Shop ‘Til You Drop – Prepping for Black Friday

Alycia and “Better Kansas City” host Alexis del Cid, playing with dishes

Every tablescape blogger and those who read the blogs have at least one thing in common: WE LOVE TO SHOP!!! We chase after bargains, bright ideas, and innovative styling tips. Shopping can make a person awfully hungry and thirsty, and with Black Friday just over the horizon now, this super high-spirited 4-minute segment from the “Better Kansas City” show has tips on creating a fun and fanciful after-the-hunt tablescape. A few still photos of the tablescapes created on set follow, and at the end stick around for a super silly 60-second bonus clip from the show I think you’ll enjoy!

 

I created two separate tables for this segment: a colorful dining table for guests and a fun buffet table.

 

 

Bright pink/fuchsia 17″ poly napkins from LinenTablecloth.com are neatly stacked at the end of the buffet table. The fun metal figurine in the background depicts a carefree young woman out on a shopping spree and is one of 3 purchased at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The cake…well, you’ll learn more about that cake in the video clip at the end of the post!

 

When I saw this stainless steel stiletto heel cake server at Burlington a few years ago, I just couldn’t resist! This would be great for showers and wedding events, too. Such a fun, feminine way to serve up dessert!

 

Here’s another of those metal shopping figurines from Hobby Lobby. This chick is ready to shop ’til she drops come rain or shine! Next to her is a fabulous glittering stiletto heel vase overflowing with an array of colorful flowers and greenery.

 

 

 

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole buffet tablescape! The drink station is set up on a wooden Lazy Susan for easy access. The wine glasses with purses all over them are from the Dollar Tree and complement the shoe wine glasses on the dining table. The stiletto heel bottle stoppers were an impulse buy from a Michaels clearance bin a couple of years back that really add style and a little shimmer. We were really pressed for time, and I asked my genius friend, Barbara, to figure out something to do with the shot glasses on the table. She stacked them pyramid style for a look that is a real winner! A+!!!!! (She’s a retired teacher!)

 

 

When setting up a buffet table, I like to have various sizes, shapes, textures and anything else available to give the table “motion.” Setting the spoons on the diagonal seem to do just that. The bowls by Rosanna feature a stiletto heel motif. They were purchased at Tuesday Morning some time back.

 

A feminine dining tablescape for ladies who have had their fill of shopping for the day. (Wait…what does that actually feel like??!?!) I chose to go with very colorful place settings to complement the buffet table. Each place setting is grounded with a hot pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger topped with a solid white plate. The pretty salad/dessert plates by Rosanna each have a fun shopping reference along with the stiletto heel motif. The flatware is J.A. Henckels Bellaserra.

 

The polyester LinenTablecloth.com napkins in “Caribbean” blue are folded lengthwise and placed with one end beneath the charger. Each napkin is cinched with a colorful beaded napkin ring rescued from the clearance bin at Bed Bath & Beyond 5+ years ago.

 

The fun stiletto heel glassware from Dollar Tree rounds out the place setting.

 

Each place setting had its own separate nosegay displayed in a bright pink fluted glass vase from Michaels. I like to do this for ladies luncheons and such. It’s such a personal gesture that guests really appreciate both during and after the event. All flowers for this segment were purchased at Aldi’s!

 

One of my favorite tricks for bringing color and depth to the table is to layer linens. Here I used a white 85″ square (to let the colors of the accessories on top really pop) over a hot pink/fuchsia 108″ round, both from LinenTablecloth.com.  (To see a couple of other examples of linen layering on this site check out Caribbean Queen: One Table, Three Looks, Queen of Hearts Card Partyand Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon. And if you’d like to see another post-Black Friday tablescape, check out Black Friday Luncheon from back in 2012. )

 

OK…post over, but here are a few bonus pics and a video you will get a kick out of from later in the show. The pic above is of co-host Rob in the kitchen with famed chef/author/restaurateur Lidia Bastianich who was also on the show that day. Yes…THAT Lidia!!!  I was too starstruck to ask for a selfie with her!

Then it just got loopy around there!

 

Rob and Alexis just had TOO much fun with that fake food!!!

 

Group hug! Me with co-hosts Hallie, Rob and Alexis with my buddy Barbara on the other end. Another show down!!

