“Let It Snow!”

Christmas Eve 2009 brought a thick blanket of snow to the Kansas City area. What better way to celebrate it than to bring a few snowflakes inside to the dining room tablescape?

 

 

 

Because I wanted to keep a little bit of a “woodland” look, I kept the table bare of linens to expose its grainy wood.

 

 

A shiny silver charger anchors platinum rimmed white Noritake “Spectrum” dinner plates, followed by a shimmering acrylic snowflake, and finally a white snowflake-laden salad plate from Pier 1. Mikasa‘s Jamestown Platinum stemware and heirloom silver flatware complete the setting. The centerpiece is made up of a large silver cake plateau topped with “snow-dusted” faux evergreens and lots of pillar candles.

 

Sometimes one napkin is simply not enough! Layering napkins – here a sheer silver organza from Pier 1 over crisp white cotton – gives a richer look. The rhinestone flecked napkin rings continue the snowflake trend.

 

I love these mirrored candlesticks from Pier 1 (2009 collection) used to elongate the centerpiece! Silver jingle bells rest on a mound of faux snow in modern crystal mini vases, and a 3-D glittery star work to complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

The buffet decor mimics that of the dining table with snowy faux greenery, pine cones, more jingle bells, and lots of sparkle. The glass Parisian decanter is filled with “snow” and greenery, and a length of brown satin ribbon literally “ties” the dining room in with decor in the foyer.

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
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
Tuscan Holiday

 

 

 

 

Rhapsody In Blue

RHAPSODY IN BLUE
(a re-post from September 2010)

I treated a couple to a post-nuptial luncheon in our home to celebrate their union. A smattering of “diamonds” brings glitz & sparkle to the wedding tablescape.

 Bursts of bright green play nicely off the bride’s chosen colors of French blue & white. Granny Smith apples and juicy green grapes are surrounded by green button mums, spider mums, pink waxflower, Queen Anne’s lace, viburnum, and fragrant Stargazer lilies all spilling from a silver pedestal bowl. The main piece is flanked with green grapes atop simple silver pedestals.

 Each lady’s place setting is marked with an oversized “diamond” napkin ring. The gentlemen have simple “wedding bands” of silver. Two chargers – one rhinestone-rimmed and the other a plain silver – mimic the differences in the men’s and ladies’ place settings. The scrolled-edge cream-colored plates are from TJ Maxx, and the quilted table runner and napkins are from Z Gallerie.

  Although a simple fare is served (pecan-chicken salad on croissant, honey-dipped fruit on a skewer, assorted cheese slices and kettle chips with strawberry shortcake for dessert), the tablescape still has a decidedly regal feel about it.

Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape

Royal Stafford “Clematis” dinnerware. Sigh!!! When this design first hit the scene some years ago, it was all the rage. I promptly plucked up ten dinner plates and cereal bowls to add to my ever-growing collection. Hmmm…that was 5+ years ago. I’ve just recently been inspired to actually USE them!

 

This relatively quick and easy-to-assemble tablescape begins with a pewter-toned crushed poly full-length tablecloth that I absolutely love for both its color AND its versatility.

 

 

 

 

The smoky grey/pewter of the tablecloth and napkin – loosely knotted and draped over the lower edge of the plate – works so well with the purple hues of the dinnerware. I used 2 chargers for depth and color variation (a lavender acrylic and a silver beaded edge metal), a tablescape design trick I also used for “Simply Peacock Garden“, “French Poodle“, “Pumpkins & Peacocks“, “Copper Zen“, and “Hooray For Vodka!

 

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

 

The water glasses are simple stock from Old Time Pottery. The plum-colored wine glasses are from Home Goods.

 

Now this is where it all gets a little sketchy. In my twisted little mind, clematis and flowering dogwood possess some similarities.  No, they don’t look just alike by any stretch of the imagination, but the blooms on dogwood branches were close enough for me to create dramatic height for this table! Flowering dogwood branches spring up from this trio of slender grey glass vases that make up the simple centerpiece.

