A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

Labor Day weekend. What can I say? Time for a Coke and a smile with friends and family!

An all-American red, white & blue table for 6 – perfect for any patriotic celebration – is set up around our square picnic table.

I bought these fun double-sided melamine plates at Tuesday Morning YEARS ago and have just never used them. They’re great for keeping wet and dry foods separate. The hotdog boats, also from Tuesday Morning, keep that all-American delicacy upside right.

These fun retro Coca-Cola glasses were purchased at Dollar Tree a long, long time ago and – you guessed it! – have never been used until now.

In keeping with the 2 apparent themes – Coca-Cola and never been used – I dug up these aluminum ice buckets large enough to hold lots of drinks. Notice there’s no specific “centerpiece” as all the colorful food at the table’s end was enough.

Hungry anyone?

One last Coca-Cola representation in another bucket that holds the last of juicy summertime desserts.

Well, of course there’s an outdoor bar cart!!!!!! I have bar carts all over the house! I found this very handy rustic aluminum one at Hobby Lobby for 75% off!!! Ecstatic? Uhhhh…YEAH!!!

I’m actually OK with seeing the end of summer roll around. This summer of 2021 was…interesting.

I have several patriotic tablescapes on this site that I’d be tickled for you to use as inspiration.

Looking for a just good old-fashioned picnic? Click on a link below for ideas!

Have a joyful end of summer!!!!!!!! See you in the fall, y’all!

Blueberries & Lemons

Summer is drawing to a close…at least on the calendar. Withering heat still plagues us here, but we know relief is a stone’s throw away. My last summer tablescape of the year includes two very prominent products of the season: blueberries🫐, which I buy in copious amounts to flash freeze for winter, and lemons🍋.

Our dining room palette is shades of blue and white on a daily basis, but the addition of sunshiny yellow really perks it up! The table runner is from At Home which has a few good decorative items from time to time. Cobalt blue metal chargers from Pier 1 ground the place settings which include “Mirandela” dinner plates, also from Pier 1. A white ceramic charger separates the two and adds depth. The monogrammed lumbar pillow is from Sew Gracious.

I love the very European design on the plates! These lemon napkin rings around plain white hemstitch napkins work well with the design rather than competing for attention. Faux bamboo flatware with a yellowish undertone easily slips right in for a polished look.

Blueberry Lemon sparkling water…naturally!🫐🍋😉

The centerpiece was so easy to create it’s almost embarrassing.🙈 I have had the Z Gallerie yellow finial urns forever. When I saw the cobalt blue ones on a recent shopping trip to Nell Hills, I knew I had to have them! The asymmetrical faux floral piece is comprised of a single Nell Hills lemon branch nestled among showy palm leaves and spiked with the most fabulous blueberry branches from a little shop (been there at least 40 years!) in Blue Springs, MO, called Petals & Potpourri. Ice cream bowls from Pier 1 hold blueberries and lemons to keep the theme going from base to tip.

Lemon blueberry cake, anyone?

Blueberries, all ready for the freezer!

Just FYI, I get absolutely nothing in return for mentioning products & services or for providing links to various sources. Just sharing the info!

I’m really not ready to say goodbye to summer, but I suppose it has to be. If you would like to check out a couple of other blue & yellow tablescapes on this blog, “Mother’s Day Brunch” and “Sun & Sky” (from 2017 which used some of these same elements in a very different way) might tickle your fancy.

Or if you’re just looking for a tablescape with scads of lemon yellow:

I’m so happy you stopped by! If you wish, let me know you popped in via the comment section below. Have a safe, happy, healthy week ahead!

Pagoda Paradise In Pink & Green

Bold color. That’s what late summer calls for. We’re broiling right now here in the Midwest, and it’s taking its toll on my beautiful flower beds. (Dear Mother Nature, Please take note: This is Missouri, not Hell!🔥🥵) So if crippling heat wants to suck the life out of what I’ve created outside, I guess I’ll just have to compensate inside!

Our dining room, awash with shades of white punctuated with blue most of this summer, has been taken over by bright hues of pink and green.

The inspiration for this tablescape came in part from this gorgeous custom pillow made by Sew Gracious Monograms on Etsy. A pink pagoda is right up my alley! Thanks, Pam!

The other part of the inspiration came from a pair of these GORGEOUS tea towels from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO, fashioned into a table runner. Because our dining room is decorated in blue and white, the addition of pink and extension of blue via the fabulous pagodas in the runner and pillows is fabulous!

Each place setting starts with a hot pink Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass charger, followed by a Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner plate rimmed in blue, a square white B. Smith plate, a Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford – Navy” salad plate, and is topped off with a Granny Smith green Mikasa appetizer plate from their “Daylight” collection. Sleek stainless Hampton Forge bamboo flatware, a citrusy crushed silk napkin cinched with a Z Gallerie parrot napkin ring, and simple stemware round out the setting.

