Run For the Roses

RUN FOR THE ROSES
(a re-post from May of 2010)

Nearly every fine home in Louisville hosts a party to celebrate the Kentucky Derby. It’s a time to bring out the heirloom china and serve wonderful food amidst fresh red roses galore. Who says a gal with a Midwestern accent and a slightly less generous budget can’t join the fun?

 

This wooden showhorse makes the perfect backdrop in the dining room. (Visit Kentucky Derby Buffet  and Celebrating Longview Farm to see him on a Derby Buffet table as a centerpiece and Carousel Colors to see him used for a Springtime decorating accessory!

 

 

Each place setting consists of a beaded silver charger with platinum-rimmed Noritake “Spectrum” china, a monogrammed linen napkin, heirloom flatware (with rose detailing), Longchamps crystal, an authentic silver julep cup, and…for a bit of whimsy in an otherwise staid & traditional setting…a real horseshoe! If you use horseshoes atop fabric, be sure to wash them thoroughly in hot, soapy water then dry with a soft cloth. Allow to air dry for at least 2 hours to assure all moisture has evaporated so as not to rust and stain. These horseshoes were surprisingly affordable at just $2.39 lb. That’s quite a bargain!

 

 

 

Menus created using white vellum over red cardstock have a craft store red rose affixed to the top. At the bottom of each menu is fun Derby trivia for guests to share during dinner. And no respectable Southerner’s derby dinner table is complete without sweet tea, cheese grits, hot biscuits, and mint juleps served in a traditional cup! (Get the recipe for deliciously rich, traditional, Southern homemade pound cake HERE.)

 

Rich, red roses are the focus of the centerpiece, buffet and foyer florals. Click HERE and scroll down to Tip #39 for a tutorial on fluffing fresh roses to get them looking nice and full.

 

A pair of beautiful show horse figurines from Hobby Lobby flank the center trophy of roses. I created the traditional “garland of roses” using red satin ribbon and rosettes like those used on the menus. (The real garland for the winning horse, of course, has more than 400 red roses!

 

Hat collage
  My Mom in her pink Derby chapeau, and me in blue!
More tablescapes on this site using roses that would be great for Kentucky Derby:
Derby Day Dining
Kentucky Derby Buffet
Roses in October
Show Me State Dinner
Should Have Put A Ring On It
88 Years & 88 Keys
Tablescapes using roses in adaptable colors include:
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous
Roses In October

 

Pretty In Pink (a re-post from April of 2010)

My parents are very special to me, and I snatch every opportunity to celebrate them. In April of 2010 I hosted a good old-fashioned ladies’ luncheon for my Mom and a few of her closest friends.


The woman of the hour/birthday girl, Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson, a.k.a. Mom!

 

Hustle and bustle to create an inviting surprise for the guests with a pink strawberry sangria service on a petal-filled silver gallery tray in the foyer.

 

 

The guest of honor makes her entrance!

 

The Ladies’ Luncheon honoring my Mother’s 81st birthday had a tablescape reminiscent of childhood fantasies. A 12-ft. table placed in the living room maximizes space and takes advantage of south-facing windows that catch the afternoon sun. A setup such as this would also work very well for a Mother’s Day brunch/luncheon, a pink & white wedding, or a Breast Cancer Awareness Month luncheon.

 

The menus were created on my home computer, cut and affixed to colorful cardstock, then finished with a simple silk rosebud from a craft store. The monogram watermark on the menu pays tribute to the honoree.

 

My Mom is a “super shopper” who loves snappy shoes and handbags!!! I chose these pewter shoe and handbag place card holders for that reason. My Grandmother used to say, “The devil is in the details.”

