4th of July Picnic

I’ve made many virtual friends since I began blogging WAAAAAY back in 2009, but I’ve had the honor of meeting only a scant few in person. This week’s tablescape is at the suggestion of the incredibly talented, funny, and gracious Pattie Tierney, author of the Olla-Podrida blog, who I have visited twice! Miss Pattie recently suggested we have a little fun with picnic baskets we unearthed. (Hers from her storage, mine – a super bargain at just $12.50 – from a recent estate sale.) Pattie and I have made a blood🩸 oath to use our baskets quarterly over the next year to see where our imagination leads us. OK, maybe not a blood oath, but you get my meaning!😄 Won’t you please create a reminder to yourself to check out Pattie’s entry which will be posted at Olla-Podrida on July 4?!

I hope you enjoy the little video above⬆. And here are a few detail pics of my fun hunt-style picnic basket all dressed up for the 4th of July!⬇

Under the trees of this modest grove in our backyard is the perfect place for a summer picnic!

Vintage metal spatterware plates remind me of my paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, KS where I spent a lot of time as a kid.

This giant basket can easily hold a feast for 6 with all the accouterments! Here I have patriotic napkins folded the same way we fold our flags.

Lots of space to hold a double layer of food containers!

The holiday cupcake sleeves are from Home Goods, and the little stand from the bargain bin at the front of every Target store🎯. The silver star decor, remnants from my granddaughter’s graduation party, fit right in like sparklers!

Aside from the main food table is this shorter “grazing” table. It’s lower to the ground so that one needn’t stand if resting on a blanket beside it. The larger buffet table is dressed in a stretch covering from LinenTablecloth.com, and the huge star is from Old Time Pottery. (I’m not compensated for mentioning these places. Just lettin’ y’know where to look!)

Star-spangled runner from Hobby Lobby on red & white checkered cloth.

A loaf of bread to accompany the fruit, cheese, and wine is neatly tucked and tied with twine in a napkin.

More Old Time Pottery stars.

Nap time? Uhhhh…yes, please!!!😴

I hope your 4th of July celebration is one of joy and reflection upon what the holiday signifies at its core. In this country, we pledge to stand “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.”🗽⚖️🇱🇷

I have a few 4th of July tablescapes on this blog that may interest you!

If you are interested in general picnic tablescapes:

Have a happy and safe 4th! And don’t forget to visit Pattie’s blog on the 4th. You will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!🇱🇷

A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

Labor Day weekend. What can I say? Time for a Coke and a smile with friends and family!

An all-American red, white & blue table for 6 – perfect for any patriotic celebration – is set up around our square picnic table.

I bought these fun double-sided melamine plates at Tuesday Morning YEARS ago and have just never used them. They’re great for keeping wet and dry foods separate. The hotdog boats, also from Tuesday Morning, keep that all-American delicacy upside right.

These fun retro Coca-Cola glasses were purchased at Dollar Tree a long, long time ago and – you guessed it! – have never been used until now.

In keeping with the 2 apparent themes – Coca-Cola and never been used – I dug up these aluminum ice buckets large enough to hold lots of drinks. Notice there’s no specific “centerpiece” as all the colorful food at the table’s end was enough.

Hungry anyone?

One last Coca-Cola representation in another bucket that holds the last of juicy summertime desserts.

Well, of course there’s an outdoor bar cart!!!!!! I have bar carts all over the house! I found this very handy rustic aluminum one at Hobby Lobby for 75% off!!! Ecstatic? Uhhhh…YEAH!!!

I’m actually OK with seeing the end of summer roll around. This summer of 2021 was…interesting.

I have several patriotic tablescapes on this site that I’d be tickled for you to use as inspiration.

Looking for a just good old-fashioned picnic? Click on a link below for ideas!

Have a joyful end of summer!!!!!!!! See you in the fall, y’all!

Solemn Stars & Stripes

This 4th of July (and always) I pray for peace, true freedom, liberty and justice for all souls on this earth.

Placing the ceramic foot bath on a silver gallery tray adds another dimension and a bit of formality to the centerpiece.

Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” salad plates and “Rutherford Circle – Red” dinner plates atop white ceramic chargers. A mix of alternating red and blue Pier 1 star shaped bowls and a star-studded napkin folded flag style round out the place setting. I first did this napkin fold for “4th of July – Coastal Style” back in 2014.

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware.

Faux floral stems and blue & white chinoiserie foot bath from Nell Hill’s (Kansas City).

