Mother’s Day Brunch

This colorful brunch tablescape in Springtime shades of blue, white, and cheery lemon yellow punctuated with bright pink paid homage to my Mother. The bouquet – my son and his girlfriend’s way of honoring me on Mother’s Day – was perfectly coordinated to the setting, especially the fresh fruit compote! (Please pardon the horrible fold lines in the table linen! This is one of my very early blog posts before I realized just how awful lines look in photos!!!)

These placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond caught my eye because of the playful lemons adjacent to the traditional & decidedly staid damask. The lemon yellow cotton napkins are also from BB&B. The cornflower blue juice glasses and compotes are from Old Time Pottery, and the cobalt blue chargers from Pier 1. The plates are basic white Corelle.

Fresh, fragrant lemons in blue & white transferware bowls with a few lemon leaves tossed in for color elongate the tablescape’s centerpiece. Not one to be wasteful, freshly squeezed lemonade is on the next day’s menu. (Oh, for heaven’s sake…those folds in the linen are killin’ me!!! :-()

I embellished the lush mix of lilies, roses, Fuji mums, orchids, hyacinth, button mums, monkshood and carnations with a few butterflies.

Coffee cups in the colors of the day are from Old Time Pottery.

Pre-sliced bagels are presented in a long napkin-lined basket. Find the recipes for the homemade vegetable or honey cream cheese spreads HERE or by clicking the “Recipes” tab above.

Nothing like a little fruit juice to get the day started! Here, clear glass decanters hold a choice of pink grapefruit, orange or apple.

I just love to take something basic and make it special! Plain white ceramic pitchers from Home Goods are gussied up with the addition of custom silver tags that mark the frothy, cold chocolate and strawberry milk.

The hostess awaits her guests’ arrival!

Other posts suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration on this site:
Peonies & Pearls
Showered in Pink
Pink Plaid & Posies
Days of Wine & Roses
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pleasant Under Glass

Another tablescape using lemons on this site:
Lemonade From Bill

A few fun accessories that will help make your Spring table feel fresh, inviting, and alive!

  • Budding branches (you can get these from your yard or nearby wooded areas)
  • Fresh curly willow (adds a lot of character and dimension to arrangements or can be used alone)
  • Grapevine
  • Flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., daffodils, tulips, hyacinth)
  • Potted green plants
  • Topiaries
  • Moss
  • Freshly grown grass in pots or flats
  • Nests
  • Birdhouses and cages
  • Glass bell jars and wire cloches
  • Chicken wire
  • Baskets (plain, moss covered, embellished with twigs or pussy willow branches, etc.)
  • Pots and vases with a vintage look
  • Parasols
  • Fresh or faux veggies (e.g., lettuce, cabbages, carrots)
  • Easter eggs
  • Smooth river rock
  • Floral wreaths
  • Softly colored solid and patterned fabrics: plaid, paisley, floral
  • Ribbon and twine
  • Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of wood, grapevine, straw, iron and other natural elements
  • Flatware with handles made of wood or bamboo
  • Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., rabbits, squirrels, birds)
  • Figurines of Spring- or Easter-related animals (e.g., chicks, hens, roosters, sheep, butterflies)
  • White or pastel spray paint for lightning and brightening everything from branches & twigs to….you name it!

Informally Formal: Marrying modern and classic in your table setting

My 4-minute segment on yesterday’s “Better Kansas City” show on KCTV-5 was all about “informally formal” entertaining at home!

As mentioned in the video clip, our Easter dinner tablescape was, I think, a good example of informally formal design. We simultaneously celebrated my son’s 39th birthday, and I wanted both my son and the rest of the family to feel special – because they are! But this was a day I wanted to be able to relax a little, too, so instead of formal china and crystal, I pulled out some terrific Pier 1 plates to fill the bill. This tablescape, minus the obvious nods to Easter, would be perfect for any Springtime event including birthdays, Mother’s Day, ladies luncheons, bridal or baby showers, or even engagement parties.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not used these beautiful Pier 1 plates since 4 years ago when I posted a piece called “The Bluebird Special“. While certainly far from what might be construed as traditionally formal, they have a simultaneously staid/laid back look. The woven square chargers and faux bamboo flatware lend texture and an organic feel to the place setting.  The yellow undertones of the flatware complement the bird on the plate as well as the floral centerpieces. The lavender napkin is fashioned in a traditional pyramid fold, and the green goblets are from Dollar Tree.

