Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

One day into official summer, and already I’m melting…melting. While I’m poised to sit on top of the cooling vents in the house for the next 3 months, there are still those of you brave enough to venture outdoors to entertain. Hats off to you!!! This short 4-minute “Better Kansas City” segment I did in recent months features tips on outdoor entertaining. The clip is followed by an actual breakfast/brunch tablescape out on the deck that I hope you enjoy.

Got that? Don’t try to burn the house down like me! Now…on to breakfast!

 

The guest table at this bucolic breakfast setting for four is dominated by the ultimate foundation piece: a full-length black & white checkered tablecloth! If all you have is an ugly folding table like I do, a full-length linen works magic!

 

 

 

I found the most beautiful kitchen dishes this past Christmas season at Home Goods! Our kitchen motif is a mix of black & white checks and toile, so these Ciroa “Buffalo Check” dishes are my new favorite.  They made an easy transition out to the deck! The napkins, purchased at Tuesday Morning, are actually kitchen towels that I like to use as napkins. The barnyard motif of a steer, lamb, pig, and rooster make them perfect for this country-/farm-inspired tablescape.

 

 

 

DSCN4698I love these miniature milk bottles with the embossed word “dairy” and a cow (most visible in the photo of the empty bottle) for serving milk! I picked these up at Hobby Lobby a few years ago, and they’ve served me (and guests!) well.

 

If your breakfast guests are a little bit special – like a bridal or baby shower – consider a small favor like this little green woven box simply tied up in a black and white checkered ribbon. The contrasting color of the box makes it really stand out!

 

 

 

 

It’s important that food is beautifully presented and that guest tables are enjoyable.  A mix of everyday and “fancy” pieces round out this table. While the croissants are served in a silver bowl, a loosely gathered mix of flowers and greenery in a whitewashed aluminum pitcher serves as the off-center centerpiece. A bovine menu chalkboard adds a little more of the theme to the table’s centerpiece.

 

 

Off to the side is a miniature buffet table has a plain white tablecloth as its foundation.

 

A generously-proportioned white vase from Home Goods holds a mix of yellow tulips and bright, feathery greenery. A simple off-center centerpiece like this adds something to the buffet table without getting in the way of food service. Notice how the yellow tulips, a significant and pretty contrast to the black & white, complement the yellow flowers on the guest table.

 

 

One of my fun kitchen pigs is another piece of the barnyard buffet theme. I helped him to blend into the works with a bowtie fashioned from black & white checkered ribbon.

 

The black and white buffalo check dishes make another appearance on the buffet table . Hungry yet?

Crazy for buffalo check and/or gingham? “Check” out additional posts on this site using them!:
Black, White, and Red All Over Christmas
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Checkered Christmas

Looking for more brunch/breakfast ideas? Take a peek at these:
Building a Better Brunch Buffet
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
September Harvest Breakfast Tablescape
Peachy Keen Breakfast Tablescape
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
Easter Brunch
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Purple for Spring 
Carousel Colors
The Bluebird Special
Bellini Birthday Brunch
Mother’s Day Brunch

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Little Bit Country: Garth Brooks & Paper Plates

“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair.” So goes the start of the anthem made famous by country music legend Garth Brooks. My sister made an early birthday present of a ticket to see him once again here in Kansas City this past Sunday night. My sister, niece, cousin and I donned our country western gear and “yeehawed” the night away. Just as magical as the first time I saw Garth in concert 10 years ago. His music inspired me, in part, to create a fun country/western themed tablescape using disposable paper goods for a September 2016 segment of the “Better Kansas City” show. The 4-minute video clip is followed by still photos of the tablescape from the set. Stick around for a few pics from concert night at the very end of the post!

 

For the demonstration I used one of my trusty stretchy Spandex fitted tablecloths in white from LinenTablecloth.com as the base to serve as better contrast to the black plates and cups. The table runner is a piece of burlap folded to size.

