Orange Dreamsicle

Have you ever tried the grownup version of an orange Dreamsicle? The one with whipped cream vodka, orange juice, triple sec or Cointreau, and cream or half & half? To beat this ongoing heat to a pulp (See what I did there? Pulp? Get it?😉), I whipped one up
at breakfast. Don’t judge me. It contained 2 of the 5 food groups.😜

Here’s a fun luncheon or dinner tablescape where a grownup Dreamsicle might be more appropriately enjoyed! (Faux flowers used here, but real ones would kick it up a BIG ol’ notch for guests!)

I first used these fun open tulip salad plates in 2010 for a Mothers Day tablescape, “Tulips in the iHop Hour”, referring to my Mom’s penchant for eating so early on Sundays. I’d not used them since, so this is as good a time as any. I’ve set them with plain white dinner plates and juicy orange Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass chargers. My Mom’s Towle “Calypso” flatware and recently acquired orange stemware from Home Goods add a nice finishing touch.

Red-orange and white (faux) ranunculus in a curvy white ceramic vase.

Bright orange (faux) tulips are prominently used across the table.

Brilliant orange (faux) poppies add color and texture.

What’s a meal without dessert?🍰

Reticulated dessert plates look almost like old-fashioned doilies.

The piĂšce de rĂ©sistance
Dreamsicle cocktails by the pitcher! Here’s the Pinterest recipe I most often use: Dreamsicle Martini

Do you love the color orange as much as I do? Here are a few more posts featuring this energetic color!🧡

Monkeying Around With Chinoiserie

If it’s as hot where you are as it is here in the Kansas City, MO area, please know I empathize. Gee WHIZ, it’s scorching!!!!!đŸ„” I can’t entertain the notion of setting up outdoors as even the mornings are intolerably muggy. This is not what June is supposed to feel like! So I’ve been “monkeying around” in the dining room with blue and white with a dash of orange.

The inspiration for this tablescape came from a pair of lumbar pillows I bought last year from Sew Gracious. (I’m not compensated in any way for mentioning this or any other site. I just love to share!) So perfect for our dining room!!!

I started each place setting with an orange glass Bormioli Rocco charger and Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” plates and bowls. The Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” salad plate brings visual texture to the setting.

I bought these monkey napkin rings years ago at Z Gallerie. He looks as if he’s holding on to that napkin for dear life!😆

Nell Hill’s. I mean
!!! I LOVE that place! The planters I happed upon while one of the showroom designers was setting a table there are perfect! (Yes, I took them right off her assembly cart
with her kind permission, of course!) I found the pots of spiky greenery there at Nell Hill’s on another shopping trip and added faux agapanthus.

Monkeys and gold-tone planters from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, Missouri’s West Bottoms shopping district. (Visited there over this past weekend. They are TEEMING with product, y’all!) The blue and white biscuit jars are from Nell Hill’s.

On the vitrine sits a Nell Hill’s blue and white foot tub filled with juicy oranges. The tub is surrounded by a trio of finial jars, a miniature vase, and a couple of ginger jars, also from Nell Hill’s.

If you’re as much a lover of blue and white or chinoiserie as I am and would like to see more of it on this blog, check out the posts below. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Have a fabulous week!

Welcome to the Carrot Patch

It’s official. We are now in the midst of Easter Week 2022. I’m trying to remember when my prayers have been as fervent and anguished as they’ve been these past several weeks. So much horror, sadness, and suffering happening on a globalđŸ‡ș🇩 as well as a personal level.😔 (My favorite brother-in-law, Kenny, passed away, and his services had to be canceled due to an aggressive COVIDđŸŠ đŸ˜·đŸ˜·đŸ€’ outbreak.) My heart is so heavy.💔

I’ve got to escape, place my thoughts elsewhere for a while. I’m posting this joyous Easter tablescape as a respite from this world’s wretchedness with continued prayers for peace.

Garden vegetables are the star of this show! I’m fortunate to be within 30 miles of Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO. I found these crazy gorgeous, scarily realistic carrot tops (this season) and lettuce heads (2020) there. They will both see a lot of action over the years to come!

The napkins are actually towels from that bargain area in the front of every Target store. They have really upped their game there in recent years! The towels came in sets of 2 patterns: This one with bunnies on a green background



and this one with the inspiration for this post’s title on a white background.