 

I enjoy creating specialized menus on my computer for at-home events. This colorful one in shades of yellow, purple and white with a bright pink clip leans to the side of informality. The colors complement the florals.

 

 

 

 

 

I might have gone a little wild with all the florals this year, but they were all so pretty! Our generous across-the-street neighbors allowed me to snip from their lavishly blooming lilac bush to complete the springtime floral designs of pink & yellow tulips, Mardi gras Solidago, and alstroemeria in white vases. The florals extended down the length of a fresh moss runner dotted with moss bird nests from Home Finishings. (HINT: If the smell of moss wrinkles your nose, open it up and air it out for a couple of days before use.) For additional height, texture, a burst of color, and the pure drama of it all, I filled a white glass vase with forsythia branches and placed it at the very end of the table. Note that the full-length white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is knotted at the end for safety as well as a cool contemporary look.

 

The alternating pink and lavender satin chair sashes almost didn’t make the cut. My husband thought the plain white stretch chair covers were sufficient. I, however, begged to differ. When he saw the chairs with the sashes, high fives and mea culpas were in order. (We agreed they made the chairs resemble Easter eggs!) Depending on the type of event you are hosting, chair sashes may or may not be appropriate. It’s up to you!

When planning your next Springtime event, keep in mind who your guests are, what feeling you’d like the space to evoke and, as always, just what level of formality is within your comfort zone! As alluded to in the video clip, formality may be circling the bowl, but it ain’t dead yet! 😉

For more photos of tablescapes seen in the video clip:
“Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”

A few other Spring tablescapes on this blog you may enjoy include:
“Springtime In Paris”
“Patisserie de Paris”
“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“All A’Bloom For Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Tulips in the IHOP Hour”
“Float Like A Butterfly”
“Purple & Pastel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daisy Crazy

Casual outdoor spring tablescapes needn’t cost an arm and a leg to make an impression! If your money is funny or you’re in a pinch for time, here are a few ideas to still put on a good show! With Mother’s Day just a blink away, you can still create a cheerful and pretty table to let Mom know she’s always in your heart!

Gerbera daisy paper products from Costco infuse lots of bright, energetic color into this tablescape. The colors are magnified when laid against a pure white table linen.

Grass in containerReal Gerbera daisies are cheap and plentiful in spring and summer at your local flower market or nursery. Just insert the tip into a floral pick filled with water, and insert the pick into the grass. Rye grass can be grown indoors in 2-3 weeks time using whatever containers you have on hand. (Really strapped for cash? Try using tin cans like those that green beans and Spaghettios come in. Wash them thoroughly, strip off the label, and plant the grass seeds. Cut a strip of colorful paper to fit the can and secure with double-sided tape or a fun sticker. Voila! Fabulous floral containers for next-to-nothing! See instructions for growing rye grass by clicking HERE and scrolling to Tip #15.) If time in growing your own grass is an issue, buy an inexpensive slab of sod and chop it up to fit your containers. Be sure to water!!!!!

Flatware & cup collageIf the wind is kicking up, use a weighted salad plate to keep the paper dinner plate intact. The clear glass used here allows the pattern beneath to still be seen. The dinner plates, cups and napkins are all from Costco. The bright pink Bed Bath & Beyond placemats (about $2 each) could be replaced by patterned paper from a stationery store (about $.59 each) or pieces of wrapping paper or wallpaper (averaging around $.25 each) cut into rounds, squares or rectangles.

The fun white-handled flatware is from Burlington. It, of course, could be replaced with less expensive plastic cutlery, or you could use stainless you already have.