 

A “girlie” yet sophisticated place setting is made easy with a mix of traditional & contemporary pieces. Heirloom flatware completes the essentials. The Maxcera “Victorian Toile Rose” luncheon plates – a contemporary square – are adorned in traditional Victorian roses. White “doily” plates from Pier 1 are just perfect for dessert! Silver pew cones (often used for weddings) are brought into service as eye-catching and unusual napkin holders. (Also used for “A Dorothy By Any Other Name“.)  The striped pink/green/yellow/white cotton placemats from Pier 1 are reversible. (See the other side at “Days of Wine & Roses“.)

 

 

The “devil in the details” shows up again in each cup that bears the graceful image of a rose just inside the lip.

 

 

Branches dotted with cheerful cherry blossoms (from Costco of all places!) add height to the spring tablescape without blocking the view from across the table. Decorating with cherry blossoms is a colorful nod to the spring season. Petite bouquets of pink roses and fresh eucalyptus in crystal vases complement the tablescape’s motif, add texture and subtle fragrance, and make a nice take home treat.

 

Keeping with the overall color scheme of the tablescape, the ladies sipped pink sparkling lemonade adorned with a fresh strawberry. A thin slice of lemon in each water glass adds color.

 

 

 

I’m no gourmet cook, but I think food should complement the setting and vice versa. Finishing off the meal is a 6-inch, four-layer, luncheon size pink-tinted vanilla-almond cake with a crown of frothy white. The  cake is adorned with fresh strawberries. Fanned strawberries and fresh lemon leaves sent by a California friend accessorize each plate. Last but not least, a choice of vanilla or strawberry ice cream served up in a miniature martini glass.

 

Serving  coffee and/or tea with dessert is an age-old custom. Here the pink & white Silvestri “Sculpted Rose” tea service is ramped up with the addition of fragrant pink rose petals arranged on an heirloom silver tray.

 

Front Row (l to r): Wilhelmina Stewart, Delia Young (now deceased, she is the lady who encouraged me to start my blog), Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson, and Rosemary Lowe. Back Row (l to r): Alycia Nichols, Irene Watson, Thelma Crawford, Rep. Shalon “Kiki” Curls, and Liz Wilson.

The honoree, guests, and hostess!

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
French Poodle
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas

 

 

 

 

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:

Brilliant Italian (a re-post from July 2010)

Summer has become one of my favorite seasons. Sure, it’s hot and often sticky here in the Midwest. That’s to be expected. But there are just so many opportunities for outdoor entertaining that just can’t be taken for granted! My husband and I hosted a little dinner party that involved wine tasting (one of my favorite activities!) to forget about the heat for awhile. Neighbors came over to feast on tasty homemade Italian dishes while sampling red wines from the Adam Puchta Winery in Hermann, Mo.
First things first….gather up all the necessary items and create a menu board. The chalkboard is from Kirkland’s, and it really works out well for casual events!
 I let the wine breathe a bit before the guests wandered out onto the deck.
 Juicy black grapes to munch on before dinner sit alongside the night’s chalkboard menu.
  The pasta dish gets a chance to “rest” for about 15 minutes after pulling it from the oven.
This little table was set up near the dining table so that guests could nibble on homemade bruschetta and antipasto while sipping a glass of wine before dinner.
 The 6-ft. oblong table is set for six.
This occasion provided a wonderful opportunity for me to pull out colorful Italian-inspired dishes in brilliant, cheerful reds, blues and yellows. “Yellow Talavera” dishes by Maxcera (TJ Maxx) set atop sunny yellow placemats from Bed Bath & Beyond were the foundation of the color scheme. Bright cobalt blue water glasses (Pier One) juxtaposed clear wine stems. A mix of red roses and playful yellow Gerbera daisies in cobalt blue vessels completed the look. Corks of wine parties past displayed each place card. (Square appetizer plates and red dipping oil bowls from Crate & Barrel.)
You simply can’t go wrong with brilliant colors when serving Italian food!
Mangia, y’all!

