Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

Oranges & Blossoms

ORANGES & BLOSSOMS
(a re-post from September 2010)
Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” from my early days of blogging that featured multiple posts. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope! Meanwhile, all new posts are on the way, too!!!
Some get-togethers are just a little more relaxed than others, but that doesn’t mean the tablescape has to suffer!
 
 Bright colors can go a long, long way to bring a summer tablescape to life!
 
With about 24 hours notice, I was able to construct this casual but inviting tablescape. Atop a white cotton linen, the brilliant orange matchstick placemat really stands out. The next layers are a simple white Corelle dinner plate, a bright pink & orange melamine salad plate from Burlington, and a fun little orange slice plate for the appetizer. The place setting is finished off with a folded white napkin and fun white handled flatware from TJ Maxx. Nothing fancy…just pure fun!
 
 When it comes to centerpieces in a hurry, let your imagination kick in. A couple of white cake stands (Ralph Lauren “Pavillion”) did the trick in this case, stacked high with oranges from the fridge (tomorrow morning’s orange juice!), and dotted with waxflower and brilliantly hued plumeria blossoms. Any small flowers will do that match or complement your tablescape colors. (See the cake stands used for other displays at “88 Years & 88 Keys” and “Blushing Bridal Shower“.
 Tiny orange glass vases from Hobby Lobby repeat the floral theme of waxflower and plumeria from the main centerpiece with impatiens from the side yard landscape tossed in for good measure.
Simply using items from around the house, the fridge, and the yard, a jaunty little tablescape is born!
This easy, breezy tablescape was quick to assemble and, thankfully, quick to take down as we were chased in just before dessert by a rain storm!

Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!

 

Hot Fun In the Summertime!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! -

INSPIRATION: Paper parasols in sizzling hot tropical colors and a new way for me to hang them outdoors!

The 4th of July has come and gone, but there are many more parties to come in the hot summer months. Hot days match up with abundant hot tropical colors like hot pink, outrageous orange, and yummy yellow. So pull out all the stops…but don’t break the bank! Shop end-of-season clearance sales like I do to stock up for next summer!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Full deckI am just head over heels with these stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. They don’t pay me to say that…I just love these tablecloths! Who wants to mess around with a lot of unnecessary ironing in the hot summer? Not me! That’s why these have become my tablecloth of choice. Just stretch them on, and all the wrinkles go bye-bye. (Oh, how I wish it worked that way with my face and neck!!! 😉 ) They come in 7 different colors and 2 sizes. For me, these are a summer (and anytime!) must-have! (Students and freshman tablescapers: I used white to ground the setting and to play up all the color on the table. Students, you’ll remember we talked about wanting to avoid color saturation.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full table (2 6-ft kissed horizontally)Two 6-ft. folding tables are kissed together horizontally create a “square.” Depending on what all you have on the table, this arrangement can comfortably seat up to 10 guests.

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Place setting

 

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Mesh food covering collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Napkin

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - hot pink acrylic tumbler

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - orange acrylic flatwareI used the trio of hot pink, orange and yellow placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond to give each place setting a distinctive look. Each guest can pick his or her favorite! Orange-rimmed hot pink melamine plates from Burlington sit atop plain white Corelle dishes at each place setting. A bright yellow napkin folded into a simple triangle is a constant around the table, as are the brilliant orange acrylic flatware and hot pink acrylic tumblers, also from Burlington. (Students, you can successfully mix one or two elements, but be sure to have plenty of “constants” that visually tie the tablescape together.) The fun mesh food covers to keep the pests away are from Z Gallerie. I bought them several years ago but have just this summer had occasion to use them.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Centerpiece collage with lanterns, votives, and placemat runnerThis centerpiece relies solely upon color and candlelight. The “runner” is an overlapping repeat of the colorful placemats used at each place setting. Metal lanterns in the theme colors are from Hobby Lobby. (Students, notice the odd number – 5 – used, and recall our discussion about “the Rule of 3” and how odd numbers are easy on the eye.) The rest of the table is sporadically dotted with votives, again using all three colors.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - colorful paper parasolsOver the years I have collected a number of paper parasols. These from Hobby Lobby are just plain fun to add color and motion to the space. Notice they are not completely extended as they might otherwise be for other uses. Also notice how they extend the color from the dining table to the perimeter of the dining environment. (I recently spent 2 hours carefully measuring and drilling holes to insert a number of small rubber-coated cup hooks in the overhangs on our back deck. They can stay up year round for displaying whatever I wish out there on a whim! The hooks are the same color as the house, so they just “disappear”!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Buffet tableI always like the buffet table to complement the dining table in some way. Here, a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth drops full-length (to stash catering stuff underneath!) and is topped with an 85-in. square fuchsia and a 70-in. square yellow, both from LinenTablecloth.com. (Sorry, folks…the yellow has been recently discontinued. They do, however, have a great new color called “cantaloupe” that would be fabulous in this setting!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - tropical "palm tree" floral pieceTo add to the tropical feel of the space, I created a “palm tree” on the buffet table using a white lacquered bamboo vase purchased at Z Gallerie a few years back. (I weighted it down with pea gravel to keep it from tipping over.) Palm fronds from Michael’s are artfully arranged to create the “tree.” The centerpiece is placed off-center.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Ice bucket, fruits collageWhen I put a tablescape together, I look through my computerized catalog (read about it HERE) and just type in keywords to find things in various categories in the color(s) I need. Without that catalog, I might have forgotten about this fun orange metal ice bucket. The yellow metal shabby chic bowl adds a little visual texture with its wavy lines. A white melamine chip ‘n dip tray takes on new life to display various tropical fruits on ice.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - beverage center