The napkin ring is a strip of patterned paper with the guests’ name imprinted by hand or on the computer and then secured with a piece of tape in back.

 These colorful paper parasols were a steal (about $2 each) at Hobby Lobby’s end-of-season sale last year. They add a whole new dimension to the overall look and are a fun and fashionable way for guests to ward of the midday sun.

Total cost of paper goods, placemats, flowers, grass, and parasols as shown for this table for 12: about $48. With homemade placemats, the overall total drops to about $35. Fabric tablecloths used here to make the table a little extra special. My preferred linen provider is LinenTablecloth.com for inexpensive, easy-to-launder linens in an array of colors, patterns and sizes.

Great places to buy fun & festive paper dining products appropriate for just about any occasion include:
Tuesday Morning
Target
Dollar Tree
Walmart
Home Goods
Big Lots
Old Time Pottery
Hobby Lobby
Michael’s

While this would make a fun and fast Mother’s Day dinner or brunch tablescape, it would also work great for a birthday, wedding shower, or any fun Spring or Summer get-together.

Other tablescapes on this post using parasols:
“Oopsy Daisy!”
“Tropicana”
“Sunflower Simple”
“Hot Fun In the Summertime”
“Flamingos In Paradise”

 More Spring tablescapes:
Rolling Fields of Green
The Bluebird Special
Moss & Manzanitas
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom

Peony Power!”
Springtime in Paris
Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink
Carousel Colors
Daffodillyicious
Spring Has Sprung
Easter Brunch
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Apple Green Luncheon
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Welcome Back, Joel
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

 “Taste of Wine Buffet

Purple & Pastel Tablescape

My friend and caterer-to-die-for, Andre Harper, and his family recently hosted a multi-occasion party in honor of his parents. All within the span of about 10 days came Mother’s Day, both parents’ birthdays, AND Mr. & Mrs. Harper’s 60th wedding anniversary!!! THAT called for one heck of a celebration that took a whole team to execute. Everyone played a part in the area they know best, so I gladly took on the table decor. 🙂
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Andre’s thoughtful brother-in-law Dwayne, who is usually more comfortable in the company of a fishing pole than a bouquet of posies, bought roses for each of the ladies in attendance. What a sweet gesture! I wrapped each stem in lavender tissue and tied it with a length of silky ribbon. An attendant hired for the day presented a rose to each female guest as she emerged from the limousine that brought them to the party.

IMG_6491WMI sat down with the family to discuss the look they wanted. We kicked around a lot of ideas that at first involved a lavender overlay and tall florals. In the end, however, Andre’s description of his Mother’s affinity for “dainty” things kept gnawing at me.

IMG_6472WMAfter a lot of thought and a couple of sleepless nights, the original plan evolved into pure ivory linens all around to allow details to really shine. A color like lavender, although relatively demure, still commands a lot of attention and is therefore best presented in staccato doses when the goal is “dainty.”

IMG_6498WMWe stuck with the original plan of white wood chairs with comfortable padded seats.

IMG_6474WMI wanted to capture the Mom’s affection for lavender – a beautiful color for a Mother’s Day celebration –  and also lend a few details that would make the tablescape suitable for an anniversary and birthday party. (This table would also work well for a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner.) I chose lavender chargers from Michaels, topped with clear dinner and dessert plates from Bed Bath & Beyond. Using clear plates allowed the pleasing color of the charger against the ivory linens to show.

IMG_6478WMThe detail of a napkin tucked inside a silver pew cone lent elegance and shine to the center of each plate. I used this same technique for my Mom’s birthday a couple of years ago with equally pretty results. (Click HERE and scroll down to the 3rd post, “Pretty In Pink”, if you’d like to see that.) Demure lavender tulips (inserted into a water pick to keep them fresh) were then slipped in to bring another touch of color to the place setting.

I used my silver heirloom flatware to add a bit of design to the tabletop.