 

 

 

The theme of the segment was all about using disposable goods (something I don’t necessarily advocate in my quest to help save Mother Earth, but sometimes I suppose it’s just more practical!), so I stopped by a dollar store to pick up plates and cups. The country/western-themed paper napkins are from Tuesday Morning, the raffia-tied flatware from Costco, and the iron spurs that made their debut on my post Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs are from the men’s decor area at Hobby Lobby.

 

The rustic miniature tree bark fencing was also first introduced back in 2014 on that Pretty in Pink, Wicked In Spurs Breast Cancer Awareness Month tablescape. I used them then as a sort of charger beneath each place setting. This time around I simply balanced them like fences down the center of the table. Got these from the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, but you could probably find something similar at a craft store or make your own!

 

I was excited to find these cute brown metal lanterns at Hobby Lobby, too. The quintessential accent for a cowboy (or cowgirl!) tablescape! I’ve never put oil in them, though. I opt for a safer LED candle.

 

 

The floral arrangements here are a mix of faux wild flowers and daisies, but could be easily replicated in fresh. As a vase I used a cute resin cowboy “belt” from Hobby Lobby. I’m not sure if they carry them anymore as they weren’t on their website, but you can check your local store.

 

Here I am with former Better Kansas City co-host Lisa Teachman, one of the nicest people on earth. Thanks for making it all so easy, Lisa!

For other rustic/western/country-themed tablescapes on this blog:
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs
American Royal Tablescape

And now, a few pics from the concert. If you’ve never seen Garth Brooks in concert, you’re really missing out on a treat for the senses!!!

Me at home before gettin’ on my horse hoppin’ in my ultra-suburban SUV to the concert. Hmmmm…wearing the same dress and hat as I did for the “Better Kansas City” segment. Coincidence? 😉

 

We pooled our culinary resources at my cousin’s house to put on a feast fit for a cowgirl before the concert!

 

 

 

Ready to head out to the concert of the year! L to R: My sister, Berishia in her new patriotic cowboy hat; my niece, Yvonne, fanning away the late Spring heat; me, and; my fancy cousin, Dee

 

Ready to boot scoot boogie!!! Whoa, wait…that’s Brooks and Dunn, isn’t it?!!

 

In our side view seats that were actually pretty good. L to R: Berishia, Yvonne, Dee, me

 

My niece, Yvonne, and me. We were SO ready to have a good time!!!

 

THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!! Garth sang his heart (and , eventually, his voice!) OUT!!! I took quite a few pics, but  I don’t want to spoil it for you if you’re going sometime soon!

 

 

A billion and one thanks to my sister and fellow Garth enthusiast, Berishia, for the early birthday present!!!

 

 

 

 

Informally Formal: Marrying modern and classic in your table setting

My 4-minute segment on yesterday’s “Better Kansas City” show on KCTV-5 was all about “informally formal” entertaining at home!

As mentioned in the video clip, our Easter dinner tablescape was, I think, a good example of informally formal design. We simultaneously celebrated my son’s 39th birthday, and I wanted both my son and the rest of the family to feel special – because they are! But this was a day I wanted to be able to relax a little, too, so instead of formal china and crystal, I pulled out some terrific Pier 1 plates to fill the bill. This tablescape, minus the obvious nods to Easter, would be perfect for any Springtime event including birthdays, Mother’s Day, ladies luncheons, bridal or baby showers, or even engagement parties.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not used these beautiful Pier 1 plates since 4 years ago when I posted a piece called “The Bluebird Special“. While certainly far from what might be construed as traditionally formal, they have a simultaneously staid/laid back look. The woven square chargers and faux bamboo flatware lend texture and an organic feel to the place setting.  The yellow undertones of the flatware complement the bird on the plate as well as the floral centerpieces. The lavender napkin is fashioned in a traditional pyramid fold, and the green goblets are from Dollar Tree.

 

I enjoy creating specialized menus on my computer for at-home events. This colorful one in shades of yellow, purple and white with a bright pink clip leans to the side of informality. The colors complement the florals.