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Martini glasses with parasols, fruit tray collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - plastic pitchers

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Hot Fun in the Summertime! - Beverage center collageThe beverage center is set up on one end of the buffet table. This display is proof positive that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a fun look. The orange and pink plastic tubs from Old Time Pottery were about $3 each. Just fill with ice and insert beverages! The plastic pitchers were about $3 each, too, and are a great way to serve large quantities of your signature cocktail. Put drink garnishments like cherries and lemon slices on a cute melamine tray like this one from my friend, Monica, who recently gifted me with a bunch of these babies. 🙂 Finally, cocktail parasols in a colorful martini glass could make even your daily Metamucil go down easy! (Yes, I speak from experience!) The cocktail parasols mimic those used in the decor as well as dress up the drinks.

So there you have it…a tropical, fun-in-the-sun, casual, easy, budget-friendly dining environment in hot colors that will keep your guests in the partying mood long after the lightning bugs have said goodnight! This tablescape would be perfect for a summertime birthday, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, bon voyage party, beach party, or just any occasion that calls for f-u-n!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Oopsy Daisy!
Daisy Crazy
Flamingos in Paradise
Tropicana
Under a Paper Moon

Other tablescapes on this site with a tropical theme:
Hot Tropical
Caribbean Queen
Ocean Blue Tablescape
Raining Orchids

Two of my favorite blog parties for you to check out this week: Christine’s “Table It!” over at Rustic & Refined, and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

Give Peace a Chance – Retro Tablescape

With the recent passing of the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb and iconic disco queen Donna Summer, I find myself in a retro sort of mood. I have been listening to a lot of music from the 60s and 70s the past few weeks. I have a whole “British Invasion” playlist on my iPod that includes a lot of Beatles music. John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” somehow played twice in a row, and I took it as a sign (a peace sign?) that I should pay homage to the era. So tuck a flower in your hair, put on your mood ring, slip into your bell bottoms, and get ready for a hip and very colorful retro tablescape!!!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

The day was a breezy one, so it was a challenge to keep everything on the table! The hot pink table linen kept going all Marilyn Monroe-on-the-subway-grate-in-the-“Seven Year Itch” on me!!! 😉

IMG_6218WM

I drew on all the bright, mind-bending colors of the 1960s including hot pink, yellow, and a range of blues. Each psychedelic place setting starts with a yellow woven placemat, slightly overlapped with an aqua one, both from Bed Bath & Beyond. Hot pink ruffled chargers from Crate & Barrel are then topped with an aqua blue plastic dinner plate and a funky fun tie-dye “peace” salad plate from Hobby Lobby.(Have your corneas burned out yet? :-))

Bright hot pink flatware from TJ Maxx is positioned to resemble a peace sign. The color really resonates against the aqua blue of the placemat! Right on!!!

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IMG_6224WMYou might think I’m totally zonked and trippin’ to imagine this, but I actually thought that this so-called “bunny ears napkin fold” looked a lot like a peace sign! Work with me, people! Look at the hot pink napkins folded and secured with a Bed Bath & Beyond daisy napkin ring (to soothe your inner flower child!) and tucked into the simple clear glass stemware. Tell me that doesn’t look like the fun resin peace sign here from Home Decorators Collection!!!