Simple, unadorned stemware from Old Time Pottery looks extra showy when assembled in groups. (Note: I always, always, always hand-dry my glassware to make certain it is devoid of unsightly water spots. If you have a dishwasher that will assure the same results, by all means go for it! If you’re not sure, though, give your stemware a once over with a damp towel followed by a quick swipe with a dry one to remove any lingering water spots.)

The family wanted the parents’ place settings to stand out while leaving open seating for the other guests. I created place cards on the computer and placed them in pretty silver frames adorned with faux pearls and rhinestones. I also created two pretty nosegays tied and affixed to the parents’ chairs with organza ribbon.

With all the other pretty details on the table, I still wanted the florals to be the star. Lots and lots of florals!!! I used a mix of white and lavender cremons, lavender tulips, purple hydrangea, green Queen Anne’s lace, mums and filler flowers to create six unique but complementary bouquets. Scattered between the taller arrangements were floating lavender cremons. The family liked the idea of using faux silver floral vessels so that the ladies could all take a bouquet home with them. No muss, no fuss, and totally undetectable until you touch them! (Yes…those are acrylic vases and bowls!!!) They may sell acrylic floral vessels in stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. If not, check with your florist. I have used them for years when the occasion calls for take-home bouquets!!!

For a great idea on how to figure out proper spacing for your decorative elements, click HERE and scroll down to Tip #34!

Photos courtesy of the Harper family

Photos courtesy of the Harper family

Andre laid out quite a spread that besides tasty meats and vegetables included a seafood pasta salad that would send you into an immediate Happy Dance! 🙂 The beautifully decorated cake, emblazoned with yesteryear photos of the parents, brought lots of “Oohs!” and “Ahs!” from friends and family.

 It takes a village to raise a child and a team to put on a party!!! Tired but happy to have pulled it off is Team Harper. Front row center: (attendant) Tatum Shelby. Back row: (daughter) Granee Harper Parker, me, (son-in-law/chivalrous guy) Dwayne Parker, (son/caterer extraordinaire who put on a spread that would make a grown man cry) Andre Harper, and Andre’s sweet girlfriend, Trina Collins.

Photo courtesy of the Harper Family

Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. Harper!!! You must be very proud of the loving and thoughtful children you have raised!

Andre and I have collaborated before to create a special dinner for our STL pal, Lauren. Click HERE or on the Fun Stuff tab above and scroll down to the 13th post, “Dinner With Friends“. His gumbo will put you in a trance!!!!!!! 🙂
Harper’s Catering, Kansas City, MO, 816-761-0959
harperscatering2000@kc.rr.com

For more wedding-related posts on this site, click on the “Wedding” tab above
or on these individual posts:
Planning in Purple
Peonies & Pearls
Blushing Bridal Shower
Showered In Pink
Flirty Peach Skirt
Roses in October
Get Me To the Church On Time

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. I’m also on BeBetsy.com. You are invited to peek in on some of the world’s most talented tablescapers with me!

Tulips In the iHop Hour

My parents have for as long as I can remember preferred to eat Sunday dinner in what I affectionately call “the iHop Hour.” You know…those early bird special hours between 3 and 6 p.m. when seniors aged 55+ can get a discounted meal at the International House of Pancakes. (I’m not knockin’ it! That’s exactly where I plan to have lunch…yes, 3:00 will still be lunch for me!…on my 55th next year!) Although my husband and I still like to wait until after the sun goes down, we always try to honor the tick tock of my parents’ gastronomic time clock and get “dinner” served by 3:30 at the latest.

This year’s Mothers Day celebration will be no different. Our table will, therefore, be devoid of candles reserved for twilight dining and take on instead a light, sunshiny, Skip-to-My-Lou air with energetic orange as the star color.
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Tulips In the IHop Hour

Fearful of Mother Nature’s unpredictable outbursts of wind and showers, I have decided to serve a nice sit-down meal in the dining room. Surprisingly, no full-length linen this time around! (I’m just as shocked at myself as you are!!! :-)) This would be an excellent table for a casual ladies’ luncheon or birthday celebration.