I will once again join Susan and the gang over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. I’m also joining Sandra at Sweet Sensations for Celebrate Your Story. You can still catch cool ideas for your Thanksgiving tablescaping as well as the upcoming Christmas holidays!

Cinco de Mayo Simply Done

Cinco de Mayo (not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day) is just a couple of short days away. I’m not feeling 100% by any stretch, but here’s how we’ll be celebrating the commemoration of the Mexican victory over French forces at The Battle of Puebla: with delicious food, a little tequila, and a prayer that wars and conflicts of all manner can be abolished in the future! (Fat chance, I know, but a girl can hope!)

 

 

 

The table is set for 6 in our small dining room. I aimed for a rustic look, opting to leave the wood of the table exposed. Square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning are topped with brilliant Maxcera “Terra Cotta Sunflower” square plates. (I used these plates for another tablescape, Sunflower Simple, back in 2011.) The napkin fold is one of those 10-second jobs that I use so often. The versatile contemporary flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra”, and the substantially weighted goldenrod bubble stemware is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

This old wood planter box is still a favorite for me. For this centerpiece, it is filled with a couple of sago palms and all kinds of succulents. VERY simple!

 

I used miniature terra cotta pots as candle holders on each end of the wood box to complete the simple centerpiece.

The side buffet is lightly adorned with an oversized rustic wood bowl flanked by green ceramic candlesticks. On the opposite end with the tortillas is another sago palm with a sunflower in a glazed terra cotta vase. Another palm is seen in the mirror sitting on the china cabinet.

 

 

 

 

The bar cart is decked out with decorative elements that mirror those on the table and buffet to complete the look in the room.

That’s about it…Cinco de Mayo decor VERY simply done!!!

Additional Cinco de Mayo tablescapes can be viewed:
Cinco de Mayo 2013
Serape High Style

Or these tablescapes are certainly adaptable to a Cinco de Mayo celebration:
Sunflower Simple
Brilliant Italian
Summer Breeze
Christmas Fiesta

Que tengas un buen celebración!!!

 

 

Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!

 

Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells

INSPIRATION: Brilliantly blue glass starfish plates by AKCAM

INSPIRATION: Brilliantly blue glass starfish plates by AKCAM in all the colors of the ocean

I hope you’re enjoying your summer! It has been weirdly rainy here in the Kansas City, Mo. area, and I’m just about sick of it. It’s great for the grass and trees and flowers, but it SUCKS for tablescaping!!! So…I’ve dredged up a beach-inspired tablescape that I created and photographed two years ago but felt unworthy to publish because it didn’t meet my potential. I had very quickly thrown it together for an impromptu birthday dinner party (for myself!) using just what I had within reach. (Note to God: Thank you for Ramon and Costco’s prepared meals!!!) I’ve since had a change of heart that says simplicity can be a good thing, and that’s why I’m publishing it today. Well…that and I have no ability to get out on the deck to do anything else but get wet for now!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  As with many of the outdoor dining environments I create, this one started with full-length (90″ x 132″) white tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com on the two 6-ft. folding tables kissed end-to-end. They give the table a crisp, clean, “white linen suit” look that can still be considered casual.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  white resin chairs lined upWhite resin patio chairs add to the casual feel. Inexpensive as they are, they always look great neatly lined up in a row!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Single place setting with glass starfish plates, Rocco Bormioli glass chargersWhen I named this post Ocean Blue, there was a definite reason for it! Look how brilliantly blue!!! Thirteen-inch silver metal chargers are topped with a beautiful 12″ turquoise blue Bormioli Rocco Inca glass charger. The dinner plate is a cobalt blue glass plate from Pier 1. The AKCAM starfish salad and bread plates were purchased at Home Goods a couple of years ago. (To see these plates used in another tablescape with a slightly more formal feel, click HERE for “Surf & Turf Dinner Party”.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells: J.A. Henckels "Bellaserra" stainless flatware