 

 

 

 

 

I might have gone a little wild with all the florals this year, but they were all so pretty! Our generous across-the-street neighbors allowed me to snip from their lavishly blooming lilac bush to complete the springtime floral designs of pink & yellow tulips, Mardi gras Solidago, and alstroemeria in white vases. The florals extended down the length of a fresh moss runner dotted with moss bird nests from Home Finishings. (HINT: If the smell of moss wrinkles your nose, open it up and air it out for a couple of days before use.) For additional height, texture, a burst of color, and the pure drama of it all, I filled a white glass vase with forsythia branches and placed it at the very end of the table. Note that the full-length white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is knotted at the end for safety as well as a cool contemporary look.

 

The alternating pink and lavender satin chair sashes almost didn’t make the cut. My husband thought the plain white stretch chair covers were sufficient. I, however, begged to differ. When he saw the chairs with the sashes, high fives and mea culpas were in order. (We agreed they made the chairs resemble Easter eggs!) Depending on the type of event you are hosting, chair sashes may or may not be appropriate. It’s up to you!

When planning your next Springtime event, keep in mind who your guests are, what feeling you’d like the space to evoke and, as always, just what level of formality is within your comfort zone! As alluded to in the video clip, formality may be circling the bowl, but it ain’t dead yet! 😉

For more photos of tablescapes seen in the video clip:
“Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”

A few other Spring tablescapes on this blog you may enjoy include:
“Springtime In Paris”
“Patisserie de Paris”
“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“All A’Bloom For Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Tulips in the IHOP Hour”
“Float Like A Butterfly”
“Purple & Pastel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building a Better Brunch Buffet

Dropping back in to share with you this morning’s “Better Kansas City” show segment on Building a Better Brunch Buffet! (Try saying that 3 times fast!!!) This quickie 3:45 piece focuses more on structure and execution than the actual dishes, but it’s kinda fun!

And here are a few still photos!

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Join me for brunch!

 

Chatting on the set with “Better Kansas City” co-host Gina Bullard.

 

Linen-lined baskets are always a great way to display breads!

 

Be sure to go both high and low on your food display.

 

Lots of color comes to the table via the foods you choose. Have fun with it!

 

Place plates in two stacks on the end of a double-sided buffet table. Pictured here: gorgeous cobalt blue, yellow and white “Mirandela” plates from Pier 1 Imports.

 

 

Here I used a single large centerpiece – a mass of Spring daffodils in a large white base – that adds another dimension of height, texture, and color without interfering with food service.

Thank you so much for stopping in, and Happy Spring!

To see other Springtime brunch tablescapes on this site, click HERE (Springtime in Paris Buffet), HERE, (Easter Brunch), and HERE (Taste of Wine Buffet).

To see another tablescape using the Pier 1 “Mirandela” plates, click HERE.

Bringing the Zing to Chinese Takeout 

Once again earlier this year I was a guest on the “Better Kansas City” show. Getting up, dressed, and out the door that early is a real challenge for me, but I really enjoy it every time. This day was particularly fun with tips on creating a tablescape that presents Chinese takeout like a boss! CLICK on the video below to watch the 2-1/2-minute clip from the show, and after that are a few still photos I was able to snap with my iPad. (Time is very short on the set prior to going live, so I’m lucky to squeeze in a few pics!)

 


When I set up these demonstration tables on the set, remember…they are probably more narrow than your typical dining room table by about 12″ or so. The demo table is 6-ft. in length, but only 30″ wide compared to our 42″ wide dining table at home. That being said, you’d have more center space for food, additional decor, or just blank real estate than what’s shown here.

 


Each place setting has a black acrylic square charger (Walmart) topped with an Asian-themed 222 Fifth square plate (“Mia Blossom”) and small rice bowl from Pier 1 Imports. Pier 1 is a terrific place to buy globally themed dishes and decor! If you don’t have one near you, their website is pretty easy to navigate. (Too tall for this television demo, but a vase or two with a simple arrangement of cherry blossoms would be perfect for this tablescape!!)

