All I Want For Christmas…

Merry, merry, merry wishes of joy and happiness to you and yours this Christmas season! I hope you’re feeling the spirit of the holidays and getting that decorating finished up!

All I wanted for Christmas this year was to be healthy. After months of grueling PT with “Deadly” David to fully recover from the 3rd spine surgery last December, I finally did it!!! Since August I’ve been working out with a fabulous, fun (and cute!) personal trainer I like to call “Killer” Kyle. I’m getting leaner, meaner, and stronger with actual muscles forming to support my spine. Muscles. Me! At 60 years old!!! But then on the last day of November I took a 10-lb kettle bell to the head/face from overhead that rendered me unconscious and earned me an ambulance ride. Concussion, retinal edema, multiple contusions, cuts, and bruises…just a hot mess! Surgery the following week. I’ve posted a few pics at the very end past the comments section. If you’re squeamish, easily grossed out or prone to nightmares, don’t go there.🤢 It’s pretty bad. I morphed from this picture of health at 9:30 a.m….

Me with the Miracle Worker, Mr. Abs of Steel himself, “Killer” Kyle, celebrating my post-spine surgery 30 lb. (so far!) weight loss!

…to what you’ll see at the end of this post. From regular ol’ me…to Rocky Balboa in the 15th round calling for Adrian!!!/ Worf/Quasimodo…to Sloth (The Goonies)…to Gollum…and finally to Uncle Festus within a 7-day period. Ugh!😑

Anyhooooo…Long before all this mayhem went down,  a crew from KCTV-5 graciously came out to our home to tape my segment of “Better Kansas City” so I wouldn’t have to haul everything to the studio. I never got a chance to post the details of our shoot that day or any of our Christmas decor. I hope you find these tablescape ideas handy for this year and beyond, and starting soon I’ll post ideas for around the rest of the house. First the short 5-minute video segment from the show…

And now…pretty pictures with very few words!

Lights, camera…action!

Oops, wait…I wasn’t ready yet!

I chose 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dinnerware for the shoot because of its lavish design. (See this same dinnerware at “Cardinal Christmas” from 2016.) The napkins are tied with red ribbon to mimic the design in the dishes.

Glossy green-stemmed compotes for dessert service. (Also used in “Upscale Irish“.)

The luxurious white faux fur table runner is topped with a very traditional plaid runner and a length of satin ribbon.

Faux snow generously sprinkled over the centerpiece of manzanita and faux Christmas greenery.

This cheerful metal banner from Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO, can be displayed just about anywhere and is one of my new favorites! (I bought several!)

The red ginger jar, carved column cap, and lavishly realistic faux greenery on the end of the buffet are all from Nell Hills.

The semi-permanent display on the china cabinet is enhanced with the addition of a well-lit faux greenery garland almost casually tossed across.

That’s a wrap!

Next post we move into the entry hall and library. Hope you’ll come back by to check it out!

OK,  now…I’m serious…this is bad.😱🤢🤕
The blood was already all cleaned up (probably left a 1/2 pint on the turf!), but still…bad. Just quickly scroll past it if you want to leave a comment but fear losing your lunch!🤮





In the ER approximately 2 hours after the kettle bell hit me – see the mash up of Rocky, Worf and Quasimodo with that massive contusion to the forehead and that eye?!!


Home from the ER. Starting to look more like Sloth. The extent of the broken nose is more evident.


Day 7 – I’ve surpassed Rocky, Worf, Quasimodo and Sloth. A cross between Gollum & Uncle Festus has overtaken my face!!!


Day 8 – Ready to head back to hospital for surgery


Trying to keep my puny veins warm so the IV will go in a bit easier. In good spirits!


The whole staying warm thing didn’t work and my good spirits have expired. The IV hurt…a LOT!!!

Back home in my own comfy jammies with nose repositioned and splinted. The headache is excruciating!!!

Six-week recovery ahead. Hoping to get cleared to go back to working out in the gym mid-January! Meanwhile, nothing gets in the way of daily exercise!!! (Even if it is just walking and the recumbent bike.)

Better Late Than Never, Pt. II – Christmas 2016 in the Dining Room

This is Installment #2 of 4 from a very late reveal of Christmas decor around our home in 2016. The first installment peeped around the entry hall and library. This time we move into the dining room.

I like to use black in Christmas decorating because it’s a wonderful neutral that really showcases gemstone colors and brilliant metals. I draped this table with a 90″x132″ black diamond pintuck tablecloth from  that skims the floor.



The centerpiece is a flat woven basket from Tuesday Morning filled with mounds of red and gold glass ornaments in varying sizes to lend depth and dimension. Frolicking amidst the ornaments are two playful gold reindeer with beaded antlers from Pier 1. (The ones they’re selling this year are similar to these, but cooler with little red scarves!) A smattering of gold mercury glass chargers complete the centerpiece.