My Mother’s American flag is displayed on the vitrine in her honor.

Don’t forget to share in the abundance of the season including fresh fruits and pies! My favorite: blueberry! What’s YOURS?!!

To see other patriotic tablescapes on this blog, just click below. Have a safe and happy 4th!

The Blue & The Grey – Lest We Forget

Juneteenth now has now established its place in history. With origins in Galveston, TX, it commemorates the emancipation of people enslaved right here on American soil as it simultaneously celebrates African American culture. Though not a part of the general American curriculum, it has been celebrated on June 19 of each year since 1866, and it has just been declared a federal holiday. African American history is AMERICAN HISTORY. While the colors of the Pan-African flag – red, black & green – have been more recently associated with Juneteenth, the official flag was red, white & blue as it declared that all previously enslaved American people and their descendants are indeed AMERICANS. Nothing less. The uniforms of the Civil War (1861-1865), fought in part over slavery in American society, eschewed both of these color schemes in favor of blue for the Union (North) and grey for the Confederates (South). My celebration of Juneteenth, lest we forget, unites those uniform colors in harmony and embraces the red, white & blue that stands for ALL AMERICANS in the ongoing, often painfully elusive pursuit of “one nation under God” with “liberty and justice for all.”

I paired my Mother’s beautiful light grey/white center/platinum rim Easterling “Majestic” china with the more contemporary Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle Navy” pattern. I love the simplicity of both patterns that transcend time and levels of formality. To lean in the more formal direction this go round I used my Mom’s “Lady Esther” by Queen Esther silverplate flatware and my own Noritake “Spectrum” platinum-rimmed stemware. White ceramic chargers create a unified look around the table.

Crisp white hemstitch napkins are gathered with a floral starburst ring.

The centerpiece is made up of a silver reticulated gallery tray topped with a massive glass globe filled with curly willow branches that encircle a pair of American flags. (My first thought was that the branches represented the branches of our American government, but that got WAY too deep…even for me!🤔) Flanking the bowl are smaller glass globes filled with beautiful red roses from my friend/neighbor, Barbara, and a pair of tall, intricately engraved candlesticks. (That Barbara…she always knows how to cheer me up!🥰)

I absolutely LOVE these Kate Spade bowls! Classic and chic!

On the vitrine, coffee and dessert (I am LOVING all the cool new baking cups found at Home Goods/TJ Maxx/ Marshalls!!!) are served up in high Americana style. I ceremoniously fold and save every flag that we fly on our house, then dutifully drag them out each summer to put on display in our home. The one in the center was given to my Mom upon her retirement from the Missouri Senate.🇺🇸

If you’d like to see more patriotic tablescapes on this blog, check these out:

Red, White & Blueberries

Believe it or not, I am not a huge fan of purely “thematic” tablescapes. Christmas may be the exception, although I work hard to mix it up there, too. To celebrate our 234th year as an independent nation, however, I couldn’t help but to get a little kitschy with an indoor picnic on this rainy, blustery day.

The place settings for this tablescape were simple and fairly straightforward: Layered placemats from Pier 1 on a plain white cotton linen. The navy blue square plates, star bowls, and red goblets are also from Pier 1. The white flatware was a bargain at TJ Maxx as were the napkins (Hobby Lobby) and napkin rings (Bed Bath & Beyond). (See these star bowls and American flag napkins in another patriotic tablescape HERE.)
The menu was pretty simple, too, with blueberries taking a starring role in the Orange Spice/Blueberry Tea. (Just crush blueberries and steep in prepared tea overnight.)
What’s the 4th of July without a classic lattice-crust blueberry pie? There were also lots of blueberries and fresh cherries for munching, as well as all-American deviled eggs and Rice Krispies treats for the young-at-heart!
Thank goodness for a great sale on red roses (just $3.99 a dozen if you can believe that!!!). Mixed with flashy white statice, hosta leaves and a touch of dusty miller from my flower garden, they made really nice arrangements for the dining room tablescape, buffet and foyer.
Hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy 4th!

 A few more (but not all of them!) Summer tablescapes on this site:

Peacefully Patriotic

Sadly, true patriotism in America is fractured by divisiveness and vitriol. Here’s wishing us all a peaceful and reflective 4th of July.

I started this tablescape with a white stretch tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to cover the ugly legs of the folding table. The topper is blue and white star tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com, unfortunately discontinued. To emulate the American flag, I added a red & white striped runner.

