Happy Birthday, Barf!

You know how kids pick at each other and give each other a lot of grief, but then grow out of it in later years? All that applies to my sister and me…except the growing out of it part. I lovingly bestowed the nickname “Barf” on my big sister about 40 years ago, and it just kinda stuck. Barf this, Barf that, Barf the other….regardless of the name on her birth certificate, to me she is simply “Barf.”

Barf and her sweet friend, DeEtta, visited Kansas City a little over a week ago on their way to Columbia, Mo. Barf is an October baby and was on her way to an annual October babies celebration with other family & friends.  Because she was turning 100 or 150 or something like that on this birthday, she was pooped out from all the driving. So we held a jazzed up little “come-as-you-are” birthday dinner party at our house.

Everyone was dressed comfortably and casually, but I wanted to do something kind of swanky for the table. Barf and DeEtta had already traveled quite a distance from Minnesota and still had another two hours to drive after dinner to get to Columbia. I wanted the table to be something she would enjoy but that would also be easy to put together since I was feeling particularly lazy. So I went with spiffed up basic black.

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Silver metal chargers and Noritake “Spectrum” china are my “go to” pieces that take a lot of guesswork out of the whole thing.

IMG_2718WMBlack napkins folded into a neat little square with an orchid bloom for a shot of color.

The menu card has a photo of Barf at 6 months old. Wasn’t she a cutie patootie? (Speaking of patooties, I tried to cover hers a little here with my watermark! :-)) Creating these menus was my favorite part of the whole set-up!

I went with J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware…just because. 🙂

IMG_2732WMAnother great “go to” is my Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. I love it for its timeless beauty, its incredible versatility, and the way it feels in my hand. It’s perfect!

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I bought these cool triple-decker bling mirrors a while back at Hobby Lobby. Yes…Hobby Lobby! They’re very sturdy and reflect a lot of light. While they are meant to be hung on a wall, I decided they would make much better centerpiece trays. The neatly lined votive candles and 25″ metal case candles (much safer taper if you don’t want candlewax everywhere!!!) double back in the mirrors. My Dad was quite intrigued with the design.

Mirrored cylinders hold a mix of bright green cymbidium orchids, dusty miller (rescued from the back yard before the frost got to it!), and raw coffee bean clusters.

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I wanted something lush for a buffet piece that leaned toward fall without screaming it out loud. “Peacock White” flowering kale had both just the right color and texture I wanted mixed with the dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, and raw coffee beans. This heavy 4-light silver epergne (also seen here filled with mounds of baby’s breath at the “Princess Pink Birthday Party“) is a great buffet or centerpiece item, and it has a removable bowl for easy arranging and cleaning.

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

L to R: Mom, Me, Daddy, DeEtta, and the Birthday Girl…Barf!!!

I’ve done a lot of teasing here (as always, because what are sisters for? ;-)), but I really do love my sister. She’s a very warm, kind, giving person with a heart as big as all outdoors.  Yes, she’s weird and goofy…but she’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Barf! 🙂

Note: This would make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape, too!!!

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Roses In October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

As is always my distinct pleasure, I am joining Susan and the other talented tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Won’t you come along?

Little Black Dress

I’m back this week and feeling pretty good now. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to drop me a note of encouragement during my illness. I felt very much loved! And my husband extends his thanks for your patience with him as well. I’m afraid to ask just what that means! 😉

Congratulations once again to the winner of the Mikasa “Daylight” Giveaway, Marlis Bennett of Creative Journeys!!! All the entries were beautiful and creative, and it pained me deeply that only one person could win. But since those were the contest rules, Marlis was awarded the grand prize and I tip my hat to her. Enjoy, Marlis!

This week’s tablescape is in response to Angela who requested help via Facebook with designing a sleek, sophisticated, uncluttered and inexpensive tablescape for entertaining a prospective client. Tall order, Angela! All that and inexpensive??!?!! Well, here ya go…my interpretation of what that might look like.
(Photos taken in low light for dramatic film noir effect!)

IMG_0620WMI considered what I wear when I’m looking to convey sleek sophistication, and nothing fills that bill like a little black dress! So the table is dressed in a sultry black linen.

Accessories? I usually put on either pearls or understated diamonds and finish off the look with a dramatic slick of juicy red lipstick. There’s my inspiration for this black and red tablescape!

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img_0618wm.jpgSleek silver chargers are topped with an inexpensive crystal clear dinner and salad plate (the diamonds) from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Simple and cost effective clear water and wine glasses keep pace with the simplicity of the place setting. (I buy these in bulk from Old Time Pottery and Pier 1.) A simply folded black napkin rests on top of the stack to quietly bring the drama of the black closer to the surface of the tablescape.

IMG_0633WMSleek, unadorned J. A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless flatware finishes each place setting.