Gold glass chargers sit beneath Ciroa gold-rimmed black & white buffalo check bone china dinner plates. Austere white cotton napkins are cinched with ornamental red berry picks from Hobby Lobby twisted to create a napkin ring. (I used this same technique for “Christmas Progressive Dinner” on a much different table.) The pattern of the Longchamps crystal complements that of the dinner plates. A red and gold English cracker is set alongside each place setting for fun after dinner. (Our family has TOO MUCH fun with them!)




On the buffet behind the dining table is another flat basket loaded with spirits for guests to help themselves at will. A creamy white ironstone pitcher filled with red berry picks from Hobby Lobby (the same as used for the napkin rings) dresses it up a bit. On each side are painted gold manzanita “trees” from that I ordered on a whim. (“On a whim” means when I was taking medication that had me doing weird things that I don’t even remember doing!!! Still…not a bad purchase!) In front of those sit shiny red mercury glass lidded canisters clad in black & white gingham ribbon bows. The gilded bay leaf wreath on the mirror is uplit at night.



The tea/bar cart is ready to serve after dinner coffee and/or libations by way of a Grace’s Teaware white lattice coffee set accented with Ciroa plates on a silver tiered stand. A metal champagne bucket from Home Goods brims with gold glass ornaments.


The wood & metal sconces hold more of the Ciroa plates with a shiny red ornament hoisted in front to draw the eye up.


The china cabinet in the opposite corner of the room is topped with more metal wine/champagne cooling vessels. The center one is filled to capacity with bright red glass ornaments to complement the table centerpiece.







Finally, the skinny tree in the window with a fun stovepipe hat topper! (See another tree topped with a stovepipe hat at  Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver.) A load of ornaments on the tree include more stovepipe hats (Dollar Tree), red lanterns (Walmart), red berry picks (Hobby Lobby), frosted pine cones and acrylic snowflakes, grinning snowmen and twists of black & white check ribbon. (Other tablescapes using these snowmen are Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape, Checkered Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.) Beneath the tree are piles of snowflakes, snowballs, and baskets of pine cones with black lanterns lit up for the season.

That about does it for the 2016 dining room. I’ll be back in a couple of days with pics from the family room that I hope you’ll enjoy. Meanwhile, there is LOTS of other Christmas inspiration on this site. Just type in the word Christmas under Categories on the right-hand sidebar to hit the jackpot!

I’ll be joining Susan later this week for Tablescape Thursday as well as Sandra & Chloe for Celebrate Your Story and Linda for her Dishing It & Digging It Link Party! Come on along and get inspired!!!

Better Late Than Never, Part I – Christmas 2016 In the Foyer & Library

Yep, that’s right. I completely blew off posting Christmas photos from around the house last year (2016). Don’t remember why or how. Just didn’t do it. So over the next few days I’ll post a couple of areas at a time so that I can actually post Christmas 2017 photos before the season slips away!

Let’s start with the porch, entry hallway and library!





We live in a very traditional Colonial-style home that I just love at Christmastime. It reminds me of the house in every silly Christmas-themed romantic comedy I’ve ever seen Christmas in New England. In 2016 we adorned the place with candles in every window, a couple of wreaths, and gold metal reindeer with lighted wreath collars. (These same hefty reindeer were used as part of a table centerpiece for Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011 and beside the Christmas tree for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner!) A lantern is festooned with ribbon & greenery.





Our entry hall is rather small, but I always make the most of it during the Christmas holidays by adding lots of lighted features. The stairwell is decorated with lighted greenery swag that is embellished with gold ornaments, pine cones, snowflakes and black & white buffalo check bows. I almost never use stocking holders on the family room mantel, but I liked them here on the stairs. Reindeer on the hallway side, sleds on the library side. Each holds a delicate dangling snowflake.




Just inside the front door on what used to be a telephone stand (oh, how I tend to romanticize the waning traditional landline!) is a stone bunny rabbit dressed up for Christmas with a black & white checkered bow tie. He’s carrying a bundle of birch logs decorated with Christmas greens, red winterberries, pine cones and a single snowflake to tie in with the decor on the stairwell.


The deer head positioned over our extended family photo (gotta get one of all of us in Santa hats!) has tied on a woolen scarf to keep warm!



The foyer table is dressed up a little with an old-fashioned wooden sled filled with assorted gold orbs ornaments and a stack of vintage books tied with a black & white checked ribbon to tie in with the bows on the stairwell. The birch logs tied into the wreath overhead mimics those carried by the Christmas bunny across the way.





In the library where I like to sit and spy on the neighbors while guzzling a pitcher of martinis play on Pinterest, a few subtle touches give the room a festive look. I the miniature wooden bench the plush mice are sitting on at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $7 each.  A bargain in my book! The white wooden sign was a thoughtful gift from my friend/neighbor, Barbara, a couple of years ago when I was bedridden.