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Brilliant glass starfish plates in shades of blue or white from Home GoodsThese photos lend even more clarity to the beauty and depth of color on the table. Each place setting is a bit different with either a cobalt, turquoise or white mix-matched salad and bread plate. The flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Cobalt blue stemware from Dollar TreeThis cobalt blue stemware from Dollar Tree never looked so good on one of my tables! It was the perfect complement to the dishes used!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  White cotton napkin with initialSoft white cotton hemstitched napkins with our initial are simply folded.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  seashells in multiple tall glass cylindersI get a lot of mileage out of these tall clear glass cylinders. Every year I find a new use for them, so I really feel I’m getting my hard-earned money’s worth. Ahem…make that Ramon’s hard-earned money! 😉 Here they are simply filled with every seashell I could put my hands on from around the house. The four cylinders are evenly spaced down the length of the table. (DESIGN NOTE: If you think you might want to extend a bit of the brilliant blue color into the cylinders, consider mixing in a scant few blue sea glass chips, dragon tears, or slivers of agate. You can purchase these items at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  turquoise, cobalt blue  & silver mercury glass votive holdersThese beautiful turquoise, cobalt and silver mercury glass votive holders are among my favorites! They were purchased at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO a few years ago. The color they turn with the candle flickering inside is amazing!!!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  white pillar candle with Z Gallerie seashell candle ringI bought a bunch of these fun seashell candle rings from Z Gallerie a few years ago. I don’t use them often, but they’re great for quick, easy decorating.

This tablescape would work nicely for a summertime birthday dinner party, lunch or brunch (minus the candles), rehearsal dinner, or even a casual, laid back wedding reception…especially if the happy couple’s honeymoon is somewhere balmy with sandy shores!

Other tablescapes on this site with a seashell/beach/nautical theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Tropicana
Caribbean Queen
Flamingos in Paradise
Surf & Turf Dinner Party
Summer Breeze
Old Navy Seafood Cruise

I’ll be back next week with another surf- & sand-inspired tablescape for Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish! – Summer Whimsy Tablescape Challenge”. If you’re looking for ideas for casual and fun summer tablescapes, be sure to join me! Meanwhile, this week I’m linking up with Christine from Rustic & Refined. Her new blog party is called “Table It!” I’ll also be linking up again with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”.

 

It’s All About Me!

You’re not seeing double, folks. My darling “helpful” husband mistakenly sent this unfinished post out last year as I was recovering from shoulder surgery, but then quickly deleted it when the error was discovered. Sigh! It’s all done now and ready to roll out!

As we prepare to whisper farewell to the last vestiges of Spring and start the Summer fun, this “All About Me!” pink, brown & white tablescape is one that would be fun for Mother’s Day, a birthday party, a bridal shower, a bridesmaids luncheon,  a singles Valentine get-together, or to celebrate the strength of a breast cancer survivor.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN4131WM

INSPIRATION: Fun note pads found in the clearance bin at Michael’s Arts & Crafts Store

In recent times I’ve had only a little money to spend here and there on fun new things. I spend a lot of time sifting through clearance bins, and sometimes I’m really surprised at the neat stuff I’m able to find! These note pads, with their pink polka dot on brown frames and slinky striped tops, gave me instant inspiration.

It's All About Me - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Full dining room

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Dining tableThis table for 6 started off with a full-length brown linen. I used two pink satin runners from LinenTablecloth.com on each side of the table to add color and give it a striped effect.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Double place setting in pink, brown & white

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Single place setting in pink, brown & whiteI used a deep pink Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass charger from Burlington to perk up the setting and complement the paler pink runner beneath it. Plain white Corelle dinner plates get a facelift with chocolaty brown napkins laid across and tucked beneath, keeping with the striped effect.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Flatware, Rim Shot, Favor BagI used a contemporary flatware pattern, J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra”, with a mirrored finish. The paper favor bag on the plate complements the notepad.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Stemware, rim shot close up collageA smoky brown stemmed glass from Dollar Tree and stemless martini glasses from Pier 1 complement each place setting. TIP: Stemless martini glasses also make great punch cups!

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Full centerpiece in pink, brown & white

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Table floral collage with pink hyacinthThe centerpiece of the table starts with this wonderful pink, brown and white polka-dotted cloth box from Michael’s brimming with pink hyacinth. For demonstration purposes here the flowers are faux, but when setting the table for guests I splurge for the real deal!