 


Not everyone is adept at using chopsticks, so as a courtesy to your guests you may want to add flatware such as this faux bamboo stainless. Use the wooden chopsticks typically provided by the restaurant, or consider investing in a pair of permanent ones like these stainless steel beauties resting on a black onyx holder from a local specialty store. The white miso spoons here are from Pier 1. The “Capri” porcelain spice cellars by Gallery Tabletops are from T.J. Maxx and are great for spices or sauces at individual place settings.

 


Each place setting has a little something extra in the way the bamboo fan favors and black napkins, folded to resemble a Chinese sash, are presented in a red silk takeout box from Pier 1.

 


Teapot and cups from World Market.

 


White sake set from World Market. I picked up the Chinese robe wine bottle cover at Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.


As I pointed out on the show, sometimes food is just so beautiful you might consider using it as a centerpiece. While this sushi is just a pretty good fake for demonstration purposes, it represents the real thing which always abounds in color, form, and texture…perfect elements for a gorgeous centerpiece!

If you’d like to see more tablescapes with an Asian flair for Chinese New Year or anytime Chinese food presentation just needs a little gussying up, check out these posts:
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Chinese Takeout
Mum’s the Word/Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight (Design #2)
Float Like A Butterfly
Mandarin Bling
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Copper Zen

Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party

Winter Dessert Party

I’ve been away for quite awhile, but here’s my most recent appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show. For those of you missing the sparkle of the holiday months and battling the winter blahs like I am, this may be a fun way to put a little pep in your step and bring neighbors together to spite Old Man Winter! The 4-minute video is followed by still photos of the tablescape.

 

 

To those of you who have come on board while I’ve been away, WELCOME!!! To those who have hung in there for all these years and visit when you can, I love and appreciate you. Thank you for stopping by. Please note that I have disabled the Comments button. Not that I don’t appreciate your comments, but they aren’t necessary…I feel the love! (And my continuing health difficulties don’t let me sit for very long to be able to read and respond.)

Happy 2017! If you have questions regarding details of this post, please drop me an email at table21tablescapes@gmail.com.

P.S. I’m doing this from my iPad as I am no longer physically able to sit at my desktop for extended periods of time. If it publishes crazy, I apologize…I’m trying to get the hang of this new way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome back, and thank you so much for hanging in there with me! I hope to bring you lots of fun and creative tablescaping ideas in the months and years to come!

Confectionery Christmas

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – table signageI was pleased to participate as both a designer and one of 4 workshop presenters this past weekend at “Garlands & Gatherings”, a benefit event for Hope Haven of Cass County, MO. Hope Haven provides shelter, advocacy and support services to women and children in our area who have fallen victim to domestic violence or sexual assault. The Saturday morning brunch brought out a nice group of women looking to support the cause, have a little fun, and learn a few tips on holiday decorating (Karen Mills, Interiors by Design and me), personal style (Jennifer Niehouse, It’s So U!), and cooking trends (Jean Ostby, Williams-Sonoma). Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be posting the tablescapes I designed for the event with the hope that you will enjoy them as much as the benefit attendees did!

To kick it off, this first table is something fun for kids. The pastel/candy/polka-dot theme would be great for a Christmastime birthday party or just to make the kids feel extra-special at their assigned Christmas Day dinner table!

Please pardon the photo quality. The lighting wasn’t the best, and I was under a tremendous time crunch.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – pastel tablescape for kidsAlthough it generally would not be practical to employ a full-length linen for a children’s table, I used one here to cover the ugly legs of the folding table and to hide scads of storage boxes! The 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth on this table for 8 is from LinenTablecloth.com. (Alternatives to a linen: [1] go bare, [2] use an inexpensive sheet, [3] wrap the ugly legs in festive ribbon, [4] add Christmas elf stockings to the legs stuffed with gift tissue to make them stay up & cover the leg all the way to the top, and then “gift wrap” the table surface.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Multiple place settings

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – single place settingI chose to go with paper and plastic goods for this kid-friendly tablescape. Each place setting begins with a colorful polka-dot “placemat” which is actually a piece of felt from Hobby Lobby. Very inexpensive at just 50¢ apiece. Next are Dollar Store plates in pastel blue and purple topped with a ring pop to add a little color, fun, and a bigger sugar high for the kids. 😉