Inspiration…as slow as it was to take hold…came from these Prima Design tulip-splashed salad plates I found at TJ Maxx. I love the happy color and the simplicity of the design. That simplicity, I thought, is what mandated the absence of linens and effusive decor. The plain white ceramic charger is from Old Time Pottery. The vivid orange dinner plate is one of the best finds of the year from the Dollar Tree. (Did you know that Dollar Tree and Deal$ are owned by the same company and therefore carry many of the same items??? It was news to me until a couple of days ago!)

I created the menus using cardstock from Michaels. (I wait it out until it goes on sale for 25¢ a sheet and then go nuts!!!) I included a bit of yellow to mirror some of the flowers used in the centerpieces and add depth to the menu piece. The little flower brads are from Hobby Lobby. (Again, catch them on sale for a song!) I am not a “crafty” person by any stretch, so I am so grateful for my handy, dandy Fiskars paper cutter!

White bird salt & pepper shakers from Pier 1 fit right in!

It’s too early to buy the real flowers, so I’m using faux blooms here. I plan bouquets by creating them in advance with faux flowers. It makes the trip to the flower market go so much faster and easier! One book that really inspires me to keep my arrangements fun and creative is Paula Pryke’s “Table Flowers”. (Click HERE for my brief review of her book.) I never try to imitate a creation bloom-for-bloom, but innovative and unabandoned style is what gives me a kick in the britches. (Used here: Holland tulips, daylilies, calla lilies, poppies, and mums.)

I like for the items on the buffet behind the table to coordinate whenever possible. This time around I used a massive orange wooden platter from Z Gallerie as a backdrop. The pure white pitchers, purchased a couple of years ago at Home Goods, are spruced up with silver beverage tags affixed with mandarin orange ribbon. A jumble of orange, yellow & green beads add color and texture.

I took a cue from my sweet blogger buddy, Vernice at We Three Dogs & Me, and wove orange ribbon through the slats of the Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” footed stand that will hold the key lime pie. (I’ve never made key lime pie before. Check back to make sure we’re all still alive, please! :-)) Vernice did the same using bright pink ribbon for her Mother’s Day 2012 post in which she told the most touching story about her own Mom and her very interesting childhood. HIGHLY recommended reading…have tissues handy!

Mom & me, 1958

So that…finally!!!…is our Mother’s Day 2012 table. Simple, sweet, sunny, and fun! I hope my Mom likes it. I was warned NOT to go pink & green for her, so I just stepped WAY outside the color box!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, and the same to my dear readers…even if you’re not dining in the IHop hour! 😉

Other Spring/Summer tablescapes using orange on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?”
Oranges & Blossoms

I will be joining Cuisine Kathleen again this week for her “Let’s Dish!” Mother’s Day Tablescape Challenge. Be sure to check it out for lots of great ideas from other tablescapers around the world! I’m also joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, and I hope you’ll drop by!

Peony Power!

Do you remember those 1970s Chiffon Margarine commercials with “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as the slogan? Apparently someone didn’t get the memo, because this has been one of the weirdest weather years in recent history. We experienced one of the mildest, driest winters, and Spring has rapidly turned to Summer without so much as a “How do you do?”.  To quote yet another, more contemporary TV commercial, “Wasuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppp??!?!?!”

Peonies generally wait to pop their big moppy heads out sometime in mid-May, but it’s only May 1 and most blooms are nothing but a memory around here. Pitiful. But that won’t stop me from sharing this with those of you who still have a few weeks of peony power on your side! This would make a great Mothers Day celebration table, or work great for a birthday, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or bridal shower.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

This Tuscan-style table for 12 on the deck starts out with a full-length white linen topped with a beautiful piece of blue & white fabric I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store.

A basic white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with a cobalt blue glass dinner plate from Pier 1.

Each place setting has a white hemstitch napkin gathered with a fun napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond. I just love napkin rings that look like jewelry!

