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

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

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.

American Royal Tablescape

I had a tough decision to make for September 18: start teaching my fall tablescaping classes or participate in the Kansas City American Royal’s Tablescapes Preview Party organized by the BOTARs (Belles of the American Royal). The tablescape event is a relatively new addition to the many activities associated with the annual 8-week American Royal, a Kansas City staple since 1899 that revolves around livestock, agriculture, and Kansas City world-famous barbecue. (Don’t let that description fool you…there’s a WHOLE LOTTA ritzy stuff goin’ on over those 8 weeks, including an Arabian Horse Show, the UPHA National Championship, a Wine Competition/Tasting/Auction, and a very swanky fundraising ball.) The preview party precedes the luncheon held the following day.

Anyhooooooooo, teaching won…sort of. I opted to create a country western/cowboy-themed tablescape right here in honor of the 113-year American Royal tradition as a part of the teaching experience. (Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

I wanted to include as many natural and rustic elements as possible, so I chose to leave part of the wood table exposed beneath the layered denim and red bandanna table linens. Because the events of the American Royal are both “shabby” and “chic”, the bandanna fabric is allowed to stylishly puddle to the floor.

Each place setting starts with a natural grapevine wreath as a charger. A plain white round Corelle plate is the anchor piece of the dishes, followed by a Pier 1 navy blue square salad plate set on the diagonal, and topped off with a home-on-the-range-type brick red casserole from Home Goods. The Hampton Silversmith “Patriot – Mirror” flatware is given a rustic look with a simple bit of twine tied around it. The menus, printed on “Wanted poster paper” from Hobby Lobby, were created on my home computer.

Plain ol’ Mason jars serve as drinking glasses for the sarsaparilla on the menu. The place cards are created from menu paper remnants. I punched holes in each side, slipped a length of twine through the paper and then through holes in the horseshoes (TSC), tying them off in the back.

I had a lot of fun creating the centerpiece! Miniature hay bales act as risers. Super cool resin boots from Hobby Lobby serve as vases for roses dotted with blackbeard wheat. That’s where shabby meets chic once again. The boots are embellished with authentic spurs from Tractor Supply Company (TSC). Other centerpiece elements include rustic cast iron stars, a miniature “lasso”, and a few six-shooters.

“Well, where were the napkins?” you ask. Right there on the chairs tied around the straw cowboy hat favors!

The buffet behind the dining table is all ready for lots of western-style grub like Kansas City’s famous barbecue slathered in sauce. (I’m partial to smoky sweet taste Fiorella’s Jack Stack sauce, but debating that with folks around here will get you nowhere! :-)) Elements of hay bales, horse shoes, and twine are carried over to the buffet area. Food markers are created using more scraps of the “Wanted poster paper” used for the menus and place cards. A larger set of resin boots from Hobby Lobby filled with blackbeard wheat are placed on each end. Last, but never least, is “Cecil” who is one of our four personal butlers. 🙂 Cecil wanted to get in on the fun, so he added a bolo tie and black cowboy hat to his usually prim & proper uniform.

Extra cowboy hats are displayed on the sconce shelves.

My famous wooden horse has another chance to join the party! I am so grateful to my young friend, Chelsea Hudson from Pittsburg, KS, who so graciously lent her childhood saddle, a horse bit, a lasso (and other items that my citified self can’t identify! :-)) to me. These accessories successfully turned my horse (that I have used for Derby, carousel, R.A. Long Historical Society, and “looking a gift horse in the mouth” tablescaping) into a real rough and rowdy character!

My husband came home with a surprise for me: Texas longhorn cattle horns all polished up and wrapped in leather! Wow! These were on display in his late father’s home for a long time, and Ramon remembered they had been stored away. To soften the very masculine look of these massive horns, I added a raised bale of straw flanked by (faux) roses in tree bark-covered vases.

Those of you who have visited in the past are probably familiar with Geoffrey, our majordomo. Geoffrey never, ever misses a chance to play dress up, so he donned his dopey cowpoke hat and bandanna.

Some people call Kansas City a “cow town” like that’s a bad thing. Whatever! Have you seen the price of beef, leather and dairy products? Sounds like a gold mine to me! And that’s what the American Royal is all about: all the good things that constitute farming, agriculture, livestock, cowboy (and cowgirl!) fun, world-famous barbecue, posh events (why else would I wear a screamin’ red gown like this one?!!?) and, of course, the beef industry right here in good ol’ Kansas City, Mo.!

