Honey Bee Tea

Switching gears from last week’s casual and blindingly colorful post

 

The deck is set for a ladies tea in lavender and white, starting with a full length round lavender tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came from these cool Mary Lake-Thompson flour sack towels I found at Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO. I’ve often used towels as napkins, and these were perfect!

 

White lacy chargers from Michaels, lavender embossed lace dinner plates by Matceramica, and Pier 1 “Doily” salad plate are joined by “Royal Danish” sterling silver.

 

Each guest has a lovely take home favor of tea in a lavender organza bag with a an Austrian crystal-tipped silver spoon attached.

 

 

Austere white teacups and saucers are from Old Time Pottery. A decorated sugar cube and a splash of color from a lemon slice dress it up a bit.

 

 

 

 

A silver beaded edge 4-tier server filled with a variety of sweets and savories is the primary part of the centerpiece.

 

Plump, luscious blueberries in a lacy white jardiniere from Hobby Lobby. (Seems I like to use this jardiniere for blueberries. You can also see it used this way in “Blue & White Family Picnic“!)

 

 

To mimic the design of the napkins, a small pot of lavender sits atop a delicate lacy white doily. Honestly…when else are you going to use a doily???

 

 

The tea/bar cart from our dining room made its way out onto the deck. A cherry wood tea caddy from Bombay Company holds a variety of teabags on the lower shelf.

 

 

I stacked silver cake plateaus to display more sweets on the tea cart. Brownies on bottom, petit fours on top with another tiny pot of lavender.

 

 

 

Almost on cue, a tiny butterfly took a rest on top of the white teapot! Rock sugar stirrers are presented in a cream soup cup from Nell Hills. The bee skep honey pot is from Home Goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conversation area is set up to encourage mingling while nibbling and sipping. The coffee table is topped with a vintage white cotton lace-edged runner. Another silver 4-tier dessert tower serves up desserts. It’s not often that I use paper napkins, but for this occasion I wrapped white doily-like paper cocktails napkins around lavender ones for a peekaboo effect.

 

 

 

The shabby chic side table between the settee and arm chairs is set up with crystal sherry service and a few more sweets served up on a silver pedestal.

Other teatime tablescapes on this site include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Hello, Dahlia!
Tee Mit Hans Dresden

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

Other lavender posts on this site include:
Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape
Purple & Pastel
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Luscious Layers of Lavender

Want to see some great tablescapes by talent from all around the world? Join me for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Bleu – The Grand Resurgence of Melamine

In a recent segment of “Better Kansas City” (my first appearance back on the show after a 7-month absence for my stupid spine surgery) I talked about the joys of the new melamine dishware that has flooded the market in recent years. One thing for certain: this ain’t your mama’s melamine!

Our back deck sets the scene for this sweet little table for four decked in a 108-inch round ivory tablecloth and surrounded by banquet chairs with ivory Spandex covers from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

Each place setting starts with a double layer of chargers that picks up key colors in the salad plate including a sapphire blue metal from Pier 1 (first used in the post “Simply Peacock Garden” in 2014) topped with a chocolate brown Baroque-style (also used in “Pheasants & Pumpkins” back in 2014) from Hobby Lobby. I’ve discussed in prior posts how using more than one charger can add interest to the place setting via design, texture, shape and color. The dinner plate is Home Essentials Antique White, a popular staple around the tablescaping blog world.

 

 

I found the blue compotes at Old Time Pottery way back in 2010 and have only used them a couple of times. Shame on me! The salad plate – my inspiration for this tablescape – is a sweet melamine by TarHong with impressive blue butterflies and an additional carte postale design. A far cry from the drab melamine of the 1960s! The faux mother of pearl flatware is from Target.

 

 

 

I recently picked up this beautiful Aurora Blue stemware by Qualia at Home Goods. It perfectly complements the clear glass stemware I purchased at a moving sale some years ago (also seen in “Something Blue Bridal Luncheon“). Ivory cloth napkins are cinched with a blue acrylic napkin ring, tucked into the stemware, and embellished with a blue butterfly to further complement the salad plates.

