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

 

Cinco de Mayo Simply Done

Cinco de Mayo (not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day) is just a couple of short days away. I’m not feeling 100% by any stretch, but here’s how we’ll be celebrating the commemoration of the Mexican victory over French forces at The Battle of Puebla: with delicious food, a little tequila, and a prayer that wars and conflicts of all manner can be abolished in the future! (Fat chance, I know, but a girl can hope!)

 

 

 

The table is set for 6 in our small dining room. I aimed for a rustic look, opting to leave the wood of the table exposed. Square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning are topped with brilliant Maxcera “Terra Cotta Sunflower” square plates. (I used these plates for another tablescape, Sunflower Simple, back in 2011.) The napkin fold is one of those 10-second jobs that I use so often. The versatile contemporary flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra”, and the substantially weighted goldenrod bubble stemware is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

This old wood planter box is still a favorite for me. For this centerpiece, it is filled with a couple of sago palms and all kinds of succulents. VERY simple!

 

I used miniature terra cotta pots as candle holders on each end of the wood box to complete the simple centerpiece.

The side buffet is lightly adorned with an oversized rustic wood bowl flanked by green ceramic candlesticks. On the opposite end with the tortillas is another sago palm with a sunflower in a glazed terra cotta vase. Another palm is seen in the mirror sitting on the china cabinet.

 

 

 

 

The bar cart is decked out with decorative elements that mirror those on the table and buffet to complete the look in the room.

That’s about it…Cinco de Mayo decor VERY simply done!!!

Additional Cinco de Mayo tablescapes can be viewed:
Cinco de Mayo 2013
Serape High Style

Or these tablescapes are certainly adaptable to a Cinco de Mayo celebration:
Sunflower Simple
Brilliant Italian
Summer Breeze
Christmas Fiesta

Que tengas un buen celebración!!!

 

 

Easter in Pink & Grey

HIP-HOP HOORAY!!! I’M CELEBRATING MY 200TH POST TODAY!!!

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to what I used to wear...minus the pot belly, of course! :-)

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to an outfit I used to wear during my “Brat Pack” days back in the 80s…minus the pot belly, of course! (Slap a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on this fellow and smooth his ears down like hair, and he’d be Benjamin Franklin’s doppelganger! 🙂 )

Easter is a few short days away. If you’re looking to do something a little more on the formal side for brunch or dinner without being totally stuffy, this post might be of some help to you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full room

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table diagonal

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table lengthwise

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Tale Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Single place settingI decided to go with a bare table this time around. That’s a little unusual for me, but I thought all the elements would work well on bare wood. Gleaming silver metal chargers are topped with Easterling (no pun intended…really! 😉 ) “Majestic” china from my Mom. I thought the shade of grey on the rims complemented the inspiration rabbits’ jackets.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Napkin and menuAn easy pocket fold for the medium pink napkin from LinenTablecloth.com allows the menu to be neatly tucked inside.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Flatware/place card holder/stemware collageThese adorable moss topiary place card holders were graciously given to me by Beau-coup.com. You’ll be seeing a bit more of these, used in different ways, over the summer months. The flatware is Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriot – Mirror”, and the stemware is Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum”.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: centerpiece collageThe centerpiece starts with a moss table runner with various-sized moss balls strewn about. For this demonstration I used faux pink and white hyacinth in the silver champagne bucket and little pots of pink and white grape hyacinth. For your actual Easter table, though, it would be really terrific if you could go fresh. There’s nothing in the world quite like fresh flowers!  (For the sake of uninterrupted conversation during the meal, the champagne bucket of flowers can be easily moved to the sideboard.) The bunny figurines – looking quite dapper in their grey knicker pants and jackets with pink and white accents – are from Home Goods.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Buffet florals

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Short floralsThe buffet has florals that complement those used on the dining table. They are on the ends only to leave room for the big ol’ Easter ham or desserts. The tall moss ball “trees” mimic the place card holders as do the shorter moss ball “bushes.”

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Cart top, cart bottom, cups & saucers collageThe vintage tea cart in the corner is readied for coffee service after the meal.