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Table "lamp" made with candlestick and lamp shade

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Lamp collageI created the “lamps” flanking the floral arrangement with white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie and a brown bell lamp shade from JC Penney. An LED candle of your desired size/intensity is all that’s needed to lend flickering ambient light. (To see other candle lamps on this site see “Raining Orchids“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “All A’Bloom for Spring“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Pink & white M&MsBowls of hot pink, pale pink and white M&Ms in white poppy bowls from Pier 1.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Brown & white striped pillowsA fun little accent in the chairs: pillows striped in shades of brown and white to complement the stripes on the table.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Buffet

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Cake, plates, server, marshmallows collage

Candles, cupcakes collageAs always, the buffet behind the dining table gets a little special treatment. Cupcakes are served up on a creamy white American Atelier “Empress” ironstone tray. A brown-tinted glass urn from Burlington holds miniature marshmallows, and lacy white porcelain “doily” plates from Pier 1 stand ready to serve cake. The white pitchers are from Home Goods. Candlesticks like the ones on the dining table hold chunky pink candles from Tuesday Morning.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: White hyacinth in pink vases on tea cartInspiration is everywhere! Don’t forget to check those clearance aisles…you never know what you might find there! 🙂

Other pink & brown posts on this site:
“Chocolate Traditional”
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month”
“Au Revoir”

I am joining Christine this evening at Rustic & Refined for her brand spankin’ new link party, “Table It!”. Tomorrow I’ll be at Susan’s at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT). Come on and join me! You’ll meet some of the most talented tablescapers the world has to offer!

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!!!

New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!

My niece bought me this fun placard a few years ago to celebrate my favorite libation.

INSPIRATION: My niece, Yvonne, bought me this fun placard a few years ago to celebrate my favorite party libation.

New Year’s Eve 2013 is just 2 days away, and I say, “Good riddance to you, 2013!” This year SUCKED for me in so many ways! My Dad got sick and passed away, I had surgery that has required many months of painful & tedious rehab…it just plain SUCKED!!! So I’m ready to party and kiss this year goodbye. Martini, anyone?
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Full dining room - lights dimmed

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Full dining roomI wanted to include a photo of the room in natural daylight and one with the lights dimmed so that you get an idea of the lighting effects. A contemporary dinner/cocktail party like this is really easy to do, and the expense was kept to a minimum by using things I already had and shopping thrift stores.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Full tableI started this martini dinnertime tablescape with a 90″ x 132″ black tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. Black IS the new black, and it’s bringin’ sexy back stronger than ever! 😉

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Single place settingI played up the blue in the dishes by introducing a square French blue acrylic charger topped with a juxtaposed black one. The black dinner plates are topped with a salad plate and appetizer plate purchased at a crazy rock bottom price at a local thrift store. (I think this will put a big smile on Jamala’s (Vintage 4YourHome.com) face because she is a super thrifter!) Each plate depicts a portly waiter serving up a different vodka-based cocktail.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Plate, flatware collageThe contemporary styling of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware is perfect for this setting. The squared off handle complements the straight lines of the double chargers.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Stemware, mini martinis, napkin collageA flight of three miniature martini glasses from Crate & Barrel are at each place setting. I like to serve a different vodka-based drink at different intervals of the meal. A water glass is at each place setting because let’s face it…you can only drink so much vodka before your face is in the plate!!! 🙂 The black napkins are simply folded and laced through a French blue squared napkin ring that matches the charger. (Click HERE and scroll down to “And the Winner Is…!” to see another tablescape with a vodka flight.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Full centerpieceThe centerpiece is what really brings the drama to this tablescape. For New Year’s Eve, it’s imperative that you include something that has lots of sparkle and light like the Times Square ball! I started the centerpiece with an inexpensive ($3 or $4) black framed door mirror from Old Time Pottery. Mirrors are a GREAT way to stir up drama on your table! (Click HERE, HERE, and HERE for other dramatic centerpieces on this site using large mirrors.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Centerpiece bowls of ice collageThe square bowls used here, believe it or not, are just black acrylic planters that you can pick up at any floral shop for a couple of bucks. I’ve even seen them in the garden department at Walmart! I chose them for the shape and color. Each bowl is filled with acrylic ice chips lit from beneath with tiny blue LED lights. (If you opt to use real ice, be sure your LEDs are waterproof!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: LED lightsThese are the LED lights used in the centerpiece. You can buy them just about anyplace like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or any floral or home accessories shop.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Centerpiece double-decker glass votive holdersThese cool double-decker glass votive holders were purchased on clearance at Pier 1 a few years ago. I like the way they reflect in the mirror beneath!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Full buffetIt ain’t a party unless you’ve got a swanky DIY bar goin’ on!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Martini canvas art

