Chinese Takeout

I’ve been MIA thanks to aggravating the herniated discs in my lower back. If you’ve never experienced lying in bed in a brace for days on end, believe me….you have been spared a living hell!!!!!!!! Anyhoooo…I’m able to at least sit at my desk for short periods now, so I wanted to hit you with this sort of transitional summer-to-fall tablescape I created about a month ago. No traditionally autumnal elements involved, but the rich colors march in time with late summer/early fall. This tablescape would also be great for Chinese New Year, a casual birthday gathering, or even an Asian-inspired rehearsal dinner.

This time of year starts to get really busy, so what’s a girl to do when faced with a dinner party for which she only has the time and energy to either cook OR decorate? If you’re THIS girl, you decorate and order Chinese takeout!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

INSPIRATION: Beautiful floral toss pillows from Home Goods that usually hang out in our living room. The design worked well with the Asian theme.

INSPIRATION: Beautiful floral toss pillows from Home Goods that usually hang out in our living room. The fabric design worked well with the Asian theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Full deck

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Single place settingThis table for 6 starts with a full-length ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. A raw silk runner adorned with bamboo images is centered on the table. The place settings are made up of stone-colored dishes purchased years ago at Tuesday Morning. The rice bowl and plate are separated by a simply-folded ivory napkin from LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Flatware, Chopsticks, Miso Spoons, Teacup collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Black stemware from Dollar TreeThe “Cambridge”faux bamboo flatware is from Home Goods. It is set to the right of the dishes to make room for the intricately carved chopsticks and a red miso spoon from Pier 1 Imports. Each place setting has a traditionally-shaped teacup (World Market) and a very American water glass in a smoky black (Dollar Tree).

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Buddha, orchid, candle arrangement with stones collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Black Asian-inspired votive holdersI enjoyed creating this soothing centerpiece. I had all of these items already in my inventory and have used some of them in various other centerpiece designs. For instance, the rectangular vessels lined with smooth river stones, filled with water and then topped with floating candles were used in a very different way in Hooray for Vodka! The gold Buddha figurines at each end of the table were used at each place setting for the post Peaceful Peonies nearly 3 years ago. I bought the votive holders – used here to visually connect the mirror image elements at each end at a wholesale clearance sale many years ago. The pieces of bamboo laid on the table also act as visual connectors and tie in with the images on the runner.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Seating areaI like to create an inviting outdoor lounge space for guests to hang out before and after dinner that works with the theme of the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Coffee Table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Tea tray

 Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Teapot, teacups, miso spoons collageThe coffee table – or tea table as it were – is set up with a tray holding a beautiful red teapot and the same black teacups found on the dining table from World Market. Another of the black votive holders is here, too, for added ambience. The miso spoons set upon black slabs of slate are for serving cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres. I set up miso spoons in a similar fashion for my stepdaughter’s 30th birthday celebration buffet, Blue & White 30th Birthday.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Side table collageThe side table in the corner is set with items that coordinate with elements on the dining table. The bright red orchid makes the area stand out a bit more and visually connects with the single orchid blooms used on the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chinese Takeout: Paper lantern collageI bought these lighted paper lanterns with a bamboo design in the clearance section at Target many years ago and have never used them. They really add to the overall ambience and look great against the night sky. They were very easy to put up with the permanent hangers I installed earlier this year.

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Float Like A Butterfly
Mikasa Daylight (Design #2)
Year of the Rabbit
Zen Garden
Mum’s the Word
Peaceful Peonies
Blue & White 30th Birthday

I am linking up this week with:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!”
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

My Sister’s Wedding China

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Family photo

INSPIRATION: My sister’s wedding, 1973. Pictured here are my little brother, Jay; my Daddy, my sister, Berishia (I’ve referred to her by the nickname I gave her as a teen – Barf – in previous posts); my Mom, and; me – just 14 – with cotton candy hair! 🙂 (Dig those funky-fresh platform shoes and “Granny” glasses!)

