Peacefully Patriotic

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Red, White & Blueberries
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes
Lauren In the Library
Show Me State Dinner

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”,

One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: Full deck

 

 

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

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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 LinenTablecloth.com 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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 LinenTablecloth.com 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 LinenTablecloth.com.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: Side table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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 LinenTablecloth.com. 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: "Buffet" area

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Chiefs Pride: Buffet table collage

 

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

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 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!

Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!

 

Stars & Stripes

IF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Napkins & flatware, rim shot, flag on plate collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All-American Seafood Boil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4th of July Coastal Style
American Royal Tablescape

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

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