A Dorothy By Any Other Name: Purple and Cream 80th Birthday

There have been many remarkable Dorothys to walk this earth. Among them the brainy Dorothy Johnson-Vaughn (NASA mathematician recently depicted in the movie “Hidden Figures”), the brazen Dorothy Height (women’s and civil rights activist), the brilliant Dorothy Hamill (ice skater), the beguiling Dorothy Dandridge (actress), the bubbly Dorothy who captured our hearts along the Yellow Brick Road, the beleaguered Dorothy Tucker-Roberts (my poor hairstylist of 20+ years for whom one must feel sympathy having to put up with me!), and finally the blissful, beautiful and beloved Mrs. Dorothy J. Knight, the honoree for this lovely celebration. When my high school friend, Audrey, asked me to craft a head table with the colors and flowers her Mother adored to celebrate her 80 birthday, I was most humbled.

 

Mrs. Knight’s birthday celebration was held in the auditorium at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

I created a dramatic centerpiece using a silver faux manzanita tree branch adorned with various hanging crystals and cream spray roses. I placed it on a round mirror to reflect back the sparkle, shine and movement of the crystals. A cluster of four standard size julep cups filled with cream roses, spider mums, baby’s breath, and miniature chrysanthemums. Satellite miniature juleps each held a single rose surrounded by baby’s breath and a few mini chrysanthemums.

 

 

Each place setting at the table included a mirrored charger, creamy dishes, lovely heirloom flatware, and a cream colored napkin emerging from a silver pew cone, also known as a cherub cone. (Other posts on this blog incorporating silver pew cones as napkin holders include “Purple & Pastel” and “Pretty in Pink”.) I placed a personal set of salt & pepper shakers at the top of each place setting.

 

 

 

The creamy ivory rosette table runner contrasts with the royal purple full-length tablecloth and complements the chair caps that are placed over ivory stretch chair covers and all tied up with a lavender satin sash.

Family members worked hard to plan and create the remaining atmosphere. They put a lot of love into it! To play on Shakespeare’s words in Romeo & Juliet, a Dorothy by any other name would not be as sweet as Mrs. Dorothy J. Knight.

For more birthday celebrations on this blog:
“88 Years & 88 Keys”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Purple and Pastel”
“Blue & White 30th Birthday”
“Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!”
“Happy Birthday, Barf!”
and see FIVE additional birthday celebrations on the “Birthdays” tab!

 

88 Years and 88 Keys

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,
or the “Birthdays” tab above for more celebrations!
One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Luncheon for Two

INSPIRATION: Another quilt created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Another quilt created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara. This table was easily assembled because everything on it pulls either color or pattern from this quilt!

 

The weather here in the Kansas City area continues to be a virtual sauna accompanied by strong, hot winds and occasional storms. To get out on the deck and create anything is next to impossible. As we go into this 4th of July weekend, though, I have a “dine-and-dash” luncheon (or breakfast…or brunch!) table for two that started with a little game of “I Spy” at my neighbors’ house. Barbara should know better by now than to let me in that front door! She lets me in, “I Spy” something cool (like this beautiful quilt!), I want it, and I’m outta there with it! 🙂
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Full tableIn windy weather like this, a quilt is just what’s needed if dining outdoors. It’s just heavy enough to stand up to those sudden gusts. This beautiful yellow and blue floral quilt is used as a topper over a buttery yellow cotton full-length tablecloth.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Napkin & flatware collageClean white dishes prominently stand out against the meandering jumble of gingham checks, vines, and jumbo roses in the quilted topper. A bright yellow napkin is presented in the “Lotus” fold with a yellow rosebud with Dusty Miller leaves nestled in its center. I don’t often use this vintage silverware, but its mix of wildflowers and roses is a near perfect match to the design of the quilt.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: glassware & coffee cupBright blue glassware was almost a must. Notice the design on the coffee cup…how it mimics the pattern of the wildflowers and vines in the quilt. (For my tablescaping students and for those of you new to tablescaping, look for subtleties like this to bring subliminal cohesiveness to the tabletop.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Yellow rose florals and bee pitcher

