Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

“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.)

IMG_4025WM

IMG_4042WM

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.)

IMG_4012WM

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.”)

IMG_4001WM

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?