The next post will take us on the other side of the hallway to the dining room. This little sneak peak from the library’s edge gives you an idea of what’s in store!

I am joining Sandra at Sweet Sensations for “Celebrate Your Story” this week. I will also be joining Susan again later this week for “Tablescape Thursday” where I’m sure there will be oodles of inspiration for Christmas decor!

Other Christmas tablescapes on this site that offer Christmas decorating ideas:
Cardinal Christmas
Christmas in the Woods
Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrate the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday
Over the River & Through the Woods


Tartan on the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Last week I brought you Confectionery Christmas, one of the three “fantasy” tablescapes I set up for “Garlands & Gatherings”, a fundraising brunch benefiting Hope Haven of Cass County, MO. This second table runs in a completely different direction with strong, more traditional colors and the pattern that is very often associated with both the Christmas season AND golf: tartan!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: golf-themed tablescape for Christmas that goes back to golf's Scottish rootsYou may or may not know that the game of golf has Scottish origins, and that was the inspiration for this golf-themed Christmas tablescape. Tartan is most particularly associated with Scotland (Rod Stewart anyone? 😉 ) and was therefore a sure bet for bringing color and pattern to this traditional table for four. If you have avid golfers in your family or social circle, a tablescape like this could be right up their alley!
(NOTE: The 48″ table used for this demonstration is considerably smaller than most households’ dining room tables. Your finished creation would be better spaced out.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: place setting with tartan runner, red & gold chinaEach place setting is grounded by crisscrossed tartan table runners from Tuesday Morning in red, black, green, and white with touches of gold thread. Goldleafed glass chargers separate the runner from the red, gold & white Royal Scotland china. (You can see this same china used for Missouri Show Me State Dinner and Christmas Through the Red Door.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Floral design in miniature resin golf bag from Hobby Lobby


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Golf bag floral collageThis was one of my favorite parts of the tablescape: a resin replica of a golf bag from the men’s section in Hobby Lobby used as a vase for a nosegay of red spray roses, green hypericum berries, green Pittosporum, and a tiny branch of privet berries. The bouquet is centered in a miniature grapevine wreath that adds texture to the setting.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Stemware, flatware, plate detail collageGold-rimmed stemware is a nice complement to the setting, as is gold-toned flatware.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Menu


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Menu detailingI created menus using our home desktop computer. Black cardstock frames white cardstock embellished with printed tartan ribbon. A 3-D effect is achieved by hot gluing a miniature wreath to the center of the top ribbon.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: golf club tripod centerpiece with floral "golf ball"I wanted so much to recreate a version of the “golf club tripod” centerpiece I did for the dedication of my Dad’s memorial garden reception buffet table, but I was afraid it might not be able to withstand the day’s activities. So…


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Centerpiece


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Centerpiece tartan ribbon and greenery collage…I finally threw in the towel and switched from a wobbly trio of 9 irons to a sturdy 3-legged iron stand centered in a snow-kissed faux pine wreath with a smattering of gold mercury glass votives around the perimeter. Same effect with a much-reduced chance of catastrophe. (Safety first!) I topped the iron piece with an oversized red ornament ball and then embellished the body with two greenery/ribbon swags. I made the bows using tartan wire-edged ribbon that complements the table runners, red/gold/green wired ribbon for contrast, and black organza ribbon. The result was a very lush and dramatic centerpiece.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Banquet chair with red stretch chair cover & black stretch sash from LinenTablecloth.comChairs for this table are dressed in bright red stretch chair covers from Notice how I chose to lower the black stretch sash to look more like a “belt” than a “bra” on the chair. Here is also where you can plainly see the contrasting red, black, and white linens used to create a layered look for the table that looks great with the tartan runners.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: Golf club with Christmas embellishment


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Tartan On the Tee – A Creekmoor Christmas: tartan ribbon and greenery on golf club for ChristmasFinally, a golf club embellished with the same tartan ribbon and greenery used in the centerpiece. A pair of these propped up at the entry of your event or tied into a wreath would look great!

Another golf-themed tablescape on this site:
The 19th Hole

Other tablescapes incorporating black in the Christmas theme:
Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape

Later this week, I’ll post a final fall tablescape, and then next week bring you the final installation from the “Garlands & Gatherings” event. Meanwhile, you can click on any of the photos to the right for additional Christmas-themed tablescapes!

Blog parties I’m linking up with this week include:
Between Naps on the Porch – Tablescape Thursday
Rustic & Refined – Table It!

Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Football Tablescape

INSPIRATION: My camera-shy long distance buddy and fellow Chiefs football enthusiast, Miss Mona, half-jokingly suggested that the chair covers used in my post “Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink” looked much like a referee uniform.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Front door wreathYes, I realize we just got our butts handed to us in our home opener, but it makes no difference. I’m still a Kansas City Chiefs fan through and through. (#Chiefs/Arrowhead/Kansas City Pride!) Always have been, always will be. Next Sunday we will face our arch-rivals, the Denver Broncos. Despite what recent history has shown, I am a believer that we will emerge victorious. I am so much a believer that I have created a football tablescape with that triumph in mind!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Full deck



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Full DeckThe back deck is all ready for a Chiefs at-home tailgate party!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Full table



Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Place settingEach place setting has a black dinner plate topped with a salad plate in red with a black and white rim.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Napkin fold, Chiefs cup, flatware & rim shot collageI found these Kansas City Chiefs reusable tumblers at our local grocery store. Dishwasher safe and a perfect for all kinds of get-togethers, I picked up a bunch of them at just $1.49 each. The deep yellow-gold napkin from is folded in a traditional design and mimics the flag used by referees to call a foul. The design on the stainless steel flatware reminds me of the laces on a football.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Full centerpiece


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Football, pendant in grass, ticket sign collageThe centerpiece started with an oversized “ticket” sign I found on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby. It is flanked by long rows of potted grass, some bearing miniature Kansas City Chiefs pendants. A miniature football (Dollar Tree) adds to the look.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Chairs with black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.comAs my buddy Mona suggested, the chairs dressed in black and white striped chair covers from look very much like the referees’ uniforms! (If you’ve not seen it, you may want to check out “Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink” to see how these chair covers take on a completely different vibe when used in a more formal setting.) The table is layered in black and red linens from


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Sitting areaI created a comfortable sitting area on the other side of the deck for guests to enjoy the game on a television set up in the concealed corner.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Side table


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Side table collageThe side table in the living room area of the deck is set up with a 90″ round white tablecloth from It is topped with an autographed picture of wide receiver Eddie Kennison who notoriously “retired” from the game after only a few months with the Denver Broncos only to resurface and bring his powerhouse moves to the Kansas City Chiefs for five years. Tee hee hee! 🙂 I won this picture at a charity auction, and it is a prized possession. Uh oh….is that a 10-yard penalty for taunting? 😉


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Settee and Chiefs body pillow collageI couldn’t believe my incredible good fortune to find this cushy Chiefs body pillow at Wal-Mart for less than $20!!! It’s so comfy, and it gives me something to hit when we’re losing! 😉


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Coffee table, plush toy collageThe coffee table is set up with game favorites beer and popcorn. I found the resin football sign in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby at 90% off because it’s missing something that used to be on top of it. I like it “as is”, so it’s all good!


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Kansas City Chiefs garden bannerMy flowers and herbs love the addition of our Kansas City Chiefs garden banner!


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: "Buffet" area


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Buffet table, up closeRed and gold Chiefs pendants dangle over a mock buffet table topped with gridiron placemats from Old Time Pottery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Buffet table collage


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Kansas City Chiefs tailgate menuBronco meat, anyone? 😉 I’m just having a little fun here, so don’t go calling the PETA people on me! I’ve used the whole horse that goes with this head for several posts including “Carousel Colors”, “Kentucky Derby Buffet”, “Run For the Roses”, “American Royal Tablescape”, and “Celebrating Longview Farm“. I’ve also used it to prank my husband with the old Godfather-horse’s head-in-the-director’s-bed thing. So the horse is obviously very versatile! 🙂 I came up with the menu based on our (now broken…curse you, Seattle!) record-breaking 137.57 decibel Twelfth Man ruckus. Just tell me how you like your Bronco meat served up, and…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Bronco head grilling…I’m on it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Chiefs Pride: Kansas City Chiefs flag

I know I’ve been M.I.A. for a while, but it’s with good reason. I’m preparing for a couple of upcoming fundraisers for which I’m doing a LOT of decor AND a tablescaping workshop in November. The prep work is exhausting both mentally and physically, and 90% of my day is consumed with it. I promise, however, to post as often as possible in the coming weeks. I have several fun posts already photographed and ready to rock. It’s just a matter of actually posting them!!!

