Summer’s Last Hurrah

Lawd, have mercy…where’s my funeral home fan??? I don’t know about you guys, but I’m about “summer’d” out!🥵 It has been hotter than a jalapeño‘s armpit with humid, icky conditions here in the Kansas City, MO area all summer…except for the times it was pouring near record buckets of rain. While I’m in no particular hurry for winter’s chill, I am ready for something different. So as the Labor Day weekend approaches, I’m anticipating and celebrating summer’s last hurrah.

Summer’s Last Hurrah – Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

And if you prefer still shots to video…⬇️

Each place setting is grounded with a one-two punch of a red, white & blue striped placemat topped with an easy, reedy woven brown one.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this year’s Dolly Parton line at Hobby Lobby! For a citified country-adjacent gal like me, it’s right on target! Dishes boasting deep red poppies with blue & white accents, these sweet floral napkins…Yes, please! The blue-rimmed chargers and flashy red pedestal bowls are also Hobby Lobby finds.

Poppy napkin rings from Bed Bath & Beyond many moons ago.

Ya ain’t really country unless ya like your Mason jar of tea sweetened with half a pound of sugar. Or at least that’s what my Kentucky born and bred great-Grandmother used to tell me. Hence the “country adjacent” description I’ve assigned myself as I defiantly stir in my Splenda.🤣🤣🤣

Somebody come get Dorothy and Toto out of the poppy field!

I can sit down with a whole pie and a quart of vanilla ice cream and just GO. TO. TOWN!!! (Again, as my great-Grandmother would say!)

All the usual country picnic fixins including peanut oil-fried chicken (seriously…is there any other way?), and the juxtaposition of heavenly biscuits and deviled eggs.

Now y’all KNOW I have to have my “adult beverage” of the Kentucky bourbon variety to help make suburban life bearable!🥃 I love it here in the heartland, but a “little nip” every now and then sure helps me love it even more! A napkin from the Dolly Parton line at Hobby Lobby pairs nicely with a placemat to line my bar cart.

Whatever you do this Labor Day weekend, please be safe! If you would like to see more ideas for picnics, check these out:

Orange Dreamsicle

Have you ever tried the grownup version of an orange Dreamsicle? The one with whipped cream vodka, orange juice, triple sec or Cointreau, and cream or half & half? To beat this ongoing heat to a pulp (See what I did there? Pulp? Get it?😉), I whipped one up…at breakfast. Don’t judge me. It contained 2 of the 5 food groups.😜

Here’s a fun luncheon or dinner tablescape where a grownup Dreamsicle might be more appropriately enjoyed! (Faux flowers used here, but real ones would kick it up a BIG ol’ notch for guests!)

I first used these fun open tulip salad plates in 2010 for a Mothers Day tablescape, “Tulips in the iHop Hour”, referring to my Mom’s penchant for eating so early on Sundays. I’d not used them since, so this is as good a time as any. I’ve set them with plain white dinner plates and juicy orange Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass chargers. My Mom’s Towle “Calypso” flatware and recently acquired orange stemware from Home Goods add a nice finishing touch.

Red-orange and white (faux) ranunculus in a curvy white ceramic vase.

Bright orange (faux) tulips are prominently used across the table.

Brilliant orange (faux) poppies add color and texture.

What’s a meal without dessert?🍰

Reticulated dessert plates look almost like old-fashioned doilies.

The pièce de résistance…Dreamsicle cocktails by the pitcher! Here’s the Pinterest recipe I most often use: Dreamsicle Martini

Do you love the color orange as much as I do? Here are a few more posts featuring this energetic color!🧡

4th of July Picnic

I’ve made many virtual friends since I began blogging WAAAAAY back in 2009, but I’ve had the honor of meeting only a scant few in person. This week’s tablescape is at the suggestion of the incredibly talented, funny, and gracious Pattie Tierney, author of the Olla-Podrida blog, who I have visited twice! Miss Pattie recently suggested we have a little fun with picnic baskets we unearthed. (Hers from her storage, mine – a super bargain at just $12.50 – from a recent estate sale.) Pattie and I have made a blood🩸 oath to use our baskets quarterly over the next year to see where our imagination leads us. OK, maybe not a blood oath, but you get my meaning!😄 Won’t you please create a reminder to yourself to check out Pattie’s entry which will be posted at Olla-Podrida on July 4?!