The simple place settings are created by using a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery topped with a red dinner plate and square blue salad plate from Pier 1. The napkins, also discontinued at LinenTablecloth.com, complement the tablecloth and are cinched with a shiny red & silver napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond. The flatware is Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” which is one of the most favored patterns in my collection. The graceful crystal pilsner glasses were found at an estate sale.

I bought these star-shaped bowls from Pier 1 many years ago. They have been seen in other patriotic-themed posts on this site like “All-American Seafood Boil” and “Red, White & Blueberries”.

I love these LED candles! They’re a votive inside a pillar. I bought about 20 of them wholesale many, many years ago and wish I would have invested in more. They really are a terrific alternative to actual flame.

I wish you, yours, our nation, and the whole world peace as we go into this holiday weekend.

Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Red, White & Blueberries
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes
Lauren In the Library
Show Me State Dinner
A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw from Tuesday Morning.

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw.

Here in the Midwest it’s hotter than a firecracker already! We’re enduring scorching sun rays and humidity that’s sure to make your hair droop. The winds have been on the high side, too, which makes it very difficult to tablescape outdoors. My solution: create a tablescape using a heavier quilted topper that won’t so easily blow across the prairie. 🙂
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Full tableThis table for 4 on a 48″ round table starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. It is topped with a pretty red & white damask quilted throw from Tuesday Morning. The reversible topper is red & white striped on the other side which makes it a great choice for 4th of July and other patriotic tablescapes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Place settingThis part table could come into service as a breakfast, brunch, or luncheon setting. The casual nature of the quilted throw and centerpiece items is easily coupled with the more formal china and silver at each place setting. The simplicity of Noritake “Spectrum” china makes it a good choice to work well with the bold design and strong colors of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: white cotton hemstitched napkin with red & silver napkin ringEach place setting has a simply folded white cotton hemstitched napkin cinched with a silver-rimmed red metal napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: red martini glass from Pier 1 used for fruit compoteFor the fruit compote before the meal or dessert after, this graceful red martini glass from Pier 1 fits the bill. This style was chosen because the ball at the top of the stem mimics that in the water glass and the glass orb in the centerpiece. (Quick story about Pier 1…Ramon & I were in the store closest to our home last week buying a few clearance sale items. The young woman who checked us out asked, “Are you the Alycia Nichols who has the tablescape blog?” You can only imagine that my mouth hit the floor with that, but then she said to Ramon, “And are you Dr. Nichols?” You could have blown us over with a feather! It was nice to be recognized, especially by an employee of a store from which I buy a lot of items to use in my tablescapes! She told us that her Mom turned her onto my blog and that she’s also a Pinterest follower. So a shout out to Nikki at Pier 1 in Lee’s Summit, MO, and her Mom, Jan!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: water glassA simple clear drinking glass complements the setting. Notice the ball in the stem that works so well with the one in the martini glass.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: flatwareI used flatware with a design that complements that of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: coffee cup & saucerTo add to the casual air of the table, the coffee cup, saucer and spoon are pre-set with a little cookie.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Centerpiece collageNotice how the centerpiece is pushed off to one side of the table. This allows for greater ease in conversation across the smallish table. The galvanized oversized pitcher is whitewashed for a kind of country appeal and filled with apple tree branches. (I used faux here, but by all means if you have the real thing…go for it!!!) A simple white wicker basket is filled with a bounty of apples. (Add a few flags to the table and serve all-American apple pie for dessert, and this instantaneously becomes an overtly patriotic brunch tablescape for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Flag Day!) The clear glass orb atop a white wooden pedestal works because of the coloring, the size and the shape.

 

Compared to last week’s post, this was a super mini!!! I hope you enjoyed it and that you were perhaps able to collect an idea or two for your next summer tablescape!

 

Other tablescapes on this site with an off-center centerpiece on this site:
Lemonade From Bill
Planning in Purple

 

Other tablescapes on this site using a quilted topper or runner:
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
My Sister’s Wedding China
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Love’s Arrow
Rhapsody in Blue

 

Other tablescapes on this site with a patriotic theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
American Royal Tablescape
Peacefully Patriotic

I’ll be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined again on Monday for “Table It!“. I’ll also join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for another edition of “Tablescape Thursday”. If you come along for the parties, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration and help with planning your next tablescape!

4th of July Coastal Style

I’m linking this week to Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Summer Whimsy” tablescape challenge!