 

 

The hefty centerpiece, heightened by a rosewood Chinese pot stand, is made up of a tangle of greenery mixed with blue hydrangea, ivory roses, alstroemeria and hypericum berries finished off with eryngium blue thistle.

I’m not around as much these days as I’m taking LOTS of time out of each day getting healthy: walking 5-7 miles a day, spinning on my recumbent bike, working out with small weights, preparing fresh meals from scratch…all the things that will help my spine get (and hopefully stay!) strong and lose the “surgery weight.” I’m peeking in on you, and I’m so glad you peeked in on me today. Have a great week ahead!

Other posts on this site with butterflies include:
Float Like A Butterfly
Grazin’ In the Grass
Spring Into Easter
Patisserie de Paris
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Spring Has Sprung
Mother’s Day Brunch
Purple For Spring
Showered In Pink
Going Green For Spring

If you’d like to see other posts on this site using double chargers, check these out:
Proud As A Peacock!
Fete Noir et Gris
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Year of the Rabbit
Copper Zen
Cranberry Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner
Get Me To the Church on Time
Let It Snow!
Winter Cardinal
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Mardi Gras Lite
French Poodle
Hooray For Vodka!
Clematis & Hyacinth
Rhapsody In Blue

Black, White, & Red All Over

BLACK, WHITE, & RED ALL OVER
(a re-post from April 2010)

Happy Birthday dinner party on the deck is ready to get underway.

 

 

A casual birthday dinner to celebrate my son and sister-in-law’s birthdays brought out the black & white Royal Stafford “Herdsman” dinner plates. I set black chargers and linen napkins against a crisp white cotton tablecloth, and keeping with the tablescape’s natural theme, I used plain rattan napkin rings. A traditional flatware pattern, Hampton Smith’s “Patriot”, complemented the ensemble. Individual wine tags were put on each person’s glass for mingling after the meal.

 

A shot of color was added to the tablescape with bright red geraniums in simple terra cotta pots. By substituting the geraniums for something more spring-like such as potted tulips or hyacinth, a table like this would also work quite well for a Mother’s Day brunch or luncheon, or any Spring tablescape.

 

To add height, texture and interest to the tablescape, simple potted topiaries shared the center of the table with the geraniums.

 

Wonderful made-from-scratch food and fabulous drink including my introduction to Menage a Trois. The WINE! Get your mind out of the gutter!!!

 

The Birthday Queen and King blow out their candles!

Other black, white, and red tablescapes on this site include:
Black, White, & Red All Over Christmas
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Derby Day Dining
Grill It Up!

 

 

 

 

 

Blue & White Family Picnic

What better to do on a warm August evening than gather with friends and family for an old-fashioned, fun picnic…with an elegant twist?  

Grandpa Ramon entertains the little ones while Grandma Alycia rushes to finalize details.

 

When the weather is warm, cool colors for the outdoor tablescape are definitely in order! A classic blue & white checkered tablecloth anchors the setting and renders a true “picnic” feel.

 After a few family photos are taken…
…the food is set out, the champagne expertly poured, and it’s time for everyone to sit down, relax, and enjoy!
 Reflective silver chargers, icy clear dishes & stemware (Bed Bath & Beyond), and faux mother of pearl flatware (Target) were perfect for the occasion. White pillar candles, which bring one of three levels of candlelight, are protected from the breeze with standard clear glass hurricanes.
 Silver candelabra brimming with luscious grapes are outfitted with white candles to be lit after the sun leaves the sky. (Table linen and chairs from All Seasons Tent & Party Rental.)
 Silver julep cups are filled with pure white and citrus green carnations along with hosta leaves from the garden. (They were later transferred to faux silver juleps for the guests to take home.) Notice the votive candles in addition to the pillars under the hurricane shades and candelabra. I like the look offered by multiple levels and sources of candlelight that make any tablescape dance!
 Sweet bing cherries and plump, ripe blueberries are set out in beautiful white ceramic vessels from Hobby Lobby for guests to munch on before and after dinner. I love this white jardiniere…wish I had more!
 The dessert table is dressed up with a larger version of the carnation & hosta arrangements on the dining table.
 I like to think of new ways to present old favorites. On this day fresh strawberry lemonade was served from a clear glass apothecary jar (available at Target or Function Junction). A custom engraved silver tag strung with ribbon identifies the contents. (I had several of these tags made up for various beverage and candy displays.)
 