 

Other posts on this site featuring Spring & Easter tablescapes:
“Easter Brunch”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
Easter Floral”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Easter Bloom”
“Carousel Colors”
“Spring Green”

“All A’Bloom for Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

I will join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later this week and Alma at The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sundays” over the upcoming weekend. I hope you’re up for the parties, too! Oh…and I’m posting each week on BeBetsy.com, too!

From our loving home to yours, may you and your family be blessed with all the grace of the good Lord this Easter and always.

Chocolate Traditional

I couldn’t let this season of romance get away without posting a tablescape using chocolate brown & pink!!! It works not only for Valentine’s Day if you’re hosting other couples, but for a bridal shower, ultra feminine birthday celebration, or – with a few key tweaks – a celebration honoring a breast cancer survivor.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Spurred on by last week’s pinning episode with all the little rosettes, I decided to wake this plain chocolate brown linen up with a strip of pink & brown edging. Again, not willing to try my hand at whip stitching, I simply used exposed pearl head pins to affix the edging to the hem. It all tied in nicely.

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA silverplate charger and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china are topped with a simply folded pastel pink napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond. A small silver bell rests next to the hostess’s place setting. While it would normally be used to summon staff during dinner (as if I actually have staff! 🙂 ), this bell is to signal that it’s time for all the couples assembled at the table to steal a kiss!

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com I have a lot of stemware, but one of my favorites is Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection.

Another favorite collection is the International Silver “Danish Princess” flatware my Mom gave me. Here the dinner knife rests on a silverplate knife rest.

Silver hearts hold a place card by Artifacts.

No Valentine’s Day party is complete without a little chocolate something-something!

I bought these silver epergnes quite a few years ago. They are the companion piece to the 4-lite epergne shown as a buffet piece HERE. I really like the detailing. The white silk shades simply slip over the custom-made metal case candle (outfitted with a peg votive holder) and rest on the affixed bobeche. I can also swap out the custom candle/shade option for real tapers or remove the center bowl and use the piece as a 3-lite candelabra! Quite versatile!

I think I bought this silver covered casserole at Tuesday Morning about a billion years ago. I have used it both for food presentation and florals.

What’s a Valentine party without a ton of sweets on a dessert buffet? The aroma of all the chocolate is intoxicating! (I’m one of those odd women who does not care for the taste of chocolate, but I LOVE the smell!!!)

Coffee service is set up using the Elegance Silver coffee urn I purchased years ago. A pretty silver Victorian sugar scuttle with its tiny scoop is perfect for sweetening coffee (when a dip of your sweetheart’s finger won’t do the trick. 😉 )

On the opposite end of the buffet are Godinger silver petit four stands filled with all kinds of goodies. The silver pastry tongs have beautiful Baroque detailing.

I am so excited about this new acquisition!!! My goofy/loving cousin, Dee ;- ), got this silver Lazy Susan from our sweet friend, Doris, whose exceptionally good taste shows like a Derby prize winner. You should see this chick’s house! Anyhooooooo….Dee used it to display sweets at her recent 30th wedding anniversary party and then sent it home with me! I feel like passing out cigars to celebrate my new baby!!! Thank you, Dee Bug! Thank you, Doris!

Über feminine lacy paper dessert napkins are weighted down with my Lladró “Angel Lying Down” figurine, a gift from a client a few years back.

The corner tea cart, bought by my Mom in the 1950s from the swanky House of Modern and given to me a few years ago, is a handy-dandy extension of the buffet. A fun pink moscato is iced down in a silver champagne bucket, also given to me by my Mom. The salad course will be served with forks iced to perfection in this silver mini champagne bucket that is also perfect for a split of champagne if you’re dining alone! (Icing the fork tines is a great way to keep your salad greens crisp just a little bit longer, especially in summer! Just watch the look on your guests’ faces when the fork is presented like this! If you’re not lucky enough to have “staff”, the hostess should personally present the bucket for each guest to take a fork.) See another cool way to ice forks down by clicking HERE and scrolling down to Tip #3! This is also a fabulously fun & fancy way to present dessert forks or spoons!!!