IMG_6222WMThere’s a lot of 1960s flower power going on here! This groovy chick was so much fun to create using a simple Styrofoam head and inexpensive faux Gerbera daisies from Hobby Lobby. I just clipped the daisies from the cluster, leaving a 2-inch stem that I simply stuck into the head to create a full 1960s “afro.” She, of course, is decked out with her soulful shades. (Make the floral hair a bit longer on the sides and in the back, and you’ve created a Beatle-esque “mop top“!)

IMG_6239WMI created the look of the mega-sized hoop earrings of the era using floral wire spray painted gold and formed into a circle around a coffee can.

More flower power with this vase of oversized faux Gerbera daisies!

Sources: hpvf.com (Goldie Hawn); hippiefan.com (Janis Joplin); wikipedia.com (Beatles); zazzle.com (Sock It To Me button); wikipedia.com (Supremes); rollingstone.com (Jimi Hendrix); urbanmodernista.com (lava lamps); technorati.com (John Lennon)

Can you dig it? Did I blow your mind?
This setting would be great to celebrate the birthday party of someone born in the 60s or turning 60!

Jet on over with me to Susan’s crib anytime after 9:00 Central Time this Thursday to let it all hang out with some other really far out chicks & dudes for Tablescape Thursday.  It’ll be a gas, man!

Have a nice day! 🙂
(Post update: Tablescape Thursday has been cancelled for this week due to technical difficulties in the hostess’s change over from Blogger to Word Press. Please join us all next week for Tablescape Thursday!)

The Cake Studio

I was in the business of designing and coordinating lavish weddings for a lot of years. During that time I befriended some of the most talented cake artists this tri-state area (and beyond!) has to offer. (I’m no fool…I like cake! 😉 ) Just in time for Valentine’s Day, but perfect for ANY AND ALL occasions, allow me to introduce you to two gals with the most awesome baking and design talent around! (Sorry…no scratch and sniff/taste available!)

 

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Owners Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio) and Michelle Rice (Iced Art) have a really fun, eclectic style that translates into stunning, picture-perfect cakes. With their fabulous confections and the bright coral walls of the shop as a backdrop, I dropped in a wedding tablescape depicting a formal dinner look made contemporary by the combination of black and hot pink.

This tablescape’s place settings have sentimental meaning. The gold leafed glass chargers were a gift from my sister. The intricately designed octagonal “Jacobean” by F. Winkle & Co. salad plates were a gift from my mother (also used in a very different tablescape “Peaceful Peonies”), and the highly embellished flatware is “on loan.” (Seriously…does Mom really think I’m giving this back???)

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The BB&B black polycotton napkins are folded to accommodate a place card or menu and banded with simple hot pink ribbon.

I could drink out of these glasses every day!!! Delicate pink crystal bears an etched design of meandering vines. I picked these up at Marshall’s and would really like to find more of them! (See this stemware used again for an Easter tablescape, “Pinky Peter Cottontail”.)

This magnificent centerpiece, created by Dana Nigro at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO is a remnant from my days as an event designer. The sturdy manzanita branch is dotted with pretty hot pink flowers and dazzling crystals. This truly was the center of the tablescape, with everything else being built around its simple beauty.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Iron candlesticks and treasure chests bursting with hot pink peonies rounded out the decorative centerpiece to complete the tablescape. I went with white rather than hot pink candles to maintain a bit of formality and so as not to overwhelm the look with too much of a good thing.

The three amigas: Michelle Rice (Iced Art – Cakes By Design), Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio), and little ol’ me! (Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
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
French Poodle
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
Au Revoir!

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!

Hello, Dahlia!

I don’t think I have ever posted on a Friday, but I’m feelin’ frisky this week…so please indulge me! This is just a little extra something-something that I didn’t want to let slip through the cracks.

After peeking at this post, I’d like for you to take a moment to visit my blogger friend Vernice’s site at We Three Dogs & Me. Vernice put together a very touching patriotic tablescape that, as we inch closer to the disturbing anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, reminded me of how many lives have been sacrificed in the scant 235 years our nation has existed. She includes memorabilia from WWII, our nation’s costliest war in terms of human life in which over 100,000 American lives were lost. So if you get a moment, please peek in on Vernice’s blog post entitled “Independence Day”, dated August 31. (Scroll down 3 posts on her home page!)