My sister’s first marriage was in December of 1973 on the eve of one of Kansas City’s worst snow storms on record. Hint much? Anyhooooo….As you can tell from the photo, I was a little less than thrilled with all the pomp and circumstance of it all. (I was far more focused on packing up her stuff and assuming sole ownership of the bedroom we’d shared for 14 years!) The wedding Mass, with nearly every seat in the church occupied, was followed by a lovely celebration in the church reception hall. The next day it was time to open gifts, and THAT got my attention! The marriage eventually ended, and as luck would have it I got (temporary) custody of the wedding china! 😉
I’m showcasing my sister’s wedding china today and participating in Cuisine Kathleen’s “Wedding China Challenge” along with tablescape bloggers from all over the world.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Full dining roomI started this table with a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. I first considered using one of their fabulous taffeta pintuck tablecloths, but decided to do something a little different. I placed a 13″ x 96″ French blue quilted runner from Z Gallerie on each side of the table, leaving the center a pristine white for the centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - TableThis tablescape would work nicely for a wedding reception or any wedding-related event. It would also be perfect to celebrate a special birthday, promotion, or any special occasion.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - single place settingThe runners are a wonderful backdrop to the shining silver metal chargers and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” wedding china. The china pattern includes a thin platinum rim and clusters of tiny bouquets.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - stemware, flatware, & napkin collageI chose Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” cut crystal to complement the diamond shape in the runners. The  silky French blue napkins from Z Gallerie are simply folded into a rectangle and finished with a single pink cymbidium orchid bloom. Why not white? Just look how that pink pops against that French blue!!!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - table level centerpiece elements

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - short floral and floral bling collageThe bright pink florals used here for demonstration purposes are a mix of real and faux including peonies, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, ranunculus, hydrangea, yarrow, and dusty miller. I hung strands of bling that included a diamond-shaped piece that would complement the design of the runners and stemware. The graceful gooseneck glass vases are perfect for creating an arrangement that appears to “rain” overhead, while the simple silver pilsners are great for a “pouf” of flowers. Using three levels of height adds to the visual interest. (NOTE: The wildly windy weather here kept me from setting up outdoors as originally planned. When creating your “real life” tablescape, the flowers should never make contact with the lighting fixture!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - tea light

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - white pillar candle on crystal Mikasa candlestickI have had these crystal “Diamond Fire” candlesticks by Mikasa for upwards of 20 years but have rarely used them. They seemed perfect here to give a lift to white pillar candles. Small glass votive holders add a second level of light to the tablescape.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Chair collageStandard round top banquet chairs are prettied up with white stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. A coordinating stretch chair sash is gathered in the center to accommodate a bling strand like those used on the table florals.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - champagne tray on buffetThe buffet behind the table holds a silver tray for serving the champagne. Using a tray is not only utilitarian in nature (it keeps condensation from marring the wood of the furniture, catches any spills when the champagne is being poured, and makes serving the champagne a snap), but it also helps pull the elements together for a pleasing look.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - coffee service on vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Noritake "Whitebrook" creamer & sugar

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - individual cake on Noritake "Whitebrook" dessert plate, silver forks in silver mini champagne bucketThe vintage tea cart in the corner holds accoutrements for after-dinner coffee service with dessert including a miniature champagne bucket for dessert forks. (TIP: If serving a chilled dessert, add ice to the vessel holding your forks [or spoons]. It will chill the metal and help your dessert to stay cold a bit longer. Chilling the plates or bowls in which the dessert is to be served will also help, especially in summer!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - candlestick with cut crystal peg votive

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Diamond design collageThe sconces on the wall hold silver Revere candlesticks with a cut crystal peg votive. As you can see in the final photo, the thread that tied this room together was the diamond shape as seen in the peg votive, the bling on the chairs and floral, the stemware, and the quilted runners. (TIP: Using a host of similar shapes, colors, or other design element helps to subtly create a seamless look in your overall table or room design.