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Canvas collageI borrowed these canvases from our lower level bar area & just propped them up on the buffet to hide the mirror on the wall. Adding fun art as a backdrop on your buffet is a little more of that drama I alluded to earlier. (Tip: Shop your house for accessories that can kick your tablescape up a notch.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Shot glasses in ice with lemon wedgesHow’s THIS for drama? Same concept as what’s going on with the table centerpiece, but this time REAL ice is used to keep shot glasses teeth chattering cold for vodka shots!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Mini martini shooters collageSince I bought a whole case of the mini martini glasses, I thought it prudent to use them for serving hors d’oeuvres, too. The mini spoons are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. They also make great dessert vessels!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Martini ice bucket with lemon collageI have had this oversized martini glass for as long as I can remember. Since I would never dream of drinking a martini this large 😉 , it works nicely as an ice bucket. The silver scoop is a nice addition to fancy it up. Waterproof LEDs add a little zing.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Appetizer plates, caviar collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Martini fixin's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Shakers, bowl of lemons, Martini & Rossi bottle collageI like to have at least 2 or 3 different brands of vodka on hand to suit guests’ tastes. Caviar is a perfect pairing with ice cold vodka. Hop on Google or Bing to see what other foods to serve with vodka-based drinks for both your cocktail hour and dinner. 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Vintage tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, New Year’s Eve Tablescape – Hooray for Vodka!: Tea cart collageOur vintage tea cart is used here as a secondary bar. Have you tried that Pinnacle Whipped Cream vodka?!??!?! T-A-S-T-Y!!! My son’s girlfriend makes something called an Orange Creamsicle. Basically just mix it with good orange soda (Orange Crush seems to be the best because it’s super fizzy) and top with whipped cream. I’ve also seen recipes that call for mixing the vodka with orange juice and lemon-lime soda. DEE-licious! But careful…that bad boy will sneak up on you and bring you to your knees if you’re not careful! 🙂

I wish you all a SAFE and very Happy New Year!!! Thank you for hangin’ out and – perhaps more important – hangin’ in there with me this past year! 2013 sucked a whole lot less because of you!
🙂 🙂 🙂

Other tablescapes on this site great for ringing in the New Year:
“Life Is a Cabaret”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Fire & Ice”
“Ringing In the New Year”
“White Hot”

“Little Black Dress”
“Happy Birthday, Barf!”
“Roses in October”

In loving memory of my Dad, James B. “Jim” Wilson, 12/9/23 – 6/12/13. Not a vodka drinker, but one helluva guy…and I miss him.

I’m linking to Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” this week, and I invite you to come along for the ride!

Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve

This is my final post of 2012, hopefully just in time to provide a few ideas for your swingin’ New Year’s Eve celebration. I’m going to take a little time off over the next couple of weeks to enjoy my family and friends, get ready for tax season, prepare for my Spring tablescaping classes..and put away all the Christmas decor!!!

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IMG_0025WMMy goal was to create a room with the sophisticated glitz and glamour of New York cabarets and nightclubs of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. I wanted a room that, if you allowed yourself to focus, you could almost hear The Incomparable Hildegarde, see The Rat Pack commanding all eyes with their boyish antics, feel the pulsing of the floor as the band plays, and taste the champagne as it overflows.

This is a tablescape for guys and dolls who appreciate a good time! So gentlemen, don your penguin suit (or your best Babalu-sleeved shirt) and Brylcreem. Ladies, slip into you sultry evening gown, lacy push-up bra, silky thigh high stockings, satin evening gloves, blood-red lipstick…and let’s party!!!