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: White ceramic bird and shabby chic candlestick collageMuch like last week’s centerpiece, this one is placed off-center. This is a great option if (1) the elements of your centerpiece threaten to interfere with a clear visual line between those seated at the table, (2) your table is small or narrow, and/or (3) just for something a little different. Here, two olive green ceramic pitchers (chosen for how the color complements the green in the quilt) are filled with yellow and ivory roses along with tufts of Dusty Miller. An olive green distressed candlestick is topped with a white ceramic bird. (Students and newcomers to tablescaping, white birds are used here to tie in to the white dishes and break up the expanse of definitive color in the centerpiece.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: white ceramic bird salt & pepper shakersIn this photo you get a better “bird’s eye view” of the meandering vines noted above. See how they capture the same flow as the pattern on the coffee cup and on the decorative bird? It’s a very subtle thing, but something that appeals to the subconscious when determining why elements work together. The bird salt & pepper shakers complement the decorative bird on the candlestick and play into that famous Rule of Three. (Students, I KNOW you remember the Rule of Three!!!!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: wicker chairI played with a couple of looks before proclaiming these wicker chairs the perfect foil to the country chic quilt. (Keep in mind the tone or theme or feel of the look you want to achieve, and then choose your accessories accordingly.)

I know you all have much to do to prepare for the upcoming 4th of July weekend, so stick a fork in me…I’m done! 🙂 I’ll be back after the holiday weekend with something I think you’ll really like…at least I HOPE you will! Thanks for stopping by, and let’s be safe out there!

Other tables with off-center centerpieces on this site:
Lemonade From Bill
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Planning in Purple

Other posts on this site using a quilted topper or runner(s):
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
My Sister’s Wedding China
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Love’s Arrow
Rhapsody in Blue

Other posts on this site with quilt or napkin creations by Barbara:
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Black Friday Luncheon
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

I’m partying this week with Christine over at Rustic Refined for her 8th installment of “Table It!” (started Monday) and with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (begins after 9:00 a.m., CDT on Thursday).

 

Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend

A portion of this post was featured along with an interview on trends in entertaining at home in the January 2015 issue of “Kansas City At Home” magazine!

INSPIRATION: My "no boys allowed!" dressing room

INSPIRATION: My “no boys allowed!” dressing room

The decor in our house is pretty unisex…except for my dressing room! This is the one place that has a definite feminine touch with all the girly-girl trappings one might expect: chandelier, lavish antique dressing table, fainting couch near a window (yes, ladies…we all have our drama queen moments!), a tricked out nail station, bulging jewelry closet, stereo system, television (hoping for a flat screen to replace the outdated one in there now…anybody want to help me “accidentally” drop & break it? 😉 ), flowers, vintage hat boxes, innumerable handbags, and SHOES. Lots and lots and lots of shoes!!! And did I mention HATS? My cup runneth over with chapeaus of all make and occasion. It’s the place to feel all Marilyn Monroe and vogue to my heart’s content!
(Click on any photo and then again to enhance/enlarge it for fine details!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Full dining room in black & red

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Full tableI started this Marilyn-Monroe-in-“The-Seven-Year-Itch”-meets-Madonna’s-“Blonde-Ambition-World-Tour” tablescape with a sleek, sexy black full-length tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. It’s like the little black dress of the room! Consider the fine jewelry store. The salesperson lays out your selections on a black velvet fabric. Why? To enhance the shine of the jewels! Everything on your table, therefore, is highlighted to the nth power when set atop a black linen.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: single place settingWhat does every Material Girl have plenty of everywhere? Why, mirrors, of course! So I started this place setting with a 13″ round mirrored charger topped with sleek black plates. TIP: This charger is a slick little way to discreetly check your lipstick or make sure there’s no spinach stuck in your teeth during dinner! 😉