Other posts with tablescapes suitable for wedding-related events on this site:
Love & Orchids
Peonies & Pearls
Purple & Pastel
The Party She Deserves
Something Blue Bridal Luncheon
Bling Wedding
All A’Bloom for Spring
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Candle in the Wind
White Hot
Peaceful Peonies
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Chocolate Traditional
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pink Plaid & Posies
Pretty In Pink
French Poodle
Peony Power
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
One Shoe Can Change Your Life
Rhapsody In Blue
Dinner for the Ladies In Waiting

Peek & poke around here, and then be sure to join me over at Cuisine Kathleen’s for the “Let’s Dish! – Wedding China Tablescape Challenge” anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT tonight. I’ll also be partying this week with Christine at Rustic & Refined with her new blog party “Table It!” which goes online every Monday at 7 a.m., and at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch, for “Tablescape Thursday” after 9:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday. Finally, I’m linking up with How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday”!

Have you checked out BeBetsy.com? I link up there, and it’s a great place to get inspired for everything from cooking to fashion and beyond!!!

Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

This past week or so I have been missing the rip, run and raucous roar of the years I spent as a professional wedding designer. Thank goodness I have this blog to purge those feelings because Lord knows my body could not go back to that kind of grueling, back-breaking (literally!), sleepless schedule.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it like 100 times before, but I feel compelled to say it again: I have the best neighbors anyone could ask for!!! I was working on this tablescape for my winter 2013  “Art of Tablescaping” class that I teach through MCC-Longview, and up pops Barbara with these FABULOUS napkins!!! Her gift made me reevaluate the table and want to add design elements that would give it a little more zing. So I tore the tablescape down and started over!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full dining roomThe table is covered in a beautiful 90″ x 132″ platinum pintuck tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. The diamond shape of the pintuck cloth fits right in with diamonds for a wedding!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full TableThis is a tablescape that – minus the napkins – could easily fit into any month of the year for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. For a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding reception, the napkins are spot on!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Place settingThe place setting begins with a 13″ silverplate charger. The china used here is Easterling “Majestic” that my Mom gave to me a few years back. It’s staid design of dove grey rimmed in platinum with a white center to break up the concentration of color seemed perfect.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Napkin collageEach place setting has one of Barbara’s sultry, shimmery, beautiful napkins topped with a Moravian star. To see other tablescapes with Barbara’s napkin designs, click HERE and HERE. For the tutorial on how to create them yourself, click HERE for the YouTube video or HERE and scroll down to Tablescape Tip #31 for a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: FlatwareInternational Silver “Royal Danish” flatware, another gift from my Mom, is paired with Fifth Avenue crystal steak knives.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Stemware - Jamestown PlatinumMikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is perfectly matched with the china.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Candlestick collageThe centerpiece is a mix of high and low with 29″ silver Revere candlesticks and multi-faceted candle holders in different shapes and sizes. I used rhinestone-studded wax pillars to add shine up high.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece faceted candle holders collageI gradually amassed this collection of faceted candle holders from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods over the years. Note how the glow of one of the votives on the table casts light beneath the rose ball. (To see another tablescape using some of these faceted votive and candle holders, click HERE for “Princess Pink Birthday”.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair with embellishment

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair ornament embellishmentThe dining chairs are covered with silver satin universal chair covers recently purchased from LinenTablecloth.com.  I love the way the so beautifully drape down the back of the chair! I used a fancy ornament hook to affix an embellishment of a pewter glass ball ornament, a clear glass ornament, and one of the Moravian stars which enhances the 3-D look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is dressed with a huge faux evergreen, pine cone and white orchid arrangement in a beautiful mercury glass pilsner vase. The height of the arrangement helps to bring balance to the tall candlesticks on the table. Other elements from the dining table are repeated here including the rhinestone-studded pillar candles, the faceted candle holders in various sizes and shapes, the rose balls, and the Moravian stars.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Decor on top of china cabinetThe top of the china cabinet also has a few elements repeated from the table and buffet. Faceted crown candle holders hold white rose balls.

