The fireplace mantel is all decked in a variety of greenery dotted with red berries. (Fresh seeded eucalyptus and other greens will last the entire evening without water OR you can insert the ends into water tubes.) Reflective silver candlesticks topped with pillar candles and mercury balls dance through the foliage. The whole image is doubled back in the mirror which makes it look even more lush.

‘Tis the season!

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas

I’m thrilled to join Susan for Tablescape Thursdays. After clicking on the “Winter” tab above to view my photos, feel free to head on over and visit the other talented men and women there!

Shake Your Tail Feather

I am head over heels delighted to have designed an autumn tablescape in the very tastefully appointed home of Bob & Jean Sloan! Jean, owner of Invitations by Jean, has long been a colleague and friend. I have looked to her for fine stationery – invitations, menus, escort cards and more – for numerous fine weddings over the years.  I fell absolutely in love the first time I laid eyes on her traditionally furnished dining room. Jean’s remarkably refined taste is already apparent in the space, and my job was just to put the cherry on top with this lush table for 6.

The formal nature of my friend Jean Sloan’s dining room dictated a decidedly staid autumn tablescape with a few not-so-serious twists.

 

The crystal teardrops of Jean’s dazzling chandelier are repeated across the table set for 6 with the centerpiece, stemware and candle holders.

 

Plump red grapes, dotted with stray alstroemeria blooms, cascade over the side of the crystal epergne. (My husband will be eating leftover grapes for weeks to come!)

 

Clusters of richly colored alstroemeria are arranged in cut crystal Godinger “Olympia” rose bowls. The reddish-brown color adds the “oomph” needed to rescue the tablescape from looking too monochromatic.

 

Pheasant feathers plopped into cut crystal bud vases create a stir at each end of the table. They not only complement the colors and theme of the dishware, but add texture to the tablescape.

 

Gorgeous cut crystal votive holders add shimmer close to the table surface.

 

The rich dark wood of Jean’s dining table was the perfect backdrop to the burnished gold chargers topped with brown transferware dinner and salad plates. The oak leaf-shaped soup bowl is from Pier 1. The flatware is Royal Danish sterling silver, a treasured gift from my Mom’s collection.

 

I found the beautiful dishware with this exquisite peacock motif at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. The price tag caused a little agony, but I finally caved and bought enough for 12. SO worth it!!! This close-up shows the intricate pastoral pattern that depicts the proud creature displaying his lush plumage as his less fortunate feathered friends look on. (See these beautiful dishes used again HERE.)

 

Another fun twist to an otherwise traditionally set table are these jumbo carved wood acorns atop each napkin. I picked these up at Pier 1 a couple of years ago.

 

I love the intricate diamond-shaped cutwork in the Cristal d’Arques Longchamps stemware. The stemware design mimics that of the centerpiece epergne and crystal bowls. Notice here, too, the pretty crystal knife rests. People don’t use those a lot anymore, but I find them both pretty and practical.

 

Many thanks to Jean Sloan for letting me fulfill a fantasy autumn tablescape!

A few other autumn tablescapes on this site include:
Italian Honeysuckle
Most Egg-cellent Breakfast
Copper Zen
Celebrating Longview Farm
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues

This is my very first time participating in Tablescape Thursdays on the Between Naps on the Porch blog site. If you would like to see lots of other tablescapers’ creations, just click on the Between Naps on the Porch link to your right.