Other posts on this site (other than Mardi Gras and Christmas!) that use a healthy pop of purple:
Purple & Pastel
Purple for Spring
Luscious Layers of Lavender
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Easter Floral
Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!
Planning in Purple

 

Simply Peacock Garden

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth "Peacock Garden" plates from Home Goods

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth “Peacock Garden” plates from Home Goods

True story: My Mom MADE me get these plates! Seriously! Stop laughing! She did!!! We were in Home Goods, and I was going to pass them up…but she insisted I get them and then ultimately bought them for me. STOP laughing! I’m telling the truth!!!

Have you composed yourself? Good. Then please enjoy my post using these beautiful 222 Fifth “Peacock Garden” dinner and salad plates. Then be sure to stop back tomorrow for another peacock tablescape that would sub nicely for a Mardi Gras setting!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Full dining tableI set up this 48″ table in our library as burly men with their butt cracks showing finished installing new windows in our dining room. This was my only diversion as they were here for way too long on a frigid day. Ice and snow as far as the eye could see. Yes…that meant the house was freezing cold, so I had to keep busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: LinenTablecloth.com layered linens in turquoise and whiteI used this linen layering technique again to pick up both the white background and the colorful foreground of the plates. A 108″ white round tablecloth is layered with an 85″ square turquoise cloth from LinenTablecloth.com, lending contrast and interest.

IF

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Stack collageClockwise progression: The deep blue metal charger used at the bottom of the place setting was found on clearance at Pier 1. I was so lucky to get 8 of them! My sister gave me the beautiful gold- and silver-leafed glass chargers a few years ago, and I use them often. The deep turquoise poly-cotton napkin is from Z Gallerie, and you already have the 411 on the plates. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it, people! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Napkin & rim shotThe napkin is simply folded and placed between the top charger and the dinner plate. I placed it here to pick up the deep turquoise in the plates, while the top linen picks up the softer turquoise color in them. The bottom charger picks up the 3rd shade of blue, the gold charger picks up the gold, and the bottom white linen, of course, picks up the white in the plates. Like a peacock’s feather, this place setting is a dazzling array of hues that artfully work together.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Flatware placementWacky? Yes. Unconventional? Yes. Fun? You betcha!!! It’s not a formal setting, so this is just another way to add interest to the tabletop and keep guests on their toes! 🙂 While the salad and dinner forks are in their traditional places, the dessert fork and coffee spoon decide to get jiggy with it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: StemwareWanting once again to pick up the array of colors in the peacock plates, I teamed up an inexpensive cobalt blue goblet from Dollar Tree with a mid-priced deep turquoise goblet from Stein Mart, then finished it off with a 24-kt. gold-rimmed white vintage piece from my Mom. I love to mix glassware like this! (For more ideas on successfully mixing stemware, visit HEREHERE, HERE, and HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece is easy to create but packs a whallop. A beautiful pitcher is filled with peacock feathers at varying heights and then simply surrounded by a splash of gold mercury glass votives. All the girth is way up high, so the centerpiece can remain throughout the meal.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Peacock wreath on side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Simply Peacock Garden: Peacock wreath on secretary doorOK, now I’m saying this so much that even I’m starting to think I’m lying: My Mom MADE me get these wreaths!!! We were checking out accessories in Home Decorator Collection when she suddenly summoned me to the back. She literally called me on my cell phone and told me to come back there. I’m an obedient daughter ( 😉 ), so I went. There, at 75% off in the after-Christmas section, were these beautiful and very full peacock wreaths. “They’re perfect for the plates,” she said. “You need to have those,” she said. “If you don’t buy them, I’ll just buy them for you,” she said. Honest!!!

I’m exhausted! All this explaining myself is really hard work! Please stop back by tomorrow for another peacock tablescape that is a nice respite from the “usual suspects” in Mardi Gras decorating. I’ll post it just before leaving the house to go shopping with my Mom! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Other tablescapes on this site inspired by peacocks:
The Peacock Effect
Peacock Pizzazz
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Pheasants & Peacocks
Proud As a Peacock!

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!