White ceramic flower pots filled with green leaf lettuce đŸ„Ź and carrots.đŸ„•đŸ„•đŸ„• While these are props, you could use the real deal and then have one whale of a salad the following day!đŸ„—

To-mā-to/ To-máh-to. It’s all good in the garden!🍅🍅🍅

The vegetable theme carries over to the vitrine.

What’s Easter without eggs?

Who says floral greenery can’t be produce?đŸ„Ź

Coffee spoons nestled together in a ceramic basket.

If you’d like to check out more Spring and Easter tablescapes on this blog, here’s a LONG list from which to choose. I wish you a HAPPY EASTER filled with joy and peace.

Hey, Pumpkin!

It’s November 1, and autumn is coming to a rapid close as wretched cold weather settles in. That makes me a bit sad as fall is my favorite time of year. I’ve especially enjoyed the bounty of pumpkins in our area and all the inspiration they have prompted! I’ve been able to create a variety of tablescapes and vignettes indoors and out using the same basic elements and adding special touches.

When I saw this gorgeous, colorful table runner at Home Goods, I knew right away how I wanted to use it. This rich pattern of pumpkins, sunflowers, and berries traverses the runner from end to end!

I’ve gotten my money’s worth from this Cambridge “Esben” flatware this fall season. Its faux wood handles are a perfect complement to the season’s decor. The same goes for the mustard yellow Pier 1 plates (see them used a whole different way on the post “Candy Colored Autumn“) and leather-look chargers from Hobby Lobby. Here I topped off the setting with a generously proportioned turmeric-colored soup bowl (see the bowl with matching plates on the post “Most Egg-cellent Breakfast“.) The ivory napkin repeats the background color in the runner. Because the centerpiece is so busy, I used austere glassware.

One of my husband’s nurses gifted me with these sheds from her farm in rural Kansas a few years ago. (First used in the post “Hunter Tablescape – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat” in 2012.) They add a lot of form and girth, as well as a bit of height, to the centerpiece arrangement.

I picked up the round basket at Home Goods. They had so many nice ones from which to choose this season!

I first used these rustic orange finials for the post “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” back in 2010. Eleven years later they’ve resurfaced for this table.

My husband’s recent 51st high school class reunion (or 50 + 1 as they called it since the pandemic shut down plans for their jubilee celebration in 2020) was a lovely event. One of his classmates is a very talented florist who provided the centerpieces for the banquet night. I brought one home and rearranged it to fit into this moss-covered vase for the dining room vitrine.

Are you following me on Instagram? If not, I invite you to do so! There are quick little daily posts there that are different content than here on the blog…house and home-related vignettes you might enjoy!

For more autumnal tablescapes on this blog:

Have a warm and wonderful November!

Cinco de Mayo On the Cul-de-Sac

Our annual Cinco de Mayo cul-de-sac celebration was another fun success last night with beautiful weather, great food, FABULOUS margaritas, and terrific music…all shared by the best neighbors ever! I was able to snap a few pics with my phone that I hope you will enjoy and keep in mind for your next South of the Border-inspired celebration!

I set up a table for 6 in front of our house for us who are fully vaccinated. We all routinely socialize, so it was nice to be able to sit together after a full year of separation! Inspiration for the tablescape came from the fancy hand painted rooster glasses I recently purchased at a friend’s yard sale. Eight of them for just $10!!! Add orange Dollar Tree plates, Cambridge “Esben Beachwood” flatware, a couple of colorful crisscrossed runners, and a rooster to the table’s center flanked by succulents and (faux) Gerbera daisies…and voila!

I made and individually packaged up snickerdoodles and copycat Sara Lee pound cake (SO good!) for everyone as a take home favor. I don’t think any of it actually made it home with anyone. It was all really tasty, and I hit the kitchen early this morning to fill orders for more!đŸ€ŁđŸ€ŁđŸ€Ł

That was our Cinco de Mayo! How was yours?

To see additional Cinco de Mayo/South of the Border-inspired tablescapes on the site:

Orange You Glad You Came To Dinner?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CAME TO DINNER?
(a re-post from August of 2010)

Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” that featured multiple posts in an effort to make it easier to find things. 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 of blogging. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope!

 Sigh! As the kids reluctantly prepare to head back to class, we try to squeeze in just a few more outdoor family dinners.

 I’ve been itching to use these creamsicle colored dishes all summer! Orange is “the new red” when it comes to stimulating the appetite and lifting spirits. For my tablescapes indoors and out, I am totally on board!