If you’re looking for more sports-themed tablescapes, I have the following for your enjoyment:
The 19th Hole – Golf & Forever Love
Boys of Summer
Football Tablescape – Kansas City Chiefs In the Red Zone

Happy Fall, y’all, and I hope you’ll join me over at Christine’s Rustic & Refined for Table It! tonight and at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday later this week!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner

It’s the night before Christmas, and I’m late getting photos of our 2013 Christmas decor and annual cul-de-sac Progressive Dinner posted! Very little chit-chat tonight. I hope all your stockings are hung and that you are ready to just coast from here on out!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Cul-de-sac gangEvery Christmas season several of the households on our cul-de-sac get together for a progressive dinner. It’s a chance to get together one last time before the bitter cold of January chases us all indoors, to share good food, and to check out everyone’s holiday decor. I wanted my neighbors to really enjoy the ambience during the entree portion of the dinner at our house, so I got busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Front doorI didn’t do a lot with the front entry door this year, nor did we put lights up outside. Next year when I’ve fully recovered, we’ll go all out again! Still, guests were greeted with a cheery wreath with our monogram.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entry & library

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Library tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Secretary collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Vitrine collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Decor 2013: Library desk, leather chair, side table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Burlap wreath, wood slices, Swiss Army camping gearOur library, to the immediate right as you enter our home, took on a very rustic look this year. I started the look when teaching my “Art of Tablescaping” class in that room, so after taking the table down I just embellished the existing decor with even more natural elements like huge moss balls on the urns flanking the vitrine, wood slices, whittled pencils, burlap and twine. To see that “Woodland Christmas” tablescape and read more about the design elements, click HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Orchid and pine greenery arrangement with uplightOn the chest at the top of the stairs is an arrangement I created in a mercury glass pilsner vase using faux greenery and orchids with an LED uplight to show it off. Really dramatic look when standing at the foot of the steps!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entryway arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Hallway collageBack down the stairs and into the entryway is a decorated wreath over the mirror. Lots of LED candles grace the space beneath the wreath, proclaiming it all to be “Merry & Bright”. Notice the ivory “scrunchie” that covers the electric cord. Very clever way to hide it! (I invested in about a dozen of these in several colors at Hobby Lobby about 10 years ago.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining Room table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Buffet in dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tea cartEvery room has a very different theme, and this one is full of bright, cheerful color! I used many of these same elements to create 3 very different tablescapes for my “Art of Tablescaping” class. You can check them out HERE, HERE and HERE. After clearing the tablescapes and adding a few more fun pieces, this room is declared the Fun Zone! I won the wreath at the base of the mirror at a White Elephant party a couple of weeks ago, and it fit right in!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room tree and into hallwayThe brightly colored tree in the dining room has a Nativity scene beneath it. As we go back into the hallway, the table by the front door is decked out with a fun wreath and a huge LED candle. Let’s head to the living room…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: View of living room from kitchen

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner set upWe’ve moved furniture and made space in the living room for our Progressive Dinner tables. This year’s theme in this room is cardinals and reindeer. An additional theme of snowflakes was added for the dinner. The tables are covered with red full-length round tablecloths from I recently purchased some ballroom chairs for events at home such as this, and they work out perfectly with cool white Spandex chair covers with contrasting red Spandex sashes, also from (I LOVE these because they’re super affordable AND I don’t have to iron them!!!) This is a buffet dinner, so huge white acrylic snowflakes work as “chargers” at each place setting. red 20″ napkins are neatly folded into reindeer napkin rings purchased on clearance at Target last year. The centerpiece is a simple faux greenery wreath with meandering red ribbon, pine cones and red berries with a trio of LED candles (for safety!) in the center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Kitchen & buffet collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Decor 2013: Kitchen wreath

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner Decor: Candlestick arrangement in window at kitchen sinkI created this arrangement in the window behind the kitchen sink on a moment’s notice. I wanted something really dramatic for the window that could be seen from outside. I simply entwined a curvy wrought iron candlestick with faux greenery, red berry vine and red lights. I made sure to drape the vine across the countertop for a more dramatic look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, IIGuests served themselves from a buffet in the kitchen. On the menu: a choice of Chicken Tortilla soup, Chicken & Wild Rice soup, or Chili along with nice, warm bread and iced tea. The fun red & white snowflake soup bowls and mugs are from Dollar Tree (yes…Dollar Tree!), and the snowy white ramekins – for those who preferred a “flight” of soups – are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace & mantel decorThe fireplace mantel is heavily decorated with faux greenery, holly, red berries, pine cones, glass ornaments and cardinals. Reindeer stocking holders (Pier 1 clearance) on each end hold ornate red & gold silk stockings. Small trees in black urns flank the fireplace hearth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Mice on chair & small tree on hearth collageThese two lovey-dovey mice all dressed up in their Christmas finery are new. I saw them at T.J. Maxx and just fell in love with them. Their names? Ramon & Alycia, of course!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Sofa, reindeer on side table collageWe have lots of black elements in the living room, so I played that up with black velvet pillows behind red silk ones with gossamer gold ribbon. The luxuriously soft throw is from T.J. Maxx. My bold gold reindeer make another appearance this year in different areas of the living room. (To see these reindeer used in other Christmas settings, click HERE and HERE.) On the table behind the sofa, a large red ornament rests above lots of lighted greenery and pine cones.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Living room tree in red & gold

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tree ornaments

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Wrapped giftsThis year’s main tree is dressed in lots of red & gold ornaments including cardinals, musical notes, poinsettias and stockings. The tree is flanked by the two larger gold reindeer wearing sparkling wreaths around their necks. Gifts beneath the tree are all wrapped in colors that reflect the room’s color scheme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: ArmoireThe television armoire across the room always gets a little treat, too. This year the decor mirrors that of the mantel with a huge red ornament (just like the one on the sofa table) rising up like a phoenix from behind.