What says summer more than the 4th of July? While this is a photo-intensive post, I hope each of you will be able to get at least one idea for your own nautical-inspired or Independence Day, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day or other patriotic celebration.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Full deck   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: full table, partial buffetThis casual patriotic table for 8 is set on our back deck.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: linentablecloth.com white stretch tablecloth The table begins with a white stretch tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. If you’re new to this blog, please allow me to introduce you to one of the most fabulous inventions for casual dining ever!!! These babies just slip right over the table top and down to be secured by the legs. Voila! Done! And what’s best of all…I honestly just scrunch these up and stuff them in a drawer for storage. Pull them out and put them on the table with NO IRONING necessary. A true wonder! They come in a variety of colors in 4-, 5-, and 8′ x 30″ sizes at LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: multiple place settings   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: single place setting   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: nautical melamine salad plate collage     Square white melamine plates from Target are topped with these mix-and-matched nautical-inspired salad plates from Home Goods, one with a massive ship and the other with a compass. Melamine sure has come a long, long way since I was a child!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red napkin, navy & white striped placemat, flatware, stars & stripes tumbler collage I found the fun navy stars & stripes plastic tumblers on the clearance shelves at Target a few years ago. The navy & white striped cotton placemats are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Contrasting against the navy blue is a solid red napkin from LinenTablecloth.com. The white flatware is from T.J. Maxx.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red, white & blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com These red, white and blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com are one of the most fun and unexpected elements of the tablescape. Like the tablecloths, they just slip right on and are secured beneath the feet in mere seconds. They, too, can be balled up and stored without worry of telltale wrinkles when you’re ready to use them. (Use them with coordinating or contrasting stretch sashes for a different look!)

  Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium centerpiece   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: glass cylinder with LED candle and seashell candle ring collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Tall cylinder votive holdersThe centerpiece is a relatively simple one using a trio of potted red geraniums along with a series of clear glass cylinders for candles and votives. The larger cylinders hold a white LED (for safety!) pillar candle surrounded by a Z Gallerie seashell candle ring. The elevated cylinder votive holders are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   The buffet table on one end of the deck is laden with drinks and desserts for after the main feast.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: partial buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: starfish-shaped ceramic plates, patriotic paper cocktail napkins The buffet line begins with a tower of creamy white starfish plates (Tuesday Morning) offset by a bright red striped cloth for making short order of spills. Patriotic paper cocktail napkins bring a little sizzle.

   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Red chicken wire bread basket, potato chip collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: strawberries & blueberries in red metal colandersI found this terrific red chicken wire basket at Home Goods earlier this year. Here it holds assorted breads, but it could be used for a variety of purposes. A heavy blue crockery bowl offers up potato chips while cheery red metal colanders are a fun way to serve up juicy strawberries and blueberries.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic melamine nautical trays and captain's bell collageMy good friend, Monica, recently gifted me with 30+ melamine trays. When I saw these 2, I just about went bonkers with glee. I knew they would be perfect for this setting! The captain’s bell is from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Cupcakes on patriotic ceramic cake stand collageCupcakes with cherries on top (from the tree George Washington allegedly chopped down?) are displayed on a patriotic ceramic cake stand from Hobby Lobby.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: beverage boat, drink station

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Crab sign, wooden mallets, seafood cracker collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Silver ice scoop, blackberries, cherries collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: boat pulleyThe opposite end of the buffet has lots of goodies. This canoe was used just as a prop for my “All-American Seafood Boil” a couple of years ago. Today it is lined, filled with ice, and used to hold fruit and beverages. An old iron boat pulley hangs casually from the side on the end, its hook nestled among a throng of seashells. Wooden mallets and metal seafood crackers from World Market are displayed beneath a “Steamed Crabs” sign from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: drink tray

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Drink tray collageAnother of the wonderful nautical/patriotic melamine trays from Monica is used here to hold lemonade. The red stars & stripes plastic drinkware was purchased at Target and complements the tumblers used on the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Grill area collageHere’s the kind of food we’d grill up. That lobster looks like he knows what’s comin’, and I think he’s trying to make a run for it! It’s already too late for the crab! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor living room in red, white & blue

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic pillows on settee, chairs, rug, wind sock collageIt’s nice to have a “living room” setting outdoors for guests to enjoy a cocktail before dinner or to linger after. Our wrought iron furniture is decked out in a variety of comfy red, white & blue pillows. A star-trimmed jute rug “connects” the settee and chairs. A patriotic wind sock softly billows from the overhang.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Occasional table set up on deck with patriotic sailboat

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic sailboat, wooden fish, cocktail, fishnet overlay collageThe side table is covered with a 108″ red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. A fishnet overlay is a nod to the nautical theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor wrought iron baker's rack

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Metal stars, fishing bobbers, patriotic tray, message in a bottle collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Old Glory wooden box, starfish in planter collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Iron crab, wooden nautical box, fish platter collage

The wrought iron baker’s rack in a corner of the deck is laden with fun nautical and patriotic elements, mostly from Hobby Lobby.  The metal stars are from Old Time Pottery.

