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!

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

OK…so you got me! Busted! I finally gave into the whole “Downton Abbey” craze after resisting for more than 10 bloody years. (Oops! I sound like a commoner!)

“Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”

I started watching and simply could not stop!!!!!! I have now watched the entire series 3 times over, the 2019 movie twice, and am gearing up to see “Downton Abbey: A New Era” at our local theater. Satisfied?

So to celebrate the new movie, the glory of all things “Downton Abbey”, the beauty of formal table settings, and most particularly the wry humor and steadfast wisdom of the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet Crawley (quotes in her signature violet color), I’ve created a couple of tablescapes that I think capture a bit of the splendor. This is the first of two…or many…not by any means historically accurate!😉

I read somewhere that a white tablecloth was used in the series only to protect the decades-old table at Highclere Castle where “Downton Abbey” was filmed. (If I read it on the internet, then it must be true!😉) Hmmmmm…🤔 So naked formal table it is for this entry!

I don’t know, nor did I note in the series or the first movie, that gold was used very much decoratively in the 1920s. (Silver – or silver plate, nickel, or zinc for the less monied – had prominently established its place.) I’ve blatantly strayed from that with this gold leaf charger, the flatware, and gold-rimmed Royal Scotland china.

“Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Meals were always served in courses at Downton, and a cream soup bowl and saucer like these from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO may have been a part of that.

I took notice of the elaborately folded dinner napkins and did my best to replicate a Bishop’s Hat fold. I failed miserably and settled on this one instead. As noted in an article in Victoriana Magazine, the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York always employed a napkin fold to hold the dinner roll. Whether or not the Dowager Countess would approve of such a change is up for debate…or not.😒

First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I were living in an H.G. Wells novel.”

My beloved Nell Hills (Kansas City, MO) beverage stem with Cristal d’Arques “Asheville Gold” champagne flute.

While you’ll never, ever, ever see the likes of these little dudes (they rather look like footmen, don’t they?) on a formal dining table at Downton, I felt them right at home 100 years later. I like them, so they stay…unless the Dowager Countess says otherwise, of course! (Source: The Painted Sofa, Kansas City, MO)

Don’t be defeatist, dear. It is very middle class.”

The Dowager Countess referred to Lady Grantham’s floral arrangements as being better suited for “a first Communion in Southern Italy.” Geez…that was harsh! 😒 I don’t even wanna know what she’d say about this monstrosity in heavy lead crystal! (It would, of course, be removed for real dining.)

“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?”

While multi-arm candelabra were more the fashion of the time, I don’t think anyone (except perhaps the Dowager, of course!) would sniff at these leggy gold candlesticks.

“Edith, you are a lady, not Toad of Toad Hall.”

Although one would never catch the Dowager in such “hep” fashion as this, it certainly might be found in the closet of the very fashionable Lady Mary or Lady Edith. It’s certainly found in mine!

If you like this formal tablescape and would like to see others on this site:

National Donut Day

Oh, yeah! Now we’re talkin’!!! DONUTS, baby!!!🍩🍩🍩 I could eat nearly a dozen by myself! If you love donuts like I do, Friday, June 3, 2022, is National Donut Day. It’s like mid-year Christmas!!!!!!!! June 3 also happens to be National Egg Day🥚, but really…who cares?😐 Glazed, powdered, chocolate, old-fashioned, crullers, cake, jelly-filled, long john…I don’t care! Just gimme my donuts (and my elastic-waist pants!)!!!🍩🍩🍩

If a Bloody Mary or mimosa isn’t in your brunch plans, you may as well go back to bed!



Bordallo Pinheiro green cabbage plates and fruit bowls play a prominent part at each place setting. Notice the birds on the runner that complements the napkin rings.

More Bordallo Pinheiro in the form of sauce bowls nestled between the tall Z Gallerie mosaic shell vase and the smaller green glass arrangements.

Sausage links, eggs, fruit…yeah, whatever! It’s all about the DONUTS, man!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, mimosas are always nice for brunch, too!

Doesn’t matter where you go (because there are literally hundreds of “the best”)…just get yourself to a donut shop on Friday, June 3! Krispy Kreme (my personal favorite) is offering a free donut and/or a $1 original glazed dozen with the purchase of a dozen or 16-count minis. Dunkin is offering a free donut with beverage purchase. Better yet, dial up Pinterest, pull out ye olde Fry Daddy, and whip some up in your own kitchen!🍩🍩🍩

Other breakfast/brunch posts on this site include:

Late Spring Lilac & Green

The neighbors’ lilac bushes are in full bloom now, and I’ve got at least 3 of the 7 Deadly Sins goin’ on over it.🫤 I can’t just run over and go all Edward Scissorhands on their property, so I suppose I must reconcile myself to the next best thing.🙄

Some prefer mini-movie clips, but some (me included!) prefer still photos to study all the details. So I will, whenever possible going forward, provide both a nutshell clip and photos for your convenience! Whatever suits you best!🙂

A massive vase like the center one isn’t practical during the meal, but it makes quite an impression when guests first view the room. Relocate the larger vase to a predesignated area just before guests are seated to provide an unobstructed view across the table.