I went REALLY big and showy on the floral pieces using a mix of beautiful fauxs that tower above and around the painted pink birdcage that (somewhat) resembles a pagoda. To give the birdcage a larger presence, I perched it atop a stack of natural (to break up the profusion of color a bit) bamboo trays. Large white Z Gallerie parrots stand sentry in front of the floral arrangements.

This is a wonderful and welcome departure from the staid wash of white we have enjoyed the last couple of months. My way of easing into the deeper jewel tones of fall which is fast approaching.

Thank you for stopping in to visit! I appreciate it and welcome you to leave a comment if you wish. Have a glorious end of summer, and I hope to see you back here again soon. Meanwhile, if you would like to see other creations in pink and green on this blog:

If you’d like to check out other posts on this blog using the parrots, go to:

And if orchids – real or faux – are your thing, check out these posts:

Remember to follow me on Instagram!

The Power of Pink

It’s no secret I love the color pink. It has the power to simultaneously soothe and energize me. “Coquettish” is how it has been described, but I am invincible when cloaked in it or when my surroundings bathe in it. I’ll take it! Serve it up any way you want…from the softest blush to the boldest bright…like Shelby in Steel Magnolias”, “Pink is my signature color!”

At times I opt to keep the drama of a table confined to a single element. For this one, the WOW is in the waterfall of graceful florets (Nell Hills) spilling from a trio of tower vases.

The softness of this tablescape lends itself to the most feminine events: birthdays, wedding or baby showers, Mothers Day, Breast Cancer Awareness, or just a much needed girls’ night in.

I used these same floral branches in a totally different way in the recent post “Solemn Stars & Stripes“. White flowers instead of pink are used to keep the table from looking overly “sweet” and saturated.

A mix of old china and new Grace Teaware gold-dotted porcelain with a gorgeous pink band sits atop gold-leaf glass chargers. The faux pearl napkin rings are actually 2 rings fitted together for more girth, a trick I first used in the post “Peonies & Pearls” back in 2012.

I am so excited about and in love with these shapely gold-rimmed beverage glasses from Nell Hills!!! They are quite substantial in hand and easily pair with many items already in my repertoire. The blush pink stemless champagne glasses (Michaels) mimic the bowls with their generous sprinkle of gold dots.

This white pheasant has made an appearance in autumn posts like “Pheasants & Pumpkins” and “Candy Colored Autumn“, but never in a spring/summer setting. He just looks right at home here, though, so…voila!

These glass lamp votive holders are a favorite of mine, but I have rare occasion to use them. I bought them on clearance at Pier 1 some 20+ years ago in 3 colors, and they add just the right amount of ambient light at a slightly raised level. (I used the purple shades for “Celebrate Mardi Gras!” in 2014 but still haven’t found the right time and place for the red ones.)

The vitrine holds coffee service and dessert that includes assorted confections on a tiered tray and cupcakes under a fluffy cloud of pink frosting.

If you like pink as much as I do, check out these posts!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my little blog! I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. I’m also on Instagram if you’d like to follow me there! Enjoy your day!

Solemn Stars & Stripes

This 4th of July (and always) I pray for peace, true freedom, liberty and justice for all souls on this earth.

Placing the ceramic foot bath on a silver gallery tray adds another dimension and a bit of formality to the centerpiece.

Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” salad plates and “Rutherford Circle – Red” dinner plates atop white ceramic chargers. A mix of alternating red and blue Pier 1 star shaped bowls and a star-studded napkin folded flag style round out the place setting. I first did this napkin fold for “4th of July – Coastal Style” back in 2014.

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware.

Faux floral stems and blue & white chinoiserie foot bath from Nell Hill’s (Kansas City).

My Mother’s American flag is displayed on the vitrine in her honor.

Don’t forget to share in the abundance of the season including fresh fruits and pies! My favorite: blueberry! What’s YOURS?!!

To see other patriotic tablescapes on this blog, just click below. Have a safe and happy 4th!

Are You Ready For Some (2-Year-Old) Football?

Hello, howdy, hi there! While I’m still working hard on recuperation (from surgery exactly 8 weeks ago!), I can now at least sit in my office chair for 10-15 minutes at a time before pain swallows me whole. Meanwhile, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I came across photos from a “Better Kansas City” show Super Bowl 50 segment from two years ago that I never posted! With Super Bowl 52 this coming weekend, it’s perfect timing! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy Super Bowl weekend, and I hope to “see” you sometime in March!