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Flatware, napkin, cup collageI used various colored flatware to add to the colorful nature of tablescape. A trio of soft paper napkins are tucked beneath each dinner plate.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Centerpiece

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – "marshmallow" Christmas tree

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – curling ribbon "tree skirt"The inspiration for this tablescape was the pair of “marshmallow and candy” Christmas trees I found at Hobby Lobby. I set them atop a clear glass pedestal for added height and then created a “tree skirt” using scads of curling ribbon. (What a pain in the patootie!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Candy in apothecary jars collageKeeping with the confectionery theme, I added clear glass apothecary jars down the center of the table filled with all kinds of colorful candies. The swirl pops amidst the Pixie Stix look very much like the inedible “marshmallow” swirl pops from Hobby Lobby in the very center of the table that add even more height to the overall look. (NOTE: If you don’t want to risk your nice glass apothecaries, try using various sizes of clear Mason jars or jars that previously held jelly, mayo, pickles, etc.)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – pastel nutcrackersI also found these wonderful pastel nutcrackers at Hobby Lobby to place at each end of the centerpiece and stand sentry over the candy!

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Pastel chair with candy swag

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – ribbon, candy & ornament chair swagI created this fun look by covering ordinary banquet chairs with a white stretchy cover and a bubble gum pink satin sash from LinenTablecloth.com. I then used a length of yellow satin ribbon to affix a melange of candy ornaments to the center. The polka-dot ribbon (Hobby Lobby) was the final touch to tie the chairs in with the dots on the marshmallow trees and the placemats. (Chair covers for a kid’s party? With these easy stretch covers, clean up is a breeze! Just toss ’em in the laundry!!!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Gift bag collageAs a final touch, I added a couple of gift bags adorned with candy cane ornaments. The paper gift tissue is a mix of pink and polka dots.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – Ebony Smith-Jackson of EAJ Events helping outBig shout out to Ebony Jackson of EAJ Events In Lee’s Summit for coming to lend a helping hand in the 6+ hour setup!

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Confectionery Christmas” – set up for Garlands & Gatherings, a benefit event for Hope Haven of Cass County, MOLast, just for laughs, here’s a picture of me – no makeup, pancake flat hair, and my “out in public” back brace bulging beneath my sweater – as setup began. Goodness knows that back brace needed to be on, because when it was my turn to present…..well, just watch this 90-second video!

 

AND MY BACK & SHOULDER PAID A HEFTY PRICE FOR THE CRAZY SHENANIGANS THAT LITTLE BURST OF ENERGY BROUGHT ON!!! 😦
I’m back on my walker now to get around and having sleepless nights from the pain. But it sure was fun while it lasted! 🙂

More kid-friendly Christmas-themed tablescapes on this site:
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High
Frosty the Snowman
Kaleidoscope Christmas

Parties I’m linking up with this week:
Between Naps on the Porch – Tablescape Thursday
Rustic & Refined – Table It!
Style Sisters – Centerpiece Wednesday
How Sweet the Sound – Pink Saturday

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

No, I’m not asking YOU to take the challenge...so relax!!! 🙂 I was recently called out by my friend Natalie Firman on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and I accepted against my better judgment. In the end, I got iced TWICE! I hope you enjoy the little 3-minute video my husband and I put together for the challenge. With all the really ugly stuff going on in the world right now, it was nice to take a mental break from it all and just be a little silly. And please notice that – true to form – I used tablescaping etiquette by getting doused with ice from an heirloom silver ice bucket!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone, and please join me next week for Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Farewell to Summer” tablescape challenge!

Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous – Happy Birthday, Mom!

There are certain moments in our lifetime that simply need to be extravagant. Yesterday, in celebration of 85 years of touching the lives of so many in only a way my Mom can, was one of those moments.

INSPIRATION: My Mom. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time, but much more than that...forever young!

INSPIRATION: My Mom at 85. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time; but much more than that…forever young!