Other wedding-related posts on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Bling Wedding”
“Roses in October”
“Showered in Pink”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”

“Autumn White Wedding”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Planning in Purple”
“Love & Orchids”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Dinner for the Ladies in Waiting”
“Tented Green!”

I’ll publish a fun, contemporary New Year’s Eve cocktail/dinner party post tomorrow that will  also be featured on Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!”. next Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST. Meanwhile, join me and other talented bloggers right now for fabulous Christmas and New Year’s Eve design ideas on Susan’s 276th edition of “Tablescape Thursday”!

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!

Pleasant Under Glass – Revisiting for Mother’s Day

I’m still working on our Mother’s Day table which is really proving to be a challenge this year! I don’t know where my head is. (No vile, sideways comments from the peanut gallery on that one! ;-))

So, in the meantime, please enjoy this ultra-feminine pink & green tablescape I created a couple of years ago for a ladies’ luncheon just about the time I first started blogging. It has been hidden on the “Summer” page of this blog, so this may be the first time you’re seeing it. This table would be a great one for celebrating Mother’s Day, a birthday, a wedding shower, or even in honor of a breast cancer survivor.
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I have a great fondness for ladies’ luncheons. I am so much more at ease and relish the time spent with friends lingering over girly salads and quiche! When it’s just us girls, I can go all out pink, floral, delicate…no worries!
 This luncheon tablescape in our back yard has all the elements of femininity at its all out best: lots of pink and lots of floral!
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 Each place setting starts with a ruffly hot pink charger (Crate & Barrel) topped with a sculpted ivory “Mckenzie” plate from Pier 1. The green salad plate adds another shot of color and picks up the secondary color in the table covering. The flatware is J.A. Henckels ”Bellaserra” stainless from Macy’s. All of the dishware, flatware and stemware is kept simple so as not to compete with the busy table covering. (The table covering, by the way, is a Waverly vinyl. I think vinyls can be used sparingly for breakfast, brunch and luncheon affairs if they are of a very high quality and every effort is made to smooth out the inevitable wrinkles.)
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 The napkins from Bed Bath &Beyond are simple poly-cotton in a deep shade of ivory with a BB&B woven green napkin ring. Tucked inside to mimic the colors and shapes in the table covering is a bit of deep green sword fern and a budding pink cymbidium orchid.
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 I wanted to do something a little different to accentuate the feminine side and the outdoorsy feeling of the tablescape. Tucked beneath a miniature cloche bell jar (Hobby Lobby) is a mound of bright green reindeer moss topped with an orchid. This feature is simply removed from the luncheon plate after the ladies are seated.
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 The grand 16″ cloche bell jar in the center of the table lords over its more diminutive counterparts and remains on the table throughout lunch. To slightly differentiate it and further play on the outdoor theme of the tablescape, a gazing ball is added along with reindeer moss, sword fern and cymbidium orchids.
 Orchids and a tiny cluster of reindeer moss are affixed to the bell jar with a bit of Cling floral adhesive. Cling is great, but beware: clean up can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! To sidestep problems, always roll it into a ball. Any residue can be easily removed with Goo Gone or similar adhesive removal products. Another little tidbit: orchids are resillient and will hold up without a water source for several hours unless it’s scorching hot!
See more Mother’s Day tablescapes on this site:
Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Brunch
Peony Power
I am linking up with Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. You might want to check it out to see what all the other tablescape enthusiasts from around the world are up to! Check in anytime after 9:00 CDT on Thursday morning.

Spring Has Sprung Tablescape

I start teaching my “Art of Tablescaping” class through Longview Community College tonight. I’m sure you can probably smell the fear through your computer screen. (Don’t worry…a little Febreze® will take care of that! ;-))
Wish me luck, folks. I’m really going to need it!