 

Rather than my usual (and beloved!) long, narrow table, I kissed two 6-ft. tables horizontally to create more of a square shape. Doing so allows for a more generous centerpiece as well as plenty of elbow room for each guest. (With the trays, this seats 8; without trays, however, this table configuration comfortably seats 10.)

 

 

Each of this tablescape’s place settings consists of a bamboo tray (looked good, and sure made clean up a lot easier!) from Old Time Pottery. The orange & white melamine dishes are from Target. The square shape lends a contemporary feel, while the floral design gives them a timeless look without being stuffy. (See these same dishes used for another summer tablescape HERE.) I fell in love with the icy orange flatware from Burlington and the flower & butterfly napkin rings from Hobby Lobby. Even the Costco stemware is plastic, but the design gives it an “authentic” look. The cool cube place card holders from Crate & Barrel finish the place setting. Off to the side, a small table holds snacks in complementary colors.

 
I mulled over centerpiece options for this tablescape for several days. Sure, the weatherman is predicting a drastic cool down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s, but how can I be sure? Fresh flowers will wilt as soon as I walk them out the door if he’s wrong. So…I went against everything I know and bowed to decorating with FAUX flowers!!! Somehow, though, with the cool orange color and the unrealistically large heads, it looks kind of 1960s mod instead of flat out weird. I may need to find more uses for faux flowers! Stay tuned!!!
 
This is my Dad, Jim. I love him very much!!!
(postscript: Daddy died in May of 2013.
I’m so glad we had this quality time together.)
Other tablescapes with lots of orange (other than autumn and Halloween):
Mandarin Bling
Summer Orange
Oranges & Blossoms
Hot Tropical

     

Pheasants & Pumpkins

INSPIRATION: A pretty resin pheasant purchased for $3 at an estate sale.

INSPIRATION: A pretty resin pheasant purchased for $3 at an estate sale.

Thanksgiving is a week away! Here’s one quick final fall post of a laid back setting that might help fire you up if you’ve not yet decided on a tablescape for the big day.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Full dining room

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Full tableI’m going with a “woodsy” look throughout the house for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. This casual table for 6 has no tablecloth so the wood of the table can be an integral part of the overall look. A tightly woven jute table runner (Pier 1) lightens up the table, anchors the elements of the centerpiece, and brings in the colors of the place settings.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Place setting

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Stemware, flatware, napkin, pheasant salad plate collageEach place setting starts with a glossy chocolate brown charger (Hobby Lobby) that is topped with a pumpkin-colored dinner plate (just $1 each at our local grocery store). The salad plates from Z Gallerie feature the image of a lone pheasant. Striped napkins from Pier 1 pick up on the color scheme and work well with the runner. Simple, inexpensive glassware from Old Time Pottery and faux mother of pearl flatware from Target round out the setting.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Centerpiece

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Centerpiece

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Resin pheasant

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Pheasant feathers, berries, bittersweet in wooden centerpiece box collageThe centerpiece was created using a weathered wooden box that I’ve had for years. I filled it with faux pumpkins, berries, fall leaves and a bittersweet garland. A few real pheasant feathers were added on one end only for an asymmetrical look. My inspirational pheasant was borrowed from the family room arrangement to pose in front of the box. (This, of course, is a demonstration tablescape. For your actual table, consider using real mini pumpkins, leaves, bittersweet, and perhaps whole bunches of grapes to achieve this organic look.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: pumpkin orange wood finials

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: artichoke votive holdersDistressed pumpkin orange wood finials and a pair of faux artichoke votive holders round out the centerpiece.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Bar/Tea cart

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Pheasant feathers, berries, white pheasant on bar cart collageThe bar cart in the corner is prettied up with a small arrangement using some of the same elements as the table centerpiece and a bark-wrapped vase of pheasant feathers. The painted white pheasant (with tiny specks of clear glitter) was purchased at the same estate sale as the more colorful one.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: bittersweet & pheasant feather arrangement on china cabinetAcross the room on the china cabinet, a vertical spread of bittersweet is punctuated by a trio of pheasant feathers at the feet of a pumpkin-colored serving platter.

That’s it for the tablescape! I hope you were able to gather a few ideas from it. Below, in case you’re at all interested, are a few quickie snapshots offering a glimpse into what fall looked like in a few areas of the house this year. I’ve already begun the arduous transformation to Christmas and hope to bring you those photos in a couple of weeks.