All very different looks throughout the house. My mind was just going in a million different directions, and I just let the decorative chips fall where they may! 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas Through the Red Door

Welcome back! I’m so glad to be back to doing what I love, now with substantially less pain than ever! In the coming weeks, I am excited to be able to post 6 different Christmas tables  that will feature ideas for kids, adults, and even one very “guy-specific.” Today’s table, my first post since bouncing out of here in July for shoulder surgery (which was a grand success…thanks for all your wonderful well wishes!), takes you through our newly-painted front door all ready for the holidays. I have always wanted a white Colonial-style house with classic black shutters and an iconic, welcoming, shiny apple-red door (think Elizabeth Arden or Talbot’s!), and just in time for the holidays I invite you to come on in!
(To see photo detailing close up, click & then click again.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - adorned gift box

INSPIRATION: Red & gold decorated metal Christmas box from Pier 1

Tablescapes at Table Twenty- One: Front door wreath & library Christmas table in red & goldThis table in our library was created for a one-night only tablescaping class I conducted in October through MCC-Longview. (Setting up for that class completely wiped me out since I wasn’t quite healed. It took a month to get my wind back!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One:L Christmas Through the Red Door - full table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Tabletop in red & goldThis 48″ round table for 4 could be easily recreated with a larger table – round, oblong or square – to accommodate more guests.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Red & gold place settingI wanted the place settings for this table to represent the ultimate in elegance for the holiday. Gold-leafed glass chargers are the foundation for the red & gold Royal Scotland china. The white centers of the china helps to break up the concentration of color on the table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - adorned gift boxWhat nicer way to present a favor or holiday gift to guests than to personalize it and have it at their place setting? These particular boxes represent the level of flourish to consider to make the outside of each gift as special as what’s inside. Notice how the red diamond shape of the “wrapping paper” mimics the pattern in the tablecloth and cut crystal. (These permanent demonstration boxes were purchased around 2009 from Pier 1.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - gold decorative birdI added an extra dimension to the top of the boxes in the form of this pretty clip-on gold beaded bird. Something similar to this makes the presentation a bit more special, ties into the centerpiece, and doubles as a nice take-home favor for guests.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - flatware/rim shotGold-colored flatware borrowed from my Mom is complemented with a gorgeous crystal-handled steak knife from Fifth Avenue Crystal.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - stemwareCristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware adds lots of reflective quality to the table and complements the design of the tablecloth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - napkin drop, gold pintuck tableclothThe scarlet red organza napkins (Pier 1) strike a brilliant pose against the muted gold pintuck tablecloth from Your Chair I like to use linens with a little extra something-something going on during the holidays! (If you prefer a layered look, a solid satin or solid poly full-length tablecloth can be topped with a pintuck overlay or runner. It’s a really cost-effective way of glitzing up a table! You can find a great selection of pintuck runners and overlays as well as basic linens and chair covers at great low prices at my favorite “go-to” place,! Order now for quick, carefree delivery in time for all your holiday decorating!!!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Crystal centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Centerpiece collage detail, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door- Centerpiece collage detail, IIIf you’ve ever visited this blog in the past, you know I heartily subscribe to the “go-big-or-go-home” theory when it comes to decorating. We tested this crystal epergne out for visibility across the table before I decided on it. The cut of the crystal mimics the design of the tablecloth and the cut of the stemware. A melange of shiny, muted and glittered red balls bring color to the top of the table. A single gold bird perched on the side carries the theme up from the place settings. The crystal, of course, just makes a huge statement during the holidays!

I am so, so happy to be back at the computer to share with you! For more Christmas & holiday tables on this site:
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas
Get Me to the Church On Time
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Black Friday Luncheon
Sugar High Payback
Winter Dinner
Winter Cardinal
Fire & Ice – Contemporary Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
or check out our “WINTER” page for NINE more all on one page!!!

I’m so pleased to re-join Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly party “Let’s Dish!” and Susan for Tablescape Thursday this week! Please hop on over to these ladies’ blogs to check out the many talents of tablescapers from around the world!

Football Tablescape – Kansas City Chiefs in the Red Zone

Even if you aren’t a Chiefs fan (insert disdainful, incredulous sniff ;-)),
this tablescape has lots of fun decor ideas!