White “doily” chargers from Hobby Lobby lay the foundation for the generous stack of dishes. Lilac Matceramica dinner and salad plates embossed with a “lace” rim play host to the royal purple glass compote and white lacy service plate from Pier 1. My Mom’s Royal Danish flatware seems right in step with the place setting.

Napkins folded into a nice tight rosebud design are nestled into the compotes.

A trio of glassware in varying hues of purple and green.

The centerpiece is visually connected by a purple, green, and white woven runner. The towering center floral spills over with faux greenery (Kirkland’s) and lilacs.

Pretty purple (faux) tulips from Home Goods in a white glass vase from Hobby Lobby.

Green glass vases cradle a mix of (faux) lilacs, citrus green button mums, and hypericum berries.

Diminutive milky white glass vases from Hobby Lobby filled with (faux) agapanthus blooms in a lovely shade of purple.

So there you have it! Another celebration of Spring…even if the fragrance of lilacs must come from a Bath & Body Works wallflower plug-in!🤭

If you would care to see more posts in shades of purple or purple & green on this site:

Pink Magnolia Spring

Anyone else a big fan of pink magnolia trees?🙋🏽‍♀️ I’m finally getting one planted soon, and I’m so excited! Meanwhile, these faux branches do the trick!

This pink and green tablescape is perfectly suited to a relaxed girls’ night, a birthday celebration, or any celebration for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority!

The generously proportioned deep green glass vases were a Home Goods purchase years ago. Paired with the faux magnolia branches and a bit of Spring greenery, they make a huge impact at first sight. Should you have access to natural pink magnolia branches, this is a terrific way to add a lot of bang for no bucks!

The playful tone on tone design on the Montclair Collection plates is joyful and relaxed. Their modern square shape against the muted silver chargers keeps things light.

Pretty pink napkins, offset to the side, are cinched with pink “pearl” rings. The napkin ring beading takes its cue from the plate design. The flatware is sleek and simple.

Loose gazing balls and votive candlelight add shine and movement to the centerpiece.

The lovely pink stemware has a design very similar to that of the plates.

The vases on the dining table are purposely arranged to form a gentle arch that plays peekaboo with the buckets of tulips and ranunculus on the vitrine behind it.

To see the green vases paired with the green plates in a whole different way, check this out:

To see another post using these faux pink magnolia branches:

If you’d like to see more pink & green tablescapes on this site:

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day

My Mom often recounted the story of how she and Daddy met back in the early 1950s. He was at work and saw her cruising past in her sleek powder blue convertible. It was love at first sight…for the car AND the lady driving it. Both of my parents are gone now, but I often think of that story. When I saw these fabulous powder blue ceramic vases at Cameron’s in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO, I knew my Mother’s Day table in Mom’s memory would have to include them along with her exquisite Royal Danish flatware. I miss you so much, Mom, and I think of you every. single. day.

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day – A Tribute to Senator Mom, Yvonne S. Wilson

Each Martha Stewart for Wedgwood “Conservatory” place setting is anchored by a plain white charger.

Dinner rolls are neatly tucked into the rear side of napkins arranged in the cream soup bowls from Nell Hill’s.

Mom’s Royal Danish flatware has always been a favorite of mine, and I cherish it.

Godinger “Chelsea” iced beverage and Cristal D’Arques-Durand “Capella” wine stem.

I’m enjoying experimentation with faux flowers these days. The blue thistle here is from Petals & Potpourri
in Blue Springs, MO. The tulips are from Home Goods, and the greenery and Queen Anne’s lace from Kirkland’s.

I kept the flowers fairly soft in color to complement the color of the vases. This could easily become an Easter tablescape with a bit of tweaking.

The white glass vases with pink and yellow (faux from Nell Hill’s) ranunculus blooms tucked in are from Hobby Lobby. They complement many elements on the table.

Dessert and coffee service on the vitrine with Mom’s favorite lemon meringue pie. She couldn’t bake ’em, but she sure loved to eat ’em!