Foyer table with large basket of pine cones underneath, pheasant plates on sconce shelves

Foyer table with large basket of pine cones underneath, pheasant plates on sconce shelves

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall lantern, pheasant with binoculars collage

Pheasant on stack of decorating books embellished with a flourish of autumn leaves. Binoculars for bird watching or pheasant hunting. The large lantern in the window is filled with a pumpkin stack, gourds, berries and fall leaves. The handle is embellished with a Rapunzel-like cascade of raffia and fall leaves.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall mantel

The fireplace mantel is covered in a swath of fall leaves and bittersweet with raffia-tied, pumpkin-colored chunky candles on each end. The huge initial on the hearth is from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall arrangement in violin case in library collage

The secretary in the library is crowned with a large leaf- and pumpkin-laden birdcage. The antique violin in its original case is decorated with a squash, leaf and pheasant feather spray. Those letters in the violin case are from the 1930s from my Dad to his Mother.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Pheasants & Pumpkins: Fall decor on breakfast bar, in master bedroom collage

The breakfast bar is really more of a wine bar around here in the fall! The other pics are of a corner table in our bedroom.

 

More fall tablescapes on this site:
September Harvest Breakfast Table
Most Egg-cellent Breakfast
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Italian Honeysuckle
Quick & Casual Fall Dinner
It’s the Great Pumpkin
Serape High Style
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Autumn Blues
Pears & Pinecones
American Royal Tablescape
Shake Your Tail Feather
Autumn White Wedding
Simply Bittersweet
Ap-pear-ently Autumn
Copper Zen
Autumn by the Embers
Celebrating Longview Farm
Morocco for Two
Thanksgiving 2012 – A Contemporary Tablescape
Best Laid Plans
Wondrous Wheat
Thanksgiving 2010

I’ll be linking this tablescape up with Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” on Between Naps on the Porch. Tablescape Thursday goes live at 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday.

 

 

 

Warm Metal Christmas – Bronze, Copper & Gold

I guess I actually did much more Christmas decorating than I thought…and without spending one thin dime! Here’s the last of it since Christmas is now less than a week away. We’ll take a little tour of the dining room, the foyer, and the library which are all done in elegant, warm metal shades of bronze, copper and gold with a little cream thrown in for good holiday measure. This melds nicely with this year’s bedroom level decor, but is a complete departure from the back of the house decorated in black, red & silver.
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grant & Alycia Nichols)

IMG_0291WMThe dining room artwork includes a lot of bronze, copper, gold, orange and cream hues, so the colors chosen for this year’s Christmas Eve dinner tablescape are perfect! This tablescape would also work well for New Year’s Eve!

IMG_0265WMThe table is kept bare to add to the warmth of the room. Each place setting starts with a goldleafed glass charger and creamy white gold-rimmed china from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

IMG_0488-2WMI bought these pretty gold-footed martini glasses at Target several years ago. They alternate with bronze-footed ones around the table. They’re great not only for my signature cocktail – vodka martini…2 olives, please! 😉 – but for serving salads, the sorbet course, or dessert.

Flatware, Stemware, Napkin collageGold and white water glasses are paired with gold-rimmed crystal champagne flutes. Simple gold flatware and crisp white hemstitch napkins round out the place settings.

IMG_0263WMI bought these fun ornament place card holders at Pier 1 several years ago.

IMG_0277WM

Votive, Bead Garland, Centerpc. Foot collageThe main part of the centerpiece is actually an ornate stone candlestick. I draped beaded garland across the top and extended it to the four corners of the table for a little drama. The bronze and gold mercury glass votives are from TJ Maxx.

Centerpiece Ball collageThe secondary components of the centerpiece include these beautiful bronze glass vases topped with fabulous bronze glittered Christmas balls and flanked by gold sequined ones.

IMG_0282WM

IMG_0259WM

Buffet Urn collageThe buffet behind the dining table is aglow with lots of tiny white lights in a wreath just kind of propped against the mirror. Its only other embellishment is a single brown Christmas ball dangling top center. Flanking the wreath are the “cousins” of the fireplace hearth arrangements seen HERE, this time in stone urns. The wreaths that cushion the chocolate brown oversized balls are wrapped in the same garland as the table’s centerpiece. Lots of beautiful amber crystals hang from the edges.