I wasn’t going to post this football tablescape until later in the season, but I was SO proud of my Kansas City Chiefs‘ comeback victory yesterday that I just feel compelled! The Chiefs put a smackdown on the New Orleans Saints, winning it 27-24 in overtime.

As a part of my “Fabulous Fall Tablescaping” class series last week, I created a football tablescape in honor of the Chiefs. I worked for the organization about 25 years and 50 pounds ago, and as an 11-year-old I cheered them to victory in the Super Bowl (January 11, 1970 against the Minnesota Vikings). I am now, and will always be even in the bad times, a lifelong fan and avid “television tailgater.” Kansas City is known for its legendary tailgating in the parking lot of  beautiful Arrowhead Stadium before home games. Those of us who watch the game from home get in on the action in our own way. Here’s my version of “television tailgating” with friends in front of the big screen.
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grant except where noted.)

When guests come to help us cheer the Chiefs on to victory, I like to create an entire atmosphere using team colors (red, gold & white) and memorabilia. This table, set up on the lower level in front of the big screen TV, is dressed in a full-length white linen and topped with red to represent that awesome sea of red at Arrowhead Stadium during Chiefs home games.

I found these fun gridiron placemats at Old Time Pottery a couple of years ago. Given the saturation of deep colors on the table, I used a white ceramic charger (Old Time Pottery) to break up the color a bit. Mustard gold earthenware from Pier 1 completes the setting.

I created fun football place cards using these pre-painted wooden footballs I found at Hobby Lobby for around $.59 each. While I marked directly on them with permanent marker, you might consider using a little tape like the players wrap their hands with so that the footballs can be reused.

Mustard gold cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond are folded to resemble penalty flags. The “napkin rings” are actually inexpensive wristbands purchased at Party City. The wristbands can go home with guests as a party favor after the game!

I considered trying to color the “red zone” (the area between the 20-yard line and the goal line for those of you who may not follow football) with paint or fabric, but neither of those ideas worked. Instead I placed a miniature Chiefs pendant there, making sure it actually extended a bit over the goal line to resemble a touchdown. 🙂 I chose the flatware based on the pattern at the bottom of the handle which resembles the laces on a football. (Tiny detail, yes, but that’s what theme tablescaping is all about! The devil is in the details, man!)

These beer pilsners are called “Fantasy” and were manufactured by the Federal Glass Co. back in the mid 1950s, which makes them vintage for sure and halfway to antique (like me!) 🙂 My Mom recently gave them to me, and I chose them for the pattern that reminds me of the Chiefs‘ arrowhead logo.

I like to keep centerpieces simple for sports tablescapes. True fans don’t like anything getting in their sight line so we can properly armchair officiate! 🙂 Here, observing that cardinal design Rule of Three, I put miniature pigskins from Dollar Tree on black wrought iron stands that mimic a football tee. That’s it! That’s all! There’s already enough going on around the room and enough color on the table.

On one end of the bar I have all the game munchies & “adult beverages” to soothe our throats after cheering loud and long. On the other end is our prized & beloved autographed Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (1989-1999) jersey to add a little ambience to the room and, hopefully, bring good luck to the Chiefs each game.

Other little touches around the room include a fun football remote control holder (another gift from my Mom), an autographed picture of wide receiver Eddie Kinnison (2001-2007), my Trent Green trading card, and the Chiefs helmet pin I was awarded after my tenure at Arrowhead Stadium.

Photos taken by my Mom in 1975…as if the furniture didn’t already give the year away! 🙂

This year the Chiefs celebrate 50 years of calling Kansas City, MO home and I celebrate 50 years of being a fan. I worked for them from 1973 – 1977 (yes, wearing these cheesy outfits in these mile-high go-go boots! Wait…did I say “mile-high?!?!?!!” Ick! Ugh! Boo, Broncos!!! :-)), but can cheer for them a lot more comfortably these days in sweats and flip-flops!

Are you ready for some MORE football…this time in Honolulu Blue? Click HERE (“Fun Stuff” page) and scroll down to “Home of the Lions”. And for another sports themed tablescape, click HERE for “The Boys of Summer”!

I will be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week!

Really Red Christmas

This isn’t a tablescape, but I thought you might like to see the decor around the main floor of our home for Christmas 2011. I didn’t have to spend one thin dime (lucky me, because I don’t have one to spare!), but I had a ball rifling through all the decor stored in crates that I have either never used or haven’t worked with for a while. We may have had to scale way back this year, but I think it’s pretty…and very, very red!!!
(Click on any photo to enlarge it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant.)

Upon entering the front door, this is the view up the stairwell. I love lots of candlelight! This works beautifully for Christmas or even for a candlelight wedding anytime of year. These are all LEDs for safety’s sake, of course!

At the very top of the stairs is this goose from the family room all dressed up for Christmas.