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageImagination is key when setting a fun fantasy tablescape for any occasion. (This one would work well for a birthday, wedding shower, bridesmaids luncheon or girls night out dinner.) For this über-feminine, straight-from-the-dressing room tablescape, an ivory LinenTablecloth.com “clutch bag” napkin fold is set atop each plate with an oversized “diamond” clasp. The flatware is International Silver’s “Royal Danish” pattern. The stemware is Cristal d’Arques.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Place card collageI found these fun Marilyn Monroe note cards at Michaels Craft Store and thought they’d make really fun place cards. Just imprint the name of your guest along the bottom of the card perpendicular to Marilyn’s! The acrylic “diamond” place card holders are from Hobby Lobby.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Votive and bling runner collageA true Material Girl is bound to flaunt lots of bling, so I used the same rhinestone ribbon runners used HERE to trail the length of both sides of the table. Matching votive holders are used all over the setting. TIP: You can buy the votive holders already blinged out, or simply make them yourself with remnant pieces of bling ribbon.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Red Roses in novelty hat boxes for centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Roses in hat box centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Red rose, hat box and bling centerpiece collageI took a few hat boxes from my dressing room to create the centerpiece. If using fresh flowers, line the hat box with plastic in case of accidental spills. Place the roses in small vases and arrange them to fill & slightly over-spill from the box. Here I put roses in the center box but kept the lids on the two flanking boxes. To dress them up a little more, I added ruby red magnetic bling often used for enhancing chandeliers and other light fixtures. TIP: You can buy the bling in the lamp department at Hobby Lobby. These particular hat boxes had metal corner guards, so they were easy to apply. TIP: If you want to do something like this but don’t have metal on your hat box, experiment with taping magnets in strategic places inside the box for the bling to adhere from the outside.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Buffet decor using red roses, hat boxes, and lots of blingI always like to create a little coordinating vignette on the buffet behind our dining table if it isn’t being used for food display.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Hat box, cake plateau, bling collageRarely do I have a round cake with a large base (thanks to my step-daughter and nieces who are dragging their feet about getting married!), so my collection of silver cake plateaus is often called into service for other decorating. Here, I used a silver beaded-edge “hoop skirt” stand to add a little shine and raise more hat boxes in the center of the display.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Hand jewelry holder, bling, rose bouquet collageWhen I was a little girl, I enjoyed looking at the elegant displays in jewelry stores. The hand displays were particularly intriguing to me. Here I used a pair of display hands to hold petite red rose bouquets, flash oversized “diamond rings” from a store called Stuff in the historic Brookside neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., and to string long, dramatic strands of bling garland through the fingers across the length of the buffet.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Sleek black vase topped with rose ball, bling collageOn each end of the buffet is a tall, sleek, 36-24-36 hourglass figure black glass vase from Tuesday Morning. The vases are topped with red rose balls and swagged with more of the bling garland.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Pillow & glove collageThe chairs on each end of the table got a little special treatment: fun French-inspired pillows from my dressing room depicting those fabulous black gloves like every socialite of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s used to wear. I added a pair of my own rhinestone-studded evening gloves for good measure.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Tea cartTea carts aren’t just for tea!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Top of tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Martinis, bling collageIn a scene from “The Seven Year Itch”, Marilyn Monroe’s character is introduced to the martini:

Richard Sherman: There’s gin and vermouth. That’s a martini.

Marilyn Monroe’s character: Oh, that sounds cool! I think I’ll have a glass of that. A big tall one!
Quote Source: IMDB.com

I’m with Marilyn…I’ll have a big tall one, too! The vintage tea cart is set up with all the makings of a fabulous martini including vermouth, vodka, olives and plenty of shakers to quickly whip them up.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: China cabinetThe china cabinet in the dining room often gets a little something-something to top it off, too.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: China cabinet collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend: Shoe collageOne of the black velvet jewelry busts from my dressing room was brought in to this display weighted down with strand after strand of bling. Another hat box is filled with red roses and carnations and adorned with a pretty bling brooch from my Mom’s collection. A couple of other red rose balls complete the florals. This terrific black stiletto heel figurine was destined for my neighbor’s thrift store pile. She and her daughter thankfully thought of me before shipping it off, and it makes a nice addition! To give it a little extra kick, I tied a length of red ribbon ballerina-style down the heel. Sexy little number, huh? 😉