IMG_0378WM

Dining Room Tree collageThis room gets its own miniature tree made, to look a bit taller courtesy of a fabric-swathed riser. A rich brown ribbon swirls its way down the length of the tree among the many gold, bronze, copper, orange and cream ornaments.

Entry Hall Tiered Arrangement collageWe transition from the dining room into the foyer where at the entry there are clear glass cylinders (yes, the cylinders are making one final appearance this Christmas!) filled with pine cones, jewel-toned ornaments and soft white lights. The cylinders are further embellished with one of the long amber crystals seen on the dining room buffet urns and Christmas tree.

Garland around front doorWMThe front door casing is treated to a faux pine greenery garland laden with ornaments and sheer gold ribbon. Notice how both the greenery and the sheers on the windows are again embellished with the amber crystal ornaments. I would like to do this again next year but make it much thicker, lusher, more 3-D.

Long Entry Hall Table collageClear glass cylinders make another appearance on the long table in the foyer. Like the shorter cylinders by the door, these tall ones are filled with pine cones and ornaments that are illuminated with Christmas lights that extend out and across the table filled with faux greenery and still more pine cones. This really lights up the hallway!!!

Banister & Library View collageYou may notice that some photos do not include ornamentation on the banister. This was a later addition that I thought necessary to complete the view for guests entering the front door. The ribbon is the same as that used on the door casing garland. Let’s head on into the library.

IMG_0358WM

IMG_0199WM

Library Tree Ornaments collageAnother tree loaded with gold and cream-colored ornaments greets guests at the library entry.

IMG_0336WMThe secretary on the north wall is adorned with a flocked wreath and single candle.

IMG_0461WMThe side table near the stairwell holds a gold sleigh filled with jewel-toned ornaments.

Geoffrey In Antlers collageGeoffrey has taken to switching up his head gear on a daily basis now. He’s totally in the spirit of the season! Imagine how delighted he was to hear from his long-lost cousin, James, who he recently discovered in the service of Jenna at The Painted Apron! They have promised to Skype weekly. 🙂

Whew! That was a lot!!! As we go into these final days before Christmas, I want to extend from our household to yours the very best of the holiday season. We hope that you and yours enjoy a fun, loving, safe and warm one with the reason for the season always front and center.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
IMG_0313WM

For more holiday tablescapes and decor visit:
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
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
plus NINE other tables on one page under the WINTER tab!!!

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m., CST on Wednesday) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m., CST on Thursday). If you’re looking for lots of inspiration from around the world, join me!

Pumpkins & Peacocks

Here we are once again at the crazy transitional time that calls for us to walk that pencil-thin line between summer and autumn tablescapes. A September tablescape can be one of the most difficult as we teeter on the cusp of the bright colors of summer and the warm, deeper tones that come with the crunch of autumn leaves. This mix of a bright pumpkin color and the flickering jewel tones of peacock feathers is a tablescape that might satisfy the need to meet in the middle. And, as the peacock is the national bird of India, this might also make a fun table for the festival of Diwali which marks the end of the harvest season.
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.)

The foundation of this colorful Fall tablescape is an attention-grabbing floor-length pumpkin-colored linen from LinenTablecloth.com.

While the layers of the tabletop include more of the bright pumpkin hue, the deepness of the greens and purples ground it a bit more and bring it even closer into Fall.

This table for four features complex layers that speak to the cooler autumn months but don’t abandon what’s left of summer. A double layer of square gold chargers from World Market hosts a French-inspired plate adorned with a gorgeous peacock, his iridescent plumage on full display. The lower right corner of the plate comes alive with brightly colored gloriosa lilies.

Gold-tone flatware complements the orange-y hue of the linens. Around the napkin is a showy purple “gemstone” napkin ring from Z Gallerie, usually reserved for Mardi Gras around here. (See it used HERE and HERE.) The purple in the napkin ring complements the jewel tones in the eye of the peacock feathers.

Inexpensive but nonetheless lovely green Dollar Tree stemware complements the green tones in the peacock feathers and offers another layer of color to the table’s palette.

I didn’t have a lot of gloriosa lilies, but I did have on hand enough of these faux orchid stems that were very close in both color and form. I chose to create a kind of wild, untamed, uncontrolled floral arrangement…much like the demeanor of peacocks! While a faux orchid floral arrangement is used for this demonstration, it would be REALLY cool if your budget allows for real ones!!!