The banister in the front entry hall is adorned with lighted wreaths hung with the same gold polka-dotted red velvet ribbon used inside and out this year. The poinsettia by the front door was a gift from our neighbor.

I dressed the dining room to replicate as closely as possible the same decor I used for the children’s Christmas party earlier this season sans tableware. (Click HERE to see the children’s party post.) I also added a few wreaths to dress it up a bit more.

Across the hall in the library is a reproduction Louis XIV vitrine that we use as another bar. It is dressed in lighted greenery that reflects beautifully behind the crystal decanters.

On the opposite side of the room is a secretary with multiple Christmas trees and lighted greenery on top.

Our faithful servant, Geoffrey, is delighted (NOT!) to serve up a Christmas cocktail!

Back out into the foyer heading into the family room is a narrow table with two small decorated trees laden with red lights that cast a warm glow on the family photo in the center.

The family room window has a large grapevine wreath dripping with red berries, oversized ornaments, and frosted pinecone greenery.

Furniture has been moved all around (and some completely out!) to accommodate a modest tree. The reindeer and mantel greenery are the same used in the centerpiece for our cul-de-sac Christmas Progressive Dinner. (Click HERE for that post.)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind being a bit naughty at all! Mae West once quipped that “Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere.” 😉

The bookshelves are treated with pinecone greenery dotted with shiny red ornaments and berry-filled grapevine wreaths. Another goose is all decked out for the holidays, and one of my favorite photos with my parents enjoys a special place of honor near the tree.

This is a photo of the tree when I first received it. My Mom knew it wasn’t in any way, shape, or form dressed the way I would like it, but she recognized that it was just the right size I needed so she bought it for us. So it went from this BEFORE…

…to this AFTER. We had considerably less floor space to work with this year, so a smaller tree was the solution. I ditched most of the ornaments that came with the tree, so it is now drizzled with red ornaments and berry clusters illuminated by soft white lights. I was surprised by just how many red ornaments I have amassed over the years! The “skirt” is a length of artfully scrunched gold silk fabric.

A smaller version of the reindeer by the fireplace stands guard atop the television armoire.

Moving from the family room into the kitchen, a large hurricane lantern is decorated for the holidays.

Centered in the window of the kitchen’s eating area is another grapevine wreath similar to the one in the living room. This one, however, is adorned with just a gossamer gold bow.

I spend many tedious hours at the kitchen sink, so a little tree flanked by drying red chili peppers cheers the area.

With the über crappy year we’ve had, it would be easy to simply throw up our hands, stuff our faces with Krispy Kremes, and be total Scrooges.

We choose instead to put it all behind us and forge ahead…because what matters is that through it all, we have each other.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Get Me to the Church On Time!

All I can say is, “Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to squeeze this in during this busy, crazy holiday season!” (Click HERE if you would like to see all of our indoor Christmas decor for this year.)


IMG_3445WMA Christmas bridal shower and wedding presents an opportunity to include the flavor of the holiday season without overdosing on it. With this shower, held in the evening, I made a valiant pass at it using some tried-and-true techniques and design elements.



IMG_3429WMA flowing white cotton full-length linen is the start of an elegant table. The red chargers I have relied upon this season were a great start to a stylish place setting. The red charger (Target) is topped with a decorative gold one from Old Time Pottery. (Click HERE or HERE to see this same technique used with different dishes and silver chargers.) No-name dishes I bought in the early 90s at a discount department store are still a treasure to me today with their traditional holly design.


IMG_3507WMI just love it when things work out. I went with our linen napkins bearing the first initial of our last name that coincidentally (again, thank you, Lord!) is the initial of the last name the bride will take as her own this weekend. The colorful beaded napkin rings were a steal last year at Old Time Pottery for just 99¢ each!


IMG_3498WMA mix of gold-rimmed clear (Tuesday Morning) and cherry red stemware (Pier 1) is illuminated by the glow of abundant candlelight.

IMG_3482WMMy old standby goldtone flatware worked well to round out the place setting.


IMG_3450WMStock Christmas cards create a menu with the theme of the evening, “Get Me to the Church On Time!” I used this same technique last year HERE for our Christmas season kickoff dinner.


IMG_3500WMOne more “thank you, Lord!” in that I was able to reuse the cranberries used HERE. I created a similar version of this centerpiece made up of various sizes of cylinders parading down the table with vibrant orchids for a beautiful summer engagement party. Click HERE and scroll down to “Love and Orchids” to see that table. Floating cranberries and candles in the cylinders provides multi-level color and ambient light. Full-blown roses with sprigs of bright red berries and holly finish the look.

That’s it! I’m sure the wedding will go off without a hitch, and this will be a Christmas to remember!

Please take a little break from all the hustle & bustle of the season to join the party at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. There’s so much incredible tablescaping talent out there!



Photographer/Best Friend Sheri & me!


My supportive, loving parents & me!