Diwali My Way

The extent to which I am familiar with Indian culture is that which I’ve seen in movies like “Bend It Like Beckham”. Last year, though, I found a blog called Rainbow – The Colours of India hosted by my blogger buddy Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee (Mukherjee). Sanghamitra is an avid traveler and photographer who captures some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. She has become my personal version of National Geographic. 🙂 I’m in awe of people who can just pack a suitcase and hit the road (or skies, or water) without reservation or hesitation. I’m the consummate homebody, so I live vicariously through those brave, happy-go-lucky souls.

Sanghamitra’s photos of the bright colors of India, along with her posts last Fall on Diwali (popularly known as the “festival of lights“), inspired me to try my hand at a table that celebrates the festival which generally begins in October/November. This Diwali-inspired tablescape is by no means “traditional” or “authentic”, but it is my attempt to capture the colors, smells, tastes and feel of a country I admire but will never see in person. I think it fits right in with Cuisine Kathleen’s “Destination Challenge” this week!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

An abundance of rich, bright colors starts with the hot pink overlay.


Each place setting begins with a gold-leafed glass charger. The amber glass dinner plates are from Pier 1, and the 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plates were a Home Goods find a couple of years ago.

Sheer gold napkins from Pier 1 are cinched with tiny child-size bangles purchased at a local market called Namaste India. It’s a fun place to shop with lots of different foods, clothing, jewelry and other items unique to the Indian culture.

Shiny gold flatware works well against the brilliant colors.

A combination of opulent glassware includes gold-embellished tumblers that I bought at TJ Maxx in several different base colors (purple, red, turquoise) including the green pictured here. The purple gold-rimmed wine glasses were a Pier 1 find many years ago, and the leggy amber flute is from World Market. I love every opportunity to mix and match glassware!

The centerpiece that extends the length of the table is a mix of various components. Hot pink rose balls sit center stage atop a gold vase. Flanking the vases are graceful red gem-studded gold Buddhas that I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft store a couple of years ago. Multi-colored glass votive holders dot the rich swath of red & gold silk fabric placed diagonally and allowed to puddle onto the floor for dramatic effect.

The buffet behind the table boasts colors that complement in the flowers, candles and other details.

Spices commonly used in Indian cooking are as beautiful as they are tasty. Coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, ginger, mustard seed, paprika and turmeric are just a few of the wonderfully fragrant spices that add zesty flavor.

Cinnamon, star anise, and fragrant bay leaf are other popular spices used in Indian cooking that produce a special flavor. Finish off the evening with a fabulous libation made with blue curacao liqueur.

I carried the hot pink color to the buffet via a small arrangement of peonies and a more imposing bouquet of calla lilies in a brass vase from India.

Other Asian-inspired posts on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

I enjoyed my week off and got a lot done, but I’m glad to be back with all of you in Blogland! Please join me at Cuisine Kathleen’s for “Let’s Dish!” and at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday again this week!

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.