To get a little break from preparing for class, I was thrilled over the weekend to create a Spring tablescape for the 13th Annual Taste of Lee’s Summit event hosted by the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, Inc. (LSEF). My table was part of a prize package in the live auction offered by an LSEF board member which included a gourmet 4-course meal with live music and a relaxing pontoon ride on the lake. (Click HERE to see the winners’ table, “Surf & Turf Dinner.”)
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

The table for the prize dinner will be quite different from this one and will reflect the menu/theme of the evening. For this night, however, I chose a beautiful crushed poly full-length table linen in “Citrus” in an effort to make it really stand out in the large room. As it turns out, the overall decor theme for the event included a similar color paired with a bright aqua blue, so it blended right in! Oh, well! 😉

The creamy white dishes are “Empress” ironstone from American Atelier. I used a small grapevine wreath that resembles a bird’s nest (Hobby Lobby) to infuse color and texture between the charger and bowl.

A clear glass miniature cloche from Hobby Lobby stands guard over the crushed poly napkin, rolled & tucked to stand at attention. A single butterfly dances on top.

IMG_5228WM“Cambridge” dark faux bamboo flatware is a nice contrast to the acidic color of the table linen and works well with the oil rubbed bronze-colored centerpiece.

The hostess for the planned evening created this beautiful menu to complement the tablescape. (The tablescape I eventually create in her home will be more in line with the fabulous surf ‘n turf meal.)

Simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery.

The ceilings in John Knox Pavilion where the event was held are soaring, so I wanted to build something that would not be dwarfed by them. This oil rubbed bronze centerpiece (also used HERE  but flipped upside-down with glass floral globes) worked well on the small table space allotted.

A glass vase is filled with a wild, untamed profusion of fresh curly willow tips and creamy white faux orchids. The piece stood just over 6-ft. off the table. An arrangement like this would work well for an outdoor Spring luncheon, too, or you can go as high as you wish indoors depending on the height of your ceiling.

I wired on lots of pink & green faux butterflies to add color and whimsy to the arrangement.

The iron piece is sold with clear glass globes suitable for holding florals or candles, but I wanted to do something a little different. I subbed these gazing balls which made a remarkable difference in the overall look.

When I set up the day before the event, I didn’t think I wanted to use candles. Overnight I thought about it, and sure enough I went back on Saturday to add these chunky LEDs that were an almost perfect match to the linen color. The candles sit on oil rubbed bronze convertible candlesticks.

Other Spring tablescapes on this site include:
Daisy Crazy
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Apple Green Luncheon
Welcome Back, Joel
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

I hope you’ll join me at Tablescape Thursday again this week. Just log on anytime after 9:00 a.m. (Central time) to get an eyeful of tablescaping talent around the world! Also linking up with the Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday! Check it out!
See you after class! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Barf!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raining Orchids

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

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

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

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

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

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

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

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

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

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

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

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

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

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

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comSuspended from the lampshade frame and “raining” into the glass cylinder are garlands of bling along with silk orchids sewn onto fishing wire. I hot glued a rhinestone to the center of each bloom to give it a little more “oomph!” and amp up the sparkle within the glass base.

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

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

Happy Mother’s Day, Senator Mom (Ret.)

As some of you may know, my Mom recently retired from the Missouri Senate. After serving five years in the Missouri House of Representatives, she was elected to the Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. She served her district well, but decided late last year to step away from her career to spend more time with my Dad – her husband of 59 years – and our family.

Mom’s retirement was marked with a number of special events and honors, not to mention extensive media coverage. One “big ta-do” in her honor was held on March 25 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & State Museum in Kansas City, Mo. I was delighted to add the decorative flourishes to the event in celebration of her long and distinguished service to the Kansas City community and her birthday as she turned a tender 82. (She’s still so young…I don’t think this whole “retirement” thing will last but a hot second! 🙂 )

So, my dear blogger friends, if you will indulge me…as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I’d like to share with you a few photos from Mom’s retirement party.
Congratulations, Senator Mom!

A celebration in honor of Senator Yvonne S. Wilson.