 Guests all dressed in blue & white raise a glass! To family!!!

Summer Blues… and Greens!

SUMMER BLUES…AND GREENS!
(a re-post from August 2010)

There is really nothing quite like the cooling, soothing look of cobalt blue in a summer tablescape! Mixed here with grassy greens and cloud-like white, it takes on a casually sophisticated look that is one with nature.

For each place setting, I started with a crisp, white cotton linen. The beautiful blue & white placemats are a vinyl reversible from Bed, Bath & Beyond that caught my eye. The stark white square dinner plates, also from BB&B, are from the B. Smith With Style collection. The deep blue salad plates and graceful finger bowls are from Pier 1 Imports. I like these bowls because they can be used in so many ways! I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of them in subsequent tablescapes. Simple Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” flatware and cobalt blue glass tumblers from Old Time Pottery finish the look.

I picked up this gorgeous green & blue glass compote several years ago, and I am always thrilled to get a chance to use it in a tablescape! Filled here with an abundance of juicy Granny Smith apples, succulent limes, and cymbidium orchids, it really stands out. Orchids are so pricey that I often can only afford a single stem or two. Plucking the blooms and floating them in water (or tucking the stem into a water tube as in the centerpiece) is a wonderful option with a lot of impact. The flames of white candles in the cobalt hurricanes dance when the sun goes down. The potted grass is just another way to pull in the color green and to add texture and interest to the overall centerpiece.

Another way to punctuate the tablescape’s look with a bit more green was to place individual bottles of refreshing Perrier at each guest’s setting.

Want to see a couple of other tablescapes using blue and green?:
Under A Paper Moon
Butterfly Kaleidoscope

          

 

Summer Breeze

SUMMER BREEZE
Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” from my early days of blogging that featured multiple posts. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope! Meanwhile, all new posts are on the way, too!!!
I have put off doing a tropical tablescape all summer long, but this last dinner party before Labor Day seemed like the right day to do it. I’m glad I did. Summer is good to the last drop! (The aftermath of this dinner party was a near tragedy. Click HERE to see what happens when you don’t take care with candles!)
 
The matchstick placemats drape lengthwise rather than horizontally for a bit of added interest.
I loved these “Exotic Floral” dishes the moment I saw them at Pier 1! It wasn’t so much the pattern as the color combination with that dash of bright red-orange. The red-orange finger bowl was filled with a bit of lemon water for each guest to cleanse their fingers between bites of sticky Tequila-Lime Chicken. The green embossed stemware is also from Pier 1, and I’m sure you’ll see a lot of it in future posts!
 I picked these napkins up from BB&B for next to nothing on the clearance table! They have many of the same design elements as the dishes, so they were just perfect! The seashell napkin rings (surprisingly similar to some custom-created ones I saw in Preston Bailey’s “Inspirations“) are Pier 1.
I really enjoyed creating the centerpiece items for this summer tablescape! The larger ones are simple raised “fishbowls.” Although I bought these as shown wholesale some years ago, they could be easily reproduced by gluing a fishbowl atop a large glass votive cup or short-stemmed/stemless martini glass. Large pillar candles are surrounded by colorful, interesting seashells and finished off with a snippet of alstroemeria which looked very similar to the red-orange flower on the dishes. To complete the centerpiece, I twisted a piece of feathery sword fern and topped it with a shell. (For other fun tables using seashells, visit “Tropicana“, “Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells“, “All-American Seafood Boil“, and “Flamingos In Paradise“.)
 The smaller centerpiece arrangements are these really cool reversible bowls with a little indentation for a votive candle. (This bowl could be flipped the other direction and have a tiny flower in the indentation with perhaps a floating candle in the larger part.) I tucked sword fern and alstroemeria underneath. By keeping all of the centerpiece items the same shape, it created a unifying effect.
 When we sat down to dinner, the sun was just beginning to set. By the time we finished, we were able to enjoy the warm glow of the candles. (I can’t stress this enough…be careful when using candles, especially when it’s breezy out or THIS – or something far worse – could happen to you!)
 On the dessert/drink table, I piled Pier 1 dessert plates high on a beautiful bamboo tray alongside the homemade 3-layer chocolate fudge cake. The faux bamboo flatware is from JC Penney. The acrylic palm tree pitcher is from BB&B.
Raising a glass with our honored guests.