Other tablescapes on this site with a nautical, patriotic, and/or seashell theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes
Lauren in the Library

Show Me State Dinner

Flamingos in Paradise

Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Caribbean Queen

Tropicana

Summer Breeze
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Peacefully Patriotic
A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

You’re bound to find lots of great summertime tablescapes if you join me at the following blog parties:
Christine’s Rustic & Refined “Table It!” (starting Monday)
Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 5:00 p.m. CDT)
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)

Stars & Stripes

IF

INSPIRATION: My Daddy. A man who gave much to his country through tireless service in his community and unparalleled love for his family.

I’d like to thank my regular readers for your kind indulgence and your incredibly compassionate phone calls, cards and emails over these last several weeks as I took time to care for and then ultimately say goodbye to my Daddy. (A SUPER BIG thanks to Liz at “Infuse With Liz” for fielding questions on my behalf!) These last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life. I saw a person I have literally known all of my life slowly wither before my eyes. I lived with Daddy at the hospital and then at Hospice House for the final week of his life. When it became apparent the end was just minutes away (Ramon told me the signs to look for), I crawled into bed with him and held him as tightly as I could to keep his gaunt little body warm until the angels came to take him home to Jesus. I wanted this remarkable, scholarly, introspective, golf-playing, popcorn/apple pie/peanut butter on waffles-eating former farm boy of a man who lived his life with gusto and touched so many in such positive ways to know without question that he was loved and cherished on the day he died even more than the day he was born. My Daddy, James B. “Jim” Wilson, a.k.a. “The Kissing Bandit”, no longer walks this earth. He now lives in what I have chosen to call a “cozy upscale one-bedroom condo with fabulous marble door, incredible pastoral view, and very quiet neighbors”, a.k.a. a mausoleum at a nearby cemetery. (Daddy was a commercial realtor. I think he would be proud of my description!) I know I can go there to visit anytime I wish without calling ahead or dressing up or having anything of real interest to talk about, just like always. It will be just my Daddy and me..hangin’ out.

I am back to blogging for just a moment. There is still much to do in the way of “tying up loose ends” that must be addressed and preparation for the now rescheduled surgery previously planned for June 21st. I had this 4th of July tablescape all set, photographed, and ready to publish, though, so I’d like to share it with you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it and see close-up details.)

Full deck - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Full table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI set up this casual table for 12 on a clear, sunny day back in May. Two 6-ft. folding tables are nattily dressed in double layers: full-length 90″ x 132″ white topped with a 60″ x 102″ navy blue tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The 4th of July is the time to dress a table in multiple hues that reflect the colors of our nation’s flag! (LinenTablecloth.com has some GREAT patriotic linens in stars and stripes, too! They’re on sale this week, so it’s not too late to get them for your 4th of July tablescape!!!)

Multiple place settings - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Patriotic place setting - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Napkins & flatware, rim shot, flag on plate collage

Stemware - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEach place setting starts with a woven rattan square charger from Tuesday Morning. Stark white square dinner plates from the B. Smith collection at Bed, Bath & Beyond are topped with square navy salad plates from Pier 1. A small American flag is a natural guest favor. I wanted the napkins (doubled because let’s face it…barbecue is messy and you’ll need at least two!) to really stand out against the deep navy tablecloth, so I draped a bright red one off the side of the table at each setting and then topped them with alternating stars or stripes in navy & white. The flatware is one of my favorites with such an appropriate name for Independence Day: Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriotic – Mirror”. The simple clear glassware is from Old Time Pottery.

White resin bistro chairs - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEven humble white bistro chairs look great when all lined up like soldiers!

Patriotic floral centerpiece - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Table flags & Pelligrino collageThe centerpiece that marches the entire length of the table is very simple but effective. Two large white glass vases are filled with lots of branches dotted with small white flowers. Look closely…the profusion of blossoms kind of reminds you of a fireworks display in the sky! Or perhaps sparklers?! Smaller white vases filled with bouquets of small American flags from Target are placed at intervals along with flag pairs on tabletop stands. Bottles of Pellegrino are placed on the table for guests, and they look right at home with their sassy red stars.