 

 

For this segment I wanted to represent both teams. I had no horse in this race, so no big deal! (Fellow Kansas City Chiefs fans, please forgive me this transgression.  :-))

 

I’m quite fond of these stretchy Spandex tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com because they go on easy, clean up nicely, and don’t have to be folded. Really! Just scrunch ’em up and store them without wrinkle worries! (I don’t get paid to say nice things about the company. I just want you to know where to find stuff!)

 

The buffet “table runner” is actually composed of 3 gridiron placemats that I previously used for “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos” and “Kansas City Chiefs in the Red Zone“.

 

 

 

This horse head was first used to poke fun at the Broncos in my “Hometown Pride” post, but here it is merely fun team symbolism.

 

It is rare that I advocate disposable products, but if you want faster clean up, don’t trust the rowdy folks on your guest list to not throw ironstone dishes at the TV if their team is losing, or just want some variety, there’s lots of fun stuff out there.

 

I’m a big fan of choosing food and/or drinks in the team colors!

 

 

The Denver Broncos presence is felt all over the buffet table with the team colors of orange and blue. I found the cute little “official” bottle cozies (with working whistles!) and the pom poms (fun favor for guests to cheer on their chosen team!) at a local Party City.

 

This snazzy, jazzy guest table is all decked out in the Carolina Panthers’ team colors. Layering linens is a great way to bring color and interest to your table! The triple layer linens of Carolina blue, black and white are all from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

The place settings are simple but fun with matching placemats and napkins. I sometimes like to use both a fabric and paper napkin. Here, the team colors are well represented by tucking the patterned paper napkin inside the fabric one and allowing it to just peek over the top. (Fabric for your lap, paper for your hands & lips!)

 

Quick, inexpensive, and easy describes this centerpiece in celebration of 50 fifty years of Super Bowl. I bought plain numbers at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them gold, the traditional color for 50th anniversaries. Three footballs from Dollar Tree were also painted gold and set atop  tiered candle holders to lend more varied height to the tablescape.

 

So this was me two years ago (the picture of good health, loud & proud in my Kansas City Chiefs jersey!), one year out from the 3 surgeries (2 spine, 1 shoulder) I endured that year. I was feeling strong and energized after months of physical therapy. This look of healthy glee and accomplishment is my goal for later down the line in 2018, so I’m going to let slow and steady win this race. While I’m still nowhere near being able to create tablescapes at this point, I hope to get there soon!

Other sports themed tablescapes on this blog include:
Hometown Pride
Kansas City Chiefs in the Red Zone
Home of the Lions
Boys of Summer – Baseball Tablescape
The 19th Hole – Golf and Forever Love
Tartan on the Tee

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 488th Tablescape Thursday blog party and the 114th Celebrate Your Story with Chloe and Sandra. Lots to see over there from other very talented tablescapers, so check it out!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.

 

 

This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.

 

 

 

 

I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.

 

 

 

 

The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!

 

Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White

I recently did a “Better Kansas City” show segment on using unexpected colors and patterns for fall decorating. I’ll publish that clip next week. Meanwhile, here’s a taste of that decorating style that I have come to embrace with great enthusiasm: incorporating autumn touches into existing chinoiserie decor.

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner and salad plates rest upon a stark white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery.

 

 

I found these lovely cream soup bowls at Nell Hill’s in Parkville, Mo., about 40 minutes away from our home and only 5 minutes from my orthopedic surgeon’s office. (Best place to regroup after bad news!)  I LOVE that place!!! I never spend less than an hour when I visit. A crisp white cotton napkin is fashioned into a variation on the classic crown fold. A sprig of autumn berries brings color and additional texture to the place setting.

 

 

Faux bamboo flatware is perfect for this setting.

 

I bought scads of this sturdy cobalt blue stemware at Pier 1 some years ago, and it has served me well.

 

A very autumn-y pattern of plaid in the table runner with shades of russet, orange, amber, burgundy, cobalt and white is a perfect contrast to dishes. The riot of color contributes to and enhances the overall  boldness of the tablescape. The runner is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

 

 

Ginger jars from Nell Hill’s and temple jars from Home Goods make up the main part of the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

The length of the centerpiece is punctuated with deep orange mini pumpkins, real and faux acorns, and a meandering garland of berries. Latticed white ceramic planters hold mounded arborvitae.

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table holds its fair share of chinoiserie pieces including a pitcher, an octagonal bowl filled with oversized acorns, and Victorian foot baths mixed with silver candlesticks. The white foo dogs are a nod to the chinoiserie style and add a little unexpected touch.

The bar cart in the corner extends the touches of chinoiserie including the bowls filled with acorns.

Other tablescapes integrating chinoiserie on this blog include:
Mandarin Bling
Mother’s Day Brunch
Blue & White Family Picnic
Blue & White 30th Birthday

Peony Power

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 471st Tablescape Thursday! I’m seeing lots of fall and Halloween tablescapes over there today, so drop on in to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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