Other tropics-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Caribbean Queen

Oranges & Blossoms

ORANGES & BLOSSOMS
(a re-post from September 2010)
Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” from my early days of blogging that featured multiple posts. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope! Meanwhile, all new posts are on the way, too!!!
Some get-togethers are just a little more relaxed than others, but that doesn’t mean the tablescape has to suffer!
 
 Bright colors can go a long, long way to bring a summer tablescape to life!
 
With about 24 hours notice, I was able to construct this casual but inviting tablescape. Atop a white cotton linen, the brilliant orange matchstick placemat really stands out. The next layers are a simple white Corelle dinner plate, a bright pink & orange melamine salad plate from Burlington, and a fun little orange slice plate for the appetizer. The place setting is finished off with a folded white napkin and fun white handled flatware from TJ Maxx. Nothing fancy…just pure fun!
 
 When it comes to centerpieces in a hurry, let your imagination kick in. A couple of white cake stands (Ralph Lauren “Pavillion”) did the trick in this case, stacked high with oranges from the fridge (tomorrow morning’s orange juice!), and dotted with waxflower and brilliantly hued plumeria blossoms. Any small flowers will do that match or complement your tablescape colors. (See the cake stands used for other displays at “88 Years & 88 Keys” and “Blushing Bridal Shower“.
 Tiny orange glass vases from Hobby Lobby repeat the floral theme of waxflower and plumeria from the main centerpiece with impatiens from the side yard landscape tossed in for good measure.
Simply using items from around the house, the fridge, and the yard, a jaunty little tablescape is born!
This easy, breezy tablescape was quick to assemble and, thankfully, quick to take down as we were chased in just before dessert by a rain storm!

Orange You Glad You Came To Dinner?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CAME TO DINNER?
(a re-post from August of 2010)

Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” that featured multiple posts in an effort to make it easier to find things. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days of blogging. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope!

 Sigh! As the kids reluctantly prepare to head back to class, we try to squeeze in just a few more outdoor family dinners.

 I’ve been itching to use these creamsicle colored dishes all summer! Orange is “the new red” when it comes to stimulating the appetite and lifting spirits. For my tablescapes indoors and out, I am totally on board!

 

Rather than my usual (and beloved!) long, narrow table, I kissed two 6-ft. tables horizontally to create more of a square shape. Doing so allows for a more generous centerpiece as well as plenty of elbow room for each guest. (With the trays, this seats 8; without trays, however, this table configuration comfortably seats 10.)

 

 

Each of this tablescape’s place settings consists of a bamboo tray (looked good, and sure made clean up a lot easier!) from Old Time Pottery. The orange & white melamine dishes are from Target. The square shape lends a contemporary feel, while the floral design gives them a timeless look without being stuffy. (See these same dishes used for another summer tablescape HERE.) I fell in love with the icy orange flatware from Burlington and the flower & butterfly napkin rings from Hobby Lobby. Even the Costco stemware is plastic, but the design gives it an “authentic” look. The cool cube place card holders from Crate & Barrel finish the place setting. Off to the side, a small table holds snacks in complementary colors.