Buffet table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneThe small buffet table has decor befitting the occasion that complements the dining table.

American flag "bouquet" - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneA large “bouquet” of American flags poked into a white ceramic vase flaps in the wind.

Pelligrino collage - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI love it when food packaging works into my decorating scheme!!!

Watermelon slice, stacked plates, forks, iron stars collageThese rustic cast iron stars usually hang out in a guest bedroom, but today they are part of this tablescape. A juicy watermelon wedge sits atop a stack of white appetizer plates from Crate & Barrel.

Barbershop Quartet Boater - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI’ve had these fun turn-of-the-century boaters for a long time. The red, white & blue trim takes me back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson or Harry S. Truman when barbershop quartets were cool and politics might have actually been fun! 🙂

Cake plateaus, whole watermelon, Absolut collageI’m a big fan of “grown up dessert” made of a whole watermelon injected with vodka. Delicious, light, juicy, and FUN!!! The red, white & blue ceramic cake stands are from Hobby Lobby.

Other tablescapes with a patriotic theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
“Stars & Stripes”

“4th of July Coastal Style”
Lauren in the Library
American Royal Tablescape
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
Peacefully Patriotic

I’ll be rejoining a couple of fun blog parties this week: Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. (CDT) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday after 9:00 a.m. I hope you’ll come along with me to these parties to see what all the other talented tablescapers out there are doing for the 4th of July holiday! Check me out at BeBetsy.com, too!

In support of our military and their families, please join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party”!!!

Lauren in the Library

If Memorial Day weekend tends to be more about quiet reflection than barbecues and poolside play for you, this red, white & blue tablescape may be right up your alley. My inspiration this week comes not so much from something you can see, but the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I turned on the television this past week to see that we had lost yet another soldier from the Greater Kansas City area. Sgt. 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea, 33, was a member of the 200th Military Police Company in Belton, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City where I lived years ago. He drowned as he attempted to cross a body of water during combat operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Sgt. Rhea and to all of those left behind to mourn the loss and cherish the memory of loved ones killed while in service to our country.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Lauren in the Library, full room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: overhead photo

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Full table, close-upThis formal patriotic table for five began with a full-length white tablecloth topped with a navy blue square one from LinenTablecloth.com. Doubling (or even tripling!) the table linens renders a more lush look and plays up a multi-color theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Place settingEach place setting begins with a gold-leafed glass charger. A pristine white dinner plate with a prim gold rim comes next, and then finally a Ralph Lauren “Knockhill” navy blue-rimmed salad plate. While Knockhill is actually the name of a Scottish race car circuit, the red, white and blue coloring of the plate and the very regal crest seemed to work for this patriotic setting.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Flatware, rim shot, Lauren emblem collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red & blue ribbon on white linenThe simple addition of red and navy blue ribbon adds instant patriotic flair to the white napkins. Notice how the ends of the ribbon are dovetailed to mimic those of the Ralph Lauren banner on the salad plate. Gold flatware complements the charger and dinner plate rim.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: StemwareCrystal stemware rimmed in gold.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red rose ball centerpiece, front view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red rose ball centerpiece - overhead view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: White ceramic urn

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Urn collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Candlestick collageWhat flower conveys messages of both love and tradition as clearly as red roses? Here, four smaller red rose balls surround a larger centered one, all in white ceramic urns. Stately gold candlesticks with formal white candles stand tall on each side of the centerpiece. (Faux flowers were used for demonstrative purposes here, but I encourage you to use fresh for “real” formal tablescapes.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: gold mercury glass votive holdersThe centerpiece is finished off with two pairs of gold mercury glass votive holders for ambient light.

This tablescape would work well for any U.S. patriotic holiday (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Armed Forces Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day), but might perhaps also be appropriate for political dinner events.

Other patriotic tablescapes on this site:
“American Royal Tablescape”
“4th of July Coastal Style”
“Stars and Stripes”

“All-American Seafood Boil”
“Red, White & Blueberries”
“Missouri Show Me State Dinner”

Other posts with red rose balls on this site:
“Derby Day Dining”
“Kentucky Derby Buffet”
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”

I am pleased and proud to join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” this week. She’s hosting a patriotic tablescape challenge, so you can see what lots of talented bloggers from around the globe are doing in celebration of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I’ll also be joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”. And in support of our military and their families, please join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party”!!!

May God bless the American soldier and his/her family, all of whom sacrifice so much.