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

Pumpkins & Peacocks

Here we are once again at the crazy transitional time that calls for us to walk that pencil-thin line between summer and autumn tablescapes. A September tablescape can be one of the most difficult as we teeter on the cusp of the bright colors of summer and the warm, deeper tones that come with the crunch of autumn leaves. This mix of a bright pumpkin color and the flickering jewel tones of peacock feathers is a tablescape that might satisfy the need to meet in the middle. And, as the peacock is the national bird of India, this might also make a fun table for the festival of Diwali which marks the end of the harvest season.
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.)

The foundation of this colorful Fall tablescape is an attention-grabbing floor-length pumpkin-colored linen from LinenTablecloth.com.

While the layers of the tabletop include more of the bright pumpkin hue, the deepness of the greens and purples ground it a bit more and bring it even closer into Fall.

This table for four features complex layers that speak to the cooler autumn months but don’t abandon what’s left of summer. A double layer of square gold chargers from World Market hosts a French-inspired plate adorned with a gorgeous peacock, his iridescent plumage on full display. The lower right corner of the plate comes alive with brightly colored gloriosa lilies.

Gold-tone flatware complements the orange-y hue of the linens. Around the napkin is a showy purple “gemstone” napkin ring from Z Gallerie, usually reserved for Mardi Gras around here. (See it used HERE and HERE.) The purple in the napkin ring complements the jewel tones in the eye of the peacock feathers.

Inexpensive but nonetheless lovely green Dollar Tree stemware complements the green tones in the peacock feathers and offers another layer of color to the table’s palette.

I didn’t have a lot of gloriosa lilies, but I did have on hand enough of these faux orchid stems that were very close in both color and form. I chose to create a kind of wild, untamed, uncontrolled floral arrangement…much like the demeanor of peacocks! While a faux orchid floral arrangement is used for this demonstration, it would be REALLY cool if your budget allows for real ones!!!

Tiny pumpkin-colored tea light votives candles produce ambient light and extend the surface level girth of the centerpiece.

A simple straight line of votives across the fireplace mantel mimic those on the table.

To see more Fall tablescapes on this site, visit:
Autumn” page (has TEN different posts on one page!!!)
September Wine
Autumn Blues
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Sunflower Simple
Serape High Style
Raining Orchids” (another great transitional table!)

Next week I’ll have photos of one of the four tables I have been laboring to set up for my “Fabulous Fall Tablescaping” class through Longview Community College’s Community Education department. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I get the requisite number of students so that the class isn’t cancelled. I know people are very busy and that the economy really sucks right now, but I have such great plans for this class!!! I hope it fills up! If you live in the Kansas City, MO area, you have until Friday the 14th to enroll, so give them a call at 816-604-2030. Classes start Tuesday, September 18th.

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. CDT. Also on Wednesday I will be joining The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“. Then on Thursday, please come along with me to Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” starting at 9:00 a.m. CDT. I hope to see you then!

Mardi Gras Lite

Fat Tuesday in celebration of Mardi Gras 2012 is just about a week away now!!! Problem is, the term “Fat Tuesday” probably has my photograph posted next to it on Wikipedia. I have been bad, bad, bad, bad, bad the last……oh, let’s say 10 years to be honest. I quit exercising every day but continued to shovel in the food and drink despite the ever-expanding hips, thighs, belly and “Oprah arms” waving back at me in the mirror.

This year, instead of the tower of fried catfish, vat of jambalaya, shrimp étouffé, hush puppies, King’s cake and hurricanes I’ve routinely enjoyed in the past, I’m pledging to lighten up. To that end, I have also created a Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras tablescape “lite”…an upscale, sophisticated, pared down version of the more decadent Mardi Gras style to which I am accustomed and hold so dear.

The traditional hues of purple, green, and gold will still be there in all their glory…just not as over-the top in their presentation. This table might work for those who want the essence of Mardi Gras without the whole “Swing from the balcony and show me your —-!!!” feel. 🙂 (In-laws, bosses or clergy invited for dinner might appreciate the less bawdy tone of it!)

