Mother’s Day Brunch

This colorful brunch tablescape in Springtime shades of blue, white, and cheery lemon yellow punctuated with bright pink paid homage to my Mother. The bouquet – my son and his girlfriend’s way of honoring me on Mother’s Day – was perfectly coordinated to the setting, especially the fresh fruit compote! (Please pardon the horrible fold lines in the table linen! This is one of my very early blog posts before I realized just how awful lines look in photos!!!)

These placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond caught my eye because of the playful lemons adjacent to the traditional & decidedly staid damask. The lemon yellow cotton napkins are also from BB&B. The cornflower blue juice glasses and compotes are from Old Time Pottery, and the cobalt blue chargers from Pier 1. The plates are basic white Corelle.

Fresh, fragrant lemons in blue & white transferware bowls with a few lemon leaves tossed in for color elongate the tablescape’s centerpiece. Not one to be wasteful, freshly squeezed lemonade is on the next day’s menu. (Oh, for heaven’s sake…those folds in the linen are killin’ me!!! :-()

I embellished the lush mix of lilies, roses, Fuji mums, orchids, hyacinth, button mums, monkshood and carnations with a few butterflies.

Coffee cups in the colors of the day are from Old Time Pottery.

Pre-sliced bagels are presented in a long napkin-lined basket. Find the recipes for the homemade vegetable or honey cream cheese spreads HERE or by clicking the “Recipes” tab above.

Nothing like a little fruit juice to get the day started! Here, clear glass decanters hold a choice of pink grapefruit, orange or apple.

I just love to take something basic and make it special! Plain white ceramic pitchers from Home Goods are gussied up with the addition of custom silver tags that mark the frothy, cold chocolate and strawberry milk.

The hostess awaits her guests’ arrival!

Other posts suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration on this site:
Peonies & Pearls
Showered in Pink
Pink Plaid & Posies
Days of Wine & Roses
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pleasant Under Glass

Another tablescape using lemons on this site:
Lemonade From Bill

A few fun accessories that will help make your Spring table feel fresh, inviting, and alive!

  • Budding branches (you can get these from your yard or nearby wooded areas)
  • Fresh curly willow (adds a lot of character and dimension to arrangements or can be used alone)
  • Grapevine
  • Flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., daffodils, tulips, hyacinth)
  • Potted green plants
  • Topiaries
  • Moss
  • Freshly grown grass in pots or flats
  • Nests
  • Birdhouses and cages
  • Glass bell jars and wire cloches
  • Chicken wire
  • Baskets (plain, moss covered, embellished with twigs or pussy willow branches, etc.)
  • Pots and vases with a vintage look
  • Parasols
  • Fresh or faux veggies (e.g., lettuce, cabbages, carrots)
  • Easter eggs
  • Smooth river rock
  • Floral wreaths
  • Softly colored solid and patterned fabrics: plaid, paisley, floral
  • Ribbon and twine
  • Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of wood, grapevine, straw, iron and other natural elements
  • Flatware with handles made of wood or bamboo
  • Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., rabbits, squirrels, birds)
  • Figurines of Spring- or Easter-related animals (e.g., chicks, hens, roosters, sheep, butterflies)
  • White or pastel spray paint for lightning and brightening everything from branches & twigs to….you name it!

88 Years and 88 Keys

 

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,

One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw from Tuesday Morning.

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw.

Here in the Midwest it’s hotter than a firecracker already! We’re enduring scorching sun rays and humidity that’s sure to make your hair droop. The winds have been on the high side, too, which makes it very difficult to tablescape outdoors. My solution: create a tablescape using a heavier quilted topper that won’t so easily blow across the prairie. 🙂
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Full tableThis table for 4 on a 48″ round table starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. It is topped with a pretty red & white damask quilted throw from Tuesday Morning. The reversible topper is red & white striped on the other side which makes it a great choice for 4th of July and other patriotic tablescapes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Place settingThis part table could come into service as a breakfast, brunch, or luncheon setting. The casual nature of the quilted throw and centerpiece items is easily coupled with the more formal china and silver at each place setting. The simplicity of Noritake “Spectrum” china makes it a good choice to work well with the bold design and strong colors of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: white cotton hemstitched napkin with red & silver napkin ringEach place setting has a simply folded white cotton hemstitched napkin cinched with a silver-rimmed red metal napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: red martini glass from Pier 1 used for fruit compoteFor the fruit compote before the meal or dessert after, this graceful red martini glass from Pier 1 fits the bill. This style was chosen because the ball at the top of the stem mimics that in the water glass and the glass orb in the centerpiece. (Quick story about Pier 1…Ramon & I were in the store closest to our home last week buying a few clearance sale items. The young woman who checked us out asked, “Are you the Alycia Nichols who has the tablescape blog?” You can only imagine that my mouth hit the floor with that, but then she said to Ramon, “And are you Dr. Nichols?” You could have blown us over with a feather! It was nice to be recognized, especially by an employee of a store from which I buy a lot of items to use in my tablescapes! She told us that her Mom turned her onto my blog and that she’s also a Pinterest follower. So a shout out to Nikki at Pier 1 in Lee’s Summit, MO, and her Mom, Jan!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: water glassA simple clear drinking glass complements the setting. Notice the ball in the stem that works so well with the one in the martini glass.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: flatwareI used flatware with a design that complements that of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: coffee cup & saucerTo add to the casual air of the table, the coffee cup, saucer and spoon are pre-set with a little cookie.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Centerpiece collageNotice how the centerpiece is pushed off to one side of the table. This allows for greater ease in conversation across the smallish table. The galvanized oversized pitcher is whitewashed for a kind of country appeal and filled with apple tree branches. (I used faux here, but by all means if you have the real thing…go for it!!!) A simple white wicker basket is filled with a bounty of apples. (Add a few flags to the table and serve all-American apple pie for dessert, and this instantaneously becomes an overtly patriotic brunch tablescape for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Flag Day!) The clear glass orb atop a white wooden pedestal works because of the coloring, the size and the shape.