Table lengthwise & mulitple place setting collage

Single place settingWMTo achieve the swanky look I wanted, I started with a starched white full-length table linen. The chargers are mirrored rounds that reflect a lot of light. The Easterling “Majestic” china with its platinum rims always reminds me of a stylish gray morning suit. (Think David Beckham’s cravat and trousers at the recent royal wedding. Mmmmmm….David Beckham………………………….Ahem! Sorry. Zoned out for a second there! :-))

Flatware-Rim Shot collageThe J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware, while sleek and contemporary in its styling, works well with the place settings.

Napkin & Menu collageI created the menus on our home computer using a shimmery dark gray card stock for the backing. A simple silver brad on top and bottom reminds me of the buttons on a tuxedo shirt or snappy cuff links. (Uh oh, here come those thoughts of David Beckham again!!! ;-)) The white cotton napkin is starched to within an inch of its life, gently rolled inward from each end, and tucked neatly in an unconventional spot between the plate and charger.

Stemware collageGodinger “Chelsea” crystal stemware gleams on the table.

IMG_9879WMA sleek silver dinner bell rests at the hostess’s place setting at the head of the table.

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Mirror ball collage

Feather boa & votive candle collageThe long, luxurious centerpiece was created using multi-level silver Revere candlesticks as pedestals. On top are large mirror balls resembling the Times Square ball dropped in New York City every New Year’s Eve. (With the mirror balls, this would also make a great “Dancing With the Stars” finale watch party tablescape!) Snaking its way through the mirror ball stands and mercury votive holders is a flirty white feather boa. (Elton John called. He wants his wardrobe back! :-)) Additional candlesticks guard each end of the centerpiece with 15″ white candles to lend height, drama, and more ambient light.

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Buffet feathers & candle collageThe buffet behind the dining table is all aglow with more silver mercury glass votives and tall candlesticks. I wanted the buffet to be just as cool as the table, but complement it rather than compete. I filled 8″H mirrored bud vases with stark white goose feathers and biots. For added zing, I cut the individual “branches” of bling ornament sprays (seen whole in our Christmas tree HERE) and tucked them among the feathers. These arrangements remind me of the ostrich feather centerpieces used in swanky New York nightclubs like the Copacabana. (Uh oh…the Barry Manilow song just crept into my head and it’s NEVER gonna leave!!!)

Champagne Cart Collage

Feathers in champagne glasses collageThis is just a fun little touch on our vintage tea cart. Along with a bucket of fabulous pink champagne, a plate of caviar on toast points (because that’s how we roll on New Year’s Eve!), and the requisite noisemakers, are oversized champagne flutes filled with marabou feathers. I wanted to illuminate the feathers throughout. Problem was the LEDs that weighed no more than a good luck black-eyed pea wouldn’t hold up because the feathers were…let’s say it all together now…light as a feather!!! The lights sank to the bottom every time…but I still like the glowing effect. These would look great on the bar for a ritzy cocktail party or as table centerpieces!!!

China cabinet collageThe final touch is on the china cabinet where this beautiful crystal apéritif/digestif set (given to me by my Mom) is on display. The theme is continued here with a few strategically-placed (like a sexy cabaret dancer! ;-)) white ostrich feathers.

I thank you for spending a little time with me each week in 2012, and I wish you a safe and prosperous New Year. May 2013 bring you much love, joy and blessings!

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for New Year’s Eve:
Ringing in the New Year
White Hot
Winter Dinner
Little Black Dress
Peacock Pizzazz
Fete Noir et Gris

I will be joining The Tablescaper this Sunday for “Seasonal Sundays” where you can find all sorts of wonderful ideas for pepping up the season. Next week, as always, I’ll join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m., CST). I’m sure there will be lots and lots of fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescapes presented by my tablescaping colleagues around the world. You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

GET OUT AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999…
OR THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR!!! 🙂

Pleasant Under Glass – Revisiting for Mother’s Day

I’m still working on our Mother’s Day table which is really proving to be a challenge this year! I don’t know where my head is. (No vile, sideways comments from the peanut gallery on that one! ;-))