I wanted to kick 2014 off with a bang-up post since 2013 was such a royal bust. Since I felt like kickin’, I figured doing it with attitude in black stilettos was the way to go! 😉

Other posts on this site with lots of bling:
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”
“Princess Pink Birthday Dinner”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – The Princess & the Frog”
“Bling Wedding”

“Mandarin Bling”
“Platinum & Pink Valentine”
“French Poodle”
“Rhapsody in Blue”

Other posts on this site with red roses or floral balls:
“Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon”
“Days of Wine and Roses”
“Love’s Arrow”
“Kentucky Derby Buffet”
“Derby Day Dining”
“Run for the Roses”
“Lauren in the Library”
“Float Like a Butterfly”
“Diwali My Way”
“Show Me State Dinner”
“Roses in October”
“One Shoe Can Change Your Life”

I am delighted to join these blog parties this week:
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday”

You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com!

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.

Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink

Good grief, Charlie Brown! Mothers Day is less than 3 weeks away now!!! I’m still grappling with what to do for my Mom’s celebration dinner. Too bad I can’t just add a few candles and recreate this table because I really like it! This is more or less an extension of the Springtime In Paris Mothers Day Buffet table I posted last week. It uses some of the same decorative elements and is designed to either work with the buffet (just take away the luncheon plates & put them on the buffet) or stand alone as a sit-down luncheon.
(Click to enhance/enlarge any photo.)

IMG_5934WM

 

 

 

IMG_5937WMA full-length white linen from LinenTablecloth.com covers a 6-ft. oblong table set up in our living room to take advantage of the bright southern exposure.

 

 

IMG_5959WM

 

 

IMG_5958WM

 

 

Each place setting starts with a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery topped with a light green napkin folded lengthwise twice and tucked underneath. Following are a white Corelle luncheon plate and ceramic rose-rimmed plate I picked up at Tuesday Morning a number of years ago when I was feeling particularly girlie.

Here’s one of those decorative elements from last week: petal pink fabric napkins folded to resemble a rosebud. This time, rather than being tucked tightly and displayed en masse, the napkin is allowed to expand a bit to fill individual cups at each place setting. (Tutorial for this Rosebud Napkin Fold can be found HERE at Table Twenty-One Table Tips. Just scroll down to Tip #33.) I like to use two napkins at each place setting whenever sandwiches are involved!

The handles of the sterling flatware are embellished with a tiny flower to complement the design of the salad plates and cups. A rose-topped sugar cube created by Shawnee, Kansas cake artist Rebekah Foster daintily rests atop each iced tea spoon.

img_5908wm.jpgThese green stems from Dollar Tree are one of the best tabletop investments I’ve ever made. So much bang for the buck! I bought enough to have one for water and one for iced tea at each place setting. If you’re not hip to Dollar Tree yet, you need to check it out. They have some pretty decent tabletop items in there from time to time….all for just $1!!!! There are currently more than 4,000 stores across the 48 contiguous states (every U.S. state except Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada, so chances are there’s one near you! If not, you might try its sister company, Deal$.

Here’s another of those elements from last week that really works well on this table to bring color, texture, and height in a slightly different way: clear 12″ glass gooseneck tower vases filled with reaching faux floral branches that create the illusion of a tiny forest down the table’s center.

I like the idea of creating a buffet table with a dining table in mind and vice versa. It really opens up a lot of entertaining opportunities!

For more pink & green tablescapes on this site:
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
“Showered in Pink”

For more tables in pink suitable for Mothers Day:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies

For other posts using the “rosebud napkin fold” on this site:
“Cupcake Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Au Revoir”

I’m joining the bunch at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday again. C’mon…you know you’re curious about what all the other tablescapers are up to this week! 🙂