 

Compared to last week’s post, this was a super mini!!! I hope you enjoyed it and that you were perhaps able to collect an idea or two for your next summer tablescape!

 

Other tablescapes on this site with an off-center centerpiece on this site:
Lemonade From Bill
Planning in Purple

 

Other tablescapes on this site using a quilted topper or runner:
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
My Sister’s Wedding China
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Love’s Arrow
Rhapsody in Blue

 

Other tablescapes on this site with a patriotic theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
American Royal Tablescape
Peacefully Patriotic

I’ll be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined again on Monday for “Table It!“. I’ll also join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for another edition of “Tablescape Thursday”. If you come along for the parties, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration and help with planning your next tablescape!

French Poodle

INSPIRATION: This prim, proper, and oh-so-Parisian French poodle I bought at Home Goods with the gift certificate I won from Cuisine Kathleen!

INSPIRATION: This prim, proper, and oh-so-Parisian French poodle I bought at Home Goods with a gift certificate I won from Cuisine Kathleen!

With Mothers Day on the horizon and this time of year buzzing with bridesmaid luncheons, bridal showers and birthdays, this Paris-themed tablescape using pink, black, cream and white is a fun idea to add a little ooh-la-la to the celebration!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN3318WMThis very girly tablescape begins with a full-length black cloth from LinenTablecloth.com. Black linens are a staple just like the proverbial “little black dress” we all have in our closets because they can be dressed up or dressed down.

French Poodle tablescape place settings - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

French Poodle table setting in pink, black & white - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEach place setting is outfitted with a rhinestone-studded white charger that has been topped with another silver beaded-edge charger. The dinner plates are a simple cream color, and the salad plates in black to finish the look. TIP: Remember…it’s not always necessary to use “matching” dinnerware, but rather pieces that are complementary to one another and the surrounding decor.

Flatware, stemware, napkin, rim shot collage for French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneA soft pink napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond peeks out from beneath the dinner plate and is highlighted by the black background of the linen. The flatware, passed on to me from my Mother, is International Silver’s “Royal Danish” and the crystal diamond-cut stemware is from the Longchamps collection.

Canister on plate collageWhatever the special occasion, you want to have something fun for your guests to remember the event. These fun little tin boxes (Michaels Ashland Home Decor collection), embellished with either a fleur-de-lis or Eiffel Tower, are topped with a pretty “diamond” knob. They make a great favor in and of themselves (I’m using mine for storing cotton balls, Q-tips and makeup sponges in my dressing room!), but if you want to take it a step further, add a little gift or edible treat to be enjoyed later. TIP: These tins are on sale this week (thru 4-20-13) at Michaels at 50% off!

Eiffel Tower place card holder on French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI L-O-V-E these darling silver Eiffel Tower place card holders from Beau-coup.com. Thanks to the folks there at Beau-coup who were so kind as to send these for me to use in a tablescape. Even the place cards are embellished with tiny fleur-de-lis symbols!

French Poodle hat box centerpiece - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Pink boa & hat box centerpiece collage - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI always go on about shopping your home for centerpiece items, and these fun hat boxes from Gordman’s and poufy pink feather boas from Hobby Lobby came straight from my dressing room. I lengthened the centerpiece by adding curvy black lidded ceramic vases from Tuesday Morning and a couple of the larger pink & black tins from Michaels. Silver mercury glass votives dot the area for shimmer and ambient light.

Sophisticated ladies pillow - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneThis pink & black fashion pillow from Stein Mart is another item found in my dressing room that adds another fun touch to the overall ambience in the room.

French Poodle on buffet - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Poodle collageI like to extend the look on the table to the buffet. This time I used a black ginger jar from Home Goods to display a generous profusion of faux floral branches from Hobby Lobby to add to the feeling of springtime in Paris. Shading herself beneath the floral arrangement with her perfect little nose in the air is Fifi the pink French poodle. Thank you again, Kathleen! I’ll get a lot of use out of Miss Fifi in the years to come!

Tea cart with damask coasters from Beau-Coup.com - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Flute, box, coaster design collage

Coaster collage

Clockwise from upper left corner: Dianne from “Dianne’s Creative Table“, Teresa from “I Got the Sun In the Morning“, Lynne from “Lynne’s Gifts From the Heart“, Sandra from “The Sweet Sensations“, Liz from “Infuse With Liz“, Ellen from “Scribbler Unfocused“, Debbie from “Mountain Breaths“, and Babs from “Upstairs Downstairs“.

Beau-coup.com came through again with a real winner. These glass coasters are great for entertaining! Just slide a photo of each guest into the back pocket, and voila! (I used the photos of some very special blog buddies.) These coasters could work well as a place holder at the table or to simply identify whose drink is whose at a cocktail party! (Imagine your bridesmaids’ delight if you had this at their place setting and then a whole pack of them as a little thank you gift after the shower or luncheon!) The classic damask design around the edges lends to the upscale feel of the room’s design elements. One of the best features: the coasters have little rubber “feet” on the four corner to help stabilize them on any surface!

French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneSexy, oui?

Other pink & black or Paris-themed tablescapes on this site:
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink

Join me this week to see what talented tablescapers all around the globe are up to:
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday
The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta
Beverly’s “Pink Saturday
BeBetsy.com