So, in the meantime, please enjoy this ultra-feminine pink & green tablescape I created a couple of years ago for a ladies’ luncheon just about the time I first started blogging. It has been hidden on the “Summer” page of this blog, so this may be the first time you’re seeing it. This table would be a great one for celebrating Mother’s Day, a birthday, a wedding shower, or even in honor of a breast cancer survivor.
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I have a great fondness for ladies’ luncheons. I am so much more at ease and relish the time spent with friends lingering over girly salads and quiche! When it’s just us girls, I can go all out pink, floral, delicate…no worries!
 This luncheon tablescape in our back yard has all the elements of femininity at its all out best: lots of pink and lots of floral!
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 Each place setting starts with a ruffly hot pink charger (Crate & Barrel) topped with a sculpted ivory “Mckenzie” plate from Pier 1. The green salad plate adds another shot of color and picks up the secondary color in the table covering. The flatware is J.A. Henckels ”Bellaserra” stainless from Macy’s. All of the dishware, flatware and stemware is kept simple so as not to compete with the busy table covering. (The table covering, by the way, is a Waverly vinyl. I think vinyls can be used sparingly for breakfast, brunch and luncheon affairs if they are of a very high quality and every effort is made to smooth out the inevitable wrinkles.)
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 The napkins from Bed Bath &Beyond are simple poly-cotton in a deep shade of ivory with a BB&B woven green napkin ring. Tucked inside to mimic the colors and shapes in the table covering is a bit of deep green sword fern and a budding pink cymbidium orchid.
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 I wanted to do something a little different to accentuate the feminine side and the outdoorsy feeling of the tablescape. Tucked beneath a miniature cloche bell jar (Hobby Lobby) is a mound of bright green reindeer moss topped with an orchid. This feature is simply removed from the luncheon plate after the ladies are seated.
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 The grand 16″ cloche bell jar in the center of the table lords over its more diminutive counterparts and remains on the table throughout lunch. To slightly differentiate it and further play on the outdoor theme of the tablescape, a gazing ball is added along with reindeer moss, sword fern and cymbidium orchids.
 Orchids and a tiny cluster of reindeer moss are affixed to the bell jar with a bit of Cling floral adhesive. Cling is great, but beware: clean up can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! To sidestep problems, always roll it into a ball. Any residue can be easily removed with Goo Gone or similar adhesive removal products. Another little tidbit: orchids are resillient and will hold up without a water source for several hours unless it’s scorching hot!
See more Mother’s Day tablescapes on this site:
Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Brunch
Peony Power
I am linking up with Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. You might want to check it out to see what all the other tablescape enthusiasts from around the world are up to! Check in anytime after 9:00 CDT on Thursday morning.

Winter Cardinal

Christmas is over and the new year is well underway, but I’m still diggin’ the spirit-lifting spurts of bright red around the house. Even though snow has mercifully dodged us thus far, it is January so the trees are bare and the feel of winter definitely abounds.

I was sick (yes, again!) last week and spent a lot of time staring out the window planning my escape. I saw the most beautiful cardinal perched on a low-hanging branch for what seemed like an eternity and a fleeting moment all in one. She was a striking creature in her shockingly red coat and heavy-handed eyeliner. She brightened an otherwise dreary winter’s day with her brilliant color and gave me inspiration for a winter tablescape.
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IMG_4055WMI bought these 222 Fifth “Winter Cardinal” dinner plates on clearance at TJ Maxx awhile back. The same thought that struck me while looking out the window is what attracted me to these plates. The tiny speck of red, while miniscule by comparison, is the star of the flat white plate with its silvery, sinewy, naked trees. (Click HERE to see another red, white & silver winter tablescape.) To add a little drama, I went with a double dose of contemporary square chargers in silver and red from World Market. Turning the top charger at a slight angle allows the red on bottom to just barely peek out…kind of like the cardinal in the tree. (Click HERE or HERE & scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see other tablescapes using doubled square chargers.)

IMG_4040WMThe contemporary lines of J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless works well with the setting.

IMG_3983WMThe slender tube-like fold of a red cotton napkin is secured with a silver napkin ring.

Each place setting is punctuated with a square glass votive filled with waterlogged cranberries and topped with a fragrant white carnation. (For more tablescape ideas using cranberries, click HERE or HERE.)

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Another shot of red revs up the stark white linen via the TJ Maxx table runner. I double-folded the center part back to lend more of a 3-D look with just the decorated ends exposed. The barren silver trees on the runner are a nice companion to those on the plates, and it could just as easily find its way into a Christmas tablescape.