If I tried to put my Mother’s lengthy & powerful resume on this post, I would crash the system. She has always been a go-getter in every sense of the word. I have only to aspire to her greatness in this life. For all that she is, all that she does, and all that from her has spurred me on, I wanted to bring a few ladies together again this year to celebrate. Mom has graciously consented to allow me to share her special day with all of you. Enjoy!
Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table positioned lengthwise

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - table from side view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - white rosette chairs & runner from LinenTablecloth.com

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table linens & chair cover collage To create this spring green and white birthday tablescape, I used all linens from LinenTablecloth.com. The tables are cloaked in 90″ x 132″ white tablecloths with a pair of beautiful white rosette runners. The chairs start with a fabulously utilitarian white stretch banquet chair cover topped with a white satin rosette chair cap. They are finished with a flowing white satin chair sash tied in a prim and proper bow. This look is perfect for weddings, birthdays, and all special occasions in need of an exquisite feminine touch! An extravagant look for a not-so-extravagant price point!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full place setting The 12 individual place settings begin with a silver metal charger. The Noritake “Whitebrook” china, embellished with white flowers and grey scrolls, is on loan from my sister who co-hosted the luncheon.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Stemware, napkin, favor collage LinenTablecloth.com napkins in tea green serve as a lovely backdrop to the rose-topped favor boxes. The stemware for water and lemonade is basic glass from Old Time Pottery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Menu   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Bread basket, S&P shakers, plate of food collageI created the 3-layer menus for the luncheon on our home computer. I used a photo of my Mom in her 20s as the watermark, mimicking the look of the invitations. I actually found the strength to do all the food preparation, too, with the exception of the rolls (Costco…those things are tasty!!!) and the cake! My sister and my friend, Barbara, expertly plated the food to presentation perfection!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece view from end of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full Centerpiece view from side of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece floral collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moss dog with floral basket   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Dog collageThe centerpiece….OH, that centerpiece!!! I wanted each guest to be able to enjoy a little bit all the way down the table, so I put together four medium-sized fresh florals (white roses, cream spray roses, white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, leatherleaf and goldenrod) in silver julep cups, two smaller versions in miniature juleps, glass pilsner vases topped with white faux rose balls that extended slightly into the vases for a little drama, and then two moss covered dogs. Yes…DOGS! They represent my parents’ beloved dog, Cupcake, who is my Mother’s constant companion. I slipped a small glass votive into the little basket the dogs are carrying, jammed in some wet oasis, and then filled it with flowers. A really FUN and unusual centerpiece item that added whimsy to the overall look!   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Coffee Service collageJust across the way from the dining table I set up a silver tray with coffee service for after lunch.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Guest book table collage

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy's side of the family.

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy’s side of the family.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my sister, Berishia

Mom with my sister, Berishia, who is a cowgirl through and through as you can tell by the hat!

Mom and me...and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

Mom and me…and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

As guests arrived they were invited to sign the guest book set up in the foyer and then join Mom for an individual photo op. (I just set the camera up on a tripod, and it was SO easy!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moscato service collage DSCN2604WM

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Cake collage Guests were then invited into the library to pick up a glass of moscato and view the cake which I had displayed on the vitrine.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Group photo at Mom's 85th Birthday luncheon Hail, hail…the gang was all here and it was time to eat! (Camera on tripod with timer feature…a Godsend!!!)

After lunch, the ladies serenaded my Mom with the birthday song. Despite a fabulous starting note from Irene, I still couldn’t get on key! Turn your volume down, folks…I’m standing right next to the video camera, and my singing kinda sucks!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia & Barbara in their fancy lady hats Thanks again to my wonderful friend, Barbara, for all the help she rendered to make sure this party went off without a hitch!

It was a stellar day, and I am so grateful that I was able to recover in time to get everything together and actually look nice for the day. Oh…for those of you who did not know, this was my stylish footwear up until 3 days prior to the party: Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia with fracture bootSO glad I was able to trade this in for stylish pumps for a few hours!