Without further ado, I give you “Hello, Dahlia!” which was actually shot last year but never published. I set this up for a little before-shopping excursion so we could get our energy levels up! 🙂 This table would also be nice for ladies’ teas or luncheons.

 

Floor-length layers of white and scorching hot pink linen cover the table which is set for coffee and sweets.

Each of the four place settings is set with Noritake “Spectrum” china and “Royal Danish” sterling flatware. The napkins – truly a favorite in my collection – sport floating images of hot pink dahlias which, like summer in which they bloom at their heartiest, will soon begin to fade with the approach of cooler weather.

Dahlias are an excellent cut flower and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and varieties. They present beautifully in clusters as shown here or interspersed in a variety bouquet. Cut the stem off, and they are gorgeous floaters!!!

The florals are displayed in an silver antique reproduction tussie mussie. The cool thing about this tussie mussie is that it comes with its own decorative stand that automatically turns it into a vase! I have used the stands as candle holders on occasion. I wish I could tell you where to purchase these lovelies, but I bought them many years ago wholesale and have no idea where! (Same goes for the pretty silver cake stand in the photo below. Sorry!)

My trusty silver coffee pot all shined up and waiting to serve!

I hope you enjoyed this little “hiccup post.” Like I said….feelin’ frisky! Have a great weekend! 🙂

Other teatime posts on this blog include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Tee Mit Hans Dresden

If you’d like to see more photos of tables suitable for ladies’ luncheons and teas, click here or on the Fun Stuff tab above and scroll down!

Tropicana

Acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wisely wrote, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

That’s how I can best sum up my feelings about what happened when we recently packed up our lives and moved to Georgia, only to move back within the week. And while we are still weathering that storm, trying to make sense of it all, trying to learn from its harsh, hurtful, and very expensive lessons…I know that storms are a mere hiccup and that sunny days will prevail.

That being said, I want to celebrate my return to Blogland after a two-month absence with a bright, colorful, cheerful summer tablescape.IMG_3315WM

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We’re not quite completely settled back in yet and we probably won’t be entertaining guests for awhile, so I thought I’d share photos of a dinner party from last summer that I never published. (Believe me: In this record breaking heat, we would not be eating outside anyway!!!)

Summer is definitely a time for bright, tropical-flavored colors. This table for four started with a shockingly pink floor-length table linen from LinenTablecloth.com. (A word of caution about LinenTablecloth: In my experience, their customer service is just horrible at times, so choose wisely and read the fine print!) A pair of Pier 1 multi-colored matchstick table runners crisscross to anchor the setting.

A trio of paper parasols from Hobby Lobby extend the table colors across the deck.

These have got to be among my favorite summer dishes: ruffled melamine chargers in aqua (Crate & Barrel), topped with a simple white Corelle dinner plate to break up the color a little, finished off with a fun tropical-themed salad plate from Pier 1. The stainless “bamboo” flatware is from Target.

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Exotically swirled aqua in the Pier 1 stemware reminds me of the ocean. The butterfly-meets-flower straws are also from Pier 1.

I chose pure white cotton napkins to give the eye another little break from all the color. Each napkin, folded in a compact square, is topped with a seashell toting a fresh orchid bloom. (The great thing about fresh orchids – besides how insanely great they look – is that they can thrive without water for several hours!)

The towering white bamboo vase is from my favorite store….let’s all say it together….Z Gallerie! Mounds of seashells collected over the years add a little girth to the bottom of the centerpiece to balance it out with the top. Tucking a few orchid blooms and brightly hued cockscomb here and there amongst the seashells adds color and extends the floral theme. (I just love decorating with seashells!)

This lush profusion of fabulous orchids – courtesy of my dear friend Craig Sole of Craig Sole Designs – are arranged in an untamed fashion along with curly willow branches that lend height and texture.

I’ll end this post with one more quote (expletives redacted) from author Kelly Cutrone:  “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a [$&!##%] year: Things will change. You won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache.” Amen, sister!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Daisy Crazy
Oopsy Daisy

More tablescapes on this site using seashells:
Summer Breeze
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

More tablescapes on this site using orchids:
Raining Orchids
Love & Orchids
Upscale Irish
Autumn Orchids
Happy Mother’s Day, Senator Mom
Happy Birthday, Barf

It’s great to be back! Thank you for stopping in, and please be sure to join me this Thursday for Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You’ll be glad you did!