I am joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week, and I also hope you will stop by the Valentine Blog Party hosted by Bargain Hunting & Chatting With Laurie on Friday, February 10. Pop in to get tons of decorating ideas for your Valentine’s Day party from tablescaping bloggers with romance on their minds all around the world!

♥♥♥Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you!!!♥♥♥

Other Valentine’s Day posts on this site you might enjoy:
Love’s Arrow
Peonies & Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses
“Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend”
Should Have Put a Ring On It
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”

Other posts in chocolate brown & pink:
Au Revoir
Just Us Girls

Christmas Progressive Dinner

Each Christmas season Ramon and I team up with our cul-de-sac buddies for a much-anticipated Progressive Dinner. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s when several households progress from one home to the next for several dinner courses. This year the Alsups did the fabulous cocktails and hors d’ouevres which included bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, homemade cheese straws, crab-stuffed mushroom caps, and a very sneaky cranberry/vodka/sparkling wine drink. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

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IMG_3735WMIt was one of those drinks that will creep up and whack you over the head if you’re not careful! Delicious!!! Next, to the Jenisons for a tasty but healthy salad with heavenly home-baked wheat bread.

IF

Salad course at the Jenisons’. Ramon is taking the picture.

We then moved on to our home for the entrée before hopping across the street to the Rutherfords’ for a variety of sinful desserts, coffee and after-dinner drinks. I went to the doctor the day after for a routine check-up. I had gained 2 pounds from the previous week, and my blood pressure was up. Uh….duh!!!

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IMG_3568WMI wanted to do a really dramatic, special, over-the-top tablescape to thank my neighbors for their kindness, generosity and goodness of heart throughout the year. Two 6-ft. tables placed together horizontally are covered with full-length white linens in our family room.

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IMG_3589WMI love the double charger treatment, so a sparkly red 13″ charger (Target 2008) is topped with a goldtone 12″ (Hobby Lobby). The dishes are Pfaltzgraff’s  wonderfully traditional “Winterberry” which is one of my favorite Christmas designs.

IMG_3577WMI like to use our initialed linen dinner napkins whenever possible. For this night I dressed them up with a red berry napkin ring. I just used a standard berry stem from Hobby Lobby that I twisted to encircle the easy, classic napkin fold. LOTS of color and dimension, and it adds a little more height to the place setting!!!

IMG_3582WMI am SO happy to have finally jumped on the Dollar Tree train! This soft green stemware that I picked up there is coming in handy for so many table settings! (Click here to see it used in a very contemporary table setting.)

IMG_3579WMI bought these rockin’ gold metal reindeer wholesale many years ago when I owned my fine rentals business. They measure 36″H without the antlers, so they’re perfect for the “go big or go home” look I love so much. I covered the center of the table with a couple of clear plastic trash bags to keep the linens underneath clean. I dressed each for the evening with a collar of berries with a red velvet bow. (To see last year’s cul-de-sac progressive dinner – dressed up with different reindeer decor – click HERE and scroll down to “Noel Progressive Dinner“.

IMG_3575WMI painstakingly placed each branch of this flocked pine cone greenery to create a sort of wreath to cover the reindeer stands. Red berry picks and shiny red Christmas ornaments finish off the fun yet sophisticated reindeer centerpiece.

IMG_3704WMWe were dining in the family room, so I dressed the top of the television armoire to complement the table with this small reindeer and lots of lighted greenery punctuated with red berries, ribbon, and ornaments.

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The grapevine wreath in the window is covered with a profusion of red berries and finished off with a few flocked faux branches, pinecones, oversized Christmas balls and red velvet ribbon. I kept the mantel simple with two smaller grapevine & berry wreaths.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the menu…Cornish hens basted in a garlic butter sauce, wild rice and green beans. Our neighbors, Carla and Jim, were unable to attend this year’s dinner but sent over homemade cinnamon sugar-dusted Parker rolls.

So another year, another wonderful Progressive Dinner with fine friends who we love and cherish. God is good! From our homes to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch!