The very subtle pattern of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection works well with the busy topper.

I favored this flatware because the design on the handle looks a lot like the pattern of the fabric. I always look for similarities in shapes, patterns and angles to make details mesh.

A mix of small and large peony arrangements in cobalt blue glass vases line the center of the table. These peonies are not real for this demonstration table (alas and alack, those bad boys have long since met their Maker!), but when you use real ones, be sure to check for those pesky little ants that like to hang out in the blooms. (There are 2 schools of thought on whether or not ants actually promote the opening of the multi-layered blooms. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and spare them a date with a can of Raid. ;-))

After the sun retires for the evening, these reticulated canisters – set at intervals between the florals – are great for disguising a chunky LED candle that will make light dance across the table.

Visit other posts on this site oozing with peony power:
Peonies & Pearls
Peaceful Peonies

Other posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Daffodillyicious
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Surf & Turf Dinner
Brilliant Italian
Summer Blues & Greens

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. Pop on over to see what a bunch of other ladies and gents are up to this week with their tablescaping!

Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink

Good grief, Charlie Brown! Mothers Day is less than 3 weeks away now!!! I’m still grappling with what to do for my Mom’s celebration dinner. Too bad I can’t just add a few candles and recreate this table because I really like it! This is more or less an extension of the Springtime In Paris Mothers Day Buffet table I posted last week. It uses some of the same decorative elements and is designed to either work with the buffet (just take away the luncheon plates & put them on the buffet) or stand alone as a sit-down luncheon.
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IMG_5937WMA full-length white linen from LinenTablecloth.com covers a 6-ft. oblong table set up in our living room to take advantage of the bright southern exposure.

 

 

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Each place setting starts with a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery topped with a light green napkin folded lengthwise twice and tucked underneath. Following are a white Corelle luncheon plate and ceramic rose-rimmed plate I picked up at Tuesday Morning a number of years ago when I was feeling particularly girlie.

Here’s one of those decorative elements from last week: petal pink fabric napkins folded to resemble a rosebud. This time, rather than being tucked tightly and displayed en masse, the napkin is allowed to expand a bit to fill individual cups at each place setting. (Tutorial for this Rosebud Napkin Fold can be found HERE at Table Twenty-One Table Tips. Just scroll down to Tip #33.) I like to use two napkins at each place setting whenever sandwiches are involved!

The handles of the sterling flatware are embellished with a tiny flower to complement the design of the salad plates and cups. A rose-topped sugar cube created by Shawnee, Kansas cake artist Rebekah Foster daintily rests atop each iced tea spoon.

img_5908wm.jpgThese green stems from Dollar Tree are one of the best tabletop investments I’ve ever made. So much bang for the buck! I bought enough to have one for water and one for iced tea at each place setting. If you’re not hip to Dollar Tree yet, you need to check it out. They have some pretty decent tabletop items in there from time to time….all for just $1!!!! There are currently more than 4,000 stores across the 48 contiguous states (every U.S. state except Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada, so chances are there’s one near you! If not, you might try its sister company, Deal$.

Here’s another of those elements from last week that really works well on this table to bring color, texture, and height in a slightly different way: clear 12″ glass gooseneck tower vases filled with reaching faux floral branches that create the illusion of a tiny forest down the table’s center.

I like the idea of creating a buffet table with a dining table in mind and vice versa. It really opens up a lot of entertaining opportunities!

For more pink & green tablescapes on this site:
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
“Showered in Pink”

For more tables in pink suitable for Mothers Day:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies

For other posts using the “rosebud napkin fold” on this site:
“Cupcake Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Au Revoir”

I’m joining the bunch at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday again. C’mon…you know you’re curious about what all the other tablescapers are up to this week! 🙂

