After another short absence, I am back for a couple of weeks before my shoulder surgery next Friday, the 26th. Again, thanks to all of you who have been so patient with my on-again-off-again posting as I’ve tried to deal with soul-crushing pain in the wake of Daddy’s death. It has not been easy in any way. Add to that the physical pain with my shoulders and back…not a fun summer!
All that being said…I’d like to dedicate this post to two very special fellow bloggers. First up, Jennie Schumann of Got My Reservations went to Paris earlier this year and was so sweet and thoughtful as to gift me with this week’s colorful inspiration. Merci, Jennie!
INSPIRATION: Many thanks to Jennie Schumann for these easy-clean beauties!!!
I also want to dedicate this post to Linda at A La Carte who will be jetting off to gay Paris in September. She’s so excited about it, and I’m truly excited for her!!! What lucky girls! I can only live vicariously through them since I am so afraid to fly!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it for close-up details.)
Our deck is the site of this lovely French patisserie or bakery. It’s all set up for a lovely ladies luncheon, bridal luncheon, bridal shower, lady’s birthday, the girls’ way of celebrating Bastille Day (that’s a stretch!) or any occasion where femininity and fun are key elements.
Let’s start with the petite dining table set for four.
The placemats are far too pretty to completely cover, so clear glass dishes are on tap today to let the design shine through.
This oblong placemat has a beautiful pink damask background with soft green borders. The image of the Eiffel Tower is set against what appears to be a lacy doily. Images of luscious French macarons seem to bounce right off the placemat. The flatware is International Silver “Royal Danish”. (FUN FACT: the word “macaron” is not an alternate spelling of macaroon. The two terms refer to two distinctly different things. Both macarons and macaroons are confections, and both names are derived from “ammaccare”, which is Italian for “to crush” — but that’s where the similarities end. The macarons as pictured are a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream or fruit spread. A macaroon, on the other hand, is more often than not that little quarter-sized dollop of egg whites & sugar rolled in dried coconut and toasted to sweet perfection. In France, this is called a “congolais” and is served during Passover because it contains no flour. Sufficiently confused yet? 🙂 )
You may notice lots of layering going on throughout the space, starting with these 4-ply menus. (Click on the photo, then click again to enlarge and note how the menus honor Jennie and Linda!) A bright celadon green is topped with 2 different shades of pink damask cardstock from Hobby Lobby to complement the design of the placemat. It is held together with a metal fleur de lis brad, also from Hobby Lobby. The stemware used for this tablescape is from Old Time Pottery, and the napkin is from Bed Bath & Beyond.
The dramatic “Eiffel Tower” centerpiece is one that, while very tall, can still be seen through across the table. I have used this piece in different ways for two other posts, “Springtime in Paris Buffet” and “French Poodle”. Here is is lightly embellished with dainty pink silk flowers and a few butterflies. The center holds a glass cake pedestal piled high with pastries.
The layered look continues with the table linens. A 108″ round LinenTablecloth.com tablecloth in “Tea Green” is topped with a soft pink 90″ tablecloth. Layered linens always give a richer, more sumptuous look to a table and allow multiple theme colors to extend below the table’s surface.
Simple white resin patio chairs add to the “outdoor cafe” look.
It’s no jam-packed Parisian patisserie window, but I thought this vintage baker’s rack would be a neat way to display pastries and a few French-inspired knick-knacks as well as to bring the feel of an authentic patisserie to the deck. Notice the replica penny-farthing (bicycle) there on the floor as well as the fleur de lis symbols on the shelves. (TIDBIT: Frenchman Eugene Meyer is credited as the father of the penny-farthing or “high bicycle” by the International Cycling History Conference.)
Crosses show up a lot in French design and architecture, so I used this large wrought iron cross on top of the baker’s rack. The cross is flanked by two celadon green hat boxes with French flair.
Just like in a French patisserie, there is a huge variety of sweet pastries from which to choose. I stuck with pastries in the same/complementary color palette as the table.
Who knew a MoonPie looked so much like an authentic macaron? Hmmm….the MoonPie was created at the start of the Great Depression, so maybe it IS the poor man’s macaron? 🙂 And maybe it’s why they have been a traditional “throw” during the Mardi Gras (very French!) parades in many Southern states since the 1950s? (Where are my ‘Bama girls to back me up on this? Ellen? Sandra?) Something to ponder….! 🙂
More pastries on the dessert buffet, including beautiful pirouette cookies and pretty little cakes that make me want to slap on a crown and shriek, “Off with their heads!“, are displayed in and on glass and silver.
I bought several of these beautiful silver cake servers yeas ago. They come in quite handy for dessert buffets! The dark wrought iron fleur de lis seen here, as well as the white one in previous photos, both came from the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby for just $1 apiece.
The buffet table carries on the theme of pink, green and white as well as layering. This 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth is topped with pink and tea green satin runners, all from LinenTablecloth.com. It looked nice with the plain white tablecloth, but adding bits of color (for such a teensy, tiny price!) just kicked it up a notch! I used 3 runners to represent the 3 vertical bands of the French flag.
The coffee service set up on one end of the buffet table features a silver 25-cup coffee urn, a vintage creamer and sugar set, soft pink napkins, and a billowy floral design in a French-inspired white vase. The pastoral scene on the side of the cups is decidedly French, too.
Loaves of bread stand tall in a silver champagne bucket while croissants and other breads are displayed in a silver wire basket with Victorian-era tongs alongside assorted cheeses. The Austrian crystal cheese picks and forks add just the right amount of bling.
Finally, this fancy glass decanter with the word “Paris” on it is filled with corks instead of a beverage for a nice decorative touch.
Many, many, many thanks to Jennie for this wonderful bit of inspiration!
More posts using pink & green on this site:
“Showered in Pink”
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Pleasant Under Glass”
“Springtime in Paris”
I’m joining a couple of blog parties this week:
“Let’s Dish!” with Cuisine Kathleen
“Tablescape Thursday” with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
I’ll be back next week with one more post before surgery. It’s gonna be a doozy, and you won’t want to miss it!
Until next week, au revoir!