Autumn Blues

This week – September 22 to be exact – I celebrate one year of sharing my craft with all the other tabletop enthusiasts who look forward to Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays at Between Naps on the Porch. I have made some incredible connections through my association with this group, and it has been a wonderful journey down a road paved with the exchange of neat ideas. Beyond that, it has been an experience that has created truly supportive and caring friendships with people I have never had the pleasure (yet, anyway!) to hug in person. I am further beholden to all of you fabulous folks who have so graciously become a follower. You guys rock, and I thank you!

A happy and very unexpected extra this week: I discovered this morning that I am the winner of Yvonne’s StoneGable Giveaway!!! The prize is English Transferware from Nancy’s Daily Dish!!! Thank you to Yvonne for hosting the giveaway and to Nancy for her incredible generosity!!! I feel like Melissa McCarthy at this year’s Emmy Awards!!! 😉

I have posted some fairly over-the-top tablescapes the last several weeks. This week I am toning it down just a bit for a more laid back summer-into-fall transitional tablescape that is easy to replicate and that I hope you will enjoy.

This tablescape is one that would work well for an intimate evening with close friends or sharing a meal with another couple. It deliberately strays from the trappings of a traditional autumn table so that it can simultaneously represent the official close of summer.

The full-length table linen transitions from summer white to a deep ivory. A pretty April Cornell table runner from TJ Maxx brings color as well as the only floral element needed to the table. The runner’s brown background captures the essence of autumn while the varying shades of blue keep a foothold on the last bastion of summer.

A deep brown charger is topped with creamy ivory dishes with a scalloped edge from Pier 1. (These were purchased 6 or 7 years ago.)

The menus were created on my desktop computer using a soft blue lightweight cardstock backed by a deep brown heavier weight. The pages are secured using simple silver brads purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Beneath the menus are April Cornell napkins folded in the easy “Double Ring” style as illustrated on page 17 of Denise Vivaldo’s book “Perfect Table Settings“. This easy napkin fold allows the menu to enjoy a cushioned pedestal rather than lying flat. This particular fold just happened to yield a really interesting design!

The flatware is a faux mother of pearl from Target.

While using the same pattern of stemware for a setting is lovely, it’s often just as pretty (and sometimes prudent!) to mix the colors and patterns. Here a single deep blue stem from TJ Maxx dutifully breaks the monotony of the clear glass at its sides and mirrors the blue in the runner, napkins and menus. The trick when mixing is to identify some fundamental element of the stemware that either matches or complements.

Individual salt & pepper shakers are always a nice touch.

Sometimes simple is better, and in this case that certainly rings true. The centerpiece is composed of a clear glass globe set atop a very traditional lacquered wood stand from Old Time Pottery.
(To see another tablescape using glass globes, click here.)

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Fresh curly willow nestled in the bowl resembles the meandering vines found in the runner and napkins. To achieve this simple, inexpensive (and totally reusable!) look, wind fresh curly willow tips tight enough to slip past the mouth of the bowl. That’s it! The willow will stay green for several days and darken gracefully with time. It’s beautiful either way. I store several bowls with the willow still inside it so that I don’t have to buy fresh every time!

One of my dearest friends, Monica Goodwin, gave me these fabulous (and very heavy!) carved candlesticks for Christmas one year. I like the height they provide without taking up a lot of space. Here’s another fun little trick: If you prefer chunky pillar candles as seen here instead of slim tapers, simply use a bit of Cling or other floral adhesive to temporarily adhere the candle to the top of the candlestick to steady it. On particularly breezy evenings I suggest taking the safety measure of using LED pillar candles as seen here.

Well, that’s another one for the books! Thank you again to Susan, my blogging colleagues, and all of you who stop in each week to let me know how I’m doing.
Happy Almost Fall! 🙂

More tablescapes on this site using curly willow:
Copper Zen
Welcome Back, Joel
Blushing Bridal

Won’t you please join Yvonne, Nancy and the rest of us for Tablescape Thursday again this week? You’re always a welcome guest!