Maybe next year I can postpone classes until after the tablescape event at the American Royal! 🙂

Other posts on this site with a horse theme:
Carousel Colors
Kentucky Derby Buffet
Derby Day Dining
Run for the Roses” (scroll down the page to the end)

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. I’m sure there are tons of fabulous tables you would just love to see out there!!!

All-American Seafood Boil

As hot as it is here in the Kansas City, MO (USA) area I could probably just sit a pot of cold water on the deck and drop the lobsters in to boil after about 5 minutes. It is CRAZY hot here with no relief in sight!!! For those readers like Suzy Q of At the Farmhouse and Carolyn of Desire Empire in Australia who are going into winter right now…please come get me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a serious lapse in good judgment yesterday morning and got out on the deck to set up this 4th of July tablescape that will NOT come back for “real life” next week if this heat keeps up. I’ll spend the 4th eating red, white & blue popsicles while sitting on the AC vent! (It’s getting lonely in the Costco cooler! :-))
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

A full-length white cotton tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com masks the ordinary folding table. We don’t subscribe to the newspaper, so instead of the usual seafood boil newspaper, the tablecloth is topped with a piece of red & white striped vinyl. The vinyl started out with a million folds in it, but 6 minutes in the dryer on the delicate cycle and a little smoothing knocked ’em right out. Using a decorative topper instead of newspaper makes it a little more upscale, and the stripes remind me of those that grace the U.S. flag. It cost just $5 at Home Goods, so I won’t be too upset if it gets damaged. The LinenTablecloth.com linens launder very easily, so no worries there.

Medium-tone rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning bring a natural element to the table. Simple white Corelle dinner plates are topped with fun M Studios salad plates with a bright red lobster motif from TJ Maxx. Nothing says “seaside” like lobster dishes! 🙂

For an Independence Day table, what other flatware are ya gonna use besides a design called “Patriot”? 😉 The dinner & salad forks are accompanied by a lobster pick from World Market to extract every last succulent morsel.

The cotton napkins – which are actually bandannas from Hobby Lobby – are folded in the same manner as a U.S. flag and placed on the diagonal edge of the square charger. My husband who is former Air Force showed me how to make the napkin fold. I got a huge lump in my throat thinking of how many times a flag has been folded in this manner to bestow upon a family whose loved one has perished at war.

Deep blue glass tumblers and clear water goblets from Old Time Pottery find their place at the table.

What’s a seafood boil without the requisite bucket? These red ones from Hobby Lobby are just the right size for individual servings, and a convenient handle makes it easy to carry from the buffet without getting burned.

Individual butter warmers like these from TJ Maxx are great not only for seafood meals but for warming sauces or apple butter for Sunday morning biscuits.

I like to get multiple uses out of things I buy, especially if they cost a lot of money. I used these Z Gallerie white lacquered lanterns for elevated pillar candles HERE. For this display, however, I simply unscrewed the piece that elevates the candle to make room for seashells and flags. Completely different look! Cheery white Gerbera daisies in white ceramic vases from Michael’s visually connect the lanterns.

Fun red, white and blue ceramic star bowls from Pier 1 are perfect for chowder. Cherry bomb red lobster crackers from World Market and crab mallets from Amazon.com will help unleash the delicious meat from the claws.

World Market did a wonderful job this year of providing lots of accessories for seafood dinners including these fun lobster bibs. The Hobby Lobby star-struck ceramic pitchers are ready to take on guests’ thirst.

I bought several of these cool wooden boats from Hobby Lobby several years ago, and they have been a part of many different decorating ventures. Brimming with mollusk shells, they are a really fun addition to the buffet table!

Ahoy, matey! Call guests to dinner with this very cool (and very loud!) Captain’s bell. I bought this one at Home Goods, and I can see it being used for a lot in the future! The string of wooden fish is one of the most fun props in my inventory. I bought it at a place called Premiere Gallery in Kansas City, MO that is now defunct. Boy, oh boy, did they ever have some wild stuff there! I really miss that place!

This tablescape would also be perfect for celebrating Labor Day, Veterans Day, or the homecoming of one of our brave veterans!