If you’d like to see five other birthday party posts on this site, please click on the “Birthdays” tab above,or pop in on these individual birthday party posts:
The Party She Deserves
The Bluebird Special
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Purple & Green Birthday
Happy Birthday, Barf!

Later this week I will join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 6:00 pm, CDT) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m., CDT). I hope you’ll pop in on those fun blog parties with me! And check out a new link I’ve discovered, BeBetsy. It’s a wonderful lifestyle site featuring the work of fabulous bloggers covering everything from food to fashion that will blow your mind!

Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

This past week or so I have been missing the rip, run and raucous roar of the years I spent as a professional wedding designer. Thank goodness I have this blog to purge those feelings because Lord knows my body could not go back to that kind of grueling, back-breaking (literally!), sleepless schedule.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it like 100 times before, but I feel compelled to say it again: I have the best neighbors anyone could ask for!!! I was working on this tablescape for my winter 2013  “Art of Tablescaping” class that I teach through MCC-Longview, and up pops Barbara with these FABULOUS napkins!!! Her gift made me reevaluate the table and want to add design elements that would give it a little more zing. So I tore the tablescape down and started over!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full dining roomThe table is covered in a beautiful 90″ x 132″ platinum pintuck tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. The diamond shape of the pintuck cloth fits right in with diamonds for a wedding!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full TableThis is a tablescape that – minus the napkins – could easily fit into any month of the year for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. For a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding reception, the napkins are spot on!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Place settingThe place setting begins with a 13″ silverplate charger. The china used here is Easterling “Majestic” that my Mom gave to me a few years back. It’s staid design of dove grey rimmed in platinum with a white center to break up the concentration of color seemed perfect.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Napkin collageEach place setting has one of Barbara’s sultry, shimmery, beautiful napkins topped with a Moravian star. To see other tablescapes with Barbara’s napkin designs, click HERE and HERE. For the tutorial on how to create them yourself, click HERE for the YouTube video or HERE and scroll down to Tablescape Tip #31 for a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: FlatwareInternational Silver “Royal Danish” flatware, another gift from my Mom, is paired with Fifth Avenue crystal steak knives.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Stemware - Jamestown PlatinumMikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is perfectly matched with the china.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Candlestick collageThe centerpiece is a mix of high and low with 29″ silver Revere candlesticks and multi-faceted candle holders in different shapes and sizes. I used rhinestone-studded wax pillars to add shine up high.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece faceted candle holders collageI gradually amassed this collection of faceted candle holders from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods over the years. Note how the glow of one of the votives on the table casts light beneath the rose ball. (To see another tablescape using some of these faceted votive and candle holders, click HERE for “Princess Pink Birthday”.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair with embellishment

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair ornament embellishmentThe dining chairs are covered with silver satin universal chair covers recently purchased from LinenTablecloth.com.  I love the way the so beautifully drape down the back of the chair! I used a fancy ornament hook to affix an embellishment of a pewter glass ball ornament, a clear glass ornament, and one of the Moravian stars which enhances the 3-D look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is dressed with a huge faux evergreen, pine cone and white orchid arrangement in a beautiful mercury glass pilsner vase. The height of the arrangement helps to bring balance to the tall candlesticks on the table. Other elements from the dining table are repeated here including the rhinestone-studded pillar candles, the faceted candle holders in various sizes and shapes, the rose balls, and the Moravian stars.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Decor on top of china cabinetThe top of the china cabinet also has a few elements repeated from the table and buffet. Faceted crown candle holders hold white rose balls.

Other wedding-related posts on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Bling Wedding”
“Roses in October”
“Showered in Pink”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”

“Autumn White Wedding”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Planning in Purple”
“Love & Orchids”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Dinner for the Ladies in Waiting”
“Tented Green!”

I’ll publish a fun, contemporary New Year’s Eve cocktail/dinner party post tomorrow that will  also be featured on Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!”. next Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST. Meanwhile, join me and other talented bloggers right now for fabulous Christmas and New Year’s Eve design ideas on Susan’s 276th edition of “Tablescape Thursday”!