Springtime In Paris Mother’s Day Buffet

Mother’s Day is inching ever closer, and I want to start now with ideas for a fresh and very flowery buffet table. This is yet another buffet tablescape I created for my Spring 2012 “Art of Tablescaping” class students. I wanted to demonstrate – among other things – how placing a “centerpiece” at the end could be just as effective as centering it and how extending the look across the back side of the table makes it all work.
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Wow…that’s a lot of stuff!!!!!! But it’s all very effective in illustrating the intended look of Springtime on the Champ de Mars in Paris where the Eiffel Tower shares ground with hundreds of fabulous blossoming cherry trees. This is one of those tables that is a loose interpretation of something rather than getting absolutely literal. (Ramon was NOT letting me bring actual cherry trees in this house!!!) In addition to Mother’s Day, this buffet setting would work well for a post-nuptial brunch or luncheon if the couple is honeymooning in Paris.  As with many tables, I started with a full-length white linen.

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IMG_5632WMI love to present flatware and napkins in fun, different ways. Here a gallery tray holds a silver julep cup filled with forks. Surrounding the cup are soft pink napkins rolled tightly to resemble rosebuds…or cinnamon rolls…or however your imagination wants to interpret them! (Click HERE  and scroll down to Tip #33 for a tutorial on how to create these cute little gems!) You may prefer to place the flatware and napkins at the end of the buffet rather than the start.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One -Why just sit the plates on the table if you can elevate them to new heights with something like this silver beaded edge plateau? Crank your brain and use your full imagination to come up with plateau ideas from around your home like candle stands, hat boxes, teacups, books…whatever! Just be sure the plates cannot be easily knocked over!!! Porcelain “doily” plates here from Pier 1.

IMG_5606WMA tiered stand is ideal for displaying cookies or other two-bite treats. Don’t have a ready-made tiered stand? Create one using plates and glasses or candlesticks or teacups. Again, just be sure the structure is secure. Cling® or a similar non-permanent floral adhesive is a good choice to make sure everything stays in place. Be sure to hide your mechanics with a few flowers or by piling the food high. You don’t want that ugly stuff showing through!!!

Here I used 2 sizes of silver cake plateaus to display cheeses and dessert. The breads are brought to the table in an old-fashioned but still quite pretty and very functional silver wire bread basket. A small branch laden with ripe plums is casually placed across the top for color and interest.

It’s all the rage…and even if it wasn’t, it’s still a great way to serve tiny portions of your favorite foods. Everything from cold soups to granola to mixed fruit looks great when served up in tiny vessels with their own tiny spoons. Don’t bother spending a ton of money on the sets found at places like Pier 1 unless you can find a good sale or clearance price. (Sorry, Pier 1. You know I love you, but what you’re asking for those things is criminal!) Consider using things already in your inventory like clean votive holders, shot glasses, demitasse cups, or miniature ramekins or martini glasses. I found the little spoons at Bed Bath & Beyond for 79 cents each, but you may be able to score some less pricey.

 On to the centerpiece! You can probably find Eiffel Tower replicas at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Gordmans which is where I bought mine several years ago. My guess is that you can probably find one at the CHRISTMAS TREE SHOP, too, because apparently – if  Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper’s blogs are any indication – you can find just about EVERYTHING great there!!! (I just had to get that dig in to a couple of my blogger buddies because I’m so jealous they have CTS and we don’t! ;-))

Anyhoooooooo……I wanted to capture the feeling of all the lush florals on the Champ de Mars, so I grouped clear glass vases with petite rose bouquets beneath the tower and sort of let them “spill” over as roses naturally do. The fragile look of soft pink roses timidly peeking out from behind the austere lattice of “The Iron Lady” (La dame de fer) as the tower is nicknamed, is such a striking juxtaposition. (If your Mother, like mine, has a very strong personality, she might actually appreciate the irony of this symbol!) Pots of green grass represent the fertile grounds of the Champ de Mars, and a random flurry of butterflies across the table brings in another element of Spring. The “cherry blossoms” used here are flowered branches from Hobby Lobby, but if you have the real thing, by all means…go for it!!!