I love the look of pavéd carnations! This simple arrangement of easy-on-the-budget white carnations is anchored by acrylic “ice” chips for a wintry look and topped with cranberries for color. My husband said the square shape makes it look like a layer cake with whipped cream, which would make it perfect for a birthday party, shower, or anniversary! He’s right, but I think he just wanted cake! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another post using acrylic “ice.”)

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IMG_4045WMThe buffet behind the dining table gets an austere, yet somewhat theatrical treatment. A square glass floral container filled with more acrylic “ice” chips holds dramatically arched branches coated in silver paint. Peering from within is a lone cardinal. Another glass container is filled with fresh cranberries for the requisite shot of color. Votive candles dance the length of the buffet.

Champagne anyone?

I am thrilled to join my fellow tablescapers as we start this new year together at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday. Come along this Thursday, won’t you?

Cranberry Christmas – Long Table

My cousin (no, not the weird one…the other one!) recently asked for formal Christmas tablescape ideas using cranberries as a part of the decor. Ask, and you shall receive! This table is shown in the Tuscan-style (long) form. Click HERE to see how the look of the same basic decor changes with a square table. (The 2nd look would also work quite well with a round table!)

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IMG_3361WMHere, two 6′ x 30″ oblong tables are set end-to-end to create a 12-ft. table. With the large amount of decorative detail, generously proportioned 13″ chargers, and increased amount of china and flatware, however, it only seats 8. Using the more common 12″ charger, smaller decorative elements, and eliminating the bread plate would free up space for up to 12 guests.

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The Christmas holidays are a time for over-the-top tablescapes that have a lush, luxurious feel to them. Using an additional charger can help achieve that look and feel. I like to remove the first one after the salad course and the second after the entrée. (Formal etiquette calls for removing all chargers before the entrée is served, but many guests enjoy the additional razamatazz. Depending on who I’m entertaining, it might stay or go!) For this place setting, a 13″ sparkly red charger (Target) is topped with a 12″ silverplate charger. Any plates with a formal holiday vibe will work. I used my trusty Noritake “Spectrum” dinner and salad plates with the simple, sleek platinum band.

A crisp white cotton napkin with a monogram or initial is always perfect for a formal setting. An icy crystal napkin ring from Z Gallerie helps to set this one off against the silver and white plates.

J.A. Henckels’ “Bellaserra” flatware has a beautiful mirrored finish that works well with the silver & white tablescape. A black-handled steak knife is added for use with the entrée.

IMG_3379WMCristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal stemware is always a nice choice. The diamond-shaped cut of this crystal mimics the cut of the Z Gallerie napkin ring.

Cranberries are wonderful for Christmastime decorating! They are relatively inexpensive (you can pick them up for as little as 99¢ a bag at Aldi’s or similar discount grocery stores), and they can be used in SO many ways. To dress them up, I am floating them in silver pedestal bowls with candles. (I used this pedestal bowl filled with rose petals for a wedding tablescape HERE.)

IMG_3366WMPlaced at strategic intervals down the table are three 27″ silverplate candlesticks with pillar candles. The candlesticks lend height to the table as well as ambient light at a higher level. The rose-filled silver julep cups placed at each person’s place setting work well as tabletop decor during the meal and as a nice take-home gift after dinner.

Ambient light at the lowest level is provided by silver mercury glass votive holders.

The red berry theme is extended with a berry-covered grapevine wreath over the mantel. The greenery on the wreath is the same used in the small julep arrangements on the table. Additional silver mercury glass votives flank the wreath.

So…if you have space for a 12-ft.+ table, this style works very well. (Two 8-ft. tables would require additional decorative pieces, but would be extra FABulous!!!) Of course, it requires a bit more decor because of its length, but it’s the same as doing two rounds. To see the squared version of this table which can also be done with a round, click HERE.

More tablescape designs on this site using long tables:
Oopsy Daisy!”
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn White Wedding
Get Me to the Church On Time
Daisy Crazy
Blue & White Family Picnic
Thanksgiving 2010
Hollywood Fright Night
Celebrate the Season
Black, White & Red All Over
Pretty In Pink
Love & Orchids”
Tented Green

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow
Tuscan Holiday

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! I am joining Susan and the other tablescapers from around our glorious world for Tablescape Thursday again this week. You’re invited to come along for the ride!