 
I mulled over centerpiece options for this tablescape for several days. Sure, the weatherman is predicting a drastic cool down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s, but how can I be sure? Fresh flowers will wilt as soon as I walk them out the door if he’s wrong. So…I went against everything I know and bowed to decorating with FAUX flowers!!! Somehow, though, with the cool orange color and the unrealistically large heads, it looks kind of 1960s mod instead of flat out weird. I may need to find more uses for faux flowers! Stay tuned!!!
 
This is my Dad, Jim. I love him very much!!!
(postscript: Daddy died in May of 2013.
I’m so glad we had this quality time together.)
Other tablescapes with lots of orange (other than autumn and Halloween):
Mandarin Bling
Summer Orange
Oranges & Blossoms
Hot Tropical

     

Popsicle Party!

We’re just about midway through the summer swelter, and every day calls for something cooling and refreshing to beat the heat. Here’s an idea for a popsicle party where after dinner it’s all about popsicles for the over-21 set! (There are numerous recipes on Pinterest for “adult” popsicles that will put a little pep in your step!)

When the temperatures are soaring but you still want to get outside to entertain, make it something special with treats that will visually AND literally cool your guests.

 

Bright colors abound across this table for four. The tablescape begins with a pure white tablecloth to show off the brilliant hues on top.

 

Each place setting starts with a fabulous natural round “Water Hyacinth” placemat from Pier 1. These are so incredibly versatile! I’ve used them in various tablescapes including “Barton’s Easter Brunch“.  Next up are woven round placemats in a glorious “Peacock Blue” from Bed Bath & Beyond also seen on “Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings” and “Give Peace A Chance” on this site. White melamine dinner plates from Target are topped with dazzling orange-rimmed pink melamines from Burlington that I first introduced in the post “Oranges & Blossoms” back in September of 2010 and then reintroduced in “Hot Tropical“!

 

Cheerful Gerbera daisies in juicy orange gourd-shaped ceramic vases decorate each place setting.

 

When I break out the melamine plates, it’s time to scrounge up color coordinated flatware from TJ Maxx like this  in snowy white that really stands out against the deeper color of the top placemat.

 

I found this terrific plastic stemware at Old Time Pottery a few years back. I wish I could use it more often. It’s the safest way to go for summer outdoor entertaining! I used the same style in a creamy yellow back in 2014 for a post called “Cupcake Colors“.

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came not only from the heat and my affinity for adult popsicles, but from these super cute Dollar Tree dish towels! I like to use them as napkins for their super powers of absorbency as well as the colorful themes! I’ve used dish towels as napkins for several warm weather posts including “Grill It Up!“, “Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast“, “Italian Honeysuckle“, “Picnic Ants“, and “Black & White Barnyard Breakfast“.

 

Well, don’t say you didn’t see THIS coming!!! Popsicle-shaped menus created on my desktop computer!!!

 

The centerpiece is a simple one: curvy plastic bowls in vibrant turquoise and pink placed together so both colors show. Fill with fragrant summer fruits like the oranges, mangoes, lemons, peaches and limes shown here, and voila!

 

I get a LOT of mileage out of the hooks I installed beneath the overhang on the deck! On this day a few vividly colored metal lanterns from Hobby Lobby swing in the gentle breeze and add ambience when the shadows fall. (I first used these lanterns as a part of the centerpiece for “Hot Fun In the Summertime” back in 2014.)

I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool this summer! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Other warm weather posts using lots of dramatically juicy colors on this site:
Carousel Colors
Tulips In the IHOP Hour
Caribbean Queen
Hot Tropical
Flamingos in Paradise
Casablanca Cool
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Brilliant Italian
Tropicana
Daisy Crazy
Cupcake Colors
Summer Fruits & Penny-Farthings
Give Peace A Chance

 

 

 

 

 

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