I hope it’s cool enough on the 4th to celebrate outside where you are! Whatever you do, please be careful, and have a great time!

Other tablescapes with a patriotic and/or nautical theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries

4th of July Coastal Style
American Royal Tablescape

Join me again this week for Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT. I’m sure my fellow bloggers will have lots of creative decorating ideas for your Independence Day celebration!

You can now find me at BeBetsy.com, too!! And please visit The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party” in support of our military!

Show Me State Dinner

This post is dedicated to my Mom, Senator Yvonne S. Wilson (Retired)

If the past couple of months have taught me anything, it’s that LIFE HAPPENS. Everything you know – or think you know – can change in the blink of an eye. Even though I know better, for some reason I forget that from time to time, and I procrastinate. For the entire time my Mom served in the Missouri House and Senate, I put off hosting a dinner for her and her colleagues. I threw her birthday parties, parties for the Governor’s Ball, parties for the Legislator’s Ball…heck, I even put my decorative touch on her retirement party. But never in all that time did I engineer an intimate sit-down dinner that would allow her to enjoy a relaxed evening with just a few of her colleagues in the comfort and quiet of home. Bad, bad daughter!

Could have, would have, should have….didn’t. Here’s a look at the “Show Me State” dinner that never was!

I take my cue from “For the Royal Table – Dining at the Palace” by Kathryn Jones. Love this book! Yes, I realize this country does not have a monarchy. Borrowing tidbits of style and protocol from the palace, however, lends a touch of ceremony that I think my Mom deserves. If this were the real deal, I would most definitely rent gold ladderback chairs for the occasion.

Homage is paid to our great state with Missouri’s official seal.

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Nearly every party I have ever thrown in my Mom’s honor has been in hues of pink and green. This one in red & white, however, takes on colors consistent with those of our national and state flags. (Crimson and cream are also the colors associated with my Mom’s sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. Close enough!)

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Royal Scotland china sits atop goldleafed glass chargers.

Linen dinner napkins emblazoned with the state seal.

IMG_1238WMI would undoubtedly want to serve several courses. The table, therefore, would creak under the weight of goldplated flatware brazenly pilfered borrowed from my Mom and Dad’s house. (It’s her own fault, really. She needs to learn to frequently change the locks and alarm code! :-))

Borrowing another idea from “For the Royal Table”, the menus are simple and staid. The outside bears the State seal in gold. The inside bears the same seal as a watermark located between the date of the event and the place in which it was held. (Sorry, no castle here…just a lowly subdivision!) The dessert would include our official State nut – the black walnut – and, of course, all wines would be from local wineries.

I chose these water glasses because they have a very courtly look to them, and the embellishments complement the design on the china. The wine glasses, from my Mom’s collection, are etched with the state seal.

Our official state flower is white hawthorn blossom which is a member of the great rose family. Red roses grace the table, however, because I could not find white hawthorn blossom at any local nursery. Go figure. These are displayed in simple glass vessels made a bit more special with the addition of a beautiful crystal bobeche. Who says bobeches are just for candlesticks? Not me! Go on and bling up those vases!!!
(Click here and scroll to Table Tip #24 to learn how to easily strip thorns from roses.)

IMG_1255WMIn 2003 the Norton/Cynthiana grape was adopted as Missouri’s official grape. My parents used to grow them in a small orchard on their property. They are prized by many Missouri vintners who produce lush dry premium red wines of world-class quality and distinction. Again, unable to get my hands on any Norton/Cynthianas close to home, I settled for their juicy cousins displayed in beautiful gold and crystal compotes borrowed from my Mom. The Limoges salt & pepper cellars are a gift from my Mom.

And there you have it: the “Show Me State” dinner that never was.
Here’s to you, Mom!

Substitute the Missouri State seal for Kentucky’s and deep-six the flags, and you have yourself a wonderful Kentucky Derby tablescape!

Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
“Stars & Stripes”
“All-American Seafood Boil”
“Lauren in the Library”
“4th of July Coastal Style”
“Red, White & Blueberries”
“American Royal Tablescape”
“Peacefully Patriotic”

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for once again hosting Tablescape Thursdays!
Join us, won’t you? And please…In support of our troops and their families, join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriotic Palooza Party”!!!