IMG_5686WMNot that any other sane human soul looking at the table would necessarily make this observation, but there was a specific reason I chose these gooseneck tower vases for the “cherry trees.” Notice how they resemble the trunk of a tree? And look there at the very bottom…doesn’t the foot of the vase look like the bumpy roots as they meet the ground? Do I need to cut back on the two martini lunches or what?!?!?!! 🙂

Before my head completely explodes, let’s consider the beverage center set up near the buffet table. When you’re working within a small space, just about any surface will do. Here, a cut glass beverage decanter with the word “Paris” across the front sits on a simple silver tray. Lined up on either side are stemmed glasses decked out with fruit and ready for some fun, Springtime refreshment like the ultimate French elixir – champagne – infused with a spritz of strawberry schnapps.

Next week, a great companion table to this Mothers Day buffet, “Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink“. Meanwhile, other tablescapes on this site that would work well for a Mother’s Day celebration include:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies
Daisy Crazy
Mother’s Day Brunch

Another post on this site using a Parisian theme with the Eiffel Tower as a centerpiece AND using this rosebud napkin fold:
Au Revoir!

Other tablescapes on this site with a “rosebud napkin fold”:
“Cupcake Colors”
“Au Revoir”
“Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink”

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch and on BeBetsy.com! And if you get a chance, please stop by Beaux R’eves where my buddy, Cindy, posted the coolest “Under the Sea” tablescape for a local charity.

Peonies & Pearls

Living in the frigid Midwestern portion of the U.S., I tend to forget that not everyone spends Valentine’s Day swathed head-to-toe in wool. There are my Southern friends (although this year may not be the warmest for them), my West coast friends (like my old high school buddy, Gisele, who constantly taunts me on Facebook about the great weather they’re enjoying!), and my blogger buddies on different continents like Suzy Q chillin’ at the beach house in Western Australia. Those folks are livin’ the good life: no ice to chip off the windshield, no snow to plow, no “wind chill index” in the forecast, no heating bill that rivals the National Debt.

So…it is to you my toasty February friends that I dedicate this ode to Valentine’s Day in the warmth of the sun. I had this little number in my cache of posts and thought it perfectly indicative of the kind of Valentine’s Day table one could create should they be so lucky as to live in milder climes. (It could be easily set up indoors, too!)
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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I think I may have have been cotton candy or Dubble Bubble in a former life. Not because I’m sweet (ha! Lord knows that’s not it!), but because I just love pink. When I photographed this table last summer, I remember feeling all girly and giggly and size 6. Yes, ladies, pink can actually DO that for you! 🙂

I started with a sticky sweet pink full-length cotton tablecloth. Gold-leafed glass chargers from my sister are topped with gold-rimmed white dishes from Pier 1.

Pretty pink poly-cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond are gathered with faux pearl napkin rings from Old Time Pottery. The trick here was to give the napkin ring a more substantial look by doubling them.

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Simple goldtone flatware and, of course, a little something-something from Godiva packaged in gold and neatly tied up with ribbons and seed pearls.

Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware is reasonably priced as far as crystal goes, and it’s multifaceted body catches the rays of the sun just right.

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I used faux peonies here, but you can certainly imagine a fresh armful of the fluffy pink mop heads as your centerpiece! The design on the mammoth crystal barrel harmonizes perfectly with the stemware. Lofty gold candlesticks with pink candles surround the crystal.

Swans are a long-standing symbol of love and fidelity due to their perennial and monogamous relationships. These lovely Limoges salt cellars both literally and figuratively bring spice to the table.

Remove a couple of place settings, and this becomes a romantic table for two. This Pepto pink tablescape would also work very well for a special birthday, an upscale baby shower, a wedding celebration, a sweet Mother’s Day dinner, or in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I’ll be joining Susan again for Tablescape Thursday. I hope you’ll stop in to see the romantic tables other tablescapers from all around the world have to offer!

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for Valentine’s Day:
Love’s Arrow
Showered in Pink
Roses In October
“Days of Wine & Roses”
Chocolate Traditional

Another tablescape using peonies:
Peaceful Peonies