Tiny pumpkin-colored tea light votives candles produce ambient light and extend the surface level girth of the centerpiece.

A simple straight line of votives across the fireplace mantel mimic those on the table.

To see more Fall tablescapes on this site, visit:
Autumn” page (has TEN different posts on one page!!!)
September Wine
Autumn Blues
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Sunflower Simple
Serape High Style
Raining Orchids” (another great transitional table!)

Next week I’ll have photos of one of the four tables I have been laboring to set up for my “Fabulous Fall Tablescaping” class through Longview Community College’s Community Education department. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I get the requisite number of students so that the class isn’t cancelled. I know people are very busy and that the economy really sucks right now, but I have such great plans for this class!!! I hope it fills up! If you live in the Kansas City, MO area, you have until Friday the 14th to enroll, so give them a call at 816-604-2030. Classes start Tuesday, September 18th.

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. CDT. Also on Wednesday I will be joining The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“. Then on Thursday, please come along with me to Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” starting at 9:00 a.m. CDT. I hope to see you then!

Working Lunch

My husband is giving me “that look.” You know the one: the look that says, “Here we go again! Just shoot me now!” But I swear on a stack of pancakes I am NOT getting back into the wedding business!!! I am simply lending the benefit of my expertise to two three a few couples who have recently asked me for a little jump-start in their planning. And it’s not like I’m planning the entire wedding like I used to. Just the reception decor part. I mean, what’s the harm in that? 🙂

I had a lunch meeting a couple of weeks ago with a lovely couple and Mother-of-the-bride who are planning a May 2013 wedding. We spent nearly an entire day together, grinding our way through the details of their reception decor. I wanted to continue working right through the noon hour, so I set up a casual & fun lunch table that was pretty much in line with their chosen colors…and professions!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

Thanks to the sweltering heat (stick a fork in me…am I done yet??!?!!), we were relegated to the basement level of our home for the marathon meeting. We worked on the soft seating/big screen TV side of the room for most of the day, but lunch was set up in a little out-of-the-way corner on a marble top table.

Both the groom and the Mother-of-the-bride are elementary school teachers, so I thought it would be fun to use these lunch trays to make them feel right at home. (And to remind them that they’ll be right back in there with those screamin’ little demons in less than a month! :-)) I got an “A” for effort on that one!

I have been holding onto these really cool lunch boxes from Kirkland’s for another upcoming project, but the couple’s colors are turquoise, orange and white. How could I resist? Another “A” for effort!

I set it up so that we could just take the food from our lunch box and put it on our plate when ready to eat.

The chocolate and white luncheon-sized melamine plates (Target 2010) have just a touch of muted orange and turquoise in the simple design. I couldn’t believe how the plate colors nearly spot on matched those of the fun retro design lunch box!!! (The lunch box design reminds me of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In“. If you’re old enough to remember that show, take a little break and go fix yourself – and me! – a Metamucil cocktail with a Geritol chaser! ;-)) Fun white flatware from TJ Maxx lightens the look and stands out nicely against the deep color of the lunch tray. A bottle of refreshing Sioux City orange cream soda looks great with the setting and tastes great goin’ down…like a creamsicle!!!

Lunch was a quick and easy one: a piquant Southern fried chicken sandwich, a parchment paper cone filled with crispy thin Lay’s potato chips, and little Ziploc baggies of celery and carrot sticks. Just like in grade school…but without the stinky kid with the perpetually runny nose wanting to sit next to you! 🙂 I put a little ice pack in the bottom of each lunch box to keep the contents cold until time to eat.


The little wine table beneath the small screen TV was perfect for setting up munchies and dessert. (Yes….sadly, we have two televisions in the basement. My husband has grand delusions of this being a TGIFriday’s!)

We finally called it a day around 4:20. Sheesh….7 grueling hours of decision making!!! But guess what? The decor side of the wedding is now all but set in stone, and we won’t have to meet again until early April to finalize everything. Hallelujah! I love it when things work out like that!!! I hope you’ll check back next May to see the fruits of our labor!

Oh…I forgot the other thing: I got a glowing report card of straight A’s on my tablescape!!! 🙂 It would work really well for any kind of meeting including a teachers’ back to school planning session. This lunch and learn tablescape would also be something fun and different for a teen study group!

I’m linking up on Wednesday night with Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish! and on Thursday morning with Susan for Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. You can also find me at BeBetsy.com. I hope you’ll join us!