I hope you enjoy the little video above⬆. And here are a few detail pics of my fun hunt-style picnic basket all dressed up for the 4th of July!⬇

Under the trees of this modest grove in our backyard is the perfect place for a summer picnic!

Vintage metal spatterware plates remind me of my paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, KS where I spent a lot of time as a kid.

This giant basket can easily hold a feast for 6 with all the accouterments! Here I have patriotic napkins folded the same way we fold our flags.

Lots of space to hold a double layer of food containers!

The holiday cupcake sleeves are from Home Goods, and the little stand from the bargain bin at the front of every Target store🎯. The silver star decor, remnants from my granddaughter’s graduation party, fit right in like sparklers!

Aside from the main food table is this shorter “grazing” table. It’s lower to the ground so that one needn’t stand if resting on a blanket beside it. The larger buffet table is dressed in a stretch covering from LinenTablecloth.com, and the huge star is from Old Time Pottery. (I’m not compensated for mentioning these places. Just lettin’ y’know where to look!)

Star-spangled runner from Hobby Lobby on red & white checkered cloth.

A loaf of bread to accompany the fruit, cheese, and wine is neatly tucked and tied with twine in a napkin.

More Old Time Pottery stars.

Nap time? Uhhhh…yes, please!!!😴

I hope your 4th of July celebration is one of joy and reflection upon what the holiday signifies at its core. In this country, we pledge to stand “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.”🗽⚖️🇱🇷

I have a few 4th of July tablescapes on this blog that may interest you!

If you are interested in general picnic tablescapes:

Have a happy and safe 4th! And don’t forget to visit Pattie’s blog on the 4th. You will not be disappointed!!!!!!!!🇱🇷

Monkeying Around With Chinoiserie

If it’s as hot where you are as it is here in the Kansas City, MO area, please know I empathize. Gee WHIZ, it’s scorching!!!!!🥵 I can’t entertain the notion of setting up outdoors as even the mornings are intolerably muggy. This is not what June is supposed to feel like! So I’ve been “monkeying around” in the dining room with blue and white with a dash of orange.

The inspiration for this tablescape came from a pair of lumbar pillows I bought last year from Sew Gracious. (I’m not compensated in any way for mentioning this or any other site. I just love to share!) So perfect for our dining room!!!

I started each place setting with an orange glass Bormioli Rocco charger and Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” plates and bowls. The Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” salad plate brings visual texture to the setting.

I bought these monkey napkin rings years ago at Z Gallerie. He looks as if he’s holding on to that napkin for dear life!😆

Nell Hill’s. I mean…!!! I LOVE that place! The planters I happed upon while one of the showroom designers was setting a table there are perfect! (Yes, I took them right off her assembly cart…with her kind permission, of course!) I found the pots of spiky greenery there at Nell Hill’s on another shopping trip and added faux agapanthus.

Monkeys and gold-tone planters from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, Missouri’s West Bottoms shopping district. (Visited there over this past weekend. They are TEEMING with product, y’all!) The blue and white biscuit jars are from Nell Hill’s.

On the vitrine sits a Nell Hill’s blue and white foot tub filled with juicy oranges. The tub is surrounded by a trio of finial jars, a miniature vase, and a couple of ginger jars, also from Nell Hill’s.

If you’re as much a lover of blue and white or chinoiserie as I am and would like to see more of it on this blog, check out the posts below. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Have a fabulous week!

A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

Labor Day weekend. What can I say? Time for a Coke and a smile with friends and family!

An all-American red, white & blue table for 6 – perfect for any patriotic celebration – is set up around our square picnic table.

I bought these fun double-sided melamine plates at Tuesday Morning YEARS ago and have just never used them. They’re great for keeping wet and dry foods separate. The hotdog boats, also from Tuesday Morning, keep that all-American delicacy upside right.

These fun retro Coca-Cola glasses were purchased at Dollar Tree a long, long time ago and – you guessed it! – have never been used until now.

In keeping with the 2 apparent themes – Coca-Cola and never been used – I dug up these aluminum ice buckets large enough to hold lots of drinks. Notice there’s no specific “centerpiece” as all the colorful food at the table’s end was enough.

Hungry anyone?

One last Coca-Cola representation in another bucket that holds the last of juicy summertime desserts.