One of my favorite birthday parties celebrating my Mom’s 85th…

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

There are a few Mother’s Day celebrations featured on my blog including:

There are also a few other posts that would be perfectly suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration:

I wish each and every one of you Moms out there a fabulous Mother’s Day. If your Mom is gone from this world like mine is, I wish you peace.

Kentucky Derby 2022 – Relaxed Formal Attire

KENTUCKY DERBY 2022

Last week’s post was the exuberant, quite colorful, more casual styling for celebrating the Kentucky Derby. Today, with only days to spare before the big race, I offer a more formal version that despite the gilding and crystal is still somewhat relaxed in its overall style.

An overhead shot of the centerpiece focuses on the sumptuous assembly of red roses and the gold-tone candle holders from Very Violet Boutique in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO. (Just a side note to those of you in shopping distance: Very Violet has now closed and sent all inventory next door to sister store Ivy & Sparrow.)

It is the run for the roses, so adding a few here and there (or a lot everywhere!) is quite appropriate . For demonstration purposes these are from my faux collection, but I urge you to incorporate fresh if at all possible.🌹 🌹 🌹

I found this fabulous horse head at The Painted Sofa in downtown Kansas City, MO.🐴 If you plan a visit to the KC area, The Painted Sofa is an exciting, expansive, must-see shopping destination! Three full floors of fabulous furniture and furnishings!

From the bottom up: “raggedy edge” gold glass charger and Ciroa black & white buffalo check from Home Goods intermingled with regal red & gold Royal Scotland pieces.

My sister (her given name is Berishia, but I’ve always lovingly called her Barf!) gifted me with several yards of Derby-themed fabric a few years back, but life got in the way and I never had anything done with it. This year my exceedingly talented and thoughtful neighbor, Barbara, fashioned these gorgeous napkins from some of it. See how she even thought to use red thread on the hem? Gorgeous detail!!! Thank you, Barbara!!!!!!!!

Need a little take-home gift for guests? Gold-painted horseshoes make a wonderful paperweight! I dressed these up with a simple mix of simply tied ribbons tucked into very fancy black card sleeves. (The sleeves are leftovers from my 60th birthday party invitations.)

Gold-rimmed iced beverage glasses from Nell Hill’s in Kansas City, MO paired with Cristal D’Arques -Durand “Ashville Gold” champagne flutes.

After dinner you simply must have a sliver of Derby Pie and/or Bourbon Butter cake! A generous host or hostess will wrap up an extra slice of each for you to enjoy with coffee next morning.😉

There is no Derby celebration complete without the requisite mint juleps served in traditional silver cups. Create an extra special ambience by transferring good bourbon into a fancy crystal decanter.

On the side I created a fun arrangement in a white Nell Hill’s chinoiserie pot with an ivy topiary, luscious red roses, and another gold horseshoe. The 2 miniature horse heads from Hobby Lobby complete the side table decor.

So that’s it for this year’s Kentucky Derby! These ideas can be easily used for any equestrian event with just a few tweaks.

Here are a few other Derby tablescapes on this site you might enjoy:

POST TIME FOR THE 148TH RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY ON SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2022 IS AT 6:57 P.M. ET, 5:57 P.M. CT

¡Sip, Sip, Olé!

¡Bienvenidos!

I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. For us it is a time to gather with family and friends. And however we decide to celebrate, it’s ALWAYS colorful with a plentiful buffet! It’s time to sip, sip, olé!

Our whole dining room comes to life with an explosion of color to celebrate.🎉🎊💃🏽

The table setting starts with a colorful striped cotton runner and placemats.

Each place setting is outfitted with a turquoise blue Bormioli Rocco glass charger topped with 2 dinner service plates: one red and the other a bright pink rimmed with juicy orange.

Cambridge “Aspen” flatware is a nice natural and neutral flatware for the setting.

I found these vividly patterned acrylic taco holders at Home Goods early this Spring. I later discovered that one side is this marvelous design that holds 2 tacos, and the reverse side is plain red and ready for 3!

The generously proportioned fiesta napkins are actually tea towels from Hobby Lobby. There are just so many tea towels out there that seem to me better suited as napkins! (No worries that they’re white and that salsa stains. A little Oxi gets it right out!)

I found this wonderful red “Jane” round tray on clearance at Kirkland’s this Spring. I have BIG decorating plans for it for every season! Here it holds a variety of tequila shots, punctuated with succulents and plumeria blooms, for guests to take at will throughout the meal.

The curvy Z Gallerie vase holds a bouquet of bright pink (faux) plumeria (also known as frangipani) and trailing succulents. I chose these as they are both native to Mexico. Although quite beautiful, plumeria/frangipani is poisonous, so faux seemed the better choice near food. It is placed at the end of the table as part of the extended centerpiece.