I’ve never used a royal purple table linen for any occasion, but this year it lands on the table as the base of the tablescape. Dual chargers in a gold square and purple cobblestone round cradle a clear glass dinner plate and green glass salad plate, thus incorporating all the traditional colors.

A royal purple cotton napkin is cinched with a flirty bangle napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Goldtone flatware works well with the place setting.

I was so pleased to see that I had stemware of a similar shape in purple (TJ Maxx), green (Dollar Tree), and gold (World Market).

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. It was totally my husband’s -who fancies himself “The Tablescape Whisperer” – idea to include the long strands of beads. I resisted, thinking it would be way too cliché to have bundles of them down the center of the table. Plus, I whined, it will take away from the clean lines! We compromised, and I ended up arranging them in this quieter “grid” that frames each place setting as well as the centerpiece elements. Purple, green, and gold glass vases hold simply-arranged royal purple calla lilies. Finishing out the centerpiece are clusters of Mardi Gras “disco balls” that catch the light.


The buffet in back of the table is also relatively staid with a single, albeit oversized, royal purple Vidrios San Miguel recycled glass vase stuffed with an arrangement of graduated purple calla lilies. Using a single piece in a dramatic size and color negates the need for lots of little pieces all over the buffet top. Purple and gold glass votives dot the buffet’s edge and add to the overall ambiance in the room.

I don’t think they make gumbo-flavored rice cakes, so I’ll have to come up with something that will be healthy, filling and tasty without sending me into carb/fat/sodium/sugar overload. Yeah, I know…good luck with that! 🙂 New plan: Stick with the old eating plan, but eat it at the pared down table! Love it!

Please join me for Tablescape Thursday again this week to see how other tablescapers from around the globe are decorating for and celebrating Mardi Gras!
Laissez bon temps rouler, y‘all!!!

To see other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras!

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.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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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?

Get Me to the Church On Time!

All I can say is, “Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to squeeze this in during this busy, crazy holiday season!” (Click HERE if you would like to see all of our indoor Christmas decor for this year.)

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IMG_3445WMA Christmas bridal shower and wedding presents an opportunity to include the flavor of the holiday season without overdosing on it. With this shower, held in the evening, I made a valiant pass at it using some tried-and-true techniques and design elements.

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IMG_3429WMA flowing white cotton full-length linen is the start of an elegant table. The red chargers I have relied upon this season were a great start to a stylish place setting. The red charger (Target) is topped with a decorative gold one from Old Time Pottery. (Click HERE or HERE to see this same technique used with different dishes and silver chargers.) No-name dishes I bought in the early 90s at a discount department store are still a treasure to me today with their traditional holly design.

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IMG_3507WMI just love it when things work out. I went with our linen napkins bearing the first initial of our last name that coincidentally (again, thank you, Lord!) is the initial of the last name the bride will take as her own this weekend. The colorful beaded napkin rings were a steal last year at Old Time Pottery for just 99¢ each!

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IMG_3498WMA mix of gold-rimmed clear (Tuesday Morning) and cherry red stemware (Pier 1) is illuminated by the glow of abundant candlelight.

IMG_3482WMMy old standby goldtone flatware worked well to round out the place setting.

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IMG_3450WMStock Christmas cards create a menu with the theme of the evening, “Get Me to the Church On Time!” I used this same technique last year HERE for our Christmas season kickoff dinner.

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IMG_3500WMOne more “thank you, Lord!” in that I was able to reuse the cranberries used HERE. I created a similar version of this centerpiece made up of various sizes of cylinders parading down the table with vibrant orchids for a beautiful summer engagement party. Click HERE and scroll down to “Love and Orchids” to see that table. Floating cranberries and candles in the cylinders provides multi-level color and ambient light. Full-blown roses with sprigs of bright red berries and holly finish the look.

That’s it! I’m sure the wedding will go off without a hitch, and this will be a Christmas to remember!

Please take a little break from all the hustle & bustle of the season to join the party at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. There’s so much incredible tablescaping talent out there!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS
FROM ME AND MINE!!!

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Photographer/Best Friend Sheri & me!

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My supportive, loving parents & me!