Well, of course there’s an outdoor bar cart!!!!!! I have bar carts all over the house! I found this very handy rustic aluminum one at Hobby Lobby for 75% off!!! Ecstatic? Uhhhh…YEAH!!!

I’m actually OK with seeing the end of summer roll around. This summer of 2021 was…interesting.

I have several patriotic tablescapes on this site that I’d be tickled for you to use as inspiration.

Looking for a just good old-fashioned picnic? Click on a link below for ideas!

Have a joyful end of summer!!!!!!!! See you in the fall, y’all!

Blueberries & Lemons

Summer is drawing to a close…at least on the calendar. Withering heat still plagues us here, but we know relief is a stone’s throw away. My last summer tablescape of the year includes two very prominent products of the season: blueberries🫐, which I buy in copious amounts to flash freeze for winter, and lemons🍋.

Our dining room palette is shades of blue and white on a daily basis, but the addition of sunshiny yellow really perks it up! The table runner is from At Home which has a few good decorative items from time to time. Cobalt blue metal chargers from Pier 1 ground the place settings which include “Mirandela” dinner plates, also from Pier 1. A white ceramic charger separates the two and adds depth. The monogrammed lumbar pillow is from Sew Gracious.

I love the very European design on the plates! These lemon napkin rings around plain white hemstitch napkins work well with the design rather than competing for attention. Faux bamboo flatware with a yellowish undertone easily slips right in for a polished look.

Blueberry Lemon sparkling water…naturally!🫐🍋😉

The centerpiece was so easy to create it’s almost embarrassing.🙈 I have had the Z Gallerie yellow finial urns forever. When I saw the cobalt blue ones on a recent shopping trip to Nell Hills, I knew I had to have them! The asymmetrical faux floral piece is comprised of a single Nell Hills lemon branch nestled among showy palm leaves and spiked with the most fabulous blueberry branches from a little shop (been there at least 40 years!) in Blue Springs, MO, called Petals & Potpourri. Ice cream bowls from Pier 1 hold blueberries and lemons to keep the theme going from base to tip.

Lemon blueberry cake, anyone?

Blueberries, all ready for the freezer!

Just FYI, I get absolutely nothing in return for mentioning products & services or for providing links to various sources. Just sharing the info!

I’m really not ready to say goodbye to summer, but I suppose it has to be. If you would like to check out a couple of other blue & yellow tablescapes on this blog, “Mother’s Day Brunch” and “Sun & Sky” (from 2017 which used some of these same elements in a very different way) might tickle your fancy.

Or if you’re just looking for a tablescape with scads of lemon yellow:

I’m so happy you stopped by! If you wish, let me know you popped in via the comment section below. Have a safe, happy, healthy week ahead!

Blue & White Chinoiserie With A Little Green Kiss

I had to Google the term “grandmillennial style” when it started making the rounds on Instagram. House Beautiful’s definition of “granny chic” threw me for a loop! Chinoiserie has been a favorite of mine long before I actually became a granny, and it will remain so. But define it as you will, here we are…granny chic in blue and white with a scandalous kiss of lime green.

I don’t think I have EVER used these Johnson Brothers “Blue Denmark” dinner plates in the 10+ years I’ve had them! They work perfectly with the beautiful yet sturdy cobalt blue-rimmed ceramic chargers I found on clearance a couple of years ago at Hobby Lobby. Centered on each plate is a cobalt short martini glass from Pier 1 in their heyday. A lime green cotton napkin adds a shock of unexpected color.

Faux bamboo flatware plays into the chinoiserie styling.

I didn’t keep much of the crystal from my Mom’s estate. Simply nowhere to store it all. So the few pieces I brought home with me, like her Mikasa “Innovation” crystal wine glasses, are extra special. I chose them for this tablescape as they complement the shape of the Pier 1 cobalt blue water glasses.

I found these 3 identical fabulous blue and white vases at Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO. It is one of my favorite places to shop these days, and the selection is always over the top…even in times of COVID! I like the way the willowy branches look in them! Towering glass candlesticks from Z Gallerie add a little height, while spiky white coral and a pair of shabby chic perforated lime green finials finish the look atop a blue and white plaid fabric runner.

So there you have it! “Granny chic” from a not-so-chic granny!🙃

If you would like to see more blue & white/chinoiserie/granmillinial/Granny chic posts on this site:

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!