Across the room a trio of brightly colored glass vases with faux ranunculus which was the closest I could get to ranunculus californicus which is also native to Mexico.

The vitrine serves as bar and salsa tasting station. This is a perfect time to test the mettle of guests on the Scoville scale.🥵🌶

A variety of pepper- and onion-shaped bowls from Pier 1 Imports are elevated above a cherry red Waechtersbach chip bowl by a versatile acacia wood riser from Home Goods.

Florals from the table decor are extended to the vitrine.

I found this fun little sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby. What a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo: ¡Sip, Sip, Olé!

I hope you’ve been able to find some ideas for your Cinco de Mayo or perhaps even a Día de Muertos tablescape. For more ideas on this site, take a look at these previous posts:

For more tablescapes using plumeria/frangipani:

Peaceful Cherry Blossoms

I have perhaps finally gotten the hang of adding a wee bit of voiceover to my videos. This is my first, so please grant me your kind mercy! (In my head I sound like the very Scottish Mrs. Hughes in “Downton Abbey” when I say that !🤣🤣🤣)

April is on its way out, and I’m getting this post up just by the skin of my teeth! While Missouri isn’t exactly the cherry blossom capital of the world, we have our fair share of beauties. Our orchard when I was a kid had several that always produced the most magnificent show of color! As for the fruit…well, the birds got the lion’s share of that.🙄

The centerpiece starts with a fountain of pink and white faux cherry blossom branches assembled in a simple white cylinder. To more closely tie in with the plates, I added a number of bare branches.

There is no discernible maker imprinted on the back of the plates, but I bought them at Home Goods. They have a bit of a lip all around which makes them great for any variety of entrées. The soft pink glass chargers are from Hobby Lobby.

I absolutely LOVE the gold tone stick-thin flatware and colored glassware, all from Home Goods.

I have no recollection where I may have bought these faux bonsai, but they’re a wonderment for Asian-inspired decorating.

This magnificent monogrammed lumbar pillow is from the supremely talented SewGracious Monograms.

The goldtone pagoda lanterns are from a decor boutique here in the city of Lee’s Summit where we live called Cameron’s Home Furnishings. I love to go there to browse, and I almost always find something I simply “can’t live without.”🙂 The sake set is from World Market.

I love to use fabric cocktail napkins even when I’m just having a glass of ice water, and I have quite an expansive collection. These were recently acquired fromThe Robin’s Nest on ETSY, and I can’t say enough great things about the design!

This tablescape works well for cherry blossom season celebrations, National Cherry Pie Day (already come and gone this year, but will make its return on Monday, February 20, 2023), George Washington’s birthday, ladies’ birthdays, bridal or baby showers, the promotion of breast cancer awareness, or for any Asian-inspired occasion.

Interested in seeing more Asian-inspired posts on this blog? Check these out:

Really into pink like I am? Take a look at these posts!

Like big, overreaching centerpieces? Here ya go!

And this post, Life Is Just A Chair of Bowlies, is great fun if you just love cherries!🍒🍒🍒

Thank you for stopping by to say hello! I always appreciate it!

Splendiforous Forsythia & Thinking Of Ukraine

I’m trying to stay upbeat, but it’s hard to do when so many are needlessly and through no fault of their own suffering so much. I’ve felt this way regarding many people targeted by bullies, and today (as in the weeks since the vicious and unwarranted attack began) I’m thinking more than ever about the people of Ukraine.🇺🇦 I began pulling together a tablescape meant to be a joyous representation of Spring and ended up in tears. I’m going to post this without a lot of further commentary because I’m otherwise going to start cussing…and crying again.🤬😢

The blue-rimmed chargers are from Hobby Lobby, the “Mirandela” pattern dinner plates (last featured here in August of 2021) and cobalt blue stemware from Pier 1, the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Capella” wine stems from Macy’s, and the cream soup sets from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO. The “Opera” Royal Crystal Rock glasses were an estate sale find.

While these are faux greenery (Kirkland’s) and flowers (Kirkland’s and a wholesale outlet), fresh ones on your table would be glorious. I found the curvy cobalt vase at Z Gallerie some years ago.

I often take liberties with candlesticks and employ them as finials.

Lighting candles of hope.

This is by no means the definition of “art imitating life”, but the people of Ukraine are on my mind and in my heart, and their plight is burning a hole into my very soul. May God bless them all. 🇺🇦

There are a couple of other blue and yellow tablescapes on this blog you might like to see that incorporated these same Pier 1 dishes:

Other tablescapes that use forsythia:

And finally, other tablescapes using cobalt blue tableware: