Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.

 

 

This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.

 

 

 

 

I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.

 

 

 

 

The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!

 

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!

Bling Wedding – Lauren & Darren

Some may recall the horrendous Thanksgiving table construction disaster of 2011. I will never forget it. Ever. You’d think I had learned my lesson, but no-oooooo!!! My husband and I got up at the (pardon my French, ladies & gents) butt crack of dawn to create this table outdoors before the 100+° heat chased us back in. Ah! Great plan! Until…..I was so horrified this time that I couldn’t even take pictures of it. A sudden gust of wind swelled from out of nowhere, and…I think you can easily guess the rest! The sound was so deafening that…well…let’s just say I had to trash the shorts I was wearing! 😉

You’ve heard variations of the quote “God looks out for fools, drunks and old people”? As I would be defined as the trifecta where that’s concerned, I apparently received special dispensation on all 3 counts because, despite the 20-car pile-up look-alike on the table, nothing actually broke. Luckily, I had gotten quite a few shots off before the wind sneezed. I wasn’t going to take any further chances, though, and we promptly whisked everything back indoors. I reset the table and took the final shots in there. So if it looks like these photos were taken in 2 different places, it’s because they were!

Without further whining, here’s an all-white table that could be duplicated for a wedding reception or anniversary party. I dedicate it to my friend, Lauren, and her husband, Darren, who just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. So please sign the guest book, come on in, and have a seat at…where else?…Table 21!!!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it!)

I love the look of an all-white wedding reception! It’s so clean and crisp and, well, wedding-y! 🙂 Lauren & Darren’s actual wedding colors 26 years ago were pink (or was that called “mauve” in the 80s?) and white, but this is what I would envision for their anniversary celebration if I could be there in ol’ St. Louis to do this for them.

White full-length linens are reminiscent of Lauren’s sweeping white gown in 1986. Silverplate chargers are the foundation for place settings created using my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china.

I created menus that incorporate more “bling” via the wedding ring clip art and a teardrop-shaped faux gemstone brad at the top.

Estate silver from my personal collection accompanies Godinger “Chelsea” stemware with its diamond design (implied bling!) and starched white hemstitch napkins in a simple square fold atop each bread plate.

At the bride’s place setting, a trio of full-blown creamy white roses are nestled into a Baroque silver bouquet holder.

These teardrop pearl and rhinestone-studded frames hold place cards for each guest.

Lots and lots of flowers in shades of creamy white grace the center of the table. Besides the very prominent towers of cascading dendrobium orchids are six small rose and cymbidium orchid arrangements in 6″ glass goose neck vases and four all-rose arrangements in silver Revere bowls. Each rose has a rhinestone pin stuck in the center for a little extra bling. At two intervals, suites of 4 silver Revere candlesticks with 25″H white candles surround the smallest floral arrangements. Introducing the tall silver candlesticks breaks up the sea of glass at that level on the table created by the taller vases. Having 4 heights of floral arrangements creates drama at many different eye levels. (It’s 4 heights because the tower vases are a single 31″ in the center flanked by two 24″.)

These tall & graceful goose neck tower vases have enjoyed a long 30+ year run in the decorating world. It’s all about making the overall arrangement a little bit different to breathe new life into them. Here I used lots of green-tinged white dendrobium orchid stems. For this demonstration, the orchids are faux (just $1 each on sale at Hobby Lobby!!!), but a profusion of the real deal on a wedding table…heavenly!!! I used curly-Q ornament hangers to get the arrangement dripping with bling. Not satisfied to stop there, I visually (and literally!) strung together the tower vases using 6-ft. bling garland. Just hook the ends to the lip of each vase with the hangers! I bought all my bling at a wholesale place, but you can find something similar at places like Hobby Lobby or through your florist. Actually, the single teardrop bling for chandeliers can be purchased at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s in the lighting & fan department! If you’re really ambitious, string together your own unique combination of bling! (Hint based on my wind-blown experience: If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure that tall, top-heavy arrangements are either heavily weighted or have sufficient protection from wind gusts. Don’t try to fight Mother Nature…she always wins!)

So…did you follow the sort of theme going on here with the teardrop shape? In the menu card brads, the place card frames, the floral bling. It’s important to do that to instill continuity at the subconscious level of the brain where people kinda think, “I love it! It all just flows!” Well, yeah, it flows! It flows because you’re subtly repeating a theme. The same applies to the repeated elements down the center of the Tuscan-style table. It just…say it with me, everyone…flows!

Congratulations to Lauren & Darren! I wish you many more years of wedded bliss!

Other posts suited for weddings on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Roses in October”
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“White Hot”
“Get Me to the Church On Time”
“Showered in Pink”
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
Rhapsody In Blue

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday, and Susan for her 200th edition of “Tablescape Thursday” this week! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!

White Hot

Planning a table for an low-key, intimate New Year’s Eve dinner party can be a little tough. We had a super sparkly table last year, and I am considering a similarly blinged out table for this year’s celebration. (Click HERE to see last year’s post, “Ringing in the New Year.”)