Despite not feeling well at all (101 temp!), this is me clowning around in comfy Mary Janes and anklet socks. 🙂 I reluctantly changed into snazzy heels as guests began to arrive.

I wanted to have a single focal point in the room that would be visible from the entryway. Two of my cousins helped me get up on the buffet table to build this 8-ft. tall floral arrangement before the caterer arrived to add this fabulous food display. As the room grew darker, the hanging votives (LEDs for safety!) throughout the arrangement made a stunning statement.

Assorted bright green butterflies fluttered among the profusion of willow branches, eriostemon and dendrobium orchids.

I created arrangements in faux silver julep cups for the guest tables, surrounded by a trio of votives. (We went with faux silver cups so the volunteer hostesses could take them home later as a token of appreciation.) Smaller similar arrangements were created for the two guest book tables. I love these vintage-looking pink roses with the curly green edges!!! Sprigs of seeded eucalyptus and hypericum berries complete the look.

Our sweet friend, Patrick Snuffer, created the beautiful cakes for the event. Not only does he make deliciously moist cakes, but he is also an accomplished floral designer. The fresh rose and orchid arrangements on the five cakes are his designs.

I iced down bottles of sparkling wine for the toast in two of these oversized silver pedestal bowls. Adding a few orchid blooms to the mix makes it look extra special.

My sister who loves to do crafty projects came up with the idea to have guests sign pieces of photo fabric (something I never heard of!) that she will use to make a commemorative quilt.

Almost showtime! The Three Amigas check the list one last time. L to R: My cousin Virginia Dee Evans who worked patiently and tirelessly to coordinate the event, friend Karen Boyd who selflessly pitched in to help in any and every area possible, and me.

Local celebrity, “Tall” Paul Alexander surprised my Mom when he showed up to greet arriving guests. Tall Paul – a former member of the Harlem Globetrotters – is a doorman who has greeted everyone from presidents to movie stars to rock legends, has been a fixture at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City for 37 years. In the background is famed jazz musician Luqman Hamza (jazz enthusiasts may remember his 1950s hit “When You Surrender”) who wowed guests with his musical stylings throughout the evening. That handsome young fellow on the other side of my Mom is my Daddy, Jim.

Patrick created a beautiful corsage or orchids and seeded eucalyptus for my Mom.

For the piano, I created a compact arrangement of pink and green roses that sat atop one of my 31″H silver candelabra.

Family photo time! L to R: Nicole Wankel (nephew’s longtime girlfriend), nephew Justin Chamberlain-Dupree, Daddy Jim Wilson, Mom, niece Yvonne Chamberlain, Mom’s senatorial successor Kiki Curls, sister Berishia Wilson-Chamberlain, and me.

My feet are killing me and I am so sick I’m pretty sure I’m going to barf at any moment, but that perpetual public smile is still plastered on my face! My parents taught me well! 🙂

Missouri Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon was among the 300+ guests who showed up to wish Mom well in her retirement and sign the commemorative quilt.

Newly elected Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James toasts my Mom. (Mayor James hails from both my high school and college alma maters!)

Once a politician, always a politician :-)…and always a gracious one! Mom thanks the crowd for their years of support. Not too shabby lookin’ for 82 years young!

The fun “thank you for your support” fortune cookie favor was another of my sister’s creations!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!!