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Here’s where that slick of ruby red lipstick comes in: brightly colored tulips submerged in glass spheres, anchored with black river rock. Smaller, similarly shaped votive holders extend the candlelight from the floaters in the floral arrangements. A little river rock is added to the bottom of the votive holders for design consistency. (River rock in various colors can be purchased at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. The same goes for the glass spheres which can be used for myriad tabletop designs. Both are on sale for 50% off about every 6 weeks, so watch the sale ads and pick up twice as much for the price!) Flowers submerged in glass vases allows for an impressive look without the expense of the numbers needed for full bouquets.

The uncluttered design on the table continues on the buffet surface with just the bare necessities. For as much money as you save on the cool red and black tablescape, you can afford to serve a little caviar during cocktails. Nothing complements a little black dress like caviar and champagne! 😉 (My friend enjoyed this caviar – despite the availability of my well-stocked wine fridge – with a bottle of Yoo-hoo after I photographed it. I’m sorry, but no matter how hard I try I just can’t get with the whole raw fish thing! And to wash it down with a Yoo-hoo is just gross…and weird!!!)

IMG_0605WMA simply arranged vase of tulips sidles up to a mirrored charger of Mikasa’s  leggy “Sophia” tall sherbet glasses.

I picked up these cute linen cocktail napkins at Bombay Company before all the U.S. retail outlets closed. They are perfect for dabbing away the remnants of a sip and a nosh before dinner.

More tablescapes on this site using clear glass globes:
Autumn Blues

Well, Angela, this is my take on a slick black tablescape with red accents. While you are planning to use it as a spring tablescape, it would also be great for a fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescape, or any time of year with a quick change of flowers. I hope this helps to get your own table ready for the big night! Good luck to you, and please let me know how it goes!

More tablescapes on this site using tulips:
Welcome Back, Joel
Informally Formal
The Bluebird Special
Easter Floral
Peachy Keen Breakfast Tablescape

Linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch on Wednesday after 9:00 p.m. for Tablescape Thursday! Hope to see you there!

Just Us Girls

This week’s post is of a quiet, simple dinner for “Just Us Girls” when we want to relax, unwind, jibber-jabber, and have a good time in an elegant setting with minimal fuss. I hope you enjoy its simplicity.

Getting together with “the girls” is always fun. I have such a good time with them just relaxing, rehashing old stories from days gone by, and dreaming about the future. No better way to do that than over a hot meal in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Music for tonight: Soundtracks from “First Wives Club” and “Something’s Gotta Give”, a little Billie Holliday, and Patsy Cline.

 

Soft pink and velvety rich chocolate brown on a white background is the color scheme. It is a little on the contemporary side. A large round mirror anchors each place setting. Next comes a silver beaded edge charger. Then my favorite…fabulous glossy chocolate brown and white “Delfina” dishes with a silver rim from Z Gallerie! How I longed for these dishes!!! I was finally able to buy them a few months ago. They are classically clean-looking without fussy adornment. I love them! The rim of the Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is a perfect match. The menus – generated on my home computer – are a brown underlay and a soft pink vellum overlay with pink velvet ribbon.


A peek at the plate. A bit difficult to pick up on the actual color, but believe me…to die for!!!


Keeping with the contemporary look, I chose these unusually shaped silver napkin rings. They remind me of a gentleman’s cuff link. Very snazzy!

The curvy J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless mimics the lines of the napkin ring. I love the way the knife sits on its edge.

The centerpiece is kept simple and streamlined. Pairs of clear oyster votive cups punctuate the “lamps” made of clear glass pilsner vases topped with a squared off bell shade in chocolate brown (from Walmart!). Click here and scroll down to Tip #21 see how the lamps were put together. While it is not completely evident from these photos, I must share with you a little secret: When using a clear lamp base such as this, try turning the LED votive used for illumination upside down. In doing so, you illuminate the shade and cast the light down into the glass which looks so cool!!! While I used white for this tablescape, it’s even cooler if you use a colored LED votive!  Try it and see what it does for the lamp and your adjacent florals! (For more candle lamps on this site, seeRaining Orchids“, “All A’Bloom In Pink for Spring“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, and “It’s All About Me!“.)

The contemporary look and feel is completed by a mass grouping of petal pink calla lilies in a simple clear glass vase. Nestled between the taller lamps, it brings a soft dash of color to the table.

 

Other pink & brown tablescapes on this site include:
Chocolate Traditional
Au Revoir!
Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon

 

Be sure to check out the newest Table Twenty-One Table Tip, too! Coincidentally, it’s #21 on the tip page! Click here to find it or on the “Table Tips” tab above. Once on the page, just scroll down to Tip #21!

  Remember to check out my other tablescaping pals at Between Naps on the Porch for more tabletop ideas!

I am joining Susan and the bunch at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.