For those preferring something a bit more subdued before the noisemakers come out, here’s an idea table that just might fit the bill.

I am and always will be a sucker for a full-length white linen for most semi-formal and formal settings, unless you have a table with a pristine finish or interesting design.

I used some of my favorite TJ Maxx creamy white dishes with scrolled rims atop the polished silverplate chargers, but just about any nice white dishes will do.

International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling flatware adds to the formality of the place settings.

Godinger‘s “Chelsea” collection crystal stemware.

White linen napkins pulled through heavy crystal napkin rings from Z Gallerie‘s 2010 collection.

Simple silver spheres to hold place cards.

Reflective silver 14-inch, 5-branch candelabra dripping with crystal bobeches grace the center of the table. If you have concerns about fire safety like my husband does after THIS fiery fiasco last summer, reduce the risk by using metal case candles (also referred to as mechanical candles) such as these from Paradise Candles. Not only do they up the fire safety ante, but they save your nice linens from wax drips.

If Christmas broke the bank for you, alstroemeria is a good economical flower choice. Here, a single bunch from the florist is divided and arranged in classic silver julep cups.

The clean, polished look is finished off with scattered cut crystal votives.

This look is also appropriate for a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, adult birthday or a little something special on Christmas Eve.

I’ll post this year’s actual New Year’s Eve dinner party tablescape next week…if I can decide exactly what I want to do with it! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!!!

Giveaway & Roses in October

I miss my husband. He’s gone for a whole week to a conference, and I’m miserable without him. To make matters much, much worse….he’s a world away and our “official” wedding anniversary is today. I say “official” because we actually count from the day and time we met, May 3, 1991, 7:41 p.m. CDT. We were married in our hearts, even if we didn’t get Uncle Sam involved until 6-1/2 years later.

Ramon, you are everything to me. I love you with all my heart, and I always will. Our marriage vows are sacrosanct, and I thank God we finally found each other.

With that in mind, I created the table we would be sharing under the stars with special friends and family if you were here.
Happy 14th “Official” Anniversary, Ramon!
(Readers….HUGE giveaway surprise toward the end of this post!!!)

IMG_2515WMAlthough I love color, I have an affinity for clean, white table decor for personal wedding or anniversary celebrations. That’s the “old school” in me shining through. White for weddings is appropriate year-round and according to Billy Idol “It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding”, so white wedding anniversary dinner party tablescape it is! (This would also make a fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescape!!! Substitute red roses and petals, and this would be a fabulous table for a Kentucky Derby dinner party!!! Make ’em pink, and it’s great for Valentine’s Day!)
(Click here for more wedding-related tablescapes!)

On full-length white cotton linens are shiny silverplate chargers topped with one of the greatest bargains ever. My weekly pilgrimage to the thrift stores finally paid off after more than a year. I’ve never found anything good…ever! My luck changed a couple of weeks ago when I snatched up this pristine 32-pc. set of platinum-rimmed Noritake “Crestmont” china for….drum roll…$10.74!!! SO worth the wait!!!!!!!

IMG_2551WMThe menu…food I will lovingly prepare upon Ramon’s return home.

IMG_2563WMOf course, hemstitch linen napkins with our surname initial.

img_2540wm.jpgThe first flatware I bought for our home at an estate sale. (Note to Entertaining Women’s Cherry Kay and Bill at Affordable Accoutrements, Queen and King of Estate Sales…this is the only good thing I’ve ever found at an estate sale, but I’m not giving up!)

IMG_2510WMWedding crystal, Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum”, which complements about half of the formal china sets we own.

Who wouldn’t want a piece of the cake to take home for a midnight snack? Favor boxes adorned with white silk roses are perfect!

IMG_2518WMThe centerpiece is anchored with a frameless mirror from our old house that was headed to the trash pile before I rescued it. It’s the perfect size for these horizontally doubled 6-ft. oblong tables.

Small floral arrangements of white roses, orchids, ranunculus and waxflower in shiny silver tube vases anchor each corner. The profusion of votive candles (26 in all!) adds a lot of drama and is doubled back in the mirror. When it comes to tablescaping, candlelight and mirrors are my friends! 😉

The main centerpiece is a massive Two’s Company silverplate pedestal bowl filled with white rose petals. (I recommend piling something like Styrofoam popcorn on the bottom, then adding a layer of rose petals. Your floral bill will be quite a bit less, AND you don’t risk crushing & bruising the bottom-most layer of petals in case you want to use them to toss in the bath later.) This bowl measures 17-1/2″H and is a full 19″ wide which makes it perfect for all kinds of decorating possibilities like these:

Premiere centerpiece floral WM

 

Premiere centerpiece buffet WMWhich leads me to the really good part…

I own twenty of these beautiful silver pedestal bowls ($275 retail value). Even though the traditional gift for the 14th anniversary is ivory, to celebrate our “official” anniversary…I am giving one away!!!* If you’d like to have one, here are the rules for eligibility:

  1. Be or become a subscriber to this blog. (To become an official subscriber/follower, click on the “Sign Me Up!” button located in the upper far right-hand column of this page under BECOME A FOLLOWER. You will receive weekly design posts AND be officially entered for the drawing!)
  2. Leave a comment that let’s me know you’d like to have one. (Everyone is welcome to leave a comment, but I need to know you are interested to be eligible for the giveaway.)

That’s pretty much it. You have until October 18, 7:00 a.m. CDT to enter. I’ll have Ramon pick the winner’s name out of the bowl that morning before he leaves for work. Please be sure I have your email address so I can contact you! The winner will be announced on October 18.

Other tablescapes on this site with a mirrored centerpiece include:
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!

Please join me at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday to see what talented tablescapers around the world are up to this week!

*Winner must pay shipping, approximately $20 U.S. only
(overseas shipping costs TBD)

Autumn White Wedding

I recently received a request for ideas on an autumn wedding. Not that I have anything against fall colors, but sometimes it’s fun to march to the beat of your own drum. Try instead an autumn rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or wedding reception using the more unlikely colors of white, cream and chartreuse with touches of earthy brown for good measure. (For more wedding table ideas click here!)

If the weather is still warm enough in fall to do an outdoor wedding event, go for it! When you set up outdoors, the sky is the limit where your decorating options are concerned!!!

A full-length ivory table linen is topped with a satiny brown runner to add color and dimension to the tabletop. The place settings are fairly traditional with glossy silver chargers and ivory dishware from TJ Maxx. (One huge no-no is to use items that will upstage the reception decor on “The Big Day.”)

The napkin (Bed Bath & Beyond) is very simply folded across the dinner plate and tucked beneath. A white mini pumpkin is centered on each napkin. While a faux pumpkin is used for this sample setting, I suggest using the real thing. Mini pumpkins can be purchased at the grocer this time of year for around 50 cents apiece, and they make a great little take-home gift. (Or you can take the leftover pumpkins to bling them up and use them in a fall arrangement like here.) If you know a calligrapher or someone with exceptional handwriting skills, ask them to pen the names of each guest onto the pumpkins! Cooler yet….have them inscribe the monogram of each guest. That’s really different and kinda fancy to boot! 🙂

Keep the flatware along the same line of formality as the rest of the setting. The design on this flatware is similar to the pattern on the rim of the dinner plate. I went with Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal that offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Long tables offer an opportunity to do so many cool things with the centerpiece!
A mix of high and low arrangements fill out this 12-ft. table. For even longer tables (so cool to see 18-, 24-, or even 36-ft. tables!!!), add more high ones to balance it out. For this table, I used a little wrought iron number I bought earlier this year. It’s reversible…or at least I made it that way by accident! Lesson learned? Play with your toys…don’t just use them the way they were displayed at the store!!!

This is the way it’s used here, but it’s actually upside down and missing some parts!

This is how it’s supposed to look. I finally figured out what all those “extra” mystery pieces were for!

I outfitted the top of the centerpiece with a grapevine wreath bought at Hobby Lobby. I secured it with  floral wire. Next came lots and lots of flowers including chartreuse and creamy white hydrangea, white roses, and a few orchid blooms. (Sprigs of green hypericum berries, unripened coffee beans or unripened raspberries would really look slick and add more texture, too!) Hydrangea quickly wilts, so the trick is to put the water vial on the end of the floral stem immediately AFTER it is inserted into the wreath so it doesn’t wiggle loose. (Took me half the doggone wreath to figure that one out! :-() Use floral tape to secure the vials to the twigs so they don’t poke out or fall off during dinner…which would be highly embarrassing! Tuck in bits of fabulously bright chartreuse reindeer moss to help hide the mechanics of your arrangement, and finish it off with a plump white pumpkin. (Hint: When you go wreath and pumpkin shopping, take the centerpiece you’ll be working with along to make sure the wreath is the right size and that the pumpkin won’t overwhelm or topple it.)

The ugly little spindly legs on the bottom part of the centerpiece are camouflaged with mounds of florals accented with reindeer moss and a white mini pumpkin.

A mini pumpkin rests comfortably on a cushy bed of reindeer moss. I like the moss to look a little bit messy as nature would have it.

The side globes hold a single orchid bloom atop more reindeer moss.

The smaller components of the extended centerpiece correspond with the main piece. Iron candlesticks with fat pillar candles are flanked by small rose-filled globes stuffed with reindeer moss to keep a consistent look.

This same concept could easily apply to a winter wedding by swapping out the pumpkins with oversized ornaments. The look also works well indoors so long as the height of the centerpiece doesn’t interfere with overhead lighting, fans, etc.

I’m hooking up with my pals at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week. If you’ve never visited, you really must! Lots of talent out there!!!

A special shout out and great big thank you to Angie over at Echoes of Laughter who helped me figure out how to get rid of the bothersome “no reply” feature when I leave comments on other blogs. Teamwork paid off!!!