All photos by Sheri L. Grant

Upscale Irish

I have a confession to make: I’m not Irish. What….this surprises you?!??!!! OK, every year I share a little corn beef & cabbage with friends of Irish descent, try with absolutely no luck to learn an Irish jig, and sometimes even put on a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt (mostly just for the smooches from my husband!). But that’s all part of the fun. Like they say, “On St. Patrick’s Day, everybody’s Irish!” Well, this year I have been challenged to dig a little deeper. A lady who prefers to remain nameless here wrote to me via Facebook asking if I could help her with ideas for “an elegant, upscale St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.” Hmmmmm….elegant and St. Patrick’s Day. Not two terms you usually hear in the same sentence. Here’s the trick to it: Ms. Anonymous is of Irish descent and entertaining her non-Irish future in-laws at her home for the very first time. The in-laws, as I understand it, are a bit…shall we say…reserved. The mere mention of green beer would send them into a tailspin! So, the challenge was to come up with a table that could demonstrate pride in her heritage (after all, the futures did insist that the 17th was the only day they could meet for dinner while in town!) but still embrace the formality the occasion will demand. After nearly 10 days of wracking my little pea brain for ideas, my friend Jim Mooney – owner of Midwest Embroidery (who, by the way, is the most fabulous fabric guy in the world!) – randomly sent me an email with gorgeous images of the Emerald Isle. The photos took my breath away. Further, they inspired me – along with the hauntingly beautiful strains of Garth Brooks’s “Ireland” playing over and over – to create the tablescape that I hope will help Ms. Anonymous win points with her future in-laws. Thanks, Jim! And here we go!

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The mood is set for a lovely evening with festive traditional touches including the color that best represents the so-called Emerald Isle: emerald green, of course!

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When I think of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, I think of a lot of gold alongside the green. On a crisp, white linen I stacked a gold leafed glass charger and an American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” dinner and salad plate. To top it off, emerald green-stemmed dessert bowls from Old Time Pottery.

IMG_0422WMThese Pier 1 wine glasses with clear stems supporting an emerald green bowl seemed a perfect representation of the occasion’s prevailing color. The gold design around the rim is similar to that around the china. I bought these stems at the same time I bought these that I used for one of my Mardi Gras tables this year.

img_0424wm.jpgStarched white cotton napkins are closely hugged by these gold and green “Rock Spray” napkin rings from Pier 1.

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The center of the table is adorned with tall gold candlesticks alternated with simple free-flowing bouquets of Bells of Ireland and orchids. I considered pots of shamrock, but decided on this airy floral combination instead because of the height and tinge of sophistication it lends. Ms. Anonymous, you may want to go with slightly fuller arrangements since you are seating for 8 and have a larger table.

IMG_0437WMMy husband actually suggested that I use these emerald green votives in place of the gold mercury glass ones I had selected. Good goin’, Ramon! It really does work better! Your eye for this stuff is kinda starting to scare me, dude! 😉 I picked these votives up at Old Time Pottery last year.

After dinner, I suggest a digestif of Bailey’s Irish Cream. It can be served in tiny glasses such as these, or in rocks glasses (Irish crystal, of course!) over ice. Single-serve bottles of Bailey’s adorned with a green ribbon make a great favor for each guest!

OK….so this is my version of “Upscale Irish” for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party. Ms. Anonymous, I hope you will be able to glean something useful from it, and I wish you much success with your dinner party! Thanks for the challenge…it was a doozy!

Other posts on this site with tables suitable for St. Patrick’s Day:

Apple Green Luncheon
Moss & Manzanitas
Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille
“Rolling Fields of Green”

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen’s St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl on March 15th. Just click the banner below to check out what some other very talented tablescapers are doing to celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green!

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“Ireland”
lyrics by Stephanie Davis, Jenny Yates, Garth Brooks

They say mother earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilight’s door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven
Watching o’er us all the while
And her heart it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle.

We are forty against hundreds
In someone else’s bloody war
We know not why we’re fighting
Or what we’re dying for
They will storm us in the morning
When the sunlight turns to sky
Death is waiting for its dance now
Fate has sentenced us to die.

(chorus)
Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Oh the captain he lay bleeding
I can hear him calling me
“These men are yours now for the leading
Show them to their destiny ”
And as I look up all around me
I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready
‘Cause we’re not waiting for the morn.

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Now the fog is deep and heavy
As we forge the dark and fear
We can hear their horses breathing
As in silence we draw near
There are no words to be spoken
Just a look to say good-bye
I draw a breath and night is broken
As I scream our battle cry.

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Yes I am